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Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Fresh Ingredients
1/2 cup butter
1 medium onion
4 leeks
Storage Ingredients
2 cups powdered milk
2 cups potato flakes
2 cups water
3 cans chicken broth (15 oz. each)
Here’s another simple food storage recipe that used a portion of my long-term supply (potato flakes), my three-month supply (powdered milk and chicken broth), and fresh ingredients (butter, onion, and leeks) to prepare a NORMAL family meal.  AND IT WAS SO EASY!
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After cutting the dark green tops off of the leeks, I sliced them lengthwise in order to carefully wash away every spec of dirt. It only took about one minute to run the onion and leeks through the slicing blade on my food processor. Then I tossed the veggies into a pan to saute with the butter until just slightly browned.
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Next, I poured in the chicken broth and water. When it was nice and hot I stirred in the powdered milk and potato flakes. Garnish with a little grated cheese and you’re DONE!
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A happy worker is a good worker.
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A Guest Post from Ancient Dragon - Prepper Peeves!!!

Hi. I’m the Ancient Dragon. I’ve been around a long while in the preparedness thing, and I thought I should perhaps give back a little of what I’ve gotten over the years. I don’t claim to have all the answers, or even most of them. But I do have lots of opinions and I’m enough of an egotist to think some of them might be worthwhile to share, if only as a starting point for conversation and debate. So here goes:

My pet peeve: Bugout Bags. Or 72 hour kits if you prefer. I’m talking mostly about the type of bugout bag designed to be carried in a backpack, not in a vehicle. I’ve recently been watching a few people on Utube sharing the contents of theirs, and I’ve developed a list of the 10 dumbest things I’ve seen in bugout bags. Here they are:

10. Glow sticks. You’ve seen these. Smack ‘em or crack ‘em, and a chemical reaction produces light. Why are they dumb? Because they are single use, non-directional light. Far better to carry a battery flashlight that you can turn off or a hand cranked one that doesn’t need batteries at all. With those, you can actually shine the light at what you need to see!!!

9. A large bottle of hand sanitizer. It was so big, this bottle must have weighed two pounds. If you need to keep clean, carry baby wipes, individual cleaning wipes, or even alcohol pads. Maybe the chap had a fear of germs, but even a two pound bottle of hand sanitizer won’t last him forever.

8. Camouflage anything. Packs, hats, pants, shirts, jackets, binoculars….the list goes on and on. Now camouflage is good, but two things come to mind here.

First, in Manitoba you would need a minimum of two camouflage patterns and a set of whites to even begin to cover the seasons, and that is both bulky and expensive. I also want to point out that the colour palette of the camouflage, even if right for the season, say, green for summer, might still not match the background green for a variety of reasons. Worst camo ever? The guy displaying his desert camo clothing in the woods. Not as camouflaged as he had hoped….

7. Cup of noodles. Two problems here. You’re packing empty space, of which there is never, ever enough, and depending on the brand, you may not even get that many calories from it. There are far better food choices out there.

6. MREs or IMPs. Lots of calories, but the weight is hellish. Two IMP lunches can weigh an amazing FIVE pounds! I know because I have been stupid enough to carry these hiking. They are meant to be kicked off the tailgate of a truck, not carried around by people.

5. Food in cans and jars. If I see another can of tuna fish or brown beans come out of a bug out bag, I’m going to scream. Again, weight penalty is the problem here. Though I admit it is better than the guy on Utube carrying a glass jar of his favourite spagetti sauce. Honestly, have these people thought about buying a dehydrator?

4. Hollow handled survival knives. Especially the Ramboesque ones with saw-back blades that don’t saw anything. The knife blade will separate from the handle if used anything like a survival knife will be used, leaving you without knife and life. But your corpse will be the coolest ever with one of those knives!

3. A can of WD-40. The gentleman’s stated purpose was to be able to lubricate the mechanism of his folding knife. Because they jam so often, you know…..

2. A Wal-mart machete. For cutting through the vines in Virginia. Because it is a jungle out there….. But giving him the benefit of the doubt in that he needs to cut his way through brush, a Wal-mart or Canadian tire machete is too light and has too poor an edge to do the job. If you really need a machete, get a real one, not a cheap imitation.

1. And the single dumbest thing ever? A full sized spray can of deodorant.

So there you are. 10 things I thought were silly to carry in the context of a 72 hour bag. What have you seen that you wouldn’t carry? Or maybe you disagree with some of my opinions?

Making your own Peat Pellets...with toilet paper rolls and egg cartons!

Are you tired of paying hard-earned money every year for peat pellets in order to start your seeds? Me too!

I am not sure where I first found out about this crazy idea - but some internet searches demonstrated that there are tons of people out there using toilet paper/paper towel rolls and egg cartons instead of peat pellets!!! I could kick myself for not thinking of this on my own!!!

So get ready to learn how to save money, re-use toilet paper/paper towel rolls and egg cartons AND have a bunch of fun!

This is a very technical process so make sure to take notes - bahahaha!!!

What you'll need:

toilet paper rolls and/or paper towel rolls (and now that i think of it - Christmas wrapping paper rolls would work too!)
egg cartons
potting soil (either bought or made with your own compost!)

Let's start with the toilet paper/paper towel rolls!

Cut the toilet paper rolls in half...the paper towel rolls can be cut into 3 or 4 sections. Next, make 4 slits about 1 inch long on one side of the toilet paper/paper towel roll.

Fold the slits in the same way that you fold a box.

Here it is flipped over.

Fill the toilet paper/paper towel roll with soil.

See - I told you it was pretty technical! Again - I could kick myself for not figuring this out sooner!

Now get ready as we are going to go through the technical process of using egg cartons.

Remove the tops from the egg cartons.

Tear or cut the individual cups apart.

Fill with soil.

Pretty simple eh? And both the toilet paper/paper towel rolls and the egg cartons will fit 3 to a baggy so that you can still use the "MMpaints baggy method" of starting seeds! (For more info on the MMpaints baggy method, go here.)

Stay tuned for more seed starting adventures!

Survival Q&A – Where to Start?

Q: One of our readers asks……. I like all the info you provide. What would you recommend for someone who has no experience whatsoever in survival? & doesnt even know where to begin? Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of stuff about being prepared and it’s making me nervous that I’m not prepared. Where & how do I begin? Thanks.
A. Start with the Basics….. I would start with the basics. You need Water, Shelter and Food to survive .


  • Make sure you have plenty of water stockpiled at home. I recommend a Gallon a day per person, and you should have no less than a weeks supply of bottled water on hand at all times
  • Invest in a good Quality Water Filter. Without water, your as good as dead, and if you do find water without the proper filtration you still may be in trouble. We recommend the Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter.
  • Make a list of all the place where you can find water during an emergency. Check out our article on Emergency Water sources in an Urban environment.



And one last thing, Study and Practice, Practice, PRACTICE!!!

The return of 72-hour kits

"By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail."- Ben Franklin I received a comment on my 72-hr kit posting two days ago. Thank you! It's great to know there are readers out there.
While I think there is more agreement than disagreement in the comment, it's also apparent that my main point was not clear enough.
I'm completely in favor of stocking up and preparing supplies for emergencies at home, in your car, and at home. My concern is that the concept of a "72-hr kit" is an oversimplification to preparedness that misleads the average person into thinking they are prepared when they are not. Even the name is bad as emergency home supplies need to last more than 72 hours.
My objections reflect the common person who buys or makes a simple kit, loses track of it in the basement for years, and THINKS they are prepared. It's treated like a lucky rabbit's foot for protection. "I own one, therefore I'm safe." But when push comes to shove the 72-hr kit is not used, unusable or inadequate. Real disaster kits must be customized to personal needs and available at all times and resupplied.
I can't even say a 72-hr kit is "better than nothing" because it may amount to nothing when needed (not found or expired). It can give a false sense of security. It's like having a smoke alarm, never changing the batteries, and then leaving candles lit everywhere because the alarm will keep you safe.
When I wrote my first post, my wife & I had just met with local church leaders whose primary idea of preparedness was to make sure everyone had a 72-hr kit. At the same time they admitted they had lost track of and never refreshed the kits made at church years previous for their families. Another admitted that the amount of food in his kit (as specified by the official kit list) would never last him 3 days. There was much less interest in skill training - the kit would suffice for the welfare and protection of members.
Bottom Line
72-hour kits are only a first step towards preparedness, not the end of the journey. For kits to be useful I again recommend:
1. "72-hour" kits are for the car and office (not the home). I can only think of one use at home - when you have to shelter in place inside one room for gas/bio attack or tornado. If that room is your supply depot - all's well. If not, grab a kit from your car.
2. Customize your kits for your appetites and needs like medicines and diapers.
3. Include copies of important documents in the kit. Include some money.
4. Stock your home with 3 months of food, water and first aid supplies. A "72-hr" kit is for when you are stranded away from home base. It should not be your primary supplies.
5. Supplies must be backed up with skills. I own a chainsaw but fear to use it. It's dangerous and I'm not skilled in its use.