What things do you consider when you set out to start a homestead? What things are important, what things can be thought about later? Any survival homestead is going to need land to grow food, quality water, and even a means to generate power. In setting off on a journey to start a homestead you …

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Every prepper should definitely consider purchasing a pellet rifle, and I’m not talking about Ralphie’s Red Ryder BB gun from A Christmas Story. No I’m talking about a 1200-1300 fps (feet per second) .177 or .22 caliber pellet air rifle that can take small game like rabbits and squirrels in silence. Taking small game is just …

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Preppers: The Power Grid Is Down but the Chores Continue

The devil is always in the details, and the simplest of things can become monumental tasks if you have not prepared for them.

Dish Washing

Take washing dishes for example. You will need a plan in place for washing dishes and you may not be able to wash them inside your home for any number of reasons. You will of course need a cleaning solution, dishcloths, steel wool, sponges that have an abrasive side and dishpans.

Salt and sand can be used as an abrasive if nothing else is available. Salt is many times used to clean cast iron cookware.

Today you may use an automatic dishwasher, or stop up one side of the sink and fill with hot tap water and a few drops of dish soap. When the power goes out and the faucets deliver nothing but air, then what do you do. If you are connected to a sewer system, you may not be able to use your drains in some cases, so dishwashing must be done elsewhere.

Municipalities are likely to close the floodgates during a crisis to prevent sewage from entering the system so there is not a backup at the waste processing area. This means you cannot use your drains.

Dishpans, you would need two and possibly three. Have one tub to wash in, one to rinse in and possibly one for sanitation. Wash, rinse and then sanitize. Sanitation will be important, even more so during a crisis so make sure you have common household bleach that contains sodium hypochlorite as its active ingredient. It should contain between 5.25 and 6.0 percent. Do not use bleach with any additives, such as fragrances, or use bleach that states it is splash proof, because it will contain thickening agents.

Never mix any other chemicals with bleach

A ¼ cup of bleach to a gallon of water would make a strong solution and a tablespoon of bleach to a gallon of water is considered a weak solution.

Use the weak solution for sanitation of dishes, silverware, drinking cups/glasses and children’s’ non-porous toys. Items must remain in the solution for at least one minute, and then let air dry. Use the strong solution for sanitation of countertops, bathrooms, door handles and any hard non-porous surface and then let the surfaces air dry.

Cutting the Grass

You may not have access to fuel for your lawn mowers, but this does not mean that you let the grass grow wild. High grasses around the home invite snakes, ticks, field mice, chiggers and a host of other pests. Additionally, high grasses can conceal intruders, shooters or anyone looking to enter the property for nefarious reasons. If the grass dries out it can become a fire hazard as well.

There are Reel mowers that you can use but they are not efficient if the grass gets too high. They are hand operated (push) mowers that have a set of rotating blades. They are difficult to push through heavy grass however. You can also use a grass sickle or a larger scythe, which is typically used for grain harvests. You will need honing oils and a large enough whetstone and/or the proper file to sharpen the blades on the mower as well as the sickle/scythe.

You may have to, or prefer to bathe outdoors in warm weather. In years past people used galvanized tubs that were filled from rain runoff usually from off the roof. The tub once filled was allowed to warm in the sun. In cold weather, you would have to bathe indoors, and have a means of heating the water for bathing.

Rainwater is soft water and you will be surprised how well your skin will feel after bathing in rainwater. You should have a collection method to collect rainwater for bathing, irrigation and for emergency drinking water once filtered and purified.

Have bar soap, washcloths and towels along with a galvanized pail for transferring water from rain collection vessels to your bathtub. Bar soap is better suited for emergencies because it is easy to store, will not leak and virtually never expires and it can be used for the hair if shampoo is not available.

You can make an ad hoc outdoor shower system by hanging a sprinkling can from a tree limb using cordage or some other adequate hook that can hold the weight and allows the can to be tilted.

Paint the can black for better thermal radiation absorption. Hang the can filled with water and allow the water to warm up in the sunlight. Once ready, simply tilt the sprinkler to wet your body, soap and then rinse.

You may very well have to cook over an open flame so you will need cooking utensils that can withstand the heat. Cast iron is probably the best for open flame or charcoal grill cooking. Aluminum pots and pans with or without non-stick coatings may not hold up and plastic utensils certainly will not. You will need stainless steel spatulas, tongs, and spoons and so on for cooking over open flame. Cast iron Dutch ovens can be used to cook virtually any type of meal and they can be used for baking breads and even for making desserts.

Make sure you have potholders or gloves that are adequate for the job and never use wet or damp cloth to grasp any hot handle or surface.

In most cases, you can only go a few days before the laundry is piled up. You cannot wear dirty clothes for long. Soiled clothing has reduced insulating properties in cold weather and dirty clothes harbor bacteria as well.

You will need a tub, soap, stirring or agitation paddle, a way to heat water and a means of drying the clothes. Drying outside on a line is the most efficient. You can invest in clothing racks for drying clothes indoors or out, or simply string heavy gauge rubberized wire or heavy cordage. Bare metal cable will leave rust stains on your clothing.

You can wash clothes in your bathtub or sinks if you can use your drains. You will have to work at rinsing and wringing the clothes out however. Wet clothes are heavy and dragging dripping clothes throughout the house to hang outside is a chore so wring them out well.

In cold weather, hanging wet clothes inside will cool the room off but also will add humidity to the air, which by the way may be needed if you are heating with wood or coal. In hot weather, hanging wet clothes in front of window with a breeze coming in will help cool the room off.

The above mentioned are common everyday chores that most people perform daily, and the methods used are often times taken for granted. Without electricity, gas or running water these chores become real burdens and yet they must be performed almost daily. Do not let common everyday chores create big problems during a crisis, simply because you were not prepared.

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Do you have emergency food supplies at home? If you don’t, you might want to start thinking about stockpiling shelf-stable food items for long-term use. They could come in handy when you least expect it. Here are some reasons why you should consider food storage for your everyday life, even if

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Many folks gloss over canning meats, but there are some benefits to getting into the habit. Have you ever considered what you would do with that side of beef in your freezer if the power went out permanently? Sure, you can scramble to save it, or install an expensive solar backup for your freezer, but …

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No post-apocalyptic movie is complete without the stripped hulks of a few cars lying around. They’re the perfect disaster scene dressing, because, of course, when society collapses vehicles will get abandoned. People run out of gas, have a mechanical failure or meet a roadblock, so they ditch their car and walk away. And, obviously, the cars get stripped because switched-on preppers aren’t going to leave all that useful stuff lying around.

We take cars for granted, but they’re complex machines stuffed with a lot of material and technology. A typical modern car is more than a ton of metal, plastic and electrics – and even if it’s been disabled by an accident or an EMP there’s a lot of stuff in there you can salvage and put to use. If the SHTF and you find an abandoned vehicle, don’t think “Junk”. It’s really a treasure stash of materials .

Just for safety’s sake, make very sure a vehicle is abandoned before you get your pliers out and start ripping bits off. If the owner has just parked up and gone behind a bush to do his business, he isn’t going to be very happy when he comes back and finds you happily stripping his car down to a skeleton. Once you’re certain nobody’s coming back for it, though, start scavenging. Here are some suggestions:

1. Cabin clutter

Check the glove box, door pockets, console and under the seats. People keep all sorts of things in their cars, and if they abandon the vehicle in a hurry they might leave some useful stuff behind. Flashlights, maps – very useful if GPS is down – and food are all likely items.

Always check the trunk. Some people always keep emergency gear in their car and, depending on why they abandoned it, they might have left the gear behind. Others might have been trying to escape whatever disaster has happened, and loaded the car with possessions before they left. Trunks are a potential source of spare clothes, food, blankets, even camping gear.

2. Tools

Many cars come with tool-kits, so check the trunk. Pliers, screwdrivers and wrenches are always good to have. Even if you already have tools there’s no harm in picking up some spares. For example, here’s a list of tools that you will need when SHTF.

3. Fuel

In a disaster scenario a lot of the cars you find will be abandoned because they ran out of fuel – but others will still have some in the tank. With a length of hose and a pry bar you can get the filler caps off and siphon the remaining fuel out into a container. Just feed one end of the hose into the tank, suck on the other end until the fuel almost reaches your mouth – the almost is important – then quickly lower that end until it’s below the other one and let the fuel flow out into your canister. Even if you already have a fuel reserve for your own vehicle and generator, a bit more won’t hurt.retrieving gas from car

Never try to drain a gas tank by punching a hole in it. Real gas tanks aren’t as explosive as the Hollywood kind, but there’s still a risk of a spark setting off the vapor inside. If you’re nearby when that happens it’s going to ruin your day.

4. Fluids

If you carry a survival kit you should keep some potassium permanganate crystalsin it. This has a lot of uses, including water purification and as a disinfectant, but if you can drain some antifreeze from a vehicle you can also use it to start a fire. Mix the two 50:50 and in a few seconds it will ignite.

Oil, brake fluid and screen wash can also be drained from vehicles and used to top up your own. Screen wash also makes a useful disinfectant – it’s a mix of water and alcohol.

5. Battery

If you have solar panels or a wind turbine at home, and you know some basic electrics, you can rig a bank of car batteries to store excess power and use it when it’s dark or the wind isn’t blowing. The more batteries, the more power you can store; never pass up the chance to collect another one and wire it into your system.

6. Wiring

Copper wire has a lot of uses, and vehicles contain yards of it. An hour’s work with some basic tools will get you a collection of cables in various sizes. These can be used for electrical projects or stripped to get at the wire. Copper wire is a great material for making snares.

7. Hub caps

A lot of snow vehicle have alloy wheels, and the ones that do have hub caps often have plastic ones, but if you do find some old-fashioned metal hub caps they can be useful – for example, scrub one clean and use it as an improvised skillet.

8. Mirrors

A mirror is a good way to send distress signals, but the steel ones found in survival kits aren’t great. A salvaged rearview mirror will do a much better job. Wing mirrors are hard to get off the car, but the actual mirror can be pried out with a knife.

9. Upholstery

There’s a lot of fabric in a car, some of it very hard wearing. If you’re sleeping rough, seat covers will make a good waterproof groundsheet to keep the damp away from you. The headliner will make a light blanket – it’s not that warm, but a lot better than nothing.

10. Seat belts

Need straps? Lengths of seat belt are extremely strong. Pull them out to full extension then slice them off at the reel. Lengths of seat belt make ideal straps for an improvised rucksack, or for lashing loads on a wagon or sled. Multiple lengths fastened between two poles give you an effective stretcher. You can cut the belts lengthwise into narrower strips if you need more length and less strength, but check every so often to make sure it’s not starting to fray. If you have the time you can unravel the fabric to get tough fibers that work for fishing line, sewing thread or – after boiling – sutures.seat belt shtf

11. Bodywork

If you can haul large chunks of steel around, you’ll find uses for them. Doors, trunk lids and hoods can be used to build lean-to(s) or animal enclosures. A hood will make a strong, weatherproof roof for a small shed.

12. Spare parts

Finally, and most obviously, look out for abandoned vehicles the same make and model as your own – and when you find one, strip out everything you can. If you can tow it home, or get a truck and chain-fall to it, that even includes the engine. The more parts you have, the lower the chance of your own one being terminally immobilized by a breakdown.

Look for generic parts as well. Air and oil filters, wiper blades, bulbs and fuses – anything that will fit yours and can be scrounged.

Abandoned vehicles can be a nuisance. They block roads, generally clutter the place up and can even be a fire hazard. They’re also a valuable resource, though. In an emergency situation you should never walk past an abandoned car without searching it for anything useful, and in the long term you should locate every hulk within range of your home and strip it bare. You might never need the materials you recover, but who knows? If you ever do need a dozen hubcaps in a hurry, it’s easier to get them from a stack in your yard than to try and remember where you’ve seen some.

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Deer are one of the most common game animals across North America, and like people, they succumb to many diseases. With deer season upon us it is important for hunters to be able to recognize some of the common diseases that plague deer. These diseases are generally not contagious to humans, but if a local …

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Most topics on “bugging out” revolve around gear lists. Having the proper gear to survive and a plan to get you to your destination is important. Understanding what can happen to you during the journey and preparing for contingencies will greatly increase your chances of success. So check out this excellent article below by our …

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One problem with prepping when there are others that must get involved to make it work is the varying levels of commitment. Enthusiasm is never equal among those in a family or group.

In Prepper groups the problem may be more profound, because some people gravitate toward groups simply because it is a group, and not because of what the group is all about. This means you will have members that are not committed to prepping, but simply want to be involved in something.

Those not really committed may eagerly follow orders, and are pleasant to be around, but they do not understand the need. It is never enough to simply know that you need to do something. You need to know why you need to do it as well.

Once you as the leader know the why, you can then convince others of the need. You need to make sure you are committed before you can expect others to be committed.

Overtime the level of commitment on the part of others may increase, but in the meantime someone has to establish goals, plan how to achieve those goals, schedule training and practice sessions, and the list goes on from there.

In some cases, family members may outright reject the notion of prepping for any number of reasons, leaving the one that understands the need for prepping in charge of a rudderless ship. Simply telling your children they need a backpack packed and ready is not enough, they will not take it seriously until they understand why they need to.

Ideas Have To Be Sold

Just because your spouse/partner or children do not believe in the need for prepping does not mean you do not prep. Finances play a role in prepping, and if families had money to burn your spouse or partner might not have a problem with what they might consider a hobby on your part. However, you do not have money to burn so any money spent, better be for a good cause is what your spouse is likely thinking. A tangible cause not based on some conspiracy theory you read on the Internet.

What gets prepping plans shelved sometimes is an overwhelming sense of urgency. Someone reads an article or sees a video online and they feel an urge to immediately do something, and they may think that failing to start right now would be devastating.

Your overwhelming sense of urgency overwhelms everyone else. They cannot comprehend the need as quickly as you would like, and thus, will probably balk at your ideas. Slow down and let others catch up before you start yelling that the world as you know it is ending and you only have a few days left to get ready.

No one else in the family will likely ever feel the same sense of urgency, and spending money you do not have never goes over well when one or the other thinks it may have been wasted. However, there are any numbers of disasters that you can point to that do happen, and are likely to happen again, and so family members can relate to this, and then can see that there is a need for prepping.

Start Small With What Is Evident To All

Point to natural disasters in your region and point to the times where the power has been disrupted or the water has, and then emphasis the inconvenience of it. Prepping takes on a whole new meaning as soon as people realize the effects of a crisis and then emphasis what can be done to mitigate the effects. It is surprising the number of people that simply do not understand that when the power goes out so does everything else.

No one can dispute the need for 72-hours worth of supplies when there is a blizzard headed your way or a hurricane or ice storm, so start there. Start with a 72-hour kit for the home, then build from there and show everyone this is what can happen because look it has happened before.

Stop with the doomsday scenarios and stick with what people can see, hear, and feel. If you cannot understand why your spouse is not willing to get ready for a zombie apocalypse by running out and loading up on gear and supplies then maybe you do not fully understand prepping yourself.

Most sensible Preppers understand that the term zombie apocalypse is tossed around a lot and it is used to describe something bad happening in most cases, but not everyone understands this, so when you start tossing it around saying everyone needs to prepare for it, you may get the sideways stare.

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What Is Eating Into Your Budget Every Month

You keep hearing that everyone needs to begin prepping, or that you need to up your prepping for calamities ahead. You already know this though. What some experts fail to tell you however, is how to afford to do all this prepping on a budget.

Prices go up and wages are either stagnate or they have been reduced due to a cut in hours or you had to take a lesser paying job. This all adds up to less money every month and yet you still have the same bills, you still have the same wants and needs and you need to begin prepping or increase your current stockpile. Is there room in your budget? There may be if you take a closer look at it.

Break It All Down

There is any number of places in your budget that you can save money. Only you know what you spend, and on what. You do not need a financial expert to tell you that you can live without cable, cell phones, tablets, fancy cars and the list goes on. You are the only one that can stand up and say, “You know what; I need to start investing in my future by prepping today”. Money spent today on preparations is money invested in you and your family’s future survival.

Saving money or putting some, back for other things require sacrifice and you must have the ability to prioritize your life. You want everything but in reality, you only need a little, and to be able to afford to prep and do other things in life, you have to be able to separate the two. Only you can however, because the best advice in the world is only that, no one will do it for you.

It is easy for others to say get a second job, cut back on this or that and that you can live without certain things. However, once you find yourself unable to meet your needs or to reach goals you have set then you do have to make changes and evaluate your priorities.

You have to be able to make adjustments before you find yourself mired in debt and simply cannot work your way out of it. There is a point of no return in some cases. You have to make changes before you get to that point.

It is too easy for others to give advice and say what you need to do. The premise of this article is not necessarily telling you what to do but pointing you in the right direction so you can make the choices. They will be hard choices; the hard ones are usually the rights ones however.

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