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Friday, October 14, 2016

Just a few prepping tips

1.       I never leave home without my BOB; even if I head down the street to the store.  When I leave my vehicle, I always make sure I have the following on my person at all times:
·         A small pocket knife
·         A multi-tool
·         Flashlight
·         Water filtration straw

2.       The most important thing to have in a survival situation is water. I purchased extensions for the gutter down spout at one of the big box home improvement stores.  At the time I put them in I had a back yard above ground pool. Kids all gone now, pool gone, but I now have 55 gallon barrels.

3.       Check your supplies and rotate them out as the expiration date comes due. Stock the foods you like, because if you don’t like a certain food, you won’t eat it.  Learn how to can meats and do it now while you still can.

4.       Put cans of food and a blanket in your vehicle.  You never know when you will get stuck in traffic or will have to walk home.

5.       I like to can water after using my canning jars in the winter. I then have good water if the electricity goes down and also if there is a drought in the summer, I will have water for canning.

6.       Save all of your dryer lint in a zip food bag. Squeeze it down, or vacuum seal it, and roll it up and place it in your bug out kit.

7.       Rotate your medications and don’t forget your BOBs and other kits.

8.       Easy water distillation method:  use two, one liter clear soda bottles. Put 1/4 inch holes in both caps, insert 1/4 inch clear tubing thru each cap and down into each bottle (about 5-7 feet of tubing). Secure each cap onto bottles. Fill one 3/4 with water you want to distill, bring tubing about 1/2 inch from top. place in sunlight. Bring the tubing to the bottom of other bottle and place it in shade.

As the sun heats up the water and the water goes into a gas, expanding and going into the bottle in shade, it cools down and turns back into water, filling the bottle in shade, with clear drinkable water. This can also be used to remove salt from saltwater. Place a black band of tape around the input bottle, making sure not to mix them up.

9.       Rinse out used soda bottles and fill with water. Save them for when the water is turned off or long term storage.

10.   Dip cotton balls in petroleum jelly and put in a baggie or small plastic container (recycle old pill bottles) for your bug out bag. These make great fire starters and they burn long and hot.

11.   Take quick check of your food supply, once a storm catches you by surprise, it’s too late, and it only takes a few minutes to make a quick list of the basic canned goods that you need to replace, better safe than sorry!

12.   We all probably think that our BOB has what we need in it and maybe it does. Take a quick look in it and see if there is some place to add a little easy redundancy, remembering that three is one and one is none. I took a Ziploc bag and put in it: a small candle, a pill vial with Vaseline in it, another pill vial stuffed with dryer lint, a disposable lighter and a magnifying glass. Easy to do and now I have several ways to start a fire in addition to the matches and the fire steel already in the bag without adding even a pound to the weight of the bag. I know there are a lot of other easy additions that can increase redundancy in all of our bags.

13.   Never be without toilet paper. Put 4 rolls in 2 gallon Ziplocs and put 1 bag in each car, one in the garage, one under each sink in the house. That way, regardless of what disaster occurs – TP will be there.

14.   Buy a large bottle of 5 to 10-percent iodine solution and transfer into those small, handy travel spray containers. Put one in each first aid kit in each bug-out bag. Besides being a disinfectant and medical treatment of cuts, a few drops per liter will purify water as well as keep thyroid function humming along in the absence of iodized salt.

15.   Buy extra lumber, fasteners, nails, whenever you have a DIY project, and save the extra in your new “Mini-Lumberyard”!

16.   Carry a small bottle of iodine and a small bottle of bleach with you in your bug out bag in the event you have to drink questionable water in your travels.  Just add a bit to your canteen, shake it and let it be for a while and you are good to go. They have iodine pills but, take it from me being ex military; they taste bad but with this method it will do the job better and the water will not taste that bad.

17.   Weigh your BOB. Put it on and carry it around the house. How long can you go without stopping? If it is too heavy which it is likely to be, here are a couple of things that you might consider doing: Pack a half dozen of those freebie cloth satchels with handles in with the BOB. This way depending on how many people may be with you when you actually need to pack the BOB you can distribute the weight among everyone.

18.   Make a list of the most important items to take with you if you are alone and safety pin that to the top of the BOB. In a real emergency you will not have time to think it through and you are likely to be too stressed to make the right choices. If alone, you must keep the weight down to a poundage that you can carry for long term.

19.   I think my favorite quick prep is making a waterproof match container out of a mason jar. Glue a piece of sandpaper to the lid, fill the jar with stick matches, add a candle, tighten down the ring and there you have it. I’m sure the same could be done with a plastic jar if you’re worried about breakage but I like the decorative little mason jars spread around the house. I took the time to waterproof my matches but I don’t believe that’s necessary.

20.   Do a quick check of your food storage to make sure I add needed items to the grocery list. This keeps things pretty up-to-date for me.

21.   Keep a running inventory of ammunition so you keep a good assortment on hand and track what you use. A little extra can be good for barter.

22.   Most of us have items that use batteries. Flashlights, radios, etc.  I have a laminated list of the items that I keep in my prep, with a section just for things that need to be rotated. Quarterly, I grab the rotation list and swap out old batteries for new. The batteries I take out of my prep kit are usually still good, so I put them into use in normal, everyday equipment. It takes almost no time, and makes sure I have good batteries everywhere I need them, not just my prep kit.

23.   Every time I go to the grocery store; I add an extra $10 of items for my food storage.

24.   Make a small fishing kit, cheap and easy. Take a small tin (preferably a round candy mint tin). Add fishing line, hooks, sinkers, small artificial bait and a couple of snubbers. (A snubber is a piece of surgical tubing with fishing line going down the center and clasps on each end to tie your fishing line to. You can pick this up at most any store that sells fishing gear).

If you need to use your fishing kit and do not have a breakdown or telescoping fishing pole you will probably be using a branch. A branch will not have the same flexibility as a fishing pole. Tie your fishing line to the end of your flexible branch (the length of line will be determined by your situation). Tie the other end to your snubber. On the other end of your snubber tie your leader (about 18″ to 24″ of fishing line) then tie on your hook. Add your sinker to the fishing line on the pole / branch side of the snubber about 12″ from the snubber. Add bait and you are set.

25.   I have added the snubbers to my kit, because it acts like a shock absorber when you have a fish on the line. This has helped me to land the fish and not break off the hook or line due to not having the flexibility of a proper fishing pole.

26.   Water, all you can reasonably store, is a must, along with some way to purify it if need be.

27.   Gather up a few cans of veggies, fruits, and meats along with a jar of peanut butter. Store in your vehicle (under seat, in trunk) Throw in a “good” manual can opener or something strong enough to cut the lid in emergency. Can be eaten without heating or cooking.

28.   Freeze and store milk in its container. I have been doing it for years with two pint semi-skimmed milk ones, full fat (cream) is not so good as the fat separates when defrosted. These have been handy already in extended power cuts as the freezer keeps cold, as does the fridge if you put a frozen one on the top shelf. It takes about twelve hours to defrost at 60F and the frozen milk lasts indefinitely in my experience, although I still rotate.

29.   Get a caravan size chemical toilet and some Elsan Blue or Eco Green fluid as well for when there’s no sanitation or main water to flush the loo. This is one essential that is often overlooked.

30.   You can fix up a go-bag a few moments at time by leaving it open in a place you will see it (I myself am an out-of-sight-out-of-mind person), say a corner of the kitchen, and dropping in the things you want to have at the ready. On laundry day, drop in clean socks and undies. On grocery day, buy a few easy to eat nibbles (that you like) – tuna in a pouch, nuts, dry fruit, plus a bottle of water and drop them in the bag. Make a list of other things you need to think about: first aid kit, flashlight, etc.  As you go to the hardware store, purchase these things, drop them in the bag when you get home. This is your basic backpack which you can modify according to your needs (weather, for instance).

31.   Place a pair of shoes, socks, work gloves, a whistle, and a light stick or flashlight with batteries under your bed for use during or after an emergency. Add to this a mobile phone to call for assistance, spare house and car keys in case you have to get out of the house from an upstairs window and need to get back inside to put out small fires safely with extinguishers you have placed at door exits

32.   Unless your home is 100% all electric, get a carbon monoxide alarm if you don’t already have one. And even then it’s not a bad idea as in an emergency you may want to use a propane device, and it’ll hopefully keep you from dying from the CO.

33.   Stock up on calcium chloride ice melt. Get a 50# bag and fill the empty milk jugs with it. Keep one jug in each car.

34.   Hurricane matches. Get a bunch. They aren’t cheap, but they’re the best.

35.   GMRS/FRS radio. Regular CBs can become clogged with radio traffic. A good brand can also provide encryption so you can have private discussion with family. Depending on the make and model, it may come with frequencies that require a license. In emergencies I doubt the FCC will chase you down. And in regular times, I doubt they will chase you down if you’re not being obnoxious.

36.   In addition to a flash drive, open a free “cloud” service account, many of which will give you 5-10 gigabytes of storage. An alternative to that would be to open up a new e-mail account, on Yahoo/Gmail/etc, and e-mail the documents to yourself. Unsure of what to make for a new username for an e-mail account? Take your first name + “documents” (i.e. “BillDocuments”), and use your last name as the password.

This way, if your house (and flash drive) are lost in a tornado/earthquake/fire/etc, you can still access those documents from, say, a public library computer.

37.   Another tip along with freezing jugs with water to place in the freezer, is to fill a 2 liter bottle about 1/3 full. Freeze it upright, then lay it on its side. If you come home from vacation, and the water is frozen at the bottom (sideways) in the bottle then the power was off long enough that the food may have spoiled.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Back from Ass-Crack-Istan and posting on my new site

Finally, I have returned from Ass-crack-istan.  I have decided to begin updating my new blog at Learning to survive in Texas.  I'd like to invite you all to come check out my new site and give me some feedback, please.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Why I moved to Texas to set up my homestead

Why Texas? It's not perfect, but it's well-armed

Why did I choose Texas to set up a homestead…because Texas has its own power grid unlike the rest of the nation. Texas can grow its own food. Texas is the energy capital of the nation and can produce natural gas, diesel, oil and even jet fuel. Texas has masses of armed patriots who own more guns than they do pairs of shoes, and that makes Texas practically impenetrable to any invading force.

For example, suppose North Korea launches an ICBM into the high atmosphere over North America and unleashes an EMP weapon that destroys nearly all electronics; this could theoretically be followed by a naval invasion of forces from Red China and North Korea, both of which suffer from too many young males that can hardly be fed and might as well be thrown at some enemy nation as cannon fodder. These forces would plow right through Southern California, with all its anti-gun laws and totally unprepared populations.

Oregon would fare a lot better, thanks to the country folks who know how to live off the land, and although Seattle would be quickly overrun by enemy forces, the eastern (country) parts of Washington state would put up a fierce resistance. And any enemy forces foolish enough to try to make it into Idaho would, of course, be viciously intercepted by highly capable resistance forces that would snipe, explode and shred the enemy's supply lines, halting any advance no matter how strongly intentioned. (You do not want to mess with American rebels and patriots in Idaho, for the record.)

If some enemy force was foolish enough to try to enter Texas, they would be obliterated by a mass of Texas farmers, ranchers, National Guardsmen, law enforcement officers and ex-military men who are all locked and loaded to the hilt. That's where I feel safest, in the midst of the best-armed and most well-skilled riflemen in the country, most of which are upstanding, community-minded citizens who defend life and liberty. Texas is a fortress of determined men and women who will not, under any circumstances, willfully surrender their freedoms or their Bill of Rights.

That's why people who don't own guns dial 911 -- because they want men who DO own guns to arrive as quickly as possible and solve their problem.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

8 Job hunting stategies for the holidays

For those of you whom are unemployed, I wanted you to know that I am too.  It's been almost 6 months already for me and it has been longer for me in the past too.  I have found that it is easy to succumb to distractions and despair when you're out of work during the holidays...especially during the holiday seasons.  You may vacillate between feeling blue (angry, depressed, vengeful, etc...)because you're unemployed to wanting to participate in the merriment and postpone the job search until after the New Year. Follow these tips to help you stay on track and enjoy the season at the same time:

1) Attend holiday parties and family gatherings. These events are a good time to network. Tell your family and friends what you're looking for.

2) Stay the course. The perception that hiring tapers off between Thanksgiving and the New Year is simply not correct. Be persistent and work your daily plan so you can be a standout candidate.

3) Professional Associations are holding their year-end events; they're usually well attended and you should be there, too.

4) Party animal? Tone it down. Be careful about the photographs you post online.

5) Send holiday greetings to all your contacts. Let them know you're still looking for work.

6) Refresh and repost your online resumes and professional profiles; employers are more apt to contact a currently active user. (Seriously, you should refresh your resumes on Monster and CareerBuilder every month.  I know it's time consumeing and it totally sucks to repost all that info; but, after I do it, that is when I get the most calls.

7) Volunteer using your skills and expertise to help the less fortunate.

8) Get ready for the New Year. Everybody loves the optimistic feelings that come from the prospect of a fresh start. Do a little pre-planning on those cold winter nights. Keep your eye on your goals, stay positive, have some fun, and the holidays can be a time of great satisfaction.

Friday, November 18, 2011

I know what Jefferson would do to these bastards in Congress...

You wonder why we suffer 15 million unemployed while that same Congress insources, outsources and offshores American jobs. You wonder why 45.2 million Americans subsist on food stamps. You may become distressed that 8 to 10 million illegal aliens work jobs in America with impunity. You may wonder how come our middle class continues vanishing right before our eyes. Answer: our U.S. Congress.

Thomas Jefferson hated Great Britain because of the landed gentry, the power elites—either by birth or class status, not talent—maintained a stranglehold on the financial wealth of the empire. The royalty enjoyed wealth by birthright, not by ability, education or personal effort. Even today, Prince Charles has not worked a day in his life. His mother Queen Elizabeth has not completed a single day of work to further her country’s well being. Prince William today walks around with his bride Kate on a free taxpayer ride through life. He is the lucky recipient of the sperm lottery and nothing more.

The common man did not in Jefferson’s time and does not in our time stand a chance against the power elite. Today, the power elite in Washington DC empower themselves to enrich themselves at the expense of our republic.

While Nancy Pelosi and her colleagues enrich themselves with insider information on defense contract business deals, we suffer 15 million unemployed Americans, 45.2 million Americans subsisting on food stamps, $12 billion in costs per month for endless wars, trade deficits and a $14 trillion national debt. Has Barack Obama accomplished anything to solve those problems? Answer: nothing in three years.

How can the common man fight back? Jefferson and the founding brothers gave us a method for dealing with gross incompetence and gross greed.

Vote the critters out of office in the next election! Vote a fellow American who would vote for 10 year maximum term limit in Congress. We cannot afford “forever” senators and House members that fill their bank accounts while we pay the bills.

Friday, November 11, 2011

I was forced into this may want to try it

Here's a challenge related to money. Can you go an entire 24-hour period without spending a dime? How about a week? How about a month? We often don't realize both how much we spend and where all of our money goes. From the time you wake up in the morning, money is often leaving your pocket at an alarming rate--kids need lunch money, pick up a latte on the way to work, lunch out with the co-workers, pick up dinner on the way home, shop online in the evening, etc. Here's what to do:
Don't spend anything (money, debit card, credit card) for an entire day. Sounds simple but you will need to do a little pre-planning. You will need to have enough gas in the car to get to where you are going, bring your own lunch/coffee/water, not have any last minutes bills to pay, and say "no" to the kids when they ask for cash.

Don't spend anything for an entire week. Obviously this will require even more planning. You will need to fill up your gas tank before the challenge week then limit your driving to make it last for the entire week. You will need enough food in the house to feed everyone for an entire week. You will have to make sure the bills that are due during the week will have been paid.

Finally, for the hard-core challengers, could you go an entire month without spending anything? You would need to pay your bills for the entire month, buy some prepaid gas cards to use throughout the month (and make them last so you don't end up with more month than gas), you would have to stock your home with a month's worth of food and supplement it with produce from your garden. You would have to be strong when mid-month someone (the kids, the spouse, you) are having a consumer meltdown. You would have to get creative--bartering, trading, foraging for food, fishing, basically come up with a multitude of ways to meet you and your family's needs for an entire month without spending any money at all.

What does this teach you? A lot. It shows you how often we spend money mindlessly. It will save you A LOT of money. It will teach you how to pre-plan to be self-sufficient for an extended period of time. It will show just how creative you can be. It will show you what will happen during an economic disaster when money/consumer goods may not be available for an extended period of time.

check out my new blog... Learning to survive in Texas.