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Tip on Preventing Blisters

First of all, remember that blisters require three conditions to occur: heat, moisture, and friction. Eliminate any one of those factors and you prevent blisters.

Buy boots that fits

Friction happens when your shoes or boots don’t fit your feet well. Buy them in a store where the staff knows how to measure your foot size. Try on a variety of brands because they all fit slightly differently; find the brand that fits your feet best. If the best boots you find still don’t fit perfectly, try after-market insoles to customize the fit.

Eliminate heat and moisture: Keep your feet dry

This may be the easiest and most effective strategy  employed: Whenever you stop for a break of five minutes or more,  take off your boots and socks and let them and your feet dry out, eliminating or at least minimizing heat and moisture. As simple as that.

Carry extra socks

If your feet get chronically sweaty, change into clean, dry socks midway through a day of hiking. Try to wash and cool your feet in a creek and dry them completely before putting on the clean socks.

Wear lightweight, non-waterproof footwear

Any footwear with a waterproof-breathable membrane is not as breathable as shoes or boots with mesh uppers and no membrane which also dry much faster if they do get wet. If you’re generally day hiking in dry weather, why do you need waterproof boots? It may seem counter intuitive, but non-waterproof shoes or boots may keep your feet drier because they won’t sweat as much.

Tape hot spots

Carry blister-treatment products like Moleskin—but also carry athletic tape, which sticks well even on damp skin. If you feel a hot spot developing,  stop immediately and apply two or three strips of athletic tape to the spot, overlapping the strips, and then check it periodically to make sure they’re still in place.

Tape preemptively

When you’re taking a really long day hike where you exponentially increasing the amount of friction that can occur, tape your heels before starting out, because you may have developed blisters on them on day hikes longer than 20 miles in the past. If you routinely get blisters in the same spots, tape them before your hike.

Use a skin lubricant

Distance runners have employed this trick for ages: Apply a lubricant to areas that tend to chafe or blister, like heels, toes, or even the inside of thighs, to eliminate the friction that causes that discomfort. Numerous products do the job, from the traditional Vaseline to roll-on sticks like BodyGlide.

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The Surprising Benefits of Honey

surprising-benefit-of-honey

Throughout history honey has been considered a food with unparalleled nutritional and physical benefits. For over 10,000 years (and maybe more) honey has been used as a staple food and as a medicine. This deliciously sweet substance is one of the few foods that can actually sustain human life all by itself. If you’re not already storing honey as part of your survival strategy, learning about all the surprising benefits of honey ought to convince you to start.

Storage

Honey lasts forever; if stored properly you will never need to worry about your honey going bad, forget about FIFO with honey. There was actually edible honey discovered in the pharaoh’s tomb in Egypt. It is also a healthy substitute for sugar that contains no fats or cholesterol.

My honey is hard and crystallized!

Not to worry, if your honey has become crystallized all you need to do is heat it to return it back to normal. Or if you like, turn it into mead!

Health

Skin

Honey is great for overall skin health and can even help to reduce wrinkles and nourish the skin.

Antibacterial

Honey has been used as an antiseptic for years, it was even one of the most popular treatments for wounds in the First World War. Recent science has explained to us why honey is such an effective antibacterial agent.

One New Zealand researcher says a particular type of honey may be useful in treating MRSA infections. Antibacterial properties of honey are the result of the low water activity causing osmosis, hydrogen peroxide effect, and high acidity. 

Wounds

Honey has also been shown to reduce odor, swelling and scarring when used to treat wounds, aside from its antibacterial effects.

Stomach Ache

Got a stomach ache? No problem, mix one teaspoon of honey with a hot glass of water, squeeze in about half a lemon and your stomach ache should go away.

Pink Eye

While it has only been proven in rats, honey was considered an effective treatment for conjunctivitis.

Allergies

Folk medicine suggests that taking local honey will help your allergies because you gain a tolerance to local pollens. Recent studies suggest that while it doesn’t help by eliminating allergies it helps reduce allergies.

a recent study has shown pollen collected by bees to exert an anti allergenic effect, mediated by an inhibition of IgE immunoglobulin binding to mast cells. This inhibited mast cell degranulation and thus reduced allergic reaction.

Coughs

Honey coats the throat, making it great for a sore throat. To cure your sore throat simply take about 1 teaspoon of honey and let it slowly trickle down your throat.

Burns

Honey is also great for burns since it removes the pain and helps aid in the healing process.

Colitis

Honey is shown to reduce the damage done to the colon in Colitis.

Insomnia

Some studies suggest that honey can also help with various nervous disorders such as insomnia. If you can’t sleep, mix 1 teaspoon of honey into a warm glass of water and enjoy a good night’s sleep.

**Because of the spores contained in honey, infants under the age of 1 year cannot consume it. While it’s fine for older children and adults, infants under 1 year can contract botulism from honey

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20 Ways to Winterize Your Home

20 Ways to Winterize Your Home

Do you think your home is ready for the cold winter weather? Are you ready? It can get really cold and you must be prepared if you want to stay warm. We have compiled a list of cost-effective ways that you can easily winterize your home to keep the heat in and the cold out. 

winterize-home

Animals

Getting Rabbits Ready for Winter

Worried about your pet freezing over? Here are the things that you should do to keep your rabbits warm and try during winter season.

Winter Chicken Care

Winter can be harsh and your poultry pets may not survive if not taken cake of properly. Here are chicken care tips to make them comfortable during cold season.

Quick Winter Tips for Poultry and Livestock

Make sure your poultry and livestock running smoothly with these winter tips to help you better prepared when the weather turns harsh.

Caring for Geese in Winter

Just like chickens, geese need a lot of food and water to make it thru the winter. Learn what other things that you need to do for your geese to survive the winter temperature.

Winterizing The Barn & Chicken House

Worried about your flocks surviving thru the chilly winter? Read these great tips to get started on winterizing the chicken house and barn.

Food Storage

Winter Vegetable Storage

Have you started to store food this winter? If you are not sure how to do this, here’s a quick guide to help you out.

How to Store Potatoes for Winter

Are you prepared for the long and cold winter? For storing your homegrown or store-bought potatoes, you can check these steps to keep them fresh.

Harvesting, Storing, & Using Winter Squash

Are your squash ready for harvest? Check out these steps on how to harvest, store, and use them for later use.

Long Term Winter Vegetable Storage

Did your vegetable crops suffer when winter started? You can prevent it from happening again with these helpful ideas for storing your vegetables.

Storing Fresh Produce for Long Winter

How do your store fresh product to let it stay fresh for a long winter? Here are the best ways to do so.

winterize-home2

Gardening

Winter Garden Preperation: Seeds

Just because it’s winter, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to do anything for your garden. There are winter preparations that you can do so you can welcome a successful spring and summer gardening.

How to Plant Your Fall/Winter Garden

If your vegetable are not yet ready for harvesting and winter is already here, there are things that you can do to protect your garden from the cold climate.

Winterizing the Farm-with Printable checklist

If the past year had been your first time gardening, then you’ve experienced what winter can do to your garden. To avoid this in the future, winterize your garden and this can be made easy with this printable checklist.

9 keeper Crops to Grow for Winter Food Storage

You can preserve seasonal crops that you can use for winter food. Here are some of the crops you can grow easily and how to store them.

Starting A Winter Vegetable Garden

Want to start a winter garden? It can be done with proper preparation and care. Here’s what you need to know.

Home

Use Shredded Paper to Make Bricks for Fuel

Shredded paper is something that you would usually throw away. You can repurpose them to easily start fire for winter.

Make Your Woodburner Work Harder

Heating your home during the winter can get very expensive. You can make the most from your wood burning stove with these very helpful tips.

Winter Maintenence: Cleaning The Chimney

Every year, your chimney should be clean of flammable creosote. It is important to clean your fireplace chimney to avoid any dangerous incidents.

Line Drying Clothes in Winter

Do you think drying your clothes outside during winter is impossible? It can be done. Here’s how you can do it and save money at the same time.

WInter Water Catchment Solutions

Storing water is a must for winter. But collecting and storing it during winter can be a bit of challenge because of the frozen pipes. Here’s an idea on how to solve this problem.

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Natural Tick Repellent Recipes & Tick Bite Prevention Tips

ticks Tick before eating and after eating.

Before we discuss natural tick repellent recipes and tick bite prevention, let’s take a moment to learn a little more about ticks and their dangers.

Ticks. They’re rightly considered to be one of the most unpleasant pests of the insect world. However for those who love nature, or those who are even outside for any longer than a little while, the likelihood of getting a tick bite can be pretty high.  Also, whilst the internet is full of blogs, guides and articles, it seems that many seem to conflict with one another as to how to avoid tick bites.

So let’s take a look everything you need to know about ticks, from the symptoms of a tick bite, right through to the natural tick repellents that actually work, and along the way, we’ll try to debunk the most common tick myths and misunderstandings.

Ticks – A little about our not-so-friendly critters

As far as insects go, it’s safe to say that ticks are very unpleasant. They’re ugly, difficult to spot, painful and their feeding habits are pretty disgusting.

What’s more, as they latch on and don’t let go until they’re filled with blood, you can be stuck with a tick for anything from a matter of days through to a number of weeks. And once full, they can reach the size of a marble, turning a green blue colour, before falling off.

Oh, and did we mention that when they fall off after they’ve been a right pain, they quite simply roll over and die. Pretty pointless, right?

 And what happens if you do pull them off?

Well, without wanting to put anyone off their dinner, if you pull off a tick that is in full latch mode, you’ll likely end up with just the body, with the head remaining firmly underneath your skin. This can then lead to both a painful and potentially dangerous abscess that has the potential to turn skeptic.

The serious side of tick bites

Whilst we can laugh at the irony of the fate of the tick after they’ve had their meal from us, the serious side to tick bites is not quite as funny. Particularly as these little fellas can be responsible for spreading:

  • Lyme disease
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • Anaplasmosi
  • Tularemia
  • Babesiosis

Symptoms of a tick bite

 Not sure whether you’ve been bitten by a tick? Well the following symptoms can all appear within a matter of the minutes after the bite.

  • A red, inflamed sport or a circular rash around the bite, that’s also know as the ‘halo’
  • Stiff neck and shoulders
  • Headaches, nausea or a ‘foggy’ head
  • Sudden weakness
  • Aching muscles, joint pain and overall wellness
  • Fever, a fluctuating temperature or chills
  • Swollen, painful lymph nodes

The truth behind the blood type myth

There’s been many a myth circulated in the past concerning whether ticks are attracted, or repelled, by certain blood types. But we can clear this up once and for all by assuring you that it is absolute nonsense. Ticks are creatures of opportunity and, if they see a nice bit of flesh that’s within reaching distance, they’ll latch on. It’s as simple as that.

So what about the unlucky ones who seem to get bitten ALL of the time?

Well it would seem that this is simply down to bad luck (as well as perhaps a poor choice of clothing and repellent). However, with all of the helpful tips and tricks that are stored within this blog article for you, your luck, when it comes to ticks, is about to get whole lot better.

Homemade Natural Tick Repellent Recipes

ticks1 Neem leaves have great natural tick repellent properties

Recipe One: Natural Tick Repellent For your clothes

Ingredients that you’ll need

  • 5 Cloves of Garlic (around one bulb)
  • 2 Tablespoons of crushed Neem Leaves
  • 1 and half Lemons (skin and all)
  • 2 Cups of Water

Equipment that you’ll need

  • Stove
  • Sauce Pan
  • Strainer
  • Funnel
  • Spray Bottle
  • Measuring Cup
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Knife
  • Cutting Board

Natural tick repellent, a case note: The garlic ingredient in this recipe is an important element to add and has notably been found to reduce the chances of being bitten by a tick by as much as 21%. This may go some way to explaining why some of us are luckier than others, as for those with a high garlic content diet, the residual garlic within our sweat may serve as a natural repellent.

Natural tick repellent for your clothes: Step by Step

Step One – Heat up your water.

Step Two – Whilst the water is heating up dice up your lemon and garlic.

You needn’t be too careful with getting your chopping precise, or too finely cut, just cut them roughly.

Step Three – Measure out two tablespoons of dried neem leaves.

Step Four – Once your water is boiling you can add in your ingredients.

Step Five – Cover you sauce pan over and leave it to simmer on a low heat for between fifteen to twenty minutes.

Step Six – Remove the mixture and set aside, leaving it to cool down.

Step Seven – Place your funnel into the spray bottle that you have a carefully positioned over the top. You should then take care to slowly pour through your mixture through the strainer. The strainer will then catch all of the solids, with the liquid filling up the spray bottle below.

Step Eight – Screw the spray bottle top back on and that’s it… you’re all done and ready to go.

Step Nine – If you do end up with any leftover repellent then it can be stored; to keep it at its most effective however, you’ll need to get it refrigerated.

Tips for applying the natural tick repellent

Perhaps the most efficient way to use any repellent is to apply it to your skin, however given the garlic ingredient within this recipe it may be wise to avoid this if you don’t want to repel humans as well as ticks!  Beyond misting your skin directly you can also use this mist to apply to clothes (just do so at a reasonable distance); it’s also suitable for pets too.

Recipe Two: Natural Tick Repellent For Your skin

ticks2 ACV has natural tick repellent properties

If you want to go all out and mix up some natural tick repellent for your skin as well as your clothes then the following recipe is perfect.

Ingredients that you’ll need

  • 2 oz of apple cider vinegar, witch hazel or vodka (each is relatively as effective as the next, so feel free to choose freely between these)
  • 2 oz Water
  • 20-40 Drops of geranium bourbon oil

One squirt of Castile soap to help distribute the oil better (this works out to be around a quarter of a tea spoon, however this is also an optional ingredient)

Equipment that you’ll need

  • A glass or PET plastic spray bottle
  • A sauce pan

Natural tick repellent for your skin: Step by step

Step One – Add your geranium oil to the apple cider vinegar, witch hazel or vodka.

Step Two – Mix the castile soap into the mixture if you’ve chosen to include castile soap.

Step Three – Wait for the mixture to sit for a few minutes, before you go on to mix further.

Step Four – Add in the water to the mixture

Step Five – Your mixture is now all done, so fill up your spray bottle.

Ideally your spray bottle should be made from either glass or a PET plastic, as oils can otherwise leach the chemicals from certain plastics, which essentially contaminates the repellent.

Tips for applying this tick repellent

This simple recipe is easy to use, and all you need to remember is to shake the mixture well before each use. Simply spray it on exposed skin. This repellent is also suitable for your clothes.

Recipe Three: A Homemade Tick Repellent Lotion For Your Skin

As another form of the recipe above you can choose to make this natural repellent in lotion form. This arguably may be a more effective natural tick repellent as the lotion will be naturally absorbed into the skin.

Ingredients that you’ll need

  • 2 oz of your choice of natural lotion (you can either make your own, or use any shop brought lotion)
  • Between 20 and 40 drops of geranium bourbon essential oil

 Equipment that you’ll need

  • A glass or PET plastic spray bottle
  • A container in which to mix your ingredients

Homemade tick repellent for your skin (lotion): Step by step

Step One – Mix your oil and essentials oils into a container

Step Two – Add the mixture to your spray bottle

Tips for storing your repellent

This lotion based tick repellent should be stored in a cool, dark place. If stored as such this is a repellent that should easily last for between two to three months.

Tick Bite Prevention Tips And Advice

So you are now armed with some natural tick repellent sprays and lotions, let’s natural tick repelling education with a few well-placed tips.

  1. Wear clothes that are light in color

This will give you a much better chance of spotting a tick before it has time to sink its teeth into your skin.

  1. Wear long pants along with protective footwear such as solid sneakers or hiking boots.

You can also increase your protection by tucking your shirt or top into your pants and, in particularly tick abundant areas, by wrapping some duct tape around your ankles and over your socks. This may give you a rather odd style, but it’ll certain ensure that you avoid being bitten!

  1. Remain on well-trodden trails

If possible, you should try to stay on well-trodden tracks where over hanging vegetation and planting is minimized. Overgrown meadows are also to be avoided if at all possible, and what’s more, this tip not only helps you avoid ticks, but additionally allows you to leave a lesser impact upon the outdoor spaces that you love.

  1. Remember to do a daily tick check

This tip is particularly important if you’re staying out for a number of days where the chances of a tick reaching you or your clothing is heighten. You should also get a friend to help you out and check the places where you can’t, such as your back.

  1. Once you’re home remember to check the kids and the pets

Before you set even so much as one foot over your threshold, you should check over your children and pets, and if just two or three make it in you could find yourself with a fresh littler of ticks to contend with!

  1. When coming home after a trip to potentially tick infested zones, you should bathe or shower as soon as is possible

Ideally this should be within two hours, as ticks can tend to hide away from even the most extensive of overall body checks.

  1. Be sure to examine not only each other and your clothes

But also your equipment, including coats, tents and day packs.

  1. Always tumble dry your clothes that has gone on the trip with you.

If ticks have happened to latch on or hide away within these then they will be killed off when the dryer is set to a high heat setting (it’s worth noting that more recent research seems to suggest that even shorter drying times may be effective, particularly when the clothing inside isn’t wet to begin with).

  1. If you choose to use shop brought, chemically based repellents then you should opt for those that continue between 20% and 30% DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluidine), as this is most effective.

Bare in mind however that when choosing such repellents it’s particularly important that you avoid the hands, eyes and mouths (especially when applying to a child’s skin).

  1. Always be prepared for being bitten, including within your packing finely pointed tweezers and bite lotion.