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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Product of the Day

Yaktrax Walker Traction Cleats for Snow and Ice

*Someone feel free to buy & send me a set? It's on my wishlist. :)

Product Features

  • Traction cleats designed to help you walk on packed snow or ice
  • Made of lightweight, durable injection-molded plastic elastomer
  • Hand-wound design provides 360 degrees of traction on slippery surfaces
  • Offers 10 times the number of gripping points as spike-based traction devices
  • Safe in temperatures as low as -41 degrees F; available in XS, S, M, and L sizes

Red Flare Emergency Supplies

Last year I had the good fortune to come across Red Flare Emergency Supplies.

Excellent products and an amazingly comprehensive catalog (be sure to get it). If they don't carry it, you probably don't need it.

Good prices and the shipping costs weren't that bad either.

I highly recommend checking them out.

-We take the guesswork out of emergency preparedness

Red Flare Emergency Supplies
274 Redwood Shores Parkway # 520
Redwood City CA, 94065
tel: 650-242-9701
fax: 650-475-7057

Peppermint Is Important

Here's a link to something to think about...Candy Canes Fight Germs, Settle Stomachs


Guess that enforces our decision to store peppermint tea, candy canes, and peppermint oil (candles, soap, aromatherapy, etc.) as well to grow some. Our main problem is containing the peppermint plant since it's a huge spreader.

But... yummy medicine!

original: http://survival-cooking.blogspot.com/2009/01/peppermint-is-important.html

Inventory Check: Sewing Supplies

This is a reminder to check your inventory of sewing supplies. Have you stocked up on...
  • sewing machine needles
  • hand sewing needles
  • straight pins
  • safety pins
  • thread
  • bobbins
  • velcro
  • buttons
  • fabric

And so on ... Be sure to get thread of all colors because you just don't know what will come up. We're also getting bags of extra buttons that usually are for craft projects. Still, they will work in a pinch. And sewing needles would be very difficult to make yourself... it's better to just stock up.

Check your inventory.

Original: http://survival-cooking.blogspot.com/2009/01/inventory-check-sewing-supplies.html

Quote of the Day

A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.
~Doug Larson

LED Lighting

Flashlights have come a long way in recent years. Up until just a few years ago maglights were about your only choice for a dependable, reasonably bright, durable flashlight. Now, with the invention of LED technology we've got lights that are bright enough to see by, ridiculously cheap, small enough to fit in your pocket and durable enough that they don't feel like they could break if you squeeze them too hard. Oh and you never have to worry about the bulbs going out and the battery life is exceptional. There are also some high powered lights out there that use xenon bulbs but as far as I'm concerned LEDs have overtaken even that technology in just a few short years.

Because of all of this I've found myself becoming a flashlight whore. After picking up my first Surefire G2 a couple of years ago I was hooked. Since then the technology has come so far that the options appear to be endless. I've found myself collecting flashlights just so that I can make sure I have one that will run off of any battery type out there. Then a better one comes out. The new one is really cheap, is twice as bright and I just have to get it.

I just detailed my purchase of the Streamlight stylus so I won't go into that again. I'm still very happy with it and it's already come in handy a few times since I started carrying it. Today I was at Home Depot and I saw a light that was on the other end of the spectrum, though. It was a Husky 2 D cell 200 lumen light. This thing is awesome. It was bright enough that I could see the spot in broad daylight. Turn it on and set it on it's end and it will light up a pitch black room enough that you can read by it. It's beefy enough that it could be used as a weapon. If you shined this in someone's eyes their vision would be screwed for at least a few seconds. They'd still be seeing dots minutes later. It's too big and heavy to pack but I could easily see keeping one in your trunk. It will be replacing my Surefire G2 on my nightstand. For $25 this thing is a hell of a deal. It even comes with two batteries so you don't have to worry about buying those d cells separately. That's not a battery size that I keep stocked up on.

Later I stopped by Target because I heard that they had a lot of their camping gear on clearance. I ended up picking up a Coleman percolator for $7 and a collapsible LED lantern for $16. They were both half off. My biggest beef with flashlights is that when you take them camping you can't just set them down and expect them to provide much light. Sure you can use a headlamp or carry a flashlight with you everywhere you go but I'd rather just be able to set my light down and have it illuminate the entire campsite. This puppy will do that no problem. It does use 4 D cells (damn now I'm going to have to start stocking D batteries) but the runtime is 20-40 hours depending on what setting you leave it on. It's got 3 different settings which is also nice. It packs down to a very small size and it doesn't weigh much even with the batteries in. For car, trailer or bike camping it will be perfect. I'll be leaving it at home for the high mileage backpacking trips, though.

On my way home I stopped at Ace to get some lamp oil (more on that in another post) and noticed that they had LED bulbs for $10 a pop. I had a $5 coupon in my pocket so I decided to go ahead and try it out. Let's just say that LED technology still has a way to go before we can consider it viable to replace light bulbs. Maybe this just wasn't a very good one. I will say that immediately after opening the package I dropped it and it didn't even leave a knick. The durability has never been an issue with LEDs, though. I plugged it in and I might as well have set a 15 led flashlight on it's end and turned it on. The light output was horrible and it seemed to be concentrated into one area. I turned on one of my CFLs in the same room and it almost completely drowned out the light that the LED provided (yes I've replaced every one of my lightbulbs with CFLs and it did make a difference in my electric bill). LED light bulbs might not be quite there yet but you'll be hard pressed to find a better flashlight solution. Personally, I can't wait until LEDs catch up because they use even less energy than a CFL and you never have to worry about throwing them away. Even if one should happen to fail throwing it away isn't something that you have to feel guilty about since it's just a couple of wires and some plastic.

Original: http://theurbansurvivalist.blogspot.com/2009/01/led-lighting.html

Where to purchase your bulk beans and grains

By Joseph Parish

Okay, I admit that I cheat. I don’t currently have a food mill so I use already milled and processed grains to make my breads and pancakes. For years now I would go to the local supermarket and buy the packages of products to use at home. My 2009 plans include the purchase of a quality grain meal so that I can take advantage of bulk purchases of items such as yellow corn and beans. You may laugh yourself off that easy chair but I have discovered that bulk supplies of grains are easily obtained from my local feed store.

In these feed stores you can readily find supplies of wheat for approximately 8 to 10 dollars for a 50 pound bag. Not bad at all considering the current price of a loaf of bread. Now this same 50 pound bag purchased through one of the bulk food suppliers would cost you about twice that amount. The major difference between the two bags of wheat is that the least expensive bag is intended for planting and for feeding livestock whereas the more expensive is for actual cooking by humans.

These packages may very well not receive all of the necessary inspections that those intended for human consumption would. Nor would they arrive at my home in “For human consumption” containers. The feed store facilities may not actually conform to the Department of Health standards in effect at this time for the human food storage locations however there is really not much difference in the actual feed version verses the human ones.

Both way the corn that one purchases at their local feed store appears to be very clean and pest free. A good point to keep in mind is that should the corn have any pathogens present the cooking process is sure to destroy them.

It would only make good sense to me that if you have no additional means of obtaining your grains and beans in bulk quantities at a reasonable price you may wish to consider this option. You can always purchase the high quality products at a later day if you so desire.

Copyright @ 2009 Joseph Parish

Original: http://survival-training.info/articles7/Wheretopurchaseyourbulkbeansandgrains.htm

Don’t Worry – Go Camping

You may remember the song "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire." Well, camping is like that but with marshmallows! Camping is an activity not similar to any other. Thousands of people enjoy the serenity of nature once the weather gets warmer. The tents are opened and the sleeping bags are pulled out of storage. Now that the long winter has come to an end, it is time to enjoy the great outdoors. Are you new to camping or are you a seasoned veteran? You are very fortunate if you are a beginner. In this article you will find the basic information necessary for camping as well as what you can expect while you are enjoying the great outdoors.

What type of things should I take with me camping?

Let's see… you will definitely need to take some extra clothing. The weather will factor greatly into the type of clothing you will need. You will need to bring along the following items no matter where you go camping: sleeping bag, food, water, small hatchet for chopping firewood, and matches. Other items that some people pack are: coolers for food, fishing poles, tents, and a radio to listen to at night. What you take depends largely on how you want to camp and what you want to carry with you.

At what age can I take my children camping?

That depends on the weather and what type of activities you will want to do while you are out in the wilderness. Small infants do not need to be taken outdoors during inclement weather. You will need to plan out your vacation with children in mind. What activities will be enjoyed by the entire family? Are there things that will keep them busy while you are camping and relaxing? Just remember that children have short attention spans and not as much stamina as you do, so take that into account before you start off on a five mile hike through the woods.

How can I prevent wild animals from getting into my food?

The most effective way to keep animals away from your food supply is to keep the food in your car if you are in a campground. If you like to take hikes in the woods and get away from humanity, it is a good idea to tie your food high up out of reach of both small and large animals. If you keep your campfire going, it will discourage animals from rummaging through your supply of food. Bury food scraps and waste far away from your camp to keep the critters away.

What foods do people generally eat when camping?

Can you go camping and not have hot dogs and toasted marshmallows? Not me! Traditionally people have those staple items. Your choice of further food items will be dependent upon the sort of camping you are undertaking. A lot of people like to catch their own food and cook it over an open fire. If you are camping near a river or stream, you can go fishing for your food. Fish are an excellent, nutritious food supply. Whatever food you take, you will find that it tastes a lot better cooked outside versus cooking the same food at home.

What are some additional tips for camping?

The best tip when it comes to camping is to have fun. This is your time to relax and commune with nature. It does not matter if it is at a camping ground or you have hiked into the middle of a forest. It is about getting away from the hustle and bustle of work and everyday life and just enjoying the time with your family. Kids love being out camping, and it is a great way to show them the beauty of nature.

By: Darrin Hitchington

Original: http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/TrekYourWorld/~3/514698648/dont-worry-go-camping.html

Link of the Day

Earthquake Preparation Advice

Some good, basic and sensible advice on disaster preparedness, with the focus on earthquakes, from The American Rescue Team International.

"3" is a Magic Number

Originally posted on The ReadyStore Blog


"3" is a Magic Number

The number 3 is a magic number when it comes to emergency preparedness. You can survive for about 3 hours without shelter, about 3 days without water, and about 3 weeks without food. So, to keep with the magic number, we should try to find 3 ways to deal with each of those situations.

For shelter, there may be circumstances where we can shelter in place and use our home as a shelter. Other times we may be stuck in our cars. Keeping some basic items in our car in case we need to use it as a shelter can be life-saving. Some water pouches, survival food bars, hand warmers, emergency blankets, a Ready candle, and waterproof matches can help us keep warm in a winter storm situation. And what if a major earthquake made sleeping in your home impossible? Consider a backpacker dome tent or even a tube tent plus emergency sleeping bags.

Next is water. You can store a lot of water in your home by using the 30 gallon barrels and then adding the water preserver so you only have to change the water every 5 years instead of every year. You can also think about portable water in case evacuation becomes necessary. The 5 gallon stackable water containers are great for this purpose. And what if you had access to water, but it was contaminated? Think about potable aqua and an MSR miniworks water filter. The miniworks can filter up to 500 gallons of water, so it is a great tool to invest in.

Last is food. Survival food bars are compact enough to store in your car or even in your desk at work. You can store MREs and freeze-dried pouches in your 72-hour kits. And the #10 cans of freeze-dried food are terrific to store in your home for longer term food storage.

Emergencies and disasters don’t always happen how we plan, so by taking steps to resolve these 3 essential issues in at least 3 ways, you can feel secure in your emergency preparations.

Original: http://getmeready.blogspot.com/2009/01/3-is-magic-number.html

communal living

Now, relax, Birkenstock wearing Volvo driving, tree hugging Hippies. I'm going to describe post collapse communal living, so don't get overly excited. This won't be like the good old days, smoking dope, waiting for the Food Stamps to come in so you can buy a five cent candy bar and get change for a dollar and go pay off your supplier, flirting with all the girls as they braid their armpit hair and talk about taking a vacation on some other astral plain, as if you need any more escape from reality than you already enjoy. No, this is going to be more along the lines of communal cooking so the one rabbit you caught will stretch out the stew for everyone and sharing a collective fire to make the captured shipping pallet warm everyone.
I think most of us are envisioning a pioneer existence after the collapse. We farm and enjoy our land and band together for common defense as Super Ninja Motorcycle Hoodlums threaten our tranquil and idyllic universe. Our model seems to be our own propaganda model of the savage redmen threatening us as we try to force them off the land. This could very well happen, criminals will evolve to fit circumstances. But I don't know if the solitary homestead model is all that realistic. We are so blind to distance anymore since we are spoiled rotten by the pervasive automobile. And think nothing of energy use, having it in abundance all our lives. But, this will not be the case in the near future. Wood will become scarce, building supplies will be in short supply. Wood will be needed for cooking and heating as oil becomes unavailable and almost all buildings are unsuitable for post-oil habitation. Rebuilding dwellings suitable for limited wood heat will lead to shortages in populated areas. Salvaging existing building might not be sufficient. Also, for a time, horses and mules will not be available. As the cars run out of fuel, and bicycles mostly prove to be unusable after being stored in the garage for several years, other transportation will be needed. But horses need food. And to get a local farming community going quick enough to feed everyone as trade collapses with the outside, food for animals will need to wait for the time being.
For most people transportation and warmth will be problems. So it follows that banding together will solve these problems. Help is right there, for work and for defense. Communal living will be a viable solution. We all turn our nose up at it, envisioning the above Hippy or a house stuffed to the rafters with Third World immigrants and their extended family, coping with insane rental costs the only way they know how. So, to help you out, here's a much more pleasing mental picture. Viking or Indian long houses. Several families live together. Each building uses less material and requires less fuel to warm than if each family had separate places. Work, chores and defense are shared to lessen the burden. Also, the shared resources are an insurance policy against one family going without. I'm not saying this shared living arrangement is preferable over individual homesteads, only that we might not have a lot of choice in the matter.

Original: http://bisonsurvivalblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/communal-living.html