Welcome to our new Magazine format! All new content will now be brought to you in this easy, new format. All our older content can still be found by scrolling below. Simply click the ">" to start the magazine and navigate via your arrow keys.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Substitution for Electronic Watches

Watches: Old Fashion Wind-up versus Digital and Electronic

The battery in my watch died about the same time as our VHTS. It got me thinking. In these days, it seems like everything is being digitized or computerized or both. Especially watches. What happens if for some reason we don't have a battery handy when the one in the watch dies, or worse yet we are out where there isn't a Wal-Mart or other store available?

Society now seems to think that if you don't have the latest hi-tech watch with every possible function or a cell phone, blackberry or computer then there must be something wrong with you. But if you are out in the woods and your cell phone has no service then how do you keep the clock on it accurate and keep it going with no electricity to charge the battery?

Primitive or an old-fashioned wind-up analog watch can be a very important item to carry with you. First off you don't need to put a new battery in it to keep it working. You just need to make sure to wind it every day (or some work when you move your arm and it will self-wind.)

A wind-up watch can be used in other ways:
  • If you are lost and the sun is out, then you can find north using the hands of the watch and the sun. The process is to point the twelve toward the sun and then figure the direction by splitting the area between the hour and the minute hand and head in the direction of the difference.
  • If the watch is a glow-in-the-dark kind, and you have been out in the sun, then you will be able to see the time for hours without having to use a battery.
  • If you need to time something, the second hand makes a nice timer.
  • If you don't have matches and need to start a fire during the day, the watch lens makes a good magnifying glass in a pinch. Some even have a magnifying portion for numbers to small to be seen but will also catch the sun.
  • Another advantage is that if the watch should happen to get wet, the spring will work after it dries but won't short, burn or run out of energy like a battery would do.
  • The face of it is shiny enough will act as a mirror if a rescue plane is flying by that you can reflect sunlight at it and attract attention.

So the next time that you see someone using an old-fashioned wind-up watch to check the time, you might want to ask the person where they got it! They might be more in touch then most people think.

By Doug

Original: http://www.survival-cooking.com/2009/03/substitution-for-electronic-watches.html

Recipe: Quick Sausage Dinner

This is almost a complete meal, all but one ingredients is from your stored freeze-dried / dehydrated foods. Yummy!

4 cups chicken broth
3 cups dried potatoes dices
2 cups dried sausage crumbles
2 cups dried carrot dices
1 cup dried cauliflower dices
1/2 cup dried onion dices

Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan pan and let sit for 20-30 minutes to rehydrate. Add water if necessary. Gently add heat to medium, cooking until all is heated through. Serve hot, with perhaps a fresh cole slaw.

Place a large sheet of super-strong aluminum foil in a large outdoor baking dish or lipped-baking sheet (for strength). Add all ingredients, and fold the foil into a packet. Let sit for 20-30 minutes to rehydrate. Heat on grill or cookfire until food is heated through.

Copyright (c) 2009 VP Lawrence-Williams

Original: http://www.survival-cooking.com/2009/03/recipe-quick-sausage-dinner.html

A Frugal Life

“I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.” - Lao Tzu (Chinese Taoist Philosopher)
If you need help cutting expenses and living within your means, check out the recent Festival of Frugality at Green Panda Tree House. You’ll find dozens of links to money saving advice like:

And many, many more.

Bottom Line

There is no one simple answer to saving money (other than don’t spend!). Because money is spent on so many different things, you have to look at each thing independently. Sometimes you can buy cheaper, sometimes buy less, and sometimes stop buying completely.


(Cheaper) Pet food – will your pet eat a cheaper generic brand?

(Less Often) Unable to give up expensive Starbucks coffee? Then save it for a special treat once a day or, better yet, once a week.

(Stop) Lunch out everyday? – Eat at work instead; most places have a microwave. I now pack dinner leftovers into Tupperware and have great meals at lunch – today was meatloaf and mashed potatoes made at home. Watch out for the cost of buying frozen pre-made meals to eat at work.

Original: http://perpetualpreparedness.blogspot.com/2009/03/frugal-life.html

How to Survive Losing Your Job

Many, if not all of us have experienced the feeling of being laid-off or fired. Sometimes you feel relief, but many times it feels like a strong kick in the stomach, losing a job can knock the wind out of you.

After you get home and finish creating a few holes in the sheet rock on your walls with your fist, you need to take the following steps:

1. DO NOT throw out all of your previous work from your employer. (whether it's e-mails, signs, shirts and documents, don't go crazy and throw out anything right away. You are emotional, and not thinking straight. Don't worry, we'll re-visit this.

2. Give yourself a week or two to decompress before doing anything. If you have the financial means, take 7 - 14 days to focus on yourself and your health. Exercise a bit, it will help relieve some stress. Go camping with a friend, loved one or by yourself. Play some video games. Relax and focus on yourself. And do not remain bitter at anyone in your previous company. One reason we suggest to decompress for 14 days before doing anything is so that you can re-new your perspective on your situation.

3. Cleanse yourself and your home of your previous job. Chances are, if you did not quit your job, your experience leaving was not a pleasant one. AFTER you have decompressed, calmly go through your boxes of documents

4. Create a folder titled: "Pats on the Back". This folder (or box if you have that much!) are all of the documents, e-mails (print them out) and other things from your previous job that were successes for you. Remember, even though you are no longer represent company XYZ, all of your hard work remains YOURS. Keep any documents showing successful sales numbers, praises from your boss, etc...

5. Have a bonfire. After you meticulously (with cocktail in hand) have gone through all of your previous employers accumulated worthless stuff, throw away everything that keeps you living in the past, so that you able to move forward.

6. Beef up your resume. After you have shed your past, and are ready to look towards the future, dust off your resume, beef it up and get out there and get work, even if it's a part-time job flipping burgers at In and Out Burger. It's important to be out in society so that you can maintain a societal perspective.

7. Stay positive. This is easier said than done. This is the final step, and it varies in difficulty for each of us. Just keep moving forward. Wake up each day and complete something that is going to move life forward in a positive direction. Enjoy your time off, have fun and STAY POSITIVE!

Feel free to share any other ideas you have when being laid off or fired. Happy Friday everybody!

Original: http://theaspiringsurvivalist.blogspot.com/2009/03/how-to-survive-losing-your-job.html

Planning A Temporary Bug-Out

While sheltering in place will be your best option in most crisis or emergency situations, there will be times when you will need to “BUG-OUT” on a temporary basis. This can be due to a variety of reasons. There may be a hazardous material spill which creates a forced evacuation or an imminent hurricane which may be headed your direction. These and others are situations for which you will need a plan for temporarily bugging out until the danger or threat disappears and you can return to a normal state of activity in your lives.

One of the major parts of being prepared is having a plan, but you will also need a plan that works for almost every scenario. A plan that is economical, efficient, sustainable and compatible for everyone should be in place for all the members of your family or group. Even individuals without a family or group to call upon for assistance will need a plan.

Over the years I have learned that simple is a good thing. Simple works best in the majority of cases and is easier to implement when required. It requires some coordination to be put in place to be effective but can be a life saver if done right. It is a plan that can be used almost universally in some degree by everyone with equal success. Here is an example of how the Riverwalker clan handles a temporary bug-out.

The Riverwalker Family’s Temporary Bug-out Plan

First and foremost your plan will need to be economical. Young family or group members just starting out will not need an additional strain on their finances that can be caused by the need to temporarily bug-out for whatever reason. During the recent Hurricane Ike it became necessary for certain of my extended family to bug-out for safety reasons due to the imminent threat of high winds, possible flooding and other storm related situations such as lack of grid power, potable water or emergency services that could result from the effects of Hurricane Ike.

My niece’s family simply bugged-out to my daughters place as part of a plan. They grew up together as children, are similar in age and both have young children of similar ages also. This makes for an extremely compatible situation. There were no worries about having the funds for a hotel or motel. There was no need to pack any food or medical items other than those required as a result of special diets or medications. The children were less stressed because they had another playmate with whom they were familiar. The adults also had many experiences with each other over the years that increased comfort levels during a time of additional stress. Not enough clothes? No problem! They just got thrown in with the regular wash. My niece and her family actually spent a week at my daughter’s place and they actually had a good time. Then, when it was safe to do so, they simply returned home without the additional stress or anxiety that occurs in many cases. It became a bug-out vacation of sorts.

While they actually live over a hundred miles apart, they are very close and have been since they were young children. The distance involved was sufficient to take them out of harm’s way and still be an economically viable trip for them, evenif they get caught at a time with very little resources available. This also gives you a trust and compatibility factor that is hard to beat. It is also very efficient even though there are some increased costs with extra members in the household. It also doesn’t require younger family members just starting out to have to worry about having a separate location to bug-out to if necessary.
They are close enough that less than a tank of gas and a couple of hours will get them out of harm’s way and to a safe place of refuge till the storm was over and it was safe to return home. Another advantage is the ability to communicate with other family members. Other family members simply contacted my daughter to check on my niece and her family to make sure they were safe.

One of my roles was to keep track of them to make sure they made it out safely and if not to put a simple plan into effect whereby I would go and get them if necessary. This is also a reciprocal type of agreement and if the situation were reversed it would still work in a similar fashion. Even individuals without close family usually have close friends that such a plan could work for them also. We have similar plans for all family members for where they will be going in the event of a temporary crisis and a plan to communicate the safety and whereabouts of everyone to all family members, including older family members and those individuals who are younger but don’t have a family started.

As a back-up plan and should problems occur, my place is also one of the places where they will be coming in the event of a temporary crisis or emergency. In fact my place is one of the main back-up retreats for all family members if needed. I also have regular assigned family members, my wife’s brother and his family, that will be coming our way if necessary during an emergency.

Never under estimate the power of family or friends who will almost always come together during a crisis. It is an important resource that shouldn’t be overlooked. With a little advance planning, you and your family and friends can be properly prepared to handle most emergencies.

Staying above the water line!


Original: http://stealthsurvival.blogspot.com/2009/03/planning-temporary-bug-out.html

SHTF: Garden, Urban, Inflation

Sunday round up of miscellaneous stuff.. Here goes.

Gardening this weekend.

I setup a new raised bed in the backyard. This was pretty simple.

Cleared a 4 x 6 area of grass and weeds. Turned the soil.

Built out of left over bricks a 12" wall, (no cement) around the area.

Filled with 6 bags of soil from garden store.

Layered newspaper in the bottom to kill off any additional weeds.

Ready to plant with 3 tomato plants or bell pepper.

I won't put any down right now until the weather warms up. It's in the 50s today and set for the 70's this week, but who could have predicted the cold snap we had this past week?

Time: 1 hour.

Went to the garden store that same afternoon. Dwarf fruit trees and berry bushes are available. The prices were low and now is the time to stock up on these as online retailers are out of most fruit and berry plants.

Consider fruit tree availability like ammunition sales are now. They won't be available at all soon when people start getting wise to growing their own food. Sure, may will imagine that fruit tree producing 'store ready' produce in a few months, but realistically, if the tree is well taken care of, could produce some nice fruit next year or the year after.

By the way, the seed section was pretty well picked over too. More and more people are putting in food gardens this year what with the economy doing so well and prices going up.

Which brings up the next observation: Inflation.

With FedGov printing and pushing so much imaginary cash, it is having less value. Prices at Costco early yesterday morning were higher than I had seen before. Everything as two dollars more expensive than it was last October.

As debt-backed money increases, tangible goods cost more. Further, suppliers in other country, seeing our dollar decrease in value, demand more money for same goods. For instance, jasmine rice, produced in Thailand, was four dollars more expensive than the last time I shopped.

There were also several products understocked or low at Costco. This could be the beginning of shortages in the near future. Stock up now on staples like flour, honey, sugar, oil and so on.

Urban survival?

There has been a rash of stories sympathetic to this cause lately.

Urban survival means making do in the city during hard times or after the SHTF. There are a bunch of survival minded folks who believe that "peak oil", shortages, and other problems will force most of us back into cities.

The concept is that cities will become urban oasis' of like minded individual, families and quasi communes cooperating as they eek out an existence.

Homes, (buildings) will have roof top solar and rain collectors. Vacant lots will feature community gardens. Citizens will walk to work, shop and drop their kids off at nearby schools.

The problem with this scenario is lack of space.

If peek oil forces all of us into urban centers, the vacant lot will be razed for a new high rise condo to squeeze all the new citizens in.

Many jobs, such as manufacturing or retail, require more space and will compete for homes and schools for the room.

Even roof tops will be squeezed and hard pressed to provide enough power or water for all the citizens.

Further, money and power talk. That quaint neighborhood with its community gardens and proximity to shopping and jobs will be commandeered by the newly returned power elite just back from their far flung suburbs. Old residents will find themselves and their belongings thrown in the back of an open truck destined for the edges of society.

Nope, my theory is based upon the underpopulated suburb. Vast tracts of abaondoned homes and strip malls. One family home occupied out of every five or six houses. Gardens in overgrown backyards. Small scale livestock product such as goats, chickens and rabbits.

Swimming pools converted to cisterns. Solar panels and windmills generating power. Neighborhood groups organized for defense and protection while a few fortunate members work from home on hijacked Internet connections.

The key is space. Lots of room for production and food while still within an organized grid of streets and dwellings.

Now the smart, true rural prepper is laughing at my scenario right now. "The suburbs will fall to the gangbangers and welfare bums as soon as they cities are stripped clean", they say.

And they are probably right, but its my opinion and they have theirs. Regardless, I don't think the Kumbaya urban survivalist option is any better; its far worse.

Before the weekend ends, get to the garden store and do some stocking up. Spring is in the air, let's get those gardens ready!

Original: http://survivalism.blogspot.com/2009/03/shtf-garden-urban-inflation.html

Food Storage: Whipped Topping

Hi, Brittany here. I realized I tend to provide food storage recipes that are so painfully easy it's almost insulting to your intelligence. Please don't be insulted.

I adore whipping cream, don't you? Especially whipped cream, when it's gently dolloped on, oh, anything. However, sometimes I don't make a particular recipe simply because I feel it would be naked without whipped cream, and I don't have any in the house. Well, not anymore!

Today I'll show you how to make whipped cream--okay, whipped topping--from powdered milk. It's not glamorous, but it's very helpful in adding that little something extra. It's also psychologically indulgent because it looks rich but is really fat-free!

Ingredients: instant powdered milk, sugar, cold water, and vanilla.

Begin by pouring 1/2 cup cold water into a bowl and add 1/2 cup instant powdered milk. Beat to soft peak stage, which according to the recipe is about 4 minutes at medium-high speed with an electric mixer.Next, add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or lemon extract (I used vanilla) and beat 6 to 7 minutes again.

Add 2 tablespoons sugar and beat for another minute. (Having a helper is very useful here.)

A taste-tester is also a requirement.

Ta-dah! And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen--whipped topping! My family thought it gave our last-minute crepes that little extra oomph.

Whipped Topping
(from back of Kroger Instant Nonfat Dry Milk box)

Mix 1/2 cup Kroger Instant Nonfat Dry Milk with 1/2 cup cold water. Beat to soft peak stage--about 4 minutes at medium-high speed on electric mixer. Add 1/2 teaspoon lemon or vanilla extract and beat 6 to 7 minutes at same speed. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and beat 1 minute at same speed. Serve as a topping instead of whipped cream.

Original: http://safelygatheredin.blogspot.com/2009/01/food-storage-friday-whipped-topping.html

Dangerous Drinks

By Joseph Parish

It has been suggested that specific soft drinks can provoke havoc with your health. As survivalists this can be extremely important for our preparedness plans. We of course are concerned about our families health and at the same time we are wondering about including soft drinks in our preparedness supplies. The existing allegation is that some of our marketed sodas may perchance be directly allied to grave cell damage.

This is not actually a innovative health alarm that has recently erupted over the value of soft drinks but more accurately a extensive ongoing research process which continually reveals fresh and worthy facts. Researchers in Great Britain have previously suggested that certain drinks such as Fanta or Pepsi Max contained specified preservatives which may hold the capability to toggle off critical portions of ones DNA. Although this is generally the type of problem which is viewed as a consequence of ageing or perhaps the abuse of alcohol, in either case it can ultimately lead to a condition recognized as cirrhosis of the liver or to degenerative Diseases like Parkinson's.

This information may well illustrate noteworthy consequences for thousands of people who continuously consume soft drinks. In addition it has also supported the perception that food additives are linked to augmented hyperactivity in today’s children.

The major concern centers upon sodium benzoate which is used as a preservative in a good number of carbonated drinks. This substance is derived from benzoic acid which occurs naturally within the berry family but is employed in massive doses to avert mould in sodas such as Oasis, Sprite and Dr Pepper. This is the identical product that is added to pickles to preserve them. Sodium benzoate is a key concern as a potential cancer risk since when it is mixed with vitamin C it becomes a carcinogenic well-known as benzene. The Food Standards survey which checked various drinks had found sizeable levels of this substance in four different brands of drinks which have since been removed from the market. Professor Peter Piper tested sodium benzoate impact upon live yeast cells and revealed that the benzoate was essentially damaging important DNA areas within the cells mitochondria. He affirmed that these particular chemicals can engender severe damage to the DNA and since there are inclusive groups of diseases that are tied to damaged DNA that represents a major health problem.

The professor has confirmed that the tests conducted by our Food and Drug Administration are obsolete. He concluded his investigations by advising parents to curve their children’s soft drink appetites to guarantee their safety. The decision is really up to the parents as one side says they are harmless while the other condemns them as a health hazard.

Next we as survivalists must determine if we care to maintain a supply of soft drinks in our emergency food rations as well. Only you may decide for yourself.

Copyright @ 2009 Joseph Parish

Original: http://survival-training.blogspot.com/2009/03/dangerous-drinks.html

Quote of the Day