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Monday, January 19, 2009

Product of the Day

Grabber Mycoal 24 Hour Ultra Warmer Pack - 10 Pack

*A great & cheap item to throw into any kit or BOB.

Product Features

* Portable heat source that lasts 24 hours
* Maintains comfortable average temperatures between 135° F and 158° F
* Perfect for skiers, hunters, fishermen, golfers, campers or anyone who works or plays in the cold
* Single unit warmers easily warm up a cold sleeping bag
* Clean, odorless and dry

trade goods

After several articles explaining very patiently to you how we are all doomed and shall be shortly engulfed in a fiery death, I get to feeling a tiny bit guilty and try to figure out an article of a 'how to' natural so that you can actual do something to put forth the worthless and feeble effort at postponing said painful demise. So, today we shall cover cheap trade goods. I don't think I've exposed you to this topic for several hundred articles, so it was about time I dredged up another oldy and moldy.
It is all very well and good to give out lists. Bug out bag lists, medical kit lists, must own guns lists, 'Alpha Strategy' lists. But I hate lists. I think they are overwhelming. If you see a hundred items that are needed, your brain shuts down at the cost or complexity and nothing gets done. So, I tend to simplify. Instead of recommending cold weather gear, or tobacco or alcohol I have simply selected a few 'near a buck' trade goods. I think cold weather gear is a great stockpile item. If you buy from www.sportmansguide.com you can get very cheap quality surplus cold weather gear. I just got a bundle of long john tops for $4 each after shipping. Same with my mittens. But I can't recommend it for trade because the costs, although cheaper per item than anywhere else, add up too quick. I stockpile just for myself. If I have five replacements, I can have peace of mind many winters in advance. Same with tobacco. If you have an Indian Res nearby, see if their smoke shop sells 'roll your own'. It is thirty percent cheaper than mail order. I can buy my own makings for eighty cents a pack ( with filter ). But, I stock up for my own use, not eventual trade. It would add up too quick. As for alcohol, refer to my previous idea I stole from 'Possum Living', trash can wine. Not much need to stock up at all.
As to the following trade good list, I know you will have plenty of ideas on your own. I give you mine here, knowing it is not perfect. But I've used the criteria that most are items not stockpiled, hence having extra value in the future. You can buy a twenty pack of sewing needles in the dollar store. So is everyone else, future barter wise. I picked what I thought might be scarce. Number one is two liter sodas. I know you think that's crazy. There will be millions of empty pop bottlers waiting for scavs to dig up out of the landfills. It's not like they will ever decompose. But here is why I think they have merit. The soda inside. After a short period of time, every candy bar, bag of sugar and can of soda will be used up. Since our major sweetener is corn syrup, in the future sugar will become much more valuable. After a time, we won't be growing corn for sweetening or livestock feed or for ethanol. It will all go to the starving hoards. Anything with sweetener will become worth a lot more, barter or trade wise. Hold on to your unopened pop bottles. You can sell the soda for a 'sweet' profit and keep the bottle for your water storage/hauling use ( very few plastics will then be made ).
Next up is wooden matches. I know a lot of you own wax covered matched in your BOB kit. But the average unprepared citizen, if he owns any fire starter at all, has a disposable lighter. Let me just tell you, from previous experience these last few months, when it is butt cold, lighters don't work. Your hands are too numb to use it and it takes many more strikes to light. We still have dozens of lighters stashed, but day to day for lighting the stove, we use wooden matches. To light the propane heater we use a dollar BBQ lighter. It doesn't flame, but it does spark. That way I save the built in sparker for emergencies. When you do store matches, don't buy the big multi-hundred count box. The side strips for striking the match wear out pretty quick. Stay with the small box ( 32 per ? ) multi-pack.
22 ammo. Wait, I know that has always been a recommended trade item. But what I'm thinking is that with the price increases, and with Obammy's coming ban ( or the perception thereof ), supplies will suffer. Less, not more, will be stockpiled. So it will become much more valuable. And, if I'm wrong, you can never have enough for yourself anyway. I leave the advisability of arming your enemies for another discussion. Another one is penetrating oil. I forgot to oil my bike one week ( okay, it might have been two ) and with the wet weather I had rust all over my new chain. And the pedals, wheel bolts, kickstand, etc. At first I panicked, then I found a can of penetrating oil in the tool box ( the tool box is a five gallon poly bucket that will punish the careless with its various discarded sharp objects ). I sprayed the crap out of everything, then a few hours later coating with 3 in 1 oil ( anyone? anyone? What's a cheaper alternative to that, at three bucks a small bottle? ) and I was good to go. The alternative would have been to unhook the chain ( on a cold 18 degree day ) and soak it in kerosene or something else I didn't have to take care of the rust. Penetrating oil is available at the dollar store, and it is now on my must stockpile list.
Also at the dollar store are LED lights. One time I got lucky and found white light flashlights, the rest of the time it has been red light bike flashers. Regardless, they are a high tech, non replaceable, cheap trade item. There is a very small danger of 2012 cosmic storm event or an EMP attack that will fry them, but at a buck each, who cares? Just make sure to stock up on candles for your own use. Also, dollar packs of disposable batteries. Obviously, this is limited. You can only stockpile enough that can be rotated. But it will be the one item that will disappear first and be somewhat valuable. Overstock at your own risk, however. Last up is used, thrift store belts. Not the crappy vinyl ones only good as fashion accessories but real leather ones. Everyone is going to be losing weight pretty soon. Since we are a nation of fat asses that donate our old smaller clothes to the thrift store ( who in turn sell them to paper manufactures ) once the guts shrink, belts will be needed. Besides a length of rope some will use, belts will be in demand. Hope this is all food for thought.

Original: http://bisonsurvivalblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/trade-goods.html

Knife Review: SOG Seal Pup

by Johnny
(Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

SOG Seal Pup hacked with paracord cutter, sharpener and steel striker

SOG Seal Pup hacked with paracord cutter, sharpener and steel striker

I bought a SOG Seal Pup with kydex sheath and modified it by cutting out a portion of the sheath so it can be used to cut cord or string without taking it out of the sheath.

Then I added some velcro and a rapalla sharpener (which I cut down to a smaller size) to cover the cut out portion when not cutting cord or rope. The velcro holds a rod of steel striker on the sheath's backside and I put applied some shiny aluminum tape that would be great for signaling. And of course there's 3 metres of paracord that can be used for a lanyard, belt, shelter, etc. Retrofitting (hacking) it was fun, and I'm pleased with the results.

It's a small blade, but I like to travel light. The SOG Seal Pup is comfortable and I feel safe handling it in every task. Finally, the blade lends itself to choking up for finer carving.

I've abused it in the month I've owned it while hacking, batoning, sawing through metal and plastic (the serrations are great), carving the inside of quinzee, and it's performed well.

I would recommend this knife to any outdoor enthusiast. It's light, comfortable, strong and is a safe option for all ages.

Link of the Day

Captain Dave's Survival Center

This site covers a lot of ground including survival equipment lists from a variety of sources, some equipment reviews, survival techniques and general articles relating to the subject of long term survival. Dave's "Survival Guide" is a survival handbook work in progress.

recipe substitutions

This is a great list of ingredient substitutions (which can add versatility and flexibility to your three-month supply). Some have multiple suggested substitutions -- they are numbered. I have a copy of this in my recipe book and inevitably end up consulting it regularly.

Cooking Substitutions:

Baking Powder (1 t.)
1) 1 t. baking soda plus 1/2 t. cream of tartar.
2) 1/4 t. baking soda plus 1/2 t. cream of tartar.
3) 1/4 t. baking soda plus 1/2 c. buttermilk (to replace 1/2 c. liquid in recipe).

Butter or Margarine (1 cup)
1) 1 1/2 c. margarine or butter powder.
2) 2/3 c. vegetable oil.
3) 1 c. shortening plus 1/2 t. salt
4) 2 sticks softened margarine plus 1/3 c. vegetable oil & 1/2 c. buttermilk. Beat until liquid is absorbed. Refrigerate.

1) 1 T. vinegar (or 1 t. lemon juice or 1 3/4 t. cream of tartar) mixed in 1 c. milk.
2) 1 c. water, 1/3 c. powdered milk, 1 T. vinegar or lemon juice.
3) 1 3/4 c. dry milk in 3 c. slightly warm water (shake or beat until blended). Cover an allow to stand at room temperature until clabbered (6 - 12 hours). Refrigerate.
4) 1 c. water, 1/3 c. powdered milk, 1 T. vinegar or lemon juice. Let mixture stand in a warm place until thickened (18 hours). Stir until smooth. Refrigerate.
5) A buttermilk freeze dried culture can be purchased at a grocery or health food store, and kept indefinitely.

Chocolate (one square)
1) 3 or 4 T. cocoa plus 1/2 T. fat (butter, margarine or shortening).
2) 3 T. cocoa plus 1 T. butter.

Corn Starch (1 T.)
2 T. flour.

Cream (1 cup)
1/3 c. butter plus 2/3 c. milk.

1) Combine 1 t. unflavored gelatin with 3 T. cold water and 2 T. plus 1 t. boiling water.
2) Dissolve 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin in 1 tablespoon cold water, then add 2 tablespoons boiling water. Beat vigorously until frothy
3) 2 egg yolks plus 1 T. water.
4) 2 T. dehydrated eggs plus 2 1/2 T. water.

Evaporated Milk
1 c. water, 2/3 c. powdered milk

Applesauce (subtract some sugar), or Beans (cooked and mashed).

Flour, White (1 cup)
1) 3/4 c. whole wheat flour.
2) 7/8 c. rice flour.
3) 1 c. corn flour.
4) 1 c. corn meal.
5) 3/4 c. buckwheat.
6) 1/2 c. barley flour.
7) 3/4 c. rye flour.

Green Pepper (1 medium)
1/4 c. dehydrated green pepper.

Half and Half (1 cup)
1) 7/8 c. milk plus 1 T. butter.
2) 1/2 c. coffee creamer and 1/2 c. milk.

Honey (1 c.)
3/4 c. sugar plus 1/4 c. liquid.

Jello (3 oz.)
1 T. plain gelatin plus 2 c. fruit juice.

Ketchup (1/2 c.)
1/2 c. tomato sauce, 2 T. sugar, 1 T. vinegar, 1/8 t. ground cloves.

Milk, Whole (1 cup)
1) 1/2 c. evaporated milk plus 1/2 c. water.
2) 1 c. reconstituted milk plus 2 T. butter.
3) 1 c. water, 1/3 c. powdered milk

Onion (1 medium)
1/4 c. dehydrated onion

Sour Cream (1 cup)
1) 1 c. milk plus 1 1/2 T. vinegar. Let stand until mixture thickens and clabbers.
2) 1 c. plain yogurt.

Sugar (1 cup)
1) 3/4 c. honey (reduce liquid by 1/4 c. or add 1/4 c. flour).
2) 1 c. molasses.
3) 1 1/2 c. carob syrup.
4) 1 1/4 c. malt syrup.
5) Corn syrup (reduce liquid). 6) Brown sugar.

Sugar, Brown
Sugar & Molasses.

Sugar, Powdered (1 cup)
1 c. sugar and 1/2 t. cornstarch. Blend in blender until powdered.

Sweetened Condensed Milk
1) 1 1/2 c. powdered milk, 3/4 c. sugar, 1/2 c. hot tap water. Place hot water in blender. With blender going, add sugar and dry milk, blend until smooth.
2) 1 c. hot water, 4 c. powdered milk, 2 c. sugar, 1/4 c. butter. Blend in blender. Can be refrigerated or frozen.
3) 1/2 c. hot water, 1 c. powdered milk, 1 c. sugar. Blend in blender. Can be refrigerated or frozen.

Tapioca (2 t.)
1 T. flour.

Tomatoes, Canned (1 cup)
1 1/3 cups cut up fresh tomatoes, simmered 10 minutes.

Tomato Juice (1 c.)
1/2 c. tomato sauce, 1/2 c. water

Whipped Topping
1) 6 T. powdered milk, 1 c. boiling water, 2 t. unflavored gelatin, 2 T. cold water, 2-4 T. sugar, 1 t. vanilla. Dissolve the milk in the cup of water and scald (boil until milk forms a skin on top). Soak the gelatin in cold water. Combine the scalded milk, dissolved gelatin and sugar. Stir and chill in the refrigerator until it jells. Then beat the mixture until it acquires the consistency of whipped cream. Add the vanilla and whip again.
2) 1 c. water, 2/3 c. powdered milk. Chill. Add 1/2 t. lemon juice. Whip. Fold in 1 T. sugar to taste.

1) Use apple or grape juice minus some sugar.
2) Use broth and lessen the salt.

Yeast (1 package)
1 T. yeast.

[Sources: Myself, Various unidentifiable handouts, and West Jordan Oquirrh Stake "Basically Speaking" Cookbook)

Original: http://iprepared.blogspot.com/2009/01/recipe-substitutions.html

Quote of the Day

For me life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer.
~Arnold Schwarzenegger

Survival Item - Sewing Kit

A survival sewing kit is usually pretty small and contains only a few things. Instead of thread, I like to pack dental floss or fishing line in my kit because of the ability to use it for more than just sewing.

Fishing line is a lot stronger than thread and is a far better option when putting together a survival sewing kit. Your kit should be able to repair clothing, fix a ripped tent or tarp, mend backpacks and sleeping bags, and in an emergency can be used to stitch up a wound.

Other things that can be in your survival sewing kit:

  1. A few Buttons
  2. Various Size Needles
  3. Thimble to push needles through heavy tarps or animal hides
  4. Self cutting Grommets for tarps and tents
  5. Duct Tape
  6. Thick Rubber, plastic and canvas patches
  7. Small scissors
  8. Fishing Line
Original: http://offgridsurvival.com/sewing-kit-2/

Pasta Salad

I love to cook. I cook most of my own meals. I like to cook extravagant, wholesome, delicious meals. I experiment a lot and am always trying new things in the kitchen. I focus more on stocking staples, spices, dried goods and things that I can use to make things my way instead of things like premade soups, MREs, freeze dried cans, etc. I've got a lot of cookbooks and I save good recipes that I find on the internet. Every once in a while I find a really good one. Not because the finished product is so good but because, instead of giving you a list of ingredients and telling you how to prepare it, it gives you ideas on how to do a popular dish several different ways by giving you the fundamentals on how to make it along with a set of rules that you should follow to make sure that it turns out well.

Here's a good example of what I'm talking about. Pasta salad is one of those things that I like to keep in the fridge. Rather than keeping a book full of recipes I keep this around and make it off of these guidelines. I found this a while back and have used it ever since.

How to Make Pasta Salad

by Susan MacDowell

Pasta salad is a great dish to have in your culinary repertoire. It's quick to prepare, adaptable to whatever ingredients you have on hand and popular with most diners. If you're looking for an easy side dish or a light entree, this guide to How to Make Pasta Salad will walk you through the process of preparing the perfect pasta salad.

Table of Contents

* Introduction
* What You'll Need
* Step 1: Cook the Pasta
* Step 2: Mix the Dressing
* Step 3: Assemble the Salad
* Additional Potato Salad Recipes
* References

Pasta Salad Tips

1. Experiment with different pastas
2. Don't over-cook the pasta
3. Substitute light mayonnaise or yogurt to reduce fat and calories.

by Susan MacDowell


* Whether its a traditional mayonnaise dressed macaroni salad, or a more sophisticated mixture of artichokes and bow tie pasta, a pasta salad is a great accompaniment to a summer barbecue.1 2 This is truly a dish where your culinary creativity can shine! Starting with the basic framework of a box of dried pasta, a cup of salad dressing, and 3-5 cups of chopped vegetables, you can put your individual spin on this classic dish.

What You'll Need

* 1 box of Pasta
* 1 cup of Salad Dressing
* 3-5 cups of chopped Vegetables


* Stock pot
* Colander
* Mixing Bowl
* Cutting Board
* Mixing Spoon


Dried pasta works better than fresh pasta. Even without that option, there are lots of choices when selecting the pasta you'll use as the basis for your salad.

1. Increase fiber by selecting a whole wheat pasta, rather than the traditional semolina based variety.
2. Add visual interest by choosing a mix of colors.
3. Colored pasta has a small amount of an ingredient like spinach (green), tomato (red) or squid ink (black).
4. Make sure the shape you select works with the salad. Pastas with curves and ridges like shells, rigatoni or orechiette tend to pick up small additions like chopped scallions or bacon bits. Smooth pastas like elbows or farfalle are better work well with an oil and vinegar based dressing.


* For a simple salad, you can use any prepared salad dressing.8 If you have a few more minutes you can mix your own mayonnaise-based or oil and vinegar dressing.


* The vegetables you use are limited only by your imagination.9 Onions and celery are basic choices. Red and green peppers add color and crunch.10

Optional Additions

* Nuts, sundried tomatoes, bacon bits and dried fruits can add interest to the salad. You can also add cheeses such as feta, parmesan or goat cheese.9

Step 1: Cook the Pasta

* Boil the pasta noodles according to package directions. Make sure you don't overcook the pasta. Drain the pasta immediately after cooking. If you're using an oil and vinegar based dressing, add some now, before the pasta cools. Otherwise, toss the pasta with 1 T of olive oil, and let cool. (The oil keeps the pasta from sticking together.)11

Step 2: Mix and Season the Dressing

* If you'd like to mix your own dressing, here are two simple choices.

Mayonnaise Based

* 1/3 cup Vinegar
* 1 cup Mayonnaise
* Salt and Pepper

Oil and Vinegar

* 1/3 cup Red Wine Vinegar
* 1 cup Olive Oil
* Salt and Pepper

Optional Seasonings

* Whisk the ingredients together, adding seasonings as desired.12
o 1/4 cup Minced shallot
o 1 T Dijon Mustard
o 2 cloves pressed Garlic
o 1/2 t Sugar
o 1/4 cup chopped fresh Herbs

Step 3: Assemble the Salad

1. Add dressing to pasta.
2. Taste, and adjust seasoning as needed, adding more vinegar, salt or pepper.
3. Add vegetables and any optional ingredients.
4. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled, as desired.

Obviously, once you get a good handle on how to cook it's pretty easy to figure out this stuff. It's not that hard to look at a recipe and make changes as you see fit. Seeing it this way just makes it easier for me to figure out how to do it the way I want it without having to make it several times first. If anyone has some good links or books with a lot of recipes with this type of format I'd love to take a look. Please share!

Original: http://theurbansurvivalist.blogspot.com/2009/01/my-kind-of-recipe.html

Audio Podcast: Diverse Options for Survival Container Gardening

icon for podpress Episode-117- Diverse Options for Survival Container Gardening [40:57m]: Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download

Today we take a look at different varieties of crops for container gardening and some of the advantages that container gardening offers both the land owner and the survivalist who doesn’t have much or even any land to work with.

Tune in today to hear,

  • A bit on why I put so much emphasis on gardening
  • The advantages of container gardening even for the person with a good amount of land
  • How even an apartment renter can grow some pretty diverse sources of food
  • A great variety of Blue Berry for the container garden and it even handles heat
  • Yes you can grow an olive tree even a bonsai version if you need to keep things small
  • Five great varieties of tomato for containers
  • Seven awesome types of peppers for patios and pots
  • Yes you can even grow zucchini in containers I will give you two varieties made for doing it
  • We even talk about a dwarf runner bean and a dwarf pea that work great even in small pots
  • Citrus? You bet a variety each of lemons, limes and oranges that handle container growing well
  • Dwarf figs and even regular figs can handle the chill if you bring em inside when it really gets cold
  • Five Catalogs you really need to order and they are free

Resources for Today’s Show

Original: http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/episode-117-diverse-options-for-survival-container-gardening


One thing that we haven't discussed as we've planned our three-month supply menus is the issue of versatility. Storing versatile products and using menus that are easily adaptable can add variety and flexibility which could be important in many emergency situations.

Many of the products that I've chosen to store can be easily substituted and interchanged. For example, I have stored many different kinds of pastas and sauces. By choosing different combinations I can make stroganoff (egg noodles with a white sauce) or spaghetti (spaghetti noodles with a red sauce). I've also chosen many different bean dishes for dinner. By changing around the combination of ingredients, we could have baked beans, black bean burritos or taco salads.

I've stored all of the ingredients for bread, pancakes and tortillas. Having flour, salt, leavening, oil and powdered milk would also allow me to easily add variety to my menu. Instead of bread, I might make biscuits, tacos, or crumpets. I could make a pizza crust it and top it with a red pasta sauce. Or if you look through my menus, you would see that I have all of the ingredients to make a peach pie or cookies. Because of added versatility, I would challenge you to include at least one meal on your menu that uses very basic ingredients such as flour. You may already have these types of items stored in your longer-term storage.

Not all of these meal variations are actually listed on my menus, but I can look at my ingredient list and see many more possibilities. If you notice menu adaptations as you look at your own meals and shopping lists, it would be valuable to jot them down with your original menus. That way in times of stress, you'll have those ideas easily accessible.

There a several advantages to having a menu that allows versatility. Not only can you add variety into your menu, but it also make items easier to rotate. You would also be able to substitute items as necessary if you found yourself running out of something.

Original: http://iprepared.blogspot.com/2009/01/versatility.html