Over the years I’ve heard many people describe how they would prep if they won the Lottery.

The Big Survival Truck is usually the first thing mentioned, and it’s almost always a 4-wheel drive multi-ton with brawny winches fore and aft and full stealth capability. Then there’s the all-encompassing armory of truly first-class (and extremely expensive) firearms. Plus tons of ammunition, and a Band-Aid. And a 30,000-acre BOL in Montana with a 17-bedroom underground nuke-proof house and an Olympic-size Jacuzzi—all solar-powered, of course.

Unfortunately, most of those people don’t do very much prepping while they’re waiting for their winning numbers to pop up. They just don’t have the money.

In today’s troubled economy, money goes fast, but it doesn’t go far. The average person doesn’t have enough money in the bank to carry them (and their family) through one month of lost income, much less a full-scale disaster. A person should always try to have some kind of emergency reserve. Not having emergency funds doesn’t leave much room for prepping.

So what can a poor penny-pinched Prepper possibly do?

Simple: Get four envelopes and label them Water, Food, Clothing, and Gear. Determine to use the contents of each only for its designated purpose. Then follow these three easy steps to fill them up with money:

Sell

Take a good look at everything you own. Then sell everything you don’t actually need and/or use except items of genuine sentimental value. Everybody needs two 9/16″ wrenches. But if you have three, you should sell one. Even if you can only get $0.50 for it. It may seem like a small thing—too little to be worth bothering with—but the average adult has about $2,500.00 worth of possessions they neither use nor need. Those are the things that should fund your first preps.

Sell everything that you don’t need or want to make money which could be used to purchase prepping supplies or simply build a nest-egg for harder times.

Auction the good stuff on the Internet, have a few yard sales, rent a stall at a flea market, advertise in the free Classifieds, and tell all your friends. Be persistent. Eventually, you’ll sell it all. Trust me on this: Somewhere, somebody desperately wants that three-headed elephant statue that someone must have given you because you’d never buy anything like that, especially if it cost money and you weren’t drunk. However much money this step makes, divide it equally into your four envelopes. (Water, Food, Clothing, and Gear)

Buy

Think outside the box and purchase wisely. Water, of course, should be your first concern. It’s far more critical than food. A person can last a month without eating, but after three days without water they’ve stopped lasting and started dying. The minimum water allowance should be 1 gallon per day, per person. Set 5 gallons per person as your first water goal, and pursue it with the cost of the container in mind. You can buy 3 gallons of “spring water” from the Wally Store for $5.78—but you shouldn’t.

Instead, collect freshly emptied 2-liter soda bottles, rinse them out, and fill them with food-grade water right out of the tap—at the rate of about $1.50 per 1,000 gallons. Price: $0.01, rounded up. Also collect every screw-top beer can you can get your hands on. Wash and rinse them thoroughly and then you can use them for storing water and many other needful things. Free cardboard boxes can be collected from supermarkets to store your water bottles neatly and to shift them fast if you ever have to bug out.

Don’t worry about purifying tap water that goes into clean containers. The chlorine that’s already in it will do that job for you automatically. Gradually work your way up to storing 30 gallons per family member, if you can. When you reach your water storage goal, empty the Water envelope into Buy/Sell.

Water should be the very first item you stock up on.

Food should be your next concern because in an emergency the supermarkets will be picked clean within hours. Do all your panic-buying long before it’s time to panic—then you’ll never have to. Again, shop wisely: Don’t automatically shop at the most expensive supermarkets. Go to the cheaper ones, and also check out any Bent & Dent Stores in your area. Many times the canned goods there aren’t dented: They just came out of torn cartons. Clip coupons and look for sales. Be sure to check out any local auction houses. Some have monthly food auctions where you can get almost anything except fresh meat at amazingly low prices—as low as 10% of retail for some things.

Buy long term storage foods only, plus whatever you find that you would normally buy in your ordinary shopping. After each auction, figure out how much you saved on the regular shopping items and add that much as cash to your Food envelope. What you save on regular items at the auction is the time and gas you would have expended in ordinary shopping. The cash saved can go to your preps without impacting your standard of living.

The first rule is “Store what you eat and eat what you store.” If you hate green olives, don’t buy a gallon just because they happened to be cheap at the moment. You should stock only foods that you are accustomed to and like. ALL your foods should be comfort foods. Emergencies are stressful enough. There’s no need to add diet discomfort to the situation. Store the kinds of food you are eating, eat the food you have stored before its expiration date, and replace it as you do.

Buy rice and beans because they are cheap and provide complete amino acids when eaten together—but be sure to acquire the recipes that make them into superb meals. Buy canned beef, pork, and chicken, plus soups and vegetables. Buy white pasta because it keeps longest. (Spaghetti packs very compactly.) Ramen noodles are cheap, but go rancid in about two years. Buy extra virgin olive oil and canned lard. Both have their different uses.

The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource

The second rule is to buy in small containers. Refrigeration may not be available, so don’t buy canned vegetables by the gallon—unless your family is large enough to eat a gallon in one day.

The third rule is to buy variety: Don’t buy 100 lbs. of rice and 100 lbs. of beans and 10 lbs of “everything else”. Buy some of every kind of food you like, plus enough spices to put some serious zing into your cooking. When the flat-screen TV is dead, meals may become the high moments of the day.

Your first food goal should be three days (nine meals) for each person in your family. Do some careful calorie counting, and plan for three 1500-calorie meals a day. That’s more than the total 1500 calories a day many people recommend, but emergency situations are stressful, and usually require a lot of manual labor (such as walking instead of riding). The idea is to maintain your optimum body weight, not to drop to your minimum.

Gradually work up to a thirty-day food supply, and eventually try for ninety. When you’re good for food, retire the Food envelope and roll any leftover money into Buy/Sell. Then turn your attention to Clothing.

Start with durable but comfortable foot gear. Buy good new work boots, or military surplus combat boots. Buy several pairs of thick wool socks. Break the boots in, and wear them at least a few hours a week to keep them supple. Buy a surplus military poncho w/ liner. That’s good gear, and you definitely don’t want anything orange or yellow at any price. You may eventually need to be very inconspicuous.

Assemble one complete set of clothes for winter and one for summer. Include a camo hat with a brim and a black knitted watch cap, work gloves, knee pads, two bandannas, and sunglasses. Don’t be too proud to shop the thrift stores for used clothing. Incredible buys can be found there. Plus, in a disaster situation you don’t want to be seen in anything that says “Rich Person/May Have Food”.

When you’re good for clothing, empty the Clothing envelope into the Buy/Sell envelope. Then turn your attention to Gear.

Gear is an endless exercise in optimization. Start small. Buy the cheap stuff first. Haunt the thrift stores, dollar stores, yard sales, and flea markets. Roughly in order of importance: a good folding knife and a good sheath knife for each person. Also two Bic lighters, a Stainless Steel water bottle, personal cooking kit, pocket chainsaw, 30’ of 550 paracord, a tarp, a groundcloth, and a good wool blanket. A buck saw and a ¾-axe for the group, plus a four liter pot with bail & lid. Matches in a waterproof pill bottle for everyone, plus a small first aid kit.

Store your gear in a large gym bag—and with it your three day supply of food and three gallons of water. Two bags is okay, if there isn’t room in one.

All of that will be far too heavy to carry on your back, which is why you needn’t put it in a backpack. Instead of a $100+ backpack, buy an old golf dolly from a thrift store for $3.00 or so. You can tie the bags on and roll your gear instead of having to carry it. You’ll be amazed at how well that works.

The last part of Gear that bears discussion is personal defense. It’s a sad fact that in a serious emergency or disaster scenario the only animal you’ll find that will be both vicious and eager to attack you will be another person. Every person should carry a razor-sharp machete to chop brush with. Machetes do not run out of ammunition. Mace can also be a good friend in bad times. The best brand is Bear Spray.

Depending on the circumstances and the personal choice of conscience, a firearm may be desirable. The debate over which is best is endless, but having both a pistol and a long gun offers the best of both worlds. Being seen with a long gun can be disadvantageous—it can draw the attention of law enforcement (if there is any law left) and it can draw the first bullet from an unseen sniper on the trail.

For that reason, I recommend the only long gun I know of that can easily be hidden in a Bug out bag, gym bag, or book bag.

That’s a 12-ga slamfire shotgun made according to the instructions in the Kindle eBook The 15-Minute Shotgun. It breaks down into two pieces, the longest being 18-1/2”, reassembles instantly without tools, and can be used for both personal defense and subsistence hunting.

And, to the delight of the average Penny-Pinched Prepper, it only costs $10.00 to make.

When you’re reasonably well geared up, the Gear envelope can also go away, and you’ll be down to one envelope: Buy/Sell. And that brings you to Step 3:

Buy/Sell

Prepping is an ongoing process. It requires a small but continuing subsidy. Use your Buy/Sell money at auctions to buy things you can immediately sell for a profit on Craigslist. By that I mean a good washer-dryer set bought for $50.00 and sold for $200.00 the same week. Or an ugly flatbed trailer bought for $65.00, spray painted generic black, and re-sold for $250.00. Or an immaculate recliner bought for $5.00 and sold for $75.00. I have done all of those things at auctions and many more. I have funded my preps for years with an occasional Buy/Sell and made a little money on the side, too.

Spend your Buy/Sell money however you wish. By the time you’re reasonably well geared up you’ll probably know exactly what you next prepping goals should be. Whatever they are, they’ll probably be as uniquely individual as you are.

In my case, I’m saving up for that solar-powered Jacuzzi.

  Over the years I’ve heard many people describe how they would prep if they won the Lottery. The Big Survival Truck is usually the first thing mentioned, and it’s almost always

Numerous factors must be just right in order for concealed carry to work well, and concealment can change daily depending on our clothes and activities. Gun size, on-body carry position, holster angle, and ride height are all things to consider, and just one problematic factor can be frustrating enough to discourage us from carrying. Since our bodies and gun preferences are all different, the CC method that works best for one person may not work for another; therefore, the more perspectives we can get from individuals similar to ourselves, the better.

As a petite 5-foot-4-inch female of 118 lbs who carries a gun everywhere she goes, I’ll be the first to admit that concealed carry can still be a headache on certain days, resulting in a pile of clothes, guns, and holsters. In addition, a lazy week and a change in eating habits can (and will) make my pants fit a bit more snugly than usual. What woman really wants to squeeze a gun anywhere inside her pants when they are feeling tight already?

Women’s clothes are often fitted to accentuate our curvy figures, and our miniscule pockets are only capable of holding dainty things. Most of us just want to wear what we want to wear, without making getting dressed another chore to add to the daily list. Thankfully, there are many holster options available today, even for petite women, because I sure wouldn’t carry a gun on my body daily if it were not both comfortable and concealable.

ankle holster

Women definitely have an advantage with ankle holsters since they are very easy to access when wearing long skirts and dresses. One with both a calf strap and soft inner padding, such as this Galco Ankle Lite, provides both comfort and stability.

Along with the high number of holster options available for us to choose from, there are also a lot of places to position them around our bodies. INside-the-waistband (IWB), OUTside-the-waistband (OWB), shoulder, ankle, bra, pocket, thigh, appendix, and purse carry are the main CC methods that come to mind. Once you figure out where you can actually conceal on your body, then there are more choices to pick from. Leather, Kydex, hybrid leather/Kydex, and fabric holsters all vary in terms of comfort and retention. Numerous holster choices may be overwhelming, but there is no doubt in my mind that something will work for every licensed woman who wishes to conceal carry, if she is willing to spend some time going through her options and is truly determined to carry her gun on-body.

First things first, I recommend you decide which gun you most want to carry with you on a regular basis, and then try to make concealment work on your body with that gun. If you are unable to find a method of concealment (holster and body position) that works for that particular gun, then switching to a smaller gun can definitely help. A tiny .380 might conceal the best for all of us, but perhaps you’d actually prefer a slightly bigger (but still small) gun like a 9mm Glock 26 or a Ruger LC9. Gun selection is truly a matter of individual preference, and although very small guns conceal the best on my petite frame, other guns can conceal well too, depending on the season.

In the summer, I can only really conceal a .380 or a NAA mini .22 revolver on my body. In the winter, however, any gun can be concealed underneath heavy clothing. I’d prefer to carry my double-stack S&W M&P compact 9mm year-round, but with my small body size, I just can’t conceal it well enough with normal summer outfits. I’m not going to stop wearing shorts and tank tops in 90 degree weather in order to conceal my biggest gun, so I simply downsize to the smaller Ruger LCP or Kel-Tec P-3AT during those months.

Thigh holster

Thigh holsters, like one from Clament Custom Leather, can work well for smaller women with lightweight guns, when worn under loose, knee-length skirts and dresses. When angled out the backside of the leg, they are less likely to rub when walking.

Once the weather starts cooling off, cover garments become much easier to incorporate back into daily wear, and it becomes a pleasure to carry the M&P again. Sweatshirts, jackets, vests, and sweaters are all excellent concealed carry helpers for those times of year when the temperature drops a bit. Even lightweight, sleeveless vests can be very helpful for concealment during the summer, although I’ve found darker colors to always conceal better than lighter ones.

I didn’t want to drastically alter my wardrobe to start carrying a gun, but being a new CC licensee was a great excuse to peruse eBay, thrift shops, and the mall, since I didn’t own many sleeveless vests or cover garments at the time. I wasn’t going to buy anything that I wouldn’t normally wear, so shopping for CC clothing was my own form of research. I asked myself, “What types of cover pieces could you add to your closet that you would still wear, even if you weren’t carrying a gun?”

Although I didn’t set out to change my clothing style, I will admit that finding a few select pieces sure did help with my concealment efforts. Having a few sleeveless vests in your wardrobe can make a huge difference, and shopping for new cover garments can be a true highlight of concealed carry. If you start out struggling with the concealment of your firearm, I highly recommend doing some shopping research of your own and not giving up until you find a few cover-ups that you’d be excited to wear any day of the week.

OWB holster

A long cover-garment is essential for OWB concealment, since you must cover both the gun and the holster. Concealing a mid-sized gun like this compact S&W M&P in an OWB holster can be hard for a petite woman, so switching to an IWB holster and/or a smaller gun can help.

Also, if you are like me and normally wear tighter pants that don’t allow for much wiggle room, definitely consider buying a few pairs that are one size up from what you normally wear, so that you can better experiment with IWB carry. I didn’t give into that for the longest time, but I’m so glad that I finally have because IWB holsters have become much more comfortable for me.

If you are going to spend the money on a concealed carry handgun, definitely consider CC clothing to be an investment to the cause—you may no longer have to leave your gun at home! You may even come to find that when you’re out shopping in the future, garments that are beneficial for concealed carry really jump out at you. Don’t forget that the ability to wear unique, feminine cover garments is one fun luxury of being a woman.

For my very first concealed carry gun, I chose a simple, lightweight revolver: the Ruger LCR. I experimented with all different types of holsters for that one gun, and of course I kept hitting walls. Some of my pants lacked belt loops, which ruled out all belt holsters. Others were very tight at the ankles, which ruled out any ankle carry. All dresses and most skirts did not work with a belt holster, and all of my pants pockets were too small for any gun. If you really want to carry your gun, however, persistence pays off. I have learned that on my body, with the types of fitted clothing I usually wear, different outfits work better with different types of holsters.

My wide-leg pants or long, floor-length skirts and dresses always favor an ankle holster, especially when they don’t have belt loops or the fit is too snug to accommodate a gun in the waistband. Knee-length skirts and dresses often work well with a thigh holster, as long as the gun being carried is small and lightweight. I have found, however, that skirts made of stiff, heavy fabrics can make drawing from the thigh holster more difficult, and skirts worn above the knee are often too short for a thigh holster to conceal adequately.

IWB holster

Jean skirts often have belt loops, which means ‘belted IWB holsters’ can still be worn in the summer. For a woman who carries a small 380, an adjustable IWB holster, like this Crossbreed Minituck, may conceal very well underneath a loose tank top or T-shirts.

Instead of thigh carry for those skirts, an IWB holster can work much better. Depending on whether or not the skirt has belt loops, I use either a Crossbreed MiniTuck or a clip-less Remora holster, positioned low in the waistband for best concealment. Not only is an IWB holster my CC method of choice with shorter skirts, but it is also my main choice for shorts, pants or jeans, paired with a regular T-shirt, hooded sweatshirt, vest, or cover garment.

A gun can also be concealed outside the waistband if you are wearing a longer, heavier sweater or jacket, although OWB holsters are bulkier in general, making them harder to conceal. Very specific cover pieces, like a roomy winter coat or a dark colored vest, can work especially well for most CC methods, including OWB, shoulder, and pocket. However, since concealable clothing options for smaller women can be limited with both shoulder and pocket holsters, I still carry either IWB or OWB in the winter.

Sometimes a woman, petite or not, has no other option but to carry her gun in a purse or bag. For those occasions, it is beneficial to have a dedicated gun purse, with a separate compartment for your gun. As a fail-safe option for when I’m either running out the door or heading on a more adventurous trek, I conveniently holster my gun inside a Gun Tote’n Mamas shoulder pouch or a Disse Gear concealed carry bag. I’ve also recently discovered a unique, new bra-style holster called the “Flashbang” which is made for various small guns. It may work well with most female clothing, aside from dresses and sports bras, although I still have yet to try it.

OWB holsters

A straight drop (neutral cant), as shown with this Crossbreed SnapSlide OWB, is meant to be worn directly on your side in the 3:00 or 9:00 position. This angle is great for the range, although it doesn’t conceal well on a petite woman. (bottom) A slight forward rake, or even a more “extreme” forward rake, as seen on this Lobo Gun Leather OWB, can conceal very well for a petite woman in the 4:00 position. This angle helps keep the grip of the gun from poking through a cover garment.

Most of the time, I truly prefer IWB carry, and the sweet spot on my small frame is always the 4 o’clock position, directly behind my strong-side (right) hip. If I so much as even think about small of the back or appendix carry with my slim build, however, lo and behold, quite the bulge appears! For some women, those positions might work, so don’t rule them out until you try them yourself. They just don’t conceal well with my particular physique.

I like to wear shorter tops and cover garments too, so the main highlight for me with an IWB holster is that you only have to conceal the gun and holster above your pant line, since most of the gun and holster is already concealed within your pants. With an OWB holster, however, you have to wear a longer shirt or cover-up, since you must cover not only the entire gun, but the entire holster as well.

With any IWB holster, both the ride height (depth of the holster and gun in your pants) and cant (degree angle or “rake” your gun is tilted at) will make or break your IWB concealment attempts. The Crossbreed SuperTuck was my first IWB holster, and I’m so glad it was because that specific holster is adjustable for both ride height and cant. An adjustable holster is beneficial, especially for those starting out, so you can figure out exactly how you need to position a holster on your own body for it to conceal.

For me, a lower ride height conceals best, since I often wear fitted tops. Also, a more extreme forward cant works the best for me, since that angle is least likely to allow the butt of a gun to stick out the back of my shirt.

clipless IWB holster

Many skirts lack the belt loops needed for waistband holsters, while others are too short for thigh holsters. A “clip-less” IWB holster with a tacky exterior surface, like this Remora No-Clip IWB, is a good option for a skirt that fits snug.

The versatility that different holster options provide is terrific and no single holster will work for all applications. With that being said, I’ve also come to believe that it is worth making small compromises in our wardrobe in order to carry a gun in the same position on most days. Since it is not a good idea to frequently switch your on-body carry location from day to day, picking a main style of clothing and preferred carry method is beneficial. If you wear a lot of long skirts, an ankle holster might be perfect for most days. If you prefer a lot of baggy hooded sweatshirts and T-shirts, an IWB holster might be the main way to go.

The problem is, if you constantly switch where you wear your holster, it may not be where you attempt to retrieve it from should you ever have to use it. It would be detrimental to forget where you are wearing your holster on the day that you need your gun, and you surely don’t ever want to fumble with getting it out. If you pick one or two carry methods for wearing your gun most of the time, then it will be easier to fit in plenty of crucial drawing and shooting practice at the range.

I am so grateful for the right to carry a concealed firearm for protection, and as CC permit holders, we should all respect the responsibility that entails. No matter which carry methods you choose, it is most important to be comfortable with your firearm and know how to handle it safely.

 

Numerous factors must be just right in order for concealed carry to work well, and concealment can change daily depending on our clothes and activities. Gun size, on-body carry position,

 

We know in a grid down situation that medical supplies will become a thing of the past. I worked as a delivery driver for two different major companies supplying hospitals and clinics with their supplies in Northern California. I can tell you for certain that there are no reserve medications in most hospital storerooms. Most hospitals operate on a just in time delivery system. They order it one day and get it in the next day. They may keep a small one day supply of some things on hand that they can use up that day and replace the next day. But they keep nothing on hand. To drive home the point: If most medical centers need a 9 volt battery to run a machine they order one 9 volt battery which is placed into a 55 gallon plastic bag, which is placed into a plastic tote which includes a packing slip with a bar code on it, and a bar code on the outside of the tote. When the hospital receives it they check the tote and pull the battery and send it directly to the machine that needs the new 9 volt battery.

Antibiotics

You can do some things now and some things later. I would advise that you get a supply of a general antibiotic such as Amoxicillin on hand now. You don’t need your doctor’s prescription to do it. Fish Amoxicillin comes from the same place as the stuff they give to humans. You can order on-line. Since most of the time I’ve been given Amoxicillin it’s a 500 MG dosage 3 times a day for 10 days. That means you need 30 pills. I have ordered on-line and purchased 100 pills for about 30 dollars. That would give me enough for 3 separate treatments and still have 10 pills left over for trade. In a true SHTF situation each tablet will be worth more than gold. I recommend you keep your bottle in the refrigerator. Keeping antibiotics cool helps extend their potency.

Food grade hydrogen peroxide

Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide. This stuff is dirt cheap. You need the Food Grade which is a 35 percent solution and no additives or stabilizers in it which can hurt you. Food Grade is a 35 percent solution and is used in the agriculture industry to clean eggs among other things. I strongly recommend you obtain and read a book by Madison Cavanaugh called “The One Minute Cure.” It provides a lot of history for it and some ideas for its uses. Like anything else in life you must take some precautions in using it. First, at 35 percent it is considered to join the Hazmat family of flammables. 90 percent Hydrogen Peroxide is called rocket fuel. So don’t use it near open flames and remember it must be diluted a lot before you use it with the body. If you happen to spill some on your skin you need to immediately wash it off. Prolonged exposure can cause permanent nerve damage. There are several books on how to use it. Please get one and understand it fully and how to safely use and store it.

I was introduced to Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide when joking with another truck driver who was performing a pre-trip inspection on his truck. I got so excited about what I heard I ordered a gallon of the stuff and had it at home waiting for me to try. Actually I quickly discovered that when I read the book, which I received at the same time I got my Hydrogen Peroxide, I had purchased enough for a lifetime, or two. There are numerous ways that Hydrogen Peroxide is useful. I’m going to include a way to use it that I’ve not seen anywhere in print. In several books I have seen mention that it was used to fight the Pandemic of 1918. But no one said how.

I have had severe Asthma for as long as I can remember and I’ve been on one or more asthma drugs 24/7 since I was age 3 just to breath. I wondered how to I could safely get some diluted Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide into my lungs and see if it would help control my asthma.

A bottle like this makes a good delivery mechanism for the Hydrogen Peroxide.

I purchased a 2 ounce empty spray bottle in the travel section at Walmart for 99 cents. All of my readings told me I needed to dilute it down to something near a 3 percent solution. I’m an over-the-road truck driver and figured I needed a way to measure. Doing the improvised method, I took my thumb and held it against the bottom of the 2 ounce spray bottle and then kept applying it going up the side of the bottle. I estimated that my thumb represented about 1/11 of the bottle. I figured that was close enough. I held my thumb against the bottom of the bottle and filled the bottle up to the line of the top of my thumb. Then I filled the remainder of the bottle with purified water (I used reverse osmosis—most books recommend you use distilled.) I then took the spray bottle and squirted the watery mist into my mouth a couple of times while I inhaled through my mouth like you do with asthma inhalers.

Read More: Medicine to stock up on for when there is no doctor

I was currently using Symbicort and Ventolin. Both of these drugs, like all Asthma drugs have side effects including raising your blood pressure. My next challenge was to guess how much I would need to try to make a difference and get me off my prescription medications. I decided to start with three inhalations three times a day. I did that for a day and then I stopped taking my Symbicort. Ventolin is used for emergency breathing situations only. I had been using my Ventolin three to four times a week.

I was fine for the rest of the day without needing any Ventolin. For the next week I kept taking my hydrogen peroxide spray. I had no Asthma problems. I did not need my Ventolin once! I could actually feel my lungs changing. Up until now I have always had congestion, felt moisture, on the insides of my lungs. That all went away within a week. I had no wheezing or other noise coming from my lungs. I have since dropped the dosage to one to two puffs once a day when I remember. Yes, I can sometimes go a day or two now without any. If I’m near my trigger situations such as severe cold or smoke then I take more.

The Survival Medicine is an excellent resource every prepper should have in their library. When you can’t seek professional medical attention you will be on your own.

Since March 9th, 2012 I have only used Ventolin twice. Once when I had been near forest fires where I had been breathing the smoke for days. I finally started clogging up and needed a burst of Ventolin to give some relief. The other was in Idaho last summer when I took some time off and went camping with friends. We were near a lot of forest fires and again I used a puff of Ventolin. I needed the extra clearance with all of the physical activity I was doing at the time and wanting to keep up with friends.

I have a cousin with COPD from smoking for years. She was on Ventolin and her doctor was experimenting with other inhalers to improve the oxygen level in her blood. I told her about this and sent her one I had set up for myself to help get her started. I saw her a couple months later and she was extremely happy. The oxygen in her blood has gone up a full point since she has started using it and she has stopped all the other inhalers. Her doctor is happy with her lung capacity now.

There is another way you can use the stuff and that is by adding it to your drinking water. Think a drop to a few drops to a bottle of purified water. If it starts tasting like bleach, dilute it immediately.

I mention this because most end of the world as we know it books all believe that at some point we will also get some kind of respiratory pandemic. I believe that this stuff can help the body greatly strengthen the immune system. Most of the bacteria that makes us sick does not do well in a highly oxygenated body.

It’s also a way to increase the levels of oxygen in your body without spending a fortune. I would keep some on hand with a few spray bottles just in case. Please keep it in a low temperature stable environment. Like most other things heat breaks it down. Again, you may be able to find some in places that sell stuff for agriculture. But right now you can get it on-line pretty cheap.

Charcoal

Most of us are familiar with alternative treatments for a wound such as honey or tree sap and using super glue to help close a wound. I’ve not read anything in any of the prepping books about plain old charcoal.

It’s an old camping trick. I’ve had buddies who have been out on long hikes in the mountains and made the mistake of eating something that probably just went bad. They end up sicker than a dog. They collected the charcoal from their fire, crushed it down as much as they could and dumped it into a glass of water and drank as much as they could. Charcoal is an amazing substance. It will absorb a lot of bad things in the stomach. It’s not a cure-all, or a stomach pump. But most people who overdose and get taken to a hospital to get their stomach pumped are then often given some solution with charcoal either pumped into their stomach if they are unconscious or given to drink if they are awake (I was told this by a friend who worked in an ER in Silicon Valley many years ago). If you ever eat something and things start going south get as much charcoal into you as you can (and of course if medical treatment is available get to the ER as well).

I personally keep a bottle of charcoal capsules in my bug out bag and several other places. It’s cheap, light, and easy to carry.

  We know in a grid down situation that medical supplies will become a thing of the past. I worked as a delivery driver for two different major companies supplying hospitals

In recent years, beekeeping has grown as a hobby to help families grow healthier plants while also helping the families be more self-reliant.

You might be thinking that beekeeping is going to be too advanced but in reality, it takes about the same amount of time and means as gardening or other outdoor hobbies.

Check out these tips on how you can start your own beehive at your home and reap the rewards!

Keep your hive off the ground.

Where Will You Keep Them
Bees are like any other pet that you might have and need a place to stay. Think about where you’ll put them in your yard. Is your yard big enough for a beehive? Are they going to be a problem for children? Do you have zoning laws that speak to beekeeping? All these are questions you’ll have to answer.

You’ll also need to consider your neighbors. While it might be OK with the city laws, no one wants to be the troublemaker in the neighborhood. Consider if your neighbors have allergies to bees, if the hive will be too close to their yard, etc. Many times, making a beehive a different color helps them be unrecognizable and out of the mind of your neighbors. You can also set up hedges or walls around your hive forcing bees to come back to the hive at a higher level – flying above the human height range.

A Strong Hive
A strong population is crucial to successful beekeeping. The typical population will reach 75.000 bees during the summer and around 30,000 gathering bees. A good colony is docile when managed and shouldn’t swarm very often. A good colony will produce 50-100 pounds of surplus honey each season. Avoid collecting a lot of honey in the fall – this is what bees use during the winter to survive.

Keep Your Hives Off the Ground
When you’re planning the location of your hives, it’s recommended that you have your hives off the ground to protect them from other animals. A simple stand made of 2x4s will do the job. Not to mention having them higher on the ground will be easier on your back and help you keep the bottoms cleaner.

Learn How Bees Naturally Form a Hive
Bees will typically create hives in cavities of about 2-3 cubic feet. Typically the honey will be stored on top of the hive and around the outside. The main brood food for the bees is usually stored below the honey. The queen bee will usually lay her eggs and raise her young at the very bottom of the nest. Knowing and researching the basic structure of a hive will help you know where to harvest and where to let things be. This will also affect how you design your bee hives – instead of combs hanging down off of a board, you’ll have to imagine that it’s a sphere like a natural hive.

Protective Gear

You’ll Need Protective Gear
Obviously you’ll need some type of veil to keep bees from becoming entangled in your hair. You’ll also want to get a sturdy lightweight jacket (ideally that attaches to your veil). You don’t necessarily need a jumpsuit to do light beekeeping work. A jumpsuit is a great idea when you’re going to be doing a lot of manual labor with the hive – moving it, rearranging them, etc.

The Smoker
A beekeeper’s smoker is one of your most vital tools. It’s basically a cylinder with a bellows attached. A slow burning fire is inside the cylinder (made of pine needles, smoker fuel, old burlap, etc.). When you gently squeeze the smoker it will push a puff of smoke towards the bees and two things will happen. First, they will try to get away. Their natural instinct is to get out of the way of fires and they’ll leave if at all possible. Worker bees will duck into the hive trying to eat as much honey as possible before the bail. The second thing that the smoke will do is interfere with the bee’s communication signals. This will allow you to do your work in the hive without a hive that can communicate and swarm.

Building the Hive
You can either purchase a pre-built hive or build your own. Basically the hive consists of long sheets that lay side by side like folders in a cabinet. They can easily be pulled out and scrapped off.

What Type of Bees
The most common bee for beekeeping beginners is the Italian Honey Bee. They are gentle, very productive and easy to manage. They are the most common bee available for purchase. Carniolans are dark bees and demand slightly more time. They are very gentle and winterize better. There population builds fast in the spring and you’ll need to plan accordingly. Russian bees are also gentle and somewhat erratic. They are slower to build in the spring but build fast when they do.

Your Advice
Now, we’ve covered some basics you should consider when figuring if beekeeping is for you. There are a lot of other items to consider including a starter hive, equipment and more.

In recent years, beekeeping has grown as a hobby to help families grow healthier plants while also helping the families be more self-reliant. You might be thinking that beekeeping is going

 

In the millennia mankind has existed we have witnessed some small corrections. Nature, the things by which we are all bound, sets in motion events, unforeseen and undeniable. In an age where science strives to understand and alter mankind, I see efforts in a multitude of misdirection’s.

What nature provides us, science does so artificially. These efforts, while noble and well-meaning fall short of nature’s millions of years of experimentation finding what does and does not work. Mankind is nothing more than the product of that grand experiment. I will hear all the arguments that it is God who created mankind. Does it say God also created nature? Why should God create something if he had no intention of using it? So comes the corrections.

To mankind it means the extinction of blood lines that have become weak and corrupt. Many have learned of the plague that came abruptly to kill the multitude. A tragic event but it left mankind stronger. Other events that destroyed entire civilizations by the fact they looked to God for help and should instead have looked to themselves and adapt for survival. Now we are faced yet again the correction that will destroy mankind or make us stronger. We hear of future events of volcanoes, and asteroid’s, and even another sun with its planets that is coming. If there is truth among these events I haven’t found it.

The truth I do know comes from the threat of government. This is something that mankind has created but failed to control. Mankind doesn’t like violent change. We will tolerate much and will be pushed to the extreme before some, the ones with ability to lead react. They incite others to follow. We have seen the evidence within our history. How accurate that history is debatable but it divides the followers into the divisions of their particular mindset.

We have the Christian, Budist, Muslim, with leaders that profess radically different physiologic mindsets. All professing to know and teach their own difference between what is good or evil. This is not the focus of my writing. Each has given their section of mankind the abilities to adapt. This is the crux of my point, adapt to what?

Man will be it seems from the predictions called upon to adapt. If we believe the many predictions, it will be a natural event that will put man’s talents to survive to the test. In the end it will be the strongest and most versatile that will survive. Survival, the very thing that many prepare. Which do we prepare for? If I had that answer, I would indeed be a rich man. While most wait for the answer, the event springs itself upon us. Now it is assured that the multitude, unprepared will dash off directionless and leaderless. They are destined for extinction. They will assemble into gangs with a leader that has only force to insure safety and will revert to a society of the Stone Age level that consumes to survive. The probabilities that this level of survival could last depends on the food to be consumed. Many of “the followers” will gather behind these leaders for security. Does this sound like our government? They turn a blind eye to the atrocities that leadership and power bring. This multitude will survive moving from place to place using the resources until it comes upon the community that it can’t overcome and will choose to combine to survive or die.

I continue now about the correction event, not knowing what it may be or if we can oppose its force and survive. Survival being the goal we as individuals must decide what is best for each of us. The multitude must continue to make their living and support families. We must also think ahead and plan on a direction we must take in the event we are separated from our families and what we must do when we are back together.

With the multitude of websites showing us what we need or have to survive. They range from the pocket tin that is guaranteed to have everything one needs to survive. To the backpack so large that will draw notice of others and tell them you have what they need. I can say that I wouldn’t want to draw attention to myself. The description I do like is the grey man. The ability to blend and be the shadow. Sounds like a good idea for the crime fighter TV program.

When we address the problem everything and everyone must be considered an enemy. Even people you work with will in desperation act for their own survival. The people who are in a state of panic will be capable of anything. The ninety pound woman has been documented lifting a two ton car off her child. Panic and adrenaline can exhibit superhuman strength to a man or woman. You do not want to be the focus of that force. Sadly the strength is fleeting and needs an extreme event to activate. We cannot depend upon this so the rest must depend on our brain.

The brain is the best tool we have for survival. Teaching it to make the correct decisions by evaluating the conditions of the moment and projecting into the future. The future is the goal we want to get to. To be clear it will be yourself against everything else.

To get where you want to be you must have direction. Without direction you have no hope to survive not only hardship but the corrections nature imposes to cleanse its mistakes. What form will they take? Nature is creative and to survive it we adapt. Any living thing plant, animal, or microbe if it can’t adapt is extinct. With the many predictions that could come from nature or man the object still remains the same. Survival of yourself and family. World events at the moment seem to outweigh nature. It would seem the target will be the grid. If this is so then despite what plans we make they will be only temporary at best. The hordes the zombie flicks entrap our imagination with will show up. The difference they won’t be slow unthinking creatures. They will be armed and hungry and will take what you have. The only hope is to remain unnoticed until the majority have passed on looking for food. The odds of going unnoticed? Slim to none. If we have an attack like this its purpose won’t be to defeat America but destroy it. Any country wanting the resources wouldn’t destroy them. Leaving America intact would call for biological methods. Eliminate the people leaving its resources intact. Could we survive this?

Some will as has been proven with the plagues. Some will be immune to whatever is put out. The final question is how to prepare? Knowledge and as many skills as one can learn to use without power. It won’t be how much gold you have that will keep you alive but how valuable you will be in a community. Knowledge weighs nothing and the ability to adapt. The things that every animal alive must have to survive.

  In the millennia mankind has existed we have witnessed some small corrections. Nature, the things by which we are all bound, sets in motion events, unforeseen and undeniable. In an

Quick: what do you do if you’re in the city, the grid is down, and the toilet won’t flush? Break out the cat litter, contractor bags, and a trusty 5 gallon bucket, of course!

But how long is that single tub of cat litter in the back of the garage going to last your family? Is your pallet of fifty pound bags actually a year’s supply? We know “one gallon of water per person per day,” but how much litter is needed to clump it all up afterwards?

The role of cat litter in sanitation is to bind up the moisture in the gloppy mess of sewage making it easier to handle, inhibiting bacterial growth, and thus reducing odor. We need enough to bind the moisture and cut the smell to acceptable levels. As you cannot measure smell, this estimation will be based on the amount of water we need to bind.

Why do you need cat litter?

The average human produces about 4.5oz of solid waste per day of which 3.5oz is water [1]. We also produce about 1.5 quarts (3lbs) of liquid waste per day [2]. In total, there is about 3.25lbs of water in our waste per person per day.

There are several kinds of cat litter on the market: clay, clumping clay, silica crystal, and natural litters like pine and paper. What we’re concerned with is how much water an amount of litter can absorb per pound.

Silica-crystal based litters can absorb about 40 times their weight in water [3]. Sodium bentonite clay (‘clumping’ litter) is good for 10-15 times its weight [4], and other clay (non-clumping) is good for half of that – about 6 times its weight [4]. Pine litter can absorb 3 times its weight [5] and cellulose (paper) litter can handle 1.5 times its weight [6].

Read More: Importance of Sanitation after SHTF

Note that a lot of manufacturers give “x times more absorbent than clay” ratings, but don’t tell which clay, per volume or per weight, and so on, so I stuck to claims of “absorbs x times its weight in water” to have a better common point of reference. This could also vary by manufacturer, so read up on your litter of choice to get the most accurate estimate.

These are maximum ratings reported by the sellers, so they are likely spruced up. We have to keep surface area in mind as well: even if you can technically dry your daily solid waste with 0.1oz of silica litter, if that’s not enough to cover the leavings, the litter is not going reach everything without stirring. Gross!

Reliance Products Luggable Loo Portable 5 Gallon Toilet

In a stressful emergency situation, no one is going to have the patience to scientifically ration the litter by weight, either. Litter absorbs by the pound, but you will use it by the scoop. Even if you get a scoop sized to your litter’s absorbency (you do have your custom titanium grid-down scoop, right?), you might scoop a level scoop while junior uses heaping scoops.

All this suggests we should build in some wiggle room. Silica is powerful, but also likely to be surface-area restricted. I would estimate silica litter can easily handle 20x of its weight in water, clumping clay litters 10x, clay 3x, pine 2x, and paper 1x. Given that in a sanitation emergency you will need to account for drinking extra water if it is hot or you get sick, we should also round-up the amount of liquids to 4lbs to be safe.

Thus, a fast and loose estimate of the amount of litter you need per person per day is going to be 4lbs divided by the absorbency number above. For instance, silica litter is 20x, so 4lbs divided by 20 is going to be 0.2lbs per person per day. A standard clay litter is 3x. 4lbs divided by 3 is 1.33lbs of clay litter per person per day, or a family of four using a whole 20lb bag of litter in 4 days!

If you’re in a hi-rise where the grid going down will take the sewer pumps with it, it might not be unreasonable to have a week supply of litter, so that family of 4 will need close to 40lbs of standard clay litter! I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to drag that much cat litter up the stairs or find a place to store it. Thankfully, with a bit of planning we can reduce this number by a factor of 8.

Liquid waste is the bigger problem – 3lbs vs 0.25lb of solid. Liquid waste is also sterile, and an airtight lid keeps the smell down, so you could separate solid from liquid and use litter on the solids only without creating too much of a health risk. Even doubling for wiggle room would leave us with 0.5lbs of water in solid waste per person per day. That 20lb bag now lasts a family of four for a whole month!

In practice, this means putting an airtight jar or jug next to your waste receptacle to be emptied into an airtight bucket away from the living space such as in the far corner of your balcony or just outside your door. Keep in mind small children may need instruction and prompting to make sure they’re with the program. The ladies may also appreciate certain accommodations. Talk to them for ideas.

What to do with all that mess?

But what do you do with a full bucket? Depending on fluid intake, you might be dealing with around 1.5 quarts of liquid waste per person per day or 1.5 gallons for four people.

Though liquid waste is sterile, I would not recommend dumping. Venturing outside your apartment in a densely populated area sans utilities is a bad idea to start with, and would you just let someone dump 5 gallons of waste on your lawn? The city might fine you when order is restored as well. You have to do what you have to do, but don’t plan on being that guy!

Eliminate the worry of #2 with this simple makeshift toilet.

I would also avoid depending on your garden, especially a container garden which has no subsoil for the waste to leach into. Liquid waste has high concentrations of salt and nitrates, which most plants can’t handle without dilution. This requires water, which is precious in a grid-down situation. It also risks exposing your food supply to any medications or supplements you’re taking, and if you’re eating heavily preserved foods like MREs, all those chemicals are going into your plants too. Yuck!

Buckets are cheap and stack-able, so it is feasible to maintain 1.5 quarts of bucket per person per day, or 9-10 five gallon buckets per month for a family of four. 15 three gallon buckets would also work if you would rather lug 24lbs at a time rather than 40lbs. Figure out a place to store full buckets and you’ll be all set.

Remember kitty litter and buckets will run out. A week’s supply is a good idea, and a two-week supply will probably be enough for most circumstances. If you’re planning for a month, you would be better off figuring out the logistics for a longer term solution such as a latrine or leach well dug deep into a nearby flower bed.

So there you have it – a “gallon per day” rule of thumb for a cat litter sanitation solution:

First check what type of litter you are buying to figure out its absorbency. Silica crystals: 20x, sodium bentonite clay: 10x. Other clay: 3x. Pine: 2x. Cellulose: 1x.

Divide 4lbs of waste per person per day by the absorbency number above to get a ballpark estimate of how much litter you need. Just like with water, multiply by 2 or 3 if you want to be cautious.

If you have a plan to deal with liquid waste separately, you can get away with replacing the 4lbs above with 0.5lbs, but remember to add extra in case of illness.

Remember that people won’t weigh litter scientifically each time they need to go, so get a grid-down scoop sized for your litter at the dollar store and make sure everyone in your household understands your litter strategy. And don’t forget the needs of your actual cats!

References:

[1] Average human solid waste production:
[2] Average human liquid waste production:
[3] Silica litter absorbency:
[4] Clumping and non-clumping litter absorbency:
[5] Pine cat litter absorbency:
[6] Paper cat litter absorbency:

Quick: what do you do if you’re in the city, the grid is down, and the toilet won’t flush? Break out the cat litter, contractor bags, and a trusty 5

Some of us have the ultimate goal of self-reliance. Maybe it’s just “increased” self-reliance, or maybe we’d like to be almost totally self-reliant. A big part of self-reliance is the ability to produce our own food, whether we’re working with planters in a window to avoid the common recalls or plotting out our 30K square foot pantry garden. Regardless of scale, maximizing our production is something we all strive for. There are some terms and sowing concepts we may see but not really understand that relate to sowing seeds, especially, that can help us maximize our yields.

Some of those concepts include underplanting, underseeding, sub-sowing or under-sowing, succession and staggered planting, and congestion planting or fill beds. A lot of the ways we can maximize production from our space overlap and interact, which means the terms get used together or in place of each other. That can lead to some confusion on what each really is. I’ll largely use small-bed examples to try to clarify the concepts, but they can be expanded to larger plots

Congestion Planting

Congestion planting has two main facets. In some cases, congestion planting refers to the use of a bed instead of separated single rows, even in bare-earth, tilled-ground plots. In other cases, it refers to absolutely packing something into a space – a “fill” or “blanket” sowing style.

The latter can be visualized as blanketing marigolds around tomatoes and cabbages instead of having one marigold to one crop plant, with bare earth around them. It can also be seen in spread seeding – sprinkling or machine throwing something like lettuces or a game plot mix over a surface. When we talk about congestion planting a companion like sweet alyssum or a cover like buckwheat, this is what we mean – dense blankets. It’s done to maximize benefits from a companion, create a zero-bare-earth or total-canopy systems, and to choke out weeds.

In other cases, congestion planting is used to maximize harvest.

Creating a diagonal grid or staggered line instead of a straight line or a square grid lets us put more plants into the same area. “Gaia’s Garden” by Toby Hemenway has a good example of the “row” version of this, which can be applied to annuals as well as perennials. Congestion planting a grid of plants in a workable bed instead of separating rows of crops lets us get more yield out of the same space, too. For example, take a 12-foot by 6-foot garden area. In this case, it’s for spreads of about a foot – because there are an awful lot of plants that fit that space, beans to pak choi, fingerling potatoes to corn, candle peppers to rattail radish – but it works for 15-24” plants as well.

Instead of getting 36 as in a single-row row-cropping example, we’re able to get 42 primary plants into the same area with a diagonal grid (AKA: staggered grid, offset grid). That is a ratio that scales up.

Read More: Conventional Guides to Crop Rotation

A “straight” or “square” grid (squash the row cropping lines together) would have netted 48 primary plants, while the diagonal grid allows for an additional 12 companions or smaller crop plants with the main crop, for a total of 54 yielding plants in a 4’x12’ space. Both exceed the yield from single-row sowing.

*Individual interests, planting style, and needs, as well as choosing a 3’ instead of a 4’ bed, will determine if a diagonal or square grid is more efficient.

In addition to the increased total yield from congestion planting, there are other benefits to congestion planting in beds – raised or in-ground.

Eliminating the walkways between each row means there is less compaction, which makes for better root and soil health through better water movement and increased aeration. The shade created by the mature main crops will help keep soil cooler and moister than open rows with bare earth between plants. It will also allow for cooler-season annuals like radish, spinach and lettuce later in the season than they would normally be palatable. Once established, the canopies also help reduce weed growth, whereas the space between rows allows for sunlight to penetrate to the soil line, making weeds more of a factor.

Eliminating the walkways between each row means there is less compaction

Succession Planting & Staggered Planting

Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre

Succession planting isn’t an overly new concept, and it’s probably one of the most-heard terms. In succession planting, the goal is to not have dormant space and open earth in production spaces. Crop cycles are timed so that we maximize our space and growing season, avoiding lost time and wasted area. We have our tomato and pepper transplants ready and staged so that as lettuce and cabbage comes out, we plug in the next start immediately. Heading toward autumn, we start additional cabbages and sometimes greens so we can stick them in sweet corn plots immediately.

“Succession planting” is also sometimes used instead of “staggered” planting and harvest – staggering sowing dates this time instead of designing a staggered row.

With staggered planting, we start our seeds at weekly or two-week or even monthly intervals. We may do only a few plants at a time, we may do a couple of square feet at a time, or we may do a few rows or a partial plot at a time. For things like radishes, we may put in 12-18 every two or three days for a while, skip a week, and do a few more sets.

Staggering our planting allows us to harvest reasonable amounts. We can start some early and late for fresh eating, and plot out periods when we expect to have the bulk of determinate tomatoes coming in, spreading out the canning workload around our tree crops and other annuals, vacations, and our busiest parts of the seasons.

It also allows us to hedge our bets. We can start the first 2-5 tomatoes, then another set, and hold off on the main body of our for-canning tomatoes until we’re certain weather will hold for them. Then we take a break, and either root some of the suckers we pinch or start a few more seeds, and plant additional tomatoes that will still be in full production later in the season, or that can be grown in containers or in a protected area, extending our tomato harvest into cooler weather. We could easily divide our tomato season into thirds or quarters instead, starting seeds for each segment so that they’re yielding excesses for canning, but so that a late drought, low-calcium problem, or early cold, wet weather doesn’t affect our total harvest as much.

Read More: Understanding Seed Types and their Importance

Succession and staggered planting aren’t exactly the same, although the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Staggered planting is more a factor to take into account with succession planting. Succession planting is similar to “zero bare earth” or “full canopy” planting in that there is always something active in the garden during growing season. It can be used with tilled-earth methods as well as the mulch-bed systems, and with transplants or the concept of underseeding and underplanting.

Underplanting & Underseeding

Underplanting is an umbrella concept that includes underseeding (AKA: sub-seeding, sub-sowing, under-sowing).

Underseeding is when we drop seed while another plant is still actively growing. It’s a little different than the staggered seeding that produces best results in a Three Sisters mound. In underseeding, we wait for our Three Sisters mound to start crinkling from frosts or reaching its maturity, and we plant something like beets, radishes or greens underneath the corn, beans and squash.

The timing is important. We want to be cutting down our hungry, mature plants about the same time the seed is germinating below them, so the cool season plants don’t face as much competition. We can do it in the mounds mentioned, or we can do it along the sides of rows and within beds as well. It’s limited to non-tractor farming unless mature plants are low enough and well-spaced enough for single- or multi-row equipment to get through. The tight spaces make it something much more common for a backyard kitchen garden or containers than large-scale field crops like wheat and beets.

Underplanting has applications both for perennials and for annuals.

Deciduous trees take some time to leaf out in spring. By building up a no-till bed around their bases, even dense canopies can have some early garden space eked out for radishes, beets, turnips, greens, and some others. Cut-and-come-again crops like spinach and lettuces will benefit from an extended season in a lot of climates due to the cooling shade and reduced evaporation. Depending on orientation and climate, things like onions and some herbs may be fine all season under an apple tree, and in some cases, a summer cover crop such as crowder peas or buckwheat may be possible. Edible ornamentals like hostas and wild food such as upland cress or mock strawberry are additional options for the bases of trees.

The benefits to underplanting trees and shrubs extend beyond the additional and early harvest. The trees themselves benefit from less mowing compaction, increased biomass, and pollinators that camp out due to constant pollen and nectar access. In some cases, the crops and herbs we choose to grow may actually repel some tree pests and disrupt some diseases or their vectors.

In the case of annuals, underplanting acts more like the Three Sisters example.

For example, consider a plot where lettuces are interspersed with a line of beets of turnips or radishes, and maybe some small head cabbage (with bunches of marigolds if inclined). When the root veggies are pulled and it’s warm enough for tomatoes, those starts go out, with the lettuces and cabbages still thriving. Some of the lettuces are pulled instead of cut, opening up a little space around the new tomato.

With an egg and a handful of compost, tomato starts are plenty big enough and aggressive enough – especially since they have deeper root systems than most cutting lettuces – to grow without problems. Cabbages are timed to be cut and have the roots severed as the tomato grows to 18-24” tall and they start encroaching on each other. By the time the tomato is starting to rob from and shade out lettuces, the lettuces are bolting or going bitter anyway, and can be cut a final time. If they’re already bitter, they lay right on the ground, providing some additional shade and mulch for soil, which retains more moisture. That’s about the same time the tomato needs every bit of nutrients and less competition for flowers and fruit set, and – especially in raised beds and containers in dry and hot climates – enormous amounts of water.

The system works in reverse again as the season ebbs and tomatoes start to dry off. We underseed spinach and chard, prune our tomato aggressively so it concentrates on maturing its fruit about the same time our baby plants start popping up, and by the time the spinach and chard are starting to struggle from the competition, our tomato should be done for the season. A serrated blade or pruning shears gets used to sever the roots and cut the stalk, and our bed stays in constant production.

Both underplanting and underseeding are intended to make sure that not only is garden space actively doing something, but that there is no exposed earth. They limit the total amount of space we need to produce significant yields, and they reduce the amount of time we wait in between harvests.

Seeding schemes

Congestion planting, succession planting, staggering seed sowing, and underseeding or underplanting are just a few ways we can maximize our yield within a given amount of space. There are labor and water-saving benefits to some of them, but the primary goal is to make the most of our cultivated land. Using our space to maximum efficiently may allow us to grow additional crops, or we may find room for rabbits, water catchment systems, composting, chickens, an outdoor seating area, or shrubs and trees that will further increase our yields or act as passive solar heating and cooling devices.

Even more than when we select what types of seeds and the specific crops we want to grow, deciding upon a planting or sowing style can hugely impact our gardens and crop spaces. Someone who wants to use a tractor for all phases of growing and maintenance may not find as much use for most of the discussed styles, but for others, an efficiency planting style might be worth some consideration.

Some of us have the ultimate goal of self-reliance. Maybe it’s just “increased” self-reliance, or maybe we’d like to be almost totally self-reliant. A big part of self-reliance is the

Have you ever needed to strap something down and went to look for a length of rope or bungee cord? When I do this it is usually to tie down something on the roof of my car and rope seems to be the best option in most cases, but in order to get a really perfect length of rope you need to cut your rope. This isn’t always what I have to do but if I needed to secure a tarp for example at various points over my vehicle I could end up needing 8 small pieces of rope. Assuming I tie knots that hold tight and are easy to remove I have 8 small pieces of rope that aren’t good for much else.

I could go with bungee cords too but if the distance between the tie down grommet or item and what I am securing the item to isn’t far enough I have to rig the bungee in a way that it takes up less space. Sometimes this works and others it doesn’t. Another option is a big zip tie and these work great in a lot of places but they are single use. Once you use a zip tie and you need to remove it, its life is over and we toss it into the trash. It is one of the small things in life that I find more frustrating than they need to be.

Well, you are getting worked up over nothing you say. You would be right. I could keep a wider assortment of ropes, bungees and zip ties with me in each vehicle to deal with any situation I run into, or I could work harder at my knot tying skills but I know there has to be an easier or smarter way to do stuff like this. I am not a trucker , don’t work in construction or haul things often, so my practice at tying things down is usually reserved for helping people move, big trips back from the hardware store or packing for an extremely long trip where the baggage weighs more than the people in the vehicle. When I run into a case where I am temporarily foiled by something as simple as a tarp it gets on my nerves.

TitanStraps work for strapping down small items to your Bike or 4-Wheeler

Enter TitanStraps. TitanStraps are one of those inventions that make you say, “Why didn’t I think of that”? I think the best description I have heard of it is that TitanStraps are like a re-usable zip tie and they work perfectly for so many times that you need a simple strap that is easy to tighten and best of all, remove. The TitanStrap has so many uses that it is limited only by your imagination.

TitanStraps are made from a stretchy, high performance polymer. Rather than being hard plastic, the TitanStrap is very supple and its been injected with a 10-year UV additive for extra longevity. The buckle is made from heat-treated aircraft aluminum and fits securely into the holes in the strap. Each TitanStrap is 25” long and can even be daisy chained together to secure larger items. It’s like a belt in that you can wrap it around the item you are securing, slide the other end through and stick the buckle through the holes in the strap.

I think a challenge may be thinking of a place they don’t work but this primarily comes down to size because the TitanStraps are beefy. As soon as I had these in my hands I started envisioning how they could be used to tie down equipment to my roof in a bug out scenario. I thought of how I could use these on my deer stand to quickly strap up items I had pulled up there with me that I didn’t want occupying the seat but I didn’t want to drop them either. Usually I would just snap a carabiner over the side rail, but this could make noise. Plus, the orange TitanStraps are already colored for safety. My wife would be pleased.

No more little pieces of rope.

I put a couple of these in my vehicles and some in my get home bag but I probably need at least 4 per vehicle to go along with the rope I have. I know they won’t work in every single instance that I need to tie something down but they are great anywhere a strap will work. If I needed to secure a canoe for example to the front of the car I would need a much longer rope than the titan straps but for many uses, these are perfect. Bungee cords are great in some places too, but you don’t have to worry about a TitanStrap slipping off and that big metal hook taking out an eye. The straps easily unbuckle (just like a belt) and there is no high tension to sling items back at your hands or head.

Titan Straps come in at least three colors (Orange, Blue and Grey). They did have a black option and they have a working load limit of 206lbs. As an added bonus they are made in the USA. You can find them at hardware stores like Home Depot or you can order them from Amazon or on the TitanStraps website. If you are looking for a great tie down strap option, you might want to give the TitanStrap a try. I am sure you will be happy with your choice.

Have you ever needed to strap something down and went to look for a length of rope or bungee cord? When I do this it is usually to tie down

Stacking functions is a quick term for the concept of planning things (elements) and areas (space) to perform the most services for us with the least input. It’s reusing things as many times as possible to get the most out of our time and energy, and letting the spaces themselves do some of the work for us. Elements used in stacking ideally perform multiple services and functions to not only further increase the efficiency of a space, but also add to our resiliency by creating redundancies in our systems. Analyzing homestead elements for multi-functionality and redundancy were covered in the first article. This time we’ll look at combining them into multi-function spaces.

Companion Planting & Guilds

An example of a multi-function space use is companion planting. Companion planting is basically co-locating plants so that one or all partners provide something the others need. A guild is taking that to another level to create a long-sustainable system with few or no outside resources needed for its continued health.

For example, we can put chives and daylily around the base of our trees to prevent weed growth and limit our work or need for mulching that particular area, and they’ll soldier through the dense shade seasons. Around the verges of fruit, nut and resource trees we’d put shade-tolerant and part-sun or full-sun berries, depending on sunlight, or we might have berries and-or vines on the fence beside the trees.

We might include wallflower, lavender, rosemary, and lupine around some of the trees and berries to provide health and pest benefits for those plants, and plug-in some radishes and nasturtium to act as pest traps and food sources. We’d include something that produces nitrogen if we were going with a hazelnut shrub or pear instead of a locust. We might build up rings of soil to plant sweet potatoes or yams to spread and choke out weeds, and use the biomass for livestock feed, mulch or compost. We could use weeds like henbit, plantain, wood sorrel, and dandelion for their varied human or livestock feed purposes as well as the health benefits to soil like N-fixation and nutrient mining, and their early and late pollinator feed potentials. We can fill space between the guild and other areas with somewhat decorative grass grains or high-biomass sun-loving crops like buckwheat or native oats, collecting the seed or letting it be a forage area while producing biomass we’ll use for livestock bedding or mulching.

Things like shrubs and brambles can provide shelter for small livestock that’s grazing, like rabbits, ducks and quail, should predators show up. Leaving runways of stubble and standing grasses will increase those hiding areas, either protecting our livestock or increasing our hunting territory (if neither applies, cut stubble shorter to decrease the number of critters that can hide).

All of the plants we include in the guild have at least one or two primary purposes. Most are edible or herbs, most have parts that feed livestock or worm/BSF farms, most provide something else for the system like a groundcover, nutrients, or mulching. Something like brambles might be used to deter some pests or predators, while other plants might discourage cats or ants.

We’ve jam-packed a particular area with a ton of services, yields and functions by selecting things that work well together, provide services beyond their primary role, and that fit our space and wants. By doing so, the guild doesn’t need us as often, and we can harvest a lot from a relatively small space compared to having just a couple of trees, a bramble or fence on a vine, and then mulch, monoculture pasture, or yard grass below them.

*If a companion planting list suggests chives for anything but trees and shrubs, take everything they say with a big grain of salt.

Three Sisters

One of the most well-known companion guilds is the Corn-Beans-Squash combo. Corn goes in, peas or beans follow and use the corn to climb, giving the corn extra support against wind and replacing some or all of the nitrogen the corn will use over the season. Squash follows, and is trailed around the verges to act as a shading ground-cover, decreasing evaporation and weed competition.

There are some other benefits from the system, though:

  • Increased blooming season, especially depending on type of bean and squash (good for pollinators)
  • Bug-rich hunting grounds for chicks with high-protein needs (no semi-mature chickens or geese)
  • Squash seeds for next year’s garden, eating, or livestock feed
  • Corn cobs for firestarters
  • Corn stalks to chip for bedding or mulch
  • Pea stalks for bedding or mulch (chip for bedding)
  • Squash biomass for compost
  • Dense space for ducks & guineas to hide from hawks & eagles
  • Dense, potentially long season space for beneficial insect lifecycles

Savvy birds will use elements we provide – like a hawk teepee, Three Sisters mound, or dense brush – to hide from predators while free-ranging.

Hoops & Coops – Vertical stacking

Shelters for small livestock have the potential to cram an enormous number of functions in to a stacked vertical space, just like silvopasture and aquaponics.

There’s the ability – as discussed in other articles – to stack coops or hutches over either compost or worm bins or a BSF farm (or all three). That increases the efficiency by directly feeding the bins with animal wastes, and not hauling litter and bedding more than a few feet. Another example would be storing straw or mulch under those coops, and having a bin between them. With a coop for a few chickens right beside a tier of hutches over a worm bin, we can provide young birds or layers with a handful of wigglers right there while we’re dealing with egg collection and watering and feeding.

Roofs offer two opportunities.

First, a green roof of herbs, grasses, and weeds for livestock, or human foods. Rabbit manure is “cool” and could easily be spread carefully enough to make even lettuces safe (I still wouldn’t do raw manure and root veggies, personally, but that’s me). Especially in small, compact spaces, using roofs can increase the amount of sunny area somebody has, allowing them to use the rest of the yard for larger crops. We can collect fresh feeds and let our hares and chooks clean up out out-cycling plants for us by reaching up with pruners and then taking a step to the side.

The roof can also be set up for water catchment. If it’s water that’s already filtered through shallow growing pans, it might not be great for the rabbits or chickens, but there’s no reason not to use it for the growing trays during dry periods, to keep compost and worm bins moist, or to water something like a strawberry or herb tower or some other vertical growing system that’s beside the livestock.

We can use catchment from any sized roof to create ephemeral pools, edible rain gardens, or fill catchment buckets and barrels.

We could also channel our roof runoff into a pond, and use edible lilies or cattails or damp-loving shrubs to filter and clean that water, or just make an edible rain garden.

Stacked hutches can be positioned to create shade for another set of vertical towers or planters, increasing the palatability of greens and lettuces later in the season and keeping more feed going for livestock.

Throw in a tree with human or livestock fruit, nuts, or seeds beside and across from the coops and hutches, and we’re increasing the yields of food (or feed), increasing shelter from wind and rain, providing shade (which keeps Mr. Bunny at peak performance later into the summer and earlier in the fall), creating some wind blocks and potentially terrestrial insulation for critters in winter (less heating/bedding needed), and if we arrange our buckets correctly or reuse a kiddie pool, increasing our water catchment for that area, decreasing the amount of fresh water we have to use for watering plants or animals.

Coops, Hutches & Greenhouses

Another way to stack functions in a space is something permies will love: increased integration via a combination coop-greenhouse. We’re basically going to take some of what we talked about in the efficiency article and expand it a little further.

The bare design is pretty darn good as it is: The plants benefit from the body heat and-or “deep bedding” heating method from the fowl, the insulated glass increases sun warming, and soil and water act as a heat sink in winter. Critters can clean up some of the greenhouse wastes and help reduce pests. Add in deciduous trees or vines to provide passive cooling (shade) during summer, but allow light to penetrate and warm during winter.

Some of the same thermal-mass and passive heating can be derived by siting a greenhouse and cold frames near our own homes.

Some take the combo-coop concept even further with the addition of planning trees and shrubs and annual crops nearest the greenhouse-coop to be fodder and bedding or just supplements, and all of them benefit by making it faster and easier to toss plant thinnings, prunings, and scraps to birds, and to care for both plants and animals at once.

Others stack functions by arranging chickens or geese as pest- and weed-control patrols in areas that already need to be protected, and allowing them to mow and leave manure behind for perennials to use.

The functions stacked within the building itself can be increased further as well, by increasing the diversity within the space and the use of space.

If there’s only a few animals in the types of coops and hutches shown in the first hutch examples, we can still increase the number of functions that space performs for us. We can erect a hoop house or build panels from soda bottles to arrange against and over/around the existing stacks, increasing the animals’ shelter and insulation, and using the dual body-heat and solar-heat yields to create a warmer space for starting seeds or keep “weeds” growing to feed to our livestock.

All aspects are rolling in together to create a guild of plants and animals as well as the abiotic factors like sun, wind and rain and our manmade structures, regardless of the scale.

Analyzing Elements to Stack a Space

Chickens and geese are both grazers, but ducks and guineas can be encouraged to only nibble the tenderest of shoots along with their bugs and seeds. That means ducks and guineas can be incorporated into more systems with fewer worries and less fencing. On the other hand, they require more non-vegetative feeds, they won’t till or mow for us, and they won’t cycle as much of our garden and food wastes as chooks will.

The amount of space we have, the other livestock we’re running, our feed resiliency in the form of BSF and worm farms or fish, and our own preferences lead us to deciding whether we want the increased functions and redundancy of one type of fowl over the others.

In the first stacking function article, we mostly focused on listing the services various elements can provide. When we start stacking functions within a space, especially in permaculture, we want to do basically a SWOT analysis for each element we want to include, with the element’s needs falling under its weaknesses and opportunities.

We would also list the time we need to devote on a daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal basis, and be aware of the tools we’ll be using – now and as we become older or injured – so that we can plan for proper access to each element in our system and the system’s basic infrastructure.

Then we compare it, seeking relationships where a byproduct or primary function of one serves the needs of others. We also look for similarities in needs and functions to increase efficiency.

Each kind of livestock we have or want should be taken into account as we analyze spaces for stacking functions, with structures, plants and other livestock all affecting each other in a system.

For example, if I’m choosing to have ducks or guineas and rabbits in a combined ecosystem, and I know rabbits can’t have too much fresh apple leaves and ducks don’t eat a whole lot of vegetation, I might not plant my crabapples, plums, and apples too close to them. I might instead use elms or maples – things that drop seeds my poultry will eat, but that I can also collect for hay or bedding for my livestock and to feed my worm bins. I might also use more tender forages or create a pond or ephemeral creek system for duckweed and make the guilds nearest the coop-hoop house water-based edibles.

I can use the same riparian-type edibles to create buffers and feed zones that protect waterways from livestock runoff and chilling winds.

Or I might have boggy or seasonally soaked spots and choose to create a guild or system of guilds based around willows that will help dry up those spots. The willow’s functions have increased from just shade, fodder, medicine, and possibly baskets/lashing resource limbs to also include wind break, soil stabilization or tailoring, habitat creation (fish-roots and overhanging limbs), and water purification.

It’s only by analyzing which elements we want and how each element interacts with all the others that we can best create the guilds and spaces that contain the most functions, and contain them most efficiently.

Stacking Functions – Diversity & Resiliency

Any time we can get a space to perform more services for us, it tends to increase the diversity of that space. Diversity leads to greater health. Diversity and stacked-function areas with multiple elements increase our production per square foot. Stacking also increases our efficiency by decreasing travel time (and repeated steps back and forth). The condensed, efficient use of space allows us to do even more on our property, from a rental with a balcony and some windows to a 500-acre dream ranch.

Stacking functions is worth more research. It’s another area of permaculture and functional landscape design with whole articles devoted to just one example or type, and is the subject of books and multiple chapters. Small space gardening can be another field to look into for inspiration even on large properties.

Other areas that may interest homesteaders and folks interested in doing a lot in small spaces are permaculture zone and sector analysis, redundancy in food webs and permaculture, diversity’s effects on soil, and fodder/forage trees, especially the legume family trees and shrubs that also fix nitrogen.

Stacking functions is a quick term for the concept of planning things (elements) and areas (space) to perform the most services for us with the least input. It’s reusing things

 

Once you have a firearm you need to consider what it is going to take to feed your weapon. You can think of it in the way of just getting enough ammo for a particular hunt or recreation, but I suggest you take a good hard look at stockpiling ammo for the just in case scenario. There are some good guidelines and tips on stockpiling ammo that will simplify this process for you and make it easier than it sounds on some forums you may have come across.

Stockpiling Ammunition: Amounts and Types

First we will go over the best amounts and types of ammunition to stockpile. This could be specific to the caliber and gauge of the firearms you so they may be somewhat generalized. The first type is the ultra popular 22LR. It is common and popular for good reason because it is light, effective, and generally cost efficient. The fact that you can generally get larger lots of this ammo for a fraction of the cost makes it an absolute staple in any ammo stockpile. Chances are you already own a 22LR and if you are new to firearms they are great way to get into shooting because of the lack of harsh noise and absence of recoil making it easy to get your fundamentals down. If you are able to master your shooting fundamentals with a gun that uses cheap ammunition you will be way ahead rather than trying to buy a gun to make you better. 22LR is now becoming a little easier to get a hold of in the 500 round lots again so it is a good time to go out and grab some. My recommendation for the amount to keep on hand is 2,000 rounds that you actually keep stockpiled away from your normal shooting stash. In the event you need to hunt for food this gives you a lot of opportunities with minimal space to store it and weight of the cache. This is only 4 cases of the 500 round “bricks” you typically see people buying.

For semiautomatic weapons such as your AR-15 and AR-10 platforms, as well as semiautomatic pistols it is a good idea to keep around 2,000 rounds as well because these types of rifles can really chew through your ammunition stock if you do a lot of shooting. It’s pretty much nothing to go out and shoot 100 rounds in an afternoon and that is just a little over 3 standard 30 round magazines. If you can keep stock of more than this it is even better but aiming for 2,000 rounds in reserve plus whatever amount you deem for practice shooting is a great goal to shoot for. It is the easiest and most affordable to buy FMJ (full metal jacket) ammunition because it is the most available and in the largest lots if you want to get bulk pack. A good goal is to have around 200 rounds of the more specialty type ammunition such as ballistic tip, hollow point, and match ammo because they are great for what they are designed for but are often over double the price of the conventional FMJ type ammunition.

For your bigger bolt guns and magnum rifles try to keep around 250 rounds in your reserve stash. The reason for this being a lower number is factored by two main reasons: cost and amount typically used. If you own a 300 win mag you know how expensive it is to shoot and the fact you don’t typically go out and try to shoot 100 rounds in a day unless your shoulder is made out of granite. However if you do a lot of long-range shooting you may go through more of this ammo so keep in mind the 250 rounds is just the amount of ammo you are saving for an emergency not included in your normal shooting ammo. For shotguns aim for about 500 rounds because regardless of gauge this is a lot of firepower. It might be a good idea to get a variety of loads besides just basic #7 bird-shot. 00 buckshot is great because of its effectiveness at self-protection and slugs for hunting.

Storage Solutions for your stockpiled ammo

MTM 50 Caliber Ammo Storage Can – $10

Now that you have a better idea of how much ammunition to keep on hand I’ll go over the best ways to store it for long-term storage. First you will need some good containers such as plastic or metal ammo cans. These come with a gasket in the lid to make a strong seal when snapped shut making moisture and humidity difficult to permeate. I recommend leaving the ammunition in the boxes it comes in just for organizational sake to keep a bunch of loose rounds from rolling around. If you buy larger lots they sometimes come in an ammo can already so that will save you a step looking for a container. You can buy replacement gaskets so if a gasket ever starts to fall apart or dry up you can simply throw in a new gasket to keep the integrity of the ammo can. The best thing to do is keep desiccant packages inside the ammo can to absorb any moisture that would be inside the can keeping the rounds dry.  These are cheap and you can usually find them in things you already purchased in the packaging. Make sure to mark each box with what is inside either with some tape to write on or stencils so it is easy for you to identify if in a hurry.

Cost effective way to start stockpiling ammo

If you do not have the money to drop $350+ on a big lot of ammo you can simply go for a small box of ammo every week or couple of weeks. Just as an example say you will get a box of 20 rounds of .223/5.56 every week at around $9 a box for basic FMJ will add up to only $36 dollars a month and give you 1,200 rounds year. So basically you can incrementally add to your ammo stockpile instead of have to buy in bulk. It does offer some cost savings to purchase larger lots but may be a little easier to budget for a smaller weekly expense. As long as you take some simple steps to budget and prepare for it you will be able to begin getting a good cache built up.

  Once you have a firearm you need to consider what it is going to take to feed your weapon. You can think of it in the way of just getting

 

A lot of preppers do not possess the proper skills for surviving in case of any natural disaster even though it is essential to do so. The main reason for the lack of adequate skills is that many people lack the proper survival skills training to cope with any emergency situation. In the subsequent paragraphs, we are going to mention 8 important survival skills that anyone must have in his or her kit.

Locating and purifying water

It is said that an individual cannot survive for more than three days without drinking water. However, in case he or she needs to survive in a severe environment, it might not be possible for him or her to survive even that long.

Water is essential for the human body to function properly and this is why one of the most important survival skills will be to locate and also purify water. In case you’re able to light a fire then you might consider boiling the water. Otherwise, you might also store sufficient water prior to leaving for an exploration. Although it might not solve your problem entirely, it is the best thing that you can do during a survival situation. We all know that nature is our best friend and we should make it a point to learn which plants will provide us with drinking water; however, it might prove to be disastrous for you in case you fail to understand it properly.

Making a fire

It is definitely tough to figure out which particular survival skills are the most important in a disaster situation; however, one cannot ignore the importance of making a fire in this respect. A fire will help you in many ways such as purifying the water, keeping yourself warm and comfortable, sterilizing surgical equipment, making tools, cooking food, signaling for help and also safeguarding yourself from wild creatures. Above all, you will feel much more confident by having a fire.

Building a shelter

While you are outdoors, things can change all of a sudden at any time of the day. For example, there can be a great fluctuation in the temperature. Although you might be experiencing a dry climate in the morning, you should not be surprised if it rains heavily at night. While you are trapped in an emergency situation, you might use your vehicle as your shelter in case you happen to be with the car. Otherwise, think of some natural resources that you can use as your shelter. It will not be a bad idea to safeguard yourself from the inclement weather by taking a refuge inside a cave.

Predicting weather

Casio Men’s PAG240-1CR Pathfinder Triple Sensor Multi-Function Sport Watch – Compass, Barometer and Altimeter.

In most situations, we are hardly concerned about the climatic condition in our daily lives unless of course there are some natural calamities like tornadoes and floods. Being able to forecast the weather is an essential survival skill that you should have during any disaster situation. In case you happen to be in the wilderness, you can be affected very badly by any change in the weather conditions. You might find it extremely hard to light a fire if there is a heavy precipitation as well as a strong gale. You will never be caught unaware if you are able to develop this particular survival skill. But how is it possible? Below we have mentioned some fundamental forecasting skills the majority of which will depend on natural phenomena like:

  • Air pressure – Although it is impossible to measure the air pressure physically, you should be able to ascertain the direction of the air flow. Usually, the clouds will be moving from a high-pressure area to a low-pressure area.
  • Clouds – You’ll be able to forecast strong wind as well as rain by observing the clouds. Under normal circumstances, heavy precipitation can be expected in the presence of dark and low hanging clouds.
  • Wild creatures – Animals are able to understand any change in the weather by their natural instincts. For example, you can predict rain in case the insects start to disappear.
  • Hunting skills – Often you can suffer from lack of adequate food during an emergency situation. In that case, it is essential to have the ability to hunt wild animals who can provide you with a steady supply of food. In case you are a beginner, you should focus on catching some smaller animals like rabbits, fish and so on instead of going for larger creatures like the tiger, deer, etc. Hunting fish will not be much difficult for you but you should be careful while catching them. There might be other creatures like alligators in the water that you must avoid at all costs. Moreover, catching fish is not a joke and you need to be properly trained to do so. You might also try to set a trap near the river which should help you to catch some fish within a few hours.

Identifying edible vegetation

In case you are trapped in the forest, don’t go out eating everything you run across that looks good since they might even be poisonous for you. You might be starving, but you must have the ability to identify the plants which are edible. Consuming these plants will help you to avoid cooking as well as saving your precious time. There will be no need to hunt for animals, make a fire and cook. Moreover, these plants will provide you with the energy which you need for survival. Some edible plants that you can find in the wilderness include asparagus, burdock, and cattail.

Making use of survival tools

It is essential to choose the appropriate survival tools since these will help you to perform many jobs such as making your shelter or even repairing the one which you already have. Apart from this, they will also aid you to collect wood for making a fire which you will need to stay warm and also cook food. Some of these survival tools include a flashlight, emergency candles, tactical folding knife, hiking backpack, scissors, hammer, nails, pliers, etc.

Attitude 

Your attitude is going to play an important role if you get caught in any type of emergency situation. You must have the confidence that you will survive. Losing hope can prove to be fatal in the long run. Having the proper attitude along with a few survival skills will help you to overcome any tough situation.

  A lot of preppers do not possess the proper skills for surviving in case of any natural disaster even though it is essential to do so. The main reason for

 

When you’re out hiking or camping, you can never be sure of what awaits. A simple unpredictable weather event or losing track of where you are on that hike into the wilderness, can ruin everything including your clothing and food. For some reason, you might be forced to stay in the jungle longer than you had planned. But regardless of what happens, the last thing you want to be is starving. The great news is, you can never starve in a jungle – if you are motivated, but it is always up to you differentiate between what is safe for eating and what is not.

As a regular camper, I would suggest that you turn to insects. Reason being, they are rich in nutrients including proteins, fiber as well as fats you will need to survive in the jungle. Another great piece of news is that it is unlikely that they will make you sick. But just like any other food, there are those insects that are safe for eating as well as those that are not.

This post has compiled a list of five edible insects that might save you from starving when you are stuck in the jungle. They are easy to access, could allow you to survive in the jungle, and the best part is they don’t require a long procedure to prepare.

Locusts

One insect you can never miss while you are out in the jungle is a locust. Locusts are always everywhere and most importantly, nutritious. Up to 50 percent of locust’s dry weight contains protein which is quite high than what you will find in cows. Other valuable nutrients include fats, carbohydrates and more.

You can catch more locust during the day because that is the time they are most active. All you need is some net. But make sure you release them in some bucket immediately, you’ve caught enough to prevent them from eating your net. You can then prepare some locust meal, by dry roasting them, adding some salts and serving.

Crickets

Crickets serve as an excellent source of food in many parts of the world. They are also among the most nutritious insects you can easily catch in the jungle. For example, 100 g of crickets has up to 121 calories, 5.5 grams of fat, 12.9 g of protein.

The insect also packs many nutrients including calcium, phosphorous and much more. To catch some crickets, place some sugar into a deep bowl or a jar. Find their location and sink the jar into the ground. Leave it there overnight and expect a large meal of crickets very early in the morning. You can also store them for some time by adding a breathable material on top of the jar. You can then dry roast them, add some salt and eat them.

Ants

Ants are always everywhere and the best part, easy to catch. They are packed with proteins providing your body with the amino acids. They are also rich in copper, phosphorous and many other nutrients. Ants are easy to catch because they always match in one line. Just look around to see if you can find one or locate an ant hill.

If you’ve found an ant hill, place some stick through the opening. The ants will start climbing on it trying to bite it. When this happens, take the stick out and dunk the ants on the stick into a container filled with water. Once you have gathered enough, you can boil them for approximately, five minutes to neutralize the acid in them and then eat.

Termites

If you want something tasty, then you will love having some termites for lunch or dinner. Apart from being among the most nutritious insects in the jungle; they also offer a variety of health benefits. For example, they have been used for medicinal purposes, particularly in the rural areas of the world. Studies have also shown that they have some antiviral properties that make them effective in treating a variety of complications including asthma, bronchitis, sore throat, whooping-cough and more.

To catch some termites, break and open a log and then shake them out. If it is raining, you can place some light into a bucket. They will gather around the light. You can then collect as many as you want. Prepare them, by roasting them in a dry pan on a campfire.

Stinkbugs

You might despise their name, but stinkbugs are great when prepared well. They are also among the best delicacies in Mexico. Apart from being nutritious, they offer a variety of health benefits just like termites. Stinkbugs are easy to access and catch during winter. You can find them hiding or taking shelter under logs or rocks, and sometimes you will see them on the open ground.

Stink bugs unlike many insects in this list can be eaten raw, but it is always advisable that you soak them in some warm water for approximately, 10 minutes then roast them in a dry pan. You don’t have to eat them immediately. After being boiled, stinkbugs can last a week without going bad.

Additional Tip

Even though most insects are nutritious and safe to eat, it is advisable that you be a little bit cautious when choosing your food. For example, experts advise that you avoid brightly-colored insects and those with strong smell because they can be toxic.

Also, remember; some of the edible insects mentioned here such as ants and the rest produce some toxic chemicals when offended. So, make sure you’ve prepared them well. Also, make sure that your cooking water is safe. No matter where you are planning to get your water, make sure it is boiled properly before use. If your only source is spring, I would suggest that you consider spring water testing.

Final words

If there is one thing I’ve learned about camping is survival. One fact is, a jungle has everything you need to survive, but it is up to you to figure that out. These five insects will without a doubt serve you well, but that never implies that they will be available at the location you will choose to set your tent or at the time you need them most. Using the methods mentioned above, make sure you’ve collected enough when you get the chance, prepare and store safely to use later.

  When you’re out hiking or camping, you can never be sure of what awaits. A simple unpredictable weather event or losing track of where you are on that hike into