WHY YOU SHOULDN’T EAT YOUR LONG TERM FOOD STORAGE

workingpoor1

 

Okay, the title is a bit misleading, its more like a good reason you should skimp when eating your long term storage and starve yourself a little. In easier terms, you should go on a diet in a SHTF scenario.

So what the heck are you talking about Richard? I stored up this food so my family and I WOULDN’T have to Starve!

Here’s Why….

 

Scenario:

The collapse hit in early March, Things were bad, but food was available, what little government was still functioning tried to quell any dissent and riots by shipping what food was left in warehouses and what could be “nationalized” from farms during the summer was shipped to central distribution areas in cities and some made it to the rural areas.

Most of the people in your town were surviving off what they could get in from the distribution centers, people were becoming thinner and malnourished from lack of quality food, but there were no truly hungry days, belly’s went to bed full.  Things have changed, what little crops made it through the summer were needed immediately to fill the gaps, and now food was becoming more scarce, calories for each daily meal have been cut from 2000 to 1500 a day and will only get worse through the winter.  The Government had started to send out pamphlets on “how to make a home garden” in late July and early August, much to late to do any real gardening and with ridiculously unuseable information for anyone outside of southern California growing climates.  Next years crops were to be even worse as artificial fertilizers were harder to come by and years of using them left them unusable since fertilizers had robbed the fields of any organic material necessary to natural growing.

As things have gotten worse people are getting skinier and less healthy looking, however you had foresight and built up a 2 year supply of food for you and your family. Meals were more bland, plain jane most nights, however you had put away quite a few spices, so a few nights a week things got ‘changed up’.  Your family hadnt really lost much weight, none of you were chubby or fat before the collapse, but all of you could have stood to lose a few pounds.

In town all people talked about food, rumors that a big shipment was coming in, or even that a large herd of cattle had been found out in the range and fresh steaks and ground beef were probably on their way.  Kids talked about candy, drunks opined over booze and moms cried because their kids wanted their favorite meals. 

As meals got cut or shipments came a few days late, people had began to talk….

“Why do the Smith’s still seem healthy?”  “We are all getting the same food and I have lost 25 lbs, do they have secret garden somewhere?”

As weeks and months went by, and food got less filling the talk of “why” and “how do they…” changed to

“They must be hoarding food…”, “I bet they have a bunch of food stored away, maybe they stole it off one of the trucks..taking from my kids!”

 

You may think that it sounds crazy, however as I outlined in my article on the Minnesota Starvation Experiment as malnutrition sets in people become obsessed with food and become dangerous and angry.  In the Experiment all the participants were avowed pacifists, but they began to develop fantasies about everyone they saw, that they were going to eat and started to become very angry at them.

These were avowed pacifists, so what do you think people who are used to huge meals and see you still keeping your belt in the same notch.

 

Think about it, if everyone else is starving or near starvation, or in the least malnourished and you are still a more than healthy 38 waist, what is everyone going to be thinking?  You can guess, because that is what ANYONE including you would be thinking….YOU HAVE FOOD STOCKED AWAY.

In my opinion the best thing to do is to finally go on that diet, everyone needs to.  Portion out the meals in combination with the extra work you will probably be doing and make sure that everyone starts to slim down.  Don’t make you and your family UNHEALTHY, however cut down the caloric intake and get everyone down to a healthy weight, now this may not cast off all suspicion, but with a good garden season people will not be be as suspicious.

With this tactic you may just save your life, they are not bad people, they are just hungry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Treating MRSA Post SHTF

MRSA_under_microscope

I’m sure that most of you have heard of MRSA, whose full name is “Methicillian-resistant Staphylococcus aureus” and is often called a “SUPERBUG” since it is resistant to most antibiotics that are used to treat normal Staph infections.  MRSA is not a superbug in the way that it is NOT something new, but something that has grown an immunity to normal antibiotic treatments through overuse in medical and agricultural fields.  This is the perfect example of Survival of the Fittest, we all know the concept, the weak are killed, the stronger survive.  This works in the bacterial world, every time a bacteria is treated with antibiotics there is a chance that a few survive and grow immune to those antibiotics and then multiply, over time there will be NO treatment of certain bacteria with any treatment, however since this is in the future and there is nothing we can do about it we will focus on MRSA and what we can do.

FACTS

  • MRSA results in 27% mortality rate
  • Cirrhosis, Renal Insufficiency, Having lived in Nursing home before hospitalization and Admission to ICU increases death by 7-15%
  • In 2005 over 94k cases were reported
  • Older age and weakened immune systems resulted in higher rates of death
  • Contact Sports, close proximity to healthcare workers and unsanitary conditions led to higher rates of infectiosn.

HOW CAN WE TELL IF IT IS MRSA?

mrsa2-s3-spiderbite-mrsa

 

Red bumps will appear and look like Pimples or Boils and can resemble a spider bit.  If you never felt the pain of a bite or saw a saw a spider on you, chances are it is not.

mrsa2-s5-mrsa-abscess

 

It will often progress to an open inflamed area of the skin that may “weep” pus or drain other fluids (THESE ARE INFECTIOUS!!!!).

The Following Photos also illustrate MRSA infections

mrsa2-s4-mrsa-infected-hand mrsa2-s2-mrsa-skin-infection

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

This goes without saying that this is ONLY if you cannot reach a medical doctor or Hospital, in normal times NEVER try to treat this on your own, only in the most dire of situations.   First of all do not share personal hygiene items, towels, sheets, clothing or toiletries with others.  Or if you do make sure they are sterilized and/or treated with 10% bleach solution.  To find out how you can create a near limitless (for personal use) supply of Bleach read my post on how to make Bleach from POOL SHOCK.

 

Bactroban

First you can try to treat with Anti-biotics.  it is getting harder and harder to find antibiotics to stock up on.  I would look at going to pet supply stores as you can find most anti-biotics for humans for animals as well.  Bactroban can still be found via Amazon, click the picture above or the link below.

  • SEPTRA (SULFA BASED) Also known as BACTRIM (Trimethoprim)
  • Clindamycin
  • Anti Biotic Cream (Prescription)
  • Mupirocin (Bactroban)

 

  lancing boil

 

If you have a boil (It Often does), you need to drain it via lancing.  You can often get rid of the infection with proper draining.  Make sure that you keep any of the discharge away from any cuts or scrapes or this infection can spread.  Keep it clean and clean the area around it that may have been touched by any of the drainage with 10% bleach solution.  Look up how to lance a boil properly and NEVER squeeze it like a pimple, this will only spread the infection. Some tips from medical professionals..

  • Drain wounds immediately, then soak it with warm water 2-3 times a day and keep it open and allowing to drain
  • Make sure it drains all the way or it will come back worse than before
  • Clean House/Vehicle/Weapons anything the person may have touched with bleach solution
  • Lysol spray will kill it if you have it.
  • Use bleach for laundry
  • A Soap called Chlorahexadine will kill MRSA on the skin.  You can buy this at Walmart and other stores.  once you have the wound draining, shower daily with it.  Once healed wash with it a few times a month to keep the staph that may be on you in check.
  • Keep Fingers out of your nose if you have it, Staph can live in there, so you may want to coat your nose with Prescription Cream.

medihoney tube

Honey Has been known to Kill it, if you can use Medical grade Honey like “Medihoney”

 

 

TEA TREE OIL has been said to treat it as well, however i would only use this as a last/only resort.

STOP IT!

You can STOP the spread of MRSA within your home or community by

  • Keeping wound bandaged and covered.
  • Sterilize ALL equipment used, or throw it away if it cannot be sterilized.  I have a Post on Sterilizing Equipment.
  • Wipe any areas exposed with 10% bleach solution.
  • Wash Hands vigorously and overdue it.

*This information comes from various sources like medicinenet.com, survivaldoctor.com, the CDC and others.*

 

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IS THE US BECOMING A POLICE STATE?

Today’s Post is a Guest Article, Or I should say Guest Graphic from Jasmine Henriques from Securitydegreehub.com

 

 

police_state

 

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The 3 Biggest misconceptions about a gunfight

tombstone-1

 

In my experience there are three categories of people when it comes to a gunfight.

  1. Those that NEVER want to be in one, so much so that they will not even consider having a gun.
  2. Those that wish they could be in the Old West and think they will be Doc Holiday Reincarnate.
  3. Those that have been in one and know what it is really like.

 

Those folks in category 1, I am not addressing today, That would take days and weeks of writing and ‘therapy’ to relieve yourself of these false notions, and propaganda that has been fed to you the majority of your life.  I may address this in a podcast at a later date.

This article will be addressing the 2nd category of people as a person that fits into the 3rd Category.

I am not doing this to try and toot my own horn and say “I’m better than you”, I am just trying to give you some advice, relay my experiences and try to prepare you for what reality will most likely be.

 

1) THAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO PULL THE TRIGGER

Most people who buy a gun, because they recognize the need for self defense, think that because they go to the range a few times a month and can hit center mass of the target that they are prepared to kill in defense of their own life or anothers life.

Unfortunately It is much more complicated than that.

 

An excellent book to read is called “ON KILLING” by Col. David Grossman, where he outlines how difficult it really is to kill another human being.  He notes that it is MUCH easier to drop a bomb from 30000 feet where the people are never seen or look like little ants than say getting up close with a knife.  One of the more amazing statistics was that in WWII, of those soldiers that fired their weapons in combat, they found that only 15-20% actually shot to kill, the rest fired in the general vicinity or over their heads.  It is not a normal thing to try and take a life.

Later as training developed, bull-seye targets were replaced with human silhouette targets and other things like cadences were changed from “Jody” (a cadence about the proverbial guy back home with your girl) to ones that spoke of killing your enemy, blood makes the grass grow, etc.  This lead to a near 80% rate of people firing to kill the enemy.

Shooting is as much psychological as it is physical (at the range).

I have personally seen it in combat where people froze at the sight of death, now this didn’t last long and 99% never had that again after their first time, however this was due to the fact that training kicked in.  However our training was constant for years (in some cases decades) before this moment, so you need to be aware that going to the range a few times a month may not be enough.

Much like my previous post on “3 Biggest mistakes people make in survival situations” you need to mentally prepare yourself for this moment, be aware that you may “freeze”.  I am not saying this is “ok” or that this may not result in your death, but you need to be aware of this possibility, not just in yourself but in others that may be in your “group”.  If they freeze when the moment comes you need to not get in their face, or make them feel like “less of a man (or woman)” for doing so, it is a natural reaction.  In fact this reaction is a good thing, it means that humanity and our compassion and what sets us apart from animals is still alive and well.  A good thing in the general sense.

Now This is not going to be a whole article on “HOW TO” for training, but here are a few pointers.

  • If you are not shooting at silhouette or “man” targets yet, do so.  never fire at bulls-eye targets in my opinion.  If you are training to defend yourself you WILL NEVER find yourself drawing down on a circle in real life.  Use human silhouette or man looking targets, this will help your mind START to get around this process.
  • Practice your draw and aiming at home every night for 30 minutes before you go to bed, at least a few times a week.  Set up a silhouette target, mannequin, etc. in your garage/room, closet, etc.  Make sure the weapon is unloaded, and don’t pull the trigger just practice drawing, presenting, and getting the proper aim.  Start slow at 25% speed, in a few weeks, up the speed to 50%, next few weeks 75% and so on.  After awhile once you have been doing 100%, start again at 25% speed and redo it again.  Focus on the fundamentals, of drawing, breathing, sight aim/sight alignment, etc.
  • Start practicing reading peoples body language in your daily life, and then use that on your dummy, start to practice paying attention to their eyes, shoulders and hands.  I know its hard on a paper target, but pay attention to these things while still keeping your aim true, center mass.  Most people will show you their intention to fire in their eyes/shoulders and hands moments before they pull the trigger.

 

2) THAT YOU WILL HIT WHAT YOU ARE SHOOTING AT

I have talked to a lot of people, and this comes up a lot.  A conversation with my wife really helped bring this home to me as something that people have fantasies about when it comes to a gunfight.

My wife doesn’t shoot as much as I would like her to, and I bought her a small compact pistol, which she picked out herself. Suprisingly she is quite accurate with it (however I find most women are more accurate out of the gate than men, they listen and aren’t looking to “prove” anything), however I keep telling her that if I am away, etc. and she hears something at night to grab the shotgun.  Because of this I want her to practice more with the shotgun.  She is still quite antagonistic to this idea saying “its too much Ill just grab my pistol”.  Which i reply that the shotgun is the premier home defense weapon, nothing beats it.  I also pointed out to her that with 00 Buck she wont have to worry if she is shaking or isnt quite as accurate, more than likely in a confined space she will at least “wing” the intruder giving her enough time for follow on shots, or scare them off.

Her reply was that “Every time we go shooting I’m really good right? so don’t worry”.

This is a reply I hear from a lot of people, that they shoot well at the range so if anyone ever came into their house, they will easily put two in the chest and be safe.

This is a massive fallacy on their parts, and I hope NOT yours.

Think of some times when you have woken up and may think you have heard someone in the house, or when that brother, sister, friend may have popped out of nowhere and scared you, giving everyone but you a good laugh.  This is what combat is like.  That feeling of a increased heartbeat, palms are sweaty, you are shaking a little bit, this is what it will be like but by a factor of 10.

You will be shaking, perhaps not even noticing it until you bring your weapon up and are trying to line up the sights, and then see that you cant get any kind of really good sight alignment.  Your palms will be sweaty and you will not have as good of a grip, and your heart will be racing making your weapon move up and down as you breath faster.  All of this combined will equal inaccuracy, its ok, its normal.

Now when you are in combat this often happens your first few engagements, but after awhile you become deadened to those sensations and your training kicks in.  The more and better training you have had the earlier it kicks in and you go on auto-pilot.

However most of use here don’t spend 40 hours a week training for this, we don’t live in that mindset 24/7 so we have to recognize that.

You must realize that you will probably not hit what you are shooting at, which is why you have to be careful and heed that old axiom of rang safety rules “know your target and what lies beyond”, meaning know if there are innocents or your kids bedrooms right behind your target.

 

 

3) THAT YOU WILL NOT  BE SCARED

This fits in a lot with the previous misconception, however it is its own separate beast.

Fear

People don’t want to think that they will be “scared” when someone breaks into their house, or that if the SHTF that they will be scared if someone tries to rob their vehicle as you are driving to the grocery store.  Most will say, “Nah, ill just start firing back, kill them and then move on”.

This is probably not the case.  When rounds fly by you in combat, it is not like the movies, when you hear that crack, the sound of a round that almost hit you, you will probably start freaking out a bit.  This is ok, its normal, recognize that its normal, when you do this you wont be freaking out that you are freaking out, wondering why you cant be Junior Rambo.  Recognize it and you will be able to calm down and THEN get to work so to speak.

We are preppers, which means we don’t put our heads in the sand and hope for the best, we must look at every situation and see what our failings might be and fix them.  This is another aspect of prepping, the mental.

When you are shot at or in a situation where you are in danger, the body’s natural response is to become afraid.  Fear keeps us from jumping out of moving trucks at 70 mph, and for good reason.  Fear keeps us alive.

However that fear can also get you killed, so recognize that fear is a normal part of the human experience, train for it, train yourself to overcome it and rely on your training, move past it and then get on with what needs to be done, that being defending yourself.

 

 

 

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299 DAYS KICKSTARTER: HELP MAKE THE MOVIE

299 Days

Glen Has launched the Kickstarter for 299 Days the Movie….

What is Kickstarter? Its basically a decentralized way to raise money for a project, instead of going to executives and Hollywood who will change the message and meaning of the Movie, He is reaching out to the public for help in making this the right way.

 

This is something i have mentioned on Facebook and Twitter.

I have spoken about 299 Days on Multiple Occasions and Interviewed Glen Tate on 3 Occasions as well

299 DAYS Book Review

Episode 12 with Glen Tate

Episode 20 Prepping with Special Needs Children

Episode 25 The Cabelas Prepper

 
Glen Tate is now reaching out to the Prepper and Patriot Community to make this Book Series a Real Life Hollywood Movie, however unlike a Hollywood movie that would bastardize it and make it theirs, Glen wants to make this BY PREPPERS FOR PREPPERS.

 

I have personally pledged $250 to the project, however I know this may be too steep for many of you.

The Project needs anything you can do to help form $1 and on.

For each level of donation you can collect some swag and prizes, here are a few

  • $5 – Get your name on the Patriot Wall on the 299 Days Page
  • $10 All of the above and a copy of the script
  • $ 15 all of the above and a person thanks on your facebook wall
  • $20 All of the above and a 17th Irregular (the unit in the books) Sticker
  • $25 Get a Patch instead of the Sticker
  • $50 Movie Download and I MISS AMERICA CAP
  • $100 Signed DVD or Blu-Ray and YOUR NAME In the Credits!
  • $125 All of the Above and a Movie Poster
  • $250 All of the above and a part as an extra in the Movie!!!!!
  • $500 Movie, Name in Credits and Personal Video Conference with Glen Tate!!!
  • $750 Gets you a Speaking Part in the Movie
  • $1000 Get your name as on of the 43 Colonels in the last book!!!
  • $5000 Get a weekend with Jack Spirko of the Survival Podcast at his Homestead
  • $10000 A weekend with Glen and the Team at his Cabin

 

There are multiple more incentive levels in between.

HERE’S MY OFFER TO THE GNP COMMUNITY….

 

MY DONATION OF $250 will get me a role as an Extra in the Movie (you have to provide your own airfare and lodging).

So If you donate anything more than $10, email me and let me know, your name will be put into a raffle and when the movie gets made I will give up my spot to YOU if you win.

So head over to Glen’s Kickstarter Page and donate what you can TODAY and you will be Entered to WIN A PART IN THE MOVIE!!

 

 

 

 

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When they come knocking: Dealing with Friends and Relatives

woman hands in face great depression

 

It has been a month since things got bad, well things had been getting bad for 3 months before then, but the last month was when things came to a head.  The Stock Market had crashed and the government had declared new powers to deal with the extraordinary circumstances that had occurred when the the “broken system” had “failed” America.  You had been prepared so your family was doing better than most, the food was bland but there were no nights going to bed hungry like many around the country.

You had mentioned in passing a few times to friends and family that after Katrina and Hurricane Sandy that it might be a good idea to put some stuff away if that ever happened to you, but they just laughed it off saying you had been watching too much National Geographic maybe.  They weren’t laughing about that now.

Your Brother in law had been a very successful accountant in the city crunching numbers for major food chains and big box stores in the region and had made fun of you for always choosing to live in the country, jokingly calling you his “bumpkin in law”. Before the phone lines had died a month a go he had called asking how things were where we are, his stories of how things were in the city told of gangs running wild and cops turning a blind eye or just unable to do anything about it.  The tenor of his voice betrayed the fear he had, he never asked to come out but the cracks and shaking, evident in his the way he spoke, told the story, it was a question he couldn’t, or wouldn’t ask of his “bumpkin in law”.

He never asked to come, so you never did. that had been a month ago, and the phones had long been down, you hoped they were doing okay, but the labor to keep things running around the house, planting the gardens and tending the animals you were now raising, thankfully didn’t allow for much thought on this.

One day you hear a knock on your door, you grab your shotgun and see the familiar outline of a green tahoe and you open the door to see your brother in law, looking paler and much thinner than the last time you had seen him.  He tells you that he had no other choice…..

 

In the back of our minds we all know this day will come, when things start to get bad that friends and/or family members will show up and we will be faced with a decision, can they stay or can they leave?

 

Most of use know about “OPSEC” that is the military term for Operational Security, not letting people know you are a prepper, that you have things stored, not letting people know that you are in any better shape than they are, because human nature will dictate to them that they will be better off coming to your door.

 

This OPSEC starts the day you become a prepper, as you start to build up your food storage you have to keep it safe, secure and secret.  If you start telling all your friends and family then you will end up being on their radar when SHTF.

 

Now most of us have told a few close family members that we are preppers, perhaps it has just been a few quick conversations about maybe it was be a good idea to stock up some food, water, etc.  I am not saying not to have those conversations with your family or close friends, but you have to understand that those people will now remember that conversation and when they are out of options your house will be next on their list of “we’re better off there than here”.

Now phone service may still be working and you get a call, or it may just be a knock on the door, but they will be coming, if they can get there they will show up, you can bet your life on that.  Why do I say that? Well what would you do?  Wouldn’t YOU be heading to your house? I sure as hell would be.

We have to have these conversations with ourselves and our significant others (if they are on board), because if we don’t we aren’t doing ourselves any favors in fact we are doing exactly what many preppers make fun of the rest of the population for doing…sticking our heads in the sand.

Personally I approach this by wanting to have 1 year of food for every person in my home, and another year of food for an extra person or two if possible, this way I can afford to allow a family member or two to come to the house and stay and not take away from what I have stored for my family.  My wife and I have talked about it and we have both agreed that our home will become a refuge for family as they need it, and in doing so we will need to stock away more.  We have also talked about as things START to get bad to tell our family to come out but buy and bring as much food as possible so as to give us as much breathing room as possible.  Now the food we have stocked away for family members will be basic staples, nothing fancy, but it will give us the ability to not have to make that hard decision.

 

THE HARD DECISION

We all know what this hard decision will be, telling them NO, that they can’t stay.  We have no idea what the situation will be when the SHTF and we have no idea what that situation will be by the time our family finally decides its time to leave where they are.  However we cant unilaterally decide “Of Course they can all come”…..If they come and we are in the worst of the worst case scenarios and we are having to look at having 6 months of food for your family and 1 month if everyone stays, what will your decision be?

This will be the hardest decision you will ever have to make however you need to run through these scenarios in your mind and come up with lines in the sand, How much food has to be available in certain situations to be able to allow ‘guests’ to come?

In a podcast with Glen Tate we talked about a blog post he talked about this exact scenario, when people come knocking.  We talked about how a friend had mentioned “Oh when things get bad we are coming to your house!” His answer was …”No you are not”.  Now every individual situation will be different, is this a friend from work or your older sister and her children?

 

YOUR DUTY

For me the line is definitely drawn at family, anything less than family is a definitive no go.  My family will not be eventually be starved out by a friend, plain and simple.

We had this conversation with a family friend, now she doesn’t know we are preppers, but the conversation had turned to a situation in a movie, I cant remember exactly but they know I am a gun afficionado, so she had said she would come here.  I said plainly, no you wont.  They were a bit taken back by that, but i plainly said my family is my responsibility, their family is theirs, and when it comes down to it I am not going to put my family in danger for them.

This may sound harsh, but it is reality.

Your Duty is to your family and not anyone else.

 

YOUR DECISION

Ultimately this is your decision, I have given my opinions on the subject, but the point of this post is to get your thinking, get you start that conversation with yourself and/or your significant other.

This is not a conversation or topic that is to be taken lightly, but it is also something that can’t be shoved off for a later date, sit down and start talking about it right now or later today, talk about it with your significant other if they are open to it.

Run the scenarios in your head, because if you don’t you will end up in a bad position.  If you bring someone else into your home you will start to tip the scales away from your family and towards them, it will be up to you to draw that line in the sand to see how far those scales can tip before you have to say NO.

 

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Cardboard Gardening: Dont Throw that out!

shifting-piles-of-stuff

 

 

 

Now currently I am inundated with Cardboard from our move last year, I kept 80% of our boxes and flattened them, etc, however a whole house of stuff produces a lot of boxes, so I have been slowly using them for other things, from backing for spray painting to fire starters.

Now I was trying to look for more uses for my cardboard as it seems a waste to even recycle it if i can find a use for it, and I did!

Spring is rapidly approaching, although my prepper brothers and sisters to the east may not feel like it is!

 

Egg Cartons:

img_4452

Now I don’t buy store bought eggs anymore, I prefer to source my eggs locally until We get settled into our final destination (where we are now currently will NOT be our homestead unfortunately) so I end up with quite a few egg cartons.

One very great way to use these is for planters.  Now I know my green thumbs out there are probably going “duh!” but many folks out there are quite new to all of this!

Start by cutting the carton in half, and you can leave the flap on one side of them to write the name of the plants if that helps (i think its a great idea!).  Fill the carton with soil and then plant a few seeds in each area, this will give them good spacing to begin with. Water them and as they come up cull the weaker seeds in each carton section so that the strongest survives, once planting season is here you can just bury the carton in the ground as the cardboard will decompose.  If you can use the recycled non/white paper cartons as there are chemicals in the bleaching process.

The photo above comes from gardeninggrrl.wordpress.com, and you can see how she planted them carton and all!

 

Weed Control/Mulch:

MulchLayersInBBGarden_800

(photo courtesy of snakeroot.net)

I did this last year in a couple of my beds as a test case to see if it would work well, and I was impressed.

I started by digging out about 5-6 inches off the tops of the raised beds.  I then loosely flattened out the area and layed in a piece or two of cardboard across the whole bed.

I cut out the areas where I would plant and marked off the corners with some sticks/stakes, Then i soaked it, soaked it, soaked it, soaked it, soaked it.

You will want to make sure the cardboard is through and through soaked, because if you don’t it may become hydrophobic and repel water, and that is opposite of what you want, you want it to hold moisture.

Once it was good and soaked I then cover it with dirt then at about the 2-3 inch layer i layed down another layer of cardboard and soaked it finally, covering it all with dirt.  What this did was two fold.

It helped stop weeds from coming up all around my plants (it didn’t stop them from coming up in the areas where i didn’t lay cardboard, but it cut down weeding a lot), but it also helped to hold moisture in the soil.  Where I am currently at the sun is very hot and the wind is harsh so it leads to dry soil.  There is very little rainfall in the summer so the little we had along with my watering was held very well in the soil and led to good growth.  I would often check during the days and my soil was always damp, a very good thing in that climate.

A Note: you can also use newspaper as well not the shiny junk mail flyers but paper newspapers.

In the case of the picture above these people used wood mulch on top of the cardboard, im guessing this was more to inhibit weeds than hold in moisture as it doesn’t seem to be soaked.

 

Raised Bed Straw grown Potatoes:

straw-potatoes

This is something i can not speak much on since I have not done it yet, I just discovered this but am very intrigued and will try to do this, this summer!

I read a brief description of how to do this on the Colorado State Extension site.

Basically what you do is prep your soil with organic matter/compost, dig a trench four inches deep and 12 inches wide.

Plant your potatoes 4-6 weeks before last frost in your area and push the see (eye up) 1/2 inch down into the loos soil and space 12 inches apart.  Then fill the trench with six inches of weed free straw and as they come up add another 4 inches of straw.

Water evenly to keep moist and don’t overwater them.  The straw will help to keep the soil moist, and promote plant health and growth.  When August comes (or whenever your harvest time may be), you can just reach in and pull back the straw to reveal soil free potatoes, no need to dig them out!

Now how does this relate to cardboard…well if you wanted you can use some of the bigger boxes as planters.  As seen in the photo above they used a old washtub/basin and filled it with 4 inches of soil and then dug the trench in there and filled with straw.  On a budget or in SHTF you can use Cardboard Boxes!  The nice thing as well is that the carboard will break down and you can use that as mulch the next year, etc.

 

There are multitudes of uses for cardboard, these are just 3 ways to use it specifically for gardening!

DO YOU HAVE OTHER USES? COMMENT BELOW!

 

 

 

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How to Make a Homemade Compass

Homemade Compass
 
 

Now many of us may remember this from our childhood, boyscouts, etc. for those that don’t this is something to put away in your mental tool chest for a day when you might need it.

Mil Spce Compass

Now of course you should have a good compass, I prefer the Mil Spec Compass since it has Tritium in it for night use and is very durable.  However for situations where you might find yourself not in the most…advantageous position, you can create this makeshift compass that you can carry with you, all you will need to do is to have water available for it to float on whenever you want to get a reading.

 

ITEMS NEEDED

  • Sewing Needle (you can also use a paperclip, safety pin or hairpin in a pinch)
  • Magnetizer (Fridge Magnets work great, but you can also use steel or iron to rub it on, silk/fur, or even your own hair to magnetize it)
  • Bowl
  • Small piece of cork (wine cork or cork board is great, but a light wood can work as well just has to be very light and move easily in the water as the needle moves. Leaves can also work in the wild)
  • Water

 

STEP 1:

Rub the needle on the magnet, don’t rub it back and forth but in the same direction, like sharpening a knife.  After about 50 strokes the needle should be magnetized, repeat if necessary.

NOTE: I fyou are using a piece of iron or steel, stick the needle in a piece of wood and rap the top of the needle on the metal item 50 times

 

STEP 2:

Stick the need through the cork, insert it horizontally through the edge of the cork and out the other side.  Push it through until there are equal portions on either side of the wood.  If you are using something like a leaf just lay it on top with equal portions hanging over.

 

STEP 3:

Fill a Bowl with a few inches of water and place your makeshift compass in the water, the needle will align itself with the earths magnetic field and point north to south (that is magnetic north to south).  Now realize that wind will push it off course and you cant stick this in a lake or pond due to currents, however you could use a small still puddle.

 

STEP 4:

You can tell if it is working by if you set it in the work it will start to spin either clockwise or counter clockwise to point form north to south, if it doesn’t and just sort of sits there, then attempt to remagnetize it.

 

STEP 5:

Now you will need to see where North is, if you know the area and have a general idea of which was is north then use that.

If not put a stick in the ground, mark the tip of the shadow it casts with a rock, wait 15 minutes and mark the tip with a rock, the line between the two should be roughly East to West, using that you can tell which way NORTH is.  Stand with First rock on left, second rock on right, then you are facing north.

If it is night, Locate the Norther star, the last star in the handle of the Little Dipper, draw a line from the north star to the ground, that direction is due north.

 

 

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The Prepper Wardrobe: Why Low Key is Best

Contractor Picture

 

Many of us (Mostly the Guys) like to buy some tactical gear from time to time, and have probably a decent outfit of tactical gear to don, if god forbid the time comes when it is needed.

Now I am not one to judge, I myself have acquired and bought quite a bit of tactical gear, most of this was from my days in the military and contracting, however we need to thing strategically and not tactically in all situations.

What do I mean by that?

Tactically speaking and using a tactical mindset we would look at every situation in a tactical way, which is fine, but dressing the part is where you can go wrong.

I remember a quote from the Great Marine Corps General James Mattis that he told us when I was deployed to Iraq “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”  Now this to the layman may sound harsh, but in combat it is a reality one must accept.

This fits perfectly with what this article is about, in a SHTF scenario you must be analyzing all situations at all times with an eye to being ready to use force to defend yourself.

That being said, dressing like you are  trying out for Zero Dark Thirty 24/7 is not being of the tactical mindset  it is looking a part that doesn’t need to be, you need to have the mindset not wear the gear.

Like I said having the gear for when the time calls for it is smart, but it is smarter to know when to wear it, there is a time and place for that but not the hour after an even starts, or even a month into it.

SO WHY SHOULDN’T I WEAR MY GEAR?

This is topic was brought up initially in a conversation  between myself in Glen Tate over a year ago in a telephone conversation.  We were talking about a part in his books where the “Team” first introduced themselves to the locals at Pierce Point, the bug out location for his semi-fictional self.  Normally they dressed up in full tactical gear since the SHTF started, but to introduce themselves they came dressed in jeans and hunting camouflage.  Why is this important?  Because they were not trying to look like badass dudes, they were wanting to blend in look like the locals and not be seen as a threat.

Now everyone’s situation within their local community is different, however even in the most conservative gun loving communities, if there was an emergency and your first reaction was to show up in full tactical gear, chest rig, vest, M4 and leg holster, people are going to look at you quite strangely, and with good reason.   This isnt to say that at a later date that may be appropriate, but often this is not the right move.

Showing up in full tactical gear, in that person mind, You would think you are projecting this image.

  • Confidence
  • Ability
  • Proficiency
  • I know what I’m Doing
  • I am prepared
  • Follow me!

However what people will be thinking is this

  • Who is that guy
  • Scared
  • Worried
  • Wow what an overreaction
  • This guy is nuts
  • Oh my god one of them militia psychos

 

We all know that when it hits the fan, even after all of that most people will still be hanging onto “normal”, even with the world falling down around them they will stool look at you in that ‘garb’ and think “why? What a nutjob”.  Now does this mean they are right because most of them are thinking that? No.  It does mean that you will need them to survive as much as they will need you, and because of this you will need to not PUSH this on them, it means you will have to take it slow, and only when the time is right or necessary to you go all out.

Besides going all out is more about you wanting to finally use your gear, not about being effective.  Be smart about it, take your surroundings into effect, and remember that your survival depends NOT just on the gear or preps you have but your neighbors as well.  Without them your preps will get you far, but not to the finish line.

 

Another aspect you will want to think about is the fact that SHTF doesn’t mean the government and LE is gone, it might just mean they are ineffective for real crime and will focus more on the big things..ya know like control?  Dressing yourself to look all tacc’d out may just bring you unwanted attention especially if you combine it with any sort of public speech that could be regarded as “demeaning” to the powers that be.  In situations like this when things are tense, it doesn’t take much evidence to haul people in.

The Bad Guys may also take notice of you, if you carry a pistol or even a AR but dress normal, a bad guy looking at you may think you have a nice gun, more than likely not to mess with you if you look like you know what you are doing, probably not worth the hassle and danger, better to hit the person up the street with the progressive bumper stickers.  However if you are all tacc’d up with the newest and most expensive gear, that bad guy knows you probably have some more guns and other brand new goodies at your house, and since you are only one person, it may be worth the risk to try and take you down.

Publicly wearing all this gear may make you think that you looking like a solo porcupine in a pack of deer in the wild, full of quills, impenetrable.  However Remember that cougars figured out how to pick out that porcupine, flip it one its belly and eat it.  No one is impenetrable and more often than not blending in has more advantages than standing out.

 

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Password Protection: Keeping it close and secure

IMG00290-20131127-1644

 

For those of us who have the forethought to take the necessary precautions to make our passwords extremely secure we have the tradeoff of them being…difficult to remember.  The most secure passwords are those that do not incorporate personal information into them say for instance if I made my passwords ALL “Morgan1234!”.

Now this would satisfy most if not all commercial password requirements, however it is very easily guessed and not very secure.  The best passwords are random, using upper/lowercase letters, numbers and characters, If you need a resource go to www.random.org and scroll down to the passwords, use a 24+ key password, I know of some people that use 1000+ for their encrypted files to make sure that there is no way in this lifetime they can every be broken.

The hard part is remembering them, I often change mine every 3-6 months depending just to make sure that they remain secure, somewhat unnecessary, but I layer all of my security and I never use one password for all of the sites, emails, etc.  I use a separate one for each.  So how do I remember all of them?  I don’t, I have them written down and hidden in a very secure location. Now for security reasons I will not show you the exact way that I hide my passwords, but this IS one way I have done it in the past and you can use this form or use your imagination to come with other inventive ways.  The key is to make it not noticeable, not conspicuous and easily looked over.

The example I will be showing you will be using chapstick, so for this I would not keep it right next to the computer, keep it in a junk drawer or in a old camping pack, etc.  Granted it would not be easily accessible, but more secure, and security is our goal.   All you will need for this is a chapstick (preferable an old ratty one but with a decent amount of chapstick left, a knife and your passwords on  small roll or paper (you can experiment with size).

 

 

First remove the stick from the tube

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Then take your password note and roll it up, you don’t need it to be too tight, just small enough to fit in the tube.IMG00290-20131127-1644

IMG00293-20131127-1645

 

Once its in the Tube then reinsert the chapstick tube and roll it down until it hits the paper IMG00294-20131127-1645

IMG00295-20131127-1645

 

Once its in there then take your knife and cut off where it meets the top

IMG00296-20131127-1646

IMG00298-20131127-1646

 

Rub it around a bit to round it out, then perhaps dab it one the carpet or ground to get some hair and “yuckies” on it to make it look crappy, old and used. IMG00300-20131127-1648

 

Like I said at the beginning of the article, you don’t have to use this exactly, but use this as an idea, a jumping off point to come up with your own idea.  Keep it secure.

 

 

 

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