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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Survival Files are offline

Just when I had it up and running, I had to switch routers and now I'm having some issues setting up the port forwarding for the FTP.

I'll post if/when I get this resolved.


Prepper Burnout – Identify and Combat It

Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa season is here (thanks to those supporting SHTF Blog by using the Amazon search bar for shopping) and if you’re a SHTF Blog reader not finding joy in the season, it might be a sign you’re on the verge of prepper burnout.
From the Ranger Man Book of Doomsday Definitions:
Prepper Burnout (noun) – the act or process of exhausting mental, physical or emotional energy through intense focus and preparation on/for a collapse in social order, natural disasters, pandemics, economic troubles or other problems that could put an individual’s life or livelihood in danger.
It can happen to the best of us, and anyone following this site from the beginning knows that it happened to me. After updating the site 7 days a week for nearly a year and a half, I found my outlook on the world was changing. I began to see daily life through a TEOTWAWKI lense as I searched for post material and signs The End was upon us. Prepping consumed me and I burned out, sold the site off, took a very long break until I eventually recovered and bought SHTF Blog back, ready to enter the prepper world again in hopes of leading you all toward apocalyptic preparations.
I learned from that experience and now have a healthy balance between preparing for difficult times and enjoying daily life. The two can coexist for the more veteran prepper, but many newcomers are susceptible to prepper burnout. Take Melinda for example, who used to author Prepper’s Home Journal, a blog on prepping. She brought Chad Person’s Underground Bunker to my attention. Want to see her site? It’s gone. The last post I read from her she was asking readers for advice about how to combat prepper burnout. It’s safe to assume the Melinda’s blog treated her the same way SHTF Blog treated me, an intense focus on prepping that corrupts your daily thinking. Melinda was a victim of prepper burnout.
Are YOU on the road to prepper burnout?
You could be on the road to prepper burnout if you:
  1. Only read news articles that cover bad, negative or pessimistic material and you ignore counter arguments that pose a more encouraging outlook.
  2. Don’t see the beauty and pleasure in daily life, because your thinking is focused on The End.
  3. Spend your spare money on securing preparedness goods and spend budget nothing for personal entertainment.
  4. Visiting preparedness websites on a daily basis puts you in a sour mood.
Prepping is important – don’t burnout!
Ways to combat prepper burnout:
  1. Recognize that people have been preparing for the end of time since the beginning of time. While doomsday could strike tomorrow, it’s quite unlikely.
  2. View prepping as a hobby. This has worked well for me since my burnout. Everyone needs a hobby. I could collect stamps, baseball cards, become a television junkie, play video games non-stop OR I could prepare for uncertain times through skills building, gardening, reducing energy needs, etc. Prepping is a practical, worthy hobby. Since seeing prepping as a hobby with real world benefits, I decided to update SHTF Blog 5 times a week, not 7, and I sought the help of Jarhead Survivor so the full weight doesn’t land on my shoulders.
  3. Find a healthy balance. Prepare for social collapse and social order at the same time. It is wise to spend money on food and water storage in case catastrophe strikes and it is also wise to put money aside for retirement in case it does not.
  4. Focus initial gear and food purchases on those that have use now, not just under times of trouble. By this I mean, buy items that have a dual purpose, things that you can use now. Nothing is more disheartening than spending a ton of money on an item that only sits on your SHTF shelf waiting for the day it will be needed. You begin to think, “Why did I do that?” If you can use the item now, you’ll find the purchase worthwhile. The same goes with food. Buy foods you eat daily to start, build a backup supply of those foods. You KNOW you’ll eat them, just rotate stock. Add items like freeze dried foods later.
  5. Take a break. Focus on something else for a while until you have the energy and interest to return.
These are just a few suggestions. Have you suffered prepper burnout and come back again? If so, what worked for you?
- Ranger Man
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How to Repair a Torn Grommet

Grommets seem to show up in all sorts of outdoor and survival gear, from tarps and tents to truck tie-downs.
Guest post by Julie Anne Eason of SeriousSewing.com
They’re handy when they work, but all too often they tear out of the fabric. Many people will just sigh and replace the entire item, or hope it will hold for just one more camping trip. But if you catch these little buggers in time, you can repair them as good as new. Better than new, actually.
The trick is to catch the tear early, before the grommet has ripped through the edge of the fabric. So, it’s wise to check your grommets every time you use your tent or tarp. Look for signs that the fabric is creeping out away from the metal.
how to fix a torn grommetLook for signs of grommet failure

Here’s how to replace the torn grommet.

These techniques work for any fabric using grommets–plastic tarps to canvas tents.
Step 1: Remove the old grommet. This can be tricky, you’ll probably need a pair of pliers and maybe some tin snips or bolt cutters. Try not to tear the fabric any more than it already is.
Step 2: Assess the damage and repair. If the hole is still intact and hasn’t ripped through the side of the fabric, you can simply replace the old grommet with a new one. In a survival situation, though, you may not have access to any fresh grommets or setting tools. Don’t worry, there are several ways you can improvise.
  • Use 2 layers of thick leather as a replacement grommet. Just sandwich the hole between two layers of leather. Stitch around the leather and punch a hole in the center where the hole belongs. You’ll either need a heavy duty leather sewing machine for this, or a stitching awl, leather needles and heavy thread.
fix torn grommetUse stiff leather for your replacement grommet
  • Another alternative is to place a metal washer or ring over the hole and hand stitch around it using heavy weight waxed linen or kevlar thread. Beware though, use metal that won’t rust if you’re putting it next to canvas. Rust will rot through canvas over time.
  • Finally, you can simply sew a buttonhole stitch around the entire hole. If you’re working with canvas, this will create a sort of “self-grommet”. It’s very strong and has been used for centuries in corsets and ship sails.
sew torn grommetA quick button hole stitch can be just as strong as a metal grommet
So, what do you do if the old grommet ripped through the side of the fabric and the hole is no longer intact? Your best bet is to create a large patch out of canvas or nylon webbing and sew it over the hole. Stitch it down securely, zig-zag back and forth several times. You want the patch to feel like part of the fabric. Then just punch a new hole and either add a fresh grommet or use one of the improvisations listed above.
Don’t let a torn grommet ruin your next camping or canoe trip. It’s a simple fix and often your repair will be stronger than the original.
Julie Anne Eason is a freelance sewing and craft writer. You can reach her through her website SeriousSewing.com where she writes about Brother sewing machines, sewing cabinets and professional irons like the Miele B990 rotary iron.