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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Unique Gift Idea For A Prepper

I got several of these to give out for Christmas gifts. Even got us one of these Wall Clock With Hidden Safe. You can keep anything in it that you want to keep safe and hidden. My mother-in-law put hers right up and started filling it with her prescriptions.






             You can hide anything in it that you would want to keep safe. It is pretty good sized.


Sunday, December 20, 2015

How to Pick a Bag for Your Bug Out Kit


There are many lists for what to pack in a Bug Out Bag but as far as the bag itself, how do you determine what is the best Bug Out Backpack for you? It is an important element to consider and getting the right one for you is a primary step in your journey towards disaster preparedness. Should you choose a backpack, duffel bag, or backpacking style bag? What qualities should be considered when picking one? Are any features especially useful?
The types of bags typically employed as Bug Out Bags are:
  1. Backpack - A Bug Out Backpack can be anything from a schoolbook bag to a tactical assault type bag. This category has the widest options and is the most frequently used as it has a good balance of size and variety. This is optimal for 1-2 people or if you are bugging out with a party of adults whom can each carry their own survival supplies.

  2. Duffel Bag - These generally are a greater volume than a backpack but lack the ease of carrying. This is a good option if you are planning on bugging out in a vehicle and have a destination in mind such as a second home or designated camp. You would not want to have to carry this type of bag for an extended period over uneven ground.

  3. Hiking Pack - This combines the best characteristics of a backpack and duffel bag being that it will have a large volume and ergonomic carrying options. You will be able to carry much more survival gear in one of these than in a backpack which is important if you are evacuating with a family.
No matter what type of bag you decide on the most important factors to consider are:
1. Comfort and Fit - You may be humping your Bug Out Bag for days on end. You need something that you can wear comfortably and that will limit your movement by causing you discomfort. Pay attention to the following features when looking at a candidate bag:
  • Does the bag have hip straps and hip padding - This is the single most important thing when looking at a bag for comfort and fit, which is something that is not understood by someone who has not humped a heavy bag over long distances. Hip support straps snug the pack tightly to your hips allowing the weight to be hauled by the strong muscles in your thighs and hips rather than balancing the load on your shoulders. This improves balance by lowering the center of gravity and saves your back and shoulders from bearing the weight. It is a great deal easier to carry a heavy load in this way,

  • Width of straps - Are the straps made of narrow webbing that is going to dig into your shoulders and hips or is it wide with a lot of padding to cushion the attachment to your body? I reiterate: you have the potential to carry everything you need to survive over long distances, if you are hobbled by discomfort you will not be able to travel as fast or far.

  • Does it have a sternum clip - This allows you to secure the shoulder straps to a comfortable position and uses the bony part of your chest as a counterbalance to the backward leaning force of the bag.

  • Does the bag allow for airflow on my back or does it sit flush - Walking all day with a sweaty back can lead to discomfort and chafing. Most quality bags come with channels or webbing in the part of the pack that faces your back. These allow for air flow to minimize this.

  • Are there any hard elements within the bag that may rub or poke into you - Some bags have rigid frames or hard plastic bits to help them retain their shape or to allow you to strap things to them. They do not need to be avoided as a whole but they are a factor to consider when choosing one. I once ignored this when choosing a hiking pack that had a metal frame right at the height of the back of my head. This caused me to have to lean slightly forward or bang my head... for miles. Please do not make the same mistake.

  • Is the bag designed for a particular gender - Many bags come in male and female options. These have the straps cut and shaped in particular ways that make them better fitting for their designated gender's body types.

  • Are the straps and clips adjustable - Most better packs include many customization options so that you can get your pack sitting juuuuust right. This leads to greater comfort and economy of movement when carrying the bag which translates to you being able to move as far and fast as possible. In a bug out situation this equals greater probability of survival.

  • Volume and Mass - How much space do you want in your Bug Out Backpack? This is determined by:

  • How many people are you carrying survival supplies for? Will you be bugging out by yourself or with a family in tow?

  • Do you plan on packing your Bug Out Bag with everything and the kitchen sink or bare essentials?

  • The more you pack, the larger volume bag you will need and the more weight you will have to carry on your back. It is one of the most important trade offs you will have to consider.

  • I prefer sticking to Bug Out Bag Essentials rather than bringing everything under the sun and then scavenging and improvising on the way. Multi function items are a godsend in getting the most from your gear in this regard.
3. Accessibility - So now know that you want the perfect fitting bag that carries the right amount of survival supplies, great job! Let's take into consideration the options for how we will be compartmentalizing the gear and accessing it.
If you have a decent sized list of bug out equipment you will have a wide variety of sizes, shapes and utility. Putting this all in one large compartment is a formula for inefficiency and frustration. Imagine you have slipped and cut yourself and now need to dig through all your clothes, tools, and rations to get to your medkit. Not good.
What we want for an efficient bag is one large compartment to store general items and several separate, smaller compartments for storing smaller sub groups of items. Most modern bags have multiple compartments and options to attach small satellite bags. This is ideal. Prior to packing you will want to organize your gear with these compartments in mind. It is best to put larger items in the main compartment and smaller ones in the secondary pouches, organized by item type. This will make finding things in a hurry much easier and your Bug Out Bag more useful overall.
4. Useful Features - So you have your Bug Out Backpack that meets your basic needs, what are the best advanced features you should be looking for that will increase your chances of survival while bugging out?
  • Hydration Bladder Compatibility - Integration of a hydration system such as a Camelbak is a huge bonus to any bag. This makes it far easier to carry large amounts of water over long distances. As you will be exerting yourself keeping properly hydrated is crucial to keep you moving as fast and as far as possible.

  • Rain Hood - Many bags come with a rain cover integrated within. This is usually tucked away into a velcro compartment and then pulled out and over the bag when needed. This will keep your gear dry and preserve it optimally for when you need it.

  • MOLLE compatibility - MOLLE (pronounced "molly") is an acronym for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. It is used to define the current generation of load-bearing equipment and packs utilized by a variety of armed forces. This widespread use means that there are a HUGE number of compatible options for adding accessories to a MOLLE compatible bag. Items that use MOLLE include tool sheaths, pouches, hydration bladders, and medkits.
Conclusion
There are a large number of packs that meet the requirements laid out above. Hopefully you have taken away from this discussion the elements that you need to look for in finding a Bug Out Bag that is most suitable for you. This is an important step in your disaster preparedness journey and getting it right make a huge improvement in your ability to bug out when the unforeseen strikes.

Thanks for reading. If you would like more information about Bug Out Bags, Urban Survival, or Wilderness Survival, or would like to try our Free Bug Out Bag Planning Tool please check out my site at:
The Bug Out Bag Guide

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Homemade Cleaning Recipes

You can make your own household cleaners safely, easily, and frugally. They are safer for your family than the chemical laden cleaners that you store buy.

  • All purpose cleaner - 1/2 cup of borax and 1 gallon of hot water. Mix these together until the borax dissolves. Spray or mop on nonwood surfaces. Wipe it clean. 
  • Mildew killer and grout whitener - Combine baking soda and hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar into a paste. Apply to the grout or mildew and let sit for at least 30 minutes, then scrub.
  • Toilet bowl cleaner - scrub it with 1/2 cup of borax to brighten and kill germs. Also can brush with baking soda and let it sit before you flush. Add white vinegar for an extra fizz to lift out stains.
  • Floor cleaner - mix 1 cup white vinegar and 1 gallon hot water in a bucket and mop floors as you normally would.
  • Soft scrub for counters etc - 1 cup of baking soda, warm water, and 2-3 drops of liquid soap. Combine the water and baking soda into a paste and then add the soap. Apply to surface and let sit for a few minutes. Scrub it with a non abrasive sponge, rinse  , and then wipe off. 
It is easy to make your own cleaners and is so much better for the whole household.


Monday, December 14, 2015

Cool Store A Winter's Worth Of Produce

You can store a winter's worth of yummy produce in the cool corners of your homestead. Like, in a basement etc. Or a root cellar if you have one.

Here is a list of some produce that will store for up to 2 months in cool storage ~

  • Apples
  • Dry beans
  • Beets
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Leek
  • Onion
  • Parsnip
  • Pears
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Shallot
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Turnips
  • Winter Squash
There are many ways to cool store produce, one is found in this post about how Store Your Taters.

Storing them is a great way to have fresh produce all winter and a great way to save money at the grocery store.



 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Z For Zachariah Book

I love going to flea markets. My daughter and I went to one yesterday and I found 2 books that I had been wanting. It made my day!
I found this book, Z for Zachariah, which is about Ann Burden who is sixteen years old and completely alone. The world as she once knew it is gone, ravaged by a nuclear war that has taken everyone from her. For the past year, she has lived in a remote valley with no evidence of any other survivors.

But the smoke from a distant campfire shatters Ann's solitude. Someone else is still alive and making his way toward the valley. Who is this man? What does he want? Can he be trusted? Both excited and terrified, Ann soon realizes there may be worse things than being the last person on Earth.

Pretty amazing book considering it was written in 1974. Recently , a movie was made of it , Z For Zachariah. I plan on watching it later this week. Too busy now.

The 2nd book that I got at the flea market was one that my son and I both had been wanting to read. The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus. I am going to read it after I read the other one. Kind of waiting til it gets colder and can;t get outside. Too nice lately to be stuck inside reading. But, this Z book is so good sounding I might take it to the park with me when I take my Little Man there. Let him play while I read. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Food Storage Recipe - Depression Cake




Need:
2 cups sugar
2 cups coffee
2 cups raisins
1/2 cup shortening
1 apple, peeled and grated
2 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cloves
1 cup chopped nuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray and set aside.
Combine sugar, coffee, raisins, shortening, and apple into a saucepan.
Cook for 10 minutes.
Cool for 10 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients.
Mix and pour into the prepared bundt pan.
Bake 30 minutes or until done.

Homemade Gift Wrappings! DIY!

You spent all of your money on the gifts so save a bit by making your own wrapping paper. This Christmas I am using all of the packing paper that came with any packages that I have gotten in the past year. This makes great wrapping paper. You can decorate it or just leave it plain. I plan on leaving mine just plain. I like the looks of that. With red tags.

Here is a list of some other ideas for you to use:

  • Use comic book pages or newspaper.
  • Maps that you can get free from each state. I have to admit that I have bags and bags of maps, but I want to save them for if we ever have to bug-out. They do look great as wrapping paper though. Maybe choose a state that someone you know is from or something like that.
  • Using reusable shopping totes as gift bags is a good idea. They sell them at dollar tree that are plain also so you can decorate them.
  • You could wow everyone by reusing the cardboard boxes that food comes in. Like cereal boxes, etc. Kind of neat and with this you do not have to wrap, just put the item in and seal it up.
  • Aluminum foil looks awesome. Wrap a colorful bow and it is stunning.
  • Wrap gifts with pretty scarves! Silk ones that you can get at thrift stores would be an awesome idea and they can use it!
  • Kitchen towels make good wrapping "paper"! Get print ones at the dollar tree and use it to wrap the gift. 
There are many ways to wrap gifts that is basically free.

Don't forget to save any packaging paper that you get for next Christmas!!

COMMENT BELOW ANY IDEAS THAT YOU HAVE FOR GIFT WRAPPING.....


 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Start Avacodo Trees

I have been saving any avocado seeds I get and any glass jars that we have left from salsa!

All you do is take 3 toothpicks and stick them around the avocado so that it will set on the jar with half in the water.

Keep it filled.

It does take a while for a start to shoot out of it. But , when it does I always wait until the roots are pretty long before I replant it into a pot with potting soil.

A few years ago I had one that got pretty tall, but had set it outside on a hot and humid day, and a stray cat dug it all up.

Store Your Taters

You have grown the potatoes and now need a place to store them all winter.

Use an old dresser to store them in. Place it is cool room or a basement. Perfect for storing your spuds. Leave the drawers open a bit to allow for ventilation.

Great use for any dresser you can find. Look at yard sales, thrift stores, or side of thd road treasure that someond threw out!

Food Storage Recipe - Mexican Skillet Spaghetti

Super easy to make. I made this last summer when we were out camping.

Need:

1 pound ground beef

1 15 ounce can of tomato sauce

4 1/2 cup of water ( use the tomato sauce can ...2 1/2 times)

2 packages of taco seasoning mix

2 tablespoons of instant minced onion

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 ounces of uncooked spaghetti

Brown the ground beef and drain.

Add the tomato sauce, water, taco seasoning, onion, and salt.

Bring the mixture to a boil and add the spaghetti.

Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the skillet. 

Cook until the spaghetti is tender, stirring frequently.

Serve with shredded cheese over it.


Creating An Outdoors Cold Weather Retreat


As the weather cools, many families are forced indoors during chilly evenings, which is a shame because fall is a beautiful season that should be enjoyed. There are a few fairly fast and easy ways to make your outdoor area more hospitable in the cooler months. All you need to do is organize the yard so that wind and moisture are minimized, and extra warmth is provided. Here are a few tips to make the most of your yard during the cooler seasons and well into spring.
  • Create a shelter belt. If your outdoor space or patio is highly exposed, determine where most of your frosty winds are blowing from and build a barrier in that vicinity. The most effective barrier is a fence, but if this is a view you do not want to obstruct, small hedges, open-weave fences, and tough trees can help reduce the wind's severity without blocking the landscape. This barrier will not only make outdoor activities more comfortable, but it can also reduce home heating costs.
  • Install a heating device. Patio heaters, chimineas, fire pits, or fireplaces are all excellent options for adding a bit of heat to the vicinity. If you have a large area, you may want to use more than one. While they take a little more effort to install, a fire pit or place is a fantastic edition that creates ambiance and allows your family to enjoy activities like roasting marshmallows or just gathering around the fire, which are fun activities year round.
  • Get the right gear. The right patio furniture will make being outside a pleasure. Look for cushions and pillows that are plush. Have several "outdoor blankets" handy (i.e. blankets clearly designated as appropriate for outdoors use.) Store these inside and wash them once a week or as appropriate for your family's use.
  • Consider awnings or canopies. If your outdoor space is exposed, you may want to consider adding a "roof" over the gathering area. This can help minimize moisture. This certainly isn't necessary for all yards, but can increase the social areas usability in some climate zones. A retractable canopy will allow you to keep the area dry and also view the stars on clear nights.
  • Now that you have the space, use it! Plan activities, invite over friends, and keep extra marshmallows or hot beverages handy for spontaneous evenings. A nice outdoor gathering area will give your family a delightful place to socialize without the distractions of TV or modern life.
Maria Polidoro is the owner of Ace Tool Online, a leading dealer and service center for electrical power tools. Headquartered in Wantagh, New York, Ace Tool offers over 70 major brands of hand and power tools and is also home to a full service center.

Give Tools For Christmas

A great list of tools that any prepper would love to receive for Christmas! Just wanted to share a list of tools that we all should have in our households. Having the right tools will ensure that we are always prepared for anything that happens around the house. You never know when something might happen. You could fix a lot of things yourself in your home if you have tools to do it. You do not have to call someone in and spend too much money on something that you could have done yourself.

The first type of item to keep in your toolbox are some great measuring tools.
      a Square

      a Measuring Tape

      a Level

Cutting Tools

      Retractable Utility Knife

      Hand Saw

        Hacksaw

         Clamping Mitre Box with Saw

Other Tools

        Hammer

         Locking Pliers

         Pry Bar, this could also come in handy fighting zombies!

         Screwdriver

         Adjustable Wrench

          Hex Key Wrench Set

         Needle Nose Pliers

          Bar Clamp

        Drill/Driver Kit

Plumbing Tools

        Plunger

         Pipe Wrench

          Drain Auger

This is really just a short list, but it is the most used tools around a house. If you start with the basics you could have a great tool room quick.  . Having the right tools will ensure that we are always prepared for anything that happens around the house. You never know when something might happen. You could fix a lot of things yourself in your home if you have tools to do it. You do not have to call someone in and spend too much money on something that you could have done yourself.

The first type of item to keep in your toolbox are some great measuring tools.
      a Square

      a Measuring Tape

      a Level

Cutting Tools

      Retractable Utility Knife

      Hand Saw

        Hacksaw

         Clamping Mitre Box with Saw

Other Tools

        Hammer

         Locking Pliers

         Pry Bar, this could also come in handy fighting zombies!

         Screwdriver

         Adjustable Wrench

          Hex Key Wrench Set

         Needle Nose Pliers

          Bar Clamp

        Drill/Driver Kit

Plumbing Tools

        Plunger

         Pipe Wrench


Just wanted to share a list of tools that we all should have in our households. Having the right tools will ensure that we are always prepared for anything that happens around the house. You never know when something might happen. You could fix a lot of things yourself in your home if you have tools to do it. You do not have to call someone in and spend too much money on something that you could have done yourself.

The first type of item to keep in your toolbox are some great measuring tools.
      a Square

      a Measuring Tape

      a Level

Cutting Tools

      Retractable Utility Knife

      Hand Saw

        Hacksaw

         Clamping Mitre Box with Saw

Other Tools

        Hammer

         Locking Pliers

         Pry Bar, this could also come in handy fighting zombies!

         Screwdriver

         Adjustable Wrench

          Hex Key Wrench Set

         Needle Nose Pliers

          Bar Clamp

        Drill/Driver Kit

Plumbing Tools

        Plunger

         Pipe Wrench

          Drain Auger

This is really just a short list, but it is the most used tools around a house. If you start with the basics you could have a great tool room quick.            Drain Auger

This is really just a short list, but it is the most used tools around a house. If you start with the basics you could have a great tool room quick.
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