HomePosts Tagged "Prepping" (Page 17)

You know that the flame’s gone in your love light when your wife gives you a lighter for your birthday. Just pulling your leg. Anyway, the real reason why I got a lighter for B-day is rather much more banal than that. Last year, during our Amazon holiday, I lost mine while touring the jungle. Couldn’t recover the damned thing, despite retracing my every step.

It didn’t feel like losing a lighter; it was like witnessing the end of a great friendship. Hell, I have so much of those things that I can probably open up my own tobacco shop; but that lighter was the first thing I bought after getting my very first paycheck. The Tin Man, as I liked to call my Zippo, never left my pocket for 20 odd years – it was there for my first kiss, first breakup, and even on that day when I said “Yes” to my ‘lovely’ wife.

Oh, well, que sera, sera, as the song goes. Now, the reason why I’ve decided to write this article is that this new gadget my wife got me for my B-Day is very neat. And because I’m such a grateful S.O.B, I just had to find out just how much money would my wife be willing to spend on my happiness and well-being.

While messing around on Amazon looking for my gift, I stumbled upon several neat survival lighters. So I figured to share with you people a couple of tips on how to choose the best lighter for your bug out bag or car’s emergency kit.

Why should I look for in a survival lighter?

At the end of the day, there’s not much difference between a survival lighter and a regular one – you can use both of them to light up your morning or after-sex cigarette and to whip out a campfire. However, the major difference between them is the amount of damage one can take before keeling over.

For instance, most Bic or corner store light will fall apart if you step on them or drop in a body of water. Moreover, all survival lighters have some sort of weatherproofing – some have water-resistant cases which can take the same pressure as a capsulated watch, while others have grates that prevent wind from putting out the flame.

Anyway, choosing a reliable survival lighter is much harder than you realize. Keep in mind that your fire-starter is part of that inner-circle of survival items called stuff to stake your like on. Would you spend $20 on a survival knife knowing that the blade might shatter during the first use? Of course, you wouldn’t. The same thing goes for survival lighters. Now, to make things easier for you, I have prepared a small list of, let’s say, purchasing criteria.


There’s no point in spending $200 or $300 on a lighter if you know that you’re going to use it only once. On the other hand, if you really want to purchase something you can stake your life on any day of the week, money shouldn’t be an issue. Yes, there are fancy lighters which can go as high as $500.

However, those are more what I want to call a bourgeois gratification, rather than an item that can save your ass in a shit hits the fan situation. You should also know that design and construction materials also dictate a survival lighter’s reliability. Of course, the ones made from steel can take more punishment compared to one made from plastic, aluminum or alloy, but they tend to heavier.

Bottom line: if you want a lighter to stake your life on, don’t be a cheapskate or send for smelling salts after seeing the price tag. Remember that items will be with you for at least 10 years, if not for life.


You know the saying: there’s more than one way to skin a cat and to start a fire. Survival lighters come in many shapes and sizes – the most common ones use an electric arc, butane, and flit to produce a flame. Zippo lighters, for instance, have no need for an electric spark since they rely on flint and highly-flammable fuel. If you want a more interesting gadget, you can always try out a plasm survival lighter, which use electricity to produce well, a plasma bolt capable of melting anything in mere seconds.

There are also the so-called windproof lighters that use electricity to produce a flame. The latter variety has been designed to operate in various conditions: heavy rain, snow blizzards, strong winds. Moreover, even a low-cost windproof lighter can light up at a max elevation of 80,000 feet.

Bottom line: there are four kinds of survival lighters – butane, Zippo-types, plasma, and windproof lighters. Some use fuel, while others rely on electricity. Each have their pros and cons; for instance, Zippos have a very long lifespan but require a bit of maintenance.

Plasma survival lighters are extremely useful in setting ablaze even soaked wood, but require a USB or outlet for recharging. As for butane lighters, they’re cheap, can be found literally anywhere, but they do tend to jam a lot.


Not all lighters are the same – some are flat, others are odd-shaped. The lighter’s design will ultimately dictate the gadget’s portability; of course, it’s easier to pocket a Zippo or similar model since the shape allows for it. You should also keep in mind that the lighter’s additions will also affect portability – remove weatherproofing, the lighter’s more, well light. On the other hand, you can end up with a survival lighter that’s heavier than a brick.

Bottom line: survival lighters should feel comfortable in your pocket, where they belong.

Direct flame

It refers, more or less, to the height of the flame. Some survival lighters, like Zippos, can produce a two or even three-inch flame, depending on how much of the wick sticks out. This can come in handy in situations where you will need more light or a source of heat for cooking purposes. Bear in mind that lighters producing this kind of flame are not weatherproofed.

Bottom line: figure out what works best for you – a lighter that doubles up as a torch\heater during an emergency or something else.

Water resistance

For me, this is a very important factor in choosing a survival lighter. Though most lighters, ever butane ones, can take a little bit of water, they really can withstand being completely submerged. When I was 20 something, I remember going on a hiking trip with this chick from work. Later that day, I tripped and fell, obviously because I was paying more attention to her than to the road.

Long story short, my Zippo fell into a stream and had to chase it around for a mile or so. Even though it remained below the water for at least 10 minutes, it came back to life after I left it out to dry. Plasma-based survival lighters are also water-resistant, and so are the electricity-based weatherproof lighters.

My choices in awesome survival lighters

Of course, no article on survival lighters should be without a couple of nifty gadgets. So, here are my choices in awesome lighters.

  1. Zippo Emergency Fire Starter

This is the mother of all Zippos out there. Apart from the fact that the body is weatherproofed, the Emergency Fire Starter also comes with four or five tinder sticks which can be used to start a fire just about anywhere. As for shape and weight, I would have to say that it’s bulkier than a regular Zippo on account of the extra protection layer; weight is about the same.

Don’t worry too much about extra supplies like flints, wicks, cotton or fuel – you can buy everything you need from Amazon or whatever tobacco e-shop you have in the area. The tinder sticks, on the other hand, are kind of harder to come by. If you run out, you’ll need to search for a military surplus store that has Zippo products. Other than that, I can’t really say anything bad about Zippo’s take on SHTF.

  1. UCO Stormproof Torch and Utility Tape

Though I’m not really a big fan of butane lighters, I have to say that I was really impressed by UCO’s torch. This electric, butane-powered lighter has three outlets, all of them covered by weatherproofing grates. It’s very small – basically fits in that tiny penny pocket. On a single charge, it can be ignited up to 700 times. Moreover, given the fact that this is more of a torch than a lighter, it has a ludicrously long lifespan: 30,000+ uses.

It also comes with a small safety cap that packs a mini carabiner, which you can use to attach this little sucker to your belt or B.O.B. The body of UCO’s torch is wrapped in heavy-duty utility tape; if you need to patch up something really fast, you have at least 3 feet of tape at your disposal.

  1. Xikar 9660BK Stratosphere II Lighter

The Stratosphere II Lighter is as close you’re ever going to get to a plasma gun just like in the movies. There’s nothing this bad boy can’t do- the flame’s at least two inches in height, which means that it can compete with Zippo’s survival lighter without breaking a sweat. This model, in particular, is very interesting because it has an armor – yup a stainless-steel cover that protects the mechanism from mechanical shock or water.

If that wasn’t enough to convince you, get him: The Stratosphere II Lighter has a built-in blade, which can be used for chopping or self-defense. As for fuel, this survival lighter goes along splendidly with Zippo fuel or any kind of lighter fluid. When the electrical ignitor no longer works, you can always charge it up from a USB port.

  1. Electric Lighter Dual Arc Flameless Windproof Eco-Friendly Lighter

Now that’s a mouthful if I ever saw one. The Dual Arc Flameless is an all-out electrical lighter capable of producing a powerful flame via its two electrodes. On a single charge, the Dual Arc can produce 300 sparks which means that you can probably use it to light up even soaking-wet wood. This is one of those lighters for tech addicts since it doesn’t have a spark wheel, but an infrared switch. The only caveat is that you will need to bring along a power bank or seek out an outlet for recharging.

  1. Blazer CG-001 Refillable Torch

This piezoelectric beauty is more than enough to start a fire, burn paper or illuminate a small room. The flame is tall enough to burn just though anything. This particular model comes with a stainless-steel cover, which means that it can take any amount of punishment.

You can recharge it using any kind of lighter fluid. Don’t worry about running out of fuel because it comes with a small window on the side which shows just how much fuel you have left. It may not be as famous as the Zippo, but, apparently, Japan’s take on survival lighters doesn’t disappoint.

That’s about it on how to choose the best survival lighter. Don’t be a stranger and hit the comment to let me know what kind of lighter you purchased.

While messing around on Amazon looking for my gift, I stumbled upon several neat survival lighters.

Diatomaceous Earth – the best thing to have around the house for some, and a thing loosely associated with alchemy, black magic or natural healing to others. As for yours truly, D.E. is probably the best eye-opener I had since discovered that bread could be made from anything, including wild herb-like dandelions. In today’s article, I’m gonna talk about how my life has changed after discovering this off-white powder.

Now, for those of you who don’t know or simply don’t care D.E is a powdery substance made from fossilized diatoms, which are microscopical algae-like organisms. This stuff’s been around since the dawn of the 19th century when it was discovered by mistake by a German peasant who was trying to sink a well near his home.

Ever since then, D.E. has been studied and used for various purposes. In fact, Alfred Nobel aka the Dynamite Dad had been experimenting with diatoms for the purpose of stabilizing nitroglycerin. D.E.’s also used in the beauty industry for manufacturing toothpaste. Farmers also used a refined form of D.E to prevent caulking and to keep pests bay.

Anyway, my interest in D.E. began when I was doing a bit of research on ways to purify water in the field. A couple of clicks later, I ended up reading tons of material about D.E. being used to clean pools and that most water purification tablets are made from this stuff.

From that day forward, I have tried using diatomaceous earth for more than just water filtration. It’s true that baking soda’s the most versatile household ingredient, but that’s before I discovered D.E. Here are a couple of ways I managed to use this powdery delight around the house.

  1. Saving a shit-load of money on kitty litter

I’ve already told you that I’m the proud owner\slave of two wonderful cats, which means that I usually have to stock up on kitty litter as often as I can. The trouble is that you can’t just make two cats share a litter and you really can’t leave them uncleaned for more than two days.

Anyway, after spending literally hundreds of bucks on jumbo kitty litter bags, I stumbled upon this great way of using D.E. as a substitute for silica shards. What I do is make my own cat litter using wood shaving and sawdust, which I sprinkle with D.E. Since the stuff’s great at sucking out every bit of moisture, it entirely eliminates the smell as well as clutter.

  1. Making deodorizers

Yes, I know you can probably get rid of all the foul smells around the house using vinegar, but D.E. is much cheaper. More than that, it doesn’t leave behind that stingy odor, especially when you use it on stuff like carpets, drapes or upholstery. To make your own D.E. deodorizer, grab a canning jar, fill it with water, and dissolve one tablespoon of diatomaceous earth. Place inside the fridge and use it when necessary. It really works wonders on those garbage pails and the back of the refrigerator.

  1. Helping my chicken lay better eggs

It may sound far-fetched, but this stuff’s actually very beneficial to chickens and poultry, in general. If you want to up the nutritional value of your eggs, mix D.E. with chicken feed. They’ll taste better, look great, and have a harder shell. You can also spray some D.E. around the chicken coop to get rid of the smells and to keep away pests.

  1. Being able to make my own cosmetic products

I have to admit that being able to make my own cosmetic stuff was something I’ve been dreaming since my college days. Still, have to say that the perspective of getting caught up in that New Age BS was not my kind of gig, neither was setting up a lab in the basement. Well, after learning a bit about D.E. I’ve managed to get my hands on a couple of great recipes for stuff like toothpaste, deodorant, and facial mask (yes, I use those because my pores refuse to close).

Anyway, with a handful of D.E., a drop or two a peppermint oil, and some vegetable glycerin, you can make one Hell of a toothpaste. Apart from being a great antibacterial agent, D.E also has a scrubbing effect. If you want to add some extra kick to your toothpaste, consider putting some baking soda into the mixture. As for deodorant, you can whip up a good batch by mixing D.E with cornstarch, arrowroot powder, and coconut oil. For facial masks, just add a couple of tablespoons to a glass of water and stir until you get a thick paste. Have fun!

  1.  Removing just about any stain

In a previous article, I’ve told you a bit of how great salt is when it comes to removing stains and smudges. Well, that stuff got nothing on D.E. – this thing can get rid of any stain or dirt, no matter how stubborn it is. From experience, I’ve learned to rely on D.E., especially in dealing with oily stains. So, if the washing machine is of no help, just use a mixture of water and D.E. on the stain. Rub it in, allow it to work its magic and wash.

  1. Great for removing scale and grime from the bathroom

If my wife’s really mad at me, she doesn’t have to yell or anything. She just tells me that the bathroom could use a bit of cleaning. And nothing’s more frustrating for me than having to deal with scale and grime, especially around the bathtub. Tried every cleaning product there is. Didn’t solve anything apart from the fact of sparring me a trip to the gym that day.

Well, since D.E. is very abrasive, I figured that maybe it would help me get rid of the scale. And it did! So, if you want an efficient abrasive cleaning solution, mix two tablespoons of D.E. with some water and use a sponge to spread it around. Give it a good rubdown, and you’re good to go.

That’s if for how D.E. changed my homesteading life. What do you think about this off-white magical powder? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

Before you go, you may also like:

This is more than just about your guns…
How to survive any medical crisis situation with ease
10 Easy Steps to Secure your privacy
Secret Military Solution For Power Independence

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

Diatomaceous Earth – the best thing to have around the house for some, and a thing loosely associated with alchemy, black magic or natural healing to others.

Probably most of you have included some kind of wound cleaning substance in your first-aid kits. Sure, hydrogen peroxide’s the way to go for getting dirt and other stuff out of the wound, but it’s hardly the only antiseptic out there.

Anticipating that some of you can get a little freaky like me when it comes to having a complete medical kit, I’ve decided to use this opportunity to write about potassium permanganate – prince and pauper, at the same time, among antiseptics. What’s even more interesting is the fact that knowing what this stuff is will allow you to use for stuff other than cleaning wounds.

Before I start talking about the many uses of potassium permanganate, here’s a historical tidbit. During the latter years of the Korean War, the North was so desperate to gain a foothold that it began deploying unconventional weaponry. White phosphorus rounds were one of the weapons used against the South Korean soldiers and friendly American GIs. I won’t go into many details as to what kinds of wounds these devilish contraptions inflicted; suffice to say that it wasn’t a welcoming sight.

Anyway, the trouble with phosphorus rounds was they continued to burn inside the would long after leaving the gun’s barrel. Almost invisible to the naked eye, the Army surgeons had to improvise. And here’s where potassium permanganate comes into play – phosphorus reacts to potassium permanganate; quite violently I might add.

However, if used in small amounts the compound makes phosphorus light up like a Christmas tree. So, in order to operate, surgeons would dunk wounded patients in tubs filled with water, pour in some potassium permanganate, switch off the lights, and operate.

Outside of surgery, this compound can be used for tons of other stuff, most of them having to do with our favorite topic – getting out of SHTF situation. So, after probably boring you half to death with my little historical detour, here’s how potassium permanganate can serve you in a survival-type situation.

  1. Wound managed and various life-threatening scenarios

Let’s start by stating the obvious – potassium permanganate is a very effective antibacterial agent and just the thing you’ll need to keep infection at bay. However, the thing with this compound is knowing what forms works best depending on the nature of your emergency. For instance, in the case of wound management, the liquid solution would be the best approach. However, the powdered form can be successfully employed when having to deal with stuff like snake bites or poisoning.

By the way, if you or someone close to you has ingested poison, you can induce vomiting by using a 0.2 percent permanganate solution. Doctors would often order stomach washes using this compound. Conditions of the skins like irritations, sores or eczema may also be treated using potassium permanganate. Still, if you consider including this compound into your B.O.B or household emergency kit, I wouldn’t use it for more than wound washing.

  1. Getting rid of the dreaded morning breath

Although it’s far trickier to use than baking soda\salt with others, it may be possible to use potassium permanganate to 86 the dreaded morning breath. To prepare a mouthwash, dissolve one gram of powdery potassium permanganate in two gallons of water. This stuff will burn your esophagus and stomach, so be sure you spit it out. By the way, since potassium permanganate is known for its astringent effect (making the skin cells contract), you can use the mouthwash mix to get rid of stinky feet. Use this in conjunction with purified water and soap, and you won’t need another foot spray ever.

  1. Water filtration

If you’re all out of water filtration tablets or can’t lay your hands on charcoal, it may be possible to use powdered potassium permanganate to remove bacteria from the water. According to the FDA’s safety guidelines, the concentration should be around one unit of potassium permanganate to 10,000 units of water.

To figure out what this means, imagine you have a well with very dirty water. By applying the dilution ratio, it means that you will need to use around 7 grams of powdered potassium permanganate to purify one gallon of water. Do the math if you plan to sterilize smaller amounts of liquid.

  1. Fire-starter and probably self-defense weapon

Here’s my favorite way of using this stuff outside medical emergencies – to start a quick fire. For this, you will need around 10 grams of potassium permanganate and one-quarter of a teaspoon of glycerin (if you can’t find glycerin, use a water and sugar mixture). Place the permanganate on a small plate. For extra safety, you should do this experiment outside, as far away from flammable sources as possible. It would also be wise to put the plate on a hard surface like concrete slab or brick.

Now grab a pipette, draw a bit of glycerin and put a few drops in the middle of your permanganate mound. Stand back because the fumes are highly toxic. In a matter of seconds, you’ll see smoke rising from the mound, followed closely by purplish flame. When it’s safe to approach, grab yourself a handful of kindling and longs, move the place to your firepit (don’t forget those safety gloves) and, voila! You now have a cozy fire.

As for the weapon part, I guess you can create makeshift pipe bombs using potassium permanganate and phosphorus. I don’t know for sure if phosphorus is an over-the-counter compound or not, but in SHTF situation, you may be able to combine these two in order to make defensive weapons.

Be extremely careful when mixing potassium permanganate with other compounds. As you’ve seen from the above-mentioned experiment, permanganate doesn’t behave like an English gentleman when combined with stuff like glycerin. Always wear protective gear when working with volatile compounds.

Well, that above covers my take on using potassium permanganate outside the medical field. I hope you’ve enjoyed my article. As always, if you feel that I’ve missed anything, don’t be a stranger and leave a comment.

Outside of surgery, this compound can be used for tons of other stuff, most of them having to do with our favorite topic – getting out of SHTF situation.

Everyone simply adores it and, truth be told, a meal would never be the same without it. I was, of course, referring to salt or, as I like to call it the uncrowned king of spices (that’s because salt is not actually a spice nor a condiment, but a mineral). Anyway, no matter how bad the food tastes, a pinch of salt can make all the difference in the world.

Of course, without this wonder mineral, we wouldn’t have yummy stuff like beef jerky, jerk-style chicken or the wondrous pickled meat. Come to think of it; our own body would have a hard time coping with, well, like it didn’t have enough sodium chloride. Lest not forget about the marvelous sayings this mineral inspired such as “take everything with a pinch of salt” or “being the salt of the Earth.”

Entire books and stories could be written on the topic of salt and for a darn good reason. As for the subject at hand, yes, it is true that sodium chloride can be of help in many SHTF situations, and not just for curing meat or making pickled veggies. Because I’m such a big fan of salt and salty stuff (though my doc told me I should use less) I’ve decided to write this wonderful piece on survival uses of salt.

Little Black book 2

Call it my tribute to the spice that crowns every dish, regardless if it’s a stove-cooked meal or a fancy plateau whipped up by a chef with two Michelin-stars. Now, if you thought that salt’s only useful for brining, pickling or putting taste back into food, you’re dead wrong. After doing a bit of research, I can wholeheartedly say that I’ve stepped into a whole new salt-using dimension. Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself. Here are 12 ways salt can save your sorry can a shit hits the fan situation.

  1. Gum-massaging early in the A.M.

Fact check – no matter how hard you try or what toothpaste use, you can never get that great shade of dentist white- that’s mostly because they use stuff like hydrogen peroxide and light-accelerated bleach. Great if you want to get rid of tobacco stains or plaque, but wouldn’t be recommended it in the long-run since all teeth whitening agents are notorious for weakening the enamel.

Anyway, a very quick, easy, and all-out natural way of getting in a couple of shades of white is by using salt in combination with baking soda and your favorite toothpaste. There are many to do this, the most straightforward one being garbling a mixture of water and equal parts baking soda and salt. If you want to make your own teeth-whitening substance, take a bell-glass and add one tablespoon of salt (aim for the fine grain variety) and one tablespoon of baking soda. Put a bit of water on your toothbrush and sprinkle some of this one top. Wash, rinse, and finish off with regular toothpaste. You’re welcome!

  1. Removing clingy stains

There’s nothing more frustrating than having to toss a T-shirt back into the washing machine just because that pesky stain didn’t come off. Leave the washing machine alone! Here’s the prepper’s way of removing any kind of smudge – while the stain’s still fresh, sprinkle some salt over it. Take a paper towel, dip it in water, and start rubbing. After a couple of seconds, you’ll see that the stain is gone. Works for all kind of smudges – ketchup, blood, dirt, mayo, blueberries. If you have chunky salt, you can try throwing one inside the washing machine for extra cleaning power.

  1. Putting out a fire

Sodium chlorine is held in very high regards not just for its food-rejuvenation properties, but also for being a great fire retardant. If you get yourself lost in some neck of the woods and need to put out a fire fast, forget about sand, dirt or water. Just toss a handful of salt, and everything will be over faster than you realize (I was talking about the camping fire, of course).

  1. Making the itch go away

Stung by poison ivy? Can’t resist scratching that mosquito bite? No problem. Just rub a bit of salt on the sore spot, rinse with a bit of water, and it all goes away. By the way, salt and water can also be used for throat soreness – just garble a bit of salted water two or three times a day and you’ll be on your feet before you know it.

  1. Removing fish scales

In an SHTF situation, fishing can become your only food source. Sure, mostly anyone can reel in a fish with the right tools, but removing the scales – now that’s an art. I managed to cut myself more than a few times while attempting to scale a fish. That’s until I’ve learned this nifty trick – fill a bowl with ice-cold water and add two tablespoons of regular salt. Put the fish inside and allow it to soak overnight. When it’s cooking time, take the fish out, give it a good rinse, and peel off the scales (yes, the scales peel off like snakeskin or something).

  1. Preventing candles from dripping

At some point, probably each of you had to wait out a blackout by the light of a candle. Have no problem with using them, especially in cases that call for this sort of approach (wink-wink), but no matter what I do, I can’t seem to stop that irritating hot wax from reaching my pants. So, if you’re a candle-yes, wax-no kind of a person, you may try soaking the candles in salted water. Leave them overnight, take out, rinse, allow to dry, and that’s basically it. You will have noticed that there’s no more dripping. Awesome!

  1. Patching up plaster or sheet-rock walls

Though it’s safer to call in a pro for this kind of job, you can patch them up yourself in the meantime using water, salt, and corn starch. Do keep in mind that this neat trick works only on plaster or sheet-rock walls (wouldn’t try it on carpentry or heavy masonry). Get yourself a bucket, add some water, and equal parts salt and corn starch. Mix until it becomes pasty. Use a trowel to spread the mix over the wax and cover with a thin layer of paint. Easy-peasy!

  1. Dealing with mosquitos and other pests

And because I’ve mentioned something about mosquito stings and itches, here’s a great way to keep them at bay. Get yourself one of those spray cans and pour inside a water and salt mix. Spray yourself with this mix and around your campsite. Works for ants too. On that note, if you want to keep ants outside your tent, draw a thin salt line around the sleeping area. Will keep out ants, bugs, and even mischievous ghosts.

  1. Open wound management

Yes, I know that the last thing you’ll want to do is to put salt on a wound, especially a nasty one, but this is exactly what you will need to do order to keep infection at bay. Put that salt shaker aside, because that’s not how this thing works. Let’s backtrack a bit. Your blood serum contains sodium chloride, which is used to maintain vital organs like the liver, heart, and kidney in working order.

Docs use so-called isotonic salt solutions (sodium chloride concentration equal to that of your blood serum) to flush out wounds and, if necessary, replace lost levels. And because bacteria abhor salt, a water and salt mix is very useful in the treatment of severe wounds. Here’s what you will need to do in order to flush out an open wound in the field: grab a plastic bottle and fill it with clean water. Add a teaspoon of rock salt and shake the bottle until the salt dissolves. Put on the cap and use your survival knife to make a small hole in the middle of the cap. When you’re done removing any debris from the wound, flush it with this saline mixture before applying sterile gauze, clean cloth or anything you have on hand.

Little Black Book

  1. Removing nasty smells from shoes

If you’re just like me (thanks mom for the awesome glands!) then you know just how difficult it is to remove nasty smells from your shoes. Tried every footcare products out there – all of them are worth zilch! Do you know what removes pungent smells from your favorite blue suede shoes, apart from not wearing them in the first place? Yup, you’ve guessed it – water and salt. Here’s what you need to do. Dissolve one tablespoon of salt in half a liter of water.

Fill up a spray can with this mix. Spray the inside of your shoes and allow the water to evaporate. You can do the same with new shoes. One other advantage of using salt in footcare – it severely cuts back on blistering. Just use the same solution to spray your soles before wearing those shoes. Might be a good idea to do is if you’re planning on breaking new shoes any time soon.

  1. Whacking driveway weeds

I really lost track of all the times I had to get down on my knees to pick up those f-ing weeds that seem to sprout out of every crack in the driveway. What’s even worse is that, if you wait too long before rooting them out, those things can make a hole in the driveway. So, to prevent those weed from growing, grab a little salt from the kitchen and put some in every crack you see. You should also consider mixing up some mortar to patch up those cracks.

  1. Extend milk’s shelf life

I know that the fridge is milk’s BFF, but even this cookie refrigeration contraption can’t keep milk fresh forever. Nothing can, by the way, but there’s a clever trick that can help you extend the milk’s life by at least a couple of days – putting some salt inside the container. Yes, I know it sounds strange, but salt does have this kick-ass property of preventing milk from getting sour. Just be sure you don’t use too much. Otherwise, you’ll probably end up with something that can hardly be called palatable.

So, that’s about it about using salt in a shit hits the fan situations. I’m aware of the fact that some of tips and tricks I’ve shown can hardly be associated with disasters, natural or otherwise, but hey you don’t need a nuke or EMP to be up your neck in crap. Anyway, hope you’ve enjoyed my article on how great salt is (I can never seem to stop praising it). As always, if you feel that something’s missing from the list, be sure to hit the comments section and let me know.

Before you go, you should check out these 7 most wanted goods this month:

Book of Income (Get an extra $6,840 per year out of your Social Security benefits) [Complementary Book Inside]
Cash for Patriots (Trump’s shocking new plan to help distribute cash to American Patriots)
Cancer Curing Vaccine (U.S. Government Document Admits We’ve Had It Since 1962)
Secret “$50 Marijuana Stock Blueprint” (Turn a single $50 bill into a massive fortune)

Little Black Book (46 Ways to Collect Consistent, Work-Free Income) 
Klebsi Plague (If you were born before 1961 you are at immediate risk)
Marijuana Millionaire Playbook (Now is the time to bet big on Marijuana) [Complementary Book Inside]

Call it my tribute to the spice that crowns every dish, regardless if it’s a stove-cooked meal or a fancy plateau whipped up by a chef with two Michelin-stars.

Back when I was in college, I needed money so bad, that I was forced to take quite a lot of odd jobs. Who wasn’t, right? One of the oddest, if I can call that, was working as a book salesman in my home town. You’re probably asking yourself right what kind of person would complain about selling books. I, for one, of course, and probably most of my former co-workers.

See, recommending a title to someone or arranging them on the shelves were the easy parts – you still had to haul them by hand or cart from the back. So, right before I told my manager that we could take his job, wrap it in barbed wire and shove in the place where the sun doesn’t and won’t shine, we had a really busy week.

Long story short, I had to haul quite a lot of book-filled crates. Next morning, my back felt so sore, that I could hardly get out of bed. From there it got progressively worse: numbness in the feet, cringy back pain, stuff like that. My doc told me that I had something called lumbar discopathy, a very fancy word for your spinal column being broken.

Although I’ve tried my best to take it easy, sometimes, I can still feel pain shooting down my back. Thanks, college-me for this marvellous gift! I hope you get psoriasis or something. Anyway, many years later, I’ve tried almost any type of back treatment, short of surgery, for my raging back pain – physical therapy, diets, more exercising, less straining, you know, the usual. For a while, I was okay-ish, but when the weather went sore, so did my back.

Finally, after reading tons of stuff on this subject, I happened about a quaint little recipe which, according to the author, can relieve any kind of join, back or knee pain. Sure, I always preferred witchdoctors over MDs, but why the Hell not, I said to myself.

I kid you not when I’m saying as this stuff smells nasty, and it tastes even worse. But, by God, it really does what’s it supposed to do – take away the pain (wish it could do the same to memories).

Now, the recipe I’m about to show you involves three types of seeds and raisins. I know that it sounds like a stomach-churning combo, but give it a chance. Apart from being great at dealing with all sorts of pains and pangs, you can use leftovers to create survival energy bars. You can also eat it for breakfast instead of cereals, poached eggs, pancakes or whatever.

So, here’s the wonder-med I’ve been talking about.

“Dead leaves, seaweed, rotten eggs, too, stir them in my witch’s brew.”

As I’ve mentioned, this recipe calls for three types of seeds: pumpkin, flax, and sesame. The first is held in very high regard among docs and dieticians since they’re packed with an omega-3 fatty acid, known for its anti-inflammatory effect, zinc, copper, and other essential minerals. As for pumpkin seed, they do contain a fair among of omega-3 fatty acids, along with vitamin B1, phosphorus, and selenium.

Sesame seeds are highly recommended for people with brittle bones, and it’s very effective against any type of inflammation. Word of warning though – curb your sesame seeds intake during pregnancy, as high levels can induce preeclampsia.

Raisins, on the other hand, can aid digestion, since their packed with vitamins, fibers, and a shit-load of minerals. You should consider eating more raising if you have an iron deficiency.

Anyway, this is the basis for this wonder cure. You’re still going to need a couple of more stuff though like honey and gelatin. Let’s get cooking!


  • Honey (two squirts or 200 grams).
  • Gelatin (no more than three tablespoons).
  • Sesame seeds (4 or 5 tablespoons).
  • Flax seeds (8 tablespoons).
  • Pumpkin seeds (a small pack or 40 grams).

How to prepare

I should warn you that this recipe is very challenging. You’ll have to be at a chef’s aide to pull this one off. It calls for extreme concentration, precision, finesse, and knack for balancing the ingredients. Are you for this challenge? Good! Here’s what to do, young padawan.

Step 1. Gather up all your ingredients.

Step 2. Plug in your food processor or blender.

Step 3. Toss everything inside and hit the “pulse” button a couple of times.

Step 4. When the food processor\blender finished chopping the big chunks, switch it to low, and leave the thing alone for a couple of minutes.

Step 5. Switch off the blender, pour the contents inside a bowl, and mix with a spoon or something.

Step 6. Enjoy (or not)!

That’s it! You now know how to prepare the most complicated natural remedy for pains or pangs in the world. About the aspect part – yes, I’m painfully aware of the fact that it looks disgusting, but with the added honey it should taste more or less like semolina pudding. You can eat for breakfast or as an after-dinner dessert; it’s entirely up to you. If there are any leftovers, you can always turn them into survival bars.

It’s super easy: keep your moist ingredients aside and use the dry ones as the basis for your MREs. Add a little bit of milk powder or sugar, mix the batter, add the moist ingredients, and put the bather in the oven. You may want to check my article on how to prepare home-made MREs for additional ingredients and instructions.

So, this simple recipe will help you deal with any kind of pains, back or otherwise. I can’t say for sure how long before it kicks in – can be a couple of days, weeks or even months. In my case, I started feeling a whole lot better after eating this pudding for an entire month.

Anyway, hope you liked my recipe, guys. Hit the comment section to tell me how things turned out for you.

Now, the recipe I’m about to show you is great at dealing with all sorts of pains. It involves 3 types of seeds and raisins. I know that it sounds

I have so much coffee in my system that each time I go to the doctor for tests, the nurse asks me if I have any blood left to give. Indeed, I could write novels about my lifelong relationship with coffee, but today I’m going stick to a topic which is more on the lines of prepping and SHTF – how to use coffee filters in a survival-type situation. Let me just grab a quick cup of Joe before I tell you about the most ingenious ways to repurpose those lovely paper filters. Yes, I know I shouldn’t drink that much coffee, but I can’t help myself. So, what were we talking about? Oh, yes – coffee filters.

Without further ado, here are 15 creative ways to make use of plain filters during a shit hits the fan situation.

To wipe your bum

You need to go number two but have no TP left in that fancy bug out bag of yours? No problem! Grab a handful of coffee filters and let nature take its course.

To dine like a hopeless ‘romantic.’

Each time I go hiking, I always forget to bring my portable eating set. Well, there’s nothing wrong in eating with your hands, but what about plates? Grab a coffee filter, cut it along the edge with a pair of scissors or survival knife, and voila, you have a disposable plate.

Keeping your glasses clean

There’s nothing worse than fogged or dirty glasses. Yes, I know that you know where all the things are and that you don’t need to clean those specs, but, hey, we live in a world of conventions. If you lost your cleaning rag or have nothing else on hand, just use a coffee filter to give them glasses a good wipe.

Making an ice-pack

If you need to apply ice to something, grab some from the freezer, place in a couple of coffee filters and tie around the neck using your cordage of choice.

Improv Band-Aid

No more Band-Aids in your first-aid kit? Grab a coffee filter from the kitchen or backpack and place it on the wound. Keep that pressure steady to stop the bleeding.

Improv funnel

If you have to transfer liquids from one bottle to another, take a coffee filter, and snip the tip. Place over the opening and pour the liquid.

Water filtration

Water filtration tables may be cheap, but those things are worth their weight in gold during a shit hits the fan situation. If you ever run out of purification tablets, stack a couple of coffee filters, and use them to sort of strain the water.

Remove persistent stain from clothes

A quick and headache-free way of removing nasty stain from clothes would be to apply some baking soda or hydrogen peroxide and to scrub clean with a small piece of the coffee filter.

Use them as food wrappers

In the wilderness, there is no corner store to buy food wrappers such as plastic or aluminum foil. If you haven’t got any of those in your bug out bag, put your food inside coffee filters and tie them using a piece of dental floss.

Improv feeding bowl for pet

The trouble with food bowls is that you have to search far and wide to find high-quality items. In my experience, ceramic bowls are the best – resilient, cheap, and the pet’s food won’t have a metallic taste to it as in the case of aluminum. In the meantime, you can use coffee filters to feed your pets. Just stack a couple of them, fill them with wet or dry food and keep hitting those pet shop for better feeding bowls.

No more poison ivy itching

If you tiptoe through the wrong vegetation, you may end up with some nasty poison ivy rashes. There’s no need to hit the drug store for this one. Run a hot bath. Meanwhile, get some coffee filters and stack them. Fill them with dry oatmeal and tie with string or dental floss. Toss this satchel in the bathtub and get in. After a couple of minutes, you won’t feel any kind of itches. You’re welcome!

Freshen up your linen closet

If there’s too much stink in the linen closet or wardrobe, you can make an air freshener using a couple of stacked coffee filters and some dried-up lavender flowers. Place the flowers inside, make a knot, and toss inside the closet\wardrobe. You can also make a similar satchel for your car or living room. If you cannot stand the smell of lavender, grab one of those potpourri mixes from the supermarket and replace.

Keep your toolbox neat and tidy

It usually takes me at least a couple of hours to fix stuff around the house. Well, most of this time is spent searching for the right screws or nails, which end up at the bottom of my toolbox. To keep that bag of tools organized, place smaller items like nails, screws, pins or bolts inside coffee filters. You can either use a small piece of dental floss to tie each satchel or some duct tape.

Keeping those nasty insects away from your food

Yes, I know this is the third time I’m complaining about insects on my food, but I just can’t help myself. If you’re having trouble keeping those nasty buggers away from your yum-yums, take a coffee filter, cut it along the edge, and use it to cover your food. By the way, in case you lose the wine cork, you can stick a couple of coffee filters inside the bottle.

Drying your hair and body

Towels are a must-have for every B.O.B, but sometimes they’re more useful for other stuff than drying your body. If you want to take a quick shower but have nothing to dry yourself with, use a couple of coffee filters.

That’s it for my article on ways to use coffee filters in an SHTF situation. What’s your take on this? Hit the comments section and let me know.

Before you go, you may also like:

This is more than just about your guns…
How to survive any medical crisis situation with ease
10 Easy Steps to Secure your privacy
Secret Military Solution For Power Independence

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

So, what were we talking about? Oh, yes – coffee filters.Without further ado, here are 15 creative ways to make use of plain filters during a shit hits the fan

I would lie if I said that I don’t envy all those wonderful homesteaders who managed to put a couple of bucks outside for the root cellar. Yeah, those things are really great (if you have them, of course) and not to mention very useful during any kind of shit hits the fan situation – a hole in the ground, some stones, a couple of shelves, and you’ve got yourself a gigantic fridge capable of storing veggies, legumes, pickles, and whatnots.

Ingenious, that’s what it is! However, if your home doesn’t come with a root cellar, building one from scratch takes a lot of time, energy, and, yes, a shit-load of money.

Fortunately, there is a way to tap into Mom Nature’s icy powers without the need to fork over too much cash. Being a very determined guy, I have searched high and low for ways to recreate a root cellar without actually having to build one. Sounds crazy, right? Not in the least, as you’re about to see.

The idea to write this short and sweet piece came to me after watching a documentary on National Geographic about ancient food storage methods. Can’t remember the name of the show, but there were these two guys traveling around the world and interviewing homesteaders about how they make food last longer.

In the last part of the show, there was this man from China who was quite a bit of a local celebrity, thanks to his top-notch Kimchi. For those of you who don’t know, Kimchi is Asia’s version of pickled cabbage. However, instead of using canning jars, homesteaders would place the thinly-sliced cabbage inside a ceramic jar, which would later seal with wax before burying it in the Earth.

So, with this in mind, I snooped around the Internet and found a simple and cheap way of making a mini version of the root cellar using only an old metal barrel. Here’s how to whip up a backyard cellar in order to store your veggies.

Gathering the necessary materials

For this project, you’ll need the following:

  • A shovel.
  • A barrel (I would go with a galvanized metal barrel because they’re easier to clean and fare much better underground compared to the plastic ones).
  • Rocks (shape and size don’t matter).
  • Straw.
  • Several pieces of plywood to cover the lid.

Ready with the gear? Neat! Let’s get to work, then.

How to build a mini root cellar in the backyard

Step 1. Find a suitable place to dig a hole. I would advise you to place your barrel\future root cellar in a sunny spot. You should also make sure that there are no water pipes or electrical lines running nearby.

Step 2. Once you found a suitable location, grab your shovel and start digging. The hole will need to take the shape of the barrel. As for depth, it all depends on the size of the barrel. Just be sure that the rim stays on top, with the remaining underground.

Step 3. After you’ve finished digging the hole, remove any deep roots or pebbles from the bottom. Moreover, ensure that the end of your pit is dry.

Test the ground – if it feels moist to the touch, it means that there’s water underneath which is a big no-no. I know it’s annoying, but if this happens, you will need to find another location for your root cellar. Mark the spot in case you’re thinking about adding a well to your property.

Step 4. Fill the bottom with the rocks you’ve brought.

Step 5. Place the barrel on top of the rocks. Ensure that the body of your barrel remains below the freezing line while keeping the rim up top.

Step 6. Place some earth around the barrel to seal it in. Don’t put on the lid yet.

Step 7. Prepare the veggies or fruits for storage. If you’re not sure about the thingamajig’s cooling action, you can try it out on a couple of potatoes.

Step 8. Place a handful of straw on the bottom of the barrel.

Step 9. Place your veggies on the straw. You can add more vegetables if you like. Just remember to put some straw between your veggie layers.

Step 10. Put the lid on the barrel, put the plywood boards on top, and cover with dirt. Congrats! You’ve just made your first backyard root cellar.

Additional Consideration on Mini Root Cellars

Building’s the easy part, but knowing what and how to store – that’s a bit challenging. The first rule of the game is never to mix your veggies with fruits. If you plan on storing fruits, you should consider placing a second root cellar.

The reason why fruits and veggies should never be placed in the same barrel is because of ethylene, a plant hormone which induces ripening in fruits. The same substance that makes fruits yummy-yum-yum will cause your veggies to ripen and rot a lot faster.

A root cellar built in this fashion will allow you to store food at a decent temp (somewhere between 32- and 40-degrees Fahrenheit), with humidity at around 95 percent.

For this reason, you’ll be able to store even short-lived veggies such as cauliflower, brussels sprouts, celery, kale, endive or leaks. If the seal holds, you can look forward to a scrumptious carrot-based dish even after six months. As far as fruits are concerned, you should ensure that your root cellar has a bit of moister compared to the one used to store veggies.

After consuming every veggie or fruit from the barrel, I would recommend giving it a good wash with the power hose and use plenty of detergent. I can’s put my finger on it, but I believe that this kind of contraption can also be used the summer to keep your fruits and veggies cool.

In most cases, the mini root cellar can extend the shelf life of fruits and veggies by at least a couple of months, with one exception – kale. If you’re planning on storing some kale, keep in mind that you can’t keep it in for more than two weeks.

Think I’ve missed something? Have another way of building a root cellar in your backyard? Hit the comments section and let me know.

If you didn’t start digging, you may also want to check out this offer coming from our partners at Easy Cellar. As well as the many benefits of having one in your backyard.

A hole in the ground, some stones, a couple of shelves, and you’ve got yourself a gigantic fridge capable of storing veggies, legumes, pickles, and whatnots.

Surviving winter used to be a much more literal scenario. It was only a couple hundred years ago that winter meant death for many. The cold would take them or starvation. Illness was another big killer during the winter months.

Much of this was attributed to malnutrition.

A lot has changed since then, but winter is still a tough season to deal with. It only takes a small emergency for you to be reminded of the power and effect of cold weather. Here are some of the biggest concerns for the modern day winter survivor.

  • Power Outage
  • Automobile Breakdown
  • Blizzard

There are several ways that you can prepare for these instances, but you must put some work in ahead of time. Let’s look at a number of things that you a do to prepare for next winter, starting today!

Your Car Kit

To deal with the automobile breakdown or flat tire in winter you need to have a winterized car kit. This kit can stay in your trunk during the winter season, but it will make all the difference when you need it.

What kind of items should you include in your car kit?


Heat is Paramount

How do you heat your home? Is it time to consider using alternate methods of heating your home? When the power goes out and your heater stops running you realize just how vulnerable you are to the cold.

As the night moves in it gets even colder and the warming power of the sun disappears on the horizon.

In those cold moments you start wondering about things like a wood stove. A wood stove offers you several benefits. The right model will warm you and it will give you a means of cooking food. These are powerful heating elements that give you another option when it comes to keeping warm in the winter.

A smaller model can be had for around $300 and will easily keep your family warm in the winter, when all else fails.

This spring you should get some quotes an consider adding a wood stove to your winter arsenal.

Preparing for Winter Weather

Outside of clothing and heating systems you are also going to want to consider the hardware of winter. What do I mean by hardware?

  • Shovels
  • Salt
  • Ice Scrapers
  • Snow Blowers

These are very simple items to have on hand, but most people must rush out and buy them when they are needed.

Rather than wait for the winter storm to go to the hardware store, you should create a winter stockpile of salt, shovels and ice scrapers that you always have on hand. That will put you in a place where you can have success and do not need to rush out into the panicking masses.

Cold Benefits

Its not all bad. If you have a warm home and have prepared for winter, there is real beauty in the season. Many people are taking intentional plunges in cold water or cold showers in the morning to increase vitality.

There are several benefits in this. One of the most important is the boost in immunity.

It’s much easier in the winter and you can find yourself outside early in the morning taking advantage of that terrible cold.

A great way to start your day is to head out side in your skivvies before the sun comes out. Spend 5-10 minutes out there and focus on taking deep consistent breaths. This is a great way to wake up, get your cold benefits and start your day.

Boosting immunity is important in the winter because of flu season. This can help but so can a number of other things. Ralph La Guardia penned an incredible book on immunity, health and treating injury and illness.


It’s called The Doomsday Book of Medicine and is everything you need in a home medical resource. Follow this link and learn how to put together your own medicine chest. 



Canning and Preservation

Our ancestors would have depended heavily on what they could can and preserve for winter. This canning would take place in the spring and summer but would be called upon when fresh foods were all gone.

While you have the ability to run to the market and pickup up those disgusting hot house tomatoes, you might use Spring and Summer to focus on canning and preserving your own home grown tomatoes. These are very important aspects of self-reliance.

As your harvest comes into season you can eat a percentage and can a percentage. We all reach a point where

If we are looking to maximize nutrition, canning our own vegetables will assure we are getting the best possible produce in the winter. No, it will not be fresh, but it will be high quality.

Get your hand a good canning book or preserving in general. Salted meats are another great way treat in the cold winter months.



Its not that we must prepare for the next winter as though modern society will fail, however, you will find much deeper satisfaction in being prepared. The truth is, we never know when the next big storm or power outage is coming and if we depend solely on modern amenities it can be to our detriment.

Winter can be a monster but if you use it as motivation it can take you a long way.

This push towards self-reliance and independence is real. Its hardly a fad. We spent the last 50 years on an increasing wave of convenience, and we are now living with the consequences of that. We can see the affect on the planet and on our mental and physical health.

Owning your existence is an important part of our future and future generations. We were never meant to depend on others for things like personal preparedness. There is fulfilment in being ready for all seasons and all situations.


Surviving winter used to be a much more literal scenario. It was only a couple hundred years ago that winter meant death for many. The cold would take them or

Wait! Before closing this article, hear me out. Yes, I know it sounds utterly disgusting, but you would be surprised to discover than dandelions are, at the same time, yummy and quite healthy.

In fact, according to some researchers who have nothing better to do than to test out just how edible wild plants are, dandelions are packed with zinc, potassium, iron, and calcium. If that wasn’t enough to convince you, then get this – dandelions are the second-best source of natural beta-carotene after carrots.

Even more, research indicates that tinctures and teas made from the stems and flowers can reduce blood pressure and help patients with diabetes better manage their blood sugar.

Anyway, because I’m always on the lookout for ‘exotic’ emergency food recipe, I’ve stumbled upon this little jewel while doing a bit of research on healing plants. It’s true that dandelion tea is great for the digestive system, but when mixed with a bit of flour and baked until golden-brown and crispy, it becomes a treat worthy of a king’s feast.

Interestingly enough, although tea made from dandelion flowers is a bit on the bitter side, bread is very sweet. Don’t know if it’s because of the extra honey or the taste of baked dandelions. Anyway, here’s how to prepare a loaf of delicious dandelion bread (has quite a ring to it, don’t you think?).

Gathering the ingredients

To make dandelion bread, you will need the following:

  • One cup of freshly-picked dandelions.
  • Half a cup of honey.
  • Three tablespoons of veggie oil.
  • One egg.
  • Half a teaspoon of salt.
  • One and quarter cup of cow’s milk.
  • Two cups of regular flour.
  • Two teaspoons of baking powder.

Are you ready with the ingredients? Well, time’s a-wasting. Let’s get cooking!

How to make dandelion bread

Step 1. Go out the back and pick up some dandelions (just enough to fill a cup). Discard the roots because you’ll only need the flowers and the stems. Head to the kitchen, toss them in a strainer, and give them a good wash. Make sure that there’s no dirt left on them.

Step 2. Place your dandelions in a bowl and grab a cutting board and a sharp knife.

Step 3. Use your knife to separate the flowers from the stem. You can toss the stems into the garbage or add them to the compost pile. Your choice.

Step 4. Mince the dandelion petals. Don’t worry about getting a couple of stems in the mix.

Step 5. Pre-heat your oven. Aim for 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 6. Grab a large bowl from your pantry. Add the flour and your minced dandelion flowers. Give it a good stir and add a pinch of salt. Last, add the baking soda and continue mixing.

Step 7. Get a deep plate. Add your milk, honey, oil, and egg. Use a whisk or a fork to combine the ingredients. You can add a little more honey if you like your bread sweet.

Step 8. Pour the milk, egg, honey and oil mixture over the dandelions and flour. Use a fork or your hand to incorporate all of the ingredients. If the mix feels too gooey, add a quarter cup of flour and keep mixing.

Step 9. Grab a bread pan from your pantry and put some baking parchment inside. To prevent the parchment from sticking to the pan, brush the inner part with sunflower oil before arranging the paper.

Step 10. Transfer the mix to the baking pan and use a spoon or spatula to spread the mix.

Step 11. If you like all-cereal bread, you grab a handful of sunflower seeds or your favorite mix and sprinkle some on top of the bread.

Step 12. Stick the pan inside the oven and set your timer to 15 minutes. Bear in mind that, in some cases, it may take a while longer. The bread loaf should have a golden-brown color.

Step 13. After the surface begins to change color, lower the oven’s temp to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Close the hatch and leave it in for another 20 minutes. There’s a quick and easy way to find out if your dandelion loaf’s done. Works for any kind of pastry, by the way.

Grab a toothpick or a clean piece of wood and stick it in the thickest part of the dough. Take out the stick and look at it. If there’s dough on it, leave the loaf for another 10 to 15 minutes in the oven. Don’t forget to lower the temperature to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. If the toothpick comes out clean, it means that it’s ready.

Step 14. Take the loaf out of the oven and allow it to cool for a bit before cutting it.

Congrats! You’ve just made your first dandelion bread loaf. What I like about this recipe is how easy it is to make it. With regular bread, you would need to use yeast in order to make the dough grow. More than that, it takes a bit longer to prepare, since you need to allow the yeast to act before placing it in the oven.

Word of caution before preparing this recipe – take care when choosing your dandelions. Unripe dandelions aka those that kids pick up and blow on it to make the flowers fly are very toxic.

Only use mature flower – you can easily recognize them by their yellow tint. Giving them flowers a quick wash will get rid of most dirt and earth. However, I would recommend submerging them in cold water and leaving them to soak overnight. Give them a rinse before adding them to the flour and baking soda mix.

Dandelion bread’s very tasty and pairs off nicely with smoked salmon and Velveeta cheese. It makes for an excellent breakfast with a thin layer of butter or margarine, of course.

As for storage, I placed a couple of leftovers in a vacuum-sealed bag (be sure to check out my piece on vacuum sealers) and tossed them in the pantry. Two weeks later, the bread’s still crunchy and highly edible.

Like my kick-ass dandelion bread recipe? Hit the comments section and let me know what you think.

Dandelions are packed with zinc, potassium, iron, and calcium. If that wasn’t enough to convince you, then get this – dandelions are the second-best source of natural beta-carotene after carrots.

A best friend in need (BFIN) is a great friend indeed – especially if it can suck the air out of every bag, helping you organize the shit out of your B.O.B.

I was, of course, referring to the vacuum sealer (although that could have easily described every guy’s first-gold-digger-mistaken-for-true-love relationship), a great piece of technology that makes packing a piece of cake. Sure, many of you would come off telling me that this nifty gadget’s been around for quite a while and that I should get out more, but better late than never, as our grandparents used to say.

Indeed, I have to admit that the vacuum sealer’s been somewhat of a late-coming revelation, but that’s mostly because I had the impression that there’s nothing more than I could’ve learned about neat packing.

I was dead wrong. Anyway, I stumbled upon this gadget during one of my trips to the downtown thrift shop – paid around 15 bucks for the sealing machine and two dozen packs of sealing bags. I guess you can also order it online or find it at a hardware store or something, but if you come across one in a thrift, don’t miss out on the opportunity.

So, after packing everything that can be packed, I decided to write this piece to share with you people just how helpful such a doodad can be, especially if you have trouble organizing your stuff. And because nobody likes very long and tedious foreplay (unless there’s booze involved), here are a couple of cookie ways of how to use a vacuum sealer around the house.

  1. Creating weatherproof containers for your meds

Why waste a truckload of bucks on the weatherproof first-aid kit when you can create one using vacuum sealer bags? Thank you, Internet, for telling me this after spending 150 bucks on a heavy-duty kit from my local drug store.

Anyway, if you really want to make a medkit that can withstand anything from heavy rains to snow storms or any Kingdom Come events, grab everything you need and place them in one of these nifty bags. Be careful when sealing your items, especially when it comes to stuff that doesn’t take kindly to moisture. A great workaround would be to seal your medical supplies with a small desiccant silica gel pack.

That should get rid of any remaining moisture. Now, if you really want something hospital-grade, you can try out this nifty trick – get yourself one of those cosmetics bags (you can usually find them in any supermarket, especially around Father’s Day) or a padded Pepsi cooler. Next, take everything out of your regular first-aid kit and separate them. Put your pickup scissors in one sealable bag, sterile gauze in another, painkiller meds in the other, and so on.

Make sure that every object is sterile before placing them in the sealable bags. Vacuum the air out of each bag, place packs in your cooler or cosmetics bag and, voila, you now have a hospital-grade first-aid kit. What I like to do is leave a small gap in the upper part of the bag, in cases I need to break open the pack really fast (you should do this for stuff like gloves, gauze, and pickups). You can seal off the rest completely.

  1. Storing important documents and copies

As you know, one of the most crucial aspects of preparing a bug out bag is ensuring that you have at least one folder or something that contains copies after important items such as house deed, medical insurance, driver’s license, and whatnots. Sure, you can go ahead and buy a folder or something for your documents, but watch out for drizzles or snow.

One clever way of making sure that your docs remain intact no matter what would be to put them in a vacuum sealer bag. I did this for all my docs and copies, Yes, you can seal even the originals. Now, if you have very old documents, it would be a good idea to laminate them instead of placing them in vacuuming bags.

Apart from the fact that they look really neat and ready to be framed, the lamination foil also protects them from stuff like oil, moisture, dirt, dust or anything that may hasten the paper’s weathering rate. I found out that vacuum sealing is a great way to safeguard old docs, books, sketchbooks, and notebooks from those blasted paper moths which literally eat everything in their path (that’s how I lost my Don Quixote princeps edition).

  1. Keeping valuables away from prying eyes

If you have valuable objects like jewellery, gold & silver bullion, Tim Hortons discount tickets, you should consider vacuum sealing them before stashing them in your hiding place of choice. In this form, they’re way easier to retrieve and, believe it or not, vacuum protects valuable objects from things like moisture, dirt, dust, mold, mildew, and, of course, people who ask far too many questions.

If you have gadgets that are no longer of use to you, don’t throw them away if you can salvage the component. Put them in a sealable bag and stash them in your garage or something. Remember that in an SHTF situation, an older but functional phone battery can become more valuable than a bar of gold – priorities! It’s always a question of priorities.

  1. Crafting tailored MREs

Nothing beats that feeling of having a well-organized B.O.B, especially when it comes to the food part. MREs come in all shapes and sizes, meaning that sometimes it’s pretty challenging to keep everything nice and tidy. A great workaround would be to make tailored, vacuum-sealed MREs.

Here’s the deal: no two preppers have the same tastes in food. I, for one, like homemade meals ready to eat and would gladly get rid of stuff like crackers, biscuits, beef jerky, trail mix or potato chips. Whatever your SHTF culinary preferences are, sealing the food in vacuum bags will help you save a lot of space, which you can use for other gadgets and trinkets. Just be sure to toss a pack of desiccant silica gel in each food bag before using the vacuum to suck the air out.

  1. Weatherproofing hiking and camping supplies

Yes, I know you can use cheap garbage bags to weatherproof your clothes and undies, but do bear in mind that a thin plastic sheeting won’t keep your stuff dry for long, especially if there’s extra moisture in the air. One way of making sure that your clothes retain that out-of-the-wardrobe freshness would be to vacuum seal each piece of apparel before tossing them back into your B.O.B or hiking pack.

  1. Creating cheap storage containers for oil, vinegar, salt, and sugar

Among other emergency food, oil, vinegar, salt, and sugar are known to last almost indefinitely, provided that they’re stored in the proper conditions. With a vacuum sealer, you can create ultra-safe containers for your foods.

Sugar and salt are easy to pack, but you may want to pay extra attention when vacuum sealing oil and vinegar (you should consider looking for bags that come with bottlenecks and stoppers). Moreover, you can also make B.O.B versions by using smaller sealable bags.

  1.  Making awesome marinades

As you know, some types of meats like wild game, need to sit in a marinade for at least a couple of days before it can be cooked. Sure, you can put everything in a zip-lock bag before sticking it in a freezer, but there’s always that small chance of air getting inside.

Another reason why it’s better to use vacuum sealer bags has very much to do with refrigeration. Zip-locked marinade needs to stay cool. Meat and marinade that have been vacuum sealed can be kept basically anywhere because there’s no air left to oxidize the meat. Go ahead and have fun with your vacuum-sealed marinade. Just be sure to cook it soon.

  1. Easy icepacks

Don’t have anything on hand to put the ice in? No problem! Take the ice out of the freezer and toss in a small vacuum bag. Seal, make sure there are no leaks and use immediately. You can also stockpile icepacks for later use.

  1. Making spice and condiment packs

Remember the last time you were out camping, and you had to carry all these spice and condiments packs because you didn’t know for sure which one would pair best with the meat?

Well, if you have one of these awesome gadgets, you can make your own condiment packs and spice mixes. Even better is the fact that you can make person-tailored portions. For instance, if you’re more partial to mustard than to ketchup, you can put a little extra for yourself.

Same goes for the other members of your family or hiking group. As for the spice pack, the vacuum sealer eliminates the need to carry all these small packs of salt, pepper, paprika or whatever. Save yourself the trouble of having to carry those around by creating your very own spice mix. Here’s my all-time favorite:

  • Dried minced onion (around three tablespoons).
  • Dried thyme (one tablespoon).
  • Allspice (one or two tablespoons).
  • Black pepper (one tablespoon).
  • Cinnamon (one teaspoon).
  • Cayenne pepper (one or two teaspoons).
  • Sea salt (one teaspoon).
  • Garlic powder (one teaspoon).

Crush everything into a fine powder, add to your sealable bag, give it a shake or two, and enjoy.

  1. Storing bed sheeting and linen

I used to have an entire wardrobe filled with bed sheets and linen. Yes, I know everyone has trouble organizing it, which is exactly the reason why I went ahead and tried to vacuum-seal everything inside.

It’s best to do this after ironing them (allow them to cool down before bagging and tagging to ensure that there’s no moisture inside the pack). You can throw a pack or two of desiccant silica gel if you like. Anyway, I very much prefer vacuum-sealing my bed stuff because you can store them virtually anywhere, leaving you with extra space for new clothes or whatever.

It’s best to take this one step at a time. First vacuum-seal your winter linen, while keeping the spring\summer stuff within reach. When the time comes to use them again, pop open the bags, and seal the rest. You can do the same with jackets, parkas, hunting socks, scarves, gloves or anything wintery.

That’s it for my list on how to take full advantage of your vacuum sealer. As I’ve mentioned, the machine itself is very cheap (you can probably find one in a thrift store as I did). Still, you may have some trouble finding suitable bags – try Amazon or inquire at the store. You can always buy plastic rolls, cut them to shape, seal one end with a laminator or something if you’re looking to upscale or downscale project. Missed anything? Hit the comment section and let me know your thoughts.

A best friend in need (BFIN) is a great friend indeed – especially if it can suck the air out of every bag, helping you organize the shit out of

I admit that I’m somewhat of a hoarder when it comes to food. No shame in this, only the fact that I’m on round-the-clock freezer and fridge cleaning duty. Yeah, I know it’s kind of a bummer to take a garbage bag and throw away that awfully good food just because you consider your family’s needs nor the fridge’s capacity (true story).

Anyway, after cleaning the fridge this morning, a thought stroke me: what if there’s some magical way of telling if the food’s safe to eat or not? Well, that would spare the trouble of having to clean the damned thing each week, not to mention the fact that I would probably save a lot of money.

As a prepper, you probably know by now that food past its prime is unsafe to eat, no matter how SHTF-ish the situation gets. This is the reason I’ve spent the rest of my day searching for a way to tell apart rotten from safe to eat food. Yes, I needed to ask Google for directions because I’m really bad at colors and, because of this damned cold, my sense of smell is close to nonexistence.

So, before you grab your garbage back to summer-clean your fridge, freezer or both, you may want to take a closer look at my kick-ass list on how to figure out if your food’s still good or packing a six-shooter.

  1. Soggy edges

Could never tell for sure how off my veggies were. I always assumed that as long as they don’t give off a funky smell, they’re good for eating. Dead wrong! Apparently, soggy edges, especially in green-leafed veggies like lettuce, kale, spinach, watercress or cabbage is, in fact, the first sign of spoilage.

Yes, I know that it’s a no-brainer, but as I discovered, people usually disregard this part, telling themselves that the veggie’s safe to eat if you cut around the soggy part. So, if you see any sogginess, brown patches or if the vegetable sort of deflates, it means that it has gone bad and, therefore must be thrown in the trash can.

  1. Discoloration

Of course, nothing spells “spoilage” better than an unnatural color. However, in some cases (red bell pepper) it’s hard to tell if that’s part of the vegetable’s life cycle or a tell-tale sign of spoilage. The best way to see how fresh your veggie is would be to make a small nick on the green part. Pull it aside. If it’s green on the inside, it means it’s safe to safe. On the other hand, if it has a brownish tint to it, do yourself a favor and throw it in the trash.

  1. Molding

While you’re cleaning your fridge and freeze, you may want to take a closer look at the bread and any other pastry you may be hoarding. See, no matter how well you keep your bread, there’s always that chance of mold growing on it. If you see any, throw it away as fast as you.

Heard a doozie some time ago that moldy bread may be safe to eat, at least for a couple of days, if you remove the moldy part and stick the loaf in the oven for 10 minutes. That’s a big no-no, and I would advise you to throw away the bread as well as the other stuff it came in contact with.

  1. Limpness

Veggies such as green beans have a limp-type of aspect after being kept in the fridge for too long. If you see any of that, it means that the legume is way past its prime, meaning that it has lost all nutritional value and could severely compromise your health if consumed. Yes, I know that most of you are in the habit of quick-freezing green beans and other stalky veggies.

Still, the freezer’s not always the best option for long-term food storage. Sure, it can extend the shelf-life by a couple of weeks or even months but, eventually, all of it will go bad. In case of veggies look for paleness and a thick layer of ice. As for meat, ice plus a violet tint equals garbage bag.

  1. Foul smell

The nose always knows! If you pick off any strange odor coming from your food, then it’s more than safe to assume that it really has gone bad. Meat will give off a rotten smell, while veggies will smell just like forest fungi. The same smell can emanate from eggs and eggplants. Keep in mind that eating rotten stuff can result in food poisoning or worse.

  1. To float or not to float?

In some cases, it’s quite difficult to figure out if they’re spoiled or not. Take eggs for instance. If there’s no expiration label on them, it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between a fresh and an old one. Luckily there’s a test you can use to figure out if the eggs are safe to eat or not. Fill a bowl with cold water and place all your eggs inside. If they went under and lay flat on their sides, it means that they’re fresh. If not, then you should consider going to the store to buy a new carton.

  1. Discoloration in meat

There’s a bit of an argument on this one. While some say that meat discoloration is solely the result of poor packaging and exposure to air and, therefore safe to it, others argue that meat turned grey or brown should be tossed in the trash. Can’t say for sure which side is right, but my humble opinion, it’s not a good idea to begin experimenting on food. Best to throw away anything that has an unusual color.

That’s it for my short and sweet guide on how to tell if the food’s still edible or not. As always, if you feel that’s, I’ve missed something crucial, do hit the comments section and speak your mind.

Before you grab your garbage back to summer-clean your fridge, freezer, or both, you may want to take a closer look at my kick-ass list on how to figure out

In a mood for a sing-along? I got just the tune for you – the blackout golden oldie. Yes, it’s a catchy song, and goes along with great with the other great things in life like running of food, water, and brooding in the dark. The piece I did on the makeshift stove using cooking oil inspired me to do a little snooping around for quick and easy-to-do light sources.

Of course, nothing beats a flashlight or an emergency candle in case the power goes out, but what are you going to do when there’s no more juice in that lantern and the last piece of flick died out like the ambitions and desires of a crestfallen lover? Make some more, of course, because that’s we preppers are good at.

In today’s article, I’m going to show you a fast way to create 24-hour emergency candles by harnessing the raw power of your favorite dish – bacon. Yup, you’ve read that right. Bacon’s not only great for breakfast, but can also be used to make portable and highly efficient light sources. So, enough chit chat! Let’s take a look at how bacon candles are made.

Gathering your materials

To pull this off, you will need:

  • A pack of bacon (go for a family pack).
  • A bell glass jar.
  • A wick or a piece of string.
  • A pencil.
  • A cooking pan.
  • A funnel.
  • A strainer.

Ready with the ingredients? Great job! Here’s what you’ll need to do next. Tr

Making Bacon Emergency Candles

Step 1. Put half a tablespoon of cooking oil into your pan. Don’t put too much though because the bacon will leave enough grease.

Step 2. Fire up your stove and start cooking the bacon. Your goal is to melt each and every bacon piece. Don’t trouble yourself too much if a piece is too stubborn because you’re later going to strain the “brew.”

Step 3. When the last bacon piece has melted, kill the fire, and allow the mixture to cool down. Careful while handling that pan because you can get some nasty burns from hot grease.

Step 4. While waiting for the mix to cool down, prepare your candle. Now, depending on how much bacon you’ve used, it may take more than one jar. No problem there – the more, the merrier.

Step 5. Untighten the lid and store it for future use.

Step 6. Tie a knot around the pencil and rest it on the jar’s rim.

Step 7. Make sure that there’s enough of the string inside your jar. Be sure to place the wick right in the center. For reference, leave at least one inch from the rim of your jar.

Step 8. Check up on your grease. Don’t leave it to cool down completely because you won’t be able to pour it into the jar.

Step 9. Grab a container from the pantry and place the strainer on top.

Step 10. When you’re done, use the funnel to fill up the glass jar with the grease. Ensure that the pencil holding the wick remains in the middle.

Step 11.  After you pour the last drop of fat inside the jar, allow the container to put down completely. Stick it in the fridge and wait for the fat to harden.

Step 12. When the grease has hardened, take a pair of scissors and cut just below the know you made. Congratulations! You’ve successfully made your first bacon-powered emergency candle.

More on grease candles

The best thing about this candle-making recipe is that you can pull it off with just about any kind of grease. I prefer bacon because it’s ludicrously cheap and I usually have enough to go around the house. It’s possible to make these beauties using other fat from other animals. Duck meat, for instance, is a great source of fat. Didn’t try it myself but I don’t see any reason why you can’t use other types of fat.

As I’ve mentioned, during the cooking part, it may be possible to get stuck with undissolved bacon chunks. I wouldn’t advise you to continue cooking the mix as you will probably end up setting fire to the kitchen. Use the strainer to pick up the rogue chunks or a pair of thongs to remove the pieces directly from the pan.

Ideally, you should use special wicks. They’re not that expensive, and they do a far better job compared to other textiles. However, should you find yourself short on wicks, you can always replace them with thin pieces of strings or shoelaces (just be sure to snip off both ends before using them).

Word of caution of using shoelaces as wicks – some of them have a rugged coating on them. Great for weather-proofing, prevents warping, but not so great for burning. Stick with regular cotton shoelaces. Of course, you can always a piece of paracord or another kind of cordage.

Yes, I know that the idea of staying on a bacon-candlelit porch may be enticing, but I would advise you not to take them outdoors as there’s a fair chance of being overrun by bugs, especially mosquitos.

The pencil part is not mandatory. You can use anything to keep the wick aligned, like a toothpick or a small twig.

Yes, it is possible to make candles that last longer, but you will need more bacon and a bigger jar. Still, I don’t see the point of making bigger ones as the entire idea is to make something light enough for your B.O.B or backpack.

Be extra careful when handling the bacon pan. That stuff burns like Hell. You should also keep the fire on low or medium-high to prevent the hot grease from jumping off the pan. In case you get a grease burn, stick your hand in running cold water and keep it there for at least 15 minutes. You may need to apply a sterile bandage afterward.

That’s about it on homemade candles! Be sure to hit the comment section and let me know how your project went.

Of course, nothing beats a flashlight or an emergency candle in case the power goes out, but what are you going to do when there’s no more juice in that