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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Be A Survivor: New Years Resolutions...

Damn, did 2008 fly by quickly...seems like just yesterday I started this blog and now we are going pretty strong 7 months and 200+ posts later. I figured I would share some of the New Year's resolutions I am going to try and make for the 2009 year. I do believe it is important to at least to TRY to make yourself better at some point in your life...so why not start fresh with a new year?

1.) Get myself in better shape - I am by no means a tub o' lard. I am 6'2" and just at 238 lbs. I do take cholesterol medicine...but that is it. I really want to get back into running a few miles daily. My resolution is to get serious about getting back to my fighting weight of 212 lbs. and running 2-3 miles a day.

2.) SAVE EVEN MORE money - My wife and I are pretty good with money. We have a mortgage and 2 car payments and no other debt. We are close to paying off her car - THAT WILL BE DONE ASAP, after that we will pay my truck off. I want to have just my mortgage by the end of 2010. NO SHIT, excuses or any other kind of crap...it will be done.

3.) Quit smoking - actually cheated on this one. We were gonna quit in January but said we had enough in October and quit cold turkey...so I am ahead of the game on this one ;)

4.) Prep, prep, prep - my goal this year is to get a few more cases of ammo and a few more cases of MRE's to suppliment what I have already. I also want to implement a rainwater collection system at the house (priority number 1!!!). Lastly I want to pick up a GOOD water filter and a Remington 870 or a Mossberg 500 shotgun.

5.) Because my post on taking things here and there generated so many "Mother Theresa" types I pledge to "steal" even more ketchup and salt packets from all those hard working restauranteurs! Just kidding on that one ;)

REAL #5 - To try an keep blogging as often as I can, to entertain and inform you with the meager knowledge I have on any subject I write about.

Good luck and God Bless in the new year...2009 here we come!!!

...that is all.



Originally posted on The ReadyStore Blog



Doing inventory can help you use your resources more effectively when you are preparing for emergencies through emergency preparedness and food storage. Do you buy the same things over and over while other sections of your preparation are lacking? Do you have a dozen emergency blankets, but not a first aid kit? Do you have a way to heat your home, but no plans for sanitation?

The best way to do an inventory is to sit down and pull everything out. I know this may seem like a daunting task, but if you don’t know what you have, you don’t know what you need. I did this recently with my sister and brother-in-law. While they were pleasantly surprised by the amount of things they had in their 72-hour kits, they found they were lacking in some areas. They had a portable potty lid and bags, but needed toilet chemicals. They had several tools, but no matches and no 115 hour Ready candles.

Once you know what you need, you can break it down into categories such as light and communication, food storage, first aid, etc. Then you can figure out what you need in each area and make a plan to acquire those items. With a little time and effort, you can make sure you are ready for whatever circumstances you may encounter in an emergency situation.

Original: http://getmeready.blogspot.com/2009/01/inventory.html

No Safe Place?

For those of you who would like a little insight on a real life scenario of when things go bad this article has some very enlightening information of what may be in store for all of us.

Frugal's Forums Archive 2001-2006: Thoughts on Urban Survival. COMPLETE !! A MUST READ FOR ALL SQUIRRELS!!!

Read the entire article to get a true picture. Here is an excerpt from this article:


“Someone once asked me how did those that live in the country fare. If they were better off than city dwellers. As always there are no simple answers. Wish I could say country good, city bad, but I can’t, because if I have to be completely honest, and I intend to be so, there are some issues that have to be analyzed, especially security. Of course that those that live in the country and have some land and animals were better prepared food-wise. No need to have several acres full of crops. A few fruit trees, some animals, such as chickens, cows and rabbits, and a small orchard was enough to be light years ahead of those in the cities. Chickens, eggs and rabbits would provide the proteins, a cow or two for milk and cheese, some vegetables and fruit plants covered the vegetable diet, and some eggs or a rabbit could be traded for flower to make bread and pasta or sugar and salt.

Of course that there are exceptions, for example, some provinces up north have desert climate and it almost never rains. It is almost impossible to live of the land, and animals require food and water you have to buy. Those guys had it bad; no wonder the Northern provinces suffer the most in my country. Those that live in cities, well they have to manage as they can. Since food prices went up about 200%-300%. People would cut expenses wherever they could so they could buy food. Some ate whatever they could; they hunted birds or ate street dogs and cats, others starved. When it comes to food, cities suck in a crisis. It is usually the lack of food or the impossibility to acquire it that starts the rioting and looting when TSHTF.

When it comes to security things get even more complicated. Forget about shooting those that mean you harm from 300 yards away with your MBR. Leave that notion to armchair commandos and 12 year old kids that pretend to be grown ups on the internet.

Some facts:

1) Those that want to harm you/steal from you don’t come with a pirate flag waving over their heads.

2) Neither do they start shooting at you 200 yards away.

3) They won’t come riding loud bikes or dressed with their orange, convict just escaped from prison jump suits, so that you can identify them the better. Nor do they all wear chains around their necks and leather jackets. If I had a dollar for each time a person that got robbed told me “They looked like NORMAL people, dressed better than we are”, honestly, I would have enough money for a nice gun. There are exceptions, but don’t expect them to dress like in the movies.

4) A man with a wife and two or three kids can’t set up a watch. I don’t care if you are SEAL, SWAT or John Freaking Rambo, no 6th sense is going to tell you that there is a guy pointing a gun at your back when you are trying to fix the water pump that just broke, or carrying a big heavy bag of dried beans you bought that morning.

The best alarm system anyone can have in a farm are dogs. But dogs can get killed and poisoned. A friend of mine had all four dogs poisoned on his farm one night, they all died. After all these years I learned that even though the person that lives out in the country is safer when it comes to small time robberies, that same person is more exposed to extremely violent home robberies. Criminals know that they are isolated and their feeling of invulnerability is boosted. When they assault a country home or farm, they will usually stay there for hours or days torturing the owners. I heard it all: women and children getting raped, people tied to the beds and tortured with electricity, beatings, burned with acetylene torches. Big cities aren’t much safer for the survivalist that decides to stay in the city. He will have to face express kidnappings, robberies, and pretty much risking getting shot for what’s in his pockets or even his clothes.

So, where to go? The concrete jungle is dangerous and so is living away from it all, on your own. The solution is to stay away from the cities but in groups, either by living in a small town-community or sub division, or if you have friends or family that think as you do, form your own small community. Some may think that having neighbors within “shouting” distance means loosing your privacy and freedom, but it’s a price that you have to pay if you want to have someone to help you if you ever need it. To those that believe that they will never need help from anyone because they will always have their rifle at hand, checking the horizon with their scope every five minutes and a first aid kit on their back packs at all times…. Grow up”

Thanks D!

Be aware. Be informed. Be prepared.


Original: http://texaspreppersnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/03/no-safe-place.html

Survival Health–Keep Pepto in Your Med Kit

Bill Sardi, who writes the “Knowledge of Health” newsletter, says we’re facing a much bigger problem with food borne illness than the media is telling us. Peanut butter isn’t the sole culprit. Sardi reminds us that in recent times lettuce and other vegetables have been determined to have been contaminated with Salmonella or E. coli. He observes that these bacterium generally come from animal waste and water runoff from cattle herds which contaminates nearby farms. Then the vegetable growers get blamed. Sardi alleges that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is likely protecting business interests and letting some food producers off the hook.

Sardi states that the most likely source of Salmonella contamination is chicken meat. He says about one-quarter of chickens sold in U.S. grocery stores are believed to be contaminated with salmonella bacteria. The recommendation for consumers is to cook chicken very well before eating it.

Salmonella is a bacterium that causes abdominal cramping, fever, nausea, and diarrhea. Sardi urges purchasing Pepto-Bismol (bismuth), and at the first onset of symptoms, begin coating the lining of your stomach repeatedly, every hour. Sardi says this is especially important for younger children and older adults. He claims the cure is rapid and effective. Because symptoms can occur wherever you may be—work, away from home, etc.—it’s wise to have plenty of Pepto-Bismol on hand and be prepared.

Bill Sardi is a proponent of alternative medicine, so I view his recommendation to take Pepto-Bismol as a pragmatic approach to a serious health issue. I suggest having Pepto-Bismol in your survival med kit. Pepto-Bismol is a tried and true remedy for stomach ailments over many decades. It does not have to be refrigerated. However, it should not be allowed to freeze. You may wish to have it on hand in tablet form. If you don’t like the taste of the original Pepto-Bismol, it’s available in cherry flavor. You should also be aware that labeling has been changed to recommend users consult a doctor about dosage for children under 12.

If you’re interested in knowing more of what Bill Sardi has to say on health matters, you can sign up for his newsletter at http://www.naturalhealthlibrarian.com/.

Original: http://destinysurvival.com/2009/01/23/survival-health-keep-pepto-in-your-med-kit/

Survival Barter Items - Part Two

With a weakening dollar, rising unemployment, and businesses going bankrupt and closing their doors in record numbers, barter may become a real part of your everyday life. Skill and knowledge in how to barter during an economic collapse could become a critical skill that everyone will need to survive.

In Part One of Survival Barter Items it was revealed that the best of all possible situations is to be able to barter from a superior position rather than an inferior one. Being able to get the most value possible for those items you trade is essential for your survival and the survival of your family.

Finding yourself in an inferior bargaining position is not a very good place to be. You need something and yet you may not have anything tangible to barter with that will give you the advantage. This is where intangibles assets will come into play as a valuable barter item. Your survival skills and knowledge may prove to be the winning factor. Your skills may be your biggest asset when it comes down to being able to barter successfully during an economic collapse or a breakdown of normal society. The knowledge and skills you have now could become the only truly valuable thing you could trade with if caught in an inferior bargaining position.

Learn the areas where your skills may be lacking. Know where your skills are the strongest. Learn their true value and know when and where they will be needed most. Realize that the ability to make or repair a needed item or provide a needed service may ultimately have the greatest value in a barter situation.

Staying above the water line!


Original: http://stealthsurvival.blogspot.com/2009/01/survival-barter-items-part-two.html

Review: Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning

Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning:
Traditional Techniques Using Salt, Oil, Sugar, Alcohol, Vinegar, Drying, Cold Storage and Lactic Fermentation

by The Gardeners & Farmers of Terre Vivante
with a new foreward by Deborah Madison

I have mentioned this book before and included a recipe, but I wasn't yet ready to review the book. Here's my review with some recipes just for fun.

If you're interested in putting food by, and concerned that there may be no electricty in the near future (or are living off-grid, or planning to) BUY THIS BOOK. The cover says $25 new, but you can get it at Amazon for about $14 or so. The book is definitely worth the money if you put the techniques and recipes into practice. I'm sure as hell planning to come harvest time. In my opinion, freezing and canning have their place and we need to put those techniques to good use, but ever since I learned about lactic fermentation, and how that preservation technique makes food alive and brimming with enzymes and probiotics (not to mention zingy flavor), I've wanted to learn more traditional methods of preserving food.

The methods presented in this book: preserving in the ground or in a root cellar, drying, lactic fermentation, oil, vinegar, salt, sugar, sweet-and-sour preserves, and alcohol are all ancient methods of preserving food that do not harm the nutritional value of the food. Frankly, I think freezing and canning does detract from the nutritional value of food, but not to the extent that we shouldn't use those methods. Rather, augment your current methods of putting food by with these old/new techniques.

I want to quote a bit from the foreword to the First Edition by Eliot Coleman:

"In the opening paragraphs of his classic Soil and Civilization, Edward Hyams decries how modern misapplication of science has caused humans to 'begin working across or against the grain of life.' Hyams notes how science, when it becomes the master rather than the servant, displaces the age-old natural wisdom that has maintained the 'integrity of life.' Without that integrity, humans begin to lose contact with the 'poet,' which Hymas describes as the instinctive understanding of wholeness that has nurtured their well-being through the centuries.

Such change is abundantly evident in our modern American diet. The business of food science is in conflict with the poetry of human nourishment. Store shelves are filled with products that keep seemingly forever, such as canned or frozen food, ultra-pasturized dairy products, devitalized flour. ...

Food preservation techniques can be divided into two categories: the modern sceintific methods that remove the life from food, and the natural "poetic" methods that maintain or enhance the life in food...

The techniques presented in this book, maintain and enhance the life in the foods you are preserving, and this is the value of it, and the value of the book. I hold with many others that one reason Americans suffer so many degenerative diseases is due to their crappy diet of fast food, overly processed additives food, canned food, frozen food, all of it with very little to none nutritional value. You can live on the stuff for a while, years and decades even, but your body will break down and degenerate into diseased flesh.

But I'm not here to lecture--buy this book and try these recipes--they are all interesting and unusual. What the folks who put the book together did was ask readers of a French organic gardening magazine Les Quatre Saisons du Jardinage (Four-season Gardening) to send in their favorite methods and recipes for preserving food. They received over 500 recipes.

The Introduction to the book is very important. It discusses preservation without nutrient loss, stopping food contamination, choosing a method of preservation and a note on food safety. Each chapter of the book, each concerned with a different method of preservation, includes a general introduction to the method and then the recipes. There are charts, drawings, and clear descriptions of the methods. The individual recipes, sent in by the readers of Quatre Saisons du Jardinage, are charming, unusual, and usually mention the best variety of fruit or vegetable for their particular recipe. The recipes are attributed to the reader who sent it in.

Before I get to the recipes, let me say that I really like this book and I can't wait to try these recipes and techniques. This year I did very little canning, but I dried vegetables and foraged plants and herbs and fruit, I fermented quite a few and preserved with vinegar and oil, and we've been enjoying the results of those methods this winter. Now, I'm ready to try all the rest and I'm very happy to have this book to guide me. I love the idea of maintaining as much of the foods' nutritional value as possible, and enhancing the flavor when possible.

From Preserving in the Ground and Cellar

Apples in Elderflowers
Dried elderflowers
box, preferably wooden

Pick elderflowers in June, allow them to dry, and store them in an airtight container so that they remain fragrant.

Place a layer of dried elderflowers at the bottom of a box (preferably made of wood). Alternate layers of apples and layers of flowers. Finish with a layer of flowers, and close the box as tightly as possible. Keep in a cool, dry place (provided it is not too damp, a cellar is suitable). After six to eight weeks, the apples may be eaten and will taste like pineapples. This method works especially well for pippins, which can be kept in this ways for at least ten weeks. If we place them on a bed of elderflowers in small open crates, they will keep longer, but the pineapple flavor won't be nearly as intense.
A. Motsh, Ambierle

Preserving by Lactic Fermentation

Bottled Swiss Chard Ribs Without Salt
Swiss Chard ribs
Canning jars and lids
Only the ribs of the chard are preserved. The green leaves are used fresh. Remove the 'string,' cut the ribs into 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inch long pieces, and wash them thoroughly. Place the ribs into widemouthed jars equipped with airtight lids. Pack down and fill the jars with cool water. The next day, rinse the ribs and change the water. Repeat this procedure for four consecutive days, before allowing to ferment. Preserved in this manner, the ribs will keep easily for one year, and can be cooked like fresh ones.
Andre Foex, Cleon-D'Andran

Tomato Balls
Ripe tomatoes
A fine strainer
A finely woven cloth
A screen
Canning jars and lids

For this old recipe from Provence, pick a good amount of tomatoes that have ripened well in the sun. Cut them in half, squeezing lightly to release any water, and put them in a jar. Set the jar outside in the sun (bring them in at night) until they begin to foam and smell a bit fermented.

Pass the tomatoes through a very fine strainer, rubbing it through with your fingers. Collect the strained portion; place it in a clean, finely woven cloth; and hang it outside in the sun until you get a paste dry enought o be shaped into balls. Let the balls dry on a screen in the sun. Then add salt, and put them in a canning jar. Cover them with oil, season with herbs to your taste, and close the jar.
Jennifer Rocchia, Beaurecueil

Preserving in Oil

Baguet (Parsley Condiment)
1 part shelled nuts
1-2 parts parsley (to taste)
1 part garlic and onion mixed
a little vinegar
a few anchovies (optional)
Olive oil
Canning jars and lids

This is a recipe from Val D'Aoste, in the mountains of northwestern Italy, bordering France and Switzerland. Use it as you would pesto for seasoning soups and pasta.

Grind all the nonliquid ingredients together very finely. Add the vinegar, put the mixture in jars, and cover it with oil. Without vinegar, preservation is a bit iffy; with vinegar, preservation is a sure thing.

Preserving with Salt

Migaine de Thezou (Mixed Vegetable Stock)
1 lb leeks
1 lb tomatoes
1 lb onions
3/4 lb parsley and chervil
1/2 lb turnips
1/2 lb celery
1 lb salt
meat grinder or food processor
This recipe came from a grandmother in my village. Grind all ingredients coarsely in a meat grinder or food processor. Let the mixture stand overnight in a bowl in a cool place. The next day, remix the contents of the bowl by hand. Put the ground vegetables in jars, and store them in the cellar or some other cool place.

While this mixture will keep for up to three years, it is best to use it all within the first year, since you can replenish your stock wtih fresh ingredients the following September. I add one or two tablespoons each time I make soup, tomato sauce, stews, court boullion, and so on. I prefer to toss it in raw, for a more interesting texture, but it can be cooked too.
Anne-Marie Franc, Baccarat

Fruits Preserved in Alcohol

Officer's 'Jam' or Bachelor's Ligueur

Fruit (whatever's available): strawberries, red currants, black currants, wild raspberries, peaches, plums, greengage plums, apricots, etc
Alcohol: kirsch for red fruit, cognac for others or brandy for everything
Sugar (same quantity as the fruit)
5 quart stoneware pot with lid

This 'jam' is prepared as the fruit ripens, over the course of the growing season.

Cut larger fruit into smaller pieces, and remove all pits. Then, in a very large, airtight stoneware pot (called a Rumtopf in Switzerland), alternate layers of one pound of fruit and one pound of sugar, as the harvest continues. Personally, I use less sugar: I cover each layer of fruit with sugar, and without weighing it first. It keeps as well as the version with more sugar.

Each time you add more fruit, cover it with the alcohol you've selected. Never stir. Store the pot in a cool, dark place, and wait at least six months before tasting this delicacy. However, it's much better if you wait one year.
Mrs. Defacqz, Switzerland

OK, that's it. I'm tired of typing, and I hope I've given you enough neat little recipes to get your mouths watering, your imaginations flowering, and your mouse pointed over to Amazon to get your own copy.


Simple Home Medicines are Effective

I thought I'd let you all know how some ongoing projects are working out.

The Yellow Dock tincture:

The first is, I'd made a tincture of yellow dock root for a good friend of ours who has non-symptomatic hepatitis C. He's had it for years; doesn't have any of the symptoms, but it is there. I gave him the tincture about a month and a half ago. He recently emailed and mentioned this:

"I had a health evaluation done at work recently. Tell Patty that my Liver Enzyme levels have never been lower. Not once in all the years I've been getting them checked out. Not that they've been sky high, but they were all down in the middle of the normal range. Must be something to those drops. Tell her my Liver and I say, Thanks!"

Three cheers for yellow dock tincture for liver problems, then. And I'm happy that our friend's health is better.

The Horsetail tea:

If you follow the blog, you'll know that an 81 year old friend of ours, Fred, fell and broke his elbow a while back. The orthopedic doc casted his arm and we've been making do ever since. I'd brought over some horsetail chopped up fine and some comfrey leaves to make teas for him and he's been drinking a cup or two a day of each. Last time we went to the doc, his elbow has started healing. There wasn't much to show yet on the X ray, but I'm sure we'll see more improvement when we go back for more Xrays on the 2nd of January.

The Garlic/Weird Mole:

In early November, I'd read a book on garlic as Nature's Super Healer. One of the extracts I shared from the book was on using a slice of garlic on funny moles and melanomas. A few days after writing about it, we started using a slice of garlic on a weird mole of Michael's. When I first looked at it, it was gray and hairy/fuzzy and ugly/weird looking. That was November 6. We've been putting a fresh slice of garlic on the mole every couple of days.

We put another slice of garlic on it today. And today the mole has almost disappeared. It's much smaller--like I said, nearly disappeared. It is now tiny, tan and very pale. I expect it will disappear in another few weeks.

Was this mole a melanoma? I don't think so. It hadn't changed colors or grown larger or any of the other signs that might tell of that deadly skin cancer. It was just a weird thing on his skin. But the garlic is definitely making it go away! We'll have to keep checking on it to make sure that it stays away, of course.

The reason I'm posting about this is that these simple, easy things can be effective and useful. None of this stuff costs much, if anything. Yellow dock, horsetail and comfrey all grow here in the valley. We didn't plant garlic this year (dammit), but we easily could have and it too would grow here. For that matter, there's wild garlic all over the place and if I couldn't get commercial garlic, I'd certainly use wild. It'd probably be better.

This is a very good thing, as dark times draw near. Useful wild plants grow all around us, even in cities, and we can use them to our benefit. It is the medicine God intended for us, after all, and to my mind, much better than pharmaceutical synthetics. Get to know an herbalist or forager near you, or better yet, get to know herbs and wild plants yourself. Then you will always have medicine at hand.

None of these things work as fast as pharmaceutical synthetics, of course, but that's probably a good thing. It takes time to develop problems and imbalances in our physical systems, and we need time to resolve those problems as well.

Needless to say, I'm not saying that horsetail and comfrey tea is "healing" Fred's elbow. Fred's body is healing his elbow. But the horsetail and comfrey are supplying some of what his body needs to do just that. Same with the yellow dock tincture for our other friend, and the garlic for Michael's mole.

Good luck to all in resolving your physical problems as well.

Original: http://handmaidenkitchen.blogspot.com/2008/12/simple-home-medicines-are-effective.html

Recipe: Ever-loving’ Strawberry Kiwi Jam

By Joseph Parish

As most people who are familiar with me know I have been raising my eleven year old grandson in the art of survival. He probably knows more about taking care of himself then most children twice his age. He has become very self-sufficient with skills ranging from making his own colloidal silver to proper use of stored food supplies.

Yesterday I decided to teach him some of the fundamentals of canning jellies. His favorite of course is strawberry and he is fond of eating Kiwi fruit raw. Unfortunately it is very hard to talk him into trying various flavors. However, I am not one to be discouraged and decided to show him how to make a very tasty Strawberry Kiwi Jam.

The recipe that I have listed below will make approximately five or six half pints. According to whether or not you use regular pectin or Pomona you may have to vary the amount of pectin accordingly. Using more fruit and with the Pomona will increase the flavor greatly as well the use of Golden Kiwi’s in the batch.

The Ginger is an optional item and you do not have to add any at all as the final product will taste great with or without it. Here are the basic ingredients:

3 cups of crushed strawberries

3 peeled and diced kiwi

1 Tablespoon of lemon juice

1 Tablespoon of minced crystallized ginger

1 package of pectin

5 cups of sugar

Start the recipe out by combining the strawberries, kiwi, ginger, lemon juice and the pectin together in a large saucepan. Do not use any sort of copper pans for making jams. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil being sure to stir it frequently. Add the sugar to the combination and return the mixture to a complete boil again. Once again stir the mixture constantly.

Continue to boil the mixture for an additional minute and then remove it from the heat. Skim off any foam that has developed. Ladle the final product into very hot, sterilized jars and leave a 1/4 inch headspace in each. Place the lids on the jars and process them in a boiling water bath for approximately 10 minutes. You may have to adjust the boiling time according to the altitude.

There you have it. The final product is tasty and certainly a treat at breakfast time on toast.

Copyright @ 2009 Joseph Parish

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

Quote of the Day

Hunger, love, pain, fear are some of those inner forces which rule the individual's instinct for self preservation.
~Albert Einstein

Link of the Day

Wilderness Way Online

Wilderness Way is a primitive survival magazine. The site contains articles and a section of user submitted Survival Tips.