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Surviving in cold geographical areas can be challenging even to plants. No season is as harsh to both indoor and outdoor plants and flowers as winter. The biting cold temperatures and extreme weather conditions can take toll on our once healthy garden plants. Without taking care of your plants during winter, you could risk losing all your favorite blooms.
I bet no gardener would appreciate starting anew each year. Fortunately, you can do a few simple things to help your lovely plants make it through the winter and maintain their best health. Let us learn about a few tips that can help save your plants in the harsh winter weather.

Caring For Indoor Plants During Winter

Winter conditions are never better for indoor plants. Even with the protection from certain environmental elements, the cold weather and relatively shorter days during winter months can interfere a lot with the life of indoor plants. Here a few things you can do to care for your in-house plants during winter

Provide Light

The amount of daytime light during the middle months of winter may be too little for plants to survive healthily. The problem is compounded if your house is not situated to receive the most light. Move your plants close to windows and areas that get adequate sunlight during winter. To promote the entry of more light, ensure you clean the windows thoroughly. Clean off any dust that might have settled on the leaves of the plants to maximize their light absorption.

Change Watering Routine

People make a mistake of soaking their indoor plants with water during winter. This can damage your plants during the cold months. This is because water loss due to evaporation is nearly nonexistent. Besides, plants tend to grow slower during winter. Combined, these factors demand that you reduce the watering routine of your plants. A golden rule to determine when to water the plants involves sticking your finger about two inches into the soil. If it results in a dry finger then you need to water.

Mist Your Plants

If yours are indoor tropical plants, it would be wise to spray them with a light mist a couple of times a day – preferably twice or thrice a day. This is because tropical plants thrive in humid conditions. Alternatively, you can place the plants in a humid environment such as the bathroom or where there is a water feature.

Dilute or Avoid Fertilizer

As we mentioned previously, all plants have reduced growth rate during winter. This means their nutritional need will also reduce. In case your plants are healthy, there is no need to fertilize them. If you really need to then you can dilute the fertilizer by at least 50 percent before applying. A better time to fertilize is during the fall.

 

Caring For Outdoor Plants During Winter

For obvious reasons, outdoor plants need much more attention during winter. Also the cold temperatures and extreme weather conditions can rein terror on these plants. Here are the most important things you can do to care for your outdoor plants during winter:

Remove Any Debris from the Plants

Summer plants are usually vegetative and bushy in response to the higher temperatures. As the temperatures start to plummet, they begin to die in preparation for what we call floral hibernation. You cannot prevent this process from happening. However, you can help the plants by clearing away any debris. You must also shield the delicate parts of the plant to protect them from biting cold.

Spread a New Layer of Mulch

The extreme winter temperatures can take a toll on your garden soil causing it to crack. The frost caused by cold temperatures can harden the ground especially the soil type in your garden. Such cracks are bad news, especially for bulb beds. This is because the cracks in the soil can cause the bulbs to rise to the surface. The result will be catastrophic to your plants. A good tip is to spread new mulch (I’d preferably evergreen boughs) on the garden to protect the soil and the plants. The mulch will also prove help in the coming spring.

Trim Your Plants Back

Trimming is an important practice when it comes to taking care of your plants during winter. This is especially true with annual flowers, vegetables, and plants. While trimming, remove blackened stems and withering foliage completely. Such dying stems and foliage provide hiding grounds for pest and diseases that could compromise the health of your plants.

Do Not Fertilize Outdoor Plants During Winter

As with all plants, growth rate reduces considerably during the cold temperatures of winter. Overgrowth will predispose them to frost vulnerability. An important tip in taking care of your outdoor plants during winter is to avoid applying fertilizer completely in order to minimize foliage growth. In fact, you should stop fertilizing them from midsummer. However, you can water them regularly but ensure you do not over water them. Test the amount of water in the soil with your finger.

General Tip

Transfer outdoor plants indoors to mitigate the effects of winter whenever possible. Indoors, the plants will be closer to you and therefore you can take better care of them. Besides, the conditions indoors are much better and your plants will most likely survive.

If you have tender plants then you will do well by moving them to a frost-free location such as a garage, a shed, indoors or in a greenhouse prior to the first frost. This is especially true for outdoor potted plants since frost can pierce the exposed sides of the pot thus damaging plant roots. Temper this with regular and extended exposure to sunlight.

Final Verdict

That’s all we have for you today. If you love your plants then you will deal with the burden of taking care of them. If you care well for them, you will not have to start anew when spring finally comes. It does not matter whether your plants are outdoor or indoor. We believe these are the most valuable tips you can ever find online on how to care for your plants during winter.

Surviving in cold geographical areas can be challenging even to plants. No season is as harsh to both indoor and outdoor plants and flowers as winter. The biting cold temperatures

Having read hundreds if not thousands of articles on preparedness, one of the common themes that I see consistently among all authors on all platforms is the focus on skills. Certainly, the advantages are obvious; if you know how to make a fire, then you’re able to do it in the moment without having to break out your boy scout manual and fail multiple times in the moment. You can practice on your own time during a non-emergency, and learn everything there is to know about knots, cooking, preserving, growing. In the moment, you can’t ask an attacker to pause so you can quickly study up on your Tae Kwon Do, or ask the oncoming floods if they could recede for long enough for you to build an adequate barricade for your home.

That said, as a budding young prepper a few years ago, I found it completely overwhelming having to not only purchase so many supplies, but also find the time to learn how to garden, how to start fires, how to build shelters, make home repairs and fire a gun all at the same time. That said, here are some buy-it and forget-it supplies that require nothing more than a few dollars in your pocket and a place to store this potentially life-saving equipment.

  1. Weather Radio

A weather radio, particularly one that includes a hand crank and options for lighting or charging, such as solar, is an essential supply for anyone who has to deal with the wrath of nature from time to time. In case of a power outage, this can charge your phone, light your way through the night, or provide the information you need to make quick decisions for your own welfare. We love this one!

Any good weather radio should be small, and offer multiple charging options. It should be easy to program, and you should probably store it with it’s instruction booklet. Since these devices are so incredibly easy to use, there is almost nothing that you’ll have to do in order to make it work for you, although those who don’t have experience working a radio dial may find it a little difficult to use the old-fashioned technology.

  1. Emergency Cell Phone Batteries

An emergency cell phone battery is exactly what you’d think it is – a portable power source that you can use to charge any device in a pinch. Most of these devices come pre-charged at local stores, although you may have to charge the ones you purchase online. I have one of these at my house for every family member with a device, and we use them so often it’s become second nature for every family member to grab one on their way out the door. In fact, one of our home’s phone charging stations is entirely dedicated to recharging just these battery packs.

What makes these chargers so great is that they function so well on the go. It may look awkward at first to be holding your device with the charger attached, but it works.

It’s also possible to purchase these for your bug out bags, or to keep one in a vehicle, but keep in mind that the battery’s charge will wear off over time. This provides a good opportunity to review your bug out bag every six months or so as you remove the battery packs for charging.

If you do decide to grab some of these, I’d highly recommend getting the highest mAh capacity you can get (this is the measure of how much of a charge a battery can hold). While this will increase price, and while you may never use the full capacity to charge a device, if you’re storing these for emergency use as I described above, then you want to keep the charge for the longest possible time.

  1. Mylar Blankets

It’s an emergency blanket. Not much more needs to be said other than the fact that these make an excellent, lightweight addition to a bug out or get home bag.

  1. Lifestraw (or other portable water filter) and Water Storage tanks

Outside of unwrapping a Lifestraw, there is not much to using it. You simply find some water, and suck in on the correct end of the filter.

Other portable water filters are, admittedly, slightly more difficult, but nothing so complicated that you can’t figure it out in the moment. When taking a group of 8th grade students on a camping trip a few years ago, they were all able to use a filter to strain out some clean drinking water without spilling much, and let’s face it, if an 8th grader can do it, so can almost any adult.

Water is a top-3 item that you’ll need to consider when prepping, and having a few portable filters in your home and in your bug-out equipment will help alleviate one of the largest concerns with water. The other concern is equally easy to handle – water storage can be very easily handled by simply purchasing some water bricks or some other convenient storage solution and filling it. No skill required there.

  1. Long-Term Food Storage

When purchasing supplies for just yourself, I could see the argument behind trying all of the long-term food options before committing to purchasing a huge quantity of flavors you might not enjoy. That said, for a family, any variety pack will likely include enough variety to keep everyone happy. Like the Water Storage equipment, this is as easy as buy, store and forget.

  1. Car Jumper System

A great buy-and-stash item that you’ll use rather frequently if you drive an old clunky car like I do is a car jumper system to jump your car. This is essentially a high-powered lithium battery that you can charge and store in your trunk. If you need to jump your car, pull out the instructions and follow along with getting your car started. I own three different models (one each for myself, my teenage daughter, and my wife), and each of them has the same three step approach to getting them set up. When you need it, you no longer need to rely on some good Samaritans to stop to help you jump your car.

All of these will bring you some peace of mind so you can sweat the harder stuff.

Having read hundreds if not thousands of articles on preparedness, one of the common themes that I see consistently among all authors on all platforms is the focus on skills.

Thanks to the media, prepping gets a bad reputation. Those who prep — collecting food, water and equipment to prepare for the inevitable — are portrayed as paranoid at best and crazy at worst. When it comes down to it, though, prepping isn’t such a bad idea — it’s better to have it and not need it, as the old saying goes. You don’t even need a barn or a shed to start prepping. If you’ve got a garage, you’ve got everything you need. How can you turn your garage into the ultimate prepper storage unit?

What Do You Need?

Before you start setting up your garage for storage, how much food, water and other supplies do you really need?

  • Food — Start with at least 72 hours worth of shelf-stable food for each person in your household. Once you’ve got this established, you can start adding to your food storage
  • Water — The average adult needs a gallon of water per day, half for drinking and half for washing and other sanitation needs. Again, start with 72 hours, and then plan for long-term needs, with water filtration, sanitation and storage
  • Fire building — Even if you’re not storing firewood, make sure you have everything you need to start a fire
  • First aid — Include medicine, first aid supplies, antibiotics — where available — and iodine tablets. The latter only becomes necessary in the event of a nuclear strike
  • Sanitation — Toilet paper, bleach, peroxide and items for sanitation and waste disposal are necessary, especially in the event of infrastructure collapse
  • Other supplies — In the event of a pandemic, for example, you will need masks, respirators and other personal protection equipment
  • Equipment — Gather generators and fuel, air compressors for powering tools and other equipment that you might need to survive until the crisis is over and normality restored.

Now that you have a basic idea of what you need, where are you going to put it all? If you’re limited on space, storage can be tricky. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

First, Declutter

If you’re using your garage to store all the stuff you don’t have room for, your first step is decluttering. Go through your garage and separate everything into three piles: keep, sell and trash. Only keep things that are necessary, that will serve you in the future or that you can’t bear to part with. Anything you can sell, set aside for a yard sale. Anything you’re just hanging onto because you haven’t bothered to get rid of it can go in the trash.

This step has two purposes. First, it gives you more room to store your supplies. Second, you can use the money you make from your yard sale to purchase storage and supplies.

Buy and Prep Equipment

Heavy equipment can take up a lot of space, so it’s a good idea to purchase any equipment first and plan your storage around it.

Generators can help keep your equipment powered, as long as you have fuel. Look for a generator that can easily be stored when not in use but provides all your power requirements.

Air compressors can be useful as well — they can be used to power tools, refill tires and even clean, depending on the adapters you have for them. Make sure you’ve also got everything you need to maintain the compressor — tools, oil and even repair manuals can be useful to keep your equipment running.

Use All Your Available Space

A decent supply of food, water and other items will take up quite a bit of space, so the first thing you should do is look at your garage and see what kind of available space you actually have. Don’t just look at the garage itself — look under stairwells, in attics and even in closets.

In the garage itself, you’ve got walls and even your ceiling that can be altered to use as storage — all while still allowing you to use your garage for its originally intended purpose, parking your car!

Areas that already have equipment in them can still be used for storage — put shelves and storage containers above your washer and dryer and under your sinks for your growing prepper supply without filling your house from floor to ceiling.

You can even store supplies, cash and important papers in plain sight, if you’re clever with how you store them.

Don’t Forget Your Bug-Out Bag

Having a supply of food and water at home is great, but if you’re not able to stay in your home, you might not be able to take all of it with you. Creating a bug-out kit can give you a few days of supplies if you have to pick up and bug out. It should contain everything you’ve collected in your prepping — food, water, medical supplies, communication equipment — in addition to cash, important papers and anything else you can’t bear to leave behind.

Again you should have at least 72 hours of food and water for each person in your party. If carrying that much water is restrictive due to the weight, include water sterilization tablets or filter straws to protect you from any water contaminants in the water supply or in any natural water that you might find.

Give your bug-out bag its own special storage place in your garage. That way it’s on hand if you should ever need it. All you have to do is grab it, hop in your car and go.

Hopefully, you’ll never need your prepping supplies, but in the event that you do need them, it’s better to be prepared for any and all eventualities. It doesn’t matter if we’re facing a little hiccup or a full infrastructure collapse — having enough supplies could mean the difference between life and death. Even if you don’t opt for all the extra equipment, just having enough food and water and the ability to cook it can make all the difference.

Thanks to the media, prepping gets a bad reputation. Those who prep — collecting food, water and equipment to prepare for the inevitable — are portrayed as paranoid at best

Rock beats scissors and paper thrashes rock, but nothing beats paperclips. If I were to erect a statue for one of the many household objects that saved my sorry can more than I can count, I would definitely do it for the paperclip.

Yup, the same goggle-eyed Microsoft Word assistant that obstinately wanted to help you is the best possible tool a prepper could hope to have should he find himself corned and SHTF.

Forget about lockpicking – sure, paperclips can serve that purpose as well, but there are many other ways these bendable delights can help you. Seeing that you people are always on the lookout for multipurpose B.O.B items, in today’s article, I’m going to show you the many uses of an office paperclip. So, without further ado, here’s my roundup of paperclip survival uses.

  1. Crafting a compass

In the darkest night or brightest day, the compass will always point the way. But what happens when the compass goes missing or, worse, damaged by a fall or something? Well, it may be possible to get back on the road again using a makeshift compass. Even better, you can do this anywhere using only your B.O.B. Here’s how to make your own compass. Bend the paperclip until you get a long segment. Use your multitool or sharp rock to cut it.

Then, take out your survival knife and magnetize the paperclip segment (most survival knives are made from steel which is known for its kick-ass magnetic properties). You can also use the cap of a Philips screwdriver or any piece of magnetized metal.

After adding some kick to the paperclip segment, grab a bowl or any kind of water container and fill it with water. Take a small leaf, put the metallic filament on it, and place it in the bowl. The small fragment will point out the north-south direction.

  1. Signal-boosting

As you know, the worst thing that could happen to you in any SHTF situation is not being able to get in touch with the emergency services or your family.

This can happen for any number of reasons – land features (yup, some land formations won’t allow phone or short-wave signals to get through, acting like some sort of cage), carrier not having enough coverage or signal amplifier in that area might have been damaged, electromagnetic interferences, and the list goes on. You can’t do much about the smartphone since with the emergent 5G technology you will need more than a paperclip for a signal boost.

However, if you have a walkie-talkie or one of those hand-cranked portable AM\FM radios, it may be possible to amplify the signal long enough for you to get in touch with, well, anyone.

Take a paperclip out of your B.O.B and bend it until you get an L-shape. Attach your make-shift booster to the nob on the upper part of the device’s antenna and give it another try. Also works wonders for portable radios, especially when you need to tune in to NOAA’s weather radio or, perhaps, one of your local emergency broadcast stations.

  1. Reset gadgets to factory settings

I don’t know about you, but I always had this mortal dread of gadgets dying on me during an emergency. And it happens more often than you realize. With all these new updates and drivers clogging up the memory of our smartphones, there’s no wonder that the damned thing stops working. And the last thing you’ll want in an SHTF situation is to debug your gadget.

Now, if you haven’t already switched to one of those survival phones (more battery, almost indestructible case, and fewer apps and updates), there might be a way to jump-start your phone in the field, provided that your battery still has some juice left in it. Take a small paperclip and bend it until you get a small segment.

Pop open the phone’s back cover and remove the battery. Look around for a small hole. It should have a little “reset” label on top of it. Use the tip of your bent paper clip to push the button. Keep it pressed for at least five seconds. The phone will reboot and return to factory settings – make sure you have enough battery, as this procedure will siphon at least 10 percent. You can also do the same for other devices like laptops or tablets.

  1. Making small field repairs

Since paperclips are made from malleable steel, it doesn’t take too much imagination to realize that they can be used for just about any kind of odd job. For instance, if you’re the proud owner of a pair of prescription glasses, you may be able to replace a missing frame screw with a small piece of a paperclip.

Thorn clothes can also be fixed by securing the holes with a long piece of paperclip bent into the desired shape with a multitool. Don’t have a smartphone stand? No problem. Grab one of those heavy-duty paperclips and start bending it until you get a little seesaw-style stand.

In case you lost your fishing tools, you can always improvise some hooks using paperclips. Just secure them to the other end of a dental floss thread, and you’ll be enjoying a fish dinner in no time.

  1. Hunting small game

They call it “survival of the fittest.” I’d rather go with the wittiest. In any SHTF situation, securing another food source become a priority, and hunting’s the way to go. Don’t go for the big game, because you won’t do shit without a hunting rifle and those things are far too heavy to carry around – the chances are that you won’t have enough time to grab your pea-shooter before scooting.

Anyway, for hunting small game like rabbits, birds, ferrets, and badgers, a blow-dart gun will provide you with all the firepower you’ll ever need. As for ammo, take out a couple of paperclips, straighten them out using your multitool, and sharpen them.

For the weapon itself, you can use a small plastic tube or a hollowed-out piece of reed (bamboo stems are also good for crafting blowguns). Place you darts inside, bait your game, aim for the head, and fire. Won’t look pretty but at least food’s back on the menu.

  1. Small bone-splinting jobs

Nothing’s worse than stubbing your toes in a piece of furniture (those of you who have the midnight munchies will certainly know the struggle). However, there are far nastier things that could happen in the field, especially during one of those charming SHTF situation. Now, in case you someone manage to stub your toe or break a finger, you can whip out a field splint using two straight pieces of paperclips.

Put one below, one above, and use a clean cloth to secure the splints to the damaged finger or toe. Don’t forget about rubbing a bit of baking soda or washing the area with a saline solution to cut down on the swelling. Yes, I know it looks like exactly the same thing you would get after visiting a sleazy back-alley clinic, but at least you get to keep your kidneys and fingers.

  1. Cleaning fingernail dirt

Yeah, I know that the last thing on your mind during a survival situation is a manicure, but hygiene’s very important, no matter how shitty things get. And, in this case, it’s more about preventing some nasty medical conditions than adhering to some outdated beauty rituals.

Fact one: your hands will get into contact with lots of stuff. Fact two: no matter what you do, you’ll always end up with dirt under your fingernails. Which brings us to fact number three – if you don’t remove the dirt fast enough, you can end with pleasant things like tetanus. Want more? How about panaritium? Never heard of it?

Well, it’s an infection caused by a bacterium that seeps in the tissue beneath your fingernail. The result – inflammation and, in most cases, abscess pockets forming underneath. Do you know how panaritium is treated? Surgical removal of the nail, which in your case must be done with whatever you have on hand and without any kind of anesthetic. So, If I were you, I would take out a piece of a paperclip and start removing that dirt as soon as possible. You’re welcome!

  1. Crafting mini skewers

In the hopes that I didn’t frighten you too much with the above statements, here’s another crafty way of using skewers for those rare and relished moments spent with friends and family – cooking over a firepit.

If you’re a camper, then you know that as much as you try convincing yourself and others to bring all the stuff needed for the great outdoor cookout, there’s always something left behind or overlooked. It’s easy to forget skewers after packing everything but the kitchen’s sink.

For those great moments spent around the campfire, you can improvise tiny skewers from paper clips – just bend one of those heavy-duty office paperclips until you get a long and straight piece. Goes along great with marshmallows, but call also be used to cook meat – my wife enjoys making mini chicken and pork skewers.

  1. Keeping your keys together

If you find yourself with no space on the keychain left for another key or token, you can always make more room by making a paperclip loop and attaching it to the chain. Keep in mind that this is a temporary solution. I would advise you against putting heavier stuff on this improv loop and to keep then entire chain inside your pocket.

You can always turn it into a more permanent solution, by looping two or more paperclips and welding them together (makes for a nice DIY keychain).

  1. Zipper tab replacement

If I were to make a list of the most annoying things that could happen in the field, a broken zipper tab would take second place right after ripped shoelaces. Fact is that most of us remember to pack at least one extra pair of shoelaces before going camping or whatever, but never to pack replacement zipper tabs. Sure, if it’s an interior pocket, then it’s no reason for concern.

However, if the zipper tab of your parka or backpack break or go missing, that’s when shit really hits the fan. Still, if you have a pack of paperclips inside your B.O.B, a broken tab shouldn’t be a problem – just remove the broken part, make a loop out of a paperclip, attach it to the zipper, and you’re good to good.

You can do the same for your parka, side pockets, and other things that come with a zipper.

That’s it for my kick-ass list of mind-boggling ways to repurpose a dull pack of office paperclips. If you have other uses in mind, don’t be a stranger and hit the comments section.

Before you go, you may also like:

This is more than just about your guns…
10 Easy Steps to Secure your privacy
Secret Military Solution For Power Independence

DIY Unlimited water source
Why a food reserve is way better than the Federal Reserve
Lost Skills of our Ancestors that still work today

Rock beats scissors and paper thrashes rock, but nothing beats paperclips. If I were to erect a statue for one of the many household objects that saved my sorry can

Beef jerky…the stories I could tell you about this stuff… I’m just going to say that I would marry beef jerky if that were possible (thinking about moving to state or country). Anyway, beef jerky’s awesome and, from where I stand, has but one caveat – not enough of it to go around. I mean, c’mon, I know it’s supposed to be emergency food or trail food, but who in God’s name eats just one 20g bag? It’s like saying “hey, it’s game night, and I’m gonna drink just one beer or eat one bag of chips.”

As far as a survival food is concerned, jerky’s the right call since it’s packed with just enough protein and fats to keep that engine of yours running. Sure, they’re salty AF and feels like you’re chewing on a rubber band, but it’s amazingly delicious. Since most of you are busy with your jobs and have neither the time nor the mood to replenish your beef jerky stocks, I thought about sharing with you my mouthwatering homemade beef jerky recipe.

It’s super easy to make and, most importantly, it mostly requires ingredients you probably have in your pantry. Why make beef jerky at home when you can always order some online? Because, let’s face it – as cheap as store jerky is, it’s pretty hard to find one that’s exactly the way you like it. Some are chewy, others salty as Hell and some, well, taste like crap.

First of all, preparing your own beef jerky puts you in full control of the dish, from choosing the beef cuts, all the way to the cooking part. Second, by choosing to cook rather than buy, you can make it as salty or sweet as you like. Last, but not least, beef jerky’s one of those recipes that don’t require an advanced degree in rocket science in order to prepare.

So, without further ado, here’s how to make some delish beef jerky at home.

Ingredients and Utensils

For this recipe, you will need the following:

  • Angus beef sirloin. I use around two pounds of beef for this recipe. Once you get it dried, you end up with one large zip-lock bag of beef jerky.
  • Worcestershire sauce (three-quarters of a cup).
  • Soy sauce (three-quarters of a cup).
  • Smoked paprika (one tablespoon).
  • Honey (one or two tablespoons).
  • Ground black pepper (two teaspoons).
  • Hot chili flakes (one or two tablespoons, depending on preference).
  • Garlic powder (one teaspoon).
  • Onion powder (one teaspoon).

That’s it for the ingredients. As for kitchen utensils, you will need a large bowl to mix your ingredients, an oven tray, baking paper, a pair of scissors, and, of course, a zip-lock bag for the jerky. All done gathering your utensils and all of the ingredients? Take your time. I ain’t going anywhere. When you’re ready, here’s how to put everything together.

Preparing mouthwatering beef jerky

Step 1. Take your beef cut out of the bag and wash it thoroughly. Dry with a couple of paper towels or place in a strainer.

Step 2. In a large bowl add your Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, smoked paprika, honey, ground pepper, hot chili flakes, powdered garlic, and powdered onions. Whisk the ingredients using a fork or, well, a whisk.

Step 3. Cover the bowl with some plastic wrap and place it inside the fridge for half an hour.

Step 4. It’s now time to tend to the meat. Using a very sharp butcher’s knife, cut the meat into thin strips – if it’s easier, make stake-sized bits.

Step 5. Take a big zip-lock bag from the pantry and put the beef inside.

Step 6. Get the bowl out of the fridge and pour over the beef. Seal the bag and place in the refrigerator. Leave the meat to soak up all those juices for at least a couple of hours. Ideally, you should leave it overnight. Remember – the longer you marinate your meat, the tastier it will be. I usually keep it in the fridge for one or two days.

Step 7. When you’re ready to cook the meat, preheat the oven to 176 degrees – yup, you’ll need ultra-low heat. The idea is to dry the beef cuts, not to bake it.

Step 8. Take the marinated beef out of the bag.

Step 9. Place the meat on an oven tray covered with baking paper. Use a paper towel to soak the excess marinade.

Step 10. When the oven reached the desired temperature, stick the tray in the oven and cook for 4 to 5 hours. Every hour or so, flip the beef cuts.

Step 11. When they’re done, take them out of the oven, allow the cuts to cool down, and cut them into thin strips using a pair of scissors or a knife. Bag and tag!

Another Way to Prepare Beef Jerky

Don’t go anywhere, because this was just the warm-up. Okay, so you now know how to prepare beef jerky at home. But can you do the same, say during a shit hits the fan situation? Beef jerky is, more or less, the beauty of the best – thought it looks totally unpalatable, it’s actually delicious, nutritious, and, on top of that, it can be made anywhere and with any type of meat.

Now let’s imagine for a moment that you’re lost in the woods and you run out of food. Obviously, you’ve got to do something about it. Now, if you still have your bug out bag with you, whip out a snare and wait. Keep in mind that beef jerky can be made with any kind of meat.

However, if you want your trail snack to contain all the proteins and fats your body needs to keep on going, you would want to stick with red meat or fish. When you’re done with the gutting and butchering parts, here’s what you will need to do in order to prepare jerky.

Step 1. Find a clean spot to set up your working area.

Step 2. Use your survival knife or a very sharp rock to cut the flesh into very thin strips (half a centimeter). Don’t forget to cut across the grain, not with the grain (those muscle fibers will make meat harder to chew).

Step 3. While the meat’s still wet and tender, season it with your condiments of choice. I like to keep stuff like ginger, cumin, sugar, salt, pepper, and chili in small pill bottles. You can also make your own mix which you can use to season the meat. Put a little bit of sugar if you have some in your bug out bag.

Step 4. It’s now time to create some sort of drying rack. Look around for twigs, long stick or branches. If there’s nothing available, you can always hang the meat cuts by a low-lying branch using heavy duty zip ties. Just be careful to place that meat within eyeshot because it’s bound to attract some unwanted attention (flies, mosquitoes, and, yes, even bears).

(Optional) If you want to a little smokey flavor to your meat, place it over a small campfire. Don’t leave there too long, though. You’ll want to dry your meat, not cook it. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with some BBQed game, but it tends to spoil faster.

Step 5. If you manage to improvise a drying rack, flip the meat every couple of hours. Depending on weather conditions, like wind, humidity, and temperature, it can take up to four days for the meat to lose all moisture.

Yes, I know it’s a painstaking process. More so because you’ll need to be on the lookout for critters. On that note, when it’s time to hit the sack, don’t forget to bring the meat inside your tent or improvised shelter. Obviously, you won’t be able to keep an eye out while you’re asleep.

Step 6. After a couple of days have passed, take a look at the meat. You’ll know it’s ready to eat when the meat has a brittle aspect. If you prepare jerky from red meat, the color you’re looking for is a purple-brown. On the other hand, if you’re using white meat, the jerky will turn pink-grey when it’s done.

Step 7. All that remains to be done is to cut the meat into thinner strips and to store it in a zip-lock bag or an airtight container.

Wrap-up

Taking all these facts into account, I would have to say that jerky is indeed the ultimate survival food. Given the right storage conditions, a batch of jerky can last for at least a couple of months, if not for a whole year.

Now, as far as the oven-drying version is concerned, I would advise ditching the salt. Yes, I know that salt and jerky is a marriage made in Heaven, but the soy sauce adds and smoky taste to the meat, which means that it doesn’t need extra. Of course, if you’re not a big fan of soy, you can always replace with two tablespoons of rock salt.

I don’t know about you, but I like to add some kick to my jerky. If you want your snack to be spicier, you can add half a teaspoon of Tabasco in addition to the chili flakes. Yes, I know it sounds pretty hardcore, but hey, at least your jerky won’t be bland.

One of my friends told me that it’s also possible to prepare beef jerky using a dehydrator. Remember my powdered eggs recipe? Well, the method’s more or less the same. The only advantage of using a dehydrator instead of a regular oven set on ultra-low heat is that it reduces the cooking time by at least one, maybe two hours. If you have one of those gadgets in the kitchen, you should definitely try it out.

One more thing – the meat itself. Though I highly recommend using sirloin for this recipe since the cut will be, well, chewier, you can use whatever meat you prefer. Just be sure it has the same amount of fat as sirloin. Haven’t tried it yet, but from what I heard, jerky prepared from fish like rainbow trout, tuna or salmon is absolutely divine. Trouble is that it’s very hard to get ahold of a good recipe and most of the stuff on the market looks way too nasty.

So, here’s where I take my love. Hope my little winding has managed to convince you that making your own beef jerky is better than having to go through hundreds of Google pages in order to find the right one. As always, don’t think of cooking as something you need to do – have fun around the kitchen. Play some tunes. Work on your air guitar skills; whatever floats your boat. What do you think about my beef jerky recipe? Hit the comments section and let me know.

Beef jerky…the stories I could tell you about this stuff

Everybody loves it, and everybody hates it – that’s what I like to call the Coca-Cola paradox. Even though the doctors scream at the top of their lungs that Coke’s as poisonous as arsenic, we cannot conceive a cozy family meal or a game night without at least one uncorked bottle of coke.

As far as I’m concerned, I can’t say I have any love for fizzy drinks, no matter their backgrounds. Of course, I would prefer a glass of freshly-squeezed lemon juice any time, but that doesn’t mean that I want to see the Coke factory burnt to the ground.

There’s no denial in the fact that people who drink too much Coca-Cola expose themselves to all manner of nasty diseases such as leukemia, thyroid cancer, morbid obesity, tooth decay, COPD, asthma, heart disease, and the list goes on and on. Still, it doesn’t mean that this type of beverage doesn’t have its uses. No, you’re not going to die if you drink a bottle of Coke every now and then, but don’t make it into a habit.

Anyway, since my dad’s a big fan of Coke since the early ‘50s, I spend a lot of time doing research on this drink’s side-effects in an attempt to convince him to tone it down a notch. Can’t say that I had too much success, but I did uncover something really interesting. Coke can be used in SHTF situations. Yup, you read that right. How? Stick around to find out.

Boost the efficiency of your compost

If your compost’s not good enough for the plants with munchies, add a bottle of Coca-Cola. It will increase the acidity of the compost and, at the same time, it will give those tiny organisms all the sugar they’ll need.

Get rid of dirt and stains from the toilet

If you don’t have anything else on hand to clean the toilet bowl, try using Coca-Cola. Pour half a liter in the toilet, wait 15 minutes, then flush the toilet a couple of times. There you have it! No more stain or smudges and, best of all, you didn’t even have to scrub it.

Remove gum stuck to your hair.

You really don’t have to cut away those precious locks if get gum stuck in them. Instead, soak them in a bowl with Coca-Cola for a couple of minutes. You can now remove the gum by hand.

Set a trap for pesky bugs

There’s nothing worse than having to dodge stinging insects like wasps or bees when you’re at the picnic. Want to take your revenge on them? Try this trick. Fill a small bowl with Coke and place it as far away as possible from your picnic area. Attracted by the sweet smell, the suckers will go for the Coke and leave you alone.

Get rid of congestion fast

Yes, I know that drinking too much Coke can lead to all kinds of intestinal mishaps, but, apparently, this stuff can be used to relieve congestion. Take a pan and add one can of coke and some water. Bring to a boil, wait a couple of minutes for that stuff to cool down a notch, and serve.

Hack away windshield ice

Tired of having to wait around for the engine’s heat to melt away the ice on a windshield? Pour a bottle of Coke over it and wait to see what happens.

Make a diversionary device

If you need to get out of Dodge fast, it’s possible to create a diversionary device using a big bottle of Coke and a couple of Mentos pills. Unscrew the cap, get a couple of Mentos pills inside, put the cap back on, shake for 10 seconds, and throw.

No more nausea

If you feel like your stomach makes a loopty loop, open a can of Coke and let it go flat. Take on a teaspoon of that stuff every hour or so, and you’ll be up and kicking in no time.

Hack away the powdery corrosion on car battery’s terminals

Tired of seeing that white and blue stuff on your battery’s terminals every time you pop open the hood? Use Coca-Cola – pour a small amount over each terminal and wait. Finally, use a clean cloth to remove the smudges.

Make a grown bolt budge

If a rusty bolt’s preventing you from opening something, pour some Coca-Cola over it to unloosen it. By the way, this beverage works wonders on rusty screws and bolts. Don’t replace the rusty ones. Instead, dunk them in a bowl filled with Coke and let them soak overnight.

No more scorch marks on pots and pans

Did I tell you how much I hate scrubbing them pans after cooking? Well, I’m going to say it a thousand times if it’s necessary. Luckily, I have discovered a secret weapon – Coke. If there are too much burn marks on your pots and pans, pour some Coke inside, and let them soak overnight. Drain, wash, rinse, and you’re done.

No more ouchie from jellyfish stings

Remember the last time you went for a swim and ended up getting stung by those jellyfish? Well, if you feel like your skin’s about to melt, pour some coke over the sting site. Coke’s ingredients will neutralize the poison.

Kill slugs and snails

I really don’t have anything against slugs, snail or lummoxes. However, every time I see them munching on my veggies, I go berserk. If you’re having the same problem, use some coke on them. The acid inside America’s favorite fizzy drink will make them curl and die in agony.

Remove blood from clothes

Well, this might sound a little odd, but Coke’s very useful in removing blood stains from just about any type of clothing or fabric. Just so you know.

Coca-Cola for hiccups

Again with the hiccups? If holding your breath doesn’t solve the issue gargle some ice-cold Coca-Cola for a couple of seconds. Works like a charm.

That’s it for my ways of repurposing Coca-Cola. Think anything’s missing from the list? Head to the comments section and let me know.

Everybody loves it, and everybody hates it – that’s what I like to call the Coca-Cola paradox.

Life in plastic is, without a doubt, fantastic, especially when you find yourself in a shit hits the fan situation. Can’t say that I’m a big fan of plastic. Anyway, one has to agree that plastic’s not that good for the environment, and yes, we should do our best to recycle as often as possible. As for today’s topic, a plastic bottle, no matter, if it’s Coca-Cola, sprite or the common milk jug, can serve a lot of purposes, apart from storing liquids. So, without further ado, here are 8 ingenious ways you can use a plastic bottle in a shit hits the fan situation.

Improv trash can

When you’re hiking or camping, you won’t always have the luxury of having a trash can around, especially if you decide to go off the beaten path. Now, if the trash starts piling up, you can always use an empty plastic bottle as a trash can. Normally, a carry a small bottle with me filled with a little bit of sand and water to use as an ashtray.

Watering can for flowers and veggies

Don’t have the time to go and look for a new watering can? No problem. Grab the largest plastic bottle you can find, poke some holes in the lid, and use it to water your daisies or veggies.

Emergency mask

If you need to traverse an area filled with toxic fumes, it may be possible to improvise a mask using a plastic bottle, some charcoal, an empty tin can, and duct tape. Here’s what you will need to do. Use a pair of scissors to cut the bottom of a plastic bottle. Next, remove one of the bottle’s sides so that you can create a space for your face. Place some duct on the jagged edge to protect your forehead.

Now take an empty tin can and poke a couple of holes in the bottom. Use the scissors to cut the bottom of the can. Place a clean gauze on the bottom of the tin can and sprinkle some charcoal. Remove the bottle’s cap, position the tin can with charcoal, and use some duct tape to secure it in place. Congrats! You’ve just made your first dust mask.

Solar still

Since I already covered water purification using charcoal, sand, pebbles, and a plastic bottle, I’m now going to show you another way to make water safe to drink. In the field, it’s possible to construct a small solar using a plastic bottle and an empty beer can. Here’s how to do it. Take a 2-liter plastic bottle and snip the bottom. Using your fingers, fold the edges inwards, as to create a small pocket.

Now take an empty beer can and completely remove the top (leave the rim) using a survival knife. Pour some water in the beer can, put the water bottle on top, and place in the sun. After a couple of hours, you will see some condensation on the walls of your bottle. Lift your bottle, unscrew the cap, and pour the water trapped in the pocket in a clean glass.

Craft a raft

A large body of water to cross but can’t find anything that floats? No problem, as long as you have some plastic bottles at your disposal. Grab a couple of beams or large pieces of wood and arrange them in a rectangular shape.  Secure your beams using hammer or nails or tie the joints with your cordage of choice. After creating the frame, create compartments using boards or anything you have on hand.

Fill these compartments with as many plastic bottles as you can. Don’t forget to secure them to your boat. When you’re done, find yourself a pole or a very long piece of wood to use as a paddle. Cast that makeshift raft of your in the water and enjoy the trip up shit’s creek but with a paddle.

Waterproof tinder box

No place left to store your fire-starting gear? Well, if your tinder box is out of commission, you can always keep your stuff in a plastic bottle, to make sure everything stays dry.

Fire-starter

On the topic of fire-starters, you can use a clean plastic bottle in order to concentrate the sun rays on some kindling or tinder. Rip the label, fill the bottle with clear water, and rotate it in order to focus the beam. It will take a while, but it beats sitting there and praying for fire.

Fish and small animal trap

If you don’t know how to make a simple body-gripping trap, you can always turn a plastic bottle into one. To do that, use a pair of scissors or your survival knife to cut the top of the bottle. Remove the cap, reverse the top, and place it inside the trap. Use some duct tape to secure the top part of the bottle. For small fish, you need to place that thing inside a stream or something. If the water’s clean, that thing will be invisible. For a small game like field mice, place something sweet inside the bottle.

Makeshift kettle

Because boiling is the most efficient way to sterilize water, it may be possible to do that in the field with a bottle. To make an improv kettle, start by removing the top part of the bottle using your survival knife or a very sharp rock. Place the dirty water inside. Now, start a fire using your method of choice and pile as much fuel as you can find. When the fire picks up in the head, place a couple of small stones inside the flame and wait.

When they begin to change color, using some tongs or anything else, retrieve the stones and drop them in the water bottle. Wait for the water to boil, allow it to cool down, and serve.

That’s it for my article on ingenious ways to repurpose plastic bottles. Anything missing from the list? Head to the comments section and let me know.

Life in plastic is, without a doubt, fantastic, especially when you find yourself in a shit hits the fan situation. Can’t say that I’m a big fan of plastic. Anyway,

Waterproof matches are expensive, but you can make your own for only a fraction of the price.

Today’s featured video is from YouTuber’s JoeandZachSurvival and they share a simple but effective way to waterproof your matches. As preppers we spend a fair amount of time talking about cooking when the grid goes down and there are numerous ways to start a fire out of natural materials, but I think having a lighter or matches is just easier.

I personally have a firesteel for times when I don’t have a lighter but unless I want to practice making a fire, I will go the easy route and just light that Bic or strike a match.

When it comes to packing fire making materials in my Bug Out Bag or even just stocking up my supplies, lighters and matches are something I don’t leave out.

You can purchase a few packs of Bic lighters and throw those in a plastic tub and they will last for a very long time. Matches, may last even longer and if you take steps to protect them from the elements, you can use these in a lot of situations.

In this video, Joe and Zach show you how to make waterproof matches easily that can save you a little money. Hope you enjoy!

What do you think? If you’re curious to find out 4 other ways to waterproof your matches, there’s more.

Listed below are a number of effective and proven ways to make waterproof matches you can use for camping, backpacking, and emergencies.

Note: All the methods below involve some risk. If you are a minor, do not carry out any of these activities without the permission of a competent adult supervisor. The list is ranked from safest to least safe. The best and safest method is to use turpentine. (Turpentine has a higher “flash point” relative to acetone, which is commonly used in nail polish and does not involve the use of flame as is needed in the Wax or Paraffin methods.)

Method One of Four: Use Turpentine

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1. Pour 2 to 3 large tablespoons of turpentine into a small (tumbler sized) glass.
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2. Place the matches, (head down) into the turpentine and allow the matches to soak for 5 minutes. During that time the turpentine will soak into the head as well as the stem. All the water will be driven off by the turpentine.
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3. Remove the matches and spread them out to dry out on a sheet of newspaper.Generally, 20 minutes for excess turpentine to evaporate is recommended. Matches treated in this way remain waterproof for several months or longer.

Method Two of Four: Use Nail Polish

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1. Dip the head end of the match into clear nail polish far enough to cover at least an eighth of an inch (3 millimeters) of the stick below the head.
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2. Hold the match for a few seconds to allow the polish to dry and then place the match on a table or counter so that the head is suspended off the edge of the surface.
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3. Place a sheet of newsprint below to catch anything that may drip off.

Method Three of Four: Use a Candle

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1. Light a candle and let it burn down until you have a good amount of liquid wax (about a half of an inch or 1 centimeter).
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2. Extinguish the candle.
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3. Dip the head end of the match into the wax far enough to cover at least an eighth of an inch (3 millimeters) of the stick below the head.
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4. Hold the match for a few seconds to allow the wax to harden slightly and then place the match on a table or counter so that the head is suspended off the edge of the surface.
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5. When the wax has cooled, but not completely hardened, pinch the end of the wax coating (towards the stick), forming a tight seal.

Method Four of Four: Using Paraffin Wax

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1. Melt enough paraffin wax in a double boiler to be able to coat with wax about a half of an inch (1 centimeter) deep.
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2. Wrap some twine or jute string around several matches from the bottom, to just below the wax quickly. 
This makes a torch that can burn for 10 or more minutes.

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

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

Waterproof matches are expensive, but you can make your own for only a fraction of the price. Today’s featured video is from YouTuber’s JoeandZachSurvival and they share a simple but effective

Who knows what could happen tomorrow? This is the philosophy that most preppers live by. No matter the situation, when danger suddenly appears, a prepper’s heightened organization and awareness will greatly increase their chances of survival. There are roughly 3.7 million preppers in the United States, and each one most likely understands that being a prepper takes a lot of time and money. So how do you make sure that you’re being efficient? Apart from the necessities of food, clothing, and shelter, what are the other tools and tricks you need to survive? Check out this list of five tools and five skills to have under your belt in case of an emergency.

5 Handy Skills

Navigation and compass skills

Being able to navigate yourself in an unknown area is a skill that will get you far. Literally. In times of danger, who knows where you could end up? You may have to escape your house on foot, escape your town or state and in extreme cases, the country. In its most basic form, practicing a good sense of direction can be great, but also mastering the use of your compass can be better to avoid getting lost in an unknown area like a forest or even an unfamiliar city.

First aid

Performing first aid is essential to ensuring that you and those around you are out of any immediate danger that could lead to serious injury or fatality. This could be especially helpful in natural disasters in which people are prone to drowning, suffocating or choking. But there are many dangerous situations where people may need assistance through mouth-to-mouth resuscitation or other first aid techniques.

 

Finding and producing water

More so than food, enough water is an absolute necessity to survive. And with such an abundant supply of water all over the earth, it’s just a matter of knowing where to find it. Even if you feel like Tom Hanks in “Castaway,” you may be able to find your very own coconut to feast on. Apart from collecting rainwater, there are other ways to be creative. When in snow or ice, boiling it can be a great way to make water safe from bacteria, however, this requires fire or another heating source. If you find yourself in a mountain, make your way down it, as water always runs to the lowest point. In a desert, finding water can be a bit trickier, but try digging a few feet below creek beds or building a solar still.

Fire making

This skill is one that will help you with a number of things — cooking food, boiling water to make it potable and staying warm. While it doesn’t take many materials to start a fire, it does take some practice. In order to prepare for this, try out different fire starters and see which works best for you. After that, it’s a matter of practicing how to collect the right wood and branches and correctly arranging them for a fire.

Knowledge of flora and fauna

In extreme circumstances, you may find yourself out of food, water, and shelter and may be forced to use the natural resources around you. However, with so many different species of plants and animals, a sound knowledge of flora and fauna can go a long way. This is a way of making the environment work for you and knowing what can be used as food or as survival materials, as well as what can be potentially harmful.

5 Handy Tools For A Prepper

Multi-function survival tool

It’s always important to make sure you have as many tools on you as possible without taking up too much space because you never know what you might need. A multi-tool can be used as a knife, screwdriver, can opener, ruler, bottle cap opener, 4 position wrench, saw blade, butterfly screw, wrench, direction ancillary wrench, 2 position wrench and other configurations based upon what you select.

Hunting knife

Keeping the need for food in mind, a hunting knife is a useful tool to carry in case you’re stuck in a situation where you have to hunt for your food. Matched with educating yourself about hunting, this tool can be the difference in feeding you and your family or not.

Fire starter

As mentioned, the use of a fire is multifaceted, so it’s important to make it a major focus. Experiment with different types and brands of fire starters to see what you like best. They often come in different styles and can have other things attached to them such as torches or whistles.

Water tools

Water is essential and should be included in any prepper’s schedule. As a base, preparing hydration packs is a great way to ensure that everyone stays hydrated, especially in a circumstance when you’re leaving on foot and will be prone to exhaustion and dehydration. Once your water supply ends, another great water tool to carry is filtration tablets. When added to dirty or bacteria-infested water, these tablets kill the germs and make the water drinkable.

Flashlight

One of the worst parts of natural disasters or other dangerous situations is that you’re often left without electricity or a source of light. Having a readily available flashlight can mean that you’re able to not only find food and water at all times but can also remain aware of your surroundings and therefore avoid any further danger.

As a prepper, remaining organized for any situation is vital. And there’s usually a fear that you’re forgetting something, which could end up putting you and your family in even more danger. Make use of these five tools and five skills to ensure you’re always prepared to keep you and your loved ones safe in a variety of scenarios.

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)

Who knows what could happen tomorrow? This is the philosophy that most preppers live by. No matter the situation, when danger suddenly appears, a prepper’s heightened organization and awareness will

There are many reasons to check for gold on your property. If you live in a gold mining area you might be sitting on top of the mother lode. However, most people find gold in the form of buried treasure.

During the civil war, Southerners would bury their household silver, gold, and other valuables when the Northern army came near. I know a man who still buries his extra cash in jars in the backyard. I don’t envy the family when his day comes. They’ll definitely need a metal detector.

If you own gold, you know that storing it can be a problem. It can be difficult to find a secure spot that won’t be found by thieves or family members. Even a safe is not secure if you are forced to open it.

For this reason, many people – in the past, and even today – have resorted to burying their gold and other valuables. Sometimes the owner fails to tell his heirs where it is hidden, or even that it exists. Every property is a potential goldmine, especially older properties.

My Own Experience with a Metal Detector

We bought my son a metal detector for his birthday a few years back. A little exploring in our front yard discovered an abandoned oil tank. It was so rusted that I am surprised it hadn’t caved in from kids playing only a foot above it.

Later, our first trip to the beach with his metal detector turned up an iPhone, a gold watch and a few quarters. Talking to others with metal detectors, we heard a number of stories about the items they had found; gold wedding rings, keys, coins, jewelry and a lot of metal trash.

One retiree claimed to hunt almost daily and was able to supplement his retirement income nicely. He enjoyed finding hidden treasure of all kinds and said that the hunting kept him moving and healthy.

What Can You Find with a Metal Detector?

You can find gold, silver, tin, aluminum, steel, and any other metal. Did you bury your money in a jar and can’t remember where it is? You can find that jar lid and any other junk metal or treasure with a basic metal detector. Some of the more expensive detectors are tuned to detect only gold or possibly silver. This keeps you from having to sort through a lot of bottle caps, but it can also cause you to miss other valuables.

If you’ve buried your emergency food supply in the backyard I can find it, as long as there are some canned goods or other metal included. This is a good point to remember if you are considering burying your cache.

Better metal detectors can find metal that is buried up to four feet deep, so dig your hole deeper or stash only non-metal items. Another way to foil a hunter with a detector is to bury your metal valuables or food deeper, cover it with a foot or more or soil, then bury some decoy metal on top of your cache. If you are lucky, they will find the decoy and move to another spot.

What Features Do You Need?

There is a wide variety and price range of metal detectors available on the market. What do you really need to find gold or other valuables on your property? We purchased a basic-model metal detector for our son and it did everything we needed.

For me, easy tuning, the ability to discriminate between target metals and background minerals, and a solid rugged build would be the most important features.

There is a learning curve with most metal detectors. You need to learn to tune the detector to pick up the types of metal you are looking for and tune out background noise. It takes a little practice to be able to do this quickly and recognize the signals for various metals.

For a beginner, an inexpensive model can be purchased for under $100. You can spend much more, but I recommend a basic model until you learn whether treasure hunting is for you.

As a prepper, you are probably aware of the importance of having some gold and silver in your investment portfolio. Preppers prefer to own physical gold for obvious reasons, but you don’t need a lot of money to get started in gold.

One way to build up your gold stores is to regularly use a metal detector as we have discussed here. You may have days where you find nothing, but the days where you find lost coins, jewelry or a hidden stash will make them all worthwhile. Over time you will build up a collection of gold items to provide your family with a little security when things get tough.

During the civil war, Southerners would bury their household silver, gold, and other valuables when the Northern army came near. For this reason, many people – in the past, and

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

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

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

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

This is not prepping.

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

Why should I worry about hoarding anything

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

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

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

GroceryLineVenezuela

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

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

This is not hoarding.

This is not hoarding.

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

This is not aberrant behavior.

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

What items should I be hoarding now?

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

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

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

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


Other Self-sufficiency and Preparedness solutions recommended for you:

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

Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)

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

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

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

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

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

I’m one of those people who really loves soups and stews.  A good soup simmering on the stove makes a house feel like home, it offers comfort during stressful times, and it warms you through and through when it’s bitterly cold outside.  In addition to all that–soups offer lots of health benefits since they’re typically made with fresh, low-fat ingredients, contain a minimal amount of salt and extra fats, and provide vitamins like A and C.  And since nothing makes a great soup like a good stock base, I’ve long-since learned to make my own DIY broths to use in my soups and stews.

Hint: Making your own broth doesn’t have to cost extra; each time you peel or trim vegetables put the scraps in a zip-lock bag in the freezer rather than adding them to your compost bin.  Vegetables store the majority of their flavor–not to mention a host of vitamins–in their skins, so they make superior broths.

What to put in your broth

You can use practically anything to make a delicious broth–from the traditional to the unusual–making soup lends itself to experimentation, so feel free to get creative and try new things.  Save celery leaves and ends, potato and carrot peelings, mushroom and garlic bits, the outer cabbage leaves, lettuce and other greens, uneaten bits of corn, peas, mashed potatoes, squash, rutabaga, beans, rice and other grains–they will all add valuable nutrients and flavor.

The same goes for meats–each time you serve a roast, put the bones, skin and fat trimmings into a designated freezer bag for later use.  Or use the most inexpensive cuts to make a beef broth, use the bones of a roasted chicken, or save the meaty ham bone from your traditional baked ham dinner to make the best pea soup ever!  Be sure to save the broth in the bottom of your roasting pan to add to the mix when you are ready to make your meat-based broth.

How to make the broth

I like a good pea soup once in a great while, so I save the bone from a baked ham for just such an occasion!

When you have saved enough scraps to make a good batch of broth place everything in a large stock pot, fill with water and cover.  Bring the stock to a boil for the first few minutes to ensure that any bacteria is killed, then reduce the temperature to a simmer.

Simmer your stock at a low temperature anywhere from 6-8 or 12-24 hours.  The larger the bones the longer you should cook them, until all the marrow and flavor has been extracted.  Then strain the broth to remove then bones–remove any meat remaining on the bone or bones and save for later; for a vegetable broth you will again strain to remove the vegetable peelings, then put the stock through a sieve to remove any remaining bits.  At this point I prefer to put the stock back into the pot and continue to simmer the broth to boil it down, which intensifies the flavor–but this is a personal preference and optional.

Place everything in a large stock pot, fill with water and cover

Storing your homemade broth

Once you have achieved the desired flavor with your broth or stock, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool completely before storing.  You can keep your broth in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, or store it in quart-sized zip-lock bags and freeze it.  You can even can it to preserve it long-term, and keep it in your pantry or cold-storage facility for later use.

Conclusion

Making your own broth is a great way to save money; by re-purposing those discarded kitchen scraps you’ll be able to stretch your food budget even further.  Not to mention you’ll have some fabulous broth to make fantastic meals with when you’re finished.  Start saving your kitchen scraps today and give it a try!

Have you made your own broth before?  Have any tips, tricks or hints you’d like to share?  Feel free to leave a comment below!

I’m one of those people who really loves soups and stews.  A good soup simmering on the stove makes a house feel like home, it offers comfort during stressful times,