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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Using Your Food Storage reserves

By Joseph Parish

Nothing can be more discouraging than to store up on hundreds of pounds of food and when it is time to use it the prepper has no idea how to prepare it. If you are going to store up supplies for an emergency than its important that you understand ways for which you can incorporate those supplies into your food menus.

Know what products you have in your storage pantry and how you can use them within your daily meal planning. When the time arrives for you to use these supplies it is too late than for you to learn how to use them. During an emergency you have enough on your mind without being overly concerned with how you can use the stored up food supplies. 

In addition, moving from your usual menu to that of emergency supplies needs to be practiced before the time arrives. To properly use your supplies amounts to a trick in itself, you might even say that this is an acquired taste. Each member of your family will need some time to get used to eating these foods. Watch the various survival web sites for recipes that use your supplies. Make notes of the recipes themselves and use them for an evening meal. Gather the member’s feedback and proceed accordingly. It is much better to discover errors in your storage thinking now than at some later date.

To start you out in the right direction let me provide you with a recipe that will use only those items which are generally stored in an emergency food pantry. This particular meal is called Chicken Ramen. As the name suggests you should start out with a package of inexpensive ramen noodles. 


1 package of chicken flavor Ramen noodles

1 bullion cube

1 teaspoon of dried onion flakes

1 Tablespoon of Parsley Flakes

1 1/2 Tablespoons of olive oil

1 can of chunk chicken

1 can of mixed vegetables

Parmesan cheese

To prepare this survivalist feast cook your Ramen noodles according to the instructions on the package. Don’t add the flavor packet at this time but use the bullion cube instead. Drain the noodles and set them aside for now. 

In a skillet sauté the onion flakes in the olive oil. Open and drain the can of chicken chunks and place in the skillet with the oil and onions. Add the Parsley flakes at this time. Now you can stir the Ramen noodle seasoning into the skillet mixture and stir until well mixed. Now add the noodles along with the can of drained and rinsed mixed vegetables. Cook for another ten minutes and serve hot.

When you serve the meal add a little of the grated Parmesan cheese atop the food. For some added variety you could substitute beef Ramen noodles in place of the chicken or even use tuna or shrimp instead of chicken. Use your imagination and what supplies you have on hand.

Copyright @2011 Joseph Parish

Guest Post: Live on the edge of the System, By Northern Raider

Security camera at London (Heathrow) Airport. ...
© 2011Northern Raider

Without wishing to come across as overly paranoid I think on a certain level it would be beneficial for preppers to minimize (sensibly) their exposure to main stream society, and some of the risks involved with that society.  No of course it’s not possible nor desirable to live a completely separate lifestyle from the rest of society unless you fancy living like a hermit or trapist monk, but keeping a lower profile is definitely a prudent step for serious preppers.

I think this may become more relevant as a crisis develops and the way the global economy and political unrest is growing at the moment across the world.

But you can with some consideration and planning lower your radar signature visible to officialdom, the authorities and those who may realize that you are a prepper and likely to have supplies and equipment that they can steal or confiscate.

I don’t have any loyalty cards for shops so they can’t keep track of my buying, I frequently pay for much of my shopping with cash and I also vary which supermarkets I visit. When buying prepper specific kit such as bulk food purchases, survival kit, etc I make sure that no one I know personally is around when I’m paying. I don’t want my neighbor to know any more about my survival supplies than I want him to know I have some new “” borrowable”” power tools.

On the internet I often rotate and change my avatar, contact E mail and online name, indeed I even often build up a completely fabricated identity for web sites personal details files.

When traveling 99% of the time I use my own vehicle and rarely use the same route 2 days in a row, I keep my vehicle  clean and without bling or anything that may interest a traffic cop. When using public transport I always try to board trains at minor stations not larger stations that are more heavily policed or covered by CCTV systems, I try when possible not to alight at journeys end at main stream stations either. I try NEVER to fly if at all possible.

Rather than rock the boat at my son’s school when the subject matter being taught is unacceptable version to me, I simply explain to him my version on that subject in comparison with the schools. Or if the subject matter is beyond my limited educational capability we involve him in private tutorage and home schooling groups.  Its better if more expensive to see your child educated the way YOU choose than for you to attract the attention of local authorities and social workers who do hold completely different beliefs to your own.

You for example may feel very strongly about gun control and are a strong advocate of the right to be armed for self defense. So accordingly you join your nation’s gun ownership advocacy lobby group.   But as soon as you do the guys in charge will make a note of this fact and then you are in the system. Then perhaps after the next election a party that is totalitarian and rabidly anti gun ownership comes to power, by joining the lobby group you have just told your worst enemies who you are and where you are. What a disaster for your personal security you would have better served your cause by simply sending them a donation and remained anonymous.
Its one thing being patriotic but it’s another thing painting a target saying “Here I am“.

I don’t even have a library card and when buying books on the major prepping subjects I tend to buy them in book shops and pay cash for them, I have an extensive library of survivalist and prepper books dating back to the 1970s, many of which in 2011 are probably no longer socially acceptable or politically correct.

Cash is your friend it leaves almost no trail for anyone to trace, this certainly will be of much greater importance if a major incident occurs and say food or fuel availability becomes an issue.
You don’t want the authorities to find a trail of credit card slips showing you have bought over 300 gallons of fuel in the weeks leading up to the crisis happening.

I reduce the risk of being a victim of terrorism by ceaselessly making as much effort as possible in NOT going into large cities and towns, I try where possible to attend meetings away from large conurbations, So be it a meeting with a friend, an RZ with another prepper or perhaps wanting to attend a concert I try to go to the least tactically attractive venue possible usually in some smaller regional town, but never the Capital.

I may have very strong political, religious and cultural beliefs but I don’t not advertise my position by joining a political party, attending protests or rallies etc, you can be 100% sure the authorities have access to every membership list going and we are all more than aware just how many cameras are deployed at every public gathering these days.

In today’s electronic everything era Big Brother is indeed watching us and recording all our buy habits and political affiliations. Big brother can access your shopping habits just easily as your political activities and your travel habits. At the moment you may be of no interest to the authorities but it does not take much for you suddenly to become a person of interest, which is why you need to keep your identity signature as low as possible.
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Matches in your Emergency kit

Today while reading some threads on a Bushcraft forum I came by a thread titled “Why Even Carry Matches?”.
In these type of forums you’ll often find lots of good info, but you quickly notice that sometimes nostalgia outweights practicality. This is something the person interested in practical survival cannot afford. Its understandable that there’s a certain allure in carrying a “tinder box”, a small leather bag made of bull’s scrotum with dried mushrooms and hitting flint and steel to start fire. Now, do these vintage fire starting tools have a place in your survival kit? Maybe in your home or car kit, or smaller every day carry emergency kit? Not really. You have better fire starting options than charcloth, and while firedrills work, during a real emergency you don’t care about looking like Bear Grylls, you just want a fire started as quick as possible. Yes, ferrocerium rods works (Swedish Firesteel), but a match or lighter is faster.

Emergencies are by definition inconvenient, unplanned, and potentially life threatening. You don’t have controlled, ideal conditions. You may be wet, cold, under shock, crying, bleeding, wounded. You may have dead or wounded loved ones around you, and you may be running out of time. Its just not the moment to play Man vs Wild.
Lighters, specially storm lighters that reach extremely high temperatures, are very effective but they are also more prone to breaking, running out of fuel, or not working when wet. Because of this you don’t want them to be your only option during an emergency.
Lighters and ferrocerium rods should be carried as well for redundancy, but don’t forget about matches for a real emergency kit!
While writing all this I can’t help but to remember the Pomar family. The Pomars weren’t lost in a deserted Island, they didn’t go trekking along Antartica, or venture into the Amazon rain forest. They simply had bad luck when visiting one of their relatives nearby.
After being missing for over two weeks and one of the largest manhunts I remember in this county, the Pomar family, husband, wife and two daughters were found dead not 20 miles away from their house, 20 yards away from the highway. While traveling to visit a relative in the next town, they had a car accident with bad enough luck that the car went flying off the road and crashed into a small grove of trees. Plantations and plains all around them as far as the eye can see, but they had bad enough luck to be thrown in there so the vehicles and choppers looking for them never saw them in the bush. It was later found that the wife survived the crash. Wounded and probably expecting help to arrive soon, she dragged herself next to her husband’s corpse, and survived there three days before dieing due to the wounds and exposure to the elements.
If you are wounded, barely able to move, and starting a quick fire could probably save your life like in this case, both for signaling and heat, a plastic case full of matches is your safest, easiest and quickest way to start a fire.

The case pictured is bombproof, has a rubber seal to keep it watertight and even includes a mirror and small piece of ferrocerium in the bottom.
The plastic case where the NATO stormproof matches come in isn’t nearly as study. The old film plastic cases pop open too easily. I tried the Marble’s metal match box but the plastic ones are better. The green one I own looks nice (Bushcrafty :-)  ), but the orange ones are better because they are more visible if dropped in the ground. This one also includes a whistle and compass. The piece of ferrocerium is almost useless but at 
least its there. 
G.I. Style Match Tube Holder 
5 in 1 Survival Whistle, Emergency Zone® Brand 
In my match boxes I keep several stormproof maches and a few large, strike anywhere matches. I also keep a striking strip (cut out of an ordinary box of matches) and a piece of cotton to keep everything from moving and making noise. This could also be used in an emergency along with the little piece of ferrocerium.
Yes folks, matches do have a place even in the most basic kit. They don’t look nearly as cool as firesteel on camera but when needing to start a fire after falling in icy water, barely able to control your fingers, practicality beats cool by a long shot.
Take care,

3 Pack: Diamond Strike Anywhere Matches 250 Count 
3 Pack: Diamond Strike Anywhere Matches 250 Count 
Survival Matches Bulk Tube 
Survival Matches Bulk Tube 
Swedish Firesteel - Army Model, Black Handle 
Swedish Firesteel - Army Model, Black Handle