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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

But I don’t have a dehydrator

By Joseph Parish

You perhaps may already be familiar with various ways to preserve food such as by canning, freezing or making jelly. If so you are in for an overwhelming surprise as you try to dehydrate your next year’s garden foods. Drying food is not difficult and the final product can certainly be a valuable asset to your kitchen foods. I have often heard people make excuses that “I can’t dry those foods because I do not have a dehydrator”.

That, my friend is utter nonsense. A dehydrator is nice to have but not absolutely necessary. Often we either have higher priorities such as food for the family or rent and with today’s tight budget requirements the larger dehydrators are simply out of the question. With the food prices already at peak levels it is often times cheaper to purchase the dehydrated foods already finished. It all depends upon ones outlook. Do you want to learn a new trick or too or merely stock up. Myself I like to enjoy my survival tactics to the fullest so I would vote to dry my own foods.

For those who may have a few extra dollars to invest I would recommend an entry level unit like the Nesco machine which you can usually purchase at any Wal-Mart store. These types of machines can usually be purchased new for about $40.00. As you progress in your learning of dehydration you will more then likely want to move up the scale to some of the better grades of machine. A good place to locate a first time machine would be yard sales or flea markets. It is not unusual to find them for less then $5.00.

Many people start out with the inexpensive circular machines and eventually the progress to the Cadillac of dehydrators the Excalibur. Of course the Excalibur is naturally higher priced and represents a big investment. However until such time as the funds are available you could very well use the kitchen oven and turn out some great dehydrated veggies and fruit.

When you begin you will need to use a flat, non stick baking sheet pan. Slice your food fairly thin and place it on your tray. Prop open your oven door and set the thermostat to 150 degrees. If your oven door is the kind that does not remain open by itself you could use a wooden spoon to hold it open.

Once you get this technique down pat you are in for a major treat. The number of items that you can dehydrate is endless and range from dehydrated veggies all the way to hamburger that has been cooked and slightly crumbled into small pieces and then dried out. Let us not forget the mushrooms which are best stored when dehydrated. When they are dried to the breaking point and vacuum sealed they will just about store for an endless number of years.

Dried foods make excellent additions to any Bug out bags and survival kits. If you have children who enjoy camping out then dried food would likely suit them just fine. Another great treat for small children is dried grapes. I would like to explain that simple procedure to you at this time.

First, start with firm and fresh green seedless grapes. You will want to wash them well and then pat dry them. You may wish to prick them slightly with a fork or a knife to permit the juices within it to escape otherwise you could possibly take up to a week or more to dry them out. Since when they dry naturally they are still attached to the vine, any water that is inside of them is used by the plant however, since we have picked the grape off of the vine we have to dispose of the extra water ourselves.

With that said you can now place the grapes in your dehydrator or in your oven and dry them out. The final product is something that will delight just about any child. You will quickly find that you can not make enough of them.

Copyright @ 2009 Joseph Parish

Original: http://survival-training.blogspot.com/2009/03/but-i-dont-have-dehydrator.html

What’s in YOUR BOB?

A friend’s birthday is coming up, and in thinking of practical, useful gifts, I’ve settled on the idea that I’m going to put together something special. Nothing says “I’m thinking about your preparedness,” like a custom-compiled Bug Out Bag.

Some things to consider… First, it’s got to be small enough that it won’t take up much space- she’s an apartment-dweller, and doesn’t have much storage; second, it’s critical that the gear here be temperature-independent; IE nothing dependent on batteries, nothing that will freeze or melt, or run dry if it sits for a few years (or a month, based on how things are going…), everything EMP-proof. Also, it’s gotta be purposeful enough NOT to get cannibalized- the worst thing is someone having swiped the Ace bandage, and you realizing it when you’re splitting town due to a zombie attack on a twisted ankle… Besides that, the bag itself should be reasonably sized, water-resistant, and nondescript- I’m not a huge fan of stuff that screams “this is full of goodies” or “military” on it- better to be subdued or understated. Also, I’d like to keep it under $100!..


So, this is one-part shopping list and one part suggestion box…

- 1st aid kit - bandages, band-aids, alcohol wipes, benadryl, aspirin, ibuprofen (anti-inflammatories), alka-seltzer, chapstick, tampons (they soak up a lot of blood)
- snack bars/freeze dried camping food (5-7 days worth… I like Clif bars because they’re okay to eat cold or hot, and have some texture)
- peppermints or hard candy (for the long wait)
- water purifier/purification packets
- water bottle (fill this with some of the snack bars or 1st aid stuff)
- crank light (LL Bean has some really great LED ones for under $20- they’re clunky but they work great)
- matches/fire making tools
- twine
- extra hat/gloves/socks/thermal
- local area map & small compass
- plastic bags (garbage bag for water protection, small baggies for food preservation)
- buck knife & leatherman (I’d do just leatherman, but they just suck as a knife, however pliers are useful )
- ring/cord saw (because it’s so small)
- light-weight, packable rain slicker (Army Surplus vs the cheapo Wally World type)
- survival handbook (knot tying, basic traps, shelter making)

…What’s in YOUR BOB- and where do you keep it?

Original: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ShtfBlogcom-AreYouReady/~3/BZDj_2wbvvo/

Some Thoughts on the Survival Vehicle, by OddShot

I recently had the opportunity to read JWR's novel "Patriots" . As a former professional automobile mechanic with 25+ years of experience and having a similar history building, restoring and racing British sports cars (MGBs), I became intrigued with a certain aspect of his book: the preparation of a “survival vehicle." This is intended to be a vehicle rugged enough, durable enough, and simple enough to be an important part of anyone’s survival program.

My first consideration was to define this vehicle. Next, I set out to list a number of modifications to this vehicle that would increase it’s simplicity, strength, and usefulness of this vehicle as a survival tool. The following that I listed a number of tools and spares important to the operation of this vehicle.

Survival Vehicle Selection and Modification
For reasons of strength, durability and utility the vehicle needs to be a truck. For load carrying considerations I would recommend a Pickup Truck over a SUV type, such as a Blazer or Bronco.
I think the truck should be of American manufacture. Although some foreign makes might be suitable in terms of ruggedness and durability, the parts availability---both used and new--for American made trucks makes them the winner, hands-down. Also parts for “high-survivability” modifications are plentiful and cheap for American vehicles.

There is a reason that America’s largest selling vehicle for the last 50+ years has been the Ford F150 pickup truck. They may be low on creature comforts and fuel economy, but they more then make up for those sacrifices with ruggedness, dependability, ease of repair, and parts availability. Chevy and Dodge make great trucks, but there are millions more Ford Pick-up trucks out there. Parts are still available and junkyards and rural back yards are filled with them.

Older vehicles (1970 or 1980s vintage cars and trucks) with older technology are better in the survival situations than newer, lighter, hi-tech vehicles. Carburetors, distributors with breaker points, and generator charging systems may not be the most fuel efficient…but they are simple, rugged and reliable. They can be rebuilt and maintained very easily. Fuel Injection and High Energy Ignitions systems have very limited life spans, are difficult to diagnose and dead without spare parts.

One drawback is that NOS parts for really old vehicles (1960-1975 +/-) are getting somewhat harder to find, even finding used stuff is getting tough. You don’t need much…but if you can’t get it now…you won’t be able to get it later. If you can stick with an 1980s vintage +/- American pickup. As I said before, parts are still available and junkyards and rural back yards are filled with them.
Choose one with a 302 V8 (minimum), with a [traditional] carburetor! Backdate the engine by installing a distributor with ignition breaker points and condenser. No electronic ignition. The electronic ignition is a [reliability] weak link of all Ford V8s. Just look in the glove box or under the seat of most of them and you’ll find a spare “spark box” or Ignition module. Ford used points and condensers on their V8s through 1974. A little digging through Craig's List or most junk yards should yield a good useable distributor. New ones are available at most speed shops.

Make sure you get a truck with a manual transmission, and try to get four wheel drive. Avoid automatic transmissions. If for no other reason:cars with automatic transmissions can not be push-started. Also, with a manual transmission …if you can get two gears to mesh…you can keep rolling. Once an automatic transmission starts to slip, the party is over.

With a manual transmission you can adjust a clutch unless you’ve burned it up. In the middle of nowhere you can replace a burned clutch (and even reline the disc if you really had to), but the rebuild of an automatic transmission requires an expert with lots of spares and spotlessly clean working conditions. Also, with a manual transmission, were the clutch linkage give up, there are techniques you can learn to take off and shift without using the clutch pedal.

Because this vehicle should be multi-terrain and multi-use Do not put great big tires or lift kits on it. I would beef up the rear springs to carry more weight but would not raise the height of the rear. Don’t use air shocks or air bags either. These are just something else that will break and “let you down”. [JWR Adds: As is taught at executive protection driving schools, airbags should be disabled if anticipating inimical situations where you might have to play "bumper cars".]

I’m thinking of lowering my Ford a couple of inches to make it easier and faster to get into and out of. Lowering the truck will also make it handle better on asphalt…and maybe even make it a bit more aerodynamic for some fuel savings. The extra road clearance is nice but how many times are you going to use that advantage? Not as often as you might need to get in and get going as fast as possible.
You’ll want the ruggedness of 6 ply truck tires. Choose ones that have a “mildly aggressive” tread pattern allowing a good mix of on-road and off-road use. Unless you are considering moving way out in the woods then avoid strictly off-road tires. They will not give you the wear and handling needed for use on asphalt [and they are quite noisy at highway speeds].

Up grade the charging system to a 65 Amp. alternator, minimum. You’ll want the amps to power other electrical devices. Install two batteries wired in parallel (for 12 VDC, many amp. output). One battery should be a “Deep Cycle” type. This battery can power 12 VDC lights, radios, tools etc. Also, if the alternator dies while on a long drive, this battery set up can power a V8 ignition system for a long time. The batteries should have their ground wires connected with “marine” type terminals. Simply disconnecting (unscrewing the wing nut on the Marine Terminal) the ground side of the batteries [or installing a battery disconnect switch from JC Whitney] can prevent them being discharged by shorts or [unexpected] draws. It can also somewhat reduce the risk of vehicle theft.

Consider removing the ignition/steering column lock switch. If you don’t…you could loose your keys…and “hot wire” the ignition/starter circuits and get the truck running….but imagine your chagrin when you realize that the steering is locked! A heavy duty DC toggle switch will take care of the ignition and a [momentary] pushbutton [DC switch] will handle the starter. Mount them in a hidden, out of the way place.
Remove the very complicated emission control carburetor and replace it with the simplest Holley 2 or 4 barrel that you can find.

I prefer gasoline engines. Diesels are okay, but I don’t think there will be a lot of diesel fuel around. You may not always be able to get diesel or even cooking oil. Consider converting your truck to a multiple fuel vehicle using both gasoline and propane. LPG is still very easy to get and easy to store at home. A conversion to propane is very doable …and not real expensive, especially on an engine equipped with a carburetor. There are number of sites on the web that discuss this.

A good number of pickup trucks have two fuel tanks…if yours doesn’t, consider installing another tank. There is a lot of room under most trucks. Build in onboard storage for 20 gallons minimum…or and extra 250 mile range.

Remove all emissions control equipment, at least the catalytic converter. [Of course, first consult your state laws before doing so.] Remove the metal cooling fan and install electric fan for engine cooling. If you take a hard front hit, then those metal bladed fans will destroy a radiator. You can do this with a junk yard fan unit…or find something in the JC Whitney catalog, or any auto parts store. As a side benefit, you may see some improvement in fuel economy, due to the reduction of parasitic drag. Wire this electric fan with sensor and a manual override switch on dash.

Consider installing an oversized radiator and coolant overflow tank. Trucks that came with air conditioning generally have the biggest radiator. The more coolant you have in the cooling system is the further you can go if the radiator gets a hole in it and you just can’t stop to fix it right away.

Install a Class 3 towing hitch. Its good for both towing and for ramming [-- with the ball removed from the hitch extension plate, to back up and pierce another vehicle's radiator]. Make sure you carry both popular sized hitch balls. Remove the chrome piece of garbage that passes for a front bumper and install a heavy duty store bought or home built. Again, the front bumper should be sufficient for towing or ramming. Install hooks for towing on both the front and rear bumpers.

A cap or bed cover should be in place over the truck’s bed to allow space for sleeping, shelter and dry, secure storage. This can be as elaborate or as simple as you’d like but due to rearward visibility concerns, make sure that its not higher or wider than the roof of the cab. Due to weight and height considerations [adversely affecting center of gravity] I would avoid campers that install in the bed of a pickup.
You might consider finding a used tool box like the ones you see on the back of pickups used by plumbers and electricians…this would be the ones that replace the entire pickup bed and have 5 or 6 compartments on each side. The Reading brand tool bodies are well-made. These have tremendous utility, secure and dry storage and are all very strongly built. With a little ingenuity you could configure a knock down tent over the top of one of these giving you dry off-the –ground shelter. Again, the deep cycle battery can provide 12 VDC for lights and heat in this area.

Install commo [and communications scanning] gear as appropriate to your mission. At least be sure to have a good, strong basic AM & FM radio. [JWR Adds: At wrecking yards, you can sometimes find a Becker or Blaupunkt brand "Europa", "Mexico" or similar model AM/FM/Shortwave radio pulled from a European car such as a Mercedes Benz, for under $50. These are not only very reliable radios, but will also give you the opportunity to get WWV time signals and some international broadcasts.]

Install quartz halogen headlights in the front. I wouldn’t bother with driving lights but I would install fog lights…mounted in a way as to light to the immediate front and to the sides for cornering. In the rear, I would mount driving lamps or fog lamps as back up lights, work lamps or rearward spot lights. Wire all auxiliary lighting with switches on dash.

Remove all electrical systems not necessary to mission. No power windows or door locks. Remove the air conditioning system. Electric windows, door locks, fancy [add-on] heating systems and other fancy electric doo-dads are to be avoided at all costs. As I said before, automatic transmissions should be considered a liability.

Put in Bucket seats, especially in a pickup. They are easier/faster to get into and out of…and will create more storage space in the cab. Gun racks? If desired, make them solidly mounted and as far out of sight as possible.

Onboard tools will be important to keep your survival vehicle operational. All should be secure and hard-mounted.

Carry an appropriate workshop manual with wiring diagrams. Study it carefully and know how to reference its various sections.

Complete Automotive hand tool kit.
Heavy duty jack, jack stands and wheel chocks.
An onboard portable compressor, even a small 12 VDC model has a lot of usefulness. If you can afford a larger one, then you can run pneumatic tools with it.
Portable generator. As much and as good as you can afford. Its just plain worth it.
Tow Chain, shackles and tow hooks, various rope and line.
1-1⁄2 ton power winch or chain hoist or block and fall. I would consider something that is not hard mounted so you can use it from the front or rear of the vehicle…or not even need the vehicle at all.
Propane torches and solder/rosin for soldering wires and radiator repair. Learn how to solder!
Electric wiring, electrical crimp connectors, electrical tape, spare switches, heat shrink tubing, nylon wire (cable) ties.
Onboard Axe, shovel, pry bar.
12 VDC mechanic's drop lamp.
Additional fuel, lubricants, brake fluid, silicon sealant, adhesives (especially, JB-Weld and Goop), duct tape, grease gun, thread tape, emery paper (2) spare tires, potable water, fan belts, Radiator hoses, heater hoses, hose clamps and tune up parts

One properly inflated spare in good condition is good, but having two spares is even better.

Keep tire repair equipment! Six cans of Fix-a-Flat, a radial tire plug kit and about 50 plugs. Find or make tools for breaking down and mounting tires.
Fuel transfer pump for getting fuel [from one vehicle to another or from] out of in-ground tanks. A hand-operated barrel pump with extensions for both the suction side and the discharge side.
Spot light (hand held)
A volt/ohm meter and mechanics test light.

Very Important: Drive your survival vehicle regularly. Use it. Go get plywood and shrubs and groceries in it. Work it. Houses and vehicles need people using them. When either is not used they deteriorate very quickly. Hard use will keep you thinking about repairs or modifications you might want to make. By date and mileage keep good repair and maintenance records.
A rugged dependable vehicle should be part of your survival gear. As long as you can get fuel there is freedom in mobility. The above is not a definitive list or the “end all to be all” one size fits all solution.

Consider this article a starting point and add your own ideas. - The OddShot

Original: http://www.survivalblog.com/2009/03/some_thoughts_on_the_survival.html

Solar Cookers For Survival Cooking

I’m thinking of getting one of these……


This is a solar cooking hot pot, available from Solarcookers.org. The main concept of a solar cooker is concentrating sunlight for use in cooking and purifying drinking water. This particular model can reach temperatures up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a more expensive model as it’s made of folding aluminum panels and includes the insulated pot - there are less expensive models, and you can even make one yourself.

To use these cookers, the food is placed in the pot and the pot is then enclosed in a plastic bag (oven bags work great for this and can be reused). The cooker is placed in direct sunlight until the food is cooked, which takes much longer than a direct heat source like fire.

You could build your own solar cooker, and it’s a good idea to brush up on the basic concept in case you’re away from home when a disaster strikes. A basic solar cooker can be made by covering cardboard with aluminum foil and adding a dark pot or heat absorbing bottom (you can even use soot from a fire to “paint” the bottom tray). If you live in a sunny climate like I do, you could utilize this cooker almost every day of the year. Heavy clouds, rain and extremely cold temperatures may prevent its use, but I think this is a worthwhile item wherever you live.

Rice, vegetables and even meat can be cooked in a moderately hot solar cooker. Water can be pasteurized at 149 degrees Fahrenheit. How do you know when it’s reached that temperature? Test have indicated that 2 liters of water takes at least 2 minutes and 4 liters takes about 5 minutes. You might want to experiment yourself with your own solar cooker and a thermometer. That way you can get a baseline about the length of time and keep this in mind during any emergency where a thermometer isn’t available.

Solar cookers have brought great relief to countries where fuel is scarce. This is a great tool to build and use during any disaster situation.

Original: http://survivallady.com/?p=212

How to Survive a Shooting in a Public Place

How to Survive a School or Workplace Shooting

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

What would you do if a shooting happened in your own school or workplace? It is a scary thought, but it is something that could happen to anybody. Having some ideas about how to respond beforehand could save your life.


  1. Keep alert and always report suspicious incidents to the authorities. If a student or co-worker threatens to bring a knife or a gun, for example, report this to a teacher or supervisor. You might prevent a disaster by doing so. If there are students or coworkers who lawfully carry weapons or tools, they will be able to explain this to your supervisor.
  2. Know what the procedure is that is already in place. Many schools and workplaces have "lockdown" procedures. An example of this could be that the students hide in the corner of their classroom, out of sight of doors and windows, while the teacher locks the door and turns off the lights. If you are in the halls, you might be expected to run inside the nearest classroom. Whatever it is, know what it is, and if there is no procedure in place, talk to a teacher or boss about creating one right away.
  3. Respond to the sound of gunshots according to your situation:
    • If you see the shooter at distance, running away should be your first plan, when possible. At 20 feet from the gunman, you're still within a deadly range, but at 40 feet, you're a difficult shot. If he starts to shoot as you're making your escape, run in a zigzag or another unpredictable pattern. This will decrease your chances of being hit. Seek an exit, or if you have to, hide in a room, preferably with windows, so you have a way of escaping the room if you have to. Lock or barricade the door and turn off the lights. If a door will not lock, barricade it with tables and chairs. You might want to do this anyway just in case. If there is a phone in the room, Call the emergency services (911/999/112) as soon as the door is locked and blocked. If you don't have time, call and leave the phone off the hook. The police will automatically come to see if there is a problem.
    • If you are in the same area as the shooter, find cover, fast. If the shooter opens fire, attempt to take cover behind heavy furniture or any other heavy obstacle. If there is nothing close, simply drop to the floor and lie flat. This will protect your vital organs and make you a smaller target to the shooter. Lying flat could also make the shooter mistake you for dead. Remain quiet and still.
    • If the shooter is about to shoot you, do anything you can to stop them. Try talking to the shooter if you know them, but use caution. You could possibly change their mind, but remember, if they have a gun in their hand, they may not be convinced by anything. Attacking an armed assailant is unwise unless you have absolutely no other option. They have likely already decided to shoot people, and threatening them may result in the deaths of you and even more around you.
      • To take his focus off his or her weapon and plan of attack, you might throw chairs, laptops, or fire extinguishers, or set off the sprinkler system or fire alarm. Then, pick up a desk or some other shield and charge right at the shooter. There's a risk you'll be killed in the process, but if two or three people rush at once, there's also a chance that somebody will take the shooter down. Unarmed civilians who band together have a much better chance of surviving an attack.
      • If you're already within a step or two of the shooter, you might be able to grab his or her weapon. If the shooter is facing you, quickly reach up and take hold of the barrel, and then aim it away from your body. The move should be as clean and economical as possible. The gunman will reflexively pull the gun back away from you. Follow the movement, gripping the gun and push your weight forward. Then, punch him in the face or the throat as hard as you can. Hit him on the nose, jab your fingers into his eyes, or strike him with the heel of your open palm. Then use your free hand to grab the nonbusiness end of the gun. With two hands on the gun, you can knee the attacker in the groin.

    • If you are barricaded in a room with other people, firmly order everyone to spread out as widely as possible, and get down on the floor behind furniture or any other cover. People have a natural tendency to huddle together in a crisis, but in a shooting situation, this just makes all of you one big, stationary target. Spreading out and getting down low makes everyone a more difficult target.
    • If you hear gunshots and are in a bathroom, your best bet is to remain in the bathroom. Lock the bathroom door if you are able to. Another thing you can do is go into a stall, lock it, and crouch on the toilet seat to hide. Call the emergency services (911/999/112) if you have a cell phone on you, but stay as quiet as possible.
    • If you hear gunshots and are outside, go in the opposite direction from where you heard the gunshots. Call the emergency services (911/999/112) as soon as you are far enough away. Assist other people that are fleeing the building after you call.

  4. Wait for help to arrive. Before you open the door to someone that says "police" or "paramedics" be aware that it could be the shooter trying to get you to open the door. Ask them questions and make sure that they are actually police or someone trying to help you.
  5. When the police arrive, they will treat everyone as a potential assailant. Do not run to them or request help, as this may cause them to think you are a threat. Instead, QUICKLY go face down on the ground with your arms spread away from your body, palms towards the police, and fingers spread apart. Shut up and listen for orders! Do exactly what the officers tell you to do, do it quickly, and do it without argument or protest. Expect the police to treat you as though you might be the armed criminal, and even to handcuff you and everyone else in the room. They are not being mean; they are getting the situation under control the only way possible. Remind yourself that they are doing what they are doing in order to neutralize every possible threat, and save your life. Be as helpful as possible to the authorities. Tell them everything you know.
    • Emergency personnel are trained to survey a scene before entering it. Don't be shocked if the cavalry stays parked outside and doesn't come running in before the threat is established. They're taught that they can't help anyone if they're dead. It's true but an unpleasant reality if you're the one inside with a threatening person.


  • Remain calm.
  • Remember to help those around you if you can. If someone is shot, tend to them as quickly as you can. See How to Treat a Bullet Wound.
  • Seek therapy afterward, if the event was deeply troubling for you.
  • When necessary and escaping through an upper-floor window, find a drain pipe or a ledge that can slow your descent or let you slide down part of the way. You'll likely hurt your ankles when you land, so be prepared to break the fall with a quick roll. Protect your body by rolling over one shoulder, diagonally across the back and onto the opposite hip. It is better to escape with a couple broken bones than to be shot and killed. Use this as a last resort though. For example, if you are on the 3rd floor with windows that do not open, and it is safe to jump, you may throw a computer through the window. Yes, they are expensive but cost does not matter when someone is coming after you with a gun.
  • Don't take personal belongings or put yourself at risk to collect these items. Personal property can be replaced—your life can't.


  • Don't let the fear of a shooting change your life. It is out of your control. Just live life to its fullest knowing what to do if a shooting ever did happen.
  • If you have a gun, do not try to act like a hero unless the attacker is in full sight and there are no obstacles nearby.

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Survive a School or Workplace Shooting. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Original: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SurviveTheWorst/~3/DmaDiDNDQuM/how-to-survive-shooting-in-public-place.html

Self-Defense for These Times - ABL (Always Be Learning)

Now that you have a weeks worth of food and water, and know how to make a fire and cook without electricity, imagine what it will be like outside the walls of your home? In the throes of deperation for food and water,in an urban environment, we will see humans toss out all reason and humanity, and turn into animals. Animals that are ready to hunt and kill for food and water for themselves, and their family.

How many of you know what a Gabion is? The definition is below. BUT FIRST, before you read on to find out (ignore your pre-programming for instant gratification) what a gabion is, look over this list of some ideas to implement along with your food and water preparations:

- Become & stay physically fit (you don't have to look like a model, but in order to take care of yourself and your family, you at least have to be able to bend at the knees, walk, and *gasp* even run in some cases).

- Learn firearm basics (don't be afraid of firearms, embrace them. They are just a tool. As with a hammer, shovel or rake, a firearm is only as dangerous as its user)

- Become proficient with survival basics, such as farming. Not only reading about different tactics, but implementing them. Don't just read about growing your own vegetables, go in your backyard, or grow indoors and gain the experience for yourself.

Now, for the answer above:

A gabion is just a fancy word for a retaining wall, or any man-made structure that is used for protection. They can be cages, cylinders, or boxes. They are filled with soil or sand that are used in civil engineering, road-building, and military applications. For erosion control caged riprap are used. For dams or foundation construction, cylindrical metal structures are used. In a military context, earth or sand-filled gabions are used to protect artillery crews.

In medieval times, gabions were round cages with open tops and bottoms, made from wickerwork and filled with earth for use as military fortifications. These early military gabions were used to protect field artillery gunners. The wickerwork cylinders were light and could be carried relatively conveniently in the ammunition train, particularly if they were made in several diameters to fit one in another. At the site of use in the field, they could be stood on end, staked in position, and filled with soil to form an effective wall around the gun.

The reason for bringing up a gabion is to show that we must Always Be Learning (ABL) about survival, and self-sufficiency.

We at T.A.S. had never heard the word gabion. It's not that a gabion is so important, but it accentuates the fact that we must remain vigilant in understanding survival basics.

There is always more to learn, and more importantly, understanding how to implement what you learn.

Original: http://theaspiringsurvivalist.blogspot.com/2009/03/self-defense-for-these-times-abl-always.html

Save Money On Your cell Phone Bill

If you live on-grid, chances are you or a family member owns a cell phone. You probably know about how much your cell phone plan costs each month, but do you know how much you are paying for the actual minutes you USE?!?

If you have a 3000 minute plan, and only use 1000 minutes, you are really paying 3x the amount you should be paying for each of those minutes.

Do you like the luxury of having a 1,000 minute buffer zone each month? I only ask because we used to. My wife and I used to say, "geez honey, let's make sure we don't go over our minutes, so let's get a plan with a lot of minutes." It was expensive and unnecessary.

To survive these times, we all need to cut as many unnecessary living expenses as possible. Please scrutinize your cell phone bill. You may be able to cut $50-$100 a month from your plan, and add that money to your prepping reserves.

Here are two wonderful links that will help you review your plan, and look at new plans. Take the time to save some money. My wife and I cut from 3000 minutes down to a 2500 minute plan, and are saving $50 a month. It helps.

Billshrink.com - Have your bill out and ready to do some comparing of new plans and your current plan.

Letstalk.com - This is a more general site, where it compares plans from a wide range of wireless carriers. If you're comfortable with changing cell phone company's, then this site has what you are looking for.


Original: http://theaspiringsurvivalist.blogspot.com/2009/03/save-money-on-your-cell-phone-bill.html

Audio Podcast: Finding The Time To Prep

icon for podpress Episode-151- Finding The Time To Prep [41:26m]: Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download

Honestly I get a question similar to this at least once a day, “Jack, how in the world do you find the time and resources to do all of these things?”. So today I decided to discuss that subject because indeed prepping can seem over whelming at times.

Tune in today to hear…

  • You always get the things done that you see as being the most important
  • The false sense of security from “perceived abundance”
  • Food stored is better then money in the bank
  • The incremental approach to food storage
  • 1 meal a month from your preps will teach you where your holes are
  • The lesson of the ant, he didn’t store everything for winter in one day
  • Why your construction projects are important beyond their immediate results
  • Finding time to garden is easy if you just do a very little each day
  • Making time to exercise, just take a walk
  • Why preppers are building up their assets while most of America is building up debt
  • Finish one project before you start the next
  • Three items that should be in your car today, right now, get on it
  • Slowing building up your bug out bag and bug out vehicles
  • Understand how long you worked at being unprepared, you can’t correct it overnight
  • The importance of planning
  • A cool way to automate watering, very low tech but very effective
  • Including education and awareness in your prepping
Original: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/survivalpcast/~3/s8SMS-56D_Q/finding-the-time-to-prep

Audio Podcast: The View of Survivalism in the Media vs. Reality

The media’s veiw of survivalism and modern survivalist philosophy are greatly disconnected from realtiy. Join me today as I discuss a recent episode of the T.V. show “Medium” (yes the show sucks I watched it just for you so tune in) where a survivalist was painted as and eccentric killer.

In my view this media bias is actually quite dangerous and could cause a lot of suffering or even cost lives in the future. Tune in today to get some thoughts on countering this bias, why it is important to do so and how we can reach people who are starting to ask the magical question, “what if”.

Original: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/survivalpcast/~3/8qMCrZ_mlNM/recovery-equals-inflation

Audio Podcast: Remote Location Prepping

icon for podpress Episode-158- Remote Location Prepping [42:36m]: Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download

This podcast was done a day in advance and is being published while we are away doing some remote preparations of our own at our Arkansas bug out location. So I thought today woud be a good day to cover that exact subject.

Tune in today to hear about

  • Low cost rain catch systems
  • Storing food safely
  • Thoughts on remote weapons and ammo storage
  • Setting up a local bank account and safety deposit box
  • Hiring a local person to keep an eye on things
  • Starting up raised beds
  • Permaculture options that you don’t have to be on site to do
  • How you can enhance local forage with simple things like mulch and pruning
  • Be on alert when arriving at your remote location
  • Alternative energy and water options
  • Tips on getting good deals on remote property
  • Using your creativity to improve your property
Original: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/survivalpcast/~3/RdU5Byjht78/remote-location-prepping

Recipe: Millet Porridge

When you see the word "porridge", how many people think of...

Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold,
Pease porridge in the pot, nine days old;
Some like it hot, some like it cold,
Some like it in the pot, nine days old.

Alright... although most people think negatively of porridge, and that it's usually made of oatmeal, here's a millet porridge that's quite easy:

1 cup millet
3 cups water
dash of salt (to taste)

Rinse the millet (use a fine sieve). Place the rinsed millet in a small to medium saucepan, add the water, and heat over medium heat until the millet is soft. Serve with a little honey, grated cheese, raisins and walnuts, etc.

While millet is more expensive that many other grains, it is an essential grain for people who have an intolerance to wheat. It is also important to provide variety.

Consider stocking 1 pound of millet for every 20 pounds of wheat or oats.

Copyright (c) 2009 VPLW

Original: http://www.survival-cooking.com/2009/03/recipe-millet-porridge.html