How To Identify Dry Firewood

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.

seasoned-firewood

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.

via Three Quick Tips To Identify Dry Firewood 

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Should Survival Skills Be Taught To Children In School?

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?

via Should Survival Skills Be Taught To Children In School? 

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How Hurricanes Impact You [infographic]

How a Hurricane Can Affect You

Want a printable version of this “How Hurricanes Impact You” infographic?

Please click here to download it. [source]

 

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Winter Survival Heater

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:

• An empty one pound coffee can or a 30 oz. fruit can
• 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.

1-popcorn-tin-survival-heater
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.

[source]

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Removing Debt: Encouraging Future Survival & Independent Discipline

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. reduce+debt+to+prepare+moreIt 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.

Future Survival

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.

survival+resources+emergency+supplies+and+tools

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.

Independent Discipline

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.

 

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Top 10 Most Read Survival Blog Posts on Year Zero Survival

MOST READ BLOG ARTICLES

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25 Critical Facts About This Ebola Outbreak That Every American Needs To Know

This is a very eye opening article. Makes you wonder why the ‘mainstream media’ isn’t telling us the complete story… [source]

Ebola-Outbreak-Spreads-Bella-Naija8.jpg

(by Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse)

What would a global pandemic look like for a disease that has no cure and that kills more than half of the people that it infects? Let’s hope that we don’t get to find out, but what we do know is that more than 100 health workers that were on the front lines of fighting this disease have ended up getting it themselves. The top health officials in the entire world are sounding the alarm and the phrase “out of control” is constantly being thrown around by professionals with decades of experience. So should average Americans be concerned about Ebola? If so, how bad could an Ebola outbreak in the U.S. potentially become?

The following are 25 critical facts about this Ebola outbreak that every American needs to know…

#1 As the chart below demonstrates, the spread of Ebola is starting to become exponential…

#2 This is already the worst Ebola outbreak in recorded history by far.

#3 The head of the World Health Organization says that this outbreak “is moving faster than our efforts to control it”.

#4 The head of Doctors Without Borders says that this outbreak is “out of control”.

#5 So far, more than 100 health workers that were on the front lines fighting the virus have ended up contracting Ebola themselves. This is happening despite the fact that they go to extraordinary lengths to keep from getting the disease.

#6 There is no cure for Ebola.

#7 The death rate for this current Ebola outbreak is over 50 percent, and experts say that it can kill “up to 90% of those infected”.

#8 The incubation rate for Ebola ranges from two days to 21 days. Therefore, someone can be carrying it around for up to three weeks without even knowing it.

#9 For the first time ever, human Ebola patients are being brought to the United States. And as Paul Craig Roberts so aptly put it the other day, all it would take is “one cough, one sneeze, one drop of saliva, and the virus is loose”.

#10 This has already potentially happened in the United Kingdom. A woman reportedly collapsed and later died on Saturday after she got off of a flight from Sierra Leone at Gatwick Airport.

#11 A study conducted in 2012 proved that Ebola could be transmitted between pigs and monkeys that were in separate cages and that never made physical contact.

#12 This is a new strain of Ebola, so what we know about other strains of Ebola may not necessarily apply to this strain of Ebola.

#13 Barack Obama has just signed an executive order that gives the federal government the power to apprehend and detain Americans that show symptoms of “diseases that are associated with fever and signs and symptoms of pneumonia or other respiratory illness, are capable of being transmitted from person to person, and that either are causing, or have the potential to cause, a pandemic, or, upon infection, are highly likely to cause mortality or serious morbidity if not properly controlled.”

#14 And as I noted the other day, federal law already permits “the apprehension and examination of any individual reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease”.

#15 According to the CDC, there are 20 quarantine centers around the country that are prepared to potentially receive Ebola patients…
Ebola-quarantine-stations.jpg
#16 The CDC has set up an Ebola “quarantine station” at LAX in order to help prevent the spread of the virus.

#17 The largest health emergency drill in New York City history was conducted on Friday.

#18 The federal government will begin testing an “experimental Ebola vaccine” on humans in September.

#19 We are being told that the reason why we don’t have an Ebola vaccine already is due to the hesitation of the pharmaceutical industry to invest in a disease that has “only affected people in Africa”.

#20 Researchers from Tulane University have been active for several years in the very same areas where this Ebola outbreak began. One of the stated purposes of this research was to study “the future use of fever-viruses as bioweapons”.

#21 According to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in Sierra Leone, researchers from Tulane University have been asked “to stop Ebola testing during the current Ebola outbreak”. What in the world does that mean?

#22 The Navy Times says that the U.S. military has been interested in studying Ebola “as a potential biological weapon” since the 1970s…

Filoviruses like Ebola have been of interest to the Pentagon since the late 1970s, mainly because Ebola and its fellow viruses have high mortality rates — in the current outbreak, roughly 60 percent to 72 percent of those who have contracted the disease have died — and its stable nature in aerosol make it attractive as a potential biological weapon.

#23 The CDC actually owns a patent on one particular strain of the Ebola virus…

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control owns a patent on a particular strain of Ebola known as “EboBun.” It’s patent No. CA2741523A1 and it was awarded in 2010. You can view it here.

It is being reported that this is not the same strain that is currently being transmitted in Africa, but it is interesting to note nonetheless. And why would the CDC want “ownership” of a strain of the Ebola virus in the first place?

#24 The CDC has just put up a brand new webpage entitled “Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Hospitalized Patients with Known or Suspected Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever in U.S. Hospitals”.

#25 The World Health Organization has launched a 100 million dollar response plan to fight this Ebola outbreak. Others don’t seem so alarmed. For example, Barack Obama is getting ready to take a “16 day Martha’s Vineyard vacation”.

Many are attempting to play down the threat from this virus by stating that unless you “exchange bodily fluids” with someone that you don’t have anything to worry about.

If that was truly the case, then how in the world have more than 100 health workers contracted the virus so far?

Health professionals that deal with Ebola take extreme precautions to keep from being exposed to the disease.

But despite those extreme measures, they are catching it too.

[source]

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Checklist Your Way To Survival

A good survival checklist can go a long way.

There’s a reason that a ton of industries use it. Airline pilots are probably the best example I can think of. Astronauts use a lot of checklists as well. The military uses checklists every day to make sure nothing is forgotten. Doctors and nurses use checklists because without them, they may forget to tend to a patient which can be VERY bad news! That’s why we’ve put together the following survival checklists, along with a short description for reach item. I know that it will help you get ready for the coming apocalypse, so start filling this sucker out!

FREE: Emergency Prepper Plans

Click image for FREE: Emergency Plans

Acquire two different water purification systems.

This is so that you have a solid backup plan. Some purification systems work better in certain situations than others. Also remember that even though boiling water can work, this should not be considered one of these two systems! Think of it as a last resort.

Learn how to hunt and fish.

Obviously this includes learning how to clean and cook the animal. You can actually eat a lot of different parts, but there are a few things to be careful with. For example, when dressing the animal you must be sure to not cut into the intestine. If you do then the animal’s feces will spill out and the meat is ruined!

Learn how to build shelters.

Again, just knowing one method to build a shelter isn’t good enough. So what if you know how to build a log cabin- I highly doubt you’ll have those kinds of resources or time! Oh, you’re an expert at building a metal shack? What if you’re in an area without the proper metal materials? Don’t screw yourself- cover your ass and learn several different things.

Pack a compass and map of where you’ll be living.

Have you ever gotten lost? Kinda sucks. But what if you got lost during the coming apocalypse and couldn’t find your way back to camp? That would really suck. But, you can’t blame me because I put this on your survival checklist…

Get a solid backpack and have it ready to go at any time

This is pretty self-explanatory. The apocalypse isn’t going to happen at any known time. You have to be ready to get your stuff and GTF out of there!

Get a dog and train it how to hunt.

You don’t want the apocalypse to happen and then find a little puppy and then train it how to hunt! Instead you want your dog to be ready to fight off attackers, help you hunt, and be a loyal companion for when the shit goes down.

Identify three (or more) possible places to set up camp. Know how to get to them by foot.

Even though you may have access to a car or bike, don’t count on it. You need to know exactly where you want to hole up. Find a place with ready access to food and water, and hopefully has a built-in shelter like a cave or fallen trees.

So there you have it! It’s not the most complete survival checklist ever, but if you do all of these things you’ll be MUCH better prepared than most people.

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