In my opinion, these are the best of the best of survival and preparedness articles gleaned from the 'net.

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Friday, August 27, 2010

GUEST ARTICLE Bread vs Grain Stored

Wheat flourImage via Wikipedia
GUEST ARTICLE
Bread vs Grain Stored
By: Yukon Mike

Topic: Food Storage

Date: August 1, 2010

Bread, an Important Survival Food

You can’t stock-up on bread because it’s perishable. If the stores are closed due to a disaster or the shelves are empty due to long term food distribution failures. What’s your option? You must bake it yourself.

Bread is important because it’s filling and good for you. During disaster times it also adds bulk to your stored food meals and makes you much more satisfied at the end of the meal because your belly is stuffed full.

If there are just 2 or 3 in your family and for a familiar survival mode meal plan you probably will bake the equivalent of 4-6 loaves of fresh bread or bread items every week. That’s 2-3 loaves per person per week for the average family of bread and baked items. Imagine breakfast without toast, a grilled cheese sandwich without the bread or a burger without the bun, even simple soups taste better with a slice of bread or dinner roll.

Learn how and then bake bread every week even in the good times as there’s nothing better than home made, chemical free bread. It’s easy and you will be eating healthier than ever because you know what ingredients are in it!

Now that you’ve been faithfully storing wheat grain for the future. Do you know how many loaves of bread can be made from your stored grain?

You finally have 400 pounds of wheat grain in you’re survival stocks and you’re happy because you think you reached your goal with the grain storage portion.

Well have you?

What about all the needed ingredients to turn that stored wheat grain into bread?

For this example let’s say your plans are to make just bread from that 400 lbs. of wheat grain stored. Yes, there are many other dishes you can make from wheat berries but for this example we will focus on just bread. 1 lb. of wheat grain milled will make one loaf of bread and from what you have stocked, the 400 lbs. you can bake 400 loaves of bread.

Now the surprise; Here’s what else you need (besides a mill) to bake 400 loaves of bread.

The total amount of ingredients that must be stocked to bake 400 loaves of bread:

400 lbs. wheat grain (1 lb. per loaf)

37.5 gallons of water (500 cups)

42.5 lbs. of dry milk powder (200 cups)

47.5 lbs white sugar (100 cups)

3.2 gallons of oil (400 ounces)

8 lbs. dry yeast (400 tablespoons)

1.6 gallons of molasses (400 tablespoons)

10.6 lbs shortening (400 tablespoons, greasing the pans)

200 lbs. of propane needed for baking in an RV oven (½ lb per baking cycle, baking a single loaf).

300 lbs. of propane needed for baking in a full size oven (¾ lb per baking cycle, baking a single loaf).

(If baking 2 loaves at a time reduce total propane amount by ½, 4 loaves will use just ¼ the total amount)

Standard Survivalist whole wheat bread recipe to make one loaf:

3½ cups fresh milled grain (2 1/3 cups of kernels)

1¼ cup of 100-105 degree water

½ cup dry milk (optional but is preferred; use ½ cup dry milk into the 1¼ cup of water and reconstitute)

¼ cup sugar

1 tbs molasses (optional, it removes the sharp taste of fresh home milled wheat and makes he bread taste better)

1 oz oil (2 tbs) or melted lard or shortening

1 tbs yeast

1 tsp salt

1 tbs shortening to grease the pan with

Directions:

In a bowl add ‘all’ the dry ingredients except the dry milk and thoroughly blend together.

Reconstituted the dry milk in the water, add the oil and warm to 100-105 degrees.

If using a mixer attach the dough hook and add the liquids and blend. Once all the ingredients are combined into a dough ball then machine knead the dough for about 5 more minutes.

If mixing by hand, once the ingredients have combined then aggressively hand knead for 15 minutes.

I do not let the dough rise in the bowl as I’ve found through baking hundreds of loaves it’s just not necessary. I take the freshly kneaded dough and shape and place it in the greased bread baking pan.

Let it rise in the pan until about 1 inch above the top of the pan (about double in size).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees then bake for 25-27 minutes.

Personal Notes:

When baking whole wheat bread from your own home milled flour, be patient as the first few tries may have disappointing results. It’s not like using all-purpose white flour at all. It may take 10-20 try’s before you get it figured out.

I bake bread at least every other weekend using fresh milled wheat grain and I recommend you do the same for the practice plus it’s good for you. Practice now while you’re not under pressure. Trust me once you mill and bake your own it gets addictive and you won’t be buying supermarket bread anymore.

I use the ‘Family Grain Mill’ steel burr type because, for one I can power it with my KitchenAid mixer and the other reason it comes with a hand crank for manual milling. This is important because grid power may not be available or affordable during SHTF.

When milling the grain, the flour produced needs to be a fine as possible to allow gluten to form and gluten traps the co2 from the yeast which makes the bread rise. I mill my grain twice on the finest setting and I just get by with it. However, when I purchase my next mill it will have interchangeable steel burrs and stone burrs as stone burrs will produce the finest flour possible.
Rising height of the dough will be less. Fresh milled flour using steel burrs is not as fine as commercial milled flour and because of this does not raise the same. Expect about ½-¾ the rise and 4-6 hours for the rise to complete. Expect a denser bread texture.
Oil in the recipe can be substituted with melted shortening or melted lard.
Dry milk is not required and can be omitted, but it does make a difference in taste and texture. I would expect many of us will be short of dry milk during an extended disaster so water only will be fine in any bread recipe.

Molasses: I’ve been baking with fresh milled grain and eating it daily for several years now. In the beginning I noticed what many people said about eating only fresh milled whole wheat bread. It has a sharp or slightly bitter but not unpleasant taste and the stomach isn’t real happy with it day after day. Through my many recipe experiments I tried light brown sugar in place of white sugar. Bingo! The molasses in the brown sugar masked the sharp taste; the stomach liked it and actually makes the bread taste better!
Brown sugar doesn’t need to be in your food storage plan. You can make it yourself by using the molasses you already stock for other recipe uses.

Recipe for ‘Light’ Brown Sugar:

To make ¼ cup of light brown sugar:

¼ cup white sugar and 1 tsp molasses

Recipe for ‘Dark’ Brown Sugar:

To make ¼ cup of dark brown sugar:

¼ cup white sugar and 2 tsp molasses

Wasting Time And Procrastination

No Video GamesImage via Wikipedia
By Flea - Be A Survivor
People just love to waste time and procrastinate. Why do something now that you can pretend doesn’t exist till tomorrow? Why not spend countless hours in front of the boob tube or playing video games? The answer is simple organization and preparation. The more shit that piles up, ultimately you are that less productive as a person.

I see this at work all the time people wait until the very last minutes to get tasks accomplished and their day quickly becomes a clusterfuck of horrors. The boss gave them something a month ago that is due tomorrow and bammo…emergency happens and the time you thought you were going to use to finish the task is now gone. Guess you better go drop another 7 bucks on a latte as you are going to be working late Daniel-son.

The best thing to do at work and in life is to tackle things as you get them. You get a bill? Take 5 minutes and pay that sucker now and mail it out…don’t wait until there is a stack…mentally is less traumatic on your brain because you won’t see you bank account drop like the bomb on Nagasaki once every month. Those dribs and drabs are easier to live with (even though it is all mental). You get an email, answer it now; you get handed a task, start work on it immediately; you have a chore, do it now. You will quickly see that all of this organization and lack of procrastination will result in two magical things happening, the first being your stress level will drop tremendously, the second is you will have more free time…I guarantee it!

Beware of time wasters, the biggest being the boob tube. Now don’t get me wrong I do watch some TV but I keep to the stimulating stuff like History Channel, Discovery Science, Travel Channel, DIY, etc. Keep away from stuff that is just brain numbing, like Snoki and those asshats from Jersey Shore (makes me embarrassed to admit I grew up there). All those stupid shows should be banned as far as I am concerned. Nothing good can come of your kids seeing some illiterate, promiscuous, fucktard being handed her own clothes line and writing a book about her nonsensical life…they’ll think that is the right way to go in life. Get your kids reading as early as possible and keep them away from all the garbage on TV. Kick there asses outside once in awhile too, our kids are fat but have the strongest thumbs of any nation on the plant from playing non stop video games. Unless thumb wresting becomes and Olympic sport we are screwed.

I know you think I am full of crap but it really does work. I use this stuff at work all the time and in my personal life. Not wasting time or waiting around for a sign from God to finally start working on something will help you live a happier stress free life.

My wife and I have a lot of this stuff down to a science, I made and initial investment of time into managing our finances and now because I have everything documented and in Quicken…bills take a matter of minutes. We plan our grocery shopping and we use list to make sure we stay on target; this has helped us save money. Our preps are in order and all of my equipment is clean and ready to rock should I need it. How did I do all these? Staying organized, avoiding time wasters, and not procrastinating.

...that is all.

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Pellet Rifle Hunting, by D.M.

A group of BBs (0.177 inches (4.5 mm) diameter...Image via Wikipedia
Due to financial circumstances I found myself living out of the back of my pick-up for several months on public lands in South West mostly BLM and NF mostly. Just before setting out I sold most of my belongings in a yard sale that netted me just over $800 dollars. This money would have to be rationed wisely over the summer, most went for fuel. Don't think I did not look for work anywhere I could, what I found was it was depleting my resources with no results. I finally moved onto public lands with the idea of hunting, fishing and gold panning (which did payoff) until the economy started to make a come back.

On my first trip into Wal-Mart to get supplies, mostly rice, beans, tea, flour and so forth, I made my way into the sporting goods section. What I found shocked me, .22 ammo had almost doubled in price since the last time I purchased some, not to mention the shelf was almost empty, I ended up with 100 rounds of CCI Hollow Point. While walking around I came across the Pellet and BB gun supplies, since I had my Crossman 2100 Classic pump in the truck I decided to purchase some BBs for plinking around camp.

My first couple of weeks was spent near a small spring (more like a seep) and I think it was the only water for miles. Every morning and evening it was frequented by all the game in the area, dove, quail, rabbits and so on. While plinking the the first evening with my Crossman 2100 a group of birds was making their way down to the water, I jumped up and slowly made my way to the water hole . Once there I got myself into position and awaited in ambush for their arrival.  They finally made their way into the open and I picked off two of them with only six pumps of power, it shoots a lot quieter that way. That night the feast was on, from that point on it was in my hands everywhere I went.

Over the entire summer it became the SOP to scout the area for small game while checking my various snares, dead falls and to my mining spot. That BB gun put at least 70% of the meat on the spit over my fire throughout the summer. The only time I considered my .22 was when the Javelins where in the area and or deer and yes a well placed shot will drop either one if one was in a survival situation.

After returning from the field and taking up Tee Pee living now, I have given it a lot of thought after reading Rawles's novel “Patriots” and what I have on hand. A Pellet gun as a true survival weapon and here are my conclusions. Living in the field for a while really proved out my gear, sadly and expensively most fell to the way side but the Crossman 2100 turned out to be an unlikely sleeper candidates for one my personal top 10 gear awards! Here is my rationale:
1. Reliability, it never failed me and I went through half of my 6,000 BBs in the container at an average of 6 pumps per shot = 18,000 pumps. I oiled the seal once a week. Before pursuing this adventure my guess would be my kids put 50,000 plus rounds through this gun and that would be a conservative estimate.
2. Accuracy, what I found out after about 500 or so shots was I was no longer consciously using the sights within 25 yards and that is where 90% of the critters were bagged.
3. Handling, this is an area it really shinned. Weighing only 5# loaded with a couple hundred BBs it was a joy to tote everywhere. Another plus is the Crossman 2100 Classic in configured to real gun dimensions and handles as such. Pumping becomes unnoticeable and more like a second nature type thing.
4. Critter "bagability". Before reading on, please read your State's game laws on hunting with a pellet gun. I believe we are all here for the same reason and that is to share ideas and experiences that will better our quality of life in a TEOTWAWKI situation. So with that said, birds @50 yards, rabbits cleanly @30 yards, turkey's @25 yards with head shot and 10 pumps, raccoons and skunks @10 yards with 10 pumps and head shot, squirrels cleanly @25 yards with head shot. This one area a pump rifle really shines is 5 to 6 pumps on birds and 10 pumps on bigger stuff, having variable power is a nice plus. Speaking of variable power 3 and four pumps bagged numerous large lizards and monster grasshoppers for the spit also! Here I should also mention a BB does almost no damage to the meat at all no matter where it hits.
5. Stealth, many times I hunted near primitive campground areas without raising an eyebrow and most often if you missed you get a second shot.
6. Tactical trainers. After returning from the field and switching back to my AR-15, M1A, and my [Ruger] 10/22 I noticed my shooting skills had become quite honed. Everything from muscle memory of bringing my weapons to shoulder, breathing and trigger control and an instinctive sight picture was ingrained. Even just overall handling and field manipulation was enhanced.
7. Which type of air rifle?
In a survival situation I would not want a single stroke type rifle for several reasons:
a. Excessive power and report
b. Excessive weight
c. Their limitation of shooting only pellets. (I mostly shot BBs. I used pellets only on bigger game.)
d. Not sure how one would service in the field
CO2-powered air rifles are also a "NO GO" just because of the need for CO2 cartridges!
I think a good pump air rifle in the best option for practical long term survival in the field . I like the Crossman 2100 because it handles and looks like a real gun and later translates the muscle memory to my big guns! I have since replaced the seals only because I want it to keep on ticking and I also got an extra set and put them in the butt stock. It does have a couple of cons one being it is has a susceptibility to altitude, the higher up the more you have to pump. Next is the cold has a similar affect as altitude and vise versa they shot hotter in the heat. Take time to learn your guns quirks, mine took two extra pumps early in the morning in compared to the mid day heat.   
At the Fort, I get to sit out on my back porch and plink almost every evening and when I want to bag a squirrel or quail for dinner, I crack a window and shoot from a position back in a room for tactical practice. In the winter I practice a lot of different shooting positions in the house. Breathing and trigger control are the main focuses. Using the Crossman has worked out so well for training purposes, I have since purchased a Airsoft Model 1911A1 look alike pistol for indoor CQB practice.
Modifications I would recommend on a air rifle:
a. Take it apart and become familiar with all the parts and clean up all sharp edges in the process.
b. Use a pull thru type cable and use some Flitz to polish the barrel, this really enhanced the accuracy on mine. [JWR Adds: Beware of using abrasive bore cleaners. I recommend using mild bore cleaners and patches, and taking plenty of time, rather than trying to rush the job . Also, be very careful to carefully to keep the cleaning rod aligned, especially as the rod tip enters or leaves the muzzle. That last two inches of rifling is crucial to good accuracy.]
c. In the buttstock I store an extra set of seals, roll pins, rear sight elevation blade, and my cleaning kit with some Remington Gun Oil.
d. I painted mine with Coyote Brown Dura-Coat after coming back from the field.
e. If I were to put any kind of optic on it, I would choose a Bushnell Trophy TRS 25 Red Dot, they have a 3,000 hour battery life. Many times in the field I wished I had something for dusk type situations.
The Cost! The Crossman 2100 Classic retails for $62.99 and can probably be purchased on the web for less. With the countless hours spent on mine I can't think of a more fun or less expensive way to bag some critters and get weapons manipulation practice.

In my ammo tests, BBs were my preferred ammo due to cost and availability. With BBs I can shoot a 1" group @25 yards, but that is with shooting on a daily basis. Pellets only give me more accuracy at longer ranges say @50 yards and have much better penetration which is required on bigger stuff. My preferred pellets are Beeman Crow Magnums, they hit really hard and I have bagged several Jackrabbits with 50 yard head shots.  

Did I mention the general public and LEOs pay almost no attention to an individual with a BB gun?

Earlier I wrote about cooking over a fire. After all the stories from people "living" out there on public lands, they said their number one problem was Rangers and LEOs and most of it stemmed from having a camp fire. Most of the west gets shut down in what they call the fire season with good reason. (Idiots who don't know how to clear a fire ring and tend a campfire safely.) All of my fires were made in a Scout pit and extinguished immediately after use. I lived as if were behind enemy lines. Some would say it's a SOP in a TEOTWAWKI situation, but I say it's here already. What I mean is this country is not the way I knew it and one's preps should be geared as such!

More Talk About Water…SODIS


SODIS water disinfection in IndonesiaImage via Wikipedia

With all the solar activity this past week and more on the way we are going to continue some options for living off the grid, just in case. A major concern is always water. For those on a well this is crucial to survival and for those relying on municipal systems there may also be days or weeks when the treatment plant is not operating or not operating at full capacity. After hurricanes, wild fires, earthquakes, tornadoes etc. there will be time when the water is flowing but has been contaminated. No problem, unless there is also no power to boil before your drink.

Have you heard of the SODIS method? Solar disinfection (SODIS) was developed in the 1980’s to inexpensively disinfect water used for oral re hydration solutions used to treat diarrhea. In 1991, the Swiss Federal Institute for Environmental Science and Technology began to experimenting with the SODIS method to treat water in third world countries where water was often tainted and making the population sick. The World Health Organization has now approved this method of purifying water.
A combination of UV rays and heat causes the destruction of disease causing organisms.
SODIS is a simple and inexpensive method of purifying water using solar light. Purifying water can be expensive if using propane to heat water to boiling. During an emergency using precious bleach may also not be a viable solution. SODIS water disinfection needs only plastic bottles and sunlight, making this a task you can even delegate to children.
SODIS method steps:
1. Clean clear PET bottles. Get into the practice of storing some of your water in clear plastic juice bottles and you have this covered. Even individual commercial water bottles can be reused for this purpose so do not discard them during an emergency once they are empty.
2. Filter water through a clean cloth or cheese cloth to remove any foreign material, insects, debris, etc.
3. Fill bottles with filtered water and tighten cap.
4. Place bottles in direct sunlight for at least 6 hour if sunny or two days in cloudy situations. To increase efficiency and water safety place bottles on a reflective, metal surface. A mylar survival blanket works well for this purpose.
5. Store water in these bottles and drink from the bottle or pour it into a clean cup.
Simple. Be sure you leave bottle in the sun the entire time as there is never a guarantee that all organisms have been killed. Err on the side of too much sun.
Benefits of SODIS are:
Proven reduction of viruses, bacteria, and protozoa in water
Proven reduction of diarrheal disease incidence in users
Simplicity of use
No cost
Water tastes good
Drawbacks of SODIS are:
The need for pretreatment, filtering water.
Length of time required to treat water
Only small amounts can be purified at one time.
Need to prepare ahead and have bottles and a reflective surface on hand.
Not 100% effective if every step is not completed.
SODIS will not remove chemicals from water so never use this method if you suspect there are any chemicals in your water source.
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Back issues: Totally Ready Newsletters July 2009- June 2010
My discussion with Doctor Prepper all about food storage part 1. .http://www.blogtalkradio.com/doctorprepper/2010/07/08/doctor-prepper-show
Doctor Prepper show all about food storage part 2. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/doctorprepper/2010/07/20/doctor-prepper-show
Talk with Halli: food storage and current financial outlook. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/idahotalk/2010/07/16/hfalli-friends


Disability and Medically Challenged Preparedness

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Disability and Medically Challenged Preparedness

When planning your emergency kits for your family, you should remember to consider any medical needs and supplies to assist anyone in the group with disabilities. This should include the obvious like keeping medication stocked up and rotated. Be sure to keep the stocked up meds as fresh as possible. It is a good idea to discuss your preparedness plan with your medical team. They may be able to help you clear a supply of meds ahead of time with your insurance company. Keep all medication in a cool, dry place, or refrigerated as per the manufacturer's directions to keep them fresh, safe, and usable. Lock them up if possible and keep the key on your regular key chain so you don't misplace it. Rotate the medications out each month. When you fill a prescription, take the new prescription and put it in the medicine box and take out the oldest prescription and use that for the current month. This will ensure a fresh supply of medications at all times. Also consider allergy medicines, vitamins, etc. that are not taken daily, but could be needed in an emergency situation.

Make a list of the challenges you would face for a month in a camping-like environment, then make a list of what would make it more comfortable and sustain you during a time of crisis. It could also include things you might not think about like walking assistance, flotation assistance, and so on. Remember in times of crisis medically challenged people may need even more care, as it would be easy to panic when your safety is uncertain and you are not able to help yourself. Being prepared ahead of time will ensure you feel more in control and are more able to stay focused. Those with mental and emotional issues requiring medications should also be sure to maintain a fresh three-month supply of medications in a safe location with the emergency kit. Do not be ashamed that you need these; in a stressful time, going cold turkey off these types of medications can really derail you, and the crisis situation will not make it easier. Having a good handle on it with your medical team will help you relax and focus on the crisis at hand with a clear head.

If you can, write down the things you do on a daily basis for a week or two. Write down everything you do and use, then you can apply this to help you decide what supplies and tools you need to empower yourself during a crisis. Think of ways to improvise in an emergency and ask others for ways they have overcome in a pinch. Write down your ideas and make plans with your support team if you need help leaving your home. It might even be a help to make use of speed dial by putting those in your support team into your phone. If a crisis comes, you will not be too flustered to remember or to find the important numbers needed to help you. Think of other ways to set yourself up ahead of time for seasonal issues also, such as getting grippers for your shoes, or a cooling pack, fast heating hand and body warmers, and other items that would help you in extreme weather if you are without electricity.

It is very important to make a plan if you yourself have special needs or you have a child with special needs. A well thought out plan can ensure there is less panicking when a crisis happens. There are also many online forums that can help you make more informed decisions on planning for a crisis when you have disabilities. It might be helpful to find a group and to bounce ideas off others in the same type of situation before you finalize your plan. You can then review it with your support team before you are done.

3-Day Emergency Kit

Also consider your friends and neighbors when you are preparing for yourself. Even if you are able bodied, you may have a neighbor who is elderly or disabled who may need your help. You may be able to work out a plan with them where you can share resources in trade for assisting them where they need help. As difficult as a crisis can be, it can also bring a community together; thinking of the positive effects will encourage and build a community. Staying calm and positive will prevent rash decisions and forgetfulness that can make or break a situation. Share ideas and encourage each other to make a safety plan that fits everybody's needs and everyone will feel more secure.

--Wendy from Ohio

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