(Natural News)
Hygiene is crucial when you’re living in a post-SHTF world.

It’s good to know which plants can be used as soap even if you’re just looking for an environment-friendly and cheaper alternative to store-bought soap. (h/t to UrbanSurvivalSite.com)

But how can plants be used as soap?

The secret lies in saponin, a naturally-occurring compound in many plants, especially those with waxy cuticles. To use these plants, you chop them up and rub the pieces in your hands with water to create a lather.

Here are some common plants in the U.S. that can be used as a soap substitute.

Baby’s breath (Gypsophila)

Baby’s breath is often used in floral arrangements and this bush plant blooms with delicate white flowers in the summer. It grows hardy in zones 3 to 9 and you can use baby’s breath roots to make a soapy solution.

First, boil the roots in water. Stir the water until the foam forms.

Strain out the plant debris, let the liquid cool and use the resulting mixture as soap.

Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum)

Bracken or eagle fern is a fern that grows in the forests and woodland areas of zones 3 to 10. Its underground rhizomes, which have black root hairs, are full of saponin.

To make soap from bracken, dig up part of the rhizome and chop it into small pieces.

Boil the chopped rhizome in water until you have a sudsy solution. Strain the liquid and let it cool suds before using it as a natural soap.

Buffaloberry (Shepherdia rotundifolia and Shepherdia canadensis)

Buffaloberry or soapberry has high levels of saponin. Native Americans also used buffaloberry for medicinal purposes and to make tea.

Use buffaloberry to make a mild, natural soap by boiling the stems and berries in water. Alternatively, you can rub the berries in your hands with a small amount of water to prepare a mild, soapy solution. (Related: How to use plants to maintain personal hygiene even when SHTF.)

Buffalo gourd (Cucurbita foetidissima)

Buffalo gourd is related to pumpkins and squashes. It is also sometimes called coyote melon or calabazilla.

The plant has leaves that are covered with small spines and vines that produce small gourds.

When foraging for buffalo gourd, look for large, heart-shaped leaves and yellow, five-petaled flowers that smell a little funky. It bears fruits by mid-summer.

To make soap, pinch off some leaves. Make sure you avoid the sharp, tiny hairs.

Rub the leaves in your hands with a bit of water to create a green, foamy lather. The younger the leaves, the better the quality of the soap.

Ceanothus (Ceanothus americanus)

Ceanothus is an evergreen shrub that flowers in the spring. Also called soap bush and mountain lilac, ceanothus can be used to create a lather by rubbing the leaves and flowers in your hands with a bit of water.

Clematis (Clematis)

Clematis is a climbing plant that is often used as an ornamental plant. Both the foliage and flowers of the clematis have a high concentration of saponins, making them perfect as a natural soap alternative.

Crush and boil clematis leaves or flowers to make a soapy solution. Another option is to rub the leaves and flowers in your hands with a bit of water.

Horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)

Horse chestnut is a member of the soapberry family and it produces shiny brown seeds that are high in saponins. The tree bears showy pink or red flower clusters that thrive in zones 3 to 8.

To make soap, remove the green husk of the seed and soak it overnight to soften it.

Once softened, chop or crush the seed with a spoon. Strain out the debris to create a soapy solution.

Alternatively, you can create a quick lather by rubbing the exposed seed in your hand.

Soaproot plant (Chlorogalum pomeridianum)

Soaproot plant is also known as amole, soap root or wavyleaf soap plant and it is usually found in California and Oregon. Soaproot plant has long, wavy-edged leaves and unique star-shaped flowers on a long stalk. Note that the flowers only bloom once a year and only at night.

After you dig up the bulb, remove the brown fibers encasing it. You’ll be left with what looks a little like a white onion.

Peel off several layers of the white bulb and rub them in your hands with a little water to produce a rich lather.

Soapweed yucca (Yucca glauca)

You can make a thicker soap from the root of the yucca plant, but you can also just cut off one leaf at a time.

When cutting yucca leaves, carefully avoid the leaf’s sharp edges. Snip off the leaf’s pointy tip, then strip the leaf into thin strands.

Rub the fibers between your hands with a small amount of water to create the “soap.”

Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis)

Soapwort can be found in many parts of North America, especially zones 3 to 8. The plant blooms with five-petaled pink or white flowers from July to September.

Use soapwort leaves, flowers or roots as soap. Make the green lather by rubbing the plant’s leaves and roots in your hands with some water.

Alternatively, you can boil the plant parts in water. Strain out the debris, then set the liquid aside to cool. Use the soapy solution for washing.

Wild mock orange (Philadelphus lewisii)

Wild mock orange is a flowering deciduous shrub that grows primarily in the West and Southwest. The plant’s leaves, flowers and bark all contain saponin.

The plant is hardy in zones 3 to 9. To make soap from wild mock orange, harvest parts of the plant and place them in a jar of water. Cover the jar, then shake vigorously until foam forms.

Strain out the plant debris, then use the liquid left behind as soap. The plant produces soap with a pleasant citrusy fragrance.

When SHTF, maintain proper hygiene and use plants like clematis or buffalo gourd as a soap alternative.

Visit HomeGardeningNews.com to learn more about other plants with many survival uses.

Watch the video below to know how to make soap from scratch.

This video is from the .

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by the author of and

Should things completely go sideways, every prepper knows that violent chaos will ensue. Not only will folks do things they’d never ordinarily do in order to feed their families, but some people will give into their base instincts. There are a lot of people out there who are only restrained by the prospect of severe consequences if they were to do what they truly want to do.

All of this means that security post-SHTF is essential. Whether it’s your small suburban homestead, your place in the country, or a billionaire bunker, any place people have hunkered down with supplies and resources to survive could be subject to attack. This is something Selco wrote about in-depth in his books, and it’s really just a matter of when, not if, after a societal collapse that this kind of violence erupts.

Most of us have a plan to defend our homes and retreats. But what about those mysterious ultra-wealthy preppers who are putting plans into place? How do they intend to keep their elite properties safe?

Unsurprisingly, they don’t think like the rest of us.

Douglas Rushkoff wrote a fascinating article for the UK Guardian in which he shares a meeting he had with five extremely rich tech and hedge fund investors. Rushkoff writes about the impact of digital technology on our lives and is often tapped to speak with investors regarding the future of technology. For the sake of this conversation, let’s forget about the fact that Rushkoff is a self-proclaimed Marxist.

When he was invited to meet with “ultra-wealthy stakeholders” way out in the desert, his curiosity was piqued.

The conversation quickly veered away from technology and toward doom. They wondered about their bunkers, their locations, and the most likely end-of-the-world scenario to strike.

Then came the discussion surrounding security.

“How do I maintain authority over my security force after the event?”

This seems to be the point at which the paths of ordinary preppers and CEOs of brokerage houses diverge. Most of the folks I know plan to hunker down with a trusted community of close friends and family. The concept of maintaining authority has never really crossed my mind. (Is that just me?) When you’re cooperating with a team, vs. hiring a team, I suppose the outlook is different.

Anyway, the question above took up an hour of the conversation. Rushkoff wrote:

They knew armed guards would be required to protect their compounds from raiders as well as angry mobs. One had already secured a dozen Navy Seals to make their way to his compound if he gave them the right cue. But how would he pay the guards once even his crypto was worthless? What would stop the guards from eventually choosing their own leader?

The billionaires considered using special combination locks on the food supply that only they knew. Or making guards wear disciplinary collars of some kind in return for their survival. Or maybe building robots to serve as guards and workers – if that technology could be developed “in time”.

Ummm…did they just suggest putting shock collars on Navy Seals?

You know you have a completely different outlook on life when someone blithely suggests that the best way to gain loyalty from a fellow human being is by putting a collar on them and torturing them into compliance. Is it just that high-finance executives look at others as resources? Or that they’re accustomed to having full authority over other people?

And does any of that even matter? This philosophy tells you everything you need to know about these people.

Rushkoff tried appealing to their humanity.

I tried to reason with them. I made pro-social arguments for partnership and solidarity as the best approaches to our collective, long-term challenges. The way to get your guards to exhibit loyalty in the future was to treat them like friends right now, I explained. Don’t just invest in ammo and electric fences, invest in people and relationships. They rolled their eyes at what must have sounded to them like hippy philosophy.

This is what most of us would do – build relationships. But this is not how other people think.

Powerful people will still want to be powerful.

My takeaway from this is simple:

The folks who consider themselves “the elite” right now have every intention of remaining “the elite” after it hits the fan. And then, they won’t be restrained by pesky labor laws, the potential of being charged with human rights violations, and basic morality.

The article goes on to praise the plans of JC Cole, a former president of the American chamber of commerce in Latvia. Cole agreed that the best way to ensure loyalty was treating people decently. His plan honestly sounds a lot like that of the average prepper – it’s one of community.

JC showed me the “layered security” protocols he had learned designing embassy properties: a fence, “no trespassing” signs, guard dogs, surveillance cameras … all meant to discourage violent confrontation. He paused for a minute as he stared down the drive. “Honestly, I am less concerned about gangs with guns than the woman at the end of the driveway holding a baby and asking for food.” He paused, and sighed, “I don’t want to be in that moral dilemma.”…

JC is no hippy environmentalist but his business model is based in the same communitarian spirit I tried to convey to the billionaires: the way to keep the hungry hordes from storming the gates is by getting them food security now. So for $3m, investors not only get a maximum security compound in which to ride out the coming plague, solar storm, or electric grid collapse. They also get a stake in a potentially profitable network of local farm franchises that could reduce the probability of a catastrophic event in the first place. His business would do its best to ensure there are as few hungry children at the gate as possible when the time comes to lock down.

His idea isn’t a novel one, but it’s probably difficulty to fathom for the billionaires that Rushkoff went to see.

A futuristic feudal society?

Imagine a world in which people think fitting shock collars on their security teams is a reasonable course of action. Now imagine those people are in charge, and they’re unfettered by laws and media exposure. In their ideal scenario, we’d be looking at a new-age feudal system, where they have all the power and the rest of us have to kowtow in order to eat.

Freeze-dried food for thought, isn’t it?

It’s a system that has occurred throughout the history of the world, over and over again, when a few had the power of life and death over the many. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that if some folks had their way, it would happen again.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you have a security philosophy you want to share in the comments? Would you ever hire yourself out to people to handle security in return for safety? Let’s discuss this in the comments.

Hat tip to 1stMarineJarHead for the link!

The post Ultra-Wealthy Preppers Ponder Shock Collars to Keep SHTF Security Personnel In Line appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

This content was originally published here.

(Natural News)
When preparing for different long-term survival scenarios or economic collapse, your preps will usually include getting the right gear and stockpiling food supplies.

One item many preppers are predominantly preoccupied with is food. Food is crucial because even though humans can survive without food for weeks, slow starvation will degrade both the body and mind.

No matter what kind of food you want to stock up on, it must be stored properly if you want it to last long. This is where proper food storage procedures and techniques come in. (h/t to ModernSurvivalOnline.com)

Using the right food storage and preservation methods will improve your overall diet, reduce food waste and help you stay prepared for most survival scenarios like long-term power outages or major SHTF events

Many food storage and preservation techniques work because they help reduce or even completely eliminate bacteria and other microorganisms that contaminate food, causing decomposition and spoilage.

Traditional food storage and preservation methods

Try these traditional food storage and preservation methods if you want to start with basic techniques or if you don’t want to spend too much on different tools and high-tech equipment.

If you are dealing with a liquid that requires storage, boiling is one of the most effective ways to kill microorganisms.

Boiling works the same as other heating methods. It pushes the temperature past the point where bacteria, viruses and other microbes can survive. This effectively kills pathogens, and they cease posing a risk to the integrity and safety of the liquid being preserved.

Use a campfire, stove or any other heat source to reach the sustained temperature necessary to boil water, milk or other liquids.

Burying is one of the oldest and most effective traditional food storage and preservation methods.

Burying preserves food by depriving bacteria of oxygen and lowering the ambient temperature. Burying also eliminates light that could reach the food. (Related: Food supply tips: 5 Food preservation methods to learn before SHTF.)

Burying helps lower the pH level of the environment around the food. The drier and saltier the soil is, the more effective this method will be.

Root vegetables are perfect for burying since they are naturally resistant to spoilage under such conditions. You can also use this method for items that are stored in a root cellar.

Canning is a common food preservation method. It is great for preserving fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy products. Canning food involves placing cooked or processed food in a sterilized jar that is then sealed and boiled to kill off any bacteria that may still be in the food.

Canning requires some practice, but if you use the proper techniques, it is one of the best methods for food storage and preservation.

Here’s a list of some foods that are suitable for home canning:

Chilling or cooling food drastically decreases the rate of decomposition by significantly slowing down the reproduction, growth and action of different microorganisms and the enzymes they produce that break down food and cause it to spoil and rot.

Modern refrigeration isn’t the only way to effectively chill food. In cold climates, you can practice cooling by setting food outside in boxes to protect it from animals. You can also use a root cellar or icebox.

Confit is a method of preparation and preservation originating in France. It consists of slowly cooking food at a low temperature while fully immersed in oil, grease, syrup or its own rendered fat (when using meat).

Once cooking is finished, the food is stored in its own cooled and congealed liquid if it is not to be immediately served.

Popular foods for confit preservation include fruits cooked whole (or in pieces when using larger fruit), meats or poultry. You can also make confit out of sturdy vegetables like potatoes.

Meats are cooked in their own rendered fats at a very low temperature and never higher than 185 F.

Curing or salting

Curing or salting is the process of preserving and simultaneously flavoring meat, fish or vegetables by adding a lot of salt.

Salt draws moisture out of the food via osmosis, which increases the amount of salt in the food and simultaneously reduces its moisture content.

This keeps food safe from a variety of microscopic organisms like bacteria. Curing is a simple and affordable technique even for newbie preppers, but it is not recommended for anyone watching their salt intake.

Freezing food is an upgraded chilling method. It prevents decomposition by turning the moisture present in food into ice, halting the growth of almost every species of microorganism responsible for the degradation of food.

One major advantage of freezing is that you don’t need to use preservatives while the food remains frozen. Reaching a stable temperature of 15 F or lower will prevent bacteria from growing and significantly extend the shelf life of food.

Foods with a modest to low moisture content freeze best and thaw for preparation with minimal loss of taste and texture. Meanwhile, foods with a high moisture content or delicate consistency may be rendered unpalatable by freezing.

Heating or cooking food is probably the most essential and basic form of food storage. Heating food works like other methods of food storage by killing microorganisms responsible for decay by warming them to a temperature where they can’t survive.

However, once the food has cooled down or heat is no longer applied, bacteria can once again flourish in the food.

Jellying preserves food by cooking it in any material that solidifies into a gel form. Most people think of gelatin when they hear the word jellying because it is one of the most common and popular substances used for the procedure.

Other workable jellying ingredients include agar, arrowroot flour and maize flour.

Jellying is most commonly employed in North America to make fruit preserves, jams and traditional jellies. You can also use this method to make savory items like traditional tomato aspic.

Lye preservation

Lye preservation uses lye and sodium hydroxide to change the pH balance of food.

Lye is extremely alkaline and food that has been treated with it is rendered too alkaline for any bacteria to grow and flourish.

Pickling is one of the most delicious methods of food storage and preservation on this list. It is used to preserve food in various liquids that inhibit or kill microbes.

Pickling is used to make different dishes and foodstuffs like pickled cucumber or corned beef and pickled eggs.

Sugaring is similar to curing and draws water from food, dehydrating and killing microorganisms.

Sugaring usually requires the dehydration of food which is then packed or surrounded with pure sugar, either in crystal form or in a liquid or syrup form. Fruits and root vegetables are excellent candidates for sugaring.

You may have to skip this method if you don’t have a lot of sugar in your stockpile.

Modern food storage and preservation methods

Try some of these methods if you don’t mind investing in pricier food preservation tools and equipment.

Chemical preservatives

There are two types of chemical preservatives: antioxidants, which absorb oxygen and prevent the degradation of food components, and antimicrobials, which delay or halt the growth of bacteria, fungi and mold.

Cryodesiccation or freeze-drying

Cryodesiccation is more commonly known as freeze-drying.

Compared to typical dehydration that relies on heat, cryodesiccation is a multi-step process that begins by freezing the food and lowering the atmospheric pressure around it. Once this is done, ice crystals evaporate via sublimation.

Freeze-dried fruits have higher quality than dehydrated fruits. Freeze-drying allows food to retain its texture, shape, taste and nutritional value, but this method requires the right equipment.


Vacuum-packing is a process that stores food in a ready-made environment deprived of interior atmosphere and oxygen. Bacteria need oxygen to survive so vacuum-packing suffocates bacteria and prevents the majority of other bacteria from growing.

Vacuum packing is often used on foods commonly stored in bags or bottles. Vacuum-packing is quick and efficient, making it a great option for beginner preppers. However, it requires using the right machine and is completely dependent on electricity to operate.

Food storage and preservation is a crucial prepping skill if you want to extend the shelf life of food in your kitchen and survival stockpile.

Watch the video below for three tips on how to sterilize home canning jars.

This video is from the .

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This content was originally published here.