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The world we live in continues to get scarier and uglier with each passing day. During any disaster, you want to be as secluded as possible from any looters and punks.

Living on a suburban homestead still places you within the civil unrest danger area because you are located so close to a city but putting your backyard to work for you to increase your level of self-reliance and investing in alternative power, will make you more prepared to live without outside help during at least a short-term disaster.

There are many reasons why a homestead is the ideal place to be during a SHTF scenario. We’ll be looking at the top 20 emergencies you’re more likely to survive on a homestead than in an urban or suburban location

#1. Pandemic

One of the most likely disasters to occur next is a pandemic. Any airborne illness can be transferred rapidly, especially in the city surrounded by a large crowd of people.

On your homestead, you have the luxury of privacy and isolation. While on your homestead, the chances of you catching any airborne disease is very slim.

When the SHTF, if anyone in your family or group has the disease that led to the pandemic, you have the opportunity to use a shed or building on your homestead and create a quarantine. Making a quarantine on your homestead will decrease the chances of the illness being spread quickly.

power grid lines

#2. Power Grid Down

Hackers can easily attack our power grid and people that are not prepared will not have any idea on how to survive.

You can live off-grid on your homestead while still feeding and protecting yourself and your family. Or, if you choose to have different energy sources besides electric, such as wind, solar, hydro, steam power, or natural gas, you will be able to make it when the power grid goes down. If you do not have either of these options on your homestead yet, you can use a generator for a short amount of time while you build yourself a wind turbine or hydropower system.

#3. WWIII

WWIII is very likely to happen with all the chaos from North Korea and Russia. If WWIII would break out, your homestead could protect you from various situations.

If WWIII would occur on our homeland, major cities would be the first targets. Small towns and rural villages would be attacked next. You want to be as isolated as possible during any war.

You will be secluded on your homestead which makes your group less detected and not as likely to become a victim. If you have plenty of acres on your homestead, you can set up traps and be stealthy while on “look out.” The people in your group can also plan for hideouts within your homestead to lessen the risk of you being caught or killed during WWII.

#4. Economic Collapse

During an economic collapse, you will not have to worry as much about the survival of your family because your homestead will already be providing for their basic needs.

If an economic collapse would occur again, people will be looting all stores and gas stations. They will be desperate for food for their family once they run out of food. When people become desperate for food and water, they will be willing to do anything to feed their family, even if that includes killing people to get their belongings.

You also have livestock on your homestead which will provide your family and loved ones to not have to stress about starving. With the livestock on your homestead, you will not need to have you or a member in your group travel to town to gather food and other items, which would possibly save a life.

riot

#5. Civil Unrest

Sadly, civil unrest has occurred more frequently in recent years due to increasing cultural, political, and racial tensions in our society. Even a slight difference of opinion or the uttering of a politically incorrect comment can cause violence and near rioting. The extent of the violence that occurred in Ferguson just a few years ago clearly illustrates how quickly a single spark can turn an entire neighborhood into chaos that costs millions of dollars to repair.

You do not want to be in the city where these riots can break out due to how dangerous they can become. Thankfully, you will be safe and sound on your homestead and not have to worry about punks coming onto your land causing a riot. Your homestead will keep you isolated from the chaotic mess.

#6. Martial Law

If WWIII would begin or if civil unrest goes to the extreme, Martial Law is a huge possibility.

If Martial Law happened in your town, consider all your freedoms vanished. The government can and will walk into your home and swipe your most valuable belongings. Your guns being the first items they take. You will have a curfew and will have strict living regulations.

Thanks to your livestock and garden on your homestead, you will not have to travel to town to gather food which will protect you from being spotted by the government. Eventually when people run out of their food stock, they are going to run to the government for help and end up being sent to FEMA camps. At the FEMA camps, they will basically be like prisoners and many will die. You and your family will be self-reliant on your homestead, so it won’t really affect you when Martial Law is happening.

Make sure to hide your weapons in places they wouldn’t think to look. Such as inside your couch (staple it back up so they won’t be able to tell your rifles are hiding in there), and you can also purchase clocks that open for you to hide your handguns and ammo.

solar cme

#7. EMP

An EMP striking is America’s worst nightmare. EMP catastrophes can end civilization and result to TEOTWAWKI. There would be years of darkness to recreate the power grid. That’s years without hospitals, transportation, gas, grocery stores, communication, and any electricity.

The horses on your homestead can provide you with transportation. All you need to do is saddle them up or jump on and ride bareback to get to any needed location. You can also haul items (such as wood, water, or injured people) on the back of your horse.

Your livestock will provide you with meat and dairy, so you won’t have to worry about anyone in your group dying of starvation or dehydration. You also can live off your garden and receive all your vegetable nutrition.

#8. Job Loss

Many homesteaders and preppers prepare for doomsday events but don’t often prep for personal SHTF scenarios. If you experience job loss, you and your family can get by on your homestead without struggling.

For food, you can butcher your livestock and hunt for deer on your land. For drinks, you can use a water purifier on your creek or any water supply or milk your cow or goat.

If you need money to pay your bills, you can breed your livestock, sell them, or butcher your livestock and sell the meat and their hide. If you have chickens, you can sell their eggs by the dozen for extra income.

If you do not have enough money to purchase hay, you can get your tractor out and take it out to your field and begin making your own.

drought

#9. Drought

If your local area experiences a drought, your family and livestock won’t necessarily have to worry about becoming dehydrated. Your rainwater collection system on the homestead allows you to stockpile water that can easily be purified for both human and livestock consumption – as well as garden watering.

Get into the habit of stockpiling extra water from your creek or pond to help you better prepare for a potential drought in the future. Put extra water in water barrels, mason jars and other containers, and stockpile them up for later. You will also need to gather up buckets to fill up with water to haul down to your animal’s multiple and to haul water down to your garden. You don’t want your crops becoming dry and dying out.

#10. Snowstorm

Wood is one of the most valuable resources on your homestead and will be essential during a SHTF situation. With all the trees surrounding you on your homestead, you can cut them down and start chopping up the wood. Chop and split wood during the spring, summer, and fall so you have a healthy stockpile to use each winter. A home without heat will cause illness and ultimately death, during a winter snowstorm. Frostbite and hypothermia can set in quickly and it is unlikely first responders will be able to reach your home to help the patient due to weather and road conditions.

You can use your wood for your woodstove, make a fire for warmth, use the wood to boil water to purify your water, or use wood to make your food over it. Wood can also be used to build extra shelters for family or anyone in your group, so they can get out of the nasty frigid weather.

#11. Summer Heat Wave

Intense summer heat puts a drain on the power grid because air conditioners are running nonstop. Designing a home to make best use of natural air flow and putting in a basement to retreat to for a break from the heat, will help prevent you and your loved ones from becoming heat stroke victims.

If the power is out for long, generators at grocery and gas stores will run out of fuel. People will not be able to replenish their supplies and can become desperate for food, generator fuel, and water.

Take steps to prevent the creation of additional heat inside your home by cooking your stockpiled and preserved food outdoors. Grill or over a fire in the morning before the heat of the day starts.

Both you and the livestock you are keeping can use the pond or creek on the homestead to keep cool. Take dips in the waterway and mist yourself and the animals with water throughout the day.

For breakfast, lunch, or dinner you can squeeze your fresh fruits or veggies from your garden into juice to cool you off and give you energy. You can also grab one of your homegrown watermelons and snack on that to replace the electrolytes you lost while sweating profusely while doing chores during the hot wave.

flood

#12. Flooding

Your homestead can protect you from flooding because you can dig ditches around your home, barn, and buildings to help direct water away. You can also fill your stockpiled feed sacks with sand or dirt to help prevent water from reaching your home, growing areas, and outbuildings.

If you live on a suburban homestead, make up sand bags in advance to help protect your backyard garden. Storing preps in your basement could be a huge mistake if your region is prone to flooding. Use wall and ceiling mounted storage units to protect your long-term storage food and gear from rising water.

Flood waters destroy crops and kill livestock, causing food prices to rise and potential shortages. The food you have preserved and stockpiled will help keep you and your family from growing hungry during the days, weeks, and months it may take the community or region to recover from the flood.

When the roads are covered and unsafe to travel, you will be able to rely on your homestead to provide for all your basic needs and not risk getting in a vehicle.

wildfire

#13. Wild Fires

If a wild fire blazes across the region it can destroy homes and crops. The stockpiles you have on the homestead survival retreat could see you through a time when you are out of work and protect you from either a food shortage or price gouging. Building your home out of poured concrete, cinder block, and a metal roof will help protect it from wild fire.

If a wild fire breaks out near your homestead, you can rush to your creek, pond, river, lake, or any water source nearby and attempt to get the fire out.

Dig fire breaks around your home, keep brush cleared, and engage in select cutting in your wooded areas to further harden the homestead from seasonal brush fires that destroy properties of people who did not exercise sound fire deterrent practices.

#14. Earthquake

An earthquake can be hard to prepared for if you aren’t warned in advance. For the aftermath of an earthquake, your homestead makes you self-sufficient. If the nearby grocery store or convenience store collapsed, you would still be able to provide you and your loved ones with delicious food on your homestead.

If power lines go down from the earthquake, you will be able to use your alternative energy sources to provide power to the home. You can also make your own alternative fuel run your generator, so your frozen meat doesn’t go bad and any frozen food that you canned.

The homestead will also provide you with trees to cut down for warmth, cooking, and water from your pond, rainwater collection barrel system, or creek.

tornado

#15. Tornados

You can use the root cellar on the homestead as a bunker during a tornado. The underground storage area should protect you and your loved ones from the forceful winds and flying debris if both it and the door entry-way were built in a sturdy manner.

#16. Terror Attack

Your homestead would be one of the safest places to be during a terror attack because of the isolation. When you see the headlines on the news of such attacks, you’ll notice that the majority of the attacks occurred in a big city. Cities are usually the targeted location because there are so many more individuals in the city to make victims.

During a terror attack, you will be able to sit cozy on your homestead and not need to travel to town to gather up food, water, or any belongings. If you need anything to eat, you can just walk on out to your barn or butcher shop instead of risking the lives of you and your family members by entering a big crowd of people.

#17. Nuclear War

Not everyone will die during a nuclear war. The further you are away from the explosion, the better. Although, even if you are all the way across the country from the location of the nuclear bomb, you will still have to worry about radiation in the air.

Build a nuclear fallout shelter on your homestead and use it to store some of the food and medicines you grow so it is always stocked and ready for you to live.

Even if you are far from the attack area, the food supply chain will be disrupted, causing a shortage and riots by panicked people desperate for clean water to drink, food to eat, and emergency medical care. Your survival homesteading retreat will provide you with all these things – without being forced to leave the safety of your home.

Plan for nuclear contamination issues and learn how to cover your growing crops and water supply to protect them from radiation and acid rain.

#18. Cyber Attack

Cyber attack could take down power grid or destroy financial system and wipe out your bank accounts. Most people won’t know what to do without having their money but luckily you are prepared.

Your homestead will allow you to survive without money. You won’t need to trade anything for food because you have your livestock and garden. But if there is any other item you want or need, you can also barter or trade your livestock, crops, canned goods, farm equipment, wood, medicine, herbs, purified water, and any other necessities that others would trade with.

#19. Illness and Injury

One thing you do not want to happen to any of the members in your group is to experience an injury or illness. Your herbal apothecary on your homestead will help tremendously on naturally treating the illnesses and injuries. Your additional herbs can also help ease the pain during any illness or injury. There are natural home remedies that can even treat tetanus! Make sure to stock up on colloidal silver and keep in your first aid kit.

In your quarantine, you can keep your loved one safe and sound while you wait for them to get better to reduce the risk of other loved ones catching their illness.

#20. Food Shortage

During any type of disaster, people will eventually experience food shortage and will result to death.

Your livestock gives you the gift of meat and dairy. You will have a lot of food and milk to get you and your family by. You can freeze extra meat and can your milk to make a stockpile for when you run out of your current supply. You should also can your garden goodies for easy access!

For additional meat, you can grab your gun or bow and hit the woods looking for deer on your homestead.

Final Word

Living on a homestead gives you so much more access to food rather than living in a city. People will be out scouting the streets, breaking into houses, and rioting in grocery stores with empty shelves, while you and your family will have a food supply that you are living comfortably with.

The world we live in continues to get scarier and uglier with each passing day. During any disaster, you want to be as secluded as possible from any looters and

Does it seem like everyone in your house gets sick in the fall? The kids catch a cold at school, they bring it home, and before you know it—everyone is coughing, sniffling, and feeling gross.

Great news! Here are the best natural ways to stay healthy this fall—even when everyone around you is sick.

There are five main pieces to the natural wellness puzzle: social support, diet, disinfection, activity, and stress relief.

Stay Healthy: Social Support

Are you surprised to see this listed first? It’s no accident. Social relationships have been scientifically proven to support good health. In fact, “people with stronger social relationships had a 50% increased likelihood of survival than those with weaker social relationships.”

Interaction with others (in real life, not online) makes a huge difference in our health. If you’re retired or work from home like me, you have to make time to connect.

Call a friend, or meet up for tea. Check out one of the free events at your local library. Volunteer at the hospital or animal shelter. Try a Meetup group—there’s one for just about every interest.

Stay Healthy: Nutritious Diet

A nutritious diet is a huge part of keeping yourself healthy. Try to stay away from boxed mixes and packaged foods, because they contain lots of additives and chemicals you don’t need.

Here are the best natural ways to stay healthy this fall—even when everyone around you is sick. There are five main pieces to the natural wellness puzzle: social support, diet, disinfection, activity, and stress relief.

Add in fermented foods like sauerkraut, kombucha, and yogurt whenever you can. The probiotics in fermented foods improve digestion and strengthen your immune system. A bowl of yogurt topped with blueberries is a healthy, nutritious snack that gives you probiotics and antioxidants.

Stay Healthy: Disinfection

You already know to wash your hands often—but chances are, your kids are not washing them enough. As soon as they come home from school, give them a bath or run them through the shower to stay one step ahead of the germs.

Here are the best natural ways to stay healthy this fall—even when everyone around you is sick. There are five main pieces to the natural wellness puzzle: social support, diet, disinfection, activity, and stress relief.

You can disinfect surfaces and kill germs naturally without using bleach. This combo is great for counters, phones, light switches, and door knobs.

Stay Healthy: Activity

Make sure to move your body as much as you can. You don’t have to work yourself to exhaustion. Every little bit of activity helps! At work, take the stairs or go for a walk on your break. At home, have a dance party with the kids, work in the garden, or do squats while you brush your teeth.

Here are the best natural ways to stay healthy this fall—even when everyone around you is sick. There are five main pieces to the natural wellness puzzle: social support, diet, disinfection, activity, and stress relief.

Stay Healthy: Stress Relief

Besides making you feel bad, stress can directly affect your physical health. You can’t make stress go away completely, but the tips shared in Blue Shield of California’s member resource center, such as this, will help!

Daily exercise, nutritious food, and time with friends are stress-reducers.

Getting enough sleep also helps keep stress levels down. Here are natural ways to fall asleep without taking pills.

A cup of herbal tea with chamomile or lemon balm is soothing and calming. A drop of lavender essential oil on your wrists or behind your ears can help relieve stress too.

Does it seem like everyone in your house gets sick in the fall? The kids catch a cold at school, they bring it home, and before you know it—everyone is

Hey there internet. We need to have a talk on the subject of what’s yours and what’s mine.

The state of network security is that it is in shambles, even if you have a lot of resources and IT teams at your disposal.

It’s absolutely insane how open information networks are, especially those that are used at homes and small businesses. There is a lot to think about in terms of what level of privacy is realistic and how far you can take security without just stepping on your own feet and making it harder to use your networks.

I think it is worth it to go over some of the major examples of hacking incidents over the last 10 years and then let’s dive in to what this means for you and the security of the private information you value in your personal and work life. When reading remember that in modern times

There is no true privacy on the World Wide Web.

Equifax

An estimated 143 million people in the US had their names, addresses, social security numbers, drivers license numbers and more stolen. Some say this is the worst personal info security breach in American history to date.

The bummer is that they had a security protocol for two months before this happened and simply failed to install this update so hackers had ample time to glean info.

Predator Drones

In 2011, it was revealed that the US military’s drone fleet was infected with a virus known as a key logger. So far they claim that there has been no case of them losing control of a drone but they have said recently that the virus keeps coming back. After 6 years, they suspect it is benign but they don’t know.

These are sophisticated machines and weapons that contain valuable information. Them there is the fact that a hacked drone could be used for some pretty bad things. If any agency should be worried about how vulnerable their security is, it should be those that have the safety and security of others on line.

Other incidents of predator drone hacking have been reported as well. Take the case back in 2009 where Defense officials are quoted by The Associated Press as saying that there was evidence of at least one incident of insurgents in Afghanistan monitoring drone video feeds.

In 2011 the Iranian military reported to the Christian Science Monitor that they were responsible for hacking and taking down a CIA surveillance drone worth millions. Not only that, they did it using very basic computer navigational know how that allowed them to even bring it to a soft landing. An engineer on the inside is quoted as saying “By putting noise [jamming] on the communications, you force the bird into autopilot. This is where the bird loses its brain.”

Bay Area Transit System

The Bay Area Transit System ticketing system was hacked and files encrypted. The Transit System lost a lot of money because they let everyone ride for free on the day of the hack. The hackers demanded 100 Bitcoins which at the time totaled around $74,000. They did not pay the ransom but their IT team managed to get things in order.

You have to wonder how much information was actually stolen at the time. It could have been worse. Look at the example of the 14 year old that hacked his hometown of Lodz, Poland’s tram system and derailed 4 cars. Luckily no one was killed but who can say what the future holds in such an insecure world?

IRS

In 2015 the IRS was hacked and 700,000 accounts had their information put into jeopardy. Since you are required to give the IRS information there is really nothing you can do to protect your IRS account. They are supposed to do it for you but get this, in 2017 they awarded Equifax, yep the same company that lost a record breaking amount of records to hackers, to take care of the fraud protection for their site.

We should not be surprised when it happens again. In fact it gets better, Equifax also designed the software for logins that resulted in a hack in 2015. So they were awarded another contract after making the biggest identity hack mistake in the USA to date. Is it just me or does that make no sense at all?

Uber

It was recently revealed that Uber was hacked and customer info was held for ransom. Uber took the approach of paying the ransom and then covering it up until it was leaked and they were forced to publicly acknowledged what happened.

In 2016 a bank employees computer was hacked and used to make payments using the SWIFT system. Although $81 million was actually stolen when it was done, they are making an effort to steal an amazing $1 billion.

This is supported by the fact that they used fake emails to indicate to the New York Federal Reserve that they wished to transfer this money. The $81 million that did get stolen was sent to casinos and agents for casinos. A lot of this money is still missing.

Office of Personnel Management and the Department of Defense

In 2015 the OPM and the Department of Defense admitted that two major data breaches had resulted in   the personal information of 21.5 million people being made available to hackers. The records included the personal information of government employees with major security clearances as well as info about their friends and family and those that were put on applications as references for very sensitive government jobs.

It is estimated that 1.1 million sets of fingerprints were stolen. These hacks mean that intelligence operatives may be exposed to other governments thus jeopardising any future missions they may take part in as well as putting their safety at risk both in and out of the workplace.

If top agencies are incapable of protecting the most sensitive personal info of secret agents, then that truly shows the deplorable state of digital security in the United States today.

In Iran in January 2010, at the Natanz Uranium Enrichment Plant in Iran, something was clearly wrong. For some reason centrifuges used to enrich the uranium gas were failing when they shouldn’t. Five months later a security firm was working on an unrelated call and discovered Stuxnet.

This virus is not like others because it is made to actually cause mechanical damage to equipment. In the Belarus case it was causing computers to crash and reboot constantly.

It was then discovered that Stuxnet was causing the pressure within centrifuges to not be regulated at safe levels. The Natanz plant had an air gapped system so there was no way to get Stuxnet into the plant without an external source.

How did they do it? A simple USB drive with Stuxnet on it was used at 5 companies with known links to the plant.

Thus there was some info coming in on USB drives from the outside. While it was not from the internet this goes to show that any sharing of information from “the outside” is a breach and eventually that is probably going to mean your air gapped system has something sinister on it that could lead to a disaster of unprecedented scale when you are talking about nuclear power.

The editor of The Wired, Kim Zetter wrote a full length book called Countdown to Zero Day covering the whole story of Stuxnet for those that are interested in further details about this case and what it means as we think about the security of networks throughout the world.

The Electric Kettle and Iron Incident

Back in 2013, CBS News reported on an incident where electric tea kettles manufactured in China were found to have hidden wireless transmitters in them. Sure this was reported originally by Russia and regardless of how you feel about them, there is evidence that they are right.

A wireless transmitter is small enough to fit into virtually any device that plugs in and it costs little to do it. The transmitters in the kettles and irons reportedly could connect to any hidden Wifi network with no password protection within 656 feet.

In a densely populated area that could be dozens of networks and a lot of stolen information! This is a technique known as “phishing”. If you send out a few thousands of these then one could hope that a few will find their way into a board room or maybe even somewhere better than that. Since transmitters are so cheap, it can definitely be worth it to send out a lot even if only a few every send back anything of true value.

When you live in a world where even the tea kettle might have a bug then privacy is a thing of the past.

Facebook and Social Media

I find myself looking at Facebook too much because more people use it to communicate than ever. I am amazed what people reveal on there. All your posts are indexed! Sometimes if I lose a photo I just go on Facebook and use a search term.

They never lose anything but that doesn’t mean others cannot download your entire Facebook record. Social media encourages the sharing of outlandish behavior and your posts can definitely be used as evidence.

Many a trial has been sped up because of social media evidence. There is little surprise that when you follow the money, one sees that CIA money was involved in the start up of Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg may seem like a major success story to entrepreneurs but he had a lot of help along the way.

Facebook is a way to get the general populace to share information and pictures that they otherwise might have kept private. It is not a bad deal for the CIA , FBI, etc. to let citizens do a portion of their job for them. Facebook was an amazing investment for them that has payed off big.

Twitter and other social media outlets are also used to gather info but it is hard to compare them to the wealth of info that Facebook has archived and is gathering daily.

Smart Devices = Spying

There is no way I will ever have Smart Appliances in my home or locks that are controlled with Smart technology that allows remote access and control. Nor do I relish the idea of a hacker being able to turn the heat up or down in my home or have appliances spying on my private conversations.

I also really don’t think anyone really needs a fridge that has access to Pandora music and Facebook. Are we really that distracted to think we need these things? Also they add a lot of expense to an appliance. My $500 fridge has served us fine over the years.

You might remember the fuss made when it was revealed that Samsung Smart televisions were capable of spying. The experts at The Wired have some tips on “How To Stop Your Smart TV From Spying On You.”

If you choose to use Smart Devices then you need to consider if they are worth losing some privacy over in your communications and the daily grind at your home and work.

So why are major network security breaches and hacking incidents more common than ever?

Windows operating systems are the most common and also very insecure no matter what you do.

Windows is one of the most insecure operating systems out there. The National Security Administration has a major back door built into it and hackers know it inside and out. Without a good antivirus program it seems to barely be functional.

The days of Linux and Mac offering a high level of security are over.

Linux based systems are not as secure as they once were. There was a time where it was not as hackable and viruses barely every reared their heads. I am still a big fan of Linux based operating systems and there are some out there that are supposed to be more secure than others but they are not necessarily as compatible and easy to use for the average user.

The main reason that Linux is no longer secure is thanks to the CIA/NSA demanding that a backdoor be built in. They have a lot of clout and you no longer even have the option of having any privacy from government agencies both domestic and foreign as well as any sophisticated non state actor.

Although the video below tries to be humorous, you are smart enough to see behind the lines. Who is going to stick their neck out too far?

It is clear that designers of all major computer operating systems were approached by intelligence agencies and given a choice where there is really only one answer if you want to stay in business. The old phrase “take the silver or the lead” comes to mind.

What would you do if a major agency approached you and offered you money or a lot of trouble? Why you take the money so you can stay in business.

Privacy Considerations To Remember

All cell phones have GPS in them even if they don’t have any internet access on them. Telecommunications are constantly providing all cell phone meta data making it so phones are being tracked all the time. Law enforcement and other agencies can access this info with ease.

All modern cars have anti-theft devices that house a GPS transmitter so your vehicle can be tracked all the time. This means tow truck drivers can track down where you are parked if they are coming to repossesses a vehicle someone has stopped making payments on.

Cars can be hacked using the Wifi system. Many modern vehicles have Wifi which allows an easy door in. 

  • OnStar in your car is always on
  • Amazon Alexa is always on
  • Google is always on and sending location data even if you have disabled location services. Android phones are always transmitting your location data so don’t think just Windows phones and similar are doing this. 

Police have Stingray Technology To Track You

Stingrays are also known as cell site simulators or “IMSI catchers” are devices designed to track you via your cell phone signal. Stingrays send out signals that convince cell phones in the area to send them your location and identifying info. When this technology is used it can also get the info of a lot of people who are using cell phones in the given area.

Put a piece of tape over your camera

The former director of the FBI James Comey himself told The Hill that he puts tape over his webcam and had this to say about security at the FBI offices.

“You go into any government office and we all have the little camera things that sit on top of the screen,” he added. “They all have a little lid that closes down on them. You do that so that people who don’t have authority don’t look at you. I think that’s a good thing.”

Computers have build in microphones and cameras in them that can be utilized by hackers. If you value your privacy then you should at the least disable your microphone by going into your computer’s hardware settings or if you want to make it inoperable you can put glue in the microphone hole. Add a piece of tape or use a black permanent marker to cover your camera lens. 

It is more secure to use a USB camera and microphone that you plug in and use as needed and then unplug when not being used. If you notice in Comey’s statement he says that the FBI uses this protocol.

You can secure your network from other citizens that lack major hacking skills but that is about as good as it gets.

Encypting your computer and network is possible. This can prevent others from leaching off your wifi or use your network for nefarious purposes. Be aware though that WEP2 encryption protocol is compromised so that means any network can be compromised even if encrypted.

Don’t open unknown emails and watch out what sites you visit and allow access to your info

Phishing emails and using some types of websites can result in viruses and spyware that can capture your information and slow your computer down.

Don’t give up on your network password but realize how little security it can offer if someone really wants to get into your network.

Make sure you have a complicated secure network password. This means no using the most common names in your life. While you can change passwords often if you want, this doesn’t offer as much protection as you might think. Networks transmit passwords and keyloggers and spyware can pick them up quite easily.

No matter what you do, if the places you are required by law to give info to are hacked then your info and files are out there.

Charges that are unauthorised and file breaches happen all the time and you never know it because companies catch it and correct it before it causes you issues. Sometimes they will let you know if it is bad enough that they need to change your card but you probably don’t know about the vast majority of them. It is good that they catch them and it doesn’t cause common folks trouble but it would be very disturbing to know exact figures.

Turn down your range

I know that in the past I have written about relaying your internet signal but at the same time if security is your concern you need to turn down your signal so that it does not broadcast past where you actually need it. The more you are broadcasting a Wifi signal the easier it is for someone to notice your network and start poking around.

Pay for a reputable anti virus and spyware remover and keep it up to date

There are many different anti virus programs out there to choose from. All of those listed are $20-$40.

Consider an alternative Linux based operating system.

Linux based systems are more secure and there is definitely less Malware and Viruses designed with it in mind but over time that might change even more than it already has. Ubuntu is the most common Linux system but there are some that are designed to be more secure.

Here are some links to Linux based systems available for download that are supposed to be among the more secure to use:

  • Qubes OS
  • Tails :The Amnesic Incognito Live System
  • Black Arch Linux
  • Kali

Pen names and aliases

As a writer, I have always considered using a fake name for secuiry and privacy but I don’t because it realy doesn’t matter so much. I guess if I wanted to I could hide from the average person a bit more but if someone wants to find you it is pretty hard to prevent that.

The Air Gapped Network

So let’s be honest about the internet. It really was invented to share information and then it exploded into what we have today.

Have you ever considered that as a business or even at your home, that you could benefit from two separate networks. The first network would allow just computers on your local network to connect and share with one another. The other network could be for browsing.

An air gapped system is usually only used in instances where computers are being used to control hardware. A home camera security system is one example.

VPN’s

Virtual Private Networks can help with basic security but anyone that really wants in is not going to be stopped by one. I wish it was as simple as getting a VPN.

VPNs will give you some extra security but the bottom line is this:

Since government security agencies have demanded a way in to any system, everything is compromised. Sophisticated hackers will not have much problem getting in even with a VPN.

Evasive services like VPN’s and other tactics attract the attention of security services so you can actually raise a flag by using them. This means they may actually put more effort into accessing your information.

You should also consider that even VPN servers are vulnerable to hacks. Just because your info is being protected via the VPN, your info is still in their system so if the VPN provider gets hacked then your info may be accessible to the hackers.

The Chip Card Issue

A lot of us have been using smart chip debit and credit cards for awhile now. They are an invasion of privacy, slower at the checkout, easily damaged, and they transmit way too much information.

I don’t like going shopping and then coming home to find that when I am online the ads are mysteriously targeted to what I already bought or very similar even if have not looked at any of those items online. For starters I am not likely to buy the same version of what I just bought in town.

Second of all, this is down right creepy. I wanted to believe it was a coincidence but it has happened far too many times for that. I also don’t fancy something that they recommend carrying in a shielded wallet to prevent thieves from stealing financial info.

Methods Of More Secure Communications

There is a trend towards using older methods of communication for secure communications. Here are some ways that offer more security for times when you want the most privacy.

Typewriters and word processors are back

Even government agencies and foreign powers like Russia are using the written word rather than the electronic written word. This has led to a demand for used typewriters, A vintage IBM electric is $500.

There are other options too, I am writing this on an AlphaSmart Neo Word processor that stopped being manufactured in 2007. I love it because it is just for writing. No distractions. If I want to transfer a file it must be done via USB. IT was $18 shipped on Ebay and barely used. The keyboard is mechanical so it will last practically forever.

The Alphasmart Neo. A handy solution for distraction free and more secure writing when necessary. Not bad for $18-$30 on Ebay.

Letters & Paper Notes

When was the last time you wrote a letter by hand? It is has probably been awhile and some younger people may never have. It is actually one of the more secure ways to communicate in the age of virtual snooping and sabotage.

Writing by hand sometimes helps you think about what you are saying more because there is not as many distractions.

SD Cards

Use Micro SD cards and send in mail or store info on them but realize viruses and spyware can still be hidden in the directory.

Secure Second Hand Lap Top For World Wide Web Browsing

One possibility for a more secure computer is outlined below:

  1. Buy a used lap top and wipe the system clean.
  2. Install one of the more secure versions of Linux listed previously in this article. Do the installation using a disk or USB drive. Preferably do this at an internet cafe or other shared network. This will prevent anyone from knowing your exact home location.
  3. Never use the computer on your home network

This is not a perfect recipe for security but it does take some extra steps that can prevent some hacks, viruses, etc from finding their way onto your network at home.

The bottom line: The keys are lost and gone for good

One thing is for sure, if you don’t want others to know it or see it then don’t put it out there on the web.

They lost the keys to the backdoor that was built into operating systems. Those with the keys can hold info for ransom and guess what? Major places pay the ransom so that encourages the behavior to continue.

There is no getting the keys back. Try to be safe out there.


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)

Hey there internet. We need to have a talk on the subject of what's yours and what's mine. The state of network security is that it is in shambles, even if

In a previous article, I might have mentioned something about cowboys and bandanas. Apart from the fact that they looked awfully cool and would help them conceal their faces during a bank robbery, those wild rags, as they were called, had more uses beyond fashion or crime. And since bandanas will never go out of fashion, I’ve decided to do this little follow-up to show you how this painted rag can save your can in a shit hits the fan situation. So, without further ado, here are 17 survival uses of a bandana.

Water collection

Water’s essential in field survival. Still, if you get lost or anything, you won’t be able to rely on your emergency water supply. If there are no streams or rivers nearby, it’s possible to use your bandana to soak up water. Tie to your ankles and walk through tall grass during the wee hours of the morning to collect dew. Tree holes usually harbor a small amount of water. Get that bandana in there and soak as much water as possible. It may sound disgusting, but you can also squeeze some water from that rag after a long day’s walk (yup, drinking your own perspiration).

Crafting a simple pouch

Don’t have any pockets left to carry out your gear? No problem! You can whip up a simple pouch which can be attached to your belt or backpack. Just place your items in the center of the pouch, bring all folds into the middle, and tie it with a piece of dental floss or whatever cordage you have available.

Head protection

It’s obvious that a bandana cannot replace a safety help, but you can also use these thingies to keep your head dry when it’s raining, or the sun’s up in the sky.

Makeshift bandage

In case you’ve lost your med kit or had to use that gauze as tinder, you can use your bandana to bandage a wound.  If you have to deal with a large arterial bleeder, you may also use that wild rag as a tourniquet.

Setting up the table

Sorry if there are no roses nor lit candles – all I can offer you is a bandana used as a tablecloth.

Getting your keister clean

Well, you know that they say – when shit hits the fan, there’s nothing more to do than wipe your behind and move on. In case you run out of TP or paper tissue, take out your bandana and improvise. Just be sure to wash it before using it as a headcover or tablecloth.

Marking a trail

If you feel like you’re walking in circles, get the bandana out of your bug out bag and place on the ground right where the trail starts. Keep going. If you still see the bandana, it means you have to change your approach.

Repair broken backpacks

One of the most frustrating things that can happen in the field is a broken backpack strap. If you don’t have a sewing kit in your B.O.B, just use your bandana to replace that strap.

Starting a fire

No need to tear your clothes for tinder if you have nothing left in your box. Just place the bandana on the ground and set it on fire using your method of choice.

Using it as a mask

If you need to cross an area filled with dust or debris of any kind, you can always wrap the bandana around your head. Don’t forget to soak it in water to increase its filtration efficiency.

More grip on tools

Knees are weak? Hands are sweaty and cannot get a decent grip on the tools you’re using? Wrap the bandana around your hand and give it another go.

Instant sleeping bag warmer

What’s the purpose of including an electric blanket in your bug out bag if there’s no electricity around for miles? Still, you’ve got to do something about getting some warmth inside your sleeping bag. Making an indoor fire is the obvious approach, but not the only one. Before making a fire, wall your pit with whatever rock you find. When it’s sack time, take a couple of hot rocks, place them inside the bandana, tie the pouch with some rope or string, and place under the sleeping bag.

Making ice packs

Bruises? Fever? Headaches? Use an icepack. Get your bandana out of your B.O.B, put a couple of ice shards inside, wrap, and profit.

Gas Cap

In case something happens to your gas cap, don’t run around the city with that intake exposed. Until you reach the next auto shop, you can stuff a bandana inside to protect the gas pipes. You can do the same for gas canisters if you’ve lost the metal cap.

Diapers

As a father of two, I’ve always had to make supply runs to the store for diapers. You know you’re in deep shit when two boxes per day are not enough. In case the local store runs out of diapers, or there’s no one else around the house to take care of your kid while you’re away, use your bandana as a diaper.

Naptime cover

Do you know what I hate most about having to nap during the day? The sunlight is getting in my eyes. Ever since my kids came along, I was forced to rethink my napping habit. Well, long story short, if you’re in the situation, you can sleep like a boss even during the day by using that bandana as an eye cover. Try it yourself! It works like a charm.

Picnic protection

Too many insects around the campsite? Well, if you don’t have any repellant on hand, cover the food basket with your bandana to prevent those pesky termites from making away with your food.

This about covers it for my funky ways of using a bandana in a shit hits the fan situation. What’s your take on this? Hit the comments section and let me know.


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)

In a previous article, I might have mentioned something about cowboys and bandanas. Apart from the fact that they looked awfully cool and would help them conceal their faces during

Have you ever considered purchasing a bulletproof vest or body armor? Do you think that something like this is only reserved for our military forces or police? If you think that, you may be saying to yourself, why would I ever need body armor? Maybe you have considered purchasing this for your family, but you wondered where it falls on the list of items you have considered purchasing for your safety.

If you are like my wife, you asked, what if I get shot in the head? It is true that body armor only works if you get shot in the area that the armor is protecting, but not getting any armor could be a mistake or at least something you regret if society starts to crumble around the edges as it has done in other places, most recently in the Ukraine where massive protest have allegedly devolved into instances where the government forces designed to protect the country are now shooting at the demonstrators. Can you imagine if that happened here at a protest? That same body armor that your tax dollars paid to purchase for our soldiers could be something that could save your life too.

I think there are two camps when it comes to body armor. There are those who buy the more substantial metal plates like the kind sold by one of our advertisers Infidel Body Armor. These metal plates are designed to take high powered rifle cartridges multiple times. This armor is designed to protect people that are going to war or at the very least expect to be shot at by something more than a .22. Armor like this requires plate carriers which conveniently carry other gear that could be used in a conflict. You can even see some of the protestors in the Ukraine wearing equipment like this. If government forces are shooting at them, it would make perfect sense to me to have that level of protection.

The other side of this is soft body armor and this is more concealable and lighter. This has a similar purpose of protecting you from bullet or stab wounds, but the application isn’t as hard core. Soft body armor like the kind from Safeguard Clothing is designed to be worn under clothing or a light jacket and protects you from other threats that the average person could face. I asked Safeguard for some ideas on reasons a civilian should consider buying body armor and this is the list they provided.

You need to protect yourself at all times, but there are ten major reasons to consider buying body armor. If you take the time to protect yourself before anything major happens in your life. The following list will provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about how protected you could be.

1 – Dangerous Neighborhood

If you live in a dangerous neighborhood, you could be putting your life at risk every time you step out of your house. Someone may attempt to rob you while you are going to and from your car. It can be a great way to protect yourself and not have to worry about anyone knowing that you are wearing the body armor at all.

2 – Taking Money to the Bank

If you have a job that requires you to deposit money in the bank for a business, you want to be sure that you are safe and protected. The vests are lightweight so that you can easily move around while wearing it, but ensure that even if someone were to try to take the money from you that your chances of survival after a shot will be high.

3 – Receiving Threats from an Ex

When an ex feels as though they have been hurt, they may act out in a crazy way. The body armor will protect you, if he or she attempts to shoot you out of anger.

4 – Intruders Enter Your Home

If an intruder breaks into your home, the body armor will protect you, if they attempt to shoot you. It will also help you to have the confidence that you need to be able to get to your phone and call the police.

5 – Work at a School

If you work as an officer or even as a teacher at a school, body armor may be an investment you want to make. In the past, there have been many teachers that have been killed while on the job by individuals attacking the school. No students will be able to tell that you are wearing the vest during your workday.

6 – Work at a Bank

Working at a bank can be dangerous. The body armor is not illegal for you to wear to work and will not be detectable by a potential bank robber.

7 – Work Late at a Restaurant or Business

The body armor can be essential when you are working late at night as that is when most robberies occur. The vest will better your chances of being able to make it through the ordeal.

8 – Delivery Driver

If you work as a delivery driver, body armor can help protect you, while you are making your deliveries. There are people who get desperate and may try to take the items that you are trying to deliver.

9 – Courthouse Worker

If you work at a courthouse, you may have to deal with people that are not happy with the sentences that they received. If someone decides to attack the courthouse, you will be glad that you invested in body armor.

10 – Work at the Post Office

The post office can be very stressful and there are times when someone may snap. When this happens, it can cause them to go on a rampage and wearing the body armor will increase your chances of walking out of the post office alive after a rampage occurs.

Do all or any of these hypotheticals apply to you? Maybe, or maybe not. Should you purchase body armor if you live out in the middle of the forest and nobody comes around? Do you have the other bases covered first like food, water, shelter and personal defense? Buying body armor makes perfect sense to me as long as you have all of the other bases covered. Do I believe a situation like the Ukraine is possible here? Absolutely I do, but I don’t know if I would be joining the rioters in that enclosed square. That doesn’t mean I don’t see the value in having body armor in case you need it. Something to think about, you know the people in the Ukraine are.


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 ever considered purchasing a bulletproof vest or body armor? Do you think that something like this is only reserved for our military forces or police? If you think

This was recently published in The Guardian: “We’re just beginning to understand some of the short- and long-term risks associated with the chemicals in packaging: obesity, cancer, cardiovascular disease and other health issues. Some consumer advocates say phasing out some of the riskier substances that come into contact with our food is long overdue.

“Avoiding the use of these chemicals of concern in packaging is a great step forward,” said Leonardo Trasande, pediatrician and author of Sicker, Fatter, Poorer: The Urgent Threat of Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals to Our Health and Our Future and What We Can Do About It. “The question is: what replaces these materials?”

Well, time to say good-bye to a freezer full of Ziplocs, Tupperware, and plastic wrap. There’s another, much greener way to freeze food.

Plastic still dominates in the freezer, where Ziploc bags and plastic wrap are easy solutions for sealing nutrients and moisture in food and protecting from freezer burn. This convenience comes with a few problems, though, including leaching chemicals (bisphenols A and S) and excessive waste. Plastic wrap tends to be single-use and Ziploc bags don’t last forever. They end up in the trash, impossible to recycle.

Going plastic-free is a better solution and much easier than you may think. There are a number of good options available, many of which you may already have at home.

It takes 30 heads of broccoli to get the same nutritional content as one from 1978. Want to change that? Click here and find out how

Glass

Mason or Ball jars are very good for freezing, as long as you use the wide-mouth variety and do not fill to the very top. Leave a good inch at least for the contents to expand. When I fill Mason jars with homemade stock, I leave them open in the freezer for a few hours before screwing on the lids. It is also recommended to pour a 1/2-inch of water over any frozen food in a glass jar to provide further protection from the freezer air; rinse off this ice seal with warm water before thawing the rest of the contents.

Other kinds of jars are not recommended, since the glass is usually not thick enough to withstand expansion. You might experience some breakage until you get the hang of it, but it’s a small price to pay for going plastic-free.

You can buy rectangular glass storage containers, but most come with plastic lids. At least they’re indefinitely reusable and don’t have to come into contact with the frozen contents.

Metal

Metal is great in the freezer. You can put opened cans of food directly into the freezer (it’s safer than storing food in a can in the refrigerator). It thaws quickly in a dish of hot water.

I’ve also fallen in love with these Korean-made stainless steel food storage containers that are airtight, watertight, and freezer-proof. They come in various sizes with a silicone seal that continues to seal well for me after several years of hard use. They are not cheap, but they are by far the favourite containers in my kitchen.

Use metal ice cube trays, muffin tins, or bread tins to freeze smaller quantities of food; then transfer to a container or wrap well for longer-term storage.

Paper

If you are freezing food for a shorter period of time (2-3 weeks at most), you can wrap in unbleached butcher paper or waxed paper sheets or bags. Butcher paper doesn’t seal the food as well as waxed paper, but it makes a good first-layer wrap. Double or triple for longer freezing periods. Seal any kind of paper wrap with freezer tape.

Aluminum Foil

Foil is fragile, and if there’s a single hole that can mean freezer burn for whatever it contains; but if you’re careful with wrapping, foil is a great option for the freezer. Use heavy-duty foil instead of regular thickness, and seal well with freezer tape.

(Note: I tend to avoid foil because it cannot be recycled locally and ends up in the trash.)

Waxed Cartons

You can reuse waxed milk, juice, and cream cartons in the freezer. They are especially good for stocks and soups, since they allow for expansion and are waterproof. Cut open at the top, wash out well, and seal up with freezer tape. As with all opaque containers, be sure to label clearly so you know what’s inside.

(On a similar note, you can freezer cartons of milk and cream if they are close to expiry.)

Package-free

Many fruits don’t need packaging of any kind in the freezer, such as tomatoes, bananas, and peaches. Even better, their skins will slip off easily once thawed.

I learned this last summer when someone gave my parents a bushel of peaches just as they were about to leave on a camping trip. Mom had no time to can or prep the peaches for freezing, so she threw them whole into the freezer. For the rest of the winter, she took one peach out every evening and enjoyed it sliced on her granola each morning.

This was recently published in The Guardian: "We’re just beginning to understand some of the short- and long-term risks associated with the chemicals in packaging: obesity, cancer, cardiovascular disease and

Ready for the unthinkable?

This recipe is gluten-free, or easily adapted, and of course there are no artificial colors lurking inside.

Enjoy!

HEALTHY MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP SMOOTHIE

A thick and creamy plant-based smoothie filled with fresh mint and chocolate. A healthy breakfast, snack or dessert that tastes similar to a mint chip milkshake.

 Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
 Prep Time 5 minutes
 Total Time 5 minutes
 Servings 1
 Calories 438 kcal

What good is all your prepping if you get sick or injured and have no way to treat yourself? You will need a practical guide such as this.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 small frozen banana
  • 1 1/2 cups milk I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1/4 small/medium sized avocado
  • 20-30 fresh mint leaves see note
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder or collagen peptides see note
  • 1/2 cup crushed ice or more, if you’d like it thicker
  • 1 tablespoon cacao nibs or chocolate chips see note
  • whipped cream or whipped coconut cream for garnish, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place banana, milk, spinach, avocado, mint, protein powder, and ice in a blender. Process until smooth. Add cacao nibs and stir or briefly pulse (don’t completely puree the chocolate otherwise the color of the smoothie will turn brown). Serve immediately, garnished with whipped cream and additional cacao nibs, if desired.

RECIPE NOTES

If you’re new to cacao nibs you might want use a smaller amount. I have found them to be an acquired taste.

My mint leaves were small so I used close to 30 of them. If your mint leaves are larger, or you prefer a milder mint flavor, use fewer leaves.

Photo Credit:
celebratingsweets.com

Healthy Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie

Healthy Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie


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)

Ready for the unthinkable? This recipe is gluten-free, or easily adapted, and of course there are no artificial colors lurking inside. Enjoy! HEALTHY MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP SMOOTHIE A thick and creamy plant-based smoothie filled

With plenty of clean drinking water and shelter to sleep, the average adult can survive for several weeks or longer without food. This means that in a short-term survival situation, any kind of food, even unhealthy food or “junk food’ will be comforting.

This is fine for a short-term situation where the goal is to satisfy your rumbling stomach and hang on until help arrives that you know is on the way. But in a long-term survival situation where “help” is likely not coming, proper nutrition becomes critical to survival from day one.

Proper nutrition is important from day one in a survival situation because without the right vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients your body needs, your body begins to be negatively affected in multiple ways. Lack of proper nutrition over time of course can negatively impact anyone. But lack of proper nutrition in a long-term survival or SHTF situation means your physical strength and mental clarity can diminish rapidly. This is detrimental to your long-term survival because chances are, you will be expending a lot more energy on a daily basis than in your normal routine which means your body begins to fall apart much faster.

​Want to learn about essential health practices, the right way to take vitamins, and why they currently aren’t working for you? Find out more HERE.

Most people know that staying well hydrated is of the utmost priority but make sure you’ve planned for multiple ways to have access to fresh drinking water. Stockpile sports drinks that are low in sugar but packed with electrolytes to replace those that are lost while hiking to your BOL, hauling water, chopping wood for a fire, or foraging for wild edibles.

Following a SHTF situation, you will have innumerous tasks you must accomplish just to survive. Even for those people whose normal days are active and can barely find time to sit down, the strenuous tasks needed for basic survival will be challenging. In a survival situation, a lapse in mental focus for just a few moments can cost you your life or the life of a family member. You must be on alert nearly constantly for dangers that could be lurking. Adrenaline may get you through the first couple days, but only a well-balanced diet can combat the mental and physical fatigue that will set in quickly following a SHTF event. A lack of physical strength and stamina can seriously hamper your ability to rejuvenate for the next day’s tasks, heal quickly from injuries, and ward off illness and diseases.

Some of the effects of inadequate nutrition that can be detrimental in a survival situation include:

  • Poor mental focus and clarity
  • Physical weakness
  • Fatigue or Lack of Energy
  • Drowsiness
  • Depression

All of these issues can really have a negative impact on how well you can get strenuous tasks completed and make you more likely to be injured or get sick. In addition to some of the effects above, a SHTF or other survival situation comes with additional stress, inadequate sleep and relaxation time, and increased threats from outside sources. In a SHTF situation, professional medical help and pharmaceutical medicines will be in short supply if they are available at all. It’s critical that you work proactively to prevent any illness, injury, or diseases if you’re going to survive.

Want to learn about ​essential tools for treating most diseases you are likely to encounter? Details HERE.

Survival Food Needs

Carbohydrates

These are starches, sugars, and fiber that is contained in foods. They can be complex or simple. Natural sugars like those found in vegetables, fruits, milk, and some added sugars are simple. Whole-grain breads, starchy vegetables, cereals, and legumes are good sources for complex carbohydrates. You need a balance of simple and complex carbohydrates in your diet. Carbohydrates assist in providing the body with energy and help guard protein stored in the body.

Without sufficient carbohydrates in your daily diet, metabolism of fatty acid suffers and the body becomes weaker. Carbohydrates should make up approximately half of your caloric intake for a normal day, no less than 60 grams minimum. So, for the average adult during a SHTF situation, you’ll want to be much higher and get as close to half your caloric intake as possible.

Carbohydrates come from:

  • edible plants are easily accessible if you know how to identify them properly
  • white rice
  • grains like wheat and oats
  • root and tuber vegetables
  • cereals
  • honey
  • fruits
  • sugars

This book teaches you what to do when your doctor is not around. Follow this link for details.

Protein & Healthy Fats

Protein is found in foods such as eggs, meats, and beans. Proteins are important because your body breaks these down into amino acids which are distributed through your body. It’s also important for a wide variety of essential things including provision of nitrogen you can’t get from lipids or carbs. They also help balance pH and are vital for the immune system. Recommended daily protein intake is 20 to 25% normally and more during strenuous activity.

Healthy fats are critical because they are an energy source but also because they help the body to properly absorb vitamins. Omega 3s are healthy fats found in fatty fish and in plant oils such as corn oil, olive oil, and sunflower oil. Healthy fats are vital for creating fatty acids and glycerol. Fatty acids help to regulate inflammation in the body and glycerol is a naturally occurring carbohydrate that serves as a source of fuel for the body. Recommended amount of healthy fats is around 10 to 30% of total calories per “normal” day so for a SHTF situation you’ll want to be closer to 30% most days.

Protein comes from:

  • many different insects if the situation is dire
  • fresh meat such as rabbits, chickens or other poultry (start raising them now)
  • peanut butter, legumes, and nuts
  • eggs
  • canned fish and meat
  • grains like quinoa and wheat
  • Oatmeal
  • MREs

Healthy Fats come from:

  • Avocado or Avocado Oil
  • Whole eggs
  • Cheese
  • Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout, and herring
  • Chia Seeds
  • Dark chocolate
  • Fatty cuts of lamb, pork, beef, and lard

Critical Vitamins

Vitamins are classified as water soluble or fat soluble. Vitamin C (helps with iron absorption) and all the B vitamins are considered water soluble vitamins and each has a different function within the body. Water soluble vitamins are not easily stored within the body and extra is flushed during urination which means these vitamins need to be replenished frequently. Keep this in mind when planning your survival meals and snacks. These vitamins are critical to helping your body use the energy in the food you eat.

Water Soluble Vitamins come from:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Dark green leafy veggies like kale and spinach or broccoli
  • Meat, poultry, dairy products, shellfish, fish, and eggs
  • Tropical fruits and oranges
  • Peanuts and peanut butter
  • Nuts, peas, soybeans
  • Bananas

Your body needs these essential vitamins to continue to function by producing energy, building cells, and making collagen for wound healing (Vitamin E), healthy teeth, and bones (Vitamin D).

Fat soluble vitamins, like Vitamins K, E, A, and D are stored in the fatty tissues and liver and distributed as needed by the body. Fat soluble vitamins are critical for building bones, healthy vision, and to help store other essential vitamins. Getting and maintaining sufficient levels of vitamins also helps to prevent diseases that can occur when certain vitamins are deficient or in short supply such as:

  • Blindness (Vitamin A deficiency)
  • Rickets (lack of Vitamin D)
  • Scurvy (Vitamin C deficiency)

Fat Soluble vitamins come from:

  • Veggies like carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, asparagus, cabbage
  • Eggs, milk, yogurt
  • Nuts like almonds and sunflower seeds
  • Fruits such as cantaloupe and apricots
  • Fatty fish like sardines and salmon, shrimp, and trout
  • Olive oil, coconut oil

Vital Minerals

The minerals your body needs work similarly to the critical vitamins in that some of them circulate more like water soluble vitamins and should be replenished frequently and others are more like fat soluble vitamins because they need to be absorbed and transported through the body by a carrier. The reason it’s important to know how these minerals work is so that you can plan your survival meal plan in a way that replenishes those that don’t get stored and to not overindulge on those that are naturally stored in the body.

  • Calcium
  • Sodium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Trace Minerals

Healthy Survival Food Options

Okay, so now that we know what kinds of nutritional ingredients will be critical to keeping our energy, strength, and mental clarity intact during and in the aftermath of a SHTF event. But what kinds of foods are good options?

Ten Super Nutritious Survival Foods:

  1. Dark Chocolate (Antioxidants, fiber, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, improves brain function, protects skin from sun damage)
  2. Brown rice or Brown rice hot cereal (high calorie, protein packed, and good source of minerals such as iron. Store airtight container for 3-6 months.
  3. Whole Eggs (nutrient dense contains a bit of every single nutrient we need plus antioxidants)
  4. Cheese (calcium, B12, selenium, protein, Vitamin B12, fatty acids)
  5. Dried Beans especially split peas. (high calorie, good protein source, some vitamins and minerals) Long shelf-life
  6. Chia Seeds (high fat-9 grams in 1 ounce of seeds, fiber, Omega-3, loaded with minerals, can lower blood pressure and are anti-inflammatory.
  7. Avocado or Avocado Oil (contains oleic acid, high in potassium, high fat)
  8. Nuts and Peanut Butter (good source of protein, high in healthy fats, Vitamin E, and magnesium) Store airtight, lightweight for easy carry during bug out.
  9. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (good source of healthy fats, stores open 3-6 months, unopened up to 2 years or until it begins to smell “sweet”.)
  10. Powdered Sea vegetables or greens (vitamin and nutrient dense, can boost immunity, antifungal and anti-bacterial properties, can make up for lack of fresh produce)

MREs

We’ve all heard about MREs for survival food. One of the benefits of MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) is that they are just that, ready to eat. For most of these, you can simply open them and eat them cold. They are lightweight and provide an average of 1,200 to 1,500 calories. MREs have a long shelf life, and are easy to carry in a bug out bag or get home bag if needed. For the average adult, two MREs daily will give you the recommended calories needed to keep you alive. Many of them come with beverages, snacks, and even utensils in the package. One thing to be careful of with MREs is that although they often are a good source of carbohydrates, protein, and other essential nutrients, they can be high in salt or sugar.

Freeze Dried Foods

The advantage to some of these packaged “freeze dried” meals, from companies like Wise and Mountain House, are that they are lightweight and pre-calculated for you to help ensure balanced nutrition. And in most cases when bought in bulk they have enough variety to combat “food fatigue”.

They are typically more difficult to use on the go because you need to at least have the ability and time to boil water to rehydrate them and some can take up to 30 minutes to fully cook. Another issue some have found with these meals is that they aren’t as tasty as one would hope and can be expensive to purchase. But in a pinch, they can be handy to have as part of your survival food stockpile.

Eggs

  • can be cooked multiple ways
  • freshly laid eggs (unwashed) can have a long shelf life if properly stored
  • fragile in a bug out situation but most bird eggs are safe to eat in the wild as a last resort

Canned Chicken

  • Comes canned, in foil pouches, or mini pull tab cans
  • packed with protein
  • can be heated quickly or eaten cold if needed
  • Long shelf life

Tuna Fish (Albacore)

  • comes canned or in foil pouches
  • can be eaten cold right out of can or pouch if necessary
  • foil pouches are lightweight
  • long shelf life
  • water in canned tuna helps with hydration if needed

Canned Alaskan Wild Salmon

Inuit people (native to Alaska and Northern Canada) have low stroke and heart attack rates. This low rate is attributed to a long-term diet of fish.

  • high in protein
  • good source of healthy fats
  • minimal contaminants
  • can be eaten if necessary right out of the can

Trail Mix

  • simple sugars for quick mood boost
  • protein from seeds and nuts
  • Decent shelf life if stored properly

Beef Jerky or Pemmican

  • go with natural when possible to limit harmful preservatives
  • high in protein
  • long shelf life
  • lightweight and non-bulky

Hardtack

  • Made from flour, salt, and water
  • Stored in airtight containers
  • Long shelf life
  • Easy to carry
  • Must be soaked first to soften enough to eat

Basic Cooking Grains

If your long-term survival plan for food includes being able to make your own breads and other tasty meals, you’ll want to include flours and pastas in your survival food stockpile. When frozen first and then stored in airtight containers, white flour, cornmeal, whole wheat flour, pasta, and cornmeal will last five years or more. These are all great to have in your stockpile for making things tortillas, cornbread, biscuits, muffins, etc. that you can combine with sauces and gravies to make delicious and hearty meals.

Properly sealed and kept away from heat, the following grains can last nearly a decade:

  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Millet
  • Spelt
  • Kamut
  • Hard Red Wheat
  • Soft White Wheat

Freeze Dried or Instant Coffee

  • mood booster
  • warm beverage in colder weather
  • Decent shelf life
  • extend shelf life by storing frozen as long as possible

Emergency Food for Diabetics

If you have diabetes stick to food low in potassium and limit your portion sizes. Below are some good foods to have on hand:

  • Raw honey and cinnamon can help with blood sugar management
  • Instant glucose tablets
  • Low potassium juices (grape, apple, or berry)
  • Dried cranberries not raisins
  • Dried or Fresh Plums, pineapple, or peaches not mango or papaya
  • Dry cereal (unsweetened and unsalted)
  • Vanilla wafers or Graham crackers
  • Sugar free drinks such as ginger ale or sugar free drink mix
  • Distilled water
  • Unsalted peanut butter
  • Low sodium canned salmon, chicken, tuna, turkey
  • Corn syrup
  • Evaporated milk
  • Unsalted Crackers

Gluten Free Emergency Food

  • Jerky (beef, salmon, pork, turkey)
  • Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Organic dried fruit (no sulfites)
  • Bone broth (cooked and frozen)
  • Dehydrated vegetables (snap peas, etc.)
  • Great Lakes Unflavored Gelatin
  • Homemade Canned Foods
  • Gluten-Free Granola
  • Dried beans
  • Gluten-free crackers

Additional Survival Foods That Won’t Spoil

There are several foods that you can add to your survival stockpile to not only help prevent “food fatigue” by adding flavor but to also boost nutritional value. Some of these foods are considered basic staples which will are great to have on hand to create meals or enhance flavor. Store these ingredients in airtight containers and add desiccants to dry ingredients to combat moisture and humidity.

Seasonings

  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon Sticks (antimicrobial, antioxidants, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, boosts immune system to protect against diseases like cancer and heart disease)

Honey

  • Contains B6, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, and amino acids
  • High in minerals like iron, manganese, copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, zinc,
  • and phosphorous.
  • Local wildflower honey can help prevent allergy symptoms
  • Great source of natural energy
  • Packed with antioxidants to boost immune system by increasing polyphenols in the blood that fight disease.
  • Can be used for wound healing and burn treatment
  • Natural cough remedy
  • Indefinite shelf life

Molasses

  • Contains essential minerals and vitamins like calcium, potassium, iron, vitamin B6, selenium and magnesium.
  • Use as a sweetener in coffee, oatmeal, etc.
  • Can help alleviate PMS symptoms
  • Can relieve constipation, stress, headaches
  • Improves immune system
  • Good source of energy
  • Store in cool place. Shelf life up to 6 months opened or 1 year or more unopened

Instant Jello

  • Easily digestible form of collagen
  • Contains all but 1 of the 20 amino acids needed
  • Inexpensive
  • Shelf life 3 years to life of packaging
  • Just add boiling water and let gel or drink as a liquid
  • One packet can serve up to 4 people
  • Can be used to make homemade Pedialyte

Maple Syrup

  • Stores unopened in glass containers for decades
  • if mold grows once opened, boil and skim the surface and store in clean container

Regular Corn Syrup

  • Can mold once opened if not stored properly
  • Karo Syrup has fewer calories and no high fructose corn syrup

Jaw Breakers

This one doesn’t add much nutritional value except perhaps a quick sugar boost but it can do wonders for your morale, especially for children who might be hungrier than they are used to during normal times.

Providing an older child with a jaw breaker during a long walk or during periods of turmoil can take their mind off what’s going on. It can also help them to stay quiet during times when stealth is critical.

Prevent Food Fatigue

During and following a SHTF event, stress can be overwhelming. Mental and physical fatigue can have a huge effect on your motivation to keep going day after day. Believe it or not, food can become a source of comfort and a huge morale booster during times of crisis. When the day has been long and stressful, the ability to quickly prepare a tasty meal that has all the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to maintain itself will be critical.

Imagine the difference in your mental state between knowing you’re stuck eating the same dried beef jerky and coffee or knowing that you have what you need to prepare a warm chilli or tasty stew later that night. This is what “food fatigue” is about. Plan your survival food stockpile so that you can prepare healthy meals with enough variety to keep “food fatigue” from being detrimental to your mood and morale. One important way to prevent “food fatigue” is to stockpile “treat” foods as well even if they don’t have much nutritional value. This includes foods such as hard candy, chocolate, and even some soda or other tasty beverages.

Enhance Meals with Pure Flavor Extracts

When it comes to long-term survival after a SHTF event, you’re going to eventually want to return to a menu that is as close to normal as possible. Baking and cooking meals may difficult for months or even years after the chaos has receded. Manufacturing and shipping will affect supply and availability or traditional baking and cooking ingredients. Having pure flavor extracts included in your survival food stockpile can help you create healthy and tasty meals and desserts.

Imagine the morale boosts you can provide several months into a survival situation if you can add a dash of your favorite fruit flavor to oatmeal, add hazelnut to your coffee, or even a dash of lemon flavor to water.

  • Almond
  • Vanilla
  • Maple
  • Strawberry
  • Hazelnut
  • Black Walnut
  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Chocolate
  • Coconut

You’ll find survival food lists on other sites but our list specifically takes into consideration the requirements of the human body for survival and to thrive. Pick and choose from the above list according to your daily caloric intake and try to balance your survival diet to compensate for your increased activity and stress levels.

Surviving long-term following a SHTF situation will be fraught with dangers and obstacles. It’s up to you to plan ahead to make sure your survival food stockpile includes the healthiest foods to prevent the effects of malnutrition from being one of those obstacles.


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 plenty of clean drinking water and shelter to sleep, the average adult can survive for several weeks or longer without food. This means that in a short-term survival situation,

Welcome to the jungle! We ain’t got any fun, games, plants or even swinging vines. What we do have is concrete, iffy back alleys, and lots of ways for you to lose your wallet and, perhaps, even your very life. Charming perspective, ain’t it?

Well, that’s more or less what it feels like living in the big city; nature may be wrathful, but not even her can hope to emulate our fellow man when devotes his entire energy to darker things. Urban survival has gained a lot of traction over the past couple of year and, I, for one, agree that you don’t need to become in the middle of nowhere in order to exercise those survival skills.

Anything can happen when you’re on the street – and that’s not fear-mongering, that’s a reality. If you don’t believe me, just hop on the Internet and do a quick search on crime in your area. You’ll be surprised to find out that your seemingly-quiet neighborhood becomes a minefield at night.

Anyway, after these cheerful little thoughts, let’s get acquainted with today’s topic – urban survival. Prepping means being ready for anything and at any time.

This also covers things like taking a stroll around the park or visiting another part of the city. Can’t say I got into too much trouble around the city, but then again, I’ve always tried my best to avoid some areas, especially at night.

No, it doesn’t have anything to do with mystical mumbo-jumbo, but anyone can get a little jumpy when having to traverse a poorly-lit area with tons of dark corner and who knows what else.

Ever since I got bit by the prepping love bug, I’ve always done my business to carry around a downscale version of my B.O.B. Well, on the outside it looks like a regular backpack (nothing too fancy about it), but in the inside, I have all the tools I need to get out of just about urban SHTF situation. So, without further ado, here are my choice of X items that shouldn’t be missing from your urban survival kit.

  1. Tactical flashlight

I truly believe that entire books can be written on the topic of tactical flashlights, and for a darn good reason – they have many other uses, some of them going well beyond their original purpose. Now, this is the kind of item you really wouldn’t want to buy from a thrift or yard sale.

A high-quality tac light can cost anywhere from $100 to $1,000, depending on things like construction and add-ons. I found it best to carry around one of the tac lights that come with a built-in taser (the electrodes are built into the flashlight’s butt, so be careful not to fool around with it).

Apart from the fact that most tac lights are LED-powered, meaning that they offer thrice as much battery life and light compared to those using incandescent bulbs, it can also serve other purposes. For instance, if someone wants to mug you, use the back end to zap him.

Or, if you prefer something more hardcore, you can always use that tac light as a club. A high-quality tactical comes with various gadgets which you can use to attach them anywhere – suction cup for walls or glass surfaces, strap, and socket for headwear, and even a lanyard hole. They are very robust but, at the same time, very light (mine weighs a little over 200 grams). So, get yourself a tac light and toss it in your urban survival kit.

  1. First-aid kit

No matter where the winding road takes me, I always carry around a downscaled version of my B.O.B’s medical kit. If you’re going to stroll around the city, you won’t need stuff like straight scissors, suturing kits, syringes, saline solution or whatnots.

For a basic urban first-aid, toss in a couple of Band-Aids, sterile pad, a small bottle of disinfectant, hand gel, and a couple of safety pins or some tape. That’s it! Still, if you live in a rough neighborhood, you should remember to pack extra supplies in case you have to deal with a more severe injury.

Moreover, if you have any allergies, you should always carry an EpiPen and a box of antihistamines in case you experience an allergic reaction. Before I met my wife, I used to hang around another part of the city where – how should I say this? – was not for those faints of heart. Since the opioid crisis’ on the rise, I made sure to carry a Narcan pen with me at all times.

No, it wasn’t for me, if that’s the question on your mind, but on several occasions, I found myself standing in front of various individuals who ODed on God knows what. Why not spend a couple of bucks each month to save a life? Chance are that you will never need to use a Narcan pen or someone, but wouldn’t it be neat to have one close when someone’s life hangs in the balance?

  1. Small pry bar

No, I really don’t fancy myself a burglar, but I always remember to carry a small prybar in my urban survival backpack in case I need to get off the street really fast and need to break down a door or something.

That thing’s really very useful in you to live in old condos where the elevator tends to break down on a daily basis. So, no matter the circumstance, a pry bar is always a valuable asset. Just don’t go waving it around like crazy, unless you want to wind up in the cooler on purpose.

  1. Face mask

Living in a big city means sucking in all kinds of toxic fumes and gases. I am very grateful to all those wonderful people for getting hybrids because I can still feel the smoke coming from the exhaust pipes during a traffic jam. Anyway, you really don’t need to face a chemical attack in order to make use of a face mask – there are some areas of the city where the fumes are thick enough that you can probably cut them with a blunt butter knife.

  1. Emergency potty

There’s nothing worse than having to go number two, only to realize that the toilet’s clogged or the water pump has stopped working. Well, I have to admit that this is a little strange, even for a prepper, but I always carry one of those foldable potties in my backpack.

Yes, yes, I know that most of you are picturing me know to get out my portable potty to “spend a penny” on a crowded subway, but it’s not like that. You may never know when the shit hits the fan, and you wind up having to cross half of the city for a working toilet. No, I will not expose myself on a bus full of people, but I will find a secluded place for when Nature calls in those moments when there’s nothing available nearby.

  1. Multi-tool

I always like to carry around Ol’ Vicky (that’s how I named by Victorinox Swiss Multi-tool). Why? I don’t know for certain, but I usually find a way or two to use my multi-tool before the day’s over. I found very handy for those Saturday afternoon bike trips of mine – I should seriously consider buying a new bike since I tend to spend more time making repairs than actually riding it.

Anyway, the multi-tool’s a very useful asset, no matter where you go and do. Broken zipper? No problem! Key broke in the lock? Just use the multi-tool to get it out. Locks are cheap; doors aren’t!

  1. Work or hiking boots

Wearing heavy-duty work or hiking may not much of a fashion statement, but they can help a bunch during an SHTF situation. Of course, being in the city means that you won’t have to do too much mountain climbing. Still, in certain situations, you’re going to need that extra traction offered by a pair of hiking boots.

For instance, there’s no guarantee that during one of the walks you won’t wind up stuck in an elevator or inside a subway tunnel. Both situations call for hiking, climbing, and maybe running. Sure, you can always wait for the repair team to arrive and fix the thing or you can get out and lend them a hand. Remember that in some cases, like a tunnel collapse or whatever, it may take the emergency response team hours to get to you.

That wouldn’t be much of a problem if you didn’t have a limited oxygen supply or surrounded by injured or scared to death people.  Anyway, weather permitting, you should do yourself a favor and tour the city in hiking boots. Of course, not every social call allows for this type of footwear, but I’ll let you figure that one out yourself.

  1. Solar charger

I find nowadays smartphones very irritating. Yes, I know you can take lots of pretty pictures with them, shoot 4K videos, surf the Internet, buy stuff online or play games, but that battery life though. Had this Samsung Galaxy Whatever-Model smartphone – great gadget.

The only thing wrong with it was the blasted battery – 6 hours on a full charge. That’s how long my battery lasted, no matter the circumstance. Tried changing the battery, tinkering around the apps; nothing worked. So, I’ve decided to carry around one of those portable solar chargers.

They work great, and if there’s enough sun, you can probably get a full charge in 4 hours or less. However, the best thing about these solar chargers is that you don’t have to stop in order to charge your phone or whatever. The solar cell can be taped to your backpack and the cable’s long enough to reach your pocket. Try it out! You won’t regret it.

And so, we come to the end of yet another article in which I glorify the well-made bug out bag. Well, it’s not exactly your run-of-the-mill backpack, but you get the idea. I know that most of you don’t feel comfortable carrying zero hour items while going shopping, strolling in the park or going to propose to your SO, but do bear in mind that shit happens everywhere, regardless if you’re a big city dweller or the king of your own mountain.


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)

Welcome to the jungle! We ain’t got any fun, games, plants or even swinging vines. What we do have is concrete, iffy back alleys, and lots of ways for you

Boosting Our Garden Productivity

Our practices can affect our garden productivity hugely. Sometimes that’s as easy as changing our mindsets, so that the time and labor it takes to garden is lowered, which allows us to do more. Sometimes it’s embracing “Semper Gumby” and accepting the feedback our gardens and yards offer us, and sometimes it’s looking at our home and yard spaces differently. Sometimes it’s letting the Johnson’s be the Johnson’s and contenting ourselves with being us – with our needs and abilities the measuring standard we use. In some cases, the practices we apply might be hugely unconventional.

In other cases, they’re tiny things only in our minds. They can all make a difference when it comes to successful growing. Here are a few ways we can cut down on the labor and time of gardening and increase our yields, whether we’re just getting started with some pots or whether we’re ready to expand our production in times of crisis when food production has stopped.

This book can be used as a reference for everything imaginable. For everyday remedies to any ailment, click HERE.

Pick the Right Plants

Sometimes if we’re after heirlooms and open-pollinated plants so we can collect seed, it can be tough, but whenever possible, selecting local or regional plants and seeds will boost our success. They’re adapted to if not developed specifically for our climate, so there’s a better chance of them performing for us than something that was produced across the country, even of the same cultivar.

If we can’t find our choices locally, we can do some research. There are some proven winners that work across multiple USDA growing zones for most types of veggies and even most of the field crops we’ll grow.

Most of our county extension, state Ag department, and the Master Gardener’s programs will have stock lists of varieties that perform well regionally within the state and county. Remember that the Big Ag guys are going to most likely be spraying and irrigating, so look for and ask about dryland farming varieties and varieties that are resistant to pests.

We can also improve our gardens by selecting disease-resistant varieties whenever possible. Not dealing with a crop illness at all is far easier on the labor, pocketbook, and productivity of a garden.

We also want to pick the right plants for us, and the right number of plants.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. But only if it comes from a healthy soil. Learn here how “dead” soil affects your health.

Ten or twenty tomatoes take a lot of work, and a lot of resources. On the other hand, ten or twenty pea or bean plants is likely to only yield enough for a couple of meals at once. Four-square-feet of corn is nearly nothing – one, maybe two meals for 4-5. Four-square-feet of spinach could be salads and greens for a whole season, depending on family size.

Determinate plants dump the majority of their produce all at once, which can lead to a glut we have to deal with, and then they die. That can be good or bad.

If we want to go with determinates, for some things like squash and tomatoes, maybe we stagger two to four plants at a time for a small family or a beginner. It makes less to deal with at one time, and it lets us re-plant after them at a reasonable pace for busy people as well.

Alternatively, maybe we go with a longer-lived set of indeterminate plants that trickle in produce at a rate we can consume or process easily.

Proximity – Plan garden plots along paths we already take, and near the resources they’ll need.

Proximity

Location, location, location – we hear it all the time when finding property, but it’s just as important once we have our space to play with. The closer we can put our gardens to our homes, the more attention they’re going to get and the less time we’re going to spend crossing ground to go weed, water, fetch tools, and harvest.

Once we’re hitting about fifty-percent of our veggie consumption, it’s tough to keep the whole garden close at hand, but we can still keep rotations plants that require a lot of water, that get harvested from regularly, and our problem-prone plants near at hand.

Healthy Soil+Healthy Plants = Healthy You Your key to a healthy nutrition is HERE

The closer we can put our gardens to our homes, the more attention they’re going to get

We also want to be mindful of proximity to water. Since rooflines are going to be our most common rain catchment points (using our free salvaged buckets and totes), we can check both those boxes keeping at least some of our beds along our common walkways to and from the house and garage or sheds, or establishing beds near doorways and outdoor water faucets.

With our beds near the house, we’ll then also want to keep some of the maintenance basics like hand tools and maybe a watering can right there handy as well. The most regularly used items are fairly compact, so they should fit right in with our porch broom or a bucket or deck box near the door.

Eliminate Ego

Right up there with making our life easier by picking out plants that are proven winners and producers, is giving ourselves a break. The neighbors might have a bare earth garden without a speck of a weed. Martha Stewart and the Neeleys might have awesome, bountiful beds with expensive chipped mulch or thick mats of straw.

Good for them. They’re not us.

We can take advice from them if we want – and if their advice falls in line with our growing style, and the desire to be more self-sufficient, which means cutting some of the umbilical cords to Lowe’s and Tractor Supply. We can ask what varieties they use, maybe even trade some seeds. We need to not compare ourselves – or our gardens – to them and theirs.

Every person and family is different, and soil changes step by step. The extra time being cultivated, a reliance on outside fertilizers, different wind and sun patterns, and a devotion to watering can all have effects.

We also need to just be nice to ourselves. If the weeds aren’t big enough to bother the plants, they’re not hurting anything; take a few minutes to enjoy family or a book now and then. If we have to pick between having cardboard between rows and beds, or running a tiller or weed-eater or hoe, go with the time and fuel and labor-saving ugly.

All our garden should be about is our yield and our health and our abilities, compared only to our past.

The rest of it, that’s just ego. Hubris is how mere mortals take down the gods and giants in all the good stories. Stick with humble and happy.

Slow, Steady Solutions

This is actually a permaculture principle. What it means is that we add things at a pace where we can handle them, where they will thrive, and where we can accept feedback from them – and adjust accordingly. It goes hand-in-hand with that ego point above. But also, it’s about learning, and not getting overwhelmed.

Whether we’re just starting or expanding, it can be tempting to go for broke. And sometimes, we break. Then we get discouraged, either by a method and we write it off, or by this whole gardening thing in general.

We can also break the bank trying to do it all at once, either getting started or making changes or trying to keep up with others’ results.

Deciding on our pace should include a look at our financials. Sometimes it’s more economical to buy or rent a machine and get lots done in a few hours, but sometimes we’re better served with a shovel and a post-hole auger and working by inches over days and weeks.

We do need to get started with gardening, but make changes and expand at a pace we can maintain. In the end, we’ll have a better situation than if we rushed around and ended up unhappy or worn out later.

Leave Room to Renovate

When we eke out our plots and expansions, we can benefit from leaving ourselves some elbow room through and around them. Especially if we’re new, we might also want to use a more temporary “build” for the first few rounds.

Container gardens, lasagna beds, using established flower and ornamental beds for veggies, expanding at the base of trees or hedges just a foot or two, and inexpensive beds made from things like shelving units can help with that. So can doing an unbounded, free-form bed instead of starting off with brick or timbers.

That way we have a chance to test out our water solutions, placement around our homes and placement of our tools, our composting systems, make sure it’s not too dry or too sodden or in a frost pocket or heavily shaded come June, exposed to winds, or affected by our livestock locations, and then actually apply the feedback that our plants themselves will give us.

Then we can go around and reinforce our beds with timbers and CMU if we’re happy, or reassemble them somewhere else if we’re not, or go whole-hog with our in-ground, tilled-out methods.

Having extra elbow room also allows us to try out new methods as we become aware of them, and have space to maneuver or change focus as we lose mobility due to injury or age, or as our family situation changes.

In the end, our gardens and our time in them will be far more productive if we leave ourselves room to adjust for better efficiency or economy down the line.

Bed Down Beds

Cover vegetable beds with leaves in the winter.

At the end of the season, cover garden soil with something, no matter what it is – tilled plots eked out of the yard, actual built raised beds, unbounded lasagna beds, pots and planters.

Maybe it’s newspaper you soak and then weigh down with loose sticks and rocks and the brick/CMU for a later project, or cardboard that gets screwed into timbers. Maybe it’s a tarp, some old shower curtains, or a patchwork of trash bags and duct tape. Maybe it’s a layer of mown leaves and pine needles. In some cases, you might actually plant a cover crop that will grow for a bit and then get killed off in winter’s cold, forming a mat.

Do whatever it takes, but cover gardens for the non-growing seasons.

It’ll reduce the amount of work necessary to start all over in spring, because it’ll prevent or limit weeds – especially from trees that have long, hard-to-kill roots and the most prolific annuals – and in some cases, it will deprive any that are already in the soil of light come spring.

In most cases, covers of all kinds will also help prevent compaction from winter and early spring rains, so it’ll take less work to loosen soil for planting again.

Even piles of unused mulch can benefit from being covered.

Mulch is there to help us prevent weeds on top of the benefits of reducing compaction and creating a slow-breakdown feed for our beds. If it sits open to the sky, weed seeds can blow in, and some of those weeds will get roots going all the way through the pile, a foot or more deep. We don’t really want to be moving weeds into our garden beds, especially not when there’s a fast, easy way to prevent it.

Garden Management Practices

How we manage our gardens, and even the mentalities we adopt as we plot them out and watch them over the season, has major effects on how much yield they return.

Siting and plant selection in particular is crucial, no more so than for busy people. It’s also crucial that we be realistic with ourselves and with our goals – because every style of gardening requires at least some labor and inputs from us to be successful.

Veggie gardening can be rewarding, but it can also be frustrating. Using practices that make it a little easier to get started now and that leave room for improvements in the future can limit some of the frustrations, and can let us work out the kinks while there are still grocery stores filled with cheap produce to cover our gaps.


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)

Boosting Our Garden Productivity Our practices can affect our garden productivity hugely. Sometimes that’s as easy as changing our mindsets, so that the time and labor it takes to garden is

How do you know if your canned food has gone bad? If only it were as simple as checking the expiration date! Sorry friends, but that expiration date is just a recommendation. In truth, canned food can spoil due to many factors other than time spent on the shelf. For example…

  • Dropping your canned food can create a hole or leak that allows bacteria to grow.
  • Storing your cans at the wrong temperature can cause metals to start seeping into your food.
  • Using the wrong methods or improper hygiene while canning will doom your food from the start!

This isn’t to scare you into thinking that all canned food is out to give you Botulism. Rather, we want to remind you to inspect your food before taking a bite!

This book could have been called The Pioneer’s Book of Medicine. Learn here why.

Once we run through the telltale signs that canned food has spoiled, you’ll always know what to look for.

1. Bulging

Press on the lid of your can. Do you sense pressure or swelling? Or does the lid top “pop” or move up and down? These could all be signs of a serious food hazard! When bacteria breed, they release harmful toxins which cause the tin can to bulge.

From these toxins, humans can contract some nasty strains of food poisoning including the most lethal form of food poisoning called Botulism.

2. Loud Hissing

A soft, brief hissing sound when opening a can is fine–this is just the vacuum seal being released. However, a loud hissing sound is another sign of toxic gas caused by bacteria.

If you experience this hissing, stop – do not proceed. If you continue, you risk spreading the bacteria around your kitchen.

3. Spurting Liquid When Opened

When you open a can of green beans or tuna, there is always some liquid that pools at the top and spills out just a little bit. That’s natural. What isn’t natural, however, is spurting liquid that erupts like a geyser. This is a red flag that there has been an abnormal build up of pressure inside the can, likely caused by bacteria.

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4. Corrosion

When metal cans corrode, metallic chemicals like Bisphenol A (BPA) start seeping into your food while also creating holes that allow bacteria to grow. Corrosion can be caused by improper temperature storage or being covered in soot or ash that moistens the cans. To spot corrosion, look for small rusty holes on the can.

5. Dents

When a dent is made on a can, it’s like a mini explosion going off on the inside. The air distribution is suddenly shifted and this can result in the can’s seal becoming compromised. If the seal is loosened, then air can escape and bacteria can enter, affecting both the taste and safety of the food inside.

6. Leaks

Leaks are the easiest way to tell if your can has been compromised! Don’t just look for liquid seeping out, also check for sticky areas which might be a clue that there was once a leak.

If there are holes, cracks, or issues with the seal that are big enough to cause a leak, then your food has been exposed to air, bacteria, and possibly egg-laying bugs that are attracted to the can’s contents.

7. Bad Smell

Smell your food every time you open a can. Obviously, rotten smells will gross you out and stop you from eating the potentially spoiled food. But also, acidic or metallic smells will strike you as unnatural. On an evolutionary level, your body is designed to detect “off” smells. Trust your senses!

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8. Bubbles

One or two small bubbles on the surface of canned food might just be from the agitation of opening the can. But if you find a light to moderate layer of foamy bubbles, then your food has spoiled.

These bubbles are caused by the release of waste or gas from the bacteria that has been partying inside the can. Treat this food like toxic waste and don’t even attempt to taste it.

9. Strange Colors

Your food should be the same color going in the can as it is coming out of the can–that’s the whole point of preserving in a can! Discoloration is a clear sign of contamination whether it be from metals, bacteria, or air. You don’t want to ingest that!

10. Mushy or Moldy Looking

If there is mold in or on your canned food, it means that your food wasn’t canned properly. The wrong tools or the wrong methods were used which resulted in the growth of mold that has begun to turn your food into mush.

In this case, it’s not enough just to scrape the mold off the top because you don’t know what other hygienic or handling issues occurred during canning.

How to Keep your Food from Spoiling

Store your cans in a dry, cool, dark place – Ideally, you want a clean storage shed, pantry or a basement that maintains a temperature between 40-60 degrees F. Most homes are around 70 degrees–which is okay–but in general, the lower the temperature, the longer your food will last.

Store your cans off the ground – Leaving your canned food on the ground exposes them to condensation, floods, and temperature changes. Shelves are your friend.

Physically rotate your food as often as possible – In other words, crack open the older cans first and replace them with newer cans. Don’t let cans of food go forgotten in the back.

If you want to learn more about home canning, check out these 9 things to know before you start.

Conclusion

Whether you’re stockpiling for the apocalypse, canning for winter, or eating from cans on a regular basis, make sure you really ingrain these signs into your brain!

Teach your partner and teach your kids these signs, too. They are survival skills that could save you and your family from enduring a serious illness.


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)

How do you know if your canned food has gone bad? If only it were as simple as checking the expiration date! Sorry friends, but that expiration date is just

Getting yourself noticed should be an important life goal, but there are times when screaming at the top of your lungs could mean the difference between getting back to safety and kicking the bucket. In an SHTF situation, apart from making sure you have food, plenty of water, and some shelter, you’ve got to make sure that the rescuers know where you are.

Sure, that fancy smartphone of yours seems like the most obvious choice, but what happens if you run out of battery or you lose it? Anything can happen out there, that’s why you should think about including other means of signaling for help. In today’s article, I’m going to show some neat trinkets that could save your neck should you ever find yourself in a life-threatening situation.

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So, without further ado here are 10 signaling device you should definitely think about including in your B.O.B.

Whistle

Remember that irritating whistle your P.E. teacher used to make you run faster? Well, you should consider getting one, but not for the same reason, of course. If you’re stuck in some neck of the woods with nothing to make your rescuers aware of your presence that piece of plastic could indeed save your life. And, c’mon – even in a crowded intersection, you can still hear someone blowing on a whistle.

Roll of surveyor tape

Those flashy rolls road worker or surveyors use to mark off a path will come in handy if you get lost. Just rip a small piece, write something on it like where you are or where you’re head, and tie to a tree or pole. I would recommend getting something in a flashy color like electric blue, flash pink or even jaundice yellow. Even if you’ve never been in the woods before, you would still notice a piece of tape tied to a tree.

Personal locator beacon

This is one of the personal favorites. It works just like in the movies – you hit a button, and the thingamajig will notify the authorities of your location. Compared to the other stuff you’ll read about in this list, a P.E.B is a bit pricier (between $250 and $400, depending on the manufacturer and options), but a very useful item in case you get lost.

Most P.E. Bs operate over a short-wave frequency (125 – 405 MHz), which means that the signal can be picked up by anyone screwing around with a short-wave radio.  Now, apart from the fact that you must be willing to dig deep into your pockets to purchase one, you will also be required to register your PLB with the local authorities. Otherwise, they won’t recognize your signal and can’t provide aid.

Chisel tip marker

When I was in school, we used these types of markers for our calligraphy class – they’re great for painting gothic letter if you’re interested in that sort of thing. Anyway, in case you have no other means of letting your rescuers know where you are, take one of these babies out and start making drawings on trees. You can write to them on any surface. More than that, neither snow nor rain could wipe them away.

Compact emergency survival mirror

I know that in case of an emergency any kind of reflective surface would do, but it’s rather impractical to carry around a real glass mirror since it might shatter. That’s why I find these compact emergency survival mirror very fast – they have a smooth and clear surface, which means that they can reflect anything from sunlight to a flashlight, and given the fact that they’re made from plastic, the only thing capable of breaking them would be to actually step on them. Some of these mirrors can also be used to focus sunlight onto tinder or char cloth in order to start a fire.

Rescue Lasers

Yup, the same stuff a teacher would use to point out various things on the blackboard can be used in case of an emergency. Rescue lasers are compact, sturdy, and consume less battery than any LED bulb. You can choose whatever color you like, but I would stick to the flashy ones like neon green or bright blue. Bear in mind that this handy tool comes with a price to match – the cheapest one I saw was around 100 bucks.

ELSs (Emergency Light Strobes)

ELSs look just like a P.E.B, except for the fact that they do not transmit your location over short radio. However, the light from one of these thingamajigs is so intense that you would have to be blind or something to ignore it. If you’re into beacons, you might consider and ELS over a PEB, since they’re much cheaper (around 20 bucks).

Compact emergency signal panels

Remember those disposable rain ponchos from the sports store? Well, here’s the signaling version of the poncho – an expandable signal panel that can fit inside your pocket. If you’re lost, lay it in the sun to let the rescuers know that you’re there and still breathing.

Emergency flares

I personally try my best to stay away from those things after my son broke one in the living room and set the carpet on fire. However, except for this rather unsavory experience, flares are great for marking your location. Since most of them are weatherproof, you can use them in various scenarios: daytime, nighttime, heavy rain, snow storms. You can also start a fire with one of those thingies if you don’t have any matches or a lighter.

Light sticks

Need some light? Pop open one of these things and the darkness will literally melt away. Great for cave explorations or getting some light on that path during a storm. You can also use them to signal for help. They’re ludicrously cheap (I purchased a 12-hour light stick with multiple colors for two bucks).

Well, that about covers my 10 most favorite signaling devices. Think something’s missing from the list? Get to the comment section and let me know.


Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The Doomsday Book Of Medicine (Everything from the soil up and from head to toe)

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)

Getting yourself noticed should be an important life goal, but there are times when screaming at the top of your lungs could mean the difference between getting back to safety