ANTI-HISTAMINE MEDICATION: A MUST MUST MUST-HAVE ITEM

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Not having at least one box of anti-histamines in the house at all times is a huge mistake. Not having a large supply in store for emergency use is a massively huge mistake.

First the science:

Histamine is present in most cells, it’s biologically active and is released in response to a foreign pathogen that irritates the body causing it to be released. It isn’t just released by irritants. Infection, physical damage and allergies all cause the substance to move from our cells and course around our body. A great deal goes on within the body before the hives that we associate with an allergy appear, and more still goes on before tissues start to swell and distort, a sign that an alleged is severely affecting the victim. You can find a full description of the sequence of events here.

Anti-histamines can relieve many of the symptoms associated with allergies. They can’t cure them but they can and do make life more comfortable for millions of people everyday.

Sensitivities to drugs, stings and foods are rarely life-threatening in the first instance unless the reaction is overwhelming tor the person is extremely sensitive to the substance in question. A good example is multiple bee or wasp stings that cause such a massive reaction that tissues swell and anaphylaxis occurs.

Usually anaphylaxis occurs after one or more previous exposures to the allergen, each reaction is worse than the previous one until the point is reached where exposure to the allergen causes a massive histamine release and anaphylaxis occurs within minutes of the exposure.

Antihistamines can slow down a reaction to an allergen, it buys you a little time in cases of severe allergies, time to call an ambulance or get to a hospital where airway and respiratory management is available.

An Epipen containing adrenalin should be high on your priority list if you can get one…here in the UK that’s impossible to do unless you are already known to be likely to suffer from, or have previously suffered from anaphylaxis.

So what happens though in times when help isn’t coming? In any kind of societal collapse hospitals may not be functioning in any normal sense of the word, what would you do then?

Airway management requires specialist equipment that is usually only available to those in the medical profession who are allowed to procure things such as endotracheal tubes and nano-pharyngeal tubes, then there’s the laryngoscope that you would need to visualise the larynx in order to site the tube. On top of this you need to have enough knowledge of anatomy to site the tube correctly so that oxygen actually ends up in the lung not the stomach. In a case of anaphylaxis shock where tissues are swelling and distorting it’s highly unlikely someone who doesn’t place tubes on a very regular basis would be able to do it. It’s at least a weekly occurrence to have a patient with a difficult airway that tries the patience of the most experienced airway management technician and even qualified anaesthetists that conduct laryngoscopy on a multi-times daily basis get the odd case they will struggle with.

In a collapse situation it’s safe to say that intubation isn’t an option for 99.99% of the population outside of the hospital environment.

This is why you need a huge stock of antihistamine medication.

If someone presents with anaphalaxis and their airways are swelling and closing they are in dire straights. Other internal changes are taking place and the situation will worsen very quickly, in short, unless something is done they will most likely die. ANYTHING you can do to possibly save them is on the table and giving them a large dose (two-three tablets) of antihistamine medication whilst they can still swallow is possibly the only hope they have.

Antihistamines can cause problems taken in large doses or if taken long-term as a preventative measure. The incidence of problems however is low and a life-threatening emergency has to be the priority.

At the FIRST sign of severe allergy get those drugs in, crush them up in a small amount of water and get it into them, they will get into the victims system faster if they don’t have to dissolve first so crushing them into powder makes them more easily soluble.

Ignore the one a day rule: Any numbness of the nose and mouth, swelling of the nose, lips and eyelids says it’s severe and if you know you cannot get to medical help within minutes give at least two crushed antihistamine tablets immediately.

In the short term you are not causing any damage to your patient. Enough of the drug needs to be given to start to counteract the effects of the allergen…and we have no idea how much that is because we can’t see what’s going on inside the patient.

Yes, if you have medical knowledge and the outside of a ball-point pen you can do a tracheostomy on the kitchen table but most people would be unable to cut a hole in their loved ones throat!

If you decide to take that option please make sure they have taken their last breath first – that way you won’y bear the unbearable responsibility of feeling you have killed them if it doesn’t work.

The human brain can go a full minute without oxygen before the effects start to become apparent.

Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction include:

  • generalised flushing of the skin
  • nettle rash (hives) anywhere on the body
  • sense of impending doom
  • swelling of throat and mouth
  • difficulty in swallowing or speaking
  • alterations in heart rate
  • severe asthma
  • abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting
  • sudden feeling of weakness (drop in blood pressure)
  • collapse and unconsciousness

Note that not all of these things will be present in every person suffering from a severe allergy.

On a less dramatic note having a large supply of antihistamines available can make life more bearable generally by easing itching and congestion in a variety of conditions from hay fever to mosquito bites.

Try and have some of the “may cause drowsiness” for the little ones, an itchy miserable child won’t sleep well and this has a knock on effect for the entire family. Getting them to drift off is no easy task when they are fractious. Most antihistamine medications are safe for youngsters and sleep provides relief for them primarily but also respite for everyone else.

Linked from: http://undergroundmedic.com/2016/11/anti-histamine-medication-a-must-must-must-have-item/

Dehydrated Food versus Freeze Dried Food

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Are you curious to know the basic differences between dehydrated food and freeze dried food?

Lots of preparedness-minded people who have a so called ‘deep pantry’ and will often have a variety of foods for longer term storage including dehydrated foods and freeze dried foods.

Here are the basics regarding each process:

 

DEHYDRATED FOOD

Dehydration is the process of removing water from a substance, in this case – food. Dehydrated foods have much of their water content removed.

Many preparedness food-storage vendors sell dehydrated foods, however it also a process that you can do right in your own home with either a low-temperature oven or a purpose-built food dehydrator, similar to this one… Excalibur.

During the process, moisture is removed from the food by slowly heating it at temperatures which may range from 115-F to 155-F depending on the recommendations for the food type itself. Typically a fan circulates the air within the food dehydrator to evenly distribute the heat. The process time may range from 8 hours to 12 hours or more, depending on the moisture content of the food and other factors.

When finished, typical ‘dehydrated food’ moisture levels are reduced to levels in a range from 10 to 20 percent – depending.

Home dehydrated foods may have a ‘typical’ shelf life ranging from six months to a year, however it is fairly easy to obtain much longer shelf life for many dehydrated foods by drying them longer, keeping them in a cool-dry storage environment, and properly packaging the food (vacuum sealer).

Dehydrating at home is a great way to store extra food from your garden, or vegetables and fruits you have purchased at the market at a great ‘sale’ price.

Advantages of Dehydrated Food

No waste
Lightweight
Low moisture
Do it yourself
Long shelf life
Not easily spoiled
Costs less than freeze dried food

 

 

FREEZE DRIED FOOD

Freeze drying is also a dehydration process – with some differences which enable the food to become MUCH DRIER than dehydrated food.

The freeze-dry process is a professional process which is very expensive to reproduce at home.

The foods are processed / frozen, and during the freezing process the surrounding air pressure is reduced in a vacuum chamber to enable the (frozen) water in the food to change from a ‘solid phase’ to a ‘gas phase’ in order to remove even more moisture.

Freeze drying removes more water from foods than dehydrating (down to just a few percent!), so it lengthens the shelf life. Many vendors of freeze dried foods claim shelf life as long as 25 years.

Freeze-dried foods can taste amazingly delicious due to the unique process which retains even more flavor and nutrients.

Advantages of Freeze-dried Food

Very long shelf life
Very lightweight
Very low moisture
Reconstitutes quickly
Best way to dry meat items
Generally tastes better than dehydrated
Retains original shape, texture, color after reconstitution
Both dehydrated and freeze-dried foods have a place in one’s diversified food storage. Freeze-dried foods are more expensive although very light weight with a long shelf life. Dehydrated foods can be processed at home, albeit with a shorter shelf life.

Linked from: http://modernsurvivalblog.com/survival-kitchen/dehydrated-vs-freeze-dried-foods/

Homemade Dehydrated Chicken Strips – Shelf Life Report

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Two years ago I happened to make a particular batch of dehydrated chicken strips. The other day while defrosting one of the chest freezers we discovered a jar from this particular batch. Being two years old, I thought it would be helpful to be the ‘guinea pig’ and sample it, and report whether or not I survived…

Here’s my ‘shelf life’ report,
and the original article how I made these dehydrated chicken strips:

 

Here’s a picture of the newly discovered ‘canning jar’ of chicken strips:

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We often store our various home dehydrated foods in canning jars and then vacuum seal them with this jar sealer tool. I’m sure that being vacuum sealed greatly enhances the shelf life…

In addition, since it is meat, and since we had room in the freezer – we kept it there.

Note: Obviously the freezer was key here. With that said, I was still curious after 2 years in the freezer which is generally not recommended for meat (lots of variability with that statement though).
The reason that we dehydrate chicken strips is actually for the dog – who loves to eat these as treats. He’s not spoiled or anything… ?

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Dehydrated Chicken Strips Shelf Life Report

I am happy to report that not only did I not keel over and that Mrs.J did not have to dial 911, the chicken strips were still damn good! The dog was eying me as I tried one, and he let me know that I better stop at ‘just one’… the rest are for him ?
The Original Article:

How I Made Dehydrated Chicken Strips

It’s better to use chicken breast rather than dark meat because the dark meat has more fat in it and will spoil more quickly than the breast meat.

I used chicken breast that was still ‘on the bone’ (because it was on sale) and then simply sliced the meat off the bone with a sharp knife. Having a very sharp knife is important!
The next step is to trim away all skin and fat from the meat because the fat will go rancid if you leave it on. As you can see in the picture, I simply used a cutting board, a sharp knife, and kept a bowl nearby to throw in the fatty pieces of meat.

I discarded the skin but saved the fatty pieces of trimmed chicken to cook them separately for immediate consumption ? – less waste that way…

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I sliced the meat into strips about 1/4-inch thick. If you cut with the grain, the result will be a slightly more chewy meat. If you cut across the grain, the dehydrated result will snap easier into small pieces. It depends what you want…

Tip: If you partially freeze the chicken, it is easier to cut consistent width strips.
I then placed the chicken strips on my dehydrator trays and then set the dehydrator temperature to it’s max setting of 155-degrees F.

My Dehydrator: Excalibur.

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Dehydrate the chicken strips until they at least reach a leathery consistency. Personally I like to dry them longer until they’re very crisp. This way they’re drier and they will last longer.

The dehydrate time will vary anywhere from 6 to 16 hours depending on your environmental conditions, how thick the chicken strips are, and how dry that you want them. Plan on starting this process in the morning so that you won’t run out of time during the process before having to call it a night and go to bed…

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After the chicken strips have finished dehydrating, I broke them up into smaller pieces to keep them in canning jars sealed with a vacuum sealer ‘jar sealer’ attachment.

I also keep the jars in the fridge for an even longer shelf life. Home dehydrated chicken strips should last at least 1 to 2 months stored at room temperature (depending on storage conditions and environment), and much longer if refrigerated or frozen. The thing is, I can never test the actual shelf life because these things disappear sooner rather than later…

Linked from: http://modernsurvivalblog.com/survival-kitchen/dehydrate-chicken-strips/

NEW PREPPERS GUIDE TO WINTER VEHICLE PREPAREDNESS

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Many people new to prepping, or even those just setting out on their own for the first time find the thought of preparing for major winter storms overwhelming. I get this entirely. The key is to break it down into manageable chunks and deal with one chunk before you move onto the next. Today we lookout your vehicle and what you need to think about when travelling around in winter.

We cannot guarantee that a storm will come late Friday when we are all safely at home so any vehicle in use should have an emergency ‘extreme weather kit’ in the trunk and a few extra supplies inside the car so lets take a look at that first.

You need to make sure that should your car become your home for a couple of days that it’s up for the job. Your vehicle should be well maintained and have appropriate tires. You also need to be mentally prepared for spending time in the vehicle, not knowing when rescue will come?the traffic will start moving again.

A serious accident can see tail-backs miles and miles long and in heavy falling snow this can turn into a life threatening situation very quickly for those stuck in the traffic without out adequate fuel, clothing and food.  Knowing that you have the equipment and supplies to survive such a situation will make you calmer should disaster strike. You won’t be worrying about eating or freezing to death which means you can concentrate on the task in hand: Getting yourself out of the situation or sitting it out with relative ease.

So, what do you need to have with you? Some items are obvious, some not so obvious:

  • A shovel preferably a strong but lightweight folding one.
  • Windshield scraper and small broom
  • Flashlight with extra batteries or dynamo/wind up flashlight
  • Battery powered radio or dynamo/battery radio
  • Tow chains and/ropes
  • Tire chains if allowed in your area
  • Booster cables
  • Emergency reflective triangle or sign
  • Flares if your route uses back roads,/remote areas
  • Full first aid kit
  • Rock salt/grit/cat litter for putting under wheels to aid traction.
  • Distress flag/ bright bandana to attract attention.
  • Whistle to attract attention
  • A largish card with your name and cell number written on it. If you leave the vehicle add your direction of travel, the date and the time you left the vehicle. Leave this in the car
  • Matches, lighter and small tea light candles packed into a small wide necked jar. The candle can be put into the bottom of the jar and stood on the dashboard to give a gentle light that can be seen from a considerable distance. Have your window open just a crack to make sure no fumes build up. This also applies if you run the engine for even just a few minutes.
  • Keep the gas tank topped up.
  • Any daily required prescription medications.
  • Phone comparable power pack capable of at least 3 full charges of your phone.
  • Baby wipes for personal hygiene.
  • Half a dozen good quality heavy gauge plastic bags big enough to ‘go’ in if the call of nature can’t be stalled any longer.
  • A  dozen bright strips of fabric with your name and cell number written on them in permanent marker: If you are in a remote area and have to leave your vehicle there are decent markers and can be tied to tree branches alerting rescuers to the fact that you are there and your direction of travel.
  • A couple of thick fleece blankets and/or a sleeping bag.
  • Sweat top and pants big enough to go over your regular clothes.
  • Wool socks, boot type big enough to go on easily.
  • Hat preferably with ear flaps, mittens and scarf
  • Thick tread knee high rubber boots in case for any reason you end up having to walk out.
  • Water and pouch fruit juice drinks
  • Bag of your chosen trail mix
  • High energy snack bars
  • Couple of packs of cookies
  • Hard candy
  • Few individual bags of dried fruit and/or nuts
  • Couple of high calorie chocolate bars, Snickers, Mars bars or similar

The exhaust/tail pipe has to be kept free of snow otherwise fumes will back up into the vehicle every time you run the engine. A sure way to get carbon monoxide poisoning

Bonus tip: Pee contains urea and peeing or tipping your makeshift pee bag out under the exhaust/tailpipe of the vehicle after you’ve cleared it will not only melt the remaining snow but prevent more snow building in that area keeping the pipe snow free for a considerable time.

Packing most of the kit into a hiking style back pack is the best option because if for any reason you have to walk out of the situation you can take it with you. On your journey try to have it inside the vehicle, it can go in the trunk whilst you’re at work and get slipped back into the vehicle for the trip home.

The folding shovel should be able to attach to the pack via velcro or a lanyard in case you have to leave the vehicle. Should you have to leave your vehicle put on the spare clothes you have with you, you can always take them off if you are too hot and better that than get hypothermia and/or frostbite. The rubber boots will protect your feet and lower legs from the worst of the weather.

Mittens are better than gloves as your hands retain more heat. The scarf should be wrapped around your mouth and nose to reduce the cold air entering your body and to protect your nose from frostbite. Make sure your ears are covered as they are also susceptible to frost bite.

As soon as you become stuck you need to let someone know where you are. In remote areas, in cases of accident or of a breakdown this should be 911 (999 UK) first and then a family member. Tell them where you are and what the issue is and when you hang up turn off the phone to save the battery. Now is not the time to see if there is a Pokemon near the vehicle.

The standard advice is to stay with your vehicle, it gives you some protection from the weather but on occasions that’s just not possible. Remember if you leave the vehicle be sure to:

  • Leave the card with the date and time as well as direction of travel.
  • Wear as many of the clothes as you can without impeding your ability to move comfortably.
  • Take the food and drink with you.
  • Do not eat snow it will lower your core temperature and can speed up the onset of hypothermia.
  • Mark the route you take with the cloth strips.
  • In wooded areas walk in the centre of the road there will be less hazards than there are near the tree line. Think animals, hidden tree roots and uneven ground.

I hope you found this useful.

Linked from: http://undergroundmedic.com/2016/10/new-preppers-guide-to-winter-vehicle-preparedness/

Carbon Monoxide Is A Winter Silent Killer

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Carbon Monoxide is odorless, colorless, and tasteless.

If you are being accidentally poisoned by carbon monoxide, you may not know it until it’s too late – possibly while you’re asleep.

Do you have a wood stove or a pellet stove? Even for oil & gas heating systems, if the combustion or venting is not right, you could be getting carbon monoxide poisoning.

Here’s what you need to know…

 

Carbon monoxide is produced whenever a fuel such as gas, oil, kerosene, or wood is burned. The amount produced depends on the quality of the burn or combustion. A poor burn or improper ventilation will build up a high concentration of carbon monoxide in the home.

You can’t smell it, so you won’t know that it’s happening.

Carbon Monoxide in high concentrations, starves the oxygen from bodily tissues, which could lead to seizure, coma, and fatality. Preliminary symptoms are flu-like and include headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, and weakness.

Apparently in the United States, more than 500 people die each year from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning while thousands more require emergency treatment.
Carbon Monoxide is a gas that weighs slightly less than air, so it will tend to rise and accumulate more upstairs in a home if the heating system is malfunctioning. However, the first floor is still vulnerable under the same circumstances.

A furnace that is not completely and efficiently burning all of its fuel (poor combustion) will produce excess Carbon Monoxide. Furnaces with air-intake filters can clog, causing poor fuel combustion and high Carbon Monoxide levels. Furnaces with improper venting (including wood stoves) will release high amounts of Carbon Monoxide into the living area.
Prevention is the key to survival.
Preventing Carbon Monoxide poisoning is a three step process.

1. Ensure proper venting
2. Ensure proper combustion
3. Ensure proper detection.

Detection can only be trusted to a quality Carbon Monoxide detector, and every home should have at least one. Best to have one on each level of the home, especially in your bedroom.

Particularly during the winter months, please consider protecting your family from the unthinkable. Just like a home smoke alarm, a Carbon Monoxide detector could save your life from winter’s silent killer.
IMPORTANT: Carbon Monoxide detectors (and smoke detectors) have a shelf life! This varies between 5 and 10 years depending… So please determine if you might need to change yours.

NOTE: I am re-posting this article because this morning I had a reminder… My carbon monoxide detector let out a loud chirp, and then later on again… I checked it out to discover that it’s six years old (end of shelf life). There was no indication on the digital screen of a carbon monoxide level (ppm was ‘000’), so I’m figuring that it’s flaking out due to its age. So I’ve just ordered two of the latest replacements. This is important folks. If you don’t have one of these, you should consider it.

Linked from: http://modernsurvivalblog.com/health/carbon-monoxide-winters-silent-killer/

Build your vehicle survival kit for on-the-road emergencies

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Seeing that we spend a lot of our time driving around, we can be trapped in our vehicles at any time due to various unpredictable on-the-road events. Having a vehicle survival kit in your car can save the day when no one else is around to give you a helping hand. Sinkholes, rollovers, natural disasters and even unknown terrain could turn deadly if you are not prepared.

Accidents happen all the time and misfortune doesn’t care if you are running errands, if you are on vacation or if you are driving in the backcountry. Before you open your vehicle survival kit, you should start by assessing your situation. Answering to the following questions will condition your next steps:

  • Are you or any of the passengers injured?
  • Are you close to any type of civilization?
  • How far away is it? Can you cover the distance by foot?
  • How long is it going to take until you can make your vehicle mobile again?

Once you have assessed the situation you can use the equipment on hand and put in motion your survival strategy.  You will need to save yourself and limit the consequences of your current situation by using your vehicle survival kit.

Items for your vehicle survival kit:

  1. The survival bag of your choice, a bug out bag or your get home bag. These bags are designed to keep you alive and the items you’ve placed in them should sustain you in the event of an emergency.
  2. A car safety hammer. This tool can save your life if you get trapped in your car during a flooding or any other type of scenario that requires for you to quickly abandon your vehicle. These types of tools have three functions: a window breaker, a glass hammer and a seatbelt cutter. You can use the window breaker to shatter the windows of your car, while the small hammer can be used to clear remaining glass. The seatbelt cutter will make sure you can cut yourself free from jammed seatbelts. The most important thing to keep in mind when having such a too is that you need to keep it in reach, otherwise it becomes useless.
  3. A tire repair kit. Flat tires occur often when traveling through unknown terrain and if you don’t have time to wait for the roadside service, a tire repair kit is the best next thing. Make sure you have one in your vehicle survival kit as it will provide you with everything needed to repair punctures and get back on the road.
  1. To finish the repair job on your tires, you will need an air compressor. However, things can get tricky here and you need to make sure the compressor you buy has the power to inflate your tires. Air capacity and pressure requirements vary greatly for car and truck tires.
  2. A folding survival shovel. This item is extremely useful in an off-grid environment and you can use it to dig your way out of a tight spot. If the shovel has an incorporated saw blade, you can cut tree branches and use them as a grip surface to help the tires pull their way out when you get stuck. It can also be used to dig up rocks and put it in the sand to create traction.
  3. Jump-starter power bank. If you are forced to deal with a dead battery and there is no living soul around to jump it for you, you will need to rely on a stand-alone power supply. Such a device can jump your battery, but it also provides charging capabilities for multiple devices.
  4. A tow strap. There are various models available on the market and I recommend going with a heavy duty 30-foot tow strap that can handle more than 5,000 pounds in use. The tow straps are usually made from rugged polyester and they can be successfully used for self-recovery. You can also give someone a tow and you can use it for pretty much anything you can think of during an emergency. You can even secure it between an anchor and a wheel that is stuck to free it by creating a winch as you accelerate.
  5. A compact auto tool kit. This type of tool should contain all the standard items you would need for basic tinkering. A bit driver, bit sockets, a wrench and pliers, are all items you need among other things. Of course that this becomes dead weight if you have no idea how and for what jobs to use it.
  6. An all-weather tarp. A tarp is an indispensable item for your prepping plans and you should have one available in your vehicle survival kit or survival bag. There are dozens of ways in which a tarp can be used and improvising a quick shelter in an austere environment is probably the number one use for a survival situation.
  1. Signaling items. Road flares and reflective signs should be part of your vehicle survival kit as you will be able to alert others (drivers or rescue parties) of your distress. While some people decide to keep in their cars only road flares since they have a double role, fire starter and signaling item, flares last only so long. On the other hand, a large reflective sign can be placed on the road or on top of your car and you won’t have to worry about its lifespan.
  2. Tire iron and jack. These basic items should be part of your survival vehicle kit as you will need the tire iron to break the lug nuts loose for each wheel and the jack to raise and lower your vehicle.
  3. A led lamp. While many people will keep a flashlight in their survival bag, having a led lamp (preferably a solar one) in your vehicle survival kit can prove much more useful. If you need to use both your hands for car repairs you can hang the lamp or place it wherever is needed.
  4. A small fire extinguisher. This item can help you put out small fires in your vehicle, preventing greater damage and loss. However, if you think gasoline is involved, you should keep your distance from a vehicle on fire.
  5. Food and water. You should already have some food and water packed in your survival bag and having a little extra will do no harm. I keep a 3 gallon water container in my car at all times and I also bought a case of 12 protein bars that I keep as emergency snacks.
  6. A first aid-kit. Once again, these should already be in your survival bag, but if that’s not the case or if you don’t have your bag with you, it would be wise to have a spare first-aid kit in your car. Don’t forget to also bring some toilet paper and feminine hygiene products, in case you will need them.
  7. Clothing for the season. Your survival bag might not be updated for the season and the clothes you placed in it may not fit your needs. Every fall I put some spare clothes in my car, just as a precautionary measure. I have a pair of pants, a wind and waterproof jacket, two pairs of socks, and a pair of boots. They might not be the best looking clothes, but they will do the job when needed.

 

  1. Navigation items. Today we are used to rely on our phones to navigate and to do pretty much everything we can think off. However, your phone may get damaged during an accident and you need to have backups. Having local road maps and a GPS system are the alternatives you should consider as these items will help you figure out how far you are from civilization and if you can get there.
  2. A multi-purpose stove like the Biolite Campstove. This ingenious stove system uses wood, twigs and all sorts of burning materials you can find in your environment to convert heat into electricity. Even more, you can cook your meals thanks to its various accessories, like he pot or the portable grill. This is an ideal survival item for any type of situation and you should have one in your car, regardless if you plan a hiking trip or prepare for an emergency situation.
  3. A cook set. People avoid adding pots and pans in their survival bags as they mostly carry ready to eat meals or foods that do not require cooking. Not to mention that such items can increase the weight of their bags. Since your vehicle handles all the heavy loads for you, it would be smart to add a cook set in your car.

 

  1. Everything else missing from your survival bag. If you have some items missing from your survival bag due to various considerations, it is recommended to keep them in your vehicle survival kit as a backup plan. You will not have to worry about carrying the extra load and bulk on you and they will come in handy when time comes, without having to improvise for substitutes.

Making a vehicle survival kit should be mandatory if you spend much of your time on the road, but also if you plan to be prepared for the unexpected. In recent years, there has been an increase in people being trapped in their cars due to various disasters events (mostly blizzards) and the majority was caught unprepared. I honestly don’t understand why people don’t make a survival vehicle kit, especially if they have enough room in their cars. You can make one based on your needs, place it in your car and forget about it until you need to use it.

Linked from: http://prepperswill.com/vehicle-survival-kit-road-emergencies/

Sleep and survival – smart prepper’s guide to choosing the best portable bed

Today, let’s talk essentials, but with a twist. We’ll talk about sleep and the choice of a best portable bed (air mattress or a sleeping pad) should you ever need one.The word, essentials has been used and rehashed in the preparedness community that the very meaning in vague for most people, so let us take a step back and ask ourselves, “What are the basic human needs?”

Water. Food. Sleep.

Right?

And while the topics of the clean water and water filtration systems and food, energy bars, our minimum needs are a subject of every 4th or 5th article that pops up in the community, try and think back to the last time you read an actionable article about sleep.

Chances are – you can’t…sleep is the one most commonly misunderstood basic human needs. The misconceptions about it have transferred from our everyday lives to the way we think about preparedness.

It all started the very first time we thought to ourselves, “I have to finish these reports but I’ll make up for the lost sleep at the weekend.”

Importance of sleep

The making up for the lost sleep at the weekend thing – IT’S A MYTH AND IT DOESN’T WORK. It’s been proven in studies for some time now that only one night of lost (or bad) sleep interferes with how our body functions.

And while those reports being late might not be such a big deal – what if you vigilance and responsiveness are affected when the time comes to defend what you love the most?

So, with that said, let us move on to the meat of this guide – proper planning of our sleeping arrangements or, to be more precise, choosing the best air mattresses for our shelters and sleeping pads for our BOBs.

Choosing an air mattress for our shelters

Whether you have an off-the-grid shelter or disaster strikes at home, the importance of owning a versatile secondary bed (s) cannot be over-stressed. There are a number of scenarios that will put them to good use.

Bear in mind that the kind of air mattresses we’re talking about here are only really an option for your shelter or as a backup bed to have in your home, not for your backpack. They are way too bulky and heavy.

Still, to get the most out of it, you have to know what you’re doing when choosing – so let’s make sure that you do.

Today, we’ll be talking about the INs and OUTs of choosing a good air mattress.

Materials of top airbeds

Most of airbeds are made of PVC, with some plasticizers added to increase durability and comfort – we want only the most durable and reliable air mattresses for our shelters.

There are thousands of them out there and it can be confusing, so let us cut through the clutter and get very specific about what to looks for.

Increased durability and low puncture resistance

Look for thicker PVC for increased durability. Go for anything close to 0.6 mm thick. Most of the airbeds will feature PVC that’s around 0.4 mm thick, there are only a handful that are extra thick…and don’t worry about not finding the information, those companies that make the extra-durable blow-up mattresses go out of their way to stress in the fact sheet.

Always take a special note of the weight of these babies because 50% added thickness will usually mean 50% added weight, so think about how that applies to your plans. It’s a good fit if it’s standing on the shelf in your shelter, but it’s not an option if you plan to bug out with your essentials in your backpack.

Safety and fumes

If you’ve ever owned an airbed, you know the issue of the rubbery smell lingering for days. It doesn’t feel great and there’s always that underlying feeling that it can’t be healthy.

In reality, safety concerns of an airbed are a thing of the past and the chemicals used in the manufacturing are a thing of the past. In fact, a study of off-gassing (fumes) as reported by users has shown that, in the long run, the issues of fumes and smells with airbeds is lower than any other type of mattresses (see graph below).

air mattress and fumes

Make sure that you inflate/deflate the air mattress a couple of times and leaving it out of that bag for a day or two before storing it on that shelf.

This will allow you to notice any flaws with the product as well as air it out and get rid of the plasticky smell.

If you still have concerns, you can always go with an air mattress that’s completely PVC-free and entirely textile-made. These are even more durable and less prone to punctures but there aren’t many of them and it might be a challenge to find one that would suit our other needs (like power-independent pump).

Power sources and the pump

Power outages are one of the first things that our minds go to when we think about calamity and it should, chances are high they’ll happen.

So the last thing that we want is to be stuck with a piece of plastic in a bag that requires electricity to be inflated, so…

Choose an air mattress that can be battery and manually-operated…

We are looking at an air mattress here with our prepper glasses on and the ones that you would do choose as a guest bed for when you have friends over will not do the trick.

We want a product that’s self-sufficient and that will serve its purpose even if the power is out. This spells battery or manually operated (preferably both).

Air Mattress Manual Pump

Lucky for us, there are airbeds out there that are designed for prolonged camping trips and these beds check all the boxes of our needs, too.

Making sure it fits the bill:

  1. Inflate/deflate the bed using the batteries or the manually/leg pump (usually comes separate)
  2. Make sure that the nozzles that come with the pump fit and can be used with your new air mattress
  3. Again, leave it out and inflate/deflate it a couple of times before storing to make sure it all works properly

Comfortable air mattress – what to look for

You might think that being comfortable is only secondary in a survival situation but let’s go a step back and remind ourselves of the importance of PROPER sleep.

Proper sleep doesn’t mean just getting the few hours – it means getting enough of all the sleep phases. That’s where the comfort comes in.

It might not be a big deal for a night or two, but should you find yourself sleeping on your secondary bed for months, it becomes increasingly important, so let’s take a moment and discuss what comfort means when it comes to air mattresses.

Chambers, weight distribution and comfort

When it comes to comfort, it all comes down to how well your weight is distributed across the sleeping surface – and chambered designed a much better job at that than any other internal structure.

Cchambered Design of an Airbed

Most of the time, the choice will come down to beams (air columns that run side to side) and the mentioned chambers.

Chambers pretty much act as a spring in a regular mattress, making the bed more comfortable and reducing the stress the seams suffer, making the bed most durable.

Go for 30+ chambers.

Thinking size and height

Air mattresses come in all the same sizes as your regular mattress and the size issue is pretty self-explanatory and comes down to what your space can accommodate but, thinking from a prepper’s perspective, twin size is the sweet spot.

Here’s why…

Twin size airbed comfortably sleeps two people. If you go a size up to a full, queen or king size and you still have a bed that can still only comfortably sleep two people but takes much more space.

You can also pick between a low rise and high-rise air mattress.

To sum it up – specifics of your scenario might change but generally, if you are looking for an air mattress for your shelter, a twin-sized chambered designed air mattress made of extra-durable PVC will cover most scenarios.

Thinking quality

An airbed is not something you can save a lot on and even if it was, you shouldn’t.

I guess you could say that about every item in your preparedness plan but it goes double for an air mattress since it is much more fragile and the difference between a high and low-quality airbed and a high and low-quality flashlight will be much more noticeable.

So, for your shelter, stick with the best brands and products that have stood the test of time.

How can you tell?

Look for low long the air mattress has been around

If you have set your eyes on a particular model, take your time researching it, looking it up on e-commerce sites and see how far back the users reviews go. Read the reviews of the air mattress and what people are sharing about it…its ability to hold air, the comfort, the reliability of the pump, etc.

Look for any changes in quality that might not be evident at first glance (know how to read air mattress reviews)

With the shady outsourcing practices and tenacious attempts of the companies to cut cost, it has never been more important to be an educated buyer.

Here’s a good tactic to spot any patterns of quality change – when you ticked all the quality and feature boxes, you still haven’t confirmed if the blow-up beds merit the ratings you are seeing today.

So, sort the reviews and read them starting from the more recent ones – these will be most relevant and will give you the best idea about the current quality of the air mattress.

Any change in quality will be reflected here.

Bottom line

A well-rounded survival plan cannot ignore sleeping preparations anyway you look at it.

What good is an expensive blade if the hand wielding it is shaking?

In Dirt Farmer Wisdom, Jo Jo Jansen says, “Without enough sleep, we all become tall two-year-olds” and he’s right on the money.

Protecting what you cherish and love calls for you to be your best self. Good sleep is an important piece of that puzzle.

Stay smart about staying safe.

Linked from: http://homesteadandprepper.com/sleep-and-survival-smart-preppers-guide-to-choosing-the-best-portable-bed/

The Prepper’s Holiday Season

christmas-family-photo-2

With the holiday season beginning, we think about how we are going to spend both our time and money to make certain that we make the most of the Family and enjoy the season.

Each family has passed down old traditions, and make new ones.  In our family, things are always in flux, with travel one year to one family and the next year to another.  We have been the position to make both husband and wifes families happy, with a selfless attitude toward everyone else’s perceived needs during the holiday season. Although our tradition is not to buy extravigant gifts but rather our holiday time focuses on spending quality time with each other, this is most definitely a tradition I want to pass on to our children.    The true gifts we pass on are our love, respect, and joy.  We have family scattered all over the nation, and when we all get the chance to come together, it’s a special occasion.  Along with our love, as in most God loving families, is a festive spirit that includes, food, gluttony, drinks, wine, and wine.  Our past times usually include card games, games of pool, and shooting guns in the back 40, all of which we always accuse my brother of cheating.christmas-nikki-and-dad

Your own holiday tradition probably looks a lot like ours and include parties, meals, wine, decorations, wine, and the exchange of gifts, large and small.  To help you with the gifting tradition – and especially the small gifts – I have come up with a holiday gift guide to help you select the perfect gift for loved ones close to you.

Stocking Stuffers (under $10)

Credit Card Multi Tool $3.00

Mini Stainless Multi Tool

Folding Credit Card Knife $3.00

Credit Card Folding Knife
Credit Card Folding Knife

Survival Bracelet $5.00

Survival Bracelet
Survival Bracelet

Survival Books $10-20

the-prepper-pocket-guide
The Prepper’s Pocket Guide

Survival Products $30-$60

Kommando Survival Kit
Kommando Survival Kit

Bullet Proof Rocket Stoves

 

Bullet Proof Rocket Stove
Bullet Proof Rocket Stove

BenchMade Knives Made in USA

Benchmade 4300 Auto Opening Knife
Benchmade 4300 Auto Opening Knife

Be creative, enjoy the love and friendship that about this time of year and have a fun, and stress-free gift giving experience.

May God Bless you and your family.

From the Family at SHTFandGO

 

Crisis at Work: Hurricane and Emergency Preparedness for Small Businesses

Hurricane Sandy, Ocean Grove Pier - New Jersey, October 29, 1012 - Photograph by Bob Bowné

Let’s start at the very beginning. Why do you need a small business disaster recovery plan? The answer is simple. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), nearly 40 percent of small businesses never reopen after a disaster. An even greater number fail within 1 to 3 years, due to insurmountable losses.

While the recent devastation from Hurricane Matthew may lead some to believe that business emergency preparedness applies only to large storms or natural disasters, the fact is that there are many emergencies you should prepare for that can interrupt operations and profitability, from localized outages to random fires, floods and more.

According to the 2014 Disaster Recovery Preparedness Benchmark Survey, over 75% of businesses have experienced the loss of at least one critical application after a power outage – leading to an estimated cost of more than $5,000 per minute. For tech reliant companies, that’s a lot to put at stake for lack of preparation.

While there are many kinds of disasters that can strike and many reasons that businesses may fail afterward, doing your business disaster planning ahead of time is an essential step to being able to recover, reopen and recoup your losses in the event of any emergency. It’s crucial not only to have the correct insurance plans in place to protect your physical assets, but also to have strong business continuity and emergency preparedness plans so during a crisis situation at work, you can put your company in position to survive.

How Do Disasters Impact Small Businesses?

Beyond the immediate economic impact of a shutdown, business disruption due to floods and hurricanes, fires, outages and other emergencies can impact your company’s chances of survival in many ways.

Physical Damage

The first way that your business could be impacted is though physical damage to the premises and facility, including the building itself, pipes, ventilation systems and more. Consider what emergencies have happened in your area before and how they’ve impacted the businesses around you. What would the cost of not doing business for an hour, day, week or even longer be? It’s time to consider how to mitigate those losses. Review your insurance policies now – the cost to rebuild is often what results in closed doors.

1994, Los Angeles, California, USA --- Original caption: Los Angeles, California: Earthquake Aftermath. --- Image by © David Butow/Corbis

1994, Los Angeles, California, USA – Image by © David Butow/Corbis

Staffing and Clients

The second way a business will be impacted during an emergency is in staffing and customer retention. Employees may be evacuated or otherwise unable to come to work during the disaster, while significant damage to the area may impact both your staff and customers’ ability to return to their homes, jobs and consumer behaviors. What plans do you have in place to prepare for a change in your staffing or client base? Consider having a remote operations plan to ensure essential services continue in the event of on-site interference.

Business Disaster Planning: Be Prepared in Advance

The basics of business disaster planning have to do with effective preparation, testing, training and leadership. You have to prepare your small business continuity and recovery plans, test them regularly, train your people to perform their roles and have strong leaders in place to ensure they’re carried out when disaster strikes.

Getting Your Business Ready

Here are some of the technical things you might want to consider investing in now so you don’t regret it after a disaster:

  • Lightweight laptop that’s connected to essential business systems
  • Cell phone with mobile Wi-Fi capabilities or another sources of localized Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Cloud storage for essential documents
  • Off-premise operations hub

With cloud storage becoming more and more accessible and affordable, I highly recommend you save important business documents to a cloud storage platform, so you can still access crucial information should your on-site records be unsalvageable. It’s also important to consider where you’ll base operations if an evacuation order is issued or you’re otherwise unable to use your current facility due to damage

If you end up stranded in the office, you’ll also want to have what I call a “business BOB” on hand. Keep your bug-out bag in an area you’ll be able to access in an emergency, and stock it with essential items that can make the difference between life and death when you’re stranded at work.

Your business BOB should include enough supplies to support the people in your office for at least 72 hours:

  • Nonperishable foods and a way to prepare them – consider what you’ll do if there’s no power
  • Water, and plenty of it
  • A first aid kit, medical supplies and basic toiletries including soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste, deodorant, feminine products, baby wipes, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, etc.
  • Flashlights/Headlamp
  • Blankets
  • A toolkit including a compass, flashlights, duct tape, lighters, and other common tools

You may also want to consider having backup systems of defense should your alarm systems go out – especially if your facility is at high-risk for looting or other forms of opportunism that are common during emergencies.

emergency-preparedness

Getting Your People Ready

When it comes to human resources, the most important thing to consider is leadership and communication.

  • Establish leadership in advance. You should choose leaders with a high degree of trust, integrity, capability and experience.
    • Who should employees go to with questions about their work during an emergency? If you are stranded on-site, you’ll need leaders to supervise different essential areas, including food, defense, medical services and even conflict resolution.
  • Establish communications systems, buddy systems and meeting places. What will you do if wireless networks are down and you’re stranded at work?
    • Consider having a battery-operated, solar or reliable ham radio, satellite phone and other emergency communication systems on hand that can allow two-way communication and information delivery when cell phone towers and other business systems are down.
    • Sign up for alerts from the Red Cross and local authorities so you stay up-to-date on the state of the emergency.
  • Make sure every member of the team has a role and a job to do. Consider individual skill-sets – including any medical, counseling or defense training – and how they would be best put to use. Giving everyone a role not only expands the human resources you have available, but it also helps keep people calm in a crisis situation.

Long before disaster strikes, the business continuity plans you create must be shared with and practiced by employees so they know exactly what to do before panic sets in. Test your plans regularly, train employees to carry it out, assess effectiveness and always solicit for feedback. Having a plan will do nothing if it’s not tested, refined and continually refreshed.

It’s also smart to communicate your emergency and business continuity plans with any business partners who may be impacted by an interruption in your operations so they, too, know what to expect. Alerting them in advance will help them know how to stay in touch with you and help you avoid increased losses both during and after disaster.

Crisis at Work: Putting Your Plan into Action

If you’ve prepared well in advanced, you should be able to put your emergency business continuity and disaster recovery plans into action relatively smoothly. Of course, during a disaster, nothing is for sure, so here are a few tips to ensure you stay as safe as possible:

  • Immediately deploy your emergency communications system when disaster strikes to keep staff and customers alert, aware and ready to act.
  • Always follow evacuation orders and use the information available to get employees and personnel safely out of harm’s way before disaster strikes.
  • If you’re unable to exit the premises in an emergency, secure your location, people, supplies and equipment.
  • Remember that every member of your organization has value in an emergency. Just like managers look for employees’ best use when it comes to day-to-day operations, it’s important that you find the best way for everyone to contribute in an emergency so that no one feels helpless or alone.

That last point is probably the most important – beyond actually having a small business emergency recovery plan in place. Emotions run high in emergency situations, so you need to be ready to help people cope. Being sufficiently prepared prior to a disaster will go a long way to keeping everyone calm and collected until you make it safely to the other side.

Small Business Disaster Planning Resources

Explore FEMA’s Small Business Preparedness Toolkit, featuring a range of resources and planning documents.

Use the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Sample Emergency Preparedness Checklist to create your own disaster checklist today.

Specific disaster preparedness information and sample assessment forms for small businesses are available at PrepareMyBusiness.org.

Get more resources from the Small Business Association:

  • Disaster Assistance Information to help you recover after a disaster.
  • Disaster Planning Resources to guide your emergency preparedness and business continuity plans and protect your assets during a disaster.
  • Also find Emergency Preparedness Resources that cover different types of natural and manmade disasters

Linked from: http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2016/10/27/crisis-at-work-hurricane-and-emergency-preparedness-for-small-businesses/

 

How to Be a Prepper in College

university-of-washington

We all prep for different scenarios, and start at different times in our lives. What made you start prepping? Did someone convince you that it’s a good idea? What’s your excuse for not prepping? Most of the people I try to get prepared have many excuses for not starting. Being 22 and just one semester away from getting my bachelor’s, the most common excuse I hear is I can’t afford it. Well I say. If there’s a will,  there’s a way and in this article I am going to share how I practice being a prepper in college.

I grew up in a small farm town of 3500 people. Growing up I wasn’t in boy scouts. I was just a kid that liked shooting guns. We always had a little bit of food set aside, and we would always rotate food. I never realized what it was for. I never recall them talking about any radical ideas for it, just thought it was a good idea to stocked. Just. In. Case.

For the past four and a half years I’ve lived in a small apartment (now in a duplex) in a college town with a population of nearly 91,000.

The first couple years of my college life I was on campus in the dorms. Luckily for me, being on a native American campus we have a good amount of mother nature on our campus. Mother nature always provides, but you have to know where and what.

I have a pretty small collective of friends that I fully trust, but I have several acquaintances and connections that give me opportunity. My close friends my age know I prep, but they always say it costs too much to start prepping. While they say this I think in my head how much they drink and go out. Obviously you still need to live life and enjoy it, but I believe at some point you have to prioritize for the well-being of yourself and your family’s safety. There’s plenty of money to be made, and plenty of deals to be had. Building one bug out bag takes a good amount of planning and strategy which takes time. Just having one bag puts you ahead of most people in urban areas. I built my several bags and prep’s by purchasing one piece at a time. There is no excuse for the lack of prepping.

Prepping doesn’t have to cost a fortune

I’ve always had a knack for finding good deals. In no way am I wealthy, but I grew up wheeling and dealing. I am constantly scouring Craigslist, Facebook marketplace, etc. I work hard for my money, and when it’s not enough I find side jobs come in handy. Most college towns have places where you can donate plasma. This is a good way to build some spending money. My part-time job is an auto detailer for a dealership. I’ve found that I’m quite good at it and I like doing it. It is becoming a lost art and there is a lot of money to be made.

Side jobs are likely necessary to have enough cash to spend on discretionary supplies.

Side jobs are likely necessary to have extra cash to spend on discretionary supplies. Competition is fierce for these spots.

Another misconception that is popular with college kids making excuses in my area is that it’s all about spending money. Prepping isn’t only material things. Sure it’s a big part of it, but it’s also a mentality. Everyday I think what if’s and different scenarios to challenge my mind. Prepping is a prepared state of mind. This website and others brought me very good insight as to what I could and should do in different emergency scenarios. Even if you can’t afford to build several bug out bags, buy firearms, stockpile food and water, then you should definitely be researching other aspirations. Knowledge is power and there is a lot of survival information to be had on the internet! Not everyone grew up as a boy scout, I know I didn’t. Knots can be as important as knowing how to skin an animal, or what plants are edible.

Friends of mine that try to prep dismiss the fact that upon the beginning stages of WROL it will be a blood bath at regular store such as: grocery stores, pharmacies, gun stores, etc. They all say oh I’ll just go grab some food at the store. No. It won’t work that way. This is why it is very important for us to prep. Even if you live in the dorms it would be a very good idea to have some canned food, bottled water, flashlights, and batteries hidden away. There’s plenty more you can prep for but I believe most people I talk to could not handle a stressful event such as SHTF. If you have a little prior knowledge to survival and your environment, then it should help you prepare mentally. Having a small stockpile of supplies can be a safety net, and should provide you a little bit of time to collect your thoughts as to what just happened and forming your game-plan.

Start small but build continuously

I am just now starting to buy some canned food to put aside just in case of a power outage. A single can of corn in my area is merely 69 cents. It is easy and cheap to stock up on canned foods to keep in your place of residence. The only problem I see is when you must bug out, the canned food will be very, very heavy. Make sure to keep your home stockpile separate from your bug out bag supplies. A good habit for both is to still use the supplies in both spots and replace them with new ones to keep the “best by” date as far out as possible.

dormfood

It is easy and cheap to stock up on canned foods to keep in your place of residence.

My generation has lost the ability to be self-sufficient and prepared. For other college students reading this and wanting help to prep on a very tight budget, I urge you to read as much as you can. Free information will only be around as long as society holds up. To be clear I definitely live the “college experience”. I don’t go to parties or go out for nights of binge drinking. There is other ways to be social and they are much cheaper.

The biggest challenge in prepping for a college student is preparing for an active shooter. You don’t know when it’s coming, from where, or how many there are. Most college campuses don’t allow firearms or conceal carry. Some states are starting to allow conceal carry on campus which, in my opinion is a great idea. My state is one of those starting to allow that. Unfortunately for me I go to a Native American College that is federally owned so the law doesn’t hold there. How do you prep for an active shooter if you’re not allowed to have even a pocket knife, and you don’t want to break the law? This question brings me back to what I stated earlier about reading as much information as you can. The have been survivors of every school shooting and their stories are out there.

So I am constantly reading and building my knowledge of survival. Now what? Personally a bug out bag is my go to item to start with for any prep. Whether you believe in TEOTWAWKI or just wanna have a head start on a natural disaster there is always room for a bug out bag, and it is very important to have this bag with you at all times. I have found that Walmart can sell everything you would need for a bug out bag. Piece by piece you will complete it. That being said don’t be that person to go buy a “pre-made emergency bag” they are made in bulk and most likely won’t be very accepting to your specific needs. MRE’s are a good choice for any style of bag as well as freeze dried foods. You need to always consider where you would go, how far is it, and the terrain you would trek through. If you have found that there is several options for water I would choose Mountain House freeze-dried meals because, they are light and filling. If water sources will be scarce then MRE’s take much less water.

For the preppers who believe in the large-scale, scary things that could potentially happen remember that there’s always going to be someone wanting to take what you have. I once read a very good article on here that mentioned that no matter where you hunker down there will be people after it. You WILL be overrun. That has always stuck with me and because of it I am constantly thinking where would I go now? Where would I go next? I suggest knowing your terrain and various routes to get around area’s that are going to be most likely a huge mess.

A lot of the things I’ve talked about have been really similar. The constant repetition should help retain the information for all the young, hard-headed, minds I am trying motivate. I’ve only scratched the surface of what I could say, but for my first article I wanted to keep it short and to the point. Bottom line is if you keep making excuses you may find yourself scrambling when the stuff starts hitting the fan.

Linked from: http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2016/10/28/how-to-be-prepper-in-college/

Preparing a Wild Turkey

Intro: Cleaning Your Wild Turkey

You have finally achieved a successful turkey hunt and the most difficult part is over. But, there is still a lot of work to do cleaning the bird to get it ready to be put in the freezer. One of the most common questions and concerns of new turkey hunters is how to clean a turkey after they have shot it. This article will hopefully answer most of the questions about cleaning a turkey with some of the techniques I and many other hunters utilize.

Step 1: Make a Decision


The cleaning or field dressing process begins right after you shoot your bird. The first thing you need to decide after the pictures are taken is what you are going to do with your turkey.

Make a decision immediately about whether you will have the turkey mounted. This will determine how you will proceed with the cleaning process and how much care you should take transporting your turkey. If you are planning on having the bird mounted, do not field dress the bird.

You might also consider how you plan on cooking the turkey. Roasting, smoking or whole deep frying are cooking processes that work best with the skin still on the turkey, although there are techniques for a skinless turkey as well. Frying or grilling pieces of turkey will work well with a bird that has been skinned.

At this point , you have basically three options for continuing cleaning your wild turkey.

  1. Prepare bird for the taxidermist.
  2. Field dress the bird if it’s hot or you’re a long way from home.
  3. Wait until you get home before proceeding with cleaning the bird. If it’s cool enough and you have a relatively short trip home, you can wait before taking on the task of cleaning the turkey.

Preparing Your Wild Turkey for the Taxidermist

If you are thinking about having a turkey mounted by a taxidermist, by all means, shop around by visiting professional taxidermists in your area before you go hunting and get a feeling for the quality of their work and the prices they will charge. If you don’t have a good taxidermist in your area do not get discouraged. There are many excellent taxidermists all across the country and by asking friends and fellow hunters or doing your own research, you can find a quality taxidermist. Spending a little extra money to ship your bird is well worth it to get an excellent reminder of your trophy hunt. Mounting a wild turkey is not easy and if you let an amateur mount if for you, don’t expect excellent results.

The secret to getting good taxidermy mounts of any animal is 1) Keeping the animal in as good as condition as possible before it reaches the taxidermist, and 2) Choosing a qualified taxidermist.

Before the Hunt

Finding a good taxidermist is up to you but there are some tips that will help you get your bird to the taxidermist in as good of condition as possible. These are some general ideas and your taxidermist may have specific instructions on the way he likes to receive birds.

First, make sure and take on your hunt a large plastic bag and a cooler large enough to lay the bird in without scrunching up the tail feathers. Take with you some paper towels, cotton balls, and either a large plastic bag, a section of used panty hose, or both. Many taxidermists recommend using a section of used panty hose cut from the thigh area as a covering for the bird to keep the feathers in place. Cut out a section of the hose from the thigh area and tie up one end. Then after you shoot a bird, carefully slip the bird into the bag head first, pulling the stocking over its entire body. This will help keep all of the feathers in place. You can also just use a large plastic bag and slip the bird inside it and carefully carry it out of the woods.

Shooting the Bird

When you harvest a bird, always try for a clean head and neck shot. If you want the tail feathers to look good, do not shoot the bird head-on while it is strutting. The shotgun pattern will shred through the tail feathers and that will not look good at all. In fact, it’s best not to shoot a strutting bird period. Tthe best shot to take is a side shot with the bird’s neck stretched up. This should keep all of the shotgun pellets well away from the tail and wing feathers. It is much easier for a taxidermist to replace or repair a shot-up head than to try and repair or replace tail and wing feathers.The distance should be around 25 to 30 yards which is a good distance to aim for any time you are hunting turkeys. This yardage allows for a clean kill without too dense of a shot pattern which may cause extreme damage to the head and neck. If for some reason you do need a second shot to kill the bird, try and take it at the head only and from a sufficient distance to limit more damage to the bird.

After any turkey is shot, they often thrash around on the ground before dying. There really is not a lot you can do about this since picking up a thrashing turkey is not very smart. Your best hope is that he will drop dead and lay stone still after the shot which does occasionally happen. If he does flop around, pick up all of the loose feathers you can find and send them along with the bird to your taxidermist.

After the Shot


After the bird is dead, there are three keys to getting your bird to the taxidermist in prime condition.

  1. Keep the plumage dry and clean. Stuff paper towels or cotton balls into the bird’s mouth and anus to keep any blood or body fluids from soiling the feathers. Also, if there are any large or bloody wounds, stuff them also to keep as much blood off of the feathers as possible. It may be necessary to wrap the head in paper towels if it is really bloody.
  2. Limit feather loss and damage by slipping the bird into either the pantyhose section or a large plastic bag or both. Be very conscious of the tail feathers and do not scrunch or bend them. If the bird flopped around a lot, be sure and pick up any of the loose feathers.
  3. Keep the bird cool – As soon as possible, start cooling the bird by placing it in a large cooler. If you have to wait more than several hours to get it to a taxidermist, you will probably need to freeze the bird.

Also, do not field dress the bird. Most taxidermists would much rather field dress and skin the bird themselves.

Storing and Shipping

If you do not have a taxidermist picked out or you have to store the bird for a long period of time you will have to freeze the bird. Just make sure the bird has plenty of room and do not pile other items onto the bird. If you need to ship the bird to a taxidermist, contact them and ask about the best way to do this. They will be up to date on any airline regulations and can give you the best methods for safely shipping your bird.

In conclusion, try and choose a bird in great condition to be mounted and find a good, quality taxidermist. It’s worth paying a little more up front to have a long-lasting, beautiful memory of a trophy hunt.

Field Dressing Your Wild Turkey

Field dressing is essentially gutting the bird in the field while leaving the feathers on. Removing the guts or entrails is important to help allow the bird to cool faster and to keep the “juices” inside the bird from spoiling any meat. If it is a cool day and you aren’t far from home, you can skip the field dressing step and wait until you are home before cleaning the bird.

Here are the steps for gutting or field dressing a wild turkey:

  1. Lay the turkey on its back.
  2. Follow the breast down to the rear of the bird until it narrows to a point between the legs.
  3. Pull up on the tip and cut the bird open by making a shallow horizontal incision (through the skin only) between the tip of the breast and the vent (anus). It helps to pull out a few of the feathers in this spot so you can cut more easily.
  4. Make the incision large enough to insert your hand and pull out the entrails, making sure to pull out the heart and lungs.
  5. Cut around the vent (anus) by carefully following the intestine back and then cutting around its exterior. This is where you need to be careful since you don’t want any of the intestine’s contents getting on the turkey.
  6. Remove the crop (sac-like thing filled with what the turkey’s been eating) by making a cut on the neck of the turkey and reaching down and removing the crop located at the top of the breast.
  7. Rinse out with water and wipe with paper towels if you have these available.

Plucking Your Wild Turkey

The traditional way to clean a wild turkey is to pluck the feathers off and then gut the bird. This will keep the skin on the turkey which will give it more moisture and flavor after you cook it. You can also save the “giblets” (heart, liver, gizzard) from the bird and make a traditional turkey gravy later when you cook it.

It is preferable to pluck the turkey before removing the entrails. This keeps feathers from getting inside the bird cavity and in general keeps things cleaner. If you’ve already field-dressed the bird, don’t worry about it but be sure and rinse out the cavity good to remove any feathers when you are done plucking.

Turkeys have over 5,000 feathers on them and it is easier to remove them if the bird is dipped in hot water. Some people use boiling water but many people swear that water at 140 degrees is the optimal temperature for plucking a bird. Once a bird has been dipped in hot water, the feathers will come off much easier and they also are easier to handle since they are damp and they won’t fly around the room. A large washtub is best for dipping the bird but you may have to improvise if one’s not available. The large primary wing feathers can also be a problem and it’s easier to just remove the wing at the first joint past the shoulder so those very large primary feathers don’t have to be pulled out.

If you have left the legs on to help you dip the bird, you now need to cut them off. Then it is time to go ahead and remove the entrails by gutting the bird. This process is basically the same as Field Dressing with the exception of needing to remove the head with a large knife, cleaver or hatchet. Some people also like to use the neck to toss in the stock pot. That is your choice. You can also save the turkey giblets (heart, liver, gizzard) and use them to make a traditional turkey gravy. The gizzard is what allows the bird to grind up its food. Be sure and cut the gizzard open and to thoroughly clean it.

You should now have a cleaned bird that is ready to be cooked or frozen.

Skinning and Fileting Your Wild Turkey

Another option to the plucking and gutting method is to skin and then filet the bird’s breast meat off and remove the legs and thighs. This method is quick and easy and allows you to remove the meat from the bird without even opening up the body cavity. If you plan on roasting, smoking or whole deep frying your turkey, you might stick with plucking and gutting the bird since this method does not save the skin. I generally cook my turkey by frying or grilling pieces of turkey; using methods that make up for not having the skin on.

Generally, the areas I hunt are only about a half hour or less from my home so I never worry about field dressing the turkey. I just take it home and clean it immediately. I also hunt in Kansas and the weather is typically very cool during most of the spring and fall turkey seasons. On one hunt during the spring, the weather changed from sunny, to rain. to hail, to sleet and finally snow. If it is warm where you are hunting and it takes you awhile to get to a place to finish dressing the turkey, by all means field dress it first.

  1. If you are saving the tail fan or cape from the turkey, remove them first. I also always remove the beard before starting to clean the bird. If you are not saving the bird’s cape or tail you can leave them on and start by laying the turkey on it’s back.
  2. To begin removing the breast filets, pluck some feathers from the middle of the breast and make a small cut through the skin. Then work your fingers underneath the skin and pull the skin back from the breast down to the sides of the turkey.
  3. Find the breast bone and start by cutting down one side of the breast bone to loosen the breast filet from the bone. This cut will run from the lower tip of the breast all of the way along the breast bone and eventually up along the wishbone and to the shoulder / wing joint..
  4. Start at the bottom tip of the breast and work your way from the rear of the breast forward, fileting off the breast by pulling the filet and using the knife to help separate the breast where needed. Be careful of the crop when you get to the top of the breast. (The crop is the balloon-like sac up between the two halves of the breast by the neck). It is full of some nasty stuff and you don’t want to puncture it.
  5. Repeat this for the other side of the breast.
  6. Remove the thigh/leg by flipping the turkey over on it’s breastbone and skinning the thigh and leg.
  7. After they are skinned, cut through the thigh muscle where it attaches to the back. To help this process, grab the leg/thigh and bend them up towards the backbone until the joint pops loose. Keep working and cutting through the thigh until you can free the thigh/leg from the turkey’s body. Repeat for the other side. I usually then cut through the leg joint and separate the drumstick from the thigh. Wild turkey drumsticks are notoriously tough when you cook them. They also have tons of tiny, tough, bone-like tendons running through them. The only way I’ve found to make them edible is to cook them for a long time in a crockpot and sometimes on an old gobbler this doesn’t even work.

I hope these methods will help you enjoy your turkey.

Linked from: http://www.survival-spot.com/survival-blog/preparing-a-wild-turkey/

7 Ways to Recover When Life Sucks

7-ways-to-recover-when-life-sucks

You know what a curve ball is, right?  In baseball, the term curveball is used to describe a pitch of the ball that is thrown with spin so that its path curves as it approaches the batter.  In other words, it is a ball that is unexpected and when it arrives, it takes you by surprise.

Alas, in life, curve balls come out of nowhere all of the time.  Something unexpected happens that throws you off your game.  In the survival and prepping world, this could be a flood, a storm, a power outage or something more esoteric such as the loss of one’s job, ill health, or even financial collapse.  When this happens, we suffer fear, disappointment, vulnerability, and a loss of control.  In general, life sucks.

So what can you do?  I know that I am the first to always remind you to go with the flow, to buck up and to move forward.  I am always coaching you to not let the woes of life and the world render you incapable of action.  On the other hand, when sucky things happen, the aftermath can be devastating to morale and to physical well being.

Couple the stress of prepping with life’s daily set backs, and you have a recipe for a train wreck.  Or do you?

Sucky Things Happen

I first wrote about life’s little (and not so little) curve balls in 2012.  At the time, over a two week period I had been slammed with a number of calamities and, to be honest, it sucked.

  • I zoomed out of the house for an overnight trip and left the freezer door open.  Not even a whole house generator can remedy that.   An entire freezer full of food gone.
  • I had to have my second root canal in less than two months.  No insurance for that, just a major hit to the bank account.
  • A young family member of a dear friend suffered a medical calamity with recovery long and arduous at best.
  • My kitchen faucet literally fell apart and I had no kitchen water for a week while waiting for a plumber and parts.  (Good thing my Berkey was on hand for drinking water.)

More recently, the curve balls have had to do with eye surgery (one eye good, the other less so), and the stress of selling my home then having the buyers back out.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I list these not to start a pity party but only to point out that in the normal course of living  life, curve balls can and do happen.  They happen all of the time for better or for worse.  They happen under very ordinary circumstances to very ordinary people.

 

Seven Ways to Recover from Life’s Little Curve Balls

 1.  Call a friend.  Have a nice little chat – not about your woes and certainly not a pity party.  Instead, talk about the movies, your favorite foods, gossip, anything.  Enjoy your friendship and take a break from whatever it is that troubles you.

2.  Get dressed up and look your best.  Pick out a nice outfit and wear it.  It makes no matter that no one is going to see you.  Wear make-up if that is your thing (ladies) and cologne (both men and ladies).  Look terrific when you peek in the mirror and your day will seem better.

3.  Take your dog for a walk or hike.  Rain or shine, take a walk with your dog or other pet.  Some good, old-fashioned fresh air will put a revitalized spring in your step.  Plus, the antics of our four-legged friends will most assuredly make you want to smile.

4.  Eat some comfort food.  Strange as it sounds, my favorite comfort food is a baked potato or two or three.  So whatever floats your boat, have some.  Make a meal out of chocolate cake if that is what it takes.  You are your own judge and jury and sometimes you need to cut yourself a bit of slack in the healthy food department.

5.  Get out the adult coloring books and go at it.  I have been known to cue up music or an audiobook then color for hours. As someone who was born with a missing artistic gene, I derive great pride in my creations and find peace and relaxation in the process. There really is something to it which is why I mention adult coloring so often.

6.  Take a bubble bath. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil plus some Epsom salts then fill the tub. Put on some soothing music or close the door and bask in the quiet.  It is just my opinion but these days the simple pleasure of taking a bubble bath is being lost in the shuffle of our connected lives.  Note:  bubble baths are for real men too, not just the ladies.

7.  Get over it.  Okay – this is the hard one.  But stuff happens.  It will always happen.  Once you have gone through steps 1 to 6, you will be in the right frame of mind to say “S*it happens so get over it”.  Slap yourself in the forehead as the light bulb goes off and move on.

 

The Final Word

When hit with daily nuisances and woes,  I tend to sit down and gather my wits as a coping mechanism.  And sometimes I cry.  But when all is said and done, I take it all in stride and prevail.  The next day I get up, wash my face, put shoes on, and start the day anew.  I become a soldier marching down my own path with my head held high and a goal and purpose.  Preparing, and being a prepper, has taught me that life goes on and that worse things can happen.

The next time a curve ball is headed your way and you and you say “now what?”, why not pull out this list and act on it?  With a wee bit of fortitude and luck, your outlook will improve just like mine does.

Linked from: http://www.backdoorsurvival.com/7-ways-to-recover-when-life-sucks/

Why Store Fish Antibiotics For Survival

why-store-fish-antibiotics-for-survival

I first learned about fish antibiotics in 2012 when I struggled with a tooth abscess while on vacation in the middle of nowhere.  I was totally unprepared for a bacterial infection and going forward, was determined to stockpile antibiotics for emergency purposes down the road.

As a layman and not a healthcare professional, this was not casual research.  I went to many sources, looked at bottles, and asked a lot of questions.  I came away confident that lacking proper medical facilities, the judicious use of fish and veterinary antibiotics would be safe in a SHTF situation.  And the best part about it?  Fish antibiotics are readily available online at reasonable prices without a prescription.

It was an epiphany.

But as I said, I am not a health care professional and am hesitant to offer even a modicum of advice on this subject.  On the other hand, contributing author Dr. Joe Alton is a medical doctor and is well versed in survival medicine.  In another exclusive article for Backdoor Survival, he is here today to share his knowledge of fish antibiotics and why peppers should include them as part of their long-term survival plan.

Why Store “Fish” Antibiotics?

By Joe Alton, MD

Years ago, I wrote the first article by a physician on the utility of certain antibiotics used in the aquarium and bird hobbies. Since then, fish antibiotics have become a part of many medical kits for those concerned about long-term survival. Indeed, a cottage industry has arisen to provide these products.

In my, perhaps, unique position as a doctor and a fish/bird keeper (everything from raising tilapia in ponds, breeding show bettas, and T.D. Bird, our 30 year old African Grey parrot), I’ve had the opportunity to treat both humans and animals that have bacterial infections.

When a human patient had a bacterial infection that required antibiotics, I might give them, say, amoxicillin. When a fish developed fin rot, I might use a product called Fish-Mox. For many years, I never gave it another thought.

Over time, however, I began to realize that there were avoidable deaths in long-term survival. With a large number of people performing activities they were unaccustomed to, such as chopping wood, injuries would occur. Some of these would get infected and could enter the bloodstream, a condition called septicemia, leading to life-threatening consequences. Having antibiotics in the survival medic’s kit could save lives otherwise lost.

This was illustrated in the 2010 History Channel offering “After Armageddon”. In the program, the Johnson family has survived a pandemic and was “bugging out”. They eventually joined a community of survivors. The father injures himself doing activities of daily survival, and incurs a cut that becomes infected. The community has run out of antibiotics and he, a paramedic himself, slowly dies as a result of the spreading infection. See it here (go to 1 hour 21 minutes to see the tragic outcome):

Here is a direct link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtP80Z08lfg

But how to get a reasonable supply of antibiotics? A sympathetic doctor may give you a prescription for 20 pills, but that would run out very quickly in a survival setting. You’d need to stockpile enough for long-term survival settings.

So I took a second look at some of my fish antibiotics. I examined a product called Fish Mox Forte. This fish medication contained only one ingredient: Amoxicillin 500mg. Nothing there that made your scales shinier or your fins longer.

Investigating further, I found that Fish Mox is produced in two dosages: 250mg and 500mg, the same dosages used in humans. Why would a guppy need the same amount of antibiotic as an adult human (no instructions for fish bowls compared to 200 gallon aquariums)?

I decided to compare samples of human Amoxicillin 500mg produced by Dava Pharmaceuticals and Fish Mox Forte (the 500mg version). The human version was a red and pink capsule with the numbers and letters WC 731 on it; Fish Mox Forte was a red and pink capsule with the numbers and letters WC 731 on it. In other words: Identical.

Why would companies use the same appearance and identification numbers if they are producing a different, lower grade product for veterinary use? First, it’s likely illegal to do so; second, It’s simple enough to just use a different colored capsule.

I found a number of fish and bird antibiotics that met my criteria, purchasable in quantity and without a prescription. They:

  • Had only 1 ingredient, the antibiotic itself
  • Were only produced in human dosages
  • Were identical in appearance to antibiotics produced by at least one human pharmaceutical company.

It was clear to me (and verified by readers who worked in the pharmacy and veterinary industries over the years) that they are the exact same products, taken from the same batches produced for humans.

This wasn’t true of all veterinary products. Some had additional ingredients that gave benefits to specific animals, others were in larger dosages that are not advisable in humans (for example, equine meds).

So let’s go back to the important question: Are the fish and bird antibiotics I write about useful additions to your survival medical storage? Some deaths may be unavoidable in a situation without rule of law, but does it make any sense not to have medicines that could possibly prevent an unnecessary death?

Of course, you’ll need to study antibiotics in detail to be effective as the medic for a survival group. Antibiotics are not something to use injudiciously; veterinary antibiotics are no different. Indeed, the overuse of antibiotics is the cause for the epidemic of antibiotic resistance we see today. 80% of these meds are used in livestock, mostly to speed growth rather than to treat disease. The CDC is starting to control the use of antibiotics, but are starting with livestock like cows, pigs, and chickens.

If you can obtain antibiotics in quantity now, you should consider it for use in survival settings. Having said this, don’t use them when doctors exist to prescribe standard medications for bacterial disease. You’ll need to be able to recognize bacterial infections (antibiotics don’t kill viruses) to use them effectively. This isn’t always easy. Learn what infections look like and get needed supplies; you just might save the life of a loved one in times of trouble.

 

The Final Word

I don’t believe in popping antibiotics every time I get a sniffle. And, for that matter, antibiotics do nothing at all to fight virus infections.  On the other hand, being prepared for a bacterial infection is just one more step toward surviving a major disruptive event were there is a likelihood of injury or disease.

Linked from: http://www.backdoorsurvival.com/why-store-fish-antibiotics-for-survival/

10 Ways to Use Epsom Salts Now and During a Major Crisis

10-ways-to-use-epsom-salts

Over the years, I have learned that superstars of preparedness are those items that serve multiple purposes.  In many cases, these are common, everyday items that we already have on hand.  Not only that, many of these multi-taskers are budget friendly and available everywhere.  Some good examples include vinegar, salt, honey, duct tape, coffee filters, and even microfiber cloths.

There is one preparedness multi-tasker whose list of uses is so diverse that you will wonder why you had not thought of stockpiling it previously.  I am referring to old fashioned Epsom salts.

Let’s start with a bit of history.  According to this article on PubMed, the purgative effect of the waters of the town of Epsom UK were first discovered in the early seventeenth century. Epsom, the town, was subsequently developed as a great English spa where high society flocked to take the medicinal waters.  Eventually, Dr. Nehemiah Grew, a distinguished physician, botanist and early Fellow of the Royal Society, extracted Epsom salts from the spa, and the rest is history.

Since then, Epsom salts have been used for a multitude of beneficial purposes—from fertilizing gardens worldwide to easing muscle aches and other ailments.  But what about specific uses to the prepper and survivalist?

With the able assistance of Carmella Tyrell, here are 10 ways to use Epsom Salts both now and during a major disruptive event.

What are Epsom Salts?

Did you know that Epsom Salts (Magnesium Sulfate) have many medicinal, household, and garden uses? If not, then you probably dismissed them as an important part of your prepper stockpile. Nevertheless, in a pinch, Epsom salts can be used in place of more expensive items and perhaps even work better than expected. If you are looking to save money, create a smaller cache of diverse bug out gear supplies, or just want to make it easier to manage your home, it is well worth looking into Epsom salts.

Epsom Salt or Magnesium Sulfate is a common mineral found throughout the world. You can obtain your own Epsom Salt by boiling down ocean water (you can also get table salt from the same source), or pick up the crystals from around mines, hot springs, or other areas where magnesium sulfate can leach from the rocks and bind with water. Since Epsom Salt is so common in the environment, you can be assured of a steady supply of it when other items in your stockpile run out.

Controversies and Precautions When Using Epsom Salts

Many people believe that when Epsom salts are mixed with warm water, it becomes possible for the salts to pass through the skin as magnesium and sulfate. Even though magnesium is very important for maintaining good health and is necessary for many bodily functions, too much can be dangerous. For example, if you use too many laxatives with magnesium in them, they can cause kidney damage. While there is considerable debate over whether or not magnesium from Epsom salts can get past the skin and into other parts of the body, it is still best to exercise caution. By the same token, if you take Epsom salts internally, or even use them for other applications, handle them with care so that you do not cause permanent damage to your body.

10 Ways to Use Epsom Salts

1.  Relax Muscles

When it comes to relaxing muscles, Epsom salts work best when dissolved in warm water. They do not dissolve or work as well when mixed with oil or lotion, so it is best not to combine them with these carriers. There are many ways to use Epsom salts as a muscle relaxer. My two favorites are:

Take 1 ½ cups of Epsom salt and mix them in 4 – 6 cups of hot water (you can speed this up by getting hot water from the coffee maker) and then adding the Epsom salts into a bowl of hot water. Next, run enough water into the bathtub for soaking. The water should be warm and comfortable long enough so that you can stay in the water for about 15 minutes. Add the Epsom salt solution to the tub, get in, and soak for no more than 15 minutes. If you have arthritis or other long-term pain, you may have to soak once a day for a few days. Follow manufacturer instructions so that you do not use Epsom salts longer than what might be safe.

Take 1 cup of Epsom salts and add them to a foot bath full of warm water. Soak for about 15 minutes to ½ hour.

2.  Reduce Inflammation

To reduce inflammation in swollen or sore muscles, you can soak in an Epsom salt bath, or simply use a moist compress over the affected muscles. To make an Epsom salt compress, mix 2 cups of Epsom salts to one gallon of warm water, and then let it get cold. Soak a towel in the cold water, and then loosely wrap the region with the moist towel for 15 minutes.

3.  Relieve Constipation

As noted above, you need to be very careful when taking Epsom salts internally. That being said, the magnesium in these salts is well known for relieving constipation. You can use Epsom salts in two ways to resolve this problem:

If you do not want to ingest Epsom salts, try soaking in a mixture of warm water and Epsom salts. Just use 5 cups of salt in the water instead of just 1 ½ cups as you would to relieve sore muscles.

When ingesting Epsom salts to treat constipation, try dissolving 2 – 4 level teaspoons of Epsom salt in 8 ounces of water. If you are treating someone between the ages of 6 and 12, drop the Epsom salt amount down to 1 – 2 level teaspoons in 8 ounces of water. If you do not have a bowel movement after 4 hours, you can try a second dose. Do not take more than two doses in a 24 hour period, and do not use Epsom salts for more than 5 days.

4.  Soothe Insect Bites

Epsom salts can be used to relieve redness, itching, and irritation associated with mosquito and other insect bites. You can bathe in Epsom salts as you would for relieving sore muscles, use a cold compress, or apply an Epsom salt paste. To make the paste, just dissolve one teaspoon of Epsom salts into 1 cup of hot water, and then put it in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to speed up the process. Apply the paste to insect bite once you clean it and pat the area dry. You can also use these three solutions for poison ivy, poison oak, rashes, and sunburn.

5.  Emergency Battery Electrolyte

As with other uses for Epsom salts, there is a considerable amount of controversy surrounding their usage in enhancing or restoring automobile batteries. You can try adding a mixture and Epsom salt and hot water to old or weak batteries to see if it will help. Just be aware that if the plates inside the battery are excessively worn, or the contacts that join the cells together are in bad condition, it is not likely the Epsom salts will be of much help. Do not forget to wear goggles, acid-proof clothing and shoes, and work in a well-ventilated area for the sake of safety. Never underestimate what battery acid can do, especially if you don’t have much experience with batteries and how to make repairs to them.

6.  Garden Fertilizer

Plants are no different from other living things in the sense that they need magnesium in order to remain healthy and carry out many functions necessary for life. Unfortunately, many soils and old garden plots do not have enough magnesium. You can correct this problem by adding Epsom salts at a rate of 1 cup per 100 feet when you turn the soil over prior to planting.

You can also fertilize plants with Epsom salts during the growing season by drenching them. Use a mixture of 1 – 2 teaspoons of Epsom salt to 1 gallon of water. Just pour the mixture at the base of the plant so that it goes straight to the roots. This is especially useful for tomatoes, and peppers which always need more magnesium. For these plants, apply the mixture every two weeks. You can also use Epsom salts for roses. Instead of using a liquid mixture, apply one teaspoon of Epsom salts per foot of plant growth to the soil, and then water the plants.

Fruit trees, your lawn, and flower beds will also do better if you apply Epsom salts to them. Be sure to look up each species of plant or tree so that you know how much Epsom salt to use. Typically, if you see yellow or curled leaves and don’t have anything else on hand, you can try to revive the plant with Epsom salt.

7.  Improve Seed Germination

No matter whether you are starting seeds that have low viability, or you often find that seedlings are weak and tend to die off, Epsom salts may just be the cure to your problems. Gardeners have noted for decades that Epsom salts improve germination and that the seedlings tend to be much sturdier once they emerge.

Aside from providing magnesium, the Epsom salts also provide extra sulfur, which seedlings also tend to need in greater quantities as they emerge and start to grow. Take one tablespoon of Epsom salt and add it to a gallon of water. Use this mixture to water the seeds when you first plant them.

8.  Reduce Transplant Shock

Seedlings, trees, rose bushes, and just about everything else in your garden will have to be transplanted at one time or another. While losing some plants is always to be expected, you can reduce the number of losses and accelerate growth by using Epsom salts. Here are a few methods to try:

If you are planting new trees or bushes, soak the root ball in ½ cup of Epsom salts to 1 gallon of water

For moving plants from containers to soil, water them with 1 tablespoon of Epsom salts to 1 gallon of water as soon as you are done planting them. This will ease shock to the roots and also improve the ability of the leaves to provide nutrients for the rest of the plant.

You can also try adding one tablespoon of Epsom salts to each hole, cover it with a thin layer of soil, and then place the new plant in the hole. As the plant grows, the roots will reach the Epsom salts later in the growing season when they need it most.

When using Epsom salts for transplanting, do not forget that too much can also be harmful to the plants. Always test the soil for nutrient content before adding Epsom salts or other fertilizer so that you create an optimal balance instead of creating harmful disruptions.

9.  Deter Raccoons

To many people, raccoons are cute creatures that are admired for their cleverness and pretty fur patterns. On the other hand, they can be quite a nuisance in the garden and around your home. Epsom salts can be used to keep raccoons away from the trash can, the hen house, and even out of your garden. Simply sprinkle Epsom salts around the area that you want to keep raccoons out of. You will need to sprinkle more Epsom salts after it rains because it is the smell and taste of the salts that deter the raccoons. If you are sprinkling Epsom salts around the border of the garden, you may need to replace the salts after watering the garden if the salts become moist.

Do not forget that raccoons are also very clever. If they are deterred from reaching their goal via a ground route, they can just as easily climb or find some other way in. You may need to use other deterrents (this includes removing or eliminating things that attract them) in combination with the Epsom salts in order to keep the raccoons at bay. Always study where you see signs of the animals and their possible paths so that you can succeed in outwitting them. Unfortunately, if you cannot deter the raccoons, then you may need professional help in order to trap and remove them.

10.  Easily Clean Pots and Pans

Have you ever baked or fried something and wound up with a mess at the bottom of the cooking vessel? If so, then you also know that soaking, scrubbing, and scouring can be frustrating tasks.

Epsom salts can help with loosening grease and grime so that it is easier to clean heavily soiled pots and pans. Start off by mixing ¼ tablespoon of Epsom salt and ¼ tablespoon of dish detergent in warm water. Let them sit and soak in the pot or pan that needs to be cleaned. When you are ready to start scrubbing, you can also add some Epsom salt onto troublesome areas, as it will release the grime faster. If the pots or pans are not heavily covered in grime, grease, or burnt food, you can simply add the Epsom salts directly to the soiled surface and scrub.

Linked from: http://www.backdoorsurvival.com/10-ways-to-use-epsom-salts/

What You Need to Know About Expired Prescription Drugs

what-you-need-to-know-about-expired-prescription-drugs

The topic of using expired prescription drugs comes up frequently in survival and preparedness circles.  Although there are many articles detailing with the efficacy of outdated meds, one question I get over and over again is “what do I do when the meds run out?”

Whereas there is no single clear answer, one thing we can all start to do now is hang on to our old, unused meds.  For the most part and with very few exceptions, they will be viable for two to twelve years beyond their expiration date.  The secret is to keep them in a cool, dark, location that is not too dissimilar from your food storage.

In another exclusive article for Backdoor Survival, Dr. Joe Alton, a medical doctor who is well versed in survival medicine, is here today to give us an update on the use of expired drugs in a survival setting. In addition, for those of you that have asked, he is providing us with links you can use to initiate your own research on this important topic.

Of course, as with anything preparedness related, let your own good judgement prevail.

An Update on Expired Drugs in Survival Settings

By Joe Alton, MD

In normal times, replacing expired medicines isn’t a major issue. You call your physician and get a refill for “fresh” meds. Medicine bottle descriptions and those in print and online sources tell you to discard any drug that has gone expired, a recommendation so common that it’s considered standard.

You might be surprised to know, however, that expiration dates have only been government-mandated since 1979. The expiration date is simply the last day that the pharmaceutical company will guarantee 100% potency of the product. In other words, you won’t grow a horn in the middle of your forehead or other ill effect if you take the drug the week after it expires. Indeed, it is rare for expired drugs, especially in pill or capsule form, to be any more risky than the non-expired versions.

This is an important issue to those preparing medically for survival scenarios. If you believe that some disaster will take society to the brink, then you should also understand that such a scenario also means that it’s unlikely that pharmaceutical companies will be functioning to manufacture drugs. Therefore, at one point or another, a well-supplied survival medic will have to make a decision regarding the use of an expired medication.

This is a decision that also must be made by government agencies such as FEMA and the Department of Defense. Federal warehouses store tens of millions of dollars’ worth of drugs meant for use in peacetime disasters. When these drugs expired, the forklifts came out and huge quantities of life-saving medicines were discarded.

Over time, even the government began to think, “Wow. This is getting expensive. I wonder if these drugs are still good?”. And with that thought, the Shelf Life Extension Program (SLEP) was developed.  The SLEP tested over a hundred drugs in their possession and found that the vast majority were 100% potent 2 to 12 years beyond their listed expiration dates.

These findings led the government to put out extensions of expiration dates for certain drugs as needed, such as the 5 year extension given the anti-viral drug Tamiflu (oseltamivir) during the 2009 swine flu epidemic. These are referred to as “emergency use authorizations”.

Despite this research, you’ll see opinions from those in academia or elsewhere that state all medications are dangerous when expired and should be discarded. These opinions are fine in normal times, but members of the preparedness community should at least consider holding on to medications that might no longer be available in times of trouble.

Think about this situation:  Let’s say that a true catastrophe has occurred that has taken out the grid and modern medical facilities for the foreseeable future. Your daughter is fading from a bacterial infection. You have an expired bottle of antibiotics. She’s dying. Are you going to use the expired drug or not. You decide.

Medicines, expired or not, should be stored in cool, dry, dark conditions. Their potency will fade twice as fast if stored at 90 degrees than if stored at 50 degrees. Freezing them, however, is rarely necessary. Even if stored in suboptimal conditions, a capsule or tablet that hasn’t changed color, smell, or consistency is probably still worth keeping for austere settings. Of course, in normal times, seek out qualified medical professionals whenever and wherever they are available.

Note: You may have read about kidney and liver toxicity in expired tetracycline products. The majority of these occurred before the formulation was changed some years ago. Having said that, Tetracycline is not on my list of top ten antibiotics to have in your medical storage. It is a first generation drug with reports of widespread resistance, and I would prefer you have doxycycline instead. It’s important to know that all drugs have side effects or restrictions in children, pregnant women, and patients with certain medical conditions. Take time to learn indications, dosage, and side effects of all medicines you keep in your medical supplies.

For more information on the Shelf Life Extension Program, click the links below:

Federal Shelf Life Extension Program
Shelf Life Extension Program (FDA)
Stability profiles of drug products extended beyond labeled expiration dates

 

The Final Word

Although I have shared information on the use of expired prescription drugs in the past, naysayers still comment and chide, quick to criticize the practice of saving old meds.  To that I say: do you own research and decide for yourself.  If faced with a dire medical condition where normal sources of medical and drug supplies are limited or non-existent, wouldn’t it be worth the risk to reach for an expired drug?

The ultimate decision is up to you but I, for one, know what I would do.

Linked from: http://www.backdoorsurvival.com/expired-prescription-drugs/

PREPARE FOR FLOODS

bug-out-bag-builder-prepare-for-floods-1

Flood is perhaps the deadliest and most destructive of all natural disasters. The rush of water can destroy buildings, wash away cars, and people in a matter of minutes. You only need to see a few videos of Tsunamis to see what can happen in the extreme cases, and flash floods happen all the time in the US. It only takes a foot of water to cause massive damage.

CRITICAL CONSIDERATIONS

Have an escape route. Evacuation can be difficult if not impossible in some cases. Shelter may be hard to find or to get to. If you live in a flood prone area you should have a very well thought out evacuation plan and two backup plans for both home, work, and school.

Find the local flood areas where you live. Have a list of the available shelters in and outside of your immediate area and keep a printout in each vehicle and with your emergency kits.

ACCESS TO FRESH WATER

Water sources will quickly become contaminated, and floodwaters will often be a toxic soup of chemicals and bacteriological wastes. Having fresh water available to drink and take with you is a top priority. If you need to filter water for drinking, you will need more than just a Sawyer or Lifestraw because there will be chemicals in the water as well. Berkey filters can remove many, but not all chemical contaminants however what they do remove is amazing, read it here. 

You can store 100 gallons of fresh water in your bathtub before the flood using a waterBOB.

COMMUNICATE WITH OTHERS

It is a likely chance that land-line and cellular communications will be effected if massive flooding is prevalent and in a broad area. For local communications hand-held radios are a good backup option between family members and neighbors. Satellite communications work anywhere in the US, and can relay messages and phone conversations outside of the area. Make sure you have a backup energy system in place so you can keep them charged. Our article on Bug Out Communications will walk you through the details.  

PREPARING YOUR HOME

There are a few things you can do to keep your house from becoming damaged from low floodwaters:

Prepare for floods with aquadam

Use a product like the Aquadam or Hydrabarrier to keep water out of the structure.

Stop sewer water from coming back into the house via shower / tub drains and toilets by either installing a sewer backwater valve or inserting a Test Ball into your outgoing sewer pipe cleanout (many homes have a way to get into the pipe, look for a round PVC circle about 6″ wide in the front of your home.)

Having a sump pump will help you get water out of basements and low lying areas. A dehumidifier will remove excessive moisture from the air in the home.

If you want to have a boat for a backup, go for a flat bottomed boat that can run in a small amount of water. An aluminum river boat or inflatable boat are your best options.

PREPARING YOUR BUG OUT BAG

The key component here is to keep the water our of your other gear and therefore off your backpack. A rain cover for your backpack isn’t a bad idea, even if you aren’t in a flood area. Waterproof the items in the bag by keeping them in Ziploc bags or step-up and use a Locksack bag, which are very durable and good for electronics.

If you want to go a little further, dry sacks will take you to the next level and are the best choice to hold your clothing inside your backpack. If you want to go full throttle then get a waterproof backpack from OverBoard. They make great bags.

KEEPING YOURSELF DRY

Umbrellas are great, but if there is even a whisper of wind you are going to get wet. And tie-up your hands. A high-end poncho is a better idea. Avoid the cheap plastic bag types that you find in the camping stores. Another option is are Frogg Toggs rain suits which comes in men, women’s, and children’s sizes.

A good pair of waders can be a lifesaver. They keep you from getting utterly soaked in water thats waist deep – if you really need to be in it. Remember, you want to avoid being in flood waters as much as possible, very dangerous.

Linked from: http://www.bugoutbagbuilder.com/prepare-for-floods/

How to Make a Trailer into a Suitable Camper

how-to-make-a-trailer-into-a-suitable-camper

How many times have you seen a travel trailer zooming by on the interstate and thought, “Boy, I wish I could travel in one of those?” It may not be as unreachable a dream as you think. Even though most of the ‘silver palaces’ of the 1940s–1960s are gone, and modern RVs are prohibitively expensive, there is another option.

Cargo trailers, like the Endura Cargo Trailer by Hillsboro Industries, can be easily converted and customized into a comfortable tiny home on wheels.

Advantages of Cargo Trailer Conversion

    • Fully-customizable – Classic travel trailers were designed to serve a different lifestyle, and may not be suitable for modern living. Many feel like dark, claustrophobic spaces. Cargo trailers are an empty, open space, just waiting to be built to your specific needs. Straight-hitch trailers can run from fourteen to twenty-eight feet in length. Fifth-wheel models vary between fourteen and thirty-four feet. Cargo trailers come in a variety of widths and heights, unlike pre-built travel trailers, and include many options for the numbers and types of doors and windows.

 

    • Less expensive – Starting costs for a customized cargo trailer are considerably less than an RV.

 

    • New – With a brand-new cargo trailer, there are no concerns over the condition of the frame, exterior, or electrical systems. When you buy a used travel trailer, you’re never sure of the condition it’s in.

 

    • Lighter – Aluminum, double-wall construction is light, stronger and more durable than steel. You can control how much weight you want to add to your mobile home-away-from-home.

 

    • Unobtrusive – Many people prefer using a cargo trailer because it attracts less attention. Traditional RVs may be subject to restrictions on where they can be parked, but those restrictions do not apply to cargo trailers.

 

Things to Consider First

] The first decision that must be made is, how will the trailer be used? Do you want to live in it full-time year round, or only as an alternative to a tent when camping in the great outdoors? How much do you want to spend? How much time and effort do you want to invest in the project? What climate zones do you plan to visit in your customized RV? What functional areas are most important to have in your trailer? What conveniences do you require?

External Functionality

Most cargo trailers include a standard side door and double rear doors. However, if you want the option of an outdoor room, or you want to use your RV as a toy hauler, consider buying a trailer with a rear ramp door. If you arrange supports to lower your ramp door so that it is level with the floor of the trailer, you can create an instant outdoor deck. Some people prefer to live in a trailer with no windows, or small windows set high up along the walls. This design is optimal if being unobtrusive is an important feature. In this case, you might want to consider installing small skylights.

Insulation Is Key to Comfort

One-inch aluminum studs are readily available and would support both rigid and soft foam insulation in walls and ceiling. However, insulation in the floor will be the most important factor in keeping the heat in during the winter, and out during the summer, especially if you plan on living in the RV full-time. Installing studs and internal walls are also necessary if you wish to install plumbing, additional electrical features (like outlets and specific lighting), and propane lines for furnaces and ovens.

Many Design Options Available for Wall Panels and Flooring

Many people choose aluminum panels or 3/8” wood panels for walls, but pre-fabricated wall panels are available in hardboard, MDF, fiberglass and vinyl with almost any decorating style including brick, tile, bead board, wood planks, and 3-D textures. Subfloor panels should be at least 3/4” thick, or the floor will feel spongy when you walk on it. Once that is installed, almost any type of flooring would work well, including vinyl flooring, wood parquet tiles, or small ceramic tiles. Another quick, easy and attractive option is to paint the subfloor with a few coats of marine varnish and leave it bare.

Utilities Needed

If you plan on living in your camper full-time, you will probably want both a furnace and an air-conditioner. Choose appliances that are designed for use in an RV. Used appliances can often be found in good condition if you are on a budget. Plumbing will be crucial if the trailer is your main residence. Most campgrounds offer public showers, so you may not require one of those in your trailer, but at least one sink and a toilet are important. PVC works great in RVs, and supplies can be found at almost any hardware store.

The principles of gravity are simple and almost anyone can install their own plumbing lines. Tanks for fresh, gray and black water add weight and take up space. If you design the drainage lines at the correct angle of descent, you can avoid installing tanks altogether. Most campgrounds provide sewer and water hook-ups. Since you’ll never know the quality of the water before you arrive at a campsite, installing a small water filter is a good idea. Also, look for a water heater that is designed for RV use. If you do want a shower, you might want to search for a used one from an old RV. Installing gas lines to the propane tanks is a job best left to professionals, though, so keep that in mind.

Appliances

Most campgrounds provide 120V and 240V electrical hook-ups, so once you’ve installed basic electrical wiring and outlets, you can fill your customized cargo trailer with whatever standard appliances you prefer. Small or medium-sized refrigerators, microwave and convection/toaster ovens make the most sense. Propane RV oven-stoves are also popular.

Off-Grid Living

If you don’t plan on berthing your new converted RV in a campground, there are a number of options like solar panels, chemical toilets, tent showers and other features you could install to save money and energy.

Interior Design

Once the basics are installed in your converted trailer, the real fun begins. Many people install customized shelving and platform or bunk beds. One unique idea is to use a pop-up trundle bed in conjunction with a daybed. During the day the daybed acts as a sofa. At night it converts into a king-sized bed. Not many RVs, even the really expensive ones, can support any bed larger than a queen-sized mattress. Multipurpose and convertible furniture ideas will also help make your new residence more livable.

No Limits

With the emergence of the tiny home movement and a robust RV industry, once you’ve decided to embark on the cargo trailer conversion adventure, there really are no limits as to the RV you can create. Visit a trailer dealer to see what brand-new, customizable cargo trailers are available and begin the journey.

Linked from: http://www.doomsdaymoose.com/2016/09/how-to-make-trailer-into-suitable-camper.html#.WBI7YvkrLIU

NIGHTTIME SURVIVAL: HOW TO STAY SAFE AFTER THE SUN GOES DOWN

Most preppers spend a lot of time learning new skills to help them survive the perils of the wild. Many of us probably know a dozen different ways to purify water, or how to build rudimentary shelters out of forest debris, and set traps for small game etc.That’s all fine and good, but in terms of life threatening scenarios, there’s only one thing that’s more dangerous than the wilderness, and that’s other people. I can’t help but feel that nighttime survival is a bit neglected in the prepper community.

Nighttime SurvivalThere are a lot of useful and handy tips and tricks all around about various means of surviving in hostile environments and situation, but somehow, many of these seem to be neglecting nighttime survival. Focusing on daytime activities is a good thing, sure, as people are more active and efficient during the day time. But what happens after the sun goes down, when our main sense of detection (the vision) gets reduced dramatically? We don’t necessarily need to be active (as in gathering resources or looking for shelter); but, depending on the situation, we might very well be forced to. Not to mention that in the wild, many predators are night hunters, meaning they do all the work during the night; what chances do we have against felines, wolves or jackals who are inarguably advantaged over us? Well, just because we’re not naturally adapted, doesn’t mean we can fight against the odds and still come out on top. It’s only a matter of knowledge and the right equipment. If you happen to find yourself wondering through the wilderness during nighttime, just keep the basics in mind: shelter, vigilance and equipment. If you have enough knowledge in the area and a well formulated plan (and of course a well-equipped survival kit to go along with them) you will be fine.

First thing’s first: organize yourself

The first thing to do in order to be as prepared as possible for making it through the night in a hostile and wild setting is to start planning ahead, during daytime. You’ll need to decide (and fast) what and where your sleeping spot is going to be. Make sure it’s a secluded spot, as hard to detect or to reach as possible. You have a vast array of choices, from sleeping under big trees, on high tree branches, in caves or small holes in the ground. Under no circumstances should you sleep in open field, unless there’s no other option available. Getting a good night sleep is very important, especially in such a stressful scenario. If you’re part of a group, you should take turns sleeping, so somebody is always awake and on the lookout for incoming danger. If you’re alone, you’ll have to resort to the proverbial “sleeping with one eye open”. Your sleeping area shouldn’t be in the vicinity of your supply “storage space”; that way, if a wild animal is attracted to the scent of whatever it is you set aside, it won’t find you.

The flashlight and the campfire – the double-edged swords of nighttime survival
Unfortunately, one of the most pressing needs you’ll have is building a fire, which is also a dead giveaway for anyone who is looking for you. The light and smoke from a fire can reveal your position over long distances, even during the day. Many people will have a hard time keeping warm at night in the wilderness, especially during cold seasons. In most wild areas, the right survival gear (clothes) that keep you warm during the day might not just be enough during the night, where temperatures will drop considerably. Forget about purifying water or cooking food, in many climates you won’t survive a single night without a fire. So you’ll have to figure out how to stay warm without letting anyone know where you are. The first thing that comes in mind is to gather enough wood and start a camp fire. The camp fire is a great heating source and also gives you the option to cook a warm meal, be it dehydrated food packs or game animals. But it also has a great downside as well: it gives out your position and it makes you visible to predators. The light and smoke will catch the attention of night predators that will start tracking you down. Most animals might be afraid of an open fire and not approach. But hostile military forces or guerilla troops won’t have that problem and will attack as fast as they can… And that’s where the smokeless fire comes in. While it sounds absurd to some, in reality it’s very simple. Making a fire that doesn’t produce smoke is just a matter of making the combustion more efficient.

Today we’ll be covering how to create a Dakota Smokeless Fire Pit. These smokeless fire pits are great for hiding your fire from enemies. They tend to keep a hotter fire, and a great at being virtually smoke free. This is the perfect way to create a concealed fire.

Steps to creating a Dakota Smokeless Fire:

Step 1) Dig two fence post holes side by side (approximately 6-8 inches apart)

Step 2) Connect the two holes at the bottom to allow air to flow through

Step 3) Put your wood in one of the holes. We recommend putting your heaviest wood at the bottom, then middle density wood, then tinder/light wood on top

Step 4) Light the fire and maintain it

Essentially what this does is to allow the empty hole to act as an air intake for your fire hole. You can also place small stones at the bottom of your fire hole, this can also help enhance the air flow a bit making your fire hotter. Here’s a video tutorial to understand better the concept:

A flashlight would be a great advantage during the night, as it will greatly improve your vision over the environment, making it easier for you to move around, gather capture2provisions and even communicate by signaling your position. If you’re planning on signaling with a flashlight, you should turn it on and off repeatedly, giving out
intermittent flashes. Keeping it on all the time might give out the wrong vibe, as a light flashlight can be easily mistaken from a far with a reflection of moonlight on a watery surface; you risk getting ignored by the rescue party. Despite these advantages, just like in the case of the camp fire, the flashlight can work against you as well. The light sources can also be picked up by night hunters or hostile troops.

If we should sum up nighttime survival in a single word, that’d have to be indefectibility. Your best chance of survival in a hostile environment during night time is to keep a low profile; not being seen means you won’t attract danger on yourself. Be calm, vigilant and stay out of harm’s way, and you‘ll make it out alive.

Our forefathers lived more simply than most people today are willing to live and that is why they survived with no grocery store, no cheap oil, no cars, no electricity, and no running water. Just like our forefathers used to do, The Lost Ways Book teaches you how you can survive in the worst-case scenario with the minimum resources available. It comes as a step-by-step guide accompanied by pictures and teaches you how to use basic survival skills to stay alive in any situation. Watch the video below:

tlwvid

Linked from: http://www.bioprepper.com/2016/09/17/nighttime-survival-stay-safe-sun-goes/

Fast Acting Sore Throat Remedy (using natural antibiotics)

sore-throat-remedy

During cold and flu season, an effective sore throat remedy is crucial to have on hand to use when symptoms appear. Speed of treatment is of importance when it comes to this particular type of ailment so that symptoms don’t worsen into laryngitis or something more serious. This is especially true when the condition presents as probable strep throat!

There are many natural remedies for sore throats that are promoted within the alternative health community. Depending on whether the sore throat is caused by a virus or bacterial infection, how to know which one(s) to try first?

First of all, it’s important to understand which remedies alleviate symptoms only versus those that will destroy the virus or bacteria at the root of the problem.

For example, gargling with salt water is a much touted sore throat remedy. While it will indeed make your throat feel better temporarily, it isn’t going to provide ammo to your immune system to fight off the infection.

This is why gargling with salt water is a great remedy for post-oral surgery care to keep a wound clean for complication-free healing. It won’t help so much when your sinuses are draining infected mucous onto your throat while you sleep or your throat has white spots on it, however!

When the sore throat is caused by a virus or bacteria, natural antibiotics are your best bet. And yes, some natural antibiotics are even effective against viruses too, unlike drug based antibiotics which only work for bacterial infections.

Running to the doctor for drug based antibiotics or anti-virals should be a last resort. Even using Tylenol for the pain is a bad idea. Pharmaceuticals even if over the counter have side effects and a single round of antibiotics can negatively impact gut health for up to 4 years and maybe longer.

No worries though! In my experience, Mother Nature will come through for you with flying colors when it comes to sore throats.

Powerful Sore Throat Remedy using Natural Antibiotics

I keep the most effective natural antibiotics available at all times in my medicine cabinet. Which to use when time is of the essence? For sore throats, three of these work extremely well synergistically:

  1. Cayenne pepper
  2. Garlic
  3. Manuka honey

Cayenne Pepper for Sore Throats

Cayenne pepper, also called red hot chili pepper or capsicum, is part of the nightshade family of plants. It has been part of the human diet since about 7500 BC.

Cayenne is dried, ground and then sifted to make the powdered spice we are so familiar with. In cooking, cayenne is used for spicy dishes or for making hot sauces from a variety of cuisines around the world.

Medicinally, cayenne has been noted through the centuries to be helpful to digestion, as it stimulates gastric juices. It increases heat in the tissues, helping improve blood flow and the pain of arthritis, muscle cramps, and even toothache.

As a sore throat remedy, cayenne pepper is helpful due to the high amounts of capsaicin, which has anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain relieving) effects when used topically. It triggers a burning sensation on contact, which is why only small amounts are needed in the remedy below.

Cayenne pepper’s unique ability to increase blood flow has a twofold benefit when it comes to sore throats. First, it increases nutrient flow to the infected throat tissue. Second, it speeds removal of toxins from the area as well. Finally, cayenne promotes the health of the mucous membranes which is why it is included in this sore throat remedy.

Garlic: Antibiotic Powerhouse

Garlic is unique among the natural antibiotics because of its ability to destroy a wide variety of pathogens including viruses, bacteria, and fungus. All this is accomplished without harming beneficial gut flora (unlike colloidal silver). In fact, garlic promotes intestinal health by acting as a prebiotic for the beneficial flora present in the gut.

The sulfur compounds in garlic along with the phytochemical allicin have such powerful antibiotic properties that they even combat the superbug known as MRSA.

If garlic can fight superbugs, it will definitely help resolve a sore throat!

Raw Manuka Honey

While any raw honey is helpful as a sore throat remedy, Manuka honey is especially effective.

Of all the honey on the planet, Manuka honey is the most powerful when it comes to resolving infections that are skin based. Just be sure it is completely raw and unheated. Most brands of Manuka honey that I’ve examined have been heated so be very careful what you buy.

Honey loses all of its antibiotic properties and even becomes toxic when heated!

The FDA recognizes the antibiotic properties of Manuka honey when used on the skin. In 2007, Manuka honey based wound dressings were approved by the FDA.

Now let’s see how the benefits of these three natural antibiotics are used synergistically for an effective sore throat remedy that will heal and not just relieve symptoms.

Sore Throat Remedy Ingredients

Fresh garlic cloves, preferably organic

Ground cayenne pepper (preferably organic and do not substitute the essential oil as it would be too burning)

Raw Manuka honey

Remedy Usage Instructions

Using a mortar & pestle, mash up 3 cloves of fresh garlic.

Mix in half a teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper.

Mix in only raw Manuka honey to taste. If the Manuka honey is not raw, it will be worthless in this remedy!

Taste a tiny amount of the mixture to ensure that it isn’t too hot but comfortably warm on the throat.

Consume 1/2 teaspoon of the mixture every 30 minutes to an hour.

Make more as needed. As rapid improvement is noted, you can back off to using the mixture every 2-3 hours. Continue using a few times a day until you are certain the condition is resolved.

*If you already are forward thinking enough to have some of the powerful Master Tonic on hand, feel free to use instead of this remedy.

If you don’t see improvement quickly, reach out to your physician.

Want to Supercharge this Sore Throat Remedy?

If you would like to supercharge this remedy, gargle with raw apple cider vinegar diluted 50-50 with water three times a day.

If raw apple cider packed in glass bottles is not available in your area, you can make it easily with this ACV recipe.

I can attest to the effectiveness of using natural antibiotics for sore throats of all kinds. In our home, we have never resorted to drug based meds for any sore throats in over 25 years. This includes the raising of 3 children!

Just Need a Mild Sore Throat Remedy?

What if you really don’t need the big guns – cayenne pepper, manuka honey and garlic – as a natural way to cure your sore throat?

If you just need a mild sore throat soother, I use a cinnamon and raw honey paste.

I grate about a teaspoon of fresh cinnamon into a cup and mix with a similar amount of raw honey. Any raw honey will do, but the sweeter the better especially if you use fiery Saigon cinnamon. Note: using fresh cinnamon is very important. Don’t use supermarket sticks either as they are years old in most cases! Another thing not to get hung up about are the arguments about cassia versus ceylon cinnamon. Both types are true cinnamon (just from different parts of the world) and both work great!

Mix the two together well and have your child lick it slowly off a small spoon.  My kids typically ask for this when their throat is sore perhaps after a sporting event or other activity out in the winter air or when they are getting over a mild cold.

Prevention Strategy: Getting Sore Throats A LOT?

If your family is experiencing more than its fair share of sore throats, oral probiotics can help. There are specific strains of beneficial microbes that thrive in the ear, nose and throat (ENT). When they are missing or too few in number, a person is predisposed to infections like tonsillitis or pharyngitis.

I’ve examined several of the oral probiotics on the market, and this chewable tablet has the best ingredients (not perfect but the best I could find as of this writing). It contains two oral probiotic strains of Streptococcus salivarius (K12 and M18) scientifically shown to support ENT health when used regularly.

In one study published by International Journal of Internal Medicine, administration of Streptococcus salivariusK12 to children with a history of recurrent oral infections experienced reduced episodes of pharyngeal infections and/or tonsillitis as well as episodes of acute otitis media (middle ear infections).

Linked from: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/sore-throat-remedy-fast-acting/

How To Use Solar To Boost Your Survival

how-to-use-solar-to-boost-your-survival-1

Today it’s all about how to use solar to boost your survival. Yes, use solar for survival. You don’t need electricity to charge the flashlight I’m highlighting in this post.  All you need is the sun shining outside to collect the power.  Goal Zero asked me to do a review on the Goal Zero Torch 250 USB Power Hub and Flashlight below. Here again, these opinions on that particular item are my own. I purchase Goal Zero items all the time because they are the best solar items I can find available, literally for camping, hiking and for survival situations. It’s all about solar, friends. No fuel or batteries needed. I have given some of the original Goal Zero flashlights to family and friends for Christmas. This new Torch 250 has more features and awesome ways we can use it for survival. It’s all about light for survival, at least for me.

Here’s the deal, if we lose all power are we prepared with at least some flashlights, at the very least? Oh, and don’t forget the batteries if your flashlights need them. Well, some flashlights do not require batteries at all. Here are some suggestions for flashlights and some other items that can be powered with solar, yay for solar. I do not like the dark, I have so many flashlights.  I would love to ask you how many flashlights do you own? Do they all work and do they need batteries? If you have a power outage for an extended time do you have some GOOD flashlights that will work?

These Use Solar:

use solar

Can you see how large this solar panel is? It’s twice the size of the old style (which I still love and use all the time). You can use this one as a flashlight, floodlight, or red emergency light! It has a built-in charging cable, solar panel, and hand crank. You can recharge it anywhere, anytime! You will have power for emergencies and activities. This would be a great emergency flashlight in your car, at the office or at your bedside.

use solar

It has an integrated USB port that will charge phones and boost tablets to stay connected. It has a long lasting lithium battery. It now has a metal feature to hang it on a hook, tree or whatever. It has a flood light, red light, and spotlight. I highly recommend getting several of these. You can’t go wrong with Goal Zero products. I promise. Goal Zero Torch 250 Flashlight with Integrated Solar Panel

use solar

Okay, now onto this Goal Zero Solo Flashlight. I purchased two of these. I never buy just one of anything. I wanted one for the living room window and the window by the back door. Goal Zero 90109 Solo V2 Solar Flashlight I took the Solo flashlight out of the box and placed the solar panel towards the sunshine. I am ready for any power outage or a trip outside at night with my very own flashlight ready to go with me, no batteries needed. The solar charge lasts for 2-3 hours. SOLD!!!

It’s a dependable, bright flashlight that has builtin solar panel and long-lasting internal battery. Never have a dead flashlight again. Use solar, it rocks!

Linked from: http://www.foodstoragemoms.com/2016/09/use-solar-boost-survival/