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Sugar Maple Identification – Infographic

Posted by on Feb 4, 2015 in Featured, Food

Sugar Maple Identification – Infographic

With tree tapping season upon us here at The Hermitage I’ve been reading up on sugaring and tree tapping.  We’ve yet to do a real tree census on the retreat and haven’t identified any suitable maple trees yet but have already found a number of trees that can be tapped. I’m going to try tapping one of my Sycamore trees later this week.  In addition to the Maple (Rocky Mountain, Canyon/Big Tooth, Boxelder, Norway, Red, Silver, Black and of course Sugar) and Sycamore trees there are a number of other North American trees that can produce syrup yielding sap including Ironwood, Birch (River, Black, Yellow and Paper), English Walnut, Hazelnut, Black Walnut, Butternut/White Walnut…did I miss any? Anyway, today’s infographic on Sugar Maple Identification is brought to us by Ohio Thoughts… FacebookPinterestGoogleRedditTwitterTumblrEmailPrintPocketMoreLinkedInLike this:Like...

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Today in Texas They Celebrate An American Story, An American Hero

Posted by on Feb 2, 2015 in Featured, Military, Patriotism

Today in Texas They Celebrate An American Story, An American Hero

Today, Texas celebrates Chris Kyle day as declared by Texas Governor Greg Abbott…of course in the rest of the U.S. it’s just Monday… If you aren’t familiar with the story of Navy Seal Chris Kyle, check out the links below…his was a hell of a story… a historical story, a military story, a family story, a human story…an American story… Book Review: American Sniper by Chris Kyle Book Review: American Gun by Chris Kyle The Short Answer On The “Debate” about the movie, “American Sniper” Kyle on Patriotism – Quote Kyle On World Improvement – Quote Kyle on Rules of Engagement – Quote Kyle on Iraqi WMD – Quote A video of Chris Kyle’s memorial service is available. FacebookPinterestGoogleRedditTwitterTumblrEmailPrintPocketMoreLinkedInLike this:Like...

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The Short Answer On The “Debate” about “American Sniper”

Posted by on Jan 22, 2015 in Featured, Movies, Soapbox

The Short Answer On The “Debate” about “American Sniper”

I read Chris Kyle’s book “American Sniper” and think it is one of the best books out there. By all accounts, Clint Eastwood and company have done it more than justice with the recent movie version they created. On the heels of its release, there has been a fire storm of progressives* decrying the effort and besmirching the memory of Chris Kyle; a true American hero. They’ve called him a hate filled racist, said he reminds them of fictional Nazis, and more. It has raised a bit of debate on the matter. Well, I have the short answer on the subject for you Prepography readers: A: It’s not about the fact that the sniper shoots, it about the fact of why the sniper shoots that is important. You can take the stance that all snipers are equal because they shoot. In which case you are also saying that every ideology behind the shots are equal. Or, you can take the stance that “why” the sniper shoots is what ultimately matters. In which case you are making a moral judgement behind the ideology of why the shot was taken. In the end it comes down to this; either you think the ideologies that leads to death camps and killing children with drills is equal to the ideology that values life and individual freedom (even if it doesn’t do it right all the time), or you think there is a moral difference between them. You may ask why I am bringing this up on a preparedness site? Well, I’ll tell you. The morals that guide a person are what matters. If you can not make the moral distinction between differing ideologies, cultures, and values, as is the case for the former, I want to know. I want you to declare it to the world, for all to see. Shout it from the rooftops, and post about it on every blog you haven’t been banned from. I want people like me to know who will be a threat when the time comes. If you are the latter, I want to know because if you are not an ally, you, at the very least, will not be an overt threat should the SHTF. A bit dramatic; probably. It is what it is, though; deal with it. Andrew’s Note:  I recently took my Navy veteran father to see the movie and it’s one hell of a movie…but make sure to read the book! * Henceforth, I will no longer be referring to leftists as “liberals”; they will be referred to as “progressives” or “leftists”.  They are the polar opposites of what classical liberal thinking is about, and I will no longer be an accomplice to the abuse of the English language.  It is an ingrained habit, so if I slip and use the term liberal when progressive or leftists fits better, I apologise. FacebookPinterestGoogleRedditTwitterTumblrEmailPrintPocketMoreLinkedInLike this:Like...

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Privilege – A Newspeak Definition

Posted by on Jan 2, 2015 in Featured, Newspeak

Privilege – A Newspeak Definition

Today we add another term to our Newspeak Dictionary.  In traditional use the term ‘privilege’ is used to describe a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people. Unfortunately, “privilege” is now used as a Newspeak word in place of ‘achievement’ to belittle and steal from those who work hard and achieve success which violates the Progressive concept of ‘equality of outcomes.’ Thank you to Dr. Thomas Sowell for pointing out this frequent substitution in a recent article Check out the rest of our Newspeak definitions at Prepography‘s Newspeak, A Modern Political Dictionary. FacebookPinterestGoogleRedditTwitterTumblrEmailPrintPocketMoreLinkedInLike this:Like...

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Feast Of Stephen – Quote

Posted by on Dec 27, 2014 in Quote, Religious Persecution, Terrorism, War

So, on this Feast of Stephen, spare a thought not only for the leftovers in the fridge, but for the driven, kidnapped, enslaved, raped, tortured and murdered Christians our sloth and scorn have left to a hell on earth. LTC Ralph Peters via The feast of Stephen: Middle East’s persecuted Christians need our help If you only read one article this week… read Colonel Peter’s piece on the state of Christianity in the Middle East.  If you aren’t familiar with Peters he’s an enlisted soldier turned Military Intelligence officer who left the Army in order be able to write candidly about it.  I was introduced to Peters as a young Captain by one of my military mentors. FacebookPinterestGoogleRedditTwitterTumblrEmailPrintPocketMoreLinkedInLike this:Like...

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10 Steps To Sharpen A Chainsaw

Posted by on Dec 26, 2014 in Featured, Self Reliance, Shelter & Clothing Preparedness, Tool Maintenance

10 Steps To Sharpen A Chainsaw

My recent Prepography article “8 Tips For Using A Chainsaw” gave the basics on using a chainsaw. Having a sharp chain is very important for safety as well as productivity. Chains will dull very quickly, especially if cutting an extremely hard wood such as hedge. Knowing how to sharpen a chainsaw is an important skill to have. Not only will it increase the effectiveness of your efforts, it will save you money to boot because you’ll use fewer saw lubricating oils and won’t have to pay someone else to do it for you. How To Sharpen A Chainsaw In 10 Steps 1) Determine Your Chainsaw’s Gauge – You will need a rotary grindstone or chainsaw file that matches the size of the chain’s teeth. You can also buy a chainsaw sharpening kit that has everything you need in it, like the one to the right.  Typical sizes are 3/16, 5/32 and 7/32 of an inch in diameter. 2) Thoroughly Clean Your Chain – Use a brush and solvent to clean dirt, dust and debris off the chain. 3) Inspect Your Chain For Damage – Look for chipped, broken, or bent teeth. These will make a chain dangerous to use. If a tooth is worn short, it is at risk of breaking during operation, which is extremely dangerous to the operator. Replace any chain that is worn or damaged. 4) Place Your Saw On A Solid Surface – For safe and accurate filing your saw must be stable and the blade firmly supported. Use a vise to clamp the bar while allowing the chain to rotate freely is the best option. 5) Locate Your Start Point – The lead cutter on a chain is the shortest cutting tooth on the chain. If you can’t locate it, just take a permanent marker and mark a tooth as the starting point. 6) Set Your file Into The Notch On The Front Of The Cutter – The cutter is the angled “tooth” on the front of the flat surface of the chain link. Your file should exactly fit the curve of the face of the cutting tip. The top 20% of the file diameter should be above the top of the tooth.  The file should be at the same angle as the cutter. Also check your saw’s specs to find out what that correct angle is. Usually it is a 25 or 30 degree angle 7) Push The File Across The Face Of The Cutter – Using a twisting motion push the file across the cutter. The twisting motion help get the metal filings out-of-the-way. Do this on every other tooth until you have made one full rotation of the chain. 8) Reverse Sides And Repeat – Once you have sharpened all the teeth from one side, switch to the other side of your saw and repeat step Be sure that all the cutters, on both sides, are filed to the same width. This is important, because the teeth need to take the same size “bite” from the wood. This will make for a smoother cutting process. 9) Check The Clearance – Check the clearance of your depth gauges which are also known as the rakers.  These curved hook shaped pieces link the cutters. They govern the amount of wood that the cutter removes on each pass. They should be about one tenth of an inch lower than the cutter. A special tool called a Depth Gauge Tool is available online or from chainsaw dealers or hardware stores. You can eyeball it if you don’t have one but the tolerances are pretty small so use the depth gauge if possible. 10) Oil The Chain & Check Tension – Saturate the chain with oil. Then, check the tension to ensure it is not too loose, or tight. Adjust as needed, and you should be ready to cut again. FacebookPinterestGoogleRedditTwitterTumblrEmailPrintPocketMoreLinkedInLike this:Like...

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Nuts

Posted by on Dec 22, 2014 in Cognitive Preparedness, Military, Quote

Nuts

Today is the 70th Anniversary of the most intriguing series of correspondence in military history.  On December 22nd, 1944 the 101st Airborne Division, under the acting command of Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe, found itself in defense of Bastogne, Belgium and encircled by a greatly superior German force after the German surprise attack known as the Battle of the Bulge.  The enemy commander sent the BG McAuliffe the following: To the U.S.A. Commander of the encircled town of Bastogne. The fortune of war is changing. This time the U.S.A. forces in and near Bastogne have been encircled by strong German armored units. More German armored units have crossed the river Our near Ortheuville, have taken Marche and reached St. Hubert by passing through Hompre-Sibret-Tillet. Libramont is in German hands. There is only one possibility to save the encircled U.S.A. troops from total annihilation: that is the honorable surrender of the encircled town. In order to think it over a term of two hours will be granted beginning with the presentation of this note. If this proposal should be rejected one German Artillery Corps and six heavy A. A. Battalions are ready to annihilate the U.S.A. troops in and near Bastogne. The order for firing will be given immediately after this two hours term. All the serious civilian losses caused by this artillery fire would not correspond with the well-known American humanity. The German Commander. According to the accounts from those present when McAuliffe was given the German message, he read it, crumpled it into a ball and threw it in the trash while exclaiming, “Aw, nuts”.  After a short deliberation on what the official response should be, McAuliffe and his staff accepted the suggestion of Lieutenant Colonel Harry Kinnard that BG McAuliffe’s first response summed up the situation pretty well. To the German Commander. NUTS! The American Commander Of course, the German’s being Germans…didn’t understand the message and asked the American officer delivering the message what it meant…”In plain English? Go to hell.” was the response. The day after Christmas the U.S. 4th Armored Division reinforced the 101st Airborne and drove the Germans back. To this day the anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge is celebrated in Belgium by the gift of nuts. May you never have to fight a desperate battle against incredible odds…but if you do, think of BG McAuliffe, a liberated Belgium, the 101st Airborne Division and…Nuts. FacebookPinterestGoogleRedditTwitterTumblrEmailPrintPocketMoreLinkedInLike this:Like...

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Cogitation – The Woosification Of American Men

Posted by on Dec 17, 2014 in Cogitation, Food, Television

Cogitation – The Woosification Of American Men

A buddy turned me onto the Creek Stewart survivalist show called Fat Guys In The Woods on the Weather Channel.  It’s not exciting, it’s not fancy, it’s not high drama but it is a great show to learn about bushcraft and the woosification of American men. Each episode revolves around three couch potatoes who are stuck in a rut of some form and need to make a change in their life.  Creek’s goal is to help his rotund padawans build self confidence to move forward in their lives outside the woods.  Creek’s approach is similar to that used by Outward Bound but revolves primarily around primitive wilderness skills.  The guys enter the woods and Stewart walks them through shelter building, food acquisition as well as water acquisition and purification.  By the end of their week in the woods the fat guys have developed some basic bushcraft skills which they get to put to the test by striking out on their own for the final day and night. For thousands of years, man lived wild and our triumph over mother nature defined who we were. We were rugged; we were strong and as we evolved our ingenuity led to towering achievements. We secured our place at the top of the food chain and now we have the waistline to prove it… Get off the couch and come out to the woods. Creek Stewart The show seems to go out of their way to pick guys that haven’t spent a lot of time outside or in primitive environments and most of the fat guys seem to rise to the occasion and learn important life lessons but what amazes me is how many of these grown men fall to pieces when it comes time to kill game to eat.  Whatever happened to Dad and Grandpa taking their young men into the woods and teaching them where their food really comes from? Before your steak hits the grill it had a face and that’s OK…that’s the way the food chain works, the way God intended it and it is a very good thing to be at the top of the chain.  There’s no reason to be squeamish about taking a more active part in dispatching and butchering game and livestock…in my opinion it’s not just a good set of skills (dispatching & butchering animals) to have but is also is a more honest approach than believing that your protein comes from cellophane and Styrofoam.  Preparedness goals aside…shying away from taking part in the acquisition and preparation of one’s protein is just another symptom of the woosification of American men. That said, check out Fat Guys In The Woods, it’s a much better show than the majority of what passes for entertainment these days…oh and check out the incredible bug out vehicle that Creek pulls up in at the beginning of most episodes…a lot of us followed him making this truck on his Willow Haven Outdoor website over the past couple of years. FacebookPinterestGoogleRedditTwitterTumblrEmailPrintPocketMoreLinkedInLike this:Like...

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First Aid For Frostbite In 5 Steps

Posted by on Dec 11, 2014 in Featured, First Aid

First Aid For Frostbite In 5 Steps

Winter is almost upon us and freezing temperatures are already here.  Part of the Full Spectrum Preparedness Doctrine is recognizing the dangers we may face and being able to address them.  One of the major dangers in cold weather is frostbite.  Knowing first aid for frostbite is an important first aid skill to know once freezing temperatures arise. What is frostbite? Frostbite is a medical condition that results from the freezing of the body’s tissue. It usually affects the parts of the body that are farthest from the heart and large patches of exposed skin. Frostbite is characterized by the constriction of the skin, as blood is shunted to the body’s core in an attempt to maintain body temperature. The affected tissue freezes, and ice crystals form inside the body’s cells. As the tissue thaws, symptoms range from pain and itching (1st degree) to deep tissue damage (3rd and 4th degree), which can result in the necessity to amputate or excise dead tissue. Death can occur if left untreated, so it is important to seek medical assistance and know first aid for frostbite. Treating Frostbite In 5 Steps. Step One Get out of the cold. If you can not, do not start treating frostbite until you reach safety. Step 2 Before treating frostbite, remove any jewelry, as swelling will occur as the tissue thaws. Step 3 Submerge the affected area in body-temperature water. Change the water as it cools down. Try to keep the water at a constant temperature. Step 4 Use body heat for treating mild cases of frostbite, if water is not available. Step 5 Wrap damaged tissue in sterile bandages to protect the affected area from infection. Wrap affected digits (fingers and toes) in individual wrappings. Remember in any case of frostbite, seek professional medical attention as soon as possible. WARNING!!! When treating frostbite, DO NOT place frostbite victim near a fire or heater. If nerve damage has occurred, they may not feel tissue burning if placed too close to the flame. FacebookPinterestGoogleRedditTwitterTumblrEmailPrintPocketMoreLinkedInLike this:Like...

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8 Tips For Using A Chainsaw

Posted by on Dec 9, 2014 in Featured, Self Reliance, Shelter & Clothing Preparedness

8 Tips For Using A Chainsaw

Using a chainsaw to cut wood is an essential part of maintaining a homestead and providing your home with an alternative heating fuel source. Both of the aforementioned are integral parts of the Full Spectrum Preparedness Doctrine. Whether you are an experienced chainsaw user, or a novice starting out, any time of year is a good time to cut wood.  In my book, now is the best time, though. Late fall is upon us, and we’ve had our first hard freeze. This is for a variety of reasons: It’s not too hot, or too cold; making cutting wood much more comfortable. Most of the things bite, sting and make you itch have been killed off with the first freeze. The small underlying vegetation and leaves have died back, or fallen, making it easier to move around and get to trees that will be cut. With this in mind, here are Prepography‘s: 8 Tips For Using A Chainsaw 1) Select a model that is dependable , that you can handle, and is the right size for what you are cutting. Chainsaws come in a variety of sizes, from a number of manufacturers. Like anything else you buy, “you get what you pay for”. There are some inexpensive reliable models, as well as some more expensive unreliable ones. Consumer reviews are great at helping you decide which one is best quality and best suited to your needs. Chainsaws range from small electric models with 12 inch bar blades, suitable only for cutting small limbs, to huge industrial ones with large bow blades used for lumberjacking. A novice would not want to start with one of the latter, as it would be too unwieldy for them. Conversely, they may find the smaller one incapable of doing what they want. As a rule of thumb, you should be able to comfortably lift the chainsaw, and the blade should be about 1/4 to 1/3rd larger than what you want to cut. Engine power and size, known as HP and displacement, are usually dependent on the blade size, and are matched at the factory. The biggest reason all this is important is safety. When using a chainsaw, use the proper tool for the proper job. 2) Get familiar with your chainsaw. Before you even start your chainsaw, read the operators manual. Book learn the tool and its operation. Know how to maintain it. Learn proper safety precautions for using a chainsaw. Thanks to the internet, there are videos, and online courses you can watch. Your local chainsaw dealer, or big box DYI store might even offer training courses as well. Lacking all this, find someone with experience to teach you. Even if you are an experienced chainsaw user, it is good to periodically review the manual; lest you become complacent or forget something. 3) Do a maintenance and safety check on your chainsaw. Before using a chainsaw, check to ensure everything is in proper working order. Check all the fluid levels, and ensure that you are using the proper ones. Chainsaws use a special mix of small engine oil and gas. There is also specially weighted oil for use in small engines. Using improper fuel and oil will cause damage to your chainsaw. In addition to the fluids, make sure everything is mechanically good on your chainsaw. Ensure nuts and bolts are tight. Ensure the chain is fitted properly and sharp. Not only is all this important for the long life of the chainsaw, but safety as well. Once you’ve done all the above, fire up your chainsaw and make sure it runs properly. Be sure to always use two hands when operating your chainsaw. 4) Starting your chainsaw. The proper methods of starting your chainsaw is as follows: Engage the chain brake before you start your chainsaw. Hold the front handle with your left hand and lock the body of the saw head between your legs. Pull the start cord with your right hand using short, fast strokes. Alternatively Place the chainsaw on the ground and put your foot through the back handle to hold the chainsaw down. Hold the front handle with your left hand Pull the start cord with your right hand using short, fast strokes. 5) Suiting up and safety gear. When operating your chainsaw, be sure you have the proper safety clothing and gear. At a bare minimum, you should have proper heavy-duty outdoor work attire, safety gloves, safety glasses/goggles, and hearing protection. Additionally, you could wear a leather apron and chaps to protect your torso and legs. A safety helmet and face shield also improves safety. Other gear that improves safety are straps or chains with a come-a-long, for securing things being cut and a maul and wedges in case your blade gets bound in a cut. 6) Know...

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