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 While the American medical system is incredible it has taken some hits over the last 10 years. From costly insurance premiums for doctors to the affect of Obamacare and the desire to have free healthcare the system is going to change.

Whether its for the better or it becomes too cumbersome is yet to be seen.

What we do know is that its time to take the responsibility of healing into our own hands. We need to work more on preventative health and medicine, and these are free. We do not need to see a doctor to take care of our bodies and practice good nutrition.

In this interview you are going to meet Ralph La Guardia. He is a physician who wrote The Doomsday Book of Medicine that is designed to help preppers but is really an encyclopedia of self-treatment.

If you are truly interested in building an effective medical supply, the final chapter is worth the whole price of the book!

INTERVIEW

The Doomsday Book of Medicine, Ralph, is quite an accomplishment. It is the future of medicine. What is the total page count?

Over 700 now.

That’s a phenomenal feat. How long did it take you put this thing together?

I spent 30 years researching it. Reading books on nutrition gardening, permaculture, alternative medicine. Even though I am a physician we have no training in alternative medicine unless we wanna do it ourselves.

I had interest in it in high school. I read Linus Pauling’s books. I went to medical school in Italy and there it was very hands on. They taught us how to how to diagnose with our hands and not use machines.

The Basics

You did something very interesting with the layout of this book. The Basics You Need to Know Chapters 1-5, I’m gonna go over them so the audience knows what we are talking about.

Chapter 1: Essential Health Practices

Chapter 2: Soil to Self the Key to Vigorous Good Health

Chapter 3: Vitamins and Your Nutrition

Chapter 4: Seed Oils and Their Numerous Health Benefits

Chapter 5: Fermentation and Fermented Foods

These 5 chapters let me know this was gonna be a good book. This Basics section appears almost like an appendix. You have chapters for the ear, the eye and various other ailments in section 3 but you made section 1 the first step rather than move this important information to the end.

IT all comes before you get hit in the head with the various injuries and illnesses and how to treat them. I was very impressed with that first section.

Well the reason I wrote the book, I am a life long prepper as well, Though that’s a new label. I was totally dissatisfied with the books out there. Most are basically elaborate first aid manuals.

They would say weird things like ‘stockpile your medications for diabetes and hypertension.’ Well, everyone knows you’d be lucky to get an extra week of your medicine let alone a stockpile.

If you look over and your loved ones are dying, what good is the food, water and ammo.

So, I started out by teaching everything you need to know about preventing disease. Disease is simply a failure of the immune system. That failure comes about through bad nutrition and missing trace elements.

This section is about all the things you need to do to stay healthy.

When I first got into this thing, I’m a guy who is heavy on fitness. When I first got into prepping the community was not into fitness.

I would get berated for talking fitness on the show.

When you wrapped up fitness into this care of the immune system it really impressed me. The idea is that we will exist on two hours of sleep and eat freeze dried foods at 300lbs in weight and none of it will affect us.

Venomous Bites

Things are gonna run out. Food and Medicine. So, in the book I teach people how to make their own.

From insect repellents to wound care. With each illness I tried to give 10 to 15 different ways to deal with it. We aren’t going to have Amazon to help us.

A poultice with activated charcoal can be used to bind to things like venom from a snake or spider bite.

There are not many options out there for things like that. I tried to give preppers options in this book.

You can almost tell when a guy is pedaling something. You are a guy who built a masterpiece. On the phone you told me that sometimes you are just going to die. It’s a wrap and your just not gonna survive it.

That showed me authenticity and integrity.

Get this book now and stop worrying about tomorrow.

I try to give practical advice. You have to designate a leader as a prepper group. Someone is going to have to make unpopular decisions. If someone has a stroke or massive heart attack, you cannot divert resources to that person.

I have sections in the book called Kiss Your Butt Goodbye.

In the field with limited resources you are not going to keep some people with certain conditions alive. You just have to be realistic.

Lots of books are misleading preppers on.

That made it so real to me. 99% of people would be afraid to mention the reality. They are trying to sell you answers. What you are doing is genuine with this book.

Gut Health

I also call it the future because you talk about things like the gut.

The number of bacteria in your guy outnumbers the number of cells in your body by a factor of 10 to 1. Most of your immune system is in your gut. It’s a real symbiosis and you have to give this good bacteria fiber.

I read a guy’s book on Vitamin D. That’s the kind of nerd I am. Not once did I read about the fact that you have to take fat with Vitamin D with a fatty meal. It won’t absorb it otherwise.

Get this Encyclopaedia of Self Medical Care

This book is really not just The Doomsday Book of Medicine but the future of Medicine.

I lost my personal physician to our brilliant socialized medical system. I found out he started a costly concierge system. That’s just the reality for the middle class person in this modern age.

This is just the encyclopedia of self-medical care. You can use it anywhere. For example, fever. Your body doesn’t waste anything. Bacteria survive, like us, at 98.6. We take Tylenol to get the fever down like fools. Only when a fever is dangerous do you really want to knock it down.

A fever will help you get better faster.

Where can we find this book Ralph?

You can buy the e version, but you should get the hard copy. Go to The Doomsday Book of Medicine website.

 While the American medical system is incredible it has taken some hits over the last 10 years. From costly insurance premiums for doctors to the affect of Obamacare and the

A crisis of any scale is a tough time to either have to learn to do without, or create a lot of work for ourselves. With a little practice and planning, we can still have things that make our next dish of soup or pinto beans or squirrel a little happier, and give us some versatility in how we use flour and mixes for baked goods. We can do it without adding a ton of steps, mess, and in most cases a lot of ingredients to our daily tasks. Whether we’re at home or on the trail, that can save some sanity as well as time and labor.

This is me, so you’re mostly going to see 5 ingredients or less through here, and a focus on cleanup. I’m just not Martha Stewart. But I do like my breads and I do like something sweet now and again, so here’s half a dozen ways we can still get them, even without a working oven or supermarket.

Ash Cakes & Bannock 

What would a soup be without some sort of bread? Not as happy, that’s what. Any flour will work for either an ash cake or bannock bread, even purchased mixes like the dinner rolls Augason Farms apparently figures I’ll be making – ever, but especially in a disaster. Even when it’s got extra stuff in there, I go ahead and follow the cup-tablespoon-teaspoon ratio for bannock, or just drizzle in water or milk for an ash cake.

Those ash cakes and bannock can also be augmented by rolled oats, rolled wheat, or instant rolled barley, although you need to let those sit for 10-20 minutes to make sure they have a chance to soak up some liquid, and you’ll probably need to add more liquid than usual. It’s a way to both add some texture and variety to diets, as well as use up some of the cheaper ingredients like oatmeal that are in our storage even when we haven’t planned for no-bake cookies.

Any cornbread or cornmeal can also be turned into ash cakes or pseudo-Johnny cakes, to go beside a soup or under a stew, or to add variety to our breakfast meals.

Drop biscuits & dumplings

Most pancake and dinner roll mixes have the potential to turn into nice, easy biscuits; and anything that’s a biscuit (or bannock bread) can be dropped by mounded tablespoons into a simmering pot of broth, gravy or soup, simmered for 10 minutes, flipped, simmered another 10-12 minutes, and whala – we have a fluffy(ish) bread right there in our soups.

Head’s up: Biscuit dumplings will regularly turn your clear, light broth into something thicker and more gravy like. That is not a bad thing, just a point.

Something that can be a bad thing, is that if you completely cover the top of your soup with dumplings, it gets really hard to stir the bottom.

Both of those factors go away if you opt to make your meal in a solar oven or similar. You can do it one of two ways, just like a regular biscuit bake – stick the biscuits/dumplings on the bottom to slowly rise and fluff, or space them out on top from the get-go or after part of the bake time has elapsed.

An advantage to dumplings over other ways of getting a breading into our soup meal is that it’s still only one cooking pot.

Drop biscuits have advantages in clean-up, too, and in time and waste. When we mix a batter and then spoon biscuits out onto a sheet pan, we don’t even have to dip our fingers in flour for molding them. We sure don’t have to flour a counter and a rolling-pin or drinking glass (which is also what I usually use for a cutter).

When I make drop biscuits, they’re ingredients to oven in 5 minutes or less, and my cleanup involves a bowl and two spoons. When Mr. P makes *real* biscuits, I consider just torching the kitchen and starting over.

In a life with limited water, limited resources, and a lot of labor involved with every aspect of survival, the differences can matter. The same holds true for the drop biscuit dumplings instead of rolling out and cutting even more to make flat drop dumplings.

Hardtack

Hardtack is definitely an option to go with our soups, just like it was in colonial and pioneer days. There are lots of recipes online for baking it.

There are not as many as I’d have expected where people actually eat this stuff, and discover that it’s best soaked for a few hours first, then simmered right along with broth, tea, or soup, anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour depending on the alignment of the stars*.

*Snicker; but not entirely kidding on the predictability front.

That veers it away from a convenience food, but if you’re using a crock pot or equivalent, or are simmering soup for a few hours anyway, heating the house anyway, it’s pretty handy to be able to pop open a bucket of these things 2-5 years after you made them and have a nice, portable, calorie-dense portion to pick up and eat or saw with a fork and knife. We can even sub in some of our crazy flours like ground dry beans, acorn, and barley if we’re so inclined.

Just be aware that real hardtack is not Mountain House pilot bread or a cracker, and that 5-20 minutes under gravy or in a fry pan goes nowhere without a pre-soak once it’s hard and dry.

Beer bread

I am lazy, if it was not obvious from the articles about bed sheets, laundry, and gardening. I’m also not big into babysitting food at timed intervals.

Beer bread fits me to a T.

Price out some inexpensive light beer, and don’t neglect the option of a local store ordering a couple flats of forties for you. They’re actually the cheapest option for me, both bottles and cans, because I’m not willing to buy Natty Ice even for a disaster, even though there’s boxed wine in case I decide a wine IV or camelback is necessary for my sanity.

There are many recipes online. I like this one, although I sometimes just omit the butter entirely or use oil instead. This one skips the salt and goes straight to self-rising flour. We can sub in a dinner roll mix or Bisquick for either.

And the sifting … I call it optional.

We can use a beer bread recipe in any kind of cooker, from a crock pot or facsimile to a solar oven. We can make it in little cans around a campfire or rocket stove, too, or atop a clay pot candle heater.

Spread out in a pie plate or frying pan instead of a loaf pan, or separated into muffin pans, it’ll cook faster and be easy to portion out.

That can save arguments over who does or doesn’t get the heels (there are freaks out there who consider that a lesser slice). It can also just make it faster and less messy to serve, while also saving cooking fuel and time.

If you want more flavor to your bread, you can go with heavier and darker ales as you like. While I’m happy sipping a well-built Guinness or Killian’s Red, I don’t actually like them in my bread and that bread is no good for PBJ.

Griddle Cakes 

Another cheat I learned for backpacking is that you can make any baked good into a griddle cake. For those of us who want fast and easy in a disaster, or who aren’t *ready* yet and are dying for a quick and easy treat, bag and box mixes I have successfully made into little rounds of goodness with a pan or on the greased top of a canteen mug and any heat source include:

  • Oatmeal cookies
  • Brownies
  • Muffin mixes
  • Cake mixes
  • Scone mixes
  • Cornbread & corn muffin mixes
  • Hushpuppy batter

You can follow the directions (or portion them, depending on how easy fresh or powdered eggs and oil are to divide) or cut some of the liquids, and they come out about like puffy pancakes.

Thin them down a fair bit, and, boy oh boy, we’re starting to look into the gourmet side with crepes.

They can be eaten as-is like a soft cookie or roll-up, or topped with powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, ice cream and milk flavoring syrups, nuts in syrup, honey, tree syrup, Karo, and jelly.

Frosting in a Ziploc bag offers the ability to make cute spirals and grids or fluffy artistic mounds. Pudding can be reserved and mixed thick to do the same, or used as a filling for crepes.

They can also be topped or filled with canned or rehydrated fruits, cannoli filling, pie filling, cream cheese, or peanut butter. You can also play with adding shredded coconut and nuts (and chocolate) to German chocolate frosting, or use sweetened condensed milk and shredded coconut as a super-sweet filler.

Fun note: They can also be baked in a skillet to cut like wedges of cornbread. I regularly bake muffin mixes in a pie pan to create thin little slices that are usually drizzled with something. Tuna cans and soup cans can also be used for any batter, as can small Pyrex bowls or ramekins. Those containers are also all options for baked pancakes, such as this one .

Off-Grid Cooking

Even when we’re not as prepared as we’d like to be, or when we like convenience and we want to continue to have convenient options in a disaster, we can still get the feel-good foods that bread and even “baked” sweet treats can be.

Whether it opens up options for us, just provides some extra backups, or becomes part of our daily habits, keeping an open mind about what we can accomplish – and how much effort it has to take – can only benefit us in the future.

This focused on my weakness: Breads. (And laziness, okay.) I totally endorse knowing how to do and make things from scratch. There are preservatives and cost issues with some of my cheats. However, from things like ash cakes and bannock that truly need few ingredients, to new ways to make and use mixes we might already have around, we don’t want to pigeonhole ourselves, especially if our disaster plans involve holing up in summertime or a lot more physical labor year-round.

Other things to consider when we look at these lists are the amount of fuel some of the treatments take, the amount of pan scrubbing and kitchen cleanup involved, and even the cookware we have at our disposal.

We also might want to look at some of our guilty pleasures when it comes to eating. Even if we don’t stock our cupboards to make it a daily or even weekly staple, we might consider stashing some premade mixes, hiding away some beer, and holding onto some tin cans so we can pop them out now and then for special occasions.

A crisis of any scale is a tough time to either have to learn to do without, or create a lot of work for ourselves. With a little practice and

A generator without gas is like a rifle without ammunition. For this piece of machinery to be of any use to you outside of a very expensive and heavy paperweight, you need to have a plan for fuel storage. This is also the case if you don’t want to end up like millions of people each year who are unable to get gas after a natural emergency like Hurricane Sandy. A good fuel storage plan usually involves purchasing and properly treating a minimum amount of fuel to last you through whatever scenario you are planning for.

This might be fuel for your generators, or enough gas to get you to your bug out location. It is easier to pre-purchase fuel and store it so that in the case of an emergency, you aren’t standing in line. There are a few things to consider when you are planning to store fuel long-term that we will cover below.

 

This book the most complete medical guide ever written for non-medical people. Click above for more details.

What type of container should you store fuel in?

Similar to having water on hand in an emergency; having a supply of fuel in containers that protect the fuel and are easy to carry is important. Could you store gas in thousand-gallon tanks buried underground? Yes, and that is my dream scenario but for now, I and I assume most others will have to settle for something a little more cost-effective and portable. There are many different types of fuel containers but for gas, the most common style is plastic and red in color with a built-in spout of some form. Kerosene containers are blue, Diesel is Yellow and it is important to follow this handy color convention so that you don’t accidentally pour regular gas in your kerosene heater and fry your eyebrows off or worse.

Having a few containers of stored fuel could save you in an emergency.

You can get new fuel cans just about anywhere. Home Depot, WalMart, Lowes, and any hardware store will have some options for you. Most of the new models at Walmart near me are from a company called Scepter and have a new type of nozzle which is probably the result of stupid legislation that doesn’t work well at all. The nozzle requires you to press two tabs and pull them into a position for the fuel to dispense. This doesn’t work very well and the fuel doesn’t come out smoothly. I don’t think this is necessarily Scepter’s fault and they are probably only doing what is required from government regulations.

You can also pick fuel cans up at yard-sales or salvage companies. There is a salvage company down the road from me that routinely has perfectly good fuel cans for very cheap with the old gooseneck spouts. These are much superior in my opinion and if you are going to be pouring fuel out of a heavy can into a small hole I would recommend getting a good goose-neck or buying an older can. I have several of the new cans full of gas in my shed and a couple of older ones. If I need to pour anything out, I will use what is in the old-style cans first and then pour my gas from the new cans into the old cans. It is just easier for me that way.

Regardless of whether you have a new or old can, the place you store your fuel should be as airtight as possible. You don’t want fumes leaking into the area you have your fuel stored and gasoline evaporates quickly when exposed to air.

Learn how to make your own wound care solutions, saline solutions, eye irrigant, natural insect repellent, sunscreen, hydrating fluids and even toothpaste. Click on the photo to find out more.

Using Fuel Additives for long-term fuel storage

Gas loses its potency over time and this also applies to Diesel and Kerosene. Diesel for example if stored at lower than 70 degrees will last about 12 months without any additives provided it is kept in a sealed container. If your temperatures are much above 70 that time slips by 50% to 6 months.

As diesel gets older, a fine sediment and gum forms in the diesel brought about by the reaction of diesel components with oxygen from the air. The fine sediment and gum will block fuel filters, leading to fuel starvation and the engine stopping. Frequent filter changes are then required to keep the engine going. The gums and sediments do not burn in the engine very well and can lead to carbon and soot deposits on injectors and other combustion surfaces.

Now, what can we do to prevent issues like this and protect our fuel because you don’t want to be trying to outrun the mutant zombie bikers from Mars and have your engine stop? Additives. There are two main additives that I have run across, STA-BIL and PRI-G. PRI has several lines of additives and the –G stands for gasoline. They also have PRI-D for diesel.  PRI additives are designed to be added to your fuel on a yearly basis to maintain the fuel in the best condition possible and they even claim that if your fuel has aged already, just adding PRI-G has proven to restore the fuel to “refinery-fresh conditions”. I would rather not test that out but PRI-G does have a decent reputation.

STA-BIL is one that I have personally used and does pretty much the same thing as PRI-G in terms of conditioning your fuel to last a lot longer in storage than it would without treatment. The instructions are simple, just dump the required amount in with your fuel and Voila! You should be able to safely store the fuel for at least a year with no adverse effects. I pour in the additive first and then the gas so that it is mixed as thoroughly as possible.

How Much and Where do I store my fuel?

Can you ever have too much fuel? I don’t know that you can in a real emergency. If you are unable to get to the gas station or there are rations at the pump you can never have too much. Would 500 gallons be enough? It really depends. If you have a minor power outage that lasts a few days, then you wouldn’t need that much gas at all. If we have the end of the world and there are no gas stations anymore, that 500 gallons is going to be a huge help, but it won’t last forever.

What I think is a good baseline takes into consideration the 80/20 rule. What is the likelihood that you will need this fuel for? For most people I think storing fuel for a bug-out vehicle or a generator is the most common scenario to plan for. For your car, I would plan on storing as much gas as you need to get you to your bugout location and add 50% to that. So, if you needed 2 tanks of gas to get you to your retreat and your tank held 20 gallons, I would store 60 gallons of treated fuel. This way if for some reason the grid goes down, the SHTF and zombies are walking all over the gas station parking lots, you should have plenty to get you there.

For a generator, I think you have to look at what you plan to run and how long you plan to run it. 15 gallons would last me about a week as long as I was using the generator for necessities only. Of course, it depends on the time of year but that is an average. Everyone should have at least one can of gas stored for emergencies but I like to store a minimum of one tank of gas for my car which is roughly 17 gallons and another 10 for the generator

Fuel should be stored in a clean, preferably cool place away from where you live. Don’t store fuel in your house if possible because that is an accident waiting to happen. If my shed blew up I would be a lot less concerned than if my house blew up.

Don’t forget to rotate

There are many common mistakes preppers make and storing fuel should be considered as well. I wouldn’t buy 50 gallons of gas, throw in some stabilizer and forget about them. Use and rotate your fuel yearly and you will be in great shape if something does require you to use your supplies. Since they blend gas differently in the Winter, I buy my fuel around January and store that for a year. Before the next January comes around I load up my gas tank in my car expending my stores and then head to the pump for a fresh batch. This way I think my fuel will be in as good a condition as possible.

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

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

Thanks for reading and if you have any thoughts, please add them in the comments below.

A generator without gas is like a rifle without ammunition. For this piece of machinery to be of any use to you outside of a very expensive and heavy paperweight,

Work Smarter Not Harder – In The Garden

Sometimes in the preparedness folds, we really get wrapped around axles. We have so much that we’re learning and trying to do, and we’re regularly doing it on a budget – which is just one more thing that circles around our heads and beats us up.

We can limit some of the pains of preparedness by changing how we look at things, but also how we do things. Gardening and larger-scale growing is routinely on our to-do list. It’s something that’s going to come as a shock for those who don’t practice ahead of time, no matter how many tricks get applied. However, we can save some time and stress on our bodies with a few low-cost and low-skill tricks and tools, and see increased yields. Bigger yields means lower dinner costs and potentially some increased food storage, letting us expand our preparedness in other ways.

Here are a handful of quickie, usually highly inexpensive – easy garden hacks to save time, money and labor. As you read them, don’t forget: Paper products are compostable.

Learn the secrets of a healthy soil that will make your body impregnable to disease.

Mulch

Mulch makes life easier.

Mulch can be straw or wood chips, lightly soiled animal litter, mown or whole leaves, the tips of branches we’re pruning, or shredded white paper. Shredded paper will settle into a mat that makes it tough for weeds, but “loose” mulch routinely does better with a weed suppression barrier down first. We can use newsprint, cardboard, or phone book pages as a weed suppressor and to keep small plants free of dirt kicked up by rain. We won’t get the same moisture-holding and soil aeration improvements, we will still have to weed some, especially if we already have beds that are weed prone, but it lessens our time spent sitting or crouched and bent over.

Mulch lessens the pains of gardening. We don’t weed as much, our plants do better, and we don’t have to water as much.

In some forms of mulch gardening, the mulch stays right there year-round. Some styles use a mulch that in hot, damp climates rots enough during the off-season and is tilled in that winter or early in spring. In others, we scoot aside just enough to drop seeds or transplants in during succession plantings, add amendments like cured manure or compost or pH-raising pine by raking it just into or over the surface, and add mulch more slowly.

Plastic bottles

olla-drip-irrigators-easiest-way-to-do-it-plantcaretoday_com

Sub-irrigated planters for buckets and storage tubs and conventional planters can be made using bottles for the tubes instead of aquarium or garden hoses or PVC.

We don’t store water or foods in milk jugs because they’re porous and can leach previous content out slowly, but they have their place among soda and juice bottles in the garden.

Various bottles can be used to make mini-greenhouses, cloches, scoops, and seed spreaders, as well as mouse and rat traps (2Ls can work for small squirrels and chipmunks, too, or slow them down enough for the garden terriers to get there). They’re great for vertical strawberry and herb and lettuce towers. We can use them to keep cord from tangling, and punch various holes to use for spreading amendments and treatments. Whack them in half, use sourdough starter and water or beer, and they catch horrific numbers of slugs.

For time savers and back savers, though, bottles really excel at helping us water.

Sub-irrigated planters for buckets and storage tubs and conventional planters can be made using bottles for the tubes instead of aquarium or garden hoses or PVC.

Whether we grow in raised beds or tilled rows, mulched beds or multi-layered hugel or lasagna beds, we can use bottles as a spin on olla irrigation, too. We can drill holes all over, as shown in the graphic from http://plantcaretoday.com/soda-bottle-drip-feeder-for-vegetables.html, bury it near our plants, and use a hose to fill it quickly. A similar version plants the bottle cap-down, with holes drilled in the cap and the sloping neck, and the inverted bottom cut entirely or with just enough remaining to make a flap. Those are even easier and faster to fill, with less aim needed.

The water from those will then sink out slowly, watering deep at the roots and watering our plants, not the weeds or walkways. Less water is lost to evaporation, and we don’t have to deal with timers or hose connections, or PVC to avoid standing out there forever to slowly sink in water. We pour it in, fill it up, and move to the next. If it’s really hot and dry, we might need to repeat, but it’s a low-tech, low-expense way to work faster than standing there with a hose or moving hoses back and forth so we can mow.

Maybe that means less time on our feet overall, or maybe that lets us progress to our weeding and suckering or the next round of planting.

Learn here how to grow nutrient dense foods that will nourish your mind and body.

Seeding time – The Dibble

A dibble is basically just something that makes a hole for us. Usually, it’s a somewhat shallow hole and it’s usually intended for seeds but we can work with that. There are two general types, rolling or boards, although with leek dibbles (which work with any transplant), you walk around with a rake or double-handle tool poking your holes. Boards are typically set up with dowels that will poke holes, or come as cutouts and we use something to poke holes to our desired depths. Rolling dibbles tend to be drum or wheel style.

drum-or-rolling-dibbler-and-dibble-board-www_ncat_org

There are two general types, rolling or boards.

Plans are out there for dibblers that can run from almost nothing if you salvage parts or make minis out of coffee cans and 12” PVC or make a single, double- or triple row dibble wheel out of bikes from Craigslist. Drum styles can cost as much as $100-200 to make at home if you’re inclined to go that route instead. Some of the really fancy board dibblers even get marked in colors so one board can be used for spacings from 1” to 6”.

In no-till schemes where you drag a pointed hoe to clear a spot for seeds, dibble wheels tend to be handy. In tall raised beds and window boxes or trays, a board dibbler may be more beneficial.

Using dibbles at whatever scale we choose to lets us quickly mark the space for seeds and transplants. Even if we have to go back with a post hole digger for some of those transplants, time spent upright instead of crouched tends to make for happier backs.

Seeding time – Furrowing rake

A furrowing rake is the simple DIY result of adding tight, relatively stiff hose or PVC to an ordinary hay or garden rake, and using it to drag lines along a prepared bed. It’s typically done so that the extensions are movable, letting us go as tight as the 1-1.5” gaps of the rake tines out to the full 1-2’ width of that rake.

We can get as complex as we like, adding marker lines to tell us how deep we’re aiming, or using multiple depths so we can plant cutting salad greens in the shallowest grooves and have deeper grooves for our peas. We can drag it both down and across a bed to create a grid, with seeds going at the cross points.

rake-with-hose-for-seed-spacing-1-themarthablog-dot-com

A furrowing rake is the simple DIY result of adding tight, relatively stiff hose or PVC to an ordinary hay or garden rake, and using it to drag lines along a prepared bed.

Taking a few minutes to prep some moveable rods or pipes and lay out our grid – while standing – limits how much measuring we do while we’re bent or crouched, saving time and pain with a very quick and low-cost trick.

Seeding tubes or pipes

Dibbles and furrowing aren’t the only way to limit how much time we spend crouched over during seeding time. Even a congestion-planting scheme that calls for under-seeding doesn’t have to be done from a stool or our knees.

There are a couple of tiers of standing seeders for small plot growers, from this really simple version http://knowledgeweighsnothing.com/how-to-build-a-back-saving-pvc-corn-bean-seed-planter/ to this more advanced DIY https://thinmac.wordpress.com/a-homemade-seed-planter/.

Those aren’t really necessary, though. All you really need is a pipe smooth enough for seeds to roll through cleanly and sturdy enough to stand up straight.

If you want to work with tiny seeds as well as larger ones, maybe you lay on skinnier aquarium tubing to attach to a tool handle or yardstick (with rubber bands, even), and make yourself a pasteboard, tin-can or paper funnel and tape it in place. Use the back-end of a teaspoon or the little measuring spoon from somebody’s aquarium chemicals to fish out 2-5 seeds at a time.knowledgeweighsnothing-com-pvc-seed-hack

Seed tapes and mats

If we’re not digging the various seeding tubes, we can also use our rainy days or blistering hot days to make seed tapes out of strips of paper, or larger seed mats out of unfolded paper napkins and paper towels like these http://annieskitchengarden.blogspot.com/2009/09/september-22-2009-home-made-seed-mat.html & http://simple-green-frugal-co-op.blogspot.com/2009/12/construct-your-own-seed-mats.html . We don’t have to mix up some kind of funky glue like with some of the DIY-ers show. The toothpick dab of white Elmer’s the first site shows is water-soluble and works just fine.

When we’re ready to plant, we just zoom along exposing our soil or following her mix, lay out our mats, and cover them again. We can work in fair-sized lengths that we roll up around an empty tube and then just nudge along using a broom or hoe, or use a square or two at a time that lets us stagger our planting for a staggered harvest or interspersed companion flowers.

Seed mats and strips can also be made out of a single thickness of newspaper pages for larger seeds like peas and beans as well, although we’ll want to make a small 1/8” slit or poke a pencil-tip hole through to give our seeds a head start on busting through the heavier paper.

Essential health practices, the right way to take vitamins, and why they currently aren’t working for you.

Since we’re planting 3-6” or as much as 8-12” apart in those cases, whether we do rows or congestion beds, working with a larger paper size makes sense. The newspaper sheet will decay over the season, but being thicker, it does offer a nice head start for our seeds over the weed seeds that may be lurking below. Being thicker, it also does better if the seed gets that head start of a slit.

No more removing gloves. No more exposing seed packets to dirt and moisture, or unfolding and refolding and sticking them in a pocket as we try to keep track of where exactly the tiny black seeds landed in our bed. And since they’re evenly spaced instead of scattered in lines and areas, it’s minutely easier to tell which tiny baby dicot we should be plucking when the weeds start – at least we can work quickly in some of the gaps.

In the garden – Avoid the crouch-ouch

So why the focus on things that improve soils without hauling lots of bales, limiting all the bending, limiting the bending and time we spend watering (or pumping water), collecting trash to make all kinds of weird contraptions in the garden? It’s not just me being a greenie, I promise.

Especially for seniors and those with nagging pains and injuries, the ability to work standing upright or from a chair without leaning over or reaching far can not only increase the joy of gardening, but in some cases go as far as making gardening possible again.

Arthritic hands, shaking from an injury or age, and loss of full motor function from an accident can make it frustrating and painful even to fetch out and drop a lima or pea, let alone broccoli and spinach, and unless they’re willing to just punch some holes in a baggy and shake, just forget about iceberg and romaine and strawberry spinach.

The ability to work slowly over winter or summer to prepare for spring and autumn leaf and root crops, the ability to use a tube and funnel, then shake or scoop seeds using something they can actually grip is enormous.

This book teaches you everything from the soil up. Healthy soil – healthy you. 

Reexamine how you garden

Even for those in good health or who just like to be out there, some simple and inexpensive DIY projects and some trash collection and reuse can save a lot of time.

That might make a difference in garden size now, while we’re working and balancing families. It will definitely make a difference later, when we’re depending on those gardens to feed us or add a little forkability and crunch to our starvation-staving diet (I loved that article, BTW).

Saving backs and creating easy-to-use tools can also let us involve our parents and kids a little more in some cases, giving them independence and sharing the satisfaction that comes from a meal we procured for ourselves. There’s little better in life than seeing that pride returned to your parents and grandparents, or watching it bloom in your children.

It also sucks to fail, especially when we have a lot of time invested in something.

Water reservoirs, reduced weed competition, proper seeding coverage, and workload-friendly seeding methods can help increase our rate of success, which encourages us to do it again.

Work Smarter Not Harder – In The Garden Sometimes in the preparedness folds, we really get wrapped around axles. We have so much that we’re learning and trying to do, and

A review by Kevin Doyle, author of The Final Prepper Trilogy

They say every illness in the world can be cured with an ounce of prevention – the meek may inherit the Earth, but it’s the tool-wielding prepper who will prevail when everything crumbles.

The reader may be inclined to frown upon our prep-preaching approach. Perhaps even accusing us of turning something utilitarian in nature such as disaster prepping into a paranoia-fueled enactment, a modus vivendi devoted to the inevitable finale. Being ready\prepared for what lies ahead has as much in common with nightmarish scenarios like nuclear wastelands or foreign occupation like a walnut has to a dog.

And, as the saying goes, the devil’s in the details – stashing a multi-tool inside your glove compartment does not make you eligible for then tinfoil brigade; it makes you ready to deal with car-related problems. How many of us had to pull over and ask for help because of not having the right tools for the job? Albeit slightly confusing and off-putting,

La Guardia’s take on survivalism and the fine art of prepping does exactly that – trying, and succeeding, of course, to debunk a way of thinking so wrongfully associated with fear, paranoia, anxiety, and isolationism.

Riddle me this – what happens when you mix prepping and a doctor with several medical degrees, prepper at the core, and with the panache of storyteller? The answer is “The Doomsday Book of Medicine,” a scintillating compendium of survival techniques, old-world medical remedies, and a wonderful approach to human anatomy and physiology.

Comprehensibility being the true mark of the authorship, La Guardia’s book aims to retell the tongue-in-cheek story of preparedness and does so in his own way – by combining common sense facts with medical knowledge and surefire survival tricks passed down from one generation to another.

Do not allow this book to catch you off-guard – there’s no doomsdayism in here. In fact, the subtitle sums it up in a very eloquent manner: “What will you do when there are no doctors or medicine?” In the wake of a cataclysm, be it natural or human-made, the first service that takes the proverbial beating is the emergency one.

Regrettably, time and time again we have been faced with the fact that even the most organized, steadfast emergency medical system can be overwhelmed during a disaster – EMTs unable to reach patients stranded in remote or extremely hazardous locations, not enough medicine to treat all cases, lack of manpower, loss of electricity. These are very real situations that must be addressed in the interim of a disaster.

As the author points out, quite brilliantly actually, we have too many doctors relying on modern technology to pin a diagnosis and set up a treatment scheme. Think about it – we have a machine that analyzes blood samples, several others that see inside the human body. And let us not forget those that keep the patient alive during surgery or in the emergency room.

What happens when all those machines fail or if there’s no doctor in sight?

The answer to that question is a 41-chapter expose addressed to several types of audiences – doctors who wish to step up their game and learn that there’s beauty in alternative medicine), prepping enthusiasts searching for ways to hone their survival skills or readers who just want to curl up with a good book.

Even most bemusing is the fact that La Guardia’s take on prepping and survivalism emphasis the medical part instead of your usual skills such as hunting, fishing, camping, making a fire or preparing a home emergency kit. One could say it’s highly unusual to discover a survival book that not even makes a reference to the basics. This type of storytelling approach is not exactly wrong since the opus addressed mostly to readers who have a good grasp of the basics.

What’s indeed fascinating is that, at first glance, La Guardia’s approach on survivalism has a cold, and often incomprehensible demeanor of a medical presentation, riddled with big words such as “Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus”,” “fulvic acids”, “essential amino acids”, or “Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors”.

The reader probably asking himself right about now about why he should bother reading a 900+ pages book on med stuff, when there are plenty of YouTube videos, and not to mention that fact that even the most ‘modest’ prepping the book has at least one section on how to deal with medical emergencies on the go.

Trouble is that, as far as this type of literature’s concerned, up till he happened to cross upon La Guardia’s book, we have yet to encounter one that:

  • Ditches run-of-the-mill prepping concepts in favor of all-out expose on how to substitute common meds and, of course
  • Teaches and empowers you how to tackle emergency medical situations when there’s no doctor in sight nor technology to speed up the diagnosis process.

HEALTHY NUTRITION

But “Doomsday Medicine” is far more than an emergency medical manual. As the author pointed out in the introduction, beyond meds and treatments and procedures, there’s a thing called “healthy nutrition,” a dying practice as La Guardia pointed out.

Although we don’t usually approve of the biographical method, it would seem that the author’s life-long quest of searching for alternatives remedies, has led him to delve into other domains such as gardening or the art of growing good and nutritious food.

It may be indeed somewhat baffling for a doctor to tell you stuff about fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides, and how to build a compost bin, but, as you will come to understand by braving each chapter, the key to leading a healthy and disease-free life, as well as building the so-called “survival body” starts by growing your own food and taking care of the soil.

On that note, according to La Guardia, agriculture has registered a steady decline after the Second World War. The author points out that with the advent of factory farming, which is basically industrialization of everything related to agriculture, food began losing all nutritional content. It may look like a tomato, smell like one, and even have the same taste, but has hardly anything in common with the legumes, vegetables, and fruits harvested before the arrival of factory farming.

La Guardia explains that the problem resides in the soil; to keep up with the ever-increasing offer, farm owner switched from natural fertilizers, fungicides, and herbicides to chemical-based ones. This doesn’t only “poison” the soil but also produced crops that have the same nutritional values of fast food.

Even the numbers seem to be backing up the good doc’s claims. In the book’s very first chapter, La Guardia mentions a 2011 WHO (World Health Organization) study which pointed up the steep decline in nutrients from 1975 to 1995. According to this study, twelve of the most used green veggies contain 27 percent less calcium, 21 percent less Vitamin A, and 30 percent less Vitamin C.

Not even wheat is what it used to be, as the study indicates that wheat lost nearly half of its nutrients over the past century.

Still thinking you can get a vitamin C booster from on orange smoothie? Well, according to La Guardia, today’s GMO oranges have nothing in common with the stuff our grandparents ate or drink. In fact, we would probably need to eat around 8 or 9 oranges just to get the same vitamin C content. The same goes for broccoli or other green veggies that fill our fridges and, supposedly, our bellies.

We know for a fact that every prepping book talks more or less about the importance of immune boosters. But what are they really? This is where the “Hall of Fame of Immune System Boosters” comes into play. Superfoods may be everything nowadays, but there are plenty of foods out there besides capable of giving your immune system the boost it needs.

To name a few of them, we have:

  1. Astaxanthin (a carotene found in carrots and some fish species such as salmon or krill)
  2. Colostrum (also called the first milk, it’s actually milk produced by mammals during the late stages of pregnancy; packed with protein and antibodies, colostrum helps the immune system wrestle with at least 19 pathogens such as rotavirus, Shigella, salmonella, E. Coli and more).
  3. Stolle’s milk (a type of milk invented by a businessman during the late 50s, as an alternative to colostrum. The method implied injecting pathogens into the bovine’s bloodstream in order to elicit an immune response).
  4. “Russian penicillin” (also called the Stinking Rose or, more familiar, garlic, this seleniferous plant has been linked to proven anticancer benefits and antibacterial effects; in certain cultures, garlic-based ointments are being used to treat open wounds),
  5. Iodine (one of the building blocks of sound nutrition; a rich iodine diet can improve thyroid gland functions, increase the quality of breast milk, and keeps brain cells alive and kicking.
  6. Green tea (white, black, oolong, and green; great for treating a myriad of conditions such cancer, arthritis, and even some forms of cancer).
  7. White tea, which is known to prevent the development of certain classes of microbes. In fact, the antibacterial effects of white tea make it a great candidate for personal hygiene items such as soap and toothpaste.

He wraps up his chapter on immune system boosters with a couple of well-chosen words on mushrooms, essentials oils such as lemongrass, lemon myrtle, mountains savory, oregano, thyme, tea tree, and, of course, lavender.

Interestingly enough, if we were to take a closer look at the chapter’s timeline, one would discover that prior to immune system boosters and hydrogen peroxide, the wonder-cure for treating infections, La Guardia, very much like Hippocrates, the father of medicine, believes that a healthy life begins with healthy choices.

Perhaps the reader might find this a bit redundant, but, according to the doctor, many diseases stem from poor and unhealthy routines. Getting enough sleep, remembering to take care of your teeth, washing your hands, making sure you drink plenty of fluids – these aren’t only sound health advice, but what every prepper needs to do to get into survival shape.

But wait, because there’s a little more to this. Apart from good food and healthy lifestyle choices, we, the preppers vs. the rest of the world, should also make sure we get enough healthy carbohydrates, essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, and, of course, plenty of vitamins.

Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? Regrettably, nothing’s easy when it comes to eating healthy, and there’s this dirty little secret someone or, perhaps, something does not want you to find out: soil.

La Guardia explains that growing your own veggies is JUST FOOLING AROUND WITH YOUR HEALTH if you aim for headache-free solutions like artificial fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides, and whatnots.

Furthermore, he goes on to explain that most food labeled “GMO-free,” “home-grown,” or “100 percent natural” have nothing in common with the veggies or meats our grandparents ate.

We wouldn’t call them “poisonous,” but most of these foods tend to have the same nutritional value as a cardboard box. You should also treat fruits and veggies bought from farmer’s market with a grain of salt as these foods are, more or less, grown in the same manner as those found in the supermarket. They may look good and garden-grown, but the chances are that you’ll probably end eating something that doesn’t support your body’s vital functions.

Since we’ve talked about the role of soil in healthy nutrition, La Guardia’s book has an entire chapter dedicated to time-honored agricultural practices. What’s even more striking is that the author’s strong belief in nutrition being as important as preventing in disease management, explains in great detail the ABC of cultivating a “healthy” soil. And no, that’s not a figure of speech, since, the soil’s very much alive and teeming with microorganisms, bacteria, earthworms, and fungi.

In fact, there’s a strong connection between how we interact with soil and the harvest it yields.

We found this chapter to be the proverbial breath of fresh air, as many prepping and doomsday survival books don’t often go into depth when it comes to agriculture. Of course, horticulture is a thorny subject, and, as chance has it, not many preppers or survivalist do not have extensive knowledge on the topic.

Learning the ins and outs of healthy plant growing and management takes time, effort, and, the distinct possibility that despite your best intentions, training, documentation, and materials, the results may not be to your liking.

La Guardia points out at the beginning of this chapter that there’s no recipe for healthy soil cultivation. Of course, there are numbers, studies, books, but it all boils down to the good old intuition; knowing what to plant, when to plant, how to treat the soil, and when to harvest.

Everything starts with keeping things organic and ditching anything remotely artificial. In the author’s own words:

First of all, the entire process by necessity needs to be organic, meaning

  • no artificial fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, or fungicides of any type.
  • No man-made chemicals are to be added to the soil at any time, recognizing that these are poisons that kill the extensive web of life contained in the soil.
  • A soil devoid of life is worthless for nutritional purposes. In lifeless soils, it is impossible to grow healthy plants.

So, what exactly are good horticulture practices?

According to La Guardia, creating fertile soil is very much like a Tower of Hanoi game – you need a good based to build sometimes lasting. Otherwise it will crumble. The journey begins with knowing a little bit about the soil’s ‘ecosystem.’

First of all, we have bacteria and fungi that help convert inorganic minerals into organic minerals for the plants. The author explains that humans and animals cannot absorb inorganic minerals, save for bacteria that inhabit our intestines. Removing even one of these transformative organisms renders the soil useless.

Still, there’s more to the soil than ‘babysitting’ bacteria and fungi. La Guardia points out that these microscopic critters need organic content to stay alive. Usually, this implies decomposing organic matter such as plants and even animals. However, even the most fertile soil needs a helping hand from time to time. We can make sure that the little guys are properly fed by giving the organic fertilizers or compost.

And there are plenty of solutions to that: grounded coffee remains, fish remains, crushed oyster shells, veggies gone bad, ashes, grounded bones, dried manure, peat moss, dead leaves, and even crushes rocks. Another great choice would be Biochar. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, Biochar is a charcoal-like fertilizer made of bones, leaves, manure, or wood. Not something new under the sun since it has been used by Native Americans for centuries to increase the soil’s fertility.

Macroscopic organisms such as earthworms also play a key role in the soil’s health. Although most people tend to dismiss the benefits of having earthworms in the garden, in truth, they are far better gardeners than humans! Apart from their “castings” or fecal matter which provides the soil with the organic matter it needs to thrive, studies have shown that their digging aerates the soil, bringing nutrients from the upper layer to the lower ones.

Earthworms also excel when it comes to irrigation. In fact, half a million earthworms can provide the same drainage and irrigation as 2,000 feet of pipe. Worms have become so appreciated by organic farmers, that there’s actually a nascent branch of agriculture called vermiculture. It means exactly that – growing earthworms for the purpose of increasing the soil’s fertility.

La Guardia explains that preppers should definitely consider vermiculture în addition to using compost as earthworms have this amazing capacity of keeping the soil aerated and well fed.

Of course, the presentation about soil health could not have been complete without a couple of well-chosen words about hummus and mycorrhizal fungi. The author explains that hummus should be regarded as the lifeblood of the soil since it is capable of retaining over 90 percent of moisture in the soils. The microorganisms that makeup humus are actually responsible for supplying your plants with the nutrients, proteins, and minerals they need in order to thrive.

Equally important to plant health is the presence of the so-called mycorrhizal fungi. To make a long story short, these fungi, which have been around for the past 400 million years, attach themselves to plant roots. This symbiotic relationship helps the fungi survive while allowing the plants to extend the reach of their roots. Interestingly enough, even a single plant has a vast ‘network’ of fungi. Called fungal tendons or hyphae, they help plants draw minerals, trace elements, and organic acids from the surrounding area far better than on their own.

Word of advice when perusing the chapter on organic gardening; use the glossary to figure out what some of the terms mean. Do bear in mind that La Guardia’s book is dedicated, in equal measure, to doctors and people who haven’t had any contact with the medical sciences.

Other aspects that will certainly capture your attention in this chapter:

  • Minerals and trace elements – what are they?
  • What’s their relationship to the soil?
  • How to supplement the soil’s minerals and trace elements?
  • Direct mineralization of your body – whereupon the author explains how our evolution dictates the manner in which absorb minerals from the environment.
  • Rene Quinton’s theory of the seven vortices of life, the relationship between human blood plasma, extracellular fluid, and the sea.
  • The 10 essential amino acids and where to find them (arginine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine). Do bear in mind that while the human body can produce its own amino acids, we don’t have the necessary enzymes to synthesize the above-mentioned ones.
  • The almost symbiotic relationship between squash, maize, and climbing beans. La Guardia names them “The Three Sisters” and goes further to describe the crop’s role în shaping the environment.
  • Of fats and fatty acids – there are two types of healthy fatty acids: the alpha-Linoleic acid (belongs to the omega-3 fatty acid family) and the Linoleic acid, which belongs to the omega-6 fatty acid group.
  • Even more on vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates. Here you can find out about vitamin D, which can only be obtained by exposing your skin to sunlight, and phytonutrients.
  • The building blocks of life: water, fresh air, exercise, and enzymes yet again. Here you’ll learn more about preparing raw food, how various enzymes interact with cells, and how a poor diet can lead to chronic disease.
  • One also cannot dismiss the amazing benefits of the so-called fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, soya sauce, kefir, and pickled food.
  • Of course, not even the healthiest diet cannot be complete without exercise. Thus, La Guardia wraps everything up by stressing out the importance of physical training, from both a medical and prepping perspective.

The second chapter of the doctor’s Doomsday Book of Medicine ends with a rather optimistic call-to-action to showcase how a real leader is born: A leader needs to either be chosen by some agreed-upon method or emerge natural, but whoever that leader is, he or she must maintain hope and encourage the group, and most of all, be realistically optimistic for the benefit of all. He has to be an AMERI-CAN not and AMERI-CAN’T.

Might be an overzealous statement, but, as reality dictates, in many life-threatening situations, people tend to lose track of what’s important. For instance, many prepping works mention stuff like “don’t go back inside a sinking car for your laptop or other personal items.” May sound like a no-brainer, however many people have lost their lives in this manner.

Moving on to the next part of the presentation, the humble writer of this critique has to admit that the author definitely managed to make stuff like vitamins, nutrients, enzymes, and amino acids extremely broachable.

More than that, the book’s uniqueness comes from the topics associated with preparedness. There’s a common misconception about what prepping means. Some would be inclined to only the doomsdays aspect of it – the world is on the blink of extinction, and we must do everything in our power to prepare against the inevitable.

Goya, the Spanish painter, and printmaker once said that the “sleep of ration produces monsters.” Only that, in this case, it produces cult-like congregations all set on preparing for the Apocalypse. You’ve probably heard about groups like The Doomsday Preppers. There are plenty more out there, all affixed on the same idea. This mindset push people to see danger everywhere and seek refuge in a consolidated and remote location even when the wind blows in a different manner.

On the other hand, there are a people who regard prepping as a common-sense thing to do. For instance, you aren’t considered paranoid if you attend a first-aid course or carry an extra roll of duct tape in your car. Maybe the apocalypse will come. Maybe not. Nobody really knows the answer to that. However, being prepared makes you able to deal with all types of scenario, no matter if it’s a flat tire or taking shelter during a natural disaster.

Of course, giving the book’s title and subtitle, one would be inclined to say that it’s addressed to people belonging to the first category rather than the later. Sure, La Guardia has some slips of his own but does so in order to reveal how he got into the whole prepping business.

For instance, in the intro, he mentions that, as a child, he witnessed the entire Cuban Missile Crisis unfold on television. He recounts that the incident led to a mortal dread akin to paranoia that all students were obligated to participate in school-organized nuclear fallout drills. Still not even his journey through some of the tense moments of the Cold War did not turn the author into a doomsday prepper, but rather a smart one.

The book itself raises a rather interesting question: what happens when there are no meds around and no doctors to take care for you? Prevention, exercising, getting the right amount of vitamins\trace minerals\ amino acids\nutrients are only of a small part of the prepping equations. Sometimes, not even prevention can safeguard you during an emergency.

The author’s expertise in the medical field, as well as his passion for organic crops and the exploration of alternative therapies led to this very book, which, on the one hand, provides an in-depth view on the inner workings of human physiology, while providing the reader with valuable information regarding what to do during an emergency situation.

The first four chapters of the book exhibits the same air as a presentation on nutrition but without making things boring. It’s important for the reader to understand that the books must be read in order, from first to the last page. Skipping a chapter, even one considered “insignificant” or “small,” will make the rest of the book seem like it was written in medical gibberish. Each medical term used by the author is explained as much as humanly possible în the appropriate context. And, for ease of use, La Guardia even saw fit to place a glossary at the end of the book.

So, throughout the following chapters, the reader will be introduced to the following topics:

Fat and water-soluble vitamins, whereupon you’ll get familiar with milk, lactose intolerance, vitamins B and C, which are water-soluble, fat-soluble vitamins A,D,E, and K, the alpha lipoic acid, gene expression which roughly refers to your genes’ ability to ‘communicate’ with other cells in your body, humic and fulvic acids, the relationship between vitamins and minerals, azomite and the supreme fulvic (Quinton’s Marine Plasma), enzymes, and why our diet is SAD (Standard American Diet).

Seed oils – hem, black seed, flaxseed, olive, walnut, walnut, and amaranth. Each type of oil is accompanied by an in-depth description, daily intake info, side-effects, types and subtypes, a little bit of history, and how to get the right dosage. You may want to pay extra attention to the subchapter on squalene, a natural organic compound obtained from shark liver oil and amaranth.

  • Squalene is held in high regards among preppers since it protects the skin against the ravages of radiation.
  • Did you know that squalene can also be used to balance other physiological functions like hormones?
  • Studies have revealed that squalene acts like a “nursery” for cholesterol, estrogen, testosterone, vitamin D, and progesterone.
  • Docs also employ it to reduce inflammation, improve respiratory function in patients with asthma, chronic bronchitis or tuberculosis.

Pickling or the art of making fermented goods and foods.

Pickles are not only delicious, but also healthy, nutritious, and, at times, your last line of defense against hunger when your food supplies run dry. Entire books have been written on the topic and for a good reason; pickling a great way to preserve virtually any kind of food.

However, La Guardia’s chapter on fermentation and fermented goods is not limited strictly to making great pickles. It goes far beyond that. Beginning with a historical overview of fermentation (archaeological studies pinpointed that ever since Neolithic times people have been using fermentation to create alcohol and to preserve food), the author goes on to present other prepping-related uses of fermentation – the leavening of bread.

The reader may want to go once or twice through the “Sprouted grain bread, anti-nutrients, and wheatgrass” subsection in order to understand the finer points of the fermentation process and how to increase the nutritional value of some food.

For instance, the author explains that both Chinese and Japanese would use a special cooking technique to improve the taste and remove anti-nutrients from natto, soy sauce, tofu or miso. This technique involved soaking the soybeans and rinsing them before putting them through the fermentation process. The method itself may be time-consuming, but the result would be edible, nutritious, and delicious.

Of course, after a rather extensive presentation woven with heavy-duty science, the author turns his attention to more mundane things like teaching us how to make sprout seeds at home. He explains that wheatgrass or sprouted wheat seeds or

wheat berries are a great source of vitamins B and C, improves digestion, and not to mention the fact that they get along great with heavier dishes.

As a wrap-up, La Guardia talks about lactic acid bacteria, lacto fermentation, pickling, and how to make fermented foods at home such yogurt and kefir. A real eye-opener this chapter is, especially for those who are interested in making dairy products at home.

Don’t forget to read the part about constructing a root cellar with extra attention. There you will find all you’ll ever need to know about how to build your own ‘pickle factory’ and, of course, more about the pickle-making process.

Thread with care, dear reader, because this last part will most likely take a toll on your knowledge of biology and simple organic chemistry.

Speaking strictly from a prepping standpoint, La Guardia’s book is what we like to call a static take on preparedness. You see, most manuals of prepping have a sort of high-velocity, extremely dynamic motion – get your first-aid kit out, build a tent, make a fire, run, hunt, seek shelter, whereas the doc’s book is more on the “sit down and listen carefully to what I have to say” type.

It’s very interesting to see this type of approach in survivalism. We really need more books capable of making us understand the processes behind various survival techniques, not just reruns.

Again, La Guardia’s “Doomsday Book of Medicine” is not the type of thing you want to rush into. Understanding some of the things relayed here takes times and, in some cases, additional research.

A KNOWLEDGE BONUS

On this note, we want to thank the good doctor for attaching his further reading list at the end of his book. The lectures, albeit most of them on the medical side, are bound to provide the reader with some more insight on topics of interest such as gardening, inorganic chemistry, cider-making, marine oil, home remedies, enzymes, folk medicine, aromatherapy, and more.

Be sure to check out the other books if you have the time or, perhaps, want to broaden your understating of what it means to be prepared.

And because prepping is just another word for improvisation, chapter six of La Guardia’s book proves that with a little bit of imagination and chemistry know-how, you can do just about anything.

Baking soda is perhaps one of the most versatile items found around the house. It’s used for baking, cleaning, getting rid of stubborn stains, and it can even be used to craft personal hygiene items. In his own familiar style, the author begins by saying a couple of less known facts about baking soda and how it works.

For instance, when analyzing the impact of lower pH levels on human metabolism, the author notes that there’s a pattern to diagnosing diseases such as allergies, obesity, bipolar disorder, anxiety, diabetes, pattern that can be traced back to high protein consumption and important substances like magnesium and calcium being leached from the body. La Guardia explains that as the body’s pH becomes more ‘acidic’ as a result of dietary imbalances, we are more prone to various medical conditions.

To push things even further, the author quotes the brilliant study of doctors Pottenger and Weston Price who managed to prove that highly-processed and cooked food are reft of ‘healthy enzymes.’ As La Guardia points out, sodium bicarbonate is frequently used in medicine to treat gastrointestinal conditions such as peptic ulcers or gastritis.

However, as this chapter reveals, baking soda has far more uses than those mentioned earlier.

  1. Toothpaste, for instance; by mixing one teaspoon of baking soda with some water, a smart prepper would have prepared a cleaning and anti-bacterial agent that’s far more efficient than anything available on the market.
  2. Baking soda can also be used as a mouthwash, especially useful for smokers or people who have bad breath.
  3. Interestingly enough, sodium bicarbonate can also be employed to treat sunburns or other types of burns. As the ‘doomsday doctor’ reveals, if you don’t have anything on hand to treat burns, mix a couple of teaspoons of baking soda with lukewarm water, pour it on a compress and apply it to the wound.
  4. Various skin conditions can also be treated by using a magic baking soda mixture – irritations produced by poison ivy and even some insect bites.
  5. Running out of deodorant? Not a problem if you have some baking soda in your pantry. As Doom Doc explains, given the fact that this house-cleaning item is strongly alkaline, it will effectively destroy fungal infection that causes bad odor. So, if you don’t have any deodorant on hand and time’s pressing you, just mix a tablespoon of sodium bicarbonate with water and apply it to your armpits. It may not smell as nice as commercial deodorants, but it will keep away the bad odors.
  6. Splinters can become true nightmares. No matter how hard you try to pick them clean, they simply refuse to get out of your skin. Don’t worry, because doc La Guardia has a neat trick for this – simple apply some baking soda to the wound site twice a day and the splinter will come out on its own.
  7. Rehydration, especially in the case of vomiting, diarrhea or other medical conditions that effectively lead to fluid loss.
  8. A sore throat. Aspirin mixed with baking soda and water makes one hell of a cure for a sore throat. Gargle it, don’t swallow!
  9. Treating vaginal and anal infections and irritations. Baking soda’s great for patients with hemorrhoids. Also comes in handy when you run out of Calmoseptine or other types of relief cream.
  10. Bladder and urinary tract infection. Since most UTIs are caused by bacteria, fungi or viruses, baking soda’s great at wiping off these nasty microscopic critters.
  11. Cancer. Although the topic’s still stirred controversy among medical specialists, some studies, such as those performed by Dr. Tullio Simoncini, suggest that some cancerous process may be slowed down or stopped using a combination of magnesium and sodium bicarbonate.
  12. Stimulates the immune system.
  13. Increases pH factor which, in turn, controls the speed your body produced biochemical reactions.
  14. Poisoning. Baking soda is very effective in countering overdose effects, exposure to chemicals, poisoning, and even neurotoxins. As an addition, sodium bicarbonate is also employed to minimize the effects of radiation exposure.
  15. Painkiller. Can treat stuff like headaches, migraines, neck pains, and allergies.
  16. Q-Tips. A mixture made from water and baking soda’s very effective at cleaning earwax.
  17. GI Tract. When used in enemas, the substance works wonders on patients suffering from colitis or constipation.

The chapter on DMSO is as fascinating as the one about sodium bicarbonate. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, Dimethyl Sulfoxide or DMSO is a by-product of the wood industry widely used to deliver drugs through the skin and into the body.

Basically, DMSO is a method of making sure the medication goes where it’s supposed to go. Not going into details, DMSO is very popular among preppers since it’s easy to obtain (online, shops), cheap, and it can be used to treat any number of medical emergencies.

For instance, used as an ointment, DMSO can help relieve pain associated with muscle soreness and decreases recuperation time in case of a pulled muscle. On the other hand, a mixture made from distilled water and DMSO can be used to treat throbbing headaches and migraines.

Be sure to check the section about how to prepare distilled water before tackling the next chapter on the wonders of Epsom salt, minerals, magnesium, and the alkaline diet.

Speaking of each, many prepping books describe various uses of the Epsom salt: detox agent, a topical mixture for insect bites and poison ivy, an anti-inflammatory agent, constipation treatment. Some even say that Epsom salt can be used to recharge a car battery! However, La Guardia’s presentation is a lot more medical and a lot less “let’s test this and find out if it works.”

Throughout this chapter, you’re going to learn all about the history of Epsom salts, how to use it to treat medical conditions and to employ outside of your body, like in gardening for instance.

The reader would very much like to pay extra attention to the part about the alkaline diet or alkalization. Don’t forget that everything is tightly connected in La Guardia’s book. So, if you feel that something doesn’t make sense, it probably means you’ve skipped a chapter.

The author’s lifelong search for alternative cures can really be witnessed starting with chapter nine which showcases the undeniable health benefits of honey. Not only this chapter contains valuable information about nature’s liquid gold, but it will also teach you how to buy the right type of honey.

Like always, La Guardia begins with a little science class about honey, followed by a dash of history. Did you know that honey has been used since time immemorial to treat skin conditions such as ulcerations and burns?

The author notes that Cleopatra used raw honey masks to keep her skin young and radiant. Not only that, but honey is a great remedy for an upset tummy. The Doom Doc says here that the best treatment for ulcers or gastritis is a bit of raw honey mixed with lemon juice and a dash of ginger.

The reader should go carefully through the rest of the chapter. Especially educative is the part about the types of honey and how to make sure you get the right one. For instance, the author mentions that most of Manuka, monofloral honey produced in Australia and New Zealand, is counterfeited. He explains that this type of honey is produced in a very limited edition and it’s usually very expensive.

Thus, the vast majority of jars available in commerce and labeled as original Manuka probably contains honey harvested from other sources. As a health adjuvant, this type of honey is pure gold since it has the highest viscosity and strong antibacterial effects. Preppers used Manuka honey to prevent infection in open wounds, to treat burns, and for gastrointestinal issues. Studies have revealed that Manuka can also be used to successfully counted the dreaded MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus).

Of course, no respectable medical approach to prepping couldn’t have been complete without a minute entr’acte on vinegar and its many applications. Beginning with fermentation, followed by a little historical quiz on how vinegar was used as a field dressing during the First World War, this entire chapter appears to praise vinegar, and for a good reason.

To outline a few benefits of vinegar:

  1. Great source of nutrients – just a splash of vinegar laced with enzymes, minerals, enzymes, fibers, and pectin.
  2. Vinegar helps the human body better absorb calcium.
  3. In diabetes, vinegar-based mixtures are used to keep blood sugar in check. Studies tend to suggest that a vinegar-rich diet can ward off diabetes-related complications such as diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
  4. Used in diets, vinegar, with its high fiber content, can offer a sensation of fullness pretty fast.
  5. Vinegar’s packed with antioxidants, especially beta-carotene.
  6. Vinegar can help your body better break down the minerals and vitamins from the food we eat.
  7. You can use a 10 percent vinegar solution to clean raw food before cooking it.
  8. In case of an emergency, vinegar can be used to dress wounds, to soothe a sore throat, and provide relief in case of gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea or gastroenteritis.
  9. Vinegar can be used as a shampoo, being fiendishly effective at dealing with dandruff and hair loss.
  10. Provides some measure of relief in skin conditions such as sunburns, eczema, psoriasis, acne.
  11. Works wonders on insect bites and stings.

Because La Guardia’s a prepper at the core, he couldn’t have possibly ended his digression on the all-out benefits of vinegar without teaching the reader about how to make vinegar at home.

Before you skip ahead to fever – the body’s super-secret and super deadly bacteria WMD, do go through the chapter on activated charcoal, wood ash, lye, and soap.

Activated charcoal is your best bet against accidental poisoning and, of course, everyone should know how to make soap at home.

In the world of prepping, much has been written about fever: “watch out for increased body temperature!”, “there’s definitely an infection here,” “fever will kill you if you don’t know how to tackle it.” Interestingly enough, La Guardia’s counts among the few preppers who state that fever’s not only a bad thing. In fact, the book’s thirteenth chapter has quite an unusual motto: “Fever is your friend.” And, for the greater part of the deal, that’s entirely true.

As you probably know, our body’s first line of defense against pathogens is raising the internal temperature. One can say that the body wants to cook up some bugs before the T and B cells march in to mop up any stragglers.

As La Guardia explains, everything’s that’s slightly above the normal body temperature (37 degrees Celsius) is considered a fever and not that big of a deal. However, the problem arises when the temperature spikes to 38 degrees Celsius or higher.

In our dealings with fever, we often have the tendency to treat low-grade fevers (anything between 37 and 38 degrees Celsius). The author points out that anti-thermic treatment should never be attempted when dealing with low-grade fever – it’s a natural response to invasive pathogens and our body’s way of getting rid of them. Medicating ourselves during this time only prolongs the disease.

The chapter on fever for preppers or the prepping fever, pun intended, includes a brief, yet highly comprehensive description of the physiological mechanism backing it up, followed up by several well-chosen words on the interaction between fever and critical body systems (metabolism, heart, brain).

On that note, did you know that every increment in body temperature is accompanied by an increment in heart rate? That’s the reason why you sometimes feel like your heart’s ready to burst out of your chest when you have a fever.

Because this is, in fact, a prepping manual and not a med book, the author emphasized the part about natural and homemade fever remedies. So, apart from the usual anti-thermal meds such as the ever-popular Tylenol or Motrin or Aleve or any type of NSAIDS for that matter, La Guardia proposes a more natural approach consisting of mixtures prepared from things like white willow, meadowsweet, echinacea, garlic, ginger, black elderberry, yarrow, linden tree flowers, Roman chamomile or eucalyptus.

We were really impressed by how the author managed to mix medical facts with great storytelling and the part about natural fever remedies stands witness to that. Whoever thought that reading about how to make a cold cure from boiled Linden tree flowers can transport the reader to the history-laden streets of Padua, Italy or a simple paragraph on how to treat wounds with yarrow can evoke mythological figures like Achilles?

Without a doubt, the Doomsday Doc really knows his stuff when it comes to telling a great story even though he sometimes goes to great lengths to somehow diminish his importance.

Of course, the best treatment in the world being prevention, the author ends the chapter with some ingenious ways to boost our immune systems. One of the most valuable advice offered here includes vitamization (especially A, C, E, and selenium).

From this point on, “The Doomsday Book of Medicine” takes on a different kind of mantle. Borrowing the demeanor of an emergency manual, La Guardia proceeds to pin down every possible outcome of an emergency. And what better way to do so than by giving the reader a serious lecture on head trauma, strokes, concussions, and seizures?

As La Guardia explains, in the aftermath of a natural or human-made disaster, head injuries tend to be more common than the common cold. Some may be mild, like a simple concussion to the head that leaves the victim confused for several minutes while others can have lasting effects.

In this chapter, the reader will be introduced to brain anatomy and how trauma can severely disrupt brain functions. Apart from concussions, the author talks about cerebral hemorrhage, subdural hematomas, traumatic brain injuries (classification and treatment), cerebrovascular vascular accidents (strokes), seizures, the difference between strokes and seizures, how to identify strokes and seizures, venues of treatment, and alternative medication for patients with seizures.

The author ends the chapter by providing some sound advice for treating patients with seizures or who have suffered other types of brain injuries:

  1. Keep blood sugar under control. Patients with epilepsy should constantly monitor their blood sugar. Clinical studies have revealed that low glucose levels can act as triggers for epileptic seizures.
  2. Avoid concentrated sugars. These include candy, fizzy drinks like Sprite, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, cakes, and deserts. Concentrated sugars force the body to produce more insulin than usual. More insulin means less blood sugar.
  3. Dietary tweaks. Although the process itself remains somewhat of a mystery, clinicians have discovered that patients embracing a ketogenic or medium chain triglycerides diet have experienced fewer epileptic seizures.
  4. Herbs for epilepsy. Alternative treatments to reducing the intensity and number of seizures include herbal mixtures from plants such as valerian root, Kava Kava, chamomile, lemon balm, passion flower, mugwort, the tree of heaven, lily of the valley, burning bush, and even marijuana.
  5. Vitamins, good fats, and magnesium. La Guardia points out that he has been able to help his patients using vitamin complexes, B, to be more accurate, omega-3 fatty acids, and magnesium. Vitamin C has also been used with limited results for treating some of the symptoms associated with epilepsy.

Since the brain is such a complex organ, the books steer into another realm of medical conditions associated with this organ: fainting, passing out, loss of consciousness, and heart attack. Of course, at this point, the reader’s ready to argue that nearly every title conceived for the purpose of survival has a chapter dedicated to fainting. The reader would be entirely correct, with one small mention: not even one of those books describe how and why fainting occurs.

Just to give you a little taste of what lies ahead, La Guardia begins his presentation by talking a little bit about fainting, after why he moves on to describe the major causes, in relation to the anatomical regions responsible for this type of brain disruption. It is here where you will learn about

  • why blood pressure is called that way
  • what’s the vasovagal response
  • the anatomy of the vagus nerve
  • postural hypotension
  • heart rhythm disturbances, such as syncope and arrhythmias
  • what is a myocardial infarction and how to deal with it in the field
  • how to check a patient’s pulse using the carotid method.
  • other causes of fainting such as pregnancy, intoxication from alcohol or drugs, severe anemia, dehydration, bleeding, and low blood sugar.

The reader would agree that headaches are annoying – they can strike at any time, leaving you with a head throbbing that could last for hours on end. What’s even worse, is that nothing you do seems to make any difference.

As a prepper, knowing how to deal with to deal with headaches and migraines should be important. La Guardia’s chapter on headaches is just the thing you need to get started. In his own, old-school doctoring style, the author begins by summarizing the major causes of headaches and migraines.

According to the “Doomsday Book of Medicine,” the major triggers are:

  1. Dehydration. Can easily be counted by drinking water, not coffee or alcohol or soft drinks. Statistically speaking, it would appear that dehydration accounts for 60 percent of headaches.
  2. Hunger. If you’re feeling like your head’s about to explode, grab a bite to eat and sit tight.
  3. Low blood sugar. Hypoglycemia is also tied to headaches. Try eating some honey or hard candy and see how you feel afterward.
  4. Infections. When your immune system’s weak, infections are bound to appear. Sinus infection, bronchitis or any type of respiratory infection can cause headaches.
  5. Hypertension. Elevated blood pressure can cause headaches, especially in the temporal area.
  6. Trauma.
  7. Stress.
  8. Strokes.
  9. Eye strain. Headaches are sure to ensue after spending too much time in front of the TV or computer screen. Prescription glasses can help you get rid of headaches, while protecting your eyes from blue radiation.

Although the chapter is called “headaches,” the author has taken it upon himself to teach us the differences between the various types of aches that can be felt in the head area – headaches, migraines, rebound headaches, tension headaches, cluster headaches, menstrual headaches, and sinus headaches.

The treatment part of this chapter includes both traditional approaches to headaches like ibuprofen, Tylenol, Benadryl, or Tylenol Sinus, and alternative, herbal-based medication.

According to La Guardia, migraines and headaches can be successfully treated using things like:

  1. Vitamins, like B2 and B complex.
  2. An herbal mixture consisting of feverfew, butterbur, and white willow bark.
  3. Magnesium.
  4. A glassful of sodium bicarbonate.
  5. Essential fatty acids to stimulate brain blood flow.
  6. Melatonin. It may put your lights out, but you will have wakened up feeling refreshed, rested, and headache-free.
  7. Calcium and magnesium.
  8. Essential oils like those extracted from rosemary, peppermint, and lavender.
  9. Herbal teas. Try chamomile, peppermint, skull cap, lemon balm or valerian.

If the book ever gave the impression that it wasn’t a medical lecture, starting with chapter seventeen, you are going to have to remember everything you’ve learned about the human body in high school.

The first presentation is called simply “The Eye,” and it contains precious information about this fascinating organ that allows us to see. La Guardia starts slowly by talking a little bit about the anatomy of the eye (there’s even a small chart attached to the text), followed by a rather long list about the most common eye problems.

Every good prepper should know how to deal with the following eye conditions:

  1. Pink eye or conjunctivitis. When there’s no doctor in sight, you can always use old world remedies such as cucumber, honey, sodium bicarbonate, chamomile tea, boric acid, calendula, homemade saline solution or five percent Betadine solution.
  2. Blunt trauma to the eye, orbit or eye socket. Though this is one of those situations that calls for a trip to the emergency room, sometimes this is not an option. Doc Doomsday includes a short guide here on how to deal with blunt trauma to the eye and how to search and extract foreign bodies that may get lodged there.
  3. Corneal abrasion or eyes getting scratched (and not by a scorned lady).
  4. Chemicals and other irritants.
  5. Allergies and other inflammatory processes.
  6. White pupil. Unfortunately, this is one medical condition that cannot be treated at home or in the field. As the author points out, the pupil becoming white usually indicates the presence of a tumor or cataract. In some cases, this may be the tell-tale sign of a detached retina. Go see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible.
  7. Sty or a pimple on the eyelid. It can be treated at home using a solution made of 50 percent baby shampoo and 50 percent mild soap.
  8. Eye strain.
  9. Black eye.
  10. Swollen eyelid.

Eye problems aside, the good doc moves on to the ear. Here, the reader will discover all about the anatomy of the human ear, complete with pictures and diagrams. Since the accent falls on prepping, La Guardia will showcase the most common ear problems, ranging from ear infections to ear obstructions and ear pains and, of course, ingenious ways to treat them at home.

So, as part of doc’s prepping course, you will learn how to address the following medical conditions:

  1. Swimmer’s ear or otitis externa. Treatment usually includes heat, onion, hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar, and garlic oil.
  2. Middle ear infections or otitis media. This usually calls for some heavy-duty doctoring and meds such as antibiotics, a good dose of antioxidants, but herbal-based remedies can also be used. La Guardia notes that middle ear infection can be treated with garlic, raw honey, and fermented cod liver.
  3. Ear obstructions (earwax or foreign bodies). Treatment includes the use of mineral oil, olive oil, baby oil or glycerin to soften up the earwax. Alternatively, the patient could try out salt or mustard oil.
  4. Ear pain. Non-med treatment of ear pain incorporates heat, pressure, and a dash of Saint John’s wort oil.

It doesn’t matter if you’re outside playing football or running for your life during a disaster. Nosebleeds are always going to happen. And since most people, including seasoned preppers, believe that epistaxis can be treated by holding up the hand opposite to the bleeding nostril, the Doomsday Doc has prepared an entire chapter dedicated to this medical condition. Here, you will learn the mechanism behind epistaxis, types of nosebleeds, and common causes (cold, sinus infection, allergies, hypertension, some types of meds such as Warfarin).

Of course, the list couldn’t have been completed without a couple of uncommon nosebleed causes. These include nasal decongestant sprays, nasal polyps, tumors of the nose, smoking and first-hand exposure to cigarette smoke and trauma (broken nasal bone).

Like in the previous chapters, La Guardia takes full advantage of both traditional and alternative treatments. So, nosebleeds can be treated with pressure, cold compresses, ice packs, cotton balls dipped în petroleum jelly, and, believe it or not, a squirt of Epinephrine from an EpiPen. Short, sweet, concise, and highly edifying.

During the intro, the author said that oral hygiene is very important and that many preppers tend to dismiss this aspect until it’s too late. Although his specialty does not include dentistry, the chapter on oral health is as complete and well-written as the others.

Here, the reader will learn all about the anatomy of the mouth, what is oral hygiene, how to make a toothbrush and toothpaste at home.

Moving on, we have several well-written paragraphs on cavities, toothaches, canker sores, sore throats, throat infection, and tonsillitis.

The chapter comes to an end with a small presentation on how to boost your immune system in order to keep at bay anything that may jeopardize the health of your gums and throat.

Skin problems – nearly everyone has had to deal with one or more skin-related problems during a his\her lifetime. Carbuncles, abscesses, jock itch, athlete’s foot, candida yeast infections, ringworm, cellulitis; these are all conditions of the skin that can appear anywhere and anytime.

Sometimes, we won’t have the luxury of waltzing in an emergency room to have the problem taken care of by a medical professional. This chapter will teach you quick and painless treatments that can be tried out virtually anywhere.

Hikers should pay extra attention to the twenty-second chapter of the book which revolves around bites: animal, insect, snake, scorpion, and even human ones! The author starts by explaining what happens when you’re being bitten. Of great importance is to keep on checking the bite site for signs of infection. Another distinct possibility is developing an allergic reaction that can range from mild (area becoming inflamed) to severe (anaphylactic shock).

Furthermore, as the author points out, the treatment protocol is different for each case; you can’t treat a snake bite the same way a wasp sting’s treated. Although most of us dismiss human bites, they too are also a distinct possibility. Not only that, but they can be as dangerous as venomous snake bite (think about hepatitis, HIV or other diseases that can be transmitted through saliva).

The lecture may be a bit on the heavy side, laden with botanical and medical terms, but very informative if the reader’s interested in finding out about how to tackle various emergencies that involve snakes, scorpions, insects or biting two-legged friends.

You may want to pay extra attention to the parts where La Guardia describes modern medical protocols for insect stings and snake bites. Remember that everything you read here may very well save your life one day.

Another interesting read is the chapter on burns. Starting with a run-down of the skin, the author proceeds to present some clinical aspects related to various types of burns. Because sunscreen should be a prepper’s best friend, there’s a small section halfway across the chapter that teaches the reader how to prepare a magical UV protection mixture at home that has the same efficiency as a commercial sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 20. May not be much, but at least it will keep your skin protected during an emergency.

One thing we’re observed here: La Guardia’s studies into essential oils and alternative, plant-based ingredients really paid off. Nearly every treatment presented here relies heavily on one or more types of oil and\or plants.

Before you leave, don’t forget to check out the subsection on radiation. There are little chances of becoming exposed to harmful radiation, but it’s still better to know what to do than not knowing at all.

Since the author describes himself as an accomplished gardener, the very next chapter is about how to identify and treat various skin conditions brought on by contact with various poisonous plants. Remember that poison ivy or poison oak poisoning is not something to be trifled with. Apart from the itching, some patients can even develop life-threatening allergic reactions.

Equally important to treating stings, bites or plant rashes is knowing how to address wounds. This is where the book’s twenty-fifth chapter comes into play. When medical help’s far away, the only way to survive is to tackle the wound yourself. However, this must be done with the utmost precision and care, lest you invite infection.

In this chapter, you will learn about various types of wounds, how to dress wounds, how to keep the site clean, how to control pain when you don’t have any painkillers, and how to prevent complications such as sepsis.

As much as the author of this modest work would like to take apart and present each aspect of Dr. La Guardia’s book, there is such a thing about being much too revealing. In pop culture, there’s a saying: “nobody likes a spoiler.” And, we fear, that we’ve spoiled a great deal of the books. We will allow the reader to discover the remaining topics tackled by the Doomsday Doctor.

The book itself is a rather peculiar collection of medical facts, old-world prepping tricks, and lost pages from farming almanacs. To say that La Guardia’s variation on the survival them is different would be a severe understatement. We’re accustomed to finding a certain type of storytelling in survival and prepping manuals – the world’s not going to end, but what if it is? What will you do when disaster strikes? Let’s turn you into a real-life MacGyver. These tropes do nothing more than to discredit most of the works that turn up on the market and the Internet.

What is even more saddening is the fact that people who haven’t been bitten by the prepping germ dismiss these works on the account that much of them appear to have that doomsday air hanging above them.

This is not the case of La Guardia’s book. When placed into context, even the title of the book seems to be a clever joke, probably pointed at the same people that made prepping some manner of psychosis, preceding paranoia.

There is no way to measure the contribution La Guardia brought to preparedness. Nor do we seek to find such a method. It’s crystal-clear that the author intended to write more than a book on how to survive and this aspect becomes obvious from the very beginning.

As a prepping manual, “The Doomsday Book of Medicine” is as comprehensive as they come. The author left no stone unturned and no medical condition unaddressed. Still, this one book you do not want to rush into. There are no quick and easy answers here. You can’t just skip to page X or paragraph Y to find the answer you were looking for. This is one type of work that must be read from first to the last page. Otherwise the stuff explained will get increasingly confusing.

Although the book paints a complete picture of prepping, the reader’s encouraged to tackle one or more of the works presented in the bibliography. However, don’t expect the same tone, writing style or step-by-step explanations of medical terms.

To surmise, “The Doomsday Book of Medicine” is riveting, new, out-of-washer fresh, captivating, and very informative. Don’t let the size fool you. Once you start reading it, it’s nearly impossible to let go of it.

 

A review by Kevin Doyle, author of The Final Prepper Trilogy They say every illness in the world can be cured with an ounce of prevention – the meek may inherit

Sometimes we may feel pigeonholed or daunted by the storage foods we can afford, or overwhelmed by how we’re going to use those storage foods without the endless repetition taking a toll. Here are some formulas and ideas for turning common storage foods into actual meals, increasing the variety of meals we can make with a few standard ingredients, and some substitutions that can lower our costs or improve the serving size, nutrition, and flavor of our cooking.

I’m not a big baker and I don’t thrill to the stove top – only the dinner table. Given the amount of work a lot of us are going to be doing just hauling water where it’s needed, plus the labor of gardens and any animals, rearing our children, cooking from scratch, cleaning without a dishwasher and washer-dryer, I’m planning to go simple with a lot of my cooking. So even if you’re not a big cook, there are ideas here that can help, ideas that can be made even with off-grid cooking methods.

Replacements

While I’ll get into some specifics in a minute or two, one thing to consider in our disaster cooking is simple substitutions.

Wheat is commonly pushed for home storage due to the price and condensed calories, and then people feel obligated to buy a grinder, and then they feel like slackers for not practicing their home-ground wheat flour bread options. I do think we should practice what we plan to use, but I don’t think everybody with buckets of wheat actually has to view it as only a future bread dough.

Wheat can be boiled and served with the same seasonings as every side dish, from herbed buttered noodles to fried rice.

Whole wheat berries & fruit in cream

Wheat berry & white bean soup

It can also be boiled to be part of or replace oatmeal and cream of wheat (soaking it overnight will make it boil faster in the morning).

If there’s a soup that calls for barley, couscous, or rice, wheat will work there, too, and cooks in about the same amount of time as barley, maybe a hair longer if it’s stored oxygen free and is older than 2-3 years (45-60 minutes usually, without a pre-soak).

Having an alternative use for the first 50-300# (or more) of wheat can buy us a little more time before we get pushed into buying not only a good grain mill, but then all the replacements for it.

Point in fact, most of our grains, from starchy dent corn to barley, wheat to quinoa, and amaranth to rice are fairly interchangeable. They take different times to cook in some cases, they definitely have their own flavors, but there’s little that can’t be made to work for any of them.

Likewise, spaghetti can be very easily used in place of an Oriental noodle, especially whole-grain spaghetti or angel hair pasta. That’s pretty handy, since even the good stuff is pretty cheap, and two pounds of spaghetti stores in about the same space than two packages of ramen.

Those substitutions exist all over.

And once we do get our grain mill, don’t neglect the other things in the pantry.

We can grind dry oats – even rolled oats – to replace part of our flour as well

Old dry beans that don’t want to soften can be turned into flour to replace a quarter or a third of a recipe, either bread or fry batter or even for gravies.

Until recent times, we used flours from barley and maize as often as we did wheat, and a lot of the world still uses them – just as often or as a partial replacement for flavoring. So can boiled or roasted acorns. We can grind dry oats – even rolled oats – to replace part of our flour as well. Doing so can sometimes to often improve the protein components of our foods, decrease the glycemic index, and help us use something that’s not really moving in our pantries.

That inexpensive oatmeal can also be turned into homemade granola bars, muffins, and griddle cakes, decreasing the amount of flour we need to use and providing a fork or finger-food in a world of spoons.

Recipes

When seeking out recipes specifically for preppers, a fair number use a lot of ingredients or require a fair bit of prep. Call me lazy, but I’m just not there, even in today’s world. Camping and backpacking recipes regularly seem to call for things we might not have on hand anymore, too, and a lot of perishable foods these days.

One, a lot of the no-fire, no-gas cooking methods really lend themselves to such. Two, the less ingredients and effort, the more time reading with kids, playing a game, or sitting with my eyes closed listening. I kind of like those options better.

Pioneer Soup

If you’ve heard of 3-5-7 can soups, you’re familiar with this. It’s basically just a rule of thumb to help check the boxes on the main “eating” components:

  • Filling/satiety
  • Fast-access energy
  • Slow-access energy
  • Proteins
  • Vitamins

The general concept is to pull 1-2 items from each category to make sure the body is getting all the nutrients it needs, which is increased by consuming a rainbow. That said, even I don’t make broth with just one seasoning. Still, the lists from the guidelines can help.

One that I ran across breaks it into “Five F’s”:

  • Fat: Oil, margarine, butter, lard, tallow, fatty meat (bacon, salt pork, hocks)
  • Flavor Root/Shoot: Garlic, onion, scallion, celery/celeriac, turmeric
  • Flavor Leaf: parsley, marjoram, thyme, oregano, basil, nasturtium
  • Filler (starches): Potato, pasta, grains & corn, pseudo-grains, cattail root
  • Fuel (protein): Legumes (beans, peas, lentils), jerky, meat sticks/sausage, ham, fish, game

The breakdowns are nice as more than a check-box guide to make sure nutritional needs are being met.

Sometimes soup get pigeonholed, which is a shame, because from a creamy red bean and rice soup to veggie to chicken-noodle to some of the Oriental soups and things like borsch and solyanka, we have a ton of options available to us. Even working off of simple, cheap, condensed-calorie prepper staples and garden veggies or wild edibles, we can present a huge variety.

Alternating what we combine and even how we serve it can help avoid appetite fatigue, which is another aspect where limiting ourselves to 1-2 items from each category can help.

How we present soups can make a big difference as well, creating significantly different feels to meals even with the exact same ingredients, or very minor twitches.

That applies whether we use the 5-F method, or one of the other guides.

One of those other common formulas for pioneer soup breaks it into three fuel categories – the primary fats, proteins, starches – and then three filler (belly filling, short on calories) and flavor components:

Veggies – tomatoes, tomato powder, green beans, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, radish and mustard sprouts, cooking/roasting radishes, autumn squash, bell peppers, salsify, turnip, parsnip, beets, etc.

Leafy Greens – spinach, beet tops, lettuce, swiss chard, mizuna, cabbage, endive, turnip tops, dandelion, plantain, nettles, borage, leeks, ramps, radish tops, water or upland cress, mustard greens, mache/corn salad, sweet pea leaves, dock, kale, sprouts

Herbs & Seasonings – tart/sour berries, garden herbs, cress, wild onions, hot radishes, horseradish, onion, garlic, ground or cracked mustard seed, modern-day seasoning blends & stock bones

Soup Alternates

Part of what makes soup an economy food is that the broth helps us feel full and increases the satisfaction from the meal.

That said, we can break apart our general standard for pioneer or 7-can soup and still get the benefits of economical belly filling balance and variety.

A pasta salad can easily be made from storage foods and fresh garden or foraged goodies, especially if we plan ahead for something like powdered Parmesan cheese that can be a pick-me-up. Three or four roasted autumn veggies on a pile of fresh or wilted leafy greens creates another fork-ready meal.

We can turn our protein component into a creamed soup or just serve a broth beside either of them to get some of the belly filling aspects back, or incorporate dried beans or cut-up dry sausage (or Slim Jims).

Shrimp Tacos

Likewise, we can turn simple ash cakes or thinned-down Bisquick into tortillas or crepes, mix up a cabbage slaw, and bust open a can of small shrimp to sear in fajita spices as a pick me up. Just a few shrimp and a couple of tacos can provide the mental boost of a non-spoon meal, even served with a pile of rice on the side and-or a cup of spicy black bean puree soup.

Instant Potatoes

Potato buds that say they’re ready to eat and just need water are telling bald-faced lies. That said, instant mashed potatoes are in a lot of kits and come pretty inexpensively on their own. Even without extra seasonings and evaporated milk for them, instant potatoes have a lot of value, especially in conjunction with our pioneer soups.

One, little says I love you like a wedge of shepherd’s pie. We can use those general basic flavorings to make a brothier version to make it stretch further, or increase the veggies beyond the usual ratios.

We can also indulge in things like a broth-heavy roasted marrow meal or just serve our Bear Creek or homemade beef or veggie soup with a happy mound of potatoes to the side or right in the middle. The seasonings from the soups will (hopefully) help mask the bland flavor, and it creates a different presentation – which is good for the mental aspects of eating, especially if a lot of our diet is rice and beans and boiled wheat.

Two, instant potatoes can be turned into goodies like potato pancakes. Or, we can mix them as directed (even in cold water; they’ll absorb it in a minute) and then bake them off to create a pseudo-dumpling or biscuit with little effort and little clean-up.

Instant potatoes can be turned into goodies like potato pancakes.

Instant potatoes also make a great thickener for our soups. We can use them to create a gravy-like broth or to imitate a creamed soup or chowder. They can also make a nice, easy flavor and calorie base for standard potato chowder without taking as much time as potatoes would to cook and mash.

Assortment of foodstuffs with a high fiber content, including various fruits and vegetables, wholemeal bread and baked beans.

Emergency Foods

While things like soup and the common basics for food storage focus around economy, it doesn’t mean we have to break the bank to jazz it up one way or another. We can avoid falling into ruts – now and later – by figuring out new ways to use the items we already have.

We can apply a little creativity and still get meals that offer variety by adding in a few things like a variety of pasta and some feel-good seasonings like powdered parm and fajita spices. Spices and sauces like soy, Dale’s, Old Bay (or the generic) and Adobo powder pack a lot of bang for the buck. We can make use of things like hot radishes, sprouts, microgreens, and wild edibles to season and bulk up our serving sizes.

We can also ease our workloads by harkening back to pottage with soups, casseroles, and one-pot meals.

In some cases, examining where we stand on our preparedness arc and how balanced our preparedness health wheels are invaluable, because it can help us decide if we need something expensive like a good grinder or a wood stove, or if our storage is at a point where a smaller set of fixes makes more sense – at least for now. Being able to buy inexpensive foods like grains, pasta and dry beans, and still create filling, varied, satisfying meals out of them, can help open up the budget for those items.

Sometimes we may feel pigeonholed or daunted by the storage foods we can afford, or overwhelmed by how we’re going to use those storage foods without the endless repetition taking

When I started my own prepping journey, a bug out bag was high on my list of priorities. I read a lot of articles and watched a ton of YouTube videos about this subject and as you can imagine, there are as many bug out bag ideas as there are grains of sand at the beach. The bags all share a common goal in that they are supposed to keep you alive if you have to leave your house for some period of time.  I think where the line gets blurred however is what your own idea of the duties of your bag are for. What do you really “need” in order to “live”? If your Bug Out Bag contents look more like what you would pack in a suitcase for a vacation, you may want to reconsider your options.

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What is the purpose of a Bug Out Bag?

OK, let’s start with what a Bug Out bag is most typically used for and go from there. A 72-hour bag or kit is usually listed as the standard we as preppers should aspire to and is actually what FEMA recommends on their website. Again, this means that your bug out bag should have enough supplies to get you through 72 hours. What you put in here though should vary by person and need. If you have considered whether you will bug out or hunker down, preparing a bug out bag could be the next step in the process.

Your bag is meant to be something that you can quickly grab and run out the door. Your bug out bag should be pre-packed with the appropriate supplies and ready at a moment’s notice. Ideally, you would have practice with your bug out bag and lugging it around through various terrain and experience actually living off the supplies that you have stored in there. A bug out bag is different in scope from a Get Home Bag, but you may have some of the same types of contents in both.

A good bug out bag doesn’t have to weigh a ton, or cost a fortune to do the job.

At a minimum, your bug out bag should cover the 3 basic necessities you need to live; food, clothing, and shelter. After that, we look at supplies to make your life more comfortable or more secure.

Do I need a Bug Out Bag?

Great question! The answer depends on what you are going to use it for I think to a large extent. Bug Out Bags come in two main flavors or types. The first type is the bag that you plan to strap on and head out into the woods or use to hike to a remote location. This might be your retreat hidden away in the woods in a small town somewhere away from your home. This could also be for those who figure they are just going to hike deep into a national forest and live off the land until whatever crisis they are avoiding has passed.

For most people, I think a Bug Out Bag is more along the lines of a pre-packed suitcase so they can get out of dodge quickly without having to stop and pack. These types of bug out bags are very useful for people who may live in a wildfire, flooding or hurricane areas although I would hazard to guess that not many people in today’s society would be able to have a wildfire, flood or hurricane sneak upon them. If you are completely unaware of what is going on around you then you most likely won’t have any bag packed and ready to go in the first place. For the rest of us, fires, hurricanes, and floods are generally forecast and announced with more than ample time to prepare, pack and get out of the way. Are there circumstances where this is not the case? Of course, but we are talking in general terms here for the most average prepper scenario.

How can my bag get me killed?

There are two main ways I can see how not thinking logically about your Bug Out Bag can end up hurting you. The first is weight. Let’s assume that your bug out bag’s purpose of use is that you plan to walk out of town with it strapped to your back before the zombie hordes can breach the city. This will be your bedroom dresser, kitchen pantry, shelter, entertainment center and medicine cabinet all rolled into one tidy package. The average weight guidelines for a fully loaded backpack are no more than 25% of your overall body weight. For a 200 pound person (in good health) that is 50 pounds.

How many of you are used to walking with 50 pounds of weight on your back for 20 miles? How many of you think your bag would actually weigh more than 50 pounds? Do you know how much 3 gallons of water, the recommended amount you need for each person – for 3 days, weighs?

Having a bug out bag that is too heavy can cause injury very easily. Not only that, but it can wear you out much faster and make running, something you may have to do when the zombies are hungry, very difficult to do. Unless your bag is packed the right way, your center of balance will be off and you can just about forget doing any type of tactical movement with a heavy pack like this.

Am I talking about trained Navy Seals? No, I am talking about Mr. and Mrs. Joe Public who are probably just like most of us. We have jobs where we sit at a desk most days and aren’t training daily with 50-pound packs like the 10thMountain division. What about your children? Will they be able to carry all of the supplies needed on their backs as well? Probably not in all cases.

The second way I can see having a large pack could be dangerous is from the standpoint of a total collapse scenario where massive amounts of society are displaced, scared, hurting and desperate. With a large pack, you are a greater target. If there are truly desperate people and they see you with a big pack full of supplies and goodies they may be more inclined to relieve you of that extra weight. If their children are freezing or starving and you are walking around with the WalMart camping section attached in a big bright orange pack, they may decide that you need that less than they do.

How can we avoid this problem?

Pack Smarter – A bug out bag should be viewed as a life preserver in most situations, not a convenience store. When I see lists out there that have as their contents miscellaneous hardware and tools, saws and fishing gear I have to wonder what these people are going to do. Most of us, if there is really some type of disaster won’t have any place to fish at all. You aren’t going to likely be fixing a radiator hose on your car either. If you were, that is a different pack for a different purpose. Think smart about your bag and what needs to go in there.  If all hell breaks loose in your town, what will you really need to survive? Will a change of clothes, something to shelter you from the elements and a means to make a fire be most of what you need? Add in some food and a little water with a backup to get filtered water elsewhere, simple first aid and you have the basics covered. Will all of this weigh significantly less than 50 pounds? It should.

There are ultra-light hiking fanatics that try to scrounge every single ounce of weight out of their packs in order to have a much lower weight pack and thus a happier hiking experience.  Think about what your bag is for, how you will be using it and pack accordingly. Remember, this is just to save your life. If you have a bug out bag and you are leaving your world behind, you won’t be staying at the Ritz. Some discomfort should be anticipated so I would plan on leaving the Kindle behind.

Blend In – Packing lighter can certainly help with weight and with less weight should come less bulk. With less bulk, you should have a smaller footprint for your supplies and may be able to pack everything you need to stay alive in a smaller backpack. This will help you look like everyone else out there and not like you are hiking the Appalachian Trail. Just for the record, I am not recommending that all you need is one seriously packed survival Altoids can, but we can think about the bag that we are using to save our lives in a logical way.

Hopefully, this gives you some ideas on packing your Bug Out Bag. I would love to hear your ideas and perspectives in the comments below.

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

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

A bug out bag is designed in theory to give you everything you may need to live for at least 72 hours outside of your home and should be considered

Remember!

  1. Moving targets are harder to shoot than stationary targets!
  2. Smaller targets are harder to shoot than the large target!

When I ask my students what is the most important thing they must do in a hostile incident, most reply that they should simply shoot the bad guys, get access to their weapons, shoot for the head, carry a big gun and so on.  The answer I am looking for is not to get shot by the terrorists!

You should first of all work out a plan of action that you will take in the case of an active shooter or terrorist attack.  Do this for your home, business and for when you are out and about in public. Things that need to be considered are means communication, safe areas, when to fight and when to flee and so forth. Planning is what sorts the professionals from the amateurs, if you plan how to deal with a hostile situation if it happens, you’ll know what to and how to react to it and not be confused and panic!

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Plan your reaction to being shot at!

As I just mentioned, you NEED to put together a plan of action on how you will react to a shooting or a hostile incident. Over the years I have spoken to many security contractors, police and former non-British military personnel and find it amazing that when talking about their reaction fire drills most just say they would draw their weapon, if they have one and return fire…  That’s OK if you have a gun or are on a gun range but you need to take a few other things into consideration if someone is shooting at you!

This is an adaptation of the British Army individual reaction to fire drill. Some of this may apply to you and some might not- use this as a basic format. If you are serious about your security, you must put together a plan that is specifically designed for your personal situation and then practice it until it is second nature.

  • Preparation: If you have a gun it must be clean, serviceable and well-oiled. Ammunition must be of good quality, clean and your magazines full. You must be properly trained and ready to deal with the incident.
  • Reacting to fire: The immediate reaction at close quarters is to identify the threat, move to cover as you are deploying your weapon, if you have one and returning fire. If you are being shot at from a distance or do not know where the shots are coming from, you should:
    • Dash– a moving target is harder to hit than a stationary target.
    • Down– keep low and present a smaller target.
    • Cover– Get into cover from fire.
    • Locate – Observe where the threat is.
    • Return fire– if you have a firearm.
    • Winning the fire-fight, if you have a firearm: As soon as the threat has been firmly located, you must bring down sufficient accurate fire on the terrorist to incapacitate them or force them into cover so you can extract yourself from the situation.
    • Re-organizing: As soon as you have incapacitated the terrorist or are in a safe area, you must reorganize yourself as quickly as possible in order to be ready for other possible threats. You need to re-load your firearm if you have one, make sure that you or anyone with you is not injured and inform law enforcement and emergency services immediately.

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There are two types of cover: 1.) Cover from view 2.) Cover from fire (bullets and shrapnel), you always want to locate the latter.

Moving targets are harder to shoot than stationary targets. It’s a fact, it’s harder to shoot a target that is moving than one that is stationary. So, if someone is shooting at you, do not stand still, run. Smaller targets are harder to shoot than large targets! If there is no cover for you, make yourself a smaller target and drop to a kneeling position. I do not recommend prone position, as it takes too much time for most people to stand up. From a kneeling position, you can quickly run and get to cover.

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Use of cover

This is a very important and basic subject! In your home, business or when you are walking around, you should always be looking out for positions that you could use for cover in the event of a shooting incident. There are two types of cover: 1.) Cover from view 2.) Cover from fire (bullets and shrapnel), you always want to locate the latter. You also may want to consider which type of rounds the cover will stop. A table might be able to stop a .32 fired from a handgun, but a 7.62X39mm fired from an AK-47 would go through both the table and you. Also consider will you want to be able to shoot through the cover, such as at a criminal in your house through dry wall etc.

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Cover from view includes:

  • Cardboard boxes and empty rubbish bins
  • Bushes
  • Thin walls and fences
  • Thin tabletops
  • Doors
  • Shadows

Cover from fire (depending on the firearm used):

  • Thick tabletops
  • Heavy furniture
  • Stone and concrete walls
  • Dead ground
  • Thick trees
  • Various areas of a car
  • Curb stones

One of the best-publicized examples of good use of cover happened in St. Petersburg, Russia on February 26, 1996. At 4:25 pm, two mafia gunmen in long coats entered a fashionable café. Under their coats, each man had a AKS-74. They were there to kill an opposing mafia boss, who was in the cafe with his two off duty police bodyguards. The mafia gunmen fired 60 rounds at close quarters from the AKS-74s and killed both the police bodyguards. The criminal boss tipped over a thick marble table he was sitting at and hid behind it; although wounded he was well enough to walk out the cafe making phone calls, after the gunmen had escaped. A Scottish lawyer was killed; he was just sitting drinking coffee in the café when he was hit by three stray bullets. The attack took about 40 seconds from the gunmen entering to leaving the café. The Scottish lawyer was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

When you get into cover, you should always try to have an escape route and try not to get pinned down. When using cover as a shield, always keep low and fire or look around cover- not over it. When you are in cover and need to move, first select the next piece of cover that you will move to and move fast and keep low. Keep the distances between cover positions short. When you get behind the cover, assess your situation, where the threat is, etc. Keep moving this way until you are out of danger.

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Remember!

  • Always looking for and make maximum use of available cover and concealment.
  • Avoid firing or looking over cover; when possible, fire or look around it.
  • Avoid silhouetting yourself against light-colored buildings, backgrounds and lights.
  • Always carefully select a new piece of cover before leaving the cover your in.
  • Make sure you always have an escape route planned.
  • Avoid setting patterns in your movement, for example, shooting or looking from the same position at the same level.
  • Keep exposure time to a minimum; don’t look over or around cover for an extended period of time.
  • Always look up and behind you remember that positions which provide cover at ground level may not provide cover on higher floors.

Camouflage yourself

It makes me laugh when I see a lot of SWAT Teams and PSD guys wearing Tactical Black and other colors that look cool but do nothing bit make them stand out. In reality black is one of the worse colors to wear, what is black in nature, look around you now and what in your surroundings are black? I expect very little… In urban areas most walls are white, gray or cream… Light colors! The colors you wear should blend in with your background whether its day or night. Even at night dark clothes stand out when moving past light backgrounds. In the country or bush when moving through low bushes or fields the silhouettes of people in dark colors are easy to see at a distance…

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Moving Through a Building

If you have to evacuate your home or business, for whatever reason, it should be done quickly, quietly and with the minimum of fuss. You should also have already worked out your escape routes and exits. If there is an incident, get as much information as possible to what the threat is, where and what the threat is. I recommend you never use obvious evacuation routes and exits, the criminals or terrorists could have blocked, booby trapped, ambushed or manned them.

If you have to walk down corridors keep low and move fast, do not walk down the center and do not walk next to the walls. Stay a couple of feet off the walls to avoid being hit by any ricochets and wall fragments if you come under fire. Doorways and frames can make good cover, even in an apparently empty corridor look for things that could be used as cover. Remember to continuously check behind you, and if you must stop, do not stand up, stay in a kneeling position. Always be aware of where you are casting shadows, you do not want this to give away your position, such as before you go around a corner. You should always keep staggered spacing from anyone who is with you; you do not want to bunch up. Remember; one bullet can go through two people; large group of people make an easier target than a lone individual. Also if you are dealing with criminals or terrorists who are using improvised pipe bombs or hand grenades, one of these devices could take out your whole group if you are close together.

With the rise of active shooter incidents in the United States, students and faculty members are highly encouraged to be aware of the policies to follow in order to promote safety precautions in case of an active shooter incident were to take place. (Photo Illustration by Cassandra Nguyen | The Collegian)

With the rise of active shooter incidents in the United States, students and faculty members are highly encouraged to be aware of the policies to follow in order to promote safety precautions in case of an active shooter incident were to take place. (Photo Illustration by Cassandra Nguyen | The Collegian)

Going through doorways is very dangerous, especially if the room or area on the other side could contain a criminal or terrorist. If you must go through a doorway, try to determine if there are any threats on the other side before you enter. Use your senses of smell and hearing, in addition to sight; take a quick look into to room at a low level before entering. If you have to open a door, do so quickly, quietly and then back away from the door and listen. You want to back away from the door because if there is a terrorist in the room they will be shooting at the now opened door or moving if startled. Also consider if the wall around the door could stop a bullet; the criminal or terrorist could shoot through the wall and hit you, especially if they are armed with hunting or assault rifles. When you go through a doorway, again keep low and move fast, check the corners, when though the door move away from it and get behind cover.

You must keep a cool head as you might not be the only person evacuating the building. When you are clear of the building, get out of the area and summon support and law enforcement, ASAP.

Remember!

  • Never use obvious escape routes.
  • Use your senses of smell and hearing not just sight!
  • Move quietly, cautiously and quickly.
  • Corridors are areas of extreme danger- avoid whenever possible.
  • If you need to use a corridor, NEVER walk down the center stay a couple of feet off the wall.
  • If you must walk past an open door keep low and move fast.
  • Always check around corners before you go around them and expose yourself.
  • Continuously check behind you.
  • If you must stop do not stand up, stay in a kneeling position.
  • Avoid offering a silhouette for your opposition to shoot at.
  • Lights behind you should be extinguished.
  • Always keep a space between you and others; one bullet can go through several people.

After a Shooting Incident

You should do all that you can to avoid getting involved in any hostile situations, even indirectly. If you are somewhere where a hostile situation is developing, leave the area quickly and not by an obvious route. You do not want to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and to catch a stray bullet. So, if you see a hostile incident developing and it has nothing to with you, mind your own business and leave the area, ASAP! If you are unfortunate enough to get involved in a shooting incident, when you believe the incident is over, you should reload your weapon if you have one, prepare to deal with any other threats, give first aid to anyone with you who is injured and evacuate to a safe location. You should also call for support and police etc. as soon as is safely possible.

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In developed countries, even if you believe others have already called the police, do so yourself and identify yourself to the dispatcher as the victim and you should do as the dispatcher tells you, as long as it does not compromise your safety. You must ensure that the police officers responding to the incident know that you are the victim and not the attacker. For their own safety, the police officers will assume that anyone at the scene of the incident is a threat. You should never point your gun at the police and should comply with their every request. Remember the responding police will be scared and most are not that well trained and will shoot with minimum excuse. Try to remain calm and do not argue with them- do as you are told. Make no fast movements and keep your hands where they can be seen. It would be unfortunate to survive a lethal encounter with a criminal, only to end up being shot by the police.

If you get into a hostile shooting in a country where the police cannot be trusted and going to prison would most probably mean you would catch an incurable decease to say the least, you should have pre-planned on how to deal with the situation. My advice; leave the country as quickly as possible if you are a non-resident of that country!

The Tactical Use of Lights

In my opinion, many people are over-enthusiastic in the use of flashlights. There is a big market in tactical flashlights and the companies making them wants everyone to buy one, thus making them a must have item. Flashlights have an application in hostile situations but you should remember that any light will give away your position and draw fire. Light should be used sparingly and tactically. I tell my students to get used to training in the dark and using their senses of hearing and smell in addition to sight. At night there is more chance you will hear someone before you see them! When moving in a dark environment, do so slowly and cautiously and try to make minimum noise. Try finding your way around your house or business in the dark, before you start moving around give your eyes a few minutes to adjust to the dark.

If you must use a flashlight, keep it at arm’s length and keep it on for no longer than necessary, then move quickly or get behind cover. If you want to check a room or a corridor, one option is to roll the flashlight across the doorway, corridor or into the room. Light can be used as a distraction and help to cover your movement, shine it in their general direction of your opponent and move. This will mess up their night vision and if you leave the light pointing in their direction, it will be difficult for them to see what is happening behind the light.

If possible, use remote lights, as this is more of an application for your home or business. For example, place powerful spotlights that illuminate corridors to safe rooms, stairways or doorways. If your home is broken into at night, you could move your family to your safe room and take up a position in cover behind the lights. If you hear or identify movement to your front, you turn on the spotlights; this will surprise, blind and illuminate anyone in the corridor. This will also help you to confirm that the people in your house are criminals or terrorists and give you good targets to shoot at if you have a firearm.

Remember! Moving targets are harder to shoot than stationary targets! Smaller targets are harder to shoot than the large target! When I ask my students what is the most important thing

If disaster strikes, you may find yourself on your own, without recourse to the infrastructure we use to stay safe and healthy.

So you prepare for the worst. Food, water and clothes can be easy to stockpile, but what about medicine? First aid kits are available, but what if you need more? What if you or a loved one have specific, unavoidable medical needs? Medical planning should be part of your overall preparedness plans for disasters.

How to Get Started:

“Meeting medical needs during a longer term disaster can be a challenge, but having a plan is an important first step,” Mary Casey-Lockyer, senior associate of Disaster Health Services with the American Red Cross, told Healthline.

She suggests starting by talking to your doctor.

“Discussion about emergencies with the individual’s provider of medical supplies, such as an oxygen provider is also a very important proactive step,” Casey-Lockyer added. “If an individual is on a dialysis regimen, finding out what is the emergency plan for their dialysis provider is lifesaving.”

Learn Your Area’s Plan and Plan Accordingly:

Learning about community-wide disaster plans in your area can also be good idea, Casey-Lockyer and Dr. Amesh Adalja, senior associate of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for Health Security, said.

“One should become familiar with the local hospitals and health departments response plans, stockpiles, and recovery planning as well as their own personal needs in the context of the likely disasters that could occur in the specific geographic area they are located in,” Adalja said.

Casey-Lockyer said visiting your community’s website and speaking with your local government can tell you more about regional disaster planning.

It’s also a good idea– many agencies recommend it — to have your own comprehensive disaster plan. Having necessary medicine is only part of that planning. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) provide advice about communication, food and water, and meeting other needs for your family during a major emergency.

For the medical component of your plan –based on what the experts told Healthline, and suggestions from federal agencies– ask yourself a few questions:

  • Who might you have to care for in a disaster?
  • What are their medical needs?
  • How often do they need it and in what quantity?
  • How do you normally obtain it and store it?

How Much Medicine Should You Have On Hand?

For specific prescriptions, having a month in reserve is a good rule of thumb, Casey-Lockyer and Adalja said. Getting it, however, can be a challenge.

Prescription limitations depend on insurance coverage, they said. An insurance company might cap at 30-, 60- or 90-day amounts, Casey-Lockyer said. Your pharmacist should know the number of doses you’re allowed.

“(Gathering a 30-day reserve) can be difficult if your insurance coverage only allows for a 30-day supply,” Casey-Lockyer said. “If that is the case, renewing your medication at the 28-day mark of the prescription might allow an individual to stockpile a couple of doses a month to build up a reserve. Even a week’s worth of reserve would be helpful.”

She said you could also request a paper prescription for emergencies, but some regions only allow doctors to write electronic prescriptions.

Keeping a written health history, current list of medications and copy of your insurance coverage with your reserve supplies is also good, Casey-Lockyer said.

Other Additions to Your Reserve:

When building your reserve, also consider more general medical needs that can be treated with nonprescription medications: pain, swelling, colds and other day-to-day discomforts.

Again ask yourself questions: what you/your family use, how much and how often, how you get it and how you store it.

If you get a first aid kit, it should have items that address these needs. They might cover fewer days or people than you want, though. Planning for long-term emergencies might require a shopping trip for some additions.

Casey-Lockyer had some suggestions for over-the-counter medicines to add to your reserve:

  • acetaminophen
  • ibuprofen
  • aspirin for heart attack
  • cold meds
  • allergy relief
  • antacid
  • Pepto-Bismol- type medication
  • anti-diarrheal med
  • daily multivitamin

Keeping it Ready/Keeping it Safe:

Rubbermaid ActionPacker Storage Box – Store your emergency preps and they are ready for travel.

The DHS recommends storing your whole disaster kit in a few easily transportable containers — even unused garbage cans! — with individual items in airtight plastic bags.

But Adalja and Casey-Lockyer warned that the medicine’s needs must be remembered while storing a reserve.

“Medications should ideally be stored in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendation which will vary with each medication,” Adalja said.

Since you’re planning for possibilities, not certainties, your supplies may sit for a lengthy period before use or, hopefully, never be used in an emergency at all.

This means you’ll have to periodically replace supplies with a finite shelf life.

For the medications, Casey-Lockyer and Adalja said the expiration dates will be your guide.

Special Cases:

So what if you are faced with disaster, and you need medicines like insulin, which can require refrigeration?

Casey-Lockyer again said your healthcare providers can help.

“Many newer types of insulin coverage do not need refrigeration and the local pharmacist will have that information,” she said. “Individuals taking biologic medication should discuss with their pharmacist how (they) might store the medication during a loss of power.”

If the medication does need to be kept cold, there are products available that can do the job, she said.

The site diabetesselfmanagement.com  suggests as an option the FRIO insulin cooling wallet or other device that use evaporation to keep drugs cool and has other helpful suggestions.

Having an emergency source of power to keep medications like insulin cold is vital in some homes. The Honda EU2000I 2000 Watt Super Quiet Inverter Generator is a good choice.

Adalja also suggested emergency generators or battery-powered cooling containers as way to protect medicines that must be kept cool.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has specific tips for using insulin during a disaster:

  • U.S. insulin manufacturers recommend refrigerating insulin between about 36 degrees Fahrenheit to 46 degrees Fahrenheit.  If unopened, this insulin will remain effective until the listed expiration date.
  • Insulin should be as cool as possible, but do not freeze it. If it does freeze, do not use it.
  • Insulin in the original vials or cartridges can be unrefrigerated between 59 F and 86 F as many as 28 days and remain usable. This is regardless of whether the container is opened or still sealed.
  • If the Insulin has been “altered for the purpose of dilution or by removal from the manufacturer’s original vial,” the FDA recommends disposal inside of two weeks.
  • Extreme temperatures will cause loss of potency. The longer the exposure to temperature extremes, the greater the loss. Do not expose insulin to direct heat or direct sunlight.
  • “(Exposure to extreme temperatures) can result in loss of blood glucose control over time,” the FDA states.  “Under emergency conditions, you might still need to use insulin that has been stored above 86 F.”
  • When a fresh supply of appropriately-stored insulin becomes available, the supply subjected to extremes should be thrown out as quickly as can be safely done.

Some Last Thoughts:

You’ll have a lot of questions when disaster planning and that’s to be expected. Fortunately, reliable resources exist to help you.

Use them, and remember basic needs like access to vital medicines. Those are a good place to start looking for the right answers. Doing so will help you develop a solid, common-sense plan on which you can depend should the worst occur.

 


Other Self-Sufficient Solutions And Sources 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)

If disaster strikes, you may find yourself on your own, without recourse to the infrastructure we use to stay safe and healthy. So you prepare for the worst. Food, water and

When we got our chickens back in March I was looking forward to so many things about having them in our yard. From the eggs we would be eating to the benefits of having them scrounge through our garden to the simple things like hearing them cluck as they scratched around their pen. Having Chickens brings a whole wealth of advantages to just about anyone and they are for the most part ridiculously easy to care for.

As we were building the pen and purchasing the additional supplies needed, the subject of water came into focus. Chickens are very simple to care for and for my part only require that they be let out and put up each day (to keep predators from killing them while they sleep), food and water. I thought that if I could just figure out a way to automatically feed them, let them out and water them, they would be almost zero maintenance!

Now, I am not saying I want to sit in my house all day and not have to worry about the animals, but having a system would make simple weekend trips away from home much easier. As it stands now, we have to get someone to watch them while we are gone.

Each morning I wake up and let my chickens out of their coop, give them fresh food and water. The food part is simple as I have a closed container with their pellets right out by the coop so I just give them a scoop of fresh pellets in their feeder. Water requires taking their water container and walking back to the house to rinse and refill.

You have to do this every day because chickens need fresh, clean water to prevent them from getting sick. Left to their own devices though, chickens will not keep their water fresh and clean. They will scratch dirt into there; poop and pretty much do everything they can to make that water nasty.

Now, walking back to my house isn’t a chore, but it does seem like a waste of time and energy. I usually throw a lot of good water away just refilling and cleaning the container so I have been looking for an alternative and recently found what I think is an amazingly simple automatic watering tube for watering my chickens that keeps the water clean and cuts down on my trips in and out of their coop.

I didn’t have to look too long though because this is an issue that apparently every single other person who raises chickens has already complained about. There are tons of videos on YouTube and you can even buy pre-built kits, but this is a easy DIY project that anyone can do in a couple hours tops.

ChickenWatererSystem

When finished your waterer will look similar to this.

The concept is brilliantly simple.

  • First you need a bucket to store your water in. This will be your reservoir and I am going to use a five gallon bucket.
  • When filled, the bucket will weigh about 40 pounds so you need to carefully plan on how you are going to mount your bucket.
  • Right now, I am going to mount my bucket with a sturdy bracket screwed right into the frame on our chicken coop on the outside of the building. This way, I can refill the bucket easily without having to go into the pen.
  • The bucket holds the water which is fed via a hose to a PVC tube in the chicken’s pen.
  • The tube has small nipples that you can buy from Amazon that allow the chickens to drink whenever they need to, but they aren’t able to pollute the water. Genius.

Why did it take me so long to figure this out? I don’t know but I am glad I did. You can build your own set up using the parts list below and you will get something that looks very similar to the image on the right.

There is also a video below that shows the principles of the design, but not exactly the same execution. The parts list allows for a tube running from the reservoir to the tube as opposed to having the tube directly connected to the reservoir.

Pipe Waterer Supply List

  • Length of ¾ inch PVC pipe
  • One ¾ inch slip-fit by ½ inch FPT (female pipe thread) PVC Elbow
  • One ¾ inch slip fit PVC cap
  • Two ½ inch MIP (Male Iron Pipe) by 3/8-inch barb connectors
  • One package 3/8-inch inside diameter tubing (use black to prevent algae growth)
  • One ½ inch FPT Bulkhead union (typically sold for rain barrel systems)
  • PVC Primer and PVC cement
  • Bucket or other water reservoir
  • Drill bits in appropriate sizes (11/32 for predrilled nipple holes and 1 and ¼ inch bit for the bulkhead union hole)
  • Teflon tape
  • Silicone sealant


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

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

When we got our chickens back in March I was looking forward to so many things about having them in our yard. From the eggs we would be eating to

Editor’s Note: This post has been generously contributed by Andrew H.


Sometimes, having such a wide array of gun choices can be more of a curse than a blessing. Of course, it’s great that gun technology and manufacturing have evolved to such a point, but if you’re a beginner you simply don’t know which way to go with your first handgun purchase. But it might not be the best choice to turn to just anyone who carries, because all of their responses will be personal ones; just like your choice of a handgun should be. You will need to decide for yourself what is best for your needs. So here are some major tips for buying your first handgun you should consider and answer for yourself before heading out to make a purchase.

#1. Consider the purpose of the gun

This is a simple question – why are you buying this handgun? Do you simply want to have some fun shooting at the range? Will you use it for personal defense at home or personal defense in general, and will need to carry it around with you all the time? Answering these questions now and establishing a clear purpose for your gun will help you determine later which type it will be, because its size, caliber and barrel will be a factor.

#2. Revolver or semi-automatic

Learn the difference between a revolver and a semi-automatic pistol because it will help you choose. They differ greatly when it comes to the firearm’s size, its cartridge capacity, its reliability, how capable you are of reloading a gun under stress, its grip strength, and the list could go on.

#3. Don’t think of your first gun as your last one

Many first time shooters and/or buyers make the mistake of getting way too attached to their first gun. However, most experienced gun owners will tell you that you quickly outgrow it, for various reasons. There’s no way anybody can convince you of that, of course, so you just need to take their word for it. Don’t look at it like it’s going to be under your belt forever.

#4. Start with a low-caliber

A low caliber means a .22. And this is a piece of advice you will receive from both experienced shooters and professional shooting instructors. The main reason is that it will help you learn better, but it’s also because it has less recoil. So it will be a lot more fun to start with that, not to mention it’s going to be cheaper as well. Cheap is important when it comes to your first gun. Why? See point #3 again.

Read More: What is the best gun for home defense?

#5. Find a gun with a good grip

This is not an easy task to accomplish at all, because no two people or two shooters for that matter have the same hands, obviously. You’ll need to test as many guns as you can, until your find the one that feels most comfortable in your hand. You need to be able to move your hands and fingers across and around it with as much ease as possible, and not awkwardly and clumsily.

#6. Research is key

If you’re reading this article, you’re on the right path, but it won’t be enough. Read as many as you can. Then after you’ve decided on a few guns, read all you can about those as well. Find out their technical properties, what they can do and what purpose they serve. Do the same not just for your gun per se, but also for all the accessories you’re planning on buying for it. For instance, if you’re looking to purchase a rifle scope you’ll need to read reviews on what the best one is to suit your needs.

Reading reviews is a great way to find out which way to go.

#7. Practice, practice, practice

This particular piece of advice goes hand in hand with not hurrying into buying. So, after you’ve gone through all the previous steps and finally decided on a small list of guns you would like to own, it’s time to go down to the shop. You don’t have to buy right away, but you can examine the guns and ask all the questions you want. Another good thing about this is the fact that, while you inspect your selected guns, the salesperson might suggest some other guns they have, similar to your choices. That’s a good thing, and you should certainly take advantage of the help.

Read More: How to Select the Best Handgun for Home Defense

#8. Ethics

Think about the ethics involved in owning a gun, especially if you’re buying it for personal or home defense. Owning a gun is a big step in anyone’s life and most shooters say it has changed them. Apart from that, reflect on what it will actually mean to shoot someone. Granted, it will be in self-defense and you will be protecting yourself or your family, but it is not for the faint of heart and it will have serious repercussions on you and your life. Consider these things well before proceeding down this path.

#9. Go to the range

You may not find all the guns on your list to try out before the purchase, but you’ll find some of them. It’s important to visit your closest firing range and shoot your guns a few times to get a feel for it. Ideally, we should be able to test the merchandise we buy, especially something as important as your first handgun, and you actually have the chance to do it. One thing you need to know though, is that when going shooting at a range you will have to buy your own ammunition. This can be quite expensive. But remember, it’s better to spend some money on testing than on buying impulsively and then regretting your purchase. 

#10. Price

Never buy a gun just because it’s cheap. Guns are not an area where you want to skimp. A cheap gun might mean it’s poorly manufactured or that it has some problems the seller won’t tell you about. You should know from the start that guns aren’t cheap. So if you’re in this for the long haul, you should be prepared to spend on them, their ammunition and their accessories. The best solution is to buy from trusted and famous brands.

#11. Buying the gun

It’s always advisable to buy your guns at professional and reputable shops. They are more trustworthy and you will feel better and safer when it comes to your purchase. This will also show that you are serious shooter. And that, though you are a beginner, you’ve already invested time, money, energy and research into starting this new sport. Congratulations!

After you become a well-trained and experienced shooter and another beginner asks for advice about buying his or her first gun, remember all the pointers above. Or, better yet, reference them back to this guide.


Before you go, here’s other survival 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)

Editor’s Note: This post has been generously contributed by Andrew H. Sometimes, having such a wide array of gun choices can be more of a curse than a blessing. Of course,

Over the years I have heard preppers lumped into the same boat as Hoarders. This is always with a negative connotation but I think that the connection, while it makes a certain amount of sense if viewed in the proper context,  is instead almost always linked to the more severe and unrelated Psychological condition of Compulsive Hording. The conflation of these two terms takes the very real, natural instincts of preppers and equates them to people with psychological issues who live is squalor. We have seen in the news even now how the label of ‘hoarder’ is used to demean and even criminalize what should be considered rational behavior in my opinion.

Hoarding is normal by humans during times of scarcity. It is how the smart survive while the foolish perish. You accumulate or store additional provisions that you likely will need later but due to forces beyond your control, are unable to get. Hoarding by preppers is usually associated with food because if you can’t get food you die. It makes perfect sense to me that if I know there will be a shortage of food and I won’t be able to go down to the local grocery store to purchase more, that I should make plans before the scarcity arrives to obtain more food. My children still need to eat regardless of what is available for me on the shelves. To not plan for their needs when I have the ability and foreknowledge to do so would seem to be a type of willful neglect.

Animals hoard food all the time and we don’t look at them as having some type of mental deformity do we? Animals certainly don’t have access to grocery stores or shopping malls, but that doesn’t mean they don’t consider the very real fact that they have to provide for themselves in times when food is less plentiful.

Compulsive hoarding is completely different and has been the subject of at least one reality TV Show. Compulsive hoarders aren’t stocking up on food because the supply is inconsistent and prone to rationing. The compulsive hoarders simply don’t throw anything away. They feel attached to certain items and the space these items take up in their homes eventually cause health issues. To compare a father stocking up food because the lines at the grocery store stretch on for blocks and rationing has begun to someone who is living in a house of useless items they purchased on the Home Shopping Network, but can’t bear to throw away, is logically fallacious.

This is not prepping.

This is not prepping and I don’t believe any prepper actually lives like this.

Why should I worry about hoarding anything

Preppers have a very real and valid reason of stockpiling basic supplies in my opinion. We stock up food and water for just the very possibility that we will need them and be unable to acquire them. This could be due to a disaster or sickness that forces everyone to stay inside until conditions are safe. It could be for something like the beginnings of an economic collapse where food supplies simply aren’t reliable as they once were.

Today in Venezuela they are experiencing this very thing. Venezuela is heavily dependent on imports for their food and medicine but their economy is in such bad shape that all of their supply lines are being disrupted. Things are so bad already that they are arresting store managers under the charge that they have been hoarding food. In this case, the managers allegedly were holding back supplies and selling them at higher prices.

They are also taking steps to prevent people from buying more food and stocking up by installing fingerprint scanners in grocery stores. This is done directly to enforce the policy of government rationing that is currently in place. They are demonizing people who want to store extra for their families and in the process they are creating less stability.

GroceryLineVenezuela

Should I be worried about being viewed as someone who is hoarding?

Can you envision a scenario like this in the United States? Venezuela’s inflation rate is expected to rise from 270% to over 720% this year alone. Earlier in the year, there were shortages of toilet paper and daily the citizens of Venezuela are already forced by rationing policies to limit their shopping to one day a week where they are only able to get what is available and have to stand in line all day. Even the electricity is being rationed.

This is not hoarding.

This is not hoarding.

No, the economic condition in the U.S. is not the same as in Venezuela. We aren’t as dependent on selling our oil to other countries and we don’t import a majority of our food. We actually export our food to countries like Venezuela. But the factors that lead to shortages and rationing don’t have to be the same for the threat to be realized. There are any number of reasons why in our future, events could conspire to cause shortages at the grocery store. We could be forced to abide by rationing policies on certain items or even shopping in general. We could be faced with electricity rationing or outages due to terrorist actions or even failures in fragile grid systems.

This is not aberrant behavior.

This is not aberrant behavior. I might prefer a little higher food to condiment ratio, but this is still perfectly normal.

What items should I be hoarding now?

400 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit can keep the lights on when electricity is rationed and give you a bartering resource.

If you don’t want to be that poor mother who has to lock her children in doors as she goes down to the store to wait in line for hours for a chance to purchase the few remaining items on the shelf you can do something about that.

  • Take stock of items that you use every day that your family depends on for survival. The categories are pretty basic: Food, Water, and Medicine. You can use our Food Storage Calculator to figure out how much you need to store. The foods you regularly eat are the best, but long-term storable freeze-dried foods give you more flexibility.
  • Identify storage locations in your home and develop a good food storage rotation plan for the items you eat every day. Long-term storage is your back up.
  • Consider items that might sell out first or your family needs a little more urgently. Baby formula and diapers come to mind although both can be supplemented or even replaced by nursing and cloth diapers. Medicines your children or older loved ones need are more difficult. Try to gain additional supplies from your doctor by saying you will be traveling soon.
  • Firearms and ammunition usually seem to be confiscated at some point in a collapsing/tyrannical government. Venezuela instituted mandatory gun disarmament centers after they declared private ownership of firearms illegal. This was done they said to ‘make cities safer’ which they always conveniently forget to say that criminals don’t obey laws (hence the name criminal) and won’t turn in their illegal guns. In spite of every citizen turning in their legal firearms, Venezuela has the highest murder rate in the world. So if you don’t want to go quietly into the night make sure you have some firearms and enough ammunition stored safely away before this happens.
  • Backup Power Options – If the electric grid is compromised, having a backup solar power system could have multiple benefits. Obviously, with the means to provide yourself with power in the absence of grid-based options you can power electric devices like refrigerators to keep medicine cool or fans to offset the effects of a heat wave. You can charge your portable electronics like cell phones and tablets, recharge batteries for hand radios and if you have enough capacity you can also barter your electric charging ability for other items. You may be able to trade recharging a battery for food, medicine or ammunition.
  • Precious metals and extra cash – Banks around the world are already charging negative interest rates. They charge you to keep your money which they turn around and lend out at interest. Eventually they will limit the amount of money you can take out. Make sure you have alternate sources to purchase the supplies you need. It may eventually be on a black market type of system.
  • Have a backup plan to leave – You may find in the worst type of situation that leaving is your only option. Do you have passports for your entire family? Do you have bug out bags if you are forced to leave on foot? Do you have suitable transportation?

Prepping is about foreseeing bad situations and planning ahead so your family will be safe. Venezuela is only one example where the habits and traits of preppers could be helpful for survival. Let’s hope we never have to worry about that here, but prepare anyway in case we do. Your family will appreciate your efforts if you are forced into this type of scenario.


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)

Over the years I have heard preppers lumped into the same boat as Hoarders. This is always with a negative connotation but I think that the connection, while it makes