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Monday, June 1, 2009

Practice Makes Perfect

Today I am going to link to a very informative site that deals with third world countries. This site has many many MANY how to articles on topics that may come in handy for preppers even here in the good ole USA. Topics range from agriculture, animal husbandry, fisheries, harvesting etc etc etc. Granted some of the topics would not be relevant to our country but once you start looking around you will find so much information that you can use that its worth putting the link in your favorites.

Better yet, if you see a topic that is relevant and speaks to a topic you want to learn more about either print it off or jot down the relevant portions and keep them with your survival library material.

Your prepper/survival library is a very important aspect of being prepared. If there are skills you do not have search out someone who does and ask them to teach you. If that is not an option get a book or research it on line.

It is wise to practice skills especially those that are not easily accomplished or that you need to brush up on. If there are skills you have that you know you are good at, offer to teach someone else.

There is truth to the old saying that practice makes perfect. You do not want to be relying on a skill for survival that you have only read about but never put to practical use by actually doing it. Can you build a fire with no matches? Can you navigate with a compass? Have you and your family done a dry run on bugging out? Do you have a means of communication with others? Can you construct a temporary shelter if need be? Can you smoke or dry meat? Can you make a snare?

Understanding something in theory is not the same as actually doing it. There is a thing called muscle memory that kicks in automatically when a skill is practiced repeatedly. For an example remember the first time you split wood by hand? You may have been clumsy and slow. Now you can whip through a wood pile like no ones business! The first time you shot a handgun you were more than likely clumsy and nervous. Now you can shoot, drop the mag, reload, shoot some more and there is not a lot of thought process like there was the first time you picked it up or drew it from your holster. You have taught your muscles the actions to perform that task with practice.

If there was a true survival situation the more skills that you have stored in muscle memory the better. These things become automatic responses. For example I live in Maine. We have snow. We have ice. We lose power at times. This past winter the power went out, but we expected it. We already had our water drawn. I had a thermos of coffee ready. We started a fire in the old wood burning cook stove to supplement the heat from the wood stove in the basement. The candles, lanterns, and flashlights were brought out and ready. The radio was switched to battery power so we could still get news updates and the day went on. It wasnt a big deal, these things were done automatically. There was no question of who was doing what, we knew what needed to be done and just did it. This is because the power goes out here a lot. The reaction and action is a learned response.

There is no time like the present. Create a scenario that meshes with your level of preparedness and put your skills to use. Dust off that book on building a shelter or a smoke house and actually do it. If you have kids, have them pitch in to help. Make a day or weekend of it and make it fun. The more things you are confident at the better equipped you will be when you need that skill to kick in automatically.

Original: http://mainepreppersnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/04/practice-makes-perfect.html

Canning that tasty Lobster

By Joseph Parish

During the Y2K scare I was determined to not only be really prepared but to do it in style. Now when I say really I mean really. I didn’t want to just survive. I wanted to do it in a style that I was accustomed to. I went out and purchased a 30 plus foot motor home specifically for Y2K and proceeded to equip it with the finer things in life. I stocked up on bottles of red and white wine (This was really a good excuse I think), cans of crab meat and of course lots of canned shrimp and lobster. It was not until later after Y2K that I discovered exactly how easy and economical it was to can my own lobsters in place of purchasing those cans which were already done.

The procedure involved is really quit simple and I would like to present the some of the information that I learned in this article.

Initially of course you must either catch or purchase your live lobsters. Heat a large lobster pot of water containing 2 tablespoons of salt added to it for every gallon of water you use. Bring this water to a boil and quickly plunge your live lobsters into it. Proceed to cook them for approximately 20 minutes depending upon their size. You will know when they are finished by their red color.

When the cooking of your lobsters has been completed remove them and rapidly dip them into some cold water. Proceed then to remove all the meat from the lobsters and then wash it carefully. Drain the meat well when finished and dip it into a solution consisting of ½ cup of vinegar to two quarts of water.

Take the meat at this stage and drain any excess moisture from it. Next pack the meat into clean sterilized half pint jars. Complete the process by filling the jars with brine to within ½ inch of the top leaving room for expansion.

The brine should be made with 1 ½ tablespoon of salt to two quarts of water. I like to use sea salt for this. Process the jars in your pressure canner at ten pounds of pressure. Half pints should normally be processed for 70 minutes. Don’t forget to properly adjust your pressure according to your altitude and the style of pressure canner you are using.

To reuse open the jars and rinse the lobster meat to remove the brine and salt. Flush it with clear water and you are ready to eat. The most difficult part of this canning procedure is making sure the lobster goes into the jars and not eating it first!

Copyright @2008 Joseph Parish

Original: http://survival-training.info/articles11/CanningthattastyLobster.htm

Conquering Montezuma’s Revenge


I had never heard of “traveler’s diarrhea” (commonly known as “Montezuma’s Revenge”) much less experienced it until I actually travelled outside of the US. Believe me, it was a true “emptying” of my soul experience.

Many travellers don’t even know about traveler’s diarrhea, but I am here to say that it is real. After a little research, I found out it is one of the most common travel ailments. Forty percent of those who travel to Mexico, for example, become victims of the “revenge”.

And you know all those “exotic” foods you picture while on the plane? You know, the little delis where the little cute puggy grandma is stirring and frying, well believe it or not, it’s those foods (and water) that are contaminated.


For the prudent and wise, however, here are some choice-worthy precautions:


Stay away from salads and fresh fruits!

Avoid dairy products like the plague. In many tropical destinations, especially off the beaten path, pasteurization or refrigeration is questionable at best. Oh, I almost forgot about the food that has dairy as an ingredient. You know what I mean. Like the batter the cute puggy grandma uses to dip and deep fry her eye popping delights — beware and stay away!

Don’t touch food that has been sitting around for who knows how long (even if the cute and puggy grandma winks at you).


Boil it, peel it, disinfect it or don’t eat it! Fruits that can’t be peeled (grapes, starfruit, etc.), please soak them in a mild iodine wash or bleach solution.

Water, boil it, filter it, or disinfect it! While travelling in developing countries, treat ALL water, unless it is purchased bottled water. Oh, don’t forget to check the seal, not because someone has intentionally added cynide, but because recycling has caught on in some areas and empty bottled water bottles could be refilled with tap water. Of course, carbonated water is the most tamper-proof.

Make sure you eat food that is steaming hot.


Take Acidophilus Tablets ~ For the proactive traveller, mosey on down to your local health supply store and pick up this genuine “friend to all travellers”. What is it? Acidophilus is a natural yogurt culture that can assist your body in dealing with bacteria. Another alternative, just eat yogurt.


Lastly, in your zest to be pure of contaminants, don’t dehydrate yourself. You need to drink water! Be careful, but don’t be stupid! One simple way to always be prepared is to carry iodine tablets with you. Drinking enough water helps you to stay healthy while traveling.


Now, be advised, traveler’s diarrhea is real, but there are ways to ensure that your trip doesn’t leave you stranded on the toilet bowl while everyone else is having a great time. Be a wise and prudent traveler!

Evan Hendrix


Evan Hendrix has traveled extensively and has lived many years in developing countries.

For Outdoor Equipment go to FreeOutdoors.com

For Survival Information Products visit OutdoorValueStore.com

Original; http://freeoutdoors.com/blog/?p=13

Wilderness Survival Foods

By Joseph Parish

When you become stranded or lost in the middle of the woods it is an encouraging thought that simply by looking around you can easily discover a vast multitude of foods. As a survivalist it is our responsibility to ourselves and to our families to be able to recognize and find these value food sources should we need them.

Granted most survival situations are not serious and are of short duration however it only takes one time to not have the proper knowledge. During these short duration emergencies the immediate demand remains shelter and potable water realizing that you have the knowledge to obtain food in the wild acts as a great comfort when lost even for a short period of time so be certain that you are up on these skills.

When in the wilderness you will encounter several basic different types of survival foods. Determining which type to use will depend upon where you are at as well as what equipment you have to work with.

Wild Berries represents the first group of foods you may encounter. This is also the simplest and easiest of the foods to obtain. Given the proper season you may possibly encounter several different berry selections to choose from. A simple rule of thumb to follow is if the berry looks or it tastes like a strawberry, blueberry or a raspberry then it must be one. For safety reasons most of the other berries that you may encounter you should be able to identify by looking at it. These berries would include June berries, wild currants, bearberries, bunchberries, wintergreen berries, wild cherries, blackberries, thimbleberries, rose hips and cranberries.

The second group of survival foods is those which originate from the water such as fish. It is safe to eat all of the freshwater fish found in North American waters. It is possible with little practice to catch a fish with your bare hands although in most cases this will not happen. Wait patiently as they swim by you and very quickly pin the fish to the bottom of the water with your hands. You may also chase the fish into a shallow pool of water and trap them there. If you happen to have an emergency fishing kit with you it is possible to use worms or grasshoppers to catch your fish.

Fish can be very evasive so in many cases it is easier to try and catch other survival foods within the stream or the lakes such as clams or mollusks which can easily be picked up. These are also easily prepared by cooking over an open fire. Crayfish can often be found crawling upon the bottom of the streams and the lakes or hiding under logs or rocks in the water. Keep in mind that the only usable parts of these crawfish are the tails.

Next we have the Insects And miscellaneous Bugs as a survival food. Be reminded that not all insects are can safely be eaten. If you do not know for sure which ones they are stay with wood grubs and grasshoppers. Grasshoppers can easily be caught by hand in any grassy field while the grubs can be found by opening up a rotting log. The survivalist on TV may eat them raw however you should cook and remove all legs and wings before eating them.

Birds represent another source of survival food in the woods. It is not likely that you will be able to kill or capture most bird unless you have a gun. The birds that nest upon the ground may possibly be obtained with the use of a well aimed rock while they are nesting. The eggs from the ground nesting birds can be a good survival food.

Once again although larger animals will be prevalent it isn’t likely that you are going to bag one without the proper weapon. It is extremely difficult to kill any of the mammals without some sort of gun. Don’t for one moment think that you could use a spear or other primitive weapon to obtain an animal for dinner. It only happens in Rambo films. I personally would not even recommend that you waste your time and energy trying.

The important point here is that you become proficient at finding food when in a survival situation.

Copyright @2008 Joseph Parish

Original: http://survival-training.info/articles11/WildernessSurvivalFoods.htm

Recipe: Traditional Trail Mix

Also known as GORP, it's a yummy treat to keep with you whether on the go, camping, or snowed in for a few days.

2 pounds M&M candies
1 jar peanuts (we use dry roasted unsalted)
2 cups raisins
1 cup granola
1 cup sunflower seeds

Add all ingredients in large (1 gallon or 2 gallon) sealable baggie. Shake to combine. Don't leave it out in the sun!

GORP: Good Ole Raisins and Peanuts
GORP: Granola, Oats, Raisins and Peanuts
GORP: Gobs Of Raw Protein

No matter how you make it or what you call it, it's still good eating!

Copyright (c) 2009 V P Lawrence-Williams

Original: http://www.survival-cooking.com/2009/04/recipe-traditional-trail-mix.html