Stay well, stay safe, we’re all in this together.
One thing you don’t want to be during the coming “crunch” — a polite word for “collapse” — is dependent on the system. The more you can take care of yourself, the better off you’ll be physically, financially, emotionally and even spiritually.
Here are 20 ways to become more self-sufficient while you still can:
1) Get a small solar system that can be used to run a laptop or recharge batteries
2) Drill a water well and install a hand pump or solar-powered DC pump
3) Set up a rainwater collection system or barrel
4) Stash some cash: stock away some green dollar bills and lots of U.S. nickels
5) Own and learn how to use a handgun, rifle and shotgun
6) Store some ammunition
7) Own and know how to use a water filter
8) Start a garden this spring and acquire more food production skills
9) Save garden seeds so you can plant the next generation of food
10) Acquire a wood-burning stove for heat and cooking
11) Possess a large quantity of stored food; enough for at least 90 days
12) Get to know your local farmers and ranchers
13) Store up valuable barter items that are relatively cheap today: Alcohol, coffee, ammo, matches, etc.
14) Safely store extra vehicle fuel (gasoline, diesel) at your home or ranch
Be sure to use fuel stabilizers to extend their life.
15) Learn emergency first aid skills and own first aid supplies
This could save a life or possibly save a trip to the emergency room.
16) Start growing your own medicine
Plant and grow aloe vera, oregano, garlic, cayenne pepper and other medicinal herbs that can replace a surprisingly large number of prescription drugs. Oregano, for example, is a potent antibiotic. Aloe vera treats cuts, scrapes and burns.
17) Own emergency hand-cranked radios so you can tune in to news and announcements
18) Boost your immune system with vitamin D and superfoods
19) Increase your level of physical fitness
20) Learn how to raise animals such as rabbits, chickens, goats or cows.
Have you ever looked at your food storage and thought “I hope I don’t ever have to eat any of this”! I do all the time! The fact is, survival food doesn’t always look good or taste great! Often it’s dehydrated, canned or preserved in some way. What if you could have normal food, like fresh baked bread even when the SHTF? Well if you’ve ever thought like that, then here is something that will fit the bill! It’s an age old recipe that has withstood the test of time, filling bellies and putting smiles on faces for centuries, if not longer.
In an emergency fresh eggs/milk may be hard to come by and you certainly won’t be able to drop by your local market to pick up a loaf of sliced bread! So what do you do? Tuck this away, practice it and use it when/if needed. We have had a lot of requests for recipes like this so I will dig out my Grandmothers old recipe book and see what I can find. If you have any you would like to share, please send them to me via message and I will post them for everyone.
Indian Fry Bread/Navajo Fry Bread
4 cups flour
2 tsp. sugar
1 ½ cups warm water
2 tsp. salt
4 tsp. yeast (some use baking powder instead of yeast)
Vegetable Oil for frying (you can use a small amount or larger amount to deep fry)
1) Mix water, sugar, salt and yeast together – let stand 5 minutes.
2) Add flour and knead until the mixture is smooth.
3) Heat the oil in a fry pan.
4) Form dough into small balls, then flatten into a tortilla shape about ½ inch thick.
5) Fry bread on both sides until golden brown.
Tip – if dough is sticky, use a small amount of flour to coat your hands while handling the dough.
Real Indian fry bread is deep fried in a fair amount of cooking oil, but this is not necessary. You should use the dough immediately without allowing it to rise first. This is not like the traditional bread recipe that is baked into a loaf and rises beforehand.
Enjoy, you now have a recipe for bread, it can be used for sandwiches, eating with meals, with honey, cinnamon, tacos (my favorite – called Navajo Tacos)!
Using wet wood to get a fire going will leave you cold and frustrated…regardless of how much effort you put into it.
Even if you do get a fire going (which in a survival situation is better than nothing) your fire will be inefficient and will require much more maintenance to see it through the night.
The reason why it won’t burn is that the water contained in the wood is absorbing the heat, preventing the wood from absorbing enough heat to ignite.
As heat continues to be applied to the wood, the water turns to vapor, absorbing a huge quantity of heat in the process. It isn’t until this process is finished that the hydrocarbon gasses start leaving the wood so that they can then catch fire.
Basically your best bet is to make sure that you have the driest tinder, kindling, and fuel possible.
It’s one thing if you have a cord of wood neatly stacked out in your woodshed, but how do you find dry wood in the wild?
Below are three quick tips you can use in a pinch:
The Snap Method:
The Premise: dry kindling is devoid of a high water content and will snap easily instead of bending.
How To do it: take your smaller bits of kindling no thicker than your thumb and grasp them at both ends. Pull the ends towards the middle, the kindling should snap in the middle.
What to look for: twigs, sticks, and other kindling that snaps cleanly and easily is an indicator of dry kindling.How do you know if your fuel is dry?
The Percussion Method:
The Premise: as wood dries out, its acoustical properties change.
How to do it: grab two sample pieces of wood at one end and let them dangle, one from each hand. Swing the bottom ends together, and listen to the sound at impact.
What to look for: dry wood will “ring” or “bonk” when they hit each other. Wet wood, however, will issue a dull thud on impact.
Cracking the code:
The Premise: as fuel wood pieces dry, the wood fiber shrinks, which causes visible radius cracks to open up on the ends of the wood.
How to do it: examine the ends of a sample piece, looking for cracks that radiate from the core to the bark.
What to look for: big, deep radius cracks are a good indicator of well-seasoned wood.
Note: this is the least reliable indicator, as the cracks won’t close back up if the seasoned wood is subsequently allowed to re-absorb rainwater.
Should Survival Skills Be Taught To Children In School? Or, leave it to organizations like the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, to teach these skills.
The debate on the existing education system has been raging for quite some time now. On one hand, it is true that school education teaches a lot of valuable knowledge that serves as a foundation for higher education with subjects such as math, reading, writing, etc… But it is equally true that students severely lack in survival skills. A closer examination of education system and modern requirement can lead to meaningful insight regarding the much discussed issue of whether children should be taught survival techniques at school.
The American education system is appreciable as it teaches a lot of educational subjects like math, science and English among others that are essential for a proper education. These are basics of education and are absolutely vital if children are to become innovative scholars in their respective fields. However, on second thought, in the process of teaching these disciplines, are we forgetting the life skills that are vital for survival?
The lack of survival skills among school-going children raises a big question about the education system. While it is important to learn spelling, isn’t it equally or more important to know how to start a fire and what to do in an emergency situation? Simple survival tactics can be of great benefit and add value to the student’s quality of life. Survival tactics can also save lives in emergency situations. In fact, in life-threatening situations, the theoretical concepts definitely come second to survival skills.
The balance is tricky to maintain. Too much focus on either one can be harmful to the comprehensive development of our children. Also, questions can be raised if survival skills can be really taught in schools. School students already have too much to learn and additional lessons may induce stress. But an education that does not teach basic survival tactics can be considered incomplete. Should a debate on whether or not survival skills be taught to children school be necessary, or should those skills be left to the parents to teach?
Want a printable version of this “How Hurricanes Impact You” infographic?
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So what do you do if you’re stranded on the highway in the dead of winter or a severe winter storm knocks out your power for an extended period of time?
You can construct a simple homemade heater that can be used in your vehicle, which
could save your life, and is very easy to make. Items needed are as follows:
• A regular roll of white plain toilet paper not scented,(because of fumes)
• Four 8-ounce bottles of 70 percent isopropyl alcohol – again, plain unscented
and do not use a higher percent alcohol
• Also an empty large popcorn can, I believe it is a 3 gallon size like the ones
that you buy at Christmas
• Two aluminum square cake pans or pie pans ( without holes in the bottom)
• Matches or a lighter Start your project by removing the cardboard core from the toilet paper, (not the
cheap loose rolled type) and push the roll into the coffee or fruit can so the roll is below
the rim. The coffee can will have some space above the roll; if you use a fruit can, the
roll will be just a little below flush. Either can, the roll should fit firmly without space
around the roll. A larger can will allow the paper to burn around the sides, which you
don’t want; also I found that a plastic lid from a peanut can will fit loosely on the fruit
can. This lid is used for storage purposes. To use the heater, pour about 2 or 3 ounces of alcohol onto the paper, the saturated
paper will act as a wick which can be ignited with a match or lighter, I suggest keeping
both on hand, each stored in separate sealed containers or sandwich bags to prevent
fumes from soaking into the matches and lighter which render them useless (this was
learned from giving demonstrations).
Operation: Use the heater to warm the vehicle up, then put the cake or pie pan over
the can to extinguish the flame, as you don’t need to run the heater after the vehicle is
warm. You can also use the cake or pie pan to melt snow for drinking. Do Not eat
snow, as it will bring down your body temperature. Four pints of isopropyl alcohol will
keep a car at 60 to 70 degees for 24 hours, so you can carry more if want.
Safety: Isopropyl alcohol does not produce carbon monoxide, but a window should be
cracked open for fresh air while burning. The burner can will become hot at the top,
and maybe warm at the bottom so perhaps you might want to put one pan under the
burner. This extra pan could be used to water pets.
Warning: These heaters are safe, but make sure flame has been snuffed out before
adding more alcohol.
The empty popcorn can be used to store items for a winter survival kit such as the
burner, alcohol, pie tins, lighters and matches. Other items to include in your vehicle
winter survival kit include: flashlight and extra batteries, winter type clothing (hats,
gloves, extra pair of long johns, scarf), first aide kit including any medications needed,
extra diapers for little ones, bottled water (allow room for expansion, as it will likely
freeze), high energy types of food (candy, nuts, granola bars), small bag of sand or
kitty litter for traction, bendable shovel, basic tool kit (leatherman, swiss army knife),
paper towels or toilet paper, spare tire, signaling devices (flares), blankets and/or
sleeping bags, windshield scraper, booster cables, tow rope or chain, compass and
road maps, cell phones or ham radios, and finally a hand held Weather Radio.
Carry the popcorn can in the back seat rather than the trunk. If you slide in the ditch
and end up with the trunk buried in a snowbank, have a frozen trunk lock, or have
damage to the trunk; the trunk might not be able to be opened.
Dress appropriately when traveling across the high plains in the winter. How many
times have you seen women driving alone in freezing temperatures dressed in heels,
nylons and blouse and hear them say “ my car has a good heater, and I have a cell
phone”…teenagers with sneakers, blue jeans, and T-shirts… men with dress shoes,
slacks, shirt and tie – when the fan belt breaks, or the gas line freezes, and it’s usually
many miles from anywhere? So be firm everyone, and demand that your family members dress for the unexpected, you might save their life.
Guest Author: Gale Newell
Disaster can strike at any time and in any corner of the world. If you are a person that prepares for your future and independent survival, it is imperative to remove yourself from debt. Debt is the ankle chain that keeps you locked down. It keeps you from acquiring resources and limits your ability to prepare for survival. I once had large sums of debt and know the consequences it can have on your ability to build stores and resources. Luckily, I have also had the experience of fighting and paying off debt. It’s a tough battle, but makes prepping all that much sweeter. I have found the freedom and comfort that comes from being able to keep your own—hard earned— money.
Erasing or eliminating debt encourages future survival and independent discipline. Both are required if you want to have a better life.
If a hurricane or SHTF hits, your future survival depends upon your ability to have resources and a sufficient survival education. Being debt free makes it easier for you to have both. When you remove financial restrictions in your life, you are allowed to buy emergency supplies, food stores and other miscellaneous supplies that you can use now and for later.
It also allows you to free your mind psychologically from the anxiety that comes from figuring out how you are going to make it month to month. Imagine for a second that you receive your next paycheck and are allowed to keep it all. It’s nice to be able to purchase the supplies you need for the future and have money for entertainment. When you have debt, this reality becomes obsolete.
Sure, you can probably purchase a few prepping items here and there, but true financial freedom is acquired when you tell your money where you want it to go and not the other way around. Your ability to survive in the future relies on it. If you aren’t sure where to start with getting out of debt, here are two good places. The first place to start (if you don’t have too much debt) is with a structured budget. The budget should allocate a good portion on money every month to pay off debt. Another option, (if you have a lot of debt) is to consider other resources, such as consolidating you debt or negotiating your debt.
Debt has a way of sneaking in and taking over before you realize how bad things are. Far too often we aren’t even aware of the consequences it has on our ability to survive and prep for the future. When you owe someone or some company, you are not practicing the independent discipline that is a cornerstone of being a prepper. Debt can enslave you. It severely limits how how you spend your money and can drain you of energy. Sometimes, it even dictates how you value yourself.
Now is the time to develop the discipline you’ll need as a prepper. Avoid needless debt at any cost, but if you are already in debt then work hard to pay it off. Remember, don’t take on debt to prep, but get rid of debt to prep. It takes discipline to prepare for the future and it will take discipline to navigate any forthcoming SHTF, so why not carry this same discipline over to your finances. Erase your debt and use your money for the truly important things in life, such as your family and preparing for the future.