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Grow more food next year with these 5 fall gardening tips, yes please. These tips apply if you are doing raised garden beds, container gardening, regular in the ground gardening, or any type of growing your own food, aka, universal no matter where or how you’re growing.

Learn how to analyze this year’s garden for better and improved crops and harvest next year. You ready?

This book teaches you everything from the soil up. Details HERE.

This is an unusual year in that we have not had our first killing frost yet, so we’re still bringing in some things where normally the harvest would be completely done, but for the majority of the garden we are in definite fall mode, moving into winter.

What is a killing frost?

A killing frost is when you get a really good, deep frost that kills off all of your warm weather plants. I mean, everything is obliterated by this frost, so all of your summer squash, tomatoes and such.

***Note with tomatoes: If you are planning on canning your tomatoes, and you know a killing frost is coming, you need to harvest those tomatoes before they go through a killing frost. If tomatoes are left on the vine and they are killed, it lowers their acidity level to that of unsafe for canning.

Prior to the killing frost, we’re still bringing in tomatoes from the greenhouse, and we still have a few straggler zucchinis coming on in. We’re waiting for that first killing frost before harvesting our grapes and Brussel sprouts, because that brings out the best flavor in both of these crops.

Prepare your garden for winter

1.  Fall Garden clean up and winter soil amendments

One of the first things we do when it comes to our fall garden prep is to make sure that we do a really good cleanup.

  • Get rid of the old stuff that’s dying out and isn’t going to be producing anymore.  You don’t want to leave any diseased plants behind over winter to further infect your soil, or to breed disease.
  • Do soil amending after you’ve cleaned up and where you don’t have any winter crops going in.

2.  Make notes of your harvest

Take notes if you need to increase, decrease, stay the same.  This is where I look at the crops that we’ve grown based upon what we’re eating now, because with over 19 plus years of growing my own garden for our family, it has definitely changed over time.

We use a lot more of some things now than we ever did before, and vice versa. It’s always important for us to look at what we’re doing and using now, and then plan out next year’s garden and crops based on that.

For example, I didn’t used to use as much green bell pepper in my cooking, but lately, I’ve been just tossing them into some of our soups and stews, and we really like the flavor. I need to increase our bell pepper plants. We did not have enough this year for me to preserve very many.  The plants that I did have produced quite prolifically, I just needed more volume.

On the flip side, I planted quite a few jalapenos. I use jalapenos sometimes when I make enchiladas, and when making home-canned salsa.  My husband loves hot and spicy, so he will do candied jalapenos, but he’s the only one that eats those.  We didn’t use near the amount of jalapenos, so I over planted.

I can decrease my jalapeno crops and increase the bell peppers, I’m making note of that for next year.


When it comes to seed starting time, and planting the garden, I use those notes and then base calculations off of that.  My goal is to not just have fresh eating, but to take that produce and preserve it to last us the entire year, until the next growing season.

Now is a really good time of year when you’re coming fresh off the harvest and it’s all right there in your mind, make these notes, and then use them when it comes closer to seed starting, and further in the year. Having these notes handy now expedites the process faster for you moving forward.

3.  Notes on how the harvest went down

Make any notes on if any plants did not do good, or you had specific pests, or diseases, in order to get those researched and fixed for next year if possible.

If you had any crops that were suffering from disease, if you had a lot of blossom-end rot, fungal disease, or blight, then you’re going to want to look at amending your soil and seeing what it could be deficient in. Make notes of certain crops right now, because like I said, it’s fresh.

If you had crops that really didn’t produce how you wanted to, or disease or pests wiped them out, make some notes. Quick notes on what happened, and then you have at least a few months this time of year to work on that.  Do more research and see what you need to do and when in order to fix those problems.

Look back on the harvest and determine if maybe you could have done some more succession planting, or if you should have. What do I mean by that?

With our extended growing season, which I said is a little bit unusual for us to be this far into the year without that killing frost, if I had planted some additional zucchini and cucumber plants about two to three weeks after the first plants that I put in, then I would still be having a lot larger harvest on those second planting plants, because our growing season was extended.

If you find that you planted all of your plants at one time, and that they were spent before the growing season was over, you might want to look and see if maybe you should have planned a little bit more succession planting so that you had smaller harvests at one time, but longer into the year. This can be beneficial so that you don’t have this huge glut of everything all at once, and then you can take your time preserving, and harvesting it, longer and in smaller amounts.

4.  Evaluate the climate and growing season

Take notes on your climate.  If there’s been any extension or patterns over a long period of time, that may adjust your planting schedule. It may be you get to plant earlier, which means a longer growing season. Hallelujah, but it could be the opposite.

It may mean you need to plan on not putting in your garden quite so early because you keep getting wiped out with cold weather, or it struggles because it’s not quite warm enough.

Sometimes you can just have an off year. For example, this year as I’ve said, we are having an extremely long growing season which is not normal. This is the first year that we’ve had this, but if over the next three or four years our first frost is pushed back into October, and we don’t get it in September, then with that being repetitive, it starts to feel like it’s kind of the new norm.

I would not make changes based off a weather pattern for just one year. I’m talking multiple, multiple, multiple years in a row, but if it looks like it has changed and it’s going to stick around, then I would evaluate.

We’re going with our fifth really dry summer, and it’s pretty much a holding pattern now.  So knowing that, I am not keeping peppers, and my heat loving things like basil, in the greenhouse anymore, with the exception of my tomatoes to avoid blight.

I do still look at the weather, and I’m cautious with putting out my stuff too early, but that’s been the pattern five years in a row.  I still keep an eye on the forecasts. On what is predicted and go by that each year. But you may notice a change in your area and should adjust your planting accordingly.

5. Take note where everything was planted this year

Then lastly, take note of where everything was in order to practice crop rotation for next year’s planting.  If it’s still visible, take a picture with your phone. You’ve got it on there, so then when you go to plant this coming spring, you know where you need to practice your crop rotation. If you already did it in the springtime, then you don’t need to worry about it now, but for those of you who forgot, or you just didn’t know, now is a good time to do that if you didn’t do it earlier.

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)

Grow more food next year with these 5 fall gardening tips, yes please. These tips apply if you are doing raised garden beds, container gardening, regular in the ground gardening,

For some minutes after this fancy possessed me, I remained without motion. And why? I could not summon the courage to move. I dared not make the effort which was to satisfy me of my fate — and yet there was something at my heart which whispered me it was sure. Despair — such as no other species of wretchedness ever calls into being — despair alone urged me, after long irresolution, to uplift the heavy lids of my eyes. I uplifted them. It was dark — all dark. I knew that the fit was over. I knew that the crisis of my disorder had long passed. I knew that I had now fully recovered the use of my visual faculties — and yet it was dark — all dark — the intense and utter raylessness of the Night that endureth for evermore.    The Premature Burial, Edgar Allan Poe

Welcome, weary traveler! The journey’s been a long one and you rest. Sleep! Sleep! And awaken to find yourself trapped in a pine box. Deep silence apart from the thumping sound made by your heart – like a Mad Hatter racing past everyone to get front-row tickets to see the Rapture. Charming perspective, isn’t it?

Well, for us, it’s just a tall tale, a decrepit fable meant only to scare children or to make chicks jump into your arms when campfire ghost stories become too ghosty. However, for people living in the Victorian Age, it was a very distinct and frightening glimpse into the afterlife. Rumors of medical conditions that so perfectly mimicked the symptoms of death fueled the common folk’s fear, leading to all kinds of peculiar funeral practices.

Have you seen the Autopsy of Jane Doe? Great horror movie, by the way. You should definitely watch it if you like old-school horror flicks with lots of jumpscares. Anyway, there was this scene in the movie where a mortician explains to his apprentice the significance of attaching a small bell to the cadaver’s toe.

Won’t spoil the movie for you by quoting the doc, but I’m going to say this – that’s a very old and very common 19th-century medical practice to ensure that the deceased wasn’t interred while being alive. As I’ve mentioned, some conditions such as catalepsy mimic the symptoms of death.

With Medicine lacking the needs to detect faint life signs, some patients were declared dead even though they were very much alive. The bell attached to the toe was to make everyone aware that the soon-to-be-buried person still had life in him.  Historical records that toe bell was not the only peculiarity when it came to the mortal dread of being buried alive.

Affluent families commissioned intricate coffin which featured let’s say, emergency release switches. These levers or buttons were installed inside the coffin, probably in proximity to the deceased’s limbs.

As death spares neither the rich nor the poor, even the working class sought to outfit their loved ones’ final resting places with similar signaling devices. The most common was the bell mounted on the tombstone, which could be triggered by the deceased via a thin metal wire running through the ground.

Anyway, welcome again to the first part of my extreme survival series; a project which I have postponed for far too long. As you’ve probably guessed by now, the first article will be about how to escape being buried alive.

I know that with nowadays medical gadgets it’s next to impossible to second-guess the symptomatology associated with death, but it can happen (check out the story about the Spanish man who woke up during the autopsy). Now, without further ado, here’s what needs to be done in order to escape a coffin if you’ve been buried by mistake (or intentionally!).

Step 1. Assess the situation

Fear is only natural and waking up in utter darkness, surrounded by four wooden boards can make even a man with nerve made of steel to go nuts. Don’t do that! I know it’s hard to think about anything else in those moments, but screaming, kicking, crying, and obsessively scratching the inside of the lid will only force your lungs to consume more oxygen, not to mention the fact that you will more than likely end up hurting yourself.

Take a minute or two to compose yourself and assess the situation. Knock on the lid and listen – if you hear a hollow sound, it means that the coffin has yet to be placed underground; in which case, all you’ll need to do would be to kick open the lid. Doesn’t matter if haven’t had the chance of break open a door – with that much adrenaline coursing through your veins, you can probably kill a bull.

Now, in the event that you don’t hear a hollow sound, you should assume that the casket has been buried. There’s no reason to panic. Calmly, reach into your pockets and try to figure out what you have in them. I know that this sounds really sad, but people nowadays tend to bury their loved ones with some of their possessions – this could mean, well, anything: a small switchblade, a lighter, a smartphone, a tablet, heck, even a laptop.

Don’t even bother trying to call someone if you find a phone in your pockets – the signal won’t get through that far underground. However, you can use flash to check out the inside of the casket. Don’t forget about your breathing – even if all the odds are against you, panicking will only make you act irrationally.

Most caskets are made from flimsy materials, meaning that breaking open the lid would not be much of an issue. It’s the earth on top that must concern you at this point.

Step 2. Provide some sort of head protection

It’s obvious that you won’t have access to the tools you keep inside your B.O.B, but that doesn’t mean you can’t improvise. Bear in mind that breaking the coffin’s lid is the easy part. Having to deal with the earth will be quite challenging, but not impossible.

To spare yourself a chocking death once the earth starts pouring into the coffin, pull your T-shirt, shirt or park over your head (hands should not be in the sleeves). After doing that, use the sleeves to make a knot just above the head. Yes, I know it sounds awful and rather ineffective, but this simple trick will protect your head while preventing you from chugging dirt.

Step 3. Look for weak spots in the coffin.

If the unfortunate event happened very quickly and away from your family, you’re very likely to have been buried in a rectangular box. Those require little force to break since the lid’s held in place by a couple of nails. Still, if some funeral arrangements were observed, you could end up in one of those double-doored caskets. It doesn’t really matter, because all of them have weak spots – in the latter case it’s the gap where the two doors meet. That’s where you will need to strike.

However, before making any attempts, take a few moments to compose yourself; you’re alive, you’re still breathing, and you will get out of this no matter what. Free your mind of any menacing thoughts and focus only on the task at hand.

Step 4. Break the lid and start shovelling

When you’re ready, ensure that the shirt’s sleeves are secured, and, using all the force you can muster, kick the coffin’s lid. Hit it until earth begins to fall inside the coffin. Don’t panic when that happens. Push the falling earth on the sides.

Always keep your head and torso above the earth. Keep pushing and piling the dirt to the sides. You can guess how far you will need to pile by using your nose – if the air’s still stale and, well, earthy; it means you’ve still got a few feet to go. Again, keep breathing at a steady pace and don’t attempt to remove the ‘bag’ over your head no matter how uncomfortable you feel. As the earth piles inside the coffin, you’ll notice or rather feel less of the stuff falling on you.

Step 5. Get up on your feet, soldier!

Once the inside of the coffin starts feeling up, arch one of your feet, and plant the foot firmly on the coffin’s bottom. You’re nearly out! One more push and you’re free! Using that foot as support, muster all the strength you have left and stand up.

You’re one step away from freedom. It may be very hard at first, but once you’ve managed to raise your head and torso above lid level, standing up will be very easy. At this point, all you’ll need to do would be to push away the remaining earth and to crawl out of your grave. Congratulations! You’ve just survived one of the worst fates anyone can imagine.

Final Thoughts

I should emphasize the fact that even with our astounding progress in life signs detection, errors can sometimes occur. Nobody’s to blame for this. It’s just the fact that your body has decided to slow all body functions to the point where detection becomes impossible. Still, one cannot ignore the fact that someone could have done that to you on purpose. Yes, I know that it’s a rather disconcerting thought, but, then again, the world is a crazy place.

Once you’ve got out of the grave, head immediately to the nearest hospital for a full checkup. You should also find a way to notify the authorities. The chances of you being the target of an assault may be slim, but at this point anything is possible. One more thing before I go – emotional support. This kind of things stirs some serious shit inside your noggins.

Don’t even dare to assume that it’s over. Ever heard about PTSD? Yes, that awful conditions which afflict so many battle-hardened soldiers. Post-traumatic stress disorder doesn’t occur solely during an intense battle. Nope! According to the docs, you have more chances of experiencing PTSD-like symptoms after a car accident or going through a breakup, than on the battlefield.

So, after the good doc gives you a clean bill of health, do yourself a favor and go talk to the therapist about this experience.

What are your thoughts of being buried alive? Hit the comments section and let me know.

Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

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

Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)

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

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

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

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

For some minutes after this fancy possessed me, I remained without motion. And why? I could not summon the courage to move. I dared not make the effort which was

In a SHTF situation where you can’t stay in your own home, and moving in with a friend or relative is not an option, what will you do? If bugging out to the wilderness suddenly becomes your only option, will you survive? Probably not for very long, if you believe the experts. Nevertheless, if your survival plan doesn’t include a bug out to the forest option, it should, but coming up with a good plan might be more difficult that you think.

For starters, do you have a reliable bug out vehicle? If your bug out plan has you escaping the city or suburbs in a modern vehicle, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise. Most modern vehicles won’t survive a strong EMP event. You may find yourself traveling on foot, away from a major metropolitan area, in search of food and water. But at least you won’t be alone. When food and water run out, millions of others will be traveling, mostly on foot, away from large centers of population. Even if you have a working vehicle, it may be useless, due to the gridlock created by people and disabled vehicles, all on the same escape routes. You may avoid some of that if you get away quickly, but will you? How much time will pass before you’re packed, and ready to go? Will the roads already be jammed by the time you depart? As time passes, the situation will get worse. Can you imagine what starving, desperate, people are capable of doing? I’m thinking “zombie apocalypse”.

My Bug-out Plan

Understanding the predicament, I don’t have to look any farther than my garage for a solution. My bug out plan doesn’t depend on a full-size vehicle, but I won’t be bugging out on foot either. I suspect that I wouldn’t last very long, with just the items I can carry on my back. Instead, I’ve decided to use my garden tractor (riding lawn mower), pulling a small trailer. Don’t laugh, it’s more practical than it may seem.

  • It would probably survive an EMP event.
  • It can travel off-road, avoiding traffic jams and bypassing bottlenecks.
  • It can pull a small trailer, loaded with essential supplies.
  • I can avoid people who may want to harm me, or take what I have.
  • I’ll have a 360 degree view, helpful for situational awareness, and if I have to use a firearm.
  • I’ll be able to travel to places inaccessible by car, which in theory will make me more secure.
  • My getaway will be at a whopping 6 miles per hour, maximum, but it beats walking.

There are drawbacks, of course. I’ll have no shelter from the elements, as I would in a car or truck. My traveling companion will have to ride in the trailer, or walk along side. Perhaps the biggest drawback is that I won’t be able to outrun anyone. For that reason, it’s important to pack and leave quickly, before things get out of hand.

The bug out location I’ve selected is far from the densely populated area where I now live, and is an area that provides opportunities for hunting, fishing, growing crops, and is near a fresh water source. I know what some of you are thinking… A city boy, living in the wilderness, wouldn’t last long. You might be right, but what choice do I have? Since I don’t own a wilderness cabin, or even a camper, how can I best prepare for a situation that forces me to abandon my home? For starters, I’ve compiled a virtual library of information that will be helpful in such a situation. I’ve also purchased some basic survival equipment and supplies. I practice the skills I’ve learned, and I’m a pretty good gardener.

While living in the wild will be a challenge, I first have to arrive there safely. Traveling with a fully loaded trailer screams “Hey look at me! I have food, water, and survival gear!” How do I get to my destination without being robbed or killed? I see two main problems:

  1. Starving, thirsty, desperate people won’t hesitate to attack me and take what I have.
  2. Those already settled in, near my bug out location, won’t appreciate the competition for limited resources.

To make matters worse, the noise of the tractor will announce my presence. In either case, one bullet could ruin my day.

Bugging out is risky, but I’m thinking of a scenario where I have no choice. I’ll improve my odds somewhat by getting away quickly, before anarchy is commonplace. To do that, all of my things need to be organized, and ready to toss into the trailer. This includes items that are protected from EMP’s. The list that I’ve already prepared helps to make sure that I don’t forget anything.

As I travel, I expect to cross paths with others who are also bugging out. The majority of the people I encounter will be just like me, trying to survive. Many of them will be traveling on-foot, with very limited supplies. My survival odds will improve if I join a like-minded group of travelers, or convince others to travel with me. I’ll bring extra food to share. Travelling with a well-fed and motivated group should help to keep the criminal element away. I’m not trying to be a group leader, or a macho tough-guy, but just one of the many people fleeing an area that has become unsafe. Being armed, and avoiding likely trouble spots, will also help.

With luck, I’ll make it to my bug out spot, probably with a number of other people who’ll soon become my neighbors. As I settle in, I’ll begin to implement a plan that might be described as “Living in the Wilderness, but Not Wilderness Living”. After food and water, my top priority will be the construction of a substantial shelter. As Pat Henry put it “your tent offers zero protection from a sharp stick, much less bullets.” I’ll use modern tools and technology to deal with challenges that come with living in the wild. I’ll have lights when and where I need them, and I’ll use sensors to alert me to intruders, and garden pests. Some of the pests that would otherwise be a threat to my garden, will become food, if I can kill or capture them. My garden tractor-trailer combination will continue to be an asset, as long as gasoline is available. I’ll be able to haul whatever useful items I can find, including building materials, firewood, and water. It’s likely that some of my traveling companions will become the nucleus of a survival group, and the benefits of belonging to a group are many. One could be hunting or fishing, while another guards the supplies and equipment. One could be on the lookout for intruders, while another prepares food, or tends to a garden. One could sleep, while another stands guard. Portable two-way radio equipment, as well as low-tech devices, such as whistles, may be used to alert group members to emerging threats.

My trailer is approximately 48” by 30”. If stacked 30” high, I’ll have about 25 square feet of cargo space. My supplies will be covered with a tarp, protected from rain and wind.

I’m using 3 plastic containers. One is for food, another for shelter, and the third for cooking, cleaning, hygiene, health, and miscellaneous supplies. Those containers account for about 15 square feet, and mine will be similar, leaving me with at least 10 additional square feet. Because I’m thinking long-term survival, I’ll pack clothes and bedding for all weather conditions. I’ll use the additional space for items that will help me survive in the long-run. Included will be the components of a small solar electric system that can be easily reassembled at my destination. I’ll have lights, and a variety of electrical devices that can be powered by the solar electric system. Sensitive electrical items are pre-packed, wrapped in aluminum foil and insulated from each other, which is the equivalent of a Faraday Cage. The ability to use power tools will make construction of a shelter much easier.

Because of the trailer’s small size, I look for ways to conserve precious space. I won’t bring bulky items, like table lamps. Instead, I’ve assembled small and simple light fixtures. I won’t bring a pedestal fan, or even a tabletop fan. Instead, I’ll use small muffin fans, similar to those you find in computers. I’ll mount them on frames, made from pvc tubing, that can be disassembled, saving space when packing. I’ll make good use of paracord, rope, and plastic sheeting. I need not carry books, and volumes of survival literature, because all of those things have been scanned, and stored on a KindleFire. Likewise, carrying a large quantity of water is not practical. I don’t have space for large containers. Instead, I’ll pack several collapsible water containers. I won’t bring a propane stove, or even a charcoal grill, but I will bring a grill top. I’ll assemble a fire pit with stones that I’ll find at my bug out location, and finish it off with the grill top. I’ll pack my cast iron Dutch oven, overlooking my concern for weight, just this one time. Once settled in, my tractor-trailer’s ability to haul things contributes to my bartering opportunities.

The bug out location I’ve selected will be a 7 to 8 hour trip by garden tractor. I have to make sure I have enough gasoline, but my preliminary estimates indicate that I can make it with just the capacity of a full tank, and a full 2 ½ gallon container. I’ll also carry a tube for siphoning, in the event I’ll need to do that. I’ll be carrying a shovel and an axe, helpful if I get stuck or need to clear a path, and very useful when I’ve settled in at my bug out location.

I’ll have the ability to collect and store rainwater. I’ll be prepared to filter water, and boil it, making it safe for drinking. My bug out supplies will include heirloom and hybrid seeds for food crops. Traveling light is an important consideration, and for that reason I’ve created a separate list of items to acquire, once I’m settled in at my bug out location. For the most part, those additional items will make life more comfortable, but are not essential for survival.

Once I’ve settled in at my bug out destination, my first priority will be a sustainable source of food. I’ll start a garden of course, but I’ll need to have other food while I’m waiting for my crops to mature. My bug out supplies include a live trap for small animals, but it is safe to assume that others will quickly decimate local population of rabbits, squirrels, and other edible creatures. My bug out location is near a large lake, and I suspect that I’ll be able to catch fish.

In an effort to avoid bland meals, I’ll pack items such as olive oil, spices, sauces, flour, and corn meal. My list for shelter is similar to Pat’s, but I’ve added an air mattress for additional comfort. I’ll have construction tools, and plan to make tent-living a very temporary arrangement. My list for cooking, cleaning, and hygiene is different from Pat’s list, because I put more emphasis on long-term survival. While I will pack items such as soap and dish detergent, I’ll place a high priority on reusable items, such as wash cloths and towels. Instead of a propane stove, I’ll pack a rocket-stove, and reusable cooking supplies. I’ll have a solar-heated camp shower, wash basins, and collapsible containers for water. I’ll have a good first-aid kit, a variety of medicine, alcohol, bug spray, toilet paper, and other items for health and hygiene. One container, perhaps a backpack, will be for items that need to be easily and quickly accessible. Items in this container will include a flashlight, weapons, maps, a compass, binoculars, cash, a lighter, a KindleFire, snacks, a pocket knife, basic tools, and a rain parka.

My “electronics” box will include all of the components for a small solar electric system, except the solar panels and batteries. It will include test equipment, extension cords, power strips, lights and light fixtures, fans, portable alarms, an AM/FM radio, and a GPS device.

Items that will be packed separately include tools, solar panels (mounted on a hinged aluminum framework), batteries (for the solar electric system), weapons and ammo, live trap, gasoline container, tackle box with fishing supplies, shovel, ax, rake, grill top, and a jump starter (includes tire pump and light). I’ll have the tools and supplies needed to make repairs to the tractor and trailer tires.

After I’ve set up camp I’ll be on the lookout for anything that might be useful, such as a propane stove with a full propane tank, table and chairs, buckets, tools, food and water. If I can find them, I’ll increase my stockpile of disposable items, such as paper towels, zip-lock bags, trash bags, aluminum foil, toilet paper, soap, dish detergent, laundry detergent, insect repellent, toothpaste, shaving cream, alcohol, and other items for health and hygiene. I’ll also stock up on firewood and tinder.

Perhaps the most important item I hope to acquire after I’ve settled in, is an energy-efficient chest freezer. In the event that I have success hunting, fishing, trapping, or growing crops, the freezer will provide an easy way to preserve food. Not needing to find and process food everyday will give me opportunities to rest, and attend to other aspects of survival. The smallest of the chest freezers on the market today are very energy-efficient, meaning that they can be powered by a small off-grid solar electric system. According to the energy-guide tag, 600 watt-hours per day is required for a 5 cubic foot chest freezer. I can get that much power with just 2- 100 watt solar panels, and 2 – 100ah batteries. My system will be a little larger than that, to accommodate the other things needing power, and for extended periods of cloud cover.

Cold Weather Considerations:

Where I live, the months of December through February can include some very cold and nasty weather. Extreme weather may force me to deal with the danger, and postpone bugging out. I may instead choose to make my home as secure as possible, and prepare to defend it. Those traveling through my neighborhood would also be susceptible to extreme weather, perhaps giving me a bit of an advantage. If I’ve already bugged out, and set up camp in advance of cold weather, preparing to survive cold conditions will be a high priority. This includes the construction of a substantial shelter, and a way to provide heat.

The Long Run:

In the event that federal and state government no longer exist, law and order will be maintained at a local level, by an assembly of the people of that area. A protective force can be created, and guard duties shared. Efficiency can be realized in areas such as food production and cooking. Those with special skills will be highly revered, and will serve the entire community. Bartering will be commonplace.

I don’t expect my wilderness life to last more than a couple of years. In a serious SHTF situation, many people will die off from lack of food, or simply from the inability to survive without the conveniences we take for granted today. If that happens, there will be plenty of empty homes to move into. I would choose one with a fenced back yard, to help protect my food source. Most of my food will come from my garden, and perhaps some fish, chicken and rabbit.


If I can’t safely stay in my own home, which is at the edge of a big city, or move in with someone else, far from a densely populated area, moving to the forest may be my only option. I need to be ready to bug out quickly and travel safely. I’ll need to bring the appropriate equipment and supplies. And finally, I need to be able to survive wilderness living. I’ll have to depend upon my hunting, trapping, fishing, and gardening skills. My prepping includes the equipment and knowledge to do those things. I don’t expect it to be easy. The competition for limited resources will be fierce, and not everyone will be honest and ethical. Still, I plan for a comfort level far exceeding that of tent camping. I applaud those who can live in the forest with only a knife and the clothes on their back, but I can’t do that.

Perhaps the best things I have are a list, and a plan. I don’t depend upon a modern vehicle, since impassable roads, or an EMP event, could stop me dead in my tracks. My pack-out list helps to ensure that I’ll bring the essentials, while not being overloaded with items I can do without. My extensive database of information will be useful in the event of a medical emergency, or other unexpected circumstances. Moving quickly, with a destination in mind, might prevent me from becoming a victim of the lawlessness that would likely follow a SHTF situation. Getting to my destination quickly means that I’ll also be able to “scavenge” more quickly than some, and acquire useful stuff before it’s all gone. Banding together with trust-worthy, like-minded others may offer the best odds for survival.

We thank John D for his contribution.

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)

For starters, do you have a reliable bug out vehicle? If your bug out plan has you escaping the city or suburbs in a modern vehicle, you may be

NOAA Weather Radio allows for access to important weather information across the country 24 hours a day. The ability to tune in and monitor this information can be vital during emergency situations or outdoor ventures. Learn how to tune NOAA Weather Radio frequencies on your amateur radio and don’t be dependent on a special radio or programmed memory channel.

What Is NOAA Weather Radio?

NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from the nearest local National Weather Service office.  The stations transmit vital weather information such as local forecasts, watches, and warnings all day, everyday.

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The National Weather Service offices also integrate into the EAS system (Federal Emergency Alert System) and local authorities so other types of information such as Amber Alerts or Civil Emergency messages also get transmitted across the weather radio system.

Most have heard of  the Weather Alert Radios that sound an alarm for a tornado warning or severe weather alert for your area.  This is the network those radios monitor to trigger the audible alert.

Bottom line, when the power is out or cell phones don’t work, NOAA weather radio (just like ham radio) can still get the emergency message through.  Get information on severe weather warnings, tornado warnings, evacuations in your area and more.

Dedicated Radio Not Required

While a dedicated radio can bring you a visual or audible siren alarm in the middle of the night due to a weather alert, that type of radio is not required to monitor the NOAA Weather Radio signal.  In fact, it is only half the value.  The rest of the value in the system is that you can tune in any time during the day and get current weather information within a couple minutes.

It’s like the Weather Channel, but without cable.  And can be accessed on just about any radio that can receive in the 160 MHz spectrum.

Benefits to Tuning In vs Programming a Channel

There are a number of benefits to tuning in the NOAA Weather Radio signal versus programming it into a channel. Here are a few of the main ones that come to mind.

Save Memory Channels

Many chinese radios such as the Baofeng UV-5R or older model amateur radios have a limited number of channels.  Save these channels for programming repeaters or other simplex frequencies with dedicated tones, offsets, or other settings.  No reason to waste a memory on a receive only frequency that doesn’t change.

Don’t Mess with your Scan

Since the NOAA Weather Radio signal is transmitted on at all times and non stop, if programmed in to your memory incorrectly, it can cause your scan function to become inoperable in the field.

Free NOAA Weather Radio Channel Quick Guide

Worried you will forget the NOAA Weather Channels?  Download our free quick reference card.  It is formatted to print on Avery Business Card stock for quick tear out and compact storage (uses Avery Template 8371).  Or simply print on your favorite card stock and cut out with scissors.

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)

NOAA Weather Radio allows for access to important weather information across the country 24 hours a day. The ability to tune in and monitor this information can be vital during

Did you know that before the Winchester repeating rifle was invented, Walter Hunt patented the “combined piston breech and firing cock repeating gun”?

Not only that, according to the Smithsonian, he also invented the fountain pen, the sewing machine, and that little thing most of us call the safety pin. While they certainly don’t pack the power of a repeating gun, there are a number of survival uses for safety pins if you include them in your EDC kit.

When it comes to survival , the ideal thing is to have a good EDC kit and some first aid supplies or a bug out bag. But what happens if you get caught out away from home without your bug out bag and first aid kit?

We’ve listed suggested uses for keeping safety pins in your EDC kit below. Please keep in mind using safety pins for some of these things are recommended as a last resort, meaning when you have no other option.  We are NOT recommending that you rely primarily on safety pins for tasks critical to survival.

Over 700 pages jammed full of medical information written in an easy to read format that requires absolutely no medical knowledge. Get your copy here

Also keep in mind this article is NOT medical advice, and anything you do is at your own risk, and neither the author nor www.SurvivalSullivan.comcan shall be held liable for any injuries or negative effects as a result of putting the advice of this article into practice.

#1. Remove Foreign Objects Under the Skin

Just about everyone has probably experienced getting a splinter or some other small sharp object stuck under their skin. Use an open safety pin similar to tweezers to remove splinters, thorns, insect stingers, ticks or even the dreaded botfly. With insects, make doubly sure you know what the risks are and seek medical advice first if available.

#2. Flush Out a Wound

Once you’ve removed a splinter or other foreign object, it’s probably a good idea to flush out the wound to ensure it’s as clean as possible. You can use a safety pin to poke a hole in a water bottle or plastic bag filled with water so that you can have a precise stream and conserve water for later.

#3. Stitch a Wound

It’s not the recommended way to stitch up that cut on your arm but in a pinch, if you don’t have a needle, you can make a safety pin work. Be extremely gentle and take care not to break it off as you pull.

#4. Secure Bait

If you find yourself in a survival situation where you need to use a trap to catch food, the last thing you want to do is risk the prey snagging the bait without setting off the trigger. You can use a safety pin to secure your bait to the trigger so there’s less chance of your prey getting away with a snack and leaving you with an empty belly.

 #5. Replace a Button

Although probably not a true survival situation, you can use a safety pin to replace a missing button on your shirt or pants.

#6. Sewing Awl

In a pinch, you can use larger safety pins as an awl for sewing heavier material such as leather, burlap, or canvas.

Straighten out the pin and use the sharp end to pierce the material, twisting it around a bit to make the hole large enough for your cordage. Push the cordage through the holes using the tip of the pin or your finger depending on which is easier.

#7. Hang Clothes to Dry

When we camp, there are times that it rains or that we need to hang wet clothes or other items overnight. If you drop your wallet in the stream or your jacket falls from your backpack into the mud. You can use clothespins to secure lightweight items to dry overnight from the inside of your tent using some cordage or even a bungee cord stretched between the poles.

#8. Fishing Hook

It’s not ideal but you can use a safety pin as a makeshift fishing hook by tying it to your fishing line and then opening the pin and bending it into the shape of a hook. Add your bait and drop the line in the water. It will only work with smaller fish obviously but it’s better than nothing in a survival situation.

#9. Secure DIY Bandage

If you are injured unexpectedly and need to bandage the wound but don’t have traditional bandages, a safety pin might be a lifesaver. Tear or cut a strip of clothing or other available clean material, wrap it around the wound and secure temporarily with safety pins.

#10. Escape Handcuffs or Locked Room

When SHTF, it’s entirely possible for you to be taken captive by someone who wants your supplies, property, or worse. In the absence of a good lock picking kit, you can use a safety pin to help you pick a lock and escape.

#11. Make a DIY Sling or Splint

If someone falls during a bug out or other type of survival situation and you need to immobilize their arm or shoulder, you can use a safety pin to attach their sleeve to another part of their clothing or put a stick on each side of a damaged finger and wrap with cloth and secure with a safety pin.

#12. Close or Attach a Makeshift Shelter

Again, in a survival situation, I really hope you’ll have better shelter building materials on hand but in a pinch, you can use safety pins to attach clothing or any other type of available cloth together to create a makeshift albeit very temporary shelter.

 #13. Reinforce Zippers

Replace a broken zipper pull on your bug out bag with a closed safety pin or use a safety pin to fasten two zippers together to keep them from working open during your bug out.

#14. Repair a Rip or Tear

Depending on the situation you are in, the landscape, and how quickly you need to move, you may not have time to properly fix a tear in your bug out bag, a loose pant leg hem, or that rip in the sleeve of your jacket from catching it on a branch. Safety pins come in really handy for temporarily keeping things together.

#15. Fix Unthreaded Drawstring

There’s nothing more important in a bad weather survival situation than staying warm. If you find yourself in extreme weather with a jacket hood or sweatshirt with no drawstring, you’ll be scrambling to keep it up and stay warm. Use a safety pin and any piece of cordage to replace the drawstring so you can keep your head covered and your hands free.

#16. Toothpick

It may not save your life, but it could save you some frustration and agony if you get a seed or something else stuck between your teeth in a survival situation. Take care not to puncture your gum and cause an additional issue.

#17. DIY Lance

If you don’t have a needle and you need to lance a boil, smashed fingernail, etc. you can heat a safety pin to sterilize it and use the tip as a lance.

Have we convinced you yet to include safety pins in your EDC kit? You can carry them just about anywhere very discreetly. Pin them inside the hem of your pant leg or the inside of a hat that is part of your EDC. Slide a couple in your wallet or pin into your shoelaces.

Do you have other survival uses for safety pins that we neglected in our list above? Ever use a safety pin for a really unusual repair before? Let us know in the comments below. We always love to hear good ideas from other preppers and homesteaders.

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)

Did you know that before the Winchester repeating rifle was invented, Walter Hunt patented the “combined piston breech and firing cock repeating gun”? Not only that, according to the Smithsonian, he

It is currently hurricane season for the Atlantic and Pacific regions of the United States.

As I write this article, Hurricane Dorian is a Category 4 storm with the potential to reach Category 4 status. As of now, the storm has an uncertain path, but East Coast folks – please watch this one closely, as some models suggest it could head right for you.

Hurricanes are unpredictable, as anyone who has experienced one knows. This makes them challenging to prepare for, but fortunately, there are things you can do to increase your odds of survival, should one head for your region.

It is important to understand that a hurricane need not be a Category 5 to be incredibly dangerous and cause serious damage. When Hurricane Isabel hit my Virginia neighborhood in 2003, the storm was barely a Category 1. It was the first (and to date, the only – thankfully) hurricane I’ve experienced personally, and back then I really had no idea how difficult the aftermath would be.

This book teaches you how to both diagnose and treat any medical problems you are going to encounter. Learn more about it here.

I fully expected the “authorities” to take care of everything after Isabel passed. I thought they’d clean up all the debris and have the roads cleared and power on within a day or two.

I was seriously mistaken.

Isabel had an unusually large wind field (an example of a hurricane doing “unpredictable” things). Thousands of trees were uprooted. Power lines and telephone poles were downed all over. Hundreds of houses were damaged…many beyond repair. Hundreds of roads, including major highways, were blocked by fallen trees and other debris. The heavy rainfall caused inland flooding, which closed roads and damaged homes and businesses.

We were without power for over two weeks. Because we – and most of our neighbors – did not think to purchase generators in advance, one neighbor decided to head out to buy them for us. He wasn’t able to find any until he reached Pennsylvania – every store he checked in Virginia and Maryland was either closed due to the storm or had already sold their entire stock of generators. That gives you an idea of how hard it can be to find important supplies in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

Preparing for a Hurricane

In The Prepper’s Blueprint, the importance of understanding how unpredictable hurricanes can be is discussed and emphasized. This type of natural disaster is truly one of the most difficult emergencies to prepare for simply because there are so many variables to account for. These storms can range from mild to severe and can cause wind damage, flooding, and tornadoes. You can be fully stocked with provisions, but what good will that do if your home is flooded in a matter of minutes and all of your supplies are destroyed or inaccessible? Before Hurricane Harvey made landfall last year, it was predicted as merely a tropical storm or Category 1 hurricane. In fact, many living in the area did not think much of it in terms of severity and only stocked up on supplies for a few days. Within those few days, it had developed into a Category 4 with 132 mph winds.

This hurricane primer has essential articles with supply lists that can aid you in preparing for a storm.

Should you stay or should you go?

Often, when a hurricane is approaching, government officials will issue evacuation orders to people in designated evacuation areas. Most governments use one of two terms when issuing evacuation notices. An evacuation order is when officials strongly encourage people in certain areas to move to a safer location. Personal discretion is allowed, but not advised. A mandatory evacuation order means that emergency management officials are ordering all people in the designated area to move to a safer location – personal discretion is NOT an option. People who refuse to comply need to understand that this kind of order means they should not expect to be rescued or given any kind of assistance once the storm has reached the area.

If you can leave the area before the disaster strikes, then do so, and seek shelter elsewhere.

Should you decide to stay put for whatever reason during a hurricane, adequate preparation is crucial to survival. Please check out our guide here – now, so you can prepare far ahead of the storm: Last Minute Preparedness: How To Prep For Sheltering in Place.

What about disaster shelters?

While disaster shelters may be the only option for many, it is important to understand the risks associated with them. In the article, Just How Unhealthy And Unsafe Are Disaster Shelters, Sara Tipton explains the harsh truth about such shelters:


There is another danger associated with spending time in a disaster shelter: sexual assault. Overcrowded and understaffed shelters unintentionally put all those who stay at them at risk. There’s no way a handful of people can monitor hundreds of others at all times.

The elderly are a part of the population that is particularly vulnerable during times of evacuation and emergency. They face many concerns both before a disaster strikes and immediately afterward. Hurricane Katrina is a tragic example of how devastating big storms can be to the elderly: roughly 71 percent of the hurricane’s victims were older than age 60, and 47 percent of those were over the age of 75. Most of these victims died in their homes and communities. At least 68 (some of whom were allegedly abandoned by their caretakers) were found in nursing homes. If you are elderly or have loved ones who are, please plan accordingly. Staying at home and local shelters may not be the best places for those who have special health concerns and are not able to adequately care for themselves.

Also, please don’t forget about your furry and feathered family members: take your pets’ needs into account when you are preparing for an impending hurricane as well.

What to expect in the aftermath of a hurricane

Many Americans believe that FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) will come to their rescue after a natural disaster. Unfortunately, the agency has many challenges (to put it lightly). Even if you are one of the few who manages to successfully navigate FEMA’s confusing red tape and complicated bureaucratic system to get aid, help from the agency often becomes something many describe as an “inescapable hell.”

Prepare for the worst and make sure you can survive on your own. We cannot emphasize this enough.

While the bad weather hurricanes bring usually sticks around for 12 to 24 hours, there are other dangers that often linger for much longer. As I mentioned earlier, after Hurricane Isabel struck my city, my neighborhood was without power for over two weeks. Some areas in the Hampton Roads region were without electricity for even longer. Some roads were closed for more than a week.

There are five possible life-threatening scenarios that hurricane victims must understand and prepare for.

1. Contaminated water

Water contamination is common after a hurricane. The facilities that remove contaminants from drinking water are typically unusable if they’re inundated with floodwaters, or if they do not have the power needed to run their pumps or the ability to get fuel for their generators. The water supply could be tainted with anything from unpleasant but relatively harmless gastrointestinal invaders like Norovirus to more serious bacteria like Vibrio, a potentially deadly microorganism.

Ideally, you’ll have enough water stored for you and your family. Water is a top preparedness priority. Aim for a supply of 3 gallons of water per person/day, minimum, stored in food-grade containers. If you have pets, you’ll need to make sure you have enough water for them too. Remember, while water is crucial for proper hydration, you’ll also need to use it to prepare food and for sanitation purposes. I don’t think there’s such a thing as having TOO much water stored.

For more on water storage, please see Emergency Water Storage Ideas for Every Type of Disaster and 5 Short-Term Methods to Store Water.

Even if you believe you have adequate water stored, be sure to learn about water purification methods and devices as well…just in case. Always ensure the safety of your water by properly filtering or boiling it before use.

There are portable water filtration systems you can keep on hand in case of emergency. The Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System is one of them. It’s a compact, portable, three-part system that can be put together and placed over a drinking vessel like a water bottle. This system comes with a straw that you can use to drink directly through the filter itself. It can also be hooked up to a Camelbak water pouch.

2. Flooding

The risk of contracting an infectious disease is heightened after a hurricane, in large part due to flooding. Flood water is a perfect vehicle for pathogens: it can harbor bacteria, different viruses, and fungi – and often is contaminated with sewage and hazardous chemicals.

There are numerous reasons to avoid flood water entirely. Wading through it – even if it is shallow – can cause drowning because moving water can sweep you off your feet, and can rapidly transport you to deeper bodies of water. Snakes and other dangerous creatures (depending on where you live) can lurk in flood waters. Debris could be floating in it, and could cause serious harm. And, of course, electrocution is a deadly risk – fallen power lines may have exposed the water to electricity.

To protect your home from flood damage, learn how to properly create a sandbag barrier or consider investing in a system called AquaDam.

If you live in a flood zone, special preparations are in order. The following articles can help you better prepare.

  • Are You Ready? How to Survive a Flood
  • Disaster Supplies for Flood Preparedness
  • A Step-By-Step Guide to Preparing for Disasters

3. Blackouts

A major risk after any hurricane, blackouts can be devastating for those without a plan.

From refrigerators to cell phones, people have almost become completely reliant on electronic devices for their survival, and for this reason, a blackout can have disastrous implications for the ill-prepared.

In late October 2012, Hurricane Sandy devastated the East Coast and left widespread, long-term power outages in her wake. On October 31, over 6 million customers were still without power in 15 states and the District of Columbia. On November 7, 2012, 600,000 people were still without power. After Hurricane Ike hit in September 2008, our very own Tess Pennington and her family experienced a power outage that lasted more than three weeks!

In an article about her experience, Tess wrote, “In retrospect, I was naive in my preparedness planning. I was planning for the best-case scenario rather than the latter, as well, there were many aspects of preparedness that I hadn’t considered and paid the price for it.”

The grid in New York City is still vulnerable, nearly 6 years later. But NYC is not the only part of the US that has an aging and weak grid that is susceptible to damage – much of the US power grid is vulnerable.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prepare your family for power outages.

  • Be ready to prepare food off the grid.
  • Stock your pantry and bug-out bags with nutrient-dense food that does not need to be refrigerated or cooked to eat, like nut butter, nuts, seeds, granola bars, protein bars, and dried fruit.
  • Fill up your vehicle’s tank while you still can – gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps.
  • Be aware that most medication that requires refrigeration can be kept in a closed refrigerator for several hours without a problem. If unsure, check with your physician or pharmacist. Have a backup plan in case your power is out longer than a few hours.
  • Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it. Garage doors can be heavy, so know that you may need help to lift it.
  • Keep a key to your house with you if you regularly use the garage as the primary means of entering your home, in case the garage door will not open.
  • Have cash on hand in case ATMs are down and stores are not able to process credit cards.
  • Learn how to protect your food supply when the power is out. To be proactive, begin using perishable foods in the freezer and refrigerator to minimize food spoilage. Also, to keep items as cool as possible during a power outage, limit the number of times the refrigerator or freezer door is opened. If you are concerned that your meat may spoil, preserve it beforehand, by either the canning method or the dehydration method.
  • Freeze soda bottles filled with water and place them in the refrigerator during outages – they will help to maintain the optimum temperature.
  • Stay indoors and try and keep your body temperature as normal as possible.
  • Close window blinds and curtains to keep your home cool.
  • Turn off or disconnect appliances, equipment (like air conditioners) or electronics in use when the power went out. Power may return with momentary “surges” or “spikes” that can damage computers as well as motors in appliances like the air conditioner, refrigerator, washer or furnace.
  • Consider purchasing at least one gas-powered generator. They require about a quarter gallon of gasoline for each hour of use. This means you will need to keep plenty of extra fuel on hand. For a blackout period lasting 3 days, it would be wise to keep at least 15 gallons stored in your house for use in your generator (or car).
  • Do not connect a generator to a home’s electrical system. If you use a generator, connect the equipment you want to run directly to the outlets on the generator. Do not run a generator inside a home or garage. For more on safe generator use, please read This is One of the Unspoken Dangers That (Silently and Quickly) Kills During Emergencies.
  • Leave on one light so that you’ll know when your power returns.
  • Use the phone for emergencies only. Listen to a portable radio for the latest information.
  • Access to fire will be critical in a blackout. Be sure to have at least three different ways to make fire, such as a magnesium and steel fire-starter, matches, and butane lighters.
  • Lanterns will be effective alternative light sources as long as you keep kerosene in storage. Speaking of fuel, you may also want to use propane for use in a barbecue grill or for other propane-powered appliances.
  • Having extra flashlights will make a fundamental difference during a power outage. Keep extra sets of batteries for each flashlight.
  • If you don’t already have a first-aid kit now is the time to get one. Sanitizing gel is also a smart item to have in your supplies.
  • A radio with a crank generator will enable you to hear emergency alerts without having to ubackup-up power.
  • Have at least 3 days of clean clothes ready for each family member.

4. Supply shortages 

If you live in an area where people shift into panic mode at the mere mention of snow flurries, you know that grocery stores can become a chaotic scene in the days prior to the expected weather. We rarely get snow in this part of Virginia, so when it pops up in the forecast, stores quickly run out of bread, milk, and water.

As you can imagine, everyone and their second cousin will be scrambling to stock up on supplies in the days before an impending hurricane. The closer it gets to landfall, the worse the situation gets. This is why getting ahead of the crowd is crucial – to your stockpile and your sanity.

Obviously, food, water, and gasoline are items that can quickly become scarce in the event of an emergency. But, there are other items that some might not think to purchase in advance of a big weather event. These include bleach and other chemical disinfectants, cleaning supplies, disposable gloves, trash bags, toilet paper, and home repair supplies.

Regarding toilet paper – hurricane survivors tend to grossly (pun intended) underestimate how much they are going to need. Toilet paper is used every day and when it runs out, things can get very, very unpleasant. Why add to your misery? This is an item that is very much worth stocking up on. On average, consumers use 8.6 sheets per trip – a total of 57 sheets per day. Multiply that by a week-long storm and a family of 5 and you are going to run out quickly if you don’t buy enough.

5. Tornadoes

As if dealing with a hurricane isn’t enough, it can bring along a particularly dangerous partner in crime: tornadoes.

Hurricanes and tropical storms are collectively known as tropical cyclones. Tropical cyclones and tornadoes are both atmospheric vortices.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “Tropical cyclones may spawn tornadoes from a day or two prior to landfall to up to three days after landfall. Statistics show that most of the tornadoes occur on the day of landfall, or the next day. The most likely time for TC tornadoes is during daylight hours, although they can occur during the night, too. Although statistically, the largest number of tropical cyclone tornadoes occurs on the day of landfall, some of the biggest and most damaging outbreaks have taken place 1 or 2 days after landfall.”

“A tropical storm has all the ingredients necessary to form a tornado: They have multiple supercell thunderstorms, they contain the necessary instability between warm and cold air, and they create wind shear, an abrupt change in wind speed and direction which can create swirling vortices of air,” explains 6abc.

Most hurricanes that make landfall do create at least one tornado. “The majority of those tornadoes are short-lived and of the weaker EF0 or EF1 variety, but some can reach EF2 or EF3 intensity,” according to The Weather Channel:


Brian McNoldy, a researcher at the University of Miami, explained the phenomenon to Live Science:


Most tornadoes occur in a tropical cyclone’s outer rain bands, about 50 to 200 miles from the center, but some have been spawned near the inner core. “In a hurricane’s outer bands, tornadoes represent a burst of concentrated destruction in an area that otherwise might not see the devastating levels of wind produced by the hurricane’s core,” according to a CNN report.

Hurricane-produced tornadoes are difficult to predict – they tend to appear quickly and with little to no warning. For this reason, it is very important to pay attention to the weather and to be prepared for a tornado (or several tornadoes!) to strike.

Are YOU ready for a hurricane?

Earlier this year, AccuWeather Atlantic Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski predicted the United States will see 12-15 tropical storms in 2019 – of which, 6 to 8 are likely to become hurricanes, and 3 to 5 are likely to become major hurricanes.


Stay safe!

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)

It is currently hurricane season for the Atlantic and Pacific regions of the United States. As I write this article, Hurricane Dorian is a Category 4 storm with the potential to

Like many of you, I got into this EDC obsessed lifestyle as a kid. I have always had an affinity for tools that serve a singular purpose, but have almost perverse levels of technology thrown into them. A knife is just a sharpened piece of steel, but you can take a relatively simple formula and distill it into a very complex, purpose designed tool like the Benchmade Osborne 940.

This obsession with performance has led me to accumulate a simply monolithic amount of sharp toys, and in many ways I would say that in the past I crossed the line from tool user to tool collector.

That said, after so many years in this world and after over 7 years of marriage, experiencing mortgage payments and shifts in lifestyle, I have begun to think far more about the purpose behind the tools I wield and what I want my collection to represent.

It’s official. This is now the prepper’s “go to book” saving them time and money on costly doctor visits. Details and how to get your copy here

The bias I have towards quality and having an established “tool set” has led me to truly appreciate the “buy it once” movement: the idea that we can purchase a single tool to fulfill a singular function over the span of a lifetime. Naturally, I will never be happy with just one knife or one watch, but I have definitely taken some of the lessons this movement has to offer on board.

And with that preamble out of the way, here are some of my lifetime tools that I think some of you may find interesting. Perhaps browsing through them will spark some conversation about our spending habits down in the comments! 😉

My Lifetime EDCs

  • Seiko Men's ' Japanese Automatic Stainless Steel Casual Watch, Color:Silver-Toned (Model: SARB033)

1. My lifetime watch

Seiko SARB 033

Is there a more versatile watch for the everyday man who wants something a bit more special than a Seiko 5, but doesn’t want to drop the big bucks on a Rolex Explorer? I don’t think so. The SARB is a true classic (and sadly, discontinued now so if you want one- get on it pronto) with a fantastic, durable movement and a sense of style and presence on the wrists that puts many luxury watches to shame.

I love horology, but I would be happy(‘ish) with only this timepiece for the rest of time. As a matter of fact, I can’t imagine a single change with this watch that would it make it better, which sums up my impressions on this timeless classic.

  • Spyderco (C36GPDBL) Military Model Folding Knife, CPM S110V, 4 Inch Blade, Dark Blue

2. My lifetime folding knife

Spyderco Military

This was a tough one. I admittedly almost strayed away from Spyderco with my choice (very unlike me, I know) due to my affection for the Benchmade 940, but ultimately, the Spyderco Military is and always will be my first choice for a single folding knife. I love a well made liner lock, the blade shape is 10/10, and the feel in the hand is sublime. I don’t like the price relative to materials, but ultimately, I do think it’s worth it.

A tip of my hat goes to the Buck 110 due to my love for it, but I do think a lot of my appreciation for this folder is down to nostalgia and it being my first introduction to high quality knives.

Availability: Amazon • Blade HQ • eBay

military 1 knife reviewSpyderco Military Folding Knife – Amazon / Blade HQ

  • Fallkniven F1, Thermorun Handle, Plain, Zytel Sheath

3. My lifetime fixed blade

Fallkniven F1

This was a no brainer. Yes, I do love my Moras, and my Tops Litetrekker is a smashing little tyke, but the Fallkniven F1 is enduring in its versatility and popularity. There is something to be said for a tool that stays on the hype train for so many years.

Yes, boring steel (Laminated VG-10) and spartan design with true-blue utilitarian materials used, but at the end of the day, I trust this blade regardless of enviroment or situation. It’s a rock solid, lifetime tool despite being a smidgen on the boring side.

Availability: Amazon • Blade HQ • eBay

  • Dr. Marten's Women's 1460 8-Eye Patent Leather Boots, Cherry Red Rouge Smooth, 8 F(M) UK / 10 B(M) US Women / 9 D(M) US Men

4. My lifetime boots

Doc Martens

I love the comfort of my modern hiking boots, but ultimately, this pervasive habit of gluing the soles to the uppers of the boot rules out 99% of them from my lifetime list. I had to give my nod to my Doc Martens, which have been with me for around 17 years and are still going strong.

If I had the money I may recommend Danner’s light mountain boots, but I don’t own them (yet) so can’t say for certain if they’d live up to the hype. That said, I have a feeling they will.

  • HAZARD 4 Gray Patrol Pack Daypack, Gray
    HAZARD 4 Gray Patrol Pack Daypack, Gray

5. My lifetime bag

Hazard 4 Grayman Patrol

You all know I love my Hazard 4 gear, and whilst some may think that perhaps a Saddleback leather backpack is more suitable as a choice for a lifetime tool, I would argue that in this case, the comfort of modern synthetic materials and know-how outweigh the advantages of leather.

The Grayman Patrol is straight up bombproof and I feel comfortable wearing it everywhere, unlike the uber-tactical camo alternatives. It’s a great option and well worth the investment. Your back will thank you, even if your wallet doesn’t!

hazard-4-grayman-patrol-backpack-buy-it-once-edcHazard 4 Grayman Patrol Backpack

  • Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 2-Quart Round French (Dutch) Oven, Flame

6. My lifetime Cookware

Le Creuset Cookware

We all know Le Creuset. This ironware is built to withstand well, everything.

Rock solid and versatile. Yes, it’s pricey, but you won’t need to replace it. I love my Instant Pot, but I wager that my Le Creuset will outlive me. There is something weirdly nostalgic about having a tool that hasn’t changed in decades, because frankly, there is nothing about it that needs changing.

7. My Lifetime Pipe

Kraig Seder Short Poker Pipe

Owned it for years. Made by the man himself and an example of a piece of art that is perfectly functional. We live in an age where everything is built to be used and thrown away. It’s comforting to own something that is designed with the exact opposite in mind.


The older I get, the more I think about the items I own and use instead of simply rushing to buy the next new thing. I admittedly do partake within the norms of a consumerist society, but I like to think that I have pulled the breaks to a certain degree. I now give far more consideration towards the things that truly matter, and not what the deluge of advertising is telling me to get next.

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)

Like many of you, I got into this EDC obsessed lifestyle as a kid. I have always had an affinity for tools that serve a singular purpose, but have almost

The truth is although you may get some advanced warning of a SHTF situation, no one will predict it with absolute certainty. There are however some predicted behaviors and events that experts can predict may happen leading up to the chaos and afterwards.

These predicted behavior patterns are important to understand for anyone who is trying to protect their family and homestead during and after a SHTF event. If you are aware of the changes that could take place, you can prepare your homestead for SHTF and its aftermath. The more steps you take to prepare, the better off you and your family will be.

You don’t have to wait for a crisis to use this book. Details here.

What Could Happen When SHTF

  • extended power outage
  • widespread panic and looting
  • overwhelmed emergency services personnel
  • stores and businesses are wiped out or closed
  • shipping delays or complete stop
  • pandemic due to poor sanitation or lack of medical care
  • spoiled or stolen food and other supplies
  • injuries, illness and/or mass casualties or death

Plan for Food and Water

One of the big issues following a SHTF event is going to be having access to enough water and food to sustain you and your family through an extended period of chaos and possibly indefinitely. Below are some steps you can begin to take now to help ensure that you and your family have an ample supply of food and water when you need it.

Most people may not be able to do all of these at once but it’s a good idea to make a plan for implementation over a period of time. Do what you can the first year and gradually add to your food and water resources when you can.

  1. Start a food garden to grow vegetables and fruits to sustain your family when grocery stores shut down.
  2. Plant an orchard now so that you’ll be able to harvest fruit for pies and jams to boost morale following a SHTF event.
  3. Grow an herb garden to supplement your food stockpile and for medicine when pharmacies and professional medical services are shut down.
  4. Start a compost pile to use to fertilize soil so your garden will flourish.
  5. Gather/Buy manual kitchen appliances and equipment so you can cook without electricity.
  6. Stockpile food for livestock and pets when shipping is delayed or stopped.
  7. Create a hidden food forest to sustain your family if your garden and stockpile are confiscated or wiped out.
  8. Build a rainwater collection system to use for watering the garden, for livestock, personal hygiene, and if necessary for drinking.
  9. Build or buy a solar oven for cooking without power.
  10. Make a smokehouse for preserving meat if refrigeration fails.
  11. Gather/Buy manual tools for gardening and other homesteading tasks.
  12. Install an aquaponics or hydroponics system to supplement your garden
  13. Plant berry bushes so they can mature and be ready to harvest following a SHTF event.
  14. Stockpile home canned food to create a sustainable food supply without refrigeration.
  15. Build a root cellar for preserving harvested vegetables to extend shelf life through the lean winter months.
  16. Stockpile as much water as possible to prevent dehydration.
  17. Identify nearby fresh water sources to supplement your water stockpile.
  18. Begin raising livestock for food that can enhance the nutrition level of your food stockpile.
  19. Save seeds from garden for future crops in the event shipping is shut down.
  20. Identify wild game and fishing resources on and around your property to supplement your food stockpile.
  21. Identify wild edibles on and around your homestead as a backup food supply.

Plan for Security

Another major issue when it comes to a SHTF event will be shelter. Whether it’s an extreme weather event or something else, steps you take now will mean you can quickly protect your house and livestock shelters against extreme weather or intruders.

  1. Build storm shutters to protect windows and doors to protect against extreme weather. Have these ready and accessible or even installed so they can simply be closed and locked with very little warning.
  2. Reinforce door locks to keep intruders out of your home. This is a step everyone should do anyways to protect against burglary and home invasion.
  3. Build a safe room to use in the event intruders do get into your home or in the event of a tornado or other extreme weather event.
  4. Clear out brush around your home to create a clear line of site to protect against intruders sneaking around your property.
  5. Stockpile firearms and ammunition and other weapons for self-defense.
  6. Consider forming a “survival group” with trusted neighbors or family/friends.
  7. Build a secure fence with locked gate around the perimeter of your homestead to secure against intruders.
  8. Establish early alert systems and other perimeter deterrents to protect against intruders.

Additional Ways to Prepare Your Homestead for SHTF

  1. Prepare for waste disposal (Composting Toilet/Humanure) when sanitation systems shut down.
  2. Install a fireplace for heating your home and for hot water.
  3. Install a solar power system to run critical appliances if the power grid fails.
  4. Stockpile batteries of various sizes to use during a power outage.
  5. Install a wind turbine for supplemental power in case of a grid failure.
  6. Buy/Build a generator to run critical systems during short term power outages.
  7. Bury backup supplies in hidden cache locations on and around your homestead as a backup in the event your supplies are stolen or confiscated.
  8. Stockpile personal medications or identify natural alternatives to treat chronic medical conditions when pharmacies are closed.
  9. Buy/Build a ham radio system for communication with family or group members and to monitor news and events happening in your area.
  10. Make any repairs to house and livestock buildings regularly to safeguard your shelter.
  11. Stockpile replacement parts for vehicles and manual equipment in the event of a mechanical failure.
  12. Create plans and assign duties for possible scenarios (in case of fire, tornado, intruders, etc.) so each family can act quickly in a crisis.
  13. Consider bulletproof options for your vehicle and house to safeguard against an intruder attack.
  14. Establish a method for properly storing gasoline and other fuels for vehicles and for heating your home.
  15. Begin growing your own fodder to feed livestock to sustain them if feed supply stores are wiped out or shut down.
  16. Improve insulation in your home and barn to increase your ability to stay warm in cold weather and cooler in hot weather.
  17. Establish a system for washing clothes without power.
  18. Stockpile firewood to use for heating and cooking in an extended grid down situation.
  19. Pay off as much debt as possible, use excess to enhance your stockpile.
  20. Create ways to make money from your homestead even in a grid down situation.
  21. Stockpile items (honey, cigarettes, sugar, coffee, etc.) that can be used to barter for other items you may need to survive.

Is your homestead prepared for SHTF? What steps have you taken to prepare? Which of the 50 ways to prepare will you consider?

Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

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

Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)

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

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

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

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

The truth is although you may get some advanced warning of a SHTF situation, no one will predict it with absolute certainty. There are however some predicted behaviors and events

It is commonly known that what a pregnant mother eats can impact her growing baby. What we don’t often consider is the nutrition the expectant mother had as a child–and what her parents and grandparents ate before her. Do these foods impact the health of her unborn child? What about that child’s future children? If Dr. Francis Pottenger’s Cat study applies to humans, then yes, what the generations before us ate matters when considering the health of our children and grandchildren.

Francis Pottenger

When I first heard about Pottenger’s Cats, honestly, I wasn’t all that interested. I care about nutrition and studies in nutrition, I just don’t care about cats that much. I’m not sure when that started, as I used to have my very own Himalayan mix cat named Twyla when I was in high school. Maybe it was when my mother-in-law decided to raise and breed Norwegian Forest Cats and added a “cattery” onto her home. She loved her cats…and they smelled. When I think about Dr. Pottenger’s study of 900 (!) cats, I can’t help but remember that smell. Regardless of the smell, the study he did with cats is quite fascinating–and I think you will agree.

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Dr. Pottenger’s study came about quite by accident, as he was originally studying the cats to learn more about Tuberculosis sufferers. He had his cats on a cooked meat diet, and when he was given so many cats that he couldn’t keep them all fed, he got raw meat scraps from a local butcher. He noticed improved health, decreased mortality, and shinier coats in the cats that were fed raw meat.

The cats were then divided into groups. Each group was given the same base diet for ⅓ of their total consumption. This base diet included raw meat, viscera, bones, raw milk and cod liver oil. The other ⅔ of the cats’ diet depended on which group they were in. The six different groups were fed either: raw meat, cooked meat, raw milk, pasteurized milk, evaporated milk or sweetened condensed milk. Dr. Pottenger followed these cats for over 10 years and observed multiple generations.

The second and third generations suffered the most…

The first generation fed on these diets had some differences, but the greatest differences were seen in the second generation and third generations. Dr. Pottenger saw differences in the cats’ skulls, size, coats, tendency towards asthma, gingivitis, ocular issues, etc. The cats who were fed evaporated milk had “chronic passive congestion of the liver” and “gaseous distention of the small intestine.” The cats who were in the worst state were fed sweetened, condensed milk. These days, this diet might seem like torture to feed a cat–and yet, consider the corn syrup-laden foods that are fed to children every day in America. These cats had enlarged spleens, no intestinal tone, engorgement of the uterus, extremely poor quality fur, etc. I think it is interesting to note that Dr. Pottenger observed social changes in the cats as well. How many kids do we know who are hyperactive or who don’t seem to understand social cues? Diet plays such an immense role in these kids’ lives.

Infertility….from poor nutrition?

The most depressing part of all of this, to me, is that the third generation of the cats who were fed poor quality diets could not reproduce and repeatedly birthed stillborn babiesI personally know too many women who have faced infertility and the immense tragedy of giving birth to a stillborn baby. I had my babies too early (one at 26 weeks), and wish I had understood these things so much earlier. If Dr. Pottenger’s work with cats applies to humans, and I believe it does, our nutrition, and the nutrition of our parents and grandparents, plays such a significant role in our health, the health of our children, and our ability to even have healthy children.

Reversing the damage…

The good news about Pottenger’s study is that he was able to restore health in the cats by feeding them proper nutrition. For the cats, this meant that the majority of their diet was from raw meat or milk. Humans are not identical to cats, and I am not proposing that humans take up a carnivorous raw meat diet. I think it is important that as humans, we eat optimally, and include plenty of grass-fed, pastured meat and dairy in our diet, a healthy amount of saturated fat, and carbohydrates from colorful vegetables. It took 4 generations to completely reverse the effects of poor nutrition in Pottenger’s cats! We can read this and give up, because it feels hopeless. OR, we can determine to change things for our progeny today, by eating proper nutrition and training our children to do the same. This is what I intend to do with the information from Pottenger’s cat study. Overall, despite the cat smell I remembered as I learned about Dr. Pottenger and his 900 felines, I learned a lot, and I intend to make changes in my life based on his studies and to encourage others to do the same.

Does it matter anymore, if you’ve already had children?

You might be wondering if it really matters anymore, if you are past child-bearing age? Who cares what you eat now, right? You won’t be producing any more children or grandchildren. I considered this argument, because I am 40 years old and I’ve already had my children. Here’s what I decided: my kids watch what I eat. My grandchildren, someday, will watch what I eat. Our food, our recipes, they become a part of who we are as a family. Food makes up the family culture in so many ways. What are our holiday traditions? What do we pack when we’re eating on the road? What smells are coming out of our kitchen & will remind them of home when they are older? Even though I will not have any more children (in my womb, anyways–maybe through adoption!), my choices today still impact future generations by the examples I set.

Dear older people who say that this “gluten free” thing and all of the food allergies are “Just a Fad”

I get where you’re coming from. People in your generation didn’t have these issues, so you can’t even comprehend why my generation needs to avoid gluten & many other foods. Much like Pottenger’s cats did not have many issues in the first generation, you did not suffer from the refined flours and sugars and packaged foods you ate. However, the second and third generation, fed the same junky diets, suffered immense health consequences. We are those second and third generations of what you ate–and we followed in your footsteps. We ate the packaged food, the junk food, and oh-so-much sugar compared to the generations before you. Just like you did. This–these food allergies–the gluten intolerance–they’re real, and they’re because of these generational choices. (And increased environmental toxins, but let’s not get into that right now). Please be kind to younger people, and do not call eating gluten-free “a fad.” It is insulting and rude to call it a fad. These younger generations are plagued with so many more health issues than you or your peers probably faced, and all they (we) are trying to do is learn how to live a healthy, optimal life. Can you join us, encourage us, and recognize where our health issues came from?

How will this knowledge change you & the way you choose to eat?

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)

It is commonly known that what a pregnant mother eats can impact her growing baby. What we don’t often consider is the nutrition the expectant mother had as a child–and

It happens every time.

I innocently check my green bean plants one day and don’t see much, and then 24 hours later, BAM. They are loaded down with ALL THE BEANS that need to be picked like yesterday.

Come to think of it, the cucumbers do the same thing. They must be in cahoots.

(Also. I picking green beans feels so tedious to me. They’re probably my least favorite thing in the garden to harvest just because it takes forever. But I’ll stop whining now.)

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Anyway, here I am with mountains of green beans sitting on my countertop… I’m not a huge fan of pressure canned beans, as they are a bit mushy for my preference. I will freeze a bunch of them (using my lazy, no-blanch method of freezing green beans, of course) and then make pickled green beans with the rest.

Sometimes these are called dilly beans, because, well, they usually include dill. However, let me assure you if you have some sort of extreme hatred for dill, you most certainly do NOT have to use it with your beans. Therefore, I prefer to just call these pickled beans, since dill is very optional.

And when it comes to pickled green beans, you’ve got lots o’ options, my friends. 

1: You could add vinegar and spices to your beans and can them in a water bath canner for green bean pickles that’ll last a good long while in your pantry.

2: You could stuff the green beans and whatever spices you like in a jar, make a vinegar/water mixture, pour it over the top, and pop it in the fridge for refrigerator pickled green beans that will keep for several months, if not longer.

3: Or, you can stuff the green beans and spices in a jar, but add a salt water brine on top to make pickled beans the old-fashioned way (sans vinegar).


There’s no right or wrong way to do this, but today we’re talking ’bout option numero tres: fermented pickled green beans. I love facto-fermented green beans as not only are they ridiculously easy to throw together, they also pack an extra punch of probiotic goodness, just like sauerkraut or brined fermented pickles. (aka, your gut will love you forever)

Now if you’re new to the world of home fermentation and are a little wary that you won’t like the taste, I’m here to reassure you that these fermented pickled green beans are probably one of the mildest ferments I’ve made. They have just the right amount of tang without being too “funky,” know what I mean?

Are you sold yet? Good. Here’s how to make pickled green beans of your very own:


Fermented Pickled Green Beans Recipe

Author: The Prairie Homestead
Recipe type: Sides/Preservation
Prep time:  10 mins
Total time:  10 mins
Serves: 1 quart
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 heads fresh dill OR 1 tablespoon dill seed
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups (about one pound) fresh green beans, washed with ends snapped off
  • BRINE: 1 tablespoon kosher salt + 2 cups water (double or triple this as needed)
  1. Start with a clean quart-sized mason jar. Place the garlic, dill, peppercorns, and bay leaf in the bottom of the jar.
  2. Add the green beans to the jar– I like to try to have them stand up on end, but if it doesn’t work, don’t drive yourself crazy. Just get them in there the best you can.
  3. Make your brine by stirring the kosher salt into the water until it’s completely dissolved.
  4. Pour the brine over the top of the beans, making sure it covers the beans completely but leaves 1 to 2 inches of space at the top of the jar. You may need to weigh the beans down so they don’t float to the top and poke out of the brine. I like using a glass fermenting weight for this, but you can use all sorts of things (jar lids, kitchen utensils, etc)
  5. Screw the lid on finger tight only.
  6. Place your jar of fermented green beans on the counter away from other ferments (or any sourdough starter) that you might have going at the same time.
  7. Allow the beans to ferment for 5 to 7 days, checking the jar each day and “burping it” (opening the lid to release any gases) to avoid it spilling out of the jar. If you don’t want to be forced to remember to burp it, there are all sorts of fermenting airlock systems available to streamline the process. I talk about one of my favorite fermentation systems here.
  8. Taste the beans at the end of the fermentation period to make sure you like how tangy they are. If you prefer bolder fermented beans, you can let them sit on the counter for a few more days, otherwise, pop them in the fridge and consume within two to three months.


Pickled Beans Recipe Notes:

  • You can easily multiple this recipe to make a large batch if you are dealing with lots of beans. And if you want to mix up a BIG batch of brine, it’ll keep indefinitely in your refrigerator.
  • Be sure to select firm, young beans for your ferments. The old, mushy ones that have the texture of an a cornstalk will not improve as they ferment!
  • As long as you keep your brine measurements the same, feel free to get creative with the flavors and spices to you add to your jar. More garlic, peppers, or other herbs are all fair game! Or you can go super simple with just beans, brine, and that’s it!

Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

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

Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)

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

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

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

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

The post Pickled Green Beans Recipe (lacto-fermented) appeared first on The Prairie Homestead.

It happens every time. I innocently check my green bean plants one day and don’t see much, and then 24 hours later, BAM. They are loaded down with ALL THE BEANS