Food is one of the crucial items for your bug out bag and INCH bags. It seems as if you typically find the same recommendations on every website. You want different options! You should know the difference between a bug out bag and an INCH bag.

An INCH bag stands for I’m never coming home. Essentially, it is a larger survival kit with all of the necessary items you will need to survive the SHTF scenario. The plan is for this plan to sustain you indefinitely or until you can reach a safety point, such as a predetermined location.

On the flip side, a bug out bag (BOB) holds three days of rescue items. They are ideal for civil unrest, hurricanes, fires, snowstorms, and other disasters. You do plan to return home when the coast is clear.

There are hundreds of choices when it comes to what types of food you can put in your bags. There are a few things you want to consider when making your choices.

  • Calorie Ratio to Weight of Item: That can of soup might sound like a good idea, but it weighs a lot. You want food that has a small weight with higher calorie. You want as many calories per ounce as possible.
  • Macronutrients: You want more fats and proteins than carbohydrates. However, don’t forget the carbs because they do give you bursts of energy that you need for your journey ahead. Fats and proteins fill you up faster and add more calories.
  • Shelf Life: Yes, a fresh apple would take amazing, but you can’t store them in your bag waiting for an SHTF You need food that lasts for a long time. It is important that you keep a list of expiration dates, so you know when to rotate the items.
  • Preparation: The food items you select shouldn’t be hard to prepare. It is nice to have some comfort foods, but the food you select should be easily prepared. All you might have access to is a campfire or no form of cooking at all!

The List

  1. Raisins and Peanuts: If you’ve spent any time hiking, you know that raisins and peanuts are a standard food item. They are rich in calories and require no preparation efforts. You can pick the kind that has chocolate peanuts – everyone loves chocolate! However, it can melt if you are in the heat. It is best if you get individually locked bags rather than those huge bags. One cup of peanuts and raisins equals close to 700 calories.
  2. Freeze Dried Meals: Many preppers like to keep freeze dried meals in their bags. They will fill you up quickly. All you have to do is pour some hot water into the bags. Then, you seal up the bags for the recommended time. Some meals are enough for more than one person.
  3. Peanut Butter: A tablespoon of peanut butter can have up to 190 calories. That is a lot! Instead of lugging around a jar of peanut butter, look for individually peanut butter packets or cups.
  4. Dried Fruit: There are so many choices for dried fruit, from apricots to apples. They are full of sugar, so it can help to give you a boost of energy when you’re feeling low. Your local store should have a great selection. Pineapples, bananas, mango, and berries won’t weigh too much in your bag.
  5. Protein Bars: When you are walking for a long time, you need energy and protein to keep going. Protein bars are a favorite among hikers. You can eat them on the go. Most of them are pretty delicious. The only downside to protein bars is that they can get messy, especially if they contain chocolate. You can fit a few protein bars into your bar, taking up very little space.
  6. Beef Jerky: Jerky is another food item that doesn’t take up too much space or weight of your bag. You can munch on jerky as you are walking. Beef jerky is sold in dozens of flavors and packaging. It is a great source of protein. However, beef jerky also has a higher level of sodium, which could cause dehydration if you eat too much. Make sure that you limit yourself.
  7. Emergency Meal Bars: These bars are similar to MREs and protein bars, rolled into one. Emergency meal bars can have 2,500 calories in one bar! The flavor isn’t always amazing, but your goal is survival. Taste isn’t most important. They store easily in bags and make a good choice for an INCH bag to save space.
  8. Granola Mixes and Bars: Stores have whole sections devoted to granola bars and mixes. You can find bags with different things in the granola, a great choice for breakfasts and snacks. Granola bars are great food ideas for on the go. Even kids love granola bars! They store easily and come in multiple, delicious flavors. Some have nuts, oats, chocolate or raisins!
  9. Tuna and Salmon Pouches: You want different sources of protein for your bags. Cans of tuna are out of the question; they tend to weigh your bag down. The stores sell pouches of tuna and salmon, not mixed. They are great eaten cold or warmed up. You can put some tuna on a cracker for a snack. The pouches of tuna and salmon are relatively inexpensive, costing around one dollar each. They also come flavored, such as BBQ and lemon pepper.
  10. Dried Soup, Chicken and Beef Bouillon: If you want to make soup on the go, you need some bouillon cubes. They can easily be stored in envelopes and paper bags. All you have to do is add hot water. Just like MREs, you can find packets of dried soup that just requires hot water to reconstitute.
  11. Instant Oatmeal: If you have a tin cup to heat water, you can make yourself instant oatmeal. Instant oatmeal contains mostly carbs, but it is a great kick start to your day. There are multiple flavors available, taking up very little space in your bags. I would suggest keeping them in a plastic, zippered bag. Instant oatmeal pouches are easily torn.
  12. Meal Replacement or Protein Powders: Protein powder tends to be disgusting, but it is a source of protein and nutrients for you. All you have to do is add the powder to water. Add scoops to a plastic baggie and store them in your bag. You can also keep electrolyte powders in your bag that you just add right to the BOB bag. They will keep you hydrated.
  13. Instant Noodles: Who doesn’t like Ramen noodles? Instant noodles are super lightweight, but they make a great meal. Instant noodle packets are high in carbohydrates. The flavor packet has salt. Eating actual meals can feel comforting after a long journey or a hard day.
  14. Sardine Tins: There is some weight to sardine tins, but the tins themselves are quite small. There is a lot of protein, calories, and fats in these little cans. The weight might be worth it if you want an extra source of nutrients.
  15. Salami or Pepperoni: The idea of pulling out a log of pepperoni or salami might seem comical. However, you can find bags of sliced pepperoni. It does contain more salt than other meats, but you want some variety in your BOB and INCH bags.
  16. Tortillas: Bread is too bulky to take with you, so tortillas are a better choice. Tortillas contain plenty of carbohydrates, and you can use them with other food. It is a great addition to tuna or salmon to complete your meal.
  17. Ready to Eat Rice Pouches: Rice pouches are great for quick dinners now, and they are a great addition to your BOB for a real meal. Remember, these pouches have a lot of sodium and carbs. You shouldn’t pick rice pouches for an every meal type of item. However, you can add them with your tuna pouch to make a complete
  18. Instant Mashed Potatoes: When you want to have some comfort food, mashed potatoes fit that bill. Since you can’t bring along potatoes and create homemade potatoes on the trail, it has to be instant mashed potatoes. All you need is hot water. Add some instant mashed potatoes with a can of shredded chicken for a delicious dinner.
  19. Spam Pouches: Here is another idea for a source of protein, even if it is slightly strange. You have to enjoy the taste of Spam to want to include it in your BOB or INCH bag. Spam pouches can be heated in a cup of hot water.
  20. Dehydrated Hummus: Hummus is a favorite treat for many people. It is usually kept refrigerated, so most people don’t think about it as an option for a BOB. You can find packs of dehydrated hummus that requires you to add water.
  21. Crackers: Many of the items on the list are better with crackers. Yes, they are a bit bulky, so you have to consider what type you are bringing and the amount. Crackers make life better! They give you a better way to eat your dehydrated hummus and peanut butter pouches.
  22. Bags of Beans: Pinto beans are a favorite among preppers. They do take the effort to prepare, so that should be a factor. You need a pot that you can put over a fire. A bag of beans will need to cook for at least an hour in water over a fire. However, there is plenty of protein in a single bag of beans.
  23. Cereal and Breakfast Bars: If you need a boost of energy, cereal and breakfast bars are great choices. They typically contain oats and some fruit. They can give a bit of flavor and excitement to your pack!
  24. Sunflower Seeds: When you are on your journey, you want a lightweight and delicious snack that contains healthy fats. Sunflower seeds are a comfort food that can soothe stress and satisfy your hunger until you find somewhere you can set up camp to cook. Other seeds to consider are chia and flax seeds, which are lightweight and contain extra oil.
  25. Dehydrated Vegetables: Did you know that you can dehydrate your vegetables at home? All you need is a dehydrator, Mylar bags, and oxygen packets. Dehydrated veggies are easy to reconstitute with water and make great additions to dinners and lunches.
  26. Chocolate: There isn’t much protein in chocolate, but it contains sugar which gives you a burst of energy. The energy wears off quickly, but it will satisfy your cravings. It is a welcome relief after just eating canned and prepackaged food for multiple days. If you don’t want just to take plain chocolate, Tootsie Rolls are a great choice. Tootsie Rolls are great for hot summer months. Believe it or not, World War II soldiers carried them to eat. You want to make sure that you grab the long ones to conserve space!
  1. Nuts: I mentioned peanuts and raisins, but there are other nuts you can try. Pistachio, almonds, and cashews are almost the top choices. You do have to be careful and look at the sodium content. Salted nuts do help to replace the salt lost because of extra sweating, but it can make you more thirsty. Too much sodium leads to dehydration.
  2. Cereal: Chances are you won’t have access to fresh milk while on the go. Dried cereal still adds carbs to your diet and gives a feeling of comfort. If you have kids along on the journey, Cheerios are a beloved cereal.
  3. Honey Straws: Honey is a delicious, unique source of sugar and energy. You need the energy to survive an SHTF Honey straws or hard sugar candies can give you that little burst that you need.
  4. Coffee Singles: Even if you are on the go, you still want to have some caffeine and coffee on the go. You can purchase instant coffee and Coffee Mate To Go for flavoring and sweetness. Make sure that you have a cup with you that lets you heat your coffee over the fire or however you want to cook your coffee!
  5. Pop Tarts: I know you are thinking that those aren’t healthy at all. You would be right. Pop Tarts are mostly artificial sugar. However, they give you some energy and carbs if you need a pick me up. Plus, kids are pretty quick to eat them.
  6. Peanut Butter Crackers: I mentioned peanut butter and crackers separately, but you can purchase these together to save space. Premade peanut butter cracker sandwiches are found in the store and are relatively cheap.

There are so many choices for foods you can include in your bug out bag and INCH bags. You don’t want to pick all of these items. Find the ones that you think makes the most sense and you find the most enjoyable. Remember, a BOB is enough food to last you 72 hours. Most experts recommend a week or two of food for an INCH bag. After that, you should have supplies to start gathering your food by hunting and fishing.


Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

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

Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)

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

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

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

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

Food is one of the crucial items for your bug out bag and INCH bags. It seems as if you typically find the same recommendations on every website. You want

Your list of home remedies is about to get even more interesting and spicier. Although these natural herbs are have been used hundreds of years, doctors and scientists are now recommending them to be used for healing purposes. These natural medical resources can be easily substituted as traditional methods of medication. The plants have capabilities to heal and reduce cholesterol, high blood pressure and arthritis pain to name a few. Some of the best healing herbs even have the ability to treat cancer cells and also help alcoholics to curb their drinking habit.

The natural medical resources or herbs and other natural remedies are as effective as traditional treatments. In some cases, they are even more effective without any side effects. Here are some of the best medical resources that you can get from nature. These super-healers can be added into your natural medicine or herbal products cabinet along with your favorite recipes. Fitting a few of them in your daily routine can be beneficial for the body.

Turmeric

Turmeric is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. It is native to southern Asia

Turmeric contains anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous properties. Whoever thought an ingredient used for taste in curry can help to relieve pain? This spice which is popular for its use in curry contains curcumin that helps to treat arthritis. Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory and an important element that works just like Cox-2 inhibitors drugs to reduce the Cox-2 enzyme which results in the swelling of arthritis.

The herb is known for doing wonders. Another reason why turmeric is popular because it reduces precancerous lesions when taken with quercetin which is found in apples, onions, and cabbage. Turmeric also helps to clear plaques in the brain that are an important characteristic of the disease.

Cinnamon

A recent study on type 2 diabetics showed that taking cinnamon extract every day reduces the blood sugar level in the body by 10%. It reduces risks related to heart and slash cholesterol by about 13%.

1 g capsules of cinnamon extract every day help to tame blood sugar while 1 to 6 g capsules reduce cholesterol. However, a large amount of actual spice is not good for health. Thus, it’s better to stick to water-soluble extract.

Rosemary

Heterocyclic amines or HCAs are some vital carcinogens that are present in several types of cancers. These amines are created after grilling, frying and broiling meat at high temperatures. Rosemary extract which is a common powder mixed in beef after cooking reduces HCA levels in the body.

Rosemary extract also prevents carcinogens from binding with DNA and stops them from entering the body. It is the first step of the formation of tumor and rosemary extracts helps to prevent cancer at an initial stage. Thus, taking rosemary extract will kill carcinogens before they turn into a tumor. This research has been only carried out on animals but the extract has a tendency to prevent cancer.

In order to reduce HCAs in the body, make sure that you add rosemary extract in any spice mix. It will also enhance the taste, making the dish stronger in flavors. You can mix the herb with oregano, parsley, thyme and onions for a perfect mix.

Ginger

Ginger can protect your stomach from various sources including motion sickness, pregnancy, and chemotherapy. This is an old home remedy that we often hear from our mothers and grandmothers. They are right because it really works!

Ginger is a powerful antioxidant that blocks the effects of serotonin in the body. It is a chemical that the stomach and body produce when you feel nausea by stopping the production of free radicals which is also another cause of an upset stomach.

Garlic


High consumption of garlic have cured colorectal and ovarian cancers. People have also experienced a reduction in the number and size of precancerous growths. The benefits of garlic are not only limited to lowering risks of cancer, but it also decreases high blood pressure. There are about 70 active phytochemicals in garlic including allicin that deceases blood pressure by 30 points.

Garlic in your diet slows down the arterial blockages and prevent strokes. Fresh and crushed garlic offers the best cancer-fighting and cardiovascular benefits. However, one should have at least five crushed garlic cloves to enjoy maximum benefits.

Holy Basil

Several animal studies back holy basil, a special variety of the plant you use in your pesto sauce, Holy basil is effective in reducing stress by increasing the noradrenaline and adrenaline along with decreasing serotonin in the body. The herb is also popular to relieve headaches and indigestion. Tea leaves of the holy basil is a great natural resource which is more effective than traditional methods of relieving pain.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera was used in traditional medicine for treating skin disease, constipation, infections, worm infestation and colic. In Chinese medicine, it is popular for treating various fungal diseases. In today’s modern times, the herb is used in various cosmetics to make skin softer.

Surprisingly, Aloe Vera consists of more than 78 active components. Studies have shown that the herb also contains antiviral, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. It builds up the immune system and does not cause any allergic reaction.

FeverFew

FeverFew is a natural herb that has been used over centuries to ease headaches, toothaches, stomach-ache, infertility, menstruation problems and labor during childbirth. The healing effect comes from a biochemical present in the herb known as parthenolides. It fights against the widening of blood vessels during migraines. The herb also prevents blood clots, dizziness, relieve allergies and reduces arthritis pain.

St. John’s Wort

St. Johns Wort herbs are not used to treat the physical symptoms but also used for relieving anxiety and mild to moderate depression. The best thing about it is it works effectively as any other drug without any side-effects.

Saw Palmetto

Saw palmetto is used as a supplement consumed by men to treat prostate cancer. It also contributes to several health issues related to men such as hair loss, libido and enlarged prostate. Other than that, it is said to promote relaxation, treat respiratory conditions and boost immune function.

 

The natural medical resources or herbs and other natural remedies are as effective as traditional treatments. In some cases, they are even more effective without any side effects. Here are

During the great depression when the dollar collapsed, basic items became currency. Any trip to the market would be better accompanied with items such as tobacco, or alcohol to be used as barter and trade items, rather than a pocket full of dollars purely because of the fact that they were worth so much more.

Bring the clock forward 80 years and we’re still seeing the same high value placed in everyday items over physical cash in countries that have suffered economic breakdowns, or have been crippled by war. Venezuela, currently the world’s worst economic collapse of this time, has seen an extraordinary surge in the value daily items due to its crippling inflation. A pack of popular brand condoms is more than USD$70 in Venezuela’s capital, Caracas. That value, in comparison to Venezuela’s current USD$4 per month minimum wage, gives brand name condoms an almost-golden value.

But they are not the only items that have become valuable for trade and barter in economic collapse environments. In this post we take a trip through time to find what items have been used as trade items instead of hyperinflated currencies, and what, at best, we can predict will be future household items that you should consider stocking, should times start to get tough again.

Why do items become more valuable than money in tough times?

Currency resembles a nation’s economic health. In an economic collapse such as the Great Depression, or Venezuela’s economic collapse, the value of currency is damaged. Things become more expensive over time as import, trade and manufacturing sectors weaken. As time goes on, the price of things rise and daily household items become more expensive. When the price of things rise, and the dollar falls, we get inflation.

Inflation is happening to us right now, and for many economically healthy countries, there is still an inflation index. For instance, the 2018 inflation rate for the US is 2.38%. In a year a pack of chewing gum that costs $1 this year, will cost $1.02 next year. According to reports, Venezuela’s inflation rate is more than 4,000%. That means our $1 pack of chewing gum will be $41.

If you couple this, with a supply and trade industry that is ruined by economic collapse, dead markets, and widespread job loss, things start to have a lot of value. This is also interlinked with banks closing down, creditors taking their money out of businesses, and the supply of cash seemingly halting as there is no way to draw money out of that great savings account some people have. As the value of currency declines, but the demand for items that aren’t available as much as they used to be rises, trade and barter in those items starts to occur. For instance, that packet of condoms could buy your groceries for the week. Or a bottle of alcohol could represent a valued trade for a month’s supply of toilet paper.

What do you have with you right now?

For most preppers, looking at what they currently have is important. It is the basis of what we have and what we know right now, that prepares us for anything that might happen tomorrow, next week or next year. For most of us, if an economic collapse happened right now, we’d be in big trouble. A lot of us do the regular shopping every week for household supplies and food to eat, and most of our money, whether it be daily transactions or savings money, is in the bank.

The last thing you want to be left with is an empty kitchen cupboard.

So think about this: if a rapid economic collapse was to occur tomorrow, and banks and food stores were to close, would you have enough supplies to live? What daily things do you use that would you desperately should they run out?

For a lot of preppers, thinking about this circumstance warrants having enough prepper supplies to be well off in a circumstance like this. Most of you who are reading this would have already attempted some form of prepping, whether it be just enough to get you buy for a few weeks, or a whole year’s worth of survival supplies for you and your family.

No matter what size your prepper supply is, the duration of an economic collapse will determine whether you have to start considering trading and bartering for goods and essentials. That is the problem with a financial collapse, we can’t really predict how long they will last or determine their severity. All we can do is make sure that we are best prepared for the issues that they bring.

A lot of what prepping is about is being self-sufficient, so that should something happen where supplies are cut off, you can still eat, drink, wash, cook, drive and live life. It differs from survival in that survival would be the things you do during an event itself. However as preppers, we act before something happens, so that we are ready for it, should it happen.

A lot of what prepping is, and the concept of barter and trade, is done between homesteaders, both in the past and this day and age. Homesteaders live in the country and are the prime example of people able to survive in a downturn as they are able to produce their own food, have their own water solutions, and have a trade system already developed between them and their neighbors.

As a homesteader, trade can be in the shape of helping out a neighbor with certain skills you might possess (carpentry and woodworking for instance), or it could be to trade fresh eggs from your chicken pen in exchange for fresh milk from someone’s cow. In an economic downturn, having skills and assets like this not only give you the ability to diversify your income, but also as a way to offer something to trade should you be short of supplies.

How to successfully barter and trade


Let’s say you have something someone needs. There is a big risk that comes with this in a post-collapse as there are people who no doubt feel they don’t have to abide by the rules that create a formal civilization (otherwise known as a world Without Rule Of Law, or WROL).

For the most part, I feel like bartering in a SHTF situation will only be amongst friends, neighbors and people in your circle. Unless there is a formal marketing in a popular street set up where you can run a stall, or barter for foods with your own goods, I don’t think there will be many barter or trade situations with strangers.

That’s good because if word got around that you have stockpiles of supplies lying around, you could be in a real risk of being the target of hungry, desperate scavengers, or just plain old greedy gangs or groups of people. This is the problem with being a prepper, it can be dangerous if you are the one with all of the food in a city or town of starving residents.

While this could be a likely risk in a worst-case collapse, the more realistic risks are those of getting ripped off by someone that is ultimately better at bartering than you are or coming across thieves. How can you avoid the risks of bartering in a post-collapse world? I think there are a couple of things, which might seem obvious to most, that you should ensure you do in any transaction where trade isn’t done with money and where sales are governed by laws of misrepresentation and fraud.

To avoid the risks associated with bartering, one of the most important things you can do is make sure it is in a public environment, or have others with you. Any thieves or just basic intimidators are likely to only try their tactics if there is no-one else around. Having that backup would just reinforce the fact that you are there to trade by a fair set of rules.

Know how much you need, and how much you are willing to give before you even think about bartering.

Second, know the value of the things you are trading for. If there is something you don’t know the value of, or to see if it is quality or not, take a specialist with you that knows about it. For instance, if you know nothing about motorbikes, you wouldn’t just buy a motorbike on your own without conducting a load of research or taking someone that knows what is right and what is not. The same applies to bartering, ensure you know the value of the things you are trading for. This is an important factor if you are considering trade as a way to survive in a SHTF situation, as the price of things will inevitably change, and you need to be up-to-date with those prices, otherwise, someone is going to buy things from you, and sell it elsewhere for twice the price.

When you are negotiating a trade, make sure you have an idea of what you are willing to pay and accept for yours and their items. Make sure you are clear on what it is you need by looking at your current supplies and making a list of what is necessary. No doubt any good trader will try to barter useless items they might say you need or will find useful, scrap them. You are trading for what you need, not what you enjoy.

If you are trading a service, or even just basic items, be clear on the terms of the trade, what you are trading for and the quantity of each item. Having a very clear set of terms is easy when trading items, but when you are doing a service or skill, such as fixing someone’s car, there are a lot of variables that can go wrong, such as if the car stops working a few days after you fix it, if new parts are needed who will pay for them, if it works, but not to your customer’s satisfaction what happens?

When it comes to agreements about services, there is an entire field of contractual disputes and laws. For the most part, having your own set of terms and being clear about them is the best way to be sure of an easy agreement, if it is available, one of the best things you can do is write down the terms, so that should any dispute occur once the agreement has commenced, you can refer to your contract in writing.

The difference between investment items and trade items

A lot of prepper blogs recommend investing in precious metals such as silver and gold. This is primarily because prepping is about investing. You invest time, invest research and invest in a supply that you hope will pay off for you and your family should a natural disaster, economic collapse or any other SHTF situation ever occur.

For precious metals, I don’t think there will be much worth for them during one of these situations. As a trade item, it bears no useable feature, unlike bullets, diapers, condoms, food and water, which are items that are traded as valued items in collapsed economies. But don’t get me wrong, gold is an important item for preppers. Why? Because while gold and silver is not very useful during a SHTF situation, it becomes very useful as society starts to rebuild itself. Seeing gold as an investment to sell is a much stronger and practical preparedness strategy that seeing it as a barter item during the event.

The reason why I use gold as an investment item rather than silver, is that out of the past eight significant biggest economic declines, six of them had significant increases in the value of gold, whereas the value of silver fell. The price of gold correlates with the value of currency. Gold benefits when there is an economic downturn. When stock markets fall, investors buy gold, in turn, driving the price up.

Trade items, however, are different to investment strategies such as gold, as they are survival items used during an event, as a means of exchange, and are a method of investment to ensure that you are able to trade efficiently, should an economic system crumble. There are, however, different investments you can make, rather than just in a stock of supplies.

As a way of bartering, you might be able to trade a service or skill you have, which might be in plumbing, electrical work, woodwork, or some other specific skill you have. Not only can this be done for food and supplies, but you can also trade that skill for cash-in-hand work, which gives the skill the benefit of being able to be used if you were to lose your job in an economic downturn.

So while you are preparing for rough days ahead and checking up on your prepper supply of non-perishables, water, and supplies, it might be worth stocking up on something can actually be free, which is to learn a new skill. There are a lot of valuable skills out there, from gardening, material work, animal husbandry skills, nursing skills, repairs or even defense. Whatever your hobbies might be at the moment could also become a formidable skill, should society change to the point where that skill comes in demand.

What are good bartering items to be used in a SHTF situation?

Cigarettes are a must-have trade item in a post-collapse. They were also a much-needed during the Great Depression and in Sarajevo during the Bosnian War.

I have a lot of things in my prepper supply that would be very valuable should everyday supplies start to run out. But the issue is, do I want to part with them? Probably not, especially if they are something I need.

So it puts me in a hard place where I would have to balance need over the value of trade. But we can prepare for that circumstance by preparing a seperate section in our supplies for trade. This might be a small collection of things you use every day, which can be added upon as time goes on and you find new goods to add to the list.

There are a lot of preppers that keep an excess amount of everything, adequate to what they need, rather than stockpiling a separate pile of tradeable items. However, separating those supplies ensures that you don’t dip into your trade items should the SHTF, and that you can identify how much value you might have in your trader’s wallet, for the lack of a better term.

If you are just starting out in your collection of trade items, or you are looking to add to that supply, I have compiled a list below of 30 items that I have found have found will become valuable commodity items in economic collapse and SHTF environments, and why they would be useful. Many of these items have been used as trade and barter in historical post-collapse events for instance, during the Great Depression, in Venezuela’s economic collapse, or in Sarajevo during the Bosnian War.

30 Best Valuable Items For Trade

In an economic collapse or SHTF scenario

Medicine: This covers things such as antibiotics, pain-killers, and allergy medications.Venezuela’s financial collapse has seen the value of medicine soar, with hospitals having to purchase medication from black market importers just to treat patients. Foods Even in a disaster, food is one of the first things to run off the shelves as most people won’t have a pre-stocked food supply. Things such as non-perishable foods will be the most valuable.

Alcohol: During the Great Depression, alcohol was in prime demand with people distilling rum and gin  themselves. As a commodity, alcohol can also have medicinal and hygienic purposes.

Fuel:  As fuel supply lines shut down and stations close, fuel comes in limited supply in SHTF situations. It is important for those using generators and vehicles.

Propane Gas: Many homes rely on gas for hot water and cooking. One small bottle can last for a month with a gas cooker system to boil (purify) water and cook foods.

Batteries: Rechargeable and normal batteries are useful for a number of things, but as the power starts to go out there will be a reliance on flashlights increasing the need for batteries.

Condoms and Contraceptives: As mentioned in the beginning of this post, condoms in Venezuela are going for USD$70 a pack. People are still active when the SHTF

Baby Supplies: Baby food, diapers, baby asprin and ointments. All baby supplies are a commodity that is used every day and needs a constant use supply. While reusable diapers exist, things such as nappy rash ointments and baby aspirin is a much-needed item.

Chickens: Chickens are egg producers and live off scraps. If you can manage to feed and water them, the eggs they produce will be worth their weight in gold. In 2016, a dozen eggs cost USD$150. If you have a rooster you can produce excess chickens to sell to others.

Feminine Hygiene Products: These are must-have items for personal hygiene that are needed every day in stores. Tampons in Venezuela are the cost of three months minimum wage.

Toilet Paper: Life’s luxury in fine white sheets. Toilet paper is hard to replicate with magazines, newspaper or tissues and is something that most people will run out of very quickly.

Vitamins: The change in diet as people start to eat less, or a void of fresh foods will leave many without access to the right nutrients and vitamins in a healthy diet

First-Aid Supplies: Bandages are not so important in this as any piece of clothing can be used. First-aid supplies needed will be things such as antiseptic wipes, band-aids, antibacterial creams, suture kits and specialist first-aid treatment equipment.

Tobacco: For some, this is obviously going to be a much more necessary item. I am a non-smoker, however I can see how, if in limited supply, tobacco would be a great item to have for those in need.

Soap and Shampoo: Personal hygiene is another commodity that we use every day, and as supply routes slow or stop, stuff that we use to clean our hands and bodies every day will quickly run out.

Seeds Seeds: are a trade-able item that work well for those that now how to cultivate good gardens in order to grow their own foods. Give the right person seeds and they can grow a farm and tap a sustainable food supply.

Can Openers: When the SHTF the last thing that’s left after fresh foods run off the shelves or expire are canned foods. For those that don’t have them, cans are a key to food.

Powdered Gravy: Freeze-dried food, non-perishable food and basic grown foods can taste very bland, but gravy adds a much better taste to things that wouldn’t generally taste great.

Lighters and Matches: Sure, there are a number of ways to light a fire, but in the home, lighting a gas cooker is a lot easier with lighters than two sticks.

Candles: An easy way to provide light at night when the power grid crumbles and a considerable item for SHTF environments.

Powdered Milk: Powdered milk is so scarce in Venezuela that it is sold by black market vendors at 100 times its normal shelf price.

Pasta Pasta: in packets can be kept for quite some time and in Venezuela’s economy, is sold by black market vendors at 200 times the original price.

Shoes: I wouldn’t say it is a good idea to start stocking every pair of shoes, but if you have old ones, it might be worth keeping them. The cost of shoes in Venezuela ranges from 300% to 900% higher than the same brand in The US.

Water Filters: If the grid goes bust and you are caught without a water filter you might be in trouble. There are going to be a lot of people out there without a clean water supply and no way purify water (without cooking it), so a few cheap water filters will no doubt be worth some money.

Coffee Coffee: is a world trade commodity already. Just like smokers will pay for cigarettes and tobacco, coffee is equally an item that can be used to trade and will be rarely available given the lack of country imports in an economic collapse.

Flashlights: At the moment, high-quality flashlights are cheap to pick up (less than $10). But when the grid goes down, everyone is going to be needing them, and it is highly likely not everyone will have one.

Duct Tape: Duct tape is one of those items that is well-known throughout the survival world for its endless amount of uses. Whether it be patching up clothes, fixing leaks, or taping wounds, duct tape is a good bartering item.

Generators (solar and fuel): If you have recently bought a back-up generator, keep the old one for now. When the SHTF everyone is going to want secondary power methods and will be willing to pay a lot for it.

Construction and Repair Tools: As an economic downturn sets in people are going to start doing more of their own projects to increase the self-sufficiency, fix the home, or for car repairs and other odd jobs. You might have the tools they need. But you might want to use these as a way to provide a service.

Solar Lights: Solar lights are a great commodity to stock because they are cheap (at the moment) they are sustainable (no power needed) and they provide what we need at night in a sustainable manner.

I have made this list based on research on what items have become valuable in past economic collapse and SHTF situations where supply lines shut off and resources become limited. I am sure that a lot of advanced preppers out there that have a good stockpile of food, water, and supplies will no doubt have many of these items in their stockpiles already. I also have many of these items not only in my own stockpile, but in a separate section designed to be a backup, to be used either as trade, or to help out others should they need it. I feel as though a ‘help others’ stockpile is a good way to make a community and build a team of people you can work with to regain existence as a self-sufficient community.

While these items have been seen as valued items in the past, or they are currently highly valued items in SHTF places in the world (such as Venezuela), I would not call this list definitive by any means. There are a lot of other items that have had, and will have equal value to these in a SHTF scenario. If you do know of any other items for trade and barter that you have identified, or you believe will become useful in a SHTF situation, please leave a comment below to inform the community.

There are a lot of preppers that keep an excess amount of everything, adequate to what they need, rather than stockpiling a separate pile of tradeable items. However, separating those

Increasingly, people are looking for ways to have more control over the source of their food. They are also looking for ways to make their food supply more sustainable. The answer, for many, is found in aquaponics, a fairly new method of gardening that is quickly becoming popular. Aquaponics gives people a sustainable way to grow their own food at home, regardless of what the soil in their yard may be like.

“Aquaponics is an environmentally friendly route to growing food right at home, in schools, or pretty much anywhere,” explains Sylvia Bernstein, president of The Aquaponic Source, and author of the book “Aquaponics Gardening: A Step-By-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together” (New Society Publishers, October 2011). “Based on the idea of raising fish to create your own plant fertilizer, it creates a natural food source that can’t be beaten.”

Aquaponics is easy enough for anyone to get involved. Here are some tips for starting an aquaponics garden of your own:

  • Get Educated. Find a trusted source of information, like Bernstein’s book or corresponding online course, to make sure your experience is successful, the first time.
  • Get the right fish. Although you can use a wide variety of fish, you want to stick to freshwater varieties. Determine whether you want to raise the fish for the fun of it or whether you plan to eat them. If you want to include eating the fish in your plans, you may want to opt for raising tilapia. They are the most commonly used fish for aquaponics, they are easy to grow, reproduce readily in captivity, and most people like the way they taste.
  • Pick your plants. When choosing the plants to include, opt for ones that are not acid-loving varieties. Be sure to plant them with their ultimate growth size in mind, so they can each get the sunlight they need.
  • Establish the microbes. Every successful aquaponics system must have a good beneficial bacteria source. This is an essential step that must not be overlooked, or the fish and plants will not be able to live.
  • Add the worms. After a couple of months of having the system up and running, you should add some red worms in order to help break down the fish waste that will be used for fertilizing the plants.
  • Consider other elements. There are other things that need to be considered, including the temperature of the water, which will depend on the type of fish you are raising. Lighting is also important when it comes to growing your plants, although it is not needed for your fish. You will also want to take the size of your tank into consideration, as that will determine just how much you can comfortably grow.
  • Get expert help. When you have questions about getting started, or about maintaining an aquaponic garden, be sure to speak with an expert. The information will be invaluable, helping to ensure that everything is set up correctly and that each garden is successful.

“We love to help people get their system set up,” added Bernstein. “Knowing that someone is getting started on this route to sustainable gardening is a step in the right direction for them, as well as for the planet.”

In addition to Bernstein’s book, she is the owner of The Aquaponic Source center, located in Longmont, Colo., 15 minutes NE of Boulder. The center focuses on all things Aquaponics and features a retail store, education center, and research and development lab. They offer free tours every Saturday at 1:00 and on-site classes, which teach people how to be successful with aquaponics. The retail store sells all of the necessary supplies, including aquaponics systems and aquaponics plumbing.

Increasingly, people are looking for ways to have more control over the source of their food. They are also looking for ways to make their food supply more sustainable. The

‘When the SHTF I am bugging out man’! ‘If the SHTF you will be glad you have one of these’. ‘You won’t be able to do that if the SHTF’. ‘When the SHTF you better be prepared’! If you have been anywhere near prepping, survival, self-sufficiency or emergency preparedness content, movies, TV shows, books or blogs, you have heard someone say a sentence that went roughly like one of those above.

Do you know what everyone means by SHTF?

Just in case there are some of you out there who do not know what this handy little acronym stands for, it is S**t Hits The Fan. When the SHTF basically all hell breaks loose. The exact meaning of SHTF varies by person and sometimes SHTF is used interchangeably with TEOTWAWKI. As in ‘If there is an EMP device exploded over the US it would be TEOTWAWKI’. TEOTWAWKI is another acronym for The End of The World As We Know It which is also used to describe a million different things to different people. One thing we do know though is that when it comes to SHTF or TEOTWAWKI they both mean that bad things happen and most likely our lives will be changed dramatically in some way for some period of time.

I think one of the aspects of prepping has to be with an eye toward a SHTF type of event. We prepare for minor inconveniences like being stranded on the side of the road, or living without power for a couple of days, but with relatively simple steps these two examples are by themselves minor in the grand scheme of things. If you have prepared, there is really nothing to worry about if the power is out. Will you have to adjust and make do? Probably but if you have prepared for a power outage the adjustment could be very minor. Would you be inconvenienced? Most likely, but you will survive.

Most preppers I have talked to are at some point along an arc of preparedness. (I am copyrighting that phrase right now) One end of the arc is no preparedness at all. The other end of the arc is our individual version of being totally prepared or at least extremely prepared. I say extremely prepared because like I have written before; I don’t believe you can ever finish prepping. There should be a point when you are pretty darn set though when you compare yourself to the rest of the world.

The prepared end of the arc is our supplies, skills and gear for really bad things. This is the SHTF that people are preparing for and it is this concept that many are striving for all along. To be actually prepared as well as possible to handle or maybe more accurately, live through a SHTF event. Our preps would ideally help make that possible. The prepared end of the arc deals with Long-term and abundant food storage, plentiful and renewable sources of water, shelter from the elements while at home or in a bug out scenario and survival firearms for each member of your group. Personally, I don’t want to ever need to use my supplies on the ‘Prepared’ end of the Arc but they are there if the time comes.

What does SHTF look like?

And so we get to the big question that I have heard asked a million times. Well, not a million but a lot and that is ‘How will I know when the SHTF’? How will I know when it’s time to bug out and move our family out of harm’s way? How will I know when I need to hunker down, board up the windows and keep watch overnight? The reason so many people want to know this is that they don’t want to be caught unaware. You don’t want to be the last person trying to get out of your town before the roads are too clogged with traffic, or the one who shows up at the grocery store after they have taken everything except the mops back in housewares. Anyone who is prepping for SHTF is doing so because we want to avoid it as much as possible so knowing how to identify the actual moment that the S**T Hits the Fan is pretty important.

The problem is that unless we are talking about huge, cataclysmic national events, defining the moment that it happens is too late is difficult across the scale of everyone in the country. If a huge terrorist attack happens in Los Angeles California but nowhere else, would you as someone living in Las Vegas do anything besides watch the news? If a nuclear bomb went off in New York, would you as someone living in Tennessee go anywhere? I think the answer to almost any situation where we are asking if the SHTF moment has arrived is unfortunately, ‘It depends’.

What does this event mean to me?

There is a famous Supreme Court case, Jacobellis V. Ohio in which the subject was a movie that had been deemed obscene. The movie theater owner who showed the movie had been convicted and his case made it to the Supreme Court where Justice Potter Stewart, in his concurrence with the other judges ruling for overthrowing the case, said with respect to hard core pornography, “I know it when I see it”. There are other details which you can read here, but the point I am trying to make is that there is no universal SHTF moment or series of actions. You can’t point to a terrorist attack and say that for everyone it is a SHTF moment. Now, it most certainly will be for people involved in the event and surrounding areas of course but it may not impact you at all. If it does however, you will most likely know it when you see it.

Well, thanks that wasn’t helpful at all! Maybe you were hoping I would give you a checklist of items to look for to determine when the S had actually HTF? OK, I can do that but each of these would be examples that have to be taken in context. All of that would also need to be considered with your own personal situation. Some items to look for:

  • Loss of Electricity on a regional scale for more than one week
  • Media blackout
  • Martial law declared
  • Door to door gun confiscations – yes they have happened before.
  • Stock Market takes a dive of 10% and they halt trading the next day.
  • Bank holidays are declared and you are not allowed to remove money from your bank. If you are you are limited to a small amount.
  • Attack on US soil – This would be most likely blamed on terrorists of one shape or another
  • Virus outbreak rates that continue to go higher and occurrences start to increase in your city.
  • EMP device that causes massive power outages (multi-state)
  • Nuclear reactor meltdown
  • Natural disasters that impact you locally (fires, tsunami, hurricane, flood, etc.)

These are all examples that in the right context could be signs that we are in a SHTF moment. On the other hand, some of these could be single events that for a large part do not impact you or your family. I have said before that everything depends on the disaster and if something like this is happening to you, in your town things may be totally different from others across the country not affected. Naturally a stock market collapse or EMP doesn’t fall into that category but regional issues would. I always advocate watching the news media – not to hear about the latest starlet who is acting trashy but to get a feel for what is going on in the world. Maintain an active awareness of the news and be prepared to act fast if you get wind of events that you are considering as being a real SHTF event for you.

Will there be a national SHTF event? Who knows? It could be that we have minor SHTF events that happen to us and that doesn’t make them any less real or dire. You could have your own personal TEOTWAWKI moment that doesn’t impact anyone else and you will still need to react.

I believe we have an intuition but we have to tune ourselves to hear it. I think one aspect of that intuition is what prompted me to begin prepping and I believe that for many others out there you have that same feeling. That small voice telling you to prepare; that gut instinct that something is rotten in the state of Denmark. When it comes to your town, I think you will know it when you see it if you are prepared to look for it. Don’t expect the news, FEMA, your governor or me or any so-called expert in the world to tell you when it’s time to go. You will be able to make that decision for yourself.

‘When the SHTF I am bugging out man’! ‘If the SHTF you will be glad you have one of these’. ‘You won’t be able to do that if the SHTF’.

Have you ever run out of gas? Imagine running out of gas when gas stations are no longer pumping fuel or you are on route to your bug out location after some really bad stuff has gone down. You aren’t able to call AAA anymore and your buddy probably can’t come to pick you up. You thought ahead to carry some extra fuel, but long lines in traffic and multiple detours have depleted even your additional supplies.

If the situation called for it and you were desperate, would you know how to siphon gas from a car?

Many of us have tried this before with mixed results. I can remember shoving a length of garden hose in the tank of an old Ford truck I had and drawing the gas out with my mouth. In case you were wondering, a mouth full of gas is not a pleasant experience and it takes a whole lot of brushing to get that taste out.

This manual method is only slightly better with clear plastic tubing but you still run the risk of getting some amount of gas in your mouth.

Would this be acceptable in a grid down situation? Of course, if there was no other option. However, with a little planning and practice now, you can have a solution to your fuel needs in an emergency.

How to get gas out of a car

It would stand to reason that in even the most dire, apocalyptic scenarios you can imagine, there will be gas somewhere. We have gas in cars obviously, stashed in lawnmowers and in spare cans in sheds. Businesses have diesel stored in forklifts and heavy equipment. Gas at fuel stations can even be tapped into with a little know-how even if the electricity isn’t working. Gas is a vitally important resource and even if we have some global EMP, this fuel will still be valuable to the people who can obtain it but not everyone has experience with getting gas out of their car short of driving it around all day.

Cars that have been abandoned would seem to be some of the best and easiest places to acquire extra fuel to keep you going. I am not advocating stealing but should you determine that your situation requires it, siphoning gas can be a pretty simple way to get an extra few gallons in an emergency. Even 3 extra gallons could potentially get you dozens of miles away from danger or just closer to your destination.

Another good reason to keep an empty fuel tank in your car. Carol is always prepared…

Older cars didn’t have some of the anti-theft measures that more modern vehicles have now that make getting gas from a car more of a challenge. Depending on your situation, even with anti-theft devices, you can still get fuel. The process is basically the same regardless of the vehicle but the methods might need to change. You simply need to draw or drain the fuel in one tank to a container. The easiest way to do this requires gravity and a little help from a siphon. The siphon you choose can be the suction you create with your mouth (not ideal) or from a pump. There are manual hand pumps and electric pumps that I’ll discuss in a minute but it might make sense to procure one of these methods now before you find yourself needing gas and have no way to get it.

Siphon gas from an older car

A manual fuel pump could help you easily siphon gas from many cars

There are two methods I think that are brilliantly simple to siphon gas from older cars. When I say older, that is a general term because no two cars are exactly the same. In newer cars, probably from the 90’s forward, there are flaps installed on virtually all gas tanks now that would make it harder for you to remove the hose, but in older vehicles, it was pretty much a straight opening into the tank. You also have round balls in the tank hose that prevent hoses from being easily stuck down into the tank so older cars are easier to get fuel out of. If possible, an older model car would make the best targets for siphoning gas.

There are dozens of manual fuel pumps on the market like the 3 in 1 Hand Pump on Amazon. You can use this not only for siphoning gas from a car, but you could also use it to get other fuels into or out of containers. Maybe you have a 50-gallon drum of kerosene and you need to fill your lanterns and heater. This manual pump would be handy.

You can also use a modified method of manual siphoning with your mouth that I haven’t seen before but I wish I knew about a long time ago. You would insert the hose into the gas tank as you would on any siphoning method, but instead of sucking fuel up the line, another hose creates the pressure needed to push fuel into your hose. You can see a great video of the concept below.

How to siphon gas without a pump

The manual pump method works great on older cars, but what about newer vehicles? If you are desperate enough you can puncture the fuel tank with a hammer and screwdriver but this destroys the tank first of all and is riskier from the standpoint of creating a spark around fumes. Along with that, you would make more noise and have to get under the car so that might prevent you from observing the area as closely as you need to.

The Gastapper is a system that runs with an electric pump and it is supposed to get around the anti-theft devices on modern cars. The video below shows the process which is a little more involved than the manual pump method but could be a great alternative if you do have electricity. This could also be a good device for obtaining fuel from underground fuel storage tanks at a gas station.

How to siphon gas from a newer vehicle

So there are a few methods of obtaining fuel in an emergency. I think I am going to get a manual fuel pump and stash that in my vehicle EDC kit for emergencies. What is your method of choice to siphon gas from a car?

Have you ever run out of gas? Imagine running out of gas when gas stations are no longer pumping fuel or you are on route to your bug out location

When SHTF, or if life just throws you a curve-ball and you find yourself in a survival situation without being prepared, one of the first things on your survival to-do list is to find water.

Once you’ve found a water source, though, there are two important factors to consider. First, is it clean/drinkable/safe/purified? And second, how are you going to be able to store it or take it with you?

A few ways to purify your water include boiling, water purification tablets, using a commercial water filter, mixing small amounts of bleach into your water, or crafting a DIY filter out of soil and sand. But once you have clean water, how can you store it for later use or carry it with you?

Unless you’re planning to sit back and wait for rescue, you’ll probably need to leave the source of your water (especially if you’re being chased by zombies). Even if you plan to stick close to your water source, you may not want to drink all of your purified water at once, and it can make life much easier if you have containers in which to store your clean water.

Fortunately, nature has given us lots of provisions when it comes to the things we need, including water containers. It definitely helps to have a good survival knife on hand to make some of these containers, but where there’s a will, there’s a way!

3 DIY Natural Water Containers:

Wood

To create a container out of wood, you’ll need to:

    1. Locate a dry log or thick branch. To ensure that it’s large enough to build a container, look for (or cut) a log that is about two feet long. If you can split it in half, even better–a flat surface makes things easier. Hardwoods are better for making water containers simply because they are better at holding liquid without it seeping through the wood. Also, avoid rotten or cracking wood.
    2. Once you’ve located your wood, you’ll need to build a fire until you have red hot coals. If you were able to split your log in half, lay it on its side with the freshly split side facing up, and place a few coals on the flat surface. If you couldn’t split it, place a few coals on the flattest possible surface. Use a piece of straw or reed to blow air onto the coals. This not only makes them burn into the wood faster but also helps you shape the container by blowing the coals in the direction you want them to burn.
    3. Once the coals cool off, remove them and scrape out the charred wood with your survival knife or a piece of sharp rock.
    4. Place another red-hot coal into the depression and repeat the previous steps.
    5. Once you’ve created a large enough cavity, use a rounded rock to sand down the container and remove any remaining charcoal.
    6. Having a visual reference always helps, so here’s a video walking you through the process:

Birch bark

One of the best materials for creating containers is birch bark because it is quite pliable, especially when heated. To begin, you’ll need to:

  1. Find a birch tree (preferably one that has fallen but is still in good condition).
  2. Use a hammer and chisel, a survival knife, or a sharp rock to cut into the tree and peel off the bark. A rectangular piece of bark will work well to create a container.
  3. Once you have the bark in hand, heat it up a bit until it’s very flexible. – This next part gets a little tricky to explain, but stick with me (or just skip to the video below).
  4. Imagine you’re a child in elementary school (it’ll help) and your teacher hands you a rectangular piece of paper. You need to turn it into a triangle-ish shape. We’ll call the shorter top and bottom edges “A” and the longer right and left edges “B.” So, to change the rectangle into a triangle (ish), you take an “A” edge and fold it to meet a “B” edge and make a crease. This is practically the whole first fold of your birch container, except that you won’t crease all the way down. The distance from where the “A” and “B” edges are pressed together and the crease kind of creates a third edge to a triangle. That distance gives you the depth of your container. Stop creasing when the “third edge” of your “triangle” gets to whatever depth you want for your container.
  5. Crease that “third edge” of your mini “triangle” and fold the triangle it towards the “A” edge (the shorter edge) of your original rectangle.
  6. If you were able to grasp that great verbal description, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back and repeat that step with the rest of the corners of the birch bark making sure that the folds overlap at least a little bit. This will create a box or bowl (depending on the depth and creases). You can hold the overlapping folded edges by creating a really rough clothespin out of a partially split branch.

If that was way too many words without any pictures, there’s a great walk-through in the video below showing exactly how to make these folds and create your birch bark container.

Bamboo

With bamboo, you can create either a bowl or a cup. Bamboo stalks have sealed joints, so when cutting a piece of bamboo stalk, simply make sure that one end of it includes a sealed joint. An extra bonus of bamboo is that it also contains water inside its hollow stems.

Animal Parts

The skin, bladder, and intestines of animals can also be used as water containers. (This is a survival situation, so no time to get queasy here).

  1. To make a water bottle from the stomach of a large animal, make sure to thoroughly clean it with water. If you have considerable time, you can boil some water, take it off the heat, and place the stomach in it for 2 hours. Continue to repeat this process until you see the water remaining clear even after soaking the stomach.
  2. Then, turn the stomach inside out and scrape off the lining carefully using the back of your knife so you won’t puncture it. Do this while the stomach is still in the warm water to make it easier.
  3. Once you’re done, boil another batch of water, take it off the heat, and soak the stomach for half an hour. Then, tie off the bottom end while the top end is left open. You can fasten it closed with some cordage to keep the water from spilling out.

Other Containers

There are also some ready-made containers that you can use to store water such as coconut shells, hollowed out acorns, seashells, and even turtle shells (after being thoroughly boiled of course) if you happen to stumble on any. For coconut shells, make sure to scrape out all the fruit inside and sand down the wood to smooth the bowl’s surface.

Naturally, in an ideal situation, you would have a water container with you. It makes life much easier, but should you be unfortunate enough to find yourself without one, one or a few of these DIY containers should do the trick.


Here’s some other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

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

Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)

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

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

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

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

When SHTF, or if life just throws you a curve-ball and you find yourself in a survival situation without being prepared, one of the first things on your survival to-do

We buy a lot of things to prepare for the unexpected…or expected, that SHTF will be at our doorstep one day. For some, this is further in time, for others comes every day with floods, hurricanes, bad weather conditions and much more.

You may have in mind items for when the SHTF like duct tape, canned food, survival knives, but there is one item you might consider including in your prepper list: the trash can.

Why Trash Cans?

You already use trash cans. They are everywhere (inside and outside) which make them easy to access in an emergency. Trash cans are a heavy-duty item; they stand up to frequent use and they’re durable as hell. Even indoor cans, like those you’d use in an office, have potential uses you probably haven’t considered.

Here are just a few ways you can use trash cans when the grid goes down.

1: Collect Rain Water in Trash Cans

In an emergency, a trash can may be your best bet if you are running out of stored water. You can turn your trash bin, perhaps used to store other prepping supplies up to that point, into a rain barrel. This project requires two holes cut at the top and bottom for the downspout and faucet, PVC piping to construct a downspout, gasket fittings, and tubing for the faucet. Fittings may be secured with washers and sealed with silicone caulking.

My recycling bin is going into action immediately as a rain barrel if the grid goes down. After a thorough cleaning of course.

Keep all needed items with a compass saw for cutting the holes without a power drill and rain barrel-making instructions in a Ziploc bag near your trash can. Rainwater should always be treated before consumption, so figure out ahead of time if you are going to use chlorine, filters, or boiling methods to purify your drinking water.

2: Make a Super-Sized Rocket Stove

Converting a large metal trash can into a rocket stove is fairly straightforward. Cut a hole at the bottom of the trash can to accommodate a stovepipe made of 6” elbow piping; the stovepipe will need to be constructed as a double-walled chimney with a trim ring and an extra section of piping. The stovepipe will fit into the hole cut toward the bottom with its top trimmed below the top of the garbage can. The pipe should be secured with dowels and nuts arranged in a wagon wheel pattern to stabilize it. The pipe is then insulated with vermiculite poured between it and the sides of the trash can.

You will need to lay a grate across the top for a cooking surface. Load the bottom of the stovepipe with wood and light. Now you’re ready to boil water and cook food on a stove so efficient it requires very little wood to produce the necessary amount of heat.

3: Dispose of Human Waste

A smaller trashcan can work as a makeshift toilet. This is a simple solution in situations where human waste needs to be carried away for disposal. Line your trashcan with a double layer of garbage bags. Place a couple of 2x4s over the rim to create a seat. Waste can then be carried away and the trash bags replaced as needed.

 

4: Grow Food

Trash cans can be great tools for growing plants. A favorite trick of home gardeners everywhere: using a trash can to grow potatoes. Potatoes require large amounts of earth heaped on top of growing plants, and a large trash can (think 20 to 32 gallons) is a great way to keep soil in place as the potato plants grow upward. Either drill holes in the bottom for drainage or just cut the entire bottom off of a plastic trash can.

Potatoes don’t have to grow in the ground. You can use an old trash can to create a potato growing container

Start the potatoes in about 10 inches of soil and add more for every 10 inches or so of growth. The best part is the trash can is easily cleaned and used for a new crop as soon as the first is harvested.

5: Shovel Snow

That small trashcan in your bathroom or office can become a snow shovel. Shoveling with a small can certainly won’t be easy on your back, but a trash can may also work to move soil and sand. Just make sure the can is sturdy enough to hold up under the weight of snow before you start using it to dig yourself out.

6: Faraday Cage

A Faraday Cage is essential for keeping your small electronics safe from an EMP (electromagnetic pulse), and you can make one using a steel trash can. Wrap each item in cloth, then wrap in three layers of foil. Place the item in a box and wrap the box in two layers of foil. Store off the ground once wrapped.

Trash cans can be used for simple Faraday cages.

Completely line your trash can with cardboard and seal with its tight-fitting lid. For this protective system to work there needs to be a clear separation between both the layers of foil and between the foil and the trash can metal. Steel trash cans are sold in a variety of sizes, so you can select the one that works best with the number of electronics you are trying to keep safe.

7: Hold Emergency Supplies

Trash cans make useful storage containers for prepping supplies. They come in a variety of sizes with all kinds of lids and handles. You can even select cans in different colors to better organize your supplies. Larger trash cans may be used to store emergency supplies for a whole family– just throw it into the bed of your truck for hauling supplies the moment you need to. Then you can repurpose the trash can for any of the above ideas.

Think Creatively, Be Prepared

A trash can is useful for much more than holding garbage – it can be an integral part of how you collect water, cook food, dispose of waste, grow food, or protect your electronics. Of course, these are just a few of the ways your common trash can fits into survival plans:

We buy a lot of things to prepare for the unexpected…or expected, that SHTF will be at our doorstep one day. For some, this is further in time, for others

Fact: there’s no limit to what you can with a beer can. Why? Simply because it’s called a beer CAN, not a beer CAN’T. Yes, I know it’s a shitty pun, but there’s truth in what I’ve said – a metallic beer container can serve all kinds of purposes, long after the beer’s gone (sad face). Anyway, a couple of days ago, I had myself a little pow-wow with some of my buddies.

Not all preppers, but we do get along even on stuff that is not exactly related to survival. However, in talking with them, I found out that there are in fact people out there who really know how to get creative when they have to deal with what we come to an SHTF-type of situation. And because no boys’ night should be without beer, we kinda ended up talking about ale till the crack of dawn.

I’m truly sorry for not being able to share a bottle of suds with you people, but at least I can make it up to you by showing you a couple of ingenious ways to use empty beer cans in a shit hits the fan situation So, here’s my top X choices in reusing cans.

  1. Perimeter alarm

Halt! Who goes there? Maybe’s just the wind of a highwayman ready to deprive you of your valuables. Just joking. A perimeter alarm is a must-have if you’re planning on spending a night in the woods. Of course, I don’t think there are any cutthroats nearby, but there may be wild animals prowling the area.

No need to invest tons of money in one of those fancy, laser-triggered alarms when you can make one yourself using a couple of empty beer cans and some cordage. You can always replace regular cordage with dental floss if you plan on using it for other purposes.

  1. Poor man’s survival kit

If you can’t find it within you to spend a couple of bucks on a professional or military-grade survival kit, you can always make one yourself using an old beer can. Just cut a hole on the side and fill it with stuff like weatherproof matches, lighter, dental floss, shoelaces, fishing utensils or whatever.

  1. Camping Stove

As they say, survival can be a beach. If you find yourself in a tight spot with nothing to cook your dinner or warm up the inside of your tent, craft a small camping store using an empty beer can. Flatten the top, cut a hole on the side, and place a small candle on the base. Soup may take forever to cook, but at least you’ve got something to keep you warm during the night.

  1. Lantern

All out of matches? Tac light’s batteries died out on you? No problem. I got you covered. It may be possible to make a meager lantern out of an empty beer can and a small candle. Cut a hole in one side of the beer can. Fit a small candle inside. Attach a stick to the ring, fire up the candle, and, voila, you now have a small lantern. May it be a light for your in dark places, when all other lights go out (and I did not quote from The Lord of the Rings).

  1. Starting a fire

Remember that article about how to start a fire using a water bottle? Well, believe it or not, you can do the same with an empty beer can. Basically, you will need to harness the reflective power of the can’s butt in order to focus sunlight on tinder. Here’s what you will need to do. While the sun’s still high (not that kind of high), grab an empty beer can and place it on the ground. Just below its butt, place a handful of tinder. Rotate the beer can in order to focus the sun rays on the tinder.

If nothing happens after 15 or 20 minutes, it means that the can’s butt is not polished enough to reflect the sunlight. Not a problem – grab a handful of sand or rock salt and start giving that butt a good shine. Allegedly, you can also use chocolate to do the same thing, but I haven’t tested that yet. Place the can again on the ground and rotate it in order to focus the light. When you see smoke coming out, add some more tinder, and blow on it.

  1. Makeshift kettle

Cowboys went through a lot of trouble to make sure that they start each day with a hot cup of coffee. As you know, that meant carrying a heavy cast-iron pot. Well, times have changed, but our need for a hot drink remains the same. Now, if you find yourself stranded in some neck of the woods and nothing to boil water in, you can always pour water in an empty beer can and place it close to the embers. That’s also a great water purification method.

Here’s how it works. First of all, find a way to wash the beer can. Second, pour water into it and place it directly into the fire. Please bear or beer in mind that it will take a while for the water to boil, so sit tight. Once you hear bubbly sound coming from the can, use a stick or a pair of prongs to remove the can from the flame. Wait for it to cool down, pour in your canteen, and enjoy. You know what? This kind of victory calls for another beer. Cheers!

  1. Making char cloth

If you the thought of packing some char cloth has never crossed your mind, don’t worry because you can make some using an empty beer can. Get a fire running. In the meantime, fill a can with cotton, punk wood or bark. Fold both ends and toss in the fire. In a couple of minutes, the beer can will begin to disintegrate. When you see that you’re running out of a can, remove it from the fire, wait for it to cool down, retrieve the char cloth, and celebrate.

That about covers it for my list of great ways to reuse an empty beer can. Feel that something may be missing from the list? Get scribbling and let me know.

Fact: there’s no limit to what you can with a beer can. Why? Simply because it’s called a beer CAN, not a beer CAN’T.

Today we are going to talk about vaseline, aka petroleum jelly, aka the best thing to come out of an oil refinery apart from car fuel, of course, has many uses both in shit hits the fan situations and around the house. So, because talk’s cheap, here’s are 12 ways to use petroleum jelly for survival.

Fire-starter

If you ever run out of tinder or anything useful for making a fire, put some petroleum jelly on a tin tray or something and set it ablaze. This stuff’s powerful enough to burn through anything.

Crafting emergency candles

All out of tac light batteries, matches, lamp oil or emergency candles? Then use some petroleum jelly to whip out a batch of 6-hour candles. To do that, grab a couple of bell or mason jars and place a small wick inside. To prevent the top part of the wick from getting inside the jelly, you can drive it through a small piece of cork. Let the wick soak as much as of that stuff as possible and let it rip.

Improving char cloth

Want to add more item to that fancy tinder box of yours? Try this trick – grab a couple of cotton balls and let them soak overnight in petroleum jelly. Place them in small zip-lock bags and toss them in the tinder box.

Make a zipper budge

Nothing’s more frustrating than dealing with a stubborn zipper. If you have some petroleum jelly on hand, rub some on the zipper’s teeth, and that’s it.

First-aid

Since this stuff hit the market in the late 19th century, it has been successfully employed to treat small wounds and nicks. Apart from the fact that it creates a waterproof barrier, petroleum jelly will also make the wound heal faster. You can also use it on your soles to prevent chaffing, especially during long hikes.

Petroleum jelly is also great for itches, minor burns, and dried skin. Moreover, if you ever run out of cream, you can also replace it with a tube or box of petroleum jelly. By the way, most moisturizing creams on the market pack Vaseline – definitely a win-win!

Keep away insect from wooden and metal surfaces

Getting a gazebo was probably the best decision I ever made, apart from marrying my wife, of course. The only thing that nags at me is the fact that no matter what I do or use, those small flying insects will still land on the carpentry and on the table my wife placed in the middle. Well, I have a sure-fire remedy for that – using petroleum jelly to keep insect away.

Just apply a thin layer of this stuff whenever you’re not using it and, voila, no more flying critters. In addition, petroleum jelly also extends the life of wooden furniture, prevents sun damage, and makes the surface shinier.

Leather care

Hiking boots are great for any kind of shit hits the fan situation, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need some looking after. To waterproof and restore warped leather, rub some petroleum jelly on those fancy boots of yours. You can also use the same trick on leather jackets and pants.

Emergency shave

I don’t mind rocking the sauvage look, but in a couple of days, that thing will itch worse than a hand-combat with poison ivy. If you don’t have any shaving cream left, rub some petroleum jelly on your face, let that stuff sink into your skin, and use a razor or whatever to debeardify yourself.  

Remove a stubborn ring

A ring stuck to the finger is no laughing matter. That’s how my wife wound up in the ER a couple of years ago because she was too pigheaded to purchase a ring that your fit those hotdogs of hers. Anyway, if you’re dealing with the same issue, rub some petroleum jelly on that ring finger of yours. The ring will off much easier.

Offers relief in case of a hangnail

There’s nothing worse than having to hike or to walk with a hangnail. Considering that you don’t have the luxury to stay on you can and perform cosmetic surgery, use some petroleum jelly to relieve the pain. When you get around to it, rub a little bit over the site. The nail bit can be snipped a lot easier.

Lubricant for moving parts

Again, not those types of moving parts, so wipe that smirk off your face. If you have machinery at home whose, moving parts simply refuse to budge, apply a little bit of petroleum jelly and try again. Hell, this thing is better than WD 40. In case you need to drive a screw through solid plywood, rub a little Vaseline on the screw’s tip. It will sink in that board like it was butter or something.

Remove candle wax from holders

Being in the dark is not a great feeling. But, at times, we just have to brave out the darkness with whatever we have on hand. Candles are a great alternative to tac light, although not one that I would recommend around the house. Still, if you’re forced to rely on candles, better to use a holder – that way you can prevent scorch marks on a wooden surface.

Here’s the tricky part – trying to yank out the old candle from the holder in order to place a new one. Yes, I know it’s annoying as shit, but if you use a little bit of petroleum jelly at the base of the candle, it will pop out in an instant. You can also use the same stuff to make emergency candles last longer – just dip the wick in Vaseline before placing them inside the mason jar.

That’s about it for my article on ways to repurpose petroleum jelly. Overlooked anything? Drop a line and let me know.

The best thing to come out of an oil refinery apart from car fuel, of course, has many uses both in shit hits the fan situations and around the house.

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

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

What type of container should you store fuel in?

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

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

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

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

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

Using Fuel Additives for long-term fuel storage

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

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

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

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

How Much and Where do I store my fuel?

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

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

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

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

Don’t forget to rotate

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

Personally, I think that tallow is one of those things capable of making your stomach spin like a washing machine. I really don’t have anything against the stuff – Hell, I myself have used that stuff more than a few times to cook or to make emergency candles, but the very sight of it…sometimes… I’m only human, after all.

Now, personal feeling aside, tallow or grease obtained by cooking suet, which is the fatty tissue surrounding the organs of various animals, is one of those survival items that shouldn’t be missing from your household emergency kit. Yes, I know that you live in the big city and there’s at least one corner store around from where you can buy cooking oil, but tallow can do more than that. I usually keep around one or two kilos of pork tallow around the house in case, you know, I need to make stuff.

In remembering just how nasty the kitchen smelled when my grandma was preparing tallow, I thought it might be a good idea to share with you a couple of useful hints on how to use this stuff. So, without further ado, here are 28 ways you can use tallow in a shit hits the fan situation.

1. Cooking

Obviously, the first item on the list had to be a no-brainer. Yup, as disgusting as that stuff looks, it’s apparently better for deep frying than regular sunflower seed oil. I mostly use it to fry bacon or to prepare goulash in my cast-iron camping pot. It also goes well with other dishes like fish or pork chops. A friend of mine uses tallow to can pork meat. The process is more or less similar to brining. However, in this case, the salter water’s replaced by melted tallow. Give it a go and see how you like it.

2. Enhanced sharpening

In the olden days, blacksmiths used to dip the newly-forged blades into pork or even dog tallow in order to hasten the sharpening process. Moreover, knife blades coated in a very thin layer of pork tallow stay sharper longer compared to those that are, let’s say, dry-sharpened.

3. Gun maintenance

Long before gun grease became available, soldiers would oil their weapon with tallow. By the way, it’s tallow that led to the Indian revolt, which drove the East India Company out of the country. During the British dominion, Indian regulars were conscripted in order to serve Her Majesty’s interests in the Indies. Apparently, one of the many reasons that led to the Indians turning against the English was the new Lee Enfield rifle. The new version of the gun used tallow-coated cartridge, which was designed to protect the barrel. Since Indians abhor pork, they refused to handle the new rifles, which ultimately led to the 1857 Rebellion.

4. Bacteria buster

Tallow has strong anti-bacterial properties. In fact, our ancestors used this stuff in order to treat candida and yeast infections.

5. Solder away, soldier!

All out of flux for your soldering project? Not a problem. Dip the hot end of your soldering iron in tallow, and carry on.

6. Skin care

Yes, I know the idea of rubbing tallow on your skin seems out of a Hannibal Lecter movie or something, but it actually works. Sure, you won’t come off smelling like the proverbial rose garden, but at least your skin will be silky smooth.

7. Keeping away foul body odor

Now that summer’s around the bend; you will need something cheap and efficient at keeping that nasty armpit smell at bay. Sure, you can waste away that hard-earned cash on expensive beauty products, or you can try this simple recipe – melt some tallow and mix with one tablespoon of baking soda. Allow that stuff to harden and profit. I personally like to apply a fine layer after getting out of the shower. To prevent your armpits from smelling like a cooking lady’s kitchen, use a bit of scented oil.

8. Prevents diaper rash

If you ever run out of talcum powder after wiping your toddler’s behind, rub a little bit of tallow.  It really works wonders on diaper rashes.

9. Putting some meat on your pets’ bones

Nowadays, pet food is as deficient in nutrients just like human food. If your pet needs to gain a little bit of weight, mixt its favorite wet food with tallow.

10. Great for a good night’s sleep

Having problems summoning the Sandman? Maybe it’s because your brain doesn’t have enough fats and amino acids to kickstart the so-called restorative sleep. How to fix this? Swallow a tablespoon of tallow each day. Yes, I know it sounds odd, but it really works (cured me of insomnia).

11. Neutralizes venom from insect bits

If you got stung by a wasp, hornet or bee, rub a little bit of tallow on the sting site. The fat will draw out and neutralize the venom.

12. Hemorrhoids away!

Well, hemorrhoids are a pain in the ass, indeed. What’s worse is that no matter what cream you use, it will take a while for them to subside. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, you can replace your regular antibiotic cream with tallow. Yes, I know that rubbing grease in the spot where the sun doesn’t shine might come off like the intro of a really bad adult flick, but, hey, at least you can now sit on your tushy without that excruciating pain.

13. Lice slayer!

Head lice, because I don’t even want to consider the other variety, are damned hard to get rid of. Well, according to this old-world remedy, a lice-laden scalp can be cured using a mixture of apple cider vinegar and tallow.

14. Health super boost

Research has shown that patients who consume tallow on a regular basis are less likely to experience a heart condition compared to those who would rather stay away from that stuff. Furthermore, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, tallow plays a key role in preventing vascular dementia such as Alzheimer and some forms of blood cancer.

15. Making screwing fun again

No, not that kind of screwing (I don’t even think that stuff can be used for bouncy-bouncy). If a screw is moving too slow or not at all, try using a little bit of grease on the tip. By the way, you can also use a 50-50 tallow and cider mixture to remove rust from screws, bolts, nails, and even tools.

16. Great for lubricating moving parts

All out of WD 40? No problem. Just use a little bit of grease to get those moving parts, well, moving again, I guess.

17. Rocking the gentleman look

Did you know that tallow was used to make mustache wax? Yup, if you have a great pair of whiskers, use a little bit of pork tallow to make them shine. That stuff can also replace hair gel, although I wouldn’t advise it on account of the smell.

18. Doubles as shaving cream

If the lumberjack style not your kind of gig, you can always use a bit of tallow should you ever run out of shaving cream? That thing will moisten the hair strand, making shaving a lot easier. I know that the best the fresh-out-of-the-shower shave is the best practice, but I personally prefer this method when I’m on the run and don’t have the time to step into the shower.

19. Boost the efficiency of breast milk

According to researchers, tallow increases the number of nutrients normally found inside the mother’s milk. Baby breastfed will tallow-infused milk are better protected against allergies and infantile diseases. Furthermore, since tallow has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-scarring properties, it’s recommended for stretching marks aka the tell-tale signs of pregnancy.

20. Keep darkness at bay

Every problem in this world can be solved with a little illumination. In case you run out of emergency candles, lamp oil or tac light batteries, you can make 6-hour candles using tallow. Check out my article on how to make emergency candles from bacon. The principle’s the same.

21. Washy-washy

You know the saying: cleanliness is next to godliness. However, that may be a bit difficult if you run out of soap. Not to worry – tallow has been used for centuries in home soapmaking. Melt, boil, add some essential oils place in molds, allow to harden, and wash.

22. Leather care

Nice leather shoes! It would be a shame if something would happen to them. Well, nothing bad is going to happen to your leather shoes, jacket or pants if you rub some tallow on them. Apart from the fact that fat rejuvenates tanning products, it also adds a weatherproof layer.

23. Say buh-bye to cooking oil

If you ever get tired of using olive, sunflower or palm tree oil for cooking, you can always replace with tallow. Moreover, this stuff’s so good, that it will give your favorite pastries an entirely different taste.

24. Eco-friendly cars FTW!

It’s possible to make your vehicle even more eco-friendly by replacing the regular motor oil with a special tallow mixture. Motor oils made from tallow are biodegradable and boasts the same performances as the regular variety.

25. No more allergies

The only thing I hate about spring is that white tree fuzz which makes me sneeze like there’s no tomorrow. I can’t say if it’s an allergy or simply the fact that my body doesn’t like fuzz, but in any case, I found out that tallow really helps. I have the same problem, put a little tallow inside each nostril before leaving the house. The fact will act as a filter and barrier. You’re welcome!

26. No more balding or brittle nails

There comes a time in a man’s life when he needs to swap the comb for a wet towel. Well, eventually, all those gorgeous locks of yours are going to fade away, but not right now. Now, if you have a similar issue, you should definitely consider applying a thin layer of tallow. You should do this after stepping out of the shower. The nutrients inside the tallow will stimulate hair growth. It also works wonders on brittle nails.

27. Better than butter

Although butter’s better than margarine, the docs recommend using tallow instead of regular butter. Yeah, I wouldn’t try to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with that stuff, but it tastes great when combined with smoked foods or dairy products. Careful with that stuff because it packs more fat than butter and margarine combined.

28. No more poison ivy itching

If you went a couple of rounds with poison ivy, rub some tallow over the area to get rid of the itching.

 

Well, that’s about it on ingenious ways to use tallow around the house and in a shit hits the fan situation. What’s your take on tallow? Hit the comments section and let me know.


Other Self-sufficiency and Preparedness solutions recommended for you:

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

Tallow is one of those survival items that shouldn’t be missing from your household emergency kit.