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Friday, January 23, 2009

Product of the Day

Emergency Thermal Blankets (4 Pack)

*A must for any kit or BOB. Keep a couple in your glovebox, too.

Product Features

  • Provides compact emergency protection in all weather conditions.
  • Made of durable insulating mylar material designed by NASA for space exploration.
  • Retains/reflects back 90% of body heat.
  • Reusable, waterproof and windproof.
  • 52" X 84"

Food storage observations

When I was at the Mormon cannery yesterday the fella in charge asked me how my food storage was coming along. (I think this is the standard Mormon conversational ice-breaker…”Steve! Meet my friend Bill!” “Hi Bill. Nice to meet you. Hows the food storage?”) I thought about it a minute and said that between the freeze drieds, the MRE’s, the drums of wheat, rice and corn, and all the ‘normal’ food that’s in storage as well as in the cupboards we’d probably have about ten months to a years worth. More if we don’t mind some repetitive and boring meals.

So, really, the food storage part of the equation is pretty much squared. While its always nice to have more, I think we’re at the stage where we can add to it when its convenient for us, or when something is on sale, or when we discover something that fits our food storage needs very nicely. Focus can be shifted now.

What next? Interesting question. We’re good for food, pretty good on ammo, decent level of stored fuels,…I suppose the next step is to continue preparing for the economic rough times that are ahead. For us, that means getting a cash emergency fund, eliminating as much debt as possible, and making bloody sure the expenses are a good deal less than income. Might also be nice to stockpile some of the normal everyday items so that if things do get majorly ugly we can spend what meager financial resources we have on critical things (like mortgage and power) and not have to worry about buying laundry soap, paper towels and socks. Plus, given the significant price savings when buying in bulk, its just a good idea to have the frequent-use stuff stockpiled anyway.

How do you prepare for a recession or depression? I have no idea, really. But I can try to think it through. The consequences of a recession or depression are higher unemployment and lower personal spending. So, I want to be covered in case of job loss and if I make a living off other people being consumers I may want to develop a different income stream, or at least be prepared (minimal debt, etc) for that income stream to become a trickle. After all, if someone is worried about whether theyre going to have a job or not in a few weeks, theyre probably quite likely to curb their spending as much as they can.

Unemployment is my big concern. Not so much the unemployment of others, although that does have a place in my List O’ Things To Worry About, as much as I worry about us being unemployed. Fortunately, we have a pretty low mortgage (although any mortgage is too much when your income is slashed by 100%), close to no debt, and no car payments, student loan payments, credit card payments, or anything like that. If we can keep current on the mortgage we could ‘get by’ indefinitely. It wouldn’t be in grand style, but it would sure as heck beat living in a cardboard box.


Skipping the economy, which is pretty tough to ignore these days, North Korea announced that they’ve ‘weaponized’ a pile o’ uranium, Bird Flu is popping up in the usual places and, oddly, the .gov is warning of a collapse of the Mexican economy. (Sooo…they self-demote to a Fourth World country?) And, come to think of it, the transition of administrations would be a good time to try getting away with something. So it just ain’t the economy that we gotta worry about these days…the usual suspects are still out there.

Original: http://commanderzero.com/blog/?p=805

Quote of the Day

And while the law of competition may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it ensures the survival of the fittest in every department.
~Andrew Carnegie

Storing Foods, Part 7 (sprouting)

Store Seeds to Sprout. Why? Check out: http://www.sprouting.com/homesprouting.htm
  1. Sprouted seeds provide lots of LIVE nutrients, vitamins, and minerals as well as enzymes, etc.
  2. Sprouts are easily digested.
  3. Sprouts provide good fiber.
  4. Sprouts provide a fresh crunch to liven up your meal.
  5. Sprouts are inexpensive.
  6. Sprouts are fresh.
  7. Sprouting seeds to eat is easy, taking only minutes a day.
  8. Special equipment doesn't need to be expensive, and you can use and reuse and reuse.
  9. BEST: The sprouting seeds store for around a year. You could grow your own, allowing your broccoli or radish (etc) to bolt/go to seed. Gather the seeds, and store in a cool/dry place. If you were locked in a room with your stored supplies, water, sprouting equipment and seeds, you'll get some fresh "vegetables" with your meal. Good idea, huh?

Basic info:

  1. Buy seeds marked for Only Sprouting. Seeds for growing are often treated with a chemical to speed growing in the garden.
  2. Seeds to sprout include: beans, broccoli, cabbage, mustard, quinoa, alfalfa, radishes, fenugreek, lentils, peas, and red clover. There are probably more... check out the sites listed below.
  3. Don't allow the seeds to get too hot or too dry. Store in an area WITH oxygen - if you include an oxygen absorber pack, the seeds will die and won't germinate. Store seeds in a "breathable container".

Equipment needed:

  1. A wide-mouth jar - quart to gallon size.
  2. Bowl big enough to fit jar kinda-on its side.
  3. Netting or screening or tulle from the fabric store (to cover top of jar)
  4. Rubber band for top of jar to keep netting on.
  5. Fresh water
  6. Seeds marked good for sprouting.
  7. There are also actual sprouting machines, like the Sproutmaster. http://www.sproutmaster.com/

Getting started:

  1. Measure 1-4 tablespoons of sprouting seeds. Place in jar. Cover with netting. Secure with rubber band. Add some water. Swirl it around and drain. Add 1 cup of cool water. Don't drain this - soak for 4-8 hours.
  2. Rinse 2 times a day. How? Drain initial soak water, refill jar with more cool water. Swirl and drain. Place jar at an upside-down angle in the bowl. Second and subsequent times: refill jar with more cool water, swirl, drain, and prop upside down at an angle in bowl.
  3. When the sprouts are a couple of inches long, they are ready to eat. Enjoy right away, or store in refrigerator in a covered bowl. Wash out the sprouting jar and start a new batch, perhaps with a different kind of seed.

Here are just a few Sources of Seeds:

  1. http://www.sproutpeople.com/
  2. http://www.sprouting.com/
  3. http://www.sprouthouse.com/
This is the last section of "Storing Foods". I'm sure, as we think of more tips, we'll add them. Meanwhile, what are YOUR tips to storing food and providing nutritious meals with variety.


Original: http://survival-cooking.blogspot.com/2009/01/storing-foods-part-7-sprouting.html

Audio Podcast: Airsoft and Airguns for Training and Practice

icon for podpress isode-126- Airsoft and Airguns for Training and Practice [37:29m]: Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download

Today we are going to delve a bit into the world of Airsoft and to a lesser extent conventional air gun shooting as well. Airsoft has immense potential for introducing new shooters to the shooting sports and offer very realistic fully accurate reproduction weapons to work with.

Tune in today to hear…

  • Some of the different options in Airsoft weapons from spring to gas to AEG (automatic electric guns) we give an over view of them all
  • The value of all metal gas blow back airsoft pistols for training new shooters in practical pistol applications
  • How Airsoft can let you shoot more often, right at home and for less money so you stay sharp
  • Why even those “cheap plastic spring pistols” have a lot of value as training aids
  • The accuracy of reproduction of may airsoft weapons and how it accelerates the learning curve for new shooters
  • The unique safety advantages of a brand new shooter that makes coach a better coach
  • Using airsoft to replace fear of firearms with respect for them
  • Taking the step up to conventional air guns and their additional advantages and disadvantages
  • Thoughts about moving new shooters from airsoft into rim and then eventually center fire shooting
  • How spreading the sport of shooting and responsible firearms ownership protects the second amendment

Original: http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/episode-126-airsoft-and-airguns-for-training-and-practice

Homemade Canned Food Storage Shelves

I saw this link months ago, and have been looking for it ever since. Just found it! Please check out: http://vikingpreparedness.blogspot.com/2008/10/we-recently-experienced-typical-pacific.html. Thanks, Joe!

As soon as we settle into our new home (wherever that may be), Hubby will be building these shelves... along with fencing, fish pond, security, barn, plow the fields, and so on and so on.

Now... who's going to tell him?!?

Original: http://survival-cooking.blogspot.com/2009/01/homemade-canned-food-storage-shelves.html

Link of the Day

Backpacker Gear Test

Outdoor gear reviews submitted by dedicated non-commercial testers.

Survival Skills - How to start a fire

Guy starting a wilderness fireFire Starting

Knowing how to build a fire is an essential survival skill for the survivalist.

Fires are important because they give you warmth, light, the ability to cook, and peace of mind. Fire Making is one of the oldest skills known to man, it’s importance can never be underestimated.

Fire is good for:

  • Keeping Warm in even the coldest environments
  • Giving you a way to boil untreated water.
  • Drying wet clothes
  • Keeping Insects and some animals away
  • Building a signal fire.
  • Cooking Food.
  • Comfort

Primitive methods of Starting a Fire:

You should always have at least two methods of starting a fire with you at all times.

  • Survival Lighters
  • FireSteel
  • Survival Matches
  • Water Proof Matches
  • Emergency Candles Candles are a good way of getting damp tinder and wet wood to start. If you only have a few matches, use your match to light the candle first. A candle will last a lot longer than a match, and gives you more time to start a stubborn fire.
  • The Ultimate Survival Kit - This little kit has a couple ways of starting a fire, including something called Wet Fire. The Wet Fire tinder will burn even in the poring rain and is a must for any survival kit.
Original: http://offgridsurvival.com/skillsfire/

Recipe: Apple Summer Sausage

This can be done in the crockpot (start in the morning and eat at dinner) or as a foil-pocket on the grill:

4 cups chopped Summer Sausage
. . . . (the kind that stores without refrigeration)
2 cups chunky applesauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons dried garlic granules

Combine all ingredients and cook in crockpot (on low) 6-8 hours. Or wrap in heavy duty aluminum foil and grill for 20 minutes or until heated through.

Copyright (c) 2009 New View Group, LLC

Original: http://survival-cooking.blogspot.com/2009/01/recipe-apple-summer-sausage.html

Easy to construct Water Distiller

By Joseph Parish

Recently my youngest son became involved in making Colloidal Silver and asked me how he could construct a water distiller so he did not have to rely upon the grocery store as a source of distilled water. At the time I told him I would have to check and see what I could come up with.

Being involved with chemistry for a long time I knew that it was basically illegal for him to have the normal distillation apparatus so alternate methods were called for. The following article is the result of my water still research.

This is not a modern idea but rather has been around for many years. The original idea was obtained from some old copy of Popular Mechanics from many years back. The unit is constructed from scrape material to help with the budget.

Materials required:

  1. Sheet of glass greater then six square feet. In this case you could use an old glass shower door if you can find one.
  2. One sheet of ½ to ¾ inch thick plywood. It should be slightly larger then the glass.
  3. A length of 2 X 6 board and a length of 2 X 4 that is approximately the width of the glass
  4. A single one inch thick PVC pipe cut in half lengthwise and as long as the width of the glass
  5. Some waterproof paint and a bit of caulking.
  6. Nail and screws.

The basic idea is to build an enclosed box about the size of the piece of glass that you have available. It should be built in such a manner that the glass will serve as a tight fitting lid. The end of the box will use the above listed 2 X 6’s on one end while the 2 X 4’s will be installed on the other end. You should construct the bottom of the box from the ½ inch plywood as well as the connecting sides. On the subject of the sides, they will need to be cut at an angle to allow the ends of each side to fit exactly flush with the 2 X stock ends. Once you have the box is built you should then caulk it everywhere in order to waterproof it and finish it in black paint to completely seal and protect the wood itself.

Now use some of the scrap plastic and the PVC glue. You will need to block both of the ends of the trough so it will contain the water without leaking it out. Next drill a ¼ inch diameter hole at one end and securely attach a short length of clear plastic tubing. Seal these connections well.

Mount your trough on the 2 X 4’s towards the shallow end of your box at approximately 1 ½ inches above the bottom section of the box. Now drill a hole in the box in order to feed the small plastic tubing through it. Again run a bead of caulking along the width of your glass from one end in such a way that the caulking will be directly above the trough whenever the glass lid is put in place. Put your finished box in a secure location in full view of the sun. Pour into it about one gallon of water that you want to purify. Place the plastic tubing into a gallon water jug. Put on the lid and wait.

As the sun warms the water it will have a tendency to evaporate. This vapor will then condense onto the glass and ultimately run down the underside until it reaches the caulked bead at such time it will then drip into the trough and finally out of the tube into the waiting water jug. If the temperature becomes too hot the vapor may not condense at all and you will need to cool it down. This is done by merely pouring a little cool tap water over the glass to order to cool it down. Be very careful not to get any of this water into the purified water.

You should empty your newly made distilled water daily so that bacteria can not build up in it. When cleaning up use a very mild bleach solution to wipe down the glass, the trough and the tubing prior to continued use.

On the topic of safety most of the commercially available silicon latex caulks should be safe for human use in this project. They typically include an anti-mildew product in it but should not hurt you in any way. If you happen to be concerned over its use you could use an aquarium type caulking. An eight to twelve square foot surface should yield about one gallon of distilled water daily.

Copyright @ 2009 Joseph Parish

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