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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

Ever stopped to think just how useful a bar of soap can be? No, you can’t shave it and turn it into plastic explosive as Frank Burns from M*A*S*H said, but there are lots of other stuff you can do with it beyond washy-washy. No matter if you’re using the old rectangular bar, the liquid variety or dishwasher detergent, each and every one of them could save your skin one day.

Most seasoned survivalists and bushcraft experts carry at least one bar of soap with them and, as you might expect, it’s not only for washing soiled jammies or getting the dirt off your hands.

Since soap is another one of those household items that should get its own statue in the survival hall of fame, I’ve decided to do write this short and sweet piece on how soap may serve your bushcraft purposes.

This book teaches you how to treat each problem without prescription pharmaceuticals, often with everyday items already in your pantry or medicine cabinet. Get your copy here.

So, because talk’s cheap, here are 5 ways you can use soap to get out of a potentially life-threatening situation.

  1. Shampoo

I know that most of you don’t really see the purpose of washing your hair during an SHTF situation, especially because, I don’t know, priorities tend to shift. Still, hygiene’s very important, and you really wouldn’t want to end up with lice in your hair and worse.

Don’t know for sure if the rest of you people have even considered the thought of adding one bottle of shampoo to your B.O.B or at least an all-purpose shower gel (great for hair, body, carpets, upholstery and anything in between), but I really don’t see the point of getting one if I have one or more soap bars.

Sure, you won’t get curls or fluffy hair, but at least your head’s clean and lice-free. By the way, if you find yourself without shampoo\shower gel, you can also use liquid soap or dishwashing detergent to wash your hair. Just be careful not to use that dishwasher stuff on more sensible body areas because you’ll end up with sores (true story).

  1. Removing ice from the driveway nice and fast

No rock salt or kitty litter? No problem. You can create your own ice-busting concoction using regular liquid dish soap, water, and a bit of alcohol (don’t get your hopes up because you’ll want to rub alcohol for this concoction). Here’s what you’ll need to do: take a bucket and fill it halfway with hot water. Add one tablespoon of rubbing alcohol and one tablespoon of undiluted dishwashing liquid soap. Mix and use this concoction to remove ice from your driveway.

  1. A sure-fire remedy for poison ivy poisoning

Do you know what’s worse than having a bear on your ass? Having to resist the urge to scratch after getting into contact with poison ivy. What’s even worse about this type of poisoning is that the blisters can spread if you pop those oil-filled pustules.

How to solve this? Using dishwashing liquid soap, of course. Since the stuff’s designed to deal with oil stains, it will eliminate the excess oils from the area, thus stopping the blisters from spreading. Moreover, using liquid soap on poison ivy blisters increases the healing rate of your skin.

  1. Keeping them nasty bugs away from your food

Now that spring’s finally arrived, we turn our attention to things more romantic like picnics, BBQs, and campfire sing-alongs with your intoxicated buddies. The only thing that annoys me the most, apart from having to clean that bathroom (sorry, hun) is insects crawling over my food.

Yes, I should know by know that a picnic’s not exactly, well, a picnic, but I do hate to share meals with overly insistent ants, and God knows what.

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After doing a bit of snooping on the Internet, I found out that you can actually protect your food from pests using diluted dishwashing soap. It sounds crazy, but believe me, it works. And no, the food will not have a soapy taste to it. To prepare your own pest repellant from soap, get yourself one of those spray bottles and fill it with others. Add two teaspoons of dish soap, shake, and spray the table area.

Yes, you can even spray the food – in its watered-down form the stuff’s safe to eat. Only don’t use too much of it because your food will certainly end up tasting funny.

  1. Getting rid of sticky things in your hair

Well, what can I say? Shit can happen even at home. Doesn’t matter how hard you try to maintain hygiene, because there’s always that moment when you forget that you just dunked your hands in Vaseline, but that itchy spot on the top of your hand just refuses to go away. For moments like this, be thankful for the fact that dish soap exists.

This stuff’s powerful enough to remove anything from the flue, Vaseline, nail polish, gum, and, yes, even peanut butter.

However, do keep in mind that dish soap was made for washing dishes and not to be used as a shower gel. Here’s what you will need to do in order to get rid of that nasty stuff from your hair. First of all, stop scratching because you’ll only spread around the stuff, and rip some hair locks in the process.

Now, pour a tablespoon of your favorite dish soap into your palm and apply it over the sticky area. Rub the area for 5 to 10 minutes. After that, wait a while for the soap to sit and do its job. After that, get into the bathroom, rinse your hair with plenty of water.

You can also use a little bit of shower gel or shampoo to ensure that there’s no more dish soap in your hair. I know it sounds nasty, but then again you really had to scratch that itch.

That’s it for my short and sweet list of how survivalists use soap, regardless if its liquid, solid or the kind used for washing dishes. Do you believe my list lacks certain applications? 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)

Ever stopped to think just how useful a bar of soap can be? No, you can’t shave it and turn it into plastic explosive as Frank Burns from M*A*S*H said,

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.

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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.

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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!

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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

Where would we be today without mouthwash? Probably brushing our teeth several times per day in order to get rid of all those food pieces. Wouldn’t call it a marvel a technology, but mouthwash does have its uses and, some of them, go way beyond oral hygiene.

And because I was thinking the other day about reasons to stockpile even more mouthwash than usual, I ended up burning the midnight oil to see what that stuff’s good for apart from, well, using it to wash your mouth. Of course, I won’t bother you with tall tales about guys using mouthwash and mumbo-jumbo to summon otherworldly beings, but I did discover some very interesting facts about this stuff.

If you are truly interested in building an effective medical supply the final chapter of this book alone is worth the whole price of the book! Details and how to get your copy here.

Did you know that there was a time when FDA was seriously considering blackballing mouthwash on account of a freak study that linked this substance to oral cancer? Of course, it was later proven that the study was a bogus and that the only severe reaction mouthwash can cause is the so-called black tongue – basically, the tongue grows tired of shedding dead skin cells which end up sitting there, is not pretty.

The black color is the result of a chemical reaction between an oxidizer commonly found in mouthwash and the dead skin cells. No reason for alarm, as it is not life-threating (just use a brush with soft bristles to scrape your tongue or chew some gum).

Anyway, back to the topic du jour – mouthwash in survival. As many common household items, mouthwash can also be used during an SHTF situation. Here are my choices in alternative uses of mouthwash.

Antiseptic

Let’s start by stating the obvious – since mouthwash was designed to kill bacteria responsible for tooth decay and bad breath, it’s safe to assume that it has strong antibacterial properties. If you don’t have anything else on hand, you can always pour a bit of mouthwash on small scrapes and nicks. Word of caution though – this stuff’s going to sting like hell.

Have you ever tried to disinfect a minor wound with medicinal alcohol? It stings even worse than that. Don’t forget to wash with clean water and flush the area with a saline solution – mouthwash contains other substances that really don’t belong inside the wound.

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Washy-washy the toothbrush

As I’ve said countless of times, oral hygiene’s very important, no matter how shitty the situation is. If you ever find yourself stranded in the field, it may be possible to sterilize your toothbrush with a little bit of mouthwash. In fact, it’s quite advisable to do so before putting that thing in your mouth, especially if you’ve been on the road all day.

If you want to make sure that toothbrush’s germ-free, I would advise soaking it in mouthwash – grab a zip-lock bag or small airtight container, put the toothbrush inside, pour a little mouthwash, seal, and stir.

No more stinky feet

Yeah, I know that this not qualify as an SHTF situation, but try sleeping in a closed tent after a day of walking, hiking, running or whatever. In case you don’t have any soap nearby, just drizzle some mouthwash on those mutton chops, rinse with water, and dry yourself with a towel. Yes, you’ll have less mouthwash, but at least you’ll get a good night’s sleep.

Itchiness and Accidental Poisoning

There’s nothing more thrilling than the feeling of tiptoeing through poison ivy or nettles. Don’t fret, don’t whine, and, most importantly, stop scratching. Put a bit of mouthwash on the sting, and you’ll be up on your feet in no time. Just be sure you use an alcohol-based solution – the other kind won’t be of any use to you in this situation.

Ensuring that your cooking stuff is germ-free

One thing hikers and backpackers fail to observe are keeping their food utensils clean. Yes, I know no one will be in the mood for washing plates and cutlery after a hearty meal, but this would mean extending an invitation to all kind of nasty germs.

Now, if you don’t have anything on hand to sterilize your plates, and that includes clean water, you can always use a bit of mouthwash. Shake the bottle for some foam – it will be easier to remove grease and anything sticking to the plate.

Makes body stink go away

Because no good deed should go unpunished, the result of pushing your body beyond its limits is a nasty smell. From where I stand, there are two options – either you wait until you find a source of water to take a bath or do something before the smell curls your toes.

If you have nothing else in your B.O.B, use a tiny amount of mouthwash to wash those stinky body parts. Works great for the armpits, chest, and legs, but I wouldn’t try it elsewhere.

No hand sanitizer? Not a problem.

Hygiene’s important but it becomes vital in a shit hits the fan situation. Apart from the fact that most of the environments you’ll be traversing are riddled with all manner of germs that would like nothing more than to take a bit out of you, your hands will be in permanent contact with icky stuff. I don’t know if your B.O.B contains soap or not, but it should at least have a small bottle of hand sanitizer.

In the event you run out of the stuff, use some mouthwash to sterilize your hands. Might not be as powerful as a regular hand sanitizer, but at least your hands are clean enough to handle food or tend a wound. I don’t judge.

And so, we come to the end of yet another entertaining piece of how everyday items can save our lives in a potentially life-threatening situation. Mouthwash is indeed a good thing to have around the home, regardless if you’re a hygiene freak or not. Just to be safe, you should throw in a couple of small mouthwash bottles in your B.O.B. Missed anything? Drop a line or two in the comment 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)

Where would we be today without mouthwash? Probably brushing our teeth several times per day in order to get rid of all those food pieces. Wouldn’t call it a marvel

The number of concealed carry permits in America has exploded over the last few years. According to data from the Crime Prevention Research Center, as of May 2017, over 15 million people have their license to carry. Up from 11 million in 2014. The world is volatile, people feel unsafe and more than ever, they are stepping up and taking the responsibilities of protecting themselves and their families.

The world as we know it, may not ever end. I know, I know, but it is a reality. Some call prepping a lifestyle, we like to be prepared for emergency situations, whether it be an event Mother Nature throws at us, like hurricanes or earthquakes. Or something the politicians throw at us like causing an economic disaster.

Are you prepared for something like an active shooter event or terrorist attack? How about an armed robbery? You should be, as it is something I believe is more apt to happen than most of the other SHTF situations. It could be the heroin junkie sitting in the dark part of the parking lot waiting for you because he has no money and has scoped out your nice car believing he now has a source to get the cash for his next fix.

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I applaud everyone that has taken the steps to acquire their carry permits. Right now there are also 13 states that do not require its residents to have a permit to carry concealed. This is referred to as Constitutional carry, and it is catching on. I believe more states will be joining the others adopting Constitutional carry in the near future. Concealed carry IS a lifestyle, much like prepping. It shouldn’t be something taken as lightly “a hobby”. If you are going to carry around a loaded weapon everywhere you go and you have to have the skill to effectively use it and that will require some sacrifice.

Ok, you have your permit or your state adopted Concealed carry before you decide to go out and buy a Desert Eagle .50AE, I highly recommend you get some training under your belt. If you have never owned a handgun, or have owned them, but never carried one concealed, you NEED to get educated. A basic pistol class will educate the novice in perhaps the most important topic in the handling of pistols, safety. It will go into the basics of marksmanship. It will also give the critical information needed to point the first time buyer in the right direction in terms of what to start looking for in a weapon to suit them, given the myriad of choices.

If your class is a more comprehensive one, the instructor may have some different actions and calibers for the students to try so as to give an individual first-hand experience on what a 12-pound double-action trigger feels like on a revolver as opposed to a 5-pound trigger on a striker-fired pistol. The difference in recoil between a .357 mag and a 9mm.

Buying and carrying a weapon you feel comfortable with is a very individual thing. I hate it when I’m in a gun store and a small framed woman walks up to the counter and says she’s looking for a gun for home defense. Something that’s easy to use because she has no experience. And the salesman says,”oh you need this 12 gauge pump action with 00 buck”. There is nothing more moronic and sales people like that should be fired. That’s why it’s important to have an educated idea of what you want before you walk into a gun store. It would be ideal for you to try as many different models of guns as possible as it is a very personal choice.

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Your purchase doesn’t end with the gun.

The next critical piece of equipment is a good holster. This will take into account lots of different things. Your body type. Are you in shape or do you have a spare tire around your waist? How’s your mobility? Can you access your weapon quickly and smoothly where you plan to carry it? How do you dress? If you decide this is the lifestyle you want to have, you will find that your wardrobe choices will have to change. You will have to dress around your gun, not the other way around. Concealed means concealed. You shouldn’t have to worry about moving certain ways for fear of either exposing your weapon or printing your weapon through your clothes. Unfortunately, it is a trial and error thing. Everybody is built different and what works for your buddy may not work for you. Which leads me to the next point.

Where do you plan to carry?

There are numerous places on the body to carry, but as a NRA instructor and over 20 years concealed carry person myself, I recommend two places over others and I do have my preference as to which I think is better. For starters let’s begin with small of the back. Terrible. I don’t recommend this position to carry concealed no matter how many times you see it in the movies. You have almost zero control of your weapon. It’s not conducive to a fast draw. Its retention properties are terrible. You can’t even tell if your shirt pulled up over it and there it is for everyone to see while you’re walking around the department store. If you happen to either slip or get pushed down in a scuffle and land on the ground with a gun in the small of your back, you could suffer serious damage and even take yourself out of the fight.

 Shoulder holster.

Not a huge fan but I can see some small instances where one could be the right choice. Those instances are someone that uses a wheelchair. Or someone who spends lots of time driving. The things I don’t like about them are that you generally cover yourself with the muzzle when you draw from them. Especially with a horizontal shoulder carry. You can only use them with open front garments. Which really limits what you can wear to conceal it. Handgun hunting is another activity where I could see a shoulder holster being used. Usually, the handguns used to hunt with are large and lots of times even wear an optic. Holsters that lay the gun across the chest are the typical variety of shoulder rigs you see here. However, during hunting activities, one is not usually concerned with concealment.

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Ankle carry.

Good for carrying a backup only. Very slow to draw. Somewhat uncomfortable. This is where wardrobe choices are important, the type of pants will come into play. The leg opening will have to be large enough to pull up and over the gun. The type of gun is also limited with carrying in this position in that you won’t be able to carry full sized or even compact sized pistols. Subcompact and micro pistols will be the extent of what could be carried on the ankle.

Strong side hip.

This is one of the two positions I recommend. The majority of holsters made are designed for this position of carry. There is outside the waistband and inside the waistband. That is up to the individual. Although inside the waistband generally conceals the pistol better than outside because it hugs the body tighter.

Advantages to this carry position are that it’s fast. You can also wear closed front garments as well as ones that open from the front. Strong side hip also allows the user to have some retention ability. Meaning if someone tried to take the gun from the holster, the user has a fighting chance to retain it, unlike small of the back. If you carry inside the waistband you may have to buy your pants one size larger depending on the size of the weapon you want to carry.

Appendix inside the waistband.

This is my preferred method of carry. There are lots of detractors on the internet regarding appendix carry. However, I doubt most of those people carry on a regular basis. The popular saying is, you’ll shoot your junk off. Well sure, if you are untrained, it’s a possibility to shoot yourself drawing a gun from any position! I’ve been carrying this way over 20 years.

I have drawn and fired hundreds of thousands of rounds and I have never shot myself. I prefer this method because it is the best way to conceal a larger pistol. It is the fastest draw. Open or closed front garments can be worn. It provides the best in terms of retention abilities. If you happen to wind up on the ground, you can still access your gun. And you can access your weapon with either hand. If you are exploring this option, don’t let what others say to persuade you.

Try it for yourself, give it a fair chance and you will most likely carry this way. It, however, doesn’t work with all body types. If you are somewhat thick in the middle, this method may be uncomfortable for you. There are other methods of concealment like shirts and belly bands etc. I’ve decided to cover the most popular methods because others are more niche type methods and represent only a very small portion of the market. However, I encourage you to research alternate methods of concealing a pistol because you may have a unique situation.

The two most popular types of holster materials are leather and Kydex. Both have advantages and disadvantages. I personally prefer kydex because there is no break-in period, they are virtually maintenance-free, they are impervious to cleaning chemicals, sweat, and moisture. They can have an adjustable retention and remain open for re-holstering with one hand. Some things against kydex are it generally doesn’t feel good against the skin. Depending on where it’s worn they are notorious for hot spots. Some say they are bulky. They can be noisy when drawing or re-holstering.

Leather holsters are comfortable.

They are ninja silent when drawing or re-holstering. After the holster is broke in, it wears on the gun like a glove, usually providing adequate retention. You can get, depending on how much you want to spend, exotic type leathers from stingrays and sharks to ostrich and alligator. Some cons are that they do require a break-in period. During this period the gun will not draw as smoothly. You will have to maintain the leather. Just like a good pair of boots, you will have to apply conditioner and even waterproofing agents to them from time to time so they will last.

You also have to take into consideration what you use for the leather treatment because it could ruin the finish of the firearm. Some leather holsters collapse when the weapon is drawn, requiring your other hand to open it to re-holster.

Ammo.

The ammo you decide to load in your everyday carry weapon should have as much thought put into it as did the weapon and holster. Don’t take the time and spend the money to buy the best equipment and then get cheap and buy a box of Tula ammo to load in your carry gun. Every ammo shoots different in every gun. If you had two of the same pistols and shot the same ammo out of both of them, there still may be variations in the accuracy. So like the guns and holsters, it is a trial and error thing.

Buy premium defensive ammo, which means hollow points, and shoot enough of it to make sure it is reliable in your chosen gun and it is accurate. Hollow points are a type of bullet that when it enters its target, the design of the bullet causes it to expand, slow down, and stop. Thereby leaving all of its energy inside of its target, which increases its effectiveness. This also prevents shooting through your targets, which could be dangerous to innocent bystanders or family.

When you buy training ammo, buy decent stuff, I stick with American brass cased ammo. Federal, Winchester, and Remington are all good choices. Other good ones are PMC, Speer, and Hornady. Some of the better-imported training ammo is Privi partisan, IMI, Magtech, Seller Bellot. Stay away from the Russian steel cased crap. It is not accurate, I’ve seen it both under-powered and overpowered. I also recommend staying away from aluminum cased ammo as I’ve had a case rupture and it fire scored the chamber of a $1,200 dollar handgun. I was not a happy camper!

Getting a basic pistol class under your belt is a great start but it will not get you prepared to draw and effectively use your pistol in a deadly encounter. You will have to take the next step after learning how to safely handle and operate firearms, learning a basic understanding of the types of firearms and getting a basic foundation in marksmanship. Then the next step would be a class like a concealed carry 101. You will have to maintain your skills even after taking these classes. Shooting is a perishable skill. If something happened years after you have taken the classes but you haven’t maintained your skills, chances are you won’t be able to perform the way you want. To maintain a level of competency, I recommend 15 minutes of dry fire 3 days a week, and live fire at the range at a minimum once per month.

One more topic I’ll briefly touch on in closing, even if you have the best weapon and ammo and all the skill of a modern gunfighter if you aren’t willing to pull the trigger on another human being, concealed carry or gun ownership, may not be for you. You must get your mind right before a deadly encounter. You must be willing to accept the fact that you might kill someone if they are trying to kill you or your family. That is also the reason why we train. You want to be able to perform your techniques without thinking about them. During a deadly encounter you have tons of other information to process without thinking, am I drawing the pistol correctly? Is my grip right? You will have to make small sacrifices of time to maintain a level of competence. It will be time well spent.


Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

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

Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)

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

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

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

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

The number of concealed carry permits in America has exploded over the last few years. According to data from the Crime Prevention Research Center, as of May 2017, over 15

In a blackout scenario, diseases of all types will flourish, and our immunity will be compromised by starvation and inadequate nutrition. Our only chance for survival will mean our mastering of prevention, not our waging war on infections.

We will still get infections, and we will have to deal with the ones we contract, but in the meantime a strategy that will best serve us is prevention.

This is what I had in mind when I started my research on how to slowly replace all the drugs me and my family depend on, with natural solutions that I would find no matter what happens around me.

Essential tools for treating most diseases you are likely to encounter.

And my research was not only focused on finding cures, but also ways of preventing disease by boosting your immune system. If you check the list of some of the most powerful nutrients to boost your immune system, Iodine stands from the crowd.

Looks like iodine is vital for normal growth and development of the body. Did you know that around 60% of the iodine in the human body is stored in the thyroid gland? Its health benefits play a very important role in the normal functioning of the thyroid gland, which secretes thyroid hormones that control the base metabolic rate of the body. In fact, without it, thyroid hormones could not even be synthesized.

Iodine controls the functioning of thyroid glands, which, in turn, has a significant influence on the metabolic processes in the body. It helps in the optimum utilization of calories, thereby preventing their storage as excess fat. Other benefits include the removal of toxins from the body and assisting the system in utilizing minerals like calcium and silicon.

How did iodine make its comeback? Well, it was not an accident.

It is the same old sad story; the wonderful microbial life and fertility of our soils get progressively depleted of all of their minerals and trace elements as they get poisoned with concentrated chemical fertilizers and pesticides of all sorts. Soil farmed in this manner is lifeless and dead. Unfortunately except for organic farms this describes the vast majority of farms in the United States today.

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Soil treated with those toxins cannot form humic acids and fulvic acid and consequently cannot process inorganic minerals into organic minerals and trace elements which your body can easily absorb.

The humus content of the soil, which took millions of years to develop, is destroyed in a few decades, and along with it the fertility and productivity of the soil. Foods are grown that look okay but are nutritionally depleted and empty, and are lacking the fulvic acid from the soil that is so important in facilitating the human body to absorb all the nutrients it so desperately needs to function properly.

Consequently each successive generation of fruits and vegetables grown in these dead soils results in less and less mineral and trace element content. This is compounded by our modern methods of cooking and processing food, resulting in foods that are devoid of enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and most trace elements, but overflowing with high fructose corn syrup and other forms of sugar and soaked in innumerable types of toxins.

This doesn’t even take into account the potential environmental disaster of GMO foods, and international corporations like Monsanto and their almost total control of seeds and the resulting means of food production. Seed companies are now selling hybrid seeds that produce plants that are sterile and cannot reproduce themselves like open-pollinated seeds can. Farmers around the world are jumping on this hybrid seed bandwagon due to the promise of increasing yields, along with pest and pesticide resistance, as well as larger-sized vegetables.

However, this is done at the expense of the loss of several thousand years of local plant breeding that has developed local plants, known as landraces, which are perfectly matched to the local environment as well as the local insects, soils, and weather patterns. These plants contain DNA that has many different traits and characteristics that we do not want to squander and lose forever. Once lost, these varieties of plants will be gone forever.

As a Prepper, you have to have a seed vault of heirloom seeds that are open-pollinated and thus will produce viable seed themselves for your next season. Seed germination and gathering, along with the ability to breed plants to improve size, taste, and other characteristics, is essential for any serious Prepper or survival group.

There is no doubt that we will have to grow our own food; we have to learn to do so using organic techniques in healthy soil rich in all the minerals and trace elements that we require for good health. In the bibliography of my extended research there are many books on this subject that will help teach how to do so.

My reason for writing this book was to fill the gap in the disaster literature for medical treatment. Dr. Ralph La Guardia

One fabulous source for open-pollinated heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables is the Seed Savers Exchange. This was started in 1975 by Kent Whealy and his wife, Diane, who just wanted to save some varieties of vegetables that they ate as children that they noticed were disappearing. Gardeners of all races and ethnicities had come from all over the world to the United States, bringing with them jars of seeds from their “old countries”. These seeds were grown in backyards all over the country, but were being lost by the thousands before the Seed Savers Exchange became reality.

This idea has grown into a thick catalogue of thousands of varieties of any fruit and vegetable you could imagine, and has resulted in the salvaging of an innumerable number of these plants that otherwise would have gone extinct. I highly recommend joining it and making a contribution if you have any unusual varieties. For a Prepper it is a wonderful source of seeds at reasonable prices; currently the catalogue has over 12, 000 varieties of vegetables, herbs, and other plants. As a couple they have probably contributed more to saving the genetic diversity of our planet than any group or government.

Scientific American had a revealing article in April 2011 on the changes in nutritional content of some of the foods we grow. From 1975 to 1997 the average calcium content in twelve fresh vegetables dropped 27 percent, iron levels 37 percent, vitamin A levels declined 21 percent and vitamin C levels dropped 30 percent!

  • Wheat has half the protein content of one hundred years ago.
  • We would have to eat eight of today’s oranges to get the vitamin C content of one orange our grandparents ate.
  • The calcium content of broccoli would require you to eat three heads of today’s broccoli to get the same amount as one head în 1950.

Alarming reports detailing the decline in nutritional content of our foods go as far back as 1935 when the Department of Agriculture began sounding the alarm, and things have gotten markedly worse since those bygone days.

The quarter of the American population that eats the least fruit and vegetables has twice the cancer rate as the group that eats the most; that alone is a startling statistic.

A consequence of all of this is a drastic decline in the iodine content of soils, dropping as much as 50 percent in the last thirty years. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over 2.2 billion people worldwide are at risk for iodine deficiency.

Iodine is essential for proper functioning of the thyroid gland, which in turn controls your metabolism and many other functions. Iodine, however, is not only essential for the thyroid but also is found in the thymus, breast, salivary glands, pancreas, brain, cerebrospinal fluid (the fluid that your brain and spinal cord float in), stomach, and skin.

A woman’s thyroid gland is twice the size of a man’s and hence she will need more iodine, especially during pregnancy and breast feeding.

The developing fetus’s brain is dependent on adequate iodine (along with essential fatty acids), without which the child will be born mentally deficient (before the current political correctness was imposed on all of us by the Democratic party, in a time when speech used to be free and not censored, these children were called cretins. Try that now and see what happens to you!). Some of the non-thyroid side effects of iodine deficiency are easily traceable to its source in the body. In the salivary glands, dry mouth. In the brain, cretinism and slow mental development and slow brain functioning. In the skin, dry skin and a lack of sweating. In muscles and joints, fibromyalgia-type complaints of aches and pains. Iodine deficiency is also the cause of many of the cysts that develop in patients’ breasts (fibrocystic breast disease) and other body organs.

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Iodine is essential to those parts of the body named above, but also its deficiency has been implicated in a large number of conditions and diseases such as ADHD, miscarriages, Multiple Sclerosis (M.S.) and Alzheimer’s disease as well as Parkinson’s disease and a large number of other neurological disorders.

Another major issue with getting enough iodine is a problem with competition with other halogens like fluorine, chlorine, and bromine. All of these halogens are adjacent to iodine on the periodic table of elements, and have similar structure and hence compete with iodine. With all the fluoride currently being placed in our drinking water, and all the bromine used for fire retardation and other chemical uses, this has caused a major problem.

Bromine is also added to commercial breads and baked goods.

Standard laboratory tests will not pick up bromine or fluorine replacement of iodine in thyroid hormones and these hormones will be reported at levels which are wrong because they are inactive due to their replacement of iodine.

Thyroid hormone without iodine that contains bromine or fluorine cannot function and is useless to the body’s needs.

Lugol’s solution, which is a liquid form of iodine and iodide combined, is very useful when one or two drops are placed in a small glass of water daily. Use this solution to rinse out your mouth once a day and then swallow it. This will provide enough iodine to your body and help displace any flouride or bromide that might have replaced iodine in your thyroid and other tissues.

Note: Too much iodine in a diet supposedly can lead to hypothyroidism or a slow thyroid. That being said, the Japanese have the highest intake of iodine of any population in the world, and do not have an epidemic of hypothyroidism, so as far as I am concerned, high iodine intakes have no serious adverse consequences and many benefits.

Another wonderful source for iodine is Nascent Iodine.

Nascent Iodine comes as a liquid, it is iodine in its atomic or most basic form. Nascent Iodine is the form that is most readily recognized by the body and most easily absorbed. It has a high electromagnetic charge on its surface and this makes it more readily absorbed by our bodies. Because of this easy absorption, Nascent Iodine helps displace bromine, chlorine, and fluorine and also prevents their uptake, thereby helping to detoxify the body.

Nascent Iodine also stimulates the thyroid to produce more thyroid hormone such as T3 and T4. Nascent is the form that was used by dentists and doctors in the pre-antibiotic era to treat infections în the mouth, topically on the skin, and internally as well. Nascent Iodine is also the best form to protect yourself from radiation exposure due to its rapid absorption in a readily usable and recognized form to the body.

Nascent Iodine also has the following benefits:

  • Supports and boosts the immune system
  • Helps regulate metabolism
  • Boosts energy levels (especially if you have an iodine deficiency, which many of us do)
  • Maintain detoxification systems and help flush the body of toxins
  • Fight off infections by its antiseptic properties

The usual dose of Nascent Iodine is from one to ten drops daily depending on your situation. Keep in mind that each drop of Nascent Iodine contains approximately 400 mcg (micrograms) of iodine. I take four to five drops daily to maintain good thyroid health. It can either be taken orally mixed with fruit juice or water, or the drops can be administered directly under your tongue. I personally like it in a small glass of cold water, I also swish it around my mouth to clean my mouth of any pathogens before I swallow it. You might as well disinfect your mouth while you are at it; there is no downside to that and lots of benefits as far as prevention of tooth decay, which in a survival situation without a dentist might prove to be very important.

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Many diseases gain entry into our bodies through our mouths and thus the importance of good oral hygiene, so why not use an iodine water mix to cleanse and disinfect your mouth while at same time providing yourself with a steady flow of life-sustaining iodine?In a survival situation iodine is essential to have readily available, especially if there is a nuclear event of any type (see the section on Potassium Iodide supplementation for full details).

Iodine is also essential to have due to its ability to disinfect water. After treating water with iodine you should let it stand for half an hour; this will allow enough time to kill off all the viruses and bacteria. If the water is cold (less than 68 degrees F) then you will have to give it four hours to be sure it is sterilized.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, cold intolerance (you always feel cold), constipation, hair loss, bags under your eyes, and if severe enough, the thyroid gland will swell (goiter). A goiter is evident when looking at a person you will see a swollen area at the front base of their neck, below their larynx or Adam’s apple.

There are other more far-reaching effects of hypothyroidism including stopping of ovulation and infertility in women, increased risk of other cancers including prostate, endometrial, breast, and ovarian.

As a Prepper, iodine is one of the most useful items to have on hand; it is relatively inexpensive, and I also recommend you stockpile a good supply of potassium iodide for any radioactive exposure from a nuclear event as well as other forms of iodine such as Nascent Iodine for daily use, etc.

Other sources of iodine are mostly from sea vegetables like kelp, seafood, and shellfish.

Note: the iodine content of iodized salt cannot be used as a source of iodine, since the amount you would need to raise your iodine levels in your blood would be fatal.

Symptoms of Iodine Deficiency

A deficiency of iodine can have serious effects on the body. The symptoms of its deficiency include the following:

  • Depression and frustration
  • Mental retardation
  • Poor perception levels
  • Goiter
  • Abnormal weight gain
  • Decreased fertility
  • Coarse skin
  • Chances of stillbirth in expectant mothers
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue

This is just an excerpt from Dr. La Guardia’s The Doomsday Book of Medicine.

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In a blackout scenario, diseases of all types will flourish, and our immunity will be compromised by starvation and inadequate nutrition. Our only chance for survival will mean our mastering

In preparing for what may come, big and small, we tend to focus on two things first: food and defense. Some of us do plan out our resupply and restocking – which means growing – but maybe we’re stuck in a rut because of the things we read about seeds, and maybe aren’t really and truly understanding seed types and some of the terms we see. I’d like to dig into some of those terms so we know what we do and don’t want to buy, and why.

Seed Terms

We see a few plant terms pretty commonly in our day-to-day life, especially if we’re of a certain mindset. The biggies we see when we’re researching and buying seeds are: hybrid, heirloom, OP (Open Pollinated), GMO (Genetically Modified Organism), and organic. So let’s look at them a little closer, because they’re pretty significant and tend to be rife with crazy advertising and misconceptions.

Organic

This isn’t actually a seed term. It speaks to the culture of plants, the way we treat a plant, how we grow it. States have differing requirements for what it takes to be labeled organic, but the upshot is that it limits the amount of chemicals used. GMO seeds are not considered organic, even when the modification is something that is considered an organic compound, like some of the cold-resistance genes from fish, Bt that is a naturally-occurring microbe, or genes that allow resistance to Roundup (AKA, RR-Roundup Ready). However, seeds do not have to be grown organically to be either heirloom or OP crops. Likewise, hybrid seeds can be grown organically.

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Genetically Modified Organisms

Contain genes from something that did not start off in a particular genetic line. Genes that are implanted could be from another class of plant or algae, from a frog, or from a fish. Sometimes the modification is removing a gene that would normally suppress or create a reaction. It’s a wide field.

GMO plants are mostly capable of successfully breeding, just to clear up that myth. Plants are more resilient in the face of uneven chromosome matching than animals. That uneven number of chromosomes in offspring (seeds) are what make fertile mule mares newsworthy, but the ability to cope with genetic inequality is actually responsible for some varieties and eventually speciation within plants, totally naturally. However, since most GMO plants are hybrids, it’s like rolling a 10-sided die in hopes of a 6, just like breeding two mutt dogs to each other. Because of that – and because of contracts – farmers don’t collect seed from their GMO crops.

Another pervading myth is that you have to work hard to avoid GMO plants. Yes, in U.S. supermarkets. Unless otherwise marked, almost everything in the center aisles, dairy section, and meat department has likely been fed or contains GMO corn or soy.

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However, GMO variants don’t exist for every type of crop, and few are readily available. Wheat, corn, squash, canola, beets, alfalfa, soybeans, and oil cotton are the most common GMO seeds sold by Monsanto, with sweet potatoes and papaya available in Asia. Tomatoes, rice and potatoes have been approved but are not yet available commercially. GMO seeds are actually pretty expensive, too, especially in small scale. It’s unlikely – unless we’re buying big bulk farm-cropping seeds from a supply store – that we will even see GMO products available to us.

So why do we see so many “GMO-free” and “organic” banners on seed packets? Because we’re more inclined to buy them – or pay more for them.

It’s a case of the tail wagging the dog – when we’re interested in something, companies strive to meet that interest. Even good sellers and producers need to eat and thus develop marketing strategies, but it’s something we can be aware of to save our own hard-earned cash. If we’re buying OP or heritage seeds, paying extra for a “GMO-free” label is like paying more for “cow-free” labeling on soy milk. How the seed parents were raised (organic or inorganic) is really only of political or moral interest. We’ll inhale more toxins in a day than that single seed will convey to the adult plant and its fruit. Therefore paying more for “organic” labels is more personal preference.

That’s not to say a certain pack of seeds is not worth more than another. I may be motivated to support independent farm-to-sale seed production, small companies, organic growing methods, landrace projects, or heirlooms. I might be paying for packaging, uniqueness, or to support some organization in conjunction with the supplier or retailer. Just be aware of what you’re really paying for.

Everything from the soil up. Seeds included. Click the book for details. 

Heirloom seeds

Also sold as heritage crops, have been around for a while, somewhat unchanged. I say “somewhat” because things change. Look up the evolution in AKC standards, especially for things like Airedales and German shepherds.

You can also look at vehicle tag standards. The 1991 F150 and the 1930 Model A are both older Ford pickups that qualify for the same classic or antique plate, but they’re very different vehicles with very different capabilities. Heirloom seeds are kind of like that. Some are fifty years old, some are centuries old. They may follow a basic form, but the 1850’s cultivar will likely demonstrate more changes from the original than the fifty-year-old seeds.

That’s okay. All our crops have changed significantly, usually for the milder and sweeter, sometimes getting bigger and sometimes yielding more fruit per plant. In other cases, plants have gotten smaller, like an heirloom wheat bred by human selection over about 300 years to produce seed at 2-3’ instead of taking half the season just to grow to 5-6’.

All heirloom is going to be open-pollinated, but not all OP seeds are heirloom, and that’s okay, too.

OP/Open-pollinated

This means that seeds will breed true, beagle + beagle = beagle, pepper to pepper.

Some plants (corn, wheat) use wind to pollinate them from another plant of the same species (two or more plants are necessary for pollination or for fertile seeds). Some plants (squash) need a thin paintbrush or a bug to get coated in pollen from a male flower and then coat the important parts of a female flower, but the flowers can be from a single plant. Peas could use wind or a bug, but will usually bear fruit just fine from the pollen and eggs within a single flower. Tomatoes could bear fruit from just one flower without any assistance, but will be more successful if the flower gets shaken by us or by insects, dropping more pollen onto the petioles.

Spacing-concepts-congestion-planting-marigolds-and-cabbage-www_welldonelandscaping

So long as our spaghetti squash does not begat-begat with acorn squash and our bantam sweet corn does not make time with our strawberry popcorn, all will be well. That’s how OP and breeding true impacts us: We can collect our seeds, plant them again, and make future generations of the same squashes and corns into infinity.

It does not require a particularly long genetic line to produce those results. OP seeds have regularly been refined over years, but they may only be a few years old, relatively, especially fast-growing plants that can produce multiple generations in a year.

OP’s are commonly tailored the same way hybrids are, breeding more and more for cold and heat and drought tolerance, expanding the range that a plant can be successfully grown in, or making it resistant to the introduced and stagnant-soil diseases we fight. We also breed for more produce per plant, either same-size plants or larger plants. Sometimes OP’s go the opposite way and are bred to be smaller and more compact, so they fit in more places, or so they spend less time on foliage and can be harvested earlier and easier.

OP’s can be had both determinate (most production in a narrow window) to aid in efficient harvest and succession or rotation cropping, or indeterminate (production spread out across a longer range) so that we can stagger harvest and processing.

OP is how all heirlooms start. They’re no less reliable than an heirloom or heritage crop seed. They’re just younger, 1991 F150 instead of 1948 F150.

Hybrids

Are what result from promiscuous plants or deliberate cross-pollination. The problem is that they don’t necessarily breed true to a parent hybrid.

Look at Labradoodles (Labrador + Poodle). If I breed Labradors for fifty years, I might get some slight variations but I’m getting Labs. However, if I breed two Labradoodles, I start gambling. I may get some pups that throw back to Labs, some pups that throw back to poodles, and some pups that do present as Labradoodles. There may also be some pups that look like maybe there was a milkman involved, because neither parents nor grandparents have upright, pointy ears or spots.

Genetics are funny that way. “Hybrid vigor” is awesome, I love my mutt livestock and pets, but it’s also a gambling game. When we want to eat, we don’t like to gamble on what’s going to show up with more than a year invested in the seeds.

Hybrids have their purposes, especially since a lot of heirlooms and some OP’s are indeterminate. A lot of hybrids are also faster than their heirloom fore-bearers. Although there are heirlooms and newer OP’s that are resistant to diseases, hybrids can usually be found already tailored for our exact growing conditions. They shouldn’t represent the whole stock for somebody worried about losing their supply line, but there are arguments that can be made for including them in planting and storage.

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Bonus: Landrace

We sometimes see the term “landrace” in homesteading circles. That’s its own separate cookie, too. Landrace lines – plant or animal – represent the idea that regionally produced specimens are better than “generic” heirlooms and heritage crops.

They are being developed much the way our crops and livestock started and why we have so many breeds of chickens, pigs, goats and so many cultivars of plants: they stay in pockets. It’s not necessarily bottle-necking and inbreeding, although there is some – purposefully done and carefully controlled. It’s about a belief small, slow solutions, and in local products. It’s making a pig and a dent corn for Arizona that fits Arizona better than it does Alabama or Alaska. Some landrace programs are also working on livestock with native pasture and forage, to decrease the amount of reseeding and grain feeding we have to do.

We already apply some landrace principles when we give advice. I may suggest certain apple trees and chicken breeds for a pasture orchard, but I will also tell you to try to find a local nursery with a local or regional grower, and a local or regional breeder. The chances of you having success with something that’s intended for your area, that has come from healthy parents that are already thriving in your area, are much higher than if you order in a plant or livestock from two USDA growing zones away, even if it’s the same breed or cultivar.

Landrace initiatives are working to make those kinds of local-to-local sources more available, increasing local success.

Selecting Seeds

“One Size Fits All” is largely a myth. There are always exceptions. Needs and goals differ, so one specific seed type isn’t necessarily better or worse across the board.

Somebody might stock some 45-50 day hybrid squashes so that they can see returns if a tornado, rogue truck, fire, animal or torrential downpour takes out their garden 60 days before the average first frost. Somebody may want a hybrid cover that more effectively chokes out weeds for the first couple of years. Alternatively, some may be dedicated to saving towering heritage wheat, or may see good reason to cultivate tepary beans even though they don’t match their current climate.

That’s as it should be. We’re all different with different motivations, so we seek out our best fit.

Additionally, sometimes we can save a little money or increase our options by understanding how important a specific seed term is to us, and how important it is to us to have our heirloom or OP seeds also marked with the words “organic” or “GMO-free”.

The goal is to be aware of what those terms in seed descriptions really mean so that we can make the best purchasing decisions for our situations and expectations.


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 preparing for what may come, big and small, we tend to focus on two things first: food and defense. Some of us do plan out our resupply and restocking

How do you like having POWER?

Electric power. The one we all have access to.

Most people in the US aren’t ready for life without electricity and what it really means to be without essentials like a functioning toilet or clean running water. Or were you just thnking that your Netflix account will be the only thing affected by this?

Those living off the grid are living proof it is possible that you can live without electricity, it just takes a few adjustments.

Now, you don’t have to leave town to prove you have hero material. Not without the proper knowledge to do so. Ready for a quick question? Try to be honest. With yourself. I’m not really there with you.

How long do you think would it take for commerce, food supply, and societal order to collapse?

This is not my way of ruining your day. This is also no fear mongering. This is just a very interesting and possible scenario since it shows how fragile modern society is. Without a single resource the infrastructure falls to pieces. Electricity is the lifeblood of modern civilization. Without it, your cars, TV’s, phones, and radios can’t work. And just as your house would be suddenly quiet, so will the city be. And the shops. And the doctor’s office. And yes, you name it. It’s not even an exercise of imagination. It’s simple math.

We all know America’s electrical grid is our Achilles heel.

The good news? It serves us all.

The bad news? If it goes down, we all do.

Not convinced you can only count on yourself if there were no more electricity?

Let’s see the aftermath of a grid down scenario for the first week. It should be enough for you to realize you need all the help you can get.

Here we go.

  • Anything with a transistor would be fried.
  • The power and telecommunications infrastructure would completely be compromised.
  • The general public would be confused at first, but some would realize what happened right away and start looting and stockpiling supplies.
  • Urban areas would completely break down.
  • The suburbs would be spared for as much as a week in certain places before disorder came there too.
  • Agricultural areas would fair the best as they are fairly self sufficient, chances are they would be fine or at least better off than the rest of the country.
  • the death toll would rise significantly due to starvation, violence, and disease.
  • Urban areas would become split up between factions and gangs bent on controlling the last resources in the city.
  • The suburbs would most likely form into small groups focused primarily on resource gathering.
  • Agricultural areas would probably focus on deals between starving survivors and their selling their own food crops to affected areas.
  • Depending on the scenario, after a month foreign military intervention would come from Mexico and possibly Canada.
  • Cities like Los Angeles and Houston could fall under military occupation as the US military would be unable to do anything.
  • Canada would most likely occupy Washington and New England.
  • Most urban areas would be destroyed and unlivable.
  • The people from the suburbs depending on where they live, might attempt to emigrate to Canada or Mexico.
  • People in the agricultural areas may do the same.
  • Attempts would be made to restore parts of the electrical grid, these efforts could be made by foreign powers or citizens.
  • If they are successful, agricultural areas as well as some suburban areas would be serviced again.
  • The process would take many years though.

It’s pretty clear. But where to start preparing for such an event?

In order to survive tomorrow, we need to prepare today! Get this book now.

Everywhere you go on the internet you are bombarded with endless videos and boring presentations that do not reveal anything worthy in the end.

Welcome to my world, before i finally found what I was looking for. What if I just want a good book that will teach me how be self-sufficient? Is that too much to ask? Isn’t it weird that we are surrounded by so much informations and still, it’s becoming harder and harder to spot the real valuable ones?

Anyone facing a ton of incorrect or incomplete information about prepping OR sick and tired to watch another 45 min video about “The End Of The World” just to buy a worthless product? You NEED to pay close attention to this.

Because this Prepper’s Ark of a book will allow you to never search for another book on how to able to provide food, water, medicine and shelter to keep your family alive.

Not if you’re armed with what you’re about to learn:

  • There’s no doomsdayism here.
  • The key to leading a healthy and disease-free life
  • What to do you do when there are no doctors or medicine
  • Master the forgotten practice called “healthy nutrition,”
  • Everything you need to know to grow your own nutritious food,
  • The essentials of survival nutrition and gardening
  • How to build good soil and how that in turn leads to healthy plants that will nourish you and your family, keeping you robustly healthy and impervious to infections and chronic diseases.
  • All about vitamins, enzymes, minerals, and trace elements and why they are so essential to maintaining good health.

And this is just the first part of this book.

If you wish to finally get complete information on what to expect and to do when emergency medical system will be overwhelmed during a disaster, give this book your whole attention.  The EMTs are unable to reach patients stranded in remote or extremely hazardous locations. There is never enough medicine to treat all cases, lack of manpower, loss of electricity…

Are you willing to stay at the mercy of someone else, even if it is the establishment itself, when your life and your family’s life is at stake? I wasn’t. And I have a hunch no one is.

Study this book like it’s the bible and start using it to slowly replace your prescription pills with natural remedies tested by a doctor who wanted to save lives, not Big Pharma.

Check the facts. For example, a study published by Mayo Clinic a few years back reveals that 70% of Americans take at least one prescription medication. The same study shows that 20% of Americans are on five or more medications.

What will all these people do when there will be no more medical supplies? Because you cannot stockpile prescription drugs. The system won’t allow it. So? What then? You really need to learn and adopt a natural alternative to your drugs. And guess what? It will be way, way, way cheaper.

What’s keeping you?

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Americans like to spend money on their landscapes – a LOT of money. According to the National Gardening Association, the amount invested in lawns and landscapes in this country has ranged from $29 billion to almost $45 billion annually over the last few years.

Research has shown that there’s some practical value to well-planned and maintained landscaping, including an increase in appraised real estate value and a significant reduction in utility costs, but whenever I see someone spending their Saturday installing expensive rolls of turf grass or hundreds of impatiens, I’m tempted to ask the question my grandfather asked my grandmother about her houseplants: “Why would you grow something you can’t eat?”

I’m not anti-lawn (not totally anyway; the kids DO need a place to play football), but as a vegetable gardener and someone with an interest in preparedness, it troubles my spirit to see so much time, energy and cash going to pretty specimen plants and yard grasses and so little going to food crops for a particular household.

The information in this book can be used immediately to improve your health, and expand your treatment options in many areas even if there is never a crisis event for you and your loved ones. Click on it for details.

Imagine a food garden that you only have to plant once in your life-time, that takes up very little space, that will provide food for you and your family for the next 30 years

But is it possible to have the best of both worlds? And even if you already have a large vegetable garden and orchards, the diversity of edible landscapes can help fill in the gaps in your food security. For instance, think about what would happen if an insect or disease problem wiped out your apples or corn. Plus, plants worked into a landscape are more covert. The average person wouldn’t likely be able to identify a berry- or nut-producing shrub in a landscape bed unless they actually laid eyes on the berries or nuts.

Creating your Edible Landscape

Below are twelve plants to consider for your home environment that are both attractive and edible. Depending on where you’re located, some of these may not grow well in your particular USDA hardiness zone, so do your homework. Your local extension service can recommend other alternatives. Many of these can slip nicely into traditional landscapes, too, in case you have a homeowner association critiquing your every move.

Blueberries

Blueberries have appeal in all four seasons. The white blossoms of spring, the summer fruits, the red fall foliage and the bark texture visible in winter all make this plant a good fit for your landscape, and a healthy blueberry bush will bear for up to 50 years!

You’ll need cross-pollination, so select at least two different varieties that bloom at the same time. And as with all crops, know the pH of the site you’ve chosen before planting. Blueberries prefer an acidic pH of 4.5 to 5.3, so if it’s higher than this, you can adjust by adding a small amount of sulfur.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO WAIT FOR A CRISIS TO USE THIS BOOK. Click above for details.

Serviceberry

When I was a child, my grandmother always sang the praises of the “sarvis” tree, also know regionally as shadbush or Juneberry. The fruits look similar to a blueberry, although the two aren’t related. The serviceberry is a tree, not a shrub, and can reach heights in the landscape of up to 25 feet tall (and even taller in a natural environment).

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Bake them into pies, puddings or muffins. Dehydrate them like raisins.

I had to attend a conference this past summer, and I discovered that serviceberry had been used quite effectively in the inn’s formal, manicured landscape, and it was bearing prolifically among the more conventional ornamental choices.

Kousa dogwood

This Asian dogwood looks similar to the flowering dogwood native to the eastern U.S., but it’s more disease-resistant, it performs better in full sun, and it has edible fruits the size of a small plum. These can be eaten raw or used to make jams or jellies.

Cornelian cherry

Not actually a cherry at all, but another species of dogwood, the fruits from this tree are tart and versatile. In the U.S., they’re typically used to make jam, but in parts of Europe or the Middle East where this species is native, the fruits might be used in the distillation of vodka or served as a salted summertime snack.

Passionflower

Nine species of passionflower are native to the U.S., and other species are commercially produced in tropical climates for juice, which can be found on the shelves of most larger supermarkets. Juice can be produced from most of our native species as well, but the maypop or purple passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is considered the best.

PassionFlower

New research suggests that passionflower may treat insomnia and anxiety as well as prescription drugs, but without the side effects.

Where you may typically have ornamental vines like clematis running up a mailbox or trellis, consider passionflower instead.

Currants

Currants are related to gooseberries but have no thorns. Currants are one of the few fruits that perform well in partial shade, so if you have a corner of your yard that doesn’t get solid sunlight from morning until evening, consider these.

Currants

From early June through August, this bright, tangy fruit is at its flavorful peak. Enjoy it in recipes that are sweetly irresistible.

Currants come in a range of colors, from black to red to pink to white, but be mindful that some types could be illegal in your state. This is a carryover from the early 20th Century, when it was discovered that black currants were an alternate host for white pine blister rust, a disease which negatively impacted the timber industry.

Rhubarb

With its large leaves and red stalks, rhubarb can fit nicely into an ornamental bed, serving as an effective groundcover. Once established, a rhubarb patch can be productive for more than 15 years, and it’s very winter hardy.

rhubarb

Rhubarb is often dubbed the “pie plant,” and the stalks, soft and delectable when baked, do make a divine pie filling.

The stalks are an acquired taste, but many folks like to mix them with strawberries in pies and cobblers. In Asia, they’re used as a vegetable and added to stews. More unusual methods of using rhubarb would include dried and candied stalks, and some folks even like to eat them raw.

Sunchokes

Native-to-the-U.S. sunchokes grow aggressively, and they’re difficult to eradicate once established, so never plant them where you might want to grow something else down the road. The tubers can be used like potatoes, and they’re often promoted as a potato substitute for diabetics, since their storage carbohydrate is inulin instead of starch. Inulin converts to fructose rather than glucose in the digestive system.

Sunchokes

Jerusalem artichokes, or sunchokes, are starchy tubers like potatoes and turnips.

Sunchokes are also known as Jerusalem artichokes, but they’re no relation to the actual artichokes found in the supermarket. Since it’s technically a native sunflower, the mature plants will produce dozens of small, yellow flowers on four- to nine-foot plants.

Amaranth

Glancing through the catalog of a company that carries amaranth will give you an idea of the diversity of varieties. Amaranth can be grown as a grain, a forage, a leafy vegetable or as an ornamental. The colors and seed head shapes vary wildly. For flour production, amaranth is naturally gluten-free.

Be wary if saving seeds from amaranth, because they’ll cross-pollinate with weedy cousins like lamb’s quarters or pigweed.

Build Your Own Medicine Chest. Click above for more details on this book.

Bamboo

There are two warnings that go along with a desire to establish bamboo in a landscape. The first is that bamboo can be extremely invasive. If planting the running varieties in particular – as opposed to clumping varieties – be sure to use a subterranean barrier, or else your neighbor’s hay field may soon become a bamboo forest.

The other warning concerns the use of bamboo shoots as a food source. While the shoots are popular and high quality, there exists a slight possibility of infection by the fungal pathogen ergot. Ergot affects other grass species such as rye, wheat and barley, too. Ingestion of ergot can cause hallucinations and death.

However, you can learn to identify the presence of ergot easily, and it’s more likely to occur in wet weather.

Once you’ve dealt with the invasiveness and the potential for ergot, bamboo can be an excellent plant for the homestead. In addition to the shoots, it can be a perpetual source of material for structures, furniture, fencing and trellising, and it’s an effective privacy screen.

I’m tempted to ask the question my grandfather asked my grandmother about her houseplants: “Why would you grow something you can’t eat?”