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Top 10 Safest Countries In The World To Visit Or Settle Down

As natural disasters, terrorism, robberies and massacres made our planet a hell, everyone are in the urge to settle down in one of the safest places. But unfortunately when it comes to preparing a list of top 10 safest countries in the world, it becomes extremely hard to find such countries that satisfy all the criteria an individual has in mind. Throughout the years everything changes, there isn’t a perfect place to live, but this is just to get an idea of some places that are interesting to look into. Anything can happen, but just prepare yourself for anything to happen.

So now, how would you picture a safest country? Is that the one which has

  • Low crime rate?
  • No natural disaster?
  • Low corruption?
  • Immunity to economical crisis?
  • Or is it fast solving cases?

It is nothing wrong, if you expect all the above factors from the typical countries that are entitled as “The safest countries in the world”. While the increasing high prevalent crimes make all of us lose hope on finding such countries, strict laws, culture and few good qualities continue to make few countries as perfect places to live, raise kids and happily retire. You are right ! We have exceptions in everything. That’s the universal law.

10. Czech Republic

GPI Score: 1.341

  • This fairly new European country attracts tourists from all over the world with its magnificent city “Prague” and its breathtaking nature.
  • It mainly concentrates on creating a most favorable climate for investment. As a result, It has a built a robust economy in a relatively short span of time (1989 to 2015). In 2009, HDI declared Czech Republic as “A Country With Very High Human Development“.
  • Rate of crime is very low here. Helpline number 112 is available for people who don’t know the local language.
  • If you are a U.S resident, you wouldn’t require any VISA to enter into this country for business or tourist purposes for the first 90 days. However, having a passport that is valid for at least 90 days beyond your period of stay is mandatory.
  • Cost of living in this country is much cheaper. For example: Though Prague is located at the center of culture and all other main spots ( historical spots, palaces,museum etc.), apartments here cost much lesser than in any other European nations.
  • Transportation system of Czech Republic is so punctual and well managed. You can take a month around public transit pass with just $29 USD. It can be utilized in tram, subway and buses.
  • When it comes to entertainment, here everyone will find something according to their age, gender,and ethnic preferences. So in no way, anyone can feel bored at this country.
  • If you love outdoors, without any doubt, you will love the Czech Republic too. Situated at the border of mountains, it has so many well preserved deep forests. If it’s summer, you can go hiking or just cycle around the countryside. If it’s winter, there is downhill skiing is awaiting for you.

9. Australia

GPI Score: 1.329

australia

  • Whether you want to spend your retirement days or want to bring up your children in a much peaceful and happy environment, Australia certainly be a suggestible choice.
  • People of this country are more welcoming, and they enjoy the multiculturalism. Equalitarianism, Ideal climate, and outdoor pursuits are few of the many factors that attract expats from all over the world.
  • Australians respect the value of friends and family more than anything. It provides a broad range of schooling options, and there are more chances for children to spend their time in recreational outdoors. These all factors often make it as a perfect place to raise children.
  • Australia is being the most desirable destination for young students and professionals all over the world.
  • It offers a high quality of life and excellent healthcare facilities to its all citizens through both private and public systems.
  • In short, Australia offers a fair new beginning for anyone who has skills and energy. It is one of the main reasons for why people adore Australia than any other country in the world.

8. Japan

GPI Score : 1.322

japan

  • The next country in our list of safest places to live in the world is Japan. The Crime rate in this country is really low.
  • Japanese respect their culture, and it is one of the main reasons as to why people honor this country. I am sure you must have heard how well disciplined Japanese are and therefore, they will never involve in activities, which brings shame to their country.
  • Possession of firearms is strictly prohibited according to their laws. Firm gun control, strict laws and wealthy economy make sure that the one living there is 100% safe.
  • According to the 2010 GPI (Global Peace Index) framed by IEP (Institute for Economics and Peace) report, Japan has also been ranked as the 3rdpeaceful country in the world.
  • With homicides, terrorism and violent crimes highly unlikely in Japan, this place becomes extremely safe for one to reside.

7. Canada

GPI Score: 1.287

  • Canada is the 2nd largest country in the world and its 20.6% of total population is built only with foreigners. Not to mention, it is claimed to have the highest immigrants rate per capita in the world. Though this factor alone is more than enough to claim it as the safest country in the world, it has a lot more. Read on.
  • Healthcare system of Canada is one of the most debated hot topics worldwide. It offers “universal public health Insurance” to all citizens and permanent residents at much cheaper prices. By using this Medicare, one can have access to the universally high standard treatments at both private and public hospitals.
  • This system has inspired many people who suffer from chronic conditions move to this country for healthcare purposes. Anyhow, people with temporary residency can’t avail the same benefits.
  • When it comes to employment, it offers an enormous scope with many open positions in energy sectors, communications industry, real estate and financial services.
  • Though winter of Canada covers the ground with freezing cold for more than 6 months, people who settled here claim that their quality of life has been improved dramatically.
  • So, if you have the plan to visit or migrate to this country, you can expect to have a calm, peaceful and high-quality life.
  • Canada has never been a target of the terrorist activities. These all make this country be listed as one of the most livable countries in the world.

6. Finland

GPI Score: 1.227

  • Being one of the Nordic-style countries, Finland is mainly known for its high regard for the civil liberty, democracy, and human rights.
  • With low crime rate, nature-friendly environments, and stable economy, it never fails to rank high in all the lists that talk about the national performance metrics. (Side note: Finland is ranked as the 11th best country to live in the world in our official list).
  • Since the end of world war -II, the government of Finland has adopted the neutrality policy and so avoided the wars. Most common punishments given to the people who involve in crimes are probation, fines and community services.
  • Although people of Finland are perceived as the quiet & reserved nature people, the young Finns has changed this perception completely. Anyhow, If you move to Finland, it may take few months to       get adopted with their cultural differences.
  • In Finland, the majority of healthcare services are managed by the local municipalities itself and are offered to the general public through local healthcare centers.
  • The literacy rate in Finland is 100%. It is achieved by providing the compulsory education to all its citizens and expats who have got residency in Finland. Almost all major cities in Finland have excellent quality local and international schools.

5. Switzerland

GPI Score: 1.275

  • Switzerland has four official languages and is divided into 26 independent states known as cantons. Each one of them has their own laws and regulations.
  • Switzerland’s well-functioning government is renowned for keeping the violence, political issues and the unemployment rate at a record low.
  • Its robust economy and strict laws continue to attract the highly skilled International investors to this country. It’s home to the world’s most famous banking Institutions and businesses. In fact, one third of total Switzerland population is made of people who have born outside of this country.
  • Besides to the diversities found among the local population, Switzerland welcomes the outsiders with open arms. Not only their chocolates are sweet but also the people here are sweet enough to give you the pleasurable experience.
  • The transportation system of Switzerland is punctual by seconds. They value time!.
  • Not to mention, bustling cities, diplomatic relationship it has with the neighboring countries, low crime rate, strong economy everything makes this country rank higher on the list of most peaceful countries in the world.

4. New Zealand

GPI Score: 1.221

new zealand

  • Global Corruption monitoring entity, Transparency International‘s recent report says, New Zealand is “The country with the most transparent political status“.
  • New Zealanders are leading a very satisfied life with their calm and easy going nature. Generally these people want keep themselves free from community strife and personal violence. Its strict laws and tough punishments are yet another reasons for their low crime rate.
  • Cities of New Zealand are culturally rich and are worth visiting. Grandiose mountains, green meadows, frozen glaciers all these wonders decorate this Island like a heaven on earth.
  • In 2013, Corruption Perception Index ranked New Zealand as the “Least corrupted country in the world“. Unlike in other countries, here you can expect the government officials to do their job without charging any extra cash. Collecting the hidden or unadvertised fee on goods and services is considered as illegal here.
  • Since it boasts the safe and secure environment, you can freely move around, explore the bush, climb mountains, play, picnic, catch the public transports, discover the beaches or enjoy anything to your heart’s content without any fear.

3. Austria

GPI Score: 1.198

  • By providing the high level of security and peacefulness, this country continues to rank in all the lists boasting the “safest countries and best countries” in the recent years.
  • Population of this country is low, and it possesses a rich folk culture. Cities are clean, mostly covered with the snow covered Alps.
  • Austria is popularly known as “The land of Music“. It has produced many timeless musicians to the world.
  • Austria is one of the most scenic and richest countries in the world. Its ever growing tourism sector contributes greatly to this country’s economy. Expats who move to Austria looking for jobs in the tourism industry are sure to be successful. Other areas of employment include research and engineering.
  • To help the locals and tourists easily move around the places, Austria maintains a well managed Integrated public transportation systems. Railways connect the major cities while the bus routes connect most of the smaller towns with major rail networks.
  • Everyone can enjoy down skiing during the winter. You can get all necessary kits for ski sports for both experts and beginners.

2. Denmark

GPI Score : 1.150

denmark

  • Despite being a small country, at a certain point of time, Denmark had faced many serious issues due to crime and terrorism. However, it has successfully tackled all those problems and today it proudly stands on the list of safest countries in the world.
  • Starting from the year 2012, Denmark regularly reserves its spot on the list of the happiest country too.
  • Denmark is comprised of more than 400 small islands, and it is well known for offering equal opportunities and individual freedom. The gap between that exist among the higher officials, and floor workers are remarkably low than in all other countries.
  • Government of Denmark is keener on the concept of internationalization that makes this country as one of the most popular destinations for expats.
  • Since Danish and Swedish languages are closely related to each other, it wouldn’t be a big surprise to see a Dane and Swede conversing so happily in their own tongue. English is taught as the compulsory second language in secondary schools. So almost all people here can speak it well.
  • Irrespective of its small size, Denmark has many things to offer in terms of outdoor, sports, coastline and culture.

1. Iceland

 GPI Score: 1.148

iceland

 If you ask what is the most peaceful country in the world, your answer lies here. By securing the Best Global Peace Index Score 1.148, Iceland wins the title of the most peaceful country in the world in 2015.

  • This country is well known for its frosty climate, impressive attractions, glaciers, hot springs, and of course for the crime rate.
  • Iceland does not have any standing army. Instead, it has the rescue teams moving around. Even the pettiest crimes like pickpocket, wallet snatching are nonexistent in this country.
  • According to the “Global Study on Homicide,”, Iceland’s homicide rate has never exceeded over8 per 100,000 to date.
  • Icelanders love the peaceful state of their country more than anything else. For example, in 2013 when police force killed a man, the whole nation gathered and grieved like losing a member in their own family.
  • Iceland is a country with full of continuous volcanoes eruptions. So are you are interested in seeing the volcano eruptions? Pack your bags to this safest country in the world. Don’t worry. Peaceful ride is guaranteed!.
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How to make a pocket grill

DIY-Pocket-Grill-01-696x464

There are lots of portable grills out there for camping and other outdoor adventures, but we’ve discovered that ‘portable’ usually means ‘luggable’. But wait ‘coz the one featured here is pocket size and yes… it’s an easy DIY project.

A grill that you can carry in your pocket has to be as good as it gets as you won’t even feel its weight when added to your backpack!

As the title indicates, this really is a DIY grill compact enough to can carry in your pocket, yet it expands to a realistic, usable size! How’s that for packing light?

And what makes the pocket grill really perfect for outdoor activities is that it is easier to clean compared to the regular portable grills. Just disassemble it (which only takes about ten seconds) and clean the parts with ease!

Worried about the materials used? Aside from aircon tubes and gas lines copper is also used to make pots and other cookware, with many people regularly using them to make jams and other delicacies. The ‘grill grate’ on the other hand is made with stainless steel rods… So this pocket grill is totally safe for cooking.

Materials:

  • 3/4″ diameter Copper Tube
  • 5/8″ diameter Copper Tube
  • 2 Copper Tube Caps (size that will fit the larger diameter pipe)
  • 1/16″ diameter Stainless Steel Bicycle Spokes

Tools:

  • Hacksaw
  • Cutting Pliers
  • Drill
  • Utility Knife
  • File (or Sandpaper)
  • Ruler

The materials: Of course these are not mandatory, you are welcomed to improvise, but please wear safety gear and respect work security guidelines (or suffer the consequences of your foolish actions).

Basically you need two pieces of pipe, one must fit in the other, I used 18mm (3/4 inch) and 15mm (5/8 inch) copper tube; any metal should do, but I used copper because: it is relatively lightweight, doesn’t bend much when exposed to fire, it has thin walls and most importantly I had them lying around the house (leftovers from the heating system) so they were free.

Two copper tube caps that fit the larger diameter pipe (also lying around and also free).

Handful of approx. 2mm diameter bicycle spokes (1/16 inch). I can’t give you an exact number, you’ll see why in a bit. Make sure that you use stainless steel spokes, you’re going to eat off of them.

Pro Tip: If you have a bicycle repair shop nearby, you should ask them for broken spokes, you may get them for free (I hacked my old bike tire to death for this).

The measurements are pretty simple since you’ll need to cut everything to the same size (you will get a rectangular grill).

Pro Tip: The bigger you make your grill the more spokes you’ll need, make sure that the number of spokes you intend to use all fit inside the smaller diameter tube.

I made mine 20 cm wide (7.87401575 inches, just make it 8) since I found that about 25 2.2mm spokes fit inside the 15mm diameter tube

.DIY-Pocket-Grill-1

Cut tubes to length: Cut the two tubes to equal length and file the rough edges, as I previously mentioned I made them 20cm (approx. 8 inches).

DIY-Pocket-Grill-Step-01

Measure, mark and drill holes: Now that you’ve got your tubes cut to length, you need to mark and drill the holes for the spokes. (The only holes drilled through both sides of the tube are the ones where the nipples attach.)

DIY-Pocket-Grill-Step-03

Cut spokes to length: By now you have the exact number of spokes you’ll need, just count the holes. The spokes need too be the same length (or smaller) as the tubes, since they need to fit inside.

DIY-Pocket-Grill-Step-04

Pro Tip: You will need 2 spokes with intact threads on one end and 90° bend on the other so cut them about 5 – 10mm (1/16 – 3/8 inch) longer than the rest, please keep this in mind.

DIY-Pocket-Grill-Assembly-1

DIY-Pocket-Grill-Assembly-2

DIY-Pocket-Grill-Assembly-3

Assemble the grill: I’m not going to lie to you, this is painstaking to do until you do it a few times and get used to it.

DIY-Pocket-Grill-Disassembly

Disassemble and pack the grill: This is a “piece of cake”. Just unscrew the nipples and it falls apart. Packing it up is also pretty easy.

DIY-Pocket-Grill-27

Final Thoughts: Some of you expressed concern that copper emits harmful gasses when heated, I can’t scientifically refute this, but I couldn’t find any source on the internet proving it…

 

Linked from: http://diyprojects.ideas2live4.com/2016/01/29/how-to-make-a-pocket-grill/

Linked from  stvn.eu

 

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Parasites And Foodborne Illness

Parasites-and-Foodborne-Illness

Safe food handling is an essential aspect of good health.

And improper food handling can lead to a variety of sicknesses, even deaths. This is illustrated in the news frequently as restaurants and manufacturers sell unsafe food.

And as preppers, we need to be concerned.

During emergency situations, one of the first things to go is proper sanitary conditions. And that increases the risk of contracting a foodborne illness.

Today we will look at foodborne illness caused by parasite contamination.

Lets start with some definitions.

What is a parasite?

A parasite is an organism that derives its nourishment and protection from other living organisms known as hosts. Parasites may be transmitted from animals to humans, from humans to humans, or from humans to animals.

How are they transmitted?

Parasites may be transmitted from host to host through consumption of contaminated food and water, or by putting anything into your mouth that has touched the stool (feces) of an infected person or animal.

How do they vary?

Parasites are of different types and range in size from tiny, single-celled, microscopic organisms ( protozoa) to larger, multi-cellular worms ( helminths) that may be seen without a microscope. The size ranges from 1 to 2 µm (micrometers) to 2 meters long.

What parasites are discussed in this article?

  • Giardia duodenalis
  • Cryptosporidium parvum
  • Cyclospora cayetanensis
  • Toxoplasma gondii
  • Trichinella spiralis
  • Taenia saginata (beef tapeworm)
  • Taenia solium (pork tapeworm)

Giardia duodenalis or intestinalis (formerly called G. lamblia)

Giardia duodenalis, cause of giardiasis (GEE-are-DYE-uh-sis), is a one-celled, microscopic parasite that can live in the intestines of animals and people. It is found in every region throughout the world and has become recognized as one of the most common causes of waterborne (and occasionally foodborne) illness in the United States.

How do people get giardiasis?

People get giardiasis the following ways:

  • Giardiasis is frequently associated with drinking contaminated water, but some people might get infected by consuming uncooked meat also contaminated with G. duodenalis cysts (the infective stage of the organism).
  • By putting anything into your mouth that has touched contaminated surfaces or the stool of a person or animal with giardiasis.

Symptoms of giardiasis

Diarrhea, abdominal cramps, gas, and nausea are the most common symptoms. Chronic infection might lead to dehydration and severe weight loss. Some cases may be without symptoms.

When will symptoms appear? What is the duration?

Symptoms will usually appear 1 to 2 weeks after ingestion of a G. duodenalis cyst. They may last 2 to 6 weeks in otherwise healthy persons, but there are cases of chronic illnesses lasting months or even years.

Who is at risk for contracting giardiasis?

Those at risk include:

  • Day care providers and children attending daycare centers;
  • International travelers (traveler’s diarrhea);
  • Hikers, campers, or any other persons who may drink from untreated or contaminated water supplies, including while swimming in lakes or rivers; and
  • Young children, pregnant women, older adults, and persons with weakened immune systems, including those with HIV/AIDS infection, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, and transplant patients, or those individuals undergoing chemotherapy.

How to prevent giardiasis

  • Wash hands with warm water and soap before handling foods and eating, and after going to the bathroom, changing diapers, and handling animals.
  • Make sure infected individuals wash their hands frequently to reduce the spread of infection.
  • Drink water only from treated municipal water supplies.
  • When hiking, camping, or traveling to countries where the water supply may be unsafe to drink, either avoid drinking the water or boil it for 1 minute to kill the parasite. Drinking bottled beverages can be a safe alternative.
  • Do not swallow water while swimming.
  • Do not swim in community pools if you or your child has giardiasis.
  • Always cook your food to a safe internal temperature.
  • Drink only pasteurized milk, juices, or cider.
  • Wash, peel, or cook raw fruits and vegetables before eating.
  • Do not use untreated manure to fertilize fruits and vegetables. Watering untreated manure can spread the organism.

Cryptosporidium parvum

Cryptosporidium parvum, cause of the disease cryptosporidiosis (KRIP-toe-spo-RID-e-O-sis) also called “Crypto”, is a one-celled, microscopic shelled parasite and a significant cause of waterborne and foodborne illness worldwide. It is found in the intestines of many herd animals including cows, sheep, goats, deer, and elk. The illness could be intestinal, tracheal, or pulmonary.

How do people get cryptosporidiosis?

This parasite can be found in soil, food, water or surfaces that have been contaminated with feces from infected humans or animals.

People get cryptosporidiosis the following ways:

  • By consuming food or water contaminated with C. parvum oocysts (infective stage of the parasite). The oocysts are the environmentally resistant stage of the organism and are shed in the feces of a host (human or animal).
  • By putting anything into your mouth that has touched the stool of a person or animal with cryptosporidiosis.

Symptoms of intestinal cryptosporidiosis

Symptoms include watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, upset stomach, and slight fever. Some cases may be without symptoms.

When will symptoms appear? What is the duration?

Symptoms appear 2 to 10 days after ingestion of C. parvum oocysts. The illness usually goes away without medical intervention in 3 to 4 days. For healthy people, symptoms may last up to 2 weeks. For individuals with weakened immune systems, cryptosporidiosis can be serious, long-lasting, and sometimes fatal.

Who is at risk for contracting cryptosporidiosis?

Those at risk include:

  • Day care providers and children attending daycare centers;
  • Young children, pregnant women, older adults, and persons with weakened immune systems, including those with HIV/AIDS infection, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, and transplant patients, or those individuals undergoing chemotherapy.
  • International travelers (traveler’s diarrhea); and
  • Hikers, campers, or any other persons who may drink from untreated water supplies.

How to prevent cryptosporidiosis

  • Wash hands with warm water and soap before handling foods and eating, and after going to the bathroom, changing diapers, and handling animals.
  • Drink water only from treated municipal water supplies.
  • When hiking, camping, or traveling to countries where the water supply may be unsafe to drink, either avoid drinking the water or boil it for 1 minute to kill the parasite. Drinking bottled beverages can be a safe alternative.
  • Do not swallow water while swimming.
  • Do not swim in community swimming pools if you or your child has cryptosporidiosis.
  • Drink only pasteurized milk, juices, or cider.
  • Wash, peel, or cook raw fruits and vegetables before eating.
  • Do not use untreated manure to fertilize fruits and vegetables. Watering untreated manure can spread the organism.

Cyclospora cayetanensis

Cyclospora cayetanensis (SIGH-clo-SPOR-uh KYE-uh-tuh-NEN-sis), cause of cyclosporiasis, is a one-celled, microscopic parasite. Currently little is known about this organism, although cases of cyclosporiasis are being reported from various countries with increasing frequency.

How do people get cyclosporiasis?

People get cyclosporiasis the following ways:

  • By consuming food or water contaminated with C. cayetanensis oocysts (the infective stage of the organism).
  • By putting anything into your mouth that has touched the stool of a person or animal with cyclosporiasis.

Symptoms of cyclosporiasis

Symptoms include watery diarrhea (sometimes explosive), loss of appetite, bloating, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, low-grade fever, and fatigue. Some cases are without symptoms. Symptoms are more severe in persons with weakened immune systems.

When will symptoms appear? What is the duration?

Symptoms typically appear about 1 week after ingestion of C. cayetanensis oocysts. If untreated, the symptoms may last a week to more than a month. Symptoms may return.

Who is at risk for contracting cyclosporiasis?

Persons of all ages are at risk for infection.

Young children, pregnant women, older adults, and persons with weakened immune systems including those with HIV/AIDS infection, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, and transplant patients, or those individuals undergoing chemotherapy may be at greater risk for infection.

How to prevent cyclosporiasis

  • Wash hands with warm water and soap before handling foods and eating, and after going to the bathroom, changing diapers, and handling animals.
  • Make sure infected individuals wash their hands frequently to reduce the spread of infection.
  • Drink water only from treated municipal water supplies.
  • When hiking, camping, or traveling to countries where the water supply may be unsafe to drink, either avoid drinking the water or boil the water for 1 minute to kill the parasite. Drinking bottled beverages can be a safe alternative.
  • Do not swim in community swimming pools if you or your child has cyclosporiasis.
  • Wash, peel, or cook raw fruits and vegetables before eating.

Toxoplasma gondii

Toxoplasma gondii, cause of the disease toxoplasmosis (TOX-o-plaz-MO-sis), is a single-celled, microscopic parasite found throughout the world. It is the third leading cause of death from foodborne disease. It is interesting to note that these organisms can only carry out their reproductive cycle within members of the cat family. In this parasite-host relationship, the cat is the definitive host. The infective stage (oocyst) develops in the gut of the cat. The oocysts are then shed into the environment with cat feces.

How do people get toxoplasmosis?

People get toxoplasmosis the following ways:

  • By consuming foods (such as raw or undercooked meats, especially pork, lamb, or wild game) or drinking untreated water (from rivers or ponds) that may contain the parasite.
  • Fecal-oral: Touching your hands to your mouth after gardening, handling cats, cleaning a cat’s litter box, or anything that has come into contact with cat feces.
  • Mother-to-fetus (if mother is pregnant when first infected with T. gondii).
  • Through organ transplants or blood transfusions, although these modes are rare.

Symptoms of toxoplasmosis and severe toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasmosis is relatively harmless to most people, although some may develop “flu-like” symptoms such as swollen lymph glands and/or muscle aches and pains. In otherwise healthy individuals, the disease is usually mild and goes away without medical treatment. However, dormant non-infective parasites can remain in the infected individual for life. An unborn child may contract the parasite congenitally resulting in severe outcomes including miscarriage or stillbirth.

However, persons with weakened immune systems such as those with HIV/AIDS infection, organ transplant recipients, individuals undergoing chemotherapy, and infants may develop severe toxoplasmosis. Severe toxoplasmosis may result in damage to the eyes or brain. Infants becoming infected before birth can be born retarded or with other mental or physical problems.

When will symptoms appear? What is the duration?

The time that symptoms appear varies, but generally symptoms will appear 1 week to 1 month after consuming the parasite.

Infants infected while still in the womb may show no symptoms at birth, but develop symptoms later in life.

The duration of the illness depends on the health and immune status of the host. Persons with weakened immune systems may experience illnesses of long duration, possibly resulting in death.

Who is at risk for contracting severe toxoplasmosis?

Those at risk include:

  • Persons with weakened immune systems including those with HIV/AIDS infection, organ transplant recipients, or those individuals undergoing chemotherapy.
  • Infants born to mothers who become infected with T. gondii shortly before becoming pregnant or during pregnancy. Those mothers exposed to T. gondii longer than 6 months before becoming pregnant rarely transmit toxoplasmosis to their infants.

How to prevent toxoplasmosis

  • If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, or if you have a weakened immune system, you should discuss your risk of contracting toxoplasmosis with your health care provider.
  • Wear clean latex gloves when handling raw meats, or have someone who is healthy, and not pregnant, handle the meats for you.
  • Cook all raw beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops, and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source. For safety and quality, allow meat to rest for at least three minutes before carving or consuming. For reasons of personal preference, consumers may choose to cook meat to higher temperatures.
  • Cook all raw ground beef, pork, lamb, and veal to an internal temperature of 160 °F as measured with a food thermometer.
  • Cook all poultry to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer.
  • Wash hands, cutting boards, and other utensils thoroughly with hot, soapy water after handling raw meats.
  • Clean cat litter boxes daily because cat feces more than a day old can contain mature parasites.
  • Wash hands thoroughly with warm water and soap after handling cats, cleaning cat litter boxes, especially before you handle or eat food.
  • Wear gloves when you handle garden soil or sandboxes. Cats may use gardens or sandboxes as litter boxes. (Cover sandboxes to prevent cats from using them as litter boxes.)
  • Help prevent cats from becoming infected with T. gondii by discouraging them from hunting and scavenging.
  • Feed cats commercially made cat foods or cook their food.

Trichinella spiralis

Trichinella spiralis, cause of trichinellosis (also known as trichinosis) (TRICK-a-NO-sis) is an intestinal roundworm whose larvae may migrate from the digestive tract and form cysts in various muscles of the body. Infections occur worldwide, but are most prevalent in regions where pork or wild game is consumed raw or undercooked. The incidence of trichinosis has declined in the United States due to changes in hog feeding practices. Presently, most cases in this country are caused by consumption of raw or undercooked wild game.

How do people get trichinellosis?

People get trichinellosis (trichinosis) by consuming raw or undercooked meats such as pork, wild boar, bear, bobcat, cougar, fox, wolf, dog, horse, seal, or walrus infected with Trichinella larvae.

The illness is not spread directly from person to person.

Symptoms of trichinellosis

The first symptoms are nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, fatigue, and abdominal pain, followed by headaches, eye swelling, aching joints and muscles, weakness, and itchy skin. In severe infections, persons may experience difficulty with coordination and have heart and breathing problems. Death may occur in severe cases.

When will symptoms appear? What is the duration?

Abdominal symptoms may appear within 1 to 2 days after eating contaminated meat. Further symptoms (eye swelling and aching muscles and joints) may begin 2 to 8 weeks after infection. Mild cases may assumed to be flu. Symptoms may last for months.

Who is at risk for contracting trichinellosis?

Persons consuming raw or under cooked pork or wild game.

Persons with weakened immune systems including those with HIV/AIDS infection, organ transplant recipients, or those individuals undergoing chemotherapy may be at a greater risk for infection.

How to prevent trichinellosis

  • Wash your hands with warm water and soap after handling raw meat.
  • Cook all raw pork steaks, chops, and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source. For safety and quality, allow meat to rest for at least three minutes before carving or consuming. For reasons of personal preference, consumers may choose to cook meat to higher temperatures.
  • Clean meat grinders thoroughly each time you grind meat at home.

Taenia saginata/Taenia solium (Tapeworms)

Taenia saginata (beef tapeworm) and Taenia solium (pork tapeworm) are parasitic worms (helminths). Taeniasis is the name of the intestinal infection caused by adult-stage tapeworms (beef or pork tapeworms). Cysticercosis is the name of the tissue (other than intestinal) infection caused by the larval-stage of the pork tapeworm only.

It is interesting to note that humans are the definitive hosts of both organisms. This means that the reproductive cycle, and thus egg production by the organisms, occurs only within humans. Eggs are passed in human feces and they may be shed into the environment for as long as the worms remain in the intestines (for as long as 30 years). In addition, the eggs may remain viable in the environment for many months.

These diseases are more prevalent in underdeveloped countries where sanitation practices may be substandard and in areas where pork and beef are consumed raw or undercooked. They are relatively uncommon in the U.S., although travelers and immigrants are occasionally infected.

How do people get Taeniasis?

People get Taeniasis by consuming raw or undercooked infected beef or pork.

Symptoms of Taeniasis

Most cases of infection with adult worms are without symptoms. Some persons may experience abdominal pain, weight loss, digestive disturbances, and possible intestinal obstruction.

Irritation of the peri-anal area can occur, caused by worms or worm segments exiting the anus.

When will symptoms appear? What is the duration?

T. saginata (beef tapeworm) infections appear within 10 to 14 weeks. T. solium (pork tapeworm) infections appear within 8 to 12 weeks.

Taeniasis may last many years without medical treatment.

Who is at risk for contracting Taeniasis?

Anyone consuming infected beef or pork (raw or undercooked).

Persons with weakened immune systems including those with HIV/AIDS infection, organ transplant recipients, or those individuals undergoing chemotherapy may be at a greater risk for infection.

How to prevent Taeniasis

Cook all raw beef and pork steaks, chops, and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source. For safety and quality, allow meat to rest for at least three minutes before carving or consuming. For reasons of personal preference, consumers may choose to cook meat to higher temperatures.

How do people get cysticercosis?

People get cysticercosis the following ways:

  • By consuming food or water contaminated with the eggs of T. solium (pork tapeworm). Worm eggs hatch and the larvae then migrate to various parts of the body and form cysts called cysticerci. This can be a serious or fatal disease if it involves organs such as the central nervous system, heart, or eyes.
    By putting anything into your mouth that has touched the stool of a person infected with T. solium.
  • Some persons with intestinal tapeworms may infect themselves with eggs from their own feces as a result of poor personal hygiene.

Symptoms of cysticercosis

Symptoms may vary depending on the organ or organ system involved. For example, in muscles, lumps under the skin may result. Cysticercosis can cause blurred vision in the eyes. An individual with cysticercosis involving the central nervous system (neurocysticercosis) may exhibit neurological symptoms such as psychiatric problems or epileptic seizures. Death is common.

When will symptoms appear? What is the duration?

Symptoms usually appear from several weeks to several years after becoming infected with the eggs of the pork tapeworm ( T. solium). Symptoms may last for many years if medical treatment is not received.

Who is at risk for contracting cysticercosis?

Persons traveling to countries where sanitation may be substandard and the water supply may be unsafe.

Young children, pregnant women, older adults, and persons with weakened immune systems including those with HIV/AIDS infection, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, and transplant patients, or those individuals undergoing chemotherapy may be at greater risk for infection.

How to prevent cysticercosis

  • Drink water only from treated municipal water supplies.
  • Do not eat undercooked pork or meat.
  • When traveling to countries where the water supply may be unsafe, either avoid the water or boil it for 1 minute to kill parasite eggs. Avoid ice in those same areas. Drinking bottled beverages or hot coffee and tea are safe alternatives.
  • Do not swallow water while swimming.
  • Do not swim in community swimming pools if you or your child are infected with tapeworms.
  • Wash, peel, or cook raw fruits and vegetables before eating.
  • Make sure that infected individuals wash their hands frequently to reduce the spread of infection

Linked from: http://theweekendprepper.com/food-storage/parasites-foodborne-illness/

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The Eye-Opening Truth About Natural Disasters

We’re going to let you in on a little secret here…

You can’t STOP a natural disaster from happening. It is, after all, NATURAL.

The truth is, you CAN, however, prepare yourself for the unexpected!
That’s right!

YOU…can learn how to be prepared and protect yourself and your friends/family!
That is some exciting stuff!

Today, you have the privilege of learning about 5 different types of disasters that can occur and what you can do to prepare yourself.

We’re going to dig into earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, drought, and hurricanes.
With each one you’re going to learn specifically what can be done and how you can prepare.

Before talking about the different natural disasters, it is important to note that you should do your research and learn what disasters are more common in your area and what the potential is for each one to occur.

Next, you will make a plan!

No more hesitation, let’s jump in!

Let’s start with earthquakes by briefly learning what they are.

 

This event is the random shaking under the Earth’s surface that generally occurs at a fault line, or cracks in the Earth.

The effects can be very subtle or felt over a large area, depending on how large the earthquake is.

Can we predict these?
Unfortunately no.

That’s ok, we’re going to learn how to prepare!

1.  Gather your family for a meeting and determine where your safe location would be in the event of an earthquake.

You can observe your home or places that you frequent and decide where the best place is that you can take cover.

You’ll want to be against an interior wall or somewhere that you can drop to the ground so that you don’t fall.
(Make sure it is not near a window or a place where items could fall on you.)

2. Create an emergency survival kit with first aid, food, water, and any other essentials you would need.

3. In the case that an earthquake is happening, no matter where you are,  you’ll want to drop to the ground, if you can do so safely, and cover your head/neck with your arms.

The most important point is that you should really stay where you are unless it’s by a window or someplace knowingly dangerous, and stay there until the shaking stops.

Next up…Tornadoes!

 

A tornado is an extension of a severe thunderstorm. These can also accompany tropical storms and hurricanes.

They are funnel shaped clouds that rotate down to the ground and can create winds of up to 300 miles per hour.

As we all know, tornadoes can demolish buildings and homes in a matter of seconds.

How can you prepare?

1. Make a plan
with your family on where you will go if a tornado hits.

You’ll want to go to the most ground level of where you are or the basement if you have one.

Plan out what you’d do if you were outside and couldn’t get in a building.

2. Know the warning signs

Low dark clouds with movement, loud train-like sounds, hail, dark skies, and of course, paired with a thunderstorm.

3. Be in the know

Pay attention to your weather alerts and news stations.
Many times they will issue a watch or warning if they know one is approaching.

4. Create an emergency survival kit with first aid, food, water, and any other essentials you would need.

If a tornado has hit, the #1 key item you’ll want to remember is to seek shelter.

Flooding

If you’ve heard a watch or warning for a flood in your area, there are a lot of guidelines you should follow.

What should you do?

 

  • Plan with your family on where the highest ground is or where you would meet up if separated.

  • Listen to the radio/TV for updates. If they call for an evacuation, you’ll need to know this.

  • Prepare your home by turning off gas or electric appliances to avoid electrocution.

  • Create an emergency survival kit with first aid, food, water, and any other essentials you would need.

  • Do NOT walk or drive through water. Many times the depth can be deceiving and people will get swept off their feet or their car can stall and flood.

  • If water is rising quickly or you know there is a chance of a flash flood in your area, immediately get to higher ground.

  • If you’ve evacuated, only return home once you’ve gotten notice that is it safe to return from your local authorities.

Drought

 

Some people don’t really think of a drought as a natural disaster, but it is!

Luckily, for this one, we can really prepare with water conservation.

1. Repair dripping faucets or leaky pipes. It may not seem like a lot, but the water that is leaking can add up.

2. Choose appliances (toilet, water head, etc) that are water efficient.

3. Harvest your rainwater.

4. Outside, you can use mulch in flower beds, around trees, etc to keep the moisture longer.

5. Conserve water:
This can be as simple as turning the water off while brushing your teeth, not letting the water run while scrubbing a dish, or even catching that water in a bucket while you are waiting for it to get hot in the shower and using that to water your plants.

6. In your emergency survival kit, stockpile water for you and your family.

Honestly, there are SO many ways you can prepare for a drought just by using all the different methods of water conservation.

Hurricanes

These are large storms that gather energy and heat from the ocean water and when they touch land, they can be very hazardous!

Hurricanes seem to be a pretty common natural disaster that you CAN actually prepare for and luckily, we generally have a good heads up when one is coming our way.

We’re REALLY able to prepare for this.

1. First and foremost make a disaster plan with your family. Decide where you’ll meet if you’re split up, assign everyone roles, and make sure everyone knows what to do if a hurricane hits.

2. Create an emergency survival kit with first aid, food, water, and any other essentials you would need.

3. Know your area’s emergency evacuation route and plan where you would stay. (This should be part of your disaster plan)

4. You can prepare your home by purchasing a generator in case you lose power.

5. Have a portable radio or a source to be able to listen to news/weather updates.

6. Board up or place hurricane shutters on the windows.(During a hurricane it is advised to stay away from all windows even if they are boarded)

7. Fill your car’s gas tank up in the event you need to leave.

8. Charge your phone so you have full power if you need it.

There are so many different ways you can prepare for a hurricane that the list is really endless, but you will have a good educated jump to start preparing.

Going through each of these 5 different scenarios, have you noticed a similarity?

With each one, one of the key points is that you should create an emergency survival kit.

Remember that!
The significance of that is very important and no matter what the situation, a survival kit is a key item that you should have at hand in your home!

We’ve gone through 5 of the different natural disasters and what you can do with your friends/family to prepare yourself.

By no means, should you stick to this list ONLY. This is just to get you going.
Do some research and see what else you can do!

Prepare yourself to avoid repair!

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How To Avoid Drowning

Help needed. Drowning man's hand in sea or ocean.

Each year, too many people drown in the United States just because they don’t understand the dangers of water. People have drowned in as little as 1 inch of water when they were knocked unconscious and landed face down in a mud puddle.

Drowning chokes and kills over 372,000 people each year, being the world’s 3rdbiggest cause of unintended death. That’s 7% of all injury-related deaths due to something most take for granted, even if they don’t live near water. It takes 3,536 innocent US lives each year, with one in 5 being children.

Even if you’re lucky enough to survive, brain damage could leave you in a vegetative state.

However, most drownings occur in freshwater lakes, rivers, streams, backyard swimming pools, or at the beach. Learning all you can about how to recognize and avoid drowning is a first step to building a water survival plan that should include all of the elements that you will find below.

How Do you Know He / She is Drowning?

When a person begins to drown, a very small amount of water enters the lungs. This tiny amount triggers a spasm in the trachea muscles, which then causes the throat to close. Once the airway seals up, there is no way for air or water to get through. This is why people who are drowning usually are unable to scream for help.

Here are the signs and symptoms of drowning and near drowning:

  • Head low in the water with mouth at water level.
  • Head tilted back with mouth open.
  • Eyes glassy, empty, and unfocused.
  • Eyes open with fear evident on the face.
  • Hyperventilating or gasping for air.
  • Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway.
  • Trying to roll over on their back to float.
  • No motion – the victim may be unable to move their arms or legs.

If you are going to rescue somebody in a body of water, you must be sure that you do not become a victim yourself by being dragged under by a panicking individual in the water. If the person in distress is relatively close to you, your first option is to try to reach for him with your arm, a pole, or a long stick.

If this individual is farther out than you can reach, try throwing a rope with a safety ring attached to it. If this does not work, then you may want to go out to them with a row boat or other watercraft. As a last resort you will have to go into the water after them.

If you must swim after the individual, use a lifeline that is tied in a loop around your chest. In the event that the individual starts to panic and tries to use you as a flotation device, the rope-handling crew on the edge of the water can pull you both back to safety.

If you are swimming to the rescue and you are not using a lifeline or rescue buoy, approach the victim so that he cannot reach out and grab you. If he tries it in his panicked mental state, you will have to push away from him, block him, or go under water fast. These actions will cause the victim to let go so that you can try to come in for your rescue a second time.

How to Survive Drowning

Using the Clothes to Avoid Drowning

If you fall into the water and your shirt is tucked into your pants, you can use your shirt to make an air bubble to float on. It is also possible to make an air floating device by using your jeans or other long-legged pants. This air float will last longer and can be used to keep up to four people floating for a good length of time.

Using the Drown-Proofing Method to Stay Alive

Drown-proofing is a water survival technique that was invented by Fred Lanoue, a swimming coach at Georgia Institute of Technology from 1936 to 1964. It was his belief that everyone should be able to survive in the water, and he developed a simple technique that was easy to learn and did not depend on physical strength.

According to Lenone, everyone has a small amount of buoyancy, but it is not enough to keep all of the head above water. An individual can float in an upright position, with their face submerged and only lifting the mouth and nose above the water when it is necessary to breathe. Using this method, it is possible to float indefinitely while only using a small amount of energy.

The first thing you’ll likely wonder is how effective drown-proofing is. Anyone can learn to survive indefinitely in the water as soon as this technique is mastered. The average person can only swim a few laps of the pool, but with drown-proofing, the swimmer can take a break and rest until they are ready to continue swimming. Drown-proofing techniques are also useful to handicapped swimmers that might not be able to swim for a long period of time.

The following are the basic steps that you need to follow for drown-proofing. If you take a class on this skill, you can learn in just a few days.

Using Only Your Arms

  • Fill your lungs with a good breath of fresh air and float vertically with the back of your head just breaking the surface of the water. The water will support your body.
  • Let your arms float slowly toward the surface with your elbows bent until your hands are in front of your shoulders.
  • With a steady movement, push downwards and back with your hands until your mouth clears the water.
  • Repeat this every 10 to 15 seconds.

Using Your Arms and Legs

  • When using the arms and leg method, use a scissors kick with your legs and press downward with your hands at the same time. The object of this motion is to use as little energy as possible to keep a balanced position.
  • The trick is to get your head just far enough out of the water to get a breath. If you use too much energy to get your head above water, you will come too far out of the water. As you go back down you will sink too deep into the water.
  • The goal is to achieve a gentle, easy action that uses very little energy. The less effort you expend, the better.

Get the Breathing Right: It’s Very Important

  • When your head first emerges from the water, it should be tilted slightly forward so that the water falls away from your face.
  • Open your mouth wide when you inhale so you get as much air as possible.
  • In drown-proofing it is very important to consciously change the way you breathe. Keep your lungs full of air as much of the time as possible.
  • When you take a breath exhale and inhale as quickly as possible through your mouth.

Knowing what to do around water is the key to your survival. Always be attentive and don’t panic in dangerous situations.

Planning is the key to your survival. Without a water survival plan and regular practice, the end result could be the death of you or your friends or family.

Linked from: https://www.patriotdirect.org/how-to-avoid-drowning/

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Build your own Underground Bunker

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Okay, so you might not be able to do all this by yourself, but this might get you started on your way to having your very own, very quiet and thick skinned underground bunker.

Why would you want one?

Well, that’s the question, isn’t it. Most people don’t do the whole underground thing, unless they’re mad dictators or something of the sort. The problem with this is that none of us are reallyready, if you catch our drift. If something were to happen, where you would need an underground, reinforced hideout, you’re out of luck now, aren’t you? Yes you are.

 

Whether you build this thing as a standard panic room or a separate shelter, it would be a good addition to your home, it’ll raise the property value (considerably) if you ever want to move away, and if the day should come when “they” decide to drop the big one on your local town, you’ll be up and about along with the cockroaches in no time, while everyone else are so much dust in the wind. Nice, huh? Yes it is.

What to do first.

According to BunkerBuilders.com, you have to find a suitable place for your bunker. They’ve got a nice checklist which we will take the liberty of reproducing here.

Things to consider when deciding where to build your underground shelter:

  • As deep underground as possible to protect from radiation, flying projectiles and debris.
  • Outside of areas known to be flood prone, including areas within the 100 year flood plain.
  • The bunker should be placed so that the evacuees have a short route to the entrance.
  • Away from any potential debris field and its emergency exits and air inlets can be extended on several sides of the building into zones that are free from debris and fire.
  • The bunker should have as much of its external walls against the ground as possible for protection from heat and for support provided by the surrounding soil.
  • Away from potential fuel concentrations, flammable materials, vehicles and hazardous materials.
  • Away from large objects and multi-story buildings, light poles, antennas, satellite dishes or roof mounted mechanical equipment.
  • The bunker should be made easily concealed.

Most sane people who decide to build themselves a bunker or a hardened part of their house to use as a panic room won’t fall in this trap, but we’re going to warn you anyway; If the people you’re looking to buy a shelter from (yes, some come pre-fab) has 2012 “Planet X” propaganda on their website, you should probably look elsewhere. “Stealth Installation” (yes, there are companies advertising this) isn’t really a viable option either, since a genuinely safe underground bunker will be noticed during construction. Also, you’ll probably need permits to build them, unless you live on a remote farm or on a huge property in the middle of a forest somewhere.

Ready-Made, perhaps?

We’ll mention one other alternative before we go on, however. There are a lot of read-made, nuclear-proof homes out there. It’s true! They’re on the market, too – readily available for purchase by anyone (who has the money). Granted, they can be expensive, but if you

have 400,000 – 4,6 million dollars just burning holes in your pockets, then this could be just what you’re looking for. What about a beautiful home built on top of an Atlas F missile silo with all the trimmings? 2000 lbs blast doors, several stories of hardened housing down into the earth, all the comforts of a top-notch residence on every level.

This probably isn’t for everyone, however, even if you’ve got the money and the financial planning for it. Most of these sites are pretty dreary – location-wise, at least. You pretty much have to choose between living in the middle of some desert or other (there’s one smack in the middle of Texas, for example) or deep in some woods where you actually need that private airstrip (like in the picture, there).

So we’ll go on to how you should go about building your own – slightly-smaller-than-a-missile-silo underground bunker. Should be fun.

Get your Permits, mister.

Make sure you’ve got the permits you need to dig and build in the place you found while following the list up above there. If you can’t meet all of the requirements, that’ll probably be okay, but you do need to come close, however. Also, you need to make sure that you’re not going to dig through your neighborhood’s watersupply, cables, drainage tunnels and all of those nasty things that seem to do nothing but cause trouble once they see daylight.

Once you know you’re allowed to dig, and you won’t cut off the nation’s internet access by severing a fiber cable down there, you’re good to go. Now you either get yourself a machine, or you hire someone to dig your hole for you. If you’re not in construction and you haven’t dug a hole like this before, hiring someone to do it for you is probably a great idea.

If you want to try doing this yourself, eHow has a nice write-up of a (very) basic shelter, which is probably possible to pull off on your own. It does require a lot of concrete work, which can be trying unless you have a lot of experience, but not impossible at all.

If you want something more than a basic shelter with four concrete walls and a bucket to do your business in, however, you should leave the construction itself to a professional contractor.

What you should do yourself is designing the place, making sure that you get it exactly the way you want it.

Bunker Design

One of the most fascinating bunker designs out there is the Vivos approach. This company is building bunkers all over the US, and will also build one for you, based on their own designs, but customizable to no end, apparently. Even if you don’t buy a bunker off them, it’s a good idea to check out their specs here (be patient with that pdf – their site is as slow as cold molasses).

As futuristic as anything out there, these bunkers will apparently be able to save you from anything – tsunamis, anarchy, radiation, blasts, heat, fallout – they’ll apparently save humanity when 2012 runs out too… yes, we said something about that up above, we know, but still. These bunkers are seriously neat.

The military has been building bunkers for a long time, and they’re probably the best people out there when it comes to making secure, timeless and useful bunkers, functional to the bone and efficient on top of that. You would do well to read one of their survival guides, for example, before you start prioritizing your bunker design. Basing your design on the army’s specifications is a very good idea, but you might want to add some more comfort to your hole – after all, you don’t know how long you’ll be in there, and if you plan on using this space as an addition to your normal living quarters, then you might want more than four concrete walls and a wooden bunk bed.

Sitting down and drawing up your bunker is a good idea – remember that you don’t necessarily need to reinforce every single wall in there, as long as the structure is sound and strong. Plan for drywalls inside the shelter, so you can hide air filtering, wiring and pipes, just as you would in a regular home.

Some things to consider when designing your new underground shelter:

– Light.There’s not going to be any windows, so plan for more light sourcesthan you would in a regular house. Make sure that you have emergency lighting on separate curcuits – you never know when that might come in handy.

– Air. Filtration systems aren’t cheap, but the most common flaw in private bunkers is a lack of adequate ventilation. Spring for the bigger one, if in doubt.

– Water. Again, filtration systems aren’t cheap, but they’re necessary if you’re going to use an outside source as a water supply down in your bunker. The alternative is to get a water tank, but depending on the size, that won’t keep you for long. Plan to have more resources than you think you’ll strictly need.

– Food. Stock up with emergency stuff, and get the fresh meats and fruits down there when there might be a need for them. Storage of food is what drains the most energy, so plan for this. Use ground cold/heat to store your food, and go for high-quality dried foods (such as MREs) and canned goods. That will get you a long way.

Linked from: http://snallabolaget.com/?page_id=1343

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How to Survive a Hurricane

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After Hurricane Katrina took over 1,800 lives and left a trail of devastation, you’d think that people would have learned their lesson. But, when Hurricanes Ike, Irene, Eresto, and Sandy struck (amongst the many other hurricanes and tropical storms which have hit the United States in the past decade), the local residents and governments were overwhelmingly unprepared. Take a lesson from history and learn how to survive a hurricane – before it is too late!

Truth: You Aren’t As Prepared As You Think

Many people of coastal towns think that they have done a good job of preparing for a hurricane. But, in reality, they often haven’t done more than stock up some non-perishable foods.

Unless you plan on making a floatation device out of your boxes of Cheerios, this isn’t going to save your life!

Disaster planning requires a multifaceted approach. If you want to really be ready to survive a hurricane, then you need to ask yourself questions like:

  • How will my family and I evacuate? Where will we go?
  • What will we eat and drink during and after the hurricane?
  • How will we go to the bathroom? (the plumbing won’t be working during a flood!)
  • How will we treat injuries?
  • How will we stay clean?
  • How will we pay for cleanup and restoration after the hurricane?

If you can’t answer all of these questions, then you aren’t prepared to survive a hurricane!

Truth: You Don’t Know What to Expect

When hurricane winds of 75+ miles per hour hit, you can expect broken tree branches, downed power lines, and large tidal waves. But, with any disaster, there is a lot that we can’t predict.

For example, 6 unarmed people were shot by the police at Danziger Bridge in New Orleans as they looked for food and supplies. The police said they were protecting the community from looters. But, in the chaos, the police were strained and opened fire on civilians – the very people they were supposed to protect.  This is just one example of how disasters can spiral out of control and create other disasters.

Truth: You Are More Vulnerable than You Think

If you live on the coast, then you are probably aware of the risk of hurricanes and have taken some effort to prepare. But it is actually the people who live inland who suffer the most casualties from hurricanes. Yes, that’s right: 60% of hurricane deaths occur inland and away from the ocean!

The deaths occur because of flash flooding, mudslides, and tornadoes which are caused by the heavy rainfall and winds. So don’t think you are safe just because you are away from the coast.

Truth: Most Hurricane Deaths Occur Are Avoidable

Even though hurricane winds are above 74 mph, it isn’t the wind which kills most people. It isn’t even drowning which kills most people.

The majority of deaths from hurricanes occur because people did something careless.

Or they did something downright stupid. Like taking a “walk” to the coast to see how big the waves are.

For example, during Hurricane Sandy, 8% of deaths were due to carbon monoxide poisoning. This occurred when people used generators in their homes, but without proper venting or a carbon monoxide detector. Use of propane heaters and lamps can also cause carbon monoxide.

Some common “careless” causes of death in the aftermath of hurricanes include:

  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Electrocution from touching downed power lines
  • Drowning in car because attempted to drive through flood water
  • Falling off roofs during cleanup

How to Survive a Hurricane: What You Should Do

FEMA has a decent guide on what to do to survive a hurricane. However, here is the more in-depth guide on how to survive a hurricane so you can be ready. Click the links to learn more about the steps.

Preparation Steps before the Hurricane

  1. Stockpile emergency food and water
  2. Stockpile emergency supplies
  3. Gather evacuation documents
  4. Make an evacuation bag
  5. Learn how to turn off the gas, electricity and water safely (and teach everyone on the family)
  6. Create an emergency communication plan with your family
  7. Create an evacuation plan (plan where you will go and map out routes)
  8. Get a generator and learn how to use it safely
  9. Get flood insurance if you can afford it
  10. Install a flood water pump
  11. Put equipment higher up in your house (such as moving breakers from the basement to the first floor)
  12. Reinforce your doors and latches
  13. Install wooden storm shutters on windows
  14. Install sturdier shingles on roofs
  15. Buy an reliable inflatable raft and life jackets

Steps When a Hurricane Watch is in Place

  1. Bring in all outdoor furniture
  2. Check your survival supplies. Fill up more water if you need to.
  3. Listen to the news of the hurricane.

Steps When Hurricane Warning is in Place

  1. Evacuate! Do NOT wait until it is too late. And do not wait until an evacuation order has been issued. By then, the traffic will be very bad.
  2. Board up windows and doors with plywood. Tape will not protect windows.
  3. If you cannot evacuate, then get into a safe room in the house.
  4. Turn off the electricity and gas at the mains.
  5. Do not look out windows or go outside
  6. Do not drive. If you must drive, do not drive through water. Just 6 inches of water can carry away a vehicle.
  7. Do not use candles or unprotected flames during the hurricane

Steps After the Hurricane Has Passed

  1. Do not exit until authorities say the threat is over. The sudden calm might just be the eye of the storm.
  2. Stay out of rooms which could be hit by falling branches
  3. Do not drink water without sanitizing it first. Sanitation facilities don’t work during power outages. Listen to hear if “boil alerts” are in place.
  4. Use text messages only to contact loved ones. Do not tie up the phone lines as these are needed for emergency calls.
  5. Do not walk through flood water in your home. Many drowning deaths occur from slip-and-fall accidents.
  6. Do not walk through flood water outdoors. It is often contaminated with sewage, or may be electrified from downed power lines.
  7. Do not perform any repairs unless you are 100% you can do it safely.

Linked from: http://www.primalsurvivor.net/how-to-survive-a-hurricane/

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EXPLORING NATURE WITH CHILDREN

We are a family of nature lovers. Each one of us would prefer to be outside than indoors. We hike all the time. As we hike, we talk and explore and learn.

And, sometimes, we come home and do an activity or read a book that is somehow related to the day’s discoveries.

Exploring Nature With Children 3But… we don’t do an Official Nature Study. 

I’ve always wanted to, mind you. I love nature! I want my kids to grow to love and understand the plants, animals, and insects that are in our own backyard. But I never get around to actually planning and organizing the Official Nature Study. So, instead, it ends up being a hodge podge of stuff that I find around the house and a quick Google search. And I keep telling myself that I’ll be more organized soon and that soon we’ll have an Official Nature Study of our very own.

I always feel guilty that we don’t do something more official over here, especially because we spend so much time outdoors.

But a few months ago, right around Thanksgiving-ish, my friend Kara introduced to me to a nature study curriculum. And not only is it fun, but it is incredibly easy to use.

It was love at first sight!

Today, I’m going to share it with you and tell you why you will love it too. Whether you love to be outside, like us, or whether you know nothing about nature but feel the need to incorporate it anyway- this curriculum fits!

homeschool, homeschooling, education, nature study, charlotte mason, nature exploration, parenting

Disclosure: I received Exploring Nature with Children: A Complete Year-Long Curriculum at no cost in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review and, as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. I only share products and resources that I would use with my own family.

EXPLORING NATURE WITH CHILDREN: A COMPLETE YEAR-LONG CURRICULUM

Exploring Nature with Children: A Complete, Year-Long Curriculum by Lynn SeddonExploring Nature with Children: A Complete Year-Long Curriculum was created by Lynn Seddon, a fellow homeschooling mom and blogger. It is just what is says: a complete, year-long curriculum. It contains 48 weeks of material, starting in September and continuing throughout the year, but you can jump into the curriculum at any point during the year. We started using it in late November.

The book is completely self-contained, housing all the information you need to make nature study a part of your family’s routine. It would work for both those comfortable in nature and those new to nature exploration.

 

Exploring Nature with Children 10

WHAT IS INCLUDED?

Exploring Nature with Children 6

Some of the specimens we collected earlier this winter.

The first chapter of the book explains how to use the book in your homeschool and also includes the following:

  • An overview of nature study
  • A page for each season, complete with a list of materials required for each weekly nature walk.
  • A chapter for each month, including four weekly themed nature study lessons for each month.

EACH WEEK’S NATURE STUDY INCLUDES:

  • A nature walk activity
  • A reference to a section in The Handbook of Nature Study (a fantastic book that I should have had in my library years ago!)
  • A reading list
  • A piece of art to study
  • A poem to study
  • Extension activities related to the week’s theme

WHAT THIS HOMESCHOOLING MOM LOVES ABOUT EXPLORING NATURE WITH CHILDREN

Exploring Nature with Children 9There are so many things that I love about this curriculum. It encompasses so many of the qualities that I look for when purchasing a curriculum.

  • It is affordable
  • It is simple, yet filled with great content
  • It is easy to use- you can jump right in immediately
  • It works well with multiple ages
  • It meshes into our lifestyle perfectly
  • It incorporates other subjects, such as science, writing, music appreciation, art, and poetry.
  • Oodles of fun crafts
  • We all learn something from it
  • Can be used for multiple years

All I needed to do was to download and print the curriculum and put it in a binder. Then, we were good to go! We started that very day!

Exploring Nature with Children 5

WHAT DO YOU NEED?

Exploring Nature with Children 1You could honestly get by with this curriculum and your library card alone, but I did invest in a couple additional items:

  • Nature journals for each of us
  • The Handbook of Nature Study by Anne Botsford Comstock (this had been on my wish list forever and it has already become a classic in our home).
  • Plus, I made use of our DIY Nature Explorer Packs on each hike.

Here’s a confession, guys. Sometimes I fly by the seat of my pants over here. I intend to plan, but sometimes I don’t. What I love about this curriculum is that you can pick and choose what to do each week. Did you forget to pick up the recommended reading for that week at the library? No worries! Search the internet for a read aloud of the book (we have such great luck with this), substitute another book on the topic, or skip it altogether and use a different extension activity.

Exploring Nature with Children 2

EXPLORING NATURE WITH CHILDREN HAS BECOME A PART OF OUR WEEKLY ROUTINE…

… and we love it! Here’s a few examples of the many ways we have enjoyed this curriculum:

  1. NATURE JOURNALINGExploring Nature with Children 4

  2. TRACKINGExploring Nature with Children 12Exploring Nature with Children 11

  3. TREE STUDYnature10

  4. BIRD FEEDING STATIONExploring Nature with Children 7

  5. CELEBRATING WINTER SOLSTICEnature9

  6. LEARNING ABOUT, AND RECORDING WEATHERnature8

  7. SALT DOUGH ORNAMENTS

  8. STUDYING THE PHASES OF THE MOON

  9. POND STUDYImage source: Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley

  10. AND THIS WEEK WE WILL BE CELEBRATING CANDLEMAS DAY (ONE WEEK LATE!) BY MAKING OUR OWN CANDLES!

This curriculum even inspired our children to create a nature-themed I Spy game that we pack on our hikes!unnamed (57)

I’m so thankful that Kara introduced me to such a simple-to-implement, fun, year-long nature study. Our family has enjoyed it every single week since late November. We like it so much that we even brought it on vacation!

Linked from: http://my-little-poppies.com/exploring-nature-children/

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How to Make Your Own Compost

Compost-facebook

How to Make Your Own Compost

Well, it’s been a while. I’ve been busy drying herbs for the winter as well as getting my yard in general ready for winter. But I have time right now, so I figured I would write about How to Make Your Own Compost. Here is the information on that, in outline form (as a teacher and eternal student, I can’t help it).

 

1) Structures:

*There are many different ways to keep your compost, including the following:

A) Wire, Wood, or Cinder block structures:

Wire Structure for Compost

*use one of these products to form a square or circular shape, but leave an opening (ex: 3 sided square with 4th side open for easy access)

*with this structure, you turn compost ingredients with a garden fork to help the decomposition process

*this is a clean-looking way and yet also traditional-ish way to keep compost (compared to the other options)

Cinder Block Structure for Compost

B) Pit or Pile composting:

*dig a hole 2-3 feet deep and unlined. Add compost ingredients until the pit is filled. Cover the compost with soil and allow it to decompose. When ready, unearth the compost and use.

*piles work only if you are diligent about turning your pile and keeping it moist. This is not an attractive option but it is the cheapest.

C) Buy a ready-made compost bin from a garden supply shop

*be careful to buy a proper product (organic, etc.).

*Here are a few ideas for you: (1) Tumbling Composter (2) Gallon-Sized Compost Bucket

 

2) Creating the Compost:

A) Place several small twigs in the bottom of your chosen structure. This provides air pockets at the bottom for proper decomposition.

B) Add a layer of soil, about 8-10 inches deep.

C) Cover the soil with 4-6 inches of manure. Use whatever type of livestock manure is available to you, but make sure it is from a good organic source. Do NOT use dog or cat manure. The more aged the manure, the faster it will compost.

D) Add additional items such as:
*vegetable scraps
*fruit trimmings/scraps
*grains
*egg shells
*tea/tea leaves
*leaves
*garden trimmings
*grass clippings

E) Do NOT add the following items to your compost:
*meat scraps
*excessive dairy products (a little bit is okay)
*trimmings from diseased plants

F) Add a 6 inch layer of soil and a 2-4 inch layer of manure every 24 inches to ensure a healthy compost. It should look like this:



3) Activating the Compost:

*To help speed up the process, you can activate your compost in the following ways:

A) You can buy compost activator products from garden shops (like this one).

B) Make your own activator:

Make a compost tea and add to your compost once every 3 months. Wear gloves while doing this. Also, this recipe makes enough for a 64 cubic foot compost pile.
*6 cups dried or 12 cups fresh nettles (find good quality dried nettles here)
*6 cups dried or 12 cups fresh comfrey leaves (find good quality dried comfrey here)
*2 cups flaked or powdered kelp
*1 cup liquid fish emulsion
Put all ingredients into a 5 gallon bucket and fill the bucket with water. Allow the mixture to sit in a warm place for 4-8 hours. Pour all contents of buck into the compost pile.

4) Working the Compost:

A) Turning the compost:
*Turn your compost once a month in warm and hot weather. In colder months, turning is less crucial. Turn with a shovel or a garden fork. The goal is to flip the pile. As you turn the pile, you may find a small amount of rich, dark brown soil at the bottom. This pile of compost is ready to use but may also be mixed into the pile for later use.

B) Water the compost:
*This is an important part of the compost’s quality. The compost should stay evenly moist, NOT soaking wet or dried out. Simply water with a hose as evenly as possible.

5) Using Your Compost:

*Once the material is ready for use, apply 1-3 inches to the top of your garden soil. Work it into the soil until it is well mixed. It is ideal to add the compost in the spring, but you can really add it at any time. After mixing it into the soil, water the garden thoroughly.

 

Enjoy the healthy plants that this compost will surely help you get! :)

Linked from: http://www.thehomesteadgarden.com/howtomakeyourowncompost/

How to Make Your Own Compost

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How To Get Water From A Tree – Survival

 

1- Burdock

If you’ve ever been out in the woods and gathered the little burrs on your socks that annoy the crap out of you, you’ve encountered burdock. Those burrs are the seeds of the burdock plant, and are actually the inspiration behind the invention of velcro! While you wouldn’t want to eat the burrs, the root of the plant is quite edible. Soak the roots in water for 5-10 minutes to remove any muddy, pungent taste, and then boil them for 5-10 minutes (in clean water). They have a mild, sweet flavor. Dried burdock root is also considered a diuretic (increases urine production), diaphoretic (increases sweat production), and a blood purifying agent, and has been used as a holistic detoxifying agent for those reasons.

burdock

2- Chickweed

Also called “chickenwort” or “winterweed,” chickweed is a cool season plant found throughout most parts of North America and Europe. It can be eaten raw in a salad or cooked like spinach. You can eat the leaves, flowers and stems, though you should probably cook the fuzzy stems. Chickweed also contains a chemical compound called saponin, and can be toxic if eaten in large quantities, so eat it sparingly. It has been said that the plant has been used to relieve rheumatic, arthritic and period pains, and a poultice made from chickweed can be used to help heal cuts, burns, bruises and even mange.
chickweed

3- Elderberries

Elderberry plants are members of the honeysuckle family and can grow up to 13 feet tall. Their berries and flowers grow together in clusters. The blue and purple colored berries are edible, but the red berries will make you sick. The white flower petals can also be eaten raw or steeped into a fragrant tea. You can also take the entire flower cluster, dip it in a tempura-style batter, and fry the whole thing. The berries and flowers are also used in herbal cold medicines.

elderberries1

4- Fiddleheads

Fiddleheads are quarter-sized green offshoots of the fern plant. They can be found in the wild primarily in the Northeast and around the Great Lakes region of North America. Left alone, they will unfurl as a new shoot from the plant. A word of caution – fiddleheads contain a mild toxin that will cause a severe upset stomach. However, cooking the plant will kill the toxin and make it safe to eat. Boil for 5 minutes or steam for 10, then sautee. Fiddleheads taste like a cross between asparagus and fresh green beans.
fiddleheads

5- Lavender

While it can be found in many planted landscapes, lavender can also be found in the wild. It has a sweet, perfumy flavor with a slight notes of citrus and can be eaten raw or steeped into a fragrant tea. Lavender is often used in cookies, jelly, wine, sauces, and custards. The blossoms are also a sweet addition to champagne. Lavender has also been used for restlessness, insomnia, nervousness, depression and a variety of digestive issues.

lavender

6- Miner’s Lettuce

Miner’s lettuce got its name from the Gold Rush miners who (after learning the trick from the local Indians) used to eat the wild plant to stave off scurvy. Reminiscent of spinach, the plant is chock full of vitamins, deliciously crunchy, mild-tasting, and remains tender even when in flower. Although pictures usually show miner’s lettuce with a round leaf with a flower stalk in the center, early in the season the leaves are more likely to be spade-shaped. Eat the leaves raw. It’s so delicious, there’s no reason to do it any other way.

miners-lettuce

7- Palm Hearts

Also called “swamp cabbage,” palm hearts are harvested from the inner cores of palm trees. Palm hearts are rich in protein, iron and fiber. They can be eaten chilled in salad, braised,deep-fried, stir-fried, sauteed or boiled. Pale in color, palm hearts have a tender, delicate flavor, similar to a mild artichoke or coconut. Many upscale restaurants around the world serve hearts of palm fresh, crispy and crunchy in mixed salads and also prepared with seafood. To get to the edible palm hearts, simply peel away the outer layers. I say “simply”, but to be quite honest, I’m sure it’s not very easy to do.
palm-hearts

8- Pecans

Most people, especially in the Southern US, know all about pecans. If you’ve ever seen a pecan, even on top of a pie, you’d easily recognize one again. Harvesting pecans that have fallen to the ground is pains-taking, back breaking work, but is so worth it in the end (trust me – I’m speaking from lots of experience). Once found and broken free of their hard outer shell, pecans can be eaten raw. If they have a slight bitter taste, they probably don’t have all of the inner shell removed, but it’s nothing to worry about. You can also roast pecans over a fire to enhance their flavor and bring out some of the natural oils of the nut.
pecans

9- Stinging Nettles

Nettles usually appear in the same places year after year. They are covered with tiny, nearly invisible stinging hairs that produce an intense, stinging pain, followed by redness and continued skin irritation. However, if you find them and can harvest them without getting “stung”, these plants are edible. Once cooked, they lose their sting as the hairs are cooked off of them. They can be steamed, boiled or sauteed. They are full of vitamins and minerals, and are actually a decent source of protein, too! They have a very mild woodsy flavor.

nettles

10- Wild Ginger

Wild ginger grows in colonies on forest floors underneath trees. The leaves grow in pairs, and are heart-shaped and have the appearance of ivy. During the early spring, you may find flowers growing from the crotch of the leaf pairs. These flowers are very unique and have no actual petals, but are burgandy in appearance. The roots of the plant can be eaten as a ginger substitute and the leaves can be steeped into a tea. HOWEVER- eat wild ginger in strict moderation. Do NOT eat it by the handfuls as there is a slight toxic quality when eaten in large quantities. Think of it more as a seasoning for your wild edible salad instead of a main ingredient.

wild-ginger

WARNING: Identification and use of wild plants requires particular care and attention. Never eat any plant unless you are absolutely sure that it is edible! It is a good idea to cross-reference your knowledge with a book written by an expert. The information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The author assumes no responsibility whatsoever for any adverse effects encountered by the individual. Please harvest wild edibles at your own risk! As with any foraged food, make sure the plant has not been sprayed with any chemicals and is not growing anywhere that toxic waste is dumped. Try to avoid plants grown too close to the roadways as they tend to contain too much dust and automotive exhaust.

Linked from: http://survivalathome.com/10-more-wild-plants-you-can-eat/

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Orlando Shootings: More To Come, What To Do

active shooter

Active Shooters: What to Do

In the sad aftermath of the Orlando shootings that killed or injured more than 100 people, it has become clear to me that we’re in for a rough ride for the foreseeable future.

You might think that the “success” achieved by Omar Mateen in executing his terror event was a fluke. The sheer number of casualties was the most ever on American soil. The complexities of Mr. Mateen’s relationship with the community, having apparently visited the PULSE nightclub on multiple occasions, must make this a rare circumstance, right? Wrong.

nightclub

Pulse Nightclub, Wikipedia

The shooter’s assessment of his target as being a “soft” one was deadly accurate. A crowded venue, maybe all in one large room with limited exits, some allegedly padlocked. At 2 o’clock in the morning, many club goers must have had some drinks, and weren’t exactly in a condition to be situationally aware. Likely, no one was armed. It was a massacre and, worse, a blueprint for massacres to come.

Those who support Mr. Mateen’s philosophy will look at this event and marvel at how much damage a single gunman can do. This can only encourage others of like mind to do the same. How many nightclubs are there, gay or straight, that’ll be crowded on a Saturday night in the average city? How many club goers will be ready for the next gunman? How many establishments will act to boost security in the face of this horrible tragedy? I’ve answered these questions myself, and I am saddened.

The Islamic State giving credit to this terrorist will seem like a badge of honor to those who wish us harm. They see cowardly acts as courageous. They see mayhem as morality. They know that most Americans have gone soft, and that’s a hard truth.

We now know that mass shootings can occur anywhere, anytime. They can occur in churches, schools, nightclubs, and at holiday parties. They can occur at 2 in the morning and they can occur in the middle of the day. What would be your response if confronted?

The natural response for most people is to do nothing. You’ve heard me talk about “normalcy bias” before. That’s the tendency for people to believe everything follows a pattern and that the day will proceed normally because it always has. When a terrorist event breaks that pattern, however,  the unprepared brain takes time to process the new situation. People will think that the sound of gunfire is fireworks, or anything less threatening than an assassin out to kill them.

A person without a plan of action typically follows the herd. If fifty people around you drop to the floor, your natural tendency is to do the same. Cowering in fear under a table in plain view of the shooter isn’t a recipe for a good outcome. But having a plan will give you a better chance of getting out of there in one piece.

During an active shooter event, what you do in the first few seconds may determine whether you live or die. Give yourself a head start by always knowing what’s happening around you. We call this situational awareness. Know where exits are. Know where the gunshots are coming from. Know who appears nervous or suspicious in your immediate area.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But in this era of people immersed in their smartphones, few are situationally aware and become easy targets for the active shooter.

Run, Hide, Fight

run hide fight

If you find yourself in the middle of a terrorist event, you should remember these three words: Run, Hide, Fight. Just as “Stop, Drop, and Roll” can save the life of someone on fire, “Run, Hide, Fight” might save the life of someoneunder fire. This is the order of the actions that you should be taking in an active shooter scenario.

Run

Most people will hide as their first course of action. You, however, should run away from the direction of gunfire immediately, leaving through those exits you’ve been mentally marking. This will make it less likely you and the shooter will cross paths. Forget about collecting your stuff, it will only slow you down and, let’s face it, it’s just stuff.

A kind of paralysis may occur when you first realize what’s happening. This is normal, but running away from the shooter increases your distance from them, and makes it difficult for them to hit a moving target.

A good citizen would yell for others to follow and prevent others from entering the kill zone. Don’t try to move or otherwise help the wounded, however. You have to get out of there; becoming the next casualty does no one any good. Even the police will leave the injured for after the shooter has been neutralized.

(One very important note: If you see law enforcement, don’t run up and hug them. Get your hands in the air, fingers spread, where officers can see them. They need to know you’re not the threat. Follow any instructions given and leave in the directions the officer came from.)

Once you’re in a safe area, call 911 if rescuers have not yet arrived.

Hide

hide

If there’s only one exit and the shooter is standing in front of it, running might not be an option. Your next choice is hiding.

You have to get out of the shooter’s line of sight, but hiding under a table in the same room as the shooter is a very bad idea. Get into another room, preferably one with a door you can lock. If there is no lock, put together a barrier with desks and chairs. Turn off the lights, silence your cell phone, and stay quiet behind an additional barrier like a table or in a closet. If you can quietly alert authorities, do so.

By accomplishing the above, you’ve just made yourself a harder target to acquire for the shooter, and he wants to do his damage as fast as possible. He’ll likely pass you by to find easier targets.

Fight

fight

What if you can’t run, and there is no reasonable hiding place? You just might have to fight your way out of there. This strategy isn’t always doomed to failure. You still might be able to drop an attacker even if unarmed. Three unarmed men were able to do it to a shooter on a train in Paris. It’s a last resort, but it can work; it did there.

If you don’t fight, the shooter will have a clear shot to your head and death is likely. If you fight, you’ll be harder to hit with a fatal shot. Any type of aggression against the gunman would disrupt their “flow” and possibly put you at an advantage. If you can, approach him from the side or rear, and go for his weapon.

If you have help, all should attack at the same time from different directions while hurling objects that he has to dodge. At the PULSE nightclub, there were probably drinking glasses and bottles handy, not to mention hundreds of cell phones.  The gunman is probably not James Bond: he’ll duck or flinch and not be able to handle multiple threats at once. Imagine a half-dozen people charging you while throwing stuff at your head. Makes for a pretty nervous terrorist, I’d say.

If you’ve disrupted the shooter or, better, gotten the weapon out of his hands, inflict damage on him until he is out of the fight. Tough, I’ll admit, but these are tough times; commit to your actions.

Luckily, few people will find themselves in the midst of a terrorist attack like the one in Orlando, but you can bet more are coming. Having a plan for active shooter situations is galling to some, but it’s part of life in the New Normal. Those who are prepared will have a better chance to survive terror events and many other disasters in the uncertain future.

Linked from: https://www.doomandbloom.net/orlando-shootings/

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5 DIFFERENCES BETWEEN DEHYDRATED AND FREEZE-DRIED FOOD

When it comes to storing food long term, the age-old question keeps coming up: freeze-dried or dehydrated?

Both can work as part of your emergency food storage, but there are key differences between the two that could make one better than the other for your particular circumstances. Check out these differences and then choose the option that’s best for you.

 

Shelf Life

IMG_4120 - Dehydrated and Freeze-driedMoisture content plays a huge impact on shelf life. The more moisture, the less amount of time it will last. With that in mind, it’s time to compare the moisture content of dehydrated and freeze-dried food.

Dehydrated food can lose quite a bit of moisture–up to 95 percent! However, do-it-yourself home dehydrators may only remove 70% or a food’s water, leaving it with a shelf life of only one year on average. However, most top end dehydrated food will still maintain a shelf life of even longer, up to 15 years or more.

Freeze-dried food, on the other hand, is much more suitable for long-term storage. Getting rid of 98-99 percent of moisture gives freeze-dried food a much lengthier shelf life. Our freeze-dried food has a shelf life of 25 years or more.

While both dehydrated and freeze-dried foods can have long shelf lives, freeze-dried food is definitely superior when it comes to long-term storage. In both cases, however, cooler temperatures will help lengthen their shelf life. We recommend storing your food in temperatures below 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

Preparation

Water_poured_in_5 - Dehydrated and Freeze-driedFreeze-dried meals prepare easily. Since everything is pre-cooked, all you need to do is add water, wait a few minutes, and your food is ready for eating! Best of all, it tastes just like it did the day it was created (which might very well have been 25 years ago).

Dehydrated food is a touch different in the way it’s prepared. Instead of letting your food soak for a few minutes, it needs to be cook—boiled, even—in order to rehydrate enough to become the food it used to be. This can take upwards to 20 minutes, depending on the food. While it’s not a huge issue, it can make a big difference if you’re in a hurry.

 

Nutrition

According to a food science professor at UC-Davis, freeze-dried food maintains most of its nutrients throughout the process, and once rehydrated, is very similar in nutritional value to its fresh counterpart. This is in contrast to dehydrated food which, although much of the nutrients remain, only around 50% – 60% of the original nutrients are left over. In freeze-dried food, there is about 97% of retained nutrients. In this area, freeze-dried food comes out on top.

 

Taste

Lasagna_image - Dehydrated and Freeze-driedLasagna with Meat Sauce, previously freeze-dried

Flavor is important in your food. If it doesn’t taste good, why would you even want to eat it? Fortunately, both freeze-dried and dehydrated foods taste great, but there is a difference in the way it’s prepared that makes one taste better than the other.

According to the Wild Backpacker, the taste of freeze-dried food is essentially held in the food, as the process involves very little heat. This keeps in the flavor, retains original texture, and secures the natural scents. This is why many believe freeze-dried food tastes better than dehydrated food, which uses heat to lose moisture, thus forfeiting flavor, original texture, and smell.

 

Weight

If your food intends to stay in your pantry or with your emergency food storage until used, then weight won’t really be an issue. However, dehydrated and freeze-dried food are delicious treats and meals to take on camping trips, hikes, and even in your bug-out bag, which in turn makes weight play a crucial role.

Dehydrated food is heavier than freeze-dried food, so if you are planning on taking one of these types of foods with you on a hike, freeze-dried food is your best option in terms of being lightweight. If you’re planning on getting a meal out of your food, you’ll want to make sure you either bring enough water or have access to it so you can rehydrate your meals. Many freeze-dried foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and even meats, can be snacked on without rehydrating them, making them a nice, lightweight option for snacking.

 

There are pros and cons to both dehydrated and freeze-dried food, so in the end it all boils down to what you’re looking for in a food, and how you intend to use it. When it comes to long-term storage and nutrients, however, freeze-dried food reigns supreme. So when you’re looking to invest in an emergency food storage, freeze-dried may very well be the way to go.

Linked from: http://beprepared.com/blog/20659/5-differences-dehydrated-freeze-dried-food/

 

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How To Grow Your Own Antibacterial Bandages

How-To-Grow-Your-Own-Antibacterial-Bandages (1)

As I work on turning this one acre homestead into a self-sustaining Garden of Eden, I have two requirements for every single plant I consider putting in the ground: they must be either edible or medicinal. Preferably both.

Why? Because frankly I don’t have money or space to waste on frivolous landscaping. Everything from the plants to the animals must have a purpose.

More and more people are beginning to see the benefit of having a garden and growing your own food, but growing your own medicine could be equally as vital to your well being. What would you do if you couldn’t get the medical supplies or help you needed for a very long time? How would you manage?

As I plan my medicinal garden, I choose what to grow by studying different medical emergency scenarios and learning which plants I would be able to use if it ever came down to that.

One day as I was doctoring up one of my kiddos, the thought crossed my mind, “What if I couldn’t get any more of these band-aids? What could I use?” This question prompted me to delve into my herbal books and scour the internet for an answer. And I found a good one.

Young Wooly Lamb's Ear settling down for the winter.

Young Wooly Lamb’s Ear settling down for the winter.

Wooly Lamb’s Ear.

It’s one of my favorites because it’s medicinal AND edible.

A Natural Antibacterial Bandage

Wooly Lamb’s Ear, botanical name Stachys byzantina, has been used for centuries as a wound dressing on battlefields. Not only do the soft, fuzzy leaves absorb blood and help it to clot more quickly, they also contain antibacterial, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties. All of these factors make this plant a really great alternative to store-bought bandages (especially since many of them are made in China!).

Other Medicinal Uses

Wooly Lamb’s Ear actually has many medicinal uses. You can heat a few bruised leaves in a pot of simmering water, and use the cooled infusion as an eyewash to treat pinkeye and sties.

Drink a tea made from young, dried Wooly Lamb’s Ear leaves to help with fevers, diarrhea, sore mouth and throat, internal bleeding, and weaknesses of the liver and heart.

You can bruise the leaves so that the juices are released, and put them on bee stings or other insect bites to help reduce the swelling. The same effect can be seen when used for treating hemorrhoids, or for postpartum recovery.

Wooly Lamb's Ear

 

Still More Uses

As if Wooly Lamb’s Ear isn’t awesome enough, the list of uses continues.

Being soft and super absorbent, Lamb’s Ear leaves can be used as menstrual pads, or in place of cotton balls. It can even be used as toilet paper!

You can eat it as well. Enjoy young, tender leaves fresh in a salad, or gently steamed as greens.

 Are you growing Lamb’s Ear yet?

If you don’t have any of this important medicinal plant growing around your home yet,get some. If you can’t find any plants locally, buy some seeds and grow them yourself. It’s super easy, and much cheaper that way anyways. Lamb’s Ear make a gorgeous landscaping border, and grows well in containers. Plant as much as you have room for, ’cause it’ll come in handy when your stash of tp runs out!

Wooly Lamb's Ear leaves

How To Grow Your Own Antibacterial Bandages (Wooly Lamb’s Ear) From Seed

Starting your own plants from seed really is easy. Here’s how…

1. Fill a well-draining container with Seed Starting Mix.  A yogurt cup with holes poked in the bottom works nicely.

2. Wet the soil thoroughly. If you’re on city water, use filtered water for your plants.The chemicals in treated water can inhibit plant growth.

3. Plant 1-2 seeds per small container (thinning out the weakest seedling), or plant seeds about 6″ apart in a larger pot, burying them 1/4″ deep.

4. Keep the soil moist and the containers out of direct light until the seedlings germinate. As soon as you see the tops of the plants emerging, put them somewhere where they can get at least 6 hours of sunlight daily, or under a grow light. It helps to set the cups/pots in a shallow tray of water to keep the soil from drying out.

5. When the plants have at least three sets of leaves, they’re ready to be transplanted to a semi-shady place in your yard. Space them 12″ apart. They will multiply readily in good soil.

If you haven’t started thinking about growing some medicinal herbs, Wooly Lamb’s Ear is a perfect one to begin with. And in my opinion, you can never have enough!

Linked from: http://theprepperproject.com/grow-antibacterial-bandages/

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How Tactical Fitness Prepares Your Body For Survival

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Fitness has a new category now-Tactical Fitness. The fitness programs for Military, Police, Fire Fighter, and Special Ops have all been clubbed under one category known as Tactical Fitness. This has become so popular that training associations like the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) have a certified program for Tactical Strength and Conditioning (TSAC).

So, this new category will see an upsurge unlike other concepts, such as boot camp workouts, which have lost their ground over time. The following article highlights this new genre of fitness along with a fine line difference between the tactical fitness and regular fitness.

Tactical-Fitness-Garry

What Is Tactical Fitness?

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Tactical Fitness is more about work and not workouts. It is not designed for having a good workout but for facing real life situations like lifts, carries, crawls, runs, rucks, swims, and mobility, even situations which demand logical and innovative thinking.

It makes use of non-traditional tools and equipment for carrying up unbalanced loads. Tactical Fitness is more about handling life and death situations for you, your buddy, or anyone whom you are trying to help. And such situations not only demand physical fitness but mental alertness and readiness to act and not react in stressful situations.

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Tactical fitness demands you to be a team player as well. You need to coordinate not just between your body and mind but also with your buddies to handle the situation.

Better your workout, better you will be at the real-time situation.

Building Blocks Of Tactical Fitness

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Tactical fitness is not just about a healthy heart, blood pressure, sugar levels, and weight, but you need to be a master of the following elements of fitness as well:

  • Speed and Endurance – It includes running and gradually improving pace.
  • Vigor and Power – It includes lifting of various equipment, gear, and even people.
  • Flexibility and Mobility – It includes moving over uneven terrain and between the obstacles.
  • Muscle endurance – This includes moving yourself and gearing up, over, under, and through space.
  • Old Man Grip – This includes holding gear, climbing over the mountain or rope.
  • Other Skills – This includes learning to swim, river crossing etc.

Incorporating these elements into your daily workout routine will better prepare you for real situations. Systems like TACTFIT Commando and Girls Gone Strong offer structured workouts based on tactical fitness. Read on for more information on these programs and to find out how to get started now.

tactical fitness

Difference between Tactical Athletes and Traditional Athletes

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Although you will attain a level near to perfection with these fitness elements, it is natural to have weaknesses. So, you need to determine the weaknesses and work upon them to achieve an excellence in them.

Being a Tactical Athlete and getting trained for all of these elements is not going to land you among the strongest or fastest persons in the country, but you will develop a good level of strength, endurance and stamina- all of which come into play in survival situations.

tactical fitness

An advanced Tactical Athlete can easily do 20 pull-ups and dead lift twice his body weight of 200 pounds and still can run for several miles.  Even after such exceptional numbers, a Tactical Athlete may still be beatable by a cross country runner but maintains an upper hand in strength events.

tactical fitness

There are many fitness elements that are not even in the dictionary of a normal athlete but a Tactical Athlete is a master of all those fitness points.

Training of a Tactical Athlete

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There are particular stages of training for a Tactical Athlete. The aspiring candidates have to be exceptionally good to grab a chance for these public service professions. The typical fitness tests includes: pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, 1.5 mile runs, and sprint or swim test.

Growth Cycles of Tactical Athletes

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Training and active-duty scenario are entirely different worlds in a career of a Tactical Athlete. The training years prepare you for jobs that demand running, swimming, diving, lifting, etc.

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Maintenance programs include conditioning programs that make you strong, fast, well-conditioned and flexible. Learning about periodization is the key to arrange workouts that can help you to cope with the demands of job -country, overseas or your community.

Therefore, tactical fitness is about winning real-life situations which can be a matter of life and death for someone.

Where To Get Started

Finding an effective tactical fitness regime that fits into your busy life can be challenging. Below are training options for men and women that maximize results in a manageable amount of time, so you can stick with it and achieve your goals.

TACFIT Commando

The TACFIT Commando system by Scott Sonnon packs a full body workout into just 20 minutes per day. Using only your body weight as resistance, you can improve your strength and agility without the need for expensive equipment or gym memberships. And because the workouts can be performed anywhere, it is easier to keep up your program even when you travel.

Linked from: http://www.thebugoutbagguide.com/2015/12/16/tactical-fitness-for-survival/

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How to Conceal Your Weapons | DIY Gun Safes

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Make your own gun safes out of household objects. Knowing how and where to conceal your weapons at home in case of an emergency is very important. What’s the point in owning a gun if you can’t access it in an emergency? What happens if the predator finds your gun before you do. You’ll find the answer below.

The best way to conceal your weapons so they’re safe day in and day out, but readily accessible in an emergency.

Hiding Your Guns

Why Guns Are More Important Than Ever It’s easy to make fun of disaster movies, but events like Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of New Orleans are proof that as a culture, we really are only three hot meals away from anarchy. We can’t help the fact that sometimes, systems break. Tornados take out power plants, earthquakes level buildings, floods erase entire city blocks. When that happens, survival instincts kick in. People collect food, water, medicine, and whatever else they think they’ll need to make it through the disaster. It sounds so civilized when described that way. In reality, it means looting. Most people don’t stock more than 4 days of food at home. Water comes from a tap. Medicines are things we buy as needed at Walgreens. When that security is taken away, people don’t neatly line up outside a shop and wait for the manager to fill out a disaster insurance claim while his employees fairly distribute the goods within. The first wave of people show up with money and buy everything they can fit in their cars. The next wave shows up with weapons and takes whatever is left. If emergency supplies aren’t brought in from an outside source, once well stocked stores are looted, people will turn to preying on their neighbors. When an armed group of hungry thugs turns up at your door, you want to be able to greet them with a gun. Preferably, you want everyone in your family to greet them with guns. In an emergency situation, having a gun on hand isn’t just self defense. Guns can diffuse a potentially violent situation. Imagine your home town has suffered a devastating natural disaster. You’re well prepared and holed up. Desperate people, a little crazy from both hunger and fear, break into your home. If you’re defending yourself with a mix of baseball bats, a rock in a sock, and broken glass bottles, someone is going to get hurt—probably both you and them. On the other hand, if someone breaks in and you level a gun at them, they stop. If all goes well, you can now talk them into leaving. If it goes badly, you can shoot them from a distance without giving them a chance to injure you. People who would cheerfully club you over the head with a broken pipe will back away from a gun. Being armed protects both you and your potential attacker.

learn to make this DIY wall gun safe at http://guncarrier.com/conceal-weapons-diy-gun-safes

hiding your weapons at home  [image via]

Hiding and Storing Your Weapons at Home

A gun safe is a wonderful thing for houses with children. However, if a burglar breaks into your house at 2 in the morning, you won’t have time to scramble through the dark, feed it the combination, then find and load your gun in the dark. For self defense purposes, you want your weapons where you can access them at any time. A gun safe is incredibly convenient. It’s also a good place to store your more valuable guns, any collector items, or weapons your family hasn’t trained with yet. That last part is the most important. Before you strategically hide your guns in your home, you need to make sure every single person living there knows where to find them and how to use them. If you don’t take that precaution, you might as well be arming potential attackers. A gun in the hand of someone who doesn’t know how to use it is a gift to the person they’re defending themselves from. Before you start storing your guns outside a gun safe, take everyone in your household to a firing range and make sure they know how to use, load, clean, empty, and safely store any weapon you’ll have secreted about. Once everyone in your household is trained up, you want to hide your guns where they’re easily accessible to you but not obvious to strangers. . .

But wait – where do we hide them? How do we hide them? …under the couch? Behind a frame?

So… where do you hide your guns? My secret? A box of fiber one in the cupboard… My kid’s won’t go near it, and the burglars don’t expect it.

Linked from: http://guncarrier.com/conceal-weapons-diy-gun-safes/

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How To Knap An Arrowhead From A Glass Bottle

How-To-Knap-An-Arrowhead-From-A-Glass-Bottle

 

Ingredients (required):
1 Beer Bottle (empty)
1 Hammerstone
1 Pressure Flaker
1 Notching tool
1 Leather Palm Pad (or heavy denim substitute)
1 Pair Goggles
1 Pair Heavy Leather Gloves
1 LARGE box band-aids
recommended:
1 hammer
1 tarp
1 file (for sharpening the pressure flaker)
1 abrading stone
1 dustpan
1 broom

 

Step 1: Selecting the Bottle

Don’t overlook the importance of this first step, finding a good bottle to start with will determine how successful your knapping attempt will be. The best part of the bottle to use is the bottom, because the glass tends to be thicker than the sides of the bottle, and much less curved. So when picking your bottle, pay special attention to the bottom.

  1. Colored glass is better than clear glass. Its very difficult to see what you are working on when you work clear glass. Amber or green glass bottles work well
  2. Flat bottoms are crucial. Wine bottles with big kick-ups are not good for knapping. Most bottles have some curvature to the bottom – its best to avoid noticeable concave bottomed bottles in favour of flatter bottoms. (This may entail switching brands of beer – so the decision is not always an easy one)
  3. Avoid bottoms with elaborate embossed markings, like makers marks, numbers, or other designs. These lumps and bumps can be tricky to get rid of.
  4. Begin with a smaller beer bottle before you try a larger flat bottomed wine bottle. They are less difficult to hold and its easier to cover a smaller surface with flakes than a larger one. You can work up to wine bottles.

Step 2: Breaking the Bottle

Now you are going to need to break the beer bottle. You want to break it in such a way that the bottom will not be broken. Throwing it against a wall or rock is NOT a good way to start as the bottom is likely to break. Try wrapping it up in a corner of your tarp or a very heavy plastic bag and hitting the shoulder of the bottle with the hammer. NOTE: Wrapping the bottle up like this contains the mess, it does NOT protect you from the broken glass – The breaking glass can cut through the tarp and plastic bag quite easily. WEAR HEAVY LEATHER GLOVES.

Its easier to break a bottle by hitting it in the middle, but you have a greater chance of breaking the bottom if you hit it there, so strike the shoulder. If you don’t have a hammer, try a hammer stone. Be very careful.

Alternatively, it is possible to cleanly pop the bottom off of a bottle by putting a nail into it (tip down) and shaking it straight up and down with your thumb over the mouth of the bottle. A bigger nail is necessary for wine bottles. I use a round file as a substitute. If successful, the bottom of the bottle will pop out as a sharp glass disc.

Step 3: Cleaning the Hanging Glass off the Bottom

Unwrap your broken bottle. Hopefully the bottom will be in one piece. If it is, it will likely still be attached to sharp glass from the sides of the bottle. You will need to trim these hanging shards off, so that you have a nice flat bottom to work with. Hold the bottom upside down so that the shards hang down. HOLD THE BOTTOM WITH LEATHER GLOVES OR WITH YOUR LEATHER PALM PAD. Brush the hanging glass off with your hammerstone or the hammer. If you have a stubborn shard, try changing the angle you are holding the piece before you try striking harder. Don’t brush too much, you just want the bottom to be flat – too much brushing will make nasty step fractures. Step fractures are failed flakes which break and end with straight edges, rather than gently feathering out. When you are done, look at the bottom and you will see “dents” on the inside of the bottle where you broke the hanging shards off. These dents are flake scars.

Step 4: The Serpentine Edge – Alternate Flaking

Now the fun begins! To knap an arrowhead out of a bottle bottom you need to 1) make a bifacial edge, 2) cover both faces with flakes, 3) shape it, and 4) notch it (optional). Points 2 & 3 will be discussed in the next section, and you don’t have to worry about notching yet. We are going to start by making a bifacial edge all the way around the bottle bottom. A bifacial edgeis an edge which has been worked on both (bi-) sides or faces. Look at your bottle bottom. If you followed the instructions in step 3, you will only have flakes scars from removed hanging shards on the inside of the bottle bottom, and none on the outside. Pieces worked only on one side are called unifacial.

[holding the piece]Ok, lay the bottle bottom flat in the leather pad in the palm of your left hand (if you are right handed), and clamp your fingers down on top, to firmly hold the glass. It doesn’t matter which side is up or down, just make sure that the edge you want to start working is exposed. You should have a little sandwich in your hand which goes; fingers, leather, glass, leather, palm. Now rest the back of that hand against the inside of your left knee for support. Using your copper flaker, you want to push down on the edge and detach a flake from the underside of the glass. [push, don't pry]Don’t pry the flake off, push it off. You really have to push hard to get a flake to come off. If detaching the flake hurts or bruises your palm, double or triple up your leather palm pad.

[alternate flaking, the serpentine edge]The flake removed will look something like a little half cone, and the flake scar will be a negative cone. You can fit the flake back into the scar to see what I mean by a positive cone (flake) and negative cone (flake scar). Ok, put your flake somewhere that people won’t step on it and get back to your bottle bottom.

Flip the glass over so that the flake scar that was on the bottom is now on the top. You will use that flake scar as the platform for your next flake. The platform is the place where you place the tip of the flaker to push a flake off. You want to place the tip of the flaker to the left or right of the center of the flake scar, so that the next flake you remove will be off to one side of this first flake. Again, push down with the flaker and take another flake off. What you should have now is a bottle bottom, with two flake scars: one on each face. Now flip the glass over again and use the flake scar left from the second flake removal to remove a third flake. Continue to alternate flake around the entire edge of the bottle. When you are done you will have a wavy, bifacial serpentine edge!

Step 5: Shaping

Now you have a wickedly sharp, bifacially worked bottle bottom. It doesn’t look anything like an arrowhead yet – why? Its not shaped like one, either in cross-section or outline. The flake scars are only around the edge, they don’t cover the face of the glass yet. You need to pressure flake it into shape. To do this, you need to change strategies a little. Instead of taking short chunky flakes off, like you did to make the serpentine edge, you need to take long, flat flakes off, which cover the faces of the bottle bottom, not just the edges. To do this, you change the angle you are flaking. Instead of pushing down, you want to push into the glass.

Shaping – Cross-section
[lens diagram]If you look at your beer bottle bottom from the side, you will see that it is now, more or less, hexagonal. It has two flat faces and steep bevelled edges. It will also have a slight curvature to it, with a concavity on the bottom face and a slightly convex top surface. Arrowheads are, most often, lens shaped in cross-section. To achieve this lens shape, you need to get rid of all the concave curvature of the glass. In the process you will also be covering the blank faces with attractive flake scars. Most of the work you need to do is on the bottom, concave side of the glass. It will be very tempting to remove flakes from the upper, convex side because flakes love to travel across convex surfaces. The flakes you remove from the bottom will be very short by comparison, but that’s okay. They will get longer as you work at removing the curvature of the glass. Taking beautiful long flakes off of the upper, convex side of the glass will only make the curvature worse.

To remove the cross-section shaping flakes you will need to use the serpentine edge you’ve created. Creating the serpentine edge has made a whole series of platforms. The wavy edge zigzags up and down across the centerline of the edge. This is important. Your edge has peaks which are above the centerline and valleys which are below the centerline. Your edge looks something like this: /\/\/\/\/\/\/\ You use the valleys as platforms to take off flakes. Look at you glass and find the peaks and valleys. The valleys are the platforms. Imagine the centerline. Now flip it over. Find the peaks and valleys. Find the platforms.

[shaping, long flakes]Hold the bottom in your hand, the same as when you made the bifacial serpentine edge. Make sure that the concave face is on the bottom. Find the peaks and valleys. Place the flaker tip against one of the valleys. Instead of pushing down, push into the glass. Push hard, build up a force and then push down a little to detach the flake. Remember push in, then down. Don’t flip the glass over. Instead, move to the next valley and remove your next flake. Go all the way around. Then do it again. Don’t be discouraged if your flakes aren’t very long. You may have to go around the glass 3 or 4 or 5 times before the flakes reach all the way to the center. Everyone’s flakes are short the first time around.

As you knap, your edge will get higher and your platforms (the valleys) will become less pronounced. So you will have to make new ones. You can do this a couple of different ways. One way is to use the tip of your flaker to brush up on the edge. This will remove tiny flakes from the upper surface of the edge (WEAR GOGGLES!). This will get rid of the thin brittle edge, making it stronger and lower. The second way to make new platforms is to grind the edge with an abrading stone. I just use one of my hammerstones. Again, you want to prepare your platforms in the opposite direction that you are flaking. Flip the glass over, so that the face you want to flake is facing up and brush the edge, in a downward motion, with your abrader stone. Flip the glass back over, look for the platforms below the centerline, and keep knapping.

Keep this up until you achieve the desired lens shape. Remember to spend most of your time removing flakes from the concave side. It won’t take you very long to cover the convex side with flake scars.

Shaping – Outline
[shaping, outline]While you are working on the lens shaped cross-section, you will also want to coax your bottle bottom into an arrowhead shape. There are no hard and fast rules for shaping the outline of your arrowhead. If the bottle bottom is circular you can arbitrarily select a pointy end and a base end. Gradually change your circular bottle bottom into a triangle. animated notchingIf your glass is not perfectly round, look for the longest axis, and align your triangle along that. The first step is to stop thinking about the bottle as a circle and start thinking of it as a chubby triangle. Instead of working around and around in a spiral, work from three directions – in from the two sides of your arrowhead and up from the base. When you abrade your platforms, keep the triangle in mind and work towards that goal.

Step 6: Notching

Wow! You made it – you have a lens-shaped triangular arrowhead. All you have left to do is notch it! The notching tools I typically use are sections of coat hanger mounted in broom handles, which have been filed to a chisel shape or copper wire which has been hammered flat (see the Pressure Flaker Page). Pick the point on the edge of the arrowhead where you want to start your notch. Use your notching tool to create a little nick in the edge, the same way you made your first flake on your serpentine edge. Flip it over. Take another flake of in the same place you took the first little flake off. Flip it over and keep doing it. Its the same sort of process as you used to make the serpentine edge, except you are flaking straight into the body of the piece instead of around the edge. Repeat the process for your second notch.

Tip: I like to make both notches at the same time, rather than finishing one and starting on the second one. I find that they turn out more uniform if I work on them together.

Linked from: http://www.reocities.com/knappersanonymous/bottle.html

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41 Camping Hacks That Are Borderline Genius

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These tips and tricks will guarantee you’ll be a totally happy camper this summer.

1. Use foam floor tiles for a softer, more comfortable tent floor.

Use foam floor tiles for a softer, more comfortable tent floor.

2. Point a head lamp into a jug of water for an instant lantern.

Point a head lamp into a jug of water for an instant lantern.

3. Paint the inside of a jar with non-toxic glow-in-the-dark paint for an easy DIY lantern.

Paint the inside of a jar with non-toxic glow-in-the-dark paint for an easy DIY lantern.

4. Make tin-can sandwich bread as a portable food option.

Make tin-can sandwich bread as a portable food option.

5. Familiarize yourself with what the poisonous plants look like.

Familiarize yourself with what the poisonous plants look like.

6. Bring a tick deterrent.

Bring a tick deterrent.

7. Glue sandpaper to the top of your match holder.

Glue sandpaper to the top of your match holder.

Be sure to buy strike-anywhere matches.

8. Repurpose a coffee can to hold and protect TP.

Repurpose a coffee can to hold and protect TP.

9. Make crescent rolls over the campfire.

Make crescent rolls over the campfire.

For maximum yumminess, fill ‘em with stuff like marshmallows and Nutella. Or wrap hot dogs with them.

10. Use Tic-Tac boxes to store spices.

Use Tic-Tac boxes to store spices.

11. Invest in a two-person sleeping bag.

Invest in a two-person sleeping bag.

12. Get these seat hammocks for car camping.

Get these seat hammocks for car camping.

13. Cut up a straw and fill the pieces up with antibiotic ointment or toothpaste for single-use packets.

Cut up a straw and fill the pieces up with antibiotic ointment or toothpaste for single-use packets.

Use a lighter to seal up the ends.

14. Make travel coffee bags out of coffee filters and dental floss.

Make travel coffee bags out of coffee filters and dental floss.

Place a scoop of coffee grounds into a coffee filter and tie it up with dental floss. When you’re ready to brew, just make it like you would make tea in a teabag!

15. Need your coffee? Bring a few of these.

Need your coffee? Bring a few of these.

They’ll keep you from going into caffeine withdrawal.

16. Make candle stakes for romantic nighttime lighting.

Make candle stakes for romantic nighttime lighting.

17. Make single-use soap leaves from a bar of soap and a vegetable peeler.

Make single-use soap leaves from a bar of soap and a vegetable peeler.

You can also rub soap on mosquito bites to relieve the itchiness.

18. Use an empty laundry detergent dispenser as a hand-washing station.

Just fill it up with water.

19. Use a belt and hooks to hang up pots and pans.

Use a belt and hooks to hang up pots and pans.

20. Make campfire cones!

Make campfire cones!

21. Pack a mini first-aid kit into an old prescription bottle or Altoids tin.

Pack a mini first-aid kit into an old prescription bottle or Altoids tin.

22. Make pancakes with pre-made pancake mix using shortening and dry milk, which don’t need to be refrigerated.

Make pancakes with pre-made pancake mix using shortening and dry milk, which don't need to be refrigerated.

23. Put a battery-powered votive candle into an empty peanut butter container to make portable lanterns.

Put a battery-powered votive candle into an empty peanut butter container to make portable lanterns.

24. Make a portable washing machine with a plunger and a bucket.

25. Make an easy-to-carry fire starter with a cardboard-only egg carton and match light charcoal.

Make an easy-to-carry fire starter with a cardboard-only egg carton and match light charcoal.

You just have to light the carton and the fire will catch on to the charcoal.

26.

27. Make pocket-sized oil lamps out of travel-size or hotel toiletry shampoo bottles.

Make pocket-sized oil lamps out of travel-size or hotel toiletry shampoo bottles.

28. Forgo the meat marinade and put the rosemary right on the coals.

Forgo the meat marinade and put the rosemary right on the coals.

Once the coals are uniformly gray and ashy, cover them with fresh rosemary branches. Your meat and vegetables will be flavored with the taste of savory herbs.

29. Bring cheeses in waxed packaging as well as hard cheeses.

Bring cheeses in waxed packaging as well as hard cheeses.

Aged cheddar, Parmigiano, and/or Gruyère will keep for at least a week unrefrigerated.

30. Add bundles of sage to a campfire to keep mosquitoes away.

Add bundles of sage to a campfire to keep mosquitoes away.

31. Try roasting Starburst.

Sounds crazy, but it’s actually delicious. Crunchy on the outside, warm and gooey on the inside. Roast it until it’s bubbling.

32. Forgo pasta for a quick-cooking alternatives like polenta, quinoa, or couscous.

Forgo pasta for a quick-cooking alternatives like polenta, quinoa, or couscous.

Polenta is especially versatile because it can be shaped into patties and pan-fried for a sweet or savory meal.

33. Cook cinnabuns (the canned kind) in a hollowed-out orange over a campfire.

Cook cinnabuns (the canned kind) in a hollowed-out orange over a campfire.

34. If you’re going to be hiking, use this biodegradable trail-marking tape.

If you're going to be hiking, use this biodegradable trail-marking tape.

35. Keep the kids busy with a scavenger hunt.

Write the items down on a paper bag so they have a receptacle for the items.

36. Use a bucket and a milk crate as an emergency toilet.

Use a bucket and a milk crate as an emergency toilet.

37. Cotton pads dipped in wax are a crazy easy way to make portable fire starters.

Cotton pads dipped in wax are a crazy easy way to make portable fire starters.

38. Bring microfiber towels — they’re super absorbent and lightweight.

Bring microfiber towels — they're super absorbent and lightweight.

39. Freeze gallon jugs of water and place them in your cooler.

Freeze gallon jugs of water and place them in your cooler.

They’ll keep your food cold, and you’ll have plenty of water to drink for later.

Other things you can freeze to use for later: pasta sauces, chili, and pesto.

40. Make emergency light sources out of an Altoids tin, cardboard, and wax.

Make emergency light sources out of an Altoids tin, cardboard, and wax.

41. Make sandwiches with this campfire panini press.

Make sandwiches with this campfire panini press.

No matter how far you have to carry this thing.

Linked from: https://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/camping-hacks-that-are-borderline-genius?sub=2295102_1238992&utm_term=.xlmkJq4mm#.fhvLmnqNN

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25 Survival Uses for Coconut Oil

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Coconut oil is one of the most popular multipurpose foods in the world. It goes great in countless recipes, it’s good for your health, good for your body, good for your skin, good for cleaning, and so much more. But what most people don’t know is that coconut oil also has many uses in a survival scenario where supplies are hard to come by.

If you’re prepper, I highly recommend storing at least a few containers of coconut oil. When searching for coconut oil, it’s best to stick with virgin or unrefined oil. It has more nutritional qualities and will last longer. My personal favorite is Carrington Farms Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. Now let’s get to the list. Here are 25 survival uses for coconut oil.

1. Apply a thin coating of coconut oil to a cut or wound to speed healing and prevent infection. The layer of coconut oil also acts as a bandage of sorts and will keep the wound fairly clean.

2. In dry heat, warm a bit of coconut oil and gently apply it to the inside of your nose to prevent nose bleeds.

3. Apply a thin coat of oil to your lips to keep them from getting chapped when you’re battling dehydration and working outside in the elements.

4. Rub coconut oil on burns, including sunburns, for soothing and healing. You can even add a little lavender to make it more effective.

5. Rub the coconut oil on any bug bites or bee stings for immediate relief of pain and itching.

6. Prevent athlete’s foot by giving your feet a good rubdown with coconut oil everyday. It will help protect and soothe your skin after a long day of hiking as well as kill any fungus and bacteria on your feet.

7. Use a little coconut oil to help condition leather gloves, shoes or knife sheaths. It can also be used to make leather working a little easier.

8. Protect the wooden handles on your knives, axes and saws by rubbing a little coconut oil on them. The oil will help prevent the wood from cracking and splitting.

9. Remove rust from knife blades and ax heads by applying a coat of coconut oil. Let the oil sit for about an hour and then wipe away.

10. Deep bruises will heal quicker with regular massaging in of coconut oil. The coconut oil helps heal the damaged tissue.

11. A little coconut oil can be used to season cast iron skillets that you’ll be using to cook over open fires.

12. Coconut oil can be applied to aching joints that hurt because of overuse or arthritis. If you have some peppermint, add that in for even more relief.

13. Coconut oil is an excellent carrier oil for essential oils that will be applied to the skin. Homemade salves and balms made from essential oils that have been stockpiled will be the best medicine after a collapse.

14. Coconut oil can be stored long term, which means you can use it as a cooking oil substitute. Unlike vegetable oil that goes rancid in a short time, coconut oil will last for years when stored properly.

15. Post-collapse baking from scratch will be the norm. Using coconut oil in place of butter will be a viable option. It will also be much healthier!

16. Add a tablespoon of coconut oil to a cup of warm water each morning for a boost of energy. When coffee and soda are not available, this is going to come in handy.

17. Shaving in a post-collapse world may not be absolutely necessary, but if you want to do so, you can use a little coconut oil instead of shaving cream. It will leave the skin smooth and reduce the risk of irritation and burning from a dry shave.

18. Make candles with coconut oil. Melt the coconut oil until it is liquid. Place a wick in a clean jar and pour the melted coconut oil into the jar, making sure the wick stays up. Allow the oil to cool and harden.

19. Use a coconut oil salve on skin rashes and eczema. It will soothe the itching and redness and promote healing.

20. A tablespoon of coconut oil taken internally for several days can help you get rid of a nasty tapeworm.

21. If you feel a cold coming on or the flu virus is present, take several tablespoons of coconut oil throughout the day in a hot cup of water or tea. The coconut oil helps kill the virus while boosting your immune system.

22. Relieve constipation with a couple tablespoons of coconut oil.

23. If you or someone in your group has diabetes, coconut oil everyday can help regulate the blood sugar. It is also a safe cooking and flavoring substitute in meals for diabetics.

24. Warm coconut oil and apply it to the scalp and hair to kill head lice. With poor sanitation and hygiene, head lice after a disaster will be very common. Add a little tea tree oil to the coconut oil for even more killing power without hurting the scalp.

25. Use a little coconut oil to cure pink eye. Adding a little coconut oil to a cotton ball and rubbing across closed eyes will help clear up the pink eye. Making a warm compress with the coconut oil will help decrease the swelling and speed healing.

 

Linked from: http://urbansurvivalsite.com/25-survival-uses-coconut-oil/

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How to Make Your Own Bug Spray and Bug Bite Sticks

How-to-Make-your-Own-Bug-bite-sticks-and-bug-spray

Summer time brings on the bug bites like crazy. You can make your own anti itch sticks that work wonderfully to take the itch out fast. I love making my own products because I know what’s going on my skin and my kid’s skin.

Make your own bug bite sticks for itching and stings, little sprouts learning

bug bite sticks, homemade, little sprouts learningI am leery of all the harsh chemicals we have available for our use on our bodies. Most of this stuff can be grown in the garden or bought locally, or you can order it in bulk from amazon. Either way, using pure ingredients will help protect your health.

making your own bug bite sticks that take itch away, little sprouts learninganti itch sticks, saving money, natural products, little sprouts learning

infused oil, bug bite sticks, little sprouts learningDEET is the main ingredient in most insect repellents but it’s not good for our health and can be particularly dangerous for use on children. If you want to learn more about the dangers of DEET and other ingredients in conventional bug spray.

natural products, essential oils, little sprouts learning

I love being able to make my own remedies and help protect my kids and my family from miserable itching throughout the summer.

Natural Bug Spray
Bug Spray made with all natural ingredients to repel bothersome insects.
Ingredients
  1. ¼ C. Apple Cider Vinegar
  2. ¼ C. Distilled Water
  3. 1 Teaspoon Homemade Vanilla (Click here for the recipe)
  4. 15 Drops Lavender Essential Oil (I use DoTerra brand oils and have much less reactions with my allergies)
  5. 10 Drops Lemon Grass Essential Oil
  6. 10 Drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  7. 20 Drops Melaleuca or Tea Tree Oil
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients and shake well.
  2. Shake well before each use.
Notes
  1. You should always test any product on a small patch of skin before use. Use caution when using essential oils on children.
By Christina Kamp

natural insect repellent, bug spray, little sprouts learning

Natural Bug Bite Sticks
Sticks to rub on bug bites to take out the itch or sting.
Ingredients
  1. 2 Teaspoons Dried Plantain Leaf
  2. 3 Teaspoons Dried Lavender Flowers
  3. 1 ½ Teaspoons Dried Echinacea Leaf
  4. 1 ½ Teaspoons Dried Echinacea Root
  5. 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  6. 3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
  7. 1 Tablespoon Lanolin
  8. ½ C. Beeswax
Instructions
  1. Combine oils with dried herbs in a crock pot and turn on the lowest setting
  2. Leave 2-3 days watching carefully so it doesn’t get too hot. You can turn it off at night.
  3. Strain your oil with cheesecloth or a strainer.
  4. Clean out your crock pot.
  5. Return your infused oil to the crock pot.
  6. Add beeswax and lanolin and stir until dissolved and combine.
  7. Pour mixture into empty chap stick tubes or small tins.
 

Please be cautious when using essential oils or any products on children.

Information shared on this blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, and has not been evaluated by the FDA. These are simply recipes that I use.

This post may have affiliate links. If you click on these links it may allow us to earn a small commission with no added cost to you. We are working hard to keep this blog free to you and these commissions are part of the plan to do that.

 

How to Make your Own Bug bite sticks and bug spray

Linked from: http://littlesproutslearning.co/make-bug-spray-bug-bite-sticks/

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12 Rainwater Collection Tips

rainwater-collection-tips

Why is it important to learn rainwater collection methods?

Living in such a modern world nowadays, most people don’t worry about much at all. They can mostly get what they need at home with just a push of a button or a flip of a switch. Even going camping outdoors is more like “glamping” these days, with food, water and even internet easily accessible.

But what if you run out of water, either at home or while spending time outdoors? What if there’s no way to get water elsewhere? Even if you were able to collect water, how would you make it safe to drink?

The following rainwater collection tips are for those who may find themselves in dry spell conditions, or even those who might like to save some money on their water bill.

Rainwater Collection Tips for Preppers

1. Check State Laws Before Collecting Rainwater

state laws rainwater collection

 

Are rainwater collection systems legal in your area? A water permit is required for some states in the US, while others don’t allow you to collect any rainwater at all. Better safe than sorry.

 

2. Collecting Rainwater At Home Using Food Grade Rain Barrels

rainwater barrels

Place the barrels beneath your downspouts. You can use cheesecloth, a coffee filter or a screen trap will help filter the water from sediments.

 

3. Make Your Own Rain Barrel

This tip will help you go through the Do’s and Don’ts in making your own rain barrel.

3. DIY Rainwater Collection System

five gallon bucket

This tip will help you collect rainwater mostly using materials that can already be found lying around your house. It may take a few hours of your time every day but it will surely put your power tools to good use. Plus, you don’t spend much for by paying someone else to do it for you.

 

4. Make An Emergency Water Filter

Using an ordinary bucket, you can fill it with different layers of certain materials that probably won’t cost you a cent. Just don’t forget to place a hole at the bottom.

 

5. Build An UltraModern Rainwater Harvesting System

rainwater collection system

Collecting and transporting a rainwater barrel outside your home can be tiring and time-consuming. Installing a system with a more complex design may help. Some systems have an overflow pipe that releases excess rainwater to a designated location in your property.

 

6. Install A Greywater System

If rain is scarce in your area and you’re just trying to save on your water bill, you might want to consider installing this system. You can recycle water from dishwashers, sinks, showers, and washing machines for use other than drinking.

 

7. Make A Belowground Still

This would increase your chances of survival for outdoor enthusiasts. This is a very basic way of collecting water if there isn’t any fresh water source for miles.

 

8. Make A Solar Still

solar still infographic

This is another ingenious way to collect drinking water in the wilderness. Just choose an inclined surface then dig a trench. With a stick, plastic bag and a few rocks you’ll quench your thirst in no time.

 

9. Plant Condensation

plant condensation

If there are a lot of plants nearby you can collect water through the process of condensation. You will need a plastic bag and a 550 cord or anything similar to that material. Wrap the plastic bag around the end of the plant or a branch of a small tree then wait for the water to condense at the bottom of the bag.

 

10. Use Rags To Collect Dew

wringing out rag

Dew is most heavy right before sunrise or shortly after that. By tying rags on your ankles and walking through grass covered with dew you can wring the now wet rags into a container. It may not be enough but it will get you through a couple of more hours.

 

11. Purify Water Taken From Unreliable Water Sources

water purification tablets

Purification tablets or 2% tincture iodine can come in handy when you need to purify water to make it safe for drinking. Make sure you purify water taken from swamps, lakes, streams, springs and ponds.

 

12. Use Tiny Zinc Oxide Wires Made In The Form Of  Spiny Cactus

cactus

These cacti spike inspired design was able to collect water from the air five times more efficiently than its original counterpart. This will work wonders for those that run out of water in the desert. If caught unprepared, collecting water from miniature cactus spines can suffice.

Just surf the web and you can find a lot more tips in collecting water from a variety of sources. Regardless of your location or type of environment you are in, knowing how to collect water in different ways is crucial for everyday living and survival.

Linked from: http://survivallife.com/rainwater-collection-tips/