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Being prepared means being prepared all the time; at least in my book it does. That can be a bit challenging at times, especially since we don’t really know what life is going to throw our way. That’s why I always carry a complete survival kit as part of my EDC, along with emergency equipment in my car. This includes a variety of food items, so that I always have something to eat with me.

Granted, there are few places where you can drive in this great land of ours, where you aren’t going to find food to eat. Even so, I’ve been in a few. I’ve also been stranded in my car a number of times, whether because of mechanical failure or simply being stuck in traffic. At those times, it’s nice to have something to eat, especially something for the kids to eat. They just don’t understand phrases like, “There isn’t a McDonald’s here in the middle of nowhere.”

Keeping food in your car can also help out with a number of other emergency and semi-emergency situations, such as low blood sugar, heat exhaustion and just low energy. So it really makes sense to keep food in the car, even if you’re not thinking bug out or getting stranded. Now the only question is, what to keep? Here are the types of things I find useful to keep in mine.

Water

I always start out by putting a couple of gallons of water in the car. I know some people prefer to use bottles, but I find that I can carry more water in less space, if I use gallons. If I need to drink that water, I can easily pour it into water bottles; but if I need to use it for the car, gallons are more convenient.

The water bottle in this picture is aluminum. I always use metal water bottles, because they can be put in the fire. So, I can use this water bottle to purify water, to heat up water for coffee and to heat up water for soup. That’s a whole lot better than using a plastic water bottle and needing to have something extra for heating up water.

Gatorade Powder

I live in a hot part of the country, so it’s not unusual to overheat and become dehydrated from sweating too much. Many people deal with that here by drinking copious amounts of Gatorade. Carrying liquid Gatorade in bottles is one option, but it takes up space. Since I’m carrying water anyway, I tend to carry the powdered Gatorade, rather than the bottles.

Of course, the container of powdered Gatorade is pretty large too; about the size of a number 10 can. So for the car, I just dump some of it into a labeled. This jar held pickles at one time, until I cleaned it out and repurposed it for my Gatorade. A plastic container would work too.

You might want some instant coffee, as well as your Gatorade, especially if you do a lot of driving at night. With the metal water bottle and a way to start fires, you’ll be all set to make yourself a cup of coffee, even if you are in the middle of nowhere.

Jerky

My favorite snack food is jerky. Nutritious, low calorie and it is meat; what more could you ask for? The American Indians made jerky as survival food and our early ancestors learned that from them. While there are other places in the world which make something similar, our jerky tradition goes back to those early Indians.

Jerky also provides you with something that you can make a meal out of. Mix it with Ramen noodles and come dried veggies and you’ve got a fairly decent soup; something that can keep you going and warm you up on a cold night.

Just remember that you will need to replace your jerky periodically, if you don’t eat it. Heat will draw the oils out of it, drying it even farther.

Ramen & Dried Vegetables

Good old Ramen is the college staple. I think every college student goes through a time when they live off of it. It’s a great source of carbohydrates to give you energy to keep you going. Mix it with some cut up jerky and some dehydrated vegetables and you can have a much heartier soup.

This kind of Ramen comes with the dried vegetables already mixed in. I usually dry my own, but I’m out of them until harvest time, so I bought the kind that comes with veggies. While a bit more expensive, it really doesn’t cost all that much. Besides, it comes with a cup to mix it in.

Dry Fruit

Speaking of carbohydrates, fruit is another excellent source for them. If you have someone with low blood sugar, giving them fruit is much safer than giving them a candy bar. The natural fructose sugar is much easier for the body to digest and won’t shock their system like candy will.

Dried fruit also provides you with something that’s easy to take along, if you have to leave your car for any reason; whether due to emergency, taking a hike or for work. A bag of dried fruit in your pocket can keep away hunger pains for the whole afternoon.

Canned Fruit

Canned fruit, like dried fruit, is a great source of carbohydrates and sugar. Some people prefer it. I wouldn’t want to carry this around in a backpack, due to the extra weight; but last I checked, that much weight isn’t going to bother anyone’s car.

These mandarin oranges and applesauce are “canned” in plastic cups, with foil lids. That works well for short-term canning; but not for long-term (more than a year). The plastic might release some chemicals into the fruit during hot times, so you want to be careful about that. Even so, canned fruit can be much more refreshing than dried when you need something to eat.

Granola Bars

I’m almost as big a fan of granola bars for emergency food as I am of jerky. It’s worth spending the money to buy the better brands, even though they are considerably more expensive. But the amount of nutrition you get from those better brands makes them worth the money.

Granola bars are great, in that they are an ideal pick-me-up sort of snack, packing a lot of carbohydrates into a small amount of food. Watch out for the ones with chocolate or yoghurt, as those ingredients can melt, making a mess for you to deal with.

Nuts & Sunflower Seeds

Nuts are a good source of both fats and protein. Of all the nutrients we eat, protein is one of the most important, as the body can’t really synthesize it well, without having consumed proteins to break down into amino acids. Fats digest slower than carbohydrates, providing you with long-term energy to burn. Eating a combination of fats and carbohydrates together will keep you going for hours.

I always keep sunflower seeds on hand, as well. Like nuts, they provide you with protein and fats, but they also do something else; they help keep you awake. If you’re driving long distances, especially at night, eating sunflower seeds while you are driving will keep you active enough that you can probably keep driving all the way through the night.

Hard Candies & Gum

These might be a bit surprising, but I have good reason for keeping them in my car. First of all, hard candies are great for that quick burst of sugar, when you need some energy. They’re a whole lot safer to eat than taking energy drinks too. But they also work to help you if you have a sore throat and don’t have any throat lozenges around. Sometimes, I just carry the throat lozenges, and use them as hard candy.

Peppermint is also useful for settling an upset stomach or relieving pain. Peppermint essential oil is one of the best ways to relieve headaches there is. So if you’re in pain, have a headache or have indigestion, mints are nice to have.

The gum isn’t as much for use as candy, as it is for relieving the pressure in your ears, when changing altitude quickly. If you’ve spent any time traveling by air or in the mountains, you’re familiar with the need to pop your ears every once in a while. Chewing gum helps with that. It can also help to keep you awake while driving at night, just like the sunflower seeds.

Breakfast Cereal

This is for the kiddies. If you have small children, breakfast cereals, especially sweet breakfast cereals are one of the easiest ways of quieting them down, when they are hungry. Not only do they like the taste, but they like eating the cereal out of these cool little containers. Yeah, you can put it in baggies too; but for the price, these are worth it.

Doritos

Many people have touted Doritos as a fire starter. Actually, what they are is a good tinder for a fire.

The combination of the dried corn and the oils they are cooked in, make the chips burn well. You can even ignite the with a spark, let alone using a flame to get them going.

If you don’t need them for a fire, I suppose you can always eat them. Doritos, like any other chips, are a good source of carbohydrates.

Being made of corn, rather than potato, they probably digest a little slower; so they’ll help you feel full longer, than if you were just eating potato chips.

Spices

This is another one that you might think is a bit strange; but there is good reason for it.

Whether you’re in an actual survival situation or you’re just stranded somewhere, there’s a good chance that you’ll end up eating things that you might otherwise not want to eat.

But when you’re hungry, you go for what’s available, right?

But that doesn’t mean that you have to choke it down if you don’t like it. Rather, bring some spices with you, so that you can make it more appealing. It’s amazing what you can do with just a few spices, especially if they are stronger flavors that you like.

Both of the container styles shown below were bought on eBay.

The ones with the red stoppers are small test tubes and the others are just miniature containers. I wrote on them with a Sharpie marker and I’d recommend covering that with tape, so that the marking doesn’t wipe off. Put the closed containers in a small zipper bag, so that nothing can rub against the lids and open them.


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Being prepared means being prepared all the time; at least in my book it does. That can be a bit challenging at times, especially since we don’t really know what

Humanity has survived in some pretty frigid extremes, even before the advent of our sleek ski suits and long underwear. Even so, it doesn’t take all that much cold to start affecting our moods, physical capabilities, and eventually making us sick or endangering our lives. Whether bedding down in a sturdy home, on the move, or making a temporary camp for the snowy season, there are a lot of lessons we can take from history to keep us safer and more comfortable.

Tipi & Longhouse Fires

From the Vikings who dealt with some pretty gnarly conditions to the Native Americans on the East Coast, longhouses have been common throughout history. The general types share a few common traits. There’s a fire pit in the center, or several dotted in between, with sleeping or seating areas down the sides. The construction differs somewhat, with Vikings going for very solid, deep, permanent longhouses and only turning to higher floors and loftier ceilings later in history.

The First Nations and Native tribes who built winter longhouses typically built them with higher ceilings, which served the dual purpose of increasing space for storage and drying winter fish and game as well as allowing smoke to rise higher and out of faces. The higher ceilings also allowed them to vent smoke without as many drafts making it the floor.

The migratory Indians of the plains also turned to height to allow smoke to rise – yes, the large tipis of the Sioux and Lakota had fires inside them.

Tipis of original construction were seriously tall, and built with flaps that could be opened and closed near the tops. Natives could control openings to allow for ventilation but minimize drafts reaching the ground level. It took only a small fire to warm the conical space, with the shape helping to minimize rising heat loss. The shape also helped with resilience to the harsh winds of the Great Plains, and to shed snow and icy build-up when in winter camps.

We might not be able to build permanent homes to take advantage of every aspect of history, but we can apply some of the same facets, especially remembering that we need ventilation space – but it doesn’t have to be empty, wasted space. We will likely construct smaller shelters on the move, especially if we’re by ourselves, but the benefits of lessened heat loss, small space to warm, and buffering and withstanding winds and heavy snow or ice can make both a tipi shaped shelter or a geodome shape a good one to be familiar with.

Switch Sheets

Those Vikings and natives in their longhouses had another trick up their sleeve, just like everyone else in cold climates, ancient Samurai to modern Mongols: furs. When winter chilled bones, bedding was switched out so folks piled into thick, dense furs.

We might not be big into furs now, but we can still apply that. One, it was dense furs below as well as above. Throwing a comforter or blanket down over a mattress or the bottom sheet can be a fine way to buy a few degrees of warmth in winter. Likewise, instead of a sheet near the body, even a flannel sheet, the next time toes are cold, think about remaking the bed with a fuzzy flannel or fleece blanket between you and the quilt or comforter instead. Sheets are far easier and faster to wash and dry, but when it’s a difference of trying to sleep through tensed muscles or huddled together instead of stretching out and relaxing in comfort, it just might be worth it.

Backpacking in cool weather, I regularly carried a lightweight but fuzzy flannel blanket to line my bags with instead of my usual sheet. Even though my bags would have done the job, most likely and almost anywhere, the blanket also had a warm-and-fuzzy morale boost.

Caves & Construction

If we do have a chance to build from scratch, we might take note of the number of ancient and more modern folks who have survived winters by bunking down into caves. Deep places in the earth hold a more constant temperature. It may not be warm – an advantage in summer – but insulation can definitely be an aid over the lightweight and thin stick construction of today or single-layer bricks.

Erecting wraparound porches with or without screens, pulling drywall to pack in insulation, planting evergreen shrubs, or attaching greenhouses can all be ways to increase the “thickness” of our construction and help regulate the temperature inside our home.

Tapestries

Stone is not without its faults, even thick stone. Tapestries were originally conceived in the Middle Ages for a far different purpose than movable art. Originally, they weren’t ornate at all. In some cases they were plain straw mats or even animal skins. Humble or elaborate, they helped buffer residents from the cold and damp that seeped around stone and earthen walls.

We don’t have to have stone to benefit from the same. If we’re in a serious disaster, buffering our walls with blankets, quilts and comforters can provide us with the same insulated benefits. Especially if we have modern construction of planks, OSB, siding, and drywall, we might be served very well to invest in tarps and nails to line walls, and hunt up free and low-cost bedding and tablecloths at thrift stores, yard sales, and freebie websites.

Rushes for Floors

Another form of insulating used in early times on both sides of the Atlantic were rushes or straw laid across floors. Historians may have gotten it wrong though, and beyond the very earliest days, those rushes may have been woven into mats instead of strewn loose.

If you bring a bunch of dry grass into my house, I may have to hurt you. However, we can gain the same benefits layering carpets and rugs and runners.

I lived in an old farmhouse with such cold floorboards, my mother actually used to throw a quilt under a rug at the dining room table, and cover the living room floor in a comforter to get the dog beds and feet a little higher off the floor. She used another comforter or several sets of rugs under our beds, giving them just a few degrees of insulation from the cold boards – a few degrees that made a big difference.

It doesn’t have to cost a fortune – we grew up pretty poor. She made the comforters herself out of thick padding and a couple of durable pieces of fabric, sometimes old curtains from hotels, and picked up carpeting from installation companies to clean, cut to size, edge and use as rugs. Like our ancestors before us, she saved clothing and scraps, and turned them into patchwork quilts – some lovely and intricate, but most just simple squares patched together.

Canopy Beds

In the olden days, the lucky and wealthy had canopy beds that helped tremendously in cold winter nights. It’s like an igloo or tipi: The curtains and the top create a smaller space to warm up, and it’s easier to keep warm. They also cut warmth-stealing drafts from the room, and help keep heat from rising all the way to the ceiling.

We can replicate aspects of the canopy bed in a lot of ways. My father really did once pitch tents atop beds during a long, severe blizzard. For a short-term disaster, we might have low enough beds and tall enough chairs to create a small space similar to a snow cave.

For a larger personal or widespread disaster, we can prepare with four, eight, or twelve poles from unwanted bamboo stands or swing sets, or pick up some lumber. Shower rods and curtain rods, more bamboo from a roadside, and tarps, freebie curtains, layers of free or cheap sheets, and we’re in business.

Stoves vs. Fireplaces

Benjamin Franklin revolutionized more than we may know. He’s responsible for the switch from fireplaces to home-heating cast iron stoves. Fireplaces tend to be drafty and require larger chimneys – chimneys not conducive to moving or taking apart for cleaning. The cast iron stove eliminates some of the cold air drafts drawn in by the fire and chimney. It also creates a huge heat sink that more effectively radiates warmth into and throughout a room.

We can replicate some of the advantages with metal grating in front of fireplaces, and fire bricks and stone that will hold and radiate heat. We can add metal pots of water in front of a fire or on a stove to increase heat retention and radiation. We can also add actual radiators to our chimneys, increasing the warmed surface areas that can in turn help warm and heat our homes.

Hoods & Caps

There are all kinds of funny hats in history, and they worked. The folks who wore – and wear – knit caps that come over the ears and big square bonnet-like hoods stayed warmer, in bed and out in the chilly world. If we anticipate a long-term or personal disaster in winter, some sleep caps and fur-lined or wool-lined hoods we can wear with anything are a very good idea.

Chamber Pots

While the wealthy eventually used them exclusively, the poorest and earliest users turned to chamber pots overnight to eliminate the need to expose themselves to the most severe cold hours, or the hassle of getting geared up to hit an outhouse or latrine. Honeypots are still a winter staple for some First Nations and Alaskan camps, where plumbing and outhouses freeze solid. In addition to the usefulness in winter, something to stand in for chamber pots (or bedpans) are worth the investment in case of illnesses.

Furry Friends

It’s not really a joke. Body heat is a wonderful thing, and nothing pumps it off like a cat. History and the modern world are full of anecdotes about cats and dogs being lap warmers, and being allowed in to share beds – especially with children in the pre-HVAC eras. Children were also packed into beds in winter to share warmth, both to be able to layer more blankets in a single space and because of the shared body heat. Explorers and hikers have spooned to survive in countless situations.

Modern Tricks for Staying Warm

Windshield reflectors (or Mylar blankets) – Place them under beds, sheets, or bedrolls, or behind you and behind a campfire to reflect heat back towards the body.

Create a smaller space – Divide rooms with curtains or panels, or hang curtains to close off entryways and large openings where there are no doors. It creates a smaller space to warm. Remember that heat rises, so as with a proper canopy bed, closing off the top is important.

Switch Curtains – While we’re collecting goodies for hanging, we can also collect darker, heavier fabrics to switch for the lightweight, pale summer curtains in our windows. They’ll help absorb and hold heat during the dull gray days.

Flip Fans – Ceiling fans help in summer by drawing heat up and creating a breeze. In winter, changing the rotation or in some cases flipping the blades can help push rising heat back down. It can save a few degrees on the thermostat, and the electricity or wood for heating the house or room those few degrees.

Stay Dry – Forget “wool is warmer when wet”. “Warmer” is a relative term. Wet wool will give you hypothermia, blisters, and chilled footsies just the same as leather, cotton, linen or hemp. It might buy you minutes or a few degrees, and that can matter, but don’t rely on it. If you get wet or sweaty, change; plain and simple. Avoid getting wet by investing in trash bags, overboots/Mickey boots, Mucs or Bogs or similar field boots, gaiters, ponchos and rain pants.

Snug As A Bug

History is full of lessons we can apply at home and afield, now and later, whether we’re trying to cut heating costs (or labor) or trying to survive and thrive in a disaster. Most require at least a little planning and forethought, although many can be accomplished with free and low-cost salvage.

The older we are and the more we abuse our bodies, especially, the more we will feel the pains and discomfort of cold weather. It can wind up costing us our edge from poor sleep, or affect our ability to complete even simple indoor tasks from cramped fingers.

Remember, it doesn’t have to be sub-zero to be uncomfortable, or for hypothermia to take effect. Start with the body and warm the smallest area necessary in a survival or disaster situation. With a little preparation, we can take advantage of all our forbearers’ experience to stay roasty-toasty, this winter and regardless of what the future brings.


Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

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Humanity has survived in some pretty frigid extremes, even before the advent of our sleek ski suits and long underwear. Even so, it doesn’t take all that much cold to

A Prepper Must-Have – Baking Soda

I have it on good authority that some people actually bake with baking soda. That’s not why it’s stocked like a mighty brick in my house. Baking soda is one of those items that has about a hundred and one uses, only some of them limited to the kitchen. It’s nice and cheap, and while I don’t think it’s one of the things that runs off the shelves in any crisis – snow storm, hurricane, or larger – it’s hugely beneficial to have plenty of it on hand.

To me, the price and the usefulness put it way up on any must-have list for preppers (or pretty much any adult).

First we want to be sure of what we’re talking about. On store shelves, baking soda is most usually going to be a box, although it can be found in big bags for those of us who use it a lot. It’s the one with sodium bicarbonate listed as the active ingredient, not cornstarch and 4-6 other things in a little round carton. That other one is what you use for bannock bread and microwaved mug brownies – baking powder.

Shoe satchels

baking-soda-for-shoes

Stomping out smells in your shoes is one of baking sodas great claims to fame.

Those of us who have ever had a fridge or dishwasher that’s been turned off for a while have probably heard of sticking an opened box of baking soda in there. Arm & Hammer even creates packages with a mesh-lined side flap for just that purpose. That same deodorizing capability combines with a low-level desiccant, and can be used to dry out and kill the sweat or swamp funk in our boots and shoes. This is the stuff that gets added to kitty litter boxes, after all. Stomping out smells is one of its great claims to fame.

The satchels can be made out of cloth, old socks whose mates have gone missing, coffee filters, or used dryer sheets. The imagination is really the only limiting factor here. As long as it allows easy airflow between the footwear and the baking soda inside, it’ll work. Add at least a tablespoon and a half of baking soda, tie up, and drop inside.

If you want to jazz up the shoe satchels further you can add all kinds of things from dried flowers and herbs (lavender, rose, rosemary, mints, eucalyptus) to bath crystals or salts.

This one works not only on shoes, but also on things like old gym bags, the lunch bag from two years ago, a small cooler, a tool bucket or box that has a case of the funk, or a softball bag that’s being repurposed.

Foot Soak

foot-soak-recipes-600x399

If the smell from shoes is originating because of the feet in them, you can combine baking soda with any number of things to create a foot soak.

Mouthwash, herbal teas, various oils like lavender or eucalyptus or rosemary, lemon slices or juice, Epsom salts (excellent addition), apple cider vinegar, and dried herbs like rosemary, mints, or plantain all get added. A simple soak of 1-2 cups in a gallon or two of warm water for 15-30 minutes can soften and rejuvenate feet, and help control various fungus that want to live in warm, sweaty environments.

Surface Cleaner

cutting-board-plastic

We know that baking soda is one of the things we can stock to use as a toothpaste alternate, or to concoct our own toothpaste. It cleans more than mouths, though.

Just sprinkling it on carpets and wooden decks or porches, letting it sit, and then sweeping or vacuuming it up works wonders for some odors and fungi. We can also clean our cutting boards by rubbing with baking soda and-or salt and a lemon, or just scrubbing with a brush and the dry ingredients and then letting it sit for a bit. The powders create a habitat that discourages many microbes, like the kind that live in tiny scratched crevices and outlive even dish soap and the dishwasher.

We can use that trick on dog bowls, sinks and counters, as well, using fresh lemons or limes or bottled lemon juice, or just scrubbing and allowing it to sit, then sweeping it and wiping it up.

Pipe & Drain Cleaner

Getting rid of shower and tub mildew and *that* smell in any pipe uses basically the same ingredients as above: baking soda, salt in some cases, and lemon. Vinegar of pretty much any kind can be substituted for lemon juice if somebody likes that price enough for a different smell, or wants to go with apple cider vinegar.

I like the method where you boil 2-8 cups of water to pour down the drain, then throw a cup of baking soda in and let that sit for 5-60 minutes, and follow it up with 1 cup of vinegar or lemon juice mixed with a cup of water.

baking-soda-scrub-sink

There are a few variations, so poke around a bit. Some say to cover it to direct the reaction downward (not so sure about that), and some to limit the fumes in the air (just don’t use white vinegar). Some say to give it 6-8 hours, and some say to just wait until the bubbles stop. Some suggest just rinsing with tap water, and some suggest boiling more water to flush the remnants away. Up to you.

It doesn’t always work, especially in the bathroom where *somebody* sheds 2’ hair with every shower. Sometimes a repeat or upgrade to/of vinegar to the stronger cousins works. Every once in a while, you have to go to a snake or “real” drain cleaner, but a lot of the time, whether it’s a slow drain, a for-real clog, or a smell, the baking soda does the trick.

There are apparently schools of thought where this is bad and degrades things, so research that too.

Fungicide (Outdoor)

spray

We can add one tablespoon of baking soda to one quart of water (4 tablespoons/1 quarter-cup per gallon) and use it to treat black spots in the yard, roses, and berry brambles suffering from the various black fungus illnesses.

One of the things that helps baking soda kill smells is that the sodium bicarbonate is an antacid, a highly reactive one. A lot of growing things prefer an acidic environment. Fungi – from mold to mildew – is one of those things. The beauty is that baking soda is a stabilizing antacid. It’ll react with anything in an extreme, and go through a severe reaction initially (which can also kill bad stuff) but then it’ll self-regulate and return its surroundings to a near-neutral state.

No wonder this stuff is called miracle powder, right?

That miracle powder can help us in a big way with some common crop and garden pests – mildews.

We can add one tablespoon of baking soda to one quart of water (4 tablespoons/1 quarter-cup per gallon) and use it to treat black spots in the yard, roses, and berry brambles suffering from the various black fungus illnesses.

Powdery mildew on any plants can be prevented and treated with the same, however, the addition of a teaspoon of dish detergent and a teaspoon of vegetable oil per half gallon will help it stick better. Once powdery mildew gets started, it’s a constant battle, so having the spray last longer on the plants can save us a lot of time and heartache.

Creepy-Crawly Pests

destroying-ants

Fungus gnats aren’t usually harmful, but they are annoying, and there are times there are so many that the soil-dwelling larvae stage start stunting plant growth because they’re consuming the tiny root hairs of plants. A teaspoon of baking soda with a teaspoon of dish detergent in a full gallon of water can also help remove or reduce the populations, without changing soil pH so much that acid-loving veggie plants and perennials can’t handle it and die, too. As with mildews, all soils in the area need treated and the treatment will have to be repeated to break the infestation completely since there are multiple stages and locations in the gnats’ life cycles.

Mixing baking soda 1:1 with powdered sugar and surrounding an ant hill with a 1”x1” wall of the stuff can help reduce those garden pests, too. I’ve had it decrease the visible numbers, but they seem to pop back up. Still, it’s nicer working in beds and playing fetch or weed-eating with a few less ants getting aggravated with you. A ring of baking soda will also help deter slugs. (Grits and cornmeal help with ants and slugs, too.)

Pest Sting & Itch Relief

 

Baking soda recently got crowned the Most Prized Possession in my house. I was attacked by some sort of not-bee striped flyer, and ended up with welts roughly the sizes of eggs, from dainty little quail all the way up to jumbos, with 3-6” red raised areas around the big welts. Yay! A poultice of just baking soda and water reduced the swelling and pain.

That poultice is best applied with large Band-Aids already open and waiting, especially if you’re trying to doctor your own elbow and thigh.

If the poultice is allowed to dry, it will come off in big flakes or shingles, and can actually help extract a broken-off stinger, fang or tick head.

Like the satchels, the poultice can be improved on. Chamomile tea is awesome, but any kind of tea contains fabulous stuff that helps reduce swelling and pain more and faster. Let it cool and add it to the poultice, open a bag to mix in before the water, or open a used bag to add to the paste. Aloe can be stripped and chopped and added, as can commercially available gel. So can witch hazel, chamomile flowers, lavender oil or flowers, fresh or dried plantain, Echinacea (purple cone flower), chickweed or jewelweed, and lemon balm.

Some people also apparently make their poultice with milk. Not my thing. Likewise, I’m not adding to the mess or pains by using honey or honey crystals in there, but there are proponents of honey as well.

Go as crazy as you like with that one.

Maybe the sting or bite isn’t making you crazy enough to coat your wounds with paste and Band-Aids. Sometimes we’re just hot and itchy and can’t really identify a single place to treat, and a shower or bath isn’t really cutting it.

Baking soda in a tub with or without soothing additives like oatmeal can help.

You can also make a satchel similar to the first use listed, although you’ll want it to be bigger. Again, alone or with things like chipped aloe, oatmeal, chamomile flowers or oil, or tea leaves from a regular grocery-store brewing bag (Camellia sinensis species) can be added. You use the satchel to dab yourself while you’re in the shower.

Baking Soda

There are just so many uses for baking soda, with these the very tip of the iceberg. Run any google search for uses, and you’ll find dozens more, from killing weeds to repelling rabbits and silverfish. It goes in laundry and it gets used for facial masks. Use it to deodorize dogs, make Play Dough, or get gum/caulk out of your hair. The stuff is so cheap, so easy to find, and does so much, it’s worth filling a box or drawer and keeping handy, especially if we live well outside shopping areas.

It’s not one that I expect there to ever be massive runs on, not like generators, snow shovels, tarps and plywood, peanut butter, and toilet paper. However, in a long-term disaster, we could potentially run out. For me, it doesn’t replace a fire alarm and fire extinguisher, some extra batteries that fit that alarm, or having spare oil and coolant in the truck, but it’s right up there with the food and water supplies as a must-have item.

Hopefully you’ll explore its uses a little more, print out some of the many 11, 30, and 50+ uses lists, and stock up at least a little.


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A Prepper Must-Have – Baking Soda I have it on good authority that some people actually bake with baking soda. That’s not why it’s stocked like a mighty brick in

In the scenario where you and your family members would have to be able to rely on yourselves for a while or maybe even an indefinite time, first aid and home medical care should be among the skills you possess. That’s why making sure you acquire them should be among your key interests if you’re getting prepared for the worst that may come. No one is saying you should gain the skills of a neurosurgeon overnight, of course, but being able to craft up some home remedies and knowing a thing or two about what home care strategies to use for common ailments isn’t that hard. Luckily, the online community is ripe with advice and recipes for home remedies, so there are plenty of sources to learn from.

But while there’s an abundance of knowledge on what home remedies can be used for plenty of common health problems or injuries and such, not everyone learning about these things thinks about the needed tools too. If you read up on the various natural home remedies you can use for each type of common illness, you will see that some of them don’t really require much props besides a bandage, some massage and maybe a good night’s sleep.

We’re not going to go through all that here and now. Anyone can pretty much figure out how to massage a strained wrist or how to put a tight bandage over a light wound. The challenging part lies with crafting your own natural remedies out of plants and household ingredients. Most people only read up on this when they are already dealing with the issue. But since preppers always think things ahead and being ready for the down to earth practicalities of it all, you should also have a very clear image of the how-to involved, together with the tools and everyday household items needed for most of these natural cures. Here are our top picks, as well as the things you can use them for.

A Mortar and Pestle is excellent for grinding up herbs to be used in home remedies.

1. Mortar and pestle

This is the basic tool needed for crushing the plants or other medicine ingredients together into a form which is better absorbed by the human body. You will be able to use the mortar and pestle for a wide variety of cooking needs as well, not to mention the medical ones. If you make yourself a hefty supply of basic pills (like aspirin), you will be able to use the mortar and pestle for much more than natural remedies. For example, crushing some aspirin into a fine powder and applying it onto a bandage before putting it on a wound can greatly speed up the healing.

Related Content: Medicine to stock up on for when there is no doctor around

2. Salt and Vinegar

Salt and vinegar are substances you’d better stock up on as well. You can use them as carriers for a wide variety of natural extracts (which you craft using the mortar and pestle mentioned above, together with alcohol and bottles, as we’ll explain below). Salt can also be used for disinfecting areas in your house, killing flea eggs and thus keeping infestation at bay, (or even disinfecting small infected areas of your skin, like a nasty itch or a flaky scalp, in the absence of fancy shampoos).

Vinegar is also a good carrier for plant extracts, and can be used for good old fashion rubs (when dealing with a bad flu) as well. You can also help keep household items free of rust by treating them with vinegar (and oil).

3. Alcohol

After crushing the plant parts you need for crafting up a particular remedy, you need to put them to macerate in alcohol so that the liquid extracts and preserves the beneficial substances into a cure you can effectively use. Not to mention the other things alcohol is good for, from disinfecting wounds to sterilizing tools you will need for sewing up a medium cut and so on. As unpleasant as the thought may be now, you will be content to know everything there is to know if the situation should ever arise.

4. Brown glass bottles and vials

Those plant extracts you can use as natural remedies, crafted with the help of the mortar and pestle and alcohol, need to be stored somewhere. Glass vials and small glass bottles are your best bet, even if they tend to be fragile when hauled around. When preparing for any bad times which may come, choose recipients made out of brown glass (also called amber glass), since it protects the content from direct sunlight, which can damage the precious plant extracts inside and make them less effective.

5. Oils

Oils are also one of the best carriers for substances you extract for home remedies. Not only that they are able to preserve the active substance well, but they also are ideal for carrying them inside your body (through rubs). You can even add a few drops to your food whenever you feel sick and want to use the matching remedy if you previously crafted it (if the base oil you used is edible). So stock up on vials and some canola or olive oil before reading up on what remedies you can make like this.

6. Sugar

Sugar has plenty of uses besides its culinary ones: it can be used for scrubbing away dirt and harmful substances, and if you add a few drops of a plant-based home remedy to it you can also use it as a cure. Sugar can be used either externally (as a scrub infused with natural medicine, especially effective for skin irritations or funguses), or internally, to make certain bitter remedies more palatable (especially if there are kids in your family too).

7. Pocket knife

You will need the knife for several kinds of survival tactics, as any prepper is already well-aware, but you will also need it to carefully cut away the parts of plants you will use for home remedies. A smaller knife brings more precision to this task, which is why a pocket knife is the best fit, as long as it’s properly sharpened up. You will also use the knife for cutting up bandages, gently scraping up some solid substances you may need for the remedies, and so on.

8. Two stove kettles (one smaller and a good fit on top of the bigger one)

Finally, if you really want to do a good job with improvising natural medical remedies, you should have two small-ish kettles that you can use over a campfire as well as a stove and the likes. One of them should be smaller than the other one, so it can be placed over the larger (medium-sized) one. The procedure is similar to a bain-marie from cooking. The idea is that in the smaller stove some delicate substances extracted from plants should be cooked together for a cure at a smaller temperature than by using direct heat. Hence, the medium kettle will be filled with simmering water to distribute a more delicate and constant heat to the smaller one. Quite ingenious. This last technique is pretty advanced, but don’t worry, most natural home remedies you can make and use don’t require anything that complicated.


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In the scenario where you and your family members would have to be able to rely on yourselves for a while or maybe even an indefinite time, first aid and

As preppers we stock up on supplies that we think we will need in an emergency. The order of priority for these items is usually tied to what our bodies need to survive. We can only live for 3 days (on average) without water so we make plans to purchase storage containers and water filtration systems to cover that base. We next need food, so we stock our pantries full of store-bought and freeze-dried food for a situation where the grocery store is either unreachable or out of food. Security and shelter round out the list of initial survival concepts you want to take care of but what else is there?

There are so many aspects to preparedness, but one of the more important ones to consider is medicine. If the grid goes down, the pharmacy will be in the same boat as that grocery store. If you are still able to purchase items (grid up), they may be sold out with no reasonable hope of resupply. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you need simply medical supplies to treat illness or injury and aren’t able to procure them for your family. Thinking about your families’ health from an injury standpoint isn’t as sexy as buying a good SHTF weapon, but knowing which medicine to stock up on for an emergency will allow you to plan for disruptions and possibly keep your family more healthy when they need it the most.

What are important types of medicine to stock up on?

This list certainly won’t take the place of a hospital pharmacy and it surely won’t give you the skills you need to treat every injury, but even the most basic of medical supplies and a little knowledge could help you out. When shopping for medicines or thinking about first aid, I consider what types of injuries you could encounter in a disaster.

Disasters both natural and man-made bring death, disease and injuries. The medicines you need to stock up on should take some of these into consideration while not addressing every conceivable ailment under the sun. To achieve a basic level of preparedness I would recommend having the following items on hand.

Pain Medication / Fever Reducer

By pain medication I am referring to over the counter pain relievers. This can help with anything from headaches, sore muscles from too much exercise after SHTF or injuries. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is good for relieving pain and fever. It is generally less irritating to the stomach and is safer for children but can be toxic to the liver if you take too much of it.

Make sure you have the basics for wound care covered also in a good emergency first aid kit. This is what I have in my vehicle.

Aspirin, Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) are examples of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These reduce inflammation caused by injury, arthritis or fever. They can also assist with pain associated with menstruation.

Children shouldn’t be given aspirin as it has been shown to cause Reye’s syndrome and can cause other bad effects. For pain medication I would have at least a bottle or two of your favorite pain reliever. For smaller children who might take liquid or chewable tablets I would stock up on that also. You don’t want your child to experience a fever without having medicine to bring that fever down if needed. The medicines above can be useful for both reducing inflammation, relieving pain and reducing fevers. I personally like aspirin for headaches but we do have large bottles of the other two on hand as well.

Anti-diarrheal

One of our readers put this as his top 4 or 5 items to have in his bug out bag and I can understand the rationale. The last thing you need to worry about in a bug out scenario is pulling over every twenty minutes or trying to find a safe place to let it all out. Diarrhea besides being messy as all get out can dehydrate a person quickly. Dehydration leads to weakness, irritability and confusion. Not the state you want to find yourself in an emergency.

There are two main types of medicines that help stop diarrhea, thickening mixtures (psyllium) absorb water and gives number 2 a little more volume. Antispasmodic products slow the spasms of your lower intestine. Loperamide is the active ingredient in products like Imodium and Pepto Diarrheal control. I have also seen loperamide hydrochloride in pill form in dozens of first aid kits. Fortunately, I have never had to use them but have them just in case. Better safe than sorry.

Antibiotics

Sooner or later someone you know will need something a little stronger than a clean bandage. Antibiotics are used in the treatment of bacterial infections. A cut from a rusty piece of metal when the grid is up isn’t life threatening. Without something to fight the infection in a grid down world, a bacterial infection could spell death. Antibiotics do not work on viruses though, so they won’t help you out with every illness.

How do you know when to use antibiotics?

The answer depends on what is causing your infection. The following are some basic guidelines from Familydoctor.org:

  • Colds and flu. Viruses cause these illnesses. They can’t be cured with antibiotics.
  • Cough or bronchitis. Viruses almost always cause these. However, if you have a problem with your lungs or an illness that lasts a long time, bacteria may actually be the cause. Your doctor may decide to try using an antibiotic.
  • Sore throat. Most sore throats are caused by viruses and don’t need antibiotics. However, strep throat is caused by bacteria. Your doctor can determine if you have strep throat and can prescribe an antibiotic.
  • Ear infections. There are several types of ear infections. Antibiotics are used for some (but not all) ear infections.
  • Sinus infections. Antibiotics are often used to treat sinus infections. However, a runny nose and yellow or green mucus do not necessarily mean you need an antibiotic.  Read more about treating sinusitis.

 

Obtaining extra antibiotics could be difficult without a willing doctor or an active prescription. A common alternative to pharmacy antibiotics is fish antibiotics. Largely made with the same compounds, fish antibiotics are available without a prescription.

Colloidal Silver

Colloidal silver isn’t loved by the medical or scientific establishment, but that doesn’t mean it does not work. Colloidal Silver or CS as it is referred to by some is said to be an excellent antibiotic with the side benefit of being able to be made with simple materials by anyone. You should research for yourself whether or not this is a prepper supply you want to store and there are well documented cases of people who have abused this. I have some in my medicine cabinet.

Additional medical supplies

  • Oral re-hydration solution – To offset the effects of dehydration caused by illness or diarrhea, make your own by adding 6-8 teaspoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt to 1 liter of water. Best to boil the water, add the sugar and salt while it is still warm to dissolve completely and let cool.
  • Multi-vitamins – I know the experts say that vitamins don’t do anything for you, but I believe if your body is deprived of vitamins supplementing with a good multi vitamin is a good idea.
  • Bandages – Probably more than you would ever expect to need. Bandages on wounds need to be routinely changed and the wound cleaned (based upon injury of course, consult a medical resource book for frequency) and you can easily go through dozens with one injury.
  • Rubbing Alcohol and Hydrogen Peroxide – Both alcohol and hydrogen peroxide are useful for cleaning wounds but each have many other benefits in the prepper’s first aid kit.

  • Cough Drops – Sure there are natural alternatives to cough drops, but you can buy a few hundred for less than $10
  • Anti-itch creme – Itching sucks.
  • Honey – Natural honey can be used to treat wounds and never goes bad if you have it stored properly. Plus it tastes great on that oatmeal you have stored in your pantry too.
  • Knee Braces and Ace Bandages – A lot of injuries will simply take time to heal. A good knee brace can make getting around possible for someone with mild injuries. Ace bandages can help with sprains.
  • Any prescriptions you take regularly – An entire post could be written about obtaining supplies of life-saving medical prescriptions. The sad fact is that in a grid down world, many people who can no longer access prescriptive medicine may die. There are alternative treatments, homeopathic remedies and natural substitutes for some specific medicines, but these should all be researched thoroughly on your own. At a minimum you should have at least a one month supply of any medicine you must take. If the disaster allows you to make it to another medical provider you have some time.
  • Thermometer – Get the old-fashioned kind if you are worried about EMP, although the newer digital thermometers are really nice too.
  • Blood Pressure Cuff – Helpful in situations although requires some training on how to use one properly. Don’t forget the Stethoscope to hear the heartbeat. – Hat tip to Ty for these last three great recommendations.

When does medicine go bad?

Yes, medicine does go bad, but it may not be bad in the way you think or as quickly as you might believe. For one thing the expiration date on medicine does not mean that the medicine is bad after that date. Medicine does start to lose its effectiveness over time though so keeping your medicine up to date is the best approach to having a good supply of medicine in your home.

How quickly a particular medicine loses its potency will vary by the medicine and the conditions where it is kept. Moisture and heat are not friends to medicine so a cool dry place out of sunlight is the best location. Medicine that has changed color, texture or smell even if it has not expired shouldn’t be taken. If pills stick together or are harder or softer, show cracks or chips they likely need to be replaced.

This is really just a start at some of the most obvious medicine to stock up on but each person has their own needs. What is your plan if you can’t get to the doctor?


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As preppers we stock up on supplies that we think we will need in an emergency. The order of priority for these items is usually tied to what our bodies

There are few things more likely to start a fight than the discussion of firearms and more specifically, what the best options for a defensive weapon are if you are just starting your emergency preparations. There are entire survival forums on this subject alone and if you want opinions, there are lots of places to find them. Similar to the conversation regarding Bugging Out Vs. Hunkering down, there are a lot of options, opinions and reasons why you should or should not do one or the other given by everyone.

Speaking of opinions, I have my own on the subject of the best weapon you can buy and I will share it now along my rationale for having said opinion and I welcome anyone to comment if you agree or if you disagree. One of the purposes of this prepper website is to provide information and if we have to settle some of this in the comments, that’s fine by me.

To frame the case for my belief on this subject a little more clearly, I will throw out the disclaimer that when I make this recommendation I am speaking to people who do not have any other firearms currently. If you are realizing just now that you may need a firearm for home defense and are looking for the best weapon to purchase first, this post is intended for you.

For the person who has nothing, I am going to go out on a limb now and describe what I think the best weapon you can purchase “right now” for a lot of various factors. The factors for deciding this weapon are based upon current events and the political climate to no small degree.

To cut to the quick, I will say that if you don’t buy any other weapon, a 12 gauge shotgun is the absolute best option you have right now. I honestly believe that when all else is considered, it is the best gun for home defense. Let the cussing begin! Why do I say a shotgun and not a pistol or machete or AR or AK? I’m glad you asked!

Cost

A 12 gauge shotgun is about the cheapest gun you can buy when you consider that most handguns now are selling for over $500 unless you buy a .380 concealed carry. Can you spend $3500 on a fancy shotgun that will be a collector’s piece? Of course you can but that isn’t what I am talking about. If you have a ton of money you would obviously not stop here, but for the average person trying to make wise decisions with their finances, a shotgun is practical and affordable for most of you out there.

Cleaning supplies are an important consideration for SHTF.

When people start looking for a defensive or tactical shotgun the focus turns to 2 main models, Remington and Mossberg. The Remington 870 is a legend and is the standard issue shotgun for a lot of police departments and armed forces. That alone drives the cost up. Adding all sorts of cool hardware like Picatinny rails, fore grips and pistol grips run the cost up too. You don’t need all of that stuff. Not now anyway. You need something to protect your family and the nice Benelli semi-auto isn’t called for here either.

I recommend buying a used shotgun that you don’t pay more than $300 for. Go to your local gun show and you will find lots of options. If you are looking in the right place you can get a new Mossberg for less than $200 but with each passing day that gets harder and harder. Is the Mossberg any good? Yes they are. Is it better and more reliable than a Remington 870? I don’t know. Here is what I do know though and that is if you do not have anything, you will wish you had something, even an old Mossberg when the Zombies or bad guys start coming in the front door.

If you are curious, there are lots of reviews on YouTube comparing the two and you can make your own mind up. There is an entire review comparing the Mossberg 590A, the Remington 870 and the Winchester 1300 defender by Nutnfancy that I highly recommend for its thoroughness. Either one is going to work just fine for you and you might find another model entirely. The brand isn’t the point so much as the type of weapon.

Availability

This is an easier one to deal with. Unless you have been living underground in your own doomsday bunker, you know that guns and ammo are flying off the shelves. If you were waiting to purchase an AR, you will have a while to wait if you are lucky. If you aren’t lucky, you might be SOL on the AR front. Shotguns however do not have the attention of the gun grabbers yet and they are still available. This availability results in cheaper prices as mentioned above. You can still go into your local sporting goods store an easily find a shotgun. You can’t say the same for an AR.

Ease of purchase

Shotguns or long guns generally don’t have the ridiculous licensing requirements that purchasing a handgun does. After a quick call and some paperwork, (provided you have a clean background) you can walk out with your very own 12 gauge piece of mind to add to your security preparations. You can go on your lunch hour and bring a brand new present home to your spouse after work. It’s better than flowers!

Availability of ammo

Just a quick check online finds plenty of ammo for the 12 gauge. You can’t say that for most common pistol calibers especially with the DHS purchasing 1.6 billion rounds for their own use. Another plus is there is a pretty wide variety of ammunition you can use in most shotguns. Most shotguns accept either 2 ¾ inch or 3 inch shells. Some, like my particular Mossberg model accept both. You then have Buckshot which is the most deadly, Slug, steel shot, bird shot, turkey or varmint loads and target loads. So many choices, so little time!

You can easily buy a few boxes and have plenty of security for most any scenario. Now, in a total grid-down, end of the world apocalypse you will wish you have millions of rounds stored up, but we have to start somewhere. I like to buy a box of each caliber that I have (when I can) whenever I go to a sporting goods store and keep it locked away.

Usefulness

A 12 gauge shotgun is one of the most versatile weapons you can have if the SHTF. You can of course use this as your defensive weapon and you can hunt small and even large game with it. A 12 gauge with bird shot is good for most small critters or birds but you want to be careful you don’t blow them to pieces.  Throw some buckshot in there and you can go after the lone doe after all of the other deer are gone. A .22 is similarly good at plinking and shooting small game, but I wouldn’t want to face down a gang of intruders with a .22.

Accuracy

One good thing about shotguns from the perspective of someone defending their home is that you don’t have to be as accurate as you do with a handgun. A shotgun has a nice blast pattern that will hit anyone in the general direction down range to a certain extent. The flip side is that a shotgun is not generally relied on for its accuracy or range. This is a close quarters type of defensive weapon so you won’t be picking off the bad guys at 100 yards with this. When the Mutant Zombie Motorcycle gang rolls into your town, they will need to get a little closer before you can take them out, but that is for a different post. Another consideration since we are discussing accuracy is that you have to practice common sense. If someone is in your house and you shoot a shotgun, those rounds will go through sheet-rock walls and could hit someone on the other side. This is no different from just about any other type of common round though.

Ease of Use

A good shotgun is pretty simple; point and shoot. In some cases, the wracking part to get another round into the chamber takes a little practice. You want to make sure you don’t eject the good shell you had in the chamber so it isn’t perfect, but with practice this can be minimized. Most people will recommend a 20 gauge for a woman because they kick less but I guarantee you that your wife won’t mind the kick at all if someone is coming after her and she is forced to fire. A shotgun is easily handled by a woman and has less moving pieces to remember when you are stressed. That goes for guys too. Just the simple act of racking the shotgun and the unmistakable sound that causes may prevent you from having to use it in the first place.

So for all of those reasons, the 12 gauge is my hands down favorite for your first defensive weapon for the home. If you have more money, there is a few other items I would recommend for your survival battery of arms, but I will save that for later too.

Please let me know if you have any thoughts on the best weapon for the person who has nothing.


Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

Healthy Soil + Healthy Plants = Healthy You

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

Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation

Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns

Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need

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

Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps


 

There are few things more likely to start a fight than the discussion of firearms and more specifically, what the best options for a defensive weapon are if you are

What happens when you have eaten through all your supplies of dehydrated, canned, and stored food?  Even the most optimistic among us should not begin eating on your stores of food without giving a thought as to what comes next. What if the next emergency lasts two years?

When your freeze dried food or packaged foods and stockpiles of hard red winter wheat are gone, you will have to have a plan for keeping your family fed. Not only do you have to worry about where the food will come from, but there won’t be any nutritional labels anymore if we are “eating off the land”.

Thinking about food differently than what we have been used to, for what have amounted to decades of prosperity in the United States is not always easy. Maintaining a proper balance of food may be difficult or even impossible. What if you are barely able to get enough food to survive?

What I want to discuss is planning for renewable food options that will give you a balanced nutritional supply to keep everyone in your group healthy.

The essentials

Foods are broken down into three groups:  carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.  You need a balance of each of these things to maintain a high level of health. Some foods may contain mixtures of both groups. Nuts, for instance, are primarily a source of fat and protein.  Providing these and other vital foods to your body cuts down on the stress your body must endure in a survival situation, allows your brain to function and keeps your immune system from being vulnerable to viral and bacterial attacks.

When you have to reduce the amount of food you are taking in, the body starts reverting to using the energy you already have stored. Your body stores energy in the muscles and fat.  This is where the body pulls its energy from if you are forced to go without food for any period of time. Ideally, you are not pulling from your body’s reserves at any time, but providing your body the fuel it requires for survival.

Sources of Protein

It is important to plan now for a renewable source of each of the different types of nutritional elements you will need to stay healthy.

Meat of course, canned meats or dehydrated are the simplest options, but once they are gone what will you eat? I know a lot of people who say they are going to walk into the nearest state park and hunt for game. This will work well for a few people until all of the big game has moved on or has been killed.

The easiest way for most people to have their own renewable source of protein is raising chickens and rabbits. Chickens pull double duty as egg layers and a source of meat. Rabbits are prolific at reproducing. That’s why there are several sayings that have rabbits at the heart of the pun… Rabbits are easy to raise and don’t take up much room.

In the garden, beans are wonderful because they are relatively easy to grow and you have the seeds for next year’s crop right there. I also recommend these for stocking up initially as they have a long shelf life. Beans are also one of the most economical items to stock up on as you can buy a 10 pound bag for a few dollars. That same bag will give you a lot of meals if you augment the beans with other supplies.

Barley also contains protein, but few people would be able to grow enough barley to feed their family. If you have a large plot of land, this may be a good option.

Nuts are a wonderful natural source of protein and nut trees can be grown in most climates.  You have to harvest quickly, though, because there will be other hungry critters out there trying to get to your nut tree first.

Important note: If you are rationing water supplies and still searching for a clean drinkable source, you will want to cut down on your protein intake.  Proteins produce urea which your body flushes out of the kidneys.  In order to process the urea properly, your body must have ample amounts of water.  Therefore, lack of water would be problematic if combined with a night of indiscretion where you find yourself consuming large quantities of jerky and salt pork and chasing it with the only bottle of Macallan whiskey left on the planet.   Living like this on your final rations would cause you to die of dehydration before starvation.

Sources of Fat

Fresh meats contain fat. Wild animals will have less of this and rabbits as I mentioned above are actually very lean so you wouldn’t want to rely on that meat for your daily fat intake. Chickens aren’t the same and are wonderful sources of both protein and fat. Fishing is a good source if you live near a body of water that isn’t polluted or over fished by the others who don’t have a supermarket to go to anymore.

Avocados, nuts, and flax seed are great sources of healthy fat also.  Avocado can be grown in some climates, nuts and flax seed can be stored, but do not have a long shelf life.  Again, growing your own is your best bet.

Sources of Carbohydrates

All fruits and vegetables and this is the primary reason behind your own garden. Depending on where you live, there will be a sufficient variety of vegetables that can be grown to provide you with all of the Carbs you need. Making sure you have this taken care of before the SHTF is a crucial item to consider. You aren’t going to go dig up your back yard very easily and plant a bumper crop of Martha Stewart worthy veggies your first year.

Grains and rice or any foods that contain these items or are made with flour (grains such as wheat are best kept in their whole wheat berry form; it can keep for up to 30 years in its raw state in a vacuum sealed container or bucket). Growing wheat is a great option if you live in the mid-west as a rule. This won’t be feasible for city dwellers in sufficient quantities unless you take over a golf course or a football field and re-purpose them. Not that this isn’t possible, but grains would be lower on my list of possible replacements.

Sugars and honey (honey is the best for storing because it has a virtually endless shelf life; it may crystallize over time, but it is still good). This is one reason why so many Preppers raise bees. They not only pollinate the garden and your fruit and nut trees, but they make wonderful honey.

Simple Rules to Remember

  1. Simple sugars like candy are carbohydrates, but they break down very quickly.  They may give you a boost of quick energy, but you will quickly hit a wall and be depleted and useless.
  2. In the event  you find yourself without a good source of heat to keep your body warm, simple carbs will be your friend.  The body uses them to tap into fat reserves and it will cause you to burn more calories, thus keeping you warmer.  You should graze simple carbs to maintain your body temperature.
  3. Fats should be included in every small meal because fat combined with carbs gives your body a slow and steady burn of nutrients.  You won’t hit a wall as quickly if you add fat to your meal.
  4. In higher altitude, cut back fat consumption because fat requires oxygen to oxidize their components. High fat intake increases the risk of altitude illness.
  5. Protein is necessary for the building and repair of body tissues.  It regulates body processes such as: water balance, transporting nutrients, and making muscles work better.  Proteins also aid in preventing the body from becoming easily fatigued by producing stamina and energy.

You can calculate your body’s protein needs with this formula: Weigh in pounds divided by 2.2 = weight in kg.  Multiply weight in kg X o.8-1.8 and this will tell you how many grams of protein must be consumed.

Gorp Anyone? 

What is the perfect food, you may ask?  Good Old Raisins and Peanuts, or Gorp for short.  The Native American Indians had survived many harsh winters and lived off the land well before we brought our refrigerators and local markets.  They ate berries and nuts because this is the perfect mixture of all three components your body needs to survive.  The berries or fruit provide essential carbs and nuts give your body the fats and proteins for sustained energy and strength.  If you find yourself on the go and have to carry your food with you this is one of the best food sources available.  I also recommend M&Ms even though I am pretty certain the Indians didn’t have access to them.  They are a source of simple carbohydrates and they are delicious, too!


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What happens when you have eaten through all your supplies of dehydrated, canned, and stored food?  Even the most optimistic among us should not begin eating on your stores of

If you start to raise chickens to be more self-sufficient, you want them to be as productive as possible. But what if they aren’t laying as many eggs as you’d hoped?

The most common reasons that chickens aren’t laying eggs is because they are too young, too old, the hours of daylight are too short, it is molting or the feeding is not of sufficient nutritional value. You might not be able to affect those first points, but you can help contribute to a stress-free environment for your chickens while keeping them healthy and well.

Chickens will typically lay one egg or less during a day and that will decrease with age. Their egg-laying years will typically last for 2-3 years.

If you are experiencing a low yield of eggs from your chickens, check out these tips below to see what you can do to help them lay more eggs.

Quality Feed
You don’t have to go crazy with some cutting-edge feed that’s guaranteed to make your chickens produce eggs the size of a garden gnome. It’s recommended that you use a diet of premium laying mash or pellet, along with occasional fresh fruit. vegetables, mealworms and other healthy treats. If you’re going to change your chicken’s feed, do it gradually substituting it in slowly.

Clean Nests Boxes
One of the most important factors in helping chickens lay eggs is a clean nesting box area with comfortable bedding. You can also make a soft surface with recycled-newspaper pellets which also are easy to toss and replace.

Open Areas
The idea behind free-range chickens is that if they are more comfortable, they will produce more healthy eggs. While free-range chickens might not be a possibility for some urban homesteaders, it’s a great idea to have a larger area with enough area for the chickens to graze on a lawn while still being protected from hawks or other predators.

Calcium
Egg-laying takes a lot of calcium from a hen’s body. Be sure to provide them enough calcium in their diet to keep a steady flow of eggs. Besides a high-quality feed, you might consider mixing crushed oyster shells in a cup of feed. Or even placing a cup of oyster shells in the coop for the chickens to eat when they need it.

 

Inspect Regularly
Try to handle your hens often checking for problems. If they have large cuts, broken bones, etc. it will give you a better idea of how you can help. Are they uncomfortable? Have they been pestered by predators? Handling your hens on a regular basis will help you know how to best help them.

Coop Security
Along with the previous point, make sure your coop is secure from predators. Make sure that animals like raccoons, cats, and other animals can’t burrow or find their way into the coop.

Fresh Water
To stay healthy, chickens need constant access to water. Change the water every day. It might be a chore to do it every day but it will lead to healthier chickens who will lay more eggs.

Parasite Control
Parasites love to prey on chickens. Mites are the most common and can take control of your coop without you even realizing it. Make it a habit to inspect your chickens at night when mites are most active. Mites are a small, reddish-brown insect that scurries around a chicken’s head. If you do have a mite infestation, use a dose of ivermectin (available from a veterinarian) for each chicken.

What Have You Found?
How have you helped your chickens lay more eggs? Comment below to help us know what we can do to make our chickens more productive.


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If you start to raise chickens to be more self-sufficient, you want them to be as productive as possible. But what if they aren’t laying as many eggs as you’d

Garlic and honey are two wonderful ingredients from nature. Both of these have strong anti-inflammatory properties and are great as a home remedy for fighting both colds and the flu.

Besides having strong anti-inflammatory properties, honey and garlic are also good for your immune system. So, at the first sign of flu, grab this garlic-infused honey, or even garlic clove, and suppress those viruses that are trying to make you ill. Garlic is filled with allicin, a compound known to have anti-microbial and even anti-cancer properties.

Homemade Fermented Honey GarlicThe antibiotic quantities of garlic appear to be a direct result of allicin. The allicin is very sensitive, however, and cooking or heat treatment may destroy its benefits. The best way to get that allicin is by consuming the raw garlic, but many people cannot stand the smell or taste of it.

Although it has been shown through clinical studies that garlic can reduce the number of colds by 63% and reduce the length of cold symptoms by 70%, the overpowering flavor of garlic is just a deal breaker for some.

Luckily, honey is something almost everyone enjoys. As stated above, honey has strong anti-inflammatory properties but is also anti-viral and anti-fungal. Of course, as we all know, honey has a great flavor, and this natural delicacy can make even garlic taste better.

The combo of honey and garlic makes the garlic more palatable and easier for us to use. Besides, when infused with honey, the garlic properties become even more potent while at the same time improving the benefits of the honey.

The recipe for this remedy is very simple, and over time, the mixture will taste better. The garlic is ready to eat after a few days, but as time passes, it will develop complex flavors. In no time, you will not only love this flavor but also enjoy it as an addition to your pasta or pizza or smeared over warm toast.

Fermented Honey Garlic Recipe

Preparation time: 15 minutes + inactive time

Serving size: 2 ½ cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup garlic cloves, peeled;
  • 1 ½ cups honey (I used acacia.).

Instructions:

#1. Gather your ingredients.Homemade Fermented Honey Garlic

#2. Peel the garlic and place it into a clean jar.

Homemade Fermented Honey Garlic

#3. Drizzle the honey over the garlic. You can pour the honey directly over the garlic or drizzle in by using the wooden honey spoon. Do not use a metal spoon as the honey has an acidic pH and reacts with metallic surfaces. This reaction may damage the honey.*

Homemade Fermented Honey Garlic

#4. Once the garlic is covered with the honey, place a lid on the jar.

Homemade Fermented Honey Garlic

#5. Make sure the cloves are covered in honey. You can flip the closed jar upside down and place it in a dark place.

Homemade Fermented Honey Garlic

#6. Within a few days, the fermentation will begin. Bubbles will appear.** This is the first sign your garlic is ready to consume. (Of course, you can wait a few days more or even weeks, until the honey is thinned down and garlic drops to the bottom of the jar).

Homemade Fermented Honey Garlic

#7. At this point, you can store your fermented garlic in a dark place (not the fridge) and let it age.

Homemade Fermented Honey Garlic

NOTE:

*Although you are only touching the honey with a metal spoon for a short time, you still do not want to risk any honey spoilage or destroying its natural healing properties.

**If your fermentation does not begin, you may have too much honey. In that case, add a splash of water (about a tablespoon) and close the lid again.


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Garlic and honey are two wonderful ingredients from nature. Both of these have strong anti-inflammatory properties and are great as a home remedy for fighting both colds and the flu. Besides

In a protracted crisis, we’ll be missing a lot of our usual conveniences. While some may already make their own sandwich bread for slicing and render their beef and hog tallow, a lot of folks don’t. Early on, a lot of folks may not yet have the time or energy to do so, and some may be torn between cookware and grinders, dehydrators, saving for a move, and stocking up on food and water supplies, along with all the rest that goes along with preparing for disasters big and small, personal to global.

Having options for cooking that are typically inexpensive and-or easily acquired can open up options for what we store, whether we’re new or experienced. Thinking through what we prepare food in can save us labor in various ways. Both can help us prioritize for purchases moving forward.

Ovens & Stove-tops

The advantages of the clay ovens come from not heating the house, but also from being able to use a single “burn” to cook a number of dishes. James Townsend & Sons have several videos using and making clay ovens, and he’s nice enough to go through the progression of dishes used in the latter half of the video in this one.

Another type of cooker that limits the amount of heat we have to produce and fuel we have to burn is a purchased or homemade WonderBag or a wonder box cooker. They basically take any ceramic, cast iron or steel pot and turn it into a crock pot/slow cooker. All we have to do is burn enough to bring it to a boil.

They don’t work that well on kidney beans that really do have to simmer for a while, even after a pre-soak and a pre-boil, but they work on most other beans, lentils and grains, even the ones like wheat and barley that resist softening sometimes. (If doing beans, simmer them in a “fast soak” method first.)

It can take a little while to figure out timing and liquids with both WonderBags/Boxes and solar ovens, but the same is true of a regular crock-pot, too.

You can get complicated with mirrors, black paint and larger clear containers to go over them or you can go simple and just stick glass pickle and pasta sauce jars that aren’t really appropriate for home canning and have some nice size to them in a black bag in the sun.

Image: A pickle or spaghetti jar of water and grains or pre-simmered beans can be hung in any black bag, to absorb heat like a solar camp shower and decrease the need to burn fuel for cooking.

The times of year the glass-jar option are good for are somewhat limited to mid-spring through autumn, but even when food’s not getting piping hot, soaking in jars in the sun can help limit the amount of time it takes prepare food.

Sticking water in black jars or jars in black bags, pots inside bags, or systems as simplistic as a pot inside a tire and under a window pane are also great ways to just heat water. That water can then be used for tea, coffee, instant foods, to get a head start on the time it takes to boil or simmer water over fires, or for washing up.

The last cooking method are all the many varied types of candle cookers and space heaters, from the clay pots to the trays of tea lights, and even using standard emergency candles or Crisco candles inside a home oven (where the cracked oven retains some of the heat and makes them more efficient).

*Please use bricks or a bread pan plus bricks, or an overturned brownie pan as a base for candle-clay pot heaters and cookers, not skinny little tubes that will shimmy and fall.

I just don’t see them in off-grid cooking methods all that often, so they bore repeating. They do use a consumable, either Crisco or candles, but they create options, especially for those in urban and some suburban areas, rental homes, or very small homes. They also provide us with an additional backup, especially for times we don’t want to go outside, produce much smoke, or create a great deal of heat in summertime.

Non-Fire Cooking Methods

There are a couple of shared advantages to the non-fire cooking methods listed here and in other articles.

One, they’re infinitely and easily renewable, which lets us save non-renewable (or very slowly renewable) and labor-intensive fuels for the seasons where the sun isn’t going to be much help.

Two, they lessen the labor. If we’re only hauling enough wood for a rocket stove or to bring food to a boil, we’re spending less time and energy than if we needed more fuels to cook over directly. That can let us concentrate on producing food to cook and can, and on replacing and stockpiling fuels for when we want them for heat.

Three, while food scent carries – more than you might imagine if you’ve never done long-range packing or been in isolated areas, or just hungry as you pass Fast Food Row – charcoal and wood smoke carries even further. And with a few exceptions, wood smoke can leave a visual trail as well.

Thermal Mass & Reflectors

If you’re a woods-survivalist or a through-packer, you’ve probably heard of the concept of a reflector for fires in an emergency, or of creating a mound or even a loose screen as a wind break in front of your shelter entrance even if you aren’t going to have a fire.

The goal there is to help us stay warm. It either blocks and diffuses wind, which will eddy through and carry our heat away even in a small shelter, or it helps bounce warmth back.

There’s also the thermal mass and insulation theory from survival and backpacking folds. If you build a thicker debris hut or lean-to, you tend to stay warmer, just like you can find a sun-warmed stone bank to put your back against if you’re in the right territory, and it helps by holding onto the heat longer in the day.

Those two are the same theories as are applied to the idea of using a Dakota pit to cook in, as well as the WonderBag and similar slow-cooker methods, and Thermal Mass Heaters that have a cook-pot basin built-in.

The benefits from a screen, reflector and thermal mass can be achieved in any outdoor cooking setup, though, permanent structure or temporary.

Even just a couple extra logs set up on the windiest side can help reduce the amount of time it takes to prepare a meal over a fire or coals. It can also help make sure food is still hot and warm when it’s served, like turning off the ceiling fan over a dinner table while it’s being set.

Stone, thick timbers, brick, and things like a steel barrel or defunct metal washer or filing cabinet on one side of our fire, forming a right angle, or forming a three-sided semi-circle – ideally on the windy side – can help us with thermal mass or the equivalent of a debris hut of loose leaves.

The air space or mass warms, and forms a more oven-like environment on top of preventing the heat from being whipped away. As with a survival campsite reflector, they also help bounce heat on the foods we’re consuming.

It doesn’t even have to be a campfire. The methods can be applied with grills and rocket stoves as well. A rearward reflector or a heat sink like a tire can make our solar ovens more efficient and effective, too, and extend their useful seasons.

Even if a bug-out is the last thing on our minds, the decrease in time and increase in efficiency for when we want to cook outdoors instead of heating up the house can make a big difference.

Cookware

Sometimes cookware gets its due, and sometimes not. When I do see cookware in various lists and articles, it seems to mostly be dedicated packing sets or cast iron.

I have family that will make pterodactyl noises if you touch their woks or cast iron with a steel scrubby. Maybe that’s less of an issue in other houses.

To avoid the scrubby, though, the non-ceramic-coated cast iron requires a fat to help foods not stick. Fats are one of the expensive, short-lived storage items for preppers. While they’re necessary (and another one that seems to not get their due as much as I’d like to see), using them as non-stick assistants seems painful to me.

Sunflair Portable Solar Oven Deluxe with Complete Cookware, Dehydrating Racks and Thermometer

Steel and copper cookware have big advantages, especially the ones that have nice, thick bottoms (helps heat efficiently and prevents hotspots in pans). They can be hit with steel wool, and with a metal handle can go from fire to stovetop to solar oven. They don’t need the oiling and oober-drying and maintenance care the cast iron gets in my family, even the small camping Dutch ovens.

But they do still need an oil if you’re going to be doing something like eggs or potatoes.

Because of that, I have started using a stone-lined pan set that came home as a nothing present (he lived). Mine’s Crofton (if it’s inexpensive, tell me; if it’s expensive, hold your tongue so he continues to live).

They’re sturdy and oven safe, they have nice metal handles that are well attached, and those images of just sliding an egg out … yeah, that’s legit, at least with my set. Even oopsed rice just oozes off with a two-minute soak and a regular sponge.

*Tip from the candy makers: Fill an “oopsed” pot or casserole dish with water and boil it while scraping if it’s going to need more than just a little time and a little elbow grease. Smarter, not harder. At least, while water is cheap and copious.

The only thing I’d change is that the pans lack the quarter-inch of solid metal base that creates an even cooking surface. The flip side to that, though, is that it’s far lighter.

Metal baking pans have also become obsolete in my kitchen. Oh, they’re stocked back in case of breakage, but I largely do my roasting and baking in Corning and Pyrex, and a fair bit of it in $3 glass bread pans.

That’s about me being lazy.

I can use that steel wool on them without removing coatings and then fighting rust. Most of the time, I don’t even need steel wool.

Most of the time, things I’d have once soaked or boiled on the stove because even Bissel the Labrador couldn’t get the baked-on goo off, I don’t even pre-wash at all. They go straight in the dish washer.

That means that in a crisis, I’m spending less energy/labor on cleaning up, I can conserve more fats and oils for consumption instead of lubrication, and I use less water and cleaning soap.

They also cross-purpose between various cooking methods, and since they’re not metal, they’re non-reactive when I have recipes for cheese that don’t like steel or aluminum or copper.

Cooking in Disasters

Big or small, some disposables are good. And I’ve been poor. I understand that for some, a good casserole dish and a single good pan require the same budgeting as Aimpoints and gennies. Prioritize these, as with anything else, although the daily-life ease the cookware offers may make them worth asking for as a holiday or birthday present.

With any luck, some of the inexpensive food-heating and water-heating options listed above can help with the budget, opening up the ability to build or source other things, or just with creating redundancy in our systems.


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In a protracted crisis, we’ll be missing a lot of our usual conveniences. While some may already make their own sandwich bread for slicing and render their beef and hog

A ghillie suit is something I have been meaning to buy forever. When it comes to camouflage for hunting or sneaking up on people, there isn’t much better if you are using this the right way, but I never pulled the trigger so to speak on any of the pre-made varieties I have come across. I was watching Doomsday Preppers last night and one of the small nuggets of usefulness I was able to pull out of last nights show was how to make a ghillie suit yourself.

The steps below are fairly easy and we even found a video that shows you everything you need. If you don’t want to do this yourself though and still prefer to buy a ghillie suit already assembled, you can do that instead and get into the woods faster. Either way, a ghillie suit is a great addition to your prepping supplies if staying hidden is important.

Commercial two-dimensional camouflage is great for blending into a variety of backgrounds, but it does nothing to offset your most game-spooking signature: your silhouette. Veteran hiders—military snipers, undercover surveillants, and hard-core hunters among them—rely on 3-D camouflage, entire suits made of billowy material that blurs their outline and allows them to disappear in plain sight. These suits are derived from those created by early Scottish game keepers, called ghillies. Make your own in one day with an old jacket, burlap, netting, dental floss, sewing needles, and glue.

Materials you will need:

  1. Used set of Camoflauge BDU’s
  2. Jute or burlap strips
  3. Netting
  4. Shoe Goo or Zip Ties

Step 1 – Add the Netting

The perfect base is a used BDU uniform jacket, available at military surplus stores. Buy a roll of replacement fishing net and cut it into strips at least two squares wide. Using dental floss, sew these strips down the sleeves and the front of the jacket, leaving 6 to 8 inches between strips. Then seal the stitches with shoe glue.

Add the netting

Step 2 – Ready the Burlap

A traditional ghillie suit is covered by strands of burlap. You can get material from bulk coffee bags, but any burlap bag or roll of netting will work. You need between 4 and 8 pounds of material for each suit.

If you can’t find burlap, buy braided jute twine in natural colors and separate each braid into individual fibers.

Ready the Burlap

Step 3 – Separate the Strands

Unraveling the burlap or jute material into individual strands is the most time-­consuming part of making the suit. Cut strips of burlap and then unravel the cross-linked fibers and separate them into strands of equal length. The longer strands will go on the sleeves and the front of the suit. Shorter strands will overlap down the back.

Separate the strands

Step 4 – Tie in the Burlap

Now you’re ready to tie the strands of burlap or jute into the netting. Take 10 to 15 strands and fold the bunch in half, then push the loop under each vertical square of netting. Draw the hanging ends of the bunch through the loop and pull tight. Start at the bottom and work upward, ensuring that each row overlaps the one beneath it.

Tie In the burlap

There are also a ton of videos on YouTube about how to make a ghillie suit and this one is pretty basic, but shows the steps nicely and you get to enjoy a rocking song to go with it.


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A ghillie suit is something I have been meaning to buy forever. When it comes to camouflage for hunting or sneaking up on people, there isn’t much better if you

There are many great reasons to start down the road of being prepared to take care of yourself in an emergency or crisis. When you feel that is something you need to do personally, it usually begins a search on what you need to be prepared. This searching can lead to checklists of prepping supplies which can provide guidance or a place to start but in reality; the process is different for each person. The answer to the question of what you need to do in order to get prepared isn’t something that anyone else can answer for you and in the end, is almost wholly dependent on what happens and where you are when “it” happens to you.

I have often sat down and compiled lists of things I need to accomplish in the main areas I focus on with prepping. My very first list had dozens of items and now, since I have been prepping for a little over 8 years, my lists aren’t quite as expansive. I have been acquiring the needed supplies and making preparations so that I don’t need as much as I thought I needed in the beginning. One thing I have learned though is my list overall still contains the exact items I thought I would need back in 2007, just the quantities of what is left to do have gone down.


The concept of making lists again made me think of the question I have asked before of myself. Are you prepared enough for what you think is coming down the road? Have I made the best plans you could have made knowing what I know? Have I made the right fiscal decisions to put me in the most advantageous position should the economy collapse? Have I shared enough information with my family and in my own small way, the rest of the world? Have I done enough? Am I prepared?

Are you prepared enough?

How much preparation can anyone do that we could consider the level of those same preparations to be sufficient? I have stated before that prepping is a journey, not a destination and I still subscribe to that theory, but depending on the situation; I could have more than I needed. What if there was a regional storm that caused minor flooding in my town and the utilities were out as well as roads for a month. Would I have enough supplies to last? Yes, I certainly would.

What if there was a crisis that lasted two years? Would I have enough?

Getting back to how much you need, it all comes down to what the emergency is, what your situation is at the time and how other influences impact you after the crisis begins. You could have enough food to last you for a year, but add in 6 family members who you take in and that amount of time could go down to 2 months. You might not have enough in your eyes, but the hungry family might think you are prepared enough. What if you have 2 years’ worth of food stored safely in your basement but you are away on vacation and a tornado rips right through your town and sucks everything you have been working on up into the air?

We can make as many plans as we want but if something happens outside of our plans we will have to adjust. Thinking that you have the answers to all of the different scenarios posed in your head is well and good, but you should account for contingencies. More importantly, you have to face the reality that you might walk into TEOTWAWKI with nothing but the shirt on your back.

You are asking yourself the wrong question

You can inventory all of your prepping supplies and make lists; I do it too. I use these lists to gauge what I have left to accomplish in my mind. I check items off so that my imaginary supply room of everything I need, will be filled with precisely what I think will be the minimum necessary but I try not to ever think I have enough. Does this mean I am stocking supplies up as much as possible? Does this mean I keep buying ammo or food or weapons until I have no money left? No and I think if you are looking to reach some level where you can say, “I think I have enough to last…” you might be looking at this the wrong way.

There is a danger in thinking that there is ultimate security in your supplies. Why do I say that? For one thing, your supplies can be taken away from you. Your supplies will eventually go bad if left unused or in the right conditions. Your supplies, if you have to rely on them will eventually dissipate down to nothing. Having a 6-month supply of food or a few thousand rounds of ammo and some gasoline stored doesn’t mean I am any better prepared than the neighbor down the street when the time comes. It does certainly mean I have put some thought into this that the average bear might not have considered, but does that make me better prepared?

When my family asks me questions like, how much food do I have or basically, how long could we live on what we have stored, I have to guess. Sure, I know roughly how much food is stored and I have calculated how long we could eat on that food but I don’t consider myself prepared really. I am looking at this as a stop-gap measure. Could my preparations buy me and my family some time? Yes, very possibly we could be sitting pretty while others go hungry, at least for some time. Does that mean I am prepared enough? Not hardly.

Prepping isn’t about storing up supplies and quietly riding out Armageddon from the comfort of your easy chair, happily eating your MRE’s and enjoying reruns of the office on your Solar Powered DVD player. The steps you are taking today might not be enough for the disaster you face. Are they better than nothing? Absolutely, but don’t become complacent and cross the last item off your list and sit back and wait. Prepping should be constant movement, preparation, consideration of your environment and the world around us and you have to reevaluate what is happening all of the time. We shouldn’t think we know what is coming, even though we can prepare for certain scenarios.

When you start asking yourself the question of are you prepared enough, the answer is it really depends on what you are forced to go through. Looking back after you have made it through alive is the only way to answer that question. Making it through alive should be what we are striving for.


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There are many great reasons to start down the road of being prepared to take care of yourself in an emergency or crisis. When you feel that is something you