There has been a number of times in my life that I have had to extract fuel out of my car and boat. The reasons vary from having to clean out the fuel tank of dirt and bad fuel to just having to remove the fuel tank for maintenance repairs.

What I made sure of that I was extracting the diesel and gasoline fuel using the correct method. This way I was reducing the likelihood of an explosion, environmental spillage or a medical emergency.

The old age method of sticking a plastic tube down the tank and using your mouth to suck out the fuel is very dangerous and should never be attempted. Now with the rise of anti-siphon car fuel tanks, we have to think outside the box. Let’s look at a couple of options on how to siphon gas out of a car and save that precious fuel.

High Flow Rotary Hand Fuel Transfer Pumps

TypePlastic Syphon TubeManual Fuel Hand PumpAutomatic 12v Fuel Transfer pump
Model NumberAction Pump 4007Lumax LX-1318Fill-Rite RD812NH
Max Fuel Flow2 gallons per
One gallon per 14 revolutions (3.8 L)8  gallons per minute.
Suitable forKerosene, Gasoline light oils, and various water-based solvents.Motor Oils, Heavy Oil, Transmission Fluid, Heating Oils, and Machine Oil, Kerosene, Gasoline or Diesel FuelGasoline, Diesel, Kerosene, Ethanol Blends to 15%, Methanol Blends to 15%, Bio-Diesel to B20
MountHandheldBung MountBung mount, foot-mount or handheld
Body MaterialPolyethylene
Cast IronAluminum
Handheld positive displacement pump with a 21-inch suction
Self-priming, cast iron draw head with stainless steel screen pickup filter.39″ (1 m) Flexible, Oil-resistant Discharge HoseRD8 Pump, 8′ Discharge Hose, 6′ Suction Hose, 3/4″ Manual Nozzle & 10′ Power Cord with Alligator Clips
Manual or AutoManualManualAuto 12v electric 3600  rpm
Overall length: 25″ Suction tube: 21″ Discharge tube: 18″Perfect for siphoning gas out of a car.Fits 15-55 gallon drums with 2 inches bung, has a 40 inches zinc plated suction
Inlet and outlet 3/4 inches female NPT thread.

Which fuel transfer pump is right for you?

Depending on your application and the number of times you need to either extract fuel or pump fuel into a car, boat or truck will determine what you will need. If it’s just a once off extract fuel out of for example a jetski internal fuel tank of 60 liters, then the cheap plastic hand pump will do the job.

Sure it will take some time but it will get the job done. The other two are more designed to pump fresh fuel into a boat, truck, car or farm machinery. They will also extract dirty fuel but it is not their prime purpose due to their setup.

It’s interesting that on paper the manual winding hand pump will actually pump more fuel than the Fill-Rite auto pump. I guess you will be winding it fairly fast. I have used both and to fill 10 gallons only takes a minute or two so its no big deal. If you are doing hundreds of gallons I would look at the 12v fill-rite transfer pump to make your life easy.

Surviving the end of the world – Siphon Gas out of a Car

Every car, boat, generator, and lawnmower is a portable fuel storage tank. When the time comes that society breaks down, fuel and oil will quickly become scarce. That’s why I always recommend people to store extra fuel and engine oil for times of emergency.

Be aware that fuel has a use by date. I wouldn’t keep petrol (gas) for longer than 1 year in an airtight container, as it will slowly turn bad and lose its combustibility. Diesel will last slightly longer.  The worst is E10 or Ethanol based fuels. Their shelf life is very short at up to 90 days. This is because ethanol can absorb water very easy as its Hygroscopic and can absorb water 50 times more readily than non-alcohol based gasoline.

stabil fuel stabiliser for cars boats and generators

It’s easy to rotate old fuel through your vehicles during this time. You can double this shelf life by adding fuel stabilizers to your fuel.

I add Sta-Bil to my Sea-Doo Jetski every year after I do my end of season maintenance checks. This way the fuel will stay fresh when He PWC sits for 6 months in the garage. It should also be added to lawnmowers and generators that may sit idle for a few months.

If you ever watch a show called “The Walking Dead” you will see that the only way people can get fuel if by siphoning out the discarded car fuel tanks. That’s why a hose pump setup makes life so easy. Now as a law abiding citizen stealing fuel from cars is a big NO.

But there may be a genuine reason that you need to remove the fuel out of a tank. For example, there may be bad fuel or a contamination issue like diesel in a petrol tank. You need to get it out.

These auto and manual transfer pumps sure do come in handy when you are trying to fill up boats, cars, trucks and heavy machinery with fuel. Save your back by not having to lift those heavy jerry cans into awkward positions and maybe spill fuel everywhere.

How to siphon petrol from a modern car

Modern cars have anti-siphon tanks and hoses. With the rise of people stealing fuel out of cars, manufacturers had to come up with a way to stop criminals from taking fuel out of parked cars. This is usually in the form of a spring, green ball or stainer in the fuel inlet line.

how to siphon petrol from a modern car anti siphon device gas tank green ball

The image shown above is a green spring loaded anti-siphon device gas in the tank fill hose. It allows the fuel to bypass into the tank but not an extraction siphon pump hose.

To check if your car has an anti-siphon device push a small clear hose into the car gasoline fill point. If you feel a restriction before you get to the tank you have one. There are a few different ways on how to siphon petrol from a modern car tank safely.

Disconnect the fuel pump outlet hose and put it into a bucket. You will then have to locate the fuel pump relay and bridge out the contacts to enable the fuel pump to run without the engine on. I have seen people use a paper clip to bridge out the contacts making the fuel pump run.

The other way which quicker as you don’t have to do any electrical research on bridging relays is to remove the in-tank fuel pump and put your transfer hose down into the tank. Most fuel tank pumps are located under the rear seats. Disconnect the electrics and fuel line and use the fuel pump tool to unscrew the large locking nut. The video above shows how it is done. Keep in mind you will require a tank pump extractor tool.

Fuel transfer pumps for generators

If you have some heavy duty survival generators or larger setup to provide emergency power to your home in a blackout situation. I would recommend a rotary transfer pump to provide the means to top them up.

This would only require a few turns of the handle every 10 hours or so to top up the generators fuel tank. The 12v Fill-Rite pump would most likely be an overkill for this application and you would need extra gear like a 12v deep cycle battery and a charger for it.

Different fuels will require a separate transfer pump as we don’t want fuel contamination in your motors. If you do have to use the same pump make sure to fully flush it out first. Fuel injectors now days are very sensitive to dirt, slime and the wrong fuel. Diesel can easily gum up a petrol fuel injector and then you are up for either new injectors for an expensive rebuild.

For any bug out situation try to “keep it simple” its the KIS principle.


Gone are the days when we could just stick a hose down a cars fuel tank to siphon gas out of a car. Now the job is 10 times harder. Always be safe when extracting and transferring fuel. Use approved fuel containers and have a fire extinguisher on hand in case of an emergency. It is better to dispose of old fuel longer than 1 year old rather than taking a chance of using it. Unless it has been treated with a stabilizer.

Once you have finished using a transfer pump then fully drain and clean the pump. It is best to store it away out of reach of small children and cover the inlet and outlet ports to stop insects crawling inside your pump.

There has been a number of times in my life that I have had to extract fuel out of my car and boat. The reasons vary from having to clean

Not too long ago, in the name of protecting national security and guarding against terrorism, President George W. Bush signed into law some of the most sweeping changes to search and surveillance law in modern American history. Unfortunately known as the USA PATRIOT Act, many of its provisions incorporate decidedly unpatriotic principles barred by the First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution. Provisions of the PATRIOT Act have been used to target innocent Americans and are widely used in investigations that have nothing to do with national security.

Much of the PATRIOT Act was a wish list of changes to surveillance law that Congress had previously rejected because of civil liberties concerns. When reintroduced as the PATRIOT Act after September 11th, those changes — and others — passed with only limited congressional debate.

But how many of us really know just what sort of powers does the PATRIOT Act grant law enforcement when it comes to surveillance and sidestepping due process? Here are three provisions of the PATRIOT Act that were sold to the American public as necessary anti-terrorism measures, but are now used in ways that infringe on ordinary citizens’ rights:


Under this provision, the FBI can obtain secret court orders for business records and other “tangible things” so long as the FBI says that the records are sought “for an authorized investigation . . . to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities.” The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court must issue the order if the FBI so certifies, even when there are no facts to back it up.  These “things” can include basically anything—driver’s license records, hotel records, car-rental records, apartment-leasing records, credit card records, books, documents, Internet history, and more. Adding insult to injury, Section 215 orders come with a “gag ” prohibiting the recipient from telling anyone, ever, that they received one.

As the New York Times reported, the government may now be using Section 215 orders to obtain “private information about people who have no link to a terrorism or espionage case.” The Justice Department has refused to disclose how they are interpreting the provision, but we do have some indication of how they are using Section 215. While not going into detail, Senator Mark Udall indicated the FBI believes it to allows them “unfettered” access to innocent Americans’ private data, like “a cell phone company’s phone records” in bulk form.

The government’s use of these secret orders is sharply increasing — from 21 orders in 2009 to 96 orders in 2010, an increase of over 400% — and according to a brand new report from the Washington Post, 80% of those requests are for Internet records.

EFF sued the Justice Department to turn over records related to the government’s secret interpretation and use of Section 215, regarding which Senator Ron Wyden, like Senator Udall, has offered ominous warnings: “When the American people find out about how their government has secretly interpreted the Patriot Act,” said Wyden on the Senate floor in May, “they are going to be stunned and they are going to be angry.”


Among the most used — and outright frightening — provisions in the PATRIOT Act are those that enhanced so-called National Security Letters (NSLs). The FBI can issue NSLs itself, without a court order, and demand a variety of records, from phone records to bank account information to Internet activity. As with 215 orders, recipients are gagged from revealing the orders to anyone.

While NSLs existed prior to 2001, they were infrequently used. The PATRIOT Act lowered the standard making it easier for the FBI to use NSLs to obtain the records of innocent people with no direct link to terrorists or spies, and their use skyrocketed. According to the ACLU’s report on PATRIOT Act abuses, there were 8,500 NSLs issued in 2000 but approximately 192,000 issued between 2003-2006. All of these NSL’s led to one terror conviction, and in that case, the NSL wasn’t even needed.

Not surprisingly, EFF FOIA requests have found abuse of their NSL authority: “mistakes” that led to getting information on the wrong people, ISPs handing over extra or wrong information, and dozens of “exigent letters” that “circumvented the law and violated FBI guidelines and policies.” EFF has successfully challenged the NSL gag orders in multiple cases as unconstitutional under the First Amendment, but the overall scheme still survives to this day.


Section 213 of the PATRIOT Act normalized “sneak-and-peek” warrants. These allow law enforcement to raid a suspect’s house without notifying the recipient of the seizure for months.  These orders usually don’t authorize the government to actually seize any property — but that won’t stop them from poking around your computers.

Again, sneak-and-peek warrants could be used for any investigation, even if the crime was only a misdemeanor.

From 2006-2009, sneak-and-peek warrants were used a total of 1,755 times. Only fifteen of those cases—a microscopic 0.8%—involved terrorism. The rest were used in cases involving drugs or fraud.

These uses and abuses of the PATRIOT Act against ordinary Americans are only the tip of the iceberg.  EFF has repeatedly documented how federal law enforcement agencies have abused our nation’s broken secrecy system to hide specific instances of illegal and unconstitutional conduct related to the PATRIOT Act. EFF’s Freedom of Information Act requests have painted a picture of “an [FBI] engaged in excessive illegal intelligence gathering.”

After all these years, it’s crystal clear that the “emergency” measure sold as a necessary step in the fight against terrorism is being used routinely to violate the privacy of regular people in non-terrorism cases, threatening the Constitutional rights of every one of us.  

Special thanks to TREVOR TIMM for this commentary.

There are people like us out there trying to figure out a solution to this problem. The best effort we’ve seen so far is coming from these guys. Follow this link and check it out.

Not too long ago, in the name of protecting national security and guarding against terrorism, President George W. Bush signed into law some of the most sweeping changes to search

The Patriot Act is actually an acronym. It stands for “Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism.” The goal of the Patriot Act was rather simple: to give Federal and law enforcement officials a greater level of authority when tracking, intercepting, or gathering communications and intelligence of suspected terrorists. It also allowed for greater communication in foreign intelligence gathering and provided the Secretary of the Treasury greater regulatory powers regarding foreign money and terrorism.

To create these additional safeguards, certain privacy considerations from US citizens were reduced or compromised. That has included the use of “secret” courts where warrants can be issued to obtain metadata from phone calls and internet activities of private citizens. Warrantless collection methods were also used in some instances.

So, has the Patriot Act helped to make the US safer? Has it prevented more acts of terrorism that would have taken place if this legislation had not been crafted and signed? Here are 8 cons of the Patriot Act to consider.

1. It gives too much authority to the government.

Many Americans believe that terrorist attack prevention can still be done without giving a sweeping authority to the government to investigate any person whom they see fit. This argument could go on, since there is no proof whether the Patriot Act has prevented a follow-up attack.

2. It wastes vital resources.

The act not only allocated precious resources to tracking US citizens, during a time when government spending was roundly criticized, but also allowed for the tracking of citizens who moved overseas. This is seen as a gross misuse of public funds by opponents of the act.

3. It lacks effectiveness.

The overall effectiveness of the Patriot Act has faced criticism on many occasions and has not been received well ever since. Many people believe that the 9/11 attacks were an isolated incident, and detractors of the act think that the reason why we have not experienced further terrorist attacks is the country’s military power.

4. It allows unlawful imprisonment.

The Guantanamo Bay is a brainchild of the Patriot Act, which is seen as a major factor for infamy to go down. Even to those who support the detention camp, they are forced to admit that incarcerating those who were suspected for terrorism without going through due process is not the objective of the act.

5. It leads to fear and hostility.

When even a person’s library records become a government concern, it is just reasonable for people to become skeptical or fearful about this regulation. Also, it became obvious to skeptics of the Patriot Act that they would never have the chance to express publicly their grievances. This resulted to an emotional climate with fear and hostility since the act’s inception.

6. It lacks rights for counsel.

For a country that boasts of fair legal processes and calls itself “The Land of the Free”, the US, in the eyes of detractors, has implemented a practice that seems quite unjust. Some people were unfairly detained and, in many instances, were not even allowed to retain a legal counsel or given a valid reason for being captured.

7. It allows citizens to be falsely accused.

There are obvious reasons for this, as the government would not want any person, who is potentially a member of a terrorist cell, to escape surveillance. However, there are many cases since the act’s inception where citizens were falsely accused of being involved in terrorist activities, only for the government to realize that they are wrong afterwards.

8. It violates freedom.

Considering that even an American citizen overseas can still be tracked, freedom is definitely a issue for people who really value it, as well as privacy. It has been argued that the act is not providing the same level of legal protection for citizens, even for those who are falsely accused.

We are not really safe, are we? Not even in our own home? Nope. Is this freedom? Is this even Patriotic?

The Patriot Act is actually an acronym. It stands for “Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism.” The goal of the Patriot Act was rather simple: to give

Life is what happens as we look down at our smartphones.

Time doesn’t care if we are ready. Lucky with all the technology around us, right? But is it safe to take it all for granted? We feel lost even when an internet page loads slower than usual.

What to do? We should all go back to number one, to the old way of doing things and incorporate that into our lives.  

People really should avert their gaze from the modern survival thinking for just a bit and also look at how the guys who wandered the west 150 or so years ago did it.

We were not meant to survive in isolation forever. There are many skills we can learn from one another. Nothing will help people survive more than a tight-knit community that cares for its members. In this community, you will find different skills, access to different resources, and a psychological morale improvement. Finding others with the same mindset will help you survive long-term, and make the situation far more bearable than braving the dark times alone.

Turns out the popular image of the Old West as a place where manly men solved their differences by shooting themselves in the face simply isn’t true. People were more likely to cooperate than fight – in a harsh and lawless world, it was better to side with your neighbor for mutual benefit than start shooting.

While the survivalist mindset might seem to stem from weathering bad times, it is actually based in a basic enjoyment of nature. Nature is a gift, and the ability to live comfortably from its provisions is one of the most life-changing experiences a person can ever have. The art of survival seems to have been lost over the years, but before the technology boom in the last century, it was commonplace to know and understand survivalist principles.

Let’s go through some of our ancestor’s skills and see how prepared you are.

Preserving food without a fridge

Many people have forgotten this old method of preserving food, especially meat. Here is one of the easiest methods available and doesn’t take much time.  You will need fresh pork, pickling salt, brown sugar, and crocks or jars for storage.

First, cut the pork into slabs. Generally, four- to six-inch slabs work best. Mix 1/2 pound of pickling salt with 1/4 cup of brown sugar. This is enough to cover twelve pounds of pork. Liberally cover the pork with this mixture. Next, pack the meat into sterilized crocks or jars. You should make sure it is tightly packed. Cover the meat with cheesecloth.

Using the temperature chart of your house, determine where to store your crocks. You need to keep the meat in an area that is about 36°F – no higher than 38°F. You also do not want an area that could see freezing temperatures. Leave the meat in this cool storage for at least one month. After that time, you can wrap the meat in plastic or moisture-proof paper and leave it stored all winter. You now have salt-cured pork for any occasion.

Many older people remember having a smokehouse on their land when they were young. Meat would be salted and hung to cure in these cool, dry areas. You could build a storage room for handing meat without too much work. The room should have excellent air circulation and stay cool without freezing.

Stockpiling Wood

and keeping warm is a chore in winter even now. Imagine how it used to be. About the only thing folks had to burn was wood. There was a woodpile or a woodshed associated with just about every house.

There were no iron stoves in early Texas – they didn’t start coming in until late in the Republic period. Heat came from a fireplace, and it generally wasn’t very effective. Along the Rio Grande, especially in the poorer regions, there were no fireplaces in houses. That’s because Spain and later Mexico taxed chimneys. Those people cooked out-of-doors. Because they mostly built of adobe, their house – walls were very thick, so even a small fire indoors would keep the place fairly warm. In summer going into a properly – built adobe house is like walking into a cave. They stay fairly cool even on the hottest days.

How about learning the process of skinning a deer, fleshing, stretching, drying, scraping, soaking, brain tanning, and then smoking the hide to waterproof? Deer hides, horse hides, coon hides – was used for just about everything, & rawhide was very useful. It used to be called ‘Mexican iron.’ The stuff is stiff as a plank, but if you put it in boiling water for a while, it becomes pliable. You can then use it in place of nails to tie a corral’s stringers to the posts. As it dried it would shrink, holding the stringers as effectively as nails.

Mostly, clothing was hand-made on the frontier. Almost any source of cloth could be used to make shirts or dresses. One of the reasons flour sacks, for many years, were made of patterned cloth, was the fact that women collected them to make shirts or dresses, for themselves, their husbands, & their children. I can remember when I was a kid, farm ladies using white flour sacks to make children’s underwear.


Being able to make something useful like a horseshoe, tool, or cooking utensil from scrap metal could come in very handy. This is a skill people will barter for. Blacksmith work does require a good deal of practice and some special equipment, but it’s a skill worth learning and the learning curve is cut a bit if you already know how to weld or do other metal work.

Navigation and Orientation

Whether someone is going to bug in or bug out to somewhere safer, they need to know where they plan to take a stand and stay. Transportation is a very important issue to consider and how much of what they have can be moved to where they are planning to go. Fuel will be a huge consideration as the lack of it prohibits how far someone can go. Something else everyone should understand is how to read maps. You will likely not have any GPS system to guide you and the good old fashioned paper map may be the only way to show you where you are going. Understanding topographic maps is also key here

How are you doing so far? Do you feel prepared? Are you the proud owner of any of these above skills? Take your time. This was part 1. We will come back with another set of skills that are very useful to us all, not just to a prepper. Because we believe a prepper is just someone with a lot of common sense.

Until next time, try to be honest with yourself and realize how ready are you for an emergency situation?

Do not postpone this thought. It’s important for your future.

Life is what happens as we look down at our smartphones. Time doesn't care if we are ready. Lucky with all the technology around us, right? But is it safe

This is Part 2 of an article on a set of skills our ancestors had that would put to shame most of us. Let’s just go through some of them and see how prepared you are.

We’ll continue our journey into “the lost skills I wish I had” with gardening.

Do you know how to grow your own vegetables and fruits? Or, what do you know about saving seeds? What about soil conditions and how to get water to your plants?  Are you aware you could extend your harvest season?

These are not superhuman skills. This is just how daily life was for our ancestors. How is your score so far? Let’s go on.

Building a home, or another shelter, or a fort, or a fence comes very handy and cheaper. Not to mention the feeling of self-gratitude you get for building it yourself. Knowing how to use hand tools and simple machines will go a long way if you have to rebuild.

Are you blushing or things got hot because we’re about to talk about your fire skills?

Do you know how to start a fire without matches and how to keep the fire going 24/7?

Here’s what we know – prepare your fireboard. Cut a groove in the fireboard. This will be your track for the spindle. Take the tip of your spindle and place it in the groove of your fireboard. Start rubbing the tip of the spindle up and down the groove. Have your tinder nest at the end of the fireboard, so that you’ll plow embers into as you’re rubbing. Once you catch one, blow the nest gently and get that fire going.

Was it hard? Don’t think so. And it gets even better when you realize you could do so many things by yourself. If only someone taught us these skills when we were growing. Imagine what we could do today.

Ok. Let’s go on with our list of tricks and useful skills for the people, by the people.

One of the most important men on the frontier was the bee-hunter. Sugar was almost impossible to come by. Honey, which was called ‘long sweetenin’ in Texas, was the only source of sweetening for many years.

Knowing and preparing wild edibles was also crucial. Do you know which plants in your area are safe and what parts of them are edible? A little foraging can add variety to your diet or even sustain life if there’s nothing else to eat.

What other problems did they face? Oh, yes, light! One of the most depressing situations is to spend the night in near to total darkness. Besides this, not being able to see at night is dangerous. Learning how to make candles and wicks should be a skill to consider learning. Fats and other oils will burn and can be obtained throughout nature and the outdoors. Long-term solar battery rechargers for flashlights and LED battery powered lanterns are of course, another option.

Another top priority? Personal and general hygiene. Because disease and sickness can and do take down the toughest man. People must realize that after a terrible disaster it is not like someone that goes camping, comes back dirty, and takes a nice long shower or a hot bath. After SHTF the water to the faucets, as well the hot water heater, may not work. Bathing on at least a semi-regular basis is necessary to avoid all sorts of bacteria from building up on the skin and causing a variety of health concerning ailments that will then have to be treated. People should plan on just how they will keep themselves clean, even thinking about sponge baths as an option.

What about transportation when there will be no more fuel to be found? Do you have a plan?

Some people say about SHTF that unless you’re living on an oil well or in a gas tank you won’t have access to gas. But guess what? Riding a horse will fix it. A horse is a transportation vehicle, a pack animal, and a friend. Learning to ride one can get you places when roads are impassable or vehicles aren’t working. Plus, your gas reserves won’t last forever when SHTF.

And we get to Health and Herbal remedies. When the doctor’s not around, knowing which herbs to use and how to use them to treat common ailments like coughing, fever, headache, etc. can be a great blessing to your family or others around that may need the help.

Learn first aid

Treating yourself and or others will probably be the only thing someone can do as medical professionals are going to be few and far between. Many places offer free classes on first aid because they want people in the community to be prepared. A good first aid book along with a first aid kit is something every household should have before, during, and after a disaster.

Primitive conditions should be expected when anyone is helping someone after a catastrophe. A stockpile of antibiotics is always a good idea. Even acquiring the skill of making your own antibiotics can save lives as an infection is something that will become an epidemic, especially with minor cuts and abrasives that are sure to be plenty.

And with disaster comes panic. You should learn to understand the psychology of desperate people. This is a difficult one. After a SHTF event people are going to, simply put, go crazy.

What we can do is take measures now, while everything is still working. But as our society is human made, it is just a matter of time until total collapse..

This is Part 2 of an article on a set of skills our ancestors had that would put to shame most of us. Let's just go through some of them

This is a field guide to the most common plants found throughout the United States. When traveling outside of the southwest I often found myself lost when it came to what plants I could seek to use in a given territory.  This list is based on my research documenting where useful plants are found in the United States, based on the USDA Flora Database.

Once the five most common plants per state were identified we studied many sources, both native and academic, to document how people can use these plants.  Sources often refer to plant edibility or medicinal values, yet neglect to specify what parts of the plant to use and recommended preparation methods. Find out here exactly how you can use some of them.

A FREE Guide of powerful plants that you can use as natural remedies.

This is free knowledge. Just so you know. What’s inside this FREE Guide of Medicine?

Ginger’s been shown to be anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and it helps regulate blood sugar. Mullein (one of my favorites) can kill worms in the body, may kill TB, and may kill pneumonia, e. Coli, and other bacterial infections. Lavender has been shown to promote sleep and relaxation, and as a pain reliever (among other things!).

That’s just a small sample of what natural remedies can do! There are many other herbs, and many other uses! You will see more examples in this short guide.

Natural remedies are less Poisonous if taken properly. Pharmaceuticals cost more, and are the third leading cause of deaths in the world. Herbal medicines have been around for thousands of years, and have saved more lives, than people give them credit for. Pharmaceuticals steal one chemical from a plant, and discard the other beneficial compounds and enzymes in the plant, because you cannot patent a plant, unless it is genetically altered. A famous Philosopher said “Let thy food, be thy medicine”.

So let’s see what America is “forced” to eat, state by state.  

#1. Alabama

  • Blackberry
  • Wild Carrot
  • Oxalis
  • Muscadine
  • Persimmon

#2. Alaska

  • Beach Greens
  • Beach Lovage
  • Chickweed
  • Dandelion
  • Fiddlehead Fern

#3. Arizona

  • Hedgehog Cactus
  • Saguaro
  • Cholla
  • Prickly Pear
  • Barrel Cactus

#4. Arkansas

  • ­­Cattail
  • Chicory
  • Curled Dock
  • Asparagus
  • Amaranth

#5. California

  • Fireweed
  • Wood Sorrel
  • Dandelion
  • Bull Thistle
  • Curly Dock


  • Wild Onion
  • Stonecrop
  • Candytuft
  • Bistort
  • Yucca buds


  • Violets
  • Lesser Celandine
  • Primrose
  • Field Garlic
  • Lungwort

#8. Delaware

  • Wild Mustards
  • Cicely Root
  • Bittercress
  • Stinging Nettle
  • Fiddleheads


  • Sea Grape
  • Dewberry
  • Purslane
  • Jerusalem Artichoke
  • Dogwood

#10. Georgia

  • Eastern Persimmon
  • Chinquapin
  • White Bergamot
  • Pecan
  • Maypop

#11. Hawaii

  • Kukui
  • Breadfruit
  • Seagrape
  • Chinese Hibiscus
  • Noni

#12. Idaho

  • Thimbleberries
  • Serviceberries
  • Camas
  • Fireweed Jelly
  • Stinging Nettle

#13. Illinois

  • Acorn
  • Plantains
  • Poke
  • Morels
  • Chantarelles

#14. Indiana

  • Kudzu
  • Lamb’s Quarters
  • Pine
  • Prickly Pear
  • Cactus

#15. Iowa

  • Coltsfoot
  • Clovers
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pecans
  • Daylily

#16. Kansas

  • Wood Sorrel
  • Wild Mustard
  • Sheep Sorrel
  • Purslane
  • Yellow Rocket

#17. Kentucky

  • Wild Grape Vine
  • Common Mullein
  • Prickly Pear Cactus
  • Milk Thistle
  • Pineapple Weed

#18. Louisiana

  • Mallow
  • Wild Bee Balm
  • Sweet Rocket
  • Field Pennycress
  • Miner’s Lettuce

#19. Maine

  • Common Mallow
  • Shepherd’s Purse
  • Self-Heal
  • Monkey Flower
  • Fireweed

#20. Maryland

  • Pigweed
  • Joe Pye Weed
  • Goosetongue
  • Lamb’s Quarters
  • Watercress

#21. Massachusetts

  • Wild Garlic
  • Plantain
  • Herb Robert
  • Hop Clover
  • Chickweed

#22. Michigan

  • Garlic Mustard
  • Cattail
  • Coltsfoot
  • Clovers
  • Hazelnuts

#23. Minnesota

  • Pecans
  • Daylily
  • Fireweed
  • Dandelion
  • Chickweed

#24. Mississippi

  • Curly Dock
  • Asparagus
  • Chicory
  • Wood Sorrel
  • Bull Thistle

#25. Missouri

  • Alfalfa
  • Broadleaf Plantain
  • Creeping Charlie
  • Forget Me Not
  • Garlic Mustard

#26. Montana

  • Wild Black Cherry
  • Harebell
  • Elderberry
  • Field Pennycress
  • Coneflower

#27. Nebraska

  • Kudzu
  • Meadowsweet
  • Mallow
  • Peppergrass
  • Pineapple Weed

#28. Nevada

  • Pickerelweed
  • Mullein
  • Red Clover
  • Partridgeberry
  • Sheep Sorrel

#29. New Hampshire

  • Shepherd’s Purse
  • Sunflower
  • Spring Beauty
  • Tea Plant
  • Toothwort

#30. New Jersey

  • Teasel
  • Wild Grape Vine
  • Wild Bee Balm
  • Vervain Mallow
  • Prickly Pear Cactus

#31. New Mexico

  • Herb Robert
  • Mayapple
  • Joe Pye Weed
  • Knapweed
  • Wild Leek

#32. New York

  • Cleavers
  • Cattail
  • Blue Vervain
  • Common Yarrow
  • Common Sow Thistle

#33. North Carolina

  • Coltsfoot
  • Fern Leaf Yarrow
  • Henbit
  • Crimson Clover
  • Evening Primrose

#34. North Dakota

  • Downy Yellow Violet
  • Daisy Fleabane
  • Japanese Knotweed
  • Milk Thistle
  • Lambs Quarters

#35. Ohio

  • Queen Anne’s Lace
  • Purple Deadnettle
  • New England Aster
  • Supplejack Vine
  • Amaranth

#36. Oklahoma

  • American Black Currant
  • Anise Hyssop
  • Apple Mint
  • Bee Balm
  • Blackberry

#37. Oregon

  • Black Raspberry
  • Blueberry Highbush
  • Breadseed Poppy
  • Broad Leaf Dock
  • Burdock

#38. Pennsylvania

  • Chickweed
  • Comfrey
  • Dame’s Rocket
  • Dandelion
  • Dayflower

#39. Rhode Island

  • Day Lily
  • Egyptian Onion
  • Elderberry
  • European Black Currant
  • Field Garlic

#40. South Carolina

  • Garlic Mustard
  • Gill-Over-The-Ground
  • Gooseberry
  • Hollyhock Mallow
  • Jerusalem Artichoke

#41. South Dakota

  • Lamb’s Quarter
  • Lemon Balm
  • Mallow
  • Musk Mallow
  • Nettle

#42. Tennessee

  • Peppermint
  • Purple Dead Nettle
  • Purslane
  • Red Clover
  • Red Currant

#43. Texas

  • Red Raspberry
  • Rose
  • Schizandra
  • Sheep Sorrel
  • Shirley Poppy

#44. Utah

  • Star Chickweed
  • Sweet Cicely
  • Violet
  • Wild Bergamot
  • Wild Grape

#45. Vermont

  • Wild Lettuce
  • Wood Sorrel
  • Yellow Dock
  • Spearmint
  • Chicory

#46. Virginia

  • Curly Dock
  • Daylily
  • Elderberry
  • Fireweed
  • Japanese Knotweed

#47. Washington

  • Meadowsweet
  • Milkweed
  • Mullein
  • Queen Anne’s Lace
  • Yarrow

#48. West Virginia

  • Balsam Fir
  • Blue Aster
  • Bracken Fern
  • Oak (Acorns)
  • Pine
  • White Birch

#49. Wisconsin

  • Wood Sorrel
  • Arrowhead/Wapato
  • Bullrushes
  • Bur-Reed
  • Cattail

#50. Wyoming

  • False Solomn’s Seal
  • Weeping Willow
  • Wild Rice
  • Amaranth
  • Blackberries

Do you know how to use these plants? Do you know anything about their powers? Would you be surprised to find out that our ancestors were way more in touch with nature and it’s powerful natural remedies? Maybe we should start learning a thing or two from our history. Why should we trust our ancestors so much? If they were not doing a good job, we wouldn’t be here today. Simple as that.

And so is our offer today.

A FREE Guide of powerful plants that you can use as natural remedies.

This is free knowledge. Just so you know. Enjoy!

This is a field guide to the most common plants found throughout the United States. When traveling outside of the southwest I often found myself lost when it came to

Rosmarinus officinalis, commonly known as rosemary, is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers, native to the Mediterranean region. So far, nothing betrays the fact that this is a super plant.

Besides its appealing colorful flowers and their aromatic smells and flavors that enhance so many recipes, studies now indicate that the importance of rosemary may go well beyond what we already knew about this common herb.

It is now a fact that rosemary can also help enhance a healthier mental state and increase memory up to an impressive 75% – and who couldn’t benefit from a boost to their memory?

With all the work in labs in creating and developing treatments, a pill or injection would be the first thing many people might think of when they hear of a new treatment for something like enhancing memory. That’s not the case here, though.

Fortunately, what has been discovered is that a herb that has grown both naturally and in cultivation for years could be the key to increasing mental health and memory. And you don’t even need to cook or eat it. Just breathe.

Rosemary, as it turns out, is far more beneficial than most people have considered. For example, using it in aromatherapy is an easy way to get a dose of memory boost, without going through an invasive medicine or treatment. And, this theory is backed by science.

Your sense of smell has direct ties to your brain, as they depend on each other for the perception of reality. And, scientists were intrigued.

Most of us have had their sense of smell trigger a memory from our past. For me, when I walk past a tobacco shop, I instantly feel a sense of warmth as it reminds me of my grandfather and his pipe. Others might be reminded of someone, or a memorable time in their life, when the aroma of a familiar food, perfume, or even an unidentifiable scent drifts by them.

However, the link between memory and smell runs even deeper, according to scientific studies. Scientists have gone well beyond recollecting memories to observe the chemical interactions that bind smell and cognitive function.

These studies have discovered a definitive connection, and have shown that the scent of rosemary is able to boost your memory. In fact, it can increase memory function by up to an incredible 75%.

What’s more incredible than this? Maybe the fact that our ancestors knew about the newly discovered powers of rosemary.

While you wonder how this is even possible, let us offer you a FREE Guide filled with examples of powerful plants.

If you understand how useful this knowledge is and will be in the near future, you will definitely feel way more prepared next time a man-made or a natural disaster disrupts our lives, no matter for how long.

Rosmarinus officinalis, commonly known as rosemary, is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers, native to the Mediterranean region. So far,

This is not a debate on whether we like war or not. This is about the human condition during such terrible times. Isn’t weird that people are capable of equally amazing things and despicable acts of terror when pushed to the limits? And not to go too deep in the whole (tug of) war thing, let’s only talk about the food problems that come with it..

If you ask a soldier or veteran about their field rations and you’re probably going to hear a lot of complaints. Part of that is because soldiers just complain a lot (that’s no criticism – you would too, if you had their life) but most of it’s totally justified; field rations just aren’t that good. They’re nutritious and packed with energy, but they’re never going to win any awards for taste.

All this meant the hungry troops had to adapt, be imaginative and use whatever was available. Here are some of the survival foods that sustained soldiers through the battles after D-Day.

Nettle Soup

Stinging nettles are a common weed that grows just about everywhere in Europe. Soldiers hate it, because nettle rash is just another inevitable discomfort of life in the field – but they also used it as a food source. The truth is that although it’s a weed, the nettle is also a very nutritious plant. It contains lots of Vitamins A and C, iron, potassium, manganese and calcium, and it has a very high protein content of around 25% dry weight – more than most vegetables.

Nettles can be boiled or steamed, then served as a green vegetable – they taste quite like spinach – but soldiers caught up in the vicious Normandy battles didn’t have time to make elaborate meals.

They just wanted greens to break the monotony of their rations, and some extra bulk and energy to keep their bellies full. That meant simple dishes like nettle soup. They would collect the leaves from nettles, chop them or pound them to pulp, then boil them in a mess tin or steel helmet.

Bully Beef Rissoles

When British troops had access to a field kitchen they ate hot meals made from 14-man ration packs; the rest of the time, their diet was monotonous in the extreme. They got tinned corned beef and hardtack biscuits, and that was pretty much it.

The beef contained plenty protein and the hardtack was a solid slab of carbohydrates, so it was effective enough at keeping soldiers going for a few days, but it was nauseatingly dull. Dull food isn’t just boring; soldiers will get so fed up of it they’ll eat as little as possible, and that affects their fitness.

To make the rations more edible, soldiers got creative. They would crush and soak the biscuits, mash in the beef and add any vegetables they could find – chopped onions were popular, but chopped field greens would do as well. The mixture was formed into patties the size of a large burger, then fried in fat saved from the beef.


Proper porridge is made from oats and eaten by Scotsmen, but the basic idea has been used throughout history – crushed or chopped grains, cooked in milk or water. Soldiers on all sides ate it during the Normandy campaign, because it was an easy way to supplement their rations.

Sometimes, especially later in the campaign, soldiers would find a field of ripe wheat or barley that could be plundered for grain. Other times they resorted to collecting grass seeds.

These are a lot smaller than wheat grains, but if you can collect enough (and even in a campaign as brutal as Normandy, soldiers spent a lot of time sitting around waiting for something to happen) you can make a nutritious porridge out of them. Wherever possible soldiers would flavor the porridge with items from their rations – jelly, sugar, milk powder or even just salt.

Field Greens

Although Normandy was an agricultural region, few crops were ready to harvest when the hardest battles were fought. That didn’t mean there was nothing to harvest, though. Soldiers scavenged any edible plants they could find, from dandelion leaves to birch bark, and added them to improvised stews made from tinned ration meat. Often these stews were thickened with crushed hardtack or ration crackers.

Unlike the truly horrific battles on the Eastern Front, like Stalingrad or Leningrad, soldiers in the Normandy campaign were never really in danger of starving to death. Even the Germans managed to deliver enough rations to keep their men fighting.

Those rations could be pretty thin at times though, and soldiers did supplement them any way they could. The methods they used are just as useful for supplementing your own emergency food reserves in an emergency.

We all hope war is just something we hear on the news. But it never hurts to be prepared. To thank you for your attention and interest, check out this FREE Guide of Medicine. It’s filled with examples of powerful medicinal plants you can use as natural remedies. It would’ve been real handy for our soldiers.

If you understand how useful this knowledge is and will be in the near future, you will definitely feel way more prepared next time a man-made or a natural disaster disrupts our lives, no matter for how long.



This is not a debate on whether we like war or not. This is about the human condition during such terrible times. Isn't weird that people are capable of equally

There is so much knowledge and information in the preparedness community. I love listening to experts speak from their experiences because I never want to stop learning myself. I enjoy reading novels that cater to the survivalist or prepping community because imagination is a skill everyone should have and could help you when you think there are no other options. I am inspired continually as I get the opportunity to take part in a daily dialog with the readers of the Prepper Journal. Like most of you I would imagine, I started reading other blogs and watching YouTube videos to get my initial motivation and basic information for what was the start of my personal prepping story several years ago. All of these sources of information taught me a lot of invaluable ideas and concepts but they are really just the beginning of learning. They simply served as the catalyst to whet my appetite for a whole new world that until then I had been aware of. These sources of information lit the spark that would turn into a flame.

To truly learn a skill at some point you have to take what you have read and get out there and do it. That is the main reason that almost any author including me tries to admonish anyone who will listen to actually get out there and start doing something. As my friend Todd at Survival Sherpa says, Doing the stuff  is the most important way to start learning and mastering these skills that you have identified as important to your safety or survival. Simply reading about canning isn’t going to teach you as effectively as doing it yourself will. You can read about everything from the proper jars and lids to use, to different canning methods, to old recipes and that is fine for background. It won’t be until you have a kitchen full of tomatoes and counters that are full of jars and a general mess to clean up that it starts to sink in. It won’t be until you ruin a batch of beets by leaving them in the pressure canner overnight because you started too late to wait around and take them out will you learn that valuable lesson. At least I didn’t.

Doing the Stuff as Todd says is critical but sometimes we make this out to be more complicated than it needs to be. Or, maybe another way of looking at it is that we put these things we know we need to do in a box on a shelf that we think we will get to later. For example I would absolutely love to take a wilderness survival course, but I don’t have the time right now to register for the next 4 or 5 that are in my near region. I also don’t have the vacation to take a week off so I put this on the shelf for later. I could use as much tactical training as they have but courses cost money and take time… so that goes on the shelf too. I have often wished I could take long-range rifle training and there is a place in my state that teaches that skill. Yep, on the shelf for later.

I started to look at all of the things I wanted to do that were sitting on my shelf waiting for the right time or opportunity or funds to magically appear and thought that I was wasting so much of what precious time I had. Then I had a thought that there are a lot of things we can do right now that don’t necessarily have to be so formal. They don’t require signing up for a class and can help anyone with vital skills that will be necessary if we do have a grid-down situation in our future. These activities can be done by virtually anyone and if you aren’t careful, they may even be considered fun. Hobbies are another term you can throw at this “training”. Call it what you want but the following 4 activities below can help you learn valuable survival skills. You don’t have to sign up for a week long camp in tactical gear with a 1000 round minimum either. Even though I still really want to do that myself.



Backpacking is the perfect way to test out that Bug Out Bag

Backpacking isn’t training? It’s what you do in the summer with your son’s Cub Scout troop or the church’s Men’s ministry, right? Well, like the rest of the items I will list most people look at this as fun, but preppers can learn invaluable lessons that will apply to a wide array of scenarios just by practicing these different activities. When it comes to all of your planning and preparation for Bugging Out we almost universally talk about strapping a big backpack with everything we own on our backs and heading out into the woods to survive. What better way to test this out than to actually do that. Put a pack on your back and go live in the woods for a couple of days. Hike around with all of the gear you have packed that will keep you alive and safe and see if you don’t change your mind on some items at the end of your trip.

Backpacking is nearly identical to what you would be faced with in a true bug out situation from the standpoint of carrying the supplies you need on your back that will keep you alive for a few days. You also have the added benefit of being able to practice virtually everything you would use in a bug out scenario without any emergency. You can experience carrying that pack, living in inclement weather, seeing how your kids hold up, drying out wet gear, blisters, ticks all without any emergency. You can even try starting real fires with that flint and steel you purchased and navigating with a compass and a map.

Backpacking does require some purchases of equipment, but so does any bug out bag. When you have your gear ready for your BOB, strap it on and head out on a well planned trip into the woods for a couple of days. The knowledge you will gain will be priceless AND, you should have a great time to boot. Check out nature on your own terms now and learn how to live in it before you make that your last ditch plan for survival.



Hunting teaches valuable skills

We talk a good bit about home security, purchasing the best firearms and safety for our families and friends if the grid goes down. If we are forced into a long term emergency where the Rule of Law is out the window (WROL) firearms are strongly recommended as one facet of a well-balanced security plan. But how can you get realistic training on how to use those firearms?

You can go to the range and I do this myself, but shooting at paper targets only teaches you so much. When you are outside pulling that trigger, knowing that if the shot connects you will kill something, you do have a different sensation than squeezing off rounds at zombies printed on glossy paper. Your reaction times, judgment and experiences are 180 degrees different from a range and this is also valuable training for a few reasons.

What can you learn from hunting? You can learn to hunt first of all and this is important for all of the people who plan on bugging out and living off the land. If this is your plan and you have never shot at anything in your entire life… let’s just say you need some practice. Hunting isn’t as simple as walking out into the woods quietly with some camo on.  There are tactics that you can learn like stalking game, patterns to watch for and besides the benefit of actually putting some food on the table, hunting in my opinion can bring you closer to nature.

Depending on how and where you are hunting, you can also learn to read signs of animals to see where they have been, you can learn habits they have and concealment options yourself. This can help you if you are forced to defend your home or retreat from invaders. You will also learn what it feels like to kill something. Now, I am not equating an animal with a human out to harm you, but this is still valuable I think.

You will learn where to hunt and most likely you will be hunting with someone who you can share experiences and knowledge with. Is this going to take the place of tactical training in fake buildings with your AR? No, but compared to nothing, hunting will give you a lot of exposure and experience in finding food, shooting weapons and getting outside. Bonus points if you are backpacking as well as hunting!

Ham Radio

If the grid goes down, usually so do communications. Cell phone towers and land lines are susceptible to power outages or downed lines. Even construction can take down cell and internet access when lines are cut. What do you do when you need to communicate with your family or your group or people hundreds of miles away? Ham Radio.


Its a good idea to learn how to use radios now before you need them.

Ham Radio is virtually the only option I ever hear mentioned in preparedness circles but it is a fantastic option. Ham operators can communicate when traditional forms of communications are down. Due to their range and flexibility, ham operators are usually depended on for communications in emergency situations. Using a simple set up, ham operators can communicate with satellites even or bounce signals off the moon. I have yet to hear of a better grid-down option.

So why do you need to train? Can’t you just grab a radio and start talking? Yes and no and this is where the training part comes in. The Amateur frequencies are pretty vast and learning how to navigate the world of bands, frequencies, repeaters and antennas isn’t something that most people aren’t going to figure out just by picking up a radio. There is a ton of information about ham radio out there but I think it is important to start practicing now well before any emergency.  Knowing the ins and outs of ham radio is just like anything else, you need practice with it and there is no better time than right now. Get your license and some basic equipment and start learning how to communicate.

Getting into Ham Radio can be pretty expensive but you can do this on the cheap also. There are several great options for handheld transceivers (HT) that are under $40, that will get you on two of the bands, 2 meter and 70 cm. Add a simple antenna and you can easily talk to people for a pretty good distance. Connect to a repeater and your range extends to hundreds of miles. Grab several of these radios for group communications and you are in business.

Even if you don’t want to talk to anyone on ham radio, gaining information and intelligence from well outside your city or even region could be vital to your survival if the grid is down or communications have been blacked out.



Geocaching is a fun activity for the entire family.

Two things come to mind when you are talking about Bugging Out. The first is usually navigating to a location that is reasonably far enough away to take you out of the danger present where you are.  The second is hiding caches to support you on that trip. Survival Caches can even be hidden if you aren’t bugging out. You may need to hide something that you can take advantage of later and knowing precisely where either of those two locations are and alternate ways to get there is important.

What can Geocaching do? For starters, Geo caching is a fun activity you can do with your family to get them out of the house. This time of year is perfect for geocaching too because it is getting a little cooler and it’s a lot more fun (for me at least) to be outside in the woods. Geocaching if you don’t know is a game where you find hidden caches of various things using clues and GPS coordinates.

Essentially it comes down to knowing how to find supplies you have hidden but maybe more importantly, how to hide items you don’t want anyone to find. If you have played the game of Geocaching long enough you will start to notice common places to hide something. I can go into an area now and look for the most obvious tree, or clump of bushes to find the cache and you can use this to your advantage. The only thing you need is a smart phone because they have apps now to play the game. I recommend having a GPS because knowing how to use one of these is a handy skill too.

Hopefully that gives you some ideas for “training” you can use with your family or friends that is easy and has a low learning curve. You don’t have to save your vacation or money to go to that tactical school in the next state when you can learn some elements of those same comments yourself in ways that people are doing right now.

Do you have other survival training ideas that can be used everyday?

There is so much knowledge and information in the preparedness community. I love listening to experts speak from their experiences because I never want to stop learning myself. I enjoy

Winter is tough on your house. The temperature swings from below freezing to above freezing put great stress on all the elements of your house – both exterior and interior.

And if the power ever goes out – and you don’t have a backup heat source – a cold winter day can quickly freeze and burst your water pipes, causing great damage once they thaw out.


But with a few simple precautionary steps, this tragedy can be avoided.

Tasks to do before a cold spell arrives

Since you never know if you might lose power during the next cold snap to arrive, here are a few precautionary steps  you can take to ensure that  you don’t have damage to your water systems.

  • Before winter season comes, prep your pool and sprinkler system if you have them. Drain your supply lines and cover your pool as recommended for your area.
  • Take care of all your hoses. Drain, remove and store them in a safe place like your garage or shed.
  • Turn off the water to all external hose spigots and drain any water remaining in them. If your plumbing system is not set up to allow this, cover the hose spigots with insulating faucet covers to protect them from the cold.
  • Insulate all exposed pipes with pipe sleeves, heat tape or fiberglass. You will typically find exposed pipes under your house if you have a crawl space or under a mobile home. However, if you have pipes along outside walls in a cellar, these are also good candidates for getting covered. And if there are any pipes along outside walls in your living space, you should be sure those walls are insulated or they could be at risk of freezing too.

What to do during the cold snap

When you get news of a cold snap heading your way from your local weather station, there are several immediate steps you can take to ensure your plumbing system stays intact in case you lose power and heat. They include:

  • Keep all home access points closed to prevent loss of heat. This includes garage doors and crawlspace access panels. The more heat you can keep trapped in these areas, the longer it takes for the house to drop below freezing.
  • Keep all kitchen and bathroom doors and cabinet/sink doors open to allow as much heat as possible reach the walls where pipes are.
  • Let water trickle from several faucets in the house during the cold snap. As long as you have water pressure and can keep water moving through the plumbing system, it is less likely that it will freeze.
  • If you have a working heat system, try to keep the level above 55 degrees F. This will ensure that enough heat is penetrating into the walls to fight against the extreme cold.
  • If you think it is going to be a bad or extended cold spell, consider turning off your water at your main and draining your whole system. This is the closest to a foolproof system to ensure that you do not get damaged pipes. This step doesn’t need to be done right away but if you lose the ability to keep your home heated, you should consider it. For many houses, to shut the water off at the main, you need a special tool (a water shut off wrench) to turn the water off there.
  • If it is a very windy cold spell and you have extra insulated blankets, you can attach them to the side of the house that is getting bombarded by the wind. This is on the outside of the house, not the inside if there are pipes in the wall. If there are no pipes in the wall, attaching the blankets inside will cut down on some drafts that always seem to show up with a strong wind. And if you have them, place a Mylar thermal blanket between the wall and each blanket.

When the cold spell passes

Hopefully you passed through the cold spell without incident. If that is the case, just turn your water back on or turn off your trickling faucets and close all your cabinet doors.

If it is not the case and you found that you did have frozen pipes, here are a few steps you can do to recover as long as no pipes actually cracked.

  • Turn on your faucets and give the system time to flush itself. As water starts to move through the tiny cracks in the thawing ice, the thawing process will accelerate and eventually clear all the ice from the pipes.
  • If you have access to the frozen pipe, apply gentle heat – like from a hair dryer or small heater kept near the pipes. Do not use anything like a blow torch. The huge temperature difference could damage the pipe.

If you were unlucky enough to suffer a cracked pipe, turn your water system off and call a plumber to fix the problem. Or if you have the skills and can get the supplies, you can fix it yourself. Replacing a pipe is a relatively simple task.

Winter is tough on your house. The temperature swings from below freezing to above freezing put great stress on all the elements of your house – both exterior and interior. And


There is a strategy among some survivalist and preppers that is included in their preparations. It’s the accumulation of gold and silver for use later after a SHTF event. I’m not trying to start an argument as to whether this is a smart strategy or not, only put forth my thoughts. Some will agree and some will disagree with me and that’s OK.

First off let me say that people prep for different reasons. Some do it in anticipation of TEOTWAWKI and some do it on a smaller scale for seasonal natural events like hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and temporary power loss from storms. Others are preparing for the end of civilization and law. I think it’s the latter group that is primarily interested in having gold and/or silver on hand to use in a bleak future. I’m going to let you know my reasons for NOT stocking up on precious metals as a hedge.

Why stocking up on precious metals is a bad idea

First off most people who are in the process of prepping have found that it costs money. Now don’t get me wrong, I have read numerous articles on prepping on a budget etc., but I don’t know anyone who has prepped properly and not spent money on it. I for one am not what would be considered wealthy. My wife and I are comfortable and we have very little debt other than our house. I make a good wage so money is not a huge issue for us. We do keep cash on hand for the possibility of power outages that last a short period of time. That being said, we are not as prepared as I would like us to be and therefore need to continue our preps. I simply can’t afford to put money towards hording precious metals at this time nor do I think it’s a smart thing for me to do. Why do I say that? One reason is what I stated above, we’re not fully prepped. I want my extra money to go toward my supplies at this time. It’s kind of like needing to pay off your credit cards before you can start saving money.

Another reason I don’t think I would put gold as one of my supplies is simply a practical matter in my mind. Let’s say the worst has happened and we are all in survival mode. You know someone who knows how to make bread and you want bread. You have a gold coin that you paid $1100 for back when the world was still somewhat sane. Do you offer that coin for a loaf of bread? 100 loaves or a years supply? The person making the bread may not want gold. They want a pig instead. You go out and find someone who has a pig and offer them the coin. They don’t want it, they want alcohol. This is starting to sound like bartering isn’t it?

What value would you put on food for your family?

The next reason I don’t want to keep precious metals is this . . . Once society has collapsed there is no unified value set for your coin. In your community of survivors maybe a coin is worth a cow. 5 miles down the road in another community they may say its worth one box of ammo but a cow might be worth 50 boxes of ammo. Everyone sets their own value to things. If you were in the desert and dying of thirst and would be dead by the end of the day without water, how much would you be willing to give for just one 8 oz. glass of water? Living in the Northwest, water probably doesn’t hold the same value as in the desert. I think values will be set individually and by community. Who’s to say that the prepper that stocked up on cans of tuna isn’t richer than one who has 1000 ozs. of gold? Money itself has no value per se. Money derives it’s value as being a medium of exchange, unit of measure or storehouse of wealth. It is what allows us to trade goods “Indirectly”. Money is only valuable because everyone knows it’s value and accepts it. In some ancient cultures sea shells were highly prized and used as currency. Sea shells have very little value as a currency in today’s world. This is the reason that the $1100 dollar gold coin might be worthless if civilization ends.

I believe it’s more realistic to think that the surviving members of the human race will live by supporting each other and trading, much like our ancestors did. I’ll give you a stone axe if you help me kill that Sabre Tooth. They traded salt or other spices. Salt was once one of the most valuable things on earth believe it or not. During the era when the Phoenicians ruled the Mediterranean sea and surrounding area they basically had a monopoly on salt and could charge whatever they saw fit. It is more than likely that the value of salt was equivalent to gold with it trading ounce for ounce. This is where the saying “Worth your salt” comes from. Why was the value so high? You have to remember that in ancient times it was hard to preserve food. Salt was used to preserve fish and meats as well as seasoning not to mention the Phoenicians had the salt market cornered. I’m not saying go stock up on salt, just making a point. Who knows what value certain things will have? Again, I think values will be set regionally. Another example of setting value is the diamond. They are not rare, they are controlled. The ones who control it create the value by locking up the extra stock and marketing. There are other precious stones that are much more rare and cost more because they are in fact rare.

Most preppers think Ammo would be highly valuable in a SHTF Event.

You might be better off thinking instead of where you PLAN on spending the End Of Days and stocking up on things that won’t be easily obtained in that area. The reason that the word plan was put in bold letters is that you must have a plan. It may not work out and you might wind up somewhere completely different doing something you didn’t think you would be doing. Live in the desert? Salt might be good. Water most assuredly. Live somewhere with a short growing season? Home canned fruits and vegetables might be the choice. All I’m trying to say is we don’t really know what will be valuable. If there is an Economic collapse, Gold and Silver may be a really good choice and I will be left eating my MRE’s while others feast on fine wine and steak. Who knows? I certainly don’t, but what I do know is I have skills to offer and those will always be valuable. All I can do is prepare the best way that I can using logic as to my situation and go from there. My logic won’t be your logic. My beliefs may not be your beliefs.

If you really think about it no matter what SHTF event happens, be it EMP, asteroid, zombie horde, alien invasion or super-volcano, the economy will collapse and it will probably collapse for a long time. When you are in survival mode buying gadgets and what not on amazon will be the furthest thing from your mind. Chaos will reign at the beginning and things will eventually settle down to various areas controlled by someone. That someone will be the one to set value to things. Maybe they will want to have gold jewelry all over them to show their power. My logic says that we will be in a bartering economy for quite a while. Eventually, we will revert back to using what we term as currency because bartering becomes too cumbersome. As populations come back and skills are developed we will need a way to trade and that way might very well be gold and sliver or some other precious metal or mineral. I think that if it truly was the end as we know it, where a very small percentage of people survive, it will be a very long time before we get back to monetary currency. More than likely the “currency” will be what ever you can trade or offer in service.

  There is a strategy among some survivalist and preppers that is included in their preparations. It’s the accumulation of gold and silver for use later after a SHTF event. I’m


I have three decades experience in trauma ICU care at a level three trauma center (used to be level one was the worst category. That was flipped a few years ago) and recently saw yet another YouTube video where the Israeli bandage was being waved around like it is the savior for all SHTF issues. Quick clot and compression bandages will certainly save lives if applied and monitored correctly. As ever get training for health care needs before you need them and try to get real life training not just videos and books.

However I got to thinking about what I would do with 32 years nursing experience and most of that in trauma if I had a person laid up in bed and was faced with providing hospital care in SHTF and why. It seemed to me the knowledge is not that widely available or known but please, as ever, correct me in the comments below. As ever Doctors are really smart and any advice I give here is intended only for my own use and you should not use any of the advice given unless you have had a smart Doctor agree with it.

Bed Rest

Back in the dawn of time a lot of my surgical and medical patients used to experience sudden cardiac arrest. I was around for as medical science figured out why and how to treat this reasonably common (in the 1970s) complication of bed rest. Deep Vein Thrombosis leading to Pulmonary Embolism (same thing that kills discount airline passengers. Always fly business class!).

Bed rest is an easy prescription especially if the injury is severe. Bed rest is what I love to do when sick and getting me out of bed is hard. However with eight hours of lying around the venous blood flow through the large veins of the legs and calf slows. Pain, fear and lower levels of consciousness will make this worse. Dehydration also encourages the venous blood to slow and thicken deep within the person’s legs and calves.

However many injuries in SHTF might well need bed rest so what can you do?

Low Molecular Heparin injections are really good but you likely will not have any. T.E.D. ™ anti-embolism stockings are a good thing to have in your trauma kit. Reasonably cheap and come in a variety of sizes. You can also use tight bandages wrapped around the legs but honestly they are more likely to cause venous congestion than minimize it. Here is what you should do if you have appropriate stockings or not. Move the legs and the joints carefully trough a range of motion (depends on the injury of course) every one to two hours throughout the stay in bed. Get them up into a chair and make them walk as soon as practical. In the 1960s you got to lie in bed for a week being hand fed if you had a heart attack to minimize cardiac stress. This caused a lot of deaths from embolism! This is also why new mothers get booted out of hospital in hours as well. Beds are very dangerous places if you lie in them for ages. Give a bit of daily Aspirin but read the next section carefully first.

Start gentle laxatives as early as possible and encourage high protein foods and drinks. Monitor their temperature twice a day at the same time of day and consider gram negative antibiotics if they develop even a slight temperature.


Most people are familiar with aspirin. If the person is a child or a baby do not give ever. Rarely it can kill the child. However if you are taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) you should also never take aspirin. Advil, Motrin, Aleve are common pain killers but never, ever take them and aspirin. Take one or the other, never both. If you have asthma try to avoid taking aspirin. The reason is that a severe asthma attack can be triggered by aspirin especially if you have asthma and/or are also taking an NSAID (this is arguable). The aspirin also makes the NSAID ineffective (this is true). Now I know some people are going to be saying “but I have asthma or I took Advil and aspirin and I am fine”. You were lucky and most times you will be lucky but you might not always be lucky. These are rare but fatal complications.

If you are bleeding actively (gushing or oozing blood or bruising under the back- check frequently when you turn the person on bed rest who has had a trauma) never give aspirin. It is an excellent blood thinner which is why small doses if safe should be consider if your person on bed rest can safely swallow. I also have aspirin that absorbs via the mouth for those too ill to swallow liquids safely. Pulmonary embolism is a proven killer of people on bed rest who do not have access to regular injections of low molecular heparin. If you have ulcers, gout, kidney, or liver diseases do not take aspirin. It is to be avoided in hypertension but frankly I consider it too valuable to avoid if primary hypertension unrelated to kidney disease.

Read More: Medicine to Stock up on for When There Is No Doctor

Broken bones should also avoid aspirin for at least three days. A bad femur fracture can cause several liters of blood loss into the tissues. A bad pelvic fracture can easily bleed so much internally they die. If you can use transfusion but battle field transfusion without cross and typing has many risks and is unlikely to be available in SHTF. Even if you have the same blood type there can easily be dramatic and deadly effects from a blood transfusion as incompatibility is not just the blood type. For me if you need a blood transfusion to survive in SHTF you are a gonna anyhow so why bother?

In the third trimester of pregnancy do not take aspirin as both the mom and the baby may well bleed to death during the delivery. Do not use it is you are breast feeding (breast is best and possibly the only option in shtf) as the baby will get dosed and it really is not a good thing. If the aspirin bottle smells strongly of vinegar it may no longer be effective but if it is all you have then take it anyway. Consider researching Willow Tree Bark (and the leaves to some degree). Natural analogue for aspirin and an okay pain killer (beats nothing).

Many people use “baby aspirin” to avoid strokes and heart attacks. This low dose aspirin is expensive, Buy normal aspirin and take half a tablet.

Real Trauma Kits

Elite First Aid Fully Stocked GI Issue Medic Kit Bag, Large

You can buy good trauma kits and Israeli bandages and I would encourage everyone who is trained to use one to have one and plenty of extra supplies but then what? Your friend stopped a bullet in her right leg and it seems the bone is broke judging by the screams when she moves and the bits of hard white stuff sticking out. Step one is to control the bleeding and step two to avoid infection. You slap on the Israeli bandage (likely your will need more than one), use the splint to immobilize the leg, and start her on fish antibiotics.

Then what? She’s going to be laid up for weeks and will take a lot to get her back on her feet. Do you have a bedpan (urinal for the males too slow to dodge bullets) to make washroom times less messy? Do you know how to remake a bed with a person lying in it and to wash them? Back in the 1980s as a student nurse we did these things on each other. These days they do not and their skills show it. Have a night where you try this on a loved one after reading up on how to do it. It is honestly a lot of fun. Can you make and use skin traction to get the bones in a better alignment? Again it is not hard and is easy to do but you need to know how to do it right to avoid crippling them. Do you have electrolyte drinks in large quantities and understand that urine needs to be clear or they are dehydrated? Real trauma kits will let you start intravenous infusions, pick out the bone bits, and suture internally and externally. The focus is on the first hour in prepping but rarely do people think about care the next day, the next week, the next month. Pool shock used to make strong bleach is a great thing to wash the bed sheets and to swab the area around the person who is stuck in bed. Can you make a frame and a hand hoist to let them sit upright frequently and relieve pressure on their bum and back? Pressure ulceration is not fun. Again look up basic nursing and at least have a text book available if you have avoided actual practice.

The one of the best things to get is an Emergency RN and keep him or her in your ‘kit’. An medical Doctor is helpful but they rarely have to do the thinking and creating that the RN has to do and RN who has worked in ED for a couple of decades knows much more than more a ED Fellow.

Fish Antibiotic

These are achieving a fair degree of popularity amongst preppers and for good reason but are you treating a Gram negative or gram positive infection? Generally speaking gram negative infections are more harmful than gram positive ones and tend to be more resistant to antibiotic use. Use penicillin and sulfonamide for gram positive and use streptomycin, chloramphenicol, and tetracycline for gram negatives. Use ONE for one week or two weeks (look up treatment regimens). Use another if the person is getting worse or is unimproved at the end of the full course of the initial drug.

Other than using gram staining (yes you can but I’d not bother) you need to assume it is a gram negative bacterial infection. These tend to kill more than the positive ones and are more common. If there is zero improvement then consider using a gram positive antibiotic. Gram negative is your go to antibiotic first off except if the bowels and/or stomach has been opened but frankly the person will likely die of sepsis in this case no matter what you do in SHTF. Try gram positive but give nothing by mouth if the bowels and or the stomach have been hit. Can you use a stethoscope and assess bowel sounds? A basic and a useful skill but can you give intravenous fluids and use a nasogastric tube? It gets complex very fast in trauma and stopping the bleeding is vital but there is more than this to ongoing treatment.

If you are thinking of using antibiotics at least take a look at this and realize many fish antibiotics are really not used much in humans anymore as they can cause issues. Still if nothing else then I’d use them. Prepper Princess mentioned she is worried about cholera in SHTF. This is a reasonable worry in SHTF and is likely if you fail to treat all water and food sources as possibly infectious. A quick search uncovered this so fish antibiotics used wisely would be useful. However I would go with doxycycline as a first use in cholera and the other advice on treatment here is highly appropriate to most infections in SHTF. You can and should do this for all infections you think are likely in SHTF and that you wish to treat. A standard drug book is too detailed and confusing for most people.

Within one month of a specific antibiotic not being used the rates of its efficiency start to rise. Store lots of antibiotics especially the gram negative ones as they will work very well after a year or two. Penicillin will again be great for sexually transmitted diseases which will also dramatically return in SHTF. Of course abstinence is the best practice but what else are you going to have to do in the bunker?


They will come along in SHTF as they have since humans first appeared on the Earth. Do you have contraception and/or methods to avoid unwanted pregnancies? Returning to the 1800s and each fertile woman popping out 10-16 children would happen fast. This Wikipedia article, (I know but it is reasonable) shows that death three to five days after birthing for women will be very common in SHTF. What the article fails to say is death rates were 40-60% for women having their delivery from a Doctor and 5-10% (or lower) from the Midwife in the same maternity ward. The lesson here then and now is wash your hands and forearms in bleach before and after every examination, do not use long sleeves (of note this applies now in health care), have lots of soap and clean water. Scrub clean beds between uses. Basic stuff but easily overlooked.

Babies get sick and die. Always have and always will but most infectious diseases had very little mortality (death rates) prior to antibiotics and vaccines (maternal deaths are the exception here). Chlorinated water, sleeping one person to a bed, quarantine of infectious people, hand washing, and good old fashioned nursing are absolutely critical in SHTF and now to avoid dying for infections. Sure antibiotics have saved millions but we are in the billions.

Hope all of this gives you some food for thought.

  I have three decades experience in trauma ICU care at a level three trauma center (used to be level one was the worst category. That was flipped a few years