Sometimes, you have to think outside of the freeze-dried food paradigm. You may find yourself in the woods forced to run from your home or camp because of marauders with nothing to eat. Fortunately, there are many edible plants that can save your life if you know what they are, how to identify them and are comfortable with preparing them.

I don’t personally think that I will love eating a bunch of weeds to survive, but I will if needed. In a long-term disaster, I would certainly consider them vital to preserving life and the right edible plants could augment your gardens and food stores. I wanted to write up this list of 20 edible plants that are found mostly in the temperate region. There are certainly others you could find growing near you, but this is a good start. If I am able to master 20 edible plants in the area where I live, I would consider that a huge benefit to my prepping needs.

There are a lot of very recognizable plants you can eat like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and so on, but I didn’t want to add those to the list.

Plants to avoid

Before you grab a good book on edible plants and run out into the woods with a bowl and a fork, you should practice some caution with this process. Not all plants are edible and knowing what not to eat is just as important as knowing what to eat. Before you forage, here are some simple rules to follow when you are trying to identify a plant.

Do not eat any plants that have the following traits

  • Milky or discolored sap
  • Grain heads with purple/pink or black spurs
  • Beans, bulbs or seeds inside pods
  • Yellow, white or red berries
  • Soapy or bitter taste
  • Never eat plants with thorns.
  • Steer clear of plants with shiny leaves.
  • Don’t eat mushrooms. Many are safe to eat, but many are highly toxic and even deadly, so it’s not worth the risk.
  • Umbrella-shaped flowers are a bad sign. Stay away from these plants.
  • Avoid anything that smells like almonds.
  • Same as poison ivy, stay away from plants with leaves in groups of three.

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

In addition to avoiding all of those traits, you want to forage for wild edible plants in areas that are less likely to have toxins. Plants growing near homes could have been sprayed many times with chemicals. Plants in water that is contaminated will likely hold that same contamination. Plants by the road will have picked up many harmful chemicals and pollution.

Before eating, use the Universal Edibility Test

Before taking the test, you need to fast for 8 hours. If you are desperate enough to need to find edible plants, this might be already the case.

  1. Test only one part of a potential food plant at a time.
  2. Separate the plant into its basic components – leaves, stems, roots, buds and flowers
  3. Smell the food for strong or acid odors. Remember, smell alone does not indicate if a plant is edible or not.
  4. During the 8 hours you are fasting, test for contact poisoning by placing a piece of the plant part you are testing on the inside of your elbow or wrist. Usually 15 minutes is enough time to get a reaction if there is going to be one.
  5. During the test period, take nothing by mouth except purified water and that plant part you are testing.
  6. Select a small portion of a single part and prepare it the way you plan to eat it.
  7. Before placing the prepared plant part in your mouth, touch a small portion (a pinch) to the outer surface of your lip to test for burning or itching.
  8. If after 3 minutes there is no reaction on your lip, place the plant part on your tongue and hold it there for 15 minutes. DO NOT SWALLOW.
  9. If there is no burning, itching, numbing, stinging , or any other irritation, swallow the plant part.
  10. Wait 8 hours. If any ill effects occur during this period, induce vomiting and drink a lot of water.
  11. If no ill effects occur, each ¼ cup of the same plant part prepared the same way. Wait another 8 hours. If everything is still good after all of these steps, the plant is considered edible.

Note: Just because the part you tested is edible, that doesn’t mean the entire plant is edible. Test all parts the same way before eating them.

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

List of Edible Plants

Amaranth (Amaranthus retroflexus and other species)

Amaranth is an edible weed found almost everywhere. You can eat all parts of the plant but some leaves contain spines. Boil the leaves to remove the oxalic acid and nitrates.

Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis)

Wild Asparagus grows in most of Europe and North America. This looks different than the fatter stalks you normally eat but can be eaten raw or boiled. Add a little butter and salt.

Burdock (Arctium lappa)

Young plant roots and stems can be cooked by boiling for about 20 minutes, then season to taste. Before cooking however, the stems should be peeled, and roots scrubbed in order to remove the bitter rind.

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Cattail (Typha species)

The lower parts of the leaves can be used in a salad; the young stems can be eaten raw or boiled; the young flowers (cattails) can be roasted.

Clover (Trifolium)

I have never been able to find a four-leaf clover but you can’t walk out in my back yard without stepping on this plant. You can eat the leaves raw or boil them.

Chicory (Cichorium intybus)

Leaves and root. Although the flower is edible, it is very bitter.

Chickweed (Stekkarua media)

Chickweed is a very nutritious herb, containing Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, E along with Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorous, Potassium, Selenium, Silicon, Sodium, Sulfur and Zinc plus essential fatty acids. It can be eaten as a salad vegetable or cooked and eaten like cabbage.

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Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

Dandelion leaves can be added to a salad or cooked. They can also be dried and stored for the winter or blanched and frozen.

Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana)

Persimmons are rich in vitamins A and B, and are a good source of fiber. To get the most nutritional value from persimmons, it’s best to eat them raw.

Plantain (Plantago species)

The leaves can be eaten raw or steamed for a spinach substitute, and are awesome raw in salads and blended into green smoothies, especially the younger ones as the mature leaves may taste slightly bitter.

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)

Pokeweed can be poisonous if not prepared carefully. You have to ensure you don’t get the roots and the shoots aren’t too long.  Make sure you learn more about the proper cultivation and preparation of this plant before eating it.

Prickly pear cactus (Opuntia species)

Both the pads and the fruit of the prickly pear cactus are edible.

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)

The moisture-rich leaves are cucumber-crisp, and have a tart, almost lemony tang with a peppery kick.

Sassafras (Sassafras albidum)

The leaves of Sassafras texture and can be used raw or cooked in salads or eaten right off the plant, unlike the berries, the leaves have a mild pleasant taste.

Sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella)

You can use the leaves in salad, or make into soup.

Thistle (Cirsium species)

Flower head shown: Just strip the green off the leaf leaving the very edible midrib. Rub the “wool” off and enjoy, raw or cooked.

Water lily and lotus (Nuphar, Nelumbo, and other species)

Leaves gathered anytime during the growing season (although, again, early spring growth is best of all) make good greens. Chop the pads into noodle-like strips and boil them in one change of water. The addition of a little bacon doesn’t hurt a thing.

Wild onion and garlic (Allium species)

All parts of this particular Wild Onion are edible, the underground bulbs, the long and thin leaves.

Wild rose (Rosa species)

Petals can be added to salads , desserts, beverages, used to make jelly or jam and be candied

Wood sorrel (Oxalis species)

The leaves, flowers, green seed pods, and roots are all edible, raw or cooked. It can be eaten straight out of the ground, added to soups, made into a sauce, or used as a seasoning. As a seasoning, it provides a lemony/vinegary taste to whatever it’s added to.

Now that you have some more information about the edible plants near you, why don’t you try eating some of these varieties the next time you go for a hike in the woods. Any wild edible plants that you eat that didn’t make the list?


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Remember, before eating these plants, use the Universal Edibility Test. Details inside.

One of the central pillars of preparedness is being able to feed yourself. Preppers focus some of their attention on stockpiling food as well as creating renewable sources like gardens or livestock (chickens and rabbits) as protection against the possibility that the local grocery store is no longer able to provide something to eat. The average person it has been said only has about 3 days’ worth of food in their homes and if that is true, feeding your family in certain disasters could prove to be possibly your biggest problem.

We have already seen time and time again, scenes of grocery store shelves stripped clean anytime there is a concern in the public. Greece was just the most recent example of this behavior preppers warn against. Starvation would surely be a horrible way to die and it seems as though collectively we all consider this a threat that must be dealt with to ensure the safety of our loved ones. The question is how you will deal with the risk of not being able to feed your family. Will you stock up on food now while you are able, or will you try to swim through the crowd of potentially thousands of other people raiding the local grocery store in the hopes that you can secure enough food to last your family though whatever disaster you are facing?

For many preppers, this may not be as grave of a concern from your perspective. If you have been diligently preparing, you may already have quite a large supply of food that would conceivably last you and anyone else in your home a long time. You might have plenty of food stocked already so you plan to sit back in the safety of your home while everyone else goes crazy; fighting over the last can of olives. But as you are sitting back feeling confidently comfortable, gazing at your fully pantry, those 5 gallon buckets of Winter Wheat and metric tons of beans, have you ever considered how long that food will actually last you when you start needing to eat it?

Determining how long your food storage will last

The default amount of calories we consider to be recommended for an adult is approximately 2,000 calories per person. I know there are differences with age, activity level and gender, but for simplicity sake let’s just take that amount as our baseline. For general health, each member of your survival group will need to consume on average 2,000 calories per day to simply maintain a “healthy” weight.

Rice and beans are a great long-term stable food supply for preppers. They have an impressive storage life as long as they are kept cool and dry and they are very cost-effective as well. You can purchase a 50 pound bag of rice for around $20. Rice and Beans together give you carbohydrates and protein. Each 50 pound bag of rice has approximately 500 servings and there really isn’t anything like the satisfaction you can get from staring at a shelf full of rice and beans. But how long will that last your family?

A 50 pound bag of rice has about 500 servings.

Each serving (1 cup) of rice is 206 calories

Each serving of pinto beans has 245 calories

If you ate three meals of Rice and Beans in a day you would consume only 1353 calories. (451 X 3). If you had a family of 4, that 50 pound bag would last you about 41 days but that isn’t all the calories you would need. To just stay healthy and not lose any weight you would need to come up with another 700 calories per person, per day.

Calories are more important to measure than servings

Well, you could supplement that rice and beans with the wild game you plan on hunting, right? Did you know , a 0.5-1 pound roast venison tenderloin has a whopping 127 calories. That doesn’t get you much further toward your calorie targets does it? What about chicken? One grilled chicken breast has only 141 calories.

Now let’s take the assumption that life without grocery stores is going to require more work out of you. Possibly much more work. So, the 2,000 calorie per day amount isn’t likely to be a realistic count of the number of calories you will actually need. You might be digging latrines to deal with sanitation, hunting for food or foraging in the forest all day. You could be patrolling your neighborhood or lugging water from a mile away. You would be washing clothes by hand, chopping wood; building fires and the 2,000 calorie amount would likely be more like 3,000 or 4,000 for some people just to maintain their weight. How long will your food last now?

To really get a good idea for how much food you have, you need to look at how many calories that food you plan on eating is going to give you. You can’t simply look at serving amounts and call it done because a serving of a fruit roll-up might make you think you will get a meal out of it, but they won’t come anywhere near close to what you need.

In addition to food make sure you plan on a good source of vitamins to augment austere eating conditions. This won’t be as good as the real thing, but could help stave off some health effects of a less than ideal diet.You should take the time to conduct at least a cursory inventory of your food stockpiles, check the serving size and calorie amounts. You can get really detailed and put this into a food storage spreadsheet if you like, but that will give you a true picture of the amount of time your food will last the number of people you have. Instead of looking at this from a poundage viewpoint you consider calorie counts. That way it will be easier to forecast how long your food will last and adjust for different people in your care.

What happens when we start to starve?

The more food you have, the better off you will be in a collapse scenario where we have no hope of the lights coming back on. Gardens and livestock greatly add to this cumulative total you have, but unless you have a very productive garden or a large supply of animals, the food you have on hand is likely to start running out. At some point in time, if the supply of food is interrupted, rationing might be a consideration you need to make.

Another consideration is the needs of the various people in your group. You may find you have hard choices to make. Someone who is old for example, who is less active may not get the same share of food as a younger person who is working outside all day. You may have to choose between roles and which people in which roles are given extra allotments of food. What if someone is out digging graves all day? Do you believe that someone who is sitting inside or not working as hard should get the same ration of food or the same dispensation of calories? If so, how long before the person who is working physically harder starts to decline in health? How long could you shovel or defend your home in a starvation state?

We talk about food storage as a solution to the grocery stores closing, but that will only buy us time in a true collapse. Yes, it will help your family tremendously to have additional food stocked up, but it will run out if the crisis lasts long enough. When calories are seriously limited, health starts to decline.

When we don’t get enough calories for a long enough time, our organs begin to shrink and gradually start to lose function. We can have bouts of chronic diarrhea, anemia, reduction in muscle mass and the weakness that goes with that.

We have all seen images of refugees on TV. Poor children covered in flies with distended bellies staring blankly at the camera might elicit a sense of guilt in us today as we sit on the sofa and flip through the channels. In Haiti, there are areas where people make and sell mud pies for people to eat because there is no other food and the worms in their stomachs would rob the person of any nutritional value from real food before it could help them.

What will you do when these poor souls are your children?

Kwashiorkor and Marasmus

Kwashiorkor and Marasmus are two conditions that are seen with acute malnutrition. It causes the swollen bellies you see on TV and I can see this appearing in our country were we to go through some horrible SHTF event. The pictures you see on TV could be not from around the world, but in your own back yard.

As in other places in the world, this will lead to violence and death as everyone fights for food resources to fend off dying.

“Kwashiorkor is the most common and widespread nutritional disorder in developing countries. It is a form of malnutrition caused by not getting enough protein in your diet. Foods that contain protein include meat, milk, cheese, fish, eggs, soy, beans, nuts, seeds, and some types of grains like quinoa.”

Children who are deprived of calories for long enough will never reach their full potential for height and growth. These two conditions are treated in the beginning with simply getting more food with a healthy balance of protein. In more severe cases, you can’t just give a starving person a cheeseburger. You will have to introduce food slowly and something like powdered milk is good (reconstituted of course) to start them out until strength has increased and more food can be slowly added to their diet.

Anyone who has children will tell you that they will do anything to take care of their family. This manifests itself in a lot of imaginative ways, some violent. Before you have to get to that place where you are thinking of doing whatever is necessary to feed your family, make plans now to have as much food security as possible. A good strategy of food storage to include foods you eat every day, long-term store-able food and renewable sources will put you in a better position to provide for your family. Think about this now so you have to worry about this less when it actually is an issue.

What are your food storage plans and how long will your food hold out?



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One of the central pillars of preparedness is being able to feed yourself. Preppers focus some of their attention on stockpiling food as well as creating renewable sources like gardens

Imagine women giving birth centuries ago or imagine you suffer from some critical injury or serious ailment. Centuries ago, there was not the concept of technology and there certainly weren’t the advances in medical science we have today. Your best option would be to call the tribal medicine doctor or shaman. Someone who knew how to use a leaf as a bandage and how to break and pull a tooth out with a stone. Could you survive? Could you stay healthy? Could you even live long enough to see the next sunrise? Thinking of those types of situations now, it hardly seems possible, but we humans are tenacious and if it was impossible,  then how did mankind make it this far? If modern medicines and advances in science are the only reason we are combating serious diseases now, then how did we make it this far?

The answer to this question is simple – Mother Nature has her own secrets.  There are many who fear that humans won’t be able to survive without the conveniences of modern medicine. Granted, we won’t be able to save life on the scale that we can now, but there are natural options.  Humans made it pretty far along the span of history without any complicated and advanced sciences. For sure there is something much greater reserved in nature. Today we will discuss 10 must-have natural remedies that will offer comfort and healing when the possibility of modern medicine is gone.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Everything from stomach related disorders, to boosting vitality, to counteracting diseases. Taken before supper, it even assists with weight reduction! Likewise, the vinegar is one of those ‘100 uses’ wonder items. The benefits of apple cider vinegar come from its powerful healing compounds, which include acetic acid, potassium, magnesium, probiotics, and enzymes.


Yes, the gift of God, the food of heaven, honey is one of those natural remedies that you need to have around in your house. The food of God, honey is both good for medicinal purpose and equally serves as a dessert. It includes vitamins, trace enzymes, amino acids, and minerals like calcium, iron, sodium chloride, magnesium, phosphate, and potassium.


Consuming garlic on a daily basis (in food or raw) helps to lower cholesterol levels because of the anti-oxidant properties of Allicin. It is also immensely beneficial to regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels

Coconut Oil

Coconut milk and coconut oil on wooden table

To date, there are over 1,500 studies proving coconut oil to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Coconut oil benefits and uses go beyond what most people realize. Research has finally uncovered the secrets to this amazing fruit; namely healthy fats called medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), these unique fats include: Caprylic acid, Lauric acid, and Capric acid

Hydrogen Peroxide

A slightly different solution, hydrogen peroxide is good for skincare and nurturing. We’re talking about 35% FOOD grade, which is NOT the same as what you normally purchase. The 35% grade can actually burn your skin if you put too much in one spot. But you can dilute a drop or so depending upon the requirement in a glass of water and you have a prophylaxis or potential cure.


Chia seeds are viewed as the ideal natural nourishment since they contain an excessive number of advantages to list here. More to it, who might trust that what gives off an impression of being simply one more “weed” with entirely blue blooms would be a characteristic of well-being.

Steam Water – Distilled Water

The most important health benefit distilled water offers is the elimination of waterborne contaminants that may potentially be found in water. Drinking contaminated water is one of the fastest ways to spread disease, toxic metals, and industrial pollutants.

Red Chili

Red chili pepper

Looking for immediate skincare of for some nerve pain relief, the red chili is your spicy go-to product. Beware heavy eating can bring about some serious trouble. Proceed with caution.


Bergamot is also a good source of vitamins and is said to have super anti-oxidant and other unique properties that enhance well-being and promote anti-aging. Exemplified by all the dancing and bike riding you see 100-year-old Italians doing.

Aloe Vera

This is viewed as an attempted and demonstrated must have mending plant that as a rule is related to skin medicines, particularly consumes, yet it is much more flexible than simply that. Make ointments and medicine from a mix of coconut oil, aloe, and nectar for astounding skin revival properties.

In her work entitled The Forgotten Power of Plants, Dr. Nicole Apelian describes in more than 300-pages the most powerful medicinal plants and step-by-step instructions on how to turn them into powerful remedies.

Check out the off-grid recipe section that will give you the best natural alternatives to every pill in your medicine cabinet.

Imagine women giving birth centuries ago or imagine you suffer from some critical injury or serious ailment. Centuries ago, there was not the concept of technology and there certainly weren’t

Setting out for the frontier in the 19th century was nothing like moving to a new city today. You weren’t moving to a place with a fully developed infrastructure, where you could easily get your hands on all the essentials of day to day life from a choice of stores and service providers. The hardy pioneers who built the West had to be self-reliant, and that meant taking everything they needed with them.

We often have a mental image of those pioneers loading their chuck wagon with food and gunpowder before striking out into the new lands of the West, and that image isn’t inaccurate; they did carry these essentials, in the largest quantities they could. In fact wise settlers packed their wagons almost to overloading, and sometimes beyond. It wasn’t uncommon to see a wagon propped on crates or barrels at the side of the road, while its owners worked at repairing a broken wheel or split axle.

Pioneers didn’t just carry the things they needed. They also had to carry the tools to repair the things they needed – and then, when supplies ran out, to make more. Even the most heavily loaded wagon can carry enough to keep a family going for a few months at most. If the pioneers wanted to make a serious attempt at building a new life in the West they needed to be truly self-sufficient, and the key to that was taking the right tools with them.

If you like to be self-reliant around the house the chances are your tools massively outnumber the ones the typical pioneer family took with them – but yours will be more specialized, and aimed at fixing or maintaining modern appliances or carrying out general DIY tasks. Frontiersmen had different priorities. They didn’t just want to fix things; they had to be able to make things, so the tools they took with them were absolutely vital.

Take a look in your toolbox and you’ll probably see a load of tools for working with wood, electrical wiring and maybe plumbing. You’ll have an assortment of screwdrivers, and likely a multi-tool like a Dremel. You’re well equipped to handle any repairs or improvements around your home. But could you build a home with them?

That’s exactly what the pioneers had to do. The tools they carried had to be up to the job of harvesting natural resources and turning them into the raw materials to build a home. Then there was agriculture. The food carried in a wagon would last for a matter of weeks, half a year at the most – and while it was usually possible to buy more from enterprising traders, the cost of wagon freight made that too expensive for most people. Anyway, for most settlers the whole point of heading west was to farm their own land, and you can’t do that without tools. Often you can’t do it without the tools to make other tools.

Finally there were the small things. On the frontier you couldn’t drop in to the local outfitters and pick out clothes that fitted you. Instead, most people bought bolts of cloth and made their own. That wasn’t the only sewing that needed done either. The West was mostly powered by horses, and horses need tack. That breaks or wears out eventually, and the pioneers had to be able to fix or replace it. The same went for most of their other possessions. Sometimes there was no choice but to pay the inflated prices at the nearest general store, but wherever they could pioneers would fix or replace things themselves. Their tools had to be capable of a wide range of tasks, and they didn’t have the technology that we do. There were no power tools, just simple hand-operated ones. But those simple tools could do amazing things when used properly, and if society breaks down they’ll do just as good a job for you. Let’s look at the tools that built the West in a bit more detail.

The Basics


A knife is the most basic, essential survival tool. If you have one you can start to collect what you need to make other, more advanced tools. If you don’t have one you’re in a lot of trouble. Pioneers carried knives everywhere they went – usually a simple hunting knife on their belt, and maybe a folding pen knife as well. These would be used for dressing game – the major source of fresh meat in the early years of a move west – and for wood carving, plus many other daily tasks. More knives would be found in the kitchen; not as many as in a modern kitchen, but in a wider range of sizes. Pioneers didn’t need six different styles of small paring knife but they did need large butcher knives and cleavers.


The first tools men made were stone hammers. Just a hard piece of rock shaped to have a comfortable grip at one end and a striking surface at the other, these were the launch pad for over 2.5 million years of technological progress. A hammer lets you apply concentrated, rapid force to something, and it opens up a world of possibilities. With a hammer you can quickly fix objects together with nails. You can shape metal. Add some wedges and you can split logs and even rock. Without a hammer, many of the jobs pioneers needed to do would have been a lot longer and more difficult. Many more wouldn’t have been possible at all.

A frontier toolkit would have contained several hammers, ranging from a standard claw hammer to heavier ones used for metalwork or breaking rocks – and probably a sledgehammer for when real power was needed.


Small bits of wood can be cut and shaped with a knife. Logs can be split with a hammer and wedge. But to cut large pieces precisely, you need a saw. Without a saw you’ll struggle to build anything better than a crude shack, and you won’t be able to make most of the advanced tools that turn life from a daily grind into something approaching comfortable. Doors that fit the frame? That needs sawn boards. Window frames? Sawn. The frame for a threshing machine or spinning wheel? Good luck shaping that with an ax.

A good tool kit needed at least two saws; a large bow saw for felling and trimming trees, and a small hand saw for precise work. Other styles were also available, but with those two a handy pioneer could manage most tasks.


An ax combines the cutting edge of a knife with a hammer’s ability to deliver concentrated force, and if you want to cut things in a hurry it’s hard to beat. Pioneers used axes to harvest timber, clear land for farming and split firewood. A hatchet is also a great tool for rough shaping of wood, and if you’re building a log cabin it’s unbeatable for getting the joints done.


Most of us think of a spade or shovel as a tool for yard work. To the pioneers it was one of the most important items they had. A spade was needed to build a new home. At minimum you’d have to dig holes for the support posts of a log cabin – but many pioneers didn’t live in log cabins. Where there was a shortage of suitable timber it was much more common to build a sod house, and that meant cutting thousands of blocks of turf. A spade was an essential tool for that.

After a pioneer family had built a home the next thing on the list was usually a vegetable patch, to start supplementing the food they’d brought with them. Again, a spade was needed to prepare the ground. Finally, almost every home had a root cellar to store food, and building that took a lot of digging.


Long-term survival on the frontier meant, for most people, starting a farm. That would provide them with food, and give them a surplus to sell. Obviously growing crops on a large scale needed some more specialized tools. A spade and hoe will do fine for a small plot of vegetables, but they aren’t up to the job of preparing a whole field. The pioneers took some agricultural equipment with them, and with their other tools they could make the rest when they arrived at their new home.


If you want a good crop you need to loosen and turn over the top layers of soil, to bring up nutrients and distribute them evenly. A small plot can be prepared with a spade, but a plow will cover large areas much more quickly and easily. Plows – first drawn by hand, and later by animals – had already been used for thousands of years, but by the time the pioneers set out West the standard was a horse-drawn moldboard plow with a cast iron blade that could turn over the virgin land and expose the rich soil. In 1837 John Deere invented a steel plow blade that was both lighter and stronger, but many pioneers couldn’t afford these. Then there was the issue of weight and bulk. A whole plow was a large, heavy item that wasn’t easy to fit in a wagon already crammed with other supplies. Many people just took the blades with them, and built the frame from local timber when they began farming their new land. Later, as local industry began to develop, a blacksmith could make iron blades to replace worn-out ones.


A plow is very good at turning over the soil, but it usually leaves many large lumps. These make planting difficult, so a plowed field would then be worked over with a harrow to break up the clods and give a smoother surface. Modern harrows are quite sophisticated, but pioneers used much simpler – but still effective – ones. A basic harrow is simply a heavy wooden frame with rows of spikes on the bottom that’s dragged over the field by a horse. Pioneers would usually take the iron spikes with them, then build the frame themselves.


Fertile land doesn’t just produce crops; it’s also a magnet for weeds. Plants that evolved to win the struggle for space in a forest or grassland can quickly take over a battlefield as easy as a plowed, harrowed field. Without modern, selective weedkillers, pioneers had to spend time manually weeding their fields. Instead of pulling them out one at a time a hoe was used. Its iron or steel blade, on a long handle, lets you chop the foliage away from the roots without bending down; an experienced user can clear weeds at close to normal walking pace. Without a hoe it’s almost impossible to weed a large field effectively.

As well as weeding a hoe can also shape the soil, cut shallow trenches, or replace a harrow for small plots. It’s a very versatile tool, and essential for anyone farming without modern machinery.


The first mechanical reapers were built by the Romans, but the technology was lost for centuries after the Empire fell. It resurfaced again in England in 1814, and by the 1830s there were at least two US companies making horse-drawn mechanical reapers. Most pioneers couldn’t afford a mechanical reaper though, so they harvested their crops the old-fashioned way – with a scythe. A scythe lets you cut standing crops easily and quite quickly, and can also be used for cutting hay, clearing weeds and general control of vegetation.  A specialized type called the cradle scythe adds long “fingers” to the handle, which catch the cut stalks so they can be easily stacked or laid out, but for general work around a small farm a traditional scythe is more flexible.  A sickle is a compact option that’s easier to transport but its short handle means you need to bend or crouch to cut, and that means it’s much slower and more tiring to use.


Once grain has been harvested you need some way to separate the actual grains from the husks. Doing it by hand is far too slow, so the traditional method was to use a flail. This is simply two sticks connected by a short chain; the harvested grain was piled up, and then repeatedly hit (“threshed”) with the flail until the husks fell away. A typical flail used for threshing wheat had a handle about five feet long and slightly over an inch thick, joined by a couple of inches of chain to a second stick about three feet long.

Separating grain with a flail is a labor-intensive job, but pioneer families used flails successfully to process their wheat crops and they were still in use by some farmers in the early 20th century. Threshing machines did exist, but they were out of reach for most early settlers in the West.



An anvil is a huge, heavy, awkwardly shaped lump of steel. It’s one of the most difficult things you could possibly decide to take on a long journey West along rough tracks. Nevertheless, many pioneer wagons had an anvil on board – usually slung under the chassis, between the axles, so its massive weight didn’t tip the wagon over.

With an anvil and a forge you can repair or make a whole range of metal objects. The parts of a broken tool can be heated then beaten together, repeating the process until they’re welded into a solid piece again. Metal bars can be turned into anything from horseshoes to scythe blades or knives. The conical horn of an anvil lets a good smith shape metal into complex curves. Without an anvil – or modern power tools – it’s very hard to make anything useful out of metal.


A forge needs a way to pump air through the burning charcoal. As long as you have that it isn’t hard to build a forge – you just need a shallow pit lined with fireproof material, usually brick. Modern forges usually use an electric blower to create a draft, and some older ones used a water wheel or even a treadmill to turn a fan, but most pioneers relied on a hand-pumped bellows. This is an uncomplicated device – two flat boards with handles, hinged to a nozzle at one end, with a one-way valve in one of the boards and a leather skirt connecting the two. Moving the handles apart draws in air through the valve; pushing them together again closes the valve then blasts a stream of air out the nozzle. A pioneer smith would put his metal workpiece in the forge then pump the bellows to raise the temperature. It’s simple, but very effective.


If you’re working with heated metal you need a way to handle it. Even a heavy leather glove won’t protect against red-hot iron for long, so any pioneer who planned on doing some blacksmithing would take at least one pair of iron tongs. These were used to move metal in and out of the forge, and to hold it in place on the anvil while it was being worked. Blacksmith’s tongs are heavy and robust, as well as simple – usually they’re just two iron bars, drilled and hinged with a single bolt or massive rivet, and curved into jaws at one end. Iron conducts heat, but the handles were long enough that they could be safely held in a gloved hand.


Metalworking needs a hammer, but the regular claw hammer in your toolkit isn’t really up to the job – and the heat from the work piece will gradually soften its striking face, too. For smithing a heavier hammer is needed – if the job is very large, maybe even a sledgehammer. Any serious metalwork project needs specialist hammers, and pioneers who tool an anvil west with them would have carried a few.


There are some metal working jobs that don’t need a forge, but most of those need a file instead. With a good file metal can be ground down or reshaped. A broken knife can be remanufactured into a shorter one, or the edge on a worn plowshare touched up. Forged parts can be filed until they fit properly together. Almost every pioneer would have taken a set of files in assorted sizes and shapes – flat, round and half-round.



It’s easy to wash clothes when you have electricity, a domestic water supply and a modern washing machine. It’s much more work without them. Today we usually only hand—wash small, delicate items. The pioneers hand-washed everything, from dirty work clothes to bedding, and it was a time-consuming job. One tool that saved them a lot of time was the simple washboard. Now these usually have a wooden frame with a corrugated steel wash surface fitted into it; in the 19th century they were literally boards, with rounded wooden strips nailed or glued on to create the ribbed surface.

Washboards have disappeared from most homes, but that’s not because they don’t work – a washing machine is just simpler and takes less time. Washboards have real advantages though. They use much less water and they’re also easier on the clothes, which was important to pioneers; replacing worn-out clothes wasn’t so easy. Even today, soldiers on long operational tours often use washboards to help them keep their uniforms clean in isolated outposts with scarce water supplies.

Spinning wheel

Westerns often focus on cattle ranching, but a lot of the livestock raised by the pioneers was sheep. These were a valuable source of meat, but they were an even more valuable source of wool – and once wool had been harvested it was a lot cheaper to spin it into fibers at home than to ship it back east then buy manufactured garments coming the other way. Poor families might have used a distaff and spindle, simple tools for spinning by hand, but the spinning wheel was far more common. The textile industry had already replaced the spinning wheel with the jenny, beginning in northern England in the 1760s, but it was still a common and familiar tool. It could also be easily made by anyone who knew how it worked and was reasonably good at woodwork. With a wheel, pioneer women could produce thread and yarn from wool, cotton and just about any other fiber – and save a fortune on expensive clothes from the local store.


We iron our clothes to make them look smart. For the pioneers that didn’t matter so much most of the time, except for special occasions and visits to church if there was one nearby. Ironing had another function, though. Parasites were much more of a hazard in the 19th century, especially if you spent a lot of time outdoors and working around animals, and there wasn’t a range of safe, easy insecticides to get rid of them with. Ironing clothes – paying special attention to the seams – would destroy any flea or louse eggs that were concealed in them, helping to avoid infestations.

Electric irons were invented in 1884 but remained a luxury for decades more. The ones available to the pioneers were heavy items of cast iron, which could either be heated in a fire before use or had a hollow interior that could be filled with burning charcoal. They were heavy and crude, but almost indestructible and pretty effective.


Most people have a packet of needles around the house somewhere, for sewing on buttons and other minor repairs. The pioneers took needles with them, too, but they took more than a single packet and there was a lot more variety in what they carried. They also used them for minor repairs, and many made their own clothes, so standard sewing needles were essential. But they also relied heavily on horses for power, and that meant they needed all the leather gear that’s needed to get work out of a horse. Saddles, bridles and stirrups were needed for riding, and then there was all the harness needed to pull a wagon or a plow. Heavy saddler’s needles were needed to repair leather or to make replacements for small items, like straps – few people had the skills to make a full saddle on their own. Needles seem small and unimpressive, but they’re not easy to make and life on the frontier would have been very difficult without them.


Last but not least, there’s the trusty shotgun. Despite what Hollywood shows, the most common gun in the West was a simple double-barrel 12-gauge. It was a sturdy, relatively cheap weapon that was effective at defending against predators, could hunt a wide variety of game with the right ammunition, and outranged a handgun if it ever came to a fight. Few pioneer families were without one. The frontier wasn’t anywhere near as violent as fiction portrays it, and in fact it was less violent than most of the USA is today, but a good gun was a wise investment.

Today, when many of us have an array of power tools that can carry out a range of jobs quickly and precisely, the tools the pioneers relied on seem crude. In many ways they were – but they were also durable and effective. They didn’t wear out easily and could usually be repaired if something did go wrong. They didn’t need electricity to work; at most they needed a horse, and usually manpower alone was enough. These simple tools are what made the development of the American West possible. If society was to collapse tomorrow, modern versions of them – and the skills to use them properly – would make a massive difference to your chances of survival.

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Setting out for the frontier in the 19th century was nothing like moving to a new city today. You weren’t moving to a place with a fully developed infrastructure, where you

What are you prepping for? Is it a natural disaster like a wildfire, tornado or hurricane? Those are perfect examples of common events that occur every day. Nature has a way of dealing us unexpected circumstances from time to time and we, as humans try to roll with the situation as best we can. That is one of the benefits of prepping in that you are proactively planning for events, and the fallout of events now before you find yourself possibly affected by disaster. There are large and small examples of emergencies but prepping gives you a method of working through examples and making potentially lifesaving decisions all from the comfort of your computer or as in Sideliner’s case; the easy chair.

From a big-picture perspective we can look at regions where certain types of natural disasters are more common. If you live in areas where you have identified many potential risks as part of your prepping plan, some people advocate designing your own threat matrix. A threat matrix is really just a decision-making system where you assign a level of risk and probability to each disaster. This is supposed to help you decide which disaster is more likely or impactful to your life and thus should be worked on first. For example, California has routinely seen floods, earthquakes, mudslides, wildfires and you have to throw in the risk of blackouts, riots, nuclear fallout, and most recently drought. You could line all of these threats up on a page, assign them a number and a risk and start making plans accordingly. Now that I think of it, why would anyone want to live in California anyway?

As a resident of California, this might make sense because you have seen the first-hand effects of these disasters, but what if there was a different type of emergency that we haven’t really seen in this country before? What preparations would you make if you knew now that the FEMA tents weren’t going to be popping up, truckloads of relief supplies weren’t headed your way and that sooner or later scores of news media and Red Cross volunteers weren’t going to be descending on your town to document the devastation?

What would a WROL world look like?

WROL is a term that means Without Rule of Law. I don’t know who coined it first but it seems to accurately describe the worst type of scenario preppers imagine. A WROL world could spring up spontaneously or it could grow out of some relatively common natural disaster. To imagine a WROL world you would simply have to imagine no police, fire or ambulances coming to your aid. In a WROL world, you would be on your own or left with your band of friends and neighbors to provide for yourself all of the services that are now gone.


We have seen brief glimpses of WROL already. What if it is not ever controlled?

If you look around you might have seen glimpses of a WROL world even if they are quickly controlled. Looting is an example of WROL behavior and so are riots. The two go hand in hand but the police rely on controlling the crowd to a large extent to keep these events from growing much larger than they are. If the police are not available or are overwhelmed, what happens then? When the rioters and looters don’t have any reason to stop the spread of rage and violence, what do they move on to next?

Imagine something as benign as the power grid failing for some arbitrary period. Let’s say a fluke takes out the power for the entire eastern seaboard for one month. This could be a terrorist caused outage, solar flare or some random chain of events that causes a domino effect of failures to equipment and systems. Imagine also that this happens in August and the east coast is also experiencing warmer than usual weather.

Without power, what could possibly happen in the US? Do you think riots would break out? Could you see looting of stores? Without power there would be no way to refrigerate food. You wouldn’t be able to pump gas, run credit card machines or ATM’s, air conditioners or ice makers. Cell towers would be ineffective. Would you be able to go to work? Not likely unless your job involved something manual that was completely not reliant on electricity or fuel. My job is 100% dependent on the internet and electricity. Public transportation would be down and even government services would be unable to help. So what would millions of hot, hungry and panicked people do?

What would you have to worry about in a WROL world?

Is this all a fairytale? Maybe. There are a lot of people who believe nothing bad like this will ever happen and that our way of life will keep on chugging along in more or less the same fashion it always has. I have said many times that I hope that is our shared reality, but I am planning for the chance that it doesn’t. My own threat matrix is my gut. You will find no shortage of people who say worrying about things like this is a waste of effort.

By very definition, WROL means there is law and order so normalcy is pretty much out the window. With a failure like this, there wouldn’t be enough police, National Guard or military combined to help everyone out. All of these soldiers, police, and firemen would have their own families to watch over most likely and I could see many of them if forced to choose between going to work stopping a riot or staying at home to defend their wife and kids would choose the latter. Again, there will be those who disagree and say that the professional soldier, police officer or fireman would never abandon their post and communities will rally together to take care of one another in times of crisis. Maybe when the crisis is over, but not while everyone is going through it.


In the Ferguson riots, two shops were ignored by the looters. Can you guess why?

What can you do now to prepare for WROL?

My WROL scenario above is relatively short-lived. There have certainly been natural disasters where the destruction caused power outages for a long time. In my example, presumably, we would have half a country that could rally to help us but assume for a second help isn’t on the way. You are on your own for a month of potential lawlessness. Imagine a month of the Purge lived out in real life?

Limit your exposure

Who makes the best target? They guy right in front of you. If there is widespread violence being carried out in the name of rage or of need, stay far away from it. You don’t want to be anywhere near the chaos that is going on and it would be better to let it burn out as much as possible before it gets to you. In this case, bugging out may be your best option so have a plan for that contingency in your back pocket. In my scenario, you would have plenty of time to make that decision, but you should have prepping supplies together before the ability to acquire them has passed. This includes everything you need for food, water, shelter, security, and hygiene for a minimum of 6 months. Start small if you have to.

Use the buddy system

If you do have to travel or bug out, you don’t want to go it alone. Someone needs to be there to watch your six and potentially pull you out of trouble. In a without rule of law world, I foresee deadly force as being much more prevalent and warranted if your life is in danger. I am not saying to go out and shoot people walking down your street, but if they are threatening your life then you have a choice to make. It is better to consider this now as opposed to in the moment even though I realize and admit that thinking about killing someone is a lot different from actually pulling the trigger.

  • Neighborhood watch on Steroids
  • Thinking of your neighborhood from a tactical perspective
  • Coordinating a neighborhood response plan

Keep an eye out

If there is a real threat of violence in your neighborhood, you won’t be able to simply lock the door and hope they will go away. If you haven’t already, post-event you should form up with your neighbors immediately to draw up plans for security and address any needs of anyone in your local group. Whatever you did or didn’t do before the event will need to go out the window if you want to survive. It takes more than one person to stand guard all night.

Arm yourself responsibly

And legally. I am a big advocate of responsible firearm ownership. This assumes you have the training and knowledge of how and when you should discharge that firearm in the course of defending your life. It has been said that the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun and I believe that. Just make sure you are the good guy in this situation.

A WROL world is what I envision as a mixture of a war zone and a mad-max movie rolled all into your favorite disaster flick. Essentially, I never want to go through anything like this but if something this catastrophic comes your way, you better make sure you have a plan and you are ready to go.

What are you prepping for? Is it a natural disaster like a wildfire, tornado or hurricane? Those are perfect examples of common events that occur every day. Nature has a

There’s a reason preppers and even just people who like a well-stocked pantry purchase canned goods. They hold up for a long time, years even. They’re generally easy to prepare, many items requiring no more preparation than a quick warming in order to make sure the food is free from harmful microorganisms. Cans also come ready to store, no extra prep needed to sock them away for long-term storage.

Plenty of staples like beans, soup, veggies, fruit, and pasta are commonly found in the average family’s pantry, and found in great quantities in preppers’ stores. Those staples would get boring quickly, though. If you’re looking to add some unique and exotic foods to your food storage for either variety in your diet or for trading, read on for a look at the following canned goods you didn’t know existed.


1. Bread

Canned bread is totally a thing, and it’s available in several different varieties. While it’s likely more practical to store ingredients to make your own bread for the long-term, canned bread could be a tasty, quick way to a full belly and to get some carbohydrates into your system. You can find Original and Raisin Brown Bread by B & M in many stores or online.

2. Butter

Would you miss butter if you suddenly didn’t have access to the supermarket? No big deal, you can get that canned, too. There are a few brands of canned butter available, and it’s rather expensive since it’s not canned in the US. However, it’d be a lovely treat in a SHTF situation, and fat is a crucial part of the diet. For a less expensive canned butter, opt for powdered butter, instead.

3. Pudding

Canned pudding is more often found in Europe, but you can find it in stores in the US, too, as any buffet or cafeteria worker attest. Whatever your favorite type of pudding, it’s likely available in a can.

4. Cake

A pudding in the European sense that refers more to a desert dish in general, you can get canned Spotted Dick made by Simpson’s. It’s essentially a sponge cake with spices and raisins. While it doesn’t quite fit into what we think of as a cake in everyday life, I bet it’d be an incredible birthday treat in a SHTF situation.

canned bacon

5. Bacon

Very few people don’t like bacon, so it’s great that Yoder makes it in a can for long-term storage. It’s salty, fatty, and flavorful, which makes it great for spicing up boring food made from more traditional prepper food items. You don’t need much of it to transform a pot of soup or some powdered eggs.

6. Cheese

While making your own cheese isn’t rocket science, there is a lot of actual science involved, and the raw materials needed may not be easy to come by. So, there’s canned cheese. While it’s not quite like what we think of as ‘real’ cheese, canned cheese has plenty of fat and flavor to be a worthwhile addition to your prepper’s pantry. Check out Kraft’s Prepared Pasteurized Cheddar cheese or Heinz’s Macaroni Cheese for reasonably priced options.

7. Hamburger

Generally, people think of canned hamburger being home-canned. However, it’s available in cans from both Yoders and Keystone. There are even pre-seasoned canned hamburger products available, like the taco meat by Yoders.

8. Whole Chicken

Canned whole chicken, like those available from Sweet Sue, are good for more than just the meat. When the entire chicken is canned, all the gelatin and fat is preserved, allowing you to make a fantastic chicken soup.

9. Sandwiches

Also known as the Candwich, these canned sandwiches will be available in several different flavors. They haven’t quite hit the open market yet, but they’re coming! They come in a can about the size of a soda can with a peel off top. They’re perfect for on-the-go eating.

10. Potato Salad

Who knew this traditional, delicious picnic side was available in a can? Canned potato salad would be a good way to add a little flavor into your preps, and it can be eaten warm or chilled, making it a more versatile side dish than you’d possibly realized.   


11. Tamales

We’re talking whole tamales here. Simply heat these canned tamales up, maybe add some fresh veggies or canned cheese to them, and voila! You’ve created an entire meal by simply opening the can. These provide a ready-made meal in a solid form, which can have profound positive psychological impacts. While canned soup is great for filling you up and providing a decent balance, it’s simply not the most satisfying food out there.

12. Cheeseburger 

Made in Switzerland, these rather expensive canned cheeseburgers aren’t very practical, but they’re a fun addition to your preps. You simply boil the whole can and open for a tasty (that’s subjective, of course) cheeseburger.

13. Escargot 

Even if you don’t care much for fancy seafood, there are plenty of canned sea food items that could be great for bartering. Apart from escargot, you can find crab, lobster, and other shellfish canned for long-term storage.

14. Duck Confit 

Popular in France, canned duck with fat doesn’t seem terribly popular in the US. However, the high fat content in this canned dish could prove to be helpful in a SHTF situation. It’s great for soups and stews, and it adds a sumptuous touch that you won’t often find in the world of canned goods.


Whatever you prepping goals, consider adding some non-conventional canned goods to your stores. Variety, after all, is the spice of life. We need a variety of foods to stay at our healthiest, and because of this, people generally want a bit of variety in their diet.

The humor factor that many of the above items bring to the table shouldn’t be discounted, either. Psychological health will be remarkable important if society collapses, as well, so attending to our psychological needs shouldn’t be overlooked. As is always the case with canned good storage, be sure you’re properly storing cans and rotating your stock as necessary.


Whatever you prepping goals, consider adding some non-conventional canned goods to your stores. Variety, after all, is the spice of life.

When you start to consider prepping, one of the first things you need to start prepping for is food. Simply put, food is one essential you need to live and your family must have a supply of food on hand regardless what the day or your situation is. Because of our just in time supply chain model, most grocery stores do not have more than 3 days’ worth of food stocked. In any type of emergency or disaster situation, the store shelves are cleaned quickly. You do not want to be one of those people who realize you have nothing in the house for dinner and a major snow storm, hurricane or  other event is imminent. You will go to the grocery store and find bare shelves like they did during hurricane Sandy. This happens in every instance where people could face the possibility of going hungry. The stores are cleaned out and the larger your city, the quicker the shelves are bare.

Not only will there be no food on the shelves, but the shelves could stay that way for a long time. What if the roads are impassable? What if there is some supply disruption. You could be out of food for a long time and this should never happen. You eat every day and so does everyone else. Running out of food should not be an option for your family at least for a reasonable amount of time.

FEMA recommends 3 days’ worth of food and water to last most common emergencies and I would say 30 days is a better goal to shoot for. If you have a month of food stored in your house you can worry about other things like getting back to your family if you are away from home or not going out in the first place to fight the lines of panicked people who waited until the last-minute.

Storing food can be complicated and costly but it is possible to start with a very simple list of items that you can purchase from your local grocery store or big-box chain like Wal-Mart, Costco or Sam’s Club. I have compiled a simple list of common foods that you can go get today that will allow you to feed a family of 4 for 30 days. If you have more or less people or giants in your family tree then you would need to adjust accordingly.

Basic FoodsEmpty-Shelves

I shop at Costco or Sam’s, but you can get all of these at your friendly neighborhood grocery store. You may have to adjust the quantities. I like Costco and Sam’s because I can buy larger containers and have to worry about fewer items, but you can also use At a store, you can also throw these into your cart and nobody is going to look at you like you are a deviant. If anyone does ask you what you are doing, just tell them you are having a big Chicken Stew or some other neighborhood type of event.

  • Rice – First off, buy a 50lb. bag of rice. These contain 504 servings and I don’t know too many people who won’t eat rice. It is simple to cook and stores for years if you keep it cool and dry. This bag at Sam’s costs about $19 now.
  • Beans – Next buy a bag of dry beans. This will check off the Beans part of your Beans, Bullets and Band-Aids list. A good size bag is about $5 and makes 126 servings. Buy two if you think your family would like them.
  • Canned meat – Cans are great for fruits and vegetables and anyone can find something they will eat. For canned meat, I recommend tuna or chicken because it tastes a heck of a lot better than Spam and you can easily mix that into your rice. For the meat you will need approximately 35 cans. Each can has about 3 servings and this will be the most costly, but they last over a year usually and your family probably eats chicken or tuna on a semi-regular basis anyway so restocking this should be simple.
  • Canned Vegetables – you will need about 40 cans of vegetables and again this can be whatever your family will eat. Expect to pay around a dollar each so $40 for veggies to last your family a month.
  • Canned Fruit – again, simple fruits that your family will eat. These can even be fruit cocktail if that is the safest thing. At Costco they have the #10 cans of fruit like pears or apple slices and each of these has 25 servings. 5 of these will cost about $25 and give your family their daily dose of fruit.
  • Oatmeal – Good old-fashioned oatmeal is simple to cook and store. A normal container has 30 servings each so purchase about 4 of these and your family won’t starve for breakfast. At $2 each that is about $8 for breakfast for a month for a family of four. Could you exchange Pop-tarts? Maybe, but I find oatmeal more filling and less likely to be snacked on.
  • Honey– Honey is a miracle food really as it will never go bad if you keep it dry and cool. Honey will last you forever and Sam’s has large containers that hold 108 servings. You can use this in place of sugar to satisfy the sweet tooth. Honey even has medicinal properties and you can use this to add some flavor to your oatmeal for breakfast.
  • Salt – Same as honey, salt will never go bad if you keep it dry and helps the flavor of anything. You can buy a big box of salt for around $1 and that will last your whole family a month easily.
  • Vitamins – I recommend getting some good multivitamins to augment your nutrition in the case of a disaster or emergency. Granted, rice and beans aren’t the best and you won’t be getting as many nutrients from canned fruit and vegetables so the vitamins help to fill in the gaps and keep you healthy. One big bottle costs about $8. You will need to get a kids version too if you have children small enough that they can’t or won’t swallow a big multivitamin.

All of the list above will feed the average family of 4 for right at 30 days and makes a great start to your food preparations. The meat was the most expensive part but the bill comes to around $500 give or take but this will vary by where you live. Should you stop there? No, but this is just a good starting point and you should expand from here. I would keep all of these items in your pantry along with your regular groceries and rotate these to keep the contents fresh.

What Next?

Once you have 30 days of groceries in your pantry I would recommend looking into storing larger quantities in Mylar bags or purchasing freeze-dried foods and bulk grains to augment your supplies. You would also need to plan for basic necessities like hygiene (hello toilet paper!) and different food items.

What else should you have? I would recommend several large candles (very cheap at WalMart) or a propane powered lantern, matches or lighters, batteries for flashlights a good first aid kit, radio and plenty of water. You should also add bullion cubes and spices in to make the meals more palatable. Is this going to be as good as some toaster strudel or 3-egg omelets from your chickens in the morning? No, but this list above will keep your family alive.

Water is another post, but for a month you will need 120 gallons at a minimum. Storing this isn’t as easy as groceries but there are lots of options.

This should get you started on your food preps and you can build on from here. Let me know if you have other ideas I missed.

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When you start to consider prepping, one of the first things you need to start prepping for is food. Simply put, food is one essential you need to live and

So exactly what is ‘social distance’?

It you ask the professionals in the Public Health sector, it means keeping your distance when you are sick and from people who appear to be sick. Simple, however not everyone who is sick appears to be sick. And those same Public Health professionals are in the business of being exposed to the sick. It goes with the territory.

We tend to avoid people displaying obvious symptoms of a contagion, the normal coughing, sneezing, watery red and puffy eyes, or wearing a medical mask (we don’t care it if it is for their protection more than ours, it is a symptom). We at least try and minimize our contact. The earliest references to social distancing are from the seventh century BC in the Book of Leviticus, 13:46: “And the leper in whom the plague is…he shall dwell alone; [outside] the camp shall his habitation be.”

Now if they are immediate family we have to opt for the normal precautions that apply to those same public health personnel, washing your hands often, avoid bodily fluids, stop touching your face, masks, etc.

Germs Love New Playgrounds

And they travel on a number of highways we provide them:

  • direct physical contact with others – body fluids exchanges, sneezes, coughs, touching with unwashed hands
  • couriered by a third party, pets, insects, hand-to-hand-to-hand, a food handler, someone in the supply chain of an item that comes in contact with us.

And the eyes, more than the ears, nose or throat are a primary entry point. People generally touch their faces up to 3,000 times in a day. I haven’t tried to count but wearing glasses, I rub my eyes often.

Social Distancing as A Prepper Basic

But social distancing has other applications as well. To be sure the explosion in cell phones that do so much more that just phone calls and other electronic devices has actually been an aid in minimizing the spread of germs, or so it seems to the casual observer. Who hasn’t driven past a school bus stop of grade school and older children where each is self-absorbed in their personal device as opposed to interacting with their peers? We are all now guilty of this to some extent. Walk into any Starbucks on the planet.

Social distancing in a pandemic is something that preppers need to understand as there are actually laws written on the matter and protocols to be followed.

In an off-grid situation the introduction of a virus, even a known flu can have dire consequences, especially for older members of your group or those with already sketchy immune systems.  And the delivery chain must always be suspect. Be it anything material, from food to ammunition to electronic devices to new linens for the kids beds, the number of hands that have touched it are countless, and out of our control.

In a real world disaster one of the first things in your planning should be social distancing and how to quickly achieve it. A “who is in” and “who is out” protocol with preservation of self and family your primary goal. An understanding among your group that they immediately need to isolate themselves from strangers and even friends who may be ill. And they need to be open and honest about any exposure so you can plan accordingly because suddenly you are going to be in close quarters and most likely without professional medical help available or access to medications not already in your stash.

Strangers At the Gate

Depending on the SHTF situation, your hunker-down location, the travels of the Golden Horde and other factors you need to plan for strangers showing up on your doorstep, whatever that might be.

And their outward medical condition needs to be a part of your decision making process in addressing them. If they are alone it is pretty straight forward, but if there are two and one is sick, it is a consideration that being separated, or leaving the other behind or outside, is going to bring a whole other level of complication to your decision.

There isn’t a proverb that states verbatim that “Charity Begins at Home” though it makes perfect sense to the rational person. One really must provide for ones own first and best. The notion that a man’s family should be his foremost concern is expressed in 1 Timothy 5:8, King James Bible, 1611: “But if any provide not for his own, and specifically for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” Too often now we see that the good of the many is more important than the good of the few – in open immigration of the sick, we have reintroduced contagious diseases such as measles, and smallpox and tuberculosis. In that name of charity.

As a part of the many exposed for the good of the few we need to consider social distancing as a tool, not to deny friendship or help, not to marginalize others due to their circumstances, but as another arrow in our self defense quiver when we are faced with an emergency.

So exactly what is ‘social distance’? It you ask the professionals in the Public Health sector, it means keeping your distance when you are sick and from people who appear to

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To name a few of them, we have:

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, what exactly are good horticulture practices?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pickling or the art of making fermented goods and foods.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To outline a few benefits of vinegar:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

American colonists were once encouraged to grow and cultivate cannabis for hemp, but it all changed when the plant’s more “medicinal” uses were discovered. And here we are now.

These days it seems like Wall Street has high hopes for the blossoming cannabis industry — with marijuana stocks rapidly gaining traction. Tilray (TLRY) , the first marijuana IPO in the United States, has been having a heyday in the market, with one of the most astonishing sessions earlier this week that saw the stock shoot up over 90% before closing lower. And with an estimated valuation of around $24 billion, cannabis is no longer a joke on The Street.

As other companies like Coca-Cola (KO – Get Report)  work on getting a piece of the pot pie, it seems the wave of approval for cannabis-based companies and IPOs won’t be stopped.


Question is – why aren’t you investing in marijuana stocks right now?

You’re missing out on what could be the quickest and easiest way to get rich in your lifetime. Right now, literally hundreds of these marijuana stocks are exploding to rare highs of 8,500%11,430%17,054%25,099% and even 127,900%

Minting hundreds of new millionaires — and even billionaires, like Christian Blue and Michael Kennedy — along the way. And because many of these marijuana stocks are still trading for just pennies, you could literally start investing in marijuana stocks with just a $100 bill.

So what’s keeping you from turning that tiny stake into a massive fortune, and retire incredibly wealthy in less than a year. I’ve seen it happen to literally dozens of folks already.  And even more, are still becoming millionaires seemingly every single day.

One fellow I know of, for example — Terry Braid — was a local electrician in his hometown, when he decided to invest in this once-in-a-lifetime boom with a friend. The result? His combined stake is now worth over $200 million! Imagine that… A 53-year-old now has more millions than he could ever spend. All because he invested in what historians could look back on as the biggest boom ever.

You will NEVER see an easier way to get rich than explosive marijuana stocks… not in your lifetime. And if you miss out, you’ll spend the rest of your life regretting it.

news headline

Right now, hedge funds, venture capitalists, institutional investors and even massive corporations like Constellation Brands have marijuana investments in the pipeline. And once they get set up, billions — possibly even trillions — of dollars will flow into the marijuana industry, helping push these marijuana stocks even higher.

This really is the new gold rush.

That’s why we’re already seeing some of the world’s biggest investors, like hedge fund billionaire Leon Cooperman, and billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel, go all in. It’s the biggest no-brainer of our generation.

But while the “smart money” is going all-in right now,  everyday folks are being left out of this once-in-a-lifetime “get-rich-quick opportunity.” Regular Americans like you are not participating, simply because they don’t know how to get started, or what marijuana stocks they should buy.

And that’s not fair.

Many of These Tiny Marijuana Stocks Are Still Trading for Just Pennies!



Because there are literally countless dozens of other small marijuana stocks still trading for pennies, you could get started with a single $100 bill. You could cash out with a retirement fortune just a few short months from today.

After all, just look at what happened with shares of Abattis Bioceuticals Corp., a tiny Canadian-based marijuana company. You’ve probably never heard of it. But had you invested a single $100 bill when shares were trading for just 3 cents, you could have cashed out with $9,208 in profits. In just a little over three months!


Look, take it from someone who has been involved with the markets for well over a decade. There’s never been ANYTHING like this before. This is the true “get rich quick” opportunity you’ve spent your whole life waiting for, one that could turn a single $100 bill into a retirement fortune.

That’s because Abattis Bioceuticals Corp. is just one of literally hundreds of marijuana stocks that are exploding right now…

For example, look at what happened with shares of Acacia Diversified Holdings, a tiny marijuana company from Clearwater, Florida. Had you put $100 in when shares were trading for just pocket change, you could have turned your $100 stake into a quick $13,700 windfall. Invest $1,000 and you’d be looking at $137,000 in profits!

Imagine that… six figures in gains in just a few short weeks.




You’re probably starting to see why so many people are becoming marijuana millionaires seemingly every day. That’s because the bottom line is this: almost every single day, dozens of marijuana stocks are exploding, making it the fastest and easiest way to grow rich… starting with just a few dollars in your pocket. 

But this WON’T last forever…

The marijuana stocks that are trading for pennies will soon begin trading for $25… $50… $75… or maybe even $100 or more. And once they get expensive like that, it will be too late for you to get rich quick. We’re already starting to see it happen with some marijuana stocks like Canopy Growth Corp., which recently reached a high of $51.53.

That’s why I can’t emphasize size this enough, there’s no time to waste.  We will NEVER see an opportunity even remotely like this again in our lifetime. That means you have a very small window of opportunity to act. One that’s closing with each passing day.

Just remember, every day you sit out, someone else is growing rich from Marijuana Stocks!

Funny or not, it’s just the simple truth.

Just remember, every day you sit out, someone else is growing rich from Marijuana Stocks!

In thinking about preparing your family for survival after a disaster or emergency situation you can’t forget to consider their health. Your family’s health is affected by so much more than having adequate stores of food. Having the best gun for self-defense is great and important, but what if someone in your group comes down with an illness that was easily prevented? What if the killer that attacks you is a sinister little microorganism you never saw coming?

Of course, the health impacts vary with the event that caused the disaster. Flooding and Hurricanes would produce different health issues than a winter storm that knocked out the power. The subject of health though is always one that should be in your short-term plans for SHTF.


What is sanitation? Let’s just make this simple and say that the importance of sanitation is everything to do with getting rid of waste. In a grid-up scenario, most of us have access to a lot of systems to take care of sanitation for us. We have running water, toilets and garbage pick-up or landfills. If you don’t have any of those, you probably wouldn’t be on the internet reading this. Those systems do a pretty nice job of getting the trash and our waste far away from us and that is important. Without Sanitation, diseases quickly spread.

For example, after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, more than half a million people became ill with Cholera. That disease quickly spread into neighboring countries so bad. Cholera is a water-borne disease. In Haiti, where most people lacked public sewage systems or sanitary latrines after the disaster, people often drink from the same water source they use to bathe and defecate. People ill with cholera develop severe diarrhea and, without immediate treatment, can become dehydrated. The rapid dehydration can cause shock, which can lead to death.

How can we prevent that? Several ways, but one primary concern is to make sure our waste isn’t contaminating our drinking water. To do that, we have to have a plan for taking care of good old number 2.


Bathroom Facilities

The average human produces two to three pints of urine and one pound of feces every day. If you have a family of four or a group of twenty, that adds up quickly. Whatever the solution for removing waste we have to ensure that it will not contaminate any water supplies. A good rule of thumb is to bury waste at least 150 away from the nearest water source.

Here are a few different options for getting that waste safely out-of-the-way.


As long as the septic lines aren’t clogged or backed up, you can still use your toilet. Actually, if you have a septic tank, you could conceivable use this in a grid-down scenario forever. Your toilet just needs water to flush everything down and that is a major reason people fill up bathtubs before a hurricane. The water isn’t so much for drinking, although you could since it came out of the tap (I know what is in my tub so I wouldn’t without a good filter) but you can easily use this to flush your toilet. Simply take a gallon bucket filled with water and pour it into the bowl when you are done. Gravity will do the rest. Assuming there is a radio after the disaster you can listen and see if the sewer lines are still functioning and this is only an option if water is not an issue.

Five Gallon Bucket


5-Gallon bucket toilet

If you have ever been camping in the woods and used the bathroom by squatting you will appreciate that even having a bucket to sit on can make a world of difference. Sure, squatting will work in a pinch (no pun intended) but I am used to sitting on the throne and the next best thing would be sitting on something, anything as opposed to squatting. That’s just me. A five-gallon bucket only needs a proper toilet seat and you are in business. You can take the seat off your existing toilet and there are even kits pre-made with the lid that fits perfectly on your bucket without slipping. While this makes the act seem more like the good old days of your trusty porcelain friend, they do need to be cleaned out. Having dirt or sawdust to cover over the feces will reduce smell and flies and make it so you don’t have to clean as often.

Cat Hole


Cat Hole – No frills

Another camping favorite when we have a bigger group and a chair. The cat hole is most easily dug with a post-hole digger and you want to make it as deep as possible without getting into your water table. The process would be to dig the hole and fill it in with dirt after it becomes about 1/2 full of waste. Once the hole is dug, you can set a chair with a hole in it over the hole, hence the post hole digger since this will make a hole just big enough to drop the important stuff down, but your chair will still fit over it. This process would be repeated often if you had a large group. Don’t have a chair, just take one that you have and cut a hole in it or put your wood working skills to use and make a box with a hole and mount your toilet seat over the hole.

Slit Trench

This would be for larger groups who plan to cover the trench with more permanent toilet facilities. If you are ready for this option, you seem to have sanitation or at least a crew to dig a large trench covered.

No Toilet Paper?

Ah, the subject of so many blog posts and forum threads. Do you have enough toilet paper stored? What will you do when you run out of paper? It will happen eventually and you will be forced to get back to nature… Some items I have thought of are old phone books or catalogs. We’d be covered for a year on just the holiday junk mail catalogs alone. Some other preppers recommend a water sprayer which might work, but I haven’t tried that.


What trash will you have after the SHTF? I can think of lots of trash accumulating in the near term after a disaster and most people will fill up the large hefty bags and sit them on the corner or on the street. If the garbage services are no longer running, burning your trash would be suitable. I would be careful to salvage items that may come in use later which, if you think about it, could be almost anything. Glass or plastic containers that could be used to store water wouldn’t go into the recycling bin anymore. Tin or aluminum cans could also be re-purposed. I can see paper getting burned in the fire, but that may be something to save for the bathroom…

If you have other ideas or tips on sanitation, let us know in the comments. I look forward to hearing from you.


In thinking about preparing your family for survival after a disaster or emergency situation you can’t forget to consider their health. Your family’s health is affected by so much more

It’s crazy to think that Rottweilers and Poodles are in the same family of animals. Or for that matter, Great Danes and Toy Chihuahuas. They are as different as they come. One is 200 pounds, the other is 2.

In much the same way, have you ever realized how many different breeds of people fall under the “survival” umbrella (this is the smooth transition to topic)? In case you haven’t, there are tons. And each type of “survivalist” is unique in their own weird ways. Recently, I’ve been reminded again, of just how funny it actually is. Walk with me:

food-storage-momFood Storage Moms
– these are the sweet middle aged moms who equate the idea of survival with having a basement full of canned foods (some of which they probably canned themselves). Probably also soccer moms. They know the importance of stocking those cupboards full!

– swear that someday soon just about everybody is going to be torched in a giant nuclear explosion, drowned in a flood, frozen to death in another ice age, or abducted by aliens. These guys are the converts of Independence day, I Am Legend, and all the other wonderful Hollywood portrayals.

tactical-hoo-rah1-Tactical Hoo-Rahs
– these are the guys that treat everything like it’s the battlefield. They borrow all the acronyms, abbreviations and terminology from their military days. These guys are all about stockpiling firepower, blowing things up, and beating the bad guys.


Primitive Skills – the hippies of the group. These are the folks that farmers markets are made of. They love to make their own clothes, build their own homes, grow their own food, and in all other possible ways be “at one” with our mother earth. These guys often have learned a tremendous amount about living off the land.

camping-nut1Camping & Hunting Nuts
– LOVE spending time in the outdoors. They can’t get enough of hunting, tracking, animal calls, hiding in bushes, and analyzing poop. They like the adventure of making do and doing without, so they do it for fun. To these guys, the concept of “survival” is being alone in the wilderness.

paramedics-Medical Mavens
– pride themselves on being able to perform CPR, first aid, emergency surgeries, treat and dress wounds, triage the victims of mass destruction, and anything else medical. To them, the apex of “survival” is being able to put people back together.

right-wing-extremists-Right Wing Extremists
– swear that the government is slowly taking away our freedoms, and that people are being led down the path of “following the system” without questioning. Everything is a conspiracy, nothing should be trusted–especially if it’s the Feds. The less government there is, the better.

boy-scoutBoy Scouts
– are a close relative of the camping/hunting nuts. Their brand of survival is also largely “wilderness survival.” They become more “prepared” by passing off merit badges dealing with the safe and proper way of: building a fire, using a knife, making camp, disposing of waste (paper and otherwise), splitting wood, navigating by map, and more.

doomsday-economists1Doomsday Economists
– these guys prophesy of the times when paper money will be completely worthless, and burnt to keep warm. They put their faith in stockpiling raw goods and precious metals. They invest in foreign markets, and keep their wealth spread around, so that it can’t be lost all at once.


I’m sure there are more, but this is just a small cross-section of some of the more prominent survival subsets that I’ve noticed. I’ve had the privilege of rubbing shoulders with people from all groups, via Twitter, Facebook, blog posts, and in face to face conversations.

It’s eye opening because it really does illustrate how different people choose to deal with problems (or potential problems). And  it’s comical. It could easily be a t-shirt.

Am I A Rottweiler, Poodle, or Mutt?

The more I rub shoulders with different mindsets, the more I realize that I borrow from them all. But that’s such a safe answer. Everybody would say that crap. To make myself be more specific, I would say I’m a mutt of roughly:

  • 2 parts Right Wing Extremist–I love the idea of opportunity and I hate the idea of homogeneity, and I think our founding fathers would roll over in their graves if they had any idea that nation they raised had flip-flopped.
  • 1 part Camping Nut–Nothing is more fun, relaxing and just plain liberating to me than being outdoors, and away from the bustle. Although I’m really not much of a hunter or gamesman, it’s just fun to step into the natural world.
  • 1 part Primitive Skills–Tame the land. Learning to use all my natural surroundings for a purpose has always struck a chord within me. Some of my most prized possessions are homemade. High on quality, high on satisfaction, low on cost.

But I’m constantly learning and evolving. We all are. Next year I could largely be a “food storage mom” maybe, who knows? But no matter what brand of survival we are or may call ourselves, it’s important to realize that there truly are practical and absurd things about each.

You can’t save a kids life with CPR if all you’ve been doing is collecting guns and blowing stuff up. And by the same token, you can have the Merck medical book memorized and still starve to death without a little food storage. Rather, learn from them all, realize the limitations and craziness inherent to each, and contribute where you can. To sum it up–be real about the journey you are on. Because after all, it will be real soon enough some day.


It’s crazy to think that Rottweilers and Poodles are in the same family of animals. Or for that matter, Great Danes and Toy Chihuahuas. They are as different as they