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Sunday, January 30, 2011

January 2011: A Month in Review

I thought I'd try something new this year.
A bit of a review each month of how the blog is doing and so on......

Traffic has picked up to around 400 hits a day. Yaaaaay! :)
Thank you to those who have spread the word about the blog.
Please tell your friends, etc.
If you have a website that you think complements my blog, please feel free to contact me to trade links.

1 donation for the month. Oh, well. Times are tough all over.
If you do wish to donate, there is a Donate button on the left hand side of the page.
If you wish to send something via snail mail, please contact me for my address. Every little bit helps.

A big thank you to my loyal readership. Without you, there is no blog.


Survival Retreat Drinks

By Joseph Parish
When it is time for you to escape to your established retreat you never know exactly how long you will need to remain there. It could be perhaps as little as a month or in dire cases you might maybe be there for a year or more. In either case drinking nothing but water can quickly get old and become boring. 

My suggestion on this issue is that you plan on storing up a few other instant drink mixes as well. I have personally included sufficient supplies of coffee, various teas and a selection of powdered juices and drinks specifically tailored to family member’s tastes. 

In my pantry you will find a good selection of herbal teas some of which are designated for medicinal purposes while others are merely tasty to drink. I keep a small selection of canned as well as bottled juices on hand, several containers of powdered milk, hot cocoa mix for my wife and plenty of containers of Kool Aid. We have drinks which are commonly found in the grocery store such as Tang and even some that are more difficult to locate. 

My go kit contain individual drink mixes which you merely open and dump into a bottle of water. Nothing could be easier. In this way I merely have to provide cases of water in my BOV instead of a large collection of soda bottles or cans.

When I was explaining this process to a small group of preppers they posed a question in my direction. They wanted to know how I managed to store my teas for any long periods of time. They indicated that the boxes which the tea comes in were really very inadequate for long term storage. I too must admit that this observation was very accurate. In the past I have taken the tea bags or the loose tea out of the boxes and placed it into small half pint jars along with a single oxygen absorber. This method may not be the most efficient way to accomplish the task but in all aspects it appears to work just fine. 

In the case of the Kool-aid mixes or the tang I leave them in the original containers they were purchased in. as long as they are not opened they remain dry and useable for a long time. Once opened the drink mix should be used within a short time frame. The problem stems when moisture is allowed into the container. The product then gets lumpy and so hard that you may as well toss it in the trash.

In order to keep your coffee from going stale you should consider storing them as beans. Place them in a quart canning jar along with an oxygen absorber and they should last a good many years. Take and grind the beans as you need them.

In conclusion, water is a necessity of life but nothing in the rule book says that we can not flavor it to make it more appealing. Think carefully on your drink plans as you prepare your food storage at your retreat.

Copyright @2010 Joseph Parish

Raising Chickens

What do you need to raise chickens? – The Basics of raising chickens.
Before the days of Walmart, raising Chickens was a pretty normal thing to see. Even in the city people would keep chickens as a way to have fresh eggs and control bug problems.
With more people turning towards organic foods and backyard gardens, raising chickens is starting to increase in popularity again. From knowing where your food came from to making sure your family has fresh food during an emergency there are a number of reasons that people are deciding to raise chickens.
Free Range Chickens Roaming in a field

Benefits of raising your own chickens:

  1. Fresh Eggs – Up to 200 a year per Hen
  2. Fresh Organic food free of pesticides and chemicals.
  3. Chickens are a great way to keep bugs from infesting your garden
  4. They produce good nitrogen-rich manure that, when mixed with your compost is great for plants.
  5. Great for weed control.

How to get started:

While there are a couple breeds of chickens that produce eggs and meat, most chickens are bred either for their meat or for their eggs.
For the beginner we recommend either buying a couple of young female chickens that have just started to lay eggs or a few baby chicks that have already hatched. You could also buy fertilized eggs and keep them in an incubator until they hatch, but baby chicks are easier when you’re just starting out.

What to feed your chickens:

The taste of your chickens meat and eggs has a lot to do with proper feeding and watering.
Water – Each hen will drink approximately 2 cups of water per day. It’s very important to always have a fresh supply of water for your chickens.
Food – Chickens need 3 basic things:
Grains – Wheat, corn & oats.
Greens – Greens can be made up of grass, weeds and other fresh vegetables from your garden.
Protein – During the summer months most of the protein that your chickens need can come from bugs. If supplementation is needed you can use soybeans, fish meal, worms, milk and or meat.
Homemade Chicken Feed Recipe:
You can purchase chicken feed from just about any feed store, but making it yourself can save money and ensure that you know what your chickens are eating.
2 Parts corn meal
3 Parts soft white wheat
3 parts hard red winter wheat
1 Parts oat groats
2 Parts sunflower seeds
1 Parts split peas
1 Parts lentils
1 Parts sesame seeds
1 part quinoa
1/2 Parts flax seed
1/2 part kelp

Chicken Coop

Homemade Chicken CoopHand built chicken coopA chicken coop doesn’t have to be overly complicated or expensive. In fact a decent coop can be made with materials that you probably already have.
The basic Chicken coop is made up of some wood, a couple feet of chicken wire and either wood shavings or straw for easy cleanup.
Also, if you have the room we suggest enclosing a large area so your chickens can roam free and feed off the bugs and grass.

Resources for Raising Chickens

Chicken Coops:

Storing your BOB for quick retrieval

By Joseph Parish

After all of your hard work you have finally managed to create what you believe is the perfect Bug out Bag. It may have taken you mouths of hard work obtaining all your necessary products but you eventually did it. Now that you have the hard work completed you have to decide where would be the appropriate place to store this valuable piece of survival gear.

This might at first seem like a simple question and answer but upon serious thought it isn’t as clear as one would expect. Your task now is to determine the best location to store your bag until you need it for an emergency. This kit is another of your survival “Insurance Guarantees” which go along with the 24 hour kit and your automobile survival kit. 

The main concept behind your kit is to be able to retrieve it quickly in the event it is needed for a bug out. We keep ours in a dark cool, dry closet off our living room. This type of environment is critical to preserve the foods which we keep inside of it as well as the liquids that are saved there. Any type of secure location would serve just fine as long as you can immediately get to it so you can periodically recheck its contents for currency and completeness. Remember, these check should be completed on a regular basis so you don’t want it to be hidden in an out of the way location. You would not want to be stumbling over holiday decorations in your efforts to get to your bug out bag.

Another not so desirable location would be your basement. Often times when things are placed in basements they are overlooked and frequently forgotten. This kit is too vital for your family’s life to be forgotten. 

In the event that you store any weapons in your bug out bag make certain that they are totally secure. The last thing you would want is for your children or any others child to get to your weapons. You could employ one of the combo locks to properly secure the compartment of your BOB which contains your weapons. 

The main idea here is to clearly keep in mind is that your BOB should be handy and ready to “grab and go” at a moments notice. These BOB’s must be readily accessible for a quick grab when needed. 

Lastly, I would like to remind you that you should seriously consider a vehicle BOB as well. This BOB would be crammed with items that are normally much too heavy for you to carry such as bulky supplies and which you have deemed to be vital. I will frequently leave both my normal BOB and the vehicles BOB in my BOV, that way its ready whenever I need to escape the area. There you have it folks now it’s up to you. Do you store it in a living room closet or the trunk of your BOV? This is a decision that you must decide yourself. 

Copyright @2011 Joseph Parish