Daily Survival

The latest posts from Daily Survival

Original Article

by Angela
Hold off on the weed spray! Make dandelions your friends with these 27+ ways to use them!

Hold off on the weed spray!  That shining yellow flower that pops up all over creation in the spring doesn’t need to be eradicated.  Although dandelions are typically thought of as a pesky weed, they are entirely edible from root to bloom and have many other uses as well.  So if your world is being overrun by dandelions, check out some of these fantastic ways to put them to use for you!

Using Dandelion Roots:

How to Cook Dandelion Roots
Harvesting and Using Dandelion Roots
Dandelion Root Coffee Substitute
Dandelion Root Tea

Using Dandelion Leaves:

Put them in a fresh salad
Cook them like spinach
Try this Wilted Dandelion Salad
Use them in this Avocado Herb Sandwich
10 Ways to Use Dandelion Greens (includes a recipe for pesto!)
Another version of Dandelion Pesto
Juice them
Make a green smoothie
Dandelion leaf tea

Using Dandelion Flowers:

How to make Dandelion Wine and Dandelion Cookies
Another recipe for Dandelion Wine
Dandelion Jelly
Dandelion Syrup
Dandelion Bread
Dandelion Flower Cookies
Dandelion Flower Tea
Iced Lime and Dandelion Tea

Medicinal and personal care uses:

Dandelion Salve
Dandelion Oil for Arthritis and Joint Pain Relief
Dandelion Tonic for liver, bladder, and gallbladder cleansing (video)

Dandelion Recipes:

A roundup of Dandelion Recipes Includes recipes for Cream of Dandelion Soup, Dandelion Egg Salad, Split Pea Dandelion Bud Soup, and more.
Get cooking with dandelions with the Ultimate Dandelion Cookbook!
And if you don’t want to eat the dandelions, you can always use them to Feed your chickens!
More information on using dandelions in these articles:
Dandelions: The Weed You Need
10 Wild Plants You Can Eat
Who knew there were so many fantastic ways to use dandelions?  So when those beautiful yellow flowers pop up this spring, try some of these uses and make dandelions a friend instead of a foe!
The post 27+ Ways to Use Dandelion appeared first on Food Storage and Survival.
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Author: Bax
Posted: April 14, 2014, 3:01 pm

Original Article

by Travis
Growing food fast is key to survival in any SHTF scenario. While growing most vegetables from seed takes anywhere from 50 to 125 days, re-growing certain vegetables from left over stems can take significantly less time in a very basic hydroponics system. Green onions are one of the easiest vegetables to re-grow in water. However, there is a little more to it than what most “Suzy homemaker” blogs claim. I have found that green onions will re-grow in a glass of water very quickly and successfully by adding just 2-3 drops of all-purpose plant food with each change of water, which should be done at least every other day. This addition of nutrient will help the onions grow fast and healthy. Without this addition, the onions simply won’t prosper because most drinking water if all but void of nutrients needed for plants to grow. However, it’s important to note that too much of a good thing can also be bad, so don’t add more than 2-3 drops of plant food or you will kill your onion.
So how quickly will they re-grow? I have found that it takes about two weeks to re-grow a green onion from the stem of one previously used. All you have to do is save the root and about 1-2 inches of the stem. Place the root and stem in a tall glass with the nutrient dense water coming about ¼ inch from the top of the stem.  Soon you will have a new set of healthy, nutrient rich onions to eat! Best of all, these stems can be used over and over again as long as you maintain the water and don’t allow any mold to build up on the plant.
Green Onion Hydroponics
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Author: Bax
Posted: April 13, 2014, 2:40 pm

Original Article

Under Pressure
by Jackie Clay
What to grow in a shady area
Our homestead is very small, and in a biggish city, Youngstown, OH. We bought a fixer-upper here about a year ago. The back yard is very small, and it’s on a hillside. Our back and side yard blends into a large park here, Mill Creek Park. I don’t mean a manicured garden park, I mean small lakes, at least one waterfall, wild critters, etc. It’s beautiful! But, while our yard is cleared of most trees, huge, towering maple trees, lots of them, are right on the boundary. So it’s a pretty darn shady hillside a large part of the day. It’s on the north side of the house.

Personally, I think we could grow some herbs there, since I have better luck with partial shade than full sun, which seems to burn my herbs up. I think green would grow well there. But what about fruit trees and bushes? When I was young, I found elderberries, raspberries, etc, in the woods, and on the edges of forest and meadow. So I am going to research what I might plant there, since fruit, in and out of season, is very expensive (to me).

Sorry I am so long-winded. I see in some catalogs trees that are grafted with a few different kinds of one fruit, such as apples, or even with 6 different fruits, like apple, pear, nectarine, etc. Do you know anything about this kind of tree? Are they a good idea? This would be fruit for the table, since I expect that I wouldn’t get a canning amount of any one of the fruits. Do they produce enough to be worth the space? Are they a hardy, long bearing kind of tree?

Barb Mundorff
Youngstown, Ohio
Yes, your herbs should work in your partially-shaded yard. Many other garden plants from salad greens to even green beans and tomatoes will often work. Yes, some fruits, too, will grow in partial shade. In Michigan I had a pie cherry that grew in the dense shade of a huge weeping willow in the front yard. It produced very well, too! Elderberries, plums, paw paws, and persimmons also grow quite well in shady areas.
The “fruit salad” grafted fruit trees can work well for many urban homesteaders. All varieties on the tree don’t ripen at the same time so these trees are quite useful. And you will get enough to can jelly, jams, preserves, or sauce (depending on the fruits!). They do eventually produce well and are as hardy and long-bearing as any other kind of fruit tree meant for your zone. They prefer a more sunny yard but I sure would give it a try. It’s amazing at how many things folks have told me I “couldn’t possibly grow” did very well, indeed. Homesteaders are an experimenting bunch! — Jackie
Storing canned goods with rings on them
I have been canning for about a year now, careful to follow all of your instructions, and those in the Ball Blue Book. Once I am sure my jars are sealed properly I have re-attached the ring to some of them as a sort of insurance & a way to “store” the number of rings I am collecting. I have recently read that this can be dangerous – that should a jar unseal the ring will hold it on and allow bacteria to grow and re-seal the jar. Is this cause for alarm? Do I have to discard any jars I have with rings on them?
Judith Almand
Brandon, Florida
Jars that have become unsealed will NOT reseal if you screw the ring back on a jar lightly. Once unsealed, a jar remains unsealed. As always, when opening a jar, first look at the contents, open the jar, being sure it IS sealed, smell the contents, then bring to boiling temperature for 10-15 minutes. Sometimes a “bad” jar will pop “sealed” and “unsealed” several times but when you open the jar, the lid comes off very easily and you can sure tell it isn’t normal. I frequently store my washed jars that I’ve taken the rings off and washed both then dried, with the clean rings back on, lightly, just to store them without clutter. — Jackie
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Author: Bax
Posted: April 12, 2014, 3:32 pm

Original Article

by Guest Author
firstaidA first aid kit is a sensible item which no US home should be without. Your basic kit can treat any number of ailments with just a few simple items, from cuts and sprains to insect bites and allergic reactions. A prepper’s first aid kit, however, is intended to help you stay fighting fit in a survival situation. You should therefore aim to obtain the majority of the following items, which will keep you safe in both a ‘bunker down’ situation and when you’re on the move.
Cuts and Abrasions
Minor cuts and scrapes may not sound like a big deal, but when you’re in the wilderness any kind of trauma to the skin can quickly turn into a much bigger problem. The first kind of items you should have in your kit include band aids, gauze and antiseptic cream.  Make sure to include sticking plasters which have some padding behind them, as these are ideal for when you develop a blister and are extremely easy to transport. Sticking plaster will also help you to secure a bandage.
Larger Wounds
Treating a larger wound is often tricky, particularly if you have no medical training. Having the right items in your first aid kit will, however, go a long way to ensuring that a large wound will heal on its own. Your first step is to clean the wound. Many preppers carry water sterilization tablets in their first aid kit for this purpose. Large wounds should be left relatively open in order for infection to drain, but this doesn’t mean leaving them exposed. Your gauze will come in useful here, as will sanitized medical-grade dressings.
Top Tip: Many experienced survivalists – both men and women – will often include sanitary towels in their first aid kits. Whilst this may sound distasteful, sanitary towels are super absorbent which makes them perfect for larger wounds. They’re also waterproof and make for excellent padding.
Good oral hygiene is vital in a survival situation. Your teeth can be used for a variety of different purposes, and if you end up with an infection in your mouth this can be incredibly painful and hugely debilitating. Dental medic kits can be pre-purchased and contain everything you’ll need to practice dentistry in the field. Make sure you don’t get to the point of needing it, by including a toothbrush and tooth powder in your first aid kit.
Bugs and Bites
A can of bug repellent spray and a pair of stout boots are vital items for any serious prepper. But being able to treat a bite once it occurs is also essential, which is why you should always include an EPI-pen, snake bite kit and inhaler in your first aid kit. Malaria pills are also recommended for anyone who lives in an at-risk area.

Author bio: Sam Butterworth is a writer and someone who likes to be prepared for any situation. He works for the UK Safety Store  – a favorite firm with preppers the world over, thanks to its comprehensive collection of first aid kits and emergency aid essentials.
The post Essential Items for the Prepper First Aid Kit appeared first on American Preppers Network.
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Author: Bax
Posted: April 12, 2014, 12:59 am

Original Article

by Code Name Insight
Protecting your home and property is a given.  You want the things that you buy and the home that you live in to be safe and secure which has made home security a multi-million dollar industry what with home alarm companies, home protection camera systems, and even private security guards/security companies.  Here's some simple, inexpensive ways to safeguard your home.

  1. Choose a reasonably safe place to live.  If you are moving to a new house or apartment, do a bit of sleuthing around and figure out which neighborhoods are safer than others (start here).
  2. Put up a "beware of dog" sign.  You don't need an actual dog as the sign itself can be a deterrent.
  3. If you like and want a pet, choose a dog.  I know that there are dog people and there are cat people but dogs make a better guard/alarm system for your home than a cat.
  4. Buy new locks (or re-key your current locks) if it has been a while since this was done, especially if you have lost track of who has keys for your place.
  5. See if your neighborhood has a neighborhood watch program.  If such a program is available in your area, join up.  If it is not available, start one.
  6. Get to know your neighbors.  Ask them to call you and report anything unusual they see happening at your home and offer to do the same for them.
  7. Make sure basic repairs are made ASAP, especially if it impacts your home security.  Make sure all window and door locks are secure.  Make sure the garage door is secure.  Make sure outbuildings can be locked down tight.  Replace outdoor light bulbs as soon as you notice them burned out.
  8. Landscape for safety.  Make sure your doors and windows are visible and not hidden by overgrown bushes and shrubs.  Plant roses or other spiky/thorny bushes beneath windows.
  9. Light up for safety.  Install motion detector outdoor lights around your property.  Add flood lights at various places around your property if needed.  Make sure you can light up all of the property around your home with the flick of a switch from inside of your home.
  10. Hold regular home lock down drills in which your family locks down your home as quickly as possible. 
  11. Before you leave your home or go to bed at night make a sweep of your home to make sure all doors are locked, necessary exterior lights are turned on, all windows are closed and locked, the stove is turned off, nightlights are turned on, etc.
  12. See if your local $1 store or hardware store offers cheap window and door alarms.  These are basically two plastic pieces that attach to the door and the frame or two parts of a window.  There is a battery which creates an electrical current and if the pieces are jarred or moved a shrill alarm is set off.
  13. Set up a fake video security system around the exterior of your home (this is the cheap option and is a slight deterrent).
  14. Set up a real, wireless video security system around the interior and exterior of your home (this is more expensive).  Many of these systems can be monitored via computer or smartphone.
  15. Don't make it easy for burglars/intruders to enter your home (make sure they can't enter through a dog door, can't pull out a window AC unit and enter than way, that you don't leave your garage door open unless you are actively coming or going in this area, that you don't leave your front or back door unlocked--both while you are at home or while you are gone, that you don't "hide" a key outside in case you get locked out, etc).
  16. Don't do stupid stuff (like posting your vacation plans on Twitter or Facebook, never changing your alarm system code if you do have an alarm system, leaving a stack expensive looking stuff at the curb on garbage day like a MacBook box, an iPhone box, a box from your new 60" TV, etc).
  17. Hide your valuables when you leave your home (ie: stick your MacBook air under the sofa when you leave the house instead of leaving it on the table where it can be seen through a window; if you do have a safe, don't just stick it in your bedroom closet, hide it in the attic under a blanket of fiberglass insulation, etc).
  18. Keep your wallet, cell phone, and car keys on your nightstand instead of sitting by the front door or on the kitchen table where someone can see these items through a window or door.
  19. Be aware of who you let into your home.  Your home can be "cased" for a future burglary by your teenage kid's friends, door to door salespeople, etc.
  20. Make it look like someone is always home (don't allow mail or newspapers to pile up, keep the radio or TV on when you leave to make it sound like someone is home, use timers on your interior lights to make it look like someone is home/awake at various times during the day and night, etc).
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Author: Bax
Posted: April 10, 2014, 7:04 pm

Original Article

by Angela
Six Important Steps to Prepare Your Family to Survive Without You--Food Storage and Survival

In preparing for the end of the world as we know it, most of us envision facing that future with our families.  But what if something were to happen to you?  Even if there is no widespread disaster, your death or the death of a spouse or other family member can be the end of your family’s world as you know it.
Don’t think you’re too young or fit for something to happen to you.  And please don’t brush off these important preparations because they are tedious or not as glamorous as stocking weapons and ammunition or a year’s supply of toilet paper.  Nobody is invincible and accidents happen leaving families to move on without a family member who has died.  So even though it is uncomfortable to think about, here are six important steps to take to prepare your family to survive without you.

1.  Get Life Insurance.

If you are the wage earner for your family and your income suddenly stops, how are your spouse and children going to pay for their necessary expenses?  How will they make the house payment, pay for car repairs, food, clothes, utilities?  If your job provides the health insurance, how will they replace that?  Even a small life insurance policy can give your family a financial buffer, allowing them time to make good decisions for their future.
If you are not the primary wage earner, your spouse will still have extra expenses without you there like paying for childcare while they are at work.  Plus you have the expenses involved with the funeral itself.
Help secure your family’s financial future by getting life insurance on yourself and your spouse.  It may seem like an unnecessary extra expense, but it is a crucial step in getting your family started in their new life if you die.  Here is an interesting article about what kind of life insurance is the best investment.  And an online life insurance calculator to help you figure out how much you want to get.  Your insurance agent can also help you determine what you need.

2.  Have a Will.

You may think you don’t need a will.  Everything that is yours will just go to your spouse, right?  Well, not exactly.  It can get complicated.  Your jointly owned assets will pass directly to your spouse, but without a will, your personal assets may be divided between your spouse and children and it can get even more complicated if you live in a state that requires a trustee to keep the children’s portion if they are minors and that trustee cannot be the surviving spouse.  So your spouse can end up with a lot less than you thought with someone else watching over the rest until your children are grown.
A will is even more important if you have minor children in the event that both parents die.  Then your will and not the state will decide who will finish raising your children.  Be sure to list the same person as guardian of your children and as secondary beneficiary of your life insurance, ensuring the money will be used for the support of your children.
Talk to a lawyer, write a handwritten will (legal in most states), or purchase a will kit like Quicken’s WillMaker Plus to get your will written.
Your will, life insurance policy, and other important information should be kept in a location that is secure and known to your spouse, parents, and responsible children so they will know what you have and where to find it if you die unexpectedly.  Many people use a safe deposit box at a bank for these documents.  Here is an option for keeping them at home.

3.  Share Your Passwords.

Can your spouse access your bank account?  Your online profiles?  Your phone or other electronic devices?  There may be some important information they need to access or they may just want to be able to see your photos.  Keep a list of your passwords where they can find it.

4.  Share Your Preparedness Gear and Plans.

Do your spouse or children know where the food storage is?  Do they know what tools you have and how to use them?  Are you caching gear in locations other than your home?  If your spouse is not supportive of your preparedness efforts, be sure someone close to you knows what you have and what it is for so it doesn’t end up being left behind or sold in an estate sale when you’re gone.

5.  Teach Skills.

This is one you want to be doing anyway in order for your children to be able to provide for themselves when they leave the house.  Can they cook a meal, wash laundry, keep a house clean, hunt, budget, build something, change a tire?  Can your spouse perform the responsibilities you normally do in the home?  Helping your spouse and children learn the skills they need to be able to take care of themselves is important even if you don’t die.

6.  Provide Opportunity for Education.

Allow your spouse and older children the opportunity to learn job skills that will make them employable in the event that you are no longer around to provide an income for your family.  Support them in job training or side work they may want to do.  The corollary is that if you are not the primary wage earner, work to have enough education and skills that you are able to earn an income if your spouse dies.
You never know when your time is up on this earth.  It does not matter if you are only 25 years old and still believe you are invincible, taking these steps to prepare your family to survive without you can be one of the most important preparedness efforts you make.
The post Six Important Steps to Prepare Your Family to Survive Without You appeared first on Food Storage and Survival.
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Author: Bax
Posted: April 5, 2014, 3:08 pm

Original Article

by Travis
For fans of The Walking Dead, it’s clear that secondary public health emergencies, like outbreaks of flu, tuberculosis, cholera, etc., can be a big problem…even if the primary catastrophe at hand is an outbreak of a zombie infection. On season 4 of The Walking Dead, we have seen many in the network of survivors fall prey to a disease outbreak that is causing flu like symptoms, including a disturbing bloody cough known in the medical community as Hemoptysis. Diseases like this can easily spread in post SHTF conditions where reduced hygiene, malnutrition, and close quarters promote the immunosuppression and disease spread. Therefore, at the first sign of any disease outbreak, it’s important to take action and prevent it from taking hold and causing a serious secondary disaster. Some of these actions include:
  • Maintain distances of at least 6 feet between individuals in your group. Many diseases spread through the formation of tiny droplets of saliva during sneezing or talking or by physical contact, such as hand shaking. Maintaining distance helps prevent these droplets from reaching another person’s nose, mouth, or eyes through the air or by transfer through contact.
  • Every member of the group must continually remind and enforce regular hand washing by all members of the group. Hand washing is especially important after someone covers their mouth during a cough or sneeze. A hand washing should involve warm water, soap, and at least 25 seconds of vigorous scrubbing.
  • Every member of the group must continually remind members of the group not to touch their mouth, nose, or eyes.
  • Regularly disinfect frequently touched surfaces or surfaces contacted by bodily fluids, including knobs, buttons, handles, toilet seats, sinks, eating utensils, etc., with a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water. Bleach is cheap to stock, so stock up!
  • The use of surgical masks helps contain any coughs or sneezes and also serves as a great reminder not to touch one’s own face. Surgical masks are not thought to be sufficient to protect someone from getting infected, rather they serve to contain infections to an infected individual.
  • Boost the immune systems of members in your group by promoting plenty of sleep and taking supplements like vitamin C and D & E, St. John’s Wort, and Green Tea. These supplements boost the immune system, serve as anti-virals, and block cytokines that are often responsible for an overreaction of the immune system that can cause death. For more information on these suppliments and what is known as “cytokine storm,” check out my article entitled “Preventing ‘Cytokine Storm’ Death from Pandemic Flu”.
  • Anyone who exhibits symptoms should be quarantined away from others for a period of 7 days. Those who bring food and provide care to these individuals should wear appropriately fitted N95 masks, gowns, and gloves. These basic personal protective equipment require a bit of training, including the following:
    • Anyone wearing an N95 mask must put it on correctly and conduct a user seal check. Some key aspects to wearing a mask correctly include: placing the top strap of the mask above the ears over and around the temple areas of the head, placing the bottom strap of the mask below the ears and around the back of the neck, pressing and conforming the nosepiece to the nose by pressing from the nasal bridge down towards the cheeks. Conducting a user seal check by quickly inhaling or exhaling while feeling if any air is leaking between the mask and your face and thus, bypassing the filtering mechanism. Re-adjust the mask until no air can be detected passing between the mask and your face.
    • Gowns should be removed and disposed of prior to removal of gloves. o Gloves should be removed according to the following video instructions http://youtu.be/S4gyNAsPCbU.
    • Disinfect any tools, dishes, or utensils used to care for the individual with a bleach solution. o Wash your hands after providing care.
The information, concepts, or opinions from CatastropheNetwork.org are intended for informational purposes only and must be evaluated by the reader, in consultation with a professional, to ensure viability for their individual situation.
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Author: Bax
Posted: April 4, 2014, 12:09 pm

Original Article

by Code Name Insight
Most of the time I am not a "sky is falling" type of person.  There are times, however, when a little warning is a good thing.  So today's warning will be about food.  Or the possible lack thereof in the coming year.

If you haven't heard about the massive drought in California, well, you probably should have.  And since California is where a lot of food is grown that feeds the people of the United States, this is something to worry about.  Add to that the fact that food prices keep rising.  The price of meat, for example, has risen exponentially over the past couple of years ($8 for a single chicken??? Some years back I was paying 39 cents a pound for chicken!).  Here are 10 things to consider about the current food situation:

  1. Start a food garden.  Even if all you have is a window sill where you can grow herbs, being able to produce any sort of food for yourself is liberating.  Planting a flower pot of lettuce and a couple of tomato plants is even better.  Obviously I don't expect that many people will have the space/inclination to grow the majority of their produce but growing a few things is better than nothing.
  2. Fill up your freezer.  Whenever I find loss leaders or sale meat, I always plan for the future and buy as much as we can reasonably consume within a year or so.  Needless to say, the freezer is full of meat and vegetables.
  3. Ditto for your pantry.  While there are a lot of sale items at the grocery store that we simply don't buy no matter how low the price (processed anything basically), there are times, such as when stores have case lot sales and such, that we make a haul and fill the pantry with canned soup/vegetables/fish/etc.
  4. Hit up the $1 store and 99 cent store.  There are some items in these stores that you can find cheaper elsewhere but there are usually plenty of items that are a bargain for $1 and deserve to be bought in bulk.
  5. Canning, freezing, dehydrating, smoking, etc.  Buy a giant, cheap, box of something and experiment.  A friend delivered a huge box of bananas that he got on sale for a couple of bucks and said "what can you do with these?"  What we did: canned banana baby food.  Froze most of the bananas for smoothies and banana bread.  You don't want to spend a fortune on something to experiment with but you can often find cheap items that are worth trying to process for your future food needs.  FWIW smoked fish is tasty and has along shelf life.  Also, canning and jelly making isn't as hard as it seems.
  6. Learn how to procure your own food.  Hunting and fishing are fun hobbies which also provide you with a lot of protein for little more than the cost of a license and a bit of your time once you have the necessary equipment and knowledge.
  7. Learn how to forage.  Have you ever eaten a cattail?  These plants are prolific in some areas and were once a staple food for many Indian tribes in the Pacific Northwest.  There are literally dozens and dozens of edibles that grow wild that can be had for just the effort needed to gather them (warning: know what it is you are harvesting, take a class to learn if necessary and/or go with someone who knows what they are doing until you know what you are doing).
  8. Procure seasonally.  Old timers probably remember that food used to be seasonal.  There was no such thing as a watermelon in January or a fresh tomato in February.  You can still flow with the seasons, however, and get dirt cheap prices on food just by buying or harvesting when items are in season (wild berries in late summer, mushrooms in the fall, smelt when they are running, super cheap watermelon at the grocery store in summer, etc).
  9. Buy grains in bulk.  Dried grains (oats, rice, wheat, etc) tend to have a long shelf life, are easy to store, are cheap to buy (ie: a bag of dried beans are much cheaper than the same amount of beans in canned form), and are endlessly useful.
  10. When you do buy/grow/harvest food items to last for a long time (unlike just buying enough groceries to tide you over for a week), learn how to safely and effectively store them for the duration (the LDS folks are genius at this, info here) so you don't waste your time, money, and most importantly the food.
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Author: Bax
Posted: April 3, 2014, 4:12 pm

Original Article

by Jackie Clay
Butter beans
I am so glad it is starting to thaw where you live. I’ve always enjoyed reading your blog and articles. I know you can let butter beans dry in their shells, but is it possible to dehydrate fresh shelled butter beans or peas? If so, will the finished product taste more like fresh shelled when rehydrated? Thanks for your help. I hope spring comes early for you.
Shirley Toney
Liberty, Mississippi
Yes, you can dehydrate fresh, shelled butter beans and peas. And, yes, they’ll taste just about as fresh as newly shelled beans/peas. We’re hoping that Spring comes gently so all this snow doesn’t turn to slop. But any way it comes, we’re sure ready for it! — Jackie
Rendering beef fat
We bought some beef and took all the fat as well (to can for use with dried beans which taste awful without some sort of fat for flavoring). However, how does a person can raw beef fat? You say it’s tallow is not as good as pig fat for making pies and such however I didn’t want to throw it away. So do we render it first and then throw the hot fat in a cool jar and put a lid on it? That should seal itself. Then pressure can it? Or water bath it? What do you think? Or just put the raw stuff into jars and pressure can as for meat? (Probably not recommended I think.) Or process it as you do the bacon by rendering it a bit first and then canning it while it’s still hot? Thanks for your help on this! And spring finally showed up here too! Happily it won’t be a 6 month winter like last year!
Louise Sandy
I would render it down just like lard, then put into hot, sterilized jars while very hot, then put on a hot, previously-simmered lid, and screw down the ring firmly tight. Just like you do lard. No further processing is necessary. Keep in a cooler, dark place. It should remain good for a long time. Why not can up some of those dry beans with a bit of your beef fat, before rendering, for flavoring? I also add onions and spices to my canned beans to perk up the “blah” taste. I’m sure glad Spring is showing its face at your house, too. We’re all pretty glad for warmer weather. Now if we just don’t get the March or April blizzard! — Jackie
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Author: Bax
Posted: April 2, 2014, 1:43 pm

Original Article

by Guest Author

It’s no secret that continued exposure to gunfire noises isn’t great for your hearing; yet studies still show that only half of shooters wear ear protection all the time during practises.
The level of noise deemed safe by sound experts is exponentially reduced over the time exposed to it. Starting at 85dB – the threshold for safe and dangerous noise –  the maximum time limit of exposure should be no more than 25 and a half hours; this is contrasted to less than a minute of exposure for up to and beyond 140dB.
The variety of guns available means that there is no single level of protection needed from the noise created by gunfire. The size of the gun is a major factor as to how loud a gun is and ear protection should be based on this. The majority of smaller firearms, like a small .22-caliber rifle, can have a sound rating of around 140dB. Meanwhile larger rifles and pistols produce sounds of up to 175dB.
Over hat ear muffs, whilst widely used and effective, can pose a risk of connecting with the rifle or shotgun stock when firing. This can be avoided by using high quality ear plugs that don’t require a combination of plugs and ear muffs, such as custom-fitted models.
There are a range of custom-fitted Silicon earplugs available that offer a high-value, expert solution. These fit snugly in the ear canal, providing sophisticated sound reduction features. Shooting-specific earplugs are rated on their efficiency like generic earplugs, however, being designed with muting gunfire in mind, they have a higher Noise Reduction Rating (NRR).
Ideally, sound exposure needs to be reduced to somewhere between 85dB-120dB, depending on the length of exposure time. Custom-fitted Silicon options that can provide this protection include ProGuard Custom Shooter and Marksmans Earplugs. As well as sufficient protection, these models offer an expertly moulded fit to your ears by an audiologist. Subsequently, the fear of missing ambient external noises simply won’t be a factor in your shoot.
Non-custom fitted Silicon options are also good alternatives to custom fit products, and models such as ProGuard Noizezz Universal Earplugs offer an NNR of 33 dB. In cases where louder or larger guns are being used, it is necessary with these kinds of Noise Reduction Rating (NNR) to accompany earplugs with ear muffs.
If you’re not looking for something quite so advanced, then foam earplugs could be better suited for you. These can prove to be more economical and are effective in blocking high-level impulse noise as they can have high NRRs of around 32-34dB. They also come in higher quantity packs which make them ideal for sharing out on a shoot.
Mack’s Hi-Viz Shooters Foam Ear Plugs are a good example of foam earplugs that will give you enough protection against gunfire, providing they are accompanied by earmuffs.
Rob Doole is managing director at Allearplugs.com, check out his latest updates on google here.
The post The Importance of Ear Plugs appeared first on American Preppers Network.
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Author: Bax
Posted: March 31, 2014, 1:17 pm

Original Article

by Mike Yukon

Another breakfast food using your long term stored Pearled Barley Grain.

Ingredients: Yields 3, 5 inch diameter ½ inch thick pancakes
1 cup pearled barley flour milled from pearled barley grain
6 oz water
2 tbs sugar
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
shortening for frying pan

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
Heat a skillet to medium-high heat.
Add the water to the dry ingredients and blend to make a batter.
Into the hot skillet add about a teaspoon of shortening, melt it, then immediately add a scoop of the batter and smooth it out.
Cook each side until it browns.

Serve with honey drizzled on top and they are simply outstanding!

What makes these so interesting is the use of shortening to cook/fry them in, gives them a crispy crust like a properly made waffle.
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Author: Bax
Posted: March 30, 2014, 1:04 pm

Original Article

by Crystal

Have you ever noticed that stew & stir fry meat almost seems magical…where does the stuff come from? I’m pretty sure they want you to believe that it doesn’t come anywhere except for them and they’d like you to spend the $4-5 a pound for it. Even if you look at those handy charts in your Betty Crocker or Better Home and Garden cookbook they never say where stew, fajita, and stir fry meat come from. It’s clever, actually-what they really do. They get large cuts of meat and then further subdivide the meat into roasts, steaks, etc. In that process they get scraps…which they cube, slice, or ground (like in hamburger)….and sell to you as “stew meat” and other types of already cut meat at a VERY HIGH price. Nice, right? Or, I had a butcher admit to me that he actually cuts the cheap tough meat and sells it as stir fry meat for $3-4 dollars MORE a pound…another good reason to KNOW your meat. So the best thing to do is to know the best cuts of meat for cutting your own stew meat cubes, fajita slices, and so on. That way, when the price is right you can stock up and save a bundle!
Stew Meat
(Some people think it’s better to use a higher quality of meat to make a stew better but that is actually incorrect. The name of the game for stew meat is TOUGH meat. Tough because it is going to be slow cooked AND it actually has a stronger flavor which is perfect for mingling with all of the other vegetable flavors.)
  • Chuck
  • Round
  • Bottom Sirloin
  • London Broil
  • Brisket
Kabob & Stir Fry Meat
(Because this is cooked fast over high heat, tough meat isn’t the best option even though it may be cubed like stew meat. You want good grilling meat)
  • Top Sirloin (THE BEST)
  • Cross Rib
  • London Broil (sometimes)

(Click HERE for more info on the FoodSaver I use)

Tip #21 : Buy larger pieces of meat and cut them up

So this is pretty similar to the tip above, but it’s more broad. Think of it-you could get chicken breasts for under 69 cents a pound. You can buy larger cuts of beef and get steaks, stew meat, etc. It can be kind of advanced so for a great book with pictures and good explanation you can check out this book. Cutting Up in the Kitchen: The Butcher’s Guide to Saving Money on Meat & Poultry Really, the easiest way to start this idea is with whole leg quarters and separating them into thighs and drumsticks. Most basic cookbooks have lots of pictures of how to do this. I actually just did this a few months ago and got a SCREAMING deal on chicken and paid 69 cents a pound for it all!

Or…Become friends with your butcher

I actually only buy meat from grocery stores with butchers.  The meat is fresher (since they are cutting it there), you can ask them questions, and get them to do you favors!  You should know that butchers can grind, slice, chop, etc. your meat if you ask. (CAUTION: Some will charge you so make sure you ask first, most will do it for free.)  Also, if you’re friendly they will help you more with insider info on sales and better cuts of meat.
You can do things like
  1. buy pork loin on sale and then have them slice it into pork loin pork chops (usually, very expensive)
  2. buy roasts on sale and ask them to grind it for you (making your own hamburger!).  Hamburger is generally mystery meat and high in fat.  If you do this, you can get hamburger cheaper than what they are selling the regular for and it’s a better quality meat and lower in fat!  (In fact, Del, (my pie crust friend) does this when sirloin is on sale and then she has ground sirloin for cheap!
  3. some butchers will also cube your meat if you ask, although, I like my cubes smaller than they generally cut them.
  4. you can ask them to pick out a good looking piece of meat (a.k.a well marbled, tender part of the muscle, etc.)
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Posted: March 28, 2014, 12:09 pm

Original Article

English: Outdoor backpack Deutsch: Outdoor-Ruc...



by Code Name Insight
It's been a pretty wild winter what with massive snow storms and now heavy rains and flooding (example here).  What is consistent among all of these weather emergencies is the necessity to be prepared in advance of such occurrences.  Here's what you need:

  1. A bug out bag.  You never know when the sheriff will show up on your doorstep and inform you that everyone needs to evacuate ASAP due to flooding, a wild fire, avalanche hazard, etc.
  2. A bug out plan.  Should you need to leave in a hurry due to the aforementioned weather emergencies, what is your plan?  Where will you go?  How will you get there?  Do you have the cash to sustain you while you are gone?  Can you work remotely?
  3. Forewarning.  Generally you will want to keep an ear on your local news, receive updates from NOAA on your phone, have a weather radio, etc. so you will know ahead of time if a tornado or hurricane is headed your way.  This will give you enough notice so that you can take precautions/evacuate ahead of any disaster.
  4. Foreknowledge.  No matter where you are--whether you are at home or on vacation--you need to study up ahead of time and be knowledgeable about the sort of weather-related disasters that are common to your area.  You need to know what to expect and how to prepare and how to, pardon the pun, weather the storm.
  5. Mitigation efforts.  Now that you know what to expect, say, when a tornado is heading your way, you should also be ready to mitigate the impact of any sort of weather emergency.  For tornadoes and hurricanes you may want to keep plywood and screws on hand so you can board up windows if necessary, for areas prone to flooding you may want to have sandbags on hand, etc.
  6. Back-ups.  No matter the emergency you want to have alternative sources of food, water, and shelter available in the event that your utilities are taken out by the storm.
  7. Clothing.  You also want to dress appropriately for the weather.  Sometimes the difference between being uncomfortable and having a severe case of frostbite if you are stuck out in the snow is a hat and gloves.  Be sure you have appropriate clothing for any weather eventuality.  Also have appropriate shoes (this could mean heavy winter boots or water shoes depending on your circumstances).
  8. A disaster plan.  An overall disaster plan encompasses many things that may be useful during a weather emergency such as a communications plan so worried relatives will be able to find out what happened to you, knowledge of your kid's school's disaster plan so you can incorporate this into your own planning, the ability for the family to lock down the house in minutes or escape from the house in the same amount of time, etc.
  9. The ability to help others.  Many disasters--including the planning, response, and recovery thereof--may require more than just you.  Working with your immediately family is the first step in working with others to survive a weather emergency, checking on elderly or infirm neighbors before, during, and after the emergency is a nice thing to do, and being able to work with your neighbors--whether making sandbags or boarding up windows--is another ability to have.
  10. Recovery.  After the weather emergency has passed, you will then be in recovery mode.  This encompasses everything from the ability to clean up after the fact (this could be a small or overwhelming job depending on if a bit of water got into the basement or the roof of your house collapsed under the snow) to the information necessary to file insurance claims or seek community or federal resources to fix up whatever was destroyed during the weather disaster.
The most common emergency you will face on a regular basis is a weather emergency.  Prepare ahead of time!
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Author: Bax
Posted: March 27, 2014, 7:16 pm

Original Article

by Travis

For decades we have been taught to do one thing if we were ever found ourselves in the same building as an active shooting…duck and cover! Yes, this is likely a product of the 50’s when we were told to “duck and cover” in case of a nuclear war. It was an ineffective strategy then and it’s likely an ineffective strategy during an active shooter incident. “Hitting the deck” so to speak makes you a sitting duck and does nothing to mitigate your situation. In fact, curling up into the fetal position gives your mind the impression that you are now a helpless victim and takes away most of your natural fight or flight instincts that are very important in an active shooter scenario. I and other experts recommend the following as an alternate course of action:
  • First…Run! – It seems almost comical to have to say, but if at all possible just leave during an active shooter incident. Often in these types of stressful situations our minds go into overload and we take actions that aren’t logical. That is why it’s important to state the obvious…just leave! When running from an active shooter, run in a slightly zig-zag motion and take cover as necessary to re-assess the situation and then run again until you reach safety. Try to run towards alternate exits if you know the building well, because the shooter will likely use the main entrance. When considering your flee from the building, don’t just consider hallways and stairwells. Breaking a window and exiting that way is sometimes a good option, especially on the first floor. However, falls from the second and even third floor of a building are very survivable if you fall correctly. Falling correctly involves jumping out of a window feet first and attempting to land on the balls of your feet with your knees slightly bent and your arms covering your head.
  • Second…Lock Down! – If you cannot run or your instant judgment of the situation tells you it’s too risky to do so, grab a few people and lock yourselves into a room and barricade the door. Do not sit on the opposite side of the room as the door itself, rather to the left and right of the door. If possible, grab a few blunt or heavy objects that you could use as blunt force weapons assuming you don’t have a gun and stand in a readies position with all eyes on the door waiting to attack the shooter if he enters. Again, don’t curl up and accept your fate…rather, make strong eye contact to those with you and whisper determined, forceful messages to those with you, like “we can do this…if he comes in here we are going to mess him up!”
  • Third…Fight! – This is a last resort option, but sometimes it’s the only option. Whether the killer makes his way into your locked down area or there is just no-where to run or hide, sometimes we must simply fight someone with a gun. The first and most important tip to fighting is DO NOT HESITATE. Actions leading up to disarming or disabling a killer must be very fast and must not give the attacker ANY time to react. Second, any attack strategy must avoid making sounds and movements that the attacker could potentially see or hear. A killers shooting generally is guided towards sounds and movements, so move as quietly as possible and out of his field of vision. Finally, focus your fight on disarming an attacker…either by neutralizing the weapon or neutralizing the attacker’s body and the best method combines them both. Overwhelming brute force is often the best way to achieve this.
These tips should in no way be considered a replacement for professional training, but it is my hope that they will start you thinking towards a plan for yourself if you ever find yourself in this horrible situation. Sign up for a class and follow some great videos online, such as those from Close Quarters Combat on YouTube.
The information, concepts, or opinions from CatastropheNetwork.org are intended for informational purposes only and must be evaluated by the reader, in consultation with a professional, to ensure viability for their individual situation.
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Author: Bax
Posted: March 26, 2014, 12:10 pm

Original Article

Lobelia Seeds

by SciFi Chick
I love it when my seed catalogs start coming in!   Many of them have some wonderful tips and information that's new to me. I think I could spend hours reading them.  Well I realized a few weeks ago that with moving out to the Hillside Homestead I wasn't going to get any catalogs if I didn't order them.  So while I was poking around the net I compiled a list of Free Seed Catalogs from companies that carry heirloom and open pollinated seeds.  I thought I would share some of the ones I found and some that have been favorites of mine for a long time. Oh and did I mention they are Free?  I just love that word!

 Free Catalog List  ( heirloom/open-pollinated seeds)

Abundant Life 
Baker Creek
Bountiful Gardens
Heirloom Acres Seeds
Johnny's Selected Seeds
Potato Garden
 R.H. Shumway's
Sandhill Preservation Center 
Seeds of Change
Seed Savers Exchange

This is in no way a complete list. It's just a start.   If you have some that are your favorites, please share them with us!!  I just love reading them.  There is something I find wonderful about being able to hold them and flip the pages... I can make notes and use a highlighter too when I come across something "cool".  ( Don't tell anyone but I even "ohhh and ahhh" over some of the things I want to try)
I've also found an excellent source of seed catalogs by the state from Mother Earth News. 
                             ~~~~~~  Hey... I'm Just Sayin' ...  ~~~~~~
Copyright 2013 BaconAndEggs/SciFiChick All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be reposted, printed, copied, dispersed etc. without first receiving written permission by the Author.
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Author: Bax
Posted: March 25, 2014, 12:09 pm
An iteroparous organism is one that can underg...

Original Article

by Mike Yukon


If you haven't read Granny Miller's blog article about this virus it's worth a quick read.

Since JUST last May 5,000,000 pigs have died from it and there's no cure. I think it goes to show how fragile our entire food production of supply and demand really is. 
One small hick-up and we are all short some food.

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Author: Bax
Posted: March 24, 2014, 12:08 pm

Original Article

by Mike Yukon

Oatmeal is a very versatile and simple food. Great for; breakfast and ingredient for cookies, meatloaf, burgers and vegetarian dishes to name just a few. An ideal food for back-packers, canoeists, campers of course it's an important long term stored food.

Oats go through a process where they are cleaned, toasted and hulled before they are suitable for eating. After this, they are called Oat Groats which oatmeal, rolled-oats, are processed from.

Oats have a variety of healthful attributes, including unique antioxidants that are thought to help reduce cardiovascular disease, they are also a whole grain that offers a good source of fiber. One serving of oatmeal (1/2 cup dry 1 cup cooked) has about 4 grams of dietary fiber and 2 grams of soluble fiber. According to the Mayo Clinic, 10 grams or more of soluble fiber per day helps decrease your total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Since almost all forms of oats contain the bran, endosperm, and germ, they are equally nutritious.

How to Cook Oatmeal using Old-Fashion Rolled Oats
makes 2 cups cooked

Ingredients:1 cup rolled oats old-fashion type not instant
2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs brown sugar

·         bring the water to a boil
·         add all the ingredients
·         reduce to a simmer
·         simmer for 4-5 minutes or until cooked
·         enjoy

Optionally you can add some canned meats, fish, veggies, butter powder, cheese powder to make it into a more filling and complete meal.

1 cup of old-fashioned Rolled Oats (Oatmeal) when cooked equals 2 cups ready to eat.

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Author: Bax
Posted: March 23, 2014, 11:54 pm

Original Article - Off the Grid News

I am pretty excited!  I made my own pectin  - I love doing things like this - it makes me feel so giddy - this is how I felt the first time I made my own mentholatem (? on spelling).    Our apple tree's were covered in blossoms this spring and it froze.  Normally we get 15 to 20 bushels and this year we got about a bushel.  I made applesauce and with the innerds and the peelings I made pectin.  I LOVE IT!

 This is the first batch of pectin I got

I ended up having over 3 gallons of pectin so after I made jam I canned it this afternoon.
Thanks for stopping by! 

Today I am thankful for the pioneer.
They knew how to do all this stuff I am trying to learn about! 
They were amazing!
These are the instructions I used with the website link at the bottom.

Making Pectin From Scratch
Late summer and the coming fall means jam-making time at my house. Raspberry jam is my particular favorite, but I make a big stock of strawberry for my husband too. Jams and conserves are among the simplest canning projects to undertake. All you need is ripe fruit, sugar, and some form of pectin.

Jam-Making Basics

Old-timers relied on the pectin found naturally in fruit to thicken their jams through long cooking, and you can use this approach today if you like. Some fruits, like sour apples, blackberries, crab apples, and grapes, naturally have a lot of pectin, while apricots, peaches, pears, and raspberries tend to be low in pectin. To make jams and jellies without any added pectin, combine three parts ripe fruit with one part under-ripe fruit, which contains more pectin. I’’ve found this approach to be a bit unpredictable, and it requires a lot more fruit than fast cooking jam recipes. Another disadvantage is that the jam doesn’’t taste as fresh and fruity because of the long cooking time required.

Another option is to use commercial pectin, available in liquid and powder form. This pectin, found in hardware and grocery stores, is made from the white pith of citrus fruits. If you make a lot of jam, consider buying it in bulk. Another option is low-methyl pectin, available online in health food stores. This is a natural product, which appeals to many people, but you’’ll have to add calcium salt for it to gel. Jams made with low-methyl pectin taste very fresh because of the short cooking time needed, but they spoil more quickly and water tends to puddle in them.

Regardless of which form of pectin you buy, follow the directions exactly and don’’t double the recipe, and you’’ll end up with fairly consistent results. I prefer powdered pectin bought in a bulk container for most of my jam-making adventures.

Homemade Pectin

Once I mastered jam making, inevitably, I began wondering how I could make jam without the expense of buying commercial pectin. If you’’ve got access to apple trees, you can easily make pectin at home. Use the pectin just as you would commercial liquid pectin. Four cups of homemade pectin equals three ounces of commercial pectin.


Here are the steps for making homemade pectin:

. Pick several pounds of apples. Thinly slice them, but don’’t peel or core them. You can use any type of apple, including slightly green ones and those that are less-than-perfect. Young crab apples or Granny Smith apples work well. This is a great way to use up apples that have wormholes or other defects. Simply trim out the damaged areas.

. Combine the apples in a large stockpot with water at a rate of one pint water for each one pound of apple slices.

. Boil the apple slices and water for forty-five minutes, stirring occasionally.

. Line a colander with cheesecloth. Pour the apple slices and juice through the colander into a large pot or bowl.

. Return the apple slices to the stockpot and add more water, using the same measurements as before. Simmer over medium heat for fifteen to twenty minutes.

. Remove the stockpot from the heat and let set for ten minutes. Strain the apples and juice through cheesecloth as you did before into the bowl or pot.

. Gather the cheesecloth up tightly around the cooked apple slices to make a bag. Squeeze your bag, collecting any remaining juice into the bowl or pot. The combined juice is the homemade pectin. You should have one quart of pectin for every one pound of apples you cooked.

. Cover and refrigerate the pectin if you’’re making jams right away. For long-term storage, ladle the pectin into four-cup freezer containers, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Cover and freeze for up to three months. To use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. You can also can homemade pectin. Pour it into quart jars, add two-piece lids, and process in a water bath canner for fifteen minutes.

Making Jam With Homemade Pectin

Homemade pectin looks and tastes a lot like unsweetened apple juice. Unlike commercial pectins, it can stand up to longer cooking times, so you have more flexibility. In fact, it’’s so flexible that you can make up your own recipes, based on individual preferences.

For example, a standard jam recipe usually goes something like this:

4 pounds fruit

2 cups sugar

1 quart liquid pectin

However, depending on the sweetness of the fruit, you can cut the sugar down quite a bit. You may also find, depending on the ripeness and amount of natural pectin in the fruit, that you need to add more pectin to thicken the jam. I usually combine the fruit and pectin in a large stockpot and boil it, stirring constantly for ten to fifteen minutes. Take a small spoonful of jam and place it on a plate. If it mounds up slightly on the plate, I know I’’ve got the consistency I like. I can then add the sugar and simmer five minutes more. If, on the other hand, the jam spreads all over the plate in a runny mess, I simply add more pectin and boil it again. If the jam tastes too tart, I just add a bit more sugar.

The thickening ability of the pectin varies from year to year, depending on the ripeness of the apples, as well as the varieties and your preparation. Just plan on experimenting a bit with each batch until your jam is perfect.

Quick Tip On Making Pectin

Here’’s another idea for saving apple pieces for pectin: Whenever you cut up an apple for fresh eating or cooking, save the peels and cores and place them in a resealable plastic bag. Store the bag in the freezer. When the bag is full, use the apple pieces to make liquid pectin. Also, once you’’ve cooked the apple slices down for pectin, run the apple pulp through a food mill to make applesauce or apple butter. What a great way to stretch your resources!

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Posted: August 1, 2013, 9:06 am


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!!

All American's don't have a gasket.  They are metal on metal so there's nothing to wear out.  Closing the canner takes a little practise - you tighten the knobs a little at a time as you go around the canner so the lid stays level.  AA's also have a "jiggler" - that's what I call it. It's actually a regulator and it releases the pressure a little at a time so the pressure stays where it's supposed to.  Once you get the temperature right you don't have to fiddle with it like the Presto.

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????

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Author: Bax
Posted: July 23, 2013, 9:17 pm

Original Article from Beyond the Wire

We all know radiation is dangerous and can have severe effects on the body; we only need to look at the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster or the atomic bombs dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki to see their horrific effects. But how much radiation can a body take? Can you recover? And what are the signs and symptoms of radiation poisoning?
The first thing you have to understand about radiation is you can’t see it, smell it or taste it. The only time it will be visible is the fallout after a nuclear blast. This dust will have the appearance of dusty snow. Apart from that you won’t have any idea your in a radioactive zone without proper detection equipment.

So just how much radiation can the human body withstand? Here is a list giving you a basic idea of what to expect at what levels. All measurements here are calculated in RADS which is short for radiation absorbed dose.

5 RADS and under - No visible symptoms

5 to 50 RADS - Temporarily decreased red blood cell count (you’ll survive but will fee pretty ill)

50 to 100 RADS - Decreased production of immunity cells, you will be susceptible to infections, nausea, headache, and vomiting are common. With treatment you will survive.

150 to 300 RADS - Up to 35 percent of those who are exposed to radiation up to this level will die within 30 days. They will suffer nausea, vomiting and will lose all their hair

300 to 400 RADS - At this point your chances drop to 50/50 fatality rate after 30 days. Like the last level all the same symptoms will happen but with the addition of uncontrollable bleeding in the mouth, under the skin, and the kidneys

400 to 600 RADS - You have a 60 percent fatality rate after 30 days, symptoms like those at the 150 to 300 level starts to become visible in a couple hours after exposure

600 to 1000 RADS - Almost 100 percent fatality rate after 14 days. Your intestinal tissue will be severely damaged and almost all bone marrow will be destroyed

1200 to 2000 RADS - 100 percent fatality with immediate symptoms after exposure

2000 RADS and over - Symptoms set in instantly upon contact then will cease for several days, giving the victim a “false hope” that they are recovering. Suddenly gastrointestinal cells are destroyed and death will begin with delirium since the brain can’t function normally and starts to shut down.

If your interested in learning more about radiation poisoning I found this documentary on YouTube made by the BBC about the Chernobyl disaster and the following cover up the Soviet government used to try to try and down play the disaster.
Author: Bax
Posted: July 23, 2013, 8:58 pm
Here's another great read for you.

Sadly, we seem to be having more and more mass shootings these days.
If you are involved in one, do you know what to do?

Read this book and give yourself a chance to survive one.

Fight, Flight, or Hide. The Guide to Surviving a Mass Shooting

This book is an easy-to-read guide to surviving a mass shooting. Mass shootings are a tragedy, but we can prepare for them in the same ways that we prepare for every other disaster.

This book is a simple, easy read that will begin your preparations.
Author: Bax
Posted: April 10, 2013, 4:55 pm

Original Article

from Code Name Insight by Code Name Insight
It is ridiculously easy to track people these days.  Chances are at least of a few of your possessions unobtrusively track your every move without you even realizing it.  You may want to consider making it a bit more difficult to be tracked by your possessions.

  1. Have an assortment of firearms that aren't purchased, registered, or otherwise connected to your name.
  2. Have a "burner" phone (a prepaid cell phone purchased with cash) and pre-paid "minutes" for your cell phone also purchased with cash (likewise, you don't want to log into your email or Facebook or otherwise associate yourself with the cell phone if you want to keep it truly private).
  3. Many new digital cameras will invisibly mark each photo with the GPS location of where the photo was taken.  You may want to disable this feature and of course, not include yourself in any photos taken.
  4. Basically everything you do on the internet allows you to be tracked either overtly (your every post on Facebook, your every utterance on Twitter) or covertly (browsing history, cache, and cookies on your computer).  Be sure to keep your computer/tablet as "clean" as possible or use an anonymous computer if necessary to avoid being tracked this way.
  5. Shield your everyday life.  Your address, where you work, the license plate on your car, the RFID chip in your passport, the tattoos on your arm...consider all of the ways that you can be tracked and identified then set to work to disconnect yourself from these entities (ie: have a ghost address, a car registered under a LLC, have location independent work, shield any item that contains a chip, remove--or better yet don't get--tattoos or permanent markings on your body).
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Author: Bax
Posted: April 6, 2013, 12:00 pm

Original Article

from Ready Nutrition by Tess Pennington
When planning for emergencies, layering is an ever-constant theme. I often emphasize when one begins to prepare that you start simply by preparing for small-scale emergencies, and then slowly begin adding onto those existing preps to create a longer term preparedness supply. These emergency layers help you create a reliable foundation, and the same layering approach can be used when creating a food storage pantry.
There are some emergency food considerations to keep in mind:
  • The amount of people in the household.
  • Have a good amount of food varieties to reduce food fatigue.
  • The serving size of the food.
  • Vitamin content in the food.
  • The expiration date or “best if used by” labels on the food.
  • Special health conditions for family members.
Additionally, these essential food pantry rules can come in handy when you decide on which food to purchase.

Your Food Storage Layers

Layer 1 (0- 72-hours) – In the onset of an emergency and the days following a disaster, the first food to go should be from the refrigerator. Keep in mind that refrigerated food will stay cold for four to six hours, assuming the door is left closed as much as possible. In a fully stocked freezer, foods remain safely frozen for approximately two days if the door stays closed. You want to use up your perishable foods first and then begin preparing your foods that are frozen. Plan meals to meet a 1500-2000 calorie diet that are high in nutrients. Once the perishable food has been consumed, it’s time to move onto your secondary layer of your emergency preps. A word of advice – have an ample supply of water on hand!
Layer 2 (4-30 days) - These emergency foods should consist of “just add water” meals or meals that do not require substantial amounts of water, fuel or preparation time. Having some canned, pre-packaged dinners, or  meals that are “ready to eat” during emergency scenarios will help you begin acclimating yourself to cooking in a grid-down scenario as well as to help provide some comfort at the same time.
Keep your family’s preferences, any existing health conditions and food allergies in mind when preparing this food storage layer. Another thought to keep in mind, is that a large amount of water will be needed to rehydrate some of these meals. Have a large amount of water stored or a means to filter water during an emergency.
Layer 3  (31-99 days) - I have often said that our preps are our life line. The items we choose should be able to carry us, not only through difficult times, but perhaps through impossible times as well. This layer of  pantry foods should consist of multipurpose, everyday pantry items. These foods are relatively inexpensive and easy to acquire. Keep food storage shelf lives in mind and regularly rotate these items in order to maintain a fresh food source. Further, having a fresh source of vitamins will help your body thrive during an emergency. Consider storing a supply of seeds for sprouting – they are cheap, easy to store and require minimal amounts of time for growth.
For those who are preparing for longer term or extended emergencies, at a minimum you should have a 3 month supply of food and build it up to a 6 month supply. This will be the beginning of your longer term food source, and re-packaging these food sources into more durable containers or packages will keep your food’s enemies away. Further it is a good idea to begin storing large quantities of foods that have extremely long shelf lives.
For a list of the 11 emergency foods items than can last a lifetime, click here.
Another method of bulking up on foods with long shelf lives is to invest in freeze-dried foods. These preserved foods have a shelf life of 20+ years! All you need to do is add hot water and voila!
Some foods to consider for longer term storage are:
Layer 4 (100-365 days+) –  If you find yourself in an emergency for over 100 days, it’s time to get real about the situation you have found yourself in. You must assume this could be your new reality. That said it is time to take steps toward long term survival. Having an understanding of essential skills, homesteading and gardening/farming concepts and learning ways to sustain yourself for the long term is of the utmost importance.
Micro livestock is a group of hearty animals that will help you make the most of smaller pieces of land. To read the pros and cons of this livestock choice, click here.  For those in suburban dwellings, consider chickens, rabbits and fish stored in aquaponic for a long-term food source.
As a prepper preparing for long term emergencies, you want to continue storing up foods mentioned in the last layer and add freeze-dried or dehydrated foods to your stockpile. Given that you are preparing for an extended or long term emergency means that you will also need to begin looking at ways to prepare or preserve food sources off the grid. Learning how to can, dehydrate and ferment foods will help you maintain your food supply. Moreover, to prevent malnutrition, you will want to concentrate on accruing essential food sources such as carbohydrates, protein sources, fats and essential vitamins and nutrients (see above list of food considerations). Having a vitamin source such as sprouting seeds or stockpiling multi-vitamins during this period will also ensure that you are providing your body with regular doses of needed vitamins.
During an emergency, we are often left to fend for ourselves. Having an ample supply of  emergency foods can help your family thrive during the most difficult of times. Take the time now to learn how to make the most of your food supply, learn pertinent skills and the importance of balanced diets and the lasting effects nutritious food has on our body because when emergencies occur, we will need this knowledge the most.

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Author: Bax
Posted: April 5, 2013, 12:00 pm

Original Article

from Total Survivalist Libertarian Rantfest by Ryan
A few ways to make preparedness fit your budget a bit better.

1. Prioritize. I know this is is a far bigger thing and really arguably negates the rest of the article but I do need to touch on it briefly. Choosing preparedness stuff instead of other things is a very valid option. I find it easier to have the goal in mind and do the math working towards it. Example doing the math that at 4 bucks a pop you would need to choose drip from home instead of fancy coffee 15 times to get the medium fixed blade knife you want or 10 nights out at $50 a pop to buy a rifle or whatever. For me this makes it a choice to prioritize that specific goal instead of just general budget tightening which kind of sucks.

 2. Cut down on your vices. Drink less, smoke less, chew less, gamble less, go from $5 coffee out to drip from home, use that money to prepare. [This is probably #1 for overall life improvement but for saving cash to fund preparedness, which is the topic of the post, I put it at #2. The reason is that prioritization (which also touches on vices) is more all encompassing.]

3. Buy used. Many things can be had gently used for 50-80 cents on the dollar. Once you take the tags off, use it a couple times and it will have a few scratches or wear marks anyway so save the $$$.

4. Build the same systems but with lower priced (but not junk) items. Common Mans $150 BOB by TEOTWAWKI Blog (though I think it's more of a Get Home Bag) is a great example of this.

5. Get basic guns. A tight budget does not mean to buy cool guns because you like them  and then skimp elsewhere. If you can't afford food you definitely can't afford an AR and a Glock, let alone an M1A and a high end 1911 with a bunch of mags each especially with prices these days!. It means you need to get basic but quality guns that will serve your needs but not bust the budget. The odds you need an AR-15 over a bolt action 30'06 or pump shotgun or a Glock 19 over an old SW Model 10 are a lot lower than that your family will start eating drastically less. Honestly if tomorrow our gun collection was a 30-30, a bare bones Rem 870/ Moss 500 pump shotgun, a pair of .38/.357 revolvers (his and hers) and a .22 it would be a decent enough setup. If we had 2 of everything and I had a J frame as well as a bigger revolver (aside from her pistol) it would be a good setup. Bought over time most folks can afford a $400 30'06 or 30-30, a $300 shotgun, a $300-400 pistol and a .22 of some sort along with plenty of ammo to go with them.

6. Get items that serve a lot of purposes. If money is tight it might not work in the short term to have 6 dedicated preparedness knives (huge camp, medium general purpose fixed, small fixed, folding EDC, multi tool and "fighting") a folding saw a hawk or hatchet and an ax. Instead a small ax or hatchet/ hawk (AO dependent), a medium sized fixed blade and a folding EDC/ multi tool (lifestyle dependent) might just be it. Those 3 tools would handle most all of your realistic preparedness cutlery needs.

Coming back to guns because we dudes tend to gravitate there and thus overspend limited resources which should be spent elsewhere. In terms of guns that can do a lot of things compact sized pistols are a good one. A Glock 19 or 3" small/ medium framed revolver can fill a lot of roles adequately. A pump shotgun with long and short barrels can do a ton of things. Toss in whatever center fire rifle fits your lifestyle and budget best then round it out with a decent .22 and you are good to go.

7. Put in the time. Oh you are busy too, well make some choices. Watch less tv or something. Learn stuff from people you know. Helping them is a great way to do this. Ask somebody to HELP YOU fix your car or wall or whatever and just maybe they will do it. Say you will HELP THEM with their next project and you'll get a phone call in a bit. Expect to carry some stuff and do some other nugg work but you will learn stuff. Also once they see you care enough to put in the time and energy most folks will go out of their way to help you learn.

8. Avoid mistakes. Buying items that don't fit your needs/ wants must be avoided at all costs. I have a variety of stuff that has been purchased then cast off to be extras or backups or sold at a loss. Even if you research enough to find out an item is quality there is the ever unquantifiable ergonomics. If money was tight I would only buy items I could personally handle and ideally try out (like borrowing a friends for a week) before purchasing.

9. Trade. There are some balancing acts there as you have to be a bit flexible but can't lose sight of your real needs as you can't afford to get unneeded or significantly lower priority stuff.  On the other hand turning your unused guitar and amp (or whatever) into the backpack and sleeping bag you need is just irresistible. Sometimes, though rarely especially with vastly different types of stuff, you can trade strait across. However more often you end up selling the music stuff to get money which pays for the camping gear.

10. Gifts. This isn't exactly a savings but it does help. Instead of asking for stuff you don't really need for birthdays, Christmas, etc ask for preparedness stuff you can use. Many folks would be happy to get you a preparedness item of comparable price than whatever the usual gift might be.

That is about all I can think of right now. Anyway I hope these ideas help give people some ideas on how to become better prepared on lower budgets.

Edited to include: After Snoops comment I went back and put them in what I feel is rank order. 
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Author: Bax
Posted: April 5, 2013, 12:00 pm

Original Article

from Seasoned Citizen PrepperSeasoned Citizen Prepper by Rourke
Gimp rope

Top 10 Preparedness Items You Own Right Now (and don’t even know it)
 By Wyzyrd, Editor-At-Large

1) Your home-repair tool kit(s). Yes, you CAN get by with a multi tool and a rock, but real tools work a lot better for their intended uses. Get a couple gooseneck crowbars, if you don’t have them already. 

2) Your kitchen tools. You CAN peel potatoes with a machete, and cook ‘em in a canteen cup, but why not think up a way to bring along your favorites? (I have a knife/tool roll that I bring to cooking jobs, but a quick yank can pull 2 magnetic strips out of a sheetrock wall to pack them, too…..)

3) Your water heater. About 20 gal. of clean water you can get to, even if utilities are out.

4) Manual pencil sharpeners (the cast aluminum ones from an art or craft work better than the slightly-cheaper plastic ones). Quickly put points on sticks/darts, make your own fire tinder rapidly.

5) Picnic/Party coolers. There’s almost always a need to keep cold things cool, and hot things warm, without external power.

6) Zip-top storage bags–at least a zillion uses.

7) Ground cayenne pepper (or hotter chiles). Season food (obviously), repel deer and various other pests, use as a blood-coagulant on wounds (not fun, but does work), steep in warm veg oil for a day or so and fill a dollar store spray bottle when the commercial pepper spray runs out.

8) Rope, cord, string, twine. Need I say more?

9) Depending on your location, mostly–Your kids’ old BB guns/slingshots/bows and arrows. Cheap and quiet small game-getters, and there’s an old saying “It hurts a lot more to be hit by a BB, than missed by a .44 Magnum”.

10) Electrical extension cords. If there is power available, you’ll need ‘em. If not, more cordage.

© 2013, Seasoned Citizen Prepper. All rights reserved. On republishing this post you must provide link to original post.
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Author: Bax
Posted: April 4, 2013, 7:06 pm

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