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A couple of days ago, I took my wife and kids for a ride to our hunting cabin. The weather was holding and, I said, why not? Four hours later, we arrived only to find out that someone nicked the power transformer from one of the nearby electricity poles.

Long story short, our weekend was doomed because the electricity company representative said that a replacement should arrive in a couple of weeks. Back when we furnished the place, we didn’t consider that something like this could happen, and so we went ahead and bought all the electrical appliances we could find at a discount.

Here’s where things get interesting. My grandma gave me this old and battered chest. Told me that inside it I’d find anything a chef needs to whip up a quick dinner, power or not. Because that thing was heavy and smelly, I figured that the best place to store it would be the hunting cabin.

Seeing that the power won’t come any time soon, I took a peek inside the chest to see if there’s anything of use there. I am not exaggerating when I’m saying that I struck gold. Inside, were indeed all the kitchen tools one could need to live a totally electricity-free life. And I would be lying if I didn’t admit that we had some trouble figuring out what goes where or how to use those thingies.

Anyway, seeing that more and more of you guys are asking about powerless appliances, I figured showing you my list of 8 most useful kitchen stuff. Dunno if you have chest inherited from your grandparents or not, but, surprisingly enough, most of this stuff can be bought from just any kitchen appliances store, and, yes, they don’t cost a fortune. So, without further ado, here are my choices in powerless kitchen gadgets.

  1. Hand-operated coffee grinder

Because I’m a coffee junkie I’m going to start by saying just how awesome and handy a cordless coffee grinder is. I mean, nothing compares to that subtle, yet flamboyant, freshly-ground coffee aroma – way better than sex (hope my wife doesn’t read this article).

Anyway, if you get ahold of one of these gadgets, be sure to hit your local gourmet coffee store for some great beans. While you’re at it, learn how to make Turkish-style coffee – beats espresso any time of the week. Be sure to clean your grinder every now and then and oil those parts to prevent blockages.

2. Meat grinder

If we’re talking of couldn’t-do-without kitchen items, the meat grinder’s is out there with the big shots. Nearly every recipe that calls for minced meat, whether it’s lasagna, moussaka or meatballs, will taste even better with freshly-minced meat. For a while, I used to buy minced pork from my local supermarket.

Gave it up for Lent after I discovered that I could make it at home, with the cuts of choice. More that than, I simply abhor the fact that even the most expensive minced meat is filled with so much water that you mostly end up boiling your meat instead of searing it. Great little gadget, very low maintenance, but now so great when it comes to cleaning it. Pros and cons, man. Pros and cons.

3. Hand-cranked food processor

I like preparing salad dressing as much as the next person, but doing so without an electrical blender is quite difficult. Wrong! The hand-cranked food processor will chop down your veggies or meats in a matter of seconds just like any over glorified electric blender. Just make sure to give those blades a quick sharpening from time to time and to apply some oil or WD 40 on the moving parts.

4. Kitchen scale

My wife’s madly in love with making all sorts of cakes and cookies and pastry. However, most of the time, she needs a scale to measure the ingredients – sometimes I feel like I’m stepping into a meth lab or something.

My take on the electronic scale is the old and moderately precise mechanical scale – a cup, a platform, and several weights. Might not work that well if you need to measure with Swiss precision, but other than that it’s a very dependable kitchen item.

5. Tea kettle

Not much of a tea drinker myself (usually do that when I’m nursing a cold). But I have to admit that a tea kettle is pretty useful around the house, especially when the power goes out.  More than that, if properly maintained, a kettle can last for decades if not more (mom said granny got her tea kettle from her mom). It’s also a very fast and low-gas consuming way of warming up water for other necessities.

6. Eggbeater

Forget the mixer! If you really want to step up your kitchen game, learn how to tame the egg beater. IT’s a really simple item, but one that helps you prepare far more stuff than omelets (I like to use it to prepare the bather for my MRE survival bars).

7. Can opener

Those electrical gadgets are shinny and new but much too unreliable to be kept around the house. If the power doesn’t go out on you, that thing will break down faster than you can say “preparedness.” I had to fix two of those blasted things and buy three others. So, my solution was simple – out with the bad and in with the good, the good being the mechanical can opener. Solid piece of work, capable of breaking into just about any can out there.

8. Water filter

Water comes, and water goes. No matter where you’re from, you must always ensure that the water you drink is, well, drinkable. That’s why a water filter is a must around any house, hunting cabin or duplex. It may be a little expensive compared to the other items on this list, especially the spare carbon filters, but it’s an investment worth making.

That’s my list. Do you have some other mechanical gadgets on your mind or in your off grid house? Share it here.

Dunno if you have chest inherited from your grandparents or not, but, surprisingly enough, most of this stuff can be bought from just any kitchen appliances store, and, yes, they

Any SHTF story begins like this: “so, there I was, once upon a time (in December), in the wild, no water, no food, and with wolves on my ass.” Well, not exactly like that, but you get the picture. What I meant to say was that in every survival-type situation, water becomes denominator. And for good reasons – you need water for digestion, heat regulation, breathing, living, stuff like that.

Today, I’m going to hit you with my very best FUBAR story – how I converted my heater and toilet into open bars. See, when you’re at home, in the city, you fail to realize just how important water is. Sure, tune on the tap, and, voila, you have water. The nasty part comes soon after there’s no more water coming from the taps and you have no idea what to do next. Keep calm, my friend! Water can be siphoned from any area of the house, and I’m going to show you how I did it. Let’s start with the heater first.

Sucking Water out of the Heater, Dracula Style

“Listen to them (water heaters). They’re the children of the night”, and what music they make when you plug a hose in them to suck out that water. Backtracking a bit, a couple of months ago, there was a power outage in Fresno. A big one at that – must have at least 2 days, if not more. Anyway, I was at home, thinking about going out to buy a couple of stuff for my household emergency kit.

Ironically, we’ve just the last drop of bottled water to prepare formula for the tyke (bundle of joy that little monster is). I need to say that some time ago, at father-in-law’s bequest, I swapped the old electrical water pump for a brand-new, computer-controlled one. Yes, I know it’s the stupidest thing a prepper can do, but, hey, it’s hard to talk your way out of the wishes of a retired Marine.

So, the power goes out. Naturally, I went for the breakers. Nothing! Tried everything I could think of but to no avail. Soon enough, I came to realize that I didn’t have a drop of water left in the house. Okay, so what do I do? And then it hit me – I recalled reading in a book or something about using the water heater’s contents to augment my non-existing water sources.

So, after some careful deliberation, I grabbed my toolbox, a hose, and a bucket and got to work. Here’s what I did. One short disclaimer though: my heater is electric. This means that the things I’m about to show may not apply to you if it’s running on gas or an older model.

  1. Turn off the heater

You can’t just siphon water from the thing while it’s still running. For once, the thing has a lot of fail safeties in place to prevent leakages. And two – the water inside has around 104 degrees Fahrenheit, which means that you’ll wind up with a nasty second-degree burn if you try anything. What I did was to unplug the thing completely (could still have had some juice in the system, so I took no chances) and let it be for the next 12 hours.

Naturally, I had to make do without the water from the heater. I’ll tell you in a sec, what I did in the meantime. While searching online for my water heater model, I’ve discovered, much to my amusement, that the damned thing had a sort of blanket around it to help keep the water hot. If you want the water inside to cool off faster, I would advise removing the heater’s “coat.” This will cut back on the cooking time by at least a couple of hours, if not more.

Now, in case you have a propane water heater, don’t forget to close the gas intake valve before cutting the electrical power. It should be somewhere at the bottom of the heater. Best thing to do would be to read the heater’s manual for more info. Same thing as before – allow the heater to cool down before attempting to siphon the water inside.

2. Figuring out where the drain valve is

Okay, after allowing the heater to cool down, next on the list is to identify the drain valve. In my case, it was way in the back (had to move the water heater to gain access to it; hard to since the support was nailed to the floor). Most heater models have plastic drain valves. However, some of them have metallic taps. Whatever the case may be, rotate the heater, until the valve’s facing you. If your heater is on a rack just like mine is, don’t take it down. The slope will allow the water to drain faster.

3. The old hose-and-bucket switcheroo

Take a hose (I’ve used an old sprinkler hose which I was keeping in the shed) and attach it to the drain valve. Place the other end in an empty and clean bucket. Don’t forget that some of this water will be used for stuff like cooking, washing, and drinking.

So, storing it in a clean container is a must. One thinks to keep in mind – water heaters are not that great at water filtration as other appliances. You may have to sterilize the water before drinking it. There are plenty of ways to do that: boiling, distillation, chlorination, tossing in a couple of water purification tablets. The choice is up to you. I, for one, boiled the living hell out of that water before I poured it into clean bottles.

4. Open the valve and let it rain!

Before attempting anything, open a sink faucet anywhere in the house but the place where your heater is. Once you’ve placed the hose inside the bucket, open the drain valve halfway. When the water’s starting to come out of the hose, you can fully open the valve. Keep an eye out on that bucket because it’s going to fill up pretty fast.

Be sure to change buckets once the hose starts to resurface. You can store the water from the heater in the bathtub, collapsible water carrier or inflatable kiddie pool. On average, there should be at least 50 gallons of water inside the heater at all times. Just don’t let that water go to waste. Once you’ve siphoned every last drop of water from the thingamajig, don’t forget to close the tap.

Finding even more water around the house

Do keep in mind that the heater is not the only emergency water source around the house. Even though the pump may be out of commission, there’s still water in the pipes. The quickest way to get some extra water would be to find a low-lying outlet like the one connecting the toilet tank to the pipes and to remove the part that goes into the tank.

Get a bucket or a plastic bowl and put the disconnected pipe inside. Gravity will do its magic, and the remaining pipe water will slowly appear in you basic. Of course, there are always at least 2 gallons of water inside the water tanks which can be used for stuff like washing dishes or cleaning.

Just remember that neither the water inside the heater nor that drained from the toilet tank or pipes is entirely safe to drink. As always, if it’s intended for long-term use, although I do not recommend it, use one or more water purification methods to remove harmful bacteria.

This concludes my mission with this article. If you have anything to share about it, please feel free to comment or send us an email. Have a good one.

So, the power goes out. No water! Tried everything I could think of but to no avail. Soon enough, I came to realize that I didn’t have a drop of

You know ‘em, you buy them by the dozen, and they usually end up in the washing machine along with the rest of the clothes. Yup, you’ve guessed it – the chapstick, the only thing that shouldn’t be missing from your pocket, especially during the cold weather, regardless of sex. Sure, it’s funny to see a 7-foot-something mountain of a man using a chapstick because of cracked lips, but still, the thing has its uses.

A couple of days ago, I was at home watching this guy on TV who kept on repeating that all everyday items can be used in an SHTF situation. This guy did say that ALL EVERYDAY ITEMS, including the ones found in pockets and purses, can be used for survival. He managed to cover everything from lipstick, hand sanitizer, credit cards, and pens, but he missed out on one item that can do that all of that stuff put together.

And, after doing a bit of snooping around on the Internet, I’ve discovered some of the most ingenious uses for these objects which, as I earlier said, ends up on the clothesline after a good wash. So, without further ado, here are 9 awesome ways to use chapsticks in and SHTF situation.

  1. Blister buster

If you’re the kind of person who gets blister each time he wears a new pair of shoes, then chapstick is the answer you were seeking. Since the stick contains a small amount of antibacterial substance, applying a little bit on the area predisposed to chaffing and blistering will go a very long way. Give it a go and see how it works.

  1. Fixing small cuts

In case you find yourself without disinfectant or bandage, you can apply a thin layer of chapstick on the cut. Bear in mind though that this only works for small cuts (wouldn’t try using it on larger wounds). If you really want to speed up healing, you can use a combo of chapstick and clean cloth on the cut.

  1. Cleaning glasses

As the very proud owner of prescription glasses since the age of 12, I can tell you that nothing cleans lens better than chapstick. First, wipe both lenses with a clean cloth and then apply a very thin layer of chapstick. You can use the same cloth to wipe off the chapstick, or you can rinse the glasses with plain tap water (don’t do this too often, as water can erode the lens). Sure, this may not qualify as a run-of-the-mill SHTF situation, but do bear in mind that many car accidents have occurred because the drivers simply forgot to wipe off their glasses before getting behind the wheel.

  1. Hiding money

If you live in a rough neighborhood, then your kind of forced to improvise when it comes to money. Sure, keeping them on credit cards or a virtual account like PayPal usually works, but with cash being king you simply cannot step out of the house with a couple of greens on you.

A very clever way to conceal money is by using an empty chapstick tube. Pocket the thing and in case trouble find you the only thing your wannabee robber will see is a regular chapstick tube. You can also use the same method to save some cash for stuff – that’s how my wife bought me an amazing B.O.B for my birthday.

  1. Crafting emergency candles

For when the lights go out, that’s when all the hidden treasures of the world reveal themselves. The nigh may be dark and filled with dangers, but nothing a little light can’t solve. If you’re all out of 24-hour candles or flashlight died out on you, it’s possible to make an emergency candle out of a chapstick. Get a Q-tip and pop the top of your chapstick. Fluff the cotton on one end and dip it into the chapstick. After that, simply stick the other end in the stick, use your favorite fire-starting method on the fluffed end, and, voila, let there be light!

  1. Blocking sun glare

Summer’s great – except for that f-ing glare which makes you feel like somebody used your eyes for Voodoo practice. Of course, nothing beats sunglasses, but in case you lose or break them you can block some of the glare by using a combination of soot and chapstick. On a clean surface, put the contents of a chapstick. Grab a handful of soot and use a stick or something to mix them. Smear this under your eyelids, and you’re good to go.

  1. Setting up snares

If you’re trapped in the wild with no food, you can use chapsticks to bait small animals. Rabbits, for instance, are suckers for anything that’s sweet (no, you can’t use your engagement photo to lure the critter into your trap). Set up a trap and instead of food, place an opened chapstick (would be great if you have one with fruit-flavored one).

  1. Leather care

There is plenty of stuff on the market for leather care. However, I found out that nothing makes a leathery surface shine better than a chapstick. It’s very similar to using the cream for your shoes or boots: wipe off the dirt and dust with a clean cloth and then apply a thin layer of chapstick. For a great shine, use a fine brush after the chapstick has dried.

  1. Lubricant

First of all, wipe that smirk off your face. I was talking about things that need a little extra something to get moving like screws or a machinery’s moving part. If something’s stuck and won’t budge, you can always replace the famous WD40 squirt with chapstick. It works wonder on rusty things as well.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my piece. As always, if you have any questions, wanna say ‘hi’ or add something to the list, hit the comment section.

After doing a bit of snooping around on the Internet, I’ve discovered some of the most ingenious uses for these objects which, as I earlier said, ends up on the

I know this is not the first time I’ve written about flea markets and garage sales. Probably won’t be the last time either. Do you want to know the secret behind a successful flea market shopping spree? – never expecting to find anything of use. It really works, and I’ve tested it a couple of times.

See, when you go with a shopping list in hand, chances are you find zilch or end up buying crap you really didn’t need. That’s the beauty of browsing without purchasing I guess – expecting nothing, but, boy, when you do finally find that one item you were looking for, it’s as if the skies themselves opened up to you (with trumpeting angels and everything).

Anyway, as I’ve said it countless times, the flea market is treasure troves, especially to us preppers who are always on the lookout for more stuff to enhance our survival kits or B.O.Bs. And since “old is the new, well, new,” in today’s article I’m going to talk about some neat vintage items I picked off from my last trip to the flea market.

Why vintage? Because they’re cool and, of course, most of them have no need for electricity or whatever to work, which makes them invaluable in just about SHTF situation. If you’re interested in visiting this flea market, I was talking about, come to Bozeman, Montana, and check at the corner of S. Wilson and W. Main Street. If the weather holds out, the chances are that those wonderful guys will probably stay for a couple of days more.

Now, before I bore you to death, here’s my list of retro\vintage things I bought from the flea market.

  1. Adze

No, it’s some kind of STD or ad on someone of those websites with a lot of onomatopoeia, it’s actually a very useful wood-working tool. See, if you’re into carpentry and would like, say, to make the surface of a log smoother, you need this bad boy to scoop out the excess wood.

 

It kinda resembles a pickaxe or a garden hoe, except for the top part which is shaped like a cone or scoop instead of being pointy. I guess you can buy one from any hardware store but, in my experience, special tools like the adze are very hard to come by – a friend of mine had one custom-made ‘cause he was unable to find one for sale. Picked up mine for $10. ‘Twas a little out of shape; the scoop needed to be straightened, but there’s nothing a little hammering can’t solve.

  1. Apple slicing implement

How about them apples? Everybody loves ‘em (except for docs, of course, who tend to cower in the corner like Nosferatu or something) and for darn good reasons. Still, the most annoying thing about them is having to peel and remove the core. Well, for me, that’s kind of a thing of the past, since I’ve managed to get one of those apple slicing and coring gadget. Nothing too fancy about it: just a squid-like metal ring with several tiny jagged strings in the middle.

Handy to have around the house, especially if you like (or are forced) to prepare stuff like baby purees, salads or are plain lazy. I got mine for two bucks, and I can wholeheartedly say that it was money well spent. Dunno why it’s considered a vintage item though. Sure, compared to a food processor, nearly every kitchen tool can be considered obsolete. However, sometimes, simple is better. Doctor, it’s safe to come out now! Finished talking about apples.

  1. French press

Of course, brother Eddie is going to write about another nifty coffee gadget he bought from the yard sale. This time, it’s an awesome and, why not, a peculiar contraption called the French press. No, it’s not used to print newspapers or counterfeit money, but for making coffee. I really can’t figure out why people stick to coffeemakers instead of using one of these bad boys. Anyways, the French press is basically a glass jar with a little flat piece in the middle that can be moved with a lever.

All you have to do in order to make a great cup of coffee is to add water, coffee, and wait a couple of minutes. Then you simply press the lever all the way down – coffee ground remains on the bottom, and you’re free to serve. The one I got from the flea market is made out of the tin, which means I can also use it to boil water. If I’m not mistaken, there’s even a tea version of the French press – works the same, but the strainer is thinner.

  1. Cameras

Time and time again, I’ve been trying to convince myself to go digital. Sure, nothing beats the 35mm for a mirrorless or 8mm for one of those vintage cam records, but the thing is, they’re very hard to come by these days. In fact, the last 8mm dozen I bought came from an online auction on eBay.

If you really don’t want to spend hundreds of bucks on something you may or may not use (if you’re not into photography, selfies or whatever, you should at least have a digital with you for insurance purposes), you should definitely take a closer look around the flea market.

My wife managed to get ahead of me this time, and, oh boy, the stunt she pulled! We managed to get ourselves a brand-new Canon EOS (thing was literally inside its original packaging). For this jewel, we forked over 25 bucks. Now that’s what I call a great bargain!

  1. Electric bum warmer

Before there were self-heating chairs and portable heaters, there were the so-called electric bum warmer. Basically, it’s a blanket with heating elements placed on some kind of support. These things sold like hot cakes during the early 50s and were very much appreciated by the ladies, especially during those not-so-pleasant-days of the months.

If you happen to come across one of these babies during one of your trips, do yourself a world of good and buy one. I purchased two of them for my hunting cabin – beats cranking up the heat and it comes really handy when it’s cold outside, and I have to do some tinkering in the garage.

  1. Keyhole saw

Also called the jab or alligator saw, this nifty little tool is great for jobs that call for precision cutting. Yes, I know that you can probably find one in every hardware store, but do keep in mind that the manufacturing tech has changed quite a bit.

In other words, you might end up doing more stuff with the one you found in your grandpa’s toolbox than a brand-new one. You should also know that the first batch of alligators ever produced had their blades made from stainless steel, and the handles from sterling oak – not that’s what I call solid, all-American craftsmanship!

  1. Goosewing axes

And because we like to enjoy the little things in life like splitting a fire log evenly, here’s on an item that shouldn’t be missing from your tool shed – the goosewing ax. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the terms, goosewings resemble those broad axes Vikings used during their raiding parties.

The ‘civilian’ version, if we can call it that, has a smaller head, shorter handle, but preserves the same curvature. As for the answer to our Friday night trivia: “what the Hell can I do with the midget version of the executioner’s blade?” (dramatic pause). Busting knots. Plain and simple. No matter how much strength you put in that swing, the blasted thing will not keel.

That’s where the goosewing comes into play – the blade chops and, at the same time, splits the wood. Careful though, because this ax version is heavier than most. And yes, you can find goosewings at any flea market. Just give it a good sharpening after you bring it home (handle might need some polishing too).

  1. Stanley’s Zig-Zag Rule

No, it’s nothing like Occam’s blade or Murphy’s rules which should, by the way, be taught in prepping school, if there ever will be such a thing. Stanley’ Zig-zag is a foldable measuring device that can fit inside any pocket. Shorter than a tape measure, but far sturdier, it’s the kind of tool carried around by engineers and constructors ever since the late 19th century.

The most common Stanleys had 15 folding points and a total length of 35 inches. Now, this is the kind of tool you would want in your shed, especially if you’re into carpeting or metalworking. I found one at a flea market in Toronto last year. Think I must have paid 2 bucks or something. Ka-Ching!

  1. Plumb bob

Sometimes it’s hard to guess whether the thing you’re working on is straight or will turn out crooked. This is why it’s always a great idea to have a plumb bob nearby – a nifty and very basic tool that lets you determine the true vertical faster than you can say “preparedness.” Of course, if have the right materials, you can build one at home. Still, if you come across a flea marketeer selling one of these thingies, you should definitely go in for the kill.

  1. Vise clamps

I very much like wood-working, but I always had trouble gluing pieces together, especially when I have to use fast-setting epoxy. Vise clamps are great for this kind of job and, if you’re lucky, you can probably walk off with a whole bunch of them.

That about wraps it for my list of 10 retro items bought from flea markets. Before going away, I should give you a bit of a heads up – don’t expect everything you buy to be in tip-top shape. Sure, there’s always a chance you can end up with a mint-edition item, but those are very rare instances.

In fact, in most cases, the items have some kind of defect – missing screws, paint scratched, faulty wiring, extensive warping, and the list goes on. My advice to you is this: don’t blow a gasket and don’t throw the object in the trash. Yes, I know it’s very frustrating to end up buying a big nothing, but do keep in mind that with a bit of love, care, tenderness, and the right Philips screwdriver, everything can be fixed.

So, what are your thoughts on this list? Think something’s missing from it? Then hit the comment section and let me know. I would very much also like to hear some of you more “unusual” experiences from trips to the flea market. Who knows? Maybe some of you managed to find a missing Rembrandt or perhaps other treasures from the past.

Do you want to know the secret behind a successful flea market shopping spree? – never expecting to find anything of use. It really works, and I’ve tested it a

In modern times we have become accustomed to medication and healing being only a phone call away. It wasn’t that long ago that we were much more vulnerable to disease. In 1800 43% of children died before their 5th birthday. Its a staggering stat.

This should act as a reminder that without modern medicine the elderly and the young suffer and die on a regular basis. The young and healthy are also subject to the same fate. We have seen modern medicine come to a screeching halt after major hurricanes and other powerful natural disasters.

Of course, these are temporary issues but imagine a world where the medicine runs out, the doctors leave, and you are left to fend for yourself. Could you become the physician and healer in your own family?

Medical Preparedness

Our powerful and effective pharmaceutical and medical industries have extended lifespan and created incredible advancements. However, that power is something of a double-edged sword. Its has also created dependency.

Most Americans have a box of band aids and some OTC medicines in their cabinets. That is the extent of medical preparations. This can be a big problem if we see a time of long-term calamity. Most people think about empty shelves and they get hungry.

Food isn’t the only thing that will go away. All medications, bandages, ointments and other first aid related materials will be gone, as well. Everything must be shipped into your community by trucks and if those roads are obstructed or trucks left inoperable you will literally have to get by with what you have on hand right now.

Can you imagine cutting yourself and worrying about dying from infection?

This will be the situation in a world where waste management is offline, and plumbing is compromised. To be blunt there will be trash and feces in the streets! Next come the pests and they bring disease and viruses.

You need a serious stockpile of medical and first aid preps to assure you are ready for the worst-case scenario.

Natural Healing

You can also leverage the world of natural healing to help with the trials of serious disaster.

Medicinal Herbs

Many plants have powerful healing benefits. Therefore, many preppers dedicate large spaces in their garden to growing herbs. Many herbs have culinary and medicinal uses. Things like oregano have powerful antibacterial properties.

Essential Oils

By taking many of these powerful herbs and pulling the essence out of those herbs and plants you get powerful medicines that can be used and blended in all sorts of ways. Essential oils are a tough thing to recreate but a small stockpile can address everything from allergies to wound healing and even boost immunity.

Trees

The secret of the survival world are the trees. Trees are an incredible resource, but they take some time to learn. Some trees are even painkillers and fever reducers! The best part about these trees is that they are around for all four seasons. That is big!

While gardens die off and wild plants get buried by snow, trees carry on. You can drink the immune boosting pine needle tea 365 days a year and get those benefits.

Learning about the healing powers of trees is essential.

Medical Library

Having the right books on hand to create a medical library can also make a huge difference if the medical system is compromised. Having some high-quality medical resources will give you a tangible resource that you are going to turn to in the worst-case scenario.

If you are looking to get the full preparedness spectrum covered, The Doomsday Book Of Medicine is available now and has one of the most extensive and well researched healthy nutrition system on the market!

You will learn the natural healing methods as well as which medical preps to stockpile.

There are many books out there and the more extensive your library the better.

First Aid Skills

Even with a stockpile of resources and a medical library, practiced skills are what truly makes a difference. Your medical library can teach you about procedures and processes but that can never be a substitute for hands on experience with things like CPR and dealing with real medical emergencies in real time.

Most people don’t go to this level because it takes physical work and dedication. However, we are moving into a time when skills like these are no longer going to be options. State agencies offer up free classes on first aid under the CERT program.

These are 8-hour courses and though they are a time investment, you will come away with some serious skills. Of course, it will be up to you to keep those skills sharp.

Trauma classes are also popping up all over the nation. If you decide to jump into one of these, they often cost money and you must be careful about your instructors. Get to know their background and why they are an instructor.

Conclusion

There is a reason medical doctors are in school for so long. There is a lot to learn! There is a lot of practice to be had and experience to gain. If we face a serious collapse of basic services and critical infrastructure its going to disrupt our medical system and you are going to become the family physician.

What will you do when they look to you for answers? Are you prepared to act, are you informed enough to act?

If not, you should consider resources listed above. You should invest in a sturdy medical library and a stockpile of first aid supplies and OTC medications. You could also check out The Doomsday Book Of Medicine and add that powerful prepping resource to your library, as well.

Surviving a serious disaster is about gaining every advantage you can.

 

In modern times we have become accustomed to medication and healing being only a phone call away. It wasn’t that long ago that we were much more vulnerable to disease.

Knees are weak; palms are sweaty… Just one of those passing migraines that have the habit of ruining a perfectly good day. As one who had to deal with migraines for the past couple of years, popping pills has become something of a hobby for yours truly.

And even my prescription meds, I can’t seem to shake loose those annoying and throbbing aches.

Anyway, after seeing that marvelous piece on the effects of garlic inside the ear ! I’ve decided to let you on a little prepping secret: salt cures migraines! What? You can’t be serious.

Yes, I am. You mean the same stuff that makes our ticker go haywire can actually cure a frigging migraine? Yup, that’s right. Wouldn’t have written about it if I had even the slightest doubt about it. Even tried it out me to see if works, and it does. Dunno if its placebo or the real McCoy, but the thing is that my migraines are getting less, well, migrainy.

Still, before showing you this neat little trick, let’s get sciency a bit and talk about the connection between sodium (salt) and migraines.

Salt and Migraines Don’t Click! Or do They?

Let’s consider the basics – we need electrolytes in order to live, breath, and thrive; no, you’re going to drink Gatorade instead of water because it contains electrolytes. Think of these substances as the body’s electricity conductors. Their job is to balance the fluids that flow between the outside and the inside of our cells.

As you’ve probably guessed it, sodium is an electrolyte. The most important one at the that. Potassium is also an electrolyte. Now, the interaction between sodium and potassium creates what it’s called an action potential, which is another fancy word for electrical stimulation. This prompts our cells to wake up and do what they’re supposed to do. More or less, it’s like prodding a stubborn cow with one of those electrical batons to make it move.

Our bodies, like the perfect little machines they are, have this innate ability to auto-balance sodium level, but only to a certain degree. Too little sodium and you get kick-ass symptoms like fatigue, hallucinations, headaches, and, yes migraines. On the other hand, low levels of sodium lead to more debilitating symptoms like seizures, coma, and, of course, meeting Lady Scythe. Lovely, isn’t it? Well, that’s it for sodium. But what about migraines?

Well, if you had one before, then you know that it’s something much worse then a headache. For the others, migraine is the, let’s say, the lovechild of headaches and extreme nausea.

Migraines end in throbbing headaches, but they’re usually accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, change of vision (your eyes are unable to focus that well), and numbness in the arms, legs, and feet. In some people, migraines can cause hypersensitivity to light (master, don’t come out! The sun’s still up), irritability, and loss of appetite.

I usually end up spending the rest of the day in my attic, listening to some tunes, each time the migraine hits.

Great info, but what’s the connection? Hold your britches. Here’s what you need to know. Among the most common causes of migraines is lack of sleep, dehydration, too much salt, stress, food additives, weather changes, and, bam, electrolyte imbalance.

Though the exact relationship between sodium and migraines has yet to be determined, the guys in cool lab coats, tend to think that it has very much to do with our diet and how our body processes vits, minerals, and nutrients. Our body cannot produce salt, so we need to get it from somewhere else (food and drinks).

The sad part is that although we try our best to curb our salt intake since it’s known to lead to cardiovascular disease, we end up eating more salt than the recommended daily dose. Why? Because our f-ing food is riddled with it. Everything from meat to dairy, sweets, and processed food contains more salt than a saline quarry.

You know what’s the recommended salt intake? 2300 mg – that’s about three-quarters of a teaspoon. Still, with all this wondrous food around, we end up eating one and a half teaspoons of salt per day, if not more.

So how does this amount to salt being good for migraines? Well, some researchers have found out that patients who consumed a small amount of salt were less likely to experience debilitating migraine symptoms compared to those on low sodium diets or no salt. Again, they don’t know for sure why it happens, but it seems to pay off. I tried this cure a couple of times, and it worked like magic.

My take on pain meds

So, to get rid of those migraines here’s what you will need to do. Grab an empty glass, a lemon, salt, and a jug of water. Squeeze the lemon juice, pour it in the glass, then add one tablespoon of salt and water. Stir and shake. Drink it, and that’s basically it. In 30 minutes, tops, you’ll feel like a new man or woman. That’s it – simplicity itself laid out in front of you.

One word of caution, though. If you have heart or kidney issues, I wouldn’t advise using this trick, since it can lead to other nasty entanglements.

You can also use the same mixture of other hygienic purposes. For instance, if you eliminate the lemon, the water-and-salt mix is great for reducing throat swelling. Also, those who have gland problems (another fancy word for smelly feet or armpits), try washing the aforementioned body parts in water with a little bit of Epsom salts. Stay safe!

Well, if you had one before, then you know that it’s something much worse then a headache. For the others, migraine is the, let’s say, the lovechild of headaches and

You’re looking at a man who is 50 bucks richer than yesterday. Why? Because I just won myself a bet, that’s why. See, a while back, I got into an argument with a prepper friend of mine – great guy, but a bit of a shrewd when it comes to buying survival equipment. His theory is nothing can beat first-hand, mint, hot-off-the-press items (yup, he’s that kind of dude who believes in the power of new, I’m not talking about religion here).

Anyway, we were out talking about the finer points of pre-EMP prepping (meaning that we cracked open a couple of cold ones and watching the game), when he got around to telling us how he spent this $1,000 monthly bonus on gear.

Can’t say that I was too impressed about the sum, and neither were the other guys. Now, a couple of minutes later, I wagered him that I could probably get the same items he got for $20 if not less. Of course, no wager’s complete without something to sweeten the pot – our bet was 50 bucks. Kind of have to admit that it was like taking candy for a tyke because I knew that the yard sale season was coming (sorry, dude, but you kind of asked for it).

And so, at the crack of dawn, I got up, put on my awesome lumberjack jacket and went around the neighborhood to see what’s cooking.

Living in the suburbs does have its perks – neighbors are annoyingly friendly and, with a bit of luck and, of course, a wide smile painted on your face, you can probably end up buying everything you need from the house without having to spend more dough than necessary.

And wouldn’t you know it, I managed to spend no more and no less than 20 bucks. Needless to say, my wife gave me the death stare when I got home with all that stuff because I knew too well that we have a major storage issue. But, a bet’s a bet.

So, after my glory dance and in-your-face-loser moment, I thought I should let you guys on the spoils. Now, I know that most of you are not quite taken aback by the perspective of buying survival stuff from an old man’s garage, but if you know what you’re looking for and know how to haggle a bit, you can even walk out with stuff you usually find in antique stores (a friend of mine bought a fully functional pair of WW2 field binoculars from a guy with a “$5 everything” sign on his table).

Now, without further ado, here’s what 20 bucks got me from yard sales.

  1. Radio

I was planning on buying myself a CB radio for the family van, but never really got around to it. Luckily, while doing a bit of snooping at the yard sale, I managed to find a fully functional one.

The owner, who was a cab driver in NY before retirement said he bought the thing back in the ’70s for his pickup but never used it. After a bit of haggling, I’ve managed to convince him to sell me the thing for five bucks.

Apparently, he was so grateful for getting rid of that thing, that he even gave me the matching antenna and car dongle. Neat!

2. Hiking pack and frame

One does not have to be a mountain junkie to get a hiking pack. Those things are great for most any job that requires some serious lifting.

Can’t say I needed a pack, but seeing that this dude was selling and an army-style pack with a metallic frame – those things are so old-school, that even pops said he hadn’t seen one of those since his days in the Army. The pack was in a pretty good condition, considering the price (paid $4 for it).

Still, I had to sew back one of the straps which probably came lose some time ago and reinforce the metal frame with some pieces of sheet iron. Other than that, I think I got a pretty good deal if I say so myself.

3. Propane tank

Propane tanks aren’t that pricey, but hauling them can give anyone nightmares. I personally abhor to go and refill the propane canisters for our generator, that’s why I always avoid using it till the very last moment.

In searching the yard sale, I came upon a nice lady who said that she no longer has a use for a BBQ propane tank since the thing broke down years ago. Scored one full propane tank for a couple of bucks. Great! Now I got to figure out what to use it on.

4. Suturing kits and medical instruments

One of the biggest frustrations is not being able to get into pre-med. Don’t quite recall exactly what happened, but it doesn’t really matter. Anyway, I’m sort of a freak when it comes to med stuff (even got my own CPR dummy in the garage), which means I’m always on the lookout for a way to make my super-duper first-aid kit even more awesome.

In searching for stuff, I came upon this elderly gent who used to be a gynecologist back in the day. We chatted for a while about the med, disease, pills, aches, and things like that. Didn’t leave empty-handed, though – got a couple of sealed 3.0 silk suturing kit, forceps, and a pair of pickups for $6 (of course I’ll sterilize them before use!). He was nice enough to throw in a scalpel, as a bonus (love you, gramps!).

5. Gold and silver coins

You don’t know a thing about swindling if you’ve never been to a yard sale. One of the guys living next to my house was offering for sale a small chest which he claimed to contain golden and silver coins from Napoleon’s time. Was a bit skeptical at first, but I soon came to realize that the man was right.

What follows is a “don’t try this at home, kids” moment – took a bit off one and told the man that all of them were tin replicas of Napoleonic coins. Yes, I know I should be ashamed, but that’s how it went down. I bought the chest and lot for $8. The things you find at yard sales nowadays!

6. Hand-cranked lantern

Remember those oil-powered lanterns you see in any Victorian movie? I managed to get myself a pretty decent electrically-powered replica of one for $3. Still, I think it needs a little bit of work – the bulb flickers from time to time, and the reflector dish is smudged.

The crank could also use a bit of oiling. Other than that, the lantern’s pretty good, and I can’t wait to try it out the next time I go camping with my wife.

7. Shit-ton of books

You can never have enough books. Yes, I admit to being a true-blooded book hoarder, and f-ing proud of it. Now, I’m painfully aware of the fact that electronic gadgets such as Kindles are great for the environment and all that, but I wouldn’t trade the smell of old books for anything. Not even at gunpoint.

Anyway, this time I managed to restock my poetry shelves with some classics – Tennyson, Whitman, Coleridge, and a little bit of Edgar Allan Poe. Some of them are in a deplorable state; the complete poetical works of Tennyson is covered in childish doodles, and even Poe’s not in very good shape. Still, two bucks are two bucks.

8. Canning jars

Whether it’s for pickling meat, stock, bouillon or storing MREs, canning jar are always a sight for sore eyes. Yeah, I know you can buy them by the dozen from any supermarket, but why bother when your neighbor is selling them at ludicrously low prices? I picked three jumbo pickling jars for 20 cents, each. Wife won’t be thrilled to find out that I’ll soon pickle more stuff, but, hey, can’t a man have fun around the kitchen?

9. Weathering stones

If you’re just as obsessed about keeping your knives razor-sharp, you know that weathering stones are a must around the house. Each time I go out shopping, I never forget to bag at least two or three. My yard sale tour was quite fruitful in this regard – managed to buy several sharpening stones of various smoothness for 10 cents each.

10. Intact tarps

Tarps are the Tom Mix pocket knife of B.O.B prepping, meaning that you can do just about anything with them – collect rainwater, use them for cover, make them into rain ponchos.

They’re also quite useful for keeping firewood dry and covering swimming pools during fall. The trouble with buying tarps from yard sales is that most of them are either warped or have small holes in them.

Yes, I know that you can fix those in the jiffy, but what’s the point of paying for a tarp if you have to patch it afterward? I got lucky on this one – my next-door neighbor sold me a couple of military-grade tarps for 2 bucks each. Quite a bargain and after getting them home, I realized that they were in pristine state.

11. Sleeping bag

It’s not what you might call hygienical, but who cares about germs and all that when you’re in an SHTF situation – probably the man with an infected wound.

Anyway, I really didn’t need another sleeping bag. Still, who can resist those granny eyes telling you that you’re as sweet as her grandson? A couple of minutes later and minus five bucks, I had a brand-new old sleeping bag.

12. Vacuum cleaner

You know what irks me the most about today’s electronics? They’re so fragile. Two years ago, I had an argument with my wife about what kind of vacuum cleaner we should buy. I may be stingy, but compared to her, I’m a spendthrift. So, we got this cheap-ass vacuum from the electronics store. Fast-forward in time, just before the bet, the wife called me to say that the motor burned out.

Great! More money on electronics, I told myself. But that yard sale really managed to sort this one out. There was this man who was selling a brand-new, no-sack, water filtration Samsung vacuum. The thing was in perfect condition – he didn’t even open the box. After haggling for a bit, I managed to convince him to sell it to me for $25 (yes, I know that I didn’t play fair, but the vacuum wasn’t even on the list).

13. WWI gas mask (I shit you not!)

On the topic of curious picked up from flea markets, sometimes, I have to admit, that these things are veritable treasure troves. During one of my raids (yeah, that’s what I like to call them) I actually managed to get my grimy paws on an authentic WWI gas mask.

Sure, it had no filter, and the bag was a little warped, but other than that the mask was in pretty good condition. I spend around $7 or $8 (can’t remember) for this piece of war memorabilia.

Dunno for sure what I’m going to do with it, though. It’s obvious that it can’t be used in this state, and spare WW1 gas masks filters are pretty expensive. Anyway, if you know someone who refurbished infantry equipment, do give me a holler. Beer will be on me!

14. Portable ashtray

Yes, I know I should give smoking for Lent – easier said than done. Meanwhile, I have had some issues over what to do with those butts while hiking.  Lucky for my local yard sale, because I managed to pick up some sets of three portable ashtrays (they even come with a lanyard hole in case you want to attach it to your backpack). The set was 2 bucks a piece. I bought three of them!

15. Spare ammo

Well, if you’re missing a couple of ammo boxes, you can always call upon your neighbors’ stocks. Haven’t picked up ammo from yard sales, but I’ve seen a guy who sold shotgun shells and AR ammo for $5 apiece. So, whenever in doubt, check your local flea market.

I know that most of you are not into buying survival stuff from a yard sale, but if you know what you’re looking for you can even walk out with

Food will always be king and the reason we have enjoyed the prosperity we have is because of easy access to food. In America, we waste 50% of the food we produce. That is astounding and gross. To those who survived the great depression of the 30’s the idea that any food could be wasted would be unbelievable.

So, how do we go from food being wasted to experiencing something like a global famine?

We have pressed the soil, resources, and planet itself, to a point where all are ready to break. The breadbasket of America and other massive agricultural areas are operating on soils depleted of nutrients and as the worlds, demand continues to grow there is massive pressure to achieve big yields year over year.

Let’s look at 4 factors that are going to affect a famine that starves billions.

Disease

There are some dangerous diseases affecting crops all over the world. UG99 Wheat Rust is a disease with no known cure that is affecting grain populations in America and Mexico. This disease could affect nearly 20% of all wheat crop is in danger of being infected but nearly all wheat crops could be infected by the disease.

There are other’s out there like Mad Soy Disease which is affecting soy crops in Brazil but has been isolated to the northern regions of the nation. We live in a world where people and commodities spread and diseases with them.

It would seem like its only a matter of time before big cash crops are leveled by disease

Soil Quality

The condition of the Earth’s topsoil is abysmal. It is estimated that 1/3 of all growing areas are losing topsoil faster than it can be reproduced. This means that every year farmers must pump loads of fertilizer and other nutrients into the soil in hopes that the plants will have enough to survive.

This drastically affects the quality of the produce and grains that are grown each year. Ideally, you want soil that is full of nutrition and it will impart that nutrition into your food. Instead, we are left with food that is mass produced but exponentially less nutritious than the food being produced in the past.

Before long, our foods will be more chemical and less nutrient or, worse yet, the crop yields will suffer dramatically.

This will lead to worldwide malnutrition and human disease.

Natural Disasters

We pull hundreds of millions of gallons of water from the ground to water these crops. Around the farmland, we decimate the trees and wild-lands. This land is then paved and is no longer capable of absorbing water.

Massive flooding is the outcome and it’s now affecting our growing areas. Without expansive wild areas to absorb the water from large storms, the water rushed to agricultural areas and worst of all it stays there.

The Earth’s natural disasters and our drainage limitations are putting us at a huge risk. The last bomb cyclone in Nebraska left 1,000,000 acres of land underwater and killed almost the same amount of calves.

With spring rains coming this could have lasting and devastating effects on food production. It only takes a few of these large-scale agricultural areas to be disrupted, plantings reduced or eliminated altogether, before the world has to tighten up on supply and people start going hungry.

Personal Food Security

With these three issues potentially having drastic effects on the food system, its safe to say you need a backup. In fact, you need a few. You want to buy, store and grow your way to personal food security. Of course, this is going to take planning and knowledge.

  • Gardening

Whether you go the route of building a food forest, hydroponically growing food, green housing or traditional food growing.

  • Livestock

From things as complicated and as expensive as raising cattle to simply raising chickens for eggs, you need to consider what you can do in terms of raising food-producing animals

  • Food Storage

Food storage is all about planning and rotation. In order to excel at this, you need to know the basics and remember, store what you eat!

  • Preservation

From dehydrating to canning, you will also want to know the majority of these skills and use them to both extend your harvest in the garden and build food storage

  • Foraging

There are food growing all around us, but you need to understand when and where to find them. These will be ancillary calories, but they will help.

  • Hunting

Though season dependent, hunting and trapping can both be impressive ways to put meat on the table or in the freezer.

Getting Started

There is a bit of a knowledge barrier and a lot of practice that goes into all of these. You need a trusted resource that will offer you information on these topics. You could peruse the internet and read various websites to get information on these topics.

A better move is to have a tangible resource that has all of this information in it. This puts a reference tool at your fingertips whether the lights are out or not!

Wouldn’t it be great if something like this existed? Well, you may want to look for The Doomsday Book Of Medicine. This book includes information about the above info and all the info you will need to reach a level of personal food security.

Oh yea, this is also packed with other information about prepping beyond food. You can find it all HERE.

I am not saying it’s the only resource but it’s damn sure a good one!

Conclusion

As the population grows, we are going to face a greater strain on the food system. Nature is hitting back against our modified mono-cultured crop systems and things like wheat, corn and soy production will be disrupted.

This time of excess cannot go on forever. We simply cannot pull out naturally occurring nutrients and replace them with chemicals as a long-term solution. Its time to take control of your own food production. You can do this.

With the right resource, you will find yourself escaping the coming famine and building your own personal food security. The Doomsday Book Of Medicine helps you all the way.

 

In America we waste 50% of the food we produce. That is astounding and gross. To those who survived the great depression of the 30’s the idea that any food

As a seasoned driver, I have to admit that there were times when someone would search the dictionary for the word “stupid,” he would have found my picture right underneath. This one time, I was driving through a blizzard and, all of a sudden, the engine stalled. Instead of using a flashlight to check under the hood as right-in-the-mind prepper would do, I got out my lighter because, hey, why would I need a flashlight in my car in the first place? In our cozy prepping world, if you don’t step up your game, you’ll probably end up dead or worse.

Anyway, after realizing just how stupid can stupid get, I told myself that if I ever got out this alive, I would make it my point to tell other fellow drivers and preppers about how far-reaching is a fully stocked and killer vehicle emergency kit.

I would like to start by pointing out that one should never hit the road without the essentials. Of course, it all depends on your state’s regulation, but mostly it all boils down to:

  • Jumper cables.
  • Toolkit for small patch-up jobs and repairs.
  • Spare tire (make sure the pressure is between 30 and 35 PSI).
  • First-aid kit.
  • Fire extinguisher (for those moments when everything goes up in flames, including your hopes and dreams).
  • Reflective or battery-powered emergency beacon.
  • Reflective Vest.
  • Jack.
  • Lug wrench.

So, these would be your basics. Ready to head into the advanced class? Best to warn you that a complete car emergency kit can and will make a dent in your budget. Here’s what I had in mind in terms of the ultimate vehicle emergency kit.

Mr. Fix-it-Al’ Has the Answer to All Your Issues

The first thing you should consider long before hitting the store for more supplies is where the road might take you. Snowy mountain peaks? Heavy rain? Muddy country roads? War zones? This is, without a doubt, the easiest way to figure out what supplies you’re missing. I, for one, ended up spending 400 bucks at Costco since the flashlight story painfully reminded me that I am in dire need for other stuff. Remember that your car’s emergency kit is intended for more scenarios, some of them going far beyond a flat or burnt bulb.

For instance, if you get caught in a blizzard, your emergency kit should have enough supplies for sheltering-in-place. Remember the news bulleting about the Swedish man who survived two months in extreme cold because he SO kicked him out of the house? How do you think he survived? Not wishful thinking, to be certain. He made it out alive because he had a shit-load of supplies inside the car.

So, to build a survival kit capable of catering your every need, take a quick look at my awesomely-drawn list.

  • Cat litter

No, you’re not going to adopt a cat, just yet. Kitty litter is very useful for a lot of stuff. Some drivers use it for defogging. I personally use it for traction – if your car gets snowbound, put some kitty litter underneath them wheels, and you’ll be out there in no time.

  • CB Radio

Obsolete technology, for sure, but still comes in handy when your phone loses signal. Tried it once on a country road. The phone had no signal, but I could still pick up chatter from police and passing truck drivers.

  • Foldable shovel

Great for a lot of stuff like de-snowing tires or burying the bodies of your slain enemies. The choice is yours.

  • Toilet paper

No comment!

  • Flashlight

Yes, genius, at least you got this one right. Don’t forget extra batteries. You should consider buying a tactical flashlight instead of a regular one – more battery, more fun!

  • Extra food and water
  • Mylar blanket

If you have a family car, you should buy one for each family member.

  • Tow Strap

Not that kind of strap, but I like the way you think. Was referring to that cord used to pull another car. While you’re at it, you should consider buying a hand winch – great for getting out if you get stuck in the mud.

  • Tire patch and repair kit.
  • Coolant hose repair kit.

Fantastic for getting out of Dodge when the radiator’s coolant hose has snapped. Saved me a lot of money and another trip to the auto shop.

  • Weather-dependent gear

Stock up on warm, winter clothes if you intend to brave the elements during cold weather. During the summer, you should have one extra cap, T-shirt, pants, some insect repellant, and sunscreen.

  • Insurance-claiming tools

This includes a disposable camera, which you can use to take pics of the damages or at least some awesome selfies, pen, paper, and a copy of your car’s insurance card.

  • Battery Rejuvenator

This baby can start up a car in no time even if the battery’s more dead that Burton’s corpse bride. Seen one a while back – it’s as light as a tablet but powerful enough to juice up a car. In addition, these gadgets can also recharge devices such as smartphones, laptops, and GPSs.

  • Extra phone

Get one of those older models with a button. You may want to buy one with extra battery life. I would recommend CAT’s unbreakable series. Make sure that the extra phone is fully charged at all times.

  • Rescue tool

This little thingamajig has so much spunk in it. Normally, it can be used to break the car’s windshield if you take a dive in the river or any other body of water. However, it can also double up as a weapon, in case there are bad guys nearby.

  • Multi-tool.
  • Spare parts and supplies.

Be sure to have at least one extra box of fuses, bulbs, some braking, and windshield wiper fluids.

Bottom Line

Ours not to question why, but to prep and not die – that’s my motto in life. So, fellow prepper, if you want that comfy and fuzzy safety feeling while on the road, considering revamping your car’s emergency supply kit. Got more stuff I can add to the list? Hit the comment section and let me know.

Remember the news bulleting about the Swedish man who survived two months in extreme cold because he SO kicked him out of the house? How do you think he survived?

For those who live a self-sufficient lifestyle whether it’s on a 50-acre homestead or a ¼ acre urban homestead, efficiency is very important. Storage space is a perennial issue for those who prepare and those who homestead.

The more multiuse items you store at home the better it is going to be for that limited storage space. We are all fighting storage issues, income issues and maybe even family issues when it comes to getting prepared.

There are several multi-use items that can be stockpiled in your home. The cheapest and most effective must be vinegar. There is nothing that you can create yourself that does as much as vinegar. From personal ailments to disinfection and even food preparation, vinegar is a core item for self-reliance.

10 Ways to Use Vinegar for Self Sufficiency

To quantify how effective vinegar can be for you in disaster and everyday life, let’s look at 10 powerful uses for vinegar.  

  • Cleaning

We could never store all the cleaners that we use on a weekly basis in quantities that would be effective for long term disaster or self-sufficiency. Instead, you can dilute and fortify vinegar to become the base of many cleaners.

It can polish glass as well as disinfect.

  • Pest Treatments

Vinegar can be used to affect pests both in your home and in your garden. It can be used to take care of fleas on dogs, catch gnats and it can be added to a spray for your garden.

  • Pickling

Without any special gear, tools or even fuel, you can turn fresh food into preserved food with vinegar. Of course, a little sugar and some onion might make it even better, some salt would help. However, just vinegar will pickle foods and extend their life.

  • Kill Moss and Weeds

You can take care of bothersome moss and weeds by spraying them with vinegar.

  • Soak for Rust Removal

Got tools and things that have rusted or rusted together. A few soaks in vinegar can deal with that trust. Just be sure to refresh the vinegar after 8, or so, hours.

  • Sore Throat

Vinegar can help with a sore throat. You can use it with some salt as a great gargle.

  • Digestion

For a long time, people drank things like balsamic vinegar after dinner as something that would help with digestion. The added acidity can help break down your food.

  • Meat Marinade

On the culinary side of things, you can use vinegar as a meat marinade that will help break down tougher cuts of meat and impart flavor.

  • Probiotic

If you use our method below to make your own vinegar you will have a raw apple cider vinegar that contains healthy probiotics to improve things like gut health.

  • Tincture

While the most popular base for tincture is alcohol, you can create tinctures for healing and natural remedies with vinegar, as well.

DIY Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

Now that you see how effective this simple solution can be, its time to talk about making your own raw apple cider vinegar. The process is so simple that it’s hard to understand how we started buying the stuff at the supermarket.

You are going to need a handful of things for this DIY

  • 3 apples
  • 3 tsp raw sugar
  • 1-quart mason jar
  • Filtered water

The Process

  1. Chop your apples up and rinse them.
  2. Place them in the mason jar and sprinkle your sugar over them. Stir the mix a bit.
  3. Cover the mix with water and fill the jar to the top. This water is going to become the base of your vinegar.
  4. Cover with a paper towel or cheesecloth. Affix it with a rubber band. You want the mix to be able to breathe so don’t cover it completely with a mason jar lid.
  5. Place in a warm dark place, like a pantry, for three weeks. This environment will promote the fermentation that is necessary for this process to work.
  6. Strain the apples out of the liquid and place the liquid back in the pantry for 4 more weeks. Do not use too fine a strainer as you will want the sediment that has formed at the bottom of the jar.
  7. At this point, you can screw on that mason jar lid. You have made raw apple cider vinegar!

By adding more apples, more sugar, and more water you can make as much of this vinegar as you’d like. This raw apple cider vinegar will have sediment in the bottom and that sediment is called the mother. This is where the probiotic benefits come from.

Do not strain out that mother as this is the most beneficial part of the whole process.

Build a Powerful Stockpile for Disaster

Vinegar is just one example of the many items that you can store in your stockpile. If you are prepping for disaster or just managing a homestead, the things you have on hand could, one day, become the only things you have!

There are many other multiuse items out there. Do you know any other? There is an extensive list of items to stockpile in The Doomsday Book Of Medicine. This extensive collection of base preparedness knowledge teaches you what to do when there’s no doctors or meds.

Start your stockpile of powerful multiuse items, like vinegar, and save time, space and money. The Doomsday Book Of Medicine can guide you on your path from start to finish.

 

For those who live a self-sufficient lifestyle whether its on a 50-acre homestead or a ¼ acre urban homestead, efficiency is very important. Storage space is a perennial issue for

If one thing’s for sure is that bug out bags are, at times, even more, important that one would care to realize. And I’m not just saying this because I have a bunker tucked away in my basement where I prepare for the coming of the Apocalypse (or do I?) – it’s one thing you don’t wanna lose, regardless how shitty things get.

Remember the first time you went up the mountain, and someone told you that you should have a rucksack with some basic things like food, water, and clothes? Well, since I learned all about B.O. Bs, I sort of grew out of regular hiking packs.

Who can blame me for that? My wife, for one, who says I look kind of silly going to work with a rucksack filled with prepper goodies like windproof matches, magnesium rod, and tactical flashlight.

Anyhow, B.O.Bs are fiendishly cool and, if you know what to pack, you can survive anything from an EMP to coming home empty-handed on your wedding anniversary (seriously, that’s way worse than trying to outrun a tornado).

Since most of you are taken aback by this whole powerless living thingy, I’ve decided to share with you my list of 4 most useful objects to have in your B.O.B during an EMP.

Vital EMP Items for Your B.O.B

  1. Fire starting gear

Whether it’s for a night out in the woods or for BBQing some juicy ribs, fire starting gear is a must for every self-respecting prepper. You have a lot of choices here: weather-proof matches, Zippo or any army-grade lighter, or magnesium rod. The best thing about this stuff is that they require an electrical jolt like regular lighters do, meaning that you will be able to use them even if half the world’s out of electricity due to an EMP.

Now, if you’re as ‘dedicated’ (rather obsessed) as I am with keeping a fully-stocked B.O.B, you may want to get all of them. And another thing – if you’re that kind of person who would rather do anything else with money rather than investing it in survival gear, you should definitely check out any local thrift stores and yard sales.

2. Maps

No matter where you go or what you plan on doing, maps are vital. Yes, I know that most of you tend to rely way too much on GPS or smartphones, but to keep in mind that those things eventually run off battery or, worse, can be knocked out by an EMP. Leaving the Doomsday scenario aside, I personally find them unreliable even with Google’s vans mapping every square inch of the globe.

True story: last year, I went on a sort of honeymoon trip with my wife to Vienna. Enchanting city and full of history. The thing is that there are tons of sites and building to visit, but you really need to pick up the pace and have a map or a guide to see all of them (we stayed for a whole week). Anyway, there we were in Freud’s city and wanted to visit the Natural History Museum.

Fired up Google Maps and entered our destination. After half an hour of walking, we realized that we were going the wrong way. Of course, we ended up ordering an Uber, but that’s not the point – even though we were going in the right direction, the blasted thing keeps telling us that the route was completely wrong.

Never again will I rely on Google when I’m abroad. If you like these kinds of trips, I would recommend getting a map of the city or area – in some countries, like Sweden for example, they’re free of charge, and you can pick them out from any train, bus or tram station.

3. Portable Stove

Cooking is to survival as air is to the lungs. There’s no denying to that. Sure, there are plenty of ways to cook without relying on microwaves or any electrical cooking machine. Still, my first choice in SHTF food-prepping gear is the portable stove.

Sure, most of you would argue that the thing will only add to the B.O. B’s overall weight. Not quite true in fact. A while back, I bought this nice little trinket from an army surplus store – it has a propane canister and metallic support for pans or pots. Nothing too fancy.

To my surprise, the whole thing’s incredibly light. Made me so happy, that I decided to buy one for each bug out bag in my house. If you want a high-quality portable stove, get one that comes with a lever to control the gas flow.

4. Survival knife

There’s nothing short of brain surgery this bad boy can do. Probably only the most important piece of survival gears you’ll be glad to have in an SHTF situation. It’s something about simple tools like a knife, for instance, that really brings out the SURVIVOR in you.

Now, I would advise you to do your homework well when shopping for this type of instruments. Why? Because of rip-offs, that’s why. If you see a company advertising military-grade survival knife for under 50 bucks, do yourself a favor and steer clear. A buddy of mine bought it this one time. Since he was a big fan of the Rambo franchise, he searched high and low for a survival knife just as Stallone’s character.

He eventually found something similar on a discount website for 30 bucks. Told him it was a bad idea, but do they listen? Anyway, he ordered the thing which came home in a week or so. In wanting to try it out, he wanted to chop up some stakes for his veggie garden. Two stakes late, the thing broke down. Of course, you would say something like “maybe your buddy doesn’t know his strength.” Far from it – the blade was glued to the pommel.

So, if there’s a lesson to be learned here it’s this one: always aim for quality and buy full-tang knives.

Missed anything in my list? Do let me know in the comments.

Before you go, you may also like:

This is more than just about your guns…
How to survive any medical crisis situation with ease
10 Easy Steps to Secure your privacy
Secret Military Solution For Power Independence

DIY Unlimited water source
Why a food reserve is way better than the Federal Reserve
Lost Skills of our Ancestors that still work today

Remember the first time you went up the mountain, and someone told you that you should have a rucksack with some basic things like food, water, and clothes? That was

In my experience, any SHTF situation begins like: “shit I forgot to pack <insert cheap and common item here>! What am I supposed to do now?” Rings any bells? We’ve all been there – buying all sort of cool, survival gadgets, but at the same time, losing sight of what’s really important during SHTF. For those of you who’re in love in hiking, you probably know what it’s like to hear that growling in your stomach only to realize that you forgot to bring along a roll of TP.

The bottom line is that during an emergency situation, priorities and values tend to change. I wouldn’t be surprised if people would pay lots of money for a TP roll or a box of matches if either of those things should become hard to find.

About that, the other day I heard a cute little story about Canadians using trading cards for barter during the late 19th century, because, guess what, nobody gave a flying BS about paper money. No surprise there considering that even the Ancient Romans had no love for currency and would often use salt as bargaining chips. As you can see, some items are even more valuable during trying times. That’s why it’s essential to know what to stockpile and, of course, when to do that (reading the signs).

In writing this article, I’ve discovered, much to my own sadistic amusement, that nearly all of the items that become almost invaluable during an SHTF situation are ridiculously cheap. If you’re lucky like I was, you can probably find most of them in thrift stores or even yard sales; got me a nice BB gun from one of my neighbors. He only wanted five bucks for the thing, and he even threw in jumbo pellet boxes.

Now, about today’s topic. In thinking about my little incident with the missing TP roll, I’ve done my homework and figured that most people, even seasoned preppers, tend to stockpile the wrong items. So, if you’re still wondering about what’s missing from your household emergency kit or B.O.B, here’s my killer low-priced SHTF items that will become invaluable during a crisis.

My Top-Notch SHTF Shopping List

  1. Skivvies

Yup, you read that right! Underwear is at the top of any list. Why? Because if soiling your pants after seeing a tsunami won’t convince that buying extra skivvies isn’t the right thing, I don’t know what. Apart from that, underwear’s great for keeping you nice and clean and smelling like a daisy.

More than that, it prevents sweat-loss during long hikes, meaning that your body will have less trouble keeping itself cool. Always aim for 100% cotton, if you don’t have a cotton allergy that is. It would be a great idea to get boxers instead of briefs, thongs or whatever because those don’t limit your movement.

2. Zippo lighter

Song and poems should be written about this little gizmo, which saved my life more times than I care to remember. It’s the kind of thing that sticks around for a lifetime and even more (I got mine from gramps, who was a Ranger in WWII).

If lighters were cars, then Zippo would be a Volkswagen Beetle – as old as time itself, cheap, reliant, and can be tuned at will. A Zippo lighter does require a bit of maintenance compared to other lighters, but other than that, you can light up that MOFO even after dropping it in a river. As always, go for thrift stores, discount shops, yard sales or online auctions to get a Zippo.

3. Zip-lock bags

Bag and tag ‘em, boys! These transparent wonders are useful for almost every SHTF situation – storing food, keeping your electronics dry, organizing your toolbox, cooking, making ice, and the list goes merrily on. Go stockpile as much as you can ‘cause these things have of the habit of disappearing faster than TP after eating Chipotle.

4. Char cloth

Char cloth is a great firestarter and comes in handy when you’re too beat to whip up a fire using traditional means. It’s often recommended to use char cloth when the wind picks up in speed. Funny enough, char cloth’s very easy to make at home. Still, many preppers prefer to buy their online or from military shops.

A buddy of mine sells them by the truck and, sometimes, he can’t deal with the number of incoming orders. The choice is up to you – buy your char cloth online or learn how to do it yourself. FIY: it involves linen, a tin box with holes, and a fire. I’m sure you’ll figure out the rest on your own.

5. Emergency blanket

Whether it’s for pitching up a makeshift tent or snuggling with your SO by the fire, an emergency blanket should not be missing from any of your emergency kits or B.O.Bs. For taking shelter, a mylar blankie aka the one lined with aluminum is very efficient at deflecting heat. It also comes in handy when you don’t have anything to collect rainwater in. Stock up on them while you can.

6. Water purification tablets

Water may be the source of life but can also make your insides turn to mush if the source’s contaminated. One of my buds bought it that way – we were our hiking in Montana when he had this genius idea of emptying his bottle to refill it from one of the springs we encountered. “Bad idea, dude,” I told him since natural water sources are teeming with bacteria and all sorts of nasties.

Fast-forward, he ended up in the hospital with a bad case of dysentery (guess they took him there to outfit his bum with a tap or something). Anyhow, water purification tablets are must-have in any SHTF scenarios – even the water coming from your tap can sometimes become contaminated. Why take any chances when you can use these bad boys to get instant mostly-purified water?

7. Fishing tackle

Smeagol caught juicy fish! Yup, there’s nothing grilling a freshly-caught trout, that’s for sure. But for that, you need a couple of tools. No, not a fishing rod because those are too heavy to carry – I was thinking more about some line, a couple of hooks, and a good reel.

Those things can even fit in the pockets of your cargo pants if you try hard enough. Why buy it? Because in any SHTF situation, ponds and rivers become treasure troves for all those hungry, hungry preppers. So, be sure to have one in your bug out bag in case things really begin to smell rotten in Denmark.

8. Candles

Got around to saying “goodbye” to Norma Jean? Well, in any case, emergency candles, although little gauche for today’s world, come in very handy during a blackout or finding your way in the dark when your flashlight dies out on you.

Yes, you can even set up a romantic ambient if your SO is a prepper like yourself. I personally used those 24-hour candles on many occasions to keep my meals warm or just to scare the crap out of my friends. Your call. Anyway, their great for just about anything that involves warming up or shedding light.

9. Batteries

Hey, tin man! Ran out of juice yet? Now, an extra pack or two of long-life, triple-A batteries is a must especially if you have more than one gadget running on bats. They’re quite cheap, and you can probably get a very good bargain if you hit a thrift store or something. Just be sure to store them in a dry and dark environment – you wouldn’t want those to spring leaks before you have a chance to use them, do you now?

10. Hand-cranked radio

I have to admit that I’m more partial to hearing stuff over the radio than watching TV or streaming movies online. Call me old-fashioned if you like, but a hand-cranked radio will be of much more useful to you during a blackout or even an EMP attack.

Another reason why you should buy a hand-cranked radio has very much to do with all the cool attachments each model has (mine has a built-in flashlight, a USB slot, and a card reader). And no, you don’t really need to step in the swanky electronic shop to buy one. I bought mine from $2 store, and it works just fine.

11. Duct tape

The tales I could tell you about duct tape! Unfortunately, most of them are not really PG, so I’m just gonna say that duct tape and WD 40 solves most of your problems, mechanical or otherwise. Duct tape can be used to seal outlets, put together shelters, insulate Faraday cages, seal food, and more. If you want good quality duct tape, I would advise going to the hardware store and buying at least a dozen.

12. Baby wipes

As stupid as it would seem, baby wipes are quite useful when there’s no water around for washing your unmentionables. Back in college, I had this friend called Sean, who would use baby wipes instead of taking a shower. You don’t want to know what happened during those hot summer days when all of us were in the same room with.

We even coined the habit – a Sean Shower, which literally stood for I’m too lazy to take a bath, so I’ll just use these baby wipes because they do the same thing. Anyway, Sean Showers are okay if you have to ration the water. They’re also great for cleaning out wounds and even getting some of that dirt off the car’s hood.

13. Books

Let me just say this: books f-ing rule! There’s no denial in that, and even though much of today’s lit is online, I still prefer that new book smell instead of Kindle or a computer screen. More than that, in case you run out of battery, or there’s an EMP strike, there’s no more reading stuff. So that’s one to nothing for books.

You should definitely consider throwing in a book or two in your B.O.B and your household emergency kit. They’re very comforting when you’re all alone out there, with darkness all around. You can also use them as fuel in case you run out of tinder. Anyway, my book philosophy is simple – always buy used. Search for them in flea markets, thrift shops or antique shops. Your call.

14. Floss

Mouth health’s very important and flossing is still considered the most effective way of dealing with food remains. However, in an SHTF situation, dental floss can also be used for other stuff as well. I recall ripping my shoelaces while camping and used some floss to repair tie my boots until I could find replacements at a nearby store. You can also use floss to pitch a shelter, make weapons, seal food bags or creating snares. Search for offers online. You’re bound to find a dozen under $10.

15. Heavy-duty garbage bags

Whether it’s for disposing of hazardous material or burying dead bodies, heavy-duty garbage bags should not miss from your B.O.B. They’re quite cheap, and the things you can do with them are only limited by your own imagination. I like to use heavy-duty bags to protect my wife’s flower beds from insects, snow blizzards, heavy rain, and stuff like that.

If you’re in an SHTF situation, you can always use a garbage bag, a knife, and some floss to make a temporary shelter. It’s even more crucial to have these around if you need to collect rainwater or to hunt (yup, you can create a simple net for bunnies and birds using a stick, some duct tape, and a little bit of floss).

I managed to get quite a bargain on garbage bags – 5 for $4 at Costco. Try them out before buying them. They’re supposed to withstand quite a lot of punishment. If they tend to tear in your hands, then you should seek another brand.

We’ve all been there – buying all sort of cool, survival gadgets, but at the same time, losing sight of what’s really important during SHTF. Some items are even more