Waterproof matches are expensive, but you can make your own for only a fraction of the price.

Today’s featured video is from YouTuber’s JoeandZachSurvival and they share a simple but effective way to waterproof your matches. As preppers we spend a fair amount of time talking about cooking when the grid goes down and there are numerous ways to start a fire out of natural materials, but I think having a lighter or matches is just easier.

I personally have a firesteel for times when I don’t have a lighter but unless I want to practice making a fire, I will go the easy route and just light that Bic or strike a match.

When it comes to packing fire making materials in my Bug Out Bag or even just stocking up my supplies, lighters and matches are something I don’t leave out.

You can purchase a few packs of Bic lighters and throw those in a plastic tub and they will last for a very long time. Matches, may last even longer and if you take steps to protect them from the elements, you can use these in a lot of situations.

In this video, Joe and Zach show you how to make waterproof matches easily that can save you a little money. Hope you enjoy!

What do you think? If you’re curious to find out 4 other ways to waterproof your matches, there’s more.

Listed below are a number of effective and proven ways to make waterproof matches you can use for camping, backpacking, and emergencies.

Note: All the methods below involve some risk. If you are a minor, do not carry out any of these activities without the permission of a competent adult supervisor. The list is ranked from safest to least safe. The best and safest method is to use turpentine. (Turpentine has a higher “flash point” relative to acetone, which is commonly used in nail polish and does not involve the use of flame as is needed in the Wax or Paraffin methods.)

Method One of Four: Use Turpentine

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1. Pour 2 to 3 large tablespoons of turpentine into a small (tumbler sized) glass.
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2. Place the matches, (head down) into the turpentine and allow the matches to soak for 5 minutes. During that time the turpentine will soak into the head as well as the stem. All the water will be driven off by the turpentine.
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3. Remove the matches and spread them out to dry out on a sheet of newspaper.Generally, 20 minutes for excess turpentine to evaporate is recommended. Matches treated in this way remain waterproof for several months or longer.

Method Two of Four: Use Nail Polish

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1. Dip the head end of the match into clear nail polish far enough to cover at least an eighth of an inch (3 millimeters) of the stick below the head.
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2. Hold the match for a few seconds to allow the polish to dry and then place the match on a table or counter so that the head is suspended off the edge of the surface.
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3. Place a sheet of newsprint below to catch anything that may drip off.

Method Three of Four: Use a Candle

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1. Light a candle and let it burn down until you have a good amount of liquid wax (about a half of an inch or 1 centimeter).
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2. Extinguish the candle.
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3. Dip the head end of the match into the wax far enough to cover at least an eighth of an inch (3 millimeters) of the stick below the head.
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4. Hold the match for a few seconds to allow the wax to harden slightly and then place the match on a table or counter so that the head is suspended off the edge of the surface.
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5. When the wax has cooled, but not completely hardened, pinch the end of the wax coating (towards the stick), forming a tight seal.

Method Four of Four: Using Paraffin Wax

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1. Melt enough paraffin wax in a double boiler to be able to coat with wax about a half of an inch (1 centimeter) deep.
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2. Wrap some twine or jute string around several matches from the bottom, to just below the wax quickly. This makes a torch that can burn for 10 or more minutes.

On a different note, here’s some other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The Lost Ways (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)
Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)
Backyard Liberty (Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns…)
Alive After the Fall (Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need)
The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)
The Patriot Privacy Kit (Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps)

Waterproof matches are expensive, but you can make your own for only a fraction of the price. Today’s featured video is from YouTuber’s JoeandZachSurvival and they share a simple but effective

Looking at the state of the world today, with all its threats to our society and way of life, it’s easy to think anyone would see the benefits of preparedness. Personally I think most people do realize that being prepared is a good idea, but still, preppers make up a small minority of Americans.

There are several reasons for that. Some people are optimists that believe any crisis can be avoided. Others believe the government will look after them if help is needed. For most, though, the problem is likely to be money.

Prepping does cost money; there’s no way around that. It isn’t all about major purchases, like bug-out locations or bunkers, though. One of the most basic and important preps is to build up a stockpile of food that will get you through the critical first weeks of a crisis. That’s also a major purchase if you just head for the grocery store and buy three months’ worth of food – major enough to put almost everyone off doing it.

RelatedBest Survival Foods Your Grandparents Used To Make

There’s some good news, though. You don’t need to buy your emergency food stockpile all at once. With some patience, and an extra $5 a week on your regular grocery shopping, you can build up a large, well-balanced food reserve in the space of a year. Most of us can find $5 a week from somewhere; it might be as simple as dropping a couple of luxuries from our shopping list and replacing them with cheaper, but more useful, items for our reserves. You’ll be surprised how much food $5 can get at a store like Walmart or Sam’s Club if you spend it on staples in large, economical packages.

Do it right and you’ll have a useful emergency supply in just a few weeks – and, in a year, you’ll have close to 300 pounds of food stockpiled – all you need to ride out a major crisis. Here’s how to do it by spending between $4 and $6 every week.

Week 1 – 6 Pounds of Rice

Rice is a great emergency food – it’s filling, and contains plenty of carbs for energy. It’s also easy to prepare and very versatile.

Week 2 – 8 Pounds of Pinto Beans

Dried beans are another staple prepper food. They store well, and once rehydrated can be used as a side dish or added to soups and stews. Combine them with rice and you also get a complete protein that contains all the amino acids your body needs.

Week 3 – 12 Cans of Vienna Sausages

Add some meat to your survival diet with convenient cans of Vienna sausages. These can be grilled, chopped and added to stews, or eaten straight out the can.

Week 4 – 10 Cans of Tomato Sauce

Rice and pasta are nutritious, but they can also get pretty boring. Adding tomato sauce to your stockpile lets you create tastier recipes – and that’s good for morale.

Week 5 – 10 Pounds of Sugar

Sugar is packed with energy that your body can access in a hurry. It also lets you make sweet drinks and improves a load of other recipes.

Week 6 – 8 Pounds of Flour

Flour has a lot of uses around the kitchen. As well as baking bread and cakes, it can be used to thicken sauces and soups. It’s a good source of carbohydrates and, if you get all-purpose flour, it’s enriched with other nutrients too.

Week 7 – 1 Gallon of Canola Oil

You need fat for a balanced diet, and oil is a great source of it. Canola oil is good for cooking, too.

Week 8 – 6 Pounds of Rice

You’re starting to get some variety, so go back and increase your supply of this staple.

Week 9 – 6 Pounds of Navy Beans

Add more beans as well, but there’s no need to get the same kind – variety is good.

Week 10 – 8 Cans of Fruit

Fruit is nutritious, energy-rich and tasty. You can get more by buying a multipack, or you might prioritize variety here.

Week 11 – 1 Can of Powdered Milk

You’ll want this for your coffee, and it can also be reconstituted and used to replace fresh milk in many recipes.

Week 12 – 6.5 Pounds of Salt

We keep getting warned about salt, but it’s an essential part of our diet – especially if we’re working hard. Pick up a four-pack of iodized salt; the iodine is valuable if there’s any kind of nuclear hazard.

Week 13 – 12 Cans of Tuna

Tuna is rich in protein and essential fatty acids. It’s also tasty and can be used in all sorts of recipes. You can pick up a 12-pack of small cans for just over $5.

Week 14 – 6 Pounds of Pasta

Another carb-loaded staple, pasta is the base for a range of tasty meals. Smaller pasta shapes cook faster than larger ones, using less energy.

Week 15 – 8 Cans of Vegetables

Canned vegetables are as nutritious as fresh ones, and easy to cook – you just need to heat them through.

Week 16 – 6 Pounds of Rice

Yep, more rice.

Week 17 – 6 Pounds of Black Beans

More beans, and more variety.

Week 18 – 12 Cans of Vienna Sausages

The ratio of carbs to protein is starting to get out of balance, so add more sausages.

Week 19 – 4 Pounds of Peanut Butter

Peanut butter makes for a quick and tasty sandwich, it can be adapted into a great sauce for chicken, and it’s loaded with energy, fat and protein. You can get a 4lb jar of it for $6.33 at Walmart.

Week 20 – 4 Cans of Chicken

Just for a change from Vienna sausages, pick up a four-pack of canned chicken breast chunks. These can be used in a huge list of recipes.

 

 

Week 21 – 3 Pounds of Shortening

You can bake a lot more if you have shortening. Get a three-pound can of Crisco.

Week 22 – 10 Pounds of Sugar

Increase your sugar supply this week.

Week 23 – 8 Cans of Vegetables

More vegetables are always good. Get something different this time to keep your diet interesting.

Week 24 – 6 Pounds of Rice

You saw this coming, didn’t you?

Week 25 – 8 Pounds of Pinto Beans

And this.

Week 26 – 10 Cans of Tomato Sauce

You’ll need sauces for all the rice and beans you have.

Week 27 – 6 Pounds of Pasta

You’ll need sauces for this, too.

Week 28 – 6 Jars of Assorted Spices

Add more variety to your sauces and other cooking by picking up six jars of herbs and spices. Get the basics – onion and garlic powder – then branch out. Try paprika, chilli flakes and oregano.

Week 29 – 8 Cans of Fruit

Vegetables are probably more important, but some extra fruit is good too.

Week 30 – 1 Gallon of Canola Oil

Make sure you have enough oil to cook your growing stockpile.

 

 

Week 31 – 1 Can of Powdered Milk

Milk is something you’ll really miss when you run out.

Week 32 – 6 Pounds of Rice

Yes, you already have a lot of rice. Get some more.

Week 33 – 12 Cans of Tuna

More protein that isn’t Vienna sausages.

Week 34 – 4oz of Yeast

Get a jar of dried yeast to make your bread rise.

Week 35 – 8 Pounds of Flour

Bread is something else you’ll really miss, so keep expanding your baking supplies.

Week 36 – 1 Pound of Honey

Honey is an amazing sweetener. It also has natural antibiotic properties and can help wounds heal.

Week 37 – 8 Cans of Vegetables

Again, go for variety here.

Week 38 – 6-Pack of Mac And Cheese

Sometimes you need comfort food in a hurry. Mac and cheese is the perfect choice.

Week 39 – 6 Pounds of Pasta

You can’t have enough of this stuff, really.

Week 40 – 6 Pounds of Rice

You can’t have enough of this either.

Week 41 – 6 Pounds of Navy Beans

You know what I’m going to say here.

Week 42 – 3 Cans of Corned Beef Hash

Get some more variety in your protein intake. Hash can be eaten on its own or used to improve pasta sauces.

Week 43 – 8 Cans of Vegetables

You should have enough vegetables by now to make your rice and bean dishes a lot more interesting.

Week 44 – 10 Pounds of Sugar

There are ways to make sugar yourself, but it’s much easier to buy the stuff and spend your time collecting other foods.

Week 45 – 12 Cans of Vienna Sausages

I really hope you like these.

Week 46 – 10 Cans of Tomato Sauce

By now you have enough ingredients and spices to turn this stuff into some pretty tasty recipes.

Week 47 – 2 Gallons of White Vinegar

Vinegar improves a lot of recipes and has plenty other uses around the home.

Week 48 – 6 Pounds of Rice

Relax; this is the last load of rice.

Week 49 – 8 Pounds of Pinto Beans

And these are the last beans.

Week 50 – 4 Cans of Chicken

A lot of prepper stockpiles are low on meat. Avoid that by adding more chicken.

Week 51 – 4 Pounds of Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is energy-dense and easy to digest, so it’s a good way to get calories into someone who’s unwell.

Week 52 – 8 Cans of Vegetables

Beans and rice are a lot less boring when you mix some vegetables in.

If you follow this shopping plan, after a year you’ll have a massive 295 pound stockpile of food. The core of it is 36 pounds of rice, 40 pounds of beans, 18 pounds of pasta and 16 pounds of flour.

To add protein, other nutrients and of course variety you’ll also have 30 cans of tomato sauce, 40 cans of vegetables, 16 cans of fruit and 67 cans of meat or fish. On top of that you have salt, spices and some other extras that will let you turn your stockpile into tasty meals.

Best of all, it’s done without having to make a single huge purchase; just skip a couple of bottles of soda or bags of snacks each week, and you can spend the money on building up a valuable emergency supply instead.


On a different note, here’s some other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The Lost Ways (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)
Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)
Backyard Liberty (Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns…)
Alive After the Fall (Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need)
The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)
The Patriot Privacy Kit (Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps)

With an extra $5 a week you can build up a large, well-balanced food reserve in the space of a year.

There are things we can’t control. What we can control is what we put in your body in the first place. Fresh and healthy whole foods bring the nutritional benefits that can have a true impact on our body and overall health. Choosing quality ingredients over pre-packaged convenience foods is one of the first steps.

Highly-processed foods typically lack fiber and are loaded with added sugar and sodium. Processed foods typically lack any ingredients that create satiety, and typically leave us craving more – which can cause us to overeat. It may seem daunting to prepare every snack fresh, but here are some great options that can easily fit into a busy, modern lifestyle.

In a society that is geared towards instant gratification, the problem with non-processed food is that it isn’t “quick”.  One of the major reasons that people give for eating processed foods over whole foods is that “I needed something quick.”  Don’t let your need for speed sidetrack your healthy eating habits.

RelatedThe vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us

If you are a prepper, it’s especially important in a disaster situation to have food that you can turn to for quick nutrition.  In a grid-down situation, foods that don’t require cooking can be especially vital.  Some people make the mistake of relying on long-term storage foods that require lengthy cooking times, forgetting that cooking fuel might need to be rationed in order to last throughout the event.  Alternatively, relying on highly processed foods will not provide you with the extra energy you need for the demands that may be placed on you physically in such a situation.

One strategy that you can employ for some instant food gratification is to make a habit of a weekly food-prep session. Spend some time each weekend washing, cutting, and cooking food for the week ahead.  This will give you cut-up veggies, prepared protein sources and washed fruit that you can eat right from the refrigerator.  This session can also include some home-baked goodies for lunch boxes and some complete meals that just need to be reheated at serving time.

Related4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis

Next, be sure to have some foods on hand that can be prepared quickly.  Some of the suggestions below are just snacks but when combined with another selection can take the place of a meal:

  1. Nuts
  2. Trail mix:  Mix dried fruit, nuts, seeds, and a handful of real dark chocolate chips
  3. Fresh fruit:  Whatever deliciousness is in season – our selection this week is apples, oranges, and strawberries
  4. Dried Fruit:  Raisins, dried berries, dried apple slices
  5. Salad:  If your veggies are pre-washed you can put this together very quickly.  As well, salad can be pre-assembled.  Simply add protein and dressing at serving time.
  6. Veggies:  carrots, radishes, sugar snap peas, celery, peppers, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes
  7. Steamed veggies:  Top them with cheese or chopped hard-boiled eggs
  8. Eggs: Nature’s fastest protein – boil, scramble, poach or fry – eggs make a great topper for other “fast foods”
  9. Yogurt Parfait: Top your homemade yogurt with fruit and granola
  10. Leftovers
  11. Cheese: Opt for a healthy version without additives and artificial colors
  12. Smoothies:  Throw fruits, veggies, yogurt and your milk of choice into the blender.  Add a little pure vanilla and some honey.  We like to freeze fruit for this purpose to make a rich thick shake.
  13. Homemade granola cookies:
  14. No-bake haystack cookies:
  15. Hummus:  Serve the dip with veggie sticks, homemade crackers, or tortillas
  16. Applesauce:  Try topping it with homemade granola and vanilla yogurt for a  quick no-cook “apple crisp”
  17. Chocolate Milk:
  18. Apples with natural peanut butter
  19. Frozen Yogurt Berries:  Toss well-washed berries in homemade vanilla yogurt.  Place them on a baking sheet in the freezer for at least 2 hours for a cold, healthy treat
  20. Popcorn
  21. Edamame
  22. Pancakes or Waffles:  Top with fruit for a nutrition boost
  23. Couscous:  This speedy grain only requires the addition of boiling water or broth.  Let it sit for 5 minutes, covered, and you have an instant hearty side dish.  Add some steamed veggies and lean protein to turn it into a one dish meal
  24. Cottage cheese:  Top homemade cottage cheese with fresh fruit
  25. Home-canned food:  Meals like chili, soup, and spaghetti sauce can be pressure canned at home for a delicious healthy “fast food meal”
  26. Fruit Salad: Top it with nuts and a honey-sweetened yogurt for a protein boost
  27. Dill Pickles:  Home-canned, of course
  28. Ants-on-a-log:  Celery sticks stuffed with natural peanut butter then topped with raisins
  29. Quick Greek Salad: Chopped cucumber, peppers and cherry tomatoes with feta cheese and vinaigrette
  30. Homemade Fruitsicles:  Puree fruit that is overripe, then freeze it in Popsicle forms – strawberry-banana is a favorite combo here
  31. Guacamole
  32. Savory snack mix:  Popcorn and nuts sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and spices
  33. Tzatziki:  This yummy Greek garlic and yogurt dip is a satisfying snack with homemade crackers or veggies
  34. Medjool dates and almonds
  35. Frozen grapes
  36. Homemade gazpacho:  Puree tomatoes, peppers, onions, jalapenos, and other seasonal veggies.  Keep in the fridge and serve cold.
  37. Quick Banana Nut Cookies:  Mash 2 overripe bananas well.  Stir in 1 cup of steel-cut oats and 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
  38. Latte:  Make a delicious latte with a homemade creamer
  39. Mexican Black Bean Salad:  (you can use a can of rinsed organic black beans or beans that you cooked yourself previously)  1 cup of black beans, 1/2 cup of diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup of chopped bell peppers, some fresh cilantro, and lemon juice
  40. Green Apple Salad:  Chopped green apple, red grapes, and walnuts sprinkled with a dressing made from honey, lemon juice and cinnamon

Note: Once upon a time, tuna was on my healthy snacks list.  Post-Fukushima, we don’t eat it anymore.  Pacific tuna caught off the coast of California is tainted with radiation from the disaster.  So-called experts say that the small amount of radiation is safe, but this is a theory that I’m not willing to test on my own family

 

Your healthy snacks are only as good as their ingredients.  Food that you produce yourself is always the best option, because then you can be absolutely assured of both the seeds and the farming process.  Supplement with items from local farms or the organic section of your grocery store.  When you eat in-season, it is far easier to choose the most nutritious foods and save money.  Carefully wash your produce to get rid of any airborne residue that might remain on the food.

Build your pantry stockpile with long-term storage foods.  Select healthy basics such as nuts, honey, whole grains, and dried fruits.

When you always have quick options available it is far easier to make choices that fuel your body.  What quick and healthy snacks do you feed your family?


Here’s some other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The Lost Ways (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)
Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)
Backyard Liberty (Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns…)
Alive After the Fall (Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need)
The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)
The Patriot Privacy Kit (Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps)

There are things we can't control. What we can control is what we put in your body in the first place.

Large earthquakes continue to wreak havoc across the United States and abroad, and the U.S. Geological Survey has increased the likelihood that the “Big One” will hit California within the next few decades.

In addition to earthquakes, the CDC warns of other deadly disasters, like tsunamis, wildfires, extreme winter weather and infectious diseases. Meantime, the State Department seems to constantly be issuing new warnings about terrorist threats to Americans.

Catastrophe can strike at any moment. Are you prepared? Are your kids? You need to evaluate your current survival plan and update your emergency preparedness kit. You don’t want to be caught without some of these must have items to survive disaster.

It’s also a great time to educate your kids on survival preparedness and practice your family disaster plan. Involve your kids in putting together and packing their personal bug out bag. Here is everything you should include in your kids’ emergency pack.

Backpack Essentials

Begin with an ordinary school backpack that is not obnoxiously huge and doesn’t stand out. It should be comfortable and not too heavy for your child, because they may have to travel long distances on foot. Let your child choose the bag to help them take ownership of it. Update the pack every six months to ensure all contents are fresh.

Hydration:
(Water is an absolute must for your bag, in addition to these essentials:)

  • Water Purification tablets
  • Canteen
  • Water pouches
  • Water filter
  • Pedialyte powder

Food:
(Enough to last three days, including the following:)

  • Protein/energy bars
  • Dehydrated meals
  • Snacks (gum, hard candy)

lost-child

It’s also a great time to educate your kids on survival preparedness and practice your family disaster plan. Involve your kids in putting together and packing their personal bug out bag.

Clothing/Hygiene Products:
(Depends on location and climate. Have the following:)

  • Climate-friendly clothing (gloves, hat, coat if necessary)
  • Change of clothing and underwear
  • Poncho
  • Socks
  • Spare glasses/sunglasses
  • Hygiene kit that includes wipes, toothbrush and paste, hand wash
  • Pocket tissue packs
  • Chapstick
  • Extra medication as needed

Survival Items:
(Parents can carry the majority of survival items, but kids should have a few in case of separation, including:)

  • Small flashlight or headlamp
  • Survival whistle
  • Small first aid kit (you can carry the big one)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Swiss Army knife for older kids
  • Emergency glow sticks
  • N95 Respirator Dust Mask
  • Emergency blanket
  • Pepper spray
  • Cash

Entertainment/ Comfort Items:

  • Stuffed bear or toy
  • Playing cards
  • Brain games and activities
  • Football
  • Coloring book and crayons

Information and Communication

Laminate emergency contact information, including parents’ names, phone numbers and a home address. Also include information for a few close relatives or friends, while including a photo of your child and his or her family members and friends to serve as identification.

Map out directions to different chosen bug-out locations in case your child gets separated from you, and put copies in their packs.

Pack a prepaid mobile phone or satellite phone to ensure they will be in communication with someone at all times.

Related – Outrageous Ways to Charge Your Phone During a Blackout

Practice

Stocking up on supplies is easy. But when the time comes to grab the packs and go, it’s best if the family has run through certain scenarios to know exactly where to go and how to get there.

Practice test runs to the mapped out locations you’ve chosen to retreat to when a disaster strikes and be sure the kids could make it there on their own.

The threat of natural and man-made disasters is real, but having supplies and a survival plan will put you ahead of the pack when running for the hills. Get your kids involved so everyone makes it out alive.

On a different note, here’s some other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The Lost Ways (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)
Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)
Backyard Liberty (Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns…)
Alive After the Fall (Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need)
The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)
The Patriot Privacy Kit (Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps)

Catastrophe can strike at any moment. Are you prepared? Are your kids? You need to evaluate your current survival plan.

Some have already come and gone, because the season comes earlier and earlier every year, but for a lot of the country, tax-free shopping for school related supplies is right around the corner. There are also sales associated with back-to-school, the beginning of the hunting season cycle, and the changing of seasons that we can take advantage of, and some states and retailers will also be sticking some merchandise on sale for National Preparedness Month in September.

Along with those sales, retailers tend to throw a sale or two up ahead of the holiday rush in October and November to make room for new stock, and there are sometimes additional sales or tax holidays in August and September for preparedness and energy-saving appliances.

Check here The Ultimate Preppers List of Supplies

In some cases, taking advantage of tax holidays and sales is just about saving a little money that we can then apply to other budgets. In other cases, a sale or the absence of tax is what drops something inside our budget ranges.

Sometimes though, even when it’s not a preparedness-related sale, there are things we can stock up on that applies directly to preparing for the worst. Today we talk about how you can save on prepping supplies.

1. Savings For Stockpiles & To Apply Elsewhere

Clothes and hunting gear are an entire cookie for preppers, especially those with kids. Hand-me-downs and thrift stores are great, and I’ve made some great finds at the beginning of various weather and sportsman seasons at Salvation Army and Goodwill. Still, some things are nice to have fresh. If you’re trying to maintain an every-other-size stockpile for somebody who’s still growing, combining store sales with tax-free holidays can be a way to basically earn enough to pay for another garment or two.

Similarly, if we budget ahead of time, we can sometimes score electronics and appliances for gifts and our households without paying tax and sometimes with additional total-purchase or single-item discounts and store markdowns.

I don’t typically shell out enough to qualify for some of the energy-saving appliances or generators, but we’re all at different levels and not all of us head to Howard’s Appliance Center of Augusta or the Habitat Restore in Louisville. If there’s a big item on the docket for the next year or two, planning the purchase around a tax-free holiday is kind of a no brainer.

Saving 3 to 9% on a six-dollar pair of shoes doesn’t put that much change back in the jar. Saving 6% on a $1,200 generator or whole-house fan system, now … $72 will buy a fair bit of wheat, oatmeal, gauze pads, tampons, or mulch, and it’ll make a big dent in a battery-operated electric tool or weed-eater or a good pair of boots.

*Some stores will just offer a discount on total purchases during that weekend or the days and weeks leading up to school, and those can be great ways to save on pretty much anything.

2. Back-To-School Supplies for Preppers

Saving money is nice, but sometimes we don’t always see the potential in back-to-school tax-free and sale season for anything but clothes and potential savings that make the crumb snatchers a little more affordable. There are all kinds of things that qualify (by state – look up your rules and restrictions) that we will be buying another time or maybe haven’t even thought of.

There’s no way to cover all of them. We have some darn clever folks on this site who can undoubtedly think of another dozen examples each that back-to-school sales and tax-free holidays can make more affordable. Here’s my top twelve:

3. Maps

Some places will count their road atlases or county/state books as educational, and some states don’t care at all. That can lead to serious savings on our pre-printed atlases and maps.

grease-pencil[1]

4. Printer Paper & Toner

I’m constantly printing local area maps, pre-made missing posters, directions to natural resources and resource locations like pallet dumps and bamboo stands, DIY instructions for builds and even common repairs for things I would currently watch of YouTube, and recipes. I’m also routinely printing user manuals for tools and appliances that I pick up second hand.

Paper and toner can help with entertainment and education as well.

I can create my own search-a-word and crossword puzzles with some free sites to have on hand for holidays and birthdays even for adults, and I can print preexisting targets, puzzles, games and coloring sheets to help break monotony. Homeschooling site downloads can ensure any children will continue to be at least somewhat educated even if that great big disaster occurs.

We can print out all kinds of things, and if we’re going to go that road, we might as well budget and get as much of it on sale and tax free as possible.

5. Scissors

Some states and stores will restrict the types of scissors you get, but if they’re anywhere on the list, most will include anything but kitchen and garden shears. Scissors are one of those things that makes our life easier, so if you need some good ones for trimming hair, cutting herbs, and getting into packaging, now’s a good time to get them.

sewing-scissors[1]

6. Colored Pencils, #2 Pencils

They’re not just for kids. When I come do a site assessment, I routinely have a pencil. The colored pencils don’t erase real well, but they also don’t smear even as much as lead/graphite, and they sure don’t run or bleed in 40-70% humidity or rain like ink will. Sure, I could buy special notebooks and paper, but why spend more?

7. Notebooks, Binders

This can be a chance to get good notebooks with binder-insert holes and heavy-duty paper instead of the cheap-o’s. A variety of sizes is great to have on hand for daily life, but especially if we want to stick a couple of mini’s or steno-sized or half-sized notebooks in plastic baggies and then a backpack or pocket to carry around.

contact-paper-sheets[1]

Clear contact paper or similar plastic craft sheets have a multitude of uses in daily life and preparedness.

8. Contact Paper/Plastic Sheeting

This stuff can not only make our carry-around maps a little more durable, they’re great for covering maps to pin to walls. Leave a border of the plastic around them and use a map pen or grease pencil over top of the contact sheet, and we never punch any holes or totally booger up what can be a precious resource even today.

We can also basically double-over contact paper to make a durable but easy-folding and easy-rolling overlay sheet – or twenty – that can keep information like resource locations, cache locations, and points of defensive or evasive interest separate.

In the same vein, if we attach our doubled-up sheet to a dowel or two, we now have a portable board that we can carry around with us to neighbors, to educate a handful of kids at once, to explain to the existing residents why it’s in everyone’s interest to pitch in on a fire break, and to facilitate trade between households.

We can also slap this stuff against a lot of walls, and instantly have a dry erase board for tracking chores, harvest, canning, a monthly calendar, or working out build designs or homework problems.

(A lot of those can also be accomplished by hanging a sheet on the other side of a window, but a couple rolls of contact paper is cheaper and lighter to move around, and won’t kill or injure anybody if it falls off the wall.)

chalkboard-spray-paint-1[1]

Chalkboard spray paint lets us turn a wall or a spare board into a reusable writing surface for daily life or emergencies.

9. Chalkboards, Chalkboard spray paint, dry erase boards

All of these offer a reusable alternative to paper without resorting to charcoal on walls, today and in an emergency. It could be keeping score in a game, it could be teaching a kid order of precedence for mathematical equations, it could be a whiteboard class, or it could be mapping plans for the homestead’s planting or defense. A variety of sizes are out there, from lap boards to wall-fillers.

10. Alcohol Pens, Dry Erase Markers, Map Pens

Some will be on sale or tax free by state, some won’t. They’re handy to have for all the same reasons listed in contact paper above.

dry-erase-ultra-fine[1]

Images: Ultra fine dry erase and permanent map pens are commonly counted as school supplies during tax-free weekends and store promotions.

 

11. Super Glue, Wood Glue

Super glue and wood glue will routinely slide into the arts and crafts headings of back-to-school sales and tax-free weekends. Humanity got along without them for millennia, but they sure do make some fixes nice and easy. Elmer now sells a glue-all that’s pretty good and that slides right through with other school supplies if a store is being resistant.

12. Duct tape

Sometimes you have to get the crafty colored versions of this to qualify during the back-to-school season, and there’s not always enough savings to justify the cost. However, if there’s a sale, this is one to jump on, because from little holes in screens to hanging curtains over windows for light discipline, duct tape does so much for us even outside of the tool box and range bag.

13. Hygiene

Some states are now recognizing the endless lists students are supposed to report with, and including things like tissue paper of both types, hand sanitizer, liquid hand soap, paper towels and bleach/Lysol wipes in their tax exemptions. Some will do it for preparedness weekends, too, but back-to-school is where I see them most often.

14. Hats, brimmed

It’s not clothing or accessories. It’s gear. Honest.

With my father and man-of-the-house, and my own slight addictions, I can’t imagine not already having a ton of hats on hand. They’re also not something I expect to be totally un-findable in a world-ending event. However, I grew up in the Deep South, spend a lot of time on boats and near shorelines, and lived in Arizona for years. A hat with a brim really is life and death in some places, not only for its shading and prevention of open sunburn blisters on ears and necks, but also by saving the eyes in snow as well as woods and fields and especially urban environments. Brimmed hats can also keep rain out from under the back of your collar and from streaming down your ears.

Ball caps and knit ski caps totally have their place, but if a state is allowing for hats, it might not be a bad idea to pick up one with a brim. Boonie styles can be wedged in nearly as small a space as a ball cap, there is a reason cowboy and ranch styles are still worn while working, and there are a whole array of sports types with a full-circumference brims to fit both hot and cold seasons.

15. Do Your Homework

We can save a lot of money and be better prepared for storms, personal reversals, and crises of major proportions by taking advantage of tax holidays and seasonal sales. There are numerous sites that list tax holiday weekends. I happen to like this one.

It breaks tax-free weekends down by state and then the untaxed items, and it provides quick links to the specific pages for each state’s rules and requirements. Definitely read the rules and requirements, because states like to include and exclude some oddball stuff. Regularly.

It would not be crazy talk to print out and carry the applicable untaxed or sale items list and carry it to the store(s) with you. This is the only way a buddy of mine got the entire staff of a hardware store in Virginia to actually abide by the state tax holiday, because they were totally unaware. It’s also nice just to keep it handy instead of relying on memory or the shopping list.

The link above undoubtedly misses things, and there are a number of states that usually run a weekend somewhere between August-November to push either appliances or generators and other preparedness items that aren’t listed yet. That happens with all of them. For example, this is the only one that lists Texas’s new preparedness category for the August 5-7 weekend that I’ve found. If I hadn’t already known about it, I could have missed it.

Prevent those regrets by searching your state, any surrounding states if you’re on a border or the savings would be worth a couple tanks of gas, and “tax free” or “tax holiday”.


Here’s some other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The Lost Ways (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)
Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)
Backyard Liberty (Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns…)
Alive After the Fall (Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need)
The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)
The Patriot Privacy Kit (Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps)

Sometimes though, even when it’s not a preparedness-related sale, there are things we can stock up on that applies directly to preparing for the worst.

By now, we all know that one of the best ways to receive the benefits of herbs as well as alleviate dry skin is through the creation of a healing salve. Our skin is one of the largest gateways on the body to receive actions of the plants. Calendula, or Calendula officinalis, known commonly for its skin healing magic is a great herb to start with in salve making. It is used to heal wounds, rashes, and other skin irritations.

Not to mention that this time of year, dryness, and irritation can be prevalent due to the weather’s icy bite and moisture-sapping indoor heat. As the warm weather lures us away from the hearth and onto bicycles and hiking trails, our skin is bound to endure some cuts, burns and rashes on the way. Prepare your medicine cabinet to treat such ails with an herbal salve.

Related – Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation

If you would like to play with your own mixture, it is highly recommended to research the actions and energetics of herbs. For the recipes provided today, here is some brief information on the herbal actions indicated.

  • Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) has anti-inflammatory actions. Meadowsweet, combined with calendula, which is healing for the skin, can soothe sore feet, hands, and shoulders as well as rough cracked skin that go along with hard work.
  • For a dry skin salve, you can use a calendula base, then add lavender (Lavandula), which is soothing and anti-inflammatory. The addition of coconut oil is very moisturizing as well as a nice compliment to the lavender smell.

Herbal Salve Recipe

Skin-Soothing Calendula Salve

Salves are thickened ointments that are used to soothe various skin problems, depending on the plant that the salve was made from. They can treat chapped hands, wounds, mild burns, bites, stings, rashes, boils, acne and inflammation. To make a basic salve, all you need is an infused oil, beeswax and some essential oil.

Making Salves: The Key Ingredients

Infused oils are carrier oils that have been “infused” with one or more herbs. They are used to make any oil-based apothecary items, such as lip balms, creams, massage oils and salves. Although you can buy prepared infused oils, I like to make my own using the folk technique called the “solar infusion method.”

To make an infused oil at home, find a jar with a tight-fitting lid, such as a Mason jar, and fill it halfway full with a dried herb of your choice. Fill the jar with oil until it completely covers the herb (about three-quarters full). Any quality vegetable oil will work, but if you’re using this infused oil to make a salve, use one that can tolerate heat and is good for the skin, like olive or almond oil. Put the lid back on your jar and store it in a sunny location like a windowsill for three to six weeks. Shake the jar every day for the first week and once every week after that. When it’s fully infused, strain the oil through cheesecloth and store it in a closed jar for future use.

Related – The Dirty Secret to Good Health 

Beeswax thickens the salve and makes it easy to apply to the skin—it also provides slight anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, according to North Carolina State University. Laying a protective barrier between the wound and the air, it calms the skin and helps it retain moisture. You can find one-ounce bars of beeswax at your local health-food store.

Embrace the wonders of aromatherapy with essential oils, or highly concentrated plant extracts. They provide a multitude of body benefits. I like to add a few drops of lavender essential oil to my herbal salve recipe, not only for its pleasing scent but for its ability to treat small cuts, scrapes and insect bites, as lavender is a natural antibiotic and antiseptic. You can also strengthen your salve’s medicinal benefits with tea tree or rose, two essential oils with antiseptic and antifungal properties.

How to Calm Irritated Skin: 7 Herbs for Natural Skin Remedies

first-aid-ointment

Comfrey Salve

Calendula (Calendula officinalis), or pot marigold, is a familiar sight in many cottage gardens. This antiseptic was used during the Civil War to staunch bleeding and heal wounds; recent studies show that calendula noticeably stimulates physiological regeneration and skin healing. Use a calendula salve on skin rashes, minor cuts and burns, bruises, eczema, psoriasis, sunburns and chapped lips.

Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) is said to have been brought to England from the Middle East by crusaders using it to heal war wounds. For centuries, it was taken internally, but new research indicates that it should not be ingested, as it contains harmful alkaloids. Use it as an herbal salve to stimulate cell growth and repair wounds, burns, sore joints, dry skin and swelling.

German chamomile (Matricaria recu-tita) and Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) are recognizable by their delicate white petals and pleasing, apple-like odor. Today, this cosmetic favorite is admired for its softening, deodorizing and disinfecting effects on the skin.

Related – The Plant You Can Use as a Diuretic But Also To Make a Great Wine!

Plantain (Plantago major) is a wild perennial that can be found all over the world, often along roadsides. Used by the Greek medic Dioscorides to cure inflammation and burns, it has stood the test of time. Today it is also used to treat insect bites, stings, poison ivy and sunburns. In fact, a range of biological activities has been found in its extracts, from wound healing to anti-inflammatory action.

Aloe (Aloe vera) is one of the giants among herbs and herbal medicine. It is said to have healed a badly infected wound Alexander the Great earned during the siege of Gaza. Today, people commonly keep this easy-to-grow plant potted in their home for the instant and effective treatment of burns. All it requires is a weekly watering. It also treats cuts, eczema and sunburn.

Arnica (Arnica montana) is an ingredient in more than 100 herbal preparations in Germany, where plant-based medications are regulated by the Commission E. This daisy-like herb relieves sore muscles and reduces inflammation. Athletes commonly rely on it to reduce the pain, swelling and bruising that accompany sprains and strains.

For more on essential oils, how to make them and their benefits, check out Dr. La Guardia’s Book of Medicine. It teaches you everything from the soil up.

And here’s some other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The Lost Ways (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)
Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)
Backyard Liberty (Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns…)
Alive After the Fall (Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need)
The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)
The Patriot Privacy Kit (Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps)

Today you will learn how to prepare your medicine cabinet to treat such ails with an herbal salve.

Just like responsibilities, laundry goes unattended to until absolutely necessary. Doing laundry comes from way back. We are not doing it just because the clothes are dirty and look bad, but also because we want to prevent infections from spreading around or other diseases.

In the 3rd world countries, because of the poor conditions of having proper hygiene, the people deal with ebola, cholera or some other viruses. Washing clothes is a sign of civilization.

There are many ways people can do laundry some of them are just below:

Powered Options

There are a number of options that use power, but use a little less or have a lower draw that most generators can provide (to include fuel-burning and mechanical like wind or hydro, or solar backup banks). There are also the small-space and high-capacity machines that have a pretty big draw, but they’ll use it efficiently. Those let us still do whole loads in 15-20 minutes or so, and walk away from loads that are washing ou clothes so we can go do something else.

Some of those options include:

  • Maytag Wringer Washers –  (the Amish favorite) and similar rebuilt antiques
  • Small RV, camper and tiny-living washers
  • Wonderwash – Non-electric Portable Compact Mini Washing Machine
  • Mini Mr. Heater RV-camper washer

Some of the electric options do require water hookups, or for you to be there to drain and refill when they’re ready. It’s something to be aware of while gathering information. Also, be aware of the power draw. As mentioned, some of the mini’s are only more efficient or smaller than standard washers and can have high power draws.

Some of the RV and camper or dormitory mini’s are all-in-one units that either convert to a dryer or have two chambers. You can also get separate low-power, highly efficient, or space-saving dryers like the EasyGo Wardrobe Dryer that works like an oversized dehydrator but for clothes (without the shrinkage) or dedicated spin dryers like the XtremepowerUS Stainless Steel Tumble Dryer.

Lehman’s Own hand

Lehman’s Own hand-washing and crank wringer laundry system

Commercial, non-powered laundry cleaning options

There are options for just picking up a hand-crank or foot-pedal washer as well, for those who aren’t DIYers. Most are going to be in the general build of a lettuce spinner or a tumbling “egg” washer. Some require hoses (or hassle) to drain, too. Some are a little easier on that aspect, but they all have to be rinsed somehow. Sometimes the little guys will wash the clothes, but then it’s up to us to better rinse the soap out and wring them dry.

Some of the commercially available hand-crank or manual-pump washers are:

  • Easy-Go Washing Machine  (and similar like the Eco-egg and many others)
  • Drumi – The Foot Powered Washing Machine
  • Scrubba laundry bag
  • Old-school, historic crank washers like those at Lehman’s and similar retailers

*Most of these are going to be pretty small and only do 1-2 pairs of jeans or a few shirts at a time.

DIY project to power a spinning-basket drum washer using a bike

DIY project to power a spinning-basket drum washer using a bike

Manual Clothes Washers

There are truly lots of options to go DIY or old-old school. You can buy some of the options for manual washing, but there are really easy DIYs for some of them that can save move or just keep you from spending it because by the time you need them, the power’s off and you can just salvage them.

Plunger + bucket = DIY Clothes Washer for your Laundry

Plunger + bucket = DIY Clothes Washer for your Laundry

Instead of buying the large head, consider just drilling some holes in a clean plunger so that it doesn’t stick to anything. You can use a 3-5 bucket system or a bathtub, storage tote, trough or small stock tank. No reason not to use an aquarium or planter or filing cabinet drawer if they’re available (for this one or any other).

Related – The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us

I like buckets and storage totes with lids I can drill a hole for the handle for because it’s less messy. Five or six waiting buckets makes the process fast for me. It only takes a couple of minutes per load. They go in the first with a few drops of dish detergent or a penny-sized pool of pine cleaner, get pumped 8-20 times, then they go in the first clean water bucket. It usually takes 3-4 buckets for me to be confident they’re well rinsed. Unless stuff is just black, I can use the soapy bucket 2-3 times without adding detergent. By then, the first rinse bucket or two is getting pretty soapy, I add a little more, and somebody takes the dirty wash bucket to dump. That bucket gets refilled and goes to the end of the line.

You can go even more advanced with it like these guys:

Simple DIY Washer

Mechanized bucket washer

*If you use Dawn or an eco-friendly detergent, that bucket can get dumped for well-established trees and shrubs, or into less-sensitive annuals beds. Dawn is still not great for compost, and it’ll shut down the microbe processing for red wiggler bins.

Washboards

You can spend money on a washboard. Or you can just plan to take the large A/C or heater intake vent cover off the wall and use that alone or along with the current bathtub brush(es). I don’t find any real difference in clothes results, but I’m not doing lacy finery or sweaters on them. You do need to pad the bottom edge with a dowel, bamboo, or section of hose before you stick it in your bathtub, though.

The nice thing about a board and a brush is that you can really work specific spot stains, and you can use bar soap and laundry powder as well as dish soap and liquid detergents like pine cleaner, which can be had in super condensed forms really inexpensively. I also don’t worry about soaps degrading my buckets or toilet plunger (or the $20 blue thing I bought before I knew better) or my potato/bathroom brush and grate. Some people are a little crazy sensitive about the types of soaps they’ll use on their “real” washboards.

Related – 4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis

The downside is that you’re going to be doing one piece of laundry at a time, two tops, and it takes me a lot longer than dunking a pair of jeans in the buckets and plunging, even if they’re oily and it takes me 2-3 sessions of 15 plunges to get them clean. It takes me way longer to do the weekly hand towels and wash cloths with a washboard.

Boiling your laundry

Finnish Immigrant Boiling Clothes for Wash, Near Bayou Cumbest, Mississippi. Around 1900

Finnish Immigrant Boiling Clothes for Wash, Near Bayou Cumbest, Mississippi. Around 1900

This method will lift some things, but anybody with two Xs and a learning curve for adulthood or wine on a shirt can attest that cold water is our friend when it comes to stains and appearance. Boiling clothing is really more about just killing germs. You can do as many clothes as you have a container to fit with room to stir them a bit – stock pot, maple syrup boiling cauldrons, big Dutch ovens. You want to boil in excess of 30 minutes and you want a hard, rolling boil. This is a good method if you’ve already got a fire going for something else and appearance doesn’t matter, but be aware that boiling alone will not kill all germs. Many bacteria will form resistant spores that “hatch” again as conditions return to tolerable. The addition of a soak in cool water and bleach for whites or pine cleaner for colors can help with both stains and germ reduction.

The nice thing about just boiling is that once it’s cool, the water can be dumped into any garden plot, creek, or pond without anything that wasn’t already in the dirt touching it.

Stones, brushes and boards at creeks

Stones, brushes and boards at creeks

*Please use Dawn detergent or a no-kill camping soap or detergent so we limit our impact on the microbes that are the base of the food systems in creeks and ponds.

This isn’t that different from a brush and washboard. It’s how I did a lot of laundry in my time as a through-packer and kayaker. You apply some sort of soap (or just water if you pre-boil clothes to kill germs) and then scrub with whatever’s handy – even if that’s just the friction of clothes against each other.

Mop wringers and presses

There are mechanical clothes wringers that can be purchased. Or you can pick up a mop wringer or press for a whole lot less most of the time. There’s also a crazy-expensive 5-gallon salad spinner on the market for restaurants that can replicate the washer’s spin cycle.

Quickfire considerations

Consider the expandable or rotary racks for indoor drying as well as lines inside and outside

  • Laundry matters for hygiene reasons, not just appearance.
  • Many of us are already going to be working pretty hard, so investing in a fast or low-labor option may appeal.
  • Small battery-powered fans and generator-run box fans can help drying immensely in campers, tents, and humidity or cold-rainy houses with limited airflow and high moisture (when dehydrating food, too).
  • Bleach is only a sanitizer in cool water. Boiling and hot-hot water break down that aspect and it becomes only a whitener.
  • With most hand-washing systems, bleach is going to be best used out on a tarp in the yard or in a bathroom (and in grubby clothes or birthday suits).
  • Laundry is a high-water-use process a lot of the times, so a good catchment system or backup system is important. They sell some powders and gels for water-free shampoos, body wash, laundry, and pet shampoos, but they tend to be pricey.
  • Consider the expandable or rotary racks for indoor drying as well as lines inside and outside. Getting clothes dried especially on cool, damp days can be a trial and there’s only so much space near a stove.
  • Nobody ever said a now-defunct extension cord, cargo straps, or dog tie-out line can’t be used as a clothesline or that you can’t string your line between your shed and a vehicle. Don’t spend money you don’t have to until you’re totally set to take care of yourself for at least 6 or 12 months.
  • We can take cues from our ancestors (and parents) who had/have “school” clothes and “play” clothes and through-packers who change undies and base layers, let those air dry, and re-wear outerwear. Work clothes get re-worn multiple times. (Ask service members how often they washed BDUs/ACUs/Cammies/Diggies).
  • Wearing farm boots or gaiters can protect clothing from picking up debris and muck.
  • Use two sets of sheets and pillowcases on beds and inside bags. Sheets function as the base layers for packers. They’re thinner to wash and faster to dry than blankets and quilts.
  • If pets get on furniture or beds, consider throwing another set of sheets over the comforter or quilt so that can get washed instead of the thicker covers.
  • The more hankies, towels, and sheets we have available, the longer we can go without needing to wash them, which can become an issue if the whole household gets a stomach flu or head colds when it’s cool and wet outside. We’re not overly inclined to be doing laundry even now, and without the ability to just press buttons, it’s going to be even harder to keep up with sickness, wet animals, and poorly trained humans. A pass-through pine sol or bleach can absolve Salvation Army rejects of all previous germs, and freebie rejects can be a great way to increase our storage of those items without paying a dime.

Laundry

Laundry sometimes doesn’t get its due, even from people who’ve had the joy of showering in their clothes first or going weeks with just a couple of pairs of base layers and a set of outerwear. We can pre-plan a lot of ways to reduce the amount of laundry we have to do and take advantage of a number of DIY projects and household items to create low-cost alternatives to our stand washers. Super-condensed, powerful cleaners like commercial Pine Sol concentrate and liquid dish soap can be used just a few drops at a time and stored for upwards of 10 years without loss of potency, or we can research lye and germ-killing plant teas for our laundry purposes. For those who already have power systems in place, there are some low-power-draw options that can maintain some ease with the process.

For most of us, water is going to be a consideration – and it will be a consideration even before we run out of clothes in a lot of cases, unfortunately. Some methods are more and less water-friendly, and some of them allow more reuse of laundry water than others. That might influence us one way or another as we cruise through our options.


Here’s some other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The Lost Ways (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)

Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)

Backyard Liberty (Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns…)

Alive After the Fall (Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need)

The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)

The Patriot Privacy Kit (Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps)

Some methods are more and less water friendly, and some of them allow more reuse of laundry water than others.

Why do people prep? No matter how you spin it, it’s probably going to boil down to taking care of themselves and those they love. Where the real variable comes into play is how people prep. Some stockpile and fortify, some may pack light and bug out, or others may have their own unique plans.

Ultimately there is no universal answer as to the “right way” to properly prepare for a massive disaster scenario due to the varying nature of personalities in individuals. There is, however, is a key aspect of how people prep that should be implemented to any prepper’s plan if they plan to survive: physical fitness.

Now before thinking this article is about having the best looking six-pack when things go south (trust me, it’s not), consider this question, “Am I in a condition where I feel confident to take care of loved ones and myself physically if disaster strikes?”. Apply this question to your scenario of choice, hell, apply it to your everyday life when things are going good. More than likely the answer to this question is “no”, and there is nothing wrong with that.

In all honesty, even if you are active, working out regularly, and eating healthy, there is room for improvement – it’s the nature of self-betterment and making your body best survival tool in a disaster.

How Prepper Fitness could help you in a Doomsday Scenario?

SHTF (who knows how). It’s code red and your rushing around too initiating your own variation on surviving this disaster. You’re sweating, adrenaline is pumping through you, and the only thing on your mind is getting to your checkpoint. As you’re running around, your blood pressure becomes dangerously high and you have a heart attack. Congrats, you just lost at doomsday.

Of course this scenario is a hypothetical and has no scientific analysis to back it up. But for a lot of people, a doomsday scenario could be as simple as the consequences of poor maintenance to their body in terms of diet and exercise. Physical fitness should be one of the essential building blocks of preparing, yet it seems that this foundation work on many prepper guides/plans is overlooked or simply glazed over.

man-641691_640

As you’re running around, your blood pressure becomes dangerously high and you have a heart attack. Congrats, you just lost at doomsday.

Prepper fitness doesn’t have to be something crazy like running a marathon through the desert without water or joining a gym. Fitness can be as simple as just getting out of your comfort zone for one hour of your day. Much like prepper plans, fitness plans can vary from person-to-person depending on goals, but ultimately doing fitness based activity that pushes the limits of your body consistently will make you a stronger and a physically more efficient survivalist.

So where should someone begin if they are not as fit as they would like to be? Much like learning a new skill or plan for prepping, go to the Internet for information and ideas. Honestly, you don’t even need a gym membership for a great cardio workout – or even weights to build muscle for that matter. Focusing on body weight exercises, light jogging/power walking, and functional lifts at first can make you healthier and stronger, but can also be fun to a degree.

A general introduction to Prepper Fitness

Depending on how serious you want to take this, I would suggest investing in a few things (although not necessary, can serve to be helpful): a heart monitor, pedometer, some of your prepping supplies, and a semi-truck/tractor tire.

Cardio – This does NOT mean running per se, cardio is simply training that gets your heart rate up. Ideally for fat loss/cardio training, you want your heart rate to be “in the zone” (Target Heart Rates by American Heart Association). Cardio training can be monitored with a heart rate monitor, which can also serve as a safety precaution while training, and can be accomplished in a number of ways such as: swimming, hiking, power walking, biking, jogging, or even HIIT workouts. The key to cardio training is consistency and always improving. It’s smart to keep a log of your workouts to monitor progress. Don’t get discouraged though, sometimes progress can come in the form of walking a mile faster than you ever have or sometimes progress can come in the form of showing up to exercise when your brain wants to make a million excuses not to.

push-ups-888024_640

Some of the best exercises you can do, can be done using only your body weight.

“Weight” Training – as mentioned earlier, you really don’t need iron based weights to lift. Some of the best exercises you can do, can be done using only your body weight. One preface that must be mentioned in this portion is always consider your form first whenever lifting something or exercising – improper form can lead to potential injury in the short and long-term. Here is a quick list of some great body weight exercises that can be easily added to your workout circuit:

  • Air Squats – excellent for your quads, glutes, and hamstrings
  • Lunges – builds stamina and quads as well as works the calves, glutes, and hamstrings
  • Pushups – works your chest as well as your shoulders and triceps with many variations available
  • Pullups – great for your lats, back, and biceps.
  • Side Leg Raises – works your hips/adductors
  • Dips – adaptable workout for your triceps that also works your chest and shoulders

 

 

Functional Training – of course we are preppers, so a lot of the training done should be survival themed right? Try adding these exercises to your workout that can easily add purpose to your workout:

  • Sledgehammer swings on a tire – think you might need to split a lot of wood?
  • Tire Flips – for anytime you think you might have to lift something heavy off the ground…
  • Bucket Carries – water is necessary, not light, and probably inconveniently located
  • Rope Climbs – wonder if you may need to get somewhere when you don’t have a ladder?
  • Log Carries – Get good at carrying awkward things… do you honestly think everything you need will fit conveniently in your rucksack?
  • Running – this may come in handy at some point in life!

WRAP-UP

Although this is not designed to be a complete guide to prepper fitness, it is meant to get preppers thinking and give basic considerations on where to begin their journey into becoming the best survival instrument in their tool box. The best advice one can take away from this is to try to make fitness a fun and enjoyable part of your day/life, it will not only help make it a consistent part of your routine, but you may even have fun doing something that is physically great for your body!

Two final notes: 1. Remember to stretch before and after exercising, there are too many benefits to stretching and flexibility to list here. 2. Material in this article is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Not all exercises may be applicable to readers; always consult a physician before trying a new diet or exercise program. I am not responsible or liable for any injuries, damages, loss, or accidents.


On a different note, here’s some other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The Lost Ways (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)
Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)
Backyard Liberty (Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns…)
Alive After the Fall (Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need)
The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)
The Patriot Privacy Kit (Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps)

Are you in a condition where you feel confident to take care of loved ones and yourself physically if disaster strikes?

Have you heard of the Grey Man concept?

The Grey Man concept simply means blending in and not sticking out. You want to dress, move and act in a way that is completely forgettable. This is done so that you do not draw unnecessary attention to yourself as you go about life and I think the initial focus was on people who were carrying concealed firearms. There are lots of examples of how this larger concept could work in your favor to keep you safe and many survival and prepper blogs bring this concept up as a way to live or a strategy for how to avoid becoming a target of people intend to do you harm.

I was thinking of this idea in a different context though as it related to life after a SHTF scenario. One of our readers contacted me with some questions after reading a post from Selco on the SHTF School blog. Selco is from the Balkans and lived through the Balkan war from 92 – 95. He has created an excellent online course titled “One Year in Hell” that offers training derived from his own experiences living surrounded in the real SHTF world of a war zone and without power for a year.

Did you ever hear of “survivor’s guilt”?

Feeling of being guilty because you survived but many others you know did not. There is something else that can “help” you to not feel that because it can kill you. It is what I call “survivalist hate” by people around you.

I often read how people want to help other folks when SHTF, and it is really good, but in reality, it works differently.

When SHTF, I mean real SHTF, most of the people will not like you because you are prepared, people will hate you, even if you help them. They will hate you because you are prepared and you have food, water, weapon, and shelter for you and your family, and they do not have anything like that.

I have seen how people robbed man, and his family, torching his house because he had lots of goods (he gave some of that stuff to some folks week before) and by that logic folks said that he knew that S. is going to hit the fan, and he was like guilty for them. People were angry that he prepared but did not tell them.

This is what you can call “survivalist hate”. Think about it, sentences like “he could have warned us” or “he must have stolen this from somewhere, otherwise he would have not that much”. Do not expect normal logical thinking. It does not happen much in normal times and is less in survival scenarios for most common folks.

It was these words that caused our reader to question how much they should volunteer to help their community in an emergency. Mark had been thinking about trying to organize resources in the community now, before any crisis, but reading Selco’s story above had him reconsidering going out on a limb, telegraphing he might have resources or skills and potentially becoming a victim like the man robbed for his supplies.

This is what led me to consider the Grey Man concept as it could be applied to your home and resources if the SHTF. It is one thing to control your appearance and actions in a crowd to avoid detection, but what about your supplies in your home?

Always invisible in plain sight

Depending on the crisis, I have to believe there is a timeline of phases that people go through. The crisis would dictate that timeline to a large degree in that an Earthquake, for example, would destroy everything relatively quickly and then you would be recovering for some time afterwards.

The initial violence would be upfront and then people would start dealing with problems after the shaking stopped. It would be similar to any other natural disasters I assume. Something like a regional war or an economic collapse or even pandemic would cause a different timeline. Regardless of how long it took people to start feeling the effects of any crisis eventually your neighbors could be dealing with illnesses or injury, disruptions in food, safety concerns from looters or approaching military forces.

Unless you were quarantined in your homes, invariably neighbors would be talking at some point, sharing information and learning how others were faring. It is at this time that the prepared individual could fall into that situation described above.

There are many aspects to this and realistically how you act toward your neighbors and the situations you could face after a crisis could be the subject of a dozen articles but I will focus on this one viewpoint in this post. There is something to be said for charity and something else for self-preservation. If we were faced with a situation like above, what could you do to keep your family safe and your supplies that you have been storing up in your hands and not the hands of an angry mob?

Never draws attention to himself

Two things come to mind when trying to think about the Grey Man concept and your home. The first is that before anything happens you want to be practicing OPSEC as much as feasible in your situation. The less people know about the supplies you have stored, what you may be preparing for, your political beliefs, etc. the less likely they are going to think of you if something happens.

  • I have said it before, but unless you live in an area where this is common (and there are lots of areas where it is) I wouldn’t be seen out at the Chili’s in your camouflage pants and army boots. Don’t get me wrong, I have these myself, but I save the camo for hunting season. Whenever I am hunting, there are thousands of other guys who look just like me and I blend in. Not necessarily at Chili’s but you get the point.
  • If you are getting supplies of food shipped in, make sure these are dealt with in a way that doesn’t draw attention. I wouldn’t stack boxes of MRE’s up in front of the shed while your neighbor is mowing their grass.
  • If you are loading guns into the car for a trip to the range, do this discretely. I normally do a quick visual check to make sure no one is outside first and back the car into the garage so I can get them loaded quickly.
  • Have a safe being delivered to the house? Try to do this during the day if most of your neighbors are at work.
  • Large purchases from Sams or Costco could be construed the same way. A bulk pack of toilet paper is one thing, but 5 – fifty-pound bags of rice or several 45 lbs. pails of freeze-dried food are another. Are you practicing open carry to make a statement?

The next part and probably the harder of the two to pull off would be after SHTF. How do you keep your supplies secret? How do you maintain OPSEC whenever everyone else is watching you simply because they have nothing else to do?

Grey man avoids confrontation

It would really depend on the scenario I think. For instance, if everyone was without power, I might not light my house up at night. Knowing that you have a power source, maybe solar panels could give it away that you have resources they don’t have. Of course, the situation will dictate how badly you are hated for having power if your neighbors don’t but I think eventually it could cause problems.

Let’s say there wasn’t an EMP but the grid was taken down by terrorists. Every appliance still works, but the power simply isn’t coming through the wires anymore. Your electricity could at a bare minimum provide conveniences like power for fans, ability to recharge batteries or enable entertainment devices. One of the prepper supplies I made sure I had was a giant roll of heavy black plastic. This has many uses, but one of them could be to blackout my windows. At night, I could run electric and not draw attention.

Food is another resource that will be tough to keep secret, especially if you are cooking outside. The smell of food to a hungry person is not something you can easily keep a lid on. You could heat water outside and use that for your freeze-dried foods as one way to keep the fact that your family is still eating somewhat under wraps. Eventually though people will notice that you aren’t getting slimmer.

What about weapons? This is one that I have considered because I have made preparations that would allow me certain tactical advantages over my unprepped neighbors. What if there was the threat of violence from people walking through and looting? Would I go walking down the street in my tactical holster, bulletproof vest and battle rifle on day one? Probably not, but eventually if things got bad enough that might be my daily outfit. I think if that were the case, my neighbors and I would have other things to worry about than what I had in my house. My hope is that if things ever get that bad, I will be able to help my neighbors and my contributions on that front will give me grace. Maybe that is foolish.

Even if you are completely secretive about your supplies or your neighbors are completely self-sufficient themselves you could face a time when someone is banging on your door demanding you to share what you have. Have you thought about what you would do if that happened?

Like I said, there are many aspects to this concept and the final, possible confrontation is for another post. Practicing the Grey Man concept for your home in a SHTF scenario might put that off for a little while longer though or prevent it entirely and I think that is the whole point.


On a different note, here’s some other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The Lost Ways (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)
Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)
Backyard Liberty (Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns…)
Alive After the Fall (Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need)
The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)
The Patriot Privacy Kit (Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps)

Have you heard of the Grey Man concept? The Grey Man concept simply means blending in and not sticking out. You want to dress, move and act in a way that

Remember the 80s? If you were a kid of the 80s like I was, you probably grew up blabbing to your friends over a walkie-talkie. If you were really cool, you had one that was disguised as a Pepsi bottle too. If you’re stewing at how young I am, I promise I had a string phone too.

Meanwhile, cell phones have become our main, if not only, communication devices because of their versatility, portability and ease of use. However, the problem with relying on them too heavily is that during an emergency, the likelihood of them failing can become a big concern.

If we think about contingencies and recognise the limitations of the devices we rely on so heavily these days, what can we use to fill that gap if the cell networks become overloaded? Enter the venerable radio.

Radio communication is an extensive subject and one that causes a lot of head scratching. I’m not claiming to be an expert, but I have been learning over the years and I’d like to share that experience with you today.

Here are 7 things I wish I knew about radio prepping before I started. And let’s thank Darryl for contributing.

1. How to get a License

We have all heard that if SHTF, no one is going to care if you have a license or not. There are two problems with this:

#1. Operating an amateur radio is a skill.

#2. Hams won’t talk to unlicensed operators.

Ham radio has much more power than other public radio service.

I have also heard that during an emergency, I won’t need a license. There is no such exception to FCC Part 97. Some misquote para. 97.403 and 97.405 as justification, but 97.403 makes it clear that the exception is for the immediate safety of human life and immediate protection of property.

I am sorry, but hams are very snobby about their licenses. If they suspect that you aren’t licensed, they will dig until they find out. We have our ways.

Related: Radio Silence – Communication Without Electronics

2. FCC License Information Is Public

#1. This includes your address, so I recommend that you don’t use your SHTF address as your mailing address for your license. Many hams, including me, have the full FCC database download.

#2. Call signs are in one of ten call areas based upon where you live. Since call areas are fairly large, your call area isn’t a dead giveaway of your location, but it won’t hurt to have a vanity call with a different call area than where you live. Vanity calls are now free and aren’t hard to get. Of course, anyone that has the FCC database will know close to where you are at.

There are three classes of license: Technician, General, and Extra.

Techs have very limited HF privileges; General and Extra have quite a bit more. What HF privileges Techs have aren’t really useful during SHTF. So if you want to talk more than a few miles without the aid of a repeater, then you need a General class license.

3. Bands and Uses (Background for Other Important Information)

There are two main groups of ham bands: HF from 0 to 30 Mhz and VUHF+ from 30Mhz to microwave plus.

I won’t bore you with all the non-HF bands as there are many of them. For full details, see here.

4. VUHF(VHF and UHF) bands are mainly line of sight. This includes the following:

#1. 6 Meters 50-54 Mhz

This band is called the magic band as when conditions are right, its range is thousands of miles, but you can’t depend on it

#2. 2 Meters 144-148 Mhz (just above the FM broadcast band and below the public service VHF band)

This is the heavy lifting band of amateur radio. Most amateur traffic is on this band. Very few people reading this won’t be within the range of a 2-meter repeater. A repeater is ham speak for a station that receives on one frequency and transmits on another frequency to extend the range to tens or hundreds of miles. However, don’t count on repeaters being up after TSHTF.

#3. 1.25 Meter 222.0-225.0 Mhz (This isn’t used much, and not a lot of radios and repeaters can transmit on this band. This would be a good band for near private comms.)

#4. 70 Centimeter 420-450 Mhz (note: There is as much bandwidth on this single band as there is in the entire HF section (not just ham HF). This is also close to FRM/GMRS/.)

Related: The Keys To Effective Prepper Communication

5. HF going from the bottom to the top (Again, I am omitting some of the non-useful bands):

(160-40 Meters will “get longer” during the night, which means it will skip over closer stations and reach greater distances. 20-10 Meters will skip or shut down at times.)

#1. 160 Meters 1.8-2.0 Mhz (regional area) (just above AM broadcast band)

This is a hard band because it takes a very long antenna; therefore, it isn’t heavily used.

It is mainly a nighttime band when it can reach thousands of miles if conditions are right and hundreds of miles during normal conditions. It is mainly used in winter when thunderstorms are at a minimum as the lighting causes interference, called QRN in ham speak.

#2. 80 Meters 3.5-4.0 Mhz (regional area)

This is kind of a hard band, but there are lots of low-cost wire antennas that will get the job done because the length that is required is only to have the 160-meter antenna.

This is the ideal band for preppers to communicate for a few hundred miles because it is easy to bounce it off the sky. More on that later.

#3. 40 Meters 7.0-7.3 Mhz (regional area)

This is another good band for preppers. It’s mainly a nighttime band, but it is usable during daytime for shorter distances.

#4. 20 (14.0-14.35 Mhz, 17(18.068-18.168), 15(21.0-21.45), 12(24.89-24.99 Mhz), and 10 Meters (28.0-29.7 Mhz)

I have lumped these bands together because they are similar in propagation, which is mainly daylight. Twenty meters is the bread and butter band. It is open the longest, and everyone flocks to it.

Twelve and 10 meters are really only open during maximum sunspot cycles.

6. Radio Transmissions Are Not Anonymous!

This is something most people don’t think about. When you press that transmit button, you are sending up a flare for miles (maybe hundreds of miles) saying, “Here I am.” This is done with Radio Direction Finding (RDF), which hams call fox hunting, and they do it for sport.

From the time the SHTF until people start to get hungry and gangs form, there will be a grace period when you can transmit without a lot of concern. However, at some point, the zombie gangs will learn to hunt foxes. It isn’t hard to learn either.

Since the gangs will be looking for low hanging fruit, they will most likely hunt in this order:

#1. CB. They are cheap and powerful. They are the prepper’s go-to radio.

#2. GRMS, FRS, MURS, etc. Lots of FRSs but limit range means they have to be close to hunt. GRMS has more power and therefore greater range. Lots of overlapping channels.

#3. Public service VUHF, HAM VHF

#4. Ham UHF 30 Mhz is a lot of bandwidth to scan through.

#5. Ham HF is hard, so most scanners don’t go below about 26 Mhz.

If you want to communicate with others, you will need to know how to take countermeasures to prevent being hunted. Most of these countermeasures only apply to ham radios. None are foolproof.

Related Prepping 101 – Communication Options

7. Countermeasures

All

  • Keep transmissions short.
  • Rotate frequencies.
  • Use code words for locations.
  • Night time is safer, but that is relative.
  • Set up a hiding cross band repeater as far away from your location as possible. This will extend your range, and if it goes down, then you know there are hunters in the area.
  • Use stealth. Wire antennas are hard to see.

VUHF

  • Avoid channelized radio services. (i.e., CB, FRS, GMRS, MURS, etc.) CBs are the worst!
  • Transmit and receive on different frequencies.
  • Use amateur satellite with directional.
  • Use odd frequencies.
  • Make up your own call signs when not communicating with hams.

HF

HF will be the last to be hunted because most of the signals that can be picked up will be too far away to raid. I don’t think they will ever be hunted, but I am not going to bet my life on it.

  • Use digital modes (PSK-31 may be the best). Lots of signals sound like noise, and it takes good equipment to pick out a DF individual.
  • Use NVIS antennas for 80 and 40 meters. With NVIS, most of the signal goes straight up then bounces down in all directions.

On a different note, here’s some other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The Lost Ways (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)
Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)
Backyard Liberty (Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns…)
Alive After the Fall (Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need)
The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)
The Patriot Privacy Kit (Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps)

The problem with relying on your phone too heavily is that during an emergency, the likelihood of them failing can become a big concern.

Remember when we were kids, and our moms used to tell us to wash the carpets with water and vinegar? Yeah, the aroma alone was enough to send an elephant to the ICU but, surprisingly enough, everything smelled like brand-new afterward. And because I hated doing the carpets and upholstery as a kid, I did my best to stay as far away from that stuff as possible. Big mistake!

Anyway, vinegar does not only go well in salad dressing or to clean various household objects but has many other purposes. And since we simply cannot ignore the fact that vinegar’s just as useful around the house like baking soda and rock salt, I’ve decided to write this not-so-short and an awesome piece on how you can take full advantage of the ghost of wine past in an SHTF situation.

So, without further ado, here are 14 reasons why every prepper should stockpile as much vinegar as possible.

  1. No more bumper stickers and decals

The worst thing about buying a car from a second-hand dealer is that no matter how hard you look at it, you’ll still end up with a surprise or two. Mine was bumper stickers and decals. I don’t know who was the former owner of my car, but that person really had a thing for sticky logos and drawing.

I’m not kidding you when I say that those damned things were everywhere – windshield, side windows. There’s was even one on the left tail light. Anyway, the dealer offered a pretty good bargain, and apart from the stickers, the car was otherwise in great shape.

Now, if you somehow wound up in the same situation as me, forget about WD 40 or sprays for bumper sticker removal. Put two tablespoons of vinegar in a bucket of water and pour over the area covered in stickers.

Wait a couple of minutes and then use an ice scraper to remove the sticker. It works like a charm, and the sticker will come off without leaving any glue marks on the window. You can also try it on decals – same recipe, but repeat the process three times for good results.

Related – Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation

  1. Getting rid of acne

Acne’s now a welcoming sight, regardless if you’re 14 or 44 (yeah, it can happen during late adulthood too). The bad news is that apart from taking your prescription meds and ensuring that your face is al clean and oil-free as possible, there’s not much you can do about it; and, of course, there’s the scratching.

Now, in order to get rid of the itchiness, mix water and four teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass. Use this mixture to wash your face and rinse with clean water. This also helps the tissue heal faster and prevents the icky stuff from spreading.

  1. Making your candle or propane lantern wicks last longer

Emergency candles and propane lanterns are great for those not-so-romantic moments when the power grid fails. However, neither is a long-term solution. If you have reasons to believe that you’ll need to brave the dark a while longer, try soaking the wicks of your emergency candles and propane lanterns in an all-vinegar solution. This will give you at least 3 to 4 hours of flame per candle\lantern.

Related 4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis

  1. Removing Warts

Even the thought of having to endure another wart makes my skin crawl (had one right on my sole). You can go to your local drug store and spend tens of dollar on wart removal solutions which won’t help you with anything other than making a dent in your wallet or you can try this neat prepper remedy.

In a tall water glass, put four teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, and one teaspoon of vegetable glycerin. Shake and leave it be for a couple of minutes.

In the meantime, wash the wart and the surrounding area with soap and clean water and dry off with a towel. Dap both the wart and the area around it with betadine or another disinfectant.

Now, soak a gauze in the vinegar+water+glycerin mixture and clean the warty area. Do these two or three times a day. By the end of the second day, you’ll see that the wart begins to shrink. Continue the treatment until the bulge disappears. You’re welcome!

  1. Stop the tummy-rumbling.’

In case you forgot to buy antacid or any other kind of tummy pill, you can soothe your rumbling stomach by drinking a glass of water mixed with two teaspoons of vinegar. Also does wonders for heartburns, heartaches, and, possibly, broken hearts.

  1. No more dandruff

This may no quality as an SHTF situation, but then again, dandruff is neither healthy nor aesthetic. I found that regular anti-dandruff shampoos don’t do shit about that white stuff. However, if you add a splash of apple cider vinegar to your hair before using regular shampoo, dandruff will bother you no longer.

Here’s what you’ll need to do – get some moisture into your hair and add two squirts of vinegar. Massage your scalp and wait at least five minutes. Rinse with plenty of water. Finish up with regular shampoo or conditioner.

Bear in mind that depending on your type of hair and skin you may need to repeat this process. I myself had to wash my hair three times a week with vinegar and shampoo for two weeks before I got rid of dandruff.

  1. Best pest-repellant ever

I admit that I sometimes forget to drive my pets to the vet clinic for their regular checkups and, of course, delousing. But that doesn’t mean that I allow those awful fleas to do as they will.

Now, if you really haven’t the time nor the money for the vet, because shit happens, put one teaspoon of vinegar in a glass of water and use this mixt to wash your dog’s fur (haven’t tested it on my cats ‘cause, you know cats and waters really don’t mix). Wait for at least a couple of hours before rinsing with plenty of water.

Related –How to make the ultimate painkilling tincture

  1. Making veggies green again

You really don’t need to throw every wilted veggie in the fridge. All they need is a little love, tenderness, and a splash of apple cider vinegar. In a spraying bottle, mix one tablespoon of vinegar with cold water. Give your veggies good spraying, and they’ll regain that hunter-green color in no time.

  1. Keeping diabetes in check

You know that you really don’t need to use that insulin pen each time there’s a small variation in your blood sugar levels, right? In most diabetes cases, glucose levels can be kept at a normal value by eating the right stuff.

Now, in case you have issues controlling that blood sugar level, drink a glass of water mixed with two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. Please keep in mind that this is only a short-term solution, which means that you will still need to take your prescription meds and use insulin if there are bigger variations.

  1. Removing rust from moving parts

In the past, vinegar has been successfully employed to remove rust from moving parts like cogwheels, springs, and levers. You can also use it to get rid of rust from just about any kind of metallic.

In order to free up a mechanism that simply refuses to budge on account of the rust, take out all the moving parts and soak them overnight in water and vinegar. Take out, allow them to dry, and reassemble the mechanism. If there’s still friction, take it apart again and repeat the procedure.

  1. Removing candle wax from wooden surfaces

Nothing beat a romantic candlelit dinner, especially after the light goes out. Dinner – good, removing candle wax from furniture and tablecloth – very, very bad. Well, it’s not that hard to get the excess wax out, but it tends to leave a nasty behind.

Here’s how to get rid of candle wax fast and easy – use a hair drier to heat up the wax. Mix water and vinegar in a small bowl. Use this concoction to scrub the area.

  1. Eating pesticide-free veggies

I love going to the farmer’s market to purchase my favorite veggies. Still, whatever I do doesn’t seem to make a difference when it comes to the pesticide part – sure, there, more or less, safe to eat, but they sure have a funky taste. Sometimes I even contemplate skipping dinner and grab some take-out because I lack the emergency to wash every lettuce or cabbage leaf.

In searching for ways to get rid of dirt and pesticides from veggies fast, I stumbled upon this little prepper’s trick which involves the use of apple cider vinegar and baking soda. I can state for the fact that it works – even the taste’s different.

Here’s how to do it – fill your sink with clean and cold water (don’t forget about the plug). Add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and one tablespoon of baking soda. Now place your veggies inside and let them soak for at least 15 minutes. Drain the water, rinse with cold water, and enjoy a pesticide-free veggies dinner.

Related –The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us

  1. Crafting a fly trap

Word of caution before I tell you how to piece together the trap – this only works for gnats or fruit flies. I wouldn’t try out on other flying critters.

Anyway, grab the biggest mason jar you find around the house and use a nail or your survival knife to poke a couple of holes in the lid. Bear in mind that these holes must be big enough for the flies to pass through. Fill the jar halfway with apple cider vinegar and place on the kitchen counter. Attracted by the sweet smell, the flies will go inside and drown.

  1. Getting rid of callouses on your feet

Staying on your feet from dusk till dawn is probably one of the best health shots. Still, your feet might have a thing or two to say at the end of the day. Callouses are nasty, and there but the first step to other ‘wonderful’ things such as blisters and even warts.

There’s a way to get rid of those callouses and, of course, the not-so-great smell that goes along with them. Before hitting the sack, fill the bathtub with warm water. Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and soak your feet for at least 20 minutes. I personally prefer to add a little bit of Epsom salts – they’re very soothing for the skin and prevents crackling.

 

Did I manage to convince you to stockpile more apple cider vinegar? Hit the comments section and let me know your thoughts.

I thought you needed a break from our Weed Week. 

However, starting a pot stock-pile is also a very good idea.

I’m just saying.

God Bless.


Other Self-sufficiency and Preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The Lost Ways (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)
Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)
Backyard Liberty (Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns…)
Alive After the Fall (Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need)
The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)
The Patriot Privacy Kit (Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps)

Ok, let's talk vinegar. Or what happens when wine goes bad. Or, as we preppers like to call it, the stuff that dreams are made of.

Being the not-so-proud resident of a city that has more issues than a high-school teenager, electrical the most part, I was kinda forced to go full MacGyver on a lot of stuff. Sure, I don’t mind opening the tap only to see muddy water or realizing that I can’t take a shower before going to work because some neighhbor shut off the main line to install a new sink, but I really go berserk each time the power goes out. Never mind the fact that I can’t use my PC, but, apparently, I’m the only around here who has to remind the others about keeping their damned smartphones charged at all time. Anyway, seeing that the authorities aren’t lifting a finger to find a more permanent solution to these blackouts, I began searching for ways to power up and\or charge my electronics.

Of course, one doesn’t need a degree in physics to figure out that most of the tips you find online are not only BS, but dangerous as well. So, after snooping around for a bit, I came across this pretty ingenious and simple way of charging any kind of phone battery using stuff lying around the house. Tried on a couple of my electronics, and guess what – it worked like a charm. Sure, it’s not as efficient as the outlet charging method, but hey. , it works. We do live in troubling times – today, it’s a power outage (if that seems like a trifle, go and check out what happened in Venezuela at the beginning of the month). Tomorrow, it can be an EMP attack. So, having said that, here’s my caveman-style trick of charging any electronic gadget when the power goes out the window.

You will need:

  • One 9V Alkaline battery (go for Varta or Duracell if you want extra juice).
  • One spring (you can salvage one from an old ballpoint pen).
  • A car charger (make sure the car charger has a USB port).
  • Your phone’s power cable minus the dongle.
  • Tape.

To try this charging method, I’ve used my daughter’s Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016), which has a 3600 mAh battery. Already got the stuff? Good! Here’s what you’ll need to do next.

Assembling the charger

Step 1. Take apart the ballpoint and salvage the string. Don’t straighten it or anything. You’ll need it intact. Step 2.  Insert one end of the spring in the battery’s negative pole. FYI, it’s the big one. It’s always the big one. Step 3. While holding the spring end inserted into the battery’s negative terminal, connect the other end to car charger’s positive terminal – it’s the little metallic bar on the side. Step 4. Once the two terminals are connected, use plenty of tape to secure the battery to the charger. Step 5. Connect the charger’s metallic nub to the battery’s positive terminal. Again, tape the shit out of them to prevent them from falling apart. Step 6. Wrap some more tape around the thingamajig. Step 7. Connect your phone’s power cable to the car charger’s USB slot. Step 8. Plug in the phone. Step 9. Charge your phone like a boss!

More on makeshifts phone-charging methods

You know the saying: if it looks stupid, but it works, then it’s not stupid (just ugly).  One thing you need to understand is that you won’t get a full charge out of a single 9V battery. The Varta cell I’ve used put out 550 mAh. And considering that the phone has a 3,600 mAh battery, it means that you need around six or 7 batteries for a full charge. Wouldn’t recommend relying solely on bats to get a full charge because you will have to redo the entire process. This method’s great if you need just enough juice to power up your phone to call a family member or 9-1-1 in case of an emergency.

Still, you need to consider that there are different types of phone batteries out there on the market. For instance, my wife has an Apple iPhone 8, which has a 1,821 mAh battery. Obviously, it takes fewer 9Vs to juice up her phone compared to that of my daughter. Careful about these newer models, as some of them might not draw electricity from below-nominal sources. Another charging method which I’ve been trying to try out for months (I think I will use a tablet this time), involves D batteries, paperclips, and, of course, some tape.

Takes a little bit of tinkering though – compared to the method I just showed you, this one is a bit trickier because you will need to arrange the batts in a certain fashion.

To pull this off, you’ll need eight D batteries, paperclips (those without plastic covers), tape, your phone’s cable, and a car charger. Basically, you must arrange the batteries in such a fashion that the negative terminal from the one on top can be bridged with the positive terminal on the bottom battery with a paperclip. Do this on both sides and then use two paperclips and tape to secure the car charger’s positive and negative terminal. Don’t know for sure how efficient this method is, but considering that one D battery has an output of 1.5V, I don’t think it’s really that efficient.

It’s still worth a shot if you have a lot of Ds lying around and no other way to charge your phone. Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed my take on going full MacGyver on dying phones. Word of caution though: I wouldn’t try this method to power up a laptop or any device bigger than a small phone or tablet. You can end up damaging the power supply and losing everything inside if you tinker with supplies other than those specified in the manual.

You should also keep an eye out on the device while it’s charging. If you hear a strange, buzz-like sound, disconnect the device immediately. Let me know in the comment section how the method worked out for you.


Other Self-sufficiency and Preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The Lost Ways (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)
Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)
Backyard Liberty (Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns…)
Alive After the Fall (Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need)
The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)
The Patriot Privacy Kit (Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps)

We do live in troubling times – today, it’s a power outage. Tomorrow, it can be an EMP attack.