The latest posts from Canadian Preppers Network
Think of it this way,
You are awakened in the wee hours of the night by emergency crews pounding on your door. A wild fire, hurricane, tsunami, or other natural or man made disaster is imminent. You have to leave....NOW. Your allowable time to pack is ZERO. If you have been paying attention, you grab your BOB and go, if not, well, you're buggered. If you still don't have a BOB for every member of the family near the front door...what are you waiting for? A disaster? Too late! Trust me, get a bag together ASAP. Here are some ideas what to put into it.
Complete change of clothing...
Consider the climate and current season, running out the door in February with a spare t-shirt and shorts is not exactly helpful. Keep extra socks too...dry feet are happy feet.
2l per day for drinking + 2l per day for sanitation. Plan for a 3 day supply.
ready to eat, without heating. Avoid dehydrated foods as they require precious (not to mention heavy to carry) water.
Flashlight & radio...
Forget about the battery types and get a crank model. They are now inexpensive enough for everyone to afford. I got mine at Canadian Tire for around $15.00. Flashlight/AM/FM Radio combo.
toilet paper a must, feminin products for those who need them.
prescriptions for a week + over the counter stuff like pain relievers, antihistamines, etc.
very important....keep copies of important documents, family photos, and anything invaluable that can be digitized. This includes insurance policies, house deeds, banking records.
Trust me people, this can make even government run shelter life more pleasant, or at least tolerable.
We had an ice storm here last Friday, April 12. In March, 2012 the temperature was 20°C (70°F) for two weeks. All the trees broke bud, and then many got damaged when the cold weather returned. This year, the winter seems reluctant to go away. Now, I have to admit I don’t mind, because I’m still finishing next year’s firewood and have a whack of jobs around the property that don’t require warm weather, so frankly I find I can accomplish way more when it’s cool. The ground is still frozen in many places so I can’t turn over the gardens, even if I wanted to.
In January 1998, 6 months before we bought this place, there was a huge ice storm that left millions without power for days or weeks. Last week’s ice storm left lots of people around us without electricity again, many for 2 or more days. I’ve been through ice storms before, but this was the worst I’ve seen in my lifetime. Our area was hit extremely hard and there was a lot of damage. We had a lot of trees come down and tons of branches break off.
It was quite windy in the morning but the wind turbine had become iced up over night and so we didn’t get any “juice” from it. Nothing makes me more paranoid than seeing my wind turbine on a tilt-up galvanized steel tower held up with guy wires, rated at a certain weight and load, that is now covered with a quarter inch of ice. Yikes! It’s still standing though, as a testament to my engineering prowess (but more likely sheer luck, I think).
It’s a very bizarre experience to stand outside your house and hear the endless “cracks” as branches break off, then the “shattering glass” sound as the ice on the branch hits everything on the way down, taking more ice with it. It’s just brutal.
As I sat in the office late in the afternoon a huge poplar came crashing down outside the guesthouse. It just missed hitting my garlic drying racks, which would have really annoyed me if it had hit them. The weird thing is that the tree had basically fallen over, and its roots had been pulled out of the ground. That has never happened here. Poplars are a crappy tree and will break off at the hint of ice or big wind. But this time the tree had fallen over from the weight of the ice. I was talking to my neighbor who has been here much longer than I have and he had 3 poplars come down the same way. He said he’d never seen that before.
So in pursuit of my climate change confirmation bias, I found this article from National Geographic which suggests that scientists believe that the additional warmth in the arctic and lack of sea ice, exacerbated with more exposed dark water, is pushing that nice warm jet stream further south, causing us to experience a cool spring in the north and more erratic weather.
I hope ice storms are not the new norm, certainly not in April. I heat with wood, and the trees that came down won’t go to waste, but to see so many with damaged leaders, and lost limbs, well, it’s pretty brutal. Apparently nature can have a real attitude.
- Local Neighborhood
- Wide Area
Sometimes, your local neighborhood could be affected and access cut off. Designate at least two meeting places such as a nearby school, library, or other safe place. Make sure that everyone in the family knows where they are and how to get there. You may be asked to shut off utilities before evacuating so make sure that everyone who is old enough to do so knows the location of utility entries and how to properly shut them off. In the case of gas or water, a tool such as a wrench may be needed, so have one specifically for that purpose located at the service entrance.
Wide area emergencies can and do happen more often that we would like. Make sure that every member of your home has and carries an information package at all times. This package should include:
- In town and out of town contact information
- medical information such as the names of prescription medications, dosage and frequency (an old label from a prescription bottle is a great idea)
- list of meeting places and maps of how to get there
- emergency contact information
- some change to make phone calls from a public phone
- a cell phone with text capability
- Natural disasters
- Man made disasters
Man made disasters are far more unpredictable. Of course, living near a nuclear power plant or chemical factory would be good indicators of the probabilities, the risk of an emergency can also be mobile, such as a train carrying hazardous materials derailing, or a trucking accident, or even terrorism. Fast paced global travel has also opened up the possibility of a pandemic spreading as quickly as a jet can travel from one continent to another. There are, of course, certain emergency situations that have no specific geographical limits, such as an extended power failure, drought, and others.
Knowing the risks is the first step to being prepared. If we don't know what could happen in our specific area, how could we possibly be prepared? Sit down and do a bit of research then make a list. Look into the possibilities within your neighborhood, your province, and also world wide events in the past. Having this information will be of great importance when you get to the next step, Making a plan.
- Skills Training
- Practice and Drills
- A First Aid Kit – sized for your group
- Clothes and Footwear – weatherproof outerlayer, 2x sets of everything else
- Tarp – for shelter
- Water Bottle or Canteen & Metal Container to boil in
- High Energy Food (that does not need more than boiling water to prepare)
- Fire Lighting Kit – at least 3 methods of starting a fire
- Eton Scorpion Radio
- In a waterproof pouch: Copy of all personal documents & a copy on a USB
- A Backpack or duffle bag to carry all the gear
Welcome to Emergency Preparedness Week at The Canadian Preppers Network.Each year, Public Safety Canada sponsors Emergency Preparedness Week on the first full week in May. The "72 hours...is your family prepared?" campaign was launched in 2006 and each year, studies have shown an increase in the percentage of Canadians taking action to prepare.
The campaign promotes 3 basic steps to emergency preparedness:
- Know the risks
- Make a plan
- Get a kit
This week, The Canadian Preppers Network will be publishing a wide assortment of articles from various volunteers, all in an effort to raise awareness of the importance of keeping yourselves and your families safe in the face of disaster.
I hope everyone will take the time to subscribe to the blog using the link on the right hand toolbar, or follow us on Twitter with the link on the left hand tool bar, where you will also see a Facebook like button. For those of you who have Twitter accounts, you can keep up to date on all sorts of EP Week events using the hashtag #epweek.
Happy Emergency Preparedness Week Canada!
In light of the popularity of social media use, it was past the time that the Canadian Preppers Network started to take advantage of this technology.
We can now be followed on Twitter...the twitter name is @canprepnet. If you use twitter, please follow us and help boost the popularity of emergency preparedness.
Also, we now have a Facebook page called Canadian Preppers Network, so if you use facebook, "like" us and keep up to date on posts there also. Here is the facebook link...
I recently got an advance edition of a brand new card game called Armageddon Preppin. Armageddon Preppin is, as I mentioned a card game, but with a twist that I haven't seen yet. In the game, you are the leader of a family, or prepper group if you like and have to decide how many members to keep in the shelter and how many will go out into the world to gather supplies in the form of food, water, and shelter...you know, the 3 basics of life. Each turn around the table sees a disaster strike, which uses up your supplies, or even kills off part of your group. The object, of course, is to be the last leader standing.
When you first open the game, the instruction sheet can be a little intimidating, but don't let it scare you. Just sit down with a few of your prepper buddies and do a practice round to get the hang of it. I promise, it comes easy.
The cards themselves (there are 96 in a deck) are well made and will stand up to the tests of time. On the other hand, the family markers seem a bit flimsy. Of course, when they wear out, you can always use match sticks, buttons, or whatever you have on hand. After all, you're a prepper and that means you're resourceful, right? Not to worry though, the boys that came up with the game will also be introducing wooden markers that will out survive even the best of prepers. Not to mention the bug out box also available...a sturdy wooden carry case for the entire game.
It's about time someone came up with a game meant for preppers!
Thanks to all involved!
Local authors Cam and Michelle Mather provide a complete overview to living a typical North American lifestyle powered entirely by renewable energy and prepping for the challenges of an uncertain future. They examine heat, hot water and electricity generation along with food production and storage with the theme of minimizing their impact on the planet. The full day workshop includes lunch and a chance to network with similarly minded individuals.
For more information and to register:
Well - I've had a year to use my All American canners and I am ready to give a review! I bought my All American's at Lehman's on a trip to the States last year. I've had a 23 quart Presto for many years so after that much time I have some opinions!
Each time I bought a canner I had a hard time deciding which size to buy. Bigger?? Smaller?? What's the most practical? Over time I have learned that there are good reasons for each canner and each size.
I'll start with the 23 Quart Presto. I was able to order it though Home Hardware for around $150.00. It wasn't far from home so I didn't have to pay shipping. I hadn't even laid-eyes on a pressure canner in real-life before I ordered it so it was rather a blind choice based somewhat on internet reviews. No one I knew in real-life pressure canned so I was on my own to figure it out and learn. I remember how scared I was at first - ha ha!! I've heard from many others who had the same experience and left the canner in the closet for a year or two before they screwed up the courage to try it. Hasn't everyone heard a story about a canner exploding all over the ceiling??? I'm sure it might be possible but if you follow the rules and let the canner de-pressurize before you open it - its IMPOSSIBLE!
My 23 quart Presto holds 7 quarts or 14 pints if you stack them in two rows. It depends a little on the size of the pints - some older ones are slightly different sizes. As far as I know this is the biggest size that Presto currently sells. The 16 Quart Presto holds 7 quarts or 9-10 pints. In comparison to the All American it's not too heavy - even when it's full. It's safe to use on my glass top stove - or any other stove for that matter. Mine (exactly as pictured except not as clean - or shiny) has a gauge and a weight and apparently you can get a "jiggler" for it. I'll explain that later. The seal which needs to be replaced every few years has held up for over 6 years with no problems.
The down side of my Presto - I wish it was bigger. If it was just a little taller you could double stack quarts in it - this of course would double your output. I also have trouble with keeping the pressure steady when I use it on my electric stove. Up - down - waaaay up- waaay down...you can't be more than a few steps away from it the whole time. I've gotten used to it. I would guess it would be more steady if it was on a gas stove due to the constant heat as opposed to the cycling nature of the electric stove.
The Presto has served me well and I expect to use it for many years to come.
My All American are absolute brutes. I bought the canners at Lehman's for about $400.00 because I didn't want to pay shipping - they are very heavy! I ones I bought hold 14 quarts and 19 pints - meaning you can process twice as much at a time as the Presto! When I stood in the store second guessing my decision on which sizes because I was dazzled at the choices to buy - I chatted with a few women who were also looking at them. I asked their advice hoping they would steer me in the right direction. One woman mentioned that she didn't have help at home (no daughters or family) so she was happy with the smaller canner. That seemed to make sense for her. I debated for quite awhile but finally decided to GO BIG OR GO HOME. I got two model 930 - 30 quarts. All American's come in many sizes - there are is one size even bigger!!
AA's can NOT be used on glass top stoves - they are too heavy. I have a Chef King double propane stove - it's definitely my favourite "stove" for outdoor use. I also have two kerosene canning stoves for indoor winter use.
So what's MY favourite? By far the All American's. I like to can lots at one time but I usually have help. It depends a lot on what I am canning. Some items require more preparation. Canning 14 jars of most things wouldn't be too much in my home! The quality can't be beat - they are heavy duty and are built so you can hand them down to your kids in your will - if they aren't tired of canning before then!
If cost is a factor - and when ISN"T it - I would buy the Presto first and save up for the All American to be purchased at a later date. I have NEVER seen one for sale second-hand but if that option opened up I would be careful. The gauge can be damaged and then the pressure would not be correct. I have still not been able to find a place in Canada where you can take the canner to have the pressure checked - if anyone knows please post it below in the comments.
Pressure canning is a huge leap forward in being able to preserve your own food and make huge inroads into your food storage. You can process meat, soups, low acid vegetables and everything has ONLY what YOU put in it - no chemicals or preservatives - no impossible to read ingredients. Healthy and delicious and FUN too - and I promise the canner won't blow up! What'cha waiting for????
The jars go in the dehydrator at about 100 degrees for about 6 hours. Check to see how thick it's getting. You can leave it longer but it gets a stronger sour taste - which I like. You can also heat the oven to 200 degrees, wrap the bottles in a towel and turn the heat off leaving just the light bulb on to keep the oven warm. Some people use a thermos - a great no electricity solution. I've tried them all but since my dehydrator is convenient and I can put something in it to dehydrate at the same time - it's win-win.
You might think 5 or 6 pints is a lot of yogurt depending on how many people you have living at home and how much you all like yogurt. You can of course make less at one time but we always find uses for it!
I add some Herbamare and some Mrs. Dash to my cream cheese but you can add whatever you like. It tastes great on toast or used like goat cheese in a salad or anywhere you would use cream cheese. We also use the plain yogurt as the base for some really outstanding smoothies.
Yogurt is a great source of calcium, it helps to keep healthy bacteria flourishing in your stomach and tastes great. Anyone else make yogurt???
Tonight on GoatHollow and The Surreal News, show host Doug will have a very special guest.
None other than Brooklyn Bagwell, casting director for National Geographic's Doomsday Preppers.
This is a live show, so you can call in with your questions or comments!
DO NOT MISS THIS!!!
http://prepperbroadcasting.com/show-sch ... at-hollow/
We also need to be aware of threats. Threats can range from recognizing that a storm is coming, to noticing that a stranger is lingering in front of your house, among many others. Your situational awareness and your state of mind will play a huge role in recognizing a threat and minimizing your exposure to that threat.
Cooper's Color Code:
Cooper's color code is a system used to categorize different levels of awareness.
White: The lowest level of awareness, this can be described as completely unaware of ones surroundings. In this level one does not notice people or changes in their environment. This is the state that an attacker would look for in choosing a victim.
Example: Walking down the street texting, with earphones on. This person generally is not paying attention to their surroundings.
Yellow: This level is cautious and aware, it can be described as a relaxed state of awareness where one does recognize the possibility of something unexpected happening. This is the ideal state of mind to remain in at all times. In this state one notices people and their behaviour as well as small changes to their environment. This is not a difficult to do by simply continuing to pay attention to the surroundings.
Example: Walking down the street, you watch all vehicular traffic as well as any people on the street with a cautious eye.
Orange: In danger, this state focuses on a determined threat allowing you to evaluate the next course of action. In this state you have identified the cause of danger and are preparing to take action.
Example: You notice a man in front of your house. He makes a sharp turn up your driveway and proceeds into your backyard.
Red: The highest level of awareness, red is now in conflict. Red is the zone where you carry out the decisions made in orange. This is the fight or flight zone. If formal training is present, this is where it should kick in.
Example: I'm going to use a first aid example here. Your toddler is quietly watching t.v. with a bowlful of grapes, then from the kitchen you hear a gagging, coughing sound, this is orange. You see your child standing with his mouth open struggling to breathe. You are now in red.
Using this system you can train yourself to remain in yellow most of the time. You can then escalate your awareness depending on the threat, plan for, and take appropriate action. Practice throughout the day remaining in yellow and fluidly transitioning to orange when a possible threat is identified. It helps to imagine a possible threat and transition into orange, then try to plan for any possible course of action.
This can also be used in communications.
Code Yellow- relaxed caution
Code Orange- possible threat detected
Code Red- in conflict
Boyd's O.O.D.A Loop:
Boyd's O.O.D.A. loop is a continuous process that is an apt extension to Cooper's Color Code.
It stands for:
Observe: Observe the threat.
Orient: Orient yourself, process any courses of action.
Decide: Decide on the most appropriate course of action for the situation.
Act: Act on the decision.
MEAL KIT SUPPLY MRE – MEAL READY TO EAT
Packaging – Delivered by UPS, the mre s come in a clearly labeled white and black box. Although this makes them easily found and identified in a prepper’s storage room, your UPS guy has no need to guess what’s in the box. Fortunately for me, my UPS guy seems pretty oblivious as to what they are, and having gotten only one case, probably didn’t raise any eyebrows. However, regular orders being delivered in order to bolster your supply could draw some attention. One could consider this an OPSEC issue, but it is only a minor one in my opinion as most UPS guys are more interested in getting back home to dinner than what they are actually delivering. Although, Meal Kit Supply might want to consider a more discrete package.
Contents – Inside the case is twelve complete meals, the sample sent to me included the flameless heater option. There were only 2 meals that were duplicated and those were more suited to a breakfast, which they say is the most important meal of the day anyhow. Each meal is packed in its own thick plastic bag which proved to be quite durable and waterproof, albeit somewhat frustrating to open using the “open here” pull tabs, but a pocket knife makes this a non issue. Here is the meal breakdown…
Apple Maple Oatmeal – 2
Maple Flavor Pork Sausage Patty – 2
Chicken With Tomatoes and Feta Cheese – 1
Beef Ravioli in Meat Sauce – 1
Spaghetti With Beef and Sauce – 1
Meatballs in Marinara Sauce – 1
Chili With Beans – 1
Chicken, Noodles, Vegetables in Sauce – 1
Ratatouille (Mixed Vegetables and Penne) – 1
Vegetable Lasagna – 1
Instructions & Nutritional Information Booklet – 1
The vegetable lasagna meal was packaged in a way that I could not read the meal description, so curiosity got the best of me and this is the first meal I tried. As I mentioned, the thick plastic bag that these meals are packed in can be difficult to open, which is probably a good thing if you think about it, but a pocket knife makes quick work of that issue. Inside the bag were the different components of the meal which consisted of…
Carbohydrate Electrolyte Drink Mix
Cocoa Beverage Powder
Accessory Packet (Spoon, Instant Coffee, Coffee Whitener, Sugar, Salt, Pepper, Moist Towelette, Napkin)
When I added up the calorie content of each item, I found that the complete meal had about 1200 calories. Two of these per day would meet minimum requirements and three would certainly sustain you in an active environment. Although not every daily nutritional requirement was met by the meal, vitamin C was well represented with over 500% of the daily needs and several other vitamins such as B6 were very well represented.
Item By Item –
The first thing I did was get the main course started with the heater. This required the heater bag being filled to a line with about two ounces of water. The bag is then folded around the main course meal pouch and set outdoors. The reason for this is that the reaction that produces the heat also produces no toxic exhaust steam and hydrogen gas. I put mine outside the back door on an old piece of scrap drywall and waited the recommended ten minutes.
Next, I figured I would go for the drink mix, as most of us wake up with a pasty mouth and need some liquid refreshment. The pouch contains enough powder to mix with twelve ounces of water and was very reminiscent of Tang from the seventies. The powder can be mixed in the pouch, but would be awkward to drink from given the shape of the pouch. I poured mine into a water glass.
Next came a little appetizer, the crackers and grape jelly. The crackers were a lot like unsalted soda crackers and were a bit broken up from being tossed around a bit. With the grape jelly spread on top, they were actually quite palatable. The picture only shows half the portion as I had already given some to my tasting team, my two and four year old kids.
Now that the ten minute heating was done on the main course, let’s take a look at what we have. The heat pack has to be handled carefully as it does what it is supposed to, which is create heat. The foil pack with the main course opens along the width, which helps when you need to eat out of the foil.
Wondering just how much food is in this little packet? Me too, so let’s take a look on a plate.
Doesn’t look like much does it? Well believe it or not, it’s not a bad sized portion.
At first glance it looks kind of like a can of Chef Boy Ardee, but on closer inspection you can see some beans and veggies mixed in there and let me tell you, it may not be gourmet, but it’s a lot better than the stuff in a can and I didn’t even need the salt & pepper!
Now for a little dessert. I started with the applesauce. The foil pouch it comes in had a label touting the words “…enhanced with maltodextrin for enhanced performance”. Malto-what?
I had to look this one up to find out more. Simply put, it is vegetable or grain starch broken down into sugar that has a very high absorption rate by the body which will give you an energy boost faster than other forms of sugar. The best thing about the applesauce was the packet, designed to be eaten out of with a narrow opening. The second picture shows the portion size on a plate.
Ok, so now for the piece de resistance…the fudge brownie. I have to admit that it just doesn’t stand up to mom’s brownies, but for something out of a foil package it was pretty good! The portion size is more than what you would expect and was surprisingly big. A desiccant pack is included, so be sure to remove it before enjoying.
Since we’re on a chocolate binge, let’s take a look at the cocoa drink powder. This was probably the best packaged item in the meal. The foil packet had a re sealable zipper and was hourglass shaped. This allows for you to add hot water to the pouch, seal and shake. It was also an ideal shape to hold and drink from. Not too sweet, but pretty good.
Now, to finish off the meal, let’s have a look at the instant coffee. Not worth mentioning you say? Think again! Ok, it’s not a Tim Horton’s double double, but as far as instant goes, it rates better than the jar of Maxwell House I occasionally dip into. I used six ounces of boiling water for it and as soon as the powder hit the water, you could smell that this was something just a bit above your average cup of instant. And guess what…it was pretty darn good!
Overall, the taste was not haute cuisine, but it was a heck of a lot better than I expected. Calories are well represented and even though I shared every part of the meal with the kids, I was more than satisfied when we were done. By the way, the kids enjoyed everything too, which is important to many of us, as we don’t need to take special foods along with us in a bug out situation just for them.
The plastic pouch that each meal kit comes in is rugged and waterproof. Careful attention is made to provide variety in both the meals and the case pack. Storage time is 5 years, may be more of less, depending on temperature, but the manufacturing date on the case is a code, which the key to is provided, but could be marked in a way that would make it simpler to read…like just stamping the actual date.
These meals are not going to sustain you in perfect health over long term use, but then again, they aren’t meant to. They make a perfect addition to a bug out kit, or just to take along on day trips to the deer blind or fishing hole. The packaged meals weigh between seven hundred and eight hundred grams each and nutritional info as well as ingredients are on each item. Also, each foil packet of food or drink mix has preparation instructions printed on them.
All in all, these make a great addition to your food storage plans and they will definitely have a place in mine.
Visit Meal Kit Supply at http://www.mealkitsupply.com/
Oh, I almost forgot to mention that these are shipped out of Canada, so no customs worries at all.
It's time for my annual challenge to EAT TO THE BOTTOM OF THE FREEZER.
This is a challenge I look forward to this every year. You can read the post I wrote last year about this event. It's always fun and it's a great way to force yourself to use up the bits and pieces that accumulate in the freezer and the pantry.
I'm starting the challenge officially next Monday January 7th and going till the end of the month. This allows for the weekend to have a look at your supplies and see if there are any glaring holes - no sense setting up for failure. Of course if this was an emergency you wouldn't have the weekend to stock up!
|There's always EGGS!|
The rules for this challenge are really whatever YOU decide they are but this year I am committing to purchasing ONLY fresh fruits and vegetables. I know we have some bread in the freezer but when it's gone we'll be back to making it from scratch. I have all the ingredients for baking and cooking and at this point I can't imagine what I might run out of but that's one of the points of the challenge. When we buy bread for example we don't really give much thought to what's in it - or at least what we would need (and how much of it) to replicate a loaf of bread. I learned from the last challenges that baking our own bread required more wheat than I thought it would.
My goals are these:
- To clean out the freezers and reorganize while I'm at it.
- To go through the kitchen cabinets and eat all the random leftover things - this may require some ingenuity!
- To go though my food storage area and rotate out any food nearing it's best before date.
- To make note of the ingredients we need to make/bake/cook that we normally just buy pre-made - a continuing journey away from processed foods.
- To eat all the squash that is starting to "go" in my improvised cold cellar - that still is not working very well.
- To begin some new good habits in cooking and baking more from scratch.
- To save January's budgeted grocery money and add it in our emergency fund.
- "But I'll eat all my food storage! All the work I did storing it up goes to waste" - I disagree on the basis that food needs to be rotated anyway. This is just a tool to help us do that while making decisions about what we have stored and whether it is the most appropriate for our families. If you choose you can set aside the grocery money and buy food to replace your food storage stores.
- But I'll miss all the great sales that I want to take advantage of to build my food storage supply." I'm OK with shopping for those items as long as they DO go into your long term storage and don't get eaten in January.
Another year. Another chance to start over with a brand new page on a new calendar and another chance for most of the world to make those pesky New Years Resolutions. I don't do New Years Resolutions because although I enjoy the clean-slate-fresh-start-excitement of it all I have failed too many times. My resolutions tended to be short sighted and mostly wishful thinking that came after 2 weeks of parties and fun and not enough sleep!
We can imagine a world where no one is waiting for assistance in desperation after a disaster. A world where no one fears their neighbour knowing what they have because their neighbour is a prepper too. A world where ideas are shared easily without risk of suspicion. A world where each home is a castle, capable of producing it's own needs. Each street is a small town able to help and share and each neighbourhood is it's own little city, trustworthy and capable. This world is not impossible nor unrealistic, in fact, this world is the past.
The Holiday season is a time of reflection and thankfulness so I would like to thank you, the C.P.N. members for helping to create the world of my imagination. The world that we all strive to live in is attainable and it begins with you.
Thank you all for doing what you do, and for sharing what you do with those of us who are less experienced.
I'm sure we can all remember being a new prepper and how hard it was in the beginning, so thank you existing members for your knowledge and experience and for sharing so readily.
I wish you all the very best in the coming new year.
Happy 2013 C.P.N.!!!
|Heartland Wood Cookstove|
It's been a bit of a process but we've finally made up our minds what to do about the wood stove - cook stove dilemma we've (I've) been struggling with. I have written before about my absolute love of all things old and beautiful but I would NOT want an old stove because burn technology and heat shields have come a long way in the past 25 years and I am concerned about safety above all.
Our search had several criteria.
- It had to look good.
- It needed to be efficient.
- I would like to cook on it.
- The price needs to be taken into consideration.
It may sound shallow but that was in order of importance!
We spent part of the past weekend learning about wood stoves by visiting different wood stove dealers. We asked lots of questions and were able to see - in person - some of the stoves I had researched on-line. The real dilemma in making the choice lay in what we want the stove for in the first place. Our first priority is an alternative way to heat the house - the second is cooking. I had to keep reminding myself of that goal.
My all time favourite is the Heartland Wood Cook stove - and who wouldn't love it??? It's even more beautiful in real life! This is the stove I drooled over - almost literally... The problem: It was pricey - about $7000.00 and It has a small firebox which means it needs to be restocked regularly and although many people use it to heat their homes I was looking for something that I could fill up and leave longer than the 7-8 hours max it is rated. Chopping wood is not on my list of - I-can't-wait-to-do-this-some-more so if I gotta do the work then I want all the bang for the buck I can get for my sweat equity.
One of the others I wanted to see was the Esse cook stove. This stove made in the UK has great reviews for heating a home and cooking. It looks nice too. I liked it but the price tag of $7000.00 was more than my budget could bear.
So - we needed to look for something else. We stopped in a place called Friendly Fires in Peterborough and walked into WOODSTOVE-COOKSTOVE-GAS-STOVE-BBQ HEAVEN! We found really nice people who really knew what they were talking about. We got the most answers to our questions of all our stops and they took their time to explain everything without making us feel we were taking too long (or we were dumb - which of course we were!)
All through this process I had my conversation with Michelle Mather (who lives completely off-grid) in the back of my mind. Last year she pointed out that having a cookstove as your main cooking appliance meant you would have to fire up the beast in the middle of the summer in order to cook - oh yeah. Her suggestion was to get a good quality woodstove - and she and her husband Cam recommended the Pacific Energy Brand (and later get a gas cookstove that looked like the cookstove of my dreams. oooh!)
After looking at many other brands we settled on one made by Pacific Energy - the Alderlea.
Built around Pacific Energy’s legendary Super Series steel firebox, the Alderlea T5 combines the very best features of both cast iron and steel stoves. Elegant, historic cast iron styling that adds to the decor of any room, radiant and convective heat, huge glass for a full view of your fire, a concealed cook top for peace of mind during power outages all in a proven easy- lighting, clean, long-burning heater with 30 years of wood stove technology behind it.
|Alderlea by Pacific Energy|
Matt - they guy we talked to at Friendly Fires mentioned that one of the other men who worked there had guided the purchase of wood stoves for his whole family and wouldn't let them buy anything BUT an Alderlea because as a repair man he KNEW that these were the least likely to break down, the easiest to fix if they did and the most efficient. Apparently people who own one never want anything else - even 20 years later they are coming back for the same stove. Well - that was the kind of recommendation we were looking for. It's also pretty, it has a swing out cook top and the price of $2500.00 was more within the budget range.
|Alderlea by Pacific Energy|
Our stove chimney will go straight up through the ceiling of the dining room, through the corner of second floor family room and out the sloped roof - the install cost was quoted at around $3000.00. Spending that kind of money I think it's worth our while to purchase a really good stove rather than put an old stove in and hoping for the best. I feel very confident the Alderlea will last for many years and safely do the job with style.
Soon we will have one more step done in the plan to be more self sufficient!
Canadian Preppers Network Official Statement Regarding the Connecticut School ShootingsIt has come to our attention at the
The smells of beef stew in the crock pot and chestnuts roasting in the oven permeate the house. The snow falls slowly in large flakes that swirl then quickly gather and blanket the yard. It's winter in Canada and like it or not, that means winter prepping.
I like to make a winter checklist of things to do just before we get hit with the seasons' first snowfall.
Here's an example of my list:
-Get the furnace checked/ do annual maintenance
-Double check secondary heat sources (plug in heaters)
-If you're lucky enough to have a wood stove, check and do maintenance, top
up wood storage
-If it's been 6 months- 1 year, check and refill water storage,
move it to where it won't freeze
-Tune up the car, put winter tires on
-Make sure all vehicles have a safety kit containing at least:
-candles, snacks, first aid kit, water, flashlight, blanket, gloves,
folding shovel, kitty litter (for traction), and jumper cables.
I like to put mine in an empty paint can which has multiple uses.
-Clean eaves troughs to prevent ice backup
-If necessary, put plastic insulation on interior windows
-Check salt storage or buy salt and replace any broken or damaged shovels
-Inventory your food storage and make sure nothing has invaded your pantry.
-Top up on ready to eat foods.
-Check over sleeping bags, make sure they're in good condition.
-Empty and restock bug out bags for winter survival, make sure all documents
are up to date, copied and packed.
That's just an example of my list. Yours might be longer or shorter depending on your situation. I believe winter prepping is most vital to us Canadians as I believe winter to be our biggest threat. Not only does it pose health risks such as frostbite and hypothermia but a winter power outage can also cause serious damage to your home.
Here are some tips to help if you do experience a winter power outage:
-Close drapes/ blinds to conserve indoor heat.
If necessary, hang blankets over windows to further this goal.
-Open taps to a slow drip to prevent pipes from freezing.
-Close off an interior room for household members by hanging a blanket
in an open doorway, or by plugging drafts under existing doors.
Restrict movement into and out of this room to maintain heat.
-Candles cause fires. If using candles maintain proper precautions by
keeping them away from flammable sources, children and pets.
Keep your battery powered carbon monoxide and smoke
detectors in the same room along with a proper fire extinguisher.
-Never use a generator indoors or when wet, store fuel outdoors as well.
-Never use a BBQ indoors, fumes are deadly.
Remember that winter in Canada is not only inconvenient with the shoveling and travel hazards, it can be a serious event.
If you have any tips to share, please feel free to add them in the comments.
Preppers have been researching ways to protect their electronics, generate their own power, and protect and repair damaged vehicles. There are countless disagreements about grounding Faraday cages or not, discussions on older vehicles without modern computers and what parts to stock up on to repair them, and numerous forum and blog posts about what types of alternative power generation could be used after such an event.
Just when we thought we were making headway on the topic, along comes a new threat regarding damaging EMPs. Enter Boeing's CHAMP weapon. CHAMP - Counter-electronics High powered Advanced Missile Project is the latest EMP device in the world today. A recent test flight of CHAMP successfully disabled power, computers, and even the video cameras set up to record the event. It is now evident that the scientific and military world have a really good understanding of EMP power and it's uses and effects.
This, of course, raises a whole new set of concerns from the prepper community. Just because the US is the first to disclose the existence of such a weapon, doesn't ensure that other, less western friendly countries don't already have the technology, or won't possess it soon. Although I can't see terrorist organizations using this exact model, I can see how they could adapt the technology into other delivery systems. Of course, there is also the concern that our own governments could us this weapon against it's own population, but as you all know by now, I really don't subscribe to such paranoid conspiracy theories.
Take a look at this video from Boeing...
Rating 1 star lowest, 5 stars highest
Click stars to vote for Canadian Preppers Network