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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Organic Weed Control - "Just Eat Em"

An excellent blog sent to me by Bobby's Girl

Have you ever wondered why some plants make weeds of themselves ? It's as if this wild vegetation prefers human company to life in the pristine wilderness. Ironically, its because many of these plants were naturalized many centuries ago by our ancestors for food and medicine. I've been eating and enjoying beneficial weeds for over 20-years in addition to more normal foods, for their flavor, freshness, and nutritional value.

By using those weeds as food, you will realize a number of benefits: (1) you get an early spring harvest at a time when most gardens are just getting started. (2) You increase the productivity of your garden. (3) as with most other homegrown food, you'll save money. This particular food is especially economical, it's totally free. (4) you'll expand your own culinary horizons. There approximately 50,000 edible plant species in the world, but the average American eats only 30. Hence, if you only use 3-kinds of weeds as part of your diet, you've probably increased your food choices by 10%.

Purslane, this common garden weed is rich in flavor and nutrients. Many garden seed catalogs now list purslane and Dandelion's. Purslane prefers sunny spots in sandy rich soil. It carpets the ground, rarely growing more than 5-inches high. The succulent, purplish-green leaves range from 1/2 to 2-inches long. The tender red stems bear tiny, 5-petaled yellow flowers at their tips. The whole plant is edible. Some purelane lovers have found that they can use one plant from June till August, just by snipping off the tips of the stems.

Raw purslane has a pleasant crunch and is a good salad green. An interesting purslane cole slew can be made by chopping up the raw leaves and stems, mixing with chopped carrots, and other raw vegetables and blending with commercial cole-slaw dressing. Purslane's great taste, high level of nutrition and low caloric content (the plant is 92% water, similar to cabbage).

Like most of us Americans, dandelion is an immigrant, brought here by the earliest English settlers. It was considered absolutely essential for survival and was given an honored place in the kitchen gardens of the day, providing food, medicine and wine. Because it is an effective diuretic, it has been used for kidney stones, weight loss, and edema. Its ability to cleanse the system of toxic matter makes it valuable in clearing up disorders.

Every part of the dandelion, with the exception of the seeds and flower stalks, is useful. Eat the young leaves in early spring, either raw or steamed.

Dig up the roots anytime, although they will be highest in nutrients in

the fall. Boil them like parsnips. You can also use them as a caffeine-free coffee substitute,while enjoying dandelion's health benefits.

Chickweed is quite possibly the most common weed in the world. It, too, is a small plant, rarely reaching more than 5-inches in height. Weak-stemmed, it seems to spread out horizontally along the ground. It prefers rich soil, a little shelter, and cool weather.

The whole plant, above ground, is edible raw or cooked. Raw, it has little flavor. For this reason, it is one of my favorite plants, because with its mild flavor and crunchy texture, I can use it just like lettuce, as the base for salads. It mixes well with any other more strongly-flavored salad fixin's such as watercress, radishes and peppers.

Cook chickweed just like spinach: steamed, it even tastes like an extremely mild spinach. As it cooks down quite a bit, use a lot. Because its flavor does not overpower others vegetables, it's a good thing to add to the green pot to stretch other greens.

When you mow your lawn, does the scent of onion or garlic fill the air? Lucky you! There are a great many species of these two closely related herbs, But any plant that smells strongly of onion or garlic is onion or garlic and is edible.

Dig the bulb up to see which one you have. Just like their domesticated relatives, onions will be layered and garlic will be made up of cloves. Don't be fooled by their small size, their flavor is often stronger than domesticated varieties. Use the green tops like chives or green onion tops.

I hope you will want to try eating some of the weeds in your backyard. They'll add freshness, flavor, and variety to your diet, as well as increasing the productivity of your organic garden. Bon Appetit!

Copyright · 1995 The Garden
March 22, 2009 2:43 PM

Original: http://indianapreppersnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/03/organic-weed-control-just-eat-em.html

Walk!, by Snolden

If you value your existence and your life, then walk! I am an Air Force brat who did nine years active duty in the Navy. In other words I moved a lot. Eleven states in the first 33 years of my life. I traveled to all fifty states and a few countries. Every one is different, and areas within each are completely different from the part that you live in. Most people that lived in places I have been do not walk any further than a few hundred yards a day. A mile is a "long walk" for most folks. A good portion of the rest walk or run several miles as a work out, but that is with 6 ounce sneakers, shorts and an iPod as their only loadout.

Post SHTF or even during a week without power, you will be subjected to environmental conditions that your body cannot adapt to unless you have experienced it before. The environment that you find yourself in can affect your decision making. Cold, hot, humid or other; these conditions will prevent you from living. You will have to carry a lot of things a long way to make do, even if vehicles are working. You must condition yourself to this level of exertion.

So, go for a walk. Please use common sense and know your limitations. For those with physical limitations, you will have to toughen your mind more than those of us without. The demands on the body are going to be extreme for some even when all parts of it work correctly. I would like to challenge all of you to "honestly" walk 10 miles carrying a light bag. By "honestly" I mean in the clothes that you will be wearing post-SHTF. This will probably be some form of boots, belted pants, long sleeve shirt and jacket. If you can't do this right off, then work up to it but nearly everyone will be able to do it. Ten miles should take 3-5 hours at the most depending your individual condition. Then do this again next month, in a different locale [, over different terrain]. I recommend a 5-7 minute break every 45 minutes as the optimum. [Depending on the weather and personal preference,] breaks of 10 minutes/hour or 5 minutes/30 minutes might work better.

For example, walk 10 miles around your city this month. Next month go to a trail in the woods. Walk. Anyone that has been in the Army or Marines will laugh at this distance. Many people in the Third World walk this far every day just to go to work or school. Then they turn around and walk that far back home. A pace of up to 12 minutes per mile is a good goal if you are in good shape. When backpacking I shoot for 15-20 minutes per mile including time spent for breaks. That works out to a little less than three hours for 10 miles. That is a very comfortable pace I can keep up for days.

The point of this exercise is to learn the techniques that you will need to walk. Everyone can walk, right? Nope, they can't. Most people don't understand about layered multiple pairs of socks, proper lacing of boots, proper waist belt adjustment on a pack and the other items that you only learn by walking (proper is different for each person and can change between the start of the hike to the end of the hike). For the average person with 10 pounds of belly fat, I would start with a 20 pound pack. That is only one gallon of water, a change of clothes, a lunch and a few emergency items plus the weight of the pack itself. You can start lighter or heavier, this is your challenge. Bring extra socks, moleskin, an ace ankle wrap and Band-Aids the first few times [or whenever you switch to a new set of footwear]. You might need them before you make it back.

Please only walk one day a week, to begin your training regimen. You will get serious blisters if you are not used to it and try to walk 3 or 4 days in a row. Just in that first walk you will learn what you like and don't like about your shoes. For instance, you may find that you need to wear different underwear, an undershirt, and perhaps a different hat. You will realize that it isn't that hard and it will encourage you to go further. Once you build up calluses [, stamina] and find your individual pace, then you can go all day. Now you can get through the long walks that are inevitable when SHTF and your body will remember. This conditioning will free up your brain to focus on decision making-- unimpared decision making. Weather extremes can still get you but you have a baseline experience level. I recommend that you walk year round to learn how the weather affects you (But I realize this is unlikely, especially in extreme cold and heat for many people.)

General guidance for a maximum backpack weight is 1/3 of your body weight for medium distance hikes. 1/4 of your weight (1/4 of 200 pounds is 50 pounds, in my case) is far more comfortable. This may seem like a lot but with the right boots/socks and pack it actually is easy. And since you are already walking 10 miles straight now, you will quickly find out what qualities to look for in your gear. Some things can be fixed for free. For example, I don't lace the top holes in my boots. This lets my feet breathe a bit more. I have learned how to load"my pack for maximum comfort.

Okay, now for the good news. Once you can do this for a few days straight with about 20-30 pounds on your back, you don't have to do it all the time to maintain the conditioning. I find that a 5-6 mile walk once every week or two with a 15 pound pack and "first line gear" maintains my long distance conditioning for months.

Long distance walking does not replace aerobic conditioning, it simply allow yours feet to get used to the abuse. You still need to aerobically condition your body for maximum cardiovascular health. In parting, I was amazed at the amount of heat produced by my feet the first time I walked ten miles on a hot day in boots.

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

Some Thoughts on a Survival Library

To be truly prepared for emergencies, the right equipment goes a long way. But it is knowledge and skills that will determine whether or not you will survive when the time comes. Luckily, although our civilization may be in decline, we still live in an age with 100% literacy and easy access to knowledge and the survivalist should take advantage of this by building a survival library that allows him to rediscover the skills and knowledge he may not otherwise be exposed to easily.

That you are an avid hunter or camper does not mean you can survive long term in the woods (although it’s a good way to prepare) and the first aid course you took at the Y.M.C.A. will not be enough for you to provide serious medical care for yourself or others during a TEOTWAWKI situation. If you’re like me, you may not have the time and money to pay for expensive training courses to get you up to speed on every aspect of post-collapse survival. The survival library allows you to build at least a basic familiarity with a variety of topics that you may not be able to practice in depth pre-emergency in your location for a variety of reasons. The urban dweller may not get to hunt and process animals often enough to be truly comfortable with the skills and certainly trapping food effectively requires methods that often illegal (like building Fishing Weirs) and are thus hard to practice.

That being said, here’s what do I have in my survival library and what do I recommend. Here’s a short list of material I recommend to any one who asks:

1) Wilderness Living and Survival Skills by John and Geri McPhearson - Simple, readable and with hundreds of photos and illustrations this book sets a baseline for skills involved in primitive living. The authors came by their knowledge the old fashioned way, by doing, so you benefit from their wisdom. The book is full of low tech solutions to living off the land and it only takes a little imagination to adjust the techniques for you circumstances. Available on Amazon and there is more material available from these authors at PrairieWolf.net.

2) FM-26-71 The U.S. Army Survival Manual - I actually don’t recommend this to everyone because some versions are written to be read and used as a reference by people who are already trained in some fashion. I am told the copy available on Amazon has been re-written with the civilian in mind, so if you’re putting in an order anyway it’s not a bad buy, however there are plenty of versions available online for free.

3) The Backwoodsman - Not everything in your library needs to be a book. I’ve read The Backwoodsman since the 90s and every issue is a treasure. There is a mistaken belief that it’s aimed at re-enactors and primitive living folks, but it’s actually full of articles for simple living in the modern world. Subscriptions are cheaper than buying by the issue and can be done online, but frankly at $4.50 an issue it’s one of the best buys on the magazine rack.

4) Fur-Fish-Game - In the same vein as The Backwoodsman, Fur-Fish-Game is the gold standard of outdoor magazines and has been since 1929. For survivalists, FFG is a better read than other outdoor mags because the articles focus less on “adventure” and more on the nitty-gritty of techniques for trapping fur bearers, hunting game and catching fish that will help keep you alive in the bad times. Drop your Outdoor Life and pick up a subscription to FFG when you want to get serious about living, and making money, off the land.

5) Dale Martin’s The Trapper’s Bible - A no nonsense and no holds barred manual for snaring and primitive trapping. The intro lays it out for you: these are techniques for trapping animals cheaply, effectively and most of all covertly. In the times ahead what was poaching may become simple survival.

6) Where there is No Doctor: A Village Health Care Handbook - This book is actually the best reference for the layman and those who, like me, have limited first aid training. This book will walk you through many health problems and their treatment in third world conditions. Backed up with some First Aid/C.P.R. training available at most Y.M.C.A. facilities, this is the best untrained preppers will be able to do. If you don’t have a doctor/EMT to turn to in the bad times, buy this book now.

7) John Seymour’s The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live it - Seymour comes off as a condescending prig for much of the book, and his finger wagging can be avoided with a few years of back issues of The Backwoodsman, but for new comers to prepping the book has a lot of good information on living a comfortable 19th century lifestyle, which given the state of the economy there is a very real possibility we’ll revert to.

8 ) Peggy Layton’s Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook - Nowadays everyone is just starting a garden to help them through the coming hard times. Good luck with that if you live in an urban or suburban environment where you have little land to work with, Home Owner Associations poking their nose in your business or just don’t have the time to keep up a garden. Food storage is one of the better solutions for the prepper on a time budget and without the resources to make survival gardening truly worth your time and this book is a good primer for that. A bit basic, but that’s it’s strength.

Of course that’s just a nice start. There will be dozens of books you’ll come across and many will be worth your time but a subscription to a couple of magazines and a few books are really all you need. It’s more important that you practice the techniques you learn through reading as much as you are able. Snaring animals may be out of the question, but building a quick working snare then dismantling it is not. This may not make you an expert in trapping with snares, but at least you’ll know the basics and that is more than many people know.

Original: http://survival.red-alerts.com/getting-prepared/some-thoughts-on-a-survival-library/

Update Your 72 Hour Kits

Water storage and 72 hour kits should be treated or rotated once a year. It’s easy to forget to do this, so many families coordinate these chores with General Conference to make it easier to remember. I had to laugh when I read online about a woman who was advising others not to store pop-top fruit cups in 72 hour kits. The pop-top lids weren’t the problem. Her fruit cups had exploded when she checked her kits…3 years later. The canned items that we store in these kits aren’t meant to last long-term, so we have to update them in order to have edible food in an emergency. If you are updating your 72 hour kits, here is a sample menu for simple items to include:



(1) Granola Bar

(1) Hot Chocolate packet


(1) Beef Jerky

(1) Apple Cider drink packet


(1) Beanee Weenee

(3) Crackers


(6) Candies

(3) Sticks of Gum



(1) Cereal Bar

(1) Hot Chocolate packet



Fruit Snack


(1) Cup of Soup

(3) Crackers


(6) Candies

(3) Sticks of Gum



(1) Box of Raisins

(1) Instant Oatmeal

(1) Hot Chocolate packet


(1) Cup of Soup

(1) Can of Juice


(1) Cup of Soup

(1) Fruit Roll-up


(6) Candies

(3) Sticks of Gum

Add 2 liters of water to each kit. Include cups to use with drink packets. We have our kits in a large plastic storage container so that an adult can grab them all at once. Many families use backpacks to store their kits. Just find something portable and closed so that family members don’t pilfer pieces of the kits throughout the year. We tease our kids, telling them that if they eat their candy and gum we’re not sharing ours during the crisis.

Original: http://allaboutfoodstorage.com/archives/140


I’m the type of person that doesn’t like to run out of anything. What is survival, but being prepared for the unexpected. The feeling of being able to get a new razor, soap or bottle of hydrogen peroxide out of storage in priceless. I love being able to go into the pantry or closet and grabbing what I need.

I’ve always been a bit of a squirrel storing nuts for the winter, but over the past 18 months or so as I’ve seen what the future is that is facing us, I’ve geared it up a bit.

You will be amazed at what you can gather by dedicating $5 or $10 a week towards preps. You’ll really start paying attention to prices and if you buy things on sale you can have six months of toilet paper and a years worth of razors in no time.

A week or so ago I did an entry on food to store. So I figured that I’d put together a list of some non-perishable items that you may want to have stored up.

As you start making purchases I’d start with things that are most important then move to the less important and finally when you have a good amount of stuff stored start to think about buying things to barter. I consider anything that is imported as being good to barter with. I fear the day may come when it may become near impossible to get imported goods. That’s one thing that I try to prepare for.

I think a good way to figure out what you need is to look around each of the rooms in your house and figure out what you go through in six months or a year. Make lists. Everything I list below is non-perishable so you really can’t have too much of the stuff. With the way paper assets have been performing over the past ten years and the rate of price inflation I think you’d get a better return on your money buying non-perishables than putting it into the stock market. Besides I know a roll of TP bought today will still be a whole roll one year from now.

So without further aye-dee-eye-eee-you (adieu)-

  • Toilet paper - TP gets its own bullet point. You do not ever want to run out of this stuff. You know how much it sucks using leaves or a newspaper when you’re in the brush. Imagine if hot water ever becomes a luxury.
  • Plastic bags - you cannot have too many of these. I’d get heavy contractor grade bags and food storage bags, ziploc bags, sandwich, quart and gallon size and kitchen trash barrel size.
  • Paper towels and napkins
  • Paper plates, plastic cutlery, plastic cups - if your water is limited then using disposable stuff to eat with can save you gallons of water.
  • Food wraps like foil and plastic wrap. When you buy foil get the biggest roll you can because you pay less per square foot that way. If you want to get the smaller 75 sq. foot rolls in case of barter than once you’re all set in other areas go right ahead so you can give a few of the smaller rolls to friends and neighbors.
  • Wine and booze. The big 5 liter boxes of wine are good to store. Because they’re boxes they stack n’ store easily. Store both red and white. Great to cook with too. I also have stored some Jamesons, rum, tequila and of course vodka. Booze doesn’t go bad so I also have some 1/2 pints of various booze to trade with.
  • Batteries - lots and lots of batteries. Don’t forget to store the 9 volt batteries too. The 9 volts go into smoke and CO detectors and if the lights ever go out we’ll all be using candles, lanterns, wood stoves and fireplaces. You definitely want to be able to keep your smoke and CO detectors going. The lithium batteries store a long time, up to ten year I think. Other than that you need to be careful not to buy so many that they’ll go bad before you get the chance to use them. I really like the new rechargeable batteries. Get lots of these. Also a good idea to get some solar powered battery chargers.
  • extra bulbs
  • canning jars, rings and lids

Then you got stuff in the bathroom -

  • I store lots of disposable razors. You know I’ve tried the generic brands, but they don’t seem to work as well as the Gillette brand. I’m not big on brand names either. The generics seem to stick to my face and the Gillettes slide smoothly.
  • shaving cream
  • toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss and mouthwash - if dental care becomes hard to find or you lose you dental insurance oral hygiene will be key. Hell, seeing dentist sucks so take good care of your mouth.
  • First aid supplies - peroxide, alcohol, qtips, band aids, ointments and salves, chapstick, lots of gauze pads, tape, hot and cold packs
  • feminine hygiene products listen guys your ladies may not be on board with you prepping so you may have to man up and buy extra stuff for them. Just look what is under the bathroom sink and go buy a pack of 72 or 100 and store them somewhere.
  • Nail clippers - a nail clipped now can save a ton of agony and infection later. Store a few extras.
  • baby oil, baby powder and epsom salts
  • petroleum jelly


  • sponges
  • steel wool & sos pads
  • dish soap
  • window cleaner
  • simple green, pine sol or whatever you use

Clothing -get extras for everyone in your household

  • Get a few extra pairs of jeans, get the wearguard or carhatts and store them somewhere.
  • Ditto for an extra pair of sneakers and boots.
  • I like big rubber boots that come up to my knees. They’re great for walking right across shallow rivers or through mud and crap.
  • can’t forget socks, underwear and tshirts

Miscellaneous stuff to store, trade or barter

  • shoelaces
  • sewing needles, thread, buttons, velcro, snaps
  • safety pins

Fire starter stuff -

  • strike anywhere matches, lighters, butane fuel, zippo fuel, extra flints
  • fire starters
  • fire steels


  • lanterns and mantles
  • oil lamps, wicks & oil
  • candles, candles, candles


  • have a toilet repair kit and an extra wax ring or two - this just makes sense for the everyday living too
  • motor oil, brake fluid, tranny fluid, coolant
  • extra bulbs for the car too
  • duct tape, electric tape, teflon tape
  • nails and drywall screws
  • epoxies and glues
  • wire, ropes and strings

Some people like to store tobacco. I don’t smoke any longer and the leaf goes bad over time so I don’t store it. Might be worth storing rolling papers though.

This is a cattail that is dried out and exploded. You can see what fine fire starter it is. You can also make a pillow out of it or use ir for insulation. p1010003All parts of the cattail are edible so it is one of our best wild edibles. The young roots, the young stalks, the young flowers (before they mature like the one pictured above) and even the pollen are all edible. Because cattails are so widespread, easy to identify and a great source of food even in the winter you should familiarize youself with them.

Original: http://hotdogjam.wordpress.com/2009/03/29/non-perishables/

Audio Podcast: Assembling and Using a Survival Fishing Kit

icon for podpress Episode-164- Assembling and Using a Survival Fishing Kit [43:27m]: Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download

Today I decided to so something more in the realm of “traditional survival skills” or the more typical “wilderness survival skills” that many popular survival shows are based on. Today we discuss assembling both a very basic bare bones fishing kit and a more advanced better equipped version with complete survival fishing gear included.

Tune in today to hear…

  • Why caring a fishing kit makes so much sense
  • Can you find fish anywhere, well as long as you can find reasonable water supplies, yes
  • Why you need an air/water tight container for your tackle
  • Advice on hook sizes
  • How to make a “frog gig” using large hooks
  • How the spin fishermen can effectively use even the tiniest of dry flys
  • How to find bait in survival situations
  • Bait or food, the choice is yours, a new version of “a bird in the hand”
  • How to make a “hobo reel”
  • Advice on a collapsible fishing rod, get one, carry it, it beats a hobo reel or improvised can pool
  • Why you should carry netting
  • Minnow soup? It might be “what’s for dinner”
  • Advice on carrying more fishing line then you think you will need
Original: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/survivalpcast/~3/tHkWIewwn34/assembling-and-using-a-survival-fishing-kit

24 Hours Until SHTF Plan

I already have contingency plans and action shopping lists prepared) in advance. This will save time when we have 24 hour or shorter warning before the Shit Hit the Fan, I have been operating under the assumption that we are running out of time so I have largely finished all preps that require shipping or ordering online. When you have 24 hours left, you are restricted to local resources. Do your shopping first before you do other preperatory steps because it does not take a lot of people with the same idea to strip stores bare of the essentials - especially for items that are not heavily stocked. I have twenty items on my list:
  1. My first step would be to assess the threat scenario as different ones require somewhat different preps. Nuclear weapons / fallout, civil unrest, and pandemics are special cases with additional steps.

  2. My second step is to review my current inventory and update my shopping lists as needed. I do this roughly once per month. By having a list, you save time when shopping and you can prioritize based on the amount of resources. When you do this, assess your personal needs and prepping gaps - you may need to reorder your shopping priorities.

  3. Check your current account balances. Under a SHTF scenario, you can assume no access to these for either a short-term period (e.g. a Hurricane Katrina event if you live in Biloxi and bank with a local bank or a "bank holiday") or a permanent loss of access (economic collapse; nuclear war). Even if you are able to obtain access later, you cannot guarantee that the funds will have the same value - especially after a bank holiday.

  4. Stop at your bank and take the maximum amount of cash you can from your accounts. There are both daily limits per account and limits in terms of how much cash most bank branches have on hand at the bank. It does not take very many customers asking for several thousand dollars or more each to empty the bank of cash.

  5. Food is your #1 priority. I would start with Costco and grocery store runs. Even with a good food storage program, you alway burn through your supplies. Spend your money on foods that do not need refrigeration. You might want to stock extra coffee, alcohol, and canning supplies as trade goods that you also use. In addition, you should think about buying foods to can and dehydrate - you can do these later in the day or in the next several days. If you have a nuclear scenario where you need to shelter in place in your fallout shelter, buy extra food that does not need to be prepared along with paper plates, plastic utensils, and paper towels so you don't need to use stored water to clean dishes. Get several containers of regular bleech (without any scents) - even if you have bleech stored, it looses its decontamination properties in as little as three months.

  6. Your next stop should be your local gun store or the gun section of Wal-Mart or your local sporting goods store. Get more ammunition. Also, get any other gun or camping supplies you identified as a gap. If you do not have a gun, this is your last chance to get one. If you do not have an emergency shortwave radio, get one. Likewise, if you do not have FMRS/GMRS / MURS walkie-talkie radios, get some.

  7. Stock up on more batteries while at Costco or Wal-Mart.

  8. Stop at the gas station and fill every car up with fuel. Also, get some 5 gallon gas cans and fill them up.

  9. Get additional propane tanks and fill them. Also get more charcoal and firewood. Fuel and heat are priorities, especially in winter.

  10. Buy containers to store water. Your priorities are a) 5 gallon water tanks (Wal-Mart usually stock several but they will be gone fast), b) large trash bags (use as liners for trash cans and bath tubs and then fill and cable tie them), and c) kiddie plastic swiming pools with covers. When you get home after all of your shopping, fill all of these with water. In a nuclear scenario, these are extra shielding for you and should be inside. Otherwise, the plastic swimming pool can be outside.

  11. Upgrade your medical supplies as needed. If there is a threat of a pandemic, be sure to get N95 masks, and lots of garlic, sambucol (elderberry extract), grape fruit seed extract, oregano oil (or Oregonal brand of oregano oil), olive leaf extract, and other natural medicines. You probably will need to go to a healh food or vitamin store to get the natural medicines. Also stock up on female products for the ladies - my wife doesn't stock enough.

  12. Stop at your local feed store for more feed for your animals. You can often get 50 pound bags of oats, corn, and grain and many feed stores that humans can eat. Depending on the threat scenario, you might want to buy seeds, farming gear, and livestock if possible.

  13. If you expect civil unrest, stop at a building supply store and get a bunch of 4'x8' sheets of 3/4" thick plywood, 5 lbs of screws, some 2"x4" studs, and lots of 3/4" gravel. When you get home, you will cut the plywood to size to cover your ground floor windows and glass patio doors. You can also use the plywood and the 2x4 studs to make bullet trap boxes with the gravel. If they have plexiglass or lexan sheets at least 1/4" thick large enough to cover your windows, those could be used instead of the plywood. While at the building supply store, you might want to get the parts you need to rig a rain water harvesting system.

  14. If you have a nuclear fallout scenario, get extra sheet plastic and trash bags (or sand bags). You also need to get HEPA air filters for your home air intake pipes if you have a heat recovery ventilator or mechanical ventilator system. Also buy lots of caulk and spray foam to weatherize and seal your house as best you can (if you have not already done this). You will need to build (or improve) a fallout shelter. You need lots of mass. Think in terms of 2 ft of concrete or 3+ ft of dirt, sandbags, water, books, and/or anything else of comparable mass that you can move. You can use firewood as well but you need ~5 ft high densely packed piles. You also want to cover gardens, equipment, firewood piles, outdoor furniture, open animal sheds, etc with sheet plastic to catch any fallout and to simplify decontamination and cleanup after the fallout ends and radiation drops to safe levels. Finally, buy all of the parts you need to build an air pump for your shelter and a Kearny fallout meter (if you do not have a fallout meter).

  15. Before you spend any money on big ticket items, trade goods, or gold/silver, make sure you are secure in all of the items covered above first. Generators could be something to get but remember they are only as good as long as you have fuel to run them. In the last minute, you may not be able to stock more than several days worth of fuel for the generator.

  16. You can invest any remaining cash in trade goods or gold / silver assuming you have a local source who has gold or silver in stock.

  17. Spend using credit cards first, then checks and debit cards before you use any cash.

  18. If you have a retreat or retreat plans, now is the time to gather your family, load your vehicles, and bug out.

  19. If you are remaining in your neighborhood, warn your neighbors and help them prepare. Even a large stocking up grocery run to Costco or a Wal-Mart supercenter can significantly improve their level of preparedness.

  20. You might want to think about preparing LP/OP positions in certain scenarios. However, do all of your other preps first, including preparing your house.

Original: http://virginiapreppersnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/03/24-hours-until-shtf-plan.html

Herbal Wisdom

I'm one of those people who would rather try a natural cure than pop a pill but I understand that there are some times you need to take medication. Make sure that you have extras of your prescriptions when it's possible and start researching some all natural herbal remedies now. Here are a few of my favorites and ones that can be grown here in Vermont.

**Standard disclaimer - I am not a doctor or a nurse or a professional herbalist. Do not try these at home without consulting appropriate medical professionals.**

These herbs can be grown, dried & made into a tea.

Bergamot - monarda fistulosa - Good for nerves and soothes stomachs

Red clover - trifolium pratense - There is some research that indicates this has a beneficial influence on cancer. Also soothes nerves.

Fennel - foeniculum officinale - Helps indigestion, obesity and was held to help rheumatic and arthritic conditions.

Hollyhock - althea rosea - Helps a weak heart, digestion and is soothing.

Horehound - marrubium vulgare or marrubium nigrum - Excellent for coughs, colds and sore throats.

Lavender - lavandula vera or lavendula spica - Use in cases of nervousness and hysteria

Marigold - calendula officinalis - Makes a great skin tonic.

Peppermint - menthe peperita - Great for stomach ailments.

Mullein - verbascum thapsus - Great for chest congestion, said to have antibacterial properties, helps hay vever. Warning this stuff tastes HORRID but it works. (pictured)

Pansy - viola tricolor - Used for heart palpitations.

Parsley - petroselinum sativum - Is a diuretic and recommended for swollen glands.

Raspberry leaf - rubus idaeus - Known for easing labor and women's complaints.

Rosemary - rosmarinus officinalis - Helpful for headaches.

Sage - salvia officinalis or salvia agrestis - Used for constipation.

Thyme - thymus vulgaris or thyms serpyllum - Helpful for coughs and asthma

There are lots more herbal cures out there but these are the ones I am most familiar with that can be grown here in Vermont. Also WTSHTF, your average Joe may very well raid your first aid kit or medicine cabinet but chances are he isn't going to know mullein from poison ivy.

Original: http://vermontpreppersnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/02/herbal-wisdom.html

Let there be light!

OK so it happened. The electricity is out and there you sit at 6:00PM in February in the dark. Or do you? Have you planned ahead? Do you have a light source? What are your options?

Here are a few things to think about.

1. Candles - Candles will provide enough light for you to get from room to room without tripping over the kid's toys. They are easy to find and I store a bunch of votive candles in a box in the kitchen. You can buy pillars, jars, votives, tealights or standard emergency candles. You can get them scented or unscented. I have a candle in just about every room because I like them.

2. Flashlights - Again, a flashlight will get you from room to room safely but it's hard to actually accomplish much when holding a flashlight. You can get your standard battery powered flashlight or a wind up flashlight. If you choose a battery powered flashlight, make sure you have plenty of extra batteries. If you use rechargeable batteries, make sure your battery charger has a solar option in case you need to use it long term. We have a wind up flashlight by Innovage that works really well.

3. Oil lamps - These are new to me. I just started collecting them a few months ago from Freecycle. There's a huge variety of types and styles. There are very basic clear glass lamps and fancy antique lamps and everything in between. Whichever type you'll use, make sure you have lamp oil and extra wick. Make sure you have at least one of them that's ready to use so that when the power goes out, you are not trying to find the oil & wick & figure out how to put it together. Right now I have a total of four oil lamps. I'd like to get a few that will mount on the wall in the livingroom at some point as well.

4. Emergency lighting - I love these. It's a prefilled portable ready to use indoor emergency candle that will burn for 100 hours. I paid about $10 for two of them. The flame is totally enclosed in the unit so it's safer if you have kids or pets. The one I have is by Lamplight Farms.

5. Wind up lanterns - I have two wind up lanterns that I got from LL Bean. They put out enough light to read by if you put the book next to the lantern. We have a small hook over the bed so that we can read in bed if we loose power. They each have a handle on top so they are portable if you need to move from room to room. They are easy to find as I have seen them in our local Walmart. Just look in the camping section.

6. Solar lights - along the same lines as a candle is a rechargeable sun jar. This is on my list of things to buy. It's solar rechargeable so after the initial investment, it's free. There's no flame so it's safer around kids and animals. You don't have to worry about having batteries, oil, wick, etc. or trying to find a source for them in case supplies are limited.

Click here for information

I understand that you can also make your own oil lamp although I haven't tried it yet. You can go here for directions:


Original: http://vermontpreppersnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/02/let-there-be-light.html

Cooking options

What options do you have for cooking should your normal kitchen stove not work? If you loose electric power, how will you cook? Will your gas stove/oven still work without electricity?

1. Electric oven/stove - Without electricity, provided you have no generator, your electric oven/stove will not work.

2. Gas oven/stove - If you loose electricity, the stove (top) part of your range will still work if you turn it on & light it with a match. If your gas oven uses a glow bar to heat with (most do), it will not work if the electricity goes out. Peerless Premier makes gas ranges that do not use glow bars for heat and will therefore work without electricy if you light the pilot light.

3. Woodstove - This is a great option for winter use. You can cook many meals on top of the woodstove. If you have an old fashioned wood cookstove, you can also bake in it. This requires practice so it's best to learn how to do it before the power goes out. Make sure you have an adequate supply of wood, kindling and matches. A good set of cast iron pans works well too.

4. Solar oven - A solar oven works well on sunny days. I highly recommend the Global Sun Oven. I have successfully made spaghetti, pork roast, pork chops, beef stew and a variety of other meals. You do need to pay attention to the orientation of the sun as it moves so that your sun oven is getting the full amount of sun possible.

5. Outside grill - propane, charcoal and wood - There are a variety of grill options available. There are some that are fancy enough to make bread, desserts, boil water, etc. If you are using propane or charcoal, make sure you have an adequate supply on hand. Wood is easy enough for most people to find. We've built a fire in a fire pit by collecting wood from the back yard.

There are a variety of other options you can make including a tin can stove but I haven't explored those. If you have experience with any of them, please feel free to share. And like anything else, learn how to use your options before you need them.

Original: http://vermontpreppersnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/02/cooking-options.html

Quote of the Day

What Food You Should Stockpile for Survival.

Survival Center has a lot of great information on what food you should purchase now to be prepared in the event of a disaster. Here are a few examples from the site:

- 25- and 50-pound bags of rice. A staple in many countries, it could be yours during the bad times. Rice is one of the few foods that no one has allergies to, plus it is an excellent source of nutrients. And let's face it, most of us don't live where we can grow rice.

- 25-pound bags of flour. Although grains are better to store than flour, this is fine if you do a lot of baking already. You can bake your way through the bag and always have some ready in an emergency.

- 5-pound bags of complete pancake mix. These are great because all the ingredients are ready to go, just add water (Make sure you get complete, you don't want the kind where you have to add eggs.) Muffins and other mixes are also available, but it's a lot easier to cook pancakes over an open fire or camp stove than muffins!

- 5-pound canisters of peanut butter. A favorite for kids and adults, plus you don't need refrigeration. Don't keep 'em forever or they could go rancid, but a good product to rotate in your every-day pantry. Add some crackers to your stash, too.

The Survival Center has many other ideas on what types of food stores you should buy for your survival pack.

Here is a unique cookbook that focuses on how to cook with the food that you store. It's called, Cookin' with Home Storage

Original: http://theaspiringsurvivalist.blogspot.com/2009/04/what-food-you-should-stockpile-for.html

72 Hour Kit for Your Car

Nomad's Note: Here is the next entry in my survival guide. Like I've said before, this is a basic survival guide, aimed at the unprepared. Please review it and offer your comments. I want to produce a valuable guide and value the opinions of the many (except the anonymous trolls) subject matter experts that exist in the blogosphere. Read, Review, comment, and improve.

72 Hour Kit-Car

We spend a lot of times in our cars. The average American spends about three hours a day either driving or sitting in their vehicle. That comes out to be 780 hours a year- or almost 33 days. Unless something dramatic happens to change this trend I expect the practice to continue. Due to the amount of car based travel and the fact the you are often miles from your home on a daily basis it just makes sense to have an emergency kit stashed in your car. The trunk makes an excellent storage space that hides your emergency kit from prying eyes. Remember, your trunk is much larger than the typical bug out bag. Use this space to store adequate supplies. Most people park their vehicle close to where they are going to be. Should something happen that would prevent your ability to leave having a stash of supplies on hand will make an uncomfortable situation, bearable. Here is a small checklist for ensuring that your vehicle remains an asset in an emergency.

  • Properly maintain your vehicle according to the manufacturers recommendations
  • Always keep your fuel tank filled and ready to bug out should the need arise.
  • Routinely inspect your spare tire and ensure the air pressure is where it needs to be.
  • Make sure you have a working jack and the tools required to change a tire.
  • Carry an emergency kit that has basic tools, flares, portable gas container, siphon and jumper cables.
  • Invest in a tire plug kit and extra plugs.

The benefit of being in a car is that you can quickly leave an area that is inhospitable to life. If you have the means to leave the area, then leave. If your car becomes incapacitated, then you would want to secure yourselves in the car, roll up the windows, and turn off the air. Below is a list of supplies that you should store in your trunk.

  • Dust Masks
  • Military Style Gas Mask
  • Heavy Weight Plastic Sheeting- To seal up broken windows
  • Duct Tape- Always handy
  • Knife
  • Fire Extinguisher
Like your home, you vehicle can double as a shelter. As long as it has gas, you will have access to life saving air conditioning and heat. The vehicle also provides signaling opportunities in the form of the horn, headlights, brake lights and hazards.

Unless the area is dangerous, it is always advisable to stay with your vehicle. Many people, especially in the winter, have died, trying to walk their way to help when everything they need to survive, should be in their car. The following is a list of items you should carry in your trunk.
  • Large Tarp-Provides shade in the summer
  • Rope- To secure the tarp
  • Duct Tape-always valuable
  • Sleeping Bags/ Extra Blankets
  • Emergency blanket
  • Weather Appropriate Clothing
  • Box of Emergency Candles- One candle could save your life in the winter.
  • Plastic Sheeting
  • First-Aid Kit

Remember that the average adult uses one gallon of water each day. Therefore, you should plan on storing at least three gallons of water in your trunk.

  • Three Gallons per person
  • Empty Five Gallon Water Jugs
  • Water Filter (Non Electric)
  • Portable Camp Stove with fuel (For Emergency Water Purification)
  • Pot with lid (For Emergency Water Purification)
  • Portable Water Bottle’s
  • Water Purification Tablets

If you are mobile and the situation deteriorates, don’t expect the local restaurants and stores to remain open. A case of MRE’s stashed in your trunk will provide you with all of the required nourishment for several days. Having this emergency food, on hand, will make the difference. Under normal conditions, you shouldn’t expect to be without basic services for an extended period of time because you have the ability to bug out and find greener pastures.

Related Articles:
72 Hour Kit for Your Home

Original: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SurviveTheWorst/~3/wuRcRADcy3I/72-hour-kit-for-your-car.html

First Aid Stock Up List

How often does one of your kids get a fever and you realize you only have one dose of fever reducer in the cabinet? It’s important when preparing for any disaster scenario to be sure you’ve thought about the first aid items your family might need, and keep a supply available. Here’s a handy list of items I keep on hand.

Alcohol Wipes

Aloe Vera




Calamine Lotion


Cough Drops

Epsom Salt

Hydrocortisone Cream

Hydrogen Peroxide





Numbing Throat Spray

Rubbing Alcohol



Vicks Vapor Rub

Ace Bandages

Band aids and Bandages in Various Sizes

Surgical Tape

Ice Packs

Heat Packs

Keep in mind this is what I store - these are the most common items my family uses for basic first aid. I have a rotation schedule for items that have an expiration date, especially the medications, but I know that in a pinch old stuff isn’t necessarily useless. I keep two sets - one near my bathroom on a closet shelf where it’s easily accessible, and one stored away in a plastic bin for safety in an earthquake, or other disaster where it could be crushed. I also keep some of these items in my car’s first aid kit and a small version in our survival bags.

Make a list and stock up when you have a few extra dollars. If you buy one item every week, the impact is small. Keep your supplies in a cool dark place and rotate regularly. Keep items out of reach of children, especially if they’re stored in your car. Be safe and prepared.

Original: http://survivallady.com/?p=220