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Friday, April 30, 2010

Another Coleman Lantern for Preps

Yeah, yeah, I know. It's a sickness. We're having neighborhood garage sale through the end of the week-end and my neighbor called last night and said he had a Coleman lantern I could have first shot at. He wanted $3 but it's a garage sale so I haggled with him and finally settled on $5. It's a May, 1972 model 200A.

If you pick any of these up here are a couple of tips for you.

1. Tap the tank. If it rings then it's a good empty tank. If it thunks, then it either has rust or fuel in it. Take the cap off. If there's no fuel, put it down and walk away. If you can see that it has slight rust inside then dump 40-60 BBs and a little fuel in it and shake the daylights out of it. The BBs will shine it right up. The hardest part of this is getting the BBs back out.

2. Always check the air intake tube. It's a favorite spot for spiders to build nests and they will choke the airflow right off. I've found about half of the lanterns have them. I use some braided automotive wire, skin about a 1/4 inch or so and bend the wires backwards. I insert it into the fresh air tube and it will clean out any webs inside. If the lantern flares up and won't burn correctly, suspect a spider web.

3. Never store a lantern with gas inside the tank. For some reason it causes moisture and the tank will rust. Always empty the tank and let it dry out before storing it.

Here are some before and after pics of the latest addition to the preps family.

As purchased....

After about an hour. Completely disassembled, cleaned and reassembled.

And what it's supposed to do...


3596829214 93ddeb6cbf m INSTANT SURVIVAL TIP:  To Do vs. To Buyimage by koalazymonkey
Every family I know is cutting back on extra spending.  When your goal is preparedness, though, the fact of the matter is that money is required if you’re working on food storage, making trips to the shooting range, or buying a generator.  What might help, when times are tight, is to have two prepping lists.

To Buy 

On this first list, keep track of what you want to purchase.  Create sub-categories for food, camping supplies, tools, communication, fuel, and the like.  To make the lists even more useful, prioritize what you want to purchase first.  Then, keep the list with you always.  You never know when you might drive by a garage sale and see a perfectly fine generator sitting there with a price tag of fifty bucks or a case of Y2K era MREs for ten.  Your lists will keep you from making spontaneous purchases for things that, you discover later, you already own, and will help you stay on track.

To Do

This second list will likely be longer but will keep you from getting discouraged when a tight budget puts that To Buy list on standby.  On your To Do list, list the books you want to read or download.  List all the things you want to learn.  List the names of people who can teach you survival skills or just how to install a ceiling fan.  If you haven’t compiled everything you need for a Bug Out Bag or 72 Hour Kit, add that to your list.  You probably have nearly everything you need for those bags right now.  Add “decluttering” to your list!  That’s one of the most important things you can do, it won’t cost a dime, and if you put all your unwanted stuff out in a garage sale, it just might give you some cash for your To Buy list!  Have you made an evacuation plan?  Have you gathered together all your important documents for a Grab-n-Go Binder?  Have you printed out important survival information for your Survival Mom binder, just in case your computer crashes or you lose power?
I think we all get caught up with the idea that to prepare, we have to spend.  When the money just isn’t there to spend, then we feel doomed!  As you can see, though, your To Do list is actually the more important list.  Knowledge, skills, and experience are priceless.  It’s every bit as important to stock up on those as it is buckets of wheat.
© 2010, thesurvivalmom. All rights reserved.

Make a Garbage Bag Shelter Part of Your Survival Kit

by Leon Pantenburg, Survival Common Sense
I’m not sure how the early settlers along the Oregon Trail or the western frontier  got along without duct tape, WD-40 or trash bags, but life surely would have been easier with them!
Trash  bags, in particular, are included in all my survival kits. They have a multitude of uses, including being containers for picking up trash! But in an emergency, when correctly used, trash bags can prove a quick, temporary shelter from the elements.
I first noticed this trash bag shelter use  at an Iowa State University football game in the early 70s. The weather got really bad during the half, with snow, rain and wind. But one row of die-hard Cyclones pulled out a roll of plastic trash bags, cut holes for their heads and arms, and weathered the storm. I don’t recall how the football team did!
Since then, I’ve taken shelter in trash bags on a variety of outdoor activities. Trash bags are particularly valuable on hunting trips, because a large bag gives you a place to lay meat while you’re butchering.
trash bag shelter1 Make a Garbage Bag Shelter Part of Your 
Survival KitThis 55-gallon trash can liner can provide a quick emergency shelter. (All photos by Peter Kummerfeldt)
Obviously, if you anticipate bad weather, be prepared for it, stay home or take along a  lightweight, four season backpacking tent.  But, c’mon, how many of you are going to lug around a tent on every outing? Most of us will carry it a time or two, and eventually, the tent will end up getting left at the trailhead. Then, some day late in the afternoon, you realize you’re lost or in a survival situation. You’ll have to  build some sort of shelter before it gets dark.
Reality shows to the contrary, you probably won’t be able to build a shelter out of natural materials, says survival expert Peter Kummerfeldt.
“I believe it is impossble for the survivor to build a waterproof, windproof shelter from natural materials,” Peter writes in Surviving a Wilderness Emergency Make a Garbage Bag Shelter Part of Your Survival Kit.  “Shelters made from natural materials require time, natural resources, a cutting tool and a fully-functional survivor who has practiced building emergency shelters in the past! The survivor needs a waterproof, windproof shelter now!”
Large, heavy grade (3 or 4 mil) 55-gallon drum liners can make a good short term shelter. But don’t just crawl in and hunker down. Like any survival technique, you need to prepare and practice to use this shelter.
“Totally encapsulating yourself inside a plastic bag is not a good idea,” Peter advises. “Apart from the need for oxygen, the water vapor in the air you exhale, and your prespiration, will condense on the inner surfaces, and you will get quite wet.”
trash bag shelter2 Make a Garbage Bag Shelter Part of Your 
Survival KitInclude an insulated pad for sitting upon, because the plastic bag doesn't have any insulation.
To avoid this problem, cut an opening in the closed end of the bag with your survival knife or the scissors  on your multi-tool  just large enough to allow you to pass your head through. The bag is then passed over your head until your face aligns with the hole and the moist air is exhaled outside.
To make the hole, Peter advises cutting the plastic at a 90-degree angle along a seam about five inches below one corner. The hole should be just big enough to pass your head through when you are getting too warm.
This shelter  technique very well. In Boy Scout Troop 18, we keep a roll of 45-gallon plastic bags from one of the local tire stores. Each scout takes one on hikes or campouts, in case they need to improvise a shelter, rain poncho or pack cover.   The smaller bags are just the right size  to cover the little guys from head to toe.
Trash bags for shelters are easy to come by. Your local hardware store will probably have contractor-grade 45 and 55 gallon bags. You can also look in the storage area. I found 55-gallon, 3-mill bright yellow bags, designed to cover furniture  for long term storage, that will work quite well as shelters.
Color is another consideration. I prefer blaze orange or bright yellow to help rescuers find me. But if you want to avoid being found, just get the standard black color.  Get in the shade of a tree, under a black bag and you will be pretty well camoflauged. A large white bag, also in the shade of a tree, will allow you to blend in well with snow.
I carry several tire bags, along with an orange 55-gallon heavy duty bag as part of my Ten Essentials survival kit and my hunting gear. My orange bag already has a head hole cut. In a pinch, per Peter’s advice, I’ll stick my feet in a smaller bag, pull it up around my waist and pull the orange bag down over me.
Also, as recommended by Peter, I always carry a piece of insulite foam for sitting upon. The plastic bag provides no insulation, and the cold ground will suck the heat right out of you. The padded, warm seat will make waiting to be found much more comfortable!
Obviously, an emergency shelter is just that. It is designed  to be used in an emergency, and nobody ever claimed a trash bag shelter is the best choice under any and all circumstances.  But a trash bag is light, will give you a waterproof shelter from nasty weather, and is compact and light enough to be taken anywhere. Remember this thought when you’re putting together a survival kit, bug-out bag or a set of wilderness or urban survival tools:
No piece of survival equipment is worth anything if you don’t have it with you!
© 2010, thesurvivalmom. All rights reserved.

Survival Meal Planning

cooking in desertImage via Wikipedia
When faced with a survival situation, one of the basic things that will be required is regular meals. Regular meals will be necessary to maintain proper nourishment and nutrition. You will be expending energy and will need to plan for regular meals to help avoid stress and fatigue. This makes meal planning essential if supplies or resources are limited after a crisis or disaster.

Tips for Survival Meals

1) Keep the meals simple and plan as many “one-dish” meals as possible.

2) Use recipes that don’t require special cooking equipment or preparation.

3) Limit yourself to one pot or one pan when preparing a meal. Less clean-up effort is needed afterwards.

4) Use simple and very basic ingredients. Using complicated recipes will only add to the frustration and stress of a survival situation.

5) Plan daily meals ahead of time but be flexible in case circumstances change and smaller meals (rationing) become necessary.

6) Include meals in your planning that can be eaten “as is” for those times when cooking a meal may not be possible.

7) Avoid cooking extra. Left-overs will perish quickly if power sources are out and proper conditions to prevent spoilage are unavailable.

8) If you do have left-overs, they will probably need to be eaten as quickly as possible and should be incorporated into the plans for your next meal.

9) Use only tested recipes and food items that you know family members will eat. Avoid experimenting with new recipes in a survival situation.

9) Don’t be afraid to repeat the use of basic food items in your meals.

10) Include some “survival snacks” for variety and nutrition.

Keeping things simple and uncomplicated during a crisis or disaster will aid you in your survival efforts.

Got survival menu?

Staying above the water line!

Oatmeal Apple Crisp

Oatmeal Apple Crisp
I had some Granny Smith apples that were slightly past their prime, so I thought it was a perfect excuse to use some of my food storage oats for something other than oatmeal.  I found this simple Oatmeal Apple Crisp recipe and “voila!” the apples were transformed.  I couldn’t snap the picture fast enough before it was being served with scoops of vanilla ice cream.  Since oats will store for 30+ years, in proper conditions, I don’t think we can have too many ways to use them!
I love that this recipe is fast and easy!  The only change I would make next time  is to add chopped pecans to the topping.
3 C. sliced apples
3 Tbsp. flour
1/4 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (I think Apple Pie Spice is even better)
1/8 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. water
1/2 C. rolled oats
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 C. butter (I used Smart Balance)
1/3 C. brown sugar
Combine apples, flour, 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, 1/8 tsp. salt and water. Place in a greased casserole dish (I doubled the recipe to fill the 9 x 13 pan).
Cut the remaining ingredients together with a pastry blender and sprinkle over the top of the apple mixture in pan. Bake 35 minutes in 375 degree oven.