Socialism Endorses Theft

Sanders The SocialistHistorically Socialism, (Collectivism, Democratic Socialism, Communism, Totalitarianism or whatever other name you want to give it) has proved so wildly successful that Bernie Sanders, a major Democrat presidential candidate and his legion of supporters are thinking…

Argentina has such a great economy…

Venezuela no longer can import or produce most consumer goods…

Greece figured out a way to make temporarily make Germany pay for retirement benefits starting at age 50 and it only cost them their dignity and future…

Jews and other ‘undesirable’ groups fared so well under National Socialism (NAZI) rule in 1930’s and 40’s Germany…

The multitude of refugees fleeing Cuba in death defying homemade watercraft over the past half century just didn’t properly understand the tiny nations social principals and how poverty and oppression is good for them…

China even takes away their citizens’ subjects’ right to reproduce with a one-child policy that is as cruel as it is demographically challenging…who’s going to take care of billions of geriatric Chinese in a few decades…

Even the once powerful Soviet Union has been banished to the dust heap of history…and yet many Americans, including Senator Bernie Sanders exclaim…

“Socialism, I’ve got to get me some of that!”

British Prime Minister  Margaret Thatcher really was right about socialist governments when she stated that “They always run out of other people’s money.”  It’s hard to deprive folks of their hard earned private property without also taking away other rights and freedoms:

… like the freedom of speech, an example of which is a proposal by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) to utilize R.I.C.O. laws designed to prosecute organized crime to go after climate change skeptics.

…like the freedom of the press which has suffered a number of assaults recently including the report of a Supreme Court Justice chomping at the bit to hobble independent journalism outlets like the Drudge Report utilizing a ‘reinterpretation’ of copywrite law or, as Jennifer Granock of Forbes described it in an article last year this “has been the most aggressive Administration in history, not only in going after whistleblowers, but also pursuing the reporters who write their stories” utilizing criminal statutes.

…even We The People‘s last bastion against tyranny or foreign invasion has come under attack with President Obama and Democrat presidential contender Hillary Clinton openly calling for firearms confiscations and the end to our 2nd Amendment as we know it.

Please encourage your friends and love ones who consider Socialism a construct worth considering to study Economics, History, Logic or even the psychology of basic human motivations so they can learn for themselves the devastation that a Tragedy of the Commons could reach on the scale of a nation such as ours.

Top 10 Benefits To Raising Meat Rabbits

When many people think of raising rabbits, the image of a cute and cuddly pet comes to mind.  If that’s your only frame of reference for raising rabbits than beware as this article discusses a far more important reason for raising rabbits…raising rabbits for meat production.  Raising rabbits is an inexpensive and potentially stealthy way to help your family become more food secure and self sufficient. Throughout mankind’s history, and in many cultures, domesticated rabbits have been valuable source of food.  The following is a list of the Top 10 Benefits To Raising Meat Rabbits:

Production Benefits of Raising Meat Rabbits:

1.  Rabbits are one of the most productive and economical livestock available.  One rabbit can produce 6 lbs of meat on the same amount of feed and water that a cow produces only 1 lbs of meat.  Think about that for a minute…600% more efficient than beef!  The only livestock animal that can out produce the rabbit in terms of turning feed into meat is the chicken due to egg production.

2.  Rabbit are prolific breeders.  Because rabbits are prey animals; an animal that provides food for the higher level predators, they are biologically hard wired to be prolific breeders.  Let’s face it, a rabbit’s primary functions in nature are to make babies and get eaten.  Female rabbits are fertile 365 days a year unless environmental stress causes them to temporarily become infertile.  Their gestation period is about 28 days, and a female rabbit can become impregnated again within 24 hours of giving birth.

3.  Rabbits mature quickly.  Again, genetically rabbits are hard wired to grow quickly.  Baby rabbits, known as kits, wean at about 4 weeks. It only takes about 8 weeks for a rabbit to reach butchering weight.  All this means that under an intensive and highly managed breeding program, a buck (the male rabbit) and 2 does (the female rabbit) can produce enough kits to give you almost 300lbs of meat a year.

4.  Rabbits take up a relatively small footprint.  Depending on the size of the breed, adult rabbits only need from 1.5 to 5 sq ft of space, each. Typical meat breeds need from 3-4 sq ft to be productive.  Because of this small foot print, many rabbits can be raised in a given space that larger livestock, like say cows, pigs, or goats.

5.  Rabbits can be raised where other livestock can’t.  Even though there is a nationwide movement in the US, there are many places where raising livestock is prohibited, or highly regulated.  Because of the small foot print and zoning laws in many municipalities, rabbits can be raised where other livestock can’t.  Often rabbits are allowed even in places that ban chickens.  Except if caught by a predator a rabbit is nearly silent…no noises to bother the neighbors into calling the authorities.  If I was unlucky enough to live in a town that didn’t allow me to raise meat rabbits, I might just have to have a few rabbits as ‘pets’ and because they are also relatively clean, so they don’t generally raise any red flags with neighbors or city officials.

6.  Compost.  Rabbit create a prolific amount of poop.  This by product is excellent for composting as it is high in nitrates.  Composted properly you are left with high quality amendment that can be used in your garden, or sold to others.

Production Bonus Benefit:  Raising Rabbits With Children.  Home rabbit production provides an additional benefit to those with young children.  By including your children in the rabbit production process your kids should come away with a greater appreciation of what it takes to put meat on the table and the fact that meat doesn’t really come from a Styrofoam package. 

Heath Benefits of Raising Meat Rabbits:

7.  Rabbit meat is high in protein.  In fact, out of all the readily available protein sources (store bought and farm raised), rabbit meat has the highest percentage of protein.  A 3oz serving of rabbit contains about 24.7 grams of protein.  The proteins in rabbit meat are also easily digestible.

8.  Rabbit Meat is very lean. Rabbits do have fat, but unlike beef and other livestock, the fat is not distributed throughout the muscle but is primarily deposited around it’s internal organs.  In fact, a 3oz serving of rabbit meat contains about 6.8 grams of fat which is about 1/3 of the fat that you’d find in a comparable serving of beef.  Because of this, there is actually a risk of starvation if you eat nothing but rabbit meat but as part of a well rounded diet it’s a very lean, healthy protein.

Rabbit meat is low in calories: Because it is so low in fat, rabbit meat is an excellent meat to eat in order to maintain proper weight. At 167 calories per 3oz serving, it comes in below both beef and pork as a healthy food. During normal times eating rabbit meat, along with vegetables and fruit, you can maintain a proper diet. In a survival situation, though, you will want to have other high calorie foods available to supplement the rabbit meat.

9.  Rabbit meat is low in cholesterol. If you suffer from elevated cholesterol, rabbit meat is a good alternative to other protein sources.  3oz of rabbit meat contains about 70mg of cholesterol.  The American Heart Association recommend no more than 300mg a day, and no more that 200 if you already suffer from heart disease.

Culinary Benefits of Raising Meat Rabbits:

10.  Rabbit meat has a very mild flavor.  Unlike beef, rabbit meat does not have a strong flavor.  This means that it makes a very good canvas for other flavors in the dish, much the same way chicken does. This makes rabbit meat a very versatile food to cook with.

Culinary Bonus Benefit:  Rabbits have a high meat to bone ratio.  Meat rabbit breeds have been developed to yield a high meat to bone ratio.  This means that there is more edible meat on the carcass of a butchered meat than can even be achieved with chickens.  A live 5lbs rabbit will dress out at about 3lbs.

Raising Meat Rabbits: Conclusion

Rabbit Cacciatore

Rabbit Cacciatore

I have been raising rabbits for meat production for about 5 years.  I have learned a lot along the way.  There is something fulfilling about knowing exactly where my food has come from and what is in it.  I’ve also gotten a lot of enjoyment out of the process.  I enjoy going out and spending time with my rabbits.  My family makes fun on me, because I talk to them and interact with them but just because a creature is livestock doesn’t mean that it should be treated as, well…livestock.

While rabbit isn’t on the daily menu for most of us here in the U.S., rabbit recipes abound especially in the culinary traditions of Northern Italy and France.  If you can’t find a rabbit specific recipe that sounds good to you, do not fret.  Because of it’s versatility, you can substitute rabbit in many recipes that call for chicken.  Low (temp) and slow (time) are the watch words when cooking rabbit.

I’ve gained a lot of perspective while raising rabbits both on my family’s nutritional needs and the mechanisms we use to fulfill those needs.  When raising my rabbits, I endevour to provide them with a healthy and happy existence before they are butchered, dispatch the animal humanely and utilize as much of the rabbit as possible.  The rabbits we consume are making the ultimate sacrifice for me and my family, and it is the least I can do for them.  If you are looking for an alternative source of meat, during the good times, as well as the bad, raising rabbits is something you should seriously consider.

Econo Prepping: Make A Simple Dehydrator

In the Prepography post entitled “Top 10 Food Dehydrating Tips“, I detailed the benefits of dehydrating your own food. One of the most important pieces of equipment for dehydrating in the modern era is the store-bought dehydrator. Shocking, I know! There could be several reasons why you haven’t already run out and purchased a new dehydrator based on my sage advice. The price of a new one could be outside your budget. You could be a cheapskate and don’t want to spend the money. or, you could be one of those industrious types that thinks you could build one cheaper, and better than one bought from a store. Well, this post is for you and will help you make a simple dehydrator.

In fact, you can make a simple dehydrator using nothing but household items.  It will by no means be as good as a Nesco or Excalibur but it will; given time, patience and attention, get the job done. Gathering the parts to make a simple dehydrator will take longer than actually putting it together and making it operational.

WARNING:  Your home-made dehydrator won’t be the subject of an ISO testing regime so make sure to use it only in a fire-safe area that you closely monitor during the dehydrating process.

Materials Needed To Make A Simple Dehydrator

Make A Simple Dehydrator

Step 1: Select a large cardboard box. A suitable box should be able to stand on its end for easy access. Make sure not to use a plastic box as there may be the risk of off gassing when the dehydrator heats up or melting. Line the inside with aluminum foil using tape. Double sided tape works best for this step.

Step 2: Insert and mount your heat source, with the cord running through the side or back of the box. Try and keep the hole as small and insulated as possible, in order to cut down on heat loss. A word on the heat source, use a bulb that gives off heat. A 75w or 100w incandescent bulb works great. An LED, or CFL bulb won’t give off the necessary heat.  Make sure there are no exposed wires in contact with the aluminum foil, as moisture may accumulate inside your box.

Step 3 (Optional): Insert and mount your fan.  Place the fan opposite your heat source. Adding the fan to the process will help with the dehydrating process by circulating the warm air and helping remove moisture from your food.

Step 4: Cut holes in the sides of the box to slide your wooden slats or dowels through to place your racks on.  Some suggest that you could use PVC for the rack supports but due to the possibility of off-gassing, my suggestion is to use wooden dowels, slats or a freestanding rack.

Step 5: Make vent holes at the top to allow the moisture to escape. You want to use numerous smaller holes, rather than fewer larger holes.  The reason for this is that moisture will collect on the areas where there is no ventilation.

Step 6: Insert the cooking thermometer into the side of the box, at about the level of you rack supports.  Ensure you can read your thermometer from the outside of the box.  If you were to place the thermometer inside you would have to open the box to read it and would lose valuable heat in the process.

Step 7:  Place your newly constructed dehydrator in a fire safe area.

Step 8:  Place your food on the racks and mount inside your box.

Step 8: Close your box, turn on your new dehydrator and let the food dehydrate!  Make sure to monitor your dehydrator for safety during the dehydration process.

Using Your Simple Dehydrator

Some notes on using your home made dehydrator.  First and foremost, do not leave you dehydrator unattended; safety, safety, safety.  The next thing is managing the heat.  Different foods need to be dehydrated at different temperatures, for best results.  The table below shows you the proper temperature for different foods:

Dehydrator Temperatures
Fruit & Vegetables 130°-140° F
Meats 145° F or higher
Herbs 95°-110° F

You can manage the heat inside the box, by leaving the box slightly open or closing it up.

18 Ways Water Heals and Prevents

Water is a key component of survival. Water security falls under more than one section of the Full Spectrum Preparedness doctrine. This article highlights how water is integral in the Health & Medical Preparedness function of the FSP doctrine. Based off the ideas in the manual “Where There Is No Doctor” by David Werner, Jane Maxwell, and Carol Thurman (free download) or purchase as paperback, it details: 

18 Ways Water Heals and Prevents

1) Prevent diarrhea, worms, gut infections – Filtering and boiling water before using it for drinking, or hygiene, will help kill germs and bacteria that can cause diarrhea, worms, and gut infections. In third world countries, and in areas hit by disaster these are the leading causes of sickness, and death, especially among children.
2) Prevent Skin Infections – By bathing often, in clean, treated water, you can help prevent skin infections like impetigo, ring worm and folliculitis; among others. These highly infectious infections can run rampant through a population that doesn’t bath properly, and often, as part of their hygiene practices.
3) Prevent wounds from becoming infected – The danger of a wound becoming infected is greatly reduced if it is washed thoroughly with clean water and soap, as soon as possible. Infected wounds can lead to other problems, all the way through death, if not treated properly.
4) Treat Diarrhea and dehydration – Diarrhea is one of the largest cause of death throughout the world. The diarrhea itself does not kill the patient. It is the associated dehydration that ultimately kills them. When struck with a bout of diarrhea, drink plenty of water/liquids.
5) Treat Illness With Fever – The high temperatures associated with fevers can lead to complications that staying hydrated might prevent. By maintaining proper hydration, you can circumvent situation that can lead to more dangerous condition as well as reducing discomfort and symptoms.
6) Treat A High Fever – Along with the dangers of dehydration, a high fever can also pose a threat from the temperature itself. If a fever goes over 103 degrees F, brain damage and organ failure can result. Soaking a patient with a wet, cool compress can help reduce a dangerously high temperature and increase comfort. In extreme cases, submerging the patient in a cool bath, or ice may mean the difference between life and death.
7) Treat Minor Urinary Infections – This common ailment can strike men and women of any age. They can be very painful, and lead to life threatening complications. Mixing 1 cup of water with 1 tsp of baking soda then drinking can help alleviate some of the discomfort. While it may not be the most appetizing of combinations, the mixture may be able to help lessen the intensity of a urinary tract infection or UTI.
8) Treat Coughs, Asthma, Bronchitis and Pneumonia – Again, maintaining proper hydration is key to good health and healing. When you have a cough, asthma, bronchitis, or pneumonia drink plenty of water. You can also help loosen mucus by inhaling hot water vapors
9) Treat Sores, Impetigo, Ringworm, Cradle cap, A Pimple – If infected by one of the aforementioned ailments, the best solution is to washing with soap and water. using a wash cloth, lightly scrub the area. This will help remove dead and infected tissue, and promote faster healing.
10) Treat Infected Wounds, Abscesses And Boils – Once an infection gets deep enough, more than simple washing may be called for. Soaking in a hot tub, or using a hot compress can help alleviate discomfort, as well as draw out infection from wounds, abscesses and boils. If done early enough, lancing, or excising the infected area may not be necessary.
11) Treat Stiff/Sore Muscles And Joints – Taking a hot soak, or using hot compresses will relieve pain from muscles and joint made stiff by over use and stress. The increased blood flow they generate will also help quicken the healing process.
12) Treat Strains And Sprains – By alternating cold and hot soaks, you can hasten recover from strains ans sprains. The cold soak will lessen swelling, improving comfort, and the hot soaks will increase blood flow, which helps with recovery.
13) Treat Itching, Burning, Or Weeping Skin Irritations – The pain and irritation from rashes caused by things like poison ivy and poison oak can be lessened with a cold compress.
14) Treat Minor Burns – After receiving a minor burn, immediately hold the effected area under cold water. This will help numb the area, and reduce any swelling that may occur.
15) Treat sore throats or tonsillitis – The most common home remedy for treating a sore throat, or infected tonsils, is to gargle with a warm salt water solution. Mix 1 teaspoon of salt per glass of water, and gargle. Ensure you get the solution to the very back of your throat.
16) Acid, Dirt or Irritating Substance In Eye – If you get a foreign substance, or chemical in your eye, thoroughly flush the eye with cold water at once. Continue to do so for 30 minutes.
17) Treat Constipation Or Hard Stools – Drinks lots of water can help hydrate your dietary tract. This will help treat, and prevent, constipation and hard stools.
18) Treat Cold Sores Or Fever Blisters – At the first sign of a cold sore, or fever blister, hold an ice-cube on the inflamed area for several minutes. This will help keep the swelling down, as well as numbing the associated pain.

Where There Is No Doctor18 Ways Water Heals and Prevents – Conclusion

While water can help prevent and heal, as this list highlights, hydration is the common thread in recovery. Proper hydration is only attainable if you have a clean, safe source of water. To learn more about water preparedness, click on the Prepography links below:

Bug Out Skivvies

If you’d asked me when I started this website if I’d ever write about underwear I’d have given you an emphatic “NO!”  But the topic seems to come up from time to time and believe it or not it really is preparedness related.  In a previous post I described the Magic Fireproof Underwear that I wore in Iraq.  Here at Prepography we often borrow heavily from our military experiences to advise our preparedness activities but we aren’t wed to them when something else will work as well or provides a better value so today we’re talking about my new Bug Out Skivvies!

Once or twice a year I update my bug out bag which largely does double duty as my get home bag.  I strip it down, check expiration dates and function check all the contents before deciding what I want to update or change based on new skills, knowledge or tweaks in my preparedness philosophy.  One piece of knowledge that I’ve added since moving to The Hermitage, our homestead is that cotton underwear just doesn’t do it when they’re sure to get wet from sweat or rain and you’ll be spending large amounts of time trying to stay warm and/or avoid chaffing.  I did have previous experience with the XGO underwear (the magic fireproof underwear with moisture wicking properties) I wore overseas but frankly I’m a briefs wearer and boxer briefs (which is what XGO makes) are all well and good when the twigs & berries are in jeopardy from IED generated fire but definitely wouldn’t be my first choice in areas that are to date…virtually IED free.

I’ve been actively reading the past year or so about ultra lightweight travelling and ultra lightweight hiking tips, tricks, techniques and gear and have been incorporating some of what I’ve learned into my Bug out bag.  One of the pieces of ‘gear’ that virtually everyone in those communities recommends is ExOfficio brand underwear so I decided to give them a go.  I discovered that:

  1. ExOfficio brand products offer the same or better wicking protection than I received from my XGO underwear

    Magic Fireproof Underwear

    XGO Magic Fireproof Underwear

  2. ExOfficio brand underwear costs about 2/3rd’s the cost of the XGO underwear, just remember that XGO provides fire protection and ExOfficio synthetics would likely melt under high heat
  3. ExOfficio offers briefs and boxers as well as the boxer brief style that XGO offers (XGO does offer some balaclavas and long underwear options that have value as fire retardant layers though)
  4. ExOfficio is treated with an antimicrobial just like XGO.  While they describe their technology differently they both help eliminate odors and keep your privates healthy.
  5. ExOfficio offers outerwear layers made of the same moisture wicking material
  6. The ExOfficio briefs I ordered weigh significantly less than my XGO boxer briefs.
  7. ExOfficio brand underwear costs about 2/3rd’s the cost of the XGO underwear, just remember that XGO provides fire protection and ExOfficio synthetics would likely melt under high heat

I’ll spare you the details of the 2 day stress test I put my new Bug Out Skivvies through but suffice it to say that they came through as all the ultra lightweight testimonials described.

Bug Out Skivvies

ExOfficio Underwear

ExOfficio underwear is available for both men and women.  It is made of 94% nylon and 6% lycra which is light weight, wicks moisture effectively, provides great comfort and dries out quickly.  In fact after testing this underwear I’ve reduced the pairs of underwear in my but out bag to 2 pair of underwear…I’ll wear one and wash one…no need to wait for it to dry either…just roll them up in a dry towel after washing and they’re ready to wear…hang them off your pack or set them in the sun for a few minutes if you want them 100% dry.

While XGO products would be my go to choice in a war zone or for fire fighting operations, I’ve found ExOfficio brand underwear to be as comfortable to wear to the office as it is to sweat through all day on the homestead (no chaffing).  Additionally, while more expensive than cotton briefs they are cost effective as compared to other wicking garments like those made by XGO and are extremely light weight.  My new ExOfficio briefs have already replaced all the bug out skivvies in my bug out bag / get home bag, I’m going to buy enough pairs to use while traveling and will likely replace much of my daily wear unmentionables as I wear them out as well.  In fact they aren’t just good for bug out skivvies but good around the homestead or working outside as well.  If you try them out, let me know what you think.

ExOfficio Men’s Give-N-Go Brief,Charcoal,Medium

 

Cogitation: Casuistry and The Laws of the Land

Recent Supreme Court rulings are what brings this Prepography cogitation on ‘Casuistry’ to you.  Actually, it is the majority opinions reaffirming several decisions that bring us here.  The US Supreme Court has ruled in favor of what many see as the federal government’s overreach of power in several cases.  In these cases, instead of reviewing the constitutionality of the law as written the majority decisions have apparently allowed political conscience to shape ‘legal’ judgment.
The Merriam-Webster definition of casuistry: casuistry noun ca·su·ist·ry \ˈkazh-wə-strē, ˈka-zhə-\ plural ca·su·ist·ries.  Definition of CASUISTRY 1: a resolving of specific cases of conscience, duty, or conduct through interpretation of ethical principles or religious doctrine 2: specious argument : rationalization
A majority of Supreme Court justices have speciously rendered judgment based on the divined or redefined ‘intention’ of the lawmakers vs ruling on the laws as written.  The majority opinion on King v. Bruwell (Affordable Care Act Subsidies Case) doesn’t even try to hide this fact.  The law, as written, has no bearing on how it is interpreted and enforced.  So, now every law written in the US is by precedent prefaced with  the statement “what the law really intended was…”.
This is not a political screed.  This is a word of caution for the readers of Prepography.  Make no mistake about it.  The lifestyle that the type of person who reads Prepography attempts to lead is antithetical to the future that our nation’s leaders (who increasingly look like an oligarchy) are trying to bring about.  Prepography readers seek the freedom to prepare as they see fit.  They also seek self-sufficiency so that they do not have to rely on “the system”.  This freedom and lack of dependency is a threat to those that wish to control every aspect of our daily lives.  Previously, freedom loving people were protected by the law but our nation’s leaders, on the bench and both sides of the aisles no longer seem constrained by the law.  In fact, our three branches of government almost seem to be conspiring to achieve a single desired outcome rather than serving as checks and balances on each other’s power.  Poorly written laws no longer need to be re-written, they can just be ‘interpreted’ by judges and an increasingly powerful Executive branch that is serviced by legions of bureaucrats.
It doesn’t take a genius to understand that it won’t take long for the government to use this new precedent to further encroach on the freedoms and rights of people and groups who stand in opposition to the path the country is currently on.  Dr. Thomas Sowell described the resulting situation very succinctly in his recent article Supreme Court Disasters:  “When any branch of government can exercise powers not authorized by either statutes or the Constitution, ‘we the people’ are no longer free citizens but subjects, and our “public servants” are really our public masters. And America is no longer America. The freedom for which whole generations of Americans have fought and died is gradually but increasingly being taken away from us with smooth and slippery words.”

5 Tips on Bugging Out Into The Woods

If you have spent any time at all in the on-line Prepper community, you have no doubt seen discussion from people who have plans for bugging out into the woods and living off the land in the event of a crisis. These discussions lay out optimistic projections of grabbing a BOB and hoofing it into the woods. There, the authors will hunt and forage in order to survive whatever crisis they are escaping. The reality of bugging out into the woods will most likely be considerably different than those author’s fantasies. We’ve been discussing these wilderness fantasies recently and have come up with 5 tips on bugging out into the woods. Bugging Out Into The Woods

1) Have A Plan, Otherwise You Are Just A Refugee.
Having a vague plan of bugging out “into the woods;” essentially taking an extended camping trip, is not a real plan. We were all raised on movies where the city slicker was dropped unexpectedly into the wilderness and through some difficulties learned to live off the land but there are very few people who have the necessary skills to survive this kind of life long term.  Even Dick Proenneke had a plan that included regular resupply from civilization.  Being part of some mass exodus with no prepared location waiting for you makes you a refugee, no matter how well equipped you are. If you own the property you are bugging out to a plan might include building shelter ahead of time and laying in an extensive collection of prepositioned caches. If you don’t own your property your choices are retreating to public lands with every other mountain-man wannabe or trespassing on other people’s lands.  With resources running thin either situation can get you in legal trouble if there’s still some rule of law or worse.  If your plan includes unnecessary trespass and theft then you aren’t a prepper…and may not even be a survivor…you’re a criminal.

2) Be prepared to be hungry
There are a couple of T.V. shows on currently that show exactly how hard it is to procure adequate food for yourself while in the woods even if you’re a ‘survival expert’ or have one advising you. On both “Fat Guys In The Woods“, and “Naked And Afraid“, after just a couple of days the common thread is extreme hunger.  These types of shows inevitably end up focusing more on human endurance than survival skills because that’s the best you can hope for without a plan…to endure temporarily.  Remember also that these experts have an idea of where they will be filming and have time to prepare for local conditions and study up on seasonally appropriate foraging targets. In a long-term crisis, you can pack in only so much food so eventually, you will run out and have to rely on foraging. Also, you had best be prepared to open your mind to a whole new level of food options; many of them less than palatable and unless foraging for food is a skill that you practice daily you will quickly find yourself in an endurance situation.  How long can you go without adequate food before you get hurt or sick and then things are likely to get worse.

3) Be prepared to be miserable.
Have you ever been on an extended camping/back-packing trip? As enjoyable as it is, remember how good it felt to go home. This is especially true after trips which it rained buckets or was extremely cold or hot. There may be no going home when bugging out into the woods during a long-term crisis. While effective, primitive fire making techniques truly stink in all but the most ideal circumstances. When you are tired, wet, cold, have low morale, and have not been eating well fires are very difficult to get going. Living in a primitive shelter for extended periods isn’t comfortable, either. Shelter building, hygiene, water purification, protection from the elements, bug repellant, fuel collection and every other facet of life is harder in primitive conditions.

4) Be prepared to fight for resources.
If you live near a major population center, be prepared for hundreds, if not thousands of people having the same idea as you. There may be masses of uninformed people heading in to the woods just like you and they will be scared, hungry, desperate and dangerous.  They will be competing for the very same resources that you are.  One of the sad repercussions of the Great Depression was that across the entire country wildlife populations were decimated from over hunting and this wasn’t even a WROL situation.  The deer herd in my state was down to less than 5,000 (est. 2.5M now, with modern management) in the mid 30s.  Think about that for a moment…an entire state’s deer herd hunted to near extinction and the U.S population was 41% of what it is today. You had better be prepared to face people in the woods who are willing to kill to take what they need to survive.

5) Be prepared to die.
Unless you already practice a primitive lifestyle, be prepared to die in your bug out location in the woods and if you are a lone wolf survivalist then be prepared to die alone. Even those well versed in primitive living will face a multitude of dangers in the wilderness and if your bug out location is a ‘wilderness area’ surrounded by sizeable population…heaven help you. Under normal circumstances transitioning rapidly to a primitive lifestyle is difficult…in the midst of a crisis the challenges are likely insurmountable.  In a long-term crisis situation, without the support a modern infrastructure, they can be life threatening. A simple medical condition can turn into a mortal danger. There was a reason why many pioneers died at a reasonably young age.

Bugging Out Into The Woods Conclusion

Don’t take this article as a condemnation of bugging out into the woods. It has its place in any survival plan…but the key word there is PLAN.  Plan ahead to provide yourself the tools, supplies, skills, knowledge and elbowroom you’ll need to survive. We are simply trying to point out that it is not the best course of action, under most circumstances. If you must take that course, make sure that you have exhausted all other options.

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.

Prepping for Riots & Civil Unrest – 10 Tips

Ferguson Response NetworkAs the mainstream media positively salivates over the anticipated civil unrest and rioting that’s expected following the release of the dual Grand Jury investigation and Department of Justice investigations that are expected to exonerate Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, a teenager of African decent we thought it might be a good idea to review tips on prepping for riots and civil unrest.  According to a knowledgeable multi-juristictional law enforcement analyst the law enforcement community is more concerned about the aftermath of the Ferguson shooting information release than any event since 9/11.

A riot or period of riots/civil unrest is best avoided and the Prepping for Riots and Civil Unrest tips below should help you avoid or if necessary safely escape a dangerous situation.

  1. Avoid:  Riots and protests that could easily become riots are often organized on social media including sites like this one currently being used to organize protests and riots following the release of the results of the Grand Jury investigation into the acts of Officer Wilson.  Sites like these tell you where and in some cases when ‘actions’ will occur.  They tell me what parts of town to avoid like the plague.  If you find yourself in a mob, avoid confrontation…don’t argue, verbally engage or negotiate.
  2. Know What Time It Is:  Many planned riots and protests that could easily become riots happen in the first few hours and days after the precipitating event.  Keep an eye on breaking news that could trigger a riot and go out of your way to return to safe areas or stay out of danger areas entirely if there is a potential precipitating event or planned release of information like the Officer Wilson Grand Jury and Department of Justice investigation results.
  3. Stay Calm:  Keep a calm, clear head and don’t get emotionally involved and compromise your decision making skills.  Mob mentality really exists but you must its lure even if you are sympathetic to the precipitating cause or excuse for the violence.
  4. Move Carefully but Decisively:  By staying calm you’ll be less likely to move quickly or rashly.  You want to keep your footing and avoid falling to the ground at all costs where you are in danger of being trampled, kicked or worse.  Move with intention through the crowd with a stern look on your face…don’t stop just continue moving and gently force your way through to safety.  One technique that works well with crowds that haven’t turned violent yet is shouting “make a hole, coming through…” as if you own the place…people will just move out of your way and continue on their business.
  5. Fade Away:  If you find yourself in the middle of a crowd that might get ugly get away immediately and quietly before a problem starts.  Move to the outer edge of the mob and fade away into a side street.  I was backpacking through Europe in the mid 1980s and stopped over in West Berlin (when there was such a place) for a few days and found myself drawn to what I thought was a street fair and parade.  After just a few short minutes I realized that I’d walked right into the middle of an anti-American protest complete with effigies of President Reagan being burned and lots of anti-nuclear propaganda being given out (it later came out that the Soviets organized and financed these types of protests in West Germany for decades)…anyway, as soon as I realized what was going on I silently pointed it out to my buddy so no one could hear my language and accent and we moved our bluejean (not something Europeans wore in those days) wearing asses down the nearest side street and outside of the danger area.  I didn’t know that it would turn violent but I wasn’t going to take the chance and the riot police on hand were conscripts from the same population that generated the protesters.  Reports I’ve read over the years indicate that if just 1-2% of a crowd turns violent then there is a potential for mob mentality to set in…become the grey man and fade away.  Don’t overlook the possibility of moving through a building if necessary but be very careful to avoid getting cornered or stuck.
  6. Strategic Relocation:  One thing I quickly noticed while living in Baghdad in 2006-2007 was that the same neighborhoods seemed to erupt in violence over and over…and I’m talking about Iraqi on Iraqi violence…turns out these were the neighborhoods on where Sunni and Shia neighborhoods met.  If you find yourself living in an area that’s a demographic fractional divide…find a way to move someplace safer.
  7. Don’t Lose Your Life With Your Property:  There are wonderful stories of business owners of Korean descent putting on a show of force outside and on the roofs of their stores to deter looting during the 1992 LA Riots but I’d be very cautious about trading my life for my property because in the end you may lose both.  This caution assumes that the property you lose only represents a financial loss and doesn’t represent you or your family’s best chances of survival.
  8. Be a Voice Of Reason:  The best way to keep riots from starting in the first place is to multiply those willing to act as the voice of reason.  Become that voice of reason in your community by encouraging adherence to the rule of law and oppose extra-jurisdictional killings, lynchings, ‘payback’ activities and post sports championship winning car burnings.
  9. Employ Camouflage:  If possible look like the group you find yourself within until you escape the immediate area at which point your camouflage might make you a target for rival groups or police.  When I found myself in that situation in West Berlin I really stood out in my American blue jeans.  Rearrange your clothing, add or remove a cap or pick up discarded items in order to look as much like the folks you want to ignore you as possible.
  10. Keep Together:  Don’t allow your group to get separated.  In dense crowds one technique to stay together is to hold hands or place a hand on the person in front’s shoulder and follow the leader very closely until you’ve reached safety.

I hope you never find yourself in a riot but if you do…I hope Prepping For Riots & Civil Unrest helps get you out safely.

DIY Dehydrated Eggs

Why DIY Dehydrated Eggs Is A Good Option

When looking for egg storage solutions, dehydrating eggs at home flies right past many people.  Eggs are one of the most nutritional and versatile foods around. From a remote homestead, to a backyard with a coop, they are easily accessible. Even without refrigeration they can last for weeks and still be edible. By refrigerating eggs that shelf life can be extended by several more weeks, maybe even a couple of months. For longer term storage some people freeze their eggs. By separating the whites and yolks, freezing them separately, eggs can last for up to 6 months. Still, for the long term Prepper that still isn’t an ideal situation. First off, freezing eggs is dependent on the electrical grid. If it goes down you loose refrigeration and the eggs that are dependent upon it. Secondly, 6 months just isn’t long enough. They are looking for solutions that will last for years and should try DIY Dehydrated Eggs.

Dehydrating eggs at home is an easy and viable solution for the Prepper looking for a that length of storage. Most people simply turn to a commercially available product such as those provided by Mountain House and Saratoga Farms. These freeze dried eggs have a shelf life of 30 years. They can be expensive though. For others, this is not an option because they do have their own flock which provide eggs for most of the year. Still, they are looking for a longer term solution as security against the loss of their flock and their egg laying capabilities. For people who can not afford freeze dried eggs or do have their own flocks and are looking to store their extra eggs, dehydrating eggs at home is a good solution.

There are two methods for dehydrating eggs at home.  One method calls for pan scrambling the eggs before dehydrating them.  The other calls for dehydrating beaten uncooked eggs.  After consideration, I rejected the first method.  The reason being that the only thing the first method yields when reconstituted is scrambled eggs.  They can not be used for baking which makes them much less versatile.  Read on to learn how to go about dehydrating eggs at home:

Dehydrating Eggs At Home – Step by Step

Dehydrating Eggs At Home You’ll  need the following:

  • Eggs
  • A Bowl
  • A Whisk
  • A Spatula
  • Dehydrator, with fruit leather trays (not shown)
  • Food Processor, blender or spice grinder (not shown)
  • Storage Container (not shown)
Step 1:  Break the eggs into the bowl.  Use the whisk to thoroughly beat the eggs.  The better you beat the eggs, the better the consistency of the final product.Step 2:  Pour the beaten eggs onto the dehydrator’s fruit leather trays.  In my NESCO Dehydrator, each tray will hold about 4 eggs.  You may have to experiment to see how much yours will hold.  Be sure to place the dehydrator where you are going to use it before filling the tray.  You do not want to move it with full trays or you’ll make a mess.  Additionally, make sure the dehydrator is level to keep your eggs from spilling.  Use the spatula to even out the eggs on the tray. Dehydrating Eggs At Home
 Dehydrating Eggs At Home Step 3:  Set the temperature to 135 degrees Fahrenheit, and dehydrate for 16 to 18 hours.  Once they are done they will form a thin crackled film on the trays.  The surface will also look oily but don’t let that alarm you as it is normal.Step 4:  Take the dehydrated eggs and place them in your food processor, blender, or spice grinder.  Use the pulse function to grind the eggs up into a fine power.  I used a food processor (shown left) to process mine and it did a good enough job but it seems like a spice grinder would be the ideal device for this process.  The color of the egg powder will be a deep yellow (seen below).
 Step 5:  Place the egg powder in an airtight container.  If you have any desiccant packages, you can drop them into the container as well to absorb the moisture.  These eggs should last for up to 5 years without refrigeration and even longer when if kept in the fridge or freezer. Dehydrating Eggs At Home
Dehydrating Eggs At Home

Using the dehydrated eggs

1 Tbsp of Dehydrated Eggs = 1 Egg
To reconstitute the eggs take 1 Tbsp of eggs and place it in a bowl.  Add 2 Tbsp of water to the bowl, and mix well.  Let the mixture sit for 5 to 10 minutes then whisk the eggs.  If you do not ensure the egg is thoroughly whisked, you will end up with a grainy texture in your cooked egg.  If done properly, there will be no difference in the cooked egg.  Seen left is a comparison of a dehydrated egg (on right) and a regular pan scrambled egg (on left).  Note: the color difference is just because I browned the dehydrated egg more than the regular egg.  On my first trial the DIY dehydrated eggs looked exactly like the regular egg. You can use the reconstituted egg for anything you would use a regularly whisked egg for, even baking.

DIY Dehydrated Eggs – A Word Of Caution

Remember when handling the reconstituted eggs that they are still raw eggs.  Salmonella is a real threat if they are not handled properly and food prep items are not thoroughly cleaned.  All safe food handling precautions should be followed both before and after DIY Dehydrated Eggs are reconstituted.

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