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Set Your Phaser To Stun

Forget about stocking up on 22lr for your Ruger 10/22 Takedown, or practicing your bow hunting skills.  The future of firearms may be more near than you think.  Imagine a day that you’ll take your  Directed Energy Weapon out to the range to zero in your optics.  Hey kids, “Grab your DEW Rifle and and let’s go hunting”  Here are some early prototypes of what we can expect in the future.

I don’t think this guy knows what a shotgun is. However it is an impressive device. Albeit, it looks slapped together. It looks like he mounted his laser array to an Electric Airsoft M4. The laser array produces 40W of laser. He uses a magnifying lens to focus the eight parallel lasers and concentrate them to a single point at a given distance. He is able to pop balloons and burn things by pulling the trigger. – See more at: TheFirearmBlog

Set Your Phaser to Pop

I have to admit when I first saw this I thought it might have been a bit of a hoax, but a very crafty Star Trek fan using parts from a Blu-ray player and old playmates Phaser toy has made a working (albeit not very powerful) Phaser. While the unit may not be strong enough to seriously injure someone, you could probably give a person a nasty little burn from across the room.

In the video below you can see him use it on some very threatening looking balloons, and make extremely short work of them. I have to say I really want one of my own, oh imagine the fun at children’s birthday parties.

Lockheed Martin has been working on a weapon for years that pops a little more than balloons.  These obviously aren’t very portable yet, but just think about this…..  Computers used to take up entire buildings and now you carry more computational power in your mobile phone then they used sending the first man to the moon.

Soon we’ll all be vaporizing

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The Skill Set Often Overlooked by Preppers

Before I tell you about the skill set often overlooked by preppers, consider a few questions and comments to prime your thoughts.

How many times have you heard admonitions against being the proverbial lone wolf? How many people have said preppers aren’t going to make it alone? How many times have you been urged to be part of a community of like-minded preppers? And how well would you get along in that community?

This year I’ve been peppered with the message loud and clear from a diversity of sources that it’s more important than ever to be part of a community. That’s because times are only going to get worse, and we each need a support network.

With that in mind, the time seemed right for my wife and I to become involved with a different church where we could both be involved more meaningfully. This has been both rewarding and challenging for me. I’ve had to put into practice a few of the people skills I’d become rusty at in the past several years.

Granted, this church isn’t a prepper community. But it could prove to be an important support network, beneficial for all involved. And that’s no small thing.

Perhaps you’ll recall my visit with Chris Ray a while back on DestinySurvival Radio. (View my post about it here if you need a refresher.) One of the things we discussed was whether it’s preferrable for a Christian to be part of a church or a prepper group when the chips are down. While Chris said he’d rather be in the group of preppers, it’s an issue on which his opinion may change from time to time.

I say all that to say this. One of the most important skill sets you’ll need in any group you’re involved with is people skills. As my dad told me many times when I was growing up, when you’re out in the world, you’re going to rub shoulders with a lot of people, and you’re going to have to learn how to get along with them.

A few days ago in “The survival Weekly Dispatch” newsletter (Vol. 2, Issue 17), Jim Cobb published a piece on people skills, which I thought was so good, I asked him if I could reproduce it here. I do so below with his permission.

You’ll note that Jim has been my DestinySurvival Radio guest a number of times. His commentary is worthy of your attention, and I’d love to know your thoughts.

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In the prepper world, we talk a lot about skill sets. Stuff like scratch cooking, food preservation, gardening, marksmanship, hunting, trapping, bushcraft, the list goes on and on. One area that is often overlooked, though, is what we call people skills. Things like active listening, conflict resolution, negotiation, and compromise. Basically, all those skills that prevent us from getting a note on our report card that says, “Does Not Play Well With Others.”

Now, granted, many of us in the prepper/survivalist world tend to be a little…abrasive…at times. That’s our cross to bear for having a healthy degree of common sense in our heads. We often have little patience for things like ignorance and stupidity. But, that doesn’t mean we should treat people any differently than we want to be treated ourselves.

When I talk about people skills, what it all really boils down to is this – treat each other like human beings. We, and by that I mean society in general, tend to forget that. My theory is that at least part of it stems from the disconnect we have today, given that we seem to communicate digitally far more often than we do face to face or even just verbally over the phone. How many times have you looked at an incoming call on your cell and decided not to answer it, instead just waiting for the inevitable text message? How often have you seen teenagers sitting right next to each other and having a conversation via text rather than verbally?

Why does this fall into the realm of prepper skills? Think about it for a second. A disaster and the ensuing aftermath are going to be extremely stressful as it is. Add on interpersonal conflicts within your family or group and blood pressure is going to go through the roof. It is much more difficult to work together as a team when each team members is angry with everyone else. Effective communication will defuse arguments and keep the group working smoothly.

If you feel your own people skills are a little lacking, try this. For one entire week, just work on active listening. This means you need to be present in the conversation and there are two basic components at work. First, you need to pay full attention to whomever is speaking to you. Put away the cell phone, tablet, and all those other distractions. Then, repeat back what was said, using your own words rather than just parroting what was said. Doing this confirms to the other person that you both heard and understood what was said.

Wife: Could you please run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread and some milk, please? We’re out.

Husband: We’re out of bread and milk? Ok, I can go get some. Do we need anything else since I’m going there?

Yes, that’s admittedly a simplistic (and stereotypical) example. The point, though, is that by repeating back what was said, you not only confirm the message but reinforce it in your own head so you’ll remember it better.

We’ll talk more about communication skills in future editions of the newsletter. These skills are important, both in everyday life as well as related to preparedness.

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How to Store Charcoal

Re-Blogged From thesurvivalmom.com

It’s summer! Summer means barbeques, and barbeques mean grills. And grills need fuel. Of the potential fuels for grills, charcoal is the easiest and safest for a prepper to store long-term. Add the fact that it’s cheap, lightweight, and regularly goes on sale in the summer and we have a real prepper winner! And the cherry on top? Unlike propane and many other fuels, you can make your own charcoal if a disaster goes on for long enough and charcoal is a much safer fuel to store.

However, Since it is still a fuel, it’s important to never be careless about how and where you store it. Here are some considerations to keep in mind.

Choosing a container

Charcoal briquettes are made from sawdust and wood scraps. As such, they need to be dry to light. A moisture proof container with a tight lid is key.

To keep charcoal dry, you can use metal or plastic containers, butmetal is generally recommended because it is fireproof and not as porous as plastic, which can allow some air and moisture in even when sealed. Since metal, unlike plastic, can rust out if left on a damp surface, it is important to elevate metal cans a few inches off the ground. One common method is putting several bricks underneath or a wooden pallet.

For truly long-term storage, you can use an airtight plastic bucket and seal it shut with caulk to keep the humidity out. For a metal container, use aluminum duct tape. To be extra-sure the charcoal is dry, toss in a handful of silica packs to absorb any stray moisture. Just know it will take a whole lot more of these desiccants than a five pound bag of flour does!

Choosing a storage spot

Store your charcoal out of the sunlight in an area that stays cool but not damp. If you have a basement that is either naturally dry or where you run a dehumidifier regularly, that’s a great choice.

Outdoor sheds can be a good place, but be sure the containers are well sealed, off the ground, and not near a window / direct sunlight. You will also need to be sure the shed doesn’t get excessively hot, especially if there is a heat wave.

Using charcoal for cooking

Using charcoal for fires and cooking is one way to pick up an off-grid living skill. One tool you may want to invest in, to make this easier, is a charcoal chimney. The handy tool is simply a metal container that you fill with charcoal, light, and then quickly heats up the briquettes for use.

If you’re planning to use your charcoal for Dutch oven cooking, experiment with the number of briquettes you place in the chimney. You may not need to fill it completely in order to have enough hot fuel to cook a Dutch oven meal.

Once you know how to store charcoal and stock up when the prices are low, you’ll be ready for outdoor cooking as well as a long-term power outage.

There may be links in the post above that are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, which does not affect the price you pay for the product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. 

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Half of all US adults hacked in last 12 months

Online computer hackers have infiltrated and exposed the personal information of 110 million Americans – nearly half of the US adult population – over the last year alone, according to an alarming new report.

The study – formulated by researchers at the Ponemon Institute, which measures data collection and information security in the public and private sectors – also determined that the number of hacked accounts belonging to those individuals numbered at or near 432 million.

Many of the people victimized may have inadvertently made available to hackers their names, debit or credit card information, email addresses, phone numbers, birth dates, passwords, security questions, and possibly their physical home addresses, according to CNN Money, which commissioned the study.

The news that so many people have been hacked comes on the heels of a series of vast security flubs at popular companies like Target and eBay. Target was the victim of a malware attack that compromised no less than 40 million credit card numbers (along with 70 million addresses, phone numbers, and other identifying materials) through the height of the holiday shopping season.

Snapchat admitted that five million user accounts were hacked, and 33 million Adobe users’ credentials were also taken (along with more than three million stolen debit and credit card details).

Most companies don’t fully understand or address their security risks,” the 2014 US State of Cybercrime Survey explained. A mere 38 percent of the companies polled are capable of prioritizing security spending based on the risk it presents to businesses and customers. The survey added that “most US organizations’ cybersecurity capabilities do not rival the persistence and technological skills of their cyber adversaries.”

The situation is complicated even further because the very companies that so many Americans unconsciously rely on refuse to disclose how many customers were actually hacked. AOL, while admitting that a hack had taken place, has said only that a “significant number” of its 120 million accounts were taken over. Online giant eBay was similarly cagey when it was revealed that hackers had taken data from all 145 million of the site’s users.

So many internet users have found themselves hacked in part because the attackers have specialized their methods of attack, whether it be deploying malware against Target or covertly installing a flaw onto Internet Explorer that allows them to monitor an entire computer.

It’s becoming more acute,” Larry Ponemon, head of the research institute, told CNN Money. “If you’re not a data breach victim, you’re not paying attention.”

The report attributed the vast data loss on a number of issues, perhaps the most notable of which being a widespread hesitation in the corporate world to be proactive. Executives, managers, and even tech specialists often dismiss the immediacy of a threat before it falls on their company.

Blame can also be pitted on individuals, however, with many people failing to be diligent enough in changing their passwords, or using security questions that are easy for others to guess. Such failings make it possible for friends and loved ones to hack the people they are close to, according to Paul Norse of Security Center USA.

These are generally done internally,” he told First Coast News. “So from our aspect as a consumer the only real thing that we can do is monitor our accounts closely and alert the proper authority. On the other side it’s really the business’s end to protect our information, and a firm part that we need to do as Americans is holding these people accountable.”

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Florida Makes Living Off-Grid Illegal

house

It’s no secret that an opposition to sustainable living exists. Earlier this year, Texas state brought several SWAT teams to a sustainable community and threatened to shut it down. Each one of the community members were initially handcuffed at gunpoint. It was called “The Garden of Eden Community,” and was totally self sustainable.

This time, it’s Robin Speronis that’s come under fire. She lives off the grid in Florida, completely independent of the city’s water and electric system. A few weeks ago, officials ruled her off-grid home illegal. Officials cited the International Property Maintenance Code, which mandates that homes be connected to an electricity grid and a running water source. That’s just like saying our dependency on corporations isn’t even a choice. The battle to live without most utilities has been ongoing for Robin, the self-sufficient woman has lived for more than a year and a half using solar energy, a propane camping stove and rain water.

In the end, she was found not guilty of not having a proper sewer or electrical system; but was guilty of not being hooked up to an approved water supply.

So what exactly is off grid living?

book

“It means living independently, mainly living independently of the utility companies. Providing your own power. It does not mean living in the stone age, it’s not about bush craft. It’s about generating your own power, your own water, dealing with your own waste. Probably as part of a community, not living on your own like a hermit. It’s also about being more self-reliant and being less dependent on the system. Perhaps realizing that the system isn’t really protecting us anymore and we have to look after ourselves.” – George Noory

Our potential as a human race is quite extraordinary, we just don’t realize it. Sustainable living is not about giving up a certain lifestyle, can still have all the modern amenities, design and beyond. Living off the grid wouldn’t be a problem, we have technologies that can generate over-unity power, we have technologies that can provide unlimited amounts of clean energy. I’m talking about free energy, which goes far beyond solar energy. We can have neighborhoods exactly like we do today, even better. They would be totally green, off the grid and self-sufficient.

The only problem with off the grid living is that corporations lose their ability to control others. With a completely self-sustaining life style, no body would ever have to work. What would happen then? Think about that for a moment. We would be free to expand and create, to discover our full potential as a race and move forward into the world of exploration and discovery, all the while living in harmony with nature, not against it.

We’ve accepted the monetary system, and deem it necessary for the proper function of society. Money doesn’t ever have to come in the way of necessity, we’ve just been made to believe that it does. It’s time for the human race to move past the concepts of competition and greed into one that benefits the whole.

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozled has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” – Carl Sagan

The human race does not need to be dependent on these corporations. While we continue to feed this dependency, the planet continues to suffer. In order to move forward, we must start cooperating with each other, and realize just how much potential we have to create something magical and amazing. Bottom line, anybody who has the desire to live off-grid should not be hassled for it, it should be a free choice.

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Earth Quake Survival

earth-quake

Chances are, Dwayne Johnson, “The Rock” wont be saving you when the big one hits.  You will want to stock up on some critical supplies to keep your family safe.

An earthquake is a sudden, rapid shaking of the earth caused by the breaking and shifting of rock beneath the earth’s surface. Earthquakes strike suddenly, without warning, and they can occur at any time of the year, day or night. Forty-five states and territories in the United States are at moderate to very high risk of earthquakes, and they are located in every region of the country. Learn how to prepare for an earthquake with the following safety tips provided by the American Red Cross.

Are You at Increased Risk from Earthquakes?

Contact your local emergency management office, local American Red Cross, state geological survey or department of natural resources for specific information about your community’s risk. However, bear in mind:

  • Mobile homes and homes not attached to their foundations are at particular risk during an earthquake.
  • Buildings with foundations resting on landfill and other unstable soils are at increased risk of damage.

Did You Know?

Doorways are no stronger than any other part of a structure so don’t rely on them for protection! During an earthquake, get under a sturdy piece of furniture and hold on. It will help shelter you from falling objects that could injure you during an earthquake.

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Prepare for an Earthquake

  • Become aware of fire evacuation and earthquake safety plans for all of the buildings you occupy regularly.
  • Pick safe places in each room of your home, workplace and/or school. A safe place could be under a piece of furniture or against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases or tall furniture that could fall on you.
  • Practice “drop, cover and hold on” in each safe place. If you do not have sturdy furniture to hold on to, sit on the floor next to an interior wall and cover your head and neck with your arms.
  • Keep a flashlight and sturdy shoes by each person’s bed in case the earthquake strikes in the middle of the night.
  • Make sure your home is securely anchored to its foundation.
  • Bolt and brace water heaters and gas appliances to wall studs.
  • Bolt bookcases, china cabinets and other tall furniture to wall studs.
  • Hang heavy items, such as pictures and mirrors, away from beds, couches and anywhere people sleep or sit.
  • Brace overhead light fixtures.
  • Install strong latches or bolts on cabinets. Large or heavy items should be closest to the floor.
  • Learn how to shut off the gas valves in your home and keep a wrench handy for that purpose.
  • Learn about your area’s seismic building standards and land use codes before you begin new construction.
  • Keep and maintain an emergency supplies kit in an easy-to-access location.

If You Are Inside When the Shaking Starts…

  • Drop, cover and hold on. Move as little as possible.
  • If you are in bed, stay there, curl up and hold on. Protect your head with a pillow.
  • Stay away from windows to avoid being injured by shattered glass.
  • Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit. When it is, use stairs rather than the elevator in case there are aftershocks, power outages or other damage.
  • Be aware that fire alarms and sprinkler systems frequently go off in buildings during an earthquake, even if there is no fire.

If You Are Outside When the Shaking Starts…

  • Find a clear spot (away from buildings, power lines, trees, streetlights) and drop to the ground. Stay there until the shaking stops.
  • If you are in a vehicle, pull over to a clear location and stop. Avoid bridges, overpasses and power lines if possible. Stay inside with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops. Then, drive carefully, avoiding bridges and ramps that may have been damaged.
  • If a power line falls on your vehicle, do not get out. Wait for assistance.
  • If you are in a mountainous area or near unstable slopes or cliffs, be alert for falling rocks and other debris. Landslides are often triggered by earthquakes.

What to Do After an Earthquake

  • After an earthquake, the disaster may continue. Expect and prepare for potential aftershocks, landslides or even a tsunami. Tsunamis are often generated by earthquakes.
  • Each time you feel an aftershock, drop, cover and hold on. Aftershocks frequently occur minutes, days, weeks and even months following an earthquake.
  • Check yourself for injuries and get First Aid, if necessary, before helping injured or trapped persons.
  • Put on long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sturdy shoes and work gloves to protect against injury from broken objects.
  • Look quickly for damage in and around your home and get everyone out if your home is unsafe.
  • Listen to a portable, battery-operated or hand-crank radio for updated emergency information and instructions.
  • Check the telephones in your home or workplace to see if you can get a dial tone. Make brief calls to report life-threatening emergencies.
  • Look for and extinguish small fires. Fire is the most common hazard after an earthquake.
  • Clean up spilled medications, bleach, gasoline or other flammable liquids immediately.
  • Open closet and cabinet doors carefully as contents may have shifted.
  • Help people who require special assistance, such as infants, children and the elderly or disabled.
  • Watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines and stay out of damaged areas.
  • Keep animals under your direct control.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings.
  • If you were away from home, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so. Use extreme caution and examine walls, floors, doors, staircases and windows to check for damage.
  • Be careful when driving after an earthquake and anticipate traffic light outages.

Let Your Family Know You’re Safe

If your community has experienced a disaster, register on the American Red Cross Safe and Well web site to let your family and friends know you are safe.

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When Shit Hits the Fan literally, Will you be prepared and ready to Go?

What to do to plan, prepare, and protect during an Extreme and Mild Survival Scenario!

When you’re hiking while on a camping trip and happen to get turned around in the woods or waking up to the aftermath of a terrible storm that hit, you’ll be dealing with the lack of resources in those specific scenarios. As a result, you will need to remain calm and be smart about what your surroundings are and think what could be of use to you? In order to have these survival smarts, you need to take sometime to plan, prepare, and then protect if needed.

The first step is going to be the planning part and learning what you need to have in order for this step to work. Next, you will need to prepare for it if something disastrous such as a terrible outbreak which causes humans to turn to zombies or something as simple as a tornado stripping your town to nothing. The last step is having the equipment to protect yourself, which can be something as simple as a kitchen knife or you could have the mother load of weaponry that’s secretly kept in your basement that even your best friends don’t know about.

The gear, supplies, tools, weapons, food, water, and even the physical energy should be conserved.

wd

Let’s take this to the top of  the scale of survival situations, of 1 being mild and 10 being extreme. As they always say go big or go home, we are going to go big! So, with 10 being the highest on the scale we are going to say that a Zombie Apocalypse just broke out and your neighbors are turning as we speak. You still have time to react but not much because they are starting to break the glass of your windows to your house. You and your family immediately run down to your basement where you can regroup and make a plan. You then grab everything you can think of that’s in your SHTFandGo pack! Your dad yells at your brother to go grab the sleeping bags upstairs which are in the front closet but you stop him and say “Here, take this.” Your brother looks down and sees the Zombie Apocalypse Machete 101. Now while he does that, you’re running around with your mom and sister shoving bags full of supplies, tools, weapons, and anything that can fit. You don’t need to make too much food in the rucksacks, as they are already prepared in the Food Storage containers containing black beans, rice, noodles, and all other vacuum sealed food items. As for the water you just need to remember to grab the H2O 2.0 or H2O 3.0, depending on how much water you want to have on hand. We also stocked up on the H2O 1.0 just in case we get separated from one another at times we have a way to consume water. Your brother gets back and has the sleeping bags and rest of the gear your dad asked him to get and seems to have survived the neighbors! Our family also stocked up on some gasoline for the vehicles and we separate into vehicles and head out of town to someplace south. Just remember to not get bit!

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I know that was a very extreme scenario but you never know when Shit will hit the Fan!

wd3

A little less milder one would be if a disastrous storm such as a tornado or hurricane wiped out your town. Here you would do the same, plan how you are going to prepare for a disastrous storm, prepare for it, and if you need to protect yourself for whatever reason you will be able to do so. First you’re going to have a plan once you hear the sirens going off, which means to head down to your basement with your family. There you can discuss what will happen if there is damage beyond repair. Then you will gather the things you need to prepare yourself, for instance you will get your rucksacks and fill them with anything and everything such as supplies, tools, weapons (if you feel like you need them), and whatever you think you will need. The food storage should already be prepared as you would have  Food Storage buckets full of black beans, rice, and noodles which are already vacuum sealed and ready to go. Of course you can have any other food stored in those buckets as well. You then will grab the H2O 2.0 or H2O 3.0 water storage depending on how much water you will want once you find a source of water. You will also have each rucksack packed with a couple H2O 1.0 just in case you and your family some how get separated during the chaos. If for whatever reason you need to have weapons on you during this kind of disaster just be careful.

wd4

Just remember to always plan, prepare, and protect.

 

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Air Rifle May Be A Better Option For Bugging Out.

air-rifle

Benjamin Rogue .357 Air Rifle  One of the most powerful air rifles on the market.

The oldest existing mechanical air gun, a bellows air gun dating back to about 1580, is in the Livrustkammaren Museum in Stockholm. This is the time most historians recognize as the beginning of the modern air gun.

Air rifles have come a long way in recent years.  Modern air rifles come in a variety of calibers and types or propellant.

The most common air gun calibers are

  • .177 (4.5 mm): the most common caliber. All official shooting organizations mandate .177 caliber for both pistol and rifle competition. Used in ISSF shooting events at the Olympic Games. It has the flattest trajectory of all the calibers for a given energy level, making accuracy simpler. At suitable energy levels it can be used effectively for hunting.
  • .22 (5.5 mm & 5.6 mm): for hunting and general use.

Other less common traditional calibers include:

  • .20 (5 mm): initially proprietary to the Sheridan multi-pump pneumatic air rifle, later more widely used.
  • .25 (6.35 mm): the largest commonly available caliber for most of the 20th century.

Larger caliber air rifles suitable for hunting large animals are offered by major manufacturers. These are usually PCP guns. The major calibers available are:

  • .357
  • .45 (11.43 mm)
  • .50 (12.7 mm)
  • .58 (14.5 mm)

Custom air guns are available in even larger calibers such as 20 mm (0.79″) or .87 (22.1 mm).

animal

Some .50 Caliber Air Rifles produce more energy than .357 magnum  Size comparison from .22 caliber pellet and .50 caliber pellets

bullet

In recent years we have seen a perceived shortage of some caliber ammunition.  Many believe that hoarders are purchasing large quantities of 22LR ammunition and artificially creating a shortage and driving the cost of what typically is a low cost ammunition.

WHY BUY AN ADULT PRECISION AIRGUN?

Target Shooting: It is not surprising that target shooting with airguns is so popular around the world. The top-grade precision airguns are now considered to be the world’s most accurate guns, bar none. In many countries such as Germany and England, target shooting at the local clubhouse is mixed with good fellowship and, after the contest, good beer! Americans also target shoot in clubs, albeit in a bit drier surroundings than their European counterparts. While Americans often think of airgun shooting as primarily a youth program leading to adult firearm events, they are now recognizing that serious airgun competition is an end in itself and something in which members of all ages can participate.

Airgun shooting in America is actively promoted by the National Rifle Association. In fact, airgun shooting is one of only three competitive shooting events that have grown in the U.S. during the last decade (combat pistol and silhouette are the other two). The NRA has established 15 levels of marksmanship awards in their 25-ft airgun shooting programs, awards which you can obtain by shooting right in your own home. Target shooters can also compete with each other via postal matches, and in-person at hundreds of airgun matches at the local, state, national and international levels. Airgun competition is also an official Olympic event for both men and women.

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Benjamin Marauder Synthetic Stock .25-Caliber Pellet Air Rifle

In addition to target shooting, many U.S. shooting clubs have started hunting style metallic silhouette and “field target” programs for air rifles and pistols.

Pest Control: With a proper high-powered airgun you ran reduce harmful pests in areas where a firearm would be unsafe or not permitted (please be sure to select an airgun with sufficient power to do the job humanely). Suburbanites, farmers and gardeners appreciate the adult use of airguns in the selective control of crop predators such as woodchucks, opossum and even raccoons. Airguns may he used to control destructive rodents and birds such as Norway rats, English sparrows, Crows, European starlings, and feral Old World Pigeons.

Hunting: Shooters enjoy adding to the larder using the new breed of “magnum” hunting air rifles with 40 to 50+ yard range. Hunting for food is especially popular for such delicate game as pigeon, squirrel and rabbit. And, believe it or not, even eating crow can be quite delicious if it’s not too old. Many suburban airgunners are able to hunt on local farms where firearms simply can’t be used!

The more proficient you become with adult precision airguns, whether to plink, pot pests, or punch paper targets, the more you will appreciate how exquisitely these elegant rifles and pistols are scaled to human sensibilities. Airguns are fairly quiet, modestly powered and extraordinarily accurate mechanical works of art. Learning to master the discipline of superior marksmanship, and training yourself to approach the performance of which these tools are capable can be an enduringly satisfying avocation. One which you might gladly spend a lifetime attempting to master.

Cost of Operation:  You can safely and economically fire thousands of rounds a year from an airgun right in your own home. A suitable range can be set up in minutes in a basement, garage, or even in the living room of small apartment.

Make Your Own Ammo: Since you only need lead and no gun powder, brass, or primers, one can easily cast their own lead air rifle ammunition just about anywhere you can build a fire.

Shooting Skill Improvement: All skill sports require frequent practice. The benign airgun can be used to teach the elements of marksmanship which carry over nearly perfectly to firearms shooing. The safe, sheer handiness of airguns means practice can be impromptu, informal and frequent.

Airgun Regulations: Airguns are not subject to the U.S. Gun Control Act of 1968 and many other firearm laws. There are little or no purchase or ownership problems in most areas. However. some cities and communities treat airguns as firearms. It’s always a good idea to check with your police department for the local regulations. Normally, you can ship, mail and take target airguns across state and even international borders when traveling and vacationing, although magnum hunting air rifles above 12 ft-lbs. of muzzle energy may he treated as firearms in some countries.

*Outdoor shooting may not be permitted in some localities. Check with police for outdoor shooting regulations.

Sources: Wikipedia, Crossman Website, http://www.pyramydair.com/, and http://www.extremebigboreairrifles.com/

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Batteriser is a $2.50 gadget that extends disposable battery life by 800 percent

battery

This small reusable device can extend your battery life by 800%

A new product is about to hit the market that can extend your alkaline battery life by 800%.  This could prove to be a valuable device especially in an emergency situation.

How Batteriser gives your batteries 8 new lives

A completely new alkaline battery is rated to generate 1.5 volts, but once its output drops below 1.35 or even 1.4 volts, it effectively becomes useless to many devices. The battery’s chemical cocktail is still loaded with juice, but the circuitry in many gadgets (especially more sophisticated ones, like Bluetooth keyboards and bathroom scales) considers the battery dead.

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Reduce your battery consumption by 80%.

This is where Batteriser comes in. It’s essentially a voltage booster that sucks every last drop of useable energy from ostensibly spent batteries. So, instead of using just 20 percent of all the power hidden inside of your Duracells and Energizers, Batteriser makes effective use of the remaining 80 percent.

BATTEROO

Batteriser is thin enough to fit inside a Bluetooth trackpad, just like this one.

Voltage boosters are nothing new, but Batteriser scales down the technology to the point where it can fit inside a stainless steel sleeve less than 0.1 mm thick. Roohparvar says the sleeves are thin enough to fit inside almost every battery compartment imaginable, and the combined package can extend battery life between 4.9x for devices like remote controls and 9.1x for various electronic toys.

battery2

“The Batteriser has boost circuitry that will boost the voltage from 0.6 volts to 1.5 volts and will maintain voltage at 1.5—which is a brand new battery,” Roohparvar says. “There’s actually no IP [intellectual property] in the boost circuitry. Our technology is really a miniaturization technique that allows us to build the sleeve. We have some IP in some of the IC circuits that are in there, but the key is we’ve been able to miniaturize the boost circuit to a point that no one else has been able to achieve. “

 

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How to Bug-In: What You Need to Know to Survive a Grid-Down Disaster

As the East Coast of the United States recovers from Hurricane Sandy, aka “Frankenstorm,” the rest of us watch the unfolding aftermath from a distance – thankful Mother Nature hasn’t unleashed her fury on our doorstep today. Hurricane Sandy is yet another sober reminder that none of us are exempt from disaster. Mother Nature doesn’t discriminate. She doesn’t care where we live, what we drive, how much we make, or what we do for a living. Her antics are diverse and far-reaching. She has a recipe of devastation for all parts of the world: hurricanes, tornados, floods, wildfires, winter storms, earthquakes, tsunamis, droughts, heat waves, volcanoes, land-slides, and sometimes even a combo pack.

It is human nature to avoid potentially bad news. It is also human nature to procrastinate. Consequently, many of us avoid going to the dentist, taking our car in for routine maintenance, implementing a home security plan, getting our yearly physicals, and many other important preventative and preparative tasks. Unfortunately, avoiding the thought of potential bad news has absolutely no bearing at all on whether or not it will happen. In fact, this attitude is completely self-destructive. Avoiding preparing for or prevent a very dangerous and probable threat is irresponsible and incredibly foolish. Yet, people do it all the time when it comes to potential natural disasters. The mentality of “it’s not going to happen to me” is no longer an acceptable excuse. In the 15 years I’ve taught Survival and Preparedness courses I’ve come to the conclusion that there are no acceptable excuses and I have run thin on patience to those that offer them. Burying your head in the sand is not a strategy and depending on the government to save you is not a plan.

Many of you remember the article I wrote a while back titled How to Make a Bug Out Bag. “Bugging Out” is the decision to abandon your home in search of a safer destination in the event of a large-scale disaster. Sometimes, Bugging Out is not necessary nor is it the best decision. A disaster may, in fact, make it impossible to Bug Out. The alternative is called “Bugging In.” Bugging In or hunkering down during a large-scale disaster can present many challenges to a survivor. Oftentimes, the utilities we depend on are ripped off-line – known as “Grid-Down.”

Disasters can devastate our most critical services including water supplies, medical facilities and first responders, waste and trash processing and removal, transportation options, fuel and grocery supplies, natural gas lines, electricity, phone service, and even public safety. A Grid-Down scenario can last for several days or even weeks. During this time, you must be able to provide basic survival needs for you and your family. These Bug In preps and plans need to be made in advance. They cannot be made in the heat of a disaster.

How Long Should I Prepare to Bug In?

That’s the question of the century! The government says 3 days. I have preps to get me through 1 year. My answer is a minimum of 2 weeks and then keep prepping for longer as time and money allow. Start with 3 days then work up from there. Don’t let this question prevent you from making progress.

What Are the Categories I Should Consider When Prepping?

Our basic human survival needs remain the exact same no matter where we are in the world or what circumstances we face. They will always be: shelter, water, fire, food, first aid, and self-defense. The order of priority may change, but the basic categories will not. Below is a brief breakdown of each category including several solutions to consider for a short-term Bug In scenario.

Shelter

shelter

Dura Heat, DH2304, Convection Kerosene Heater, Portable, Indoor

$118.15

During a Bug In scenario, shelter may seem fairly obvious. It is your primary place of residence. However, there is more to shelter than just a roof over your head. Shelter must protect us from the elements – even if access to modern utilities is limited or nonexistent. Shelter becomes your #1 priority in cold conditions. You must have alternative heating solutions in place just in case a disaster strikes during cold weather. Some excellent and affordable options are wood burning fireplaces, kerosene heaters, and portable propane heaters.

The back-up kerosene heater I keep at Willow Haven that will heat 1000 square feet for 11 hours on one tank of fuel.

Kerosene heaters can be purchased for just over $100 at virtually any home improvement store. My grandparents heated with a kerosene heater in their living room most of my life. They don’t require electricity and are very easy and safe to operate. Some countries use kerosene heaters as a primary heat source, in fact. The fuel (kerosene) also has an extremely long shelf life – I’ve heard of 20-year-old fuel burning just fine, and I’ve personally used kerosene that’s been sitting for 5 years with no issues. Above is a photo of a back-up kerosene heater I keep at Willow Haven that will heat 1000 square feet for 11 hours on one tank of fuel.

Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy 3800-BTU Indoor Safe Propane Heater, Medium

$56.99

A small propane heater can last 4-6 hours on one tank.

For smaller spaces or supplemental heat, portable emergency propane heaters are excellent little solutions. Mine photographed above takes a one-pound propane canister that is available at most camping and home improvement stores. It really puts out the heat and lasts a surprising length of time (4-6 hours) on one tank. Extra propane canisters are easy to store as well.

fire-place

I had the wood burning fireplace pictured above installed in my home for about $1500. Even a small stove like this one will heat 1000 square feet of space to a comfortable temperature in freezing conditions for as long as you have wood to burn. If you opt for a fireplace, choose one that can also cook and boil water. Multi-functional uses are always a survival plus. The brand I have is Jotul though there are many excellent brands on the market.

Below are some other home (and car) heating tips I’ve collected from personal experiences testing my preps:

  • Close off certain rooms of your house and ‘move in’ to the room with the heat source. Close doors or hang blankets to zone out other areas.
  • Hang blankets in front of large windows to reduce heat loss.
  • Have good blankets and sleeping bags on hand to help keep you and your family warm.
  • Just one candle can warm the inside of a freezing car as much as 8 degrees.

Action Steps:

  • Decide on an alternative heat source
  • Buy it / install it
  • Test it to calculate how much fuel you need for your chosen prep period
  • Stock up on fuel

Water

This summer we had the worst drought in over 100 years here in Indiana. It sucked my well dry for over 2 months, and I had to live on my water storage. It wasn’t fun, but really put my back-up plans to a test. Whether you use a well or depend on municipal water service, a disaster can put a stop to your flow of fresh drinking water. Without water you can die in as little as 3 days. The best short-term Bug In water solution is to simply store extra water in your place of residence. You can buy commercially bottled water by the case/gallon or you can bottle and store your own water in food-grade containers.

A very popular do-it-yourself water storage solution is repurposed 2-liter pop bottles. Below is the process I use (I don’t drink soda but friends and family members are happy to give me their empty bottles):

  • Step 1: Wash each bottle using water and dish soap.
  • Step 2: Sanitize each bottle and cap inside and out with a bleach solution (1 teaspoon bleach mixed in 1 quart water). You can use this same solution to sanitize other types bottles. Rinse the sanitized bottle with clean water.
  • Step 3: Fill each bottle with tap water. Add 2 drops of standard unscented household bleach (4-6% sodium hypochlorite)
  • Step 4: Empty and refresh your water storage once each year.

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There are countless water storage solutions available ranging from fancy interlocking containers to 55-gallon drums. You’ll have to choose a solution that is right for your environment, budget, and consumption needs. Always store your water in a cool place away from full sun exposure.

jug-water

Good Ideas RB55-BLUE Big Blue Recycled Rain Barrel, 55-Gallon

A few additional emergency water storage tips:

  • Keep a few gallons of unscented household bleach on hand at all times. This can be used to purify water and for other sanitation needs.
  • A 55-gallon rain barrel used to collect water from your gutters is really easy to install and only costs about $100. You can make your own for even cheaper.
  • Your hot water heater contains many gallons of emergency water storage. All hot water heaters have a drain valve at the bottom. This water does not need to be purified.
  • In the event of a large-scale disaster, fill your bathtub(s) with water as an extra precaution. This is bonus water if your supply is threatened.
  • Pets? They need water too – don’t forget to store water for them.
  • If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brownflush it down.
  • One gallon of water per day per person is a good rule of thumb for water storage.

Action Steps:

  • Decide whether you are filling your own containers or if you are buying commercially bottled water
  • Calculate how much water you need (one gallon x people in household x days in your chosen prep period)
  • Stock up

Fire

During a Bug In scenario, fire represents two categories: warmth (which we’ve covered) and cooking. You’ll see in the next section that I recommend your emergency meals be very simple to prepare, requiring no cooking at all, if possible. However, it’s important that you have an alternative cooking solution in place to cook meals and boil water if necessary. Several affordable and turn-key off-grid options exist. I’ve listed a few below in no particular order.

Solution # 1: Fireplace or Wood Burning Stove

fireplace

 

Not all wood burning stoves can be used to cook meals or boil water. If you are installing one, be sure it can do both. Even an open concept fireplace can be used to cook and boil water. I installed a metal swing arm in the fireplace at Willow Haven that can hold pots and kettles over the open flame. This is an excellent cooking solution.

Even an outdoor fire pit can be an efficient means of cooking or boiling water. A tripod and swing-away cooking grill make these tasks much easier.

Solution # 2: Good ‘Ol BBQ Grill

foodgrill

 

Now this isn’t even roughing it! However, you can’t cook on the grill if you don’t have a propane tank or charcoal. Always keep an extra full propane tank (or two) or several bags of charcoal on hand if you choose a BBQ grill as your back up cooking solution. Both store long-term very well.

Solution # 3: Natural Fuel Rocket Stoves

Solo Stove works really well for one-pot meals for one or two people.

Rocket stoves have come a long way in recent years. They are incredibly efficient and can operate on a variety of natural fuels such as sticks, twigs, pine cones, charcoal, and other biomass. Above is a photo of a small version from Solo Stove that works really well for one-pot meals feeding one or two people. You can literally cook an entire meal with a little pile of twigs and sticks.

solo

 

Buy Rocket Stoves

The EcoZoom stove is also a great off-grid alternative that can burn small sticks and split wood for fast efficient cooking.

The EcoZoom stove is also a great off-grid alternative that can burn small sticks and split wood for fast efficient cooking. The cooktop can accommodate big pots when cooking or boiling for larger groups of people.

Solution # 4: Camping Stoves

The MSR Pocket Rocket Stove is what Creek keeps in his Bug Out Bag

MSR PocketRocket Stove

 

Your options are endless when it comes to lightweight camping stoves. They are all fuel dependent so you will need to stock applicable fuel canisters if you intend to use this option for more than a few meals. They are also designed to cook for one or two people at a time versus a large group.

Regardless of which cooking stove you choose, make sure you have the necessary metal cookware, pots, and utensils to both cook meals and boil water in an emergency.

Action Steps:

  • Choose an off-grid cooking solution that best fits your needs and budget
  • Stock up on fuel
  • Make sure you have metal cooking pots and pans that fit your stove choice

Food

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MOUNTAIN HOUSE JUST IN CASE… CLASSIC BUCKET

Our food supply is dependent on a myriad of factors. When disaster strikes, it screws with pretty much all of these factors. 99% of the food you see in a grocery store is on the shelf. Their back rooms are filled with empty cardboard boxes. The food arrives on a truck and is immediately stocked on the shelves. If it’s not delivery day, guess what? No milk and bread today – that’s what. But you won’t have to worry about that because you’re stocking your own shelves in advance.

Think “open and eat meals.” Ideally, your emergency food rations will consist of meals that require little to no preparation. Boiling water for reconstitution should be the most complicated step of any emergency food ration. Your food preps should also have a long shelf life and not require refrigeration. There’s no sense in stocking your shelves with fresh vegetables that are going to rot in a few days or with frozen dinners that will go bad without electricity. It’s very easy to overcomplicate food storage. Keep it simple! Below are a variety of emergency food storage options.

Food Storage Option # 1: Freeze Dried/Dehydrated Meals

Many dehydrated meals have a 10+ year shelf life.

These meals are easily reconstituted with hot water. You can eat most of them in the pouch they come in. And, many of them have a 10+-year shelf life. This is a really easy and nutritious food storage option. Some reputable brands are Mountain House, Wise Foods, and Backpacker’s Pantry.

Food Storage Option # 2: Military Meals Ready to Eat (MREs)

MRE Star. Editor’s Note: In the McKay household, we’re partial to MREs from

Emergency Essentials

MREs are packed with calories – they are designed to fuel soldiers in the field. They are also easy to prepare, often coming with their own little chemical “just-add-water” heating element. And, they have a long shelf life.

Food Storage Option # 3:  Store-Bought Canned Goods/Packaged Foods

Add a few cans to your grocery list each week and you’ll be surprised at how fast a small stockpile will develop.

Canned goods make great survival meals. Most of them can be eaten cold right out of the can. Just keep tabs of the expiration date and use them up before they go bad. From soups to vegetables to tuna and chicken, the options are endless. Add a few cans to your grocery list each week and you’ll be surprised at how fast a small stockpile will develop.

Food Storage Option # 4: Can Your Own Food

You can also can your own fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats. This is more labor intensive but is a great way to preserve items from a garden or extra meat from a large-game hunt. Growing up we had canned vegetables from the garden all winter long and they were delicious.

Food Storage Option # 5: Hunting, Farming, Gardening, and Gathering

For extreme long-term survival scenarios some basic hunting and gathering skills can go a long way. Depending on the season and time of year, wild animals and plants can be very viable meal options. You’ll need to know how to clean and dress wild game as well as how to identify wild edible plants, so further training is advised. Small game animals such as squirrel, rabbit, and fowl make excellent survival meals. Learn how to field dress a squirrel here. I have a pond at Willow Haven that I like to call my long-term food storage solution. Fresh caught fish make easy survival meals and require zero maintenance.

Growing your own fruits and vegetables can also supplement other food storage you might have. Even apartment dwellers can grow impressive container gardens with limited space. Fresh herbs can easily be grown in windowsills or on balconies. You can store root vegetables and apples all winter long in a cool basement or cellar.

Other more self-sufficient options include raising animals such as goats, rabbits and chickens. I’ve found raising backyard chickens to be a very fun and productive hobby. They are low maintenance and keep me in fresh eggs year-round. And, they could care less if the natural gas or electricity is flowing.

Raising backyard chickens to be a very fun and productive hobby. They are low maintenance and keep you in fresh eggs year-round.

Food Storage Option # 6: Mix & Match

One of Creek’s storage shelves.

Mix and match the above options for a very well rounded food storage solution. Other great food storage options include rice, dry cereal and granola, powdered milk, energy bars, and beef jerky. Your food storage doesn’t have to look like a well-organized grocery store shelf like you see on those prepper TV shows. It can be crazy-looking like this picture of one of my storage shelves above.

What About My Refrigerator and Freezer?

Well, unless you have solar, hydro or wind power (which most people don’t), you’d better start eating the stuff in your refrigerator and freezer first. If it’s below 40 degrees outside you can just put the contents on your back porch. Or, you can pick up a generator for a few hundred bucks. If you choose to buy a generator you will also need to consider fuel storage. I do have a back-up generator to run my refrigerator and power a few miscellaneous electronics. I’ve found that running a generator in a “2 hours on – 4 hours off” cycle makes best use of fuel. Keep a thermometer in your fridge. If it rises above 40 degrees for more than 2 hours then throw any perishable food away.

Other Emergency Food Storage Tips:

  • Do you have a manual can opener? Get one!
  • Don’t forget your special dietary needs.
  • Infants? Stock up on powdered formula.
  • Pets? They need food too.

Action Steps:

  • Choose a food storage solution (or combination)
  • Start building your stockpile
  • Routinely check expiration dates and rotate in new stock when necessary

First Aid

You may not be able to leave your house. Hospitals and pharmacies may not be open. Heck, medical supplies may not even be delivered to your area for a few days.

The most important facet of this category is prescription medicines. If you or a loved one is dependent on some kind of medicine then you need to have enough on hand to get you through a short-term Bug In disaster. Explain to your doctor that you are preparing an emergency kit and you would like to have an extra refill for that kit. If he/she denies you, I’d say get a new doctor who is like-minded in these matters. These medicines need to be monitored and rotated just like food.

In addition to prescription meds, you need to beef up your first aid preps as well, and even consider taking a local first aid course through the Red Cross. I own an emergency first aid kit from Alaska-based MedCall Assist and it’s the best I’ve seen. If you build your own I’d suggest using their kit as a guide. It is a very thorough and well-thought-out disaster preparedness medical kit.

Other tips for first aid issues:

  • Does anyone have severe allergies? Do you have an EpiPen?
  • Pets? Do they have medications?
  • Don’t forget extra contacts/eye-glasses/solution.

Action Steps:

  • Get some back-stock on important medications – have a conversation with your doctor
  • Beef up your first aid supplies
  • Consider taking a basic first aid course from the Red Cross

Self-Defense

Disasters create abnormal circumstances. First responders (and public safety) are always overwhelmed. Response times are always delayed. 911 is always inundated with calls. Phone and internet services (land and cell) are often interrupted. Disasters can drive good people to do things they would not normally do. Disasters also have a tendency to embolden and empower existing criminals as well.

The importance of self-defense is often overlooked in disaster preparation. Unfortunately, it is an aspect that must be considered. Violent crimes increase during large-scale disasters. Some people further exploit disaster victims under the cloak of chaos and disorder. Whether driven by desperation or greed, it is the darkest side to every disaster.

Self-defense comes down to two basic categories: Home Security & Self-Defense Tools and Training

Home Security

Simple and inexpensive upgrades to your home’s security can be very effective in preventing successful break-ins during disaster scenarios. A few basic upgrades can include:

  • Solid metal or wood doors – no decorative glass.
  • Dead-bolt on every outside door.
  • Consider an inside mounted door bar for added security.
  • “Beware of Dog” sign even if you just have a cat or goldfish. Criminals are looking for easy targets.
  • Upgraded door hardware with deep-set 3” screws.
  • Exterior motion lights (solar-powered) – front and back.
  • ‘Defensive’ rose bushes below each ground-level window.
  • Upgraded window locks / cut wood-block stoppers for inside.
  • Well-advertised video alarm system – whether you have one or not.

Self-Defense Tools & Training

Guns are the obvious home defense weapon. The type is a personal choice. I prefer shotguns. Regardless of what type of gun you choose to own, it can be more of a liability than an asset if you don’t know how to use it. Firearms training and practice are crucial elements to gun ownership and effective self-defense. Other inferior self-defense tools include pepper spray and stun guns.

Action Steps:

  • Make necessary upgrades to home security
  • Decide on a home self-defense weapon
  • Train and practice with your weapon of choice
  •  You can’t shoot without ammunition

Two Things Many People Forget

1. Know how to turn off your utilities. Disasters have a way of damaging electrical lines/circuits, gas lines, and water lines. If yours are affected you may need to turn them off. The crawl space in my house once filled with water during a large-scale flood. I had to shut off the electricity to my house to prevent a very dangerous situation. Make sure you have the proper tools (and knowledge) to quickly and safely disconnect all of your utilities.

2. Disasters can also affect sewage systems and trash removal. When that flood I mentioned happened, I could not flush my toilet. The flood water had completely filled my septic tank. Store extra heavy-duty trash bags to contain human waste and trash just in case. It’s important to maintain a very sanitary bug-in environment. A 5-gallon bucket lined with a trash bag makes a suitable makeshift toilet.

Conclusion

There are many facets to consider when preparing for a potential Bug In. While this is not an exhaustive list, it is a great place to start. There are countless people on the East Coast right now wishing they had prepared just the basic necessities for the uncertain days or even weeks ahead. This is the unfortunate truth after every disaster – regardless of type, size, or location. As of this writing over 4 million people are still without power from Hurricane/Storm Sandy, and some may not have it restored for another ten days. It’s easy to let life get in the way of preparing for the future. Ironically, though, our future is shaped by the things we do (or don’t do) today.

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN.

Creek Stewart

____________________

Creek Stewart is a Senior Instructor at the Willow Haven Outdoor School for Survival, Preparedness & Bushcraft.  Creek’s passion is teaching, sharing, and preserving outdoor living and survival skills. Creek is also the author of the book Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit. For more information, visit Willowhaven Outdoor.

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Making Willow Bark Cordage

Source: http://buzzardbushcraft.blogspot.com/

We thought we would make some more willow cordage, it’s that time of year again when the sap is up and the bark is easy to peel, so it’s the best time to make it for the little projects we will be doing over the winter months.

tree

First thing to do is cut some willow poles, it’s best to get them as straight and smooth as possible, lots of knots and branches cause a lot of hassle when taking of the bark.

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At this time of year it easy to peel the bark, cut a line down the pole with the tip of your knife, then using your thumbs, peel the bark from the poles

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or you can bend the bark backwards and pull it down the pole, either works well..

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once peeled, score a line across the middle of the bark with the tip of  your knife, don’t cut too deeply or you will cut all the inner fibers you are trying to remove, it’s a score not a cut!

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You can simply bend the bark till it cracks and peel it that way but it’s not as easy and the outer bark doesn’t peel as easily this way. Simply use your hands and bend the bark backwards as you strip the inner fibers, try to work around any knots and make sure you don’t end up with any outer bark on your fibers as this will make the end result brittle and difficult to twist.

brown-4

Once peeled you will end up with a pile of inner fibers, but if you simply dry them now, when twisted into cordage they can become brittle, but if the task you’re undertaking doesn’t need a lot of strength from the cordage then you can simply use it now.

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better quality cordage can be made from boiling the fibers in a lye solution, put the ashes in soft water and add the bark, don’t make the solution too strong or it will destroy your fibers, so will boiling it for too long, adapt the strength and time to the amount of fibers you are preparing.

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you will notice that the fibers soon start to turn a red colour, once that happens you are nearly done

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take them out and dry them. Once dry you can split them up into finer fibers and then moisten them to make your cordage the same way you would with any natural fiber.

Here you can see the difference between the prepped fibers and the unprepped stripped fibers, willow bark makes a very decent quality cord and preparing it like this is certainly quicker than retting lime bark!