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If the catastrophic event you’ve been preparing for does one day come about, it will be a fearsome test of your survivalism. Like any test, some will not pass. But in this case the consequences for valued loved ones might be heart-rending. Preparation may be the answer, but whether it’s civil war, war with a foreign power, economic collapse, or social unrest, centralized money will have in one way or another been the root cause. Because whatever the event that tears apart the fabric of this country, the policies fueled by our fractional-reserve banking system-inflated fiat currency, and its petrodollar role, will certainly have taken us there.

Individual interests tend to focus in different directions than centralized ones. There are few parents, for example, who if given a choice would elect to have their children go hungry, thirsty, sick, or uneducated so they could spend money-making war with their neighbor. Their interests are naturally aligned to prioritize the well-being of their children. In a centralized government the vast majority of decision-making power does not rest with us or the people around us. In the absence of this authority decisions must by necessity follow money. And wherever the money is, whether it is in governments, corporations, or private individuals, if it is not with us it is always by definition aligned separately from our interests.

Through currency inflation, centralized money is not only then a means of extracting wealth from all who use it, but also a tool to further the interests of the centralized entities controlling it. Because money naturally moves public policy and broad societal and cultural changes in the direction in which the money flows; like an irresistible tide. There will of course be broad patterns to the directions that the flow of corporate money causes both popular culture and public policy to move in. Centralized money will flow towards policies and social changes that lead to the further centralized accumulation of money. A broad swath of society drifting with this current will move with amazing synchronicity, as if connected to invisible strings all pulled by the same hand. In the bigger picture, compared to this centralization, the leader, party, or system of government you believe you are electing may not even matter. It doesn’t have to be a conspiracy. Every act of this centralized tide of money will be in its own interest. That power will centralize this way should not be hard to imagine. It’s already doing so.

The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve

Decentralized money is a key part of any model capable of ensuring a better alignment between the decision-making process and individual interests, the alignment that best ensures a tangible focus on the well-being of the people and environment immediately around us. This may seem like a radical idea, but it was only this century that bank promissory notes (in effect a type of currency issued by each bank) gave way to the centralized Federal Reserve system.

This finer point of decentralizing cash among different currencies is often lost. Though currencies like Bitcoin may be decentralized in their technical operation, they are still single currencies that permit one individual’s stored value to be speculated away by another person who did not earn it. They are still a means of wealth extraction.

A truly decentralized system of currency carries its value around with it independently of the guarantee of any centralized entity or of any single network to uphold that value. Gold and silver are options of course, but gold is heavy and having the waiter at your favorite restaurant divide your gold bar into change is inconvenient.

Technology may soon come to the rescue, enabling individuals to store and exchange value using a sophisticated system of IOU exchange in which value is stored in terms of IOU contracts held between members of the community. Such a system would track the collective collateral of the community, using that aggregate value to back the value of an IOU between two parties so that value can be transferred to a third. This system will allow the value of the currency to be guaranteed by the community itself as a whole when trading externally. During actual physical exchange the existence of sufficient collateral to cover an IOU document could easily be verified. In the absence of a telecommunications or other network the recipient will simply choose whether or not they trust the certificate embedded into the IOU, and whether they trust the community that issued it before deciding to accept the IOU as payment in a transaction. Like we do now.

These IOUs will of course be documents you can print out. But imagine they look like dollars. And the certificate of authenticity from your community, the community guaranteeing the value of the IOU … imagine that certificate looks just like the fraud protection features of the dollar. And finally, imagine that your signature is a serial number. All of this brings us to a pretty counter-intuitive realization. The ideal system of currency is printing your own money.

Printing your own money is a key part of the peer-to-peer, decentralized, user-centric, and collaborative economy we’ll have to depend on to create stable prosperous employment that can survive a currency collapse.

How specifically will a peer-to-peer, decentralized, user-centric, and collaborative economy serve your local community?

  • Design of products for local manufacturability by unskilled workers will create a more inclusive economy.
  • Design to allow for operation in areas disconnected from any infrastructure will create more equitable development.
  • Injustice results when demographics are under served. Key requirements of massive collaboration are algorithms that harvest the collective wisdom and motivations of groups. Collaborative motivation algorithms will identify the most powerful interests of each demographic to align services with their collective interests. Collective intelligence algorithms will quickly identify the most effective services to achieve those interests for each demographic. After identifying the most effective services for each demographic, peer-to-peer, user-centric, decentralized infrastructure would enable separately customized services to be deployed regardless of infrastructure limitations, thereby best serving the needs of each individual in each demographic.
  • In addition, we need to simplify work and simplify collaboration in ways that lower the bar to involving more people in internships and other training programs, as well as simplify the deployment of business models for collaborations that allow participants to earn a living wage. This will benefit all demographics through, for example, making education more effective, cost efficient, and accessible, through the creation of job opportunities, and through increased access to services like health care.

With this blueprint, independent communities can quickly build all the services they need in a way that’s customized directly for them, and that prioritizes their own family and loved ones rather than the interests of centralized bureaucracy that undermines their needs.

In this article I’ve laid out a vision for taking back control of a country that’s gone way off course. For me, this vision was one that demanded to be shared. As part of the audience who understands the magnitude of what may be coming, if this vision inspires you, take the opportunity to share and inspire others as well. Some of them just might be the makers who dream big enough to build it. The blueprint is there. The next step is yours.

If the catastrophic event you’ve been preparing for does one day come about, it will be a fearsome test of your survivalism. Like any test, some will not pass. But

Bug In or Bug Out?

For me my first choice is a bug in at home though I am not sold on it as a definite concept. For this reason I have one prime bug out location (BOL) at a cottage and two secondary ones at friends’ homes. This is really a personal choice. For all those that say you are 100% dead staying at home in SHTF there are more saying you will 100% die in the woods. The truth is between the two extremes but for me I need a roof and walls so I have them at home and at the cottage. If you bug in will it work long-term? If you bug out can you get there and can you be assured of survival on arrival?

The Bug Out at the Primary Residence or Your Primary Bug Out Location (BOL)

If you do not have a wood fire and close, dense forests then I’d not even consider this. Same is required for several local water sources. Having a great knowledge of the neighborhood helps even if the neighbors are literally a knife throw away! For me I keep them both equally stocked as I am still figuring out the pros and cons of each and likely will be doing so until, and if, the actual SHTF occurs. “Two is one, one is none” seems a good rule except for BOL where many people have one main choice. So rather than having one, either bug in it home or bug out then in at a BOL, I have two. Costs more of course but if you are really preparing for the end of civilization it seems a better idea to me than focusing on only one main alternative.

Food

You should have a year’s supply of food stored in the house and the same buried nearby that you can access even if you cannot use your house. That would be a minimum for a SHTF scenario. As you go beyond this (I’d aim for twenty years supply. I have two at present) keep a year’s worth in the home or BOL and the rest in ground cached nearby in multiple locations but accessible if you cannot safely enter the home.

If you are focusing on preparing for a Winter storm, train derailment, etc. then you are preparing for something other than the end of civilization. I always prepare for the worst possible case as it makes the more likely events very easy to navigate through. This should cost you about a thousand dollars. Buy Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers. Buy strong food grade buckets and consider the gamma lids for all of them but at least four of them. Unscrew the middle, empty, add a plastic bag, and you have a toilet!

groceries

You should have a year’s supply of food stored in the house.

Buy oats, flour, pastas, sugar, extra virgin coconut oil, rice, beans, and grains (each bucket has most of these as you do not have only one or two types of food in a bucket. If you have to grab a couple and run at least you have a bit of variety) in bulk and freeze them for 72 hours to kill the critters and then decant into one gallon or smaller Mylar bags. Add in yeast and salt and spices to every bucket and you are good to go. Have a good mix of types rather than just white rice and pinto beans (these are a great staple but have a variety available).

On average each five gallon bucket is approximately one month’s food for one person but with decent foraging and careful use you can stretch this to two months. You will lose weight but so is everyone else. They stack well but are obvious so plan where you keep them carefully. Mine has asphalt added to their outside for the driveway sealing I’m never going to do. Consider the Mylar bags only in your attic placed so they cannot be seen if anyone looks into the space if the attic is not a room. Consider tins and cans stocked in under the bed containers placed under the stairs and well covered by the usual junk people have. I have a huge amount of tins and jars padded by blankets in the bottoms of boxes filled with old cassette and video tapes. If able put tins and bottles inside wall spaces which I have not as yet done.

I do rotate food but not the long-term stores. I have about ten cardboard buckets filled with a variety of everyday foods we normally eat and replace the filled pantry from these and then repurchase. This adds up quickly and we believe tins do not really expire if not used before their expiry dates.

Tools for Survival

product

BioLite Wood Burning Campstove – Powers most USB-chargeable devices including smartphones

A full range of gardening tools and prepping supplies is an absolute requirement as is seeds. Seeds go off so get the expensive Mylar sealed ones but spend only $10-20 on these a year. Buy a few every year and store carefully. You cannot have too many nor can you wait until SHTF to learn gardening. It is a lot of fun and not as hard as I figured it would be before I started out. Consider raised garden boxes and have lots of tarps and nails to cover these if the SHTF is radiological. Have poles and clear plastic to construct a greenhouse if, like me, you do not need one at present. Learn how to harvest seeds now and not in SHTF. I have mixed success with beans and amaranth and incredible success with most herbs. I am still learning but it is easy and fun once you get into it. I absolutely will not be gardening until after the first Winter post SHTF. This would be making myself a target.

Have three plans to cook food and make sure all three are not dependent on modern civilization. I have a wood house fire, a BioLite, and a solar cooker. I also have propane for those none long-term events when I don’t really want to cook in the living room. Have at least two good quality cast iron pans and the ability to boil water in 5-10 pint amounts on an open flame.

Have good quality foraging and wilderness skills books. Open these up frequently and look at them and try to use them. Have a large store of plastic bags and bottles. Learn how to boil can as a minimum and have a plan to dehydrate via solar large quantities of fruits and vegetables. Your pre-collapse buckets will eventually run out and your job is to use them as little as possible for as long as possible. Have some ability and knowledge to harvest tree sap for drinking and for boiling down into sugars if you live in a suitable area. Know how to harvest bark and cook it. It is tasty and full of sugars. Again do not wait until SHTF to find the axe is rubbish for this or you do not know how to peel it correctly from a living tree.

For me livestock is not possible for various reasons but if you can you should explore this and make sure you can feed them well in SHTF even if the stores never open again. Fishing rods, lines, hooks, and nets are set up at home and the cottage for us and we know how to smoke them (the fish I mean!).

If you do not sprout seeds already may I suggest you start to do so? It is easy, healthy, and tasty. Again they go off over time so buy yearly but keep all of them. Some is better than none. They also turn into plants and require very simple equipment you should have now rather than try to improvise in SHTF.

Water

berkeyfilter

Berkey Filters are excellent Prepper resources.

Have at least two sources of water within easy walking range. Have a wheel barrow and buckets to transport it to cut down on the time and effort this part of your new life will take. If this is not possible you need to store thousands of gallons of water not a few cases of bottled water.

Have the ability to clean and use the water using various means. Initially I am using stored water and then the Berkey Water Filter. This is expensive but I do feel a good Berkey with four black and four white filters at my home are well worth the investment. We used it in a previous home for all our water but here it is wrapped up in a plastic tote waiting for the day I need it again. Next year the BOL gets one as well as it is an essential and essentials should work very well, for years, and be ready to use at your destination not carried there. Tablets and portable filter systems are for traveling only in my opinion. I have a lot of them so I can use them for daily living if the need arises.

Good quality rain barrels, tarps, and food grade plastic pipes should be readily available to convert rain into water for drinking, bathing, and the garden. Again I have these but they are not set up as I am not keen on screaming “prepper” to anyone who walks by the house or cottage. You should also have a large supply of large clear soda pop bottles. I do not use the stuff myself but collect them from others who do for “starting my plants”. Prefilter, lie in the sun, and consume in a couple of days. SODIS water treatment is clearly explained on the web and is an easy back up plan to provide large quantities of water if the Berkley fails.

Heating

As I said I’d not consider staying anywhere without wood heating but I live near lots of woods and in a climate that gets a bit cold in the Winter. Cold enough to freeze your nose hairs! I have a decent tent system and on top of the mattress in front of the fire it will work great especially with the sleeping system we have. I have not duplicated this at the cottage as I’d rather travel with the ability to be warm but I see the need to spend the cash at some point in the near future.

men

Wood-stoves in Northern climates will save lives in a SHTF event.

I have lots of black bags to seal the windows (see Security) and lots of cheap survival blankets to put up for heat reflection and clear plastic for the doorways. It is my number one concern as death will come swiftly to the unheated up here. In the Summer (yes it does get hot in Canada) the basement of the home stays cool and the cottage stays cool as it is on a rock system by a river.

We have decent Winter clothing in both places and SHTF clothing ready to go in the basement. I went with merino wool for the base layers but have cheaper layers to wick if I feel the need to change clothes in the Winter. I plan on getting smelly in SHTF (see Security) initially and during the Winter a weekly spot wash is all I can see doing.

Power

I would love to put up solar panels at the home and the cottage but until more people do it is just a big, fat target on me. The one home in our neighborhood with solar is not defensible and I cannot see how they expect to stay there if armed and cold people show up. One day perhaps when 25% of the homes do this I will but until then it is simply not worth the risk.

I plan to have no lights at night. Up at dawn, work hard, sleep at night when not on watch from day one in SHTF. For millennia that was the human experience and I see clinging to our current lifestyle in any form in SHTF as being risky. I can use solar lights to generate light that is brighter than the current house lights but that is for emergencies only. I am not even sure if I’d risk it then but I have it and it works. I use a few small solar panels that easily get enough power for this when set up on the 300 square foot balcony and the Biolite stove produces a bit.

I am flirting with a gas generator but for SHTF I cannot see the use. We no longer have a sump pump in the basement so really it would be for the fridge and freezer in a temporary Summer blackout.

Transportation

Our car is the bugout vehicle of choice and we keep 40 liters of gas on hand all the time but if I cannot use it then we have decent bikes with small panniers. Walking would be our main transport method so the wheel barrow is an essential bit of kit as well as good quality back packs. Other than the local area I am not planning traveling much at all in SHTF. Kayaks at the cottage would be helpful in the warmer months if a distance travel was needed but I’d not risk it without a clear destination and honestly in SHTF my local area will be the extent of my concerns.

Security

Guns run out of ammo and using them might not be a good idea if people fire back. The noise would also likely attract a lot of unwanted attention. Plus in Canada it is not as easy to equip yourself like GI Joe as it is in our neighbor to the south. I also think it creates a false sense of security but that is just my opinion. If I find a gun in SHTF I’ll carry it and use it. I have some plans on how to do that but it is not really a legal thing.

The home is defended mainly by passive means. Heavy duty iron fencing and another six-foot wooden one going up in the Spring. Having dogs means this sort of fencing is actually above suspicion and welcomed by the neighbors. Barb wire and solar motion lights go up in SHTF as I am not that sociable at the best of times. Doors, windows, and frames have the fixes easily done and available on the web but the wood pile by the garage is basically entering the ground floor in early SHTF. Stacked high and deep on tarps it won’t allow anyone to get in. We can leave the house by the ladder on the balcony as and when we feel it is safe to do so. It does mean I can be burned out but the house is concrete and looks small and uninviting compared to the neighborhood which are wood and much larger. Passive alarms on any entry point and wooden hurricane boards are further things that go up in SHTF.

Operation

The cottage goes for not looking inhabited and the already ransacked method. As a nurse I have a collection of body bags and a few of these around the place with rotting meat inside would likely put off most people along with the danger contamination signs and tape.

Both places have food and supplies in ground away from them in case of loss of the building (fire or intruders) and I have plans to evacuate and retake both places. This is situational and has some legal issues so I am not discussing it here but stay and fight to me seems more risky than running from the determined and taking it back later on. I’d definitely allow any intruders who have driven me from the place to find a large amount of alcohol that is poorly hidden. As hard as it might be to not drink it myself in SHTF I want to make sure a large group of intruders can get well drunk in this circumstance.

Both places have lots of black heavy-duty garbage bags and duct tape. All doors and windows get blacked out but, again, I am not planning to use light sources at night. In the first few months of SHTF I am also not planning to have the fires going at all and later on only at night. If it hits in the Winter this will have to change but we can stay warm enough without a fire for a week or more. Making cooking smells or showing smoke is just not worth it in the early phase of SHTF and we have planned food, clothing, and sleeping accordingly. Use a wood fire at night if possible and have no daytime smoke.

Active methods of security are bows and lots of arrows. The home entry points are blocked so anyone determined enough to scale the 9-12 foot balcony might be asked politely to not do so. We also have a lot of throwing knives and attached to long sticks, they can be useful to spear fish or any other thing dumb enough to try to get into the home. Classic historical methods of deterring intruders from your ‘castle’ and they work silently. A well-aimed piece of fire wood is also off-putting. One thing I have determined that intruders are dealt with in ways that mean they cannot every return to try again.

In both areas we have good relations with our neighbors and plan to help them out a bit depending on the SHTF. We know them and their habits and have studied them carefully for a few years. We absolutely have not revealed ourselves as preppers nor would do so in SHTF. I am hoping for a Winter event so this aspect dies off rapidly but you need to have neighbors who are allies not enemies. In a bad SHTF they are all enemies so mainly we plan to hide out and defend as best we can.

Going outside will be carefully done. The radios are only for emergency use and we would only use planned routes and times of travel to avoid people. Having worked twelve-hour nights for years it will be no issue going outside at 3am and being back by 5am. Each outside trip will be in the same outer clothes each time and no these will never get laundered. Hair and beards will grow as if we cannot heat water to clean them. After a couple of weeks your hair does not really need washing anyhow (yes we tried that!). Food intake will be rationed so we will lose weight except the day before any planned heavy work or travel when we will have a decent 4000-5000 Calorie day. This will also be a Sunday thing for us but mainly 1500-2000 calories a day the rest of the time. Fat people will stand out very quickly in SHTF.

Have one in ground food cache and two in home ones that are okay but you would happily surrender to an intruder if over powered. Giving them something very reluctantly might save you or not but is worth a try. Getting a week’s worth by emptying your “only” stores should make them happy. In a slowly evolving SHTF we will ask for food and water. We will line up for it and use anything supplied locally. Not doing so is a big red flag that you do not need the help.
After the first year we plan to advertise our health care skills if the area is stable and generally join in with whatever community is there. As both towns are old ones with a long history of water trade and lumbering I cannot see someone not starting a community in them once the population has again dropped to a normal historical size for the terrain. Skills are more important than equipment and we both have great health care skills. We also have a lot of equipment and know how to replace it. People will need to give birth and have bones fixed and cuts sutured.

Obviously offering these services will only be done when our community has sorted itself out without our help. I have no desire to be the leader nor am I willing to risk our preps before stability has occurred. I also have no desire to join a prepping community as I cannot see myself being part of either a paramilitary or hippy organization. Maybe I’ll meet some eventually that seem more suitable and I would happily store food and supplies in their BOL but I’d rather be a lone wolf than submit to some else’s authority however benign.

Location

We carefully choose our home and cottage. Both are out of the obvious way especially the cottage and both have large garden areas and plentiful trees and water very nearby. Even this step seems not enough and we are floating the idea of relocating a lot more northwards when we retire in 5-6 years. The cottage can be easily sealed off from vehicle travel and should be the primary bug in location for us. What puts me off this is knowing that the locals will drive around on ATVs with guns for a while after SHTF has happened looting all the cottage places even those not on lakes and remote. The cottage supplies are mainly buried except for old and dirty tools that work great. I see it as a Summer place and the home as the Winter place. I’m actually planning to loot abandoned lake cottages myself by kayak or snow shoe in early SHTF if at the cottage.

Walk everywhere around your locations and make careful notes as to where all water sources are including swimming pools. Note all fruit trees and clusters of wild edibles. Over time note when these are ready for harvest and learn how to store and process them. For us in Canada it is vital we know our black walnuts and acorns. The protein and fats from them is utterly essential to have.

Know all the roads and trails and rail links. Where are the out-of-town food warehouses and how can you get to them easily? If you have local bus and train services where do they normal park when not in use? Diesel is always a useful addition and our local trains have lots of spades, axes, and other goodies stored in them. Police, Fire, and Ambulance buildings should be known and considered for entry. Even if ransacked already likely you can find useful things inside.

Future

I’d like to be able to install solar and wind power after an SHTF but the cost is too much for me at present so I am looking at ways to do so from scavenging materials. Overall prepping is a hobby for me and I am hoping it never becomes my life but if it does then I will do what I can in the now to help my loved ones survive and a new community arise.

Bug In or Bug Out? For me my first choice is a bug in at home though I am not sold on it as a definite concept. For this reason I

Prepping in its most basic form to me is about proactively taking steps to ensure you and those around you are ready with skills, supplies and a plan to react to emergencies or disasters in a way that promotes your survival. The core of short-term survival I would argue is something that many of us take for granted and that is water.

Why do you need to store water for emergencies?

The simple answer to that question is one that you probably already know. We all need water to survive and if you go without it for a while your health deteriorates. You can get headaches, become lethargic and weak. Go with water for more than a couple of days and you die. Water or lack of sufficient, clean drinking water, more than almost anything else (I will go into the other things later) will kill you.

That much is pretty simple. Usually everyone can accept that premise without even blinking an eye. What they frequently have problems with is this idea that you could ever find yourself without clean drinking water. We in virtually all of the developed world have water treatment facilities, plumbing and systems that bring clean water inside the house or our offices and you would be hard pressed to walk anywhere in even the smallest cities without quickly finding nice clear, plastic bottles of water for sale. But what if the water in the tap was tainted? What if the tap no longer put forth clean, shiny water? What if the stores with all of those bags and bags of bottled water were empty? This is where prepping begins.

To prepare, you have to do something proactively.

It isn’t wise to sit back and say things like “that would never happen” or my own personal favorite, “the government will take care of us if that happened”. In any large emergency, you will be reliant upon yourself as evidenced in almost every case in recent history. Yes, disaster relief organizations and government assistance will usually mobilize, but do you want to wait for that to happen? Even the government tells you to prepare on its website, ready.gov. If they are saying not to wait for them, what does that tell you?

fema-sandy-closed

I don’t know why anyone would count on the government. Maybe they will do something right, but I wouldn’t bet my life on them saving me.

How much water do you need to survive?

So we agree that everyone needs to stockpile water, but the next obvious question is how much? The amount of water you need vary greatly depending on a few different factors. A general rule of thumb is that you need one gallon of water per person per day. This assumes hydration needs and hygiene. You won’t necessarily drink a gallon of water, but you might need it for reconstituting freeze-dried food, cleaning cooking implements or washing your body. On some days you might not even need a gallon of water. Other days you could end up needing much more than one gallon if you are exerting yourself physically or the temperatures are elevated and you are losing fluids to perspiration.

In my opinion, water is one of the easiest preps to cross off your list and since it is so vital, it made the cut as the first in this series. To calculate how much water you need, just multiply the number of people you are prepping for by the number of days you want to be stocked up for. In my family, I have those who live with me (4) as well as extended family who I plan will come to our location (another 4 potentially) as well as some friends (add 4 to that) so I am looking at potentially needing to supply water for 12 people. 12 people for one month is 12 X 30 = 360 gallons of water.

Where is the best place to store water?

That is only for one month. What if the emergency lasts longer than one month? What if the town’s water supply is still not safe for drinking at that point? 360 gallons takes up a lot of room no matter how you look at it. If you have 55 gallon barrels in your basement that is still 6 barrels and again that assumes everyone is staying at or under their one gallon a day limit.

I have a few different ways to store water. The first is stored in heavy-duty plastic containers that hold 7 gallons each. These are great because they are more portable, they stack and I can get some storage in smaller spaces, like the shelves of a pantry. I can also easily transport a few of these to my Bug Out Vehicle if necessary. This storage only lasts a week.

If you have the space, larger water storage containers work best.

After that I have rain barrels that hold 50 gallons a piece. The great thing about rain barrels is that they can be refilled by Mother Nature without you having to do anything except make sure the water is disinfected. But, this requires an outside location and not everyone has a home on land where they can back up a barrel under the gutter. People who live in apartments have different space limitations.

For apartment dwellers, I would recommend using the stack-able storage, but diversify that around your apartment so you don’t have weight all in one space. Usually any apartments are built on concrete substrates so even several hundred pounds of water in a closet wouldn’t risk compromising the floor. You can also try storage facilities if necessary.

What do you do when the water runs out?

But no matter how much water you have stored up, it could still run out in the worse emergencies so it is important to have an alternate plan to acquire good water afterward. Actually, I think it is more important to plan to procure water than it is to stockpile it in the long run.

Platypus GravityWorks Filter System, 4-Liters of water in minutes.

Water borne bacteria and viruses are not something you want to encounter in a disaster situation. Stomach bugs, even minor can put you down and give you diarrhea. Who wants to worry about getting sick when the world ends much less crapping yourself all the time when the toilet paper is in short supply anyway? A simple and reliable method of making your water safe to drink is also very important.

Boiling water is a sure-fire way to kill all bacteria and viruses. The drawback to this approach for me is that you have to start a fire and use a container. The fire could alert people to your location and that might not be what you want. Also, you have to wait for the water to cool before you can drink it and boiling isn’t going to get out any sediment, it will just make your water safer to drink.

I prefer gravity filters for their ease of use, compactness and filtration ability. With a filter like the Platypus Gravityworks, you can quickly filter 4 liters of water just by filling up a bag and it’s ready to drink in minutes. Literally, I filtered 2 liters in less than 2 minutes.

There is also using bleach to disinfect ,water purification tablets and even iodine, but these aren’t without their drawbacks too and do require you to wait for the chemicals to work. Your choice, but there are options.

Make sure you have plans to supply the water needs of your own survival group at the initial point of any emergencies and long after by crafting your water preparedness plan now.

Prepping in its most basic form to me is about proactively taking steps to ensure you and those around you are ready with skills, supplies and a plan to react

There are lots of reasons to unplug from the grid. And I’m not talking about the electrical grid. I mean the “grid” as in the whole digital world. Maybe you’ve had it up to here (picture my hand at my forehead) with all the digital flotsam that inundates you every day from work e-mail to social network nattering. Perhaps you need to go on the lam. (We’re not here to judge.) Maybe you really need to get away from someone who makes you crazy or, quite seriously, from someone else’s abuse.

Your reasons are yours. However, we’re here to tell you that it isn’t going to be easy. Just do a search for your name on sites like  Whitepages,  SpokeoZabasearch, and Pipl. Odds are you’re easy to find. Just by virtue of reading this story, we can guess you’re probably at a computer that has an IP address that can be tracked, and that’s where the problems begin. Cell phones, credit card purchases, travel check-ins, and even just a drive through a toll booth are all ways that you can be traced not just by Big Brother, but individuals as well. Skiptracers and private eyes can find what they need online to get to you if you continue to live digitally even after you’ve left your old life behind.

So what do you do to disappear truly? I warn you in advance, it’s not pretty. Picture every movie or TV show you’ve seen about witness protection programs and add in the extra dash of paranoia that comes from not having U.S. Marshalls on your side. Then get ready to live like you’ve never lived before. Whether you need to go on the run or you just want to settle down into a less digital life, here’s how to get lost.

Digital Dos and Don’ts
Can you really get off the grid and still live digitally? Probably not. If you retain your digital life, you’re going to leave breadcrumbs. The only way to stay completely anonymous is to turn it all off. That means no cell phones, no credit cards, no Web surfing. You can’t even use a computer.

However, if you can’t handle that, here are some options that can keep you online and, perhaps, off the radar.

1. Lose the Cell Phone
It might be your digital lifeline, but when you’re trying to hide, your cell phone is a digital bull’s eye. Those with the access can easily triangulate your position based on your cell signal. You don’t even need to make a call, as phones are always talking to towers to get the best signal available. A built-in GPS only makes it easier.

If you can, take out the battery. You can always pop it back in for a true emergency. You can also leave the phone somewhere to misdirect tracers. The latter is best if you’ve got a phone with a battery you can’t access. (Apple iPhones are not for fugitives.)

You don’t have to go without phone access completely. Buy pre-paid phones on the cheap at a department store or gas station. Give one to your most trusted friend or loved one and keep the other. That way, only the two of you can talk or text.

For an extra layer of protection, don’t use the phone to make a direct phone call. Instead, use a pre-paid calling card.

In addition, get some portable, solar-powered chargers for your gadgets, so you don’t have to rely on the outlets. Powermonkey eXplorer has plugs for just about every kind of phone and doesn’t require much light to charge a device.

2. Make Purchases Using Gift Cards
It’s not impossible to make Web purchases while off the grid. Use your cash to purchase credit card gift cards, such as Visa or American Express. They’re available just about anywhere. You can use them for purchases online and off and then chuck them after they’re used up. (Try to rotate where you get deliveries.) The transaction with those cards is between the retailer and credit card company, your personal details are not required and nothing shows up on a statement.

3. Forget Being Social
It’s time to give up on Facebook and Twitter. Seriously. Just walk away. If you can’t go cold turkey, create anonymous accounts from remote locations. Friend a few bots to keep your number of friends/followers high for your psychological fitness, since you, by definition, don’t have any friends at this point. And for the love of all that’s holy, don’t friend or follow people you actually know.

4. Erase Info from Pictures
If you’re still in the habit of sending or posting digital pictures online, at the very least, strip out the EXIF data on the image file. This information includes the make of the camera, date and time the pic was taken, and, with some modern cameras, geographical location info. With enough pics and time, someone could easily figure out where you’ve been, if not where you’re going. The free EXIFstripper program for Windows will do it.

5. Encrypt Messages
You may still need to send some e-mails. Naturally, you’ll set up a brand new account. Even then, its best to make sure no one can read what you send. To start, use Gmail from Google since it defaults to using SSL encryption when you’re on the site. That’ll help when you’re using public Wi-Fi, if nothing else.

For super secrecy, you need to encrypt messages you send. For a double-whammy, access Gmail using Thunderbird, but utilize GPG (GNU Privacy Guard) to encrypt messages via the Enigmail plug-in.

A simpler tool is Encipher.it, an AES Ttext encryptor that works with Gmail or any other Web-based text. Click the Encipher It bookmarklet you install, give the text an encryption key, watch it get garbled, and send it. The person on the other end needs the key to decipher it.

6. Hide Your IP Address
A sure way to get noticed is to visit a website that collects IP addresses from its visitors; this can even happen with some Facebook applications. Once an IP is matched to you, it’s simple enough for law enforcement or clever skiptracers to call the ISP assigned that IP address and match it to a user. Even if it’s not direct to you, it could be too close for comfort. It gets worse if you’re surfing from a school or business. They can track you right to your dorm or cubicle.

A proxy server can help. Tor (aka The Onion Router) helps prevent people from seeing you, by routing your webpage requests through multiple routers on the Internet. The people at the other end will see an IP address for a router nowhere near your computer. Bundles exist for every major operating system and even some smartphones (Android, iOS, and Nokia), though some are more finished than others. There’s a browser bundle and an IM bundle, and both come in multiple languages. The bundles will run from a USB flash drive, so you don’t even need to use your own computer. There is a Firefox add-on called Torbutton that lets you enable Tor instantly with one click.

Several Chrome extensions promise the same features (search for “anonymous”). At the very least, use a website like Proxify, Web-based proxy server, to do searches and visit sites. The very popular Ghostery extension, available for Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, and IE, shows you which sites are tracking you.

7. Don’t Sign In
When it comes to free Wi-Fi, often you’ll need to sign in, which means creating an account. Avoid these places, if you can. Starbucks and Barnes & Nobles are plentiful, and the AT&T Wi-Fi they use doesn’t require anything more than clicking to reaccess every couple of hours. Once you’re online, however, put a VPN to work for you to help prevent wireless snoopers from seeing what you’re doing. Hotspot Shield will do this and it’s free (or pay some money to avoid seeing their ads). Or, you could set up a router with VPN support at a remote location and link to it direct (providing another hop for people to contemplate).

8. Don’t Look for a Tail
Don’t go searching for a digital tail. It’s a classic way for the pursuer to get the pursuee, because anyone on the run wants to know how close they are to getting caught. If you start looking online to see what people know about you, your location, or your activities, chances are you could stumble into a honeypot meant just for you. Try not to Google yourself and stay away from posting misinformation anonymously.

9. Don’t Disappear: Deceive 
Former skiptracer Frank Ahearn wrote How to Disappear in 2010. But then, he decided a new tactic was more important. All of the info people can find about you online generally comes from one source—you. So, an easier tactic might be to hide in plain sight by filling the Internet with incorrect information. That means using things like social networks to put misinformation out there. Reducing your digital footprint is certainly important, but if you still want to stay online, deceiving people about where you live, your income, and members of your family, can make it hard for pursuers to find you.

Looking over your shoulder yet? Yeah, this may be overkill, but what it demonstrates is just how easy it is to be tracked. So, be careful, don’t overshare, use common sense when you’re online, and take precautions with the amount of personal information you put out there.

There are lots of reasons to unplug from the grid. And I’m not talking about the electrical grid. I mean the “grid” as in the whole digital world. Maybe you’ve

Sometimes we may feel pigeonholed or daunted by the storage foods we can afford, or overwhelmed by how we’re going to use those storage foods without the endless repetition taking a toll. Here are some formulas and ideas for turning common storage foods into actual meals, increasing the variety of meals we can make with a few standard ingredients, and some substitutions that can lower our costs or improve the serving size, nutrition, and flavor of our cooking.

I’m not a big baker and I don’t thrill to the stove top – only the dinner table. Given the amount of work a lot of us are going to be doing just hauling water where it’s needed, plus the labor of gardens and any animals, rearing our children, cooking from scratch, cleaning without a dishwasher and washer-dryer, I’m planning to go simple with a lot of my cooking. So even if you’re not a big cook, there are ideas here that can help, ideas that can be made even with off-grid cooking methods.

Replacements

While I’ll get into some specifics in a minute or two, one thing to consider in our disaster cooking is simple substitutions.

Wheat is commonly pushed for home storage due to the price and condensed calories, and then people feel obligated to buy a grinder, and then they feel like slackers for not practicing their home-ground wheat flour bread options. I do think we should practice what we plan to use, but I don’t think everybody with buckets of wheat actually has to view it as only a future bread dough.

Wheat can be boiled and served with the same seasonings as every side dish, from herbed buttered noodles to fried rice.

Whole wheat berries & fruit in cream

Wheat berry & white bean soup

It can also be boiled to be part of or replace oatmeal and cream of wheat (soaking it overnight will make it boil faster in the morning).

If there’s a soup that calls for barley, couscous, or rice, wheat will work there, too, and cooks in about the same amount of time as barley, maybe a hair longer if it’s stored oxygen free and is older than 2-3 years (45-60 minutes usually, without a pre-soak).

Having an alternative use for the first 50-300# (or more) of wheat can buy us a little more time before we get pushed into buying not only a good grain mill, but then all the replacements for it.

Point in fact, most of our grains, from starchy dent corn to barley, wheat to quinoa, and amaranth to rice are fairly interchangeable. They take different times to cook in some cases, they definitely have their own flavors, but there’s little that can’t be made to work for any of them.

Likewise, spaghetti can be very easily used in place of an Oriental noodle, especially whole-grain spaghetti or angel hair pasta. That’s pretty handy, since even the good stuff is pretty cheap, and two pounds of spaghetti stores in about the same space than two packages of ramen.

Those substitutions exist all over.

And once we do get our grain mill, don’t neglect the other things in the pantry.

We can grind dry oats – even rolled oats – to replace part of our flour as well

Old dry beans that don’t want to soften can be turned into flour to replace a quarter or a third of a recipe, either bread or fry batter or even for gravies.

Until recent times, we used flours from barley and maize as often as we did wheat, and a lot of the world still uses them – just as often or as a partial replacement for flavoring. So can boiled or roasted acorns. We can grind dry oats – even rolled oats – to replace part of our flour as well. Doing so can sometimes to often improve the protein components of our foods, decrease the glycemic index, and help us use something that’s not really moving in our pantries.

That inexpensive oatmeal can also be turned into homemade granola bars, muffins, and griddle cakes, decreasing the amount of flour we need to use and providing a fork or finger-food in a world of spoons.

Recipes

When seeking out recipes specifically for preppers, a fair number use a lot of ingredients or require a fair bit of prep. Call me lazy, but I’m just not there, even in today’s world. Camping and backpacking recipes regularly seem to call for things we might not have on hand anymore, too, and a lot of perishable foods these days.

One, a lot of the no-fire, no-gas cooking methods really lend themselves to such. Two, the less ingredients and effort, the more time reading with kids, playing a game, or sitting with my eyes closed listening. I kind of like those options better.

Pioneer Soup

If you’ve heard of 3-5-7 can soups, you’re familiar with this. It’s basically just a rule of thumb to help check the boxes on the main “eating” components:

  • Filling/satiety
  • Fast-access energy
  • Slow-access energy
  • Proteins
  • Vitamins

The general concept is to pull 1-2 items from each category to make sure the body is getting all the nutrients it needs, which is increased by consuming a rainbow. That said, even I don’t make broth with just one seasoning. Still, the lists from the guidelines can help.

One that I ran across breaks it into “Five F’s”:

  • Fat: Oil, margarine, butter, lard, tallow, fatty meat (bacon, salt pork, hocks)
  • Flavor Root/Shoot: Garlic, onion, scallion, celery/celeriac, turmeric
  • Flavor Leaf: parsley, marjoram, thyme, oregano, basil, nasturtium
  • Filler (starches): Potato, pasta, grains & corn, pseudo-grains, cattail root
  • Fuel (protein): Legumes (beans, peas, lentils), jerky, meat sticks/sausage, ham, fish, game

The breakdowns are nice as more than a check-box guide to make sure nutritional needs are being met.

Sometimes soup get pigeonholed, which is a shame, because from a creamy red bean and rice soup to veggie to chicken-noodle to some of the Oriental soups and things like borsch and solyanka, we have a ton of options available to us. Even working off of simple, cheap, condensed-calorie prepper staples and garden veggies or wild edibles, we can present a huge variety.

Alternating what we combine and even how we serve it can help avoid appetite fatigue, which is another aspect where limiting ourselves to 1-2 items from each category can help.

How we present soups can make a big difference as well, creating significantly different feels to meals even with the exact same ingredients, or very minor twitches.

That applies whether we use the 5-F method, or one of the other guides.

One of those other common formulas for pioneer soup breaks it into three fuel categories – the primary fats, proteins, starches – and then three filler (belly filling, short on calories) and flavor components:

Veggies – tomatoes, tomato powder, green beans, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, radish and mustard sprouts, cooking/roasting radishes, autumn squash, bell peppers, salsify, turnip, parsnip, beets, etc.

Leafy Greens – spinach, beet tops, lettuce, swiss chard, mizuna, cabbage, endive, turnip tops, dandelion, plantain, nettles, borage, leeks, ramps, radish tops, water or upland cress, mustard greens, mache/corn salad, sweet pea leaves, dock, kale, sprouts

Herbs & Seasonings – tart/sour berries, garden herbs, cress, wild onions, hot radishes, horseradish, onion, garlic, ground or cracked mustard seed, modern-day seasoning blends & stock bones

Soup Alternates

Part of what makes soup an economy food is that the broth helps us feel full and increases the satisfaction from the meal.

That said, we can break apart our general standard for pioneer or 7-can soup and still get the benefits of economical belly filling balance and variety.

A pasta salad can easily be made from storage foods and fresh garden or foraged goodies, especially if we plan ahead for something like powdered Parmesan cheese that can be a pick-me-up. Three or four roasted autumn veggies on a pile of fresh or wilted leafy greens creates another fork-ready meal.

We can turn our protein component into a creamed soup or just serve a broth beside either of them to get some of the belly filling aspects back, or incorporate dried beans or cut-up dry sausage (or Slim Jims).

Shrimp Tacos

Likewise, we can turn simple ash cakes or thinned-down Bisquick into tortillas or crepes, mix up a cabbage slaw, and bust open a can of small shrimp to sear in fajita spices as a pick me up. Just a few shrimp and a couple of tacos can provide the mental boost of a non-spoon meal, even served with a pile of rice on the side and-or a cup of spicy black bean puree soup.

Instant Potatoes

Potato buds that say they’re ready to eat and just need water are telling bald-faced lies. That said, instant mashed potatoes are in a lot of kits and come pretty inexpensively on their own. Even without extra seasonings and evaporated milk for them, instant potatoes have a lot of value, especially in conjunction with our pioneer soups.

One, little says I love you like a wedge of shepherd’s pie. We can use those general basic flavorings to make a brothier version to make it stretch further, or increase the veggies beyond the usual ratios.

We can also indulge in things like a broth-heavy roasted marrow meal or just serve our Bear Creek or homemade beef or veggie soup with a happy mound of potatoes to the side or right in the middle. The seasonings from the soups will (hopefully) help mask the bland flavor, and it creates a different presentation – which is good for the mental aspects of eating, especially if a lot of our diet is rice and beans and boiled wheat.

Two, instant potatoes can be turned into goodies like potato pancakes. Or, we can mix them as directed (even in cold water; they’ll absorb it in a minute) and then bake them off to create a pseudo-dumpling or biscuit with little effort and little clean-up.

Instant potatoes can be turned into goodies like potato pancakes.

Instant potatoes also make a great thickener for our soups. We can use them to create a gravy-like broth or to imitate a creamed soup or chowder. They can also make a nice, easy flavor and calorie base for standard potato chowder without taking as much time as potatoes would to cook and mash.

Assortment of foodstuffs with a high fiber content, including various fruits and vegetables, wholemeal bread and baked beans.

Emergency Foods

While things like soup and the common basics for food storage focus around economy, it doesn’t mean we have to break the bank to jazz it up one way or another. We can avoid falling into ruts – now and later – by figuring out new ways to use the items we already have.

We can apply a little creativity and still get meals that offer variety by adding in a few things like a variety of pasta and some feel-good seasonings like powdered parm and fajita spices. Spices and sauces like soy, Dale’s, Old Bay (or the generic) and Adobo powder pack a lot of bang for the buck. We can make use of things like hot radishes, sprouts, microgreens, and wild edibles to season and bulk up our serving sizes.

We can also ease our workloads by harkening back to pottage with soups, casseroles, and one-pot meals.

In some cases, examining where we stand on our preparedness arc and how balanced our preparedness health wheels are invaluable, because it can help us decide if we need something expensive like a good grinder or a wood stove, or if our storage is at a point where a smaller set of fixes makes more sense – at least for now. Being able to buy inexpensive foods like grains, pasta and dry beans, and still create filling, varied, satisfying meals out of them, can help open up the budget for those items.

Sometimes we may feel pigeonholed or daunted by the storage foods we can afford, or overwhelmed by how we’re going to use those storage foods without the endless repetition taking

Remember when we were kids, and our moms used to tell us to wash the carpets with water and vinegar? Yeah, the aroma alone was enough to send an elephant to the ICU but, surprisingly enough, everything smelled like brand-new afterward. And because I hated doing the carpets and upholstery as a kid, I did my best to stay as far away from that stuff as possible. Big mistake!

Anyway, vinegar does not only go well in salad dressing or to clean various household objects but has many other purposes. And since we simply cannot ignore the fact that vinegar’s just as useful around the house like baking soda and rock salt, I’ve decided to write this not-so-short and an awesome piece on how you can take full advantage of the ghost of wine past in an SHTF situation.

So, without further ado, here are 14 reasons why every prepper should stockpile as much vinegar as possible.

  1. No more bumper stickers and decals

The worst thing about buying a car from a second-hand dealer is that no matter how hard you look at it, you’ll still end up with a surprise or two. Mine was bumper stickers and decals. I don’t know who was the former owner of my car, but that person really had a thing for sticky logos and drawing.

I’m not kidding you when I say that those damned things were everywhere – windshield, side windows. There’s was even one on the left tail light. Anyway, the dealer offered a pretty good bargain, and apart from the stickers, the car was otherwise in great shape.

Now, if you somehow wound up in the same situation as me, forget about WD 40 or sprays for bumper sticker removal. Put two tablespoons of vinegar in a bucket of water and pour over the area covered in stickers.

Wait a couple of minutes and then use an ice scraper to remove the sticker. It works like a charm, and the sticker will come off without leaving any glue marks on the window. You can also try it on decals – same recipe, but repeat the process three times for good results.

Related – Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation

  1. Getting rid of acne

Acne’s now a welcoming sight, regardless if you’re 14 or 44 (yeah, it can happen during late adulthood too). The bad news is that apart from taking your prescription meds and ensuring that your face is al clean and oil-free as possible, there’s not much you can do about it; and, of course, there’s the scratching.

Now, in order to get rid of the itchiness, mix water and four teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass. Use this mixture to wash your face and rinse with clean water. This also helps the tissue heal faster and prevents the icky stuff from spreading.

  1. Making your candle or propane lantern wicks last longer

Emergency candles and propane lanterns are great for those not-so-romantic moments when the power grid fails. However, neither is a long-term solution. If you have reasons to believe that you’ll need to brave the dark a while longer, try soaking the wicks of your emergency candles and propane lanterns in an all-vinegar solution. This will give you at least 3 to 4 hours of flame per candle\lantern.

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

  1. Removing Warts

Even the thought of having to endure another wart makes my skin crawl (had one right on my sole). You can go to your local drug store and spend tens of dollar on wart removal solutions which won’t help you with anything other than making a dent in your wallet or you can try this neat prepper remedy.

In a tall water glass, put four teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, and one teaspoon of vegetable glycerin. Shake and leave it be for a couple of minutes.

In the meantime, wash the wart and the surrounding area with soap and clean water and dry off with a towel. Dap both the wart and the area around it with betadine or another disinfectant.

Now, soak a gauze in the vinegar+water+glycerin mixture and clean the warty area. Do these two or three times a day. By the end of the second day, you’ll see that the wart begins to shrink. Continue the treatment until the bulge disappears. You’re welcome!

  1. Stop the tummy-rumbling.’

In case you forgot to buy antacid or any other kind of tummy pill, you can soothe your rumbling stomach by drinking a glass of water mixed with two teaspoons of vinegar. Also does wonders for heartburns, heartaches, and, possibly, broken hearts.

  1. No more dandruff

This may no quality as an SHTF situation, but then again, dandruff is neither healthy nor aesthetic. I found that regular anti-dandruff shampoos don’t do shit about that white stuff. However, if you add a splash of apple cider vinegar to your hair before using regular shampoo, dandruff will bother you no longer.

Here’s what you’ll need to do – get some moisture into your hair and add two squirts of vinegar. Massage your scalp and wait at least five minutes. Rinse with plenty of water. Finish up with regular shampoo or conditioner.

Bear in mind that depending on your type of hair and skin you may need to repeat this process. I myself had to wash my hair three times a week with vinegar and shampoo for two weeks before I got rid of dandruff.

  1. Best pest-repellant ever

I admit that I sometimes forget to drive my pets to the vet clinic for their regular checkups and, of course, delousing. But that doesn’t mean that I allow those awful fleas to do as they will.

Now, if you really haven’t the time nor the money for the vet, because shit happens, put one teaspoon of vinegar in a glass of water and use this mixt to wash your dog’s fur (haven’t tested it on my cats ‘cause, you know cats and waters really don’t mix). Wait for at least a couple of hours before rinsing with plenty of water.

Related –How to make the ultimate painkilling tincture

  1. Making veggies green again

You really don’t need to throw every wilted veggie in the fridge. All they need is a little love, tenderness, and a splash of apple cider vinegar. In a spraying bottle, mix one tablespoon of vinegar with cold water. Give your veggies good spraying, and they’ll regain that hunter-green color in no time.

  1. Keeping diabetes in check

You know that you really don’t need to use that insulin pen each time there’s a small variation in your blood sugar levels, right? In most diabetes cases, glucose levels can be kept at a normal value by eating the right stuff.

Now, in case you have issues controlling that blood sugar level, drink a glass of water mixed with two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. Please keep in mind that this is only a short-term solution, which means that you will still need to take your prescription meds and use insulin if there are bigger variations.

  1. Removing rust from moving parts

In the past, vinegar has been successfully employed to remove rust from moving parts like cogwheels, springs, and levers. You can also use it to get rid of rust from just about any kind of metallic.

In order to free up a mechanism that simply refuses to budge on account of the rust, take out all the moving parts and soak them overnight in water and vinegar. Take out, allow them to dry, and reassemble the mechanism. If there’s still friction, take it apart again and repeat the procedure.

  1. Removing candle wax from wooden surfaces

Nothing beat a romantic candlelit dinner, especially after the light goes out. Dinner – good, removing candle wax from furniture and tablecloth – very, very bad. Well, it’s not that hard to get the excess wax out, but it tends to leave a nasty behind.

Here’s how to get rid of candle wax fast and easy – use a hair drier to heat up the wax. Mix water and vinegar in a small bowl. Use this concoction to scrub the area.

  1. Eating pesticide-free veggies

I love going to the farmer’s market to purchase my favorite veggies. Still, whatever I do doesn’t seem to make a difference when it comes to the pesticide part – sure, there, more or less, safe to eat, but they sure have a funky taste. Sometimes I even contemplate skipping dinner and grab some take-out because I lack the emergency to wash every lettuce or cabbage leaf.

In searching for ways to get rid of dirt and pesticides from veggies fast, I stumbled upon this little prepper’s trick which involves the use of apple cider vinegar and baking soda. I can state for the fact that it works – even the taste’s different.

Here’s how to do it – fill your sink with clean and cold water (don’t forget about the plug). Add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and one tablespoon of baking soda. Now place your veggies inside and let them soak for at least 15 minutes. Drain the water, rinse with cold water, and enjoy a pesticide-free veggies dinner.

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

  1. Crafting a fly trap

Word of caution before I tell you how to piece together the trap – this only works for gnats or fruit flies. I wouldn’t try out on other flying critters.

Anyway, grab the biggest mason jar you find around the house and use a nail or your survival knife to poke a couple of holes in the lid. Bear in mind that these holes must be big enough for the flies to pass through. Fill the jar halfway with apple cider vinegar and place on the kitchen counter. Attracted by the sweet smell, the flies will go inside and drown.

  1. Getting rid of callouses on your feet

Staying on your feet from dusk till dawn is probably one of the best health shots. Still, your feet might have a thing or two to say at the end of the day. Callouses are nasty, and there but the first step to other ‘wonderful’ things such as blisters and even warts.

There’s a way to get rid of those callouses and, of course, the not-so-great smell that goes along with them. Before hitting the sack, fill the bathtub with warm water. Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and soak your feet for at least 20 minutes. I personally prefer to add a little bit of Epsom salts – they’re very soothing for the skin and prevents crackling.

 

Did I manage to convince you to stockpile more apple cider vinegar? Hit the comments section and let me know your thoughts.

I thought you needed a break from our Weed Week. 

However, starting a pot stock-pile is also a very good idea.

I’m just saying.

God Bless.


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)

Ok, let's talk vinegar. Or what happens when wine goes bad. Or, as we preppers like to call it, the stuff that dreams are made of.

The key to survival is preparation, and the consummate prepper is well aware of Sta-Bil, the fuel additive that allows users to store gasoline for a year or more to prevent its highly-refined molecular structure from breaking down and losing octane. The same type of precautions need to be taken to extend the shelf life of food, whether they’re canned or dried.

No matter how much food you stockpile, it will ultimately run out. These three tips will help preserve what you have for as long as possible, and provide renewable sources of food regardless of living conditions.

Low Humidity, Low Temperatures

There are two things that can spoil any food: heat and moisture. Hot, humid environments are ideal for bacteria, yeast, and other microbes to thrive. Autolytic spoilage (i.e. browning of apples, bread mold, etc.) is also hastened by these conditions.

Those living in Midwestern and New England states should store their food stashes in the coolest, driest spot in the house. The basement is ideal, coupled with a dehumidifier. Those who live in states that typically don’t have basements in homes (such as Arizona or Nevada) should pick a room and block out all sunlight. Use roman shades to block out the sun completely, while still allowing the option to open them if needed.

Add oxygen-absorbing packets to dried foods in jars and bags, particularly jerky, cereals, and dehydrated fruits. These packets should also be placed in vitamin and medicine bottles.

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A cheap way to keep your storage room cool in low-humidity areas like Denver, Las Vegas, and Albuquerque is to build a makeshift swamp cooler. The entire project will cost less than $20 and the fan to circulate the cool air will run on a 12-volt power source.

VegetableGarden-620x400

Having a garden now will greatly reduce your ramp up time if you find yourself dependent on this plot for food.

Those planning to survive for years post-Apocalypse will need renewable sources of sustenance.

Heirloom Seeds

The best part of heirloom seeds is that once you grow your first batch of fruits and vegetables, they’ll continue to produce more seeds. You’ll be able to make nutrient-rich compost with all the organic waste around the house to improve the quality of just about any soil. Heirloom seeds keep for upwards of 30 years if stored properly. You can even grow them indoors for year-round fresh produce if you have windows that get adequate sunlight.

Heirloom emergency seed kits are available for under $40 and contain seeds for several different vegetables and fruits. It’s best to double or triple up just in case.

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Rabbits are prolific breeders and make a great source of protein.

Indoor Livestock

Many Americans have grown accustomed to having meat as part of their meals. Once supermarkets stop selling or rationing it out, the only way to get meat will be daily hunting or farming your own.

Rabbits are simple animals to raise for meat, particularly for people with no yard space. Not only do they eat just about any plant material, but they can have as many as five litters per year with upwards of 14 kits. They also take up very little space and their manure can be used in compost.

The breed you choose should have thick loins and broad shoulders. New Zealand Whites, American Chinchillas, and the Champagne D’Argent are three common breeds raised for meat. Rex rabbits are good for both meat and fur for those who don’t waste any part of the animal.

There is no such thing as over-preparation when it comes to your food supply. Don’t wait until the last minute to position yourself and your family for long-term survivability.


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The key to survival is preparation, and the consummate prepper is well aware of Sta-Bil, the fuel additive that allows users to store gasoline for a year or more to

This was recently published in The Guardian: “We’re just beginning to understand some of the short- and long-term risks associated with the chemicals in packaging: obesity, cancer, cardiovascular disease and other health issues. Some consumer advocates say phasing out some of the riskier substances that come into contact with our food is long overdue.

“Avoiding the use of these chemicals of concern in packaging is a great step forward,” said Leonardo Trasande, pediatrician and author of Sicker, Fatter, Poorer: The Urgent Threat of Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals to Our Health and Our Future and What We Can Do About It. “The question is: what replaces these materials?”

Well, time to say good-bye to a freezer full of Ziplocs, Tupperware, and plastic wrap. There’s another, much greener way to freeze food.

Plastic still dominates in the freezer, where Ziploc bags and plastic wrap are easy solutions for sealing nutrients and moisture in food and protecting from freezer burn. This convenience comes with a few problems, though, including leaching chemicals (bisphenols A and S) and excessive waste. Plastic wrap tends to be single-use and Ziploc bags don’t last forever. They end up in the trash, impossible to recycle.

Going plastic-free is a better solution and much easier than you may think. There are a number of good options available, many of which you may already have at home.

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Glass

Mason or Ball jars are very good for freezing, as long as you use the wide-mouth variety and do not fill to the very top. Leave a good inch at least for the contents to expand. When I fill Mason jars with homemade stock, I leave them open in the freezer for a few hours before screwing on the lids. It is also recommended to pour a 1/2-inch of water over any frozen food in a glass jar to provide further protection from the freezer air; rinse off this ice seal with warm water before thawing the rest of the contents.

Other kinds of jars are not recommended, since the glass is usually not thick enough to withstand expansion. You might experience some breakage until you get the hang of it, but it’s a small price to pay for going plastic-free.

You can buy rectangular glass storage containers, but most come with plastic lids. At least they’re indefinitely reusable and don’t have to come into contact with the frozen contents.

Metal

Metal is great in the freezer. You can put opened cans of food directly into the freezer (it’s safer than storing food in a can in the refrigerator). It thaws quickly in a dish of hot water.

I’ve also fallen in love with these Korean-made stainless steel food storage containers that are airtight, watertight, and freezer-proof. They come in various sizes with a silicone seal that continues to seal well for me after several years of hard use. They are not cheap, but they are by far the favourite containers in my kitchen.

Use metal ice cube trays, muffin tins, or bread tins to freeze smaller quantities of food; then transfer to a container or wrap well for longer-term storage.

Paper

If you are freezing food for a shorter period of time (2-3 weeks at most), you can wrap in unbleached butcher paper or waxed paper sheets or bags. Butcher paper doesn’t seal the food as well as waxed paper, but it makes a good first-layer wrap. Double or triple for longer freezing periods. Seal any kind of paper wrap with freezer tape.

Aluminum Foil

Foil is fragile, and if there’s a single hole that can mean freezer burn for whatever it contains; but if you’re careful with wrapping, foil is a great option for the freezer. Use heavy-duty foil instead of regular thickness, and seal well with freezer tape.

(Note: I tend to avoid foil because it cannot be recycled locally and ends up in the trash.)

Waxed Cartons

You can reuse waxed milk, juice, and cream cartons in the freezer. They are especially good for stocks and soups, since they allow for expansion and are waterproof. Cut open at the top, wash out well, and seal up with freezer tape. As with all opaque containers, be sure to label clearly so you know what’s inside.

(On a similar note, you can freezer cartons of milk and cream if they are close to expiry.)

Package-free

Many fruits don’t need packaging of any kind in the freezer, such as tomatoes, bananas, and peaches. Even better, their skins will slip off easily once thawed.

I learned this last summer when someone gave my parents a bushel of peaches just as they were about to leave on a camping trip. Mom had no time to can or prep the peaches for freezing, so she threw them whole into the freezer. For the rest of the winter, she took one peach out every evening and enjoyed it sliced on her granola each morning.

This was recently published in The Guardian: "We’re just beginning to understand some of the short- and long-term risks associated with the chemicals in packaging: obesity, cancer, cardiovascular disease and

The number one thing I prepare for is a POWER OUTAGE when SHTF. Every SHTF series of events, includes the inevitable power outage. In fact, whenever the power goes out, even temporarily, I wonder if SHTF has arrived. I lived through several hurricanes in Houston, Texas where the power went out for a week. I’ve also traveled to Beirut, Lebanon several times where I learned how they deal with daily rolling power outages. I find it interesting that Beirut has black outs each day and people manage to persist with their normal daily lives. One day, in Beirut, I was having my hair cut when the power went out, but the hairdresser simply pulled out a flashlight and continued my hair in the semi dark. I’m not going to discuss basic prepping in this article. Instead, I am going to present a list of things to consider which relate directly to short-term, long-term and permanent power outages. In fact, as you develop your preps and preparation plans it is essential to consider every aspect of your preparations with regard to short-term, long-term and permanent SHTF situations. I’d not have considered all these things if I didn’t have the experiences without power. I hope these ideas help others in their preparations.

Plan ahead for living through a power outage

1. Getting stuck in an Elevator. One of the number one concerns of residents in Beirut is not getting stuck in the elevator each day during their power outage. They often live in buildings with many floors of stairs but most people opt to take the stairs rather than risk the elevator. I witnessed someone nearly every day trapped in the elevator. Unfortunately, some of the elderly cannot climb stairs. I learned never to take the elevator after this experience because you really never know when you could get trapped. People die or become seriously injured sometimes because they try to get out and fall in the elevator shaft. Consider the number of people in elevators each day at any given moment! One day, unknown to anyone, the power could go out and strand all those people inside the elevator. I justify taking the stairs as not only the safe option, but an opportunity to get a little exercise.

stairs

Make sure you take the stairs if you don’t want to be stuck in the elevator.

2. Rig your house to have back up lights. In Beirut many people have cleverly put strings of lights all around the house attached to a car battery. There are two light switches so when the power goes out they simply flip the other switch. I’ve thought of a series of variations for this same idea. In addition to LED string lights, I also have solar string lights. In addition to a car battery, I also have a solar generator and solar power sources. I found solar lights are generally listed as gardening decor. After experiencing Beiruit’s daily power outage, I realized no matter how many candles and matches you store, these will run out one day. Keeping your solar items in Faraday cages is most likely the only long-term lighting solution for a variety of SHTF events.

3. Keep keys with you to your home/business/buildings instead of relying on electric card keys. Not everyone needs to worry about card keys but If you do rely on a card key to enter your apartment or buildings this could be a grave problem. You certainly don’t want to get locked out during an emergency so it is wise to keep regular keys with you even if most of the time you rely on card keys.

4. Make sure you own some manual Tools. You need a variety of manual tools and back up tools in case they break. During a hurricane I couldn’t find my manual can opener and panicked searching around for it for over an hour one day. Now I have six can openers. I try to find very sturdy, all metal manual tools. The cheap ones are not reliable or worth the risk. I want to purchase a wringer washer like my grandma used to use. It is a shame that we lost contact with manual tools and how to use them. During hurricanes I’m amazed how fast dirty clothes accumulate, especially if the weather is hot and you have difficulties getting clean. I can only imagine how smelly people will become in SHTF.

5. Prepare your refrigerator and freezer. Learn which foods spoil first so you know what order in which to eat the food during the power outage. Eggs can last longer outside the fridge if you coat them in olive oil. During the hurricanes I had about 30 jars of pickles in my fridge. Pickles can last outside the fridge so long as every day you skim the top of the jar. I have a butter saver which is the old-fashioned way to preserve butter. The butter saver is a ceramic cup that you fill with butter and place inside another cup with cold water; you have to change the water each day to keep it fresh. If you keep water bottles in the freezer you can prolong the time your freezer will keep the food cold and then switch some of the refrigerator food into the freezer. You don’t want to open the fridge or freezer too much when the power is out so you have to know what is inside, plan carefully and close the door quickly.   Also, you don’t want to throw away your food. During a hurricane people often get together and grill the contents of their freezer with their neighbors. In Beiruit I was surprised to see how people cook and save leftovers without relying constantly on power. I didn’t know many things really don’t need refrigeration if you eat it by the next day, like rice or cheese. People with gas stoves fare better than those with electric stoves during hurricanes.

poweroutageukraine-1

Power outages are too common for you not to be prepared for them.

6. Keep lots of fresh fruit in your house if you think a power outage is coming. Fresh fruit really doesn’t need to be kept chilled and this is one of my last second hurricane preps. During hurricane season I constantly have extra fresh fruit around the house just in case. I think this is a great SHTF practice all the time.

7. Utilize the last drops of water. Being without a fresh source for water becomes an issue much more quickly than you imagine. Obviously you need water for so many daily activities! When I learn a hurricane is on the way the first thing I do is fill every single container I have with water and cover them with plastic wrap. I put containers of water in the bathrooms and by the bed. I have an old-fashioned water and pitcher which is great for hand washing. I save the old water too, and reuse it for some other purpose. I have a Water Bob that I use to store last-minute water in the bathtub. Also, when the water goes off you can still suck a few more cups out of the pipes for flushing the toilet. If you are lucky enough to foresee any kind of power outage, I can’t stress this last-minute collecting enough. When you think you have enough, think again and keep filling those containers.   I have a water barrel for long-term water needs but I plan to rely on that after my short-term water supply is finished. I learned from hurricanes that when the water goes out, you must beware of the first water out of the tap because it is contaminated. I filter my water anyway, but people always get sick drinking contaminated water after the hurricane. Get in the habit of drinking the juice from the can of fruit and cooking with the water from the can of vegetables.

Make cleaning up easier in a Power Outage

8. Baby wipes and Facial Wipes. I stock up on baby wipes before a hurricane because without the power it is hard stay clean. I really appreciate face wipes so I can wash my face without using any water. This prep clearly doesn’t last forever but I figure that the longer you can maintain a ‘normal’ life the better. I plan to prolong ‘normal’ as long as possible, especially for my children.

9. Have Paper plates, napkins and silverware. These are a staple for the hurricane. Again, this isn’t a long-term prep but it maintains a normal feeling. It takes a lot of water to wash your plates and silverware. Also, it is a good idea to have lots of trash bags because the paper plates end up creating more garbage. The garbage piles up very badly even during a week-long power outage.

10. Flush the Toilet with a bucket of water. If you save the water you use, reuse the water to flush the toilet as long as you can. You’ll eventually need a camping toilet or a bucket. Cat littler is a good idea for the toilet/bucket. Plus, it is essential you bury the contents of the toilet. However, I was pleased that my toilet flushed during outages. The easiest thing to do is scoop water from a nearby pool and flush the toilet. I keep a large glass jug (old wine jug) by the toilet for the hurricane. During hurricanes there are always reports of people in apartment complexes around Houston who go to the bathroom in the hallways. You have to wonder what is wrong with people who can’t figure out a plan for a week without power when they knew a hurricane was coming in advance and had an opportunity to prepare. The lesson here is that people will do surprisingly disgusting things not long after SHTF.

PAKISTAN-ENERGY-ELECTRICITY

This picture taken on February 24, 2013 shows Pakistani youth crossing a street during a nationwide power blackout in Karachi. Pakistan was hit by a nationwide blackout for more than two hours after the breakdown of a major plant caused power stations to stop working across the country, officials said on February 25. AFP PHOTO/Asif HASSAN

11. Stores will become EMPTY faster than you can imagine. If people notice a need to prepare in advance and that they are not prepared, the food and supplies will disappear within seconds. When we experienced our first hurricane we didn’t understand the need to prepare.

By the time we went to the grocery store there was NOTHING there but a can of squeeze cheese. The squeeze cheese has become a family joke of what happens if you fail to prepare in time. I’ve been to stores immediately after a hurricane. It is so weird to see stores as they start to restock but the power is still out or unreliable. The credit card machines don’t work and they only accept cash. Gas won’t pump. Some unethical venders raise the prices even though it is illegal. I’ve been to stores before a hurricane and seen people fighting over cans of food. Right before a hurricane in Houston it is impossible to find a bottle of water. I read that statistically people have only three days worth of food in their house.

Once, at a Denny’s, a waitress was lamenting to me that a thief came and emptied the contents of her kitchen, which she said was in total: a package of Funyuns, a six-pack of orange Slice and a package of Marlboro Lights. I fear that this woman’s testimony of her kitchen supplies is more typical than I would imagine. In Beruit even the poorest survivors of the recent wars always stock rice and powered milk.

12. Life without 911. It is not a comforting feeling knowing that you are completely on your own regarding medical problems and safety. I put burglar bars at my house just because I needed that extra feeling of security, especially during hurricanes. I can’t imagine a power outage without self-defense. I’ve heard of looting and rioting in other areas immediately when a power outage begins. I’m proud to say that my neighborhood in Houston has signs that say residents are armed. I’ve never once heard of reports of looting during hurricanes here. I’m certain that the reality of armed citizens keeps away looters and others who would take advantage of a power outage. Also, if you know that you can’t go to the hospital, and maybe the hospital generators are about to go out too, you learn to be extra careful. During the power outage you have to be able to put out a fire yourself, so stock up on fire extinguishers. Fireproofing your home is a good idea.

13. People die doing weird things when the power goes out. After a hurricane there are always a strange series of reports on the news about how people died in dumb ways. Once, a lady cleaned her bathroom with the windows and door closed and the chemical fumes killed her. She was found dead after the hurricane because she lived alone. The lesson here is that when the power goes out, especially if you are alone, take extra precautions with your safety. The elderly always die during hurricanes because they fail to regulate their temperatures or run out of medicine. This means, if you are at risk you really need to make sure you don’t run out of medicine, have a solar fan or some way to keep cool/warm. When I believe a power outage is pending, I check up on my elderly neighbors and offer to help them get supplies. After hurricanes people drive into water and drown. During the power outage, people play in water outside and it turns out that the water is filled with fire ants, rats, roaches, dead cats, dead dogs, worms, fleas, snakes and the occasional alligator. Some people become immediately unhinged when the power goes out and are ready to kill someone over a can of food. bangladesh_blackout_ap_650 14. Beware of mass evacuations. I’ve witnessed multiple mass evacuations out of Houston. First, people become panicked. Second, everyone runs out of gas. Third, the gas stations run out of gas. Fourth, the freeways become parking lots. In one mass evacuation a bus from a nursing home exploded into flames because it over heated. One of my friends was in an evacuation and he mentioned that he, his wife, his five kids and two dogs all became over heated and suffered from heat sickness complete with gastrointestinal issues. Basically, avoid mass evacuations by trying to find another route if you must leave. I think more people died in the mass evacuation than the hurricane itself.

15. Create a ‘last minute’ shopping list. It is possible you might get the opportunity to do some quick last second preparations before SHTF. Have in mind a list of warning signs which indicate when you will run out for last-minute supplies. Tell you family if they see certain events begin to happen that they should immediately stock up on water. For example, my family knows that if North Korea bombs South Korea or if a nuke goes off anywhere in the world they promised to immediately stop at the store and buy extra water. This is one of my triggers, along with if I know a hurricane is coming or if some huge terrorist attack happens in the USA. Even if the lights don’t go out, it is never stupid to have bought extra water. In Beirut the people who have survived the recent wars are very paranoid about leaving the house if they suspect any sort of violence is possible. Thus, if they need last-minute supplies they refuse to travel further than about a block from home.

16. Act like everyone else during SHTF. You certainly don’t want everyone around you to become aware that you are not suffering from a lack preparations like they are. When the government comes after the hurricane to hand out water and bananas I always get mine like everyone else. Even if you only accept a hand out in order to trade it later, just act in need like everyone else. I do not have a plan to accept vaccinations if the government insists we take them during SHTF. I feel they could easily taint medicine, food and water. I also believe that if certain things happen in SHTF the government might offer food if you trade in guns.

17. Beware of FEMA shelters. Luckily I have not been to a shelter during a power outage in Houston but I know multiple people who shared their experiences. They didn’t feel safe sleeping in a giant room with strangers, there is not enough privacy and there are always reports of rapists and thieves at these shelters. They never have enough supplies. After Hillary mentioned ‘fun camps for adults’ I always wonder if they really want to help you with these shelters or if they will use the crisis to create concentration camps or reconditioning camps. In Houston, these FEMA shelters pop up for a variety of reasons; power outages, flooding, chemical spills and large apartment fires. They round people up onto buses and deliver them to a make shift FEMA shelter at a school or a giant sports stadium. I’ve seen some schools have watch towers like prisons. Sometimes they relocate students from public schools to a shelter without parental notification until later. Whatever the case is about these FEMA shelters, now or in the future, I do not plan to ever go to one for any reason.

18. Boards for your windows. During hurricanes everyone puts boards on their windows in order to keep debris from breaking them. I think boards are a great prep for power outages because you’d not want to have a broken window, they deter people from breaking in and it secures privacy. I also like large wooden privacy screens and wooden shutters. Black out curtains would become essential for a long-term power outage so that you don’t draw attention to yourself.

19. Own backup Radios. After hurricanes I realized how important crank radios are for news and a connection to the outside world. I know this is a common preparation but I’m stressing the need to have back up crank radios with phone chargers. It will be important to remain updated as much as possible and any information you can gain about what is going on during SHTF will be helpful.

20. Plan family activities and fun when the black out starts. When everyone is nervous, obsessed over the news and the power outage begins it is easy to just sit there, waiting and fretting. I always feel sick to my stomach with anxiety when the hurricane starts. Having been through multiple power outages, I find that especially for the well-being of my kids, it is a good idea to make an effort to have a family dinner with candles, play some games and celebrate the time you have together. Plus, when you plan a family night in reaction to a power outage you don’t feel like a victim and you can de-stress a little. Some of my favorite family memories actually happened during power outages.


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The number one thing I prepare for is a POWER OUTAGE when SHTF. Every SHTF series of events, includes the inevitable power outage. In fact, whenever the power goes out,

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

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

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

Water

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

 

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

Gatorade Powder

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

 

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

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

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Jerky

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

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

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

Ramen & Dried Vegetables

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

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

Dry Fruit

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

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

Canned Fruit

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

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

Granola Bars

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

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

Nuts & Sunflower Seeds

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

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

Hard Candies & Gum

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

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

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

Breakfast Cereal

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

Doritos

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

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

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

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

 

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It’s basically a military-grade Camelbak with extra pockets for storing necessities. This hydration backpack carries 2 liters of water and keeps your water cool even in the most grueling heat… Unlike disposable water bottles that melt and add chemicals to your water in the heat. In other words, you’re getting a $130 military-grade hydration backpack for FREE… With no B.S. attached! All you have to do is enter your US postal address on the next page so we can send this to you:

Spices

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

We have covered many topics in the past such as fluid-based balance, electrolyte balance, and dehydration, along with several articles pertaining to first aid from heat-related emergencies.  We’re going to refresh (as it is the season) the importance of hydration and several things you can do in an emergency situation.  What constitutes an emergency?  Anything that threatens either life or limb, or threatens to incapacitate you in a permanent manner is an emergency that needs to be dealt with.

How Dehydration Occurs

Your body is about 75 to 80% water, which in itself is an oversimplification.  The reason for this being there is intracellular fluid (fluid within the cells), intercellular fluid (the fluid between the cells), and other factors affecting fluid dynamics.  This last term refers to the amount of fluid going in and out of the cells, and directly relating to both input (what you drink and take in with your meals) and output (in the form of urination and diaphoresis, also known as sweating).  An additional form of output is termed extra-sensory perspiration, and this is what is exuded from your body in the form of vapor from the lungs breathed out, as well as fluid loss from the eyes (yes, both the tear ducts and the eyeballs themselves).

When you couple these losses with strenuous or stressful activity, it amounts to fluid loss that can impair your health.  As mentioned in other articles, keep this rule in mind: thirst is a late sign of dehydration.  In order to be hydrated properly during the course of a day, you should consume at least half a gallon to a gallon of water daily.  This amount is in the normal daytime routine.  Heavy physical work or exercise adds to this amount needed.

 

Our Recommendation
Grab A $103 Military-Grade Hydration Backpack FREE While Supplies Last!

It’s basically a military-grade Camelbak with extra pockets for storing necessities. This hydration backpack carries 2 liters of water and keeps your water cool even in the most grueling heat… Unlike disposable water bottles that melt and add chemicals to your water in the heat. In other words, you’re getting a $130 military-grade hydration backpack for FREE… With no B.S. attached! All you have to do is enter your US postal address on the next page so we can send this to you:

Have Oral Rehydration Solutions Available

Let’s walk, now.  In addition to taking in water, you can also replenish your electrolytes with ready-made drinks or powders.  Gatorade and Powerade are beverages with a lot of sugar, yes, but they also contain electrolytes such as sodium or potassium that your body needs.  In the service, we had packets called ORS (Oral Rehydration Solutions) that had measured amounts of sodium and potassium to take with the water in your canteen for those strenuous happy moments that called for it.  You can save money and do the deed at your own convenience by buying up the powdered Gatorade and (as I’ve told you to save up the 32-ounce Gatorade and Powerade bottles) make up your own: not to guzzle every moment, but to maybe have one per day in order to maintain your electrolytes.


Make Your Own ORS:

In a one-quart bottle, mix 1-2 Tbsp.’s of sugar and ½ to 1 tsp. of salt in water and drink.


This will do in a pinch if you’re really hurting: the sodium will help you retain some of the fluids and also restore what you’re perspiring.  I did mention in one of my articles that for about $7 to $8, you can pick up a box of about 50 packets of powder that have complete supplies of electrolytes, minerals, and vitamin C to mix in a glass of water and down in an instant.  These are worth their weight in gold in an emergency and when the SHTF.

Natural Ways to Maintain a Healthy Balance of Electrolytes

A good, well-balanced meal will also help to maintain those electrolytes.  Magnesium is found in spinach and many of your raw seeds such as sunflower seeds.  Sodium you’ll take in with the normal course of much of your diet.  Potassium can be found in bananas and prunes.  Regarding the latter, take care and do not eat too many: the laxative effects can outweigh what you gain with the potassium.  Calcium (necessary for good heart function) can be taken in with milk, cheese, and dairy products.

What If You Are Unable to Drink Water?

Lastly, what to do when you are unable to drink for some reason or another?  This one will take a family member, spouse, or friend to aid you on.  Reasons for this may include but are not limited to a shot away/broken jaw, partially crushed or injured throat, or a gunshot/impaled object to the abdomen.  We mentioned IV’s in the first-aid articles last year.  Have you acted on the information?  In the aforementioned situations, you can hurt yourself further by drinking fluids (and potentially die if you have a perforated stomach or intestines with the last example), but you still need fluid.

The IV bypasses the digestive tract and sends the fluid right into the bloodstream.  Another method that is close: you can administer 200-300 cc (equivalent to ml) by inserting that IV tube directly into the patient’s rectum (assuming no trauma there).  It is a parenteral route: that is, a route other than ingestion.  The “regular”/well-known routes of the IV are the veins: radial (the wrists), antecubital (the bend in the elbow), femoral (in the thigh), and [you better really know what you’re doing] the jugular (in the neck).

Supplies being paramount, you must obtain IV’s solutions, with Ringer’s Lactate (or Lactated Ringer’s solution) being the preferred 1000 ml bag.  You’ll also need sterile tubing and a catheter, preferably large-bore.  And what if you don’t happen to have it?  Then you better improvise and improvise well.  Here’s your tip:

            Composition of Lactated Ringer’s Solution:   (per 1 liter/1000 ml bag)

Distilled water

            8.6 grams (g) of Sodium Chloride (NaCl)

            0.3 g Potassium Chloride (KCl)

            0.33 g Calcium Chloride (CaCl)

There you have it!  In an emergency, “you” may be the only “pharmacist” in town.  Your son or daughter’s life depends on it.  Now how far are you willing to go?  Time to get into that abandoned Home Depot and grab yourself some tubing and duct tape, then pick up either a turkey injector needle at Wal-Mart or a needle for inflating footballs and sharpen it up.  Sterilize all of it.  Get your ingredients together, sterilize a glass bottle by boiling, make up the solution, and hang the bag.  Improvise, adapt, overcome.

Those who will take the steps and are ready to employ the knowledge and “take a chance,” as ABBA sang it…these will be the ones to make it.  You must win with the weapons you have.  Crawl by keeping aware and hydrating regularly during the day to prevent dehydration.  Walk by obtaining ORS and other powdered supplements to help you maintain your electrolytes.  Run by taking classes in IV therapy, stocking up on supplies, and improvising your own when the SHTF.

We have covered many topics in the past such as fluid-based balance, electrolyte balance, and dehydration, along with several articles pertaining to first aid from heat-related emergencies.  We’re going to

How are you doing, fellow preppers and preppies? Been a while now since I’ve tried my hand at making stuff, rather than repairing or buying new. Seeing that most of you have trouble figuring out what to use for electricity in case of an SHTF situation, I thought of sharing with you my latest project: a home-made bike-powered generator.

I have to admit that I wasn’t too sure about how this project would turn on since I had to improvise most of the time. The idea came from one of dad’s friends who said he used something similar during the Korean War to power a small radio.

So, after doing a bit of snooping on the Internet, I gathered my tools and the rest of the stuff and jumped right into it. Time-wise, it took me about four hours, give or take the time spent chatting on FB with some of the buddies.

Anyway, this little gadget is quite useful if you’re ever in need to juice up something on the spot – I tried it on dad’s old motorcycle and even on an old tablet (you may need to find an adaptor for electronics such smartphones, tablets or laptops). So, without further ado, here’s how to build your own bike generator.

 

Our Recommendation
Grab A $103 Military-Grade Hydration Backpack FREE While Supplies Last!

It’s basically a military-grade Camelbak with extra pockets for storing necessities. This hydration backpack carries 2 liters of water and keeps your water cool even in the most grueling heat… Unlike disposable water bottles that melt and add chemicals to your water in the heat. In other words, you’re getting a $130 military-grade hydration backpack for FREE… With no B.S. attached! All you have to do is enter your US postal address on the next page so we can send this to you:

 

Tools and materials needed

  • Hammer with a nail puller.
  • Saw.
  • Philips screwdriver.
  • Lightbulb.
  • Old fan belt.
  • Old car alternator.
  • Switch.
  • Battery.
  • Voltage regulator.
  • Short plank.
  • Two 50x6x2 planks.
  • One plank (24 inches)
  • Nails
  • L-corner braces.
  • Bendable metal bracers.
  • Old bike.
  • Piece of metal.

Already gathered your tools and materials? Awesome. Here’s what you’ll need to do next.

Assembling the bike generator

Step 1. Place the two 50-inch wooden planks next to each other on the ground. This will be your base.

Step 2. Grab the saw and cut the 24-inch plank in half.

Step 3. Using the saw, cut two triangular grooves on the upper part of the two pieces.

Step 4. Attach the two grooved pieces to your base (place them halfway from the short edges).

Step 5. Nail the grooved pieces to the base.

Step 6. Attach two big L-corner braces where the grooved pieces meet the base. Use screws to fix them in place.

Step 7. Attach a small L-corner place in the triangle-shaped indentation. Repeat step for the second piece.

Step 8. In order to secure the bike’s front wheel, attach two bendable braces in the front part of the base. Use two screws to lock them in place.

Step 9.  Using the appropriate wrench, tighten the screw that holds the bike’s back wheel into place.

Step 10. It’s time to place your bike on the support. Carefully place the back end on the two triangle-shaped indentations.

Step 11. Bend the two front metal braces over the front in and secure into place with two screws.

Step 12. Hop on the bike and start pedaling. If the bike feels like it’s about to go forward, add another metal brace to the front part of the wheel and make sure the rest of the screws are tightened.

Step 13. Remove the bike tube from the back wheel.

Step 14. Install the belt of the back wheel.

Step 15. Attach the other end of the belt on your alternator.

Step 16.  Attach the alternator to your base. Keep tension on the belt.

Step 17. Place the piece of metal over the base and attach the alternator to it. You can screw it in place if your alternator has mounting holes or weld it – I’ve gone with the latter option.

Step 18. The alternator has another mounting platform right out the back. Place a thin piece of metal under it and secure in place with a long screw.

It’s now time to test-drive the generator. But before you can do that, you will need to do play electrician for a bit.

  1. Take the voltage regulator to install it on the alternator. This will allow you to control the energy flow and to add a switch.
  2. Grab some wires. I color-coded them to know which is which (blue, red, and white).
  3. Take your read wire and attach it to the motor (this will be on positive).
  4. Take the blue wire and attach it to the voltage regulator (this will be on negative).
  5. To install the switch, take the white wire and attach it to the very same spot on the alternator where the red wire went. The other end goes into your voltage regulator.
  6. Connect the alternator to your regulator.
  7. Attach the last wire to the DF spot on your regulator.
  8. Solder the positive and negative wires to your battery. That’s it!

To try out your makeshift electricity generator, take a regular 12-volt right bulb and connect it to your thingamajig (red on side and blue on bottom). Put in a place where you can see it, hop on the bike, and start pedaling. After a couple of spins, the bulb should turn on. However, do keep in mind that the thing will stay on only if you keep on pedaling.

I’ve also tested out this generator on an old tablet. Had to whip out some sort of adaptor. It’s very easy – take your blue and red wires and connect them to the negative and positive terminals of a car charged outfitted with a USB outlet.

Hop on the bike and start pedaling. A couple of seconds later, I saw the charging icon lighting up on the top-right corner of the screen. I know it’s a crude way to juice up electronics, but it’s very handy to have around for, I don’t know, very short phone calls, sending a quick text or checking your mail.

One more thing: be sure that the belt connecting the back wheel to the alternator is always in tension. You might need to reposition the alternator for that. Anyway, hope you’ve enjoyed my little project. As always, feel free to hit the comment section for any insights, tips or just to say ‘hi’.

This little gadget is quite useful if you’re ever in need to juice up something on the spot – I tried it on dad’s old motorcycle and even on an