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Friday, February 6, 2009

Learning From the Pioneers

1844_1877_1-304x211-custom Learning From the PioneersMany know that Utah was originally settled by Mormon Pioneers, I’m a descendant of those pioneers from 8 different family lines on my Mother’s side. The Mormon Pioneers crossed the plains from Illinois to Utah in covered wagons, handcarts and many on foot. Many of them buried family and loved ones under a pile of rocks on their way here. It was a harrowing experience the like of which will hopefully never be repeated.

We can however learn much from them and their experiences, especially from a Prepper’s perspective. I was recently pointed to this list called a “Bill of Particulars” by a friend, it is an article that ran in the “Nauvoo Neighbor” on October 29, 1845. The list contains items that the pioneers were advised to take with them as they left on their journey across the plains. I find it very interesting to review it.


For the emigrants leaving this government next spring.
Each family consisting of five persons, to be provided with—

1 good strong wagon well covered with a light box.
2 or 3 good yoke of oxen between the age of 4 and 10 years.
2 or more milch cows.
1 or more good beefs.
3 sheep if they can be obtained.
1000 lbs. of flour or other bread, or bread stuffs in good sacks.
1 good musket or rifle to each male over the age of twelve years.
1 lb. powder.
4 lbs. lead.
1 do. Tea.
5 do. coffee.
100 do. sugar.
1 do. cayenne pepper.
2 do. black do.
1/2 lb. mustard.
10 do. rice for each family.
1 do. cinnamon.
1/2 do. cloves.
1 doz. nutmegs.
25 lbs. salt.
5 lbs. saleratus.
10 do. dried apples.
1 bush. of beans.
A few lbs. of dried beef or bacon.
5 lbs. dried peaches.
20 do. do. pumpkin.
25 do. seed grain.
1 gal. alcohol.
20 lbs. of soap each family.
4 or 5 fish hooks and lines.
15 lbs. iron and steel.
A few lbs. of wrought nails.
One or more sets of saw or grist mill irons to company of 100 families.
1 good seine and hook for each company.
2 sets of pulley blocks and ropes to each company for crossing rivers.
From 25 to 100 lbs. of farming and mechanical tools.
Cooking utensils to consist of bake kettle, frying pan. coffee pot, and tea kettle.
Tin cups, plates. knives, forks, spoons, and pans as few as will do.
A good tent and furniture to each 2 families.
Clothing and bedding to each family, not to exceed 500 pounds.
Ten extra teams for each company of 100 families.

N. B.—In addition to the above list, horse and mule teams can be used as well as oxen. Many items of comfort and convenience will suggest themselves to a wise and provident people, and can be laid, in in season; but none should start without filling the original bill.23

We’re not 100% sure, but some friends and I determined that do. is an abbreviation for dozen. This list is the recommendation for a family of five for what was a several month journey. It seems like a well thought out list, I would personally make only a few changes to it. Not only was this to get them across the plains, but once they got to Utah they had to get established and survive.

Let’s take a look at what they were bringing, I’ll attempt to convert things to a more modern list.

  • A strong 4 wheel drive with a large trailer attached
  • 100 pounds of powdered milk (I’m attempting guess how much they would need in the time it took them to travel and considering that today most people can’t keep a milk cow)
  • 300 - 400 pounds of preserved beef (again, trying to estimate considering most people can’t keep beef cattle
  • 150 - 200 pounds of preserved mutton
  • 1,000 pounds of flour, wheat, or bread
  • 1/2 lbs mustard
  • 600 lbs of rice (I’m assuming that they are referring to a dozen 50 pound bags of rice)
  • 12 sticks of cinnamon? I’m not sure about cinnamon at all, never used it
  • 6 cloves? Again, I’m not sure how to convert this
  • 12 nutmegs? I’m going to assume for these spices that one spice bottle from the grocery store would be sufficient
  • 25 lbs salt
  • 5 lbs baking powder (saleratus)
  • 5 #10 cans of dried apples
  • 50 lbs of beans
  • 5 lbs dried bacon (bacon bits?)
  • 2 #10 cans of dried peaches
  • 20 cans of pumpkin (I think this may have been to make pies with regularly but I’m really not sure, maybe replace it with cans of pie filling?)
  • 25 lbs of seed for planting
  • 1 gal 91% isopropal alcohol
  • 40 bars of soap (I think a bar is about 1/2 pound or so)
  • fishing poles, hooks, line and other tackle
  • Iron and Steel tools i.e. hammers, saws, drills, etc (I think carrying raw steel was to forge tools with which we don’t really do these days)
  • 5 pounds of nails, 8, 10 and 16 penny
  • Wheat grinder
  • 1 good rifle per person (we won’t exclude the women)
  • 250 bullets per rifle
  • 24 lbs powdered drink mix (kool-aid, coffee, tea, etc)
  • 100 lbs sugar
  • 3 bottles of cayenne pepper (Cayenne pepper is a very good herbal treatment as well as a flavoring)
  • 1 Heavy Duty Pulley block with hook or possibly a powered winch on your 4×4
  • 2 good pulley blocks
  • Shovels, rakes, hoes, other gardening tools - as well as a tiller and gas
  • Outdoor Cookware - dutch ovens, frying pans, cooking pots, kettles, etc
  • Eating Utensiles, forks, spoons, knives, plates, bowls, cups
  • A good tent, collapsible chairs, tables, cots etc as desired
  • Several changes of clothes per person
  • 1 Good sleeping bag per person
  • More gas than you need to get where you’re going, spare hoses, fuses, various vehicle parts, tools to repair vehicles

I’m not sure how accurately I’ve converted things but this list makes a lot more sense to me as a baseline than the original one. It’s not really very accurate to replace animal transportation with modern, we’ll assume that we have to travel slowly or that we’re heading to a camp of some sort for a period of time.

What do you think? Would you make changes to it? Is this a helpful list at least to get your mind rolling?

Original: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/UtahPreppers/~3/3VxRGGkTzbc/

Could You Survive If You Were Homeless?

With the increasing the numbers of people who are losing their homes, their jobs and their savings due to a poor economy, becoming homeless is a very real possibility. It is well known that even our current infrastructure can’t provide sufficiently for the large number of homeless people that already exist in our society.

Dragon mentioned in one of his posts the other day about a friend of his who had suddenly found himself homeless and how he had helped them as much as he possibly could. But as Dragon mentioned even he is struggling and could only do so much. This makes a person wonder if becoming homeless is going to be the next real challenge for all of us.

Even in a best case scenario of having a home without a mortgage, would that be enough. There would still be maintenance and upkeep, property taxes, utilities, etc. All of which would require money. Let’s not forget about healthcare! There would probably be no insurance to help pay for needed medications, treatment or a doctor’s care if needed. How far would your first aid kit get you? Food will be a problem also, even if you have a garden and the weather is nice to you which allow you to have a good harvest. Even your savings may not be enough to see you through some really bad times. This is especially true when you consider the fact that many people’s savings have lost more than half their value in a relatively short period of time.

Emergency rooms, food banks, and other service providers are all struggling to meet the current demands on their resources without even considering the potential for even larger and more widespread numbers of homeless people that could be just around the corner. Most support groups are already overwhelmed by these ever increasing demands. Placing even more demands on their services could force them into a guaranteed position where they would fail due to a critical overload.

While being an advocate of group and community survival, I don’t wish to appear biased when considering some of these very real possibilities. Present support groups already have inadequate resources to meet present demands. It will take your ability to form a strong network and support group of family and friends to allow you the best chance for survival.

Frugal lifestyles and working to build a strong support group of family and friends will be the new priority for survival. Prudent choices and a determination to pull together will be essential.

Most of us can survive any threat or danger thrown at us by nature, but even the most frugal lifestyle is far beyond the life that an average homeless person endures. But can we survive being homeless?

There is a new monster on our doorsteps! That monster is homelessness. It is stalking our families, our friends and our neighbors. It is a very real threat to our survival.

Staying above the water line?




Just looking around at different people I know of on the internet and the world. You see ads and websites for those who have money and time and who are thinking this financial collapse as something really serious. There are ads fort underground shelters that would require a direct hit by a nuke to destroy. Canners who will sell gourmet freeze dried food guaranteed to last 25 or 30 years. Purveyors of quality firearms that will take care of any need, if you buy enough different styles of guns. Realtors who have land and buildings for sale that are isolated and at of the path of most bombs and crowds. All you have to do is write a check and you are in business. Your ticket is punched and you are on the way to surviving the coming hard times. You can forget the worries that most of us experience. Lay back on your cushioned $5000 survival sofa and watch your HUGE survival TV. Let the masses fight the hardship. You have a hard enough time deciding what wine to drink for dinner every night.

On the other hand we have the poor and the working class who have to fight for every prep they can get their hands on, if they have more sense than God gave a goose. These people have a bit of land and a few friends and they are going to try and make it through the coming hard times with their freedom and their families and their friends all intact. They are the salt of the earth and they are real people.

Perhaps a wealthy family would like to join up with them and share their attempt to survive. I would say that can be done but it must be handled properly or it will come to naught. I would say that going into a survivalist group and playing the roles of "Big I and Little U" will not work. Your best approach will be to discuss the coming hard times and how bad things are getting and so on and so forth. Talk about what is being done to insure the survival of all concerned. Get ready to splash some cash and show some sort of concern for the people in the retreat. Offer to have a well put in that runs with a hand pump. Offer to construct a storage facility for food that will not freeze but will keep food cool for long periods of time. Give all of this to the people as a group and do not maintain ownership of it.

You see, for a piece of property to be truly for the people it must be owned by a land trust and everyone who lives there must have a vote on the trust. The Board of Trustees can be any group of men you wish, but the board must be voted in by the people. And everything on the land must be owned by the people. That way everything is "equal" and above board. Nothing is really equal except for maybe some folks dedication, but that is another matter. Setting up a collective group is not an easy matter as far as they legal system is concerned. And do not forget that they will be trying to knock your feet out from under you at all times. The system does not like groups of people banded together for mutual survival. Groups that are that way are not prone to depend on the system for help in times of need. Much too independent for the taste of the system boys. They want you obedient and unable to function on your own. Nuke the gay baby whales, as far as I am concerned. I like my independence and my freedom and I don't intend to give it up to some government agency that wants to step in and tell me how to live. There has been a big argument concerning the fedgov's ability to lead you life for you since this country became a nation. A lot of us just plain don't want them in our lives. Let them concentrate on our borders and our coastlines and leave the people the fuck alone. But we may not have much to do with the Mexicans in the future as it is. That government is about to fall down there and it will become a narco state pretty quick. After that we can shoot anyone who comes over the line. Party time!

A man of money in a community of working class stiffs is a big problem f not done right. You MUST have your legal stuff taken care of BEFORE anything like a wealthy joiner can happen. And do not sign any mortgages or notes with that person. Any contribution has to be for the benefit of all. That is why you banded together in the first place! Group survival is where it's at. Dedication is where it's at. Never ever throw that away for some FRN's. You will live to regret it. A band of survivors is a wonderful thing and should be treated with respect and honor. Don't become like the scum in our banks and stock brokerages and sell it out! There is something uniquely precious about "all for one and one for all". A great bond can be forged up on this premise. And he that lives alone dies alone. And generally at the mercy of whoever is killing him.

I'll try to answer any questions you might have on this subject. It is a bit confusing if you don't now what the deal is. But you can understand it just fine if you take the time to study and digest the information. Stay alive.



Original: http://wwwstayalive.blogspot.com/2009/02/holding-it-together.html

Food Storage Friday: Surprise Muffins

Growing up, my mom always made a hot breakfast for us before school. One of our favorites was "Surprise Muffins", which are actually similar to just plain muffins, but these ones have jam in the center (the "surprise" is what kind of jam you have!). I've created a food storage friendly version of these yummy treats. I love muffins (or "funnins", as my two-year-old calls them).
Ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, shortening, powdered milk, and jam (any kind of jam is great. I used raspberry).

First, sift your flour, baking powder, and salt together. I don't have a sifter so I just combine them all into a bowl and "fluff" it all around with a whisk. Or a fork, clearly.

In a separate bowl, cream together your sugar and shortening. When I use shortening, I line my measuring cups with Saran wrap so they don't get greasy. Plus, all the shortening just pops right out!

So, cream the sugar and shortening.
But let's be honest here: it's not going to be that creamy. There's no liquid. Mine was lumpy, but that's ok. Yours probably will be too.

Next, make up 1 cup of milk by adding 1/3 cup of powdered milk to a cup of water.

Now, I didn't really get any pictures of the next step but it's easy. Into the flour mixture, alternately combine your sugar/shortening and your milk. I put about 1/4 of the sugar/shortening into my flour and 1/4 of the milk, and combined all that. Then I added 1/4 more of each, stirred, etc. until everything was combined.

Your batter should look something like this.

Next, grab your muffin tin and put in those cute little paper muffin cups. This is where I got annoyed... I couldn't find mine ANYWHERE! And I knew that I had some, which made it even more frustrating. I searched my kitchen high and low, but they were nowhere to be found. So... I sprayed non-stick spray into my tin and hoped for the best.

Spoon about a tablespoon or two of batter into the bottoms of each of the muffin cups.

Next, spoon a dollop of jam on top of each one, in the center. I used probably half a teaspoon in each one, but you can use as much as you want.

Finally, spoon another tablespoon or two on top of the jam to finish them off. Just be sure you have enough batter to cover each of the muffins.

Toss them into a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes. Once I put them into the oven I started cleaning up my kitchen. I opened my cabinet next to the oven and there, staring me in the face, were my paper muffin cups! My muffins hadn't even been in the oven for 10 seconds and I found what I had been searching for for who knows how long. And I had looked in that cabinet; several times in fact. I'm just so spaced out and forgetful lately--pregnancy does that to me!

Anyway, after 20-25 minutes the muffins should be done.
This was actually my first time trying them out and they were delicious! I hope you like them, too!

Surprise Muffins
(makes 12 muffins)

2 c flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c shortening
1/3 c powdered milk (with 1 c water)

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Sift your flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. In a separate bowl, cream together the sugar and shortening. Also, use your powdered milk and water to create 1 cup of milk.

Stir in your sugar/shortening mixture and milk alternately into your dry ingredients. Stir until they are all combined.

Drop 1-2 tablespoons of batter into your muffin tin (or paper muffin cup). Next, drop a dollop of jam into the center of each (1/2 to 1 tsp of jam). Use the remaining batter to cover the jam in each of the muffins.

Bake at 425 degree for 20-25 minutes.

Original: http://safelygatheredin.blogspot.com/2009/02/food-storage-friday-surprise-muffins.html

Survival Skills - Find, Fix, Ask, Make

Trinkets Game

Originally uploaded by nodigio

Find Things

College students are excellent scroungers, as are homeless people and those living at or below poverty level, such as the working poor. Dumpster diving, roadside retrievals, and scavenging are all time-honored ways of finding useful things. More high tech methods include using a metal detector to find coins and metal bits that can be redeemed for cash or cleaned up and kept. Cleaning the roadside of trash tossed by thoughtless and rude people can result in earning money through collecting deposits for bottles, plastics, and aluminum cans.

Cleaning up the roadside an also result in finding nearly new useful things like gasoline cans, toys, ladders, strays, slightly damaged furniture, dishes, spools of wire or tape, paint brushes, and more. You can do your civic duty helping keep your city clean and profit from it, too.

If you live near a beach or lake, there are seashells, discarded ice chests, driftwood, cans, bottles, plastic, and more that can be used, recycled, or sold.

Dumpsters can be a bit tricky, mostly because food and bugs and rodents will share the dumpster, but if you live in or near an apartment complex, the last and first weekends of the month are generally good times to check for discarded furniture, lamps, and other home decorating items. Behind businesses you can often find art supplies, objects you can turn into art supplies, furniture, cables, shelving, bins, plastic labels, and much, much more.

Not only can you decorate your entire house in things other people discard, you can earn money, and use some of the discards to build recycled sheds or patios or gazebos or car ports. You can create art from the things you find, and make gifts for friends.

Living in urban and suburban areas brings us closer to the discards of others, so we have ample opportunities to find all sorts of interesting things.

Fix Things:

We live in a disposable society. When you find things, many will be broken, often in ways that are simple to fix. Maybe it needs a bit of cleaning, or some paint, or glue. Maybe it needs a new battery, or new battery door – that’s how I found my boombox – someone threw it away because the battery door was missing. That was an easy fix.

When small things go wrong in your house, fix it while it’s still small and it won’t be a larger, expensive fix later on – drips, squeaky doors, leaking roofs, cracked windows…

Clothing can easily be repaired. Darning socks is practically a lost skill, but if you learn how to darn them, your socks will last many, many years longer – and at nearly $5 a pair, isn’t that a nice thought? Collars and cuffs can be turned to hide the frayed edges. Small holes can be covered with patches or embroidery. Worn clothes can be made into something new – jeans into skirts, jackets, bags, storage cases; T-shirts into framed art, pillow covers, chair covers, quilts, comforters, sofa throws, cleaning cloths, or bags. Outgrown clothes can be passed along. Unfashionable clothes can be made fashionable with a re-cut or by adding decorative elements – perhaps borrowed from costume jewelry or other outworn clothes. Sofas can be re-upholstered, pillows re-stuffed.

Shoes can be re-soled, belts re-visioned as bag straps or pet collars or leashes, broken dishes can be further broken and used as mosaic tiles, and much more.

If you’re handy at electronics, you can fix broken toasters, microwaves, computers, radios, DVD players, and more.

Toys can often be cleaned and refurbished to look like new. To wash stuffed animals, simply remove the stuffing, wash the plush in a washer and gently cool dry, then re-stuff and stitch back up. Voila! Clean and sanitized new toys.

I’m sure you can come up with many more ways you can fix broken things. Maybe even a Fixer Party, where friends get together to fix their broken things with food and music and chatter. You get to go home with working things you might otherwise have tossed, saving yourself some money and frustration shopping.


Something we in the city have forgotten how to do is ask. Someone’s remodeling their house and they’re tossing out their old sink – ask for it. It makes a great planter, if nothing else. They bought new beds and are tossing the old frames – ask for them, they make great trellises for climbing plants or to use in a work or craft room to hold storage bins. There’s extra lumber at a building site, or half bags of concrete mix, or broken bricks – ask for them.

Learn to ask. Most of the time, if they have to have it hauled off, they’ll be glad to let you take it away. The worst they can say is “no” and “no” isn’t going to hurt you or change your life; it just means you ask someone else at another place and time. And you’ll get enough “yes” answers to make asking well worth your while.

Make Things

There are all kinds of things you can make yourself, from home cooked meals to furniture and clothing. You can make jewelry, music, stories, art, and more and you’re never too old to learn how.

My daughter recently taught my sister how to knit and my sister discovered she loved knitting. She thought she wasn’t crafty and couldn’t do any nifty handmade things other than banana bread. After years of estrangement, we got together again and she always marveled at our handknit sweaters, shawls, scarves, gloves, and socks, our handmade clothes and shoes, our handmade trinkets and art and said she couldn’t afford to buy specialty items like ours. When we told her we made it all ourselves, she was stunned and convinced she couldn’t do any of it, so I taught her how to scrapbook and my daughter taught her how to knit and she found she could do those things. Now she finally, after 50 years, has not one, but two things she can make herself and is discovering pride in being able to do them.

So, consider all the things you might buy that you might be able to make yourself – or grow yourself. How about lampshades, picture frames, storage boxes, clothes, knit wear, soap, toothpaste, curtains, paper, jewelry, furniture, pillows, rag rugs, dolls, poems, stories, songs? How about growing your own salads or gourmet vegetables, or raising chickens for their eggs? How about spinning pet hairs (angora bunnies are popular, but if you have a long haired dog or cat, why not try spinning their hairs for some exotic threads) you can knit or weave? How about growing perfume flowers and making your own signature fragrances?

There are so many things you can make that will make your life prettier, cozier, happier – and you’ll gain skills you can barter for the things you can’t or don’t want to make.

With POD (print on demand), you can even make your own cookbooks, family histories, personalized story books, family calendars, postcards, picture books, greeting cards, poetry books, and how-to books.

Try making something. Google is your friend in finding instructions to make practically anything. DIY websites abound. You may even find yourself making YouTube videos sharing how you made something so others can, too – and hey, that’s making something!

You may find you’re interested enough in making things that you want to learn to make complicated things, like smithing your own door hinges, hooks, fireplace tools, box hinges and latches, candleholders, and more. Or maybe you want to learn woodworking skills like carving or making finer furniture than the simple stuff most anyone desperate enough can do. Maybe you want to learn pottery or glass blowing. For these, seek out good teachers. Don’t rely on videos and YouTube to teach them to you safely. Having someone there to demonstrate and give you tips and advice as you learn is very useful.

Original: http://gallimaufree.wordpress.com/2009/02/06/survival-skills-find-fix-ask-make/

Live From the Request Line: Slow Cooker Pot Roast (One of my Favorite Food Storage Recipes!)

This is the pot roast my mom made growing up. To me there is NOTHING BETTER than walking into my house and smelling the smells of my childhood, not to mention this food storage recipe is EASY and has LITTLE mess! It didn’t always include as much food storage but you know me…I think almost any recipe can become a food storage recipe! Try it for yourself…

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

1 Pot Roast, thawed (remember you can’t put frozen meat in a slow cooker)
1 Potato for EACH person, cut into quarters
1-2 Onions, cut into eighths
1/4 C. Carrots for EACH person, cut into chunks (or use baby carrots)
1 packet Dry Onion Soup Mix
1-2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup (which I of course made with my magic mix…so delicious! Click HERE for the recipe)
1 bag frozen peas

Place meat in bottom center of slow cooker. Place cut potatoes, onions, and carrots around meat and along edges. Combine soup and dry onion soup mix and pour over meat and vegetables. (Make sure that your potatoes are covered or they’ll be purple!) Cook on low heat 6-8 hours. During last hour of cooking pour frozen peas on top (if you do it before the last hour they tend to get mushy). After it is finished cooking and depending on how thick you like your gravy you can empty the meat and vegetables and thicken the gravy with more magic mix (pretty great, huh?), corn starch, or flour in a pan/pot over the stove.

Are you a Fanatic?

Share your successes! E-mail me at everydayfoodstorage@gmail.com with a picture (don’t we all eat with our eyes first?) and recipe of your food storage successes to be highlighted on Fanatic Fridays!

Or…proclaim it to the world that you are an Everyday Food Storage fanatic! Simple copy the entire text in the box below and place it in a text widget on your blog.

For more tips and tricks for using your food storage in everyday ways, please visit www.everydayfoodstorage.NET

Original: http://everydayfoodstorage.net/2009/02/06/live-from-the-request-line-slow-cooker-pot-roast-one-of-my-favorite-food-storage-recipes/food-storage-recipes