Hurricane Irma Disaster – A Huge Damage to the Economy

RMA is the name of a category 5 hurricane, one of the worst hurricanes formed in the Atlantic Ocean in 2017. The last horrible hurricane of such intensity, experienced by the U.S in 2005, was when Katrina shook its coastal areas.

Hurricane Irma Damages

It started on the 30th of August 2017 and raged at 185 miles/per hour for 37 hours. It is recorded to be the longest and fiercest hurricane of the Atlantic Ocean.

Irma originated in the deep tropics near the islands of Cape Verde and quickly intensified.

Regions Affected by Hurricane Irma:

The most catastrophic damage caused by Irma as a category 5 hurricane was experienced by the following regions:

  • Barbuda
  • Saint Martin
  • Anguilla
  • Virgin Islands
  • Saint Barthelemy

Impact of the Tropical Hurricane Irma

Overall Damage of this hurricane is calculated at more than $30 billion in 11 days. Some of the Catastrophes are mentioned below along with regions:

  • Florida: 3 million Floridan lost the power supply. And more than 6.5 million people migrated.
  • Irma caused a massive destruction in the Caribbean.
  • Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc in British and American Virgin Islands.
  • The ST Martin, Islands on the Dutch half, Island of Barbuda were devastated.
  • Puerto Rico was safe from the direct encounter, but still suffered from electricity and power shortage.

For more detailed facts and figures, check very comprehensive infographic produced by HuntingMark.com.

HuntingMark
 

Irma Broke the Records:

 

This tropical hurricane broke many global records:

  1. This was the first storm with wind speed of 185 miles/HR in the Atlantic Ocean, and it remained for more than a day. (1 day and 17 hours to be exact).
  2. It broke the records of low pressure, that is, 914 millibars.
  3. 7th September was the most active day for the Atlantic hurricanes on record.
  4. Storm Irma raged as 5th category storm for 3 days turning into the 4th category.
  5. This hurricane turned into a category 2 storm and finally dissipated on the evening 12th of September.

How to Teach Your Kids to be Prepared… For Anything! [INFOGRAPHIC]

Family survival planning is a very engaging and beneficial undertaking. Not only is it important that everyone is on the same page, should disaster strike, it can be a great bonding experience to bring you all closer. In the long run, this gives you the necessary tools to become a cohesive unit of togetherness that can combat any situation, should the worst happen.

There’s such a wealth of activities you can engage in that your kids will love as well, so it doesn’t have to be a monotonous task, but rather real life lessons exploring the outdoors for example.  If you have young children, then you can start these valuable lessons from as early as five years old to really bed in some of the key lessons that can then be expanded upon, right up to their teenage years. Broadly speaking, there are a few main considerations to address as a starting point.

Shelter, food and spotting early warning signs are great kick off points for any discussion or activity and can be a recurring theme throughout your lessons. After that point, your judgment and intimate knowledge of your kids will dictate how you move forward.

With that in mind, check out the below infographic provided by MIkesGearReviews to get a better understanding and ideas of how to prepare your kids for anything life throws their way.

Teach kids to survive

Source: https://www.mikesgearreviews.com/teaching-kids-survival-preparedness/

How to Live Off the Grid: a Guide to Freedom

We live such hectic lives, filled with absolute non-sense that we forget what it is we’re actually living for. Most of us have 60 hours’ work weeks so we can pay rent, taxes and buy food. We don’t even have time for our loved ones, and we seem too busy or too tired even when we take a day off. That’s when leaving it all behind and starting a new life in the middle of nowhere starts to sound like an awesome idea.

Give it all up

The first thing is renouncing your old life and habits. That sounds pretty terrifying, but it’s liberating at the same time. Ask yourself this: if a tornado were to take you to Oz, what would you miss the most about your life now?

Giving up your life starts by prioritizing the essential things and relationships. After that, you’ll find there are plenty of things you would gladly let go of, if, in exchange, you could have peace, tranquility, and love.

Find a place

Cabin-in-the-woods

After deciding you really need to take off, you can’t simply do it without a plan. That’s why you should find somewhere to stay first. Maybe you have a cabin in the woods or a property in an isolated territory, and that could be your starting point.

But if you have to find your own place, things can get complicated. For instance, you can either buy or rent a piece of land. You should make sure the place is isolated enough so you won’t have any nosy Nellies around, but still, have some neighbors at convenient distances. You should also check that a nearby town doesn’t have future plans to extend closer to your property if you want to live a more solitary life.

After that, you can set up a camp, maybe even move in your trailer and start building your own home. If you have some money saved, you can commission the work to a professional, but you also have the option of turning this into your first DIY project.

Learn survival skills

You can’t move off in the wilderness without learning some survival skills first. The first one would be how to find water if there are limited water sources near your property. If you have very hot summer days when springs peter out, you might need to use other techniques like placing plastic bags on tree branches or digging for water.

making-fire

You should also learn how to build a fire, but that’s the easy part. After all, you can leave home equipped with 20 pounds of waterproof matches. The hardest part is to learn which trees you can cut down, how to chop them and how to store the wood properly. If you cut green trees and the wood gets too wet, you’ll have fewer chances of building a lasting fire.

Grow your own food

This can mean different things depending on where your property is. If you’ve moved off to a deep, damp forest in the mountains, your only options might be hunting, fishing and eating wild fruits. Of course, learning some hunting and fishing skills, along with buying proper equipment is useful no matter where you might end up. And you need to recognize which plants are edible, and which aren’t.

If you’re moving to a friendlier environment, you can always build a greenhouse with basic equipment. So you might need nothing more than some sturdy cellophane and a few pallets, along with plenty of water and the right seeds.

Apart from that, you can farm certain animals, depending on how large your property is. Chicken is the easiest when you take into account all the logistics, like space and food, plus they give you nutritious meat and eggs. Otherwise, you can consider raising cows for their milk, maybe buy a couple of horses if you own a bigger farmstead.

Arrange your amenities

You also need some degree of comfort, especially for keeping a clean environment. So you’ll want a toilet and some sort of washing facilities, and you have plenty of options here too. The easiest would be to buy a camp toilet and a camp shower, which can easily be transported and used no matter where you are.

Or, you can build your own bath, and improvise if you don’t have any running water. For instance, your toilet can be an outhouse, but you have to place it at some distance from your house and greenhouse.

Your shower can be a barrel of warm water with a valve attached to it and a hose with a showerhead for the warmer summer days. Or you can get a bathtub for indoor use, and that would help you relax after a long day’s work.

Earn the money you need

You might still need some money even if you’re living in a remote location for paying the rent or for buying the things you can’t produce on your own, but that doesn’t mean you should get a day job in the city.

One idea is to sell or trade the things you produce in surplus. So if you have lots of eggs or meat, you can sell that to your neighbors, or trade with them for clothes or different tools.

Another idea is to focus on a skill you already have, and sell the results of your work on the Internet. For instance, you might be into crafting and learn how to make interesting sculptures. Or decorate axes. Or make origami. The world is your oyster.

Learn to enjoy solitude

prepare-to-be-alone

This might prove to be difficult enough, especially if you’re all alone. We’re so accustomed to noise (even white noise) that eating a meal by ourselves without constantly checking our social media accounts seems impossible. But if you’ve chosen to live off the grid, you can find pleasure in loneliness.

So after all that, what seems like the most difficult to do? What plan do you have? Tell us all about that in the comments.

 

About the author: Mike is a passionate hunter and his favorite grounds are Alaska and British Columbia. He’s also an expert in hunting gear and he is one of the most reliable resources when it comes to choosing the right tools for the job. He also writes for OpitcGearLab.com

How to Make a Good Emergency Plan for Your Family

Maybe you receive a fair bit of warning, like a weather report predicting a hurricane, or maybe a sudden tectonic shift creates an earthquake with both immediate and cascading, destructive effects. Either way, there is no reason to be caught off guard and without an emergency plan.

Given that even fairly basic emergency plans can be prepared relatively easily and cheaply, finding yourself surprised by a sudden catastrophe places yourself and loved ones at risk without a good justification. If you are still sitting on the fence, or more likely the couch, here are five reasons why you should have an emergency plan ready and waiting for the unforeseen.

How to Build a Disaster Kit Infographic

 

5 Reasons Why is Important to Have a Family Emergency Plan

Speed – When a disaster strikes, time is the most valuable resource and one that you simply cannot get more of. That is why a proper emergency plan includes more than just the supplies you have collected. It includes a comprehensive approach that accounts for all stages of response. One of the most important is the very first stage.

Regardless the disaster, the first stage will involve organizing the party in a single location if possible. If the party members are separated, plans for reaching various rally points before meeting up can give a quick recovery to a chaotic circumstance. Unless the disaster calls for you to ride it out, like with a tornado or some other such disaster, those first moments can determine whether a disaster is manageable or filled with regret.

Efficiency – Considering response time is one the most vital elements for successfully reacting to a disaster, a well-developed kit will require a plan that provides each member of your party with a set of responsibilities so that they do not have to figure it out on the fly. Setting up a series of rally points or keeping a well-stocked and organized bug out bag on hand will only go so far if you have to figure out the steps after your party meets up on the spot.

Moreover, if everyone knows what they are supposed to do and has a specific set of tasks, your party as a whole can accomplish more in the limited amount of time before bugging out or hunkering down than one or two people could alone. Remember, children can contribute too–just make sure their tasks do not strain them physically as their endurance levels are likely not as developed as the adult party members

Reason vs Instinct – People are constantly saying that the best answer is usually your first thought. This may be true when you are in a safe and comfortable situation without the threat of injury or death, but when survival is on the line, people’s instincts usually do not serve them any better than a random guess.

However, if you take the time to develop a plan of action for when disaster strikes, you will be more likely to keep a cool head, reason through the risks, and determine an appropriate course of action. Remember, anyone in a profession that involves risk of bodily harm trains for hundreds, sometimes thousands, of hours to develop the kind of mindfulness necessary to make rational decisions in high-stress scenarios.

Supplies – Once a disaster strikes, what you have on hand is likely the only supplies you will be able to procure. In fact, even if you have some warning, there is a good chance that a run on supplies by unprepared people will likely clean out your local stores in record time, not to mention delay you further from escaping or hunkering down as the situation calls.

That is why you should make sure that you have a fully stocked and packed bug out bag for every member of your party–ready and waiting to go the second it is needed. Keep in mind, having your supplies packed in an easily reachable place is just as important as having the supplies in the first place.

Self-Reliance – Despite what you may see on news reports during a disaster, most assistance that people receive occurs well after the disaster has already passed. As heartening as it is to witness neighbors from the surrounding region pitch in to help out those caught in an unfortunate event, they generally only do so once their own safety can be secured.

As sad as it may seem, you cannot rely on government institutions or other authorities to come to your aid when disaster strikes. Chances are, they are already overwhelmed with calls for similar relief. Moreover, charities and NGOs generally begin their relief after the danger has passed as well.

Things to Consider When Making an Emergency Plan

As alluded to earlier, a solid emergency plan includes far more than simply a bug out bag with all of the supplies necessary for a few days. The plan should account for all the steps each party member will need to take before, during, and after the immediate danger has passed. This can be broken up into three sections.

Pre Planning – This is arguably the most important part of an emergency plan. This is the point when you figure out where the party will meet up depending on their dispersion. Moreover, the different members should understand their assigned tasks as well as the routes and location should you need to leave the area.

In the Mix – Once it comes time to put your plan into action, you will need the members of your party to respond without hesitation. That is why it is important that your party actually runs through the plan before a disaster strikes, ideally to the point that it becomes muscle memory, so that no time is wasted when rubber meets the road.

Survival – Depending on the disaster, you may well be without many of the modern amenities so many people have come to rely upon for their daily survival. That is why you need to know how to survive in the wild for extended periods of time. Various survival skills like building a shelter, starting a fire, and securing food and water are vital.

You can find an easy to read checklist packed with tips and necessities for a proper emergency plan at Survivor’s Fortress.

Conclusion

Just remember, your actual plan is every bit as important, if not more so, than your bug out supplies. While planning may not provide that immediate rush of accomplishment or sense of satisfaction that a well-prepared bug out bag can, supplies without a plan can only take you so far.

Keep in mind, your plan needs to account for all stages of disaster response. If you are bugging in, your plan may not involve as many steps, but each step is just as vital to ensuring your survival. Moreover, every party member needs to know the different roles and tasks to be accomplished.

With a thoughtful plan that considers numerous types of disasters, includes a variety of redundancies, and maintains the ability to improvise if necessary, you and your party should feel confident in its ability to handle whatever the world throws at it.

Further Reading:

12 Best Vehicles For Surviving The Zombie Apocalypse 

12 Best Vehicles For Surviving The Zombie Apocalypse

Since the episode last night of Doomsday Preppers had a guy modifying an old school bus to be his battle wagon after the destruction caused by of an F5 tornado, I thought I would share this article showing other options you might consider. While I will admit, part of me wants to build my own gassifier engine and go to town on an old bus with a cutting torch, these options below come with considerably less work, risk of fire and could run much better than that old yellow tank. If nothing else, you won’t need to make your own employees work on this for you. For the rest of us that don’t have our own companies that might be a non-starter.

If you are going to purchase a vehicle that you can use to bug out, one of these beauties below might be the ticket. The good folks at the HiConsumption site pulled this great list together.

With The Walking Dead season premiere set to kick off in just over a week, we once again got to thinking about the zombie apocalypse. We got you covered last year with a list of zombie proof gear to help fend off the undead, but the reality is you aren’t going to be able to take on those flesh eating zombies on foot. You need wheels, and your current vehicle just isn’t going to cut it. Now imagine for a second that you had perfect circumstances – imagine you can get your hands on nearly anything you could think of (within reason of course). That’s the approach we took when creating this list of the best vehicles for the zombie apocalypse. You need something reliable, capable, and let’s be honest, you need something badass. You’ve been prepping for this zombie outbreak for years now, and you want to let everyone know that you are the baddest S.O.B. on the planet. Check out some of our favorite options for the end of the world in the 12 best vehicles for surviving the zombie apocalypse below.

Chevrolet Silverado Black Ops

1. Chevrolet Silverado Black Ops

Let’s start things off with a practical choice. Chevy makes a solid truck, there’s no doubt about it, and this one was built specifically for unforeseen emergencies. Although we can’t say that the zombie outbreak was “unforeseen,” we can certainly classify it as an emergency. The fully capable 4×4 features a 5.3 liter EcoTec3 V8 engine with plenty of power (355 ponies to be exact) along with lower body armor, raised suspension, solar power pack, generator, military First Aid Kit, gas masks, a crate of food with Top Ramen and Twinkies (your new favorite food groups in this post apocalyptic world), and a whole lot more. [Details]

Motoped Motorized Bicycle

2. Motoped Motorized Bicycle

You’re going to need something that is nimble and quick. Sure the big bulky trucks have their place, but a solid 2 wheeled companion is an essential. Motoped created a simple conversion kit that lets you outfit your mountain bike with Honda 50-190cc motor for about $1,000. [Details]

Hyundai Zombie Survival Car

3. Hyundai Zombie Survival Car

If Hyundai is good enough for Rick and his crew on The Walking Dead, we’d suffice to say that it’s good enough for us. Thankfully the folks at Hyundai take their zombie response research very seriously, and have outfitted one of their Elantra coupes with a ton of security features from a zombie plow with massive spikes to armored windows and spiked all terrain tires for going where no other vehicle can go. [Details]

Knight XV Fully Armored SUV

4. Knight XV Fully Armored SUV

Who says you can’t stay drenched in luxury in this new post-apocalyptic world? The Knight XV is luxury and ruggedness, fused into one completely bad-ass SUV. The vehicle is packed with a 6.8 liter V10 engine, seating for 6, night vision cameras and bulletproof armor. [Details]

Gibbs Quadski Amphibious 4 Wheel Drive Quad

5. Gibbs Quadski Amphibious 4 Wheel Drive Quad

It’s been debated for years whether or not zombies will be able to swim. From our extensive research (hundreds of hours watching zombie movies and shows), we’re going to go with no, they can’t swim. The 4WD Gibbs Quadski is perfect for tackling tough terrain, and within 5 seconds, the vehicle can tuck its tires to hit the water. Thanks to the 175 horsepower engine, you can hit speeds of up 45 miles per hour on land, which is plenty fast to leave those undead bastards in the rear view. [Details]

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6

6. Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6×6

Not only will MB’s 6 wheeled off road monster provide you with a fully capable means of transportation, but it will also bring about some nice entertainment. For such a massive vehicle (8,400 pound curb weight), the 5.5 liter AMG V8 powered 6×6 is actually quite agile. Although it’s based on the military version, this thing handles more like a truck than a tank. [Details]

Sportsmobile Ultimate Adventure Vehicle

7. Sportsmobile Ultimate Adventure Vehicle

The folks at Sportsmobile design rugged Mercedes-Benz and Ford E-350 vans that are capable of tackling any off road terrain, while also providing a mobile home living experience. The cargo van has been equipped with everything one needs to survive in the wild, with plenty of room for bikes and water vessels. [Details]

KTM 990 Adventure Baja Edition

8. KTM 990 Adventure Baja Edition

Again, enclosed cars and trucks are great, but 2 wheelers serve a vital role in your survival. There are few motorcycles that perform quite like this bad boy from KTM. Crowned the most off road capable travel enduro in the world, the 990 Adventure Baja has been outfitted with everything you need from suspension to power plant to ensure that you can transition from the asphalt to the dirt roads. There’s a slim chance anyone will be keeping up with road maintenance after the virus spreads, and this V-Twin powered machine will be able to tackle any beaten road you can throw at it. [Details]

WaterCar Panther Amphibious Jeep

9. WaterCar Panther Amphibious Jeep

It goes without saying that a Jeep Wrangler will always be a solid choice when it comes to the inevitable apocalypse. You can’t go wrong when it comes to Jeep, but a Jeep that can quickly convert to a boat? Now that’s a real winner. Assuming that zombies can’t swim, this thing is great for escaping those sticky situations. Packed with a 3.7 liter V6 motor built by the Japanese auto makers at Honda, this Jeep is capable of speeds exceeding 40 miles per hour on water, and 80 mph on land. The best part is the transition from land vehicle to boat takes only 15 seconds. [Details]

Pal V One Personal Air and Land Vehicle

10. Pal V One Personal Air and Land Vehicle

Technically the results are still inconclusive when it comes to zombie’s ability to swim (although we think not), but there is one thing we’d put money on – zombies will not be able to fly. With that being said taking to the air can be risky business during this zombie infested time era (imagine crashing into a horde of zombies), but bear with us on this vehicle. The Pal V One acts like a sports car on the ground, accelerating from zero to sixty miles per hour in just 8 seconds, while reaching a top speed of 112 mph. In just minutes, the vehicle can be transformed into a Gyro-Copter, flying at altitudes of about 4,000 feet (well below commercial flight routes, although we can’t imagine there will be many commercial flights during the zombie apocalypse). The vehicle’s fuel tank can store enough fuel for over 300 miles of flight time. Now this vehicle is currently still in the “development” process, but the concept, if executed well, could make a nice addition to your stable of vehicles rather than your sole choice of transportation. [Details]

Mercedes-Benz Unimog

11. Mercedes-Benz Unimog

The folks at Benz said it best when they said the monster of a vehicle known as the Unimog offers “absolute off-road supremacy.” You can take Mercedes’ word for it, or you can research the 10 different models that were designed for disaster emergencies in the harshest conditions. This could be a bit impractical as your only means of transportation, but it could be a huge asset in your stash of vehicles. [Details]

Paramount Group Marauder

12. Paramount Group Marauder

Hands down the baddest vehicle on the planet, the Marauder will withstand any test you throw at it. The armored vehicle destroys everything in its path. Features include long range fuel tanks, the ability to survive TNT explosions, ultra modern climate control system, run flat tire that can be pierced by 12.7mm bullets, anti blast seats, and so much more. The vehicle has a fording depth of half the vehicle, meaning it can swim too. Reaching speeds of 120 kilometers per hour, this thing is far from a slouch. If you can get your hands on one of these, do it. [Details]

Source: 12 Best Vehicles For Surviving The Zombie Apocalypse – Trendwerks

A Survivalists Guide To Body Armor

Owning body armor these days makes a lot of sense for civilians as well as professionals in the security industry. With crime statistics through the roof in recent years, frequent terrorist attacks, violent protests and demonstrations – more and more people are viewing the purchase of a tactical vest as a sound investment.

It’s hard to put into words just how important body armor is, but let’s just say – it can be the difference between life and death in a number of scenarios. Still, many survivalists are quick to buy different type of guns and ammo, but overlook protective vests. However, it’s really this simple – if you own a gun or plan on owning a gun, you should also have a bulletproof vest in your house.

It’s a common trait of all survivalist to plan ahead, to be prepared. Equipping yourself with adequate protection helps you stay safe in specific circumstances. You need to understand how body armor works, what it can and cannot do for you against different threats, and how to select the best one for you.

Types and Styles of Body Armor

While there are 6 levels of protection in ballistic armor, there are three forms of armor platforms: covert,overt armor and tactical overt.

Covert armor is worn under the clothing and can be easily concealed. It is lightweight and flexible, making it idea for prolonged use. Recent advancements in the development of body armor have allowed the use of breathable materials that improve heat transfer, making it more comfortable for the wearer.

Overt armor’s main function is to protect the wearer and can also be used to intimidate the opposition. It comes in a variety of colors, styles and levels, although it is usually used when a high threat level exists. Overt armor is typically bulkier and heavier than covert and it conveys a sense of authority. Apart from offering more protection, its other main benefit is that it’s easy and quick to put on and take off.

Tactical armor is worn in a situation that is associated with a high degree of risks that prove too much for soft armor to handle. This means that it is likely for armor-piercing rounds to be used. This type of system relies on a combination of overt armor fitted with additional SAPI (hard ceramic) plates and panels that cover the neck, arms, thighs and groin area for maximum safety.

Levels of protection

Body Armor is rated at different levels based on the NIJ standards. Because the protection of the armor increases with the level, so does its weight and the cost. Ballistic body armor is rated by the Department of Justice against different round calibers. Basic soft body armor does not stop penetration from sharp objects and weapons, but it will stop thick-bladed stabs and offers protection against slashing attacks. These makes them suitable to wear in places, where there are large gatherings of people (protests, marches, during riots, etc.) as in close quarters – people often use concealable but deadly weapons, such as knives, broken bottles, screw drivers or other piercing objects to cause harm.

Survivalists who want to ensure they receive maximum protection can go for a combination of ballistic and stab proof systems that are available for purchase online but they are more expensive. In terms of bullets – pistol bullets are easier to stop than rifle bullets, because they are slower. This type of combined protection gives the best chances of surviving in risky situations, such as riots or a scenario, where you might need to travel from point A to point B while facing attacks and poor weather conditions.

Basic levels, such as Level IIA. (Level I is not in use anymore) through IIIA are considered soft body armor types and don’t always offer sufficient protection in high-tension situations, while Level IV provides the fullest protection against pistol and melee weapons but is bulkier and heavier on the wearer.

Do some research and compare the different options on body armor available online. Make sure you measure correctly and select a vest that fits well, is lightweight and comfortable apart from offering a high level of protection – these are just a few of the ground rules that every survivalist should stick to when shopping for body armor.

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.

If you want to know more kitchen tips, you better visit this site.

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.

Check out more fitness stuff here

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


How to Prepare Fresh Game Meat For Storage

If you’re hunting for meat, the last thing you can afford is for the meat to spoil before you even get it home (or to a processing facility). It’s tough to understand all of the ins and outs of preserving game meat, especially if you’re hunting in warm temperatures.

Here are a few of the most common questions I hear about game preservation:

  • How long should you wait to skin an animal? Do you need to do it immediately?
  • Does the temperature outside matter?
  • How can I keep my meat safe from bears and other predators?

Some of these questions are easier to answer than other. For example, if your hunting grounds are accessible by vehicle, game preservation is a pretty simple process. In fact, there’s really only one step to it: Collect the dead deer or other game animal and haul it to a cooler to be processed as fast as possible.

In the backcountry, or further away from a vehicle, it’s considerably more difficult. However, if you understand the common causes of spoilage and the ways to prevent it, you shouldn’t have any problems. Let’s get started…

What Factors Cause Meat to Spoil?

The biggest cause of meat spoilage is the body heat emitted by the animal itself.

While an animal’s normal internal temperature usually hovers around 99 degrees, this can actually increase once an animal dies. How is that possible?

Well, the animal’s muscles continue to generate heat; without the assistance of a functioning circulatory system, this heat doesn’t circulate properly through the animal’s body.

That’s why the most important thing to do is to lower the meat’s temperature to the temperature of the air around you–once you accomplish this, you’re nearly “home free”.

Should You Skin Your Deer?

Skinning an animal isn’t always necessary–if the outdoor temperature is 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, you can simply gut the deer while leaving its hide intact.

Deer are relatively small, so they cool faster than larger game animals.

In warm weather (above 50 degrees), however, you should take special care to skin animals quickly–especially large animals like elk with heavy hides. Removing the hide is essential to cool the meat so it doesn’t spoil.

How to skin wild game

If you need a little guidance on skinning game, I personally really like this resource provided by Outdoor Hill.

Hunting with Arrows

Many expert hunters recommend using a crossbow when you hunt elk and even deer; one reason for this is that an arrow doesn’t harm the meat nearly as much as different types of ammunition.

Bow hunting

Granted, hunting big game with an arrow is easier said than done, but it’s a lot easier with the right crossbow scope.

Should You Hang the Carcass?

Yes, you should hang the carcass up. Air circulation is essential to quick-cool meat, and hanging is the best way to accomplish an all-around circulation.

Should you hang wild game kills?

This doesn’t mean however that you need to hang the deer very high–remember, the air is cooler lower to the ground.

Should You Gut Your Game?

It’s tough to gut large game animals such as elk–you don’t want to be knee-high in blood and guts, after all.

A better method is to slit the hide from tail to head. Then you can skin the upper half, remove all legs, and debone the ribs, neck, and brisket.

Should You Bone the Carcass?

If you’re carrying the meat for a long distance, boning can make a huge different in the amount of weight you’ll be carrying.

Boning the meat also ensures that it will cool quicker, which will prevent spoilage. At the very least, you should remove the biggest portions of bone, such as the shoulders and hips; these large bones can maintain the heat within the carcass for hours after death.

Although some argue that boning the meat will expose it to more dirt and cause the meat to dry out, it’s an easy problem to solve: you just need to bag the meat and seal it well.

Preventing Excess Moisture

Next to heat, bacteria is one of the most common culprits when it comes to spoilage. The bacteria that spoils meat thrive best in wet environments.

While you should still wash the meat, you should wipe it dry and leave it out to dry in the air for awhile before you bag it.

Keeping the Meat Clean

If you’re hunting in the cold weather, you most likely won’t have to deal with flies. In higher temperatures, though, they’re a formidable opponent.

how to store willd game meat

If you’re hunting in warm weather, you should bag all skinned meat as soon as possible. Invest in high-quality, compact and easy-to-carry bags.

What About Air Temperature?

Once you’re able to extinguish the carcass’s natural body heat, the temperature of the air around you is not much of an issue. If you’re hunting in hot temperatures, however, this article from Field and Stream has handy tips to keep your meat fresh.

As long as you can cool the meat to 40 degrees, time is one your side. Most commercial butchers age their beef or game for a few weeks; they quick-age beef even faster, and at a higher temperature.

Bear Safety

Although it’s understandable to want to keep your meat (and yourself) safe from bears, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to hang an animal carcass at a “bear-proof” height: bears can reach 10 feet or higher.

Your best bet is to skin, bone, then bag the meat as quickly as possible; this will lessen the time that the animal’s scent will dissipate through the air, attracting bears and other predators.

Most Important Takeaways

If you’re hunting for meat, as opposed to sport, these are important rules to follow. Don’t sabotage your efforts and your health by allowing meat to get dirty, infected, or spoiled by the natural body heat reserved in it after death.

Here are the most important things to remember to keep your game meat fresh, especially if you’re hunting without a vehicle nearby:

  • Skin the animal as quickly as possible, this will help the meat cool to the outside temperature.
  • You should, at the very least, remove all large bones. They will weigh you down, and they cause the meat to retain more heat for longer.
  • Wash and hang your meat to dry.
  • Bag your meat as soon as possible, especially if you are in a warmer climate, or you are in an area known to be populated with bears and other predatory animals.

I wish you the best of luck properly preserving the game meat that you hunt. Let me know if you have any questions, comments, or ideas of your own in the section below. Happy hunting!

Chris Browning is the senior editor of Gun News Daily. The site was originally built by his father who used it as a resource center for people looking to learn more about gun education and safety. This legacy was carried on by Chris, who relaunched the magazine in 2015 and began to rebuild GND.

For the bulk of his career, Chris worked as a private military contractor for a number of NGOs. He is currently living outside Loveland, Colorado where he runs GND and a local coffee shop. Chris is also actively involved in the local community where he runs annual skeet shooting events.

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