The citizens of this country are conditioned to wait for the authorities to show up during a crisis. Your local government even goes so far as to tell you what you should stockpile for a disaster. Everyone has heard the mantra leading up to a natural disaster. You need at least a three-day supply of canned goods, water, batteries, and candles and do not forget the hand operated can opener.

Survivors of disasters in many cases have come to realize that the government itself is not prepared for a crisis. Super storm sandy victims learned firsthand how well certain organizations operate during a disaster and to this day, many of the survivors are still in recovery mode. Disaster relief agencies actually shuttered their offices during the crisis because of “bad weather”.

Financial problems, political posturing and mismanagement means that most communities are not prepared for any type of major calamity. This means that survival is an individual responsibility.

The threats and possible disaster scenarios that might befall the country or larger cities are too numerous to mention. Anyone that has been paying attention knows it is just a matter of time. It is not if but when hackers slip through the firewall or another so-called national security agent goes rouge and really causes damage, and no one really knows as of yet if the latest one has set the wheels of our destruction in motion or not.

The Government

The government is designed to survive so it can continue to govern in any situation. That is why leaders and others are whisked away to secret bunkers at the first sign of trouble. Leaders must survive to lead at any cost and this means during a national or world crisis the average citizen is on their own.

The end justifies the means and the government will commandeer supplies and people such as doctors, engineers, and others to keep the government going. Your local government may be forced to provide to a higher authority (federal government) before they can provide to you.

Survival at the Individual Level

Given everything, you know about past disasters a three days’ supply of food and water is not near enough. Power disruptions can last for weeks or even longer, water treatment plants can be damaged and it may take weeks to get them back on line. If you are not prepared for the worst-case scenario then you are not prepared at all.

The simplest of things that you take for granted can cause you problems during a crisis. For example, what will you do with all of your household garbage if the sanitation trucks do not run, what about sewer systems that are not operational, and what will you do about not being able to push a button and communicate with others. The simplest of things will cause great angst during a crisis if you have not planned. Not to mention the things that really matter such as water, food and medical care.

Change Your Way of Thinking

Freedom gives you the ability to succeed or fail on your own and it is not freedom if you expect the government to take care of your every need. The government has its place and job to do as do you.

Set goals, achieve those goals and move forward. For example, your first goal is to get to the point you can survive for 90 days without intervention from anyone. Once that is achieved, go for six months and so on.

Ultimately, you will need enough emergency supplies to sustain you while you develop alternative food and water sources. However, you should be thinking about other sources of food and water long before you will need them.

What tools and supplies will you need to grow your own food using hydroponics, Aquaponics and traditional growing methods? Most of you will not want to survive on just fruits and vegetables so you will need other foods such as fish, chickens, goats and possibly even larger farm animals if you have the land and resources to raise them.

Most of you cannot make dramatic changes such as purchasing acres of land in the wilderness or building underground bunkers so you have to work within certain parameters. There is much that you can do however, but you will have to plan around certain things because of the fact there are some things you cannot change.

This content was originally published here.

Native American fish trap. The funnel opening has to have a large enough opening for the fish or turtle to swim into,

This content was originally published here.

If you have served in the military then you are very familiar with the terms light and noise discipline. The military takes this seriously, as should you, or anyone else who has to move about at night and must stay concealed from an enemy or anyone that may be a bit too inquisitive.

Military vehicles have blackout lights mounted, which allow a driver to see the ground just a few feet ahead of them. The lights are hooded so you essentially have to be in a position to look up at them to see them because the light is focused primarily on the ground. The lights can be seen by other drivers and ground guides who help the driver navigate. Blackout tail lights are also used, and instead of the bright red light, they are typically diffused white lights that can only be seen from a few feet away.

Civilian vehicles, unless specially adapted do not have blackout lights, so driving at night can be hazardous without lights, and you still have the problem of the brake lights even if you run with the headlights off. Obviously driving at night is not recommended if you want to stay concealed.

If you have to position a vehicle at a campsite or bug-out-location at night, then you would have to disconnect the taillights and shut off the headlights and use ground guides that have red lens covered lights to help guide you into position. Running up and down the highway without any lights at all is very dangerous at night.

A military style flashlight typically has more than one lens that can be easily changed out.

 The flashlight is shaped so when attached to your pack’s shoulder straps, it shines directly in front of you. A red lens would allow you to see a few feet in front of you while protecting your night vision at the same time.

A red light preserves night vision, while a blue light provides high contrast for map reading and taking a compass bearing, for example, and a green light improves visibility in forested regions and game animals are not spooked by the light if you have to night hunt. Infrared light is only visible through infrared goggles.

While a red light will not ruin your night vision nor can it be seen from a great distance, it will not, however, defeat Night Vision Devices (NVD’s). A special lens cover and/or light are required. There are certain lights that can only be seen by NVD’s.

The flame from a lighter or match lighting a cigarette can be seen by the naked eye from a great distance at night and if someone is searching using an NVD then a flare from a match or lighter is like a runway lighting up. The smoke from a cigarette can be picked up by the nose from several hundred feet away and even more if there is a breeze.

Regardless of the lens, if you have a way of concealing your light to read a map or compass then do so. Use a poncho, for example, or any type of heavy material to hood or cover the light near the ground.

Fires for cooking and water purification should only be used during daylight hours and never used in the same area you plan to stay at overnight. Calls of nature should be done before dark, as well as any eating, gear repair, and map reading if possible. It is always recommended that you stay put after dark, but if you do have to navigate then light and noise discipline is critical.

It’s impossible to move through the woods without making noise. All you can do is reduce/control the amount of noise. Tape or otherwise secure slings on your weapons, gear and all equipment you carry to keep loose parts from rattling.

Reduce talking and use ear buds when using communication devices. Nothing gives you away quicker than the crackling static of a radio. Keep communications between personnel to whispers close to the ear.

Vehicles, of course, give off noise so driving at night when others may hear you is certainly not recommended if you want to stay hidden.

Cell phones need to be set to vibrate and any chimes signaling a text or other action must be muted as well.

If you have to patrol, you should stop and listen periodically, not only does this stop the noise you are making but allows you to hear others moving about. The slapping of branches and the crunch underfoot of leaves and twigs can be heard by anyone in the area if they are listening.

Set up listening posts (LP’s) along the perimeter of your camp. These posts are static, usually only providing concealment and not cover unless you can build a bunker style post, but keep in mind being able to extract yourself quickly from the position must be given careful consideration. You also cannot block any sounds by surrounding yourself with protective cover. Observation posts (OP’s) on the other hand can be better fortified.

It takes practice to move at night without giving off a noise and light signature. You have to move more slowly, this means patience is required and you have to learn to stifle pain from a branch poking you or slapping you in the face, for example.

Your own breathing may prevent you from hearing just how noisy you are and also prevents you from hearing others that may be in the area. Learn to control your breathing and if you can’t navigate a few hundred yards without gasping for breath then work on your overall physical fitness.

This content was originally published here.


The SAS (Special Air Service) is a British Army special forces unit, and is revered as one of most elite fighting forces. So when British author, survival consultant, and former SAS member, John “Lofty” Wiseman wrote the SAS Survival Handbook, it was almost a given that it would be chocked full of extremely useful information. This is a book more geared towards survival in a combat situation, but one can apply the same principles when their not under fire as well. The Handbook was originally published in 1986, but has went through several revisions since then. Now it’s also available in a pocket sized version that can be easily stowed away in an emergency pack or your pocket, for quick referencing.

Anyone that has opened an old Army field manual will notice something off the bat. This book is comprised of all the useful survival information in those field manuals and put out by the US Department of the Army. Dealing with physical fitness, defensive positions, and militaristic ways of approach to survival, this read covers a ton of scenarios. When SHTF, and some places get turned into a war zone, the information in this book will come in real handy.

This guide offers 101 easy, DIY style projects to get you and your family ready for disasters. A lot of the tips are fast, effective, inexpensive things a person can do to prepare. This book is a great beginner’s guide with tips like: Start a Food Storage plan for $5 a week, learn to cook without electricity, or packing a Bug Out Bag. This book will certainly get you started in the right direction.

Cody Lundin is a survival expert that one could say is cut from a different cloth. That’s not saying he’s any less of an expert though. This book is something a family that’s not prepared at all, could pick up and get started in the right direction. Geared towards emergency scenarios that are plausible everyday, this is a book filed with information on what the everyday person would need to do. Highly recommend this to the urban and suburban survivors.

Written by former survival reality show host, and YouTube sensation, Dave Canterbury brings us Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival. This is a must-have book to any amateur bushcrafter. The author is extremely well versed in primitive survival skills (as well as being former military) and has brought his knowledge to the people in an easy-to-read beginner’s guide. This book is great for campers, hikers, and folks planning on hitting the woods in a SHTF scenario. Plus, once you’re done with this, make sure and check out Advanced Buschraft: An Expert Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival.

Okay so you’ve Bugged Out, now where do you plan on going? This is a book that was written by a relocation consultant that has spent over 30 years designing high security homes and retreats. If security is a concern when you’re looking for a permanent place to live, this is also the book you want to read. The information is broken down into statistics, graphs and charts, but there are things taken into consideration the everyday person never even thinks of. It also gives some insight on some possible places that would be ripe for rebuilding a society.

7The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering, and Cooking Wild Game: Volume 2: Small Game and Fowl – Anyone planning on Bugging Out to the wilderness had better hope they can hunt and fish. Not only should they know how to hunt, but also how to clean their kill, and be able to cook it. This is an all-in-one comprehensive guide to hunting, butchering, and cooking wild game, but is also a great choice because Vol. 2 focuses it’s knowledge on small game and fowl. These are the types of game one would catch in handmade snares, which is perfect for wilderness survival.

The Doomsday Book of Medicine- Dr. Ralph La Guardia has spent over 30 years researching the topic of treating medical emergencies when there are no doctor’s or hospitals left. This book is so full of information on off-grid medical practice that it is unreal. One could call this the “Encyclopedia” on the topic. Almost anything you could think of that could ail you, is touched on in this book, and ways to deal with it.

Another thing people will need to be educated on if they plan on hitting the woods to survive will be wild edibles. This is a great, well-rounded book on finding, identifying, knowing the seasons of harvest, and collection and preparation of wild edibles. Complete with color photographs, an index, harvest calendar, and an illustrated glossary, this is an easy book for any beginner to use. Samuel Thayer’s follow up, Nature’s Garden, along with this book, are a couple of must have’s on the specific topic.

This is another great book for people just starting to prepare. Touching on subjects like food caches, amateur radios, and CERT training, this book touches on great topics and goes in depth to each of them. Dealing with a wide range of disasters, this guide ultimately helps you prepare for any of them. Written by Dr. Arthur Bradley, a former US Army infantryman with a Ph.D. in Engineering, this is just another one of his fantastic reads on the subject of preparedness.

This content was originally published here.

Written by: James Cole

A big economic crash, government failure, or other widespread society melt down is definitely coming. In the middle of this catastrophe, money in the bank, gold in your home, or collector’s antiques aren’t going to matter too much.

What is going to matter are skills. What goods or services can you provide that will be useful for others? During and after an economic meltdown, survival will be the challenge. The basics of food, shelter and clothing are obvious. Other skills will be extremely useful to travel, commerce, and aggressive defense.

The concept of private barter and alternative economies has been so far removed from our daily existence here in America that the very idea of participating in commerce without the use of dollars seems almost outlandish to many people. People sometimes forget that the smallest and most convenient storage space is in their own heads. If you find yourself in the midst of a disaster and you need to either build or fix something, having the necessary knowledge and skills in your mind instead of in a book will hugely benefit your ability to survive.

There’s no way of telling quite how different life after a major disaster or serious collapse of society could be, but humans are remarkably resilient, so life would certainly go on.

One thing is certain, though: in the aftermath of a widespread disaster or the collapse of civil society as we know it, you’ll want to have useful skills and items that you can barter or trade with. Once society collapses, bartering will become a business, a black market business if you will, likely run by criminal elements. Individuals will have items they can barter with, but in most cases, a person would not be able to afford to part with the items they do have. Anyone not prepared will have nothing to barter with, so looters will be active as well as desperate.

Looters and other criminals will steal so they can then use the stolen items, or just to barter with for other goods. Real trading will be based On ‘long term’ items. Seeds, not food. Arrows, not ammo. Tools, not filters. See, once the ‘short duration expendables’ are consumed, you won’t be re-supplying, you’ll be making your own or doing without. From turning your own arrow shafts, to cutting arrowheads from old license plates; from building filtration weirs to filter water, to needing copper tubing to make ‘wood-fired-water-heaters’. Knowledge and durable supplies (axes, hammers, spoke shaves, saw blades, etc.) will be the real money.

He who has stocked dozens of saw blades will be king. He who sits on a case of toilet paper will be sad he didn’t learn how to replace it with what they used 200 years ago, instead (FYI, toilet paper is only about a 100-year old concept – ask yourself, what did they use before that, and get a real clue – because THAT is VERY valuable in the long term!)

So, forget stocking for that 2-week event, it’s not that difficult. The hard part is stocking for the total paradigm shift, that few remember how to do much of. You won’t be making your own saw blades anytime soon. Now, ask yourself, what else will you NOT be making, that you need to learn how to make, or replace with older technology, before you need it (or need to trade it).

THE SKILLS THAT WILL REALLY MATTER AFTER SHTF

Organic Gardening and Seed Saving:

Skills involving food production will be the most valuable in a post-collapse society.Learning to grow your own food is a must.  Obviously, it is necessary to feed your family, but you will also be able to trade your abundance for other items. Additionally, learning to save seeds will also provide another excellent means of trade.  Understanding permaculture design for your garden can help reduce water consumption and use the lands natural resources. Aquaponics can provide plants, fish, and store water. Watch this video to understand how aquaponic sistems work.

First Aid, CPR and Herbal Remedies

With the possibility of illness and injury, knowledge of first aid, C.P.R. and using proven natural, home remedies will be necessary. Medical commodities will be extremely in demand in a national melt down situation. The more you are able to treat on your own, the better.

Keep in mind, if you can go to the doctor or hospital, and use conventional medication- DO IT. You may want to have friends who know how to run a medical clinic.

17 NATURAL ANTIBIOTICS OUR GRANDPARENTS USED INSTEAD OF PILLS

Water Treatment

Without water, humans cannot survive. The estimated survival period for humans without water is three days. Knowing how to store and purify water will be essential. If you can store large amounts of water, not only will you be a good provider for your family, but for friends and local communities as well. Boiling water is one sure way to remove contaminates.

Welding

The ability to build strong structures is relevant across so many different categories. Welders from Advantage Manufacturing Ltd work on everything from auto transport, to home equipment, to other specialized tasks regularly. If you can work metal, you are an asset to transportation, construction, and community defense.

Food Preservation

Not being able to jump in the car and go to the store, fast food restaurant, or coffee shop will be an adjustment for most of us. Knowing how to produce and preserve your own food will be an essential skill. Those who can make this adjustment will likely be the ones who will survive.

Being at the mercy of what the land can yield will be something new to us. Vegetables only grow in seasons, unless you have a greenhouse (recommended).

Canning, jarring, making jams, jellies, and jerky will keep food in the house when food prices drastically increase, and when you lose the fridge and freezer.

Food Processing and Preservation:

Learning to process and preserve foods will be another huge skill in a post-collapse world. Taking seasonal abundance and preserving it for future consumption or trade will be vital.  Remember, learning to do this with limited electricity is a must. One necessity for every homestead is having someone who knows how to butcher animals and preserve them for future consumption by smoking, salt curing, or dehydrating. This can also include learning to brew beer, mead, vinegar, or other alcoholic beverages from meager ingredients.

AUTUMN FLAVORS: OLD BEEF JERKY RECIPES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Hunting, Fishing, and Gathering:

Learning to fish and hunt is essential to survival. Having the proper gear and training will be priceless after the collapse of modern civilization.  Having reference guides for edible plants in your region, repairing weapons, trapping wild game, and fishing are great tools to have if you haven’t the time to learn them now. You should also take the time to learn or refine your skills on hunting using quiet weapons like bows, slingshots, knives, and spears.

Animal Husbandry:

Knowledge of animal husbandry can provide endless amounts of sustainable meat, eggs, and milk to you and your tribe.  Your farm animals are the most valuable food source you have since they can reproduce. Knowing which animals to breed and when is an important part of farming and should not be learned through mistakes.

Cooking:

Knowing how to cook without using your time-saving, electricity driven appliances may not be as easy as you think.  Practice cooking with your stored food supplies using no or very little electricity.  You will soon realize how much more time and preparation it takes to do what once was a simple task.  Learn to cook using a dutch oven, a sun oven, an outdoor fire pit, and whatever means you have for cooking.

Foraging:

Someone who knows how to forage for wild edibles and can increase your food supplies, becomes an asset to any group. There will be a high demand for this skill.

Caring for Clothes

Keeping clothes is decent shape is something to consider. Inability to replace a wardrobe because simple items like t-shirts, socks and undergarments could cost a fortune that cannot be afforded could be problematic. Learn how to sew with a single needle and thread, instead of a machine, same with the laundry, washing by hand. Weaving and quilting could also be helpful skills.

Climate Survival

With the climate being as it is, heating, cooling, drought, flooding, and other extreme weather disasters are something to be prepared for. Dressing for the elements using common sense will help. The simple act of knowing how to start a fire, without matches or a lighter will come in handy. Try a magnifying glass or prescription glasses and the sun, if rubbing sticks does not work.

Self-Sustainability

Self-sustainability is one of the most important skills to learn.  You can store food, water, and everything else you may need for survival but when those stored supplies run out, and they will, how will you replenish them?  Knowing how to live off the land, grow a garden, raise animals, store seeds, hunt for food, or make your own clothing can prolong your survivability. A very important skill is knowing how to cure meats and butcher animals. This might take a little while to show its merit, but if you’ve got the guts and knowhow to slaughter and butcher a variety of animals for consumption, demand for your skills will gradually return and rise as society starts to regulate again. Even during the hardest of times, if you can find work as a butcher it is usually sufficient to allow you to keep food on the table, as you can at least trade your skills as a butcher for a suitable share of the meat, if nothing else. For more info about cured meats read the articles bellow.

POTTED MEAT: A LOST SKILL OF LONG TERM MEAT STORAGE
OLD FASHIONED PRESERVING-GRANDPA’S RECIPE FOR CURED SMOKED HAM

Communication Compensation

It’s widely accepted that the fall back form of communication will be HAM radio in the event of a widespread disaster. Operating one of these puppies is no small task. Special training and hands on experience are required to properly use them. However, the ability to communicate on a massive scale will be extremely valuable.

Ham Radio:

Do you have your ham radio license or at the very least own and know how to operate a ham radio?  Having a skilled ham radio expert in your group is a necessary key component to keeping up on communications and knowing what is going on in the world around you.  Remember, tv, cell phone, the internet, will all most likely be down.  Understanding how to make and set up an antennae to improve your radio signal and knowing morse code are other valuable skills to include in your arsenal.

Communications:

Not all people know how to truly communicate well with others.  During stressful and hazardous times, people with great communication skills will be valued for their abilities.  Knowing how to handle and calm down people and even groups on the verge of fighting can save lives.

Languages:

Knowing a second language is a great skill to have.  If you were to know a second or even third language what would you choose?  Hopefully you would choose the language of your most dangerous threat.  Knowing what others are saying over radio communications can be a very valuable piece of intel.

PRIMITIVE SKILLS/WILDERNESS SURVIVAL

Take away all electricity and go back to the old ways of living.  What did your grandparents or great grandparents do?  How did people survive during the great depression or dust bowl? If we don’t understand our history we are doomed to repeat it.  Some skills that will be useful are: fire making, camp cooking, basket weaving, pottery making, animal tracking, tool making, tanning hides, rock climbing, knot tying, etc.

Other useful skills include teaching, knitting, piloting an aircraft, sailing, music, etc.

The only way to understand how we can live without our electricity driven modern conveniences is to live without them.

SHELTER

Shelter building can really fall under two categories.  One being outdoor wilderness survival and the other would be construction to your current home and property.  In this section we will focus on the later.

Construction:

Construction skills will be very important in a shattered civilization.  These skills, especially without power tools, are not something you learn overnight.  If you have some basic skills it may be worth learning a few techniques for building small structures with crude hand tools.  There are many books teaching anyone how to build basic cabins, sheds, and composting outhouses.

Here’s a list with the best items you can stock for trading:

  • Tools(saw blades, hatchets, axe heads, hammer heads – many sourceable from auctions, garage sales, etc.)
  • A simple still(or the components to assemble one), as this will make your alcohol for drinking, cleaning, medical use, etc. (don’t forget to learn how to make the corn mash itself, or to have extra parts put back)
  • Bows,arrows and bowstrings.Learn to make alternative bows (PVC bows are excellent, weather-proof), and how to turn arrow shafts, as well as how to lace and tie bowstrings – not all string will suffice for it – dacron works well.
  • Learn to make filtration weirs for water. Forget store filtration units, understand how rain barrels work, how to purify water with boiling, and how settlement works to remove metals. Extra barrels are highly tradeable.
  • Seeds. Forget trading foods, long-term you will have far more demand for trading seeds. Those with the most-seeds and largest fresh selection will draw the best trades.
  • Salt,sugar, pepper and spices.Long-term storable items are great (salt, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, some cheeses, dehydrated or cured foods possibly). He who can build a primitive dehydrator, and had the parts to trade to others, will be king. Dried beans and salt-cured hams can last 24 months, these will be in demand as well. Jerky was used and looked-at differently 200 years ago (the jerky was used as a stew meat with the salt extracted to flavor soups and stews – knowing this extends the use of your stocks – and IS TRADEABLE INFORMATION!)
  • Survival informationis valuable, and in a time when it is desperately needed, being able to have a few copies of condensed information on-hand and barter-ready will be very valuable, indeed. Type up and print a dozen copies of general information that others may not readily have.
  • Ferroceramic rods and striking steels. Fire-making will ALWAYS be critical, and having a dozen extra ferroceramic rods and striking steels will be worth their weight in gold, if it all goes south.
  • Containers. Enough can’t be said for water containers. Seems simple now, but if things go wrong, one of the hardest things to usually find is a good canteen or water jug. Put enough back for yourself, but put more back for trade. The harder to break, the better. I’ve got a dozen military 1-qt canteens laying around here and there, in a pinch, I have 2-3 I’ll use, but the rest can be had – for a price.
  • Blankets.Everyone needs a warm place to sleep. Funny thing is, linens wear out pretty fast – as do blankets. A good blanket is like a good coat. We’ve all planned for clothes (I hope), but when’s the last time you heard someone brag about having a couple of good wool blankets put back? I’ve got two good wool blankets. I paid $40 each for them. Let the power go out, in November, and you not have one. I don’t know how much you’re willing to pay for them, but I know what you’re going to trade me for them, if you don’t want to freeze at night. I won’t trade both at all, but I’ll be looking for what would be several thousand dollars worth of trade for the one I can ‘spare’.
  • Tabacco will have a great demand. Cigarettes, cigars, loose tobacco; supplies may be limited or altogether unavailable after whatever catastrophe has occurred, so tobacco products would become even more valuable than they already are. Tobacco doesn’t keep forever, but properly stored loose tobacco, cigarettes or cigars can last several years.

See, barter comes down to how desperate (or how much does your life depend on it) you are, as to how critical it really is to have for barter. Can you live without toilet paper, versus that last wool blanket? THIS is how barter REALLY works.

Barter is far scarier than you can even understand, if you are UNABLE to assess ‘critical need’ from ‘whimsy want’ right now. Fire, water, shelter, warmth – yeah, you’re going to pay dearly for what you didn’t see fit to pack now. Think about critical needs, before you think all that ammo is so important. I bet my wool blanket is worth AT LEAST all of your ammo, if you’re cold and we’re both armed. Again, don’t plan on thuggery, stock what you can’t afford to trade for. Have extras to trade yourself, in regards to those critical things we MUST have.

Toilet paper? LOL, Davey Crockett didn’t have toilet paper and he did just fine. HE DID have a weapon, a knife, a fire flint, a good blanket, and good clothes and boots. He traded horses, burros, saddles and whiskey. Take a 3-year, 1,000 mile trip in your mind, and imagine only meeting others on the road like yourself. Each packed differently, not all are nice, not all are passive. Now, prepare for the trip in your mind and take it. What do you see yourself needing, each day, as the seasons change, as the environment changes, and as bad and good people cross your path?

Once again, toilet paper is like a good cigar or stick of chewing gum. It might give you ‘modern comfort’, but there are far more important things you need first.

Did you pack them?

We are straying away from our roots on a dangerous road from which there will be no turning back. And the good and bad news is that we are the last generation that can truly do something about it.

We no longer know how to live without refrigerators, without cars, without phones or without supermarkets.

What will you do tomorrow if you simply are unable to buy things?

Saving our forefathers ways starts with people like you and me actually relearning these skills and putting them to use to live better lives through good times and bad. Our answers on these lost skills comes straight from the source, from old forgotten classic books written by past generations, and from first hand witness accounts from the past few hundred years.

 In short, our forefathers lived more simply than most people today are willing to live and that is why they survived with no grocery store, no cheap oil, no cars, no electricity, and no running water. Just like our forefathers used to do, The lost ways book teaches you how you can survive in the worst-case scenario with the minimum resources available. It comes as a step-by-step guide accompanied by pictures and teaches you how to survive like they did 100 years ago.

Get your copy HERE

CHECK  OUR survival and prepping solutions

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WHAT TO READ NEXT:
Useful Skills And Items For Bartering After SHTF
A RETURN TO THE OLD PATHS: HOW TO MAKE PEMMICAN LIKE THE NATIVE AMERICANS
20 LOST RECIPES FROM THE PIONEERS: WHAT THEY COOKED IN THEIR JOURNEY WESTWARD
SEVEN CLASSIC GREAT DEPRESSION ERA RECIPES GRANDMA USED TO MAKE
POTTED MEAT: A LOST SKILL OF LONG TERM MEAT STORAGE
BACK TO BASICS: HOW TO MAKE AND PRESERVE LARD
THE BEST WAY TO STOCKPILE VEGETABLES OFF-GRID
OLD FASHIONED PRESERVING-GRANDPA’S RECIPE FOR CURED SMOKED HAM
HOW TO MAKE GUNPOWDER THE OLD FASHIONED WAY
SURVIVAL HERBAL RECIPES FROM OUR ANCESTORS

OTHER USEFUL RESOURCES:

The 3 Pioneer Survival Lessons We Should Learn

The Most Effective Home Defense Strategies

Old School Hacks for Off-Grid Living

The Medical Emergency Crash Course

The Smart, Easy Way to Food Independence

How to Survive the Coming 100 Years Long Drought

This content was originally published here.

Matt and I did not have cats until we moved out to the country on our 11 acres and realized that something had to be done to take on the rodent problem.

Fact: If you move to a place that is overgrown or near the woods, rodents will try to find a way to be part of your life. It happens to everyone. Living close to fields and forests means you have the perfect corridor for them to travel to you.

How to help out your cats

Here are some things you can do to reduce the temptation for rodents to take up residence at your property.

Picking out a great cat or two

Consider finding someone that has an unwanted litter nearby.

Matt and I know someone that used to raise Bengal and Sphynx cats. Sometimes she had some kittens that didn’t carry the hairless gene or in the case of our fabulous current kitties, Ginny and Scout, their mother Gretchen, a full-blooded Bangel, had a rendezvous with a big solid black barn cat.

When the rain and snow start they still like to sleep on the couch together but not as close as they did as kittens!

Bengals are excellent mousers. In fact, our friend had to put Gretchen up because people in their suburban neighborhood were mad because she was killing all the squirrels. According to our friend, Gretchen was averaging one squirrel per day.

Scout out in the woods squirreling, Fall 2018.

While that may not be ok in some suburbs, out here in the country, it is excellent to have a cat that likes to hunt that much! Well, at least one does. Ginny has decided to be a house cat since we don’t really have a rodent problem on our property like we did when it was overgrown.

Scout takes after her mother and often brings in a squirrel. We have way too many of them, in fact, because it has been such a hard year for animals due to lack of mast in the forest, we have squirrels damaging our shiitake mushrooms for the first time.

Cats provide support and comfort

Ginny sleeps in the bed a lot of nights. She used to get kicked out for purring too loud, but she has it under control. She is an odd cat because she really likes her belly being rubbed. At night she falls asleep with my hand between her front legs, over her heart.

I have a hard time sleeping (see article on PTSD for more details), and she helps.

Despite all that sweetness, she acts weird outside the house if Matt or I want to pet her. She is two Ginnys, indoor Ginny, and barn cat Ginny.

Community cat programs

There are some shelters and nonprofits that have programs where people in the community can bring in feral or community cats for spaying and neutering, shots, etc. and then they can be released back into the community or adopted out as a barn cat to a farm. This is a way for shelters to find jobs and homes for cats that are not suitable for house pets. It helps keep rodents and vermin down and means that fewer cats are put down.

This is a great service for farms that need a lot of cats. Also, I really love how these cats get some basic care and are spayed or neutered so that the population doesn’t get too out of hand. It really saves a lot of suffering due to too many unwanted kittens.

Shelter cats

Adopting an adult cat can be nice, but there is something to be said for getting kittens if you are new to cats and want them to be very attached to you and your home.

My Dad needed a few cats at his house since his cat has grown very old and doesn’t really hunt anymore.

This is my Dad’s old cat. She is a Norwegian Forest Cat. He named her Keisha, but we refer to her as Keisha the Terrible because she likes to swat and is very huge and grumpy!

We went to get a single cat, but due to a very fruitful kitten season, the shelter was overrun with cats! There were several cell blocks of kitties. One particular cell was contained a very outgoing male kitten named “Star.” He kept reaching his paw out to batt at Matt. He really wanted to go home with us. Well, he had a cellmate, a solid black female kitten close to the same age. We brought them both home because at $11 a kitty why not?

Where I live, there is a mobile spay-neuter clinic that comes to the shelters. It is painted with a very excited looking dog with bandaids where he has been “fixed.”

This brings us to an important point about cats.

Getting two kittens that get along is less nerve-wracking than getting a single kitten. With two, they can keep each other company.

Cats can be a great companion for those that are largely housebound.

It has been really good for my Dad to have these kittens. It can be hard for me to get him to exercise as much as possible. The cats make him get up and move around more, especially Jules. The kitten that was named Starr looked and acted so much like that crazy lemur King Julian from the Penguins of Madagascar cartoon. He decided that riding on my Dad’s walker as he went around his house doing things, is the best thing ever. The big plus is that it makes my dad walk around the house more because he is “walking his cat”.

Poisons are awful and dangerous.

Matt and I got desperate when we were living in the camper and had just a small outbuilding. We put some poison out, and the mice took it alright, but they stashed it in our rabbit pellets! We were lucky that Matt noticed it before feeding any tainted food. We immediately threw away all the poison we could find. We searched well and thought it was all gone….then Ruby Pearl, our Great Pyrenees who was just a little puppy at the time, somehow found some under the building where the mice had buried it. We had no idea that was what had happened until several scary bleeding incidents. Rat poison causes hemorrhages and makes blood, not clot. A big dose of Vitamin K, and some Vitamin K pills brought her out of it, and she is still going strong today. I was young and stupid and thought when she first started showing mild symptoms that her teeth were just giving her trouble and then things got worse.

So don’t put out poison because it can stick around for years even after you think you have it all cleaned up.

Nature is full of niches. It is up to you how to handle that

If you don’t have enough rodent predators, then you will have then trying to get whatever they can from you. Cats are a great way to have a sweet pet and take care of the issue. Eventually, it will get to the point where your cats have it under control, and just them patrolling sometimes will be enough to make rodents think twice before spending any time around your place.

Some of you may have read my post on having to clean up some big messes on our place where people had dumped; It is important that you do this too over time. It can be a huge job but getting started is a big deal, and over time you can reduce the habitat for rodents

What to feed cats

There are hundreds of cat food formulas out there. The brands we prefer to feed our cats are Purina products or Diamond Naturals. Both brands are affordable and have not been subject to any recalls that I know of.

While it may be tempting to buy ration style or less expensive cat food, I can tell you that you usually don’t save much overall and your cat has a worse diet. Cats don’t do as well on a diet that is very heavy with corn and soy. They tend to eat a higher quantity of less expensive corn heavy cat food than if you feed them something predominately quality meat based.

Purina Cat Chow Naturals Grain-Free With Real Chicken Adult Dry Cat Food

Diet cat food may be needed at some point

Since Ginny decided to be a house cat most of the time, she started to have weight gain. This can be a problem in spayed cats. We were forced to start feeding her a weight management cat food. Purina One Healthy Metabolism seems to have stopped the weight gain. On the other hand, her sister, Scout gets some extra meat because she is a lot more active. We have two very different cats regardless of them being in the same litter.

Cats that have food in front of them all the time may not hunt as well as those that are fed at regular times and measured amounts. I am not suggesting you don’t feed your cat sometimes but do be careful how much you let them have. It may take a little time to figure out what works best at your house and for your cats!

Transition your cats slowly if you are making a big move

All too many people release their cats at their new place too soon. If you are moving to a totally different property or house, take steps to gradually introduce your cat. It may take a few weeks before they get their full freedom, but that is better than them running off. There have been cases of cats finding their way back to their old home only to find new people there.

Remember to put back some food and wormer for them in your preps.

Cat food can be put in sealed plastic containers like a small barrel. Diatomaceous Earth added to the food can prevent bugs and help keep your cats wormed during an SHTF scenario. It is not a bad idea to include a few moisture absorbers too just to prevent spoilage. If you want to take the time you could vacuum seal some cat food with moisture absorbers and put that back in totes.

Remember that cats that are now allowed to get really overweight really don’t eat that much. Four bags of cat food at 13-16 lbs each can get you through for quite a while.

Cats during a major SHTF situation can help prevent disease and rodent infestations that can destroy your preps and they can help your mindset

Samantha Biggers can be reached at [email protected]

This content was originally published here.

Do You Wear a Belt Every Day: Maybe You Should?

Belts have been in use since the Bronze Age according to historians, but it wasn’t until the 1920’s that belts became a common item used mainly to hold one’s trousers up. Belts, before pants had belt loops were mainly decorative in the civilian world and utilitarian in the military.

Soldiers had gear to carry and so a wide heavy belt was usually buckled around the waist so things could be attached to it such as sabers, daggers, money, water, and tobacco pouches along with rations in small leather sacks. In some militaries, a belt cinched tight around the waist gave a soldier a trimmer looking physique. A tightly cinched belt produced a puffed out chest and a trimmer looking waist, the perfect looking soldier.

Belts today still function as a fashion accessory and a belt can be used as a survival tool. Holsters for handguns, knives, axes, canteens full of water and magazine pouches can all be attached to a belt, but there are other uses as well.

1. Self defense

A belt wrapped around your closed fist can help protect your hands and fingers from cuts and to create greater impact against an assailant’s body. A heavy belt can also reduce bruising and broken hands/fingers caused by striking the head and/or face of an aggressor.

A belt swung with the belt buckle end toward someone can be used to strike at the face or body or used to distract an aggressor so you can escape. A sturdy belt can also be used to deflect baton blows by grasping each end of the belt and holding up so a club/baton hits the belt to help reduce or stop the impact.

2. Emergency First Aid

A belt can be used as a tourniquet, though, not ideal in some cases. Some belts can be drawn tight enough to stop or restrict the flow of blood, while others cannot, so consider this when choosing one to wear.

A belt can be used as a sling, or to secure splints to immobilize broken limbs.

3. Carry Items on Your Waist

Knife sheaths, holsters, flashlights, magazine pouches, and other gear and tools used for survival normally are designed so they can be carried on a belt. If not, it is a simple matter to rig up a system to carry most any tool on your belt.

4. Carry Items

Bundle items to carry such as wood and clothing by securing the belt around whatever it is you need to carry.

5.) Rescue

A belt can be used to help pull someone from the water if he or she can grab the end or a belt can be used help pull someone up a steep incline.

6. Use as a Strop for Your Blades

This one is self-explanatory, but it does require a quality leather belt for stropping knife blades.

Types of Belts

Leather is the most common type, especially for dress wear, but leather has its limitations. It weakens over time and can break at a crucial moment. If you work in an office or have some type of job that requires you to wear so-called dress clothes, then a tactical belt may not be the best option unless you have an understanding boss.

This is not to say that leather is a bad option, but just make sure it is high quality and in good repair at all times.

Paracord belts are a good choice, but once you have to use the Paracord for shelter building, for example, then you have eliminated its use as a belt, and if you had relied on a belt to carry knives, firearms and so forth you may have a problem. Again, Paracord is very useful so you do have to weigh the pros and cons of wearing one.

A sturdy canvas belt made out of webbing material can last for many years and take all kinds of abuse, and for the most part is impervious to water if dried out well before storing away.

This content was originally published here.

Today I am going to share with you how to make an all-natural first-aid antiseptic that you can easily make at home. This homemade antiseptic has excellent antibacterial properties to treat everyday cuts, scrapes and abrasions just as you would with any tube of over the counter ointment. Antiseptic Ointment  Ingredients 1-1/2 ounces beeswax, grated 1 Cup Coconut …

This content was originally published here.

Freeze-dried foods retain virtually all of their fresh-food taste and nutritional content just like frozen foods will. The Freeze-drying process removes 98 percent of the water content but not the flavor or the nutrients. Removing 98 percent of the water and oxygen means the foods will not deteriorate. The last thing you need is to find out during a crisis is that your foods have turned rancid or are well past their expiration dates.

If you have to worry about finding food immediately after a disaster strikes then you were not prepared. Make sure food and water is not a concern for the short or long term so you can focus on developing sources if the crisis is an extended one.

Most of you are familiar with freeze-dried foods. Emergency readiness is on peoples’ minds these days, and so is good quality food for when the SHTF. Preppers and others are looking for foods with an extended shelf life, for foods that taste good and for foods he or she is used to eating, in other words variety is important and so freeze dried foods do fit the bill.

Mountain House has a significant variety of freeze dried foods. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner entrees are available along with desserts and side dishes.

Just because there is an emergency does not mean you have to eat foods you do not like. However, this requires being prepared for an emergency. Being prepared means you have choices, choices made when you are not under stress, so you do not have to scramble and fight for the last can of pork and beans on the shelf at the local grocery. You cannot prepare during or after disaster strikes, you have to be prepared well ahead of the catastrophe. 

Mountain House foods started out nearly 50 years ago, and one of their pivotal moments was when they started supplying nutritious and good tasting food to our elite United States Military units.

Shelf life is important and Mountain House foods in the pouches are good for 12+ years when stored under the proper conditions, and food in the cans are good for 25+ years. Store it and forget it you might say.

GMOs and Gluten Free Foods

Mountain House does offer a line of “Gluten Free Products” along with a vegetarian line, as well as, low sodium foods.

However Mountain House does not offer Non-GMO Project Verified products at this time, and no other survival food company that I know of offers Non-GMO Verified products either.  

GMO products stir heated debates even arguments among people. There are some very strong feelings on both sides when it comes to GMO foods, and the debate is far from settled. It is a decision you have to make based on careful research and your own personal preferences. The regulating agencies (FDA, USDA) are not much help when it comes to deciding.

The Non-GMO project is North America’s ONLY independent verification for products made to avoid GMOs. So if a company claims their foods are Non-GMO make sure it has their seal.

For more on Non-GMO Project Verified Foods Visit http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/understanding-our-seal/

We are here to talk about survival, when the SHTF and when the last thing you need to worry about is food, food for you and your family during a crisis. You cannot stockpile foods for an indefinite period. At some point your supplies will be depleted.

You stockpile knowing you may have to develop your own food sources at some point. You need quality foods that can get you to the point where you have developed a sustainable and renewable food supply.

It can take considerable time for your garden to start producing, months in facts if you do not have one already established. Gardens do not flourish over night, and depending on the seasons and other factors it could be a year before you see your first harvest. You need foods that have an extended shelf life, have ample variety, are nutritious, and are foods that actually taste good.

You will not be eating your emergency supply of freeze dried foods forever, GMO or otherwise. Your freeze dried food stockpile is food to get you through the crisis, whether it is a few days, weeks or even for a few years. 

You do what you have to do to survive the crisis, and food does not need to be a worry in the short or long term if you prepare properly by stocking up on freeze dried foods that have an extended shelf life, and have enough variety so that everyone in the family can have their favorite foods.

Survival Needs

First, Mountain House foods taste as good, if not better than most freeze dried foods out there. They are actually as good as or better than most MRE’s on the market today and it actually, in some cases, comes down to the food varieties that are offered, and Mountain House has a large variety from which to choose. If you like biscuits and gravy, for example, you will love Mountain House’s version, it is good, It’s better than good actually, it tastes great.

The foods are packaged with emergencies in mind. The pouches are ideal for bug-out bags and for storing in your vehicle and they are perfect for camping trips as well. When storing in your vehicle the temperature variations may affect the shelf life so carefully read the product description.

The #10 cans are ideal for home storage, they are lightweight, and each #10 can holds a significant amount of meals with 25 years plus on shelf life. Remember that 98 percent of the water is extracted so the weight is considerably less than traditional canned goods. The food in the cans can be distributed into other containers for carrying in backpacks or for in your vehicle, but the shelf life will be reduced once the can is opened however.

Preparation Considerations

Freeze dried foods require reconstitution and this means you need water and the means to heat the water. Mountain House foods in the pouch are ideal for many emergencies, because all you have to do is pour the recommended amount of hot water into the pouch, stir let sit for a few minutes and then eat right out of the pouch if you like. The foods in the #10 cans will require a cooking vessel to prepare them however.

When calculating water needs during a crisis you will have to ensure you have water for your cooking needs. Visit Mountains House’s website to get a better idea of how much water is required for their various meals. Once you have an idea of how much water is needed for cooking requirements add 10 to 15 percent to account for waste. Energy for heating the water is important as well, so factor this in when preparing.

Final Thoughts

I was recently given the opportunity to sample a few of Mountain House’s freeze dried meals, and I now know why outdoor enthusiasts have made Mountain House freeze-dried foods their first choice for over 40 years. Every one of the meals that I’ve tasted so far have exceeded my expectations. The biscuits with gravy was extremely satisfying and so was the apple crisp. My favorite meal from Mountain House is their new Italian Pepper Steak. It’s loaded with tons of steak, peppers, onions and rice, and it has such great flavor.

The Beef Stroganoff was my least favorite out of the four varieties I tried, however as freeze-dried food goes, it still tasted good and much better than most frozen dinners. I wouldn’t turn my nose up to any Mountain House meal if offered them, overall they’re very tasty and easy to prepare, just add hot water, wait a few minutes, and enjoy! So, if you’re looking for tasty freeze-dried, meals for your next camping trip, long term storage plans, Bug Out Bag or for virtually anytime, Mountain House gets my vote! In my opinion Mountain House is one of the best long-term Freeze Dried Food brands available today.

Mountain House. (2015). Retrieved 2015, from http://www.mountainhouse.com/

Non GMO Project. (2015). Retrieved 2015, from http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/understanding-our-seal/

This content was originally published here.

Bottled water and tap water if exposed to prolonged periods of direct sunlight and/or heat sources may develop algae, or mold (IBWA, 2015).
BPA and Sunlight/Heat
Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a chemical building block that is used primarily to make polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastic has for 50 years been the choice for food and beverage product containers. It is lightweight, shatter-resistant, and transparent, making it ideal for food and beverage storage.
FDA’s current assessment is that BPA is safe at the very low levels that occur in some foods. Studies suggest however, that heat and light have an effect on how quickly and how much BPA will leach from the plastics in water bottles and other food packaging.
Cool and dark are the recommended environments for storing bottled water. While the FDA has stated that commercially bottled water has an indefinite shelf-life the packaging does not, and how your water is stored will have an effect on how long the packaging remains intact.
If you were to fill plastic water bottles that had been previously used, and you did not properly sanitize the container, and then you left the clear plastic bottles where direct or even indirect sunlight will reach them, you may very well see mold and algae developing inside the sealed containers.
Any water you draw from your tap should only be placed in approved water containers, (food grade containers), and only after proper cleaning of the containers. UV light will encourage algae growth so it is important that water be stored in the dark or stored in non-transparent containers.
Temperature swings will also have an impact. Bottled water stored in a hot car over the summer months will not last nearly as long as bottled water stored in a cool environment away from light and high heat and/or temperature swings.
Water stored for long periods will go stale, because of the lack of dissolved oxygen. Fish aquariums, for example, use bubble stones and other methods to aerate the water so there is always a certain level of dissolved oxygen in the water. 
The bubbles created by the aeration rise to the top and collect dissolved oxygen from the air and then disperse it throughout the water. Obviously you cannot put aerators in your bottles and uncapping them to shake to create bubbles may cause some contaminates to enter the water.
Proper rotation is the key to fresh water. Water in and of itself has an indefinite shelf life, but how it is stored, what it is stored in, and where it is stored will have an effect.
Glass is an option, but it is transparent and it is heavy. It can be easily sterilized and the containers can be used repeatedly however, as long as the cap remains intact. Glass is hard to transport, because of the weight and the fact it has to be packed a certain way to prevent shattering.
Stainless Steel is an option as well, but again it is heavy, but it is not transparent so sunlight/artificial light has little effect, but water provided by a municipality would contain sodium hypochlorite (bleach), which will corrode stainless steel over time.
If you were to store water in Stainless Steel drums that were properly sterilized and the water was treated correctly you could safely store the water for years if sealed tightly. Once you open a container then you should use the entire contents.
Plastic has been for decades the choice for food storage because of the weight, durability, and ease of manufacturing. BPA is a concern, but as of now there is no medical evidence to show the amounts you be ingesting would have an effect on you. Of course it is a personal choice whether you use plastics that contain BPA, but if you do not choose plastic you will need reliable storage container options.
IBWA. (2015). Retrieved August 2015, from http://www.bottledwater.org/education/bottled-water-storage

This content was originally published here.