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

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Sunday, October 31, 2010

How to tie the jug knot for carrying water bottles

From: http://survivaltoday.net

While it’s good practice to bring your own reusable water bottle when you’re going out, sometimes it’s just not possible to do so. What if you need to drop by a convenience store before you’re going outdoors to buy a bottle of water? It’s not easy to carry around a commercial water bottle – it’s flimsy and it’s slippery, and you have to either keep it in your hand or put it in your bag.
In this video, Kevin The Paracordist shows you how to tie a jug knot so you can carry the water bottle in a sling fashion.

 

Of course, having a couple of extra feet of 550 paracord when you’re out and about doesn’t hurt.

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Making it on One Income

 

From: Survive the Worst

In the not too distant past many would argue that it is impossible for a family to survive on one income. However, recent developments on the political and economic landscape is forcing those same people to reconsider their previously held convictions.
People that I personally know would get angry when first confronted with the fact that our household was a one income family. "I don't know how you do it, there's no way I could survive if we both didn't work," was, by far, the most often repeated answer but my favorite was the one which eluded to marital responsibility. This one always made me laugh as they would shake their heads, counseling me, on the way things are supposed to be. "Marriage is supposed to be a 50/50 deal. You are supposed to share the burden with your wife," and on and on they'd go. (Side note- most of the people who lecture me on my wife's duties are now divorced.)
Regardless of how my situation made those around me feel, the reality, that something wasn't quite right, forced us, a family, to make a dramatic change in our lives. For the first eleven years of my son's life we were a typical, two income household, straddled in debt, with our child well on his way to becoming a latch key kid.
Up until this point, everything was going as planned. We were living the American Dream; house payments, car payments, credit cards; even our son was excelling in school as he received the honor roll on nearly every single report card. Things were going great. Until I started looking at things at little deeper.
Our son had just graduated from Elementary school and I forgot what made me check but I realized that my son could barely figure out simple mathematical problems. Here was a repeated honor roll student who had never given us a moments trouble in school and he could barely add and subtract. Instantly I wanted to know how he could wrangle his way through school and NO ONE noticed his math deficiencies. I felt like I was a failure as a parent.
Then I began to research and stumbled across more than one sad tale of students who managed to receive a diploma and were nothing more than functional illiterates. We realized that something dramatic needed to happen. After a period of intense soul searching, we decided that my wife should quit her job and home school our oldest. That was 1997 and we haven't looked back sense.
I would be lying if I said it was the easiest decision we have ever made. The truth is that it has been a life of sacrifice. The standard of living we once had is now a distant memory but I feel we are much better off. We now have two of the finest gentlemen one could ever hope to meet, and they both know how to add and subtract.
As for the sacrifices, they were at first hard to swallow. The first to go with the uncontrolled use of our credit cards. Gone were the days of instant gratification. Then we slowly eliminated the purchasing of all that stuff that the TV pitchmen attempt to con you into buying. Slowly but surely we departed from the lifestyle of hyper consumerism into a slower, less materialistic life. Finally we began to attack our debts and slowly have whittled them down to the point that we now control our lives. Do you want true freedom? Then get rid of all of your debts. Below is a few suggestions I have for thriving in a one income home.
1. Turn off your TV. I  slowly began watching less TV. This was not a concentrated plan. It happened on its own. I really have no idea why I stopped but I have noticed that my desire to consume (buy) all of the latest gadgets has dropped off of a cliff. My wife recently asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I honestly couldn't name one thing I wanted. Eliminate the commercials, eliminate the false desire to acquire.
2. Create a budget and stick to it. The entire spectrum of economics can be explain in this simple phrase. Spend less than you make. Control your spending and justify everything you buy.
3. Thou shall not covet. Forget about trying to keep up with your neighbors. Buy only what you need and determine if the cost for your wants are really justified. Either way, always buy for cash. If you can't afford to buy for cash right now, you don't need it.
4. Use Coupons. Work the sales papers and use coupons to maximize your savings at the grocery store. Plan your meals and buy strategically.
5. Grow your own food. For whatever reason fresh vegetables are more expensive than processed ones. If your not gardening now, you need to start. Learn as much as you can about growing your own veggies.
6. Learn to hunt and fish. Never pass up an opportunity to acquire fresh meat and fish. In the long run, wild game is far better for you than food raised in a factory.
This short list is an excellent foundation to build your self sufficient lifestyle. I'm sure many of you have tips that will far overshadow the ones I present. Feel free to share your suggestions by leaving a comment.
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Lessons from Alas, Babylon: Barter Goods

TEOTWAWKI Blog

Days into the apocalypse, staples and basic items start to disappear. Gasoline, sewing needles, shaving razors, thread, coffee, alcohol, sugar, flour, matches, lighter flints, ammunition, and later on, salt. 

Several months in, the lack of salt turns desperate, with a salt starvation setting in amongst the population of Fort Repose.

"Since July, he had been unable to trade for salt anywhere. In Marines Park, a pound of salt would be worth 5 pounds of coffee, if anyone had coffee."


The lesson: stock up on these items while they are cheap and readily available.

Small, cheap, non perishable items are the easiest to stock up on. Bic Lighters, cartons of matches and packs of lighter flints are a buck or two at the grocery store. Sewing needles, thread, bottles of rubbing alcohol, cotton balls, petroleum jelly, hand sanitizer, N95 masks, razors, screws, nails, safety pins, etc. are similarly inexpensive. These items will not go bad, will be difficult/impossible to replace post-collapse, and are useful if things never goes south.

Bulk supplies of food stuffs should be kept for your family's use and generally not barter unless you have excess storage room. Salt is one exception--50 pounds of table salt is around $8-$10 at Costco, and boxes of Morton table salt are usually around $1 at the store. It lasts forever, and has a multitude of uses beyond simple seasoning--preserving meat, saline solutions, and more. People generally only have single box of salt at home, so it will be in high demand quickly post-collapse.
Don't go nuts stocking up barter supplies for a possible TEOTWAWKI survival scenario. Don't fill your home with useless crap. Don't waste money--buy things that you will use if the world doesn't end, buy things that are on sale, use coupons, hit the dollar store, and so on. But $10-$20 a month spent wisely on inexpensive, compact hard goods adds up quickly. After six months to a year, you will have a sizable cache of goods on hand, for use in good times and bad. 

Polar Shift and Earthquakes Today

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polar-shift-inner-outer-core


The increase in the number of strong earthquakes today may be related to the phenomenon of polar shift, and are both byproducts of Earth’s turbulent and boiling liquid Iron outer core, roiling around a solid Iron inner core as hot as the Sun and spinning faster than the rotation of the planet itself.
The Earth’s mantle and crust are floating on top of a stormy sea of electrically conducting molten Iron which produces the planet’s magnetic field by something called the Dynamo effect. The north magnetic pole was first located in 1831 and has been regularly tracked up until the most recent measurement taken some time ago in 2001. During that time the pole has moved an amazing 1,100 km. In fact, since 1970 the pole has been moving much faster, from 10 km to 40 km annually, an incredible four fold increase.
Map of magnetic polar shift since 1831, from the office of Geomagnetism of the Geological Survey of Canada.

polar-shift-pole-position


It is unclear why there has been no mission to physically locate the north magnetic pole since the last observed position in 2001. There are only estimates as to its present location.
Since the speed of its movement has sped-up by a factor of four during such a short time, it might be reasonable to wonder if its speed has continued to increase since 2001. Seemingly the incentive is there to check.
Polar shift is caused by substantial changes in movement of the molten Iron outer core.
Dr. Tony Phillips of Science News – NASA has stated the following details… About 400 polar shift reversals have occurred during the past 330 million years while the average interval between reversals during recent geological times has been about 200 thousand years. The Earth’s last field reversal occurred 780 thousand years ago and we are apparently way overdue.


Most evidence gathered from analyzing certain types of rock indicates that a polar shift reversal process may take 1,000 or up to 8,000 years to complete. However there have also been reports of the process completing itself much, much faster than that, the most famous account being from measurements taken of lava rock at Steens Mountain, Oregon which indicate that the magnetic field had been shifting up to 6 degrees per day during one particular polar shift nearly 16 million years ago.


plar-shift-field-reversal


The polar shift process itself is of concern not only for its effects on the earth such as volcanoes and earthquakes, but if the behavior is such that the field first reduces to zero before rebuilding itself, the Earth will be exposed without sufficient defense to solar radiation, which would be disastrous. In fact, the present day magnetic field is rapidly weakening according to some scientific experts.  There are several theories about how a reversal would take place, some still maintain protection from the sun while others do not.
We know that the present magnetic polar shift is occurring rapidly, and we know that this is a result of a changing tumultuous outer core. We might conclude that this cause-and-effect might be contributing to other observed changes on the planet surface such as tectonic plate movement resulting in more earthquakes today. So far during 2010, we have observed a significant increase in earthquakes, particularly in the higher magnitude ranges. Everything we are seeing here lately regarding magnetic polar shift and earthquakes today may all be related and may be reflections of changes that are occurring deep beneath our feet.



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Modern Survival Blog

EDC Bag: What to look for?

I'm a self-professed bag whore, though I don't have the vast collection that some do. I love looking at bags, shopping for 'em, etc., but when it comes to making purchases, I'm pretty selective. I seem to get a fair number of questions from people hunting for the ideal bag, so I thought I'd post some recommendations to keep in mind during your hunt.
  • Why are you buying this bag?: What purpose does it serve, what will its mission be? Laptop-hauling EDC bag? SHTF grab-n-go bag? Active shooter bag? Have a specific purpose in mind--it will dictate the features that you need.
  • Keep Your Environment in Mind: Is this going to be a bag to take to the office? School? Or only for bugging out? Office bags will need to be somewhat professional looking, school bags can be more tactical and not draw much notice and anything goes for a pure bug out bag.
  • How much space do you need?: Are you going to use this for over nighters? Do you need to carry a laptop and five textbooks in it? If you need to carry a fair amount of stuff, you'll need a backpack. 
More after the jump!
  • How quickly do you need to be able to access the contents?: Messenger bags and other shoulder bags allow you to quickly access their contents while keeping the bag on. To get to the stuff in a backpack, you have to stop, take it off, etc. If you need fast access, a shoulder bag is the way to go.
  • How far will you have to carry it?: The further you have to carry it, the more important good straps and suspension come into play. If you're just carrying it a hundred yards from the parking lot to your desk, this isn't a huge consideration.
  • What's your budget?: You can spend $20 or $600 on bags.
  • Organization: How much internal organization do you want/need? I love bags with admin panels and little electronics or sunglasses pockets.  
  • What brands do you like?: Buy a bag from a brand that you trust, and one that you think looks cool too. Don't buy knock-off crap because you can't afford the real deal. Good bags last a long time, so don't be afraid to invest a bit.
For general EDC, I would recommend a quality messenger-style bag if you will carry under or around 10 pounds of gear. Messenger bags are easy to carry, easy to get stuff out of, and just generally pretty damn handy. I've heard good things about Timbuk2 and Chrome bags, and have a Mountainsmith messenger that's about 5 years old and still going strong. If you're on a budget, the Jack Bauer bag in the "Recommended Items" section on the right is a pretty great bag for around $20. I lean more towards black/subdued bags that blend in well.

In our laptop-centric world, those will most often be a big source of your weight, and may dictate the kind of bag you carry. A fullsized laptop plus cords usually weighs in at around 5.5-7.5 pounds--add a 32 oz water bottle and a few small essentials and you're getting into backpack territory. I know you CAN fit a lot into some messenger bags--I've done it--but do you want to carry that load very far? I mean ya, in some kind of get-home scenario, you could leave the laptop behind...but if your bag sucks to haul around on a daily basis, what's the point?

Much more than 10 pounds and I would recommend a backpack. I've done the 20 pound messenger bag, and it sucks for anything longer than a short walk. My current EDC bag is a Camelbak Urban Assault, which has worked well for me.

What's your EDC bag? Your favorite bag of all time? Looking at picking up something new? Drop us a line in the comment section.

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