Forget Farm To Fork – Urban Foraging: The Ultimate in Local Eating

Many of us have grown accustomed to making a list of foods we want, then heading to the grocery store to buy them. Others have embraced the trend of community-supported agriculture by signing up for shares or participating in community gardens. And then there are the daring folks who march out into urban environments to scope out their next meal.

People who are unfamiliar with the practice of urban foraging may view it as the work of a few unconventional individuals, but in reality, people have been foraging since the beginning of civilization. Today, the practice is enjoying a worldwide resurgence. Even the restaurant scene has gotten in on the action, as more and more chefs incorporate foraged foods into their menus to produce unique and sustainable fare.1

Foraging may also aid national efforts to reduce hunger. University of California, Berkeley, researchers are experimenting with a program that maps edible plants in low-income neighborhoods to empower local residents to find food near their homes.2 Many foragers also donate some or all of their finds to local food pantries.

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The basic concept behind urban foraging is simple: search for and gather fresh food in urban spaces.3 Practitioners embrace foraging as a way to reconnect with the natural world, obtain free food, reduce their eco-footprint, diversify their diets, and learn to look at urban spaces in new ways. Not to be confused with dumpster diving, foraging focuses on obtaining fresh food straight from the source – whether from trees, bushes, edible weeds, or other plants found in parks, abandoned lots, and local neighborhoods.4

Ever felt curious about seeking out your own food in your local environment but held back because you didn’t know where to start? Consider this your cheat sheet for entering the wild world of urban foraging.

Know What’s Safe to Eat

This point really can’t be stressed enough. Not all plants are safe for human consumption, and eating the wrong plant (or the wrong part of an otherwise-safe plant) can result in illness or even death.5That’s why it’s critical to research safe plants in your area and learn how to effectively identify them and their parts. It’s particularly helpful to shadow an experienced forager the first several times you head out so you can learn from their know-how. Regardless of whether you forage solo or with a friend, never eat a plant unless you can identify it with absolute certainty.

A Guide to Urban Foraging: Plants to Look For

While you research the plants native to your area, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with their Latin names. Common names aren’t consistent across the board, and there are even instances where a plant shares a common name with a poisonous plant. Write down the Latin names of the plants you’re searching for on a particular day, and then bring along a field guide for proper identification.6

Scout Different Locations

A Guide to Urban Foraging: Where to Look

Before picking anything, do some research to figure out where foraging is and is not allowed in your area. In particular, check with local government for any rules regarding foraging on public land.7 If you have your eye on plants that reside on private property, always ask permission before foraging. (If nobody’s home, consider leaving a note with your contact information.8 ) Take note of what grows where and when; foraging is a seasonal enterprise.9 If you encounter a plant that’s past its prime, make a note to return to that same spot earlier next year.

Modern foragers can also use the Internet to identify prime foraging spots. Head to fallingfruit.org, which allows foragers from across the globe to share the locations of found fruits, vegetables, herbs, and nuts, to the tune of more than 800,000 entries from 50 countries.10 The searchable map is free to use online and the founders have also created an app for both Android and Apple.

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No matter how you identify possible foraging locations, it’s important to investigate whether the area has been sprayed with herbicides or pesticides, or is located near an industrial area. Avoid plants from these areas, because they’re likely to be contaminated with chemicals that aren’t good for you. In general, try to avoid plants growing near busy roads or train tracks, or in soil that is contaminated with lead (such as at the site of a demolished house). It’s also best to steer clear of auto shops, gas stations, and factories.11 In contrast, empty lots or wooded areas can often be great sources for forage-friendly foods.12

Be Prepared

If you’re setting out to forage, it’s helpful to wear sturdy shoes and bring along some gardening gloves, a spade, a field guide to local plants, and a couple of reusable bags to transport your loot.13 Come prepared with knowledge about the best way to harvest plants so they’ll stay fresh until you get home.14

Respect Some Basic Rules

Part of reconnecting with the land includes developing an appreciation for all the ways nature sustains us – and it’s important to demonstrate that appreciation by treating the earth with respect. Keep the following rules in mind wherever and whenever you forage.

  • If you come across a small patch of a plant species, don’t pick all of the plants. Instead, leave several behind so the species can continue to grow in that location.15
  • Do not to take more than you can use: One of the goals of foraging is to eliminate, not contribute to, food waste.16 On a similar note, don’t harvest the whole plant if you’re only going to use a specific part, such as the leaves.
  • No matter what, don’t harvest or dig up the roots of a threatened species.17 Feel free to remove invasive species from an area, as they’re not doing the local ecosystem any good.

Use Common Sense When it Comes to Food Safety

A Guide to Urban Foraging: How to Forage for Food

If you’re wondering about the safety of foraged foods from urban areas, take solace in this: One study conducted in Boston found that foraged foods were no more dangerous to eat than conventional produce. And in some cases, they actually contained more micronutrients.18

Of course, this is just one study from one city. But common sense can help protect you from major food safety hazards. Know how to identify safe plants, scout locations according to the guidelines above, avoid plants that appear to be unhealthy, and thoroughly rinse your harvest before consuming. By practicing these basic tenets and trusting your gut, you’ll maximize your chances of foraging in a healthy way.19

Even as you digest all the serious pointers outlined above, keep in mind that foraging is ultimately meant to be exciting and fun. (Consider it the adult version of a scavenger hunt.) So get out there with your field guide and marvel at all the food nature provides – even in the concrete jungle.


Source: Fix.com Blog

Sources:

  1. http://experience.usatoday.com/food-and-wine/story/news-festivals-events/food/2014/01/27/foraging-chefs-dishes-trend/4817825/
  2. http://grist.org/food/can-urban-foraging-actually-feed-poor-people/
  3. https://canberraurbanforaging.wordpress.com/about/
  4. http://www.urbanfarmonline.com/sustainable-living/eat-local/5-rules-for-urban-food-foraging.aspx
  5. http://www.urbanfarmonline.com/sustainable-living/eat-local/5-rules-for-urban-food-foraging.aspx
  6. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/02/foraging-tips-dos-and-donts_n_3367633.html
  7. http://www.urbanfarmonline.com/sustainable-living/eat-local/foraging-tips.aspx
  8. http://www.urbanfarmonline.com/sustainable-living/eat-local/5-rules-for-urban-food-foraging.aspx
  9. http://kwgn.com/2015/09/17/foraging-app-created-by-boulder-men-helps-you-find-all-the-free-food-around-you-2/
  10. http://www.shareable.net/blog/how-to-be-an-urban-fruit-forager
  11. http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/August-2011/Urban-Foraging-Tips-How-to-Find-Your-Dinner-in-Chicagos-Wild/
  12. http://www.npr.org/2011/04/18/135412640/foraging-the-weeds-for-wild-healthy-greens
  13. http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/August-2011/Urban-Foraging-Tips-How-to-Find-Your-Dinner-in-Chicagos-Wild/
  14. http://www.urbanfarmonline.com/sustainable-living/eat-local/foraging-tips.aspx
  15. http://netnebraska.org/article/news/nettles-milkweed-and-dandelion-its-whats-dinner-some-urban-nebraskans
  16. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/02/foraging-tips-dos-and-donts_n_3367633.html
  17. http://www.urbanfarmonline.com/sustainable-living/eat-local/5-rules-for-urban-food-foraging.aspx
  18. http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/blogs/urban-foraged-food-found-safe-eat-boston
  19. http://www.npr.org/2011/04/18/135412640/foraging-the-weeds-for-wild-healthy-greens


6 Life Saving Things You Need When Lost In The Forest While Hunting Deer

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

It is often said that hunting is man’s most exhilarating sport and that statement is pretty much on the money. The adrenaline pumping through the veins mixed with the intensity of focusing on a live animal is heart stopping. Deer is one of the most hunted animals and also one of the most difficult to shoot. The slightest of movements or the faintest of sounds could be the difference between a clean shot and fruitless hunt.

But ever too often, unprepared hunters are caught unawares of their surroundings and find themselves lost in the forest or woods. Although their instincts play a vital role in getting out safely, there are some other tools that could make the great escape a lot easier. Let’s take a look at what to use when you are lost in the forest while hunting deer.

Water Filtration Device

Humans can live without food for a couple of weeks, but without water, their chances of survival begin to dwindle down rapidly. While there are plenty of water sources in the forest, it is important to filter it before drinking as it could contain dirt, dead insects, animal dropping, and other impurities.

One of the easiest filtration systems you could use is a piece of cloth. Just wrap the cloth around the mouth of a container and slowly fill it. The tiny fibers in the cloth will keep out most impurities and leave you with water suitable for drinking.

If you can’t use cloth, find a piece of bamboo or a hollow log and let the water sit for a couple of hours till all the dirt settles at the bottom. To get fresh water, you could even soak up the morning dew on plants and grass using a cloth and drink that directly.

Food Source

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

One might think that with so much greenery around, finding food would be as easy as pluck and eat, but that could lead to some serious problems. Mother nature has a way of hiding our weaknesses in the most inconspicuous of places. Like the Oleander plant and its beautiful flowers.

One bite of this deadly flower and you could end up in a coma. It’s always best to trust the trees and plants you know like fruits and vegetables. Many berry plants are poisonous, but if you find one that you are certain is safe to eat, store as much as you can. It is the same with flowers and fruits. If the forest you are hunting in has a stream running through it, set a trap for fish and other aquatic animals.

Fire Making Skills And Tools

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Ever since the Neanderthals mastered fire making, it has been an integral part of any survival routine. Not only does it provide heat, light, and protection from wildlife, it is used for cooking meats, fish, and vegetables. It is also a great way to get rid of any harmful impurities in the collected water by boiling it.

If you find yourself stranded in a forest, the art of preparing a fire could give you that hope to make it through the night and look for civilization in the morning. Collect as much wood as you can to ensure the fire lasts through the night.

Look for dry stones and will help you create a spark needed to start the fire. Or if you have perfected the twig-on-twig method, keep a lot of dry grass or hay to hold the ember and light the fire.

Warm Dry Clothes

The importance of having proper protection in the form of warm clothing out in the wilderness could not be stressed more. Insulated clothing ensure that even when a fire is not available, your body temperature remains at a normal level.

A heavy, waterproof jacket is a must, along with other clothing beneath it. If there is a situation that requires you swimming through cold water, remove and store all your inner wear in a water resistant backpack and immediately put them back on once on the other side.

Useable Tools

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

It is important to carry a number of different tools that could help get you out of a sticky situation in the forest.

A Swiss Army Knife and its plethora of attachments is a classic tool that can be used for things like cutting, clipping, digging, and even picking out last lunch from your teeth.

For bigger situations, a hunting knife or dagger work wonders. Whether it’s to cut away vines and branches or to prepare your freshly caught dinner, a knife goes a long way in helping you survive the wild.
Out in the wild, insects are in abundance and they can be extremely harmful is not prepared. Carrying repellent is vital, but if forgotten, there are plenty of plants that can be used. Crushing leaves of certain plants and smothering yourself with it could keep away ants, mosquitoes, ticks, and other harmful bugs.

A rangefinder for hunting purposes is useful for determining the distance between you and the animal you’re after and getting a good shot off. But it can also come in handy when checking the distance to a nearby mountain or a cabin in the distance.

Going hand in hand with a rangefinder is a compass. Not only do you need to know the distance of an object, but also its direction.

 

Shelter Materials

The forest is a dangerous place to be, especially at night. Insects are the least of your worries with bears, mountain lions, wild boars, snakes, and more calling it their home. Having a place to safely stay out of the way of these creatures ensures that you don’t become somebody’s dinner.

If you know you’re in a place that doesn’t have animals like bears around, you’re safe to build a shelter on the forest floor. Gather as many branches, twigs, and dry leaves as you can and make a tent-like shelter a few feet away from the fire.

If you can find trees with large horizontal branches, you could protect yourself from bears and mountain lions by securing yourself to the trunk and branch high above the ground. Sitting up and sleeping doesn’t sound too comfortable, but it is safe.

About the Author: Alex Ramsey

Work hard & live to hunt! Countryman Hunter , Archery, shooter, Freelance outdoor writer and Love USA. founder of Thebigdeer.co where I share my hunt experiences with all, about guns, showcase real gear & real reviews to help you become more prepared. Knowledge will save you, but great gear will help! Let Get Out & Go Hunting

 

100 Items That Will Disappear First In The U. S. When The SHTF

We saw it with Sandy, and now you are seeing it with the severe winter storms this year, the un-prepared hoards of people buying anything and everything off of the store shelves.

Natural disasters happen. It’s Mother Nature. Do you think you could last a few days, weeks, or even months without the basics of food, water, gas and electricity? What is your plan? Do you have food insurance built up? Water? Fuel? Etc…

100 Items That Will Disappear First In The US When Disaster Strikes.

You can start small and build up your supplies over time. You may even have many of theses items already.

Below is a list of the 100 items most likely to disappear in a disaster scenario:

1. Generators (Good ones cost dearly. Gas storage, risky. Noisy…target of thieves; maintenance etc.)
2. Water Filters/Purifiers
3. Portable Toilets
4. Seasoned Firewood. Wood takes about 6 – 12 months to become dried, for home uses.
5. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps (First Choice: Buy CLEAR oil. If scarce, stockpile ANY!)
6. Coleman Fuel. Impossible to stockpile too much.
7. Guns, Ammunition, Pepper Spray, Knives, Clubs, Bats & Slingshots.
8. Hand-can openers, & hand egg beaters, whisks.
9. Honey/Syrups/white, brown sugar
10. Rice – Beans – Wheat
11. Vegetable Oil (for cooking) Without it food burns/must be boiled etc.,)
12. Charcoal, Lighter Fluid (Will become scarce suddenly)
13. Water Containers (Urgent Item to obtain.) Any size. Small: HARD CLEAR PLASTIC ONLY – note – food grade if for drinking.
14. Mini Heater head (Propane) (Without this item, propane won’t heat a room.)
15. Grain Grinder (Non-electric)
16. Propane Cylinders (Urgent: Definite shortages will occur.
17. Survival Guide Book.
18. Mantles: Aladdin, Coleman, etc. (Without this item, longer-term lighting is difficult.)
19. Baby Supplies: Diapers/formula. ointments/aspirin, etc.
20. Washboards, Mop Bucket w/wringer (for Laundry)
21. Cookstoves (Propane, Coleman & Kerosene)
22. Vitamins
23. Propane Cylinder Handle-Holder (Urgent: Small canister use is dangerous without this item)
24. Feminine Hygiene/Hair-care/Skin products.
25. Thermal underwear (Tops & Bottoms)
26. Bow saws, axes and hatchets, Wedges (also, honing oil)
27. Aluminum Foil Reg. & Heavy Duty (Great Cooking and Barter Item)
28. Gasoline Containers (Plastic & Metal)
29. Garbage Bags (Impossible To Have Too Many).
30. Toilet Paper, Kleenex, Paper Towels
31. Milk – Powdered & Condensed (Shake Liquid every 3 to 4 months)
32. Garden Seeds (Non-Hybrid) (A MUST)
33. Clothes pins/line/hangers (A MUST)
34. Coleman’s Pump Repair Kit
35. Tuna Fish (in oil)
36. Fire Extinguishers (or..large box of Baking Soda in every room)
37. First aid kits
38. Batteries (all sizes…buy furthest-out for Expiration Dates)
39. Garlic, spices & vinegar, baking supplies
40. Big Dogs (and plenty of dog food)
41. Flour, yeast & salt
42. Matches. {“Strike Anywhere” preferred.) Boxed, wooden matches will go first
43. Writing paper/pads/pencils, solar calculators
44. Insulated ice chests (good for keeping items from freezing in Wintertime.)
45. Work-boots, belts, Levis & durable shirts
46. Flashlights/LIGHTSTICKS & torches, “No. 76 Dietz” Lanterns
47. Journals, Diaries & Scrapbooks (jot down ideas, feelings, experience; Historic Times)
48. Garbage cans Plastic (great for storage, water, transporting – if with wheels)
49. Men’s Hygiene: Shampoo, Toothbrush/paste, Mouthwash/floss, nail clippers, etc
50. Cast iron cookware (sturdy, efficient)
51. Fishing supplies/tools
52. Mosquito coils/repellent, sprays/creams
53. Duct Tape
54. Tarps/stakes/twine/nails/rope/spikes
55. Candles
56. Laundry Detergent (liquid)
57. Backpacks, Duffel Bags
58. Garden tools & supplies
59. Scissors, fabrics & sewing supplies
60. Canned Fruits, Veggies, Soups, stews, etc.
61. Bleach (plain, NOT scented: 4 to 6% sodium hypochlorite)
62. Canning supplies, (Jars/lids/wax)
63. Knives & Sharpening tools: files, stones, steel
64. Bicycles…Tires/tubes/pumps/chains, etc
65. Sleeping Bags & blankets/pillows/mats
66. Carbon Monoxide Alarm (battery powered)
67. Board Games, Cards, Dice
68. d-con Rat poison, MOUSE PRUFE II, Roach Killer
69. Mousetraps, Ant traps & cockroach magnets
70. Paper plates/cups/utensils (stock up, folks)
71. Baby wipes, oils, waterless & Antibacterial soap (saves a lot of water)
72. Rain gear, rubberized boots, etc.
73. Shaving supplies (razors & creams, talc, after shave)
74. Hand pumps & siphons (for water and for fuels)
75. Soy sauce, vinegar, bullions/gravy/soup-base
76. Reading glasses
77. Chocolate/Cocoa/Tang/Punch (water enhancers)
78. “Survival-in-a-Can
79. Woolen clothing, scarves/ear-muffs/mittens
80. Boy Scout Handbook, / also Leaders Catalog
81. Roll-on Window Insulation Kit (MANCO)
82. Graham crackers, saltines, pretzels, Trail mix/Jerky
83. Popcorn, Peanut Butter, Nuts
84. Socks, Underwear, T-shirts, etc. (extras)
85. Lumber (all types)
86. Wagons & carts (for transport to and from)
87. Cots & Inflatable mattress’s
88. Gloves: Work/warming/gardening, etc.
89. Lantern Hangers
90. Screen Patches, glue, nails, screws,, nuts & bolts
91. Teas
92. Coffee
93. Cigarettes
94. Wine/Liquors (for bribes, medicinal, etc,)
95. Paraffin wax
96. Glue, nails, nuts, bolts, screws, etc.
97. Chewing gum/Candy/Chocolate
98. Atomizers (for cooling/bathing)
99. Hats & Bandanas, cotton neckerchiefs
100. Goats/Chickens/Rabbits

Some Thoughts From a Sarajevo War Survivor:

Experiencing horrible things that can happen in a war – death of parents and
friends, hunger and malnutrition, endless freezing cold, fear, sniper attacks.

1. Stockpiling helps. But you never no how long trouble will last, so locate
near renewable food sources.
2. Living near a water well with a manual pump is like being in Eden.
3. After awhile, even gold can lose its luster. But there is no luxury in war
quite like toilet paper. Its surplus value is greater than gold‘s.
4. If you had to go without one utility, lose electricity – it’s the easiest to
do without (unless you’re in a very nice climate with no need for heat.)
5. Canned foods are awesome, especially if their contents are tasty without
heating. One of the best things to stockpile is canned gravy – it makes a lot of
the dry unappetizing things you find to eat in war somewhat edible. Only needs
enough heat to “warm”, not to cook. It’s cheap too, especially if you buy it in
bulk.
6. Bring some books – escapist ones like romance or mysteries become more
valuable as the war continues. Sure, it’s great to have a lot of survival
guides, but you’ll figure most of that out on your own anyway – trust me, you’ll
have a lot of time on your hands.
7. The feeling that you’re human can fade pretty fast. I can’t tell you how many
people I knew who would have traded a much needed meal for just a little bit of
toothpaste, rouge, soap or cologne. Not much point in fighting if you have to
lose your humanity. These things are morale-builders like nothing else.
8. Slow burning candles and matches, matches, matches

Ostrich Myth, But Human Nature

Don’t bury your head in the sand. Don’t be the person that refuses to think about an unpleasant situation, hoping that it will improve so that you will not have to deal with it, PREPARE for it.

Don't Be This Guy

No matter where you live, you have the possibility of experiencing a natural disaster. But by putting our heads in the sand, we can leave our families at risk if we don’t prepare. Don’t be this person.

Hey you, Are You Prepared?

When the success or failure of your families survival hinge upon your readiness, a head-in-the-sand approach will surely backfire. Be ready, Be prepared.

source: yearzerosurvival

Myth: Ostriches bury their heads in the sand when they are scared or threatened.

Survival on the Cheap: Preparing for an Emergency without Losing your Savings

By Guest Blogger –  Survival Life

Being prepared for any eventuality is one of the keystones of being a survivalist. However, if you’re just starting out, it can be a little overwhelming thinking of all of the supplies you need to be ready for three days, a week, a month or even more living on your own. Being prepared doesn’t have to cost a fortune though. In fact, re-using items and finding alternative (and affordable) sources for food, clothing and other essentials goes hand-in-hand with being a prepper. It’s a more modern variation of “living off of the land.”

How to stretch your prepping dollars

If you’re looking to start building your survival stockpile, below are a few hints to help you gather everything you need without breaking the budget. (And, remember: you don’t have to buy everything at once; a better plan is to build your stockpile gradually and thoughtfully. Your ideas about what you need will evolve over time.)

Tips for preparing for an emergency on a budget

1. Learn from the couponers. Although you may be buying different items (they’re buying baby food; you’re buying beans), there’s a lot to be learned from the extreme couponing crowd. Combining coupons with store specials can net you regular savings of 30 percent or more on non-perishable food items and toiletries. Take it a step further and join the grocery and drug store reward programs and you can find things like hand sanitizer, toothpaste and a host of other items for free that you can use in your survival kit. To learn more about couponing, check out sites like the KrazyCouponLady.com.

Surplus stores, stores that sell dented cans or half lots of boxed items, can also be good places to find non-perishable food items.  Learn how to create a price binder.

2. Be a regular at estate and garage sales. Estate and garage sales are other good places to find gear and supplies. Estate sales are especially good hunting grounds, since they feature an entire house full of goods. Some sales may require that you dig around in the attic a little bit, but there are often treasures to be found at cents on the dollar. Good things to look for at such sales are water containers, camping equipment and kitchen items. Some people also find good bargains on food at such sales. (I prefer to buy food directly from the grocery or market.) If you do look at food items, be sure to check the sell-by dates.

3. Shop off-season sales. Off-season sales are another good place to find seasonal gear like camping equipment and gardening supplies at prices that are 50 percent or even 75 percent off of their original price.

4. Host your own swap meet. If you know others that are interested in the survival life, you can combine preparing your stockpile with a social night by hosting a swap meet. Have everyone bring something extra from their stockpile and let the trading begin.

Review these 70+ survival items that cost less than $5!

Being prepared for any emergency or situation doesn’t have to be expensive or all consuming. Like other aspects of life, it’s all about smart shopping and always keeping an eye out for a bargain.
About the Author
At Survival Life our mission is to provide vast array of knowledge, tactics, and skills in the survival and preparedness fields, to any and all who wish to become more prepared for whatever may come. We strive to maintain a truthful and unbiased compendium of knowledge, both in original content, product reviews and survival tips, as well as curated articles from other top survival websites. Click here to visit our site and learn more.

10 Best Survival Foods To Get At Your Local Supermarket

Prepping for disasters can seem overwhelming with so many aspects to be considered. However, for those just beginning to recognize how perilous these times are and are new to prepping, you can find many great survival foods at your local grocery store.

What to buy at your grocery store to prep for when you need doomsday survival.

There are many freeze-dried food options offering light-weight ready to eat meals. These are cost effective and great for new preppers.  But if you don’t have a lot of $’s laying around to buy a large supply, it may be better to pick up a few buckets quarterly and some basic key items each week at the supermarket to build up your food bank gradually.

It’s best to keep your survival food list simple, and concentrate on storing foods with the highest amount of calories and the longest shelf life. This list is geared toward foods that will help you survive a crisis that lasts for extended periods of time.

Here are the ten best and cheapest survival rations available at any store:

Bowl of Rice

Rice

Rice: Every time you go to the store you should buy one 10-lb bag of rice. You can find them for around $5 at most supermarkets. Rice will stay in good condition for 10 years or more if stored properly. It offers high carbohydrates which is especially important if you are exerting a lot of physical energy during a crisis.

beans

Beans

Beans: Beans are known to be one of the best all-round survival foods. They’re high in protein, and if sealed in food-grade buckets with a small amount of dried ice, they’ll stay for up to ten years. Make sure to store them in a cool, dry, dark location. Buy a 4-5 lb bags of dried beans every time you go to the store. All dry beans are good to store; black beans, red beans, pinto beans, lentils, etc.

cornmeal

Cornmeal

Cornmeal:  All-purpose flours are good to store, but cornmeal may be the best overall. Cornmeal is packed with dense carbohydrates and contains oils that helps extend its shelf life. Additionally, if the power grid is down during a mega disaster, it is much easier to make good corn breads and tortillas with cornmeal in a simple skillet or solar oven, where refined flour will need yeast and oil to make decent bread or biscuits.  Get a 5-lb bag of cornmeal ($10-$15) at each grocery visit.  Seal and store the same way as beans (buckets, salt and dry ice), and it will safely keep 8 months to 2 years.

spoonful of lard

Lard

Lard: If you’re a health-conscious reader, hydrogenated lard does not sound very appetizing, but in a survival situation you can’t afford to be picky. Animal lard or vegetable shortening both offer much-needed calories during times of crisis, cooking oil for multiple uses, and it will keep longer than cooking oils because of the hydrogenation. Buy a 6-lb can ($12) and store in a cool, dry, and dark place and it will stay good for 2-3 years or longer.

salt

Salt

Salt: Salt is one of the most useful survival food items. It’s used for storing food, curing beef, and flavoring most meals. Salt will last forever, so always buy extra when you’re shopping.

Canned Fruit and Vegetables

Canned Fruit and Vegetables

Canned Fruit & Vegetables: These are another obvious survival food, but not as practical as many would think. They’re heavy and somewhat costly for the calories they deliver. Additionally, acidic fruits and any cans with tomatoes will not keep as long as most people think.  But most canned food is good for 5+ years.  Buy green vegetables and fruits like peaches and pears for long-term storage, but more importantly, buy what you already eat in case you need to rotate them into your diet before they go bad.

Canned Meats

Canned Meats

Canned Meat: Canned meats like ham, tuna, and chicken are excellent to store.  They typically will keep for 6-10 years and they’re an excellent source of protein. However, if the grid is down for a long time (apocalyptic), hunting and fishing will likely provide most meats.  Therefore, it may be sufficient to buy extra canned meats every other time you go shopping.

Brown and white sugar

Sugar

Sugar: Brown and white sugar will add much-needed flavor and calories to a survival diet and they’ll keep for ten years or more if stored properly.  Honey is also excellent as it will store forever. Make sure to buy extra every other time you go grocery shopping. You won’t need too much, but they’ll be well worth having if a crisis strikes.

pasta

Pasta

Pasta: Pasta is a good light-weight storable food that is also a great source of carbohydrates. Pasta will not keep as long as rice, but it can stay for around 5 years in good conditions. Pasta is also very inexpensive and extra should be bought at each trip to the store.  It will take up more space in your food bank than rice, beans and cornmeal, so plan your space the best you can.

Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter: Peanut butter is a terrific source of protein, fat, and calories.  Plus, it’s just a great treat to have on hand. Peanut butter can last up to five years in root cellar conditions.  Stock up whenever there are good deals at your grocery store. You’ll be happy you did if the SHTF.

If you consistently buy these items 3-4 times per month, you’ll quickly acquire a year’s supply of survival rations for your whole family.

How to store it?

A really basic way to store the rice, beans, cornmeal, sugar and pastas is to buy several 5-gallon seal-able paint buckets or food-grade buckets from your local hardware store. Put a cup or so of salt into a sandwich baggie (opened) at the bottom of the buckets. Then fill it with food stuffs and add a couple of ounces of dried ice (found at large grocery stores) which will remove the oxygen from the bucket after it’s sealed. Finally, label each bucket with its contents and the date, and place it in your cellar.

Please let us know what other food items you think will be useful for new preppers….

via Activist Post: 10 Best Survival Foods At Your Local Supermarket.

On A Budget: Prepping For 5 Bucks

 

Unless you have deep pockets, and most people don’t, you are going to have to purchase and store your prepping supplies a little at a time.  When your at the store buying clothes for your kids, pick up a pack of batteries.  When you are out picking up dinner at the grocery store, don’t forget to grab a couple of cans of soup.  You get the picture.

How to stretch your prepping dollars

With all this in mind, here is a list of items that you can start buying when your out and about to add to your prepping supplies that will cost you right around 5 bucks.  You would be surprised at how much stuff you can amass when you think to pick up a few extra things a few times a week.

(Note:  This list comes from other posts and articles of read over time with a couple of items I have added from my own experience.  If you have got any suggestions, please leave a comment and share your knowledge. )

(Note:  I’m aware that the dollar has been devalued such that some items on this list may now far exceed the 5 dollar limit.  Adjust quantities accordingly.)

  • Five packages of instant potatoes
  • A case of ramen noodles (20 pkgs)
  • Five cans of sardines
  • Five gallons of purified water
  • Case of bottled water
  • Four cans of canned fruit
  • 2 jars of mandarin oranges
  • Five pounds of rice
  • Three pounds of spaghetti
  • Two cans of spaghetti sauce
  • Three bags of egg noodles
  • 8 packages of gravy mix
  • Four cans of whole or sliced new potatos
  • Three cans of g veggies
  • Two cans of Yams
  • Six cans of pork and beans
  • One 40 ounce can of Dinty Moore Beef Stew
  • Two 12 ounce cans of chicken, tuna or roast beef
  • One 1lb canned ham
  • Three cans of refried beans
  • Three 12 oz cans of raviolis or spaghetti O’s.
  • Two 12.5 ounce cans of Salmon
  • Five pounds of Oatmeal
  • Four packages Dinty Moore heat and eat meals
  • 5 packages of corn bread mix
  • Four pounds of Sugar
  • Five pound of Flour
  • 1.5 quarts of cooking oil
  • Three one pound bags of dry beans
  • 2 cans of apple juice
  • 1 jar of peanut butter
  • Two boxes of yeast
  • Two bags of generic breakfast cereal
  • 10 8 oz cans of tomato paste/tomato sauce
  • Four cans of soup
  • 4 cans of Chunky soup
  • 8-10 pounds of Iodized salt
  • Two bottles of garlic powder or other spices
  • Two boxes of kool aid
  • A can of coffee
  • 2 bottles of powdered coffee creamer
  • One manual can opener
  • Two bottles of camp fuel stove
  • 100 rounds of .22lr ammo
  • 25 rounds of 12 ga birdshot or small game loads
  • 20 rounds of Monarch 7.62×39 ammo
  • Spool of 12lb test monofilament fishing line
  • 2 packages of hooks and some sinkers or corks.
  • Artificial lure
  • Two packages of soft plastic worms
  • Three Bic Lighters or two big boxes of matches
  • A package of tea lights
  • 50 ft of para cord
  • Roll of duct tape
  • Box of nails or other fasteners
  • Two D-batteries, four AA or AAA batteries or two 9v batteries
  • Travel toothbrush and tooth paste
  • Bag of disposable razors
  • Eight bars of ivory soap (it floats)
  • Box or tampons or bag of pads for the ladies
  • Gallons of bleach
  • Needles and thread
  • Ball of yarn
  • 2 bottles 1000 count 500 mg generic Tylenol (acetometaphin)
  • 2 bottles 500 count 200 mg generic advil (ibuprofen)
  • 2 boxes 24 cound 25 mg generic Benadryl (diphenhydramine HCI)
  • 4 bottles 500 count 325 mg aspirin
  • 2 boxes of generic sudafed
  • 4 bottles of alcohol
  • a box of bandages (4×4)
Whether it’s $5 or $500 you have to spend per month, just start prepping a little bit at a time and it will add up. When I started I used my camping gear as my base and built from there. No matter how much you have to spend you CAN survive if you put your mind to it.
Knowledge is free. Be sure to bookmark our site and follow us on Facebook for future articles, and if you have some time check out some of our past survival blog articles.

 

 

9 Ways To Start a Fire Without Matches

Tom Hanks Starting a Fire Without Matches

There is a primal link between man and fire. Every man should know how to start one. A manly man knows how to start one without matches. It’s an essential survival skill. You never know when you’ll find yourself in a situation where you’ll need a fire, but you don’t have matches. Maybe your single engine plane goes down while you’re flying over the Alaskan wilderness, like the kid in Hatchet. Or perhaps you’re out camping and you lose your backpack in a tussle with a bear. It need not be something as dramatic at these situations-even extremely windy or wet conditions can render matches virtually uselessly. And whether or not you ever need to call upon these skills, it’s just damn cool to know you can start a fire, whenever and wherever you are.

 

Friction Based Fire Making

Friction based fire making is not for the faint of heart. It’s probably the most difficult of all the non-match based methods. There are different techniques you can use to make a fire with friction, but the most important aspect is the type of wood you use for the fire board and spindle.

The spindle is the stick you’ll use to spin in order to create the friction between it and the fireboard. If you create enough friction between the spindle and the fireboard, you can create an ember that can be used to create a fire. Cottonwood, juniper, aspen, willow, cedar, cypress, and walnut make the best fire board and spindle sets.

Before you can use wood to start a friction based fire, the wood must be bone dry. If the wood isn’t dry, you’ll have to dry it out first.

The Hand Drill

The hand drill method is the most primitive, the most primal, and the most difficult to do All you need is wood, tireless hands, and some gritty determination. Therefore, it’ll put more hair on your chest than any other method. Here’s how it’s done:

Build a tinder nest. Your tinder nest will be used to create the flame you get from the spark you’re about to create. Make a tinder nest out of anything that catches fire easily, like dry grass, leaves, and bark.

Make your notch. Cut a v-shaped notch into your fire board and make a small depression adjacent to it.

Place bark underneath the notch. The bark will be used to catch an ember from the friction between the spindle and fireboard.

Start spinning. Place the spindle into the depression on your fire board. Your spindle should be about 2 feet long for this to work properly. Maintain pressure on the board and start rolling the spindle between your hands, running them quickly down the spindle. Keep doing this until an ember is formed on the fireboard.

Start a fire! Once you see a glowing ember, tap the fire board to drop you ember onto the piece of bark. Transfer the bark to your nest of tinder. Gently blow on it to start your flame.

Fire Plough

Prepare your fireboard. Cut a groove in the fireboard. This will be your track for the spindle.

Rub! Take the tip of your spindle and place it in the groove of your fireboard. Start rubbing the tip of the spindle up and down the groove.

Start a fire. Have your tinder nest at the end of the fireboard, so that you’ll plow embers into as you’re rubbing. Once you catch one, blow the nest gently and get that fire going.

Bow Drill

Starting a fire with a bow drill

The bow drill is probably the most effective friction based method to use because it’s easier to maintain the speed and pressure you need to create enough friction to start a fire. In addition to the spindle and fireboard, you’ll also need a socket and a bow.

Get a socket The socket is used to put pressure on the other end of the spindle as you’re rotating it with the bow. The socket can be a stone or another piece of wood. If you use another piece of wood, try to find a harder piece than what you’re using for the spindle. Wood with sap and oil are good as it creates a lubricant between the spindle and the socket.

Make your bow. The bow should be about as long as your arm. Use a flexible piece of wood that has a slight curve. The string of the bow can be anything. A shoelace, rope, or strip of rawhide works great. Just find something that won’t break. String up your bow and you’re ready to go.

Prepare the fireboard. Cut a v-shaped notch and create a depression adjacent to it in the fireboard. Underneath the notch, place your tinder.

String up the spindle. Catch the spindle in a loop of the bow string. Place one end of the spindle in the fireboard and apply pressure on the other end with your socket.

Start sawing. Using your bow, start sawing back and forth. You’ve basically created a rudimentary mechanical drill. The spindle should be rotating quickly. Keep sawing until you create an ember.

Make you fire. Drop the ember into the tinder nest and blow on it gently. You got yourself a fire.

Flint and Steel

Flint and Steel

This is an old standby. It’s always a good idea to carry around a good flint and steel set with you on a camping trip. Matches can get wet and be become pretty much useless, but you can still get a spark from putting steel to a good piece of flint. Bear Grylls Fire-Starter is a good set to use.

 

If you’re caught without a flint and steel set, you can always improvise by using quartzite and the steel blade of your pocket knife (You are carrying your pocket knife, aren’t you?). You’ll also need char. Char is cloth that has been turned into charcoal. Char catches a spark and keeps it smoldering without bursting into flames. If you don’t’ have char, a piece of fungus or birch will do.

Grip the rock and char cloth. Take hold of the piece of rock between your thumb and forefinger. Make sure an edge is hanging out about 2 or 3 inches. Grasp the char between your thumb and the flint.

Strike! Grasp the back of the steel striker or use the back of your knife blade. Strike the steel against the flint several times. Sparks from the steel will fly off and land on the char cloth, causing a glow.

Start a fire. Fold up your char cloth into the tinder nest and gently blow on it to start a flame.

Lens Based Methods

Fire from a mangnifying glass

Photo by spacepleb

Using a lens to start a fire is an easy matchless method. Any boy who has melted green plastic army men with a magnifying glass will know how to do this. If you have by chance never melted green plastic army men, here’s how to do it.

Traditional Lenses

To create a fire, all you need is some sort of lens in order to focus sunlight on a specific spot. A magnifying glass, eyeglasses, or binocular lenses all work. If you add some water to the lens, you can intensify the beam. Angle the lens towards the sun in order to focus the beam into as small an area as possible. Put your tinder nest under this spot and you’ll soon have yourself a fire.

The only drawback to the lens based method is that it only works when you have sun. So if it’s night time or overcast, you won’t have any luck.

In addition to the typical lens method, there are three odd but effective lens based methods to start a fire as well.

Balloons and Condoms

By filling a balloon or condom with water, you can transform these ordinary objects into fire creating lenses.

Fill the condom or balloon with water and tie off the end. You’ll want to make it as spherical as possible. Don’t make the inflated balloon or condom too big or it will distort the sunlight’s focal point. Squeeze the balloon to find a shape that gives you a sharp circle of light. Try squeezing the condom in the middle to form two smaller lenses.

Condoms and balloons both have a shorter focal length than an ordinary lens. Hold them 1 to 2 inches from your tinder.

Fire from ice

Fire from ice isn’t just some dumb cliché used for high school prom themes. You can actually make fire from a piece of ice. All you need to do is form the ice into a lens shape and then use it as you would when starting a fire with any other lens. This method can be particularly handy for wintertime camping.

Get clear water. For this to work, the ice must be clear. If it’s cloudy or has other impurities, it’s not going to work. The best way to get a clear ice block is to fill up a bowl, cup, or a container made out of foil with clear lake or pond water or melted snow. Let it freeze until it forms ice. Your block should be about 2 inches thick for this to work.

Form your lens. Use your knife to shape the ice into a lens. Remember a lens shape is thicker in the middle and narrower near the edges.

Polish your lens. After you get the rough shape of a lens, finish the shaping of it by polishing it with your hands. The heat from your hands will melt the ice enough so you get a nice smooth surface.

Start a fire. Angle your ice lens towards the sun just as you would any other lens. Focus the light on your tinder nest and watch as you make a once stupid cliché come to life.

The Coke Can and Chocolate Bar

I saw this method in a YouTube video a while back ago and thought it was pretty damn cool. All you need is a soda can, a bar of chocolate, and a sunny day.

Polish the bottom of the soda can with the chocolate. Open up your bar of chocolate and start rubbing it on the bottom of the soda can. The chocolate acts as a polish and will make the bottom of the can shine like a mirror. If you don’t have chocolate with you, toothpaste also works.

Make your fire. After polishing the bottom of your can, what you have is essentially a parabolic mirror. Sunlight will reflect off the bottom of the can, forming a single focal point. It’s kind of like how a mirror telescope works.

Point the bottom of the can towards the sun. You’ll have created a highly focused ray of light aimed directly at your tinder. Place the tinder about an inch from the reflecting light’s focal point. In a few seconds you should have a flame.

While I can’t think of any time that I would be in the middle of nowhere with a can of Coke and chocolate bar, this method is still pretty cool.

Batteries and Steel Wool

Fire from steel wool and a battery

Like the chocolate and soda can method, it’s hard to imagine a situation where you won’t have matches, but you will have some batteries and some steel wool. But hey, you never know. And it’s quite easy and fun to try at home.

Stretch out the Steel Wool. You want it to be about 6 inches long and a ½ inch wide.

Rub the battery on the steel wool. Hold the steel wool in one hand and the battery in the other. Any battery will do, but 9 volt batteries work best. Rub the side of the battery with the “contacts” on the wool. The wool will begin to glow and burn. Gently blow on it.

Transfer the burning wool to your tinder nest. The wool’s flame will extinguish quickly, so don’t waste any time.

Sources:

Field and Stream

Primitive Ways

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