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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Drying Garlic

There are several ways to store garlic. A method I prefer is to dry it. I have grown garlic, but not enough to get us through the year so I wait until the store has a sale and load up. I then begin the drying process.
Here are the cloves peeled, and ready to be sliced.

Here are the cloves sliced. I cover these with a muslin style pillow case I made just for drying. I use the ice cream lids for my "plates" to dry on. In New Mexico it takes about 12 hours sitting on a window ledge to dry out. I then store the dried pieces in a jar.

I save the outer paper skins and toss them to the chickens. Nothing goes to waste on a garlic. So what does drying garlic have to do with prepping? Understanding how to preserve foods is critical in living in times where you are trying to become self sufficient. The time to learn how to preserve foods is before you NEED to know how to.

The benefits of garlic are incredible. Check out this link on the nutritional value of garlic.

Original: http://manitobapreppersnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/04/drying-garlic.html

Homemade paints

Homemade paints are easy to make. And when you are trapped inside through the long winters, with or without children, making your own paints can keep you are pleasantly busy.

1 Quart skim milk (room temperature)
1 Once of hydrated lime by weight ( Do not use quick lime)
1 to 2 1/2 pounds of chalk may also be added as a filler.

Stir together milk and lime to form a smooth paste. Add color pigment of your choice and apply with bristle brush. Allow first coat to dry before applying another.

One Gallon Skim Milk
Two Cups Builders Lime (Do NOT use Quick Lime)
One Quart Linseed Oil (the boiled type)
1/2 Cup of Salt
Dye (Color) add in as needed

Mix all ingredients together and strain through a cheesecloth. Use within a day or two.

Powdered Skim Milk
Food Coloring

Mix just enough powder and water to create the consistency of paint. Add food coloring of your choice or make it various herbs and vegetables. Strain through a cheesecloth.

Original: http://kansaspreppersnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/04/homemade-paints.html

Walking away from the end of the Earth...

No one shrinks away from physical exercise like I do - and it shows. I have a bike with two flat tires covered in an inch of dust sitting in the basement. I also have a stationary bike sitting not too far away. I will be dragging the bike out this spring and at the very least will get it ready for use. Having a means of transportation that is not functional due to neglect, doesn't make a lot of sense and goes against my keen prepper's nature. Since I'm all about having options in times of difficulty, the soon to be repaired bicycle, has moved up a few spaces on the priority to-do-list.

Nothing beats your gas powered vehicle for transportation options during a crisis. You can move a lot of stuff and people great distances in a relatively short period of time. You and everyone else that is. In a large metropolitan area you can expect many times more traffic than your regular rush hour volumes during times when evacuation of the masses is needed. While getting out in a vehicle is still your best choice, having planned routes that do not use major highways and thorough fares may enable you to move at a quicker pace and with less obstacles such as check points, traffic accidents and vehicles that have run out of fuel in the middle of the crowded roadway.

For one reason or another, it may not be possible to drive yourself to safety. About the only guaranteed mode of transport that you can avail yourself of, are your two feet. Bicycles with saddle bags can be a relatively quick means of travelling somewhere. You can even load up a bike with all sorts of goodies and walk beside it pushing your hoard along. What I really want to talk about in this post is walking.

Like any other physical activity, actually doing it increases your stamina and conditions your muscles to the effort required for the activity. Just about everyone can walk to the corner store and back. Most people can walk a kilometer or two without too much difficulty. Most people however, have no idea how long it will take them to walk a kilometer or how many kilometers they can actually walk before exhaustion, blisters and/or dehydration make it impossible to go any further. If you do not know how long it takes to walk a kilometer, you have no reasonable way to determine how long any particular walking trip will take. Therefore, you can not accurately factor walking into your "bug out" plans.

"One foot in front of the other, gets you to where you are going." A quote from Swan Song by Robert R. McCammon. Walking is the quintessential means of personal mobility. As long as you are uninjured, have quality footwear, sufficient food/water and the means to clean and repair your feet, in theory you can go anywhere. If you haven't walked somewhere recently, you might find the task more difficult than you'd expect and you will probably be surprised to find out that you can't get there from here in the time frame that you would like. Add some extra weight in the form of a "bug out bag" and the difficulty of walking somewhere increases.

As we all try to save some money and do our part to help eliminate green house gas emissions, walking more makes sense. Start off with short tours around your neighbourhood - take the dog, they need to be conditioned too. Gradually increase the distance walked until you are able to walk for 5 kilometers round trip and not be too seriously winded when you get back home. 5 Km is almost 3 miles and you should be able to complete this distance in an hour. You should not be so winded that you cannot talk while walking and you should not be shuffling along as if every step will be your last. :-) It might take you a few weeks to reach this level of mobility but the effort is worth it in terms of your health and your ability to walk away from trouble should the need arise.

As with all exercise programs, if you have any concerns at all, talk to your doctor before undertaking an exercise routine. Try to convince other family members to join you on your practice walks. You and the dog will enjoy the company and the entire family will be more in tune with the neighbourhood and what can be found there. The stream running through the park is a water source you may not have know about, that field might be home to gophers and rabbits that might supplement your diet. Keeping an eye on the neighbours is always a good idea. Notice that Mr. Jones has put up a Ham radio antenna and the Smiths have a new wind turbine spinning on their roof. If you walk in the evening, often you'll see company vehicles in driveways that can give you an indication of what expertise lives close to you.

After you are comfortable in your 5 km walks, throw on your "bug out bag" and walk the route again. Not so easy this time is it? Alternate your walks with and without a load on your back. When you and your family are comfortable with 5 kilometers, strive for a longer distance every now and then to increase stamina. Your shorter daily walks will maintain the muscle mass necessary for the longer marches.

When everyone seems thoroughly bored with the local surroundings, plan a walk to a nearby campground if one is available within a reasonable distance. I'm fortunate where I live as there are two within a half days walk. Take your bug out bags with you to the camp ground. Set up camp, cook a good meal, discuss the experience around the campfire and get a good nights sleep.
The next day, take a cab home and restock the supplies you used.

By practicing, you will be confident that everyone can carry their own equipment. Everyone will be able to walk somewhere if required by circumstances to do so. You'll know you have the right equipment and supplies you need to spend several nights away from home. You will have the experience of living off of what you are able to carry with you. Not a luxury vacation to be sure, but you know that your shelter options work, food preparation is under control, extra clothing is appropriate for the situation and fire building skills provide warmth. Just as important as everything else, you'll know that your footwear is sufficient to allow you the option to walk away from trouble without trashing your feet.

[What have you done today to prepare?]

Original: http://ontariopreppersnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/04/walking-away-from-end-of-earth_21.html

Radiation Fallout Preparation

I love this title:
The Good News About Nuclear Destruction

I was able to get an old (but in good shape) civil defense kit for a little over $65 a few years back on Ebay...I got it from the ki4u.com folks, who have a lot of good information on their websites.

First, I'd recommend you read the myth-busting "You WILL Survive Doomsday"

Then, check out "What to Do if a Radiation Attack is Imminent".
Well, depending on what Iran, Israel, India, and Pakistan are up to, maybe you should check this out first :)

Then, check out this Radiation Shelter FAQ

Basically, in a nutshell, you can't do much about being in a blast zone, but you can easily take steps to avoid the fallout (which could result in 10X more fatalities than the blast itself). So, depending on the size of device yield, wind conditions, and distance, a healthy adult should really only have to hide under the lead blanket for 7 hours, in the basement for ~3 days, and can spend a limited amount of time outside after only a week or two.

The dust is the key, as this carries the radiation - put mass and distance between you and where dust collects around the base of your home, and keep from ingesting any (wash off food)...I personally plan to use some cheap plastic sheeting to make a 2-partition "changing room", where you would change into/out of clean clothes in the first one, and into/out of "dirty" ones in the second, outer partition by the outside door.

Also, keep your radiation dosimeter on your belt, and not your shirt pocket (more accurately measures the rads your guts are getting)...and even after it is safe for adults to go outside, carry children on your shoulders (to keep them above the radioactive dust on the ground).

The ki4u.com guys will sell a "Package" of pre-tested counters for $354.

What we have here: (not the package mentioned above...I got mine from them but they were much cheaper because they weren't tested with their Cesium-137 rad source)

2 Geiger counters + instructions (one with a remote sensor - very important unless you feel like taking some rads just to see how hot is still is outside). It is important to get the sensors calibrated against a rad source of known strength, which is on my to do list...looks like ki4u.com are offering a $48 deal on ebay.

(6) Dosimeters (charger is in box between the Geiger counters). They work by statically charging the tube, which draws a needle from "Lots of radiation" down to "No radiation". When you wear it in a radioactive environment, the charged particles pass through, and take out some of the static charge, thus moving the needle back to the "You are gonna glow" end of the scale.

(2) 2-week supplies of potassium iodide tablets. Much more important for the kids than adults (many more years to be irradiated from within). The KI works because radioactive iodine can be absorbed into the body, and concentrates in the thyroid...so the solution is to take a full dose of "clean" KI so any "dirty" iodine will not be absorbed by the body.

My personal plan is for the adults to take them for the first few days, then use the rest for the kids for an extended period.

(4) N90 dust masks. Again, it's all about the dust, and not breathing, eating, or drinking it.

Not pictured - Batteries...and you have those, right? RIGHT?

I also keep gloves, and a "bunny suit" for dust/dirt leftover from attending 2 C-section births (also good to keep in car in case you need to work on it in good clothes)...I don't know where to buy the paper suits but if I find out I'll post.

I know this is like a commercial for the ki4u.com folks, but they did provide a lot of information to the community, and you could do worse trying to find a reliable detector.


PS: Oh, and don't worry about suitcase nukes...if they ever truly existed (some doubt that), they are all duds by now:
1: due to specialized explosives that need to be serviced and replaced annually
2: the radioactive decay makes the beryllium sphere that reflects the radiation inwards to achieve critical mass too brittle.

Maybe if there's interest I'll write up a real post for that.

PPS: DISCLAIMER: I Am NOT an Atomic Scientist, and quite possibly don't know what I'm talking about. I could be stupid, crazy or both. Actually, don't listen to me. Please do your own research.

Original: http://pennsylvaniapreppersnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/02/radiation-fallout-preparation.html

Great Downloads (PDF)


PDF Downloads include:

* Foxfire Book 1 (40.mb)

* Net Making. (0.9mb)

* Construction Plans for a Folding One-man Kayak. (0.15mb)

* In The Wake. (12mb)

* How to make old clothes et al. (0.5mb)

* How to make soap (0.15mb)

* Walden (0.8mb)

* Woodcraft and Camping(1.5mb)

* 14 Foot Canoe Plans (1.2mb)

* Bushcraft Notes (9.5mb)

* Tracking (.08mb)

* US Army Survival Manual (FM 21-76) (2.7mb)

* Nature Observation & Tracking (.03mb)

* US Army Map Reading and Land Navagation (Field Manual 21-26) (.07mb)

* Knots & Splices (1.3mb)

* The Art of Travel by Francis Galton 1855 (23mb)

* Aids to Survival - Western Australia (.7mb)

* US Military Survival, Evasion and Recovery (FM 21-76-1) (3mb)

* Peter McLaren Axe Manual (1930) (3mb)

* Solar box cooking (.3mb)

* Article about the Ethics of Gatherings (1mb)

* Canadian Scout manual (1.6mb)

* Pioneering knots and lashings (2mb)

* Essentials of archery (2mb)

* Hunting with a Bow and Arrow (2.2mb)

* Blacksmithing (4mb)

* Woodsmanship (1954) (5.2mb)

* Handbok OVERLEVNAD (7.5mb)

* Experiments on Knife Sharpening (8mb)

* Camp Life in the Woods and the tricks or Trapping and Trap Making (12.8mb)

* Prairie Traveler (1.9mb)

Original: http://www.wilderness-survival.net/forums/showthread.php?t=6769

Audio Podcast: Is a Global Food Shortage Inevitable?

icon for podpress Episode-190- Is A Global Food Shortage Inevitable? [47:37m]: Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download

My view is yes, sooner or later it is inevitable due to declines in production and resources and expansion of population. I also think we should not engage in alarmism at this point either. Much like peak oil this is a real problem that will get worse but over a rather long period of time, not tomorrow morning.

Today we also briefly discuss the defection of Republican Arlen Spector and we do another swine flu (h1n1) update.

Tune in today to hear…

  • A news caster that should have his ass kicked
  • New swine flu cases in my back yard
  • Don’t take your kid to the doctor if they don’t have any symptoms just to be “checked out” DUH!
  • What we are learning about how people react in a SHTF right now
  • How Spector’s defection is meaningless
  • How politics is like pro wrestling - but it ain’t funny when it comes to our national leaders!
  • 6 of the last 9 years we have failed to meet demand with global grain capacity
  • What global trends are telling us about future food production expectations
  • Why grain is so important to the global food supply
  • Subsidiaries are not new, they are VERY old
  • Why food shortages can only lead to war sooner or later
  • 25% of US grain production will go to bio fuels in 2009
  • The grain used for biofuel could feed a half a billion people in India
  • Why we indeed may face water shortages soon - nothing to do with your Bermuda Grass
  • How we are depleting fossil aquifers
  • The powder keg of the US, Western Europe, India, Russia and China
  • How individual agriculture is the answer, large scale farms can not grow food that way
Original: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/survivalpcast/~3/9JenagEf4VI/episode-190-is-a-global-food-shortage-inevitable

Sorry for the downtime.....

My Brother & I decided to go camping the the Badlands for the weekend. :)

We will now resume our regularly scheduled program, already in progress.