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Wild Animal Recipes: From Alligator To Woodchuck

I have always wondered if SHTF and you ran out of food how would you cook squirrel or rabbit etc, I found a great website with a wide range of recipes that include some strange meats like Alligator, swordfish and woodcock.

Its always good to have something like this as a go to if you had to catch your own protein source in any emergency situation. Choose your favorite recipes and print them out. See all the recipes below:

http://www.wildliferecipes.net/

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How to Disinfect and Sterilize Medical Instruments in a Survival Situation

Remaining whole and healthy in a survival situation is something we all strive for.  But what happens if an accident, or worse, an attack, results in wounds that need tending?  This is a question that every prepper asks themselves.

It is fairly easy to accumulate supplies for first aid and wound control but what about the tools you will use to tend to thehurt or wounded member of your group?  Given an austere setting where traditional medical facilities are not available, how do you ensure that your instruments are clean, sterile, and fit for use?

These are important questions and to provide you with answers, Dr. Joe Alton is back with some advice not only relative to six ways you can sterilize your medical supplies, but also a general discussion of clean versus sterile and the difference between disinfectants, antiseptics, and antibiotics.

Sterilizing Instruments In Austere Settings

A significant factor in the quality of medical care given in a survival situation is the level of cleanliness of the equipment used. You may have heard of the terms “sterile” and “clean”. Certainly, ideal conditions warrant both, but they are actually two different things.

Do you know the difference?

Sterile Vs. Clean

When it comes to medical protection, “sterility” means the complete absence of microbes. Sterilization destroys all microbes on a medical item to prevent disease transmission associated with its use.

To achieve this, we want to practice “sterile technique”, which involves special procedures using special solutions and the use of sterile instruments, towels, and dressings. Sterile technique is especially important when dealing with wounds in which the skin has been broken and soft tissue exposed.

Of course, it may be very difficult to achieve a sterile environment if you are in the field or in an extremely austere setting. In this case, we may only be able to keep things “clean”. Clean techniques concentrate on prevention of infection by reducing the number of microorganisms that could be transferred from one person to another by medical instruments or other supplies. Meticulous hand washing with soap and hot water is the cornerstone of a clean field.

If you are going to be medically responsible for the health of your people in a survival setting, you will have to strike a balance between what is optimal (sterility) and what is, sometimes, achievable (clean).

The “Sterile” Field

When you’re dealing with a wound or a surgical procedure, you must closely guard the work area (the “sterile field”) to prevent contact with anything that could allow micro-organisms to invade it. This area is lined with sterile “drapes” arranged to allow a small window where the medical treatment will occur.

Although there are commercially-prepared drapes with openings already in them (“fenestrated drapes”), using a number of towels will achieve the same purpose, as long as they are sterile.

The first step is to thoroughly wash any item you plan to reuse before you sterilize it. Using a soft plastic brush removes blood, tissue particles, and other contaminants that can make sterilization more difficult. Consider using gloves, aprons, and eye protection to guard against “splatter”.

6 Ways to Disinfect and Sterilize Instruments

Now, the question of how to sterilize your medical supplies: There are a number of ways that you can accomplish this goal. I list them below in approximate order of effectiveness.

1. Simply placing them in gently boiling water for 30 minutes would be a reasonable strategy, but may not eliminate some bacterial “spores” and could cause issues with rusting over time, especially on sharp instruments like scissors or knives.

Note: always sterilize scissors and clamps in the “open” position.

2. Soaking in bleach (Sodium or Calcium Hypochlorite). 15-30 minutes in a 0.1% solution of bleach will disinfect instruments but no longer or rusting will occur. Instruments must be rinsed in sterilized water afterward.

3. Soaking in 70% isopropyl alcohol for 30 minutes is another option. Some will even put instruments in a metal tray with alcohol and ignite them. The flame and alcohol, or even just fire itself (if evenly distributed) will do the job, but eventually causes damage to the instruments.

4. Chemical solutions exist that are specifically made for the purpose of high-level disinfection (not necessarily sterility) in the absence of heat, something very important if you have items that are made of plastic.  A popular brand is Cidex OPA, a trade name for a solution with phthalaldehyde or glutaraldehyde as the active ingredient.

Insert the instruments in a tray with the solution for 20 minutes for basic disinfection. Soaking overnight (10-12 hours) gives an acceptable level of “sterility” for survival purposes. There are test strips which identify when the solution is contaminated. If negative, you can reuse it for up to 14 days. As an alternative, some have recommended using 6-7.5% hydrogen peroxide for 30 minutes (household hydrogen peroxide is only 3%, however).

5. Ovens are an option if you have power. For a typical oven, metal instruments are wrapped in aluminum foil or placed in metal trays before putting them in the oven. The oven is then heated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or, alternatively, 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 hours.

6. Although ovens and microwaves have been used to sterilize instruments, probably the best way to guarantee sterility in an austere setting is a pressure cooker. Hospitals use a type of pressure cooker called an autoclave that uses steam to clean instruments, surgical towels, bandages, and other items. All modern medical facilities clean their equipment with this device (I hope).

Having a pressure cooker as part of your supplies will allow you to approach the level of sterility required for minor surgical procedures. As you can imagine, this isn’t easy to lug from place to place, so it’s best for those who plan to stay in place in a disaster scenario.

In most survival settings, “clean” may be as good as it gets, but is that so bad? Modern medical facilities have the ability to provide sterility, so there is very little research that compares clean vs. sterile technique.

In one study, an experiment was conducted in which one group of patients had traumatic wounds that were cleaned with sterile saline solution, another group with tap water. Amazingly, the infection rate was 5.4% in the tap water group as opposed to 10.3% in the sterile saline group. Another study revealed no difference in infection rates in wounds treated in a sterile fashion as opposed to clean technique.

Therefore, clean, drinkable water is acceptable for general wound care in survival scenarios. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use antiseptic solutions if you have them, especially for the first cleaning.

Disinfectants, Antiseptics, Antibiotics

So what’s the difference between a disinfectant, an antiseptic, a decontaminant, and an antibiotic?

To maintain a clean area, certain chemicals are used called “disinfectants”. Disinfectants are substances that are applied to non-living objects to destroy microbes. This would include surfaces where you would treat patients or prepare food. An example of a disinfectant would be bleach.

Disinfection removes bacteria, viruses, and other bugs and is sometimes considered the same as “decontamination”. Decontamination, however, may also include the removal of noxious toxins and could pertain to the elimination of chemicals or radiation. The removal of non-living toxins like radiation from a surface would, therefore, be decontamination but not necessarily disinfection.

While disinfectants kill bacteria and viruses on the surface of non-living tissue, “antiseptics” kill microbes on living tissue surfaces. Examples of antiseptics include Betadine, Chlorhexidine (Hibiclens), Iodine, and Benzalkonium Chloride (BZK).

Antibiotics are able to destroy certain microorganisms that live inside the human body. These include drugs such as Amoxicillin, Doxycycline, Metronidazole, and many others.

Having disinfectants, antiseptics, antibiotics, and clean instruments will give the medic a head start on keeping it together, even if everything else falls apart.

The Final Word

Up until now, I have held off on adding anything but the most basic of medical instruments to my emergency kit.  That has been foolhardy.  Just last week, I spoke with someone whose son had a huge splinter embedded under his fingernail.  In spite of his extreme pain, the 24 hour emergency clinic sent him away telling him to “see a doctor in the morning”.

If something like this happens in a survival situation, having a set of medical instruments along with a means to ensure they are sterilized will be important.  Even without being in a survival situation, they are useful and can be put to good use..

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7 Badass Weapons You Can Make at Home

No Arsenal is Complete Without These DIY Survival Weapons

Want to make some awesome homemade weapons?

In a SHTF situation, you’re likely going to need a way to protect yourself.

Weapons, though very useful, are also a lot of fun–especially when you can make them yourself.

With a multitude of DIY weapon techniques mastered and under your belt, you will never be without the ability to be armed or entertained.

Check out our step by step instructions for 7 badass weapons you can make at home.

1. PVC Pipe Compound Bow

This instructional video shows step by step how to make a compound bow from inexpensive, readily available materials. Anyone can do it if you have some patience and are willing to try. This is a good project for anyone who wants to get into archery with a compound bow but doesn’t want to pay for such an expensive item. Or you could just make it to learn about how these types of bows work and gain experience working with this sort of thing.

2. Mini Cannon

Here’s how to make a mini combustion cannon sized to fire airsoft pellets. The only materials required are a BBQ lighter, a few screws, epoxy or other strong glue, and a drill.

3. Stun Gernade

Made from simple PVC pipe and baking soda and vinegar, these relatively harmless grenades are cheap and safe to use. These grenades are less for physical harm and more for their startling ability. 

4. Pump Action Rocket Gun

This inexpensive gun is a fun project and a cool item to have around. The DIY is very simple and relatively cheap as well.  The entire project, including a bunch of ammo, could easily be made for around $20.

5. Mini Stun Gun

This is a really easy project which anyone with a little soldering skills can make. All you really need is a continuous piezo electric sparker, a lighter that takes a battery. These are used to light gas BBQ’s, heaters, etc.

6. Primitive Club Tool

 

If stuck in the wilderness with limited resources, knowing how to make this tool could come in handy. This simple technique will quickly transform a few items into a very useful weapon and tool.

7. Pocket Dart Gun

This easy DIY will allow you to shoot your own darts out of a syringe. It won’t work for very long distances or with a huge amount of accuracy, but if your need a dart gun in a pinch it will get the job done!

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How to Make PVC Ice Packs for Coolers

When camping, tailgating or going on a picnic, keeping food and drinks chilled is top priority. Instead of using ice, which melts and creates a slushy mess, make your own ice packs using PVC pipe. This is a more efficient method for transport and cleanup, and you can personalize the ice packs with your own signature style, such as your favorite team colors.

Things You’ll Need

  • Tape measure
  • 2-inch PVC pipe, 10 feet
  • 2-inch PVC end caps, 8
  • Chop saw or 2-inch PVC cutter
  • Clear PVC cement
  • Paper towel or rag
  • Spray paint (optional)
  • Clear sealant (optional)

Step 1: Cut the PVC Pipe

Measure the inside of your cooler to determine how long you want the ice pack to be. Subtract 3 inches off that measurement to make room for the end caps.

Use the chop saw or PVC cutter to cut your PVC pipe into the desired lengths. In this project, we cut two 18-inch pieces for a large cooler and two 10-inch pieces for a smaller backpack cooler.

If using a chop saw to cut the pipe, be sure to clean off any debris inside or out.

Step 2: Close One End of the Pipes

Seal off one end of the PVC pieces with end caps. Apply a liberal amount of PVC cement on both the inside of the cap and the outside of the pipe. Push the end cap firmly onto the pipe, and use a damp paper towel or rag to clean up any extra cement that may have seeped out. Allow the cement to dry completely, about one hour.

Be careful not to get any PVC cement on your skin, and refer to the warnings on the canister.

Step 3: Fill Pipes With Water and Seal Other End

Once the PVC cement is dry, fill the inside of the pipes with water — fill them only about three-quarters of the way up, since the water will expand when frozen. Seal off the other end of the pipe the same way you did in the last step. Place the pipe upright while it’s drying, so the water doesn’t mix with the cement

Step 4: Paint the Pipes (Optional)

Spray paint the pipes any color you’d like. Be sure to do this in a well-ventilated area (ideally, outdoors). Allow the paint to dry completely.

You can also use a clear sealant after the paint has dried to help keep the paint looking pristine over time.

Step 5: Freeze the Pipes

Place the pipes in your freezer and let them stay there overnight. Presto! You now have your very own ice packs to use on camping trips, tailgating parties or picnics on the beach

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The 9 Best Survival Antibiotics

Survival antibiotics are often overlooked by preppers. One reason is because preppers don’t know which ones to buy or even where to get them. Another reason is because they haven’t needed them before so they forget they might need them in the future. That was the reason I hadn’t stocked up on antibiotics until a long, painful week set me straight.

Last year, on an ordinary evening shortly after dinner, my stomach started bothering me. It wasn’t nausea or a normal stomach cramp. It was a strange type of gnawing pain I’d never felt before. I tried antacids and Pepto Bismol, but nothing worked. I finally took some Tylenol and went to bed.

The next day the pain was still there, but now it had moved over to my lower right abdomen. And as the day continued, it got worse. And worse. Pretty soon it was so bad that I decided to go online and do some research. I thought it might be something like a torn muscle or my appendix, but nothing I found really fit my symptoms. That evening, the pain was so bad I could barely move. I had to walk hunched over and take tiny steps. Any type of sudden movement caused excruciating pain. It was so severe that my wife had to help me take my shirt off before bed. The following morning she took me to urgent care.

It was a long day. The doctor asked a lot of questions and felt my abdomen, but he wasn’t sure what it could be so he ordered blood work and a CAT scan. He thought it might be my gall bladder, in which case I would need emergency surgery. But again, he wasn’t sure if that was the problem because my symptoms just didn’t quite fit. Of course, my wife and I were both afraid it could be something life-threatening.

Eventually a radiologist looked at the scans and identified the problem: I had some type of infectious colitis in my ascending colon (similar to diverticulitis). Basically, my colon was severely inflamed by a bacterial infection. They couldn’t say exactly how it happened, but it’s possible I got it after eating some undercooked meat. That’s rare, but it can happen.

This infection could have killed me if not for the medication he prescribed. And what was this wonderful medicine that saved my life? You guessed it. Antibiotics. Specifically, Ciprofloxacin and Metronidazole. After 10 days of taking those, I was good as new! But I wondered, What if I hadn’t had access to a doctor or antibiotics when this happened? I probably would have died. See how important it is to stock up on antibiotics for survival?

Before we move on, a few disclaimers: First, I am not a doctor and I am not giving you medical advice. I’m just repeating some information I learned. I recommend you ask your doctor if he will write you some prescriptions for antibiotics so you can stock up, just in case. There are other ways you can acquire antibiotics. For example, you could buy the ones that are meant for control of common bacterial infections in fish and/or birds. I’m not saying you should consume them, I’m just pointing out how interesting it is that they’re the exact same as the ones prescribed by doctors.

And please, don’t take antibiotics every time you have pain or a fever. Antibiotics are not good for you and should only be taken in an emergency. You should have a good medical book on hand to help you diagnose the problem. And then, only when you are very certain that antibiotics will help, should you take them. I also want to remind you that if you take antibiotics and develop a rash or any other reaction, you should stop taking them immediately. If there is no reaction and your condition improves, continue taking the antibiotic for two weeks, even if you feel better after a few days. Though you might feel better, you want to make sure the infection is completely eliminated.

There are a lot of antibiotics, but I’ve narrowed it down to what I think are the 9 best. These should cover almost 99% of infections. You don’t need to get every single one on this list (for example, Cephalexin, Amoxicillin, and Erythromycin are all very similar, but you might have trouble finding a couple of them).

Here then, are the 9 Best Survival Antibiotics. I’ll begin the list with the two that helped me.

  1. Ciprofloxacin – Best for things like urinary tract infections, prostate infections, respiratory tract infections (such as bronchitis or pneumonia), bacterial diarrhea, anthrax, and diverticulitis or infectious colitis (when combined with Metronidazole). It should never be used by children, pregnant women or nursing mothers. (Do a web search for “Fish Flox”)
  2. Metronidazole – Usually used for getting rid of anaerobic bacteria which is found in the intestine. Like I said, it can treat diverticulitis or colitis if you take it with Ciprofloxacin. But it can also treat bacterial vaginosis, diabetic foot ulcer, joint or bone infections, lung or brain abscesses, meningitis, and a few other infections. This also shouldn’t be taken by children, pregnant women or nursing mothers. (This one is also sold as “Fish Zole”)
  3. Cephalexin – Great for almost any type of respiratory infection (bronchitis, pneumonia, strep throat, etc.) and middle ear infections. It is safe for pregnant women and children and only has a few side effects. (Do a web search for “Fish Flex”)
  4. Amoxicillin – This will handle most of the same types of bactiera as Cephalexin. It’s also safe for pregnant women and children and has very few side effects. However, some people are very allergic to it. In that case, you should try the next one on the list. (This is also sold as Fish Mox”)
  5. Erythromycin – Like the previous two, this one can also treat most respiratory infections and middle ear infections. It’s also good for Syphilis, Lyme Disease and Chlamydia. And it’s safe for women and children. So why not just forget the other two and store this instead? Because it has several potential side effects including abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
  6. Doxycycline – Treats the same types of infections as Erythromycin. However, Erythromycin can be hard to find whereas this one is often sold as “Bird Biotic.” This is not labeled for human consumption. I’m just pointing it out. This one can also treat sinus infections, Typhus and Malaria. However, it should not be used by children, pregnant women or nursing mothers and there are some side effects including kidney impairment and sensitive skin. (Dixycycline is actually just a newer type of Tetracycline, also sold as “Fish Cycline”)
  7. SMZ-TMP – That is short for Sulfamethoxazole and Trimethoprim. Together, these can treat most respiratory infections, but they’re mainly used for urinary tract infections. But the best thing about SMZ-TMP is it can treat MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), also known as resistant staph. This is a strain of bacteria that spreads easily and is resistant to most antibiotics. (Do a web search for “Bird Sulfa”)
  8. Azitrhomycin – This one is similar to numbers 3 through 6 because it treats respiratory infections and all sorts of things like Chlamydia, Lyme Disease, PID, Syphilis, Typhoid, etc. Side effects include abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhea but that is rare. It’s a great antibiotic to have because it treats so many different things. The problem is that it’s hard to find and can be a bit expensive.
  9. Ampicillin – Similar to penicillin, but more effective against things like anthrax and less likely to cause an allergic reaction. Also useful for respiratory tract infections, bacterial meningitis, urinary tract infections, gastrointestinal infections and many other things. (Do a web search for “Fish Cillin”)

If you don’t want to get every one of these, you should at least get the first three on the list. Those three will cover 9 out of 10 infections you might get. As far as storage, just keep them in the refrigerator. You don’t have to, but it will extend their shelf life. Don’t freeze them, though! That can permanently alter their chemical composition and they might not work anymore. They should continue to be effective for years after the expiration date, with one exception: Tetracyclines (which includes doxycycline). These can become toxic if they get too old.

Don’t be caught with a life-threatening infection when it’s too dangerous to go out or after the stores have run out of antibiotics. They don’t cost much and they could save you or a loved one’s life.

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Bug Out Bags for Your Beloved Pets

When we consider bug out bags (72 hour emergency kits) for each of our family members we often don’t consider that each of our pets need one too. Anything can happen at any given time and when that time comes my pets are coming with me…and they’re coming prepared like the rest of the family. Below are lists of things to consider for your pet’s bug out bag.

What items to consider for your dog

  • Vaccine/Medical records with owner contact information
  • Dog food with bowl (for can food make sure to include a can opener and a spoon)
  • Dog treats
  • Water with bowl (Your dog should have 2.5 oz of water for every 1 oz of food)
  • Protective clothing (raincoat and/or regular coat)
  • Dog bed (with a blanket for extra warmth)
  • Carrier with handle (collapsible if possible)
  • Collar with I.D. tag
  • Leash/Harness
  • A tie out (you never know when you may have to secure your pet)
  • Muzzle
  • First Aid Kit
  • Daily Medications
  • Clean up supplies (baggies, trash bags, etc)
  • Grooming supplies (optional)

What items to consider for your cat

  • Vaccine/Medical records with owner contact information
  • Cat food with bowl (for can food make sure to include a can opener and a spoon)
  • Cat treats
  • Water (Your cat should have 2.5 oz of water for every 1 oz of food)
  • Protective clothing (for example, a cat sweater)
  • Cat bed (with a blanket for extra warmth)
  • Carrier with handle
  • Collar with I.D. tag
  • First Aid Kit
  • Daily Medications
  • Litter Box/Pan with litter
  • Clean up supplies (baggies, trash bags, etc)
  • Grooming supplies (optional)

A medium sized bug out bag for each pet will typically fit everything your dog or cat will need with the exception of the pet carriers. You can even buy a doggie backpack for a bigger dog to carry.You may also consider a single, much bigger bag to include all of the items for every pet in the home. It may seem like alot of items but it’s well worth it for the safety and well being of your beloved pets.

For longer term survival situations consider “adding extra” on some items such as food, treats, water, clothing, blankets, first aid, kitty litter, and clean up supplies. Sometimes you don’t know that a survival situation is longer term until you’re actually IN a survival situation. So planning beyond the 72 hours for each family member’s emergency kit  is something to seriously consider.

Always remember this one important rule when it comes to survival, a motto I live by… It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

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3 HERBS FOR SHTF HYGIENE

Soapwort, licorice root, and sage are three herbs, all easily grown in a home garden, that can really help you in case you run out of hygiene products post-SHTF. Soapwort can be used as a replacement for soap, licorice for toothpaste, and sage for deodorant.

Herbal Hygiene

Rather than keep ten years’ worth of deodorant and toothpaste on hand, I’d rather just keep one or two extras in the medicine cabinetand know what I can use from my garden instead. Part of this is because space is at a premium in my living quarters, partly because I’m a stubborn minimalist, and partly because I’m a kooky herbalist. Take your pick.

So, let’s take a look at the three most basic components for personal hygiene: something to wash skin, hair, and clothes; something for oral health; and something to keep the arm pits from getting quite so stinky. Three easy to grow, perennial herbs that fit these functions perfectly are soapwort, licorice, and sage. Being able to use these three herbs in a pinch can be handy, or they can supplement an existing daily routine as a more natural option.

Soapwort- Saponaria officinalis

Soap Substitute

Soapwort is a beautiful perennial plant that is hardy in US zones 3-9. It grows to be about three feet tall, and prefers rich, compost-heavy soil. It can be a little finicky about light requirements, as it likes sun but not too much afternoon sun. If it likes its growing location it can become invasive, but if that happens, just harvest more of it.Soapwort leaves and roots can be dried for later and still lather when used.

To make a soap solution with soapwort, use 1 tablespoon of dried leaves or roots (three tablespoons if the herb is fresh) per cup of water. Bring the water to a boil, add the herb, and allow to simmer for ten to fifteen minutes. Strain and cool before use.

Soapwort solution can be used for hair, skin, and clothing. It is very gentle, and is often found in high end organic facial care products and used to clean antique textiles. So by all means, don’t wait for SHTF!

Soapwort is toxic to fish, so don’t wash with or dump soapwort solution directly into a pond or stream where live fish are present.

Licorice Root- Glycyrrhiza glabra

Toothbrush/Toothpaste Substitute

Another perennial in the three to four foot tall range, licorice is hardy in USDA gardening zones 7-9. It prefers full sun and moist soil but doesn’t appreciate clay.

The plant will need to grow for two or three years before the roots are large enough to harvest. Once they have matured, they should be harvested in the fall, when the plant has focused all of its resources down into the roots before winter. The flavor and chemistry of the roots will be at their peak during this time.

Not only does licorice root contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory components, it’s also shaped perfectly for turning into a simple toothbrush substitute. I use them in addition to a regular toothbrush/toothpaste routine, but some people successfully use licorice root alone.

Licorice root typically grows in a long, thin shape. Once it has been dried (this technique won’t work on a fresh root), choose one end of the root and soften it by standing in a glass with a half inch of water or by sucking on it until the root softens (usually about sixty seconds either way). Peel back the outer root bark (the brown looking skin on the root), and gently chew the root until there is a quarter inch or so of “brush” at the end. Gently rub along the gumline and over each tooth to clean the mouth.

Licorice has a sweet taste, so there’s no need to fear that your brush will taste like pencil shavings. After each use, trim away the used “brush” with a knife or scissors and store in a clean place until next use.

Sage- Salvia officinalis

Deodorant substitute

Sage is a small to medium perennial herb that prefers a very sunny location with dry, well drained soil. It will grow from zones 4-8 in the US. Many people are familiar with sage as a culinary herb, but it also has more medicinal uses.

Make a strong infusion of the fresh or dried herb to spritz or splash the underarms and help control body odor. For best results, make the infusion in the evening and allow to sit overnight before straining. It will need to be applied more frequently than a store bought deodorant, because it will not be as strong. It is not an antiperspirant, either, so it won’t keep you dry.

Fresh sage leaves can also be added to an oral hygiene routine with licorice root. Simply rub a fresh sage leaf over the gums and each tooth. Sage has a stronger flavor than licorice, but the leaves can be harvested more often and more easily than licorice roots, so it’s a good option to know.

Soapwort, licorice, and sage have many other herbal uses, but they are definitely botanical all stars when it comes to personal hygiene. Knowing how to grow and use them will mean you always have a back up plan for soap, toothpaste, and deodorant.

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Build a Jig to Slice Plastic Bottles into Rope Project

This step by step tutorial of how to build a jig to slice plastic bottles into rope project in a way to re-purpose a soda pop container into a useful item. The project is extremely to follow and in no time at all you will be making all the rope you could need for your crafting. The completed jig is equally simple to use and with just a few bottles you will soon have a huge pile of crafting material.

When it comes to making crafts you can use a wide variety of materials in order to create your unique beautiful artist items. Whether you choose to use supplies you find in a craft store or prefer to use materials that come from recycled stuff, it is totally up to you.

One of those materials that are often used for crafting is called plastic rope. This can be used to make a number of unique items and it is really easy to acquire. Clear, green, blue and brown are just a few of the colors choices of plastic bottles on the market. The plastic strips can be cut in different widths, customized to your need.

This Do It Yourself project offers to help you to create your own way to turn an empty plastic soda bottle into tons of plastic rope.

Materials and Tools:

A Wooden Surface(2×4 works great)

2 Screws(Long enough to go through all of the washers and into the wood)

8 Washers(Holes in the middle must be smaller than top of screw)

Exact-o knife

Cordless Power Drill

A marker

2 liter soda bottles

Benefits of using the Build a Jig to Slice Plastic Bottles into Rope project

● The project includes a complete listing of all the materials, supplies and tools you will need

● It also includes a complete, easy to read and follow step by step instruction guide

● It has several full color photos that help to depict some of the steps

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Simple Emergency First-Aid: How to Treat a Stab Wound

Although many survival manuals and emergency first-aid guides detail the effects of a gunshot on the human body, stabbing wounds from knives and other sharp objects are often overlooked. However, during an emergency situation it is likely that knives and other implements will be common weapons for many as personal supplies of ammunition become limited. As such, it is important to know how to give first-aid to those in your party who may be stabbed while bugging-out or defending your retreat.

What kind of damage does a stabbing cause?

Before you go into the actual techniques of treating the wound, you should understand the of damage a stabbing wound can cause.

  • Any stabbing causes lots of bleeding, but a sharp blade causes more. When dealing with stabbing wounds, expect a fair amount of blood. Dull blades cause veins and arteries to spasm, opening and closing, while sharp blades just leave the blood vessels open which causes extra bleeding.
  • Stabbing is likely to cause infection. Knives and other stabbing weapons are rarely kept sterile, and the blade puts dirty metal in direct contact with the bloodstream. Larger stab wounds also open the skin, exposing open blood vessels to infection from the air.
  • Stabbing is unlikely to kill instantly, and can even go unnoticed if the subject goes into shock. Even being stabbed in the heart or the throat is unlikely to kill someone immediately. The infamous case of the Austrian Empress Elizabeth demonstrated this clearly when she was stabbed in the heart by an assassin, only to survive a carriage ride and a 100 yard walk to a riverboat before collapsing. She never knew that she had been stabbed at all, and even her nearby courtier merely thought she had taken ill as shock caused her skin to pale. The wound itself was not found until much later, when a small bloody hole was discovered when medical staff pulled the Empress’s clothes aside to determine what was wrong with her.
  • Wounds to the chest and abdomen can be extremely deadly from even a small wound if they go deep. Knives can puncture lungs, slice organs, and cause internal bleeding and swelling that harms organ function. Stab wounds near the intestines can pierce them, and can also cause them to be pushed out of the gut through the hole.
  • Deaths from stabbing are primarily caused by blood loss, infection, shock, and organ failure.

When to offer first-aid

Before you go rushing in to help someone, even a friend or family member, you have to ensure that there isn’t something else you need to deal with first. In a defensive situation you will have to pry your attention away from a person screaming in pain to make sure that no other human threats are present. Only go to help someone once you’re sure that the area is safe and that you can reach the person without becoming injured yourself!

How to treat the wound

Stabbing wounds can be extremely tricky depending on where and how the person is stabbed. If the stab is shallow, a simple cleaning of the wound and a sterile bandage might be all they need. However, a wound that punctures a lung or slices through the liver is immediately life threatening, and is beyond the scope of general first-aid. Therefore, these instructions can help completely treat a minor stab wound, but are limited to merely keeping a seriously stabbed person alive awhile longer until trained medical help arrives, if it is available.

  1. Inspect the patient, and determine the extent of their injuries. Unless the person was caught unawares, they may have multiple stabs and slashes on their body, or clothing may obscure any wounds at all. Part clothing, and look for all wounds before starting your treatment unless there is an obviously serious wound that need immediate treatment (massive amounts of blood, particularly if it is spurting out like a geyser should be treated as quickly as possible!)
  2. Apply a facemask and sterile gloves if possible. At the very least, disinfect your hands. Before the modern world of antibiotics and advanced medicine, battlefields killed men by the thousands through infection. Your hands need to be clean and your mouth should be kept away from the wound to reduce the chances of infection in a world without easy access to antibiotic medicines.
  3. If the person is conscious, begin working but also talk with them. They probably won’t feel much pain to help you know where wounds are, but talking helps keep the person calm and slows heartrate. If any wounds are particularly nasty (say, a knife sticking out of their leg) keep their eyes averted so they don’t focus on it.
  4. If present, leave the weapon in the body. This reduces bleeding and keeps you from accidentally cutting any more vessels when it is removed. Don’t jostle it when helping, and if you move the patient have someone to steady it and keep it from moving. Weapons left in the body should only be removed by knowledgeable medical staff that can immediately perform needed surgery to correct potential damage.
  5. Choose the wound that is bleeding the most and stanch the flow. Any wound where blood is spurting out has priority unless there is serious flow elsewhere, since spurting blood comes from an artery that your body desperately needs. A tourniquet may be needed if there are multiple serious wounds, but it is always better to apply direct pressure instead since that actually stops bleeding rather than cutting off blood flow. Keep a barrier between yourself and the patient’s blood. If you lack gloves, use layers of clean cloth. If you have helpers, clean their hands and let them apply the pressure so you can continue directing things.
  6. Proceed to stanch bloodflow from each major wound, if there are more than one. If possible, have the person sit up and lift limbs above where the heart would be to slow bloodflow. If the wounds are mainly in the legs, lay the patient flat and lift their legs up on a chair or box.
  7. Once you have some control over the bleeding, begin cleaning the wounds in order from most serious to least serious. Remove debris if present, but remember that even a wound without debris has had a dirty sharp implement jab at it, so they all need cleaning. Clean water is the best for sheer irrigation, but in a pinch peroxide or even alcohol will work.As salt is an excellent natural cleanser, a mix of 1 tablespoon of salt to 1 cup of warm clean water is perfect here. Be aware that there will be pain when applying cleaning liquids, so if the person is somewhat conscious give them warning.
  8. Once a wound is clean, close smaller gaping wounds. Butterfly bandages can obviously help here if they are the correct size. Otherwise, glue (on the outside of the wound only!) and duct tape can make an effective placeholder. You want to close the wounds to prevent infectious materials from getting inside, and to keep the wound fairly dry.
  9. If a larger wound refuses to stop bleeding, DO NOT CLOSE IT. Instead, pack it with clean rags and cover with tape. The tape should be reasonably loose: it is primarily a strong covering, not a wound binder, and you want to be able to change out the rags as needed. Some clean spiderwebs can be used over the rags and under the tape, as an extra anti-bacterial layer if you choose.
  10. Keep the person resting, and apply antibiotic ointment if you have it periodically. Check the area furthest away from the heart for each limb that has a bandage on it: check fingers for arm wounds and toes for leg wounds. If a bandage is too tight, it may cut off blood flow to the area below it, and you will need to loosen it immediately.

In many places, the ability to properly treat a knife wound is already invaluable. When disaster strikes and the dredges of society decide to make their move for your supplies, be sure that you can patch up your group of defenders and keep everyone alive.

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Pemmican: The Original Fast Food of the Native Americans

Pemmican is a tasty high-protein treat that’s perfect for snacking, traveling, hiking, camping, and for disasters or other crisis events, where cooking meals may be difficult. As a bonus, this lightweight nutrient-packed food needs no refrigeration.

Traditional recipes for Indian pemmican usually calls for a mixture of shredded jerky, dried berries and nuts, along with a bit of melted fat to hold it all together. In the old days, it was considered essential for sustaining warriors and hunters on the trail. Pemmican can be eaten out of hand, or added to soups, stews, or anything in need of an extra nutritional boost.

The fast-food idea caught on with the Hudson’s Bay Company and became a standard feature in the North American fur trade industry. The highest prices were paid for Native American-made pemmican that was stored in buffalo skin bags, called parfleches. The filled bags were sealed with melted fat. The parfleches shrank as they dried, creating a kind of vacuum seal that helped to preserve the contents for years. Traditionally, this kind of pemmican was made with equal parts dried meat and melted fat. Animal fat taken from around the kidneys and loins were considered choice. If taken from beef, this kind of fat is called suet. For those who prefer a fat-free pemmican, a recipe is included here.

To eat pemmican Native American style, pop a little bit into your mouth and chew it just about forever, sort of like chewing gum. That way you entertain your mouth and extract every bit of goodness from the dehydrated meat, berries and nuts. It is surprisingly filling when eaten this way. Even though the food is low-volume, it it packs power because it is highly concentrated and loaded with protein.

There are different schools of thought regarding the shelf life of pemmican. Some say it will last for only a month or two; others say it will last for years. It depends upon the temperature and humidity of the environment, the quality of ingredients, and how it is stored. At any rate, the fat content will also determine shelf life. After the fat goes rancid from age, it will taste bad, and should be thrown out. The cooler the storage temperatures are, the longer the fat will stay fresh.

To help extend shelf life, I like to store pemmican in the freezer. If the electricity should ever go out long enough to affect the contents of the freezer, I will take the pemmican out of the freezer, and after making sure that it is perfectly dry, store it in a glass jar or plastic bag in a dark cool place.

For even longer term storage, I sometimes use raisins in place of fat in the traditional recipe.

Fat-Free Pemmican

In a blender, whiz together equal parts of pulverized-to-a-powder jerky, ground dried berries, and chopped nuts of your choice. Add enough raisins so that the smashed up raisins hold everything together nicely. Then you can form marble-sized balls or whatever. No blender handy? Chop with a knife, then pound the foodstuff to a pulp with a rock.

This stores a lot longer than the traditional version with fat. But then, during really high caloric demanding situations such as hiking, working, or coping with a disaster, you’d be wishing for that little extra fat, because it supplies a majority of the calories in pemmican.

Another delicious alternative to animal fat is peanut butter, which provides more sustenance than the fat-free version.

Pemmican with Honey and Peanut Butter

Some people prefer peanut butter to fat; some like a blend of honey and peanut butter. Here is a recipe that helps provide calories without fat:

  • 1/2 pound of jerky, pulverized to a powder, or nearly to a powder
  • 1/2 pound of raisins
  • 1/2 pound of nuts (peanuts, pecans. etc)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons peanut butter

Warm the honey and mix with the peanut butter together until well blended.
Add all ingredients together. Store in a plastic bag in a cool, dry place.

Native American Pemmican – Traditional Style

Cook chunks of fat over low heat until all moisture is removed and oil is rendered. Strain well, allow to cool until hardened. Reheat and strain again, to make the fat firmer, and to improve its keeping qualities.

Pulverize dried meat (jerky) to a powder. Add equal parts of ground dried berries and chopped nuts. Add just enough hot melted fat into the mixture to lightly coat all the ingredients. Immediately stir the mixture, working quickly to allow the melted fat to soak into the powdered ingredients before cooling. If it cools too quickly, gently warm the mixture in the microwave or over a low flame. While still warm, shape the pemmican into balls, bars or small patties.

Lacking traditional containers such as animal intestines or skin parfleche bags to store them in, wrap the pemmican pieces in wax paper. Store in glass jars or plastic bags.

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Low-Carb Paleo and Primal for Preppers

I wouldn’t have much to eat in “What’s for Dinner”, so I’m going to write up my own personal paleo/primal low-carb approach to nutrition, especially as it applies to prepping.

The mountain men, hunters, and others rarely had sugar and flour and were healthier. I’m not as active as them, but I’m trying to eat like them.

Micro and Macro Nutrients– What Your Body Really Needs

The first thing to do is separate nutrients from calories. You need nutrients– vitamins, minerals, protein, and a few other things to keep things running. These, like oil and radiator fluid, are things you only need a little of, but they are vital. You also need calories in your fuel tank.

You need a daily supply of vitamins and minerals, the micro-nutrients. For those, when I’m not eating a wide variety of natural food, I have a multi-megavitamin, which has more than enough of my daily supply of all the vitamins and minerals. For example, I don’t have to worry about whether salt is iodized or not, as I get it from the supplement. You need to find vitamins and minerals that are easily absorbed by the body, and try to get mega-vitamins. (The USDA 100% requirement is the amount to keep you from death, e.g. scurvy, not the amount to insure your health.) You want to have 100% of what you need each day. Note that some vitamins and minerals are toxic at high doses, so be careful. I’m still looking for the ultimate combination. (My ideal would be to be 110% of the proper amount per 50 pounds of body weight so would be good for men, women, and children.) Feedback and suggestions are welcome, as are suppliers who might want to create such.

The only macronutrient you need is protein. That is in meats, eggs, and some dairy, so instead of worrying about calories, store up the high protein foods. I didn’t mention beans and nuts; many have a lot of protein but also tend to have more carbs, so I don’t do much, but they are also a good choice. You don’t need much, usually only a few ounces, but you do need it. You can get a 5-pound jar of whey protein for about $50. (That’s two to three months for one average person.) I get one unflavored, especially without any added sugar, but there are other kinds of powdered protein. Technically you also need nucleic acids, but you tend to get enough from eating almost anything. Here again, I’m still looking for the perfect protein powder, whey? soy? or something else?

I might only add some “Omega” oil supplements, if you aren’t going to have much fat around. Some lipids are needed, even when not for energy, and your body doesn’t make all of them.

Every nutrient you need for three months fits into a bugout bag with room left over. A small cabinet can contain a 3-year supply.

This makes one thing simple in a TEOTWAKI situation. Just get one set of vitamins and one scoop of protein, and you don’t have to worry about nutrition. No worrying about meats vs. vegetables, but are you getting enough Vitamin A, C, or D, protein, iron, or iodine?

Now for Calories – “Good Calories, Bad Calories” – Fats vs. Carbohydrates (Carbs)

What follows is a bit oversimplified for a short article, but if you want to know more, read the authors, sites, videos, and links for comprehensive information.

When your body has glucose, it won’t burn your fat. Unless you have very little and burn all the glucose daily, you will store, not burn, fat. To burn both carbs and fat, you have to burn a lot of calories like an endurance athlete or our ancestors who had to use lots of muscle power instead of having air conditioned tractors, cars, and washing machines. However, there are endurance athletes who consume no carbs– nothing starchy or sugar-related, and they do fine, many do better.

The “What’s for Dinner” article said Americans consume 40 pounds of sugar yearly. However, most are seriously obese and borderline type 2 diabetic.

Fructose is sugar, but it’s not even a good supply of calories. Only the liver can process it, and you get fatty liver (cirrhosis writ small, not unlike consuming too much alcohol, which is another toxic carb). Obviously, “High Fructose Corn Syrup” is bad, but table sugar (sucrose) is half glucose and half fructose. See Dr. Lustig’s explanation.

Grains, and especially potatoes, are simple starches, which are merely stacked glucose molecules that turn into sugar in your stomach. Yes, you can get a sugar high from potatoes and an insulin spike and everything else, as if you drank a sugary soft drink. There are complex starches in beans and other foods like nuts, but it is easier to avoid all carbs, at least to start. Maltose (in beer) is two glucose molecules. Cellulose is indigestible plant fiber. I’ll leave galactose, lactose, and the other sugars for you to search.

Glucose is also a problem. Your liver can store it up as glycogen (animal starch), as can your muscles, but they can only store a little. Endurance athletes can store lots, but they will burn it all up and burn fat too. Most of us already have a full tank. What happens to the excess fuel? When your blood glucose levels go up, your pancreas (unless you are a type 1 diabetic) releases insulin. Insulin is the hormone that says to store the calories. If your liver and muscles are empty of glycogen, it can go there. Otherwise it changes to fat. Worse, if you also eat fat at the same time you have insulin going up, that fat too will be stored. You will get fat even if you consume no fat, just sugars and starches. Worse, having insulin telling your body to store instead of burn your blood glucose makes you feel weak and hungry, because you are starving inside. You aren’t burning what you’ve just eaten.

Your body (if you aren’t an endurance athlete) will refuse to burn fat until all the internal stores of glucose have been used up and it will resist. You will feel like you are starving, you will feel weak and tired, even if you are obese if your body isn’t set to burn fat. Your body is like a flex-fuel vehicle that slows down and conserves gas until that tank is empty, and only then will switch to diesel.

When you body has adapted to burn fat, it is called “ketosis”. It takes about two weeks of not eating carbs for your body to switch. Your body releases stored fat (or what you eat), your liver turns it into ketones, and your muscles (even your brain) burns them without any problem. You don’t feel hungry. Most people say they have lots of energy and think more clearly. They lose all the extra fat and keep it off as long as they avoid carbs. Most lose their addiction to sugar; they have no insulin spikes and no starvation. Eating fat releases Leptin– the “I’m full” hormone, so they stop eating when they’ve only had a little.

Most of the diet science was revived by Gary Taubes Good Calories, Bad Calories, and his follow-up Why We Get Fat, books available from Amazon, but there is a video with the basics.

I’m also not kidding when I call it “sugar addiction”. Your brain on sugar (other than the insulin shock) looks like your brain on heroin or nicotine, or alcohol. Even caffeine’s main effect is to cause your liver to release glucose into your bloodstream. Avoid booze, illegal drugs, tobacco, but eat 40 pounds of sugar each year?

Saying you must eat potatoes, pasta, bread, or sweets is wrong. You don’t have to. You can eat anything else. You can eat any green (non-starch) vegetable, salads with dressing (read the label to see if they add sugar, HFCS is in everything), eggs any style, meats, and fish. I banished carbs from my house but always have a dish of hard boiled eggs and something like a variety of near-zero-carb cheeses and lunch meats. Coffee and tea are available but no sugar (and no honey!) I have a wide variety but am rarely hungry, usually only after a long time or a lot of activity. Once I had some surgery where I couldn’t eat anything solid for a week. I wasn’t hungry and I lost 10 pounds. I tend to eat out of habit daily, and I do need the nutrients from real food– real meat, milk, eggs, vegetables, and they bring a little fat with them so I’m not pencil thin, but I’m healthy. And I’m doing almost no exercise.

My Challenge

If you want to try, give up sugars and starches for Lent. Especially break your sugar addiction, if nothing else. To switch your body to burn fat, you need to eat no more than 20 grams of carbs every day. (Read the labels, ignore “effective carbs”, and just do total carbs.) See the DietDoctor.com website or find other books– paleo or primal are two diets, Atkins was the original. You just need to read the labels and count carbs, not calories. Then eat as much as you want and maybe a little more when starting to avoid your body thinking it is starving; eat an extra egg.

Between now and Lent, eat up all the carbs in your house (or if you have stores, put them far in the back somewhere) so that by “Fat Tuesday”, green vegetables, fat, and protein are the only things you can eat without going out, but make sure some are right at hand so you can grab them when hungry. And eat a bit more salt; bullion is one way. Look up “carb-flu” for why. It is important not to have the bad calories available. Why do they have candy in the checkouts? This is like pretending having a copy of Playboy on the table is okay because you know your male friends would never give into temptation. This is the “near” in “avoid the near occasion of sin”. For Passover, the feast of unleavened bread, all leaven is removed from the home.

For Lent, eat all the eggs, meats (except when it is a day of abstinence), fish, cottage cheese, green (non-starchy) vegetables you want. I’d be careful with dairy, as milk has lactose. Just count the carbs. Don’t cheat or admit that it isn’t a fair test if you have and fail.

You can use sweeteners, but it is better to lose your sweet cravings completely; sweeteners can by themselves raise insulin levels as your body is anticipating sugar. Still, if it will make the transition easier, do so.

If it works, and you are in ketosis, burning your stored and eaten fat, no longer have a sweet tooth, and you are thinking clearly, have energy, lost 20 pounds or more, you might want to continue. You can lose as much as you want and carry your calories with you, since your body is burning fat. Then determine if you want to store more or get thinner.

Final Notes and Miscellany

As always, especially if you have special medical conditions, check with your family physician, but remember he might have been trained in the old, wrong school that only counting calories matters.

Strictly speaking, storing highly processed food, like sugar and flour, is easy, and if in TEOTWAWKI you are going to be burning 5000+ calories a day, it might be a better option. They are less expensive. (There are pallets of the usual bags at my local grocery store), and even fungi and bacteria won’t eat them.

I don’t understand why it matters if pure sucrose (there is nothing but that in the bag) comes from GMO or non-GMO plants or if it could be produced in a chemical factory.

The Healthy Home Economist is another excellent resource but more toward natural and alternative foods, cooking, and health.

The only sugars I eat is a rare raw honeycomb from local farmers. It is rumored the pollen helps with allergies. It’s not 40 pounds per year but more like four ounces at most, and there’s almost zero fructose (just some low-sugar berries. Lustig notes the natural fiber slows the release), and little starch, mostly complex starches in vegetables, but no potatoes or grains (except for an occasional experiment with paleo-food like einkorn).

I haven’t mentioned storage. I have a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer. I don’t have to mess with canning or worry about botulism, and it is less work. I can open up a bag and start crunching, or I can soak it to restore the original texture with 97% of the nutrition. Canning is high effort to store, reduces nutrition, and you have to be careful to cool afterward. What is the total cost in time, effort, and money to preserve X nutrients using canning versus a Freeze Dryer? Though, you can do canning on a wood stove.

I’ve stored what I’ve been eating all along– meats, eggs, vegetables, yogurt, cottage cheese. I buy extra and freeze-dry it; there’s one for me and one for the cabinet. I store vegetables in the growing season and meats, eggs, et cetera in winter. Oils are another matter, since they need a different approach, and the one in “Whats for Dinner?” works. I prefer butter. I might not even need to dip into my multivitamin and protein powder, if I’m just continuing to eat what I usually do but from my stores. There are lots of natural calories when you know how to get them, but you can’t control the nutrients. If I suddenly go from under 1000 to 5000 calories per day, then I won’t have to worry about eating carbs, and there’s lots of carbs around where I live since that is what the more commercial farms produce here.

Since except for an occasional garden, I don’t grow enough, I’m into CSA – community supported agriculture, Natural meats, Free range hens (sometimes running through the yard), raw milk from grass-fed cows , heirloom seed vegetables, et cetera since I don’t think we were created to digest things which come from factories. Different states have different laws, but I’m surprised – Montana is restrictive and Wyoming next door has food freedom (ignore the headline) from the link: Summer 2015: Governor Matt Mead signed the Wyoming Food Freedom Act into law on March 3. The new law gives farms, ranches, and home kitchens the right to sell any foods they produce, other than meat products, direct to the consumer without any government regulation or inspection. Sales can take place at farms, ranches, private homes, farmers markets, and through delivery. The Food Freedom Act legalizes the sale of any raw dairy product, including unaged cheese. The sale of raw cheese that has not been aged at least 60 days is prohibited in interstate commerce, but states do have the option of not having any aging requirement in their laws. At this time, Wyoming has the most favorable laws on the sale of raw dairy products in the U.S. You might want to remember that if you want to have a farm in the Redoubt. There are still regulations for more commercial sales, but I buy most products at Farmer’s markets.

Mostly, I want to eat real food. Although I suggested natural but processed supplements at the start, that is for an extreme situation. I was blessed with good health and an iron constitution, but I still feel much better since I’ve reduced the supply line and even minimal processing from the plant or animal to my table, which isn’t possible even with big-box “organic” food. Sugar and flour are bad just on that basis. In the garden of Eden, only one tree was off limits. However, the rest were firmly planted in the ground. Post flood, animals were to be respected, even if eaten and not treated like some factory input. Even raw honey, real original fruit, grains, or even potatoes are different (to draw a parallel, how many own or want dachshunds, yorkies, or poodles instead of something that could easily be mistaken for a wolf?). I’m skeptical of some of the miracle claims but am even more skeptical that processed foods aren’t seriously lacking in nutritional value. Low carbs, paleo, primal (though I don’t believe in evolution) is the closest to the ideal.

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6 Items You Should Pack in an Emergency Bow Aid Kit, Plus a Few Extra Considerations

Can assembling your very own home bow shop make you a better bowhunter? A huge component of successful bowhunting is being intimate with your equipment, and nothing helps you get there faster than amassing the tools for a home bow shop, and learning how to use them. But this practice is not for everyone.

If you have the time, money, and inclination, becoming a completely self-sufficient bow technician is indeed a great goal. But a more-pressing goal for every bow  hunter—and one that offers the potential to literally save a hunt—is to ensure you are always carrying at least a basic “emergency repair kit” that will help you thwart some common in-the-field mishaps.

Here are a few of the things I carry with me most every time I travel.

1. Amazing shrink fletch
On cold winter nights I dearly love to use my old trusty fletching jigs to carefully build some custom arrows, especially some eye-catching crested and feather-fletched arrows meant for my traditional bows. But these days, when it comes to arrows meant for my compounds, and especially for ultra-fast arrow repair, I’ve become a serious fan of the latest “shrink-fletch” products offered by Extreme Archery, New Archery Products, and Bohning. All feature a plastic “cartridge” to which is glued three plastic fletchings of various designs; to repair a fletching-damaged arrow simply scrape off any remnants of the previous fletching with a knife, then slide on a new shrink fletch cartridge and dip the works into boiling water. In 10 seconds your arrow is ready to rock again. Initially I was concerned about the durability of these shrink-wrap cartridges but have tested them extensively in some fairly extreme hot (and more importantly, bitter cold) temps. They are not only impressively durable, I now depend on them almost exclusively for my compound arrows; my emergency kit always holds a three-pack.

2. Portable bow press
My home bow shop holds a full-size bow press but when traveling—and especially on those trips when I don’t bring an extra bow—I bring along a portable press (mine is a Bowmaster). This compact unit doesn’t take up much space and allows me to install peep sights or string silencers, or even change a bowstring (be sure to bring one) if necessary.

3. Allen wrench sets
I always carry at least two of these lightweight, portable sets; one stays in my daypack and I’ll have another in my gear duffel just in case. I use them regularly to ensure my sights, quivers, rests, and more are locked down tight.

4. Extra string loop material/lighters
I’ve been on several hunts where buddies have had their loops fail; thankfully it’s never happened to me but if it does I’ll be ready. Also, my emergency kit always includes a few lighters that are required for proper installation.

5. Extra sight and rest screws
Most of these are small and easily lost when attempting to make an adjustment. Thwart Murphy by carrying a few extras.

6. Bowstring wax
I’ve never had a string severed while hunting but some of my friends have had this unfortunate failure. I have been frightened by the sight of my frayed and fuzzy bowstring halfway through a few backcountry elk hunts that required a good bit of bushwhacking. Nothing helps your string last, and otherwise fend off disaster, like regular applications of protective wax; a tube is in my pack at all times.

The Benefits of an Extra Bow
This might seem excessive for bowhunting newbies, but many who have been bowhunting awhile seem to have a spare around somewhere. The nice thing about toting a ready-to-shoot spare bow (that you’ve shot recently and is tuned for your current arrow/broadhead combo) is that it renders almost all the aforementioned emergency gear unnecessary. For those who can swing it the practice comes highly recommended. I’ve carried an extra bow for years, and it hasn’t been a hassle because I’ve always been a fan of airline approved “double bow” cases when I travel. My typical approach is to remove any “extra” layers of foam these cases typically come with, and simply use my hunting clothes as padding around my two bows. Lately I’ve been saving even more space by toting along a compact takedown recurve as my “backup” bow on some of my out-of-state bowhunts, although this approach does require separate arrows and broadheads and, of course, traditional archery proficiency.

Some Important Additions
In addition to the aforementioned, I’ll make sure my kit includes some Kevlar thread and a needle or two to reattach buttons (carry a few spares) and mend cuts in outerwear, and I’ll also include some adhesives (Super Glue gel, two-part epoxy) that might come in handy for a variety of gear fixes. Similarly, I find it difficult to leave home without at least one roll of do-everything duct tape, and I always carry extra batteries for headlamps and laser rangefinders, which have a nasty habit of powering down when you need them most. More smart items are extra broadhead blades as well as a compact carbide sharpening tool that can touch up heads as well as your knives. Also in my pack is a well-appointed yet compact first aid kit and one of those silver-lined heat-saving emergency bags, to provide a few options when a gear failure might impact the bowhunter himself. Knock on wood.

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Survival First-Aid: How to Identify and Treat Internal Bleeding

Even if you can’t treat it, you can probably grasp the danger of broken bones, severe diseases, or stab/gunshot wounds. The dangers of internal bleeding however are typically harder to understand since they’re not as easily seen. Heck, in most movies internal bleeding is code for “the doctor won’t be able to save him”! Fortunately in real life this is not so, but nevertheless is is important for you to know what internal bleeding does and how to identify and treat it properly.

Disclaimer: I’m no doctor, nor did I play one on TV at any point. Internal bleeding can become very serious quickly, so if you suspect that this is an issue please seek immediate medical attention! This post is meant only for situations where no medical help is available, and should only be treated as my opinion and not any kind of sound medical advice.

Internal Bleeding: More common than you might think

As I mentioned most movies tend to treat internal bleeding like some sort of mysterious affliction that can kill anyone regardless of treatment, but in all likelihood you have suffered from it a time or two yourself! If you’ve ever suffered from even the most minor bruise, you have had internal bleeding which discolored the skin and left the area tender to the touch. Of course, more serious cases will be much more dangerous than a mere bruise, but it is important to know that not all cases of internal bleeding are inherently deadly.

Serious cases and the damage they cause

That said, what we’re looking at here are specifically the more dangerous kinds of internal bleeding, which may not be as obvious as a bruise. These are typically caused by trauma in a disaster situation, though some illnesses and conditions (brain aneurysms for example) can also result in internal damage and blood loss. Any kind of trauma, from a gunshot to a stab wound to a fall can cause internal bleeding. The more severe the trauma, the more likely that internal bleeding will show immediate symptoms, while a less severe incident with lesser blood loss might not be apparent until later.

Regardless of the severity of the actual injury, blood seeping from vessels is never a good thing and can cause a great deal of damage depending on which vessels are broken and where the blood pools. The most immediate and obvious issue is the typical symptoms of external blood loss. Unsafe drops in blood pressure, skin clamminess, and even shock can result from blood leaking out into the cavities of the body. Beyond that are symptoms exclusive to internal bleeding:

  • Pressure in the wrong places. It may not seem like much, but leaking blood can pool and put pressure on certain organs and inhibit proper functioning. This is most prominent in brain, chest, and abdominal injuries. Your brain, heart, and other important organs need blood in very specific amounts from very specific locations and are forced to work harder and harder to overcome the crushing pressure of blood. The brain and heart in particular react poorly to excess blood owing to the presence of other fluids (in the brain) or the need to move and pump (in the heart).
  • Stiffness in skin and muscles. A side effect of excess pressure from pooling blood, parts of your skin or even whole muscles can become stiff and difficult to move owing to swelling.
  • Pain in strange places like muscles or joints. Pooling blood can also deny that precious liquid to other areas of the body by pressing on vessels that are still intact and slowing blood flow to extremities of the body. This can result in pain as muscles attempt to move without the proper amount of blood. Joints can also suffer from this, though sometimes swelling is all that is needed to cause joint pain.
  • Abdominal/chest bleeding denies oxygen to parts of the body. Not only does this cause pain, but it can also cause the body to go into shock as the cells that usually use oxygen for fuel switch into emergency anaerobic (without oxygen) modes. This allows your body to survive without proper blood flow for a time, but the body is unable to subsist for long in this mode before it starts to damage organs. The brain generally suffers the most from this, since it can’t really function without oxygen at all.
  • A wide variety of sensory weirdness from internal bleeding around the brain. The brain floats within your skull, cushioned, protected and fed by the cerebrospinal fluid it produces. One key reason why your brain floats is to avoid putting too much pressure on any one spot, since that can destroy or severely alter the functioning of a particular part of the brain. When internal bleeding disrupts this delicate balance, you can experience nausea, hallucinations, or lose vision. In extreme circumstances you can even have a stroke or fall into a seizure since the brain cannot compensate for the increased pressure.

How to identify internal bleeding

Some types of injuries almost always cause internal bleeding. A gunshot to the gut, for example, is definitely going to make you bleed! However other trauma like falling or getting tackled by a crazed lunatic could still cause that blood loss without any obvious external signs, at least initially.

First off, you should pay attention to any signs of bruising in areas that were otherwise unaffected by the injury. This may indicate that loose blood is pooling near the skin and showing through the layers, similarly to a regular surface bruise.

Secondly, you should be extremely careful to watch for sensory problems, a persistent headache, or any other odd symptoms that might be related to blood in the brain. Even if you otherwise appear fine, long-lasting headaches, sudden and frequent migraines where you had none before, or nausea that is persistent long after any sickness should have been cured.

Thirdly, keep an eye out for blood in any bodily excretions. Vomit, urine, and poo all show signs of blood present, and any amount of blood in them is a very bad sign. Any blood in urine or vomit will probably be red to some degree, while the color in feces varies between black, tea, or red. Vomit indicates blood in the stomach or the throat, while urine and feces can both indicate blood in the intestines or digestive organs such as the kidneys.

Finally, look for any signs of the symptoms noted above, particularly pain in joints or muscles or any kind of swelling. You’ll have to use your own best judgement (joint pain isn’t odd to an arthritis sufferer, for example) and be careful to notice any persistent issue that seems strange.

How do you treat it?

First the bad news: certain severe internal bleeding problems require surgery from a competent doctor. No amount of care or medication will save them, and they will suffer the full extent of the damage or death that the pooling blood will cause. Unless you have a surgeon along for the ride with you.

However, there is some good news to counterbalance the bad! Although some injuries require surgery, other cases of internal bleeding are quite capable of healing themselves if the patient is properly cared for until they recover. Proper care in this case largely involves treating someone for shock, giving the body additional time to recover. Unless the head, neck, or back were harmed during the traumatic incident, elevate the patient’s feet about a foot off of the floor and wrap them in a loose, warm blanket. Try to keep the head from moving at all, though if the person is vomiting or has blood coming out of their mouth you should set the head on its side to improve drainage. If they’re still conscious,  try to keep them calm to avoid raising their heartrate and bleeding faster. Assuming a lack of hospitals or medical care, at this point you merely keep them comfortable (don’t give water or food unless dehydration becomes a danger or other factors demand it) and hope that the inner wounds heal.

I should note that unless there is a strong medical reason for it, anticoagulants and blood thinners are very bad for a patient suffering from internal bleeding. This includes many prescription medications, but it also includes Aspirin.  If you take these medications regularly, I would advise you to ask your doctor about the appropriate course of action. For everyone else, don’t take them in that situation unless a trained medical person instructs you to.

Internal bleeding is a nasty business, but it’s not the death sentence many think it to be. Know how to identify it and treat your patients so that their body can heal the damage and hopefully save their life.

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18 CAMPING TIPS AND TRICKS FOR SURVIVAL (AND FUN)

You learn a lot about yourself when you camp. Your patience will be tested when pitching a tent or building a fire, you’ll see food from a whole new perspective, and you’ll understand that sleeping on the ground with little else than a nylon sheet protecting you actually feels pretty awesome.

You’ll also learn that some tasks are harder than others, but they don’t always have to be. Here are 18 tips and tricks guaranteed to make your outdoor adventure a bit more agreeable.

1. Make a stove from a beer can:

With a knife, some denatured alcohol, and a little bit of courage, you can transform a 12 oz can into a great DIY camp stove that’ll boil water in 5-6 minutes. We did it, and it’s remarkably simple.

2. Light a fire with Doritos are nailing it right now. Delicious snack? Check. Ingenious fire starter? Double check. And here’s the kicker: any flavor will do, even Gout Olives!

3. Use an old shower curtain as a disposable ground tarp Throw it under your tent to keep the floor dry overnight, throw it out the next morning.

4. Fill Toilet paper roll with dryer lint for a fire starter

I’m not sure who the first person was who stuffed a bunch of dryer lint into a Toilet Paper roll and lit it on fire, but goddammit they were onto something.

5. Freeze a gallon of water to keep food fresh You’d think this would take up valuable cooler real estate. BUT the jug-shaped block of ice will last much longer than cubes, and after it melts, you’ve got a gallon of ice water at your disposal.

6. Use an Altoid tin to house a survival kit Step 1: Eat Altoids
Step 2: Enjoy minty fresh breath
Step 3: Fill empty can with matches, sandpaper, small compass, small knife
Step 4: Survive, grow old

7. Strap your headlamp to a jug of water for a tent light

It’s basically a giant night light for your tent and it adds a nice ambiance.

8. Use old coffee cans for waterproof storage This specific tip is most notably applied to toilet paper, but coffee tins can come in extremely handy for storing anything you want to keep dry, and in one place.

9. Don’t camp downwind Your tent will smell like campfire. You’ll smell like campfire. Your mouth will taste like campfire. You’ve basically slept in the campfire.

10. Waterproof your tent with sealant

Pick up a can and spray everything. Your rain fly, your tent, your tent’s seams, your tent bag. Getting caught in thunderstorms can easily put a damper on an otherwise great weekend, but it doesn’t have to.

11. Get yourself a Hobo knife Case makes an amazing one that you’ll one day be able to pass down to your grandchildren.

12. Repel ticks with water and tea tree oil Lyme disease is on the rise. I’ve been caught by ticks firsthand and know how unnerving it can be. Mix up about 40 drops of tea tree oil with around 12-16 oz of water and spray it on. Even if you don’t encounter any ticks, you’ll smell uncharacteristically good.

13. There are 9 ways to start a fire. Know at least 2 ways.

The tee-pi and log cabin styles are camp standards, but knowing whether you want a cooking fire or a raging bonfire is something to be considered.

14. On chilly nights, fill a Nalgene with warm water and throw it in your sleeping bag “But where do I get the warm water from, you goon?” Good question. You could either boil water on the fire, let it sit, and pour it in your Nalgene, or fill your Nalgene with regular water and place it on the outskirts of the fire for a few minute with the top closed.

15. Invent in a solar recharging station

I have a Goal Zero Guide 10 that I swear by. To charge it up, I attach it to my backpack on long hikes and voila—it’s ready to go to work in no time.

16. Pack Emergen-C

Admittedly, this is the most obvious entry, but it’s one of those things that people always forgot to pack. It’s especially useful for a day out on the trails when you need to stay hydrated, or after a long night of singing ’90s pop songs around the fire. It’s also way cheaper than lugging OJ.

17. Create coffee packets

Coffee and camping go together like pot and planetarium laser shows. Tie some grounds up in a filter, secure it with dental floss (or string), and throw it in a mug full of piping hot water you just boiled in that empty beer can.

18. Use a rope and a tarp to create just about anything you’d ever need Most people will employ the rope as a line to hang wet clothes and a tarp as ground cover, but in a pinch or survival situation, they can be used together to craft a warm, dry shelter.