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Friday, August 20, 2010

Getting Real, Thinking Basic and Realistic 2

Fish Hooks - A VarietyImage via Wikipedia
This sort of flows from a post I did awhile back. I read some more of FerFal's book yesterday. It has gotten me thinking. In particular folks so often think that by preparing for a super end of the world fit for a survivalist novel they are prepared for far more mundane and likely stuff. I hate to say it but one doesn't totally cover the other.

Case in point. Having a super whiz banger rifle with a 27 power scope and armor piercing bullets is great if the Illuminati/ Bildenberg/ NWO Army of foreign troops invades. However instead of working on hitting an evil invading foreign soldier in the face at 500 meters it might be better to work with your concealed carry pistol. Most interesting to me are people who have racks of rifles and cases of ammo sufficient to arm an Infantry Platoon but don't see fit to carry a handgun during the course of their normal affairs.

Also it amazes me that people skip over very likely financial problems or the need for an emergency fund in favor of some fishing hooks, sewing needles and such to barter if the world ends. Sorry but you can't pay next months electricity or insurance bill in fish hooks or sewing needles so you better save some damn money.

There is an interesting workout theory that says the less you like something the more you should focus on it. People like a certain workout for whatever reason so they do it more often and with greater enthusiasm. Then they get better at it so it makes them more fulfilled so they do it more, sort of a self fulfilling prophecy. Often for guys it is what I call "the bar workout". This workout is a sound scientific plan based entirely around working your chest and biceps, usually by doing lots of bench press and bicep curls. The entire point is to look muscular in that $50 Affliction T Shirt while flexing and drinking light beer at the bar. Men will be intimidated and women will swoon or at least that is their theory. The point is that if you hate running it is probably what you should focus on. If you hate doing body weight stuff then do it more.

Anyway in terms of preparedness I would say that there is an inverse relationship between how "sexy" and fantasy inspiring an item/ idea is and how much you should focus on it. For example soap is boring and not cool at all. The hero never saves the day in the survival novel with a bar of dial soap.  However you definitely want some soap. There are numerous legitimate and likely worst case scenarios where you won't need to fire a single shot or even have a gun but a spare bar of soap (or 200) are sure good to have. There isn't such a thing as a tactical can opener employment course but having a couple hand operated can openers lying around is sure smart.

Getting real will let you better allocate your limited resources and otherwise focus your efforts.

Seed Saving and Another Prepping Article

Hi everyone! Well, I got a shot in my finger yesterday (unpleasant!!), so this post will be shorter than I had hoped. Typing is a bit of a chore right now. First off did you see this article on Yahoo today? "The top foods you should keep in case of an emergency" was a pretty good, basic article. It's geared a bit more towards items you'll want in the event of a 3-4 day emergency, as opposed to a long-term emergency. Still, I think it's exciting when articles like this are written. Hopefully it's helping to wake up the masses.

If your garden is going strong right now, then you should be blessed with an abundance of foods which (I hope) you're canning, freezing, or dehydrating. If you've planted open-pollinated seeds, you can also be saving the seeds. Open-pollinated seeds are seeds which, when saved and replanted, will look and act just like the parent plant. Hybrid seeds are altered seeds which will either be sterile or will produce something different than the plant from which the seed was saved.
To save seeds like squashes and watermelons, simply remove and wash the seeds and then set them to dry completely. Pea, beans, and corn seeds need only to be dried and saved. Moisture is the enemy of saved seeds. Think of how a seed is when you buy it from a store; that's how dry you want your home-dried seeds to be. The pictures above are from peas that I grew this year and are currently sitting to dry.
Items like tomatoes have seeds that are covered with a gelatinous material that needs to be broken down before the seeds can be saved. Here is an article detailing one way to save tomato seeds.
Seed-saving will benefit you by assuring that, in the event of a seed shortage, you still have seeds to plant next year. It is a great skill to learn. It will also save you money and ensure that, even if you favorite plant is not being sold buy any growers, you can continue to enjoy it.
Prep On!
Gen-IL Homesteader
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Trail Hankies

A commenter passed these along on an old post; I found 'em cool enough to share with everyone. Trail Hankies are bandannas with maps, information and games printed on them instead of designs. My favorite is the Knot Essentials bandanna, but there's one for fish ID, general safety/survival, and a huge variety of trail maps for Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Check 'em out >

To read up on why bandannas are a versatile, must-have piece of EDC gear, read up on  the Multitalented EDC Bandanna.

Heatstroke tips for pets & horses

With triple-digit temps and higher humidity levels now due to summer and monsoon, please don't forget about the critters...

Heatstroke tips for Pets

-- Never leave your pet in the car on warm days. The temperature inside a car can rise very quickly to dangerous levels, even on milder days. Pets can succumb to heatstroke very easily and must be treated very quickly to give them the best chance of survival.

-- If you cannot immediately get your pet to a veterinarian, move it to a shaded area and out of direct sunlight.

-- Place a cool or cold, wet towel around its neck and head (do not cover your pet's eyes, nose or mouth).

-- Remove the towel, wring it out, and rewet it and rewrap it every few minutes as you cool the animal.

-- Pour or use a hose to keep water running over the animal's body (especially the abdomen and between the hind legs), and use your hands to massage its legs and sweep the water away as it absorbs the body heat.

-- Transport the pet to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Tips for a horse

-- Move him to shady area (or erect temporary shade over him) and spray with cool water.

-- Place an ice pack on the jugular vein to help cool blood as it circulates and/or put some cubes in a rag or sock and tie to the top of halter. (If you put a wet towel over a horse's head to cool him down, do NOT cover his nose since they are nose breathers!!)

-- Offer him fresh water and put some close by to drink. Watch for signs of dehydration too (e.g. sunken eyes, panting, dark red or dry, sticky gums, etc.)

American Veterinary Medical Association
SAVE YOUR HORSE! by Michelle Staples

Join the "Dealing with Extreme Heat" discussion on AZPN forum -- tips for humans too!

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When the Electricity’s Out, Try an Unexpected Power Source (UPS)

High Resolution black and white photo of a com...Image via Wikipedia
We all know how common it is for electricity to go out as a result of thunderstorms. It’s an inconvenience none of us wants to experience. My friend Bruce in Canada came up with a nifty idea for having light during a recent power outage, and it made his neighbor curious. How did he have light?
He connected a lamp to the UPS (uninterrupted power supply) of his computer.
Bruce said a UPS is essentially a storage battery and inverter, so he thought he’d experiment. He tried light bulbs of various wattages and found a 15 Watt compact fluorescent bulb lasted a little over two hours. A five Watt LED bulb lasted five hours. Low wattage bulbs gave light comparable to that of a candle.
He also powered his cordless phone to call the power company when electricity was out. He doesn’t have a cell phone, but thinks a UPS might charge one in such a situation.
You can click here to view Bruce’s recent blog post for more info on his experiments with light bulbs.
If you need a UPS for whatever reason, check out the variety of UPS brands and models available at Batteries.com. Click on the ad banner below. On the home page you can search for a UPS under Devices. Then choose the manufacturer and model.

1000's of Batteries in Stock, Ready to Ship!

What do you think of Bruce’s idea? Have you tried any similar experiments? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.