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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

10 Essential Items in a Survival Kit

Original Article

Here is a list of 10 essential  items that should be included as a minimum in any survival kit, be it a small kit or large. Start with these items, and build from there depending on your survival kit purpose.


‘Strike Anywhere’ matches, NOT the type that you must strike on the box (if the box gets wet, or if you lose the box, you’re in trouble). Store the Strike-Anywhere matches in a water-tight case (sold at most Sporting Goods stores). Include a ‘Striker’ (wet rocks don’t work so well…). An emery board or women’s nail file works well. Keeping a lighter in addition to matches is a good idea.


There are all sorts of fire-starter materials available. Magnesium fire-starters are popular (know how to use one).
Pocket Knife

A multi-purpose tool with a knife is ideal.

Simply having a good map of the region you’re in, could get you out of trouble. Know how to read and navigate with maps. The basics are simple.

A compass is ideal for establishing bearings while used in conjunction with a map. A GPS isn’t so good for that.
Flashlight, extra batteries

A LED flashlight, preferably a head-mounted style, is an ideal choice. Even though LED flashlight batteries last a considerable time, keep extras.
Extra Food

Quantity and type of food and packaging depends on kit purpose (day-pack, overnight backpacking, vehicle kit, etc.)
Extra Clothing

Even if it’s warm outside, if you get in trouble without extra clothes, hypothermia becomes a risk. A stocking hat, a rain jacket, and avoid cotton which is worthless when wet.
First Aid Kit

Keep at least the basics, bandaids, sterile gauze, etc.

Good vision is essential. There are some great sunglasses out there that will enhance your vision, provide polarization for water or snow, and will prevent eye fatigue – especially during winter – snow.

This top-ten list of survival kit items is a great starting point for putting together your own kit. These items will not take up much space, and are easily integrated onto your person or in your pack.

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Audio Podcast: Episode-716- Where are you Going to Build that Better Life

podcast_subscribeImage by derrickkwa via Flickr

Original Articles

Of course my stance is well known on the best place to live and or ride out a major SHTF but I also say all the time, “Your personal philosophy is more important for you than mine! You are the … Continue reading →


3 Interesting ways to preserve fresh peaches

Original Article

Today was a good day. When I showed up at work there was a box of peaches sitting on my desk. My lovely project manager remembered how much I was raving about Chambersburg Peaches and surprised me!
My first thought was to look up a recipe in my ball book and can them all in light syrup and be done with it, but then I thought… this would be a great opportunity to try out a new book I picked up at a yard sale The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving
The idea behind the book is that rather than always having to process 40 pounds of tomatoes when you make salsa you can make a few small batches regularly as you harvest. I decided to make 3 recipes this evening.
A jam, a marmalade, and a salsa.
On with the recipes:
Fresh Sweet Pepper and Peach Salsa
Fesh peach salsa
Fresh peach salsa

4 cups chopped peaches (approx 4 peaches)
1/2 cup sweet red pepper
1/2 cup sweet green or orange pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (the book had a typo… it had “coriander” written… wow that would have been a lot of coriander!!)
1 tbsp chopped jalapeno (I added 2 full large jalapenos, however I seeded them for my wife)
1 clove minced garlic
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp honey
Combine all in bowl. Cover and put in fridge for 30 minutes minimum. It will be hottest eaten that day, and heat will mellow over time.
I did a double recipe and I processed 1/2 in a hot water bath.
Minted Raspberry Peach Jam

we jammin'!

3 1/2 cups of sugar
1 cup mashed raspberries (fresh preferred, or frozen)
2/3 cup chopped peaches
2 tbsp chopped mint
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 pouch of liquid fruit pectin
  1. Put sugar in a shallow pan in the oven at 250F for 15 minutes
  2. Combine raspberries, peaches, mint with warm sugar in a large bowl. Stir occasionally for 10 minutes
  3. Add lemon juice and pectin and stir constantly for 3 minutes
  4. Ladle jam into clean jars with 1/2 inch head space. Let set for 24 hours
Here the book says you can put it in the fridge for up to 5 weeks, however I processed mine in a hot water bath canner and it should now store as long as any other jam.
I did 2 batches of this recipe.
Microwave Gingered Peach Marmalade

peachy marmalade in a microwave... made a mess since I let it boil over in my shallow container

1 orange
1 lemon
1/2 cup water
2 cups chopped peaches
2 cups sugar
2 tbsp candied ginger or crystallized ginger
  1. Zest the lemon and orange until you have removed all of the outer skin from them
  2. Put zest and water in a covered container. Preferably a deep one (I made this mistake). Cover the container and microwave at 100% for 5 minutes stopping halfway through to stir. Then microwave at 70% for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, peel the rest of the rind from the lemon and orange and discard the rind. Put the meat into a food processor (remove seeds first). Make it into a puree
  4. Add puree to rind mixture . Microwave on high for 5 minutes stirring once
  5. Add peaches, sugar and ginger. Microwave Uncovered on high for 6 minutes stirring once.
  6. Microwave on high for 12 to 16 minutes stirring every 4 minutes or until it forms a gel. You can test this with a spoon. If you dip it in it should have a consistency like molasses
  7. Ladle into hot jars and process with a hot water bath canner
Note: When you make marmalade it is important that you don’t double the recipe as this will drastically effect cooking times.
I made one batch of this recipe and it did not yield very much. I would probably prefer to make marmalade the old fashion way like when I made my orange chilli marmalade.