Bloom Where You’re Planted: Prepping To Survive Where You Are Right Now

Bloom Where You’re Planted: Prepping To Survive Where You Are Right Now | bloom-where-you-are-planted-7 | PreparednessSurvival

Have you ever heard anyone utter some variation of one of these comments?

“I’m going to start prepping as soon as I can move.”

“I can’t prepare because I live in a tiny apartment.”

“Well, once we are able to get moved to our farm in two years I’ll start prepping hardcore.”

“I’m saving the money for moving instead of using it for preps.”

“There’s no point in prepping here because if the SHTF I’ll be dead.”

Maybe you didn’t overhear someone else saying it. Maybe you said it yourself. One of the most common excuses that people use for prepper procrastination is the unsuitability of where they currently live.

This is the kind of thinking that will get people killed.

While your current situation may be less than ideal, you have to remember that very few locations are actually perfect for prepping. Nearly anywhere you live will be subject to some type of extreme weather, be it crippling cold, blazing heat, drought, tornadoes, or hurricanes. Chemical spills can taint water supplies anywhere. Riots and civil unrest can occur outside of the big city.

The point is, to borrow an old saying, you just have to bloom where you’re planted.

There are many things you can do to create a viable preparedness plan wherever you happen to liveBloom Where You’re Planted: Prepping To Survive Where You Are Right Now | ir?t=start033-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1496092589 | PreparednessSurvival .  Apartment dwellers at the top of a city high rise, folks in the middle of the desert, those in a beachfront condo, and people in HOA-ruled suburban lots all have to examine their situations, figure out their pros and cons, and work towards resolving what they can.  With some pre-planning, there is a lot you can overcome if you have the right mindset.  I suspect there are just as many (and probably far more) preppers living in the ‘burbs than there are living in perfect rural locations, with a lake, 10 acres of cultivated farmland, and an off-grid house.

Stop waiting until you move to the perfect location. Make preparations for the situation you have, not the situation you want.

Moving isn’t always an option.

One of the most ridiculous quasi-solutions you will hear is this one:  “Oh, you should just move.”

Preparedness forums are rife with this off the cuff advice from people who haven’t thought it through.  And if you’re one of the people giving that so-called advice, you need to consider how completely impractical this is.

There is no “just” when it relates to packing up everything you own; abandoning job, family, and friends; and relocating like money is no object.

“Just” picking up and moving isn’t that easy.  People have obligations and ties that some Joe-Blow on the internet shouting out advice can’t even begin to understand.  Some in the prepping community have a complete disconnect with the realities of everyday people.  There are reasons like:

  • Not enough money to leave
  • A good job (increasingly hard to come by these days)
  • Family members in the area that you don’t want to abandon
  • No work opportunities where you want to go
  • Custody orders that require you to remain in a certain area
  • A spouse who is not on board
  • A house that won’t sell or with an upside-down mortgage

The list goes on and on.  There are as many reasons to remain in one place as there are people living in cities.  While we could sit here and logically refute each and every reason a person has chosen to remain, it is only philosophical. It still doesn’t address the practical reasons that people have for staying put.  Sometimes people who are interested in preparedness  are alienated when it seems that everything is black and white or like their personal decisions are somehow less valid than the decisions of some random person on the internet.

So, if you are interested in getting prepared but feel your current situation is hopeless, ignore the naysayers and forum curmudgeons. Take your current situation, warts and all, and work with it.  This doesn’t mean that you should abandon your plans for a better location sometime in the future if such a move is warranted.  But it means that you shouldn’t put off important preparedness steps until after that move is made.

Assess Your Situation

You don’t know where to go if you don’t know where you are.  The first and most vital step is an honest assessment of your current situation.  The situation that you have right now, this very minute, not the one you will have in a month or in a year. Assess your needs regarding the following:

  • Water
  • Sanitation
  • Food/Cooking
  • Heating
  • Security
  • Light
  • Long-term sustainability

Once you know exactly where you are with these things, you can begin to look for solutions that will work for you, today.  Dig in and make a planBloom Where You’re Planted: Prepping To Survive Where You Are Right Now | ir?t=start033-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1440334137 | PreparednessSurvival
for the survival of your family.

Survival in a Population Dense Area

A little note to those who say, “It doesn’t matter, I’m in midtown Manhattan. I’ll die anyway.”

No, you won’t.  You won’t be that lucky. You will be absolutely thoroughly miserable, breathing foul unhealthy air.  You’ll be thirsty enough to drink unsanitary water, which will cause bowel issues to worsen problem #1.  You’ll be hungry, but not hungry enough that you die of starvation.  You will be at the mercy of thugs better armed than you.  You won’t die, not right away, and neither will your children.  You will live like I just described, and it will be horrible.  Look at the residents of Manhattan during Hurricane Sandy.  They didn’t die but they were absolutely miserable, they were terrified, they were eating from dumpsters,  and much of it could have been avoided with some basic preparedness.

Before I relocated to the boondocks, I lived in a very metropolitan area.  I was lucky: I had 1/10th of an acre.  I did everything I could come up with to make my little house as sustainable as possible should the poop hit the oscillating device before I could get out.  A disaster in the city IS survivable.

I planted every inch of the backyard (and some of the front) and grew enough food that the home-canned and frozen produce lasted until Christmas.  I stockpiled groceries.  I had plywood cut and pre-drilled to cover each window of the house. I had printed official looking quarantine signs to hang on the door of my house as a deterrent should the city fall into civil unrest. I put together a little outdoor fireplace in the backyard behind my fence.  I got  a big dog.  I collected rainwater from downspouts at each corner of the house.  I purchased an antique oil heater in good working order, and stockpiled heating oil.  I had enough seeds to plant for the next 4 years.  I located nearby sources of water, wood, and nuts.  I got a wagon for hauling stuff if the transportation system was down.

In short, I did everything possible to make the best of a potentially terrible location.  It wasn’t perfect, but we were determined to resolve as many of the concerns as possible.

The Priorities

The major challenges that you face in an SHTF situation are the same no matter where you are.  Of course, the issues will vary from one situation to another – these lists aren’t meant to be comprehensive.  This is a starting point to get your wheels turning, so that you can figure out how you and your family can best survive, exactly where you’re planted right now.

Water

Water preparedness should be at the very top of your list.  You can only survive for 3 days without water (and you’ll be weak and suffering way before that). A water preparedness plan Bloom Where You’re Planted: Prepping To Survive Where You Are Right Now | ir?t=start033-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1612434487 | PreparednessSurvival is essential for survival, even in a short-term scenario. Here are a few ways you can prep for a water emergency, no matter where you live:

  • Store a  month supply of drinking water (plan on a gallon per day, per person and pet)
  • Acquire a non-electric water filtration systemBloom Where You’re Planted: Prepping To Survive Where You Are Right Now | ir?t=start033-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00HJ9LCYS | PreparednessSurvival  (with spare filters)
  • Scope out local water sources that are within walking distance
  • Stock up on buckets and be prepared to transport them with a sled, wagon, or wheelbarrow (this depends on the season and climate).
  • If you have a house instead of an apartment, set up a water catchment system
  • Stock up on water purification supplies (bleach, pool shock, tablets)
  • Figure out a system for catching gray water to be reused for flushing, washing, etc.

Sanitation

Figure out how you will go to the bathroom in the event that the public sewer system goes down. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in New York, it was reported that people were defecating and urinating in the hallways of apartment buildings once the sewer system stopped working.  Lack of sanitation is not only unpleasant, but it spreads disease. Figure out ahead of time if any of these suggestions will work in your situation, and then stock up on the required supplies:

  • Get a porta pottyBloom Where You’re Planted: Prepping To Survive Where You Are Right Now | ir?t=start033-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B004SFKJIQ | PreparednessSurvival  – there are camping ones that will hold several days worth of sewage. (Caveat: You have to have a safe place to empty this should the disaster persist.)
  • Make a human litter box using 5 gallon buckets lined with heavy duty trash bags (get the kind designed for contractors).  Scoop in a small amount of kitty litter each time you use it. Don’t let it get too heavy to carry outside – you don’t want the bag to rip and spill several days worth of human waste in your home.
  • Stock up on water for flushing if you have a septic system
  • Learn how to shut off the main valve so that city sewage cannot back up into your house or apartment
  • If you have enough outdoor space, keep on hand the supplies to build an outhouse. (Don’t forget the lime!)
  • Keep these extra personal sanitation supplies on hand: baby wipes, antibacterial wipes (for cleaning food preparation areas), white vinegar, bleach,  hand sanitizer, extra toilet paper.

Food/Cooking

Not only should you stock up on food, but you need to consider how you’ll cook it. Most preppers have a food supply, but in a down grid situation, food that takes 4 hours to cook will use a prohibitive amount of fuel. If you’re new at this, you might not yet have a food supply. Here are some considerations:

  • Have a minimum of 1 month of food for each family member and pet. (Here’s how to build one immediately, and this bookBloom Where You’re Planted: Prepping To Survive Where You Are Right Now | ir?t=start033-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1508952809 | PreparednessSurvival will help you learn how to build one over a period of time.)
  • Figure out some alternative cooking methods for indoors: a fondue pot,  a woodstove or fireplace, or a gas kitchen stove
  • If you have outdoor space, look at cooking methods like a barbecue (beware of tantalizing smells and hungry neighbors), an outdoor fireplace or firepit, a rocket stove, or a sun oven
  • Be sure to keep abundant fuel for your chosen cooking method.
  • Stock up on foods that don’t require cooking or heating.

Heating

If you live in a place with cold winters, a secondary heat source should be a priority. Of course if you rent or live in a high-rise condo, installing a woodstove is unlikely to be a viable solution. The cold can kill, so this is a necessary part of your preparedness plan. Consider some of these options for a secondary heat source:

  • Use your wood stove or fireplace (if you’re lucky, your house is already equipped with your secondary source!)
  • Acquire a personal heating unit.  Look for one of the following: an oil heater, kerosene heater, or propane heater (We have this propane heaterBloom Where You’re Planted: Prepping To Survive Where You Are Right Now | ir?t=start033-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B002G51BZU | PreparednessSurvival )

If you absolutely can’t get ahold of a secondary heating system, prepare with non-tech ideas like:

  • Arctic sleeping bags
  • Winter clothes and accessories
  • Covers for windows
  • Segregating one room to heat
  • Setting up a tent in the warmest room to combine body heat

Security

In a disaster situation, the risk of potentially violent civil unrest always goes up.  Used a two-fold approach: try to avoid conflict by keeping a low profile, but be ready to deal with it if it can’t be avoided.

Some ideas:

  • Have firearms and know how to use them. (Here’s why I believe you MUST be armed.)
  • Secure heavy doors with reinforced frames.plywood or gridwork to cover the windows, keeping lights off or low, thorny plants around the perimeter of your house and yard, hardening access points, a big dog, an alarm system, and visual deterrents such as warning signs and quarantine signs.
  • Cut plywood or gridwork to cover the windows, making them difficult to breach.
  • Keep the lights off or low.
  • Nurture some thorny plants around the perimeter of your house and yard.
  • Harden the access points to your home.
  • A dog can serve as both a warning system and a deterrent
  • Install an alarm system
  • Use visual deterrents such as warning signs or quarantine signs.
  • Create a safe room to which vulnerable family members can retreat. (You can do this, even in an apartment or rental home.)

Light

Don’t underestimate the value of light in a dark world.  Most city dwellers don’t consider exactly how dark the night can be without streetlights and lights from houses.  Emotionally, having a bit of light can help soothe frazzled children (or adults) and help the night seem a little less scary.  Use caution that your light cannot be seen from the outside.  Like moths to a flame, people will be drawn to the only brightly lit house on the street.  Keep some of the following sources on hand.

  • Solar garden lights
  • Candles
  • Kerosene or oil lamps (and extra fuel)
  • Flashlights (and extra batteries)
  • Headlamps
  • Battery operated LED lights,
  • Solar camping lanterns
  • Glow sticks for children

Increase Your Personal Sustainability

Of course, all of the above are solutions for a short-term situation. There’s always the possibility that a crisis could persist for a longer period of time. You should include in your plans as many ways as possible to be personally sustainable. This might include some of the following strategies:

  • Set up a permanent water catchment system at your home.
  • Grow food on every possible space available: balconies, windowsills, courtyards, backyards, front yards, flower beds.
  • Consider raising some micro livestock: rabbits and chickens take up very little space and can be raised in most backyards. If your city has an ordinance against backyard chickens, rabbits are quiet and multiply…well…like rabbits.
  • Learn to make things from scratch and practice your sustainable skills rather than relying on storebought goods.

This website and this one both have great solutions for preparing in apartments and small spaces.  Here is an excellent series about how to homestead when you rent.

Make a Plan

So, if you’re reading this and you’ve been putting off preparedness due to your location, what’s your plan?

If you’ve been feeling disheartened by all the folks grimly telling you that your home is a death trap, what can you do over the weekend to improve your chances, right where you are?

And if you are fortunate enough to be in an ideal location, please share your ideas about overcoming some of these difficulties in a less than perfect place on the map. As a community, we can all help one another solve problems that could otherwise seem insurmountable.

 


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The post Bloom Where You’re Planted: Prepping To Survive Where You Are Right Now appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.


Source: Alternative news journal

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The 12 Best Summer Vacation Activities for Preppers

The 12 Best Summer Vacation Activities for Preppers | summer-vacation-activities | PreparednessSurvival US News

It’s summer time! School is out, you may have time off work, the days are longer, and everything just feels a bit more relaxed without the usual hustle and bustle. Now is the time to really give your kids something to write about in the inevitable “What I Did Last Summer” essay when school starts back up.

Bonus! It’s also the perfect time of year to brush up on some of your skills with prepper summer vacation activities. Not only is it a fun way to pass the time, most of these activities are frugal too.

Here’s a list of the best prepper summer vacation activities.

  1. Go camping. This time of year, you won’t have to worry about getting too cold at night. Put down your devices and go stay somewhere wild and wonderful to camp with your family. Be sure to practice all of the necessary safety precautions at your destination. (If you’re new to camping, this book will tell you all the basics you need to know, and this book is a guide to freebie places to camp all across the country.)
  2. Cook outdoors. Go beyond the barbecue and try a sun oven or cooking over an open campfire.
  3. Go hiking. Take the family out for an all-day adventure. This is a great time to put on your bug out bags and test them. Are they too heavy? Do you have everything you need in them?
  4. Take a class.  There are lots of weekend classes in the summer. Get certified in First Aid or Wilderness Survival. Learn a bushcraft skill or a homesteading skill. The sky is the limit.
  5. Grow your own food. Even if you live in the city, you can use a teeny patio or balcony to grow at least some of your own food. This is a skill that could serve you very well one day.
  6. Pick survival-themed beach books. Even if you’re headed to the beach, you don’t have to leave prepping completely behind. Pick up an awesome piece of prepper fiction to enjoy while you’re lying by the water. (I am a huge fan of this series for grown-ups and here’s a list of some of my daughters’ favorite self-reliance themed books through their childhoods.)
  7. Send the kids to a summer camp. But not just any summer camp! Pick one in which they’ll be spending lots of time doing outdoor activities, many of which are the precursor to serious survival skills. Some programs to look for are archery, marksmanship, hiking, fishing, outdoor skills, swimming, and cooking.
  8. Go fishing. Hang up your shingle and head out. Fishing is a great skill for preppers. Not only is it incredibly relaxing, you are learning two very valuable skills: acquiring food and cleaning the fish. Bonus points if you cook your catch over an open fire.
  9. Learn to preserve food. If you don’t yet know how to can or dehydrate food, summer is the perfect time to learn, when produce is abundant. My book, The Prepper’s Canning Guide, tells you everything you need to know to get started. Hit the farmer’s market and grab a bushel of something delicious. Then go home and put it up to enjoy throughout the winter. (Here are some tips for water bath canning, pressure canning, and dehydrating.) My kids were always very proud to serve jam that they had made and preserved themselves to guests, and they also loved giving homemade jam as holiday presents.
  10. Go shooting.  If your family enjoys firearms, summer is a great time to brush up on your skills. You can go to a range, or to a place with simulations so that you can really up your personal defense game. Even paintball can be a fun way to improve your skills.
  11. Hit some secondhand sales. One of our very favorite activities is getting up on a weekend morning and heading out with a thermos of coffee in hand. (This is the only way my daughter will voluntarily get up early on a Saturday.) We go to yard sales, estate sales, flea markets, and thrift stores and come home loaded with treasures for only a few dollars. The stuff you find will often be of very high quality for a fraction of the price of newer, lesser quality goods. As well, if you purchase from an estate sale, you can often find extremely useful things like tools and kitchen devices.
  12. Go foraging. This is a great way to teach kids about edible plants. Grab a good local guidebook with high-quality pictures and head out to the woods with a basket. Then, come home and prepare your finds together in a delicious foraged feast.

One of the most important things is to put down the devices, get away from the screens, and go outside. Spend some time in nature and some time away from your normal responsibilities. Really connect with one another and take a break from the demands of our normal lives.

What will YOU do on summer vacation?

What are some other good, family-friendly activities that build skills while being fun? What are your summer plans?


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The post The 12 Best Summer Vacation Activities for Preppers appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.


Source: Alternative news journal

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Cast Iron Cooking: One Of The Best Investments A Prepper Can Make

Cast Iron Cooking: One Of The Best Investments A Prepper Can Make | cast-iron-skillet | PreparednessSurvival

Years ago, I made an investment into cast iron skillets to use in an off-grid environment. We frequently went camping and I needed to find cookware that could be used indoors, as well as outdoors. Additionally, I had just started reading about all of the health risks related to non-stick cookware and the perfluorocarbons (PFCs), a chemical linked to liver damage, cancer, developmental problems. PFCs are released from nonstick pans in the form of fumes when pans are heated on high heat. They can be inhaled and even ingested when the surface of the pan gets scratched. After reading about this, I made the decision not to gamble with my family’s health. I was introduced to the Lodge brand cast iron ware and have never looked back.

At first, I started out with the very basic 3-quart combo cooker. It comes with a Dutch oven with a handle and a skillet that can be used as a lid. I have made everything from my famous (well, my family thinks it is) cornbread, to braising tough pieces of meat, to baking cakes – it really is that versatile. As my fellow cast iron cookers will probably understand, I fell in love with this type of cookware and quickly added onto to my meager collection and purchased a 5-piece set.

There are two types of cast iron cookware sets – the enamel coated and the traditional cast iron cookware. This article is based on cooking with the traditional set. There is nothing wrong with the enamel coated sets, but I have only used the traditional.

So, Why Are Cast Iron Pots So Great?

Cast iron pots are built to last! They are made from pouring molten iron into molds.

“The molten cast iron is poured down between two sand molds to create each piece of cast iron, then the formed cookware is shaken and tumbled to remove molding sand. The cookware is shot blasted with a fine steel shot to remove any residual molding sand, then it’s ground, polished, rinsed, and hung to dry with a steam dryer.”  Source

Once the pots are formed, the iron pot will have tiny pores that absorb flavors and grease, which, over time create that natural, non-stick “seasoned” surface we all love.

A quick note about Dutch ovens

Did you know that a Dutch oven was among the gear Lewis and Clark carried when they explored the great American Northwest in 1804–1806?  Perhaps they brought it because you can cook or bake virtually anything in them. As well, Dutch ovens are called ovens because they utilize convection heat transfer like an actual oven does. Dutch ovens are built with heavy walls and lids so the heat is trapped inside creating a circulating convection wave that evenly cooks the food.

Many suggest not to fill your Dutch oven over two-thirds full in order to create proper convection throughout the food. Over the years we’ve modified old family favorites for use in a Dutch oven as well as finding new ones.  Here are a few recipes that we have come to love, especially when cooked in our Dutch oven.

Cast Iron Cookware is Highly Recommended in the Prepper/Survival Community

Those preparing for long-term emergencies where power could be disrupted for days, weeks or longer should consider investing in cast iron pots. The reason being is this type of cookware was made to last! As well, they are a suitable alternative cooking source to use in preparing food in an off-grid environment. Because they can take a beating and be used with large amounts of heat, they can be used over hot coals, on a grill or oven an open flame. As well, they are easy to prepare food in. Many underestimate how stressful an off-grid emergency is and you will want convenient cooking methods at your disposal.

Read about the 10 Rules For Your Emergency Food Pantry

You will literally want a way that you can quickly add foods and not worry about them burning. The main drawback to cast iron is the sheer weight of this type of cookware. Therefore, I suggest you have them already at your bug out location or, if you decide to bug in, have them on hand.

Here are some other great reasons why cast iron would be a great investment for preppers.

10 Reasons Why Cast Iron Cookware Is So Awesome!

  1. Can last a lifetime. The folks over at Lodge Cast Iron Manufacturing boast that “Because you create, maintain, and even repair the “seasoning”, your cookware can last 100 years or more. Chemical non-stick coating cannot be repaired, limiting lifespan.”
  2. Off Grid capable
  3. Retains heat and evenly distributes it more efficiently
  4. Perfect texture in foods. crispy/moist
  5. Best bang for your buck! While nonstick skillets have to be replaced over time, cast iron products gets better over time.
  6. If seasoned properly, cast iron has a natural nonstick coating and will not need as much oil as other pots would need to cook food on.
  7. Efficient for all types of cooking. One aspect that I love about cast iron is I can start a meal on the stove and finish it in the oven. That means less dishes to clean.
  8. It’s chemical-free! So you do not have to worry about chemicals leaching into your food.
  9. Easy to clean
  10. It can double as a deadly weapon. Have you ever known anyone to get up after being hit with a cast iron skillet? I didn’t think so.

As well, there are health benefits attributed to using cast iron cooking sets. While cast iron do not leach chemicals, it can transfer some iron into your food. Since iron deficiency is fairly common worldwide, (especially among women), this is not a bad thing. In fact, 10% of American women are iron-deficient. Cooking food, especially something acidic like tomato sauce in a cast-iron skillet can increase iron content, by as much as 20 times. If you suffer from too much iron in your body system, consult a physician about whether or not to use cast iron cookware.

Caring for Cast Iron

To soap, or not to soap. There is some controversy in applying water and soap to cast iron. Some feel that soap will break up the tiny oil molecules that are embedded on the pan and make it not-so-nonstick and ruin all of your seasoning efforts. It’s also possible that the next thing you cook will have a slightly soapy taste to it! According to Lodge Cast Iron Manufacturing, these are the proper steps to take when cleaning and seasoning your cast iron cookware:

For Minimal Cleaning:

  1. Hand wash. Dry immediately—even before first use.
  2. Rub with a light coat of vegetable oil after every wash.
  3. How much oil? Enough to restore the sheen, without being “sticky”.
  4. Why? To keep the iron “seasoned” and protected from moisture.

 

Tips of Cleaning:

As well, avoid using abrasive cleaners, steel wool and putting your cast iron cookware in the dishwasher as this can strip the sacred seasoning off. These are cast iron cooking no-no’s. If there is bits of food stuck to the pan, use coarse salt and gently scrub until the food comes off. As well, many recommend that you clean the skillet immediately after use, while it is still hot or warm. This isn’t the type of cookware that you can fill with soapy water and set it on the counter overnight. Doing so could cause the cast iron to rust.

Tips For Seasoning:

That lovely sheen on cast-iron cookware is the sign of a well-seasoned pan, which renders it virtually nonstick.

To season your cast-iron skillet: 

  1. Rub it with a relatively thin coat of neutral cooking oil, such as vegetable oil.
  2. Place the lightly-oiled cast iron pan, upside down, in the oven, with a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom to catch any drips. Heat the pan for 30 minutes in a 450 to 500 degree F. oven. Once done, turn off the oven, and let the pan cool to room temperature in the oven. Repeating this process several times is recommended as it will help create a stronger “seasoning” bond. I usually do this process 3 to 4 times. NOTE: Seasoning cast iron pans does generate smoke similar to cooking in a dirty oven.
    Note: The oil fills the cavities and becomes entrenched in them, as well as rounding off the peaks. By seasoning a new pan, the cooking surface develops a nonstick quality because the formerly jagged and pitted surface becomes smooth. Also, because the pores are permeated with oil, water cannot seep in and create rust that would give food an off-flavor. Your ironware will be slightly discolored at this stage, but a couple of frying jobs will help complete the cure, and turn the iron into the rich, black color that is the sign of a well-seasoned, well-used skillet or pot.
  3. Never put cold liquids into a very hot cast iron pan or oven. They will crack on the spot!
  4. Be careful when cooking with your cast iron pans on an electric range, because the burners create hot spots that can warp cast iron or even cause it to crack. Be sure to preheat the iron very slowly when using an electric range and keep the settings to medium or even medium-low.

Source

Also,  if the pan does get rusty or lose its seasoning at any point, you can always re-season it and get a fresh start. Learn how to refurbish and re-season rusty cast iron.

To conclude, cast iron pots and Dutch ovens may seem old-fashioned to some, but for those who are looking at making long-term living investments for sustainable living, this is the cookware of your dreams. They are dependable and are cooking work horses suitable for indoor cooking or in off-grid environments and are easy to care for.

The post Cast Iron Cooking: One Of The Best Investments A Prepper Can Make appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.


Source: Alternative news journal

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8 Steps To Surviving A Job Loss

8 Steps To Surviving A Job Loss | lost-job | Business Economy & Business PreparednessSurvival

A 2014 report on jobs showed some alarming statistics:  1 in 5 Americans have lost their jobs over the past five years and remained unemployed. The US economy is free-falling, and the middle class is taking the hit.

Unless you live in a neighborhood of rainbows and unicorns, it’s a good bet that this has happened to either your family or someone you know.  Sometimes the lay-off is expected, as you see your company’s profits dwindling. Other times, it is completely out of the blue when you get called into the managers office and handed your walking papers.

Either way, when the axe falls, you are reeling in shock. Well, tough love, here: Get ahold of yourself!  The first steps you take can help you to survive until you get a new source of income.

This article is not about how to prep for a personal financial collapse. Hopefully, you’ve already begun creating a food stockpile8 Steps To Surviving A Job Loss | ir?t=frugality00-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1495933415 | Business Economy & Business PreparednessSurvival , socking away an emergency fund8 Steps To Surviving A Job Loss | ir?t=frugality00-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1595555277 | Business Economy & Business PreparednessSurvival , and working towards self-reliance8 Steps To Surviving A Job Loss | ir?t=frugality00-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1496092589 | Business Economy & Business PreparednessSurvival .

I recently wrote about the 3 steps for surviving any disaster, and job loss is no exception. You must ACCEPT that the event has occurred, you must make a PLAN, and you must ACT on that plan. Here are the steps to minimizing the damage to your personal finances when a sudden job loss occurs.

1.) Don’t sign anything right away.

As much loyalty as you may have had to your company, they clearly don’t feel the same sense of loyalty towards you. Many companies will try to get you to sign paperwork right away to “settle the details.”  Trust me when I say, these details will be skewed in their favor, and not yours.  You do NOT have to sign anything while sitting there, stunned at your sudden change in circumstances.  It’s vital that you take the time to read over everything carefully. Your severance package, your 401K, any accrued pension, and unemployment benefits will be at risk.  In some cases, you can negotiate this, even though you are not sitting in the power seat. Don’t commit to any type of agreement while you’re reeling, particularly if they try to coerce you into signing immediately. Regardless of what you may be told, any delay in your unemployment benefits or severance will be minimal.

2. Begin a total spending freeze for a couple of days.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when faced with a shocking job loss is to go on spending as though they still have an income. Perhaps they go and buy something to try and make themselves feel better. Maybe they just continue spending like they always did, with hundreds of dollars going out for kids’ activities, dinners out, and shopping trips.  Just stop.  You need a few days to re-assess your budget and see where you’re at.  You don’t want to regret the expenditures you make right after a job loss. Put yourself on a complete spending freeze for the next few days while you assess the change in your financial situation.

3.) Apply for unemployment benefits.

Unemployment is not welfare. It is something that you paid in to the entire time you were employed. Please don’t feel guilty about taking the money that is rightfully yours. Keep in mind that it can take up to two months for your benefits to start, and that money from your severance package can delay the onset of benefits. Unemployment is only a portion of what you made when you were employed, so a revamp of the budget is a must.  Make your application immediately so that you know where you stand and when you can expect the money to start coming in.

4.) Create a budget for necessities.

It’s absolutely vital that you drop your expenditures to the bare minimum until you are able to get another stream of income.  You need to take a look at where your money goes and base your new budget on the necessities. Although having a vehicle in each stall of the garage and an iPhone in the hand of every family member is nice, these are not necessary to sustaining life.

  • Water
  • Food (and the ability to cook it)
  • Medicine and medical supplies
  • Basic hygiene supplies
  • Shelter (including sanitation, lights, heat)
  • Simple tools
  • Seeds
  • Defense Items

Absolutely everything above those basic necessities is a luxury.

So, by this definition, what luxuries do you have?

5.) Slash luxury spending.

Reduce your monthly payments by cutting frivolous expenses. Look at every single monthly payment that comes out of your bank account and slash relentlessly.  Consider cutting the following:

  • Cable
  • Cell phones
  • Home phones
  • Gym memberships
  • Restaurant meals
  • Unnecessary driving
  • Entertainment such as trips to the movies, the skating rink, or the mall

6.) Start looking for new streams of income.

You know those people who tell you that it’s easy to find a new job if you wouldn’t be such a snob? Ignore them. The job market of today is not the job market of a decade ago. Jobs are few and far between, and good jobs are as elusive as unicorns in Central Park.  You may need to look at creating your own streams of income, like:

7.) Sell stuff.

All that stuff you’ve been meaning to go through in the basement just might be the key to keeping a roof over your head.  It’s time to start an Ebay account8 Steps To Surviving A Job Loss | ir?t=frugality00-20&l=as2&o=1&a=150084439X | Business Economy & Business PreparednessSurvival , have a yard sale8 Steps To Surviving A Job Loss | ir?t=frugality00-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00MFCY2A0 | Business Economy & Business PreparednessSurvival (free at the time of publication), or get on Craigslist8 Steps To Surviving A Job Loss | ir?t=frugality00-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00V7LCM3Y | Business Economy & Business PreparednessSurvival (free at the time of publication) and start selling things that have just been sitting there for a while.

Your trash might be another person’s treasure.  Instead of regifting those things in your attic, sell them so they can become someone else’s clutter.  You’d be surprised how much money you can make while decluttering your home.

8.) Look for the silver lining.

Although job loss can be terrifying, it can also be the start of something wonderful. When I lost my job in the automotive industry, I was devastated. As a single mom, how was I going to continue taking care of my two girls with no income?  Instead of being a bad thing, it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me. I was able to take the writing I’d been dabbling in for years from a hobby to a full-time job.  I made a conscious decision NOT to search for another job, but to follow my dream of being a writer.  Maybe I succeeded because it was do-or-die time.  There was no option but to make it work. I began writing for other websites, started my own site, and began outlining books. As it turns out, that shocking, unceremonious discussion in the manager’s office was the best thing that ever happened to me.

When I lost my job in the automotive industry, I was devastated. As a single mom, how was I going to continue taking care of my two girls with no income?  Instead of being a bad thing, it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me8 Steps To Surviving A Job Loss | ir?t=frugality00-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00JESFWNO | Business Economy & Business PreparednessSurvival . I was able to take the writing I’d been dabbling in for years from a hobby to a full-time job.  I made a conscious decision NOT to search for another job, but to follow my dream of being a writer and editor.  Maybe I succeeded because it was do-or-die time.  There was no option but to make it work. I began writing for other websites, started my own site, and began outlining books. As it turned out, that shocking, unceremonious discussion in the manager’s office was the best thing that ever happened to me.

As it turned out, that shocking, unceremonious discussion in the manager’s office was a turning point in my life. I’ve read many success stories that began the same way. Sometimes what seems like an ending can actually be a new beginning.

The post 8 Steps To Surviving A Job Loss appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.


Source: Alternative news journal

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8 Reasons Old Cookbooks Are Important

8 Reasons Old Cookbooks Are Important | cookbooks | PreparednessSurvival

A couple of months ago I was going through some old boxes tucked into the hidden recesses of my garage and I stumbled upon a box of old cookbooks.  Since I learned to cook long before the age of computers, most of my self-taught efforts came by way of these cookbooks.  I started to collect cookbooks in high school and little did I know then what I know now: old cookbooks are important.

As I flipped through some of the pages, it became evident that these old cookbooks are real treasures.  They were written before microwave ovens and Cuisinart’s, and before many of the processed foods that are now commonplace were available on grocery store shelves.  These were the days of scratch cooking, often with just a handful of local, readily available ingredients.

Today I walk down memory lane and explain why you should keep your old cookbooks and why, if you don’t already have them, you should scout some out on the cheap cheap at garage sales, thrift shops, and eBay.

8 Reasons Old Cookbooks are Important to Preppers

1. You can read printed cookbooks books off-grid.

With a printed cookbook, you can learn to prepare food without needing a computer, iPad, Google, or allrecipes.com. This will be important if the time comes when power is not readily available, or, if it is, it is difficult to come by.

Taking this one step further, the food that we have available to eat following a disruptive event may be different than what we normally eat. Learning to prepare unfamiliar foodstuffs is an important survival skill and one we want to have in our back pocket.

2. Learn to cook totally from scratch.

Before the early to mid-20th century, most people cooked from scratch because there was no other option.  At the same time, chores and household duties kept housewives busy with cleaning, laundry, sewing, and child-rearing.  Cooking had to be simple, and time efficient.  Old cookbooks – the types intended for housewives of the era – focused upon simplicity and efficiency.

3. Old cookbooks make no assumptions about your kitchen.

Kitchens of years gone by included basic pantry staples as well as bowls, spoons, knives, some cast iron pots, a stove and an oven.  Stand mixers, Cuisinarts, microwave ovens, blenders, and bread machines did not exist or, if they did, were mostly tools for the newly rich and the wealthy.

As a result, recipes in older cookbooks required very little in the way of specialized equipment.

4. Old cookbooks focused on the virtues of thrift, wholesome eating, and elimination of waste.

This is true whether they were written in the 1800s, early 1900’s, pre WWII, or the 50s and 60s.  One thing to keep in mind is that the older the book, the more likely its focus on fuel economy, be it coal, charcoal, wood, or something else.

5. Ingredients in the recipes are commonly found and are typically basic, pantry items.

When you read a modern, 21st century recipe, you may often come across oddball ingredients you never heard of before.  Chances are these strange and obscure ingredients will not be available if the stuff hits the fan.  With older cookbooks, you do not need to search for exotic ingredients at a gourmet grocery or online.  Not only that, you will recognize them by name and not need a dictionary or Google to figure them out.

6. The number of ingredients to cook a particular dish are nominal.

The ingredients required to prepare the various recipes (in really old cookbooks they were called “receipts”) are far fewer than the recipes of the current era.  This is likely due to the fact that most cooking supplies were procured locally, limiting the availability of items from the far-flung reaches of the world.

I don’t know about you, but when I see a list of 10 or more ingredients, I give up.  In older cookbooks, it is common to find recipes that use six ingredients or less.

7. The recipes are practical with the intended goal of putting food on the table.

These days, cookbooks include gorgeous photos that entice and entertain you.  (They also cost upward of $20 or more.)

Older cookbooks focus on the job at hand:  putting breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the table along with some snacks and dessert items.

8. Old cookbooks provide a glimpse into times past.

Todays world is fast-paced and technology driven.  It is both fun and educational to look back to simpler times.  Granted, folks living through those times may not have thought times were simple, but without a doubt, a world without email, Facebook, the Internet and a myriad of other distractors was definitely slower and kinder.

By looking into the past, we get a glimpse of what life, in the kitchen at least, might be like if a catastrophic disruptive event such as an EMP throws us back 150 or more years.

What Constitutes an Old Cookbook?

I am glad you asked!

8 Reasons Old Cookbooks Are Important | My-Old-Cookbooks | PreparednessSurvival

To my way of thinking, an old cookbook is one that was published before the 1970s.  I have quite a few from the 60s, including a 1969 Betty Crocker that is literally coming apart at the bindings.  In addition, I own a 1939 Boston Cooking School Cookbook that was my father’s when he was in the Navy.  It is interesting that both made use of canned goods but very few other processed foods.

Moving back in time, pre-WWII cookbooks are especially interesting because they utilize extremely low, cost, depression-era ingredients.  In addition, they emphasize the use of home-grown vegetables to supplement the meager fare that was available at the time.  Although published in modern times, my favorite depression-era cookbook is Clara’s Kitchen8 Reasons Old Cookbooks Are Important | ir?t=continmoti-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B005LVOA2M | PreparednessSurvival which I reviewed in the article Depression Cooking: A Visit to Clara’s Kitchen.

Really Old Cookbooks – Resources

For a close look at cooking the old-fashioned way, you will want to seek cookbooks from the 1800s and early 1900s.

The good news is that many if not most are in the public domain.  Many have been digitized and can be viewed or downloaded for free online.  The bad news is that if you are in an off-grid situation, they will not be readily accessible unless you have solar or some other means for charging your electronic devices.

That said, here are some links where you can download copies of some really old cookbooks to get a feel for what old-time food preparation was all about.

8 Reasons Old Cookbooks Are Important | GH-Womans-Home-Cookbook | PreparednessSurvival

The Good Housekeeping Woman’s Home Cook Book, Arranged By Isabel Gordon Curtis, Chicago: Reilly & Britton, c1909.

Toward the end of the 19th century and throughout the 20th various forms of media – newspapers, magazines, radio, the movies and TV -all became involved in the publishing of cookbooks. This volume represents the many and diverse types of books in this category. It well represents a cookbook published by a national magazine.

The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook, By Fannie Merritt Farmer, Boston, Little, Brown And Company (1896).

The Settlement Cookbook, By Lizzie Black Kander, Milwaukee: [S.N.], 1901

And my favorite, The Frugal Housewife, Dedicated to Those Who Are Not Ashamed of Economy, By Lydia Maria Francis Child, Boston: Carter and Hendee, 1830.

The Frugal Housewife was first published in Boston in 1829 and was reprinted at least four times in the next two years. By the eighth edition of 1832, the name had been changed to The American Frugal Housewife to differentiate it from the English work of Susannah Carter(See The Frugal Housewife – 1803). The book went through at least 35 printings between 1829 and 1850 when it was allowed to go out of print because of the publication of newer, more modern cookbooks and also because of Mrs. Child’s increasingly public work in the cause of anti-slavery.

The strong emphasis on the virtues of thrift and self-reliance and on frugality, a continuing theme in American cookbooks, reflected Mrs. Child’s New England heritage and her concerns for the nutritional effects of the 1820’s depression in the United States.

For more really old cookbooks, visit the Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook Project.

The Feeding America project has created an online collection of some of the most important and influential American cookbooks from the late 18th to early 20th century. The digital archive includes page images of 76 cookbooks from the MSU Library’s collection as well as searchable full-text transcriptions. This site also features a glossary of cookery terms and multidimensional images of antique cooking implements from the collections of the MSU Museum.

The Feeding America online collection hopes to highlight an important part of America’s cultural heritage for teachers, students, researchers investigating American social history, professional chefs, and lifelong learners of all ages.

The Final Word

For most of us, storage space is precious and what extra storage we do have, is filled with extra food, water, ammo and first aid items.  In my own home, space behind doors, under beds, and under the living room sofa and chairs is crammed with all preps of all kind.  If someone were to look, they would think me a packrat.

Still, with space at a premium, I have pulled a few of my old cookbooks from the garage and set them aside with the rest of my “stuff hits the fan” preps.  I may not need them to teach me how to cook beans and rice, but sure as day, I will look to them to come up with ideas for using the food that I do have to create palatable, if not tasty and interesting meals.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

The post 8 Reasons Old Cookbooks Are Important appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.


Source: Alternative news journal

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10 Reasons To Prepare For An Economic Collapse

10 Reasons To Prepare For An Economic Collapse | Global-Money | Collapse Economy & Business PreparednessSurvival

It was not that long ago that the country of Greece suffered a devastating collapse of their economy.  At the time, there was a lot of blame game going on but, at the end of the day, it was years of irresponsible and unrestrained spending that took them down.  That, coupled with questionable accounting practices and misstated economic indicators left the Greek citizens befuddled and angry when the reality of a depression hit.

Could the same thing happen here?  Not to be depressing but in going through my own thoughts as I answer the question “What am I least prepared for?”, I realized that it was time for a wake-up call and time to re-evaluate my own preps within the context of an economic collapse.

Looking back at what happened during or our own Great Depression, I have come to realize that an economic collapse, if it were to happen, would have the compound effect of combining all woes we so diligently prepare for into one huge mess – a mess that may take decades to resolve.

I worry about this, because, as prepared as I may be, I find it difficult to wrap my head around a mega collapse that will result in food and water shortages, power outages, civil disobedience, medical anarchy, and worse.

A global economic collapse, unlike a natural disaster which, as tragic as it may be, is a short term event, will change our lives forever.

Time for a Wake-Up Call

Back in 2012, Michael Snyder wrote about the lessons we can learn from the financial melt-down in Greece.

At the time, being a prepper in the United States typically branded you as an nut job.  Now that preparedness has become more mainstream, I feel that we should review those lessons and take another look at the ramifications of an economic collapse.

Here are the 10 lessons along with my own thoughts as they might apply to an economic collapse in 2015 and beyond.

10 Reasons Why We Need to Prepare for an Economic Collapse

1.  Food Shortages Can Actually Happen

Most people assume that they will always be able to run out to their local supermarket or warehouse club.  Those of us that prepare, know better. It is those folks that do not prepare that we need to worry about.

2. Medicine Is One Of The First Things That Becomes Scarce During An Economic Collapse

When credit systems and distribution channels are compromised, medical supplies will not make their way to the local pharmacy.  Any medicines and supplies that are available will likely be diverted for use by the power elite.  Sorry to be such a cynic but we all know that there are privileged classes that have the power and the means to get whatever they want, even if it means denying the rest of the population with their fair share.

3.  When An Economy Collapses, So Might The Power Grid

No money to pay workers and no fuel to fire the grid translates into no grid at all.  Going without power for a week or two is one thing but going off grid for months or even years?  We are a soft society accustomed to our comforts.  Without the grid, our lives will be quite different than the life we live today.

4.  During An Economic Collapse You Cannot Even Take Water For Granted

When the grid goes down, so goes the water treatment facilities that ensure that clean water flows from our faucets.  I survived 12 days without running water.  Do-able yes.  Fun? Hardly, but I knew the water would come back on eventually. What if the water never came back on?

5. During An Economic Crisis Your Credit Cards And Debit Cards May Stop Working

Same thing.  If the grid is down, our banking system will basically be down too.  This means that credit cards and debit cards will be useless to transact business and make purchases.

6.  Crime, Rioting And Looting Become Commonplace During An Economic Collapse

This is not a maybe.  The haves will need to defend their property from the have-not’s.  I also suspect that the “haves” (aka preppers) may have to defend themselves from government looters.  It will be every man or woman on their own; defending what is theirs.

The young and healthy might be able to handle this but what about the elderly, the sick, and the disabled?  Even if they prep, how will they defend themselves?

7. During A Financial Meltdown Many Average Citizens Will Start Bartering

Without credit cards, debit cards, and quite possibly currency, a barter economy will emerge.  By the way, the best description I have read relative to how such an economy will work was is James Wesley Rawles book, Patriots.

Things will definitely fall apart during an economic collapse. Having supplies and especially skills to barter with not be an option.

8. Suicides Spike During An Economic Collapse

This happened in the 30s and it will happen again. When people no longer have hope, they feel that life is not worth living.  My guess is people will start jumping out of buildings and may take family members with them in a suicide pact.

9.  Your Currency May Rapidly Lose Value During An Economic Crisis

Let me take this one step further.  Your currency WILL lose value during an economic collapse.  It happened in Germany during the Weimar Republic and it has happened more recently elsewhere around the globe.  We are not immune to runaway inflation coupled with devaluation of our currency.

10. When Things Hit The Fan The Government Will Not Save You

If you think that the government will come to the rescue of those that are suffering think again.  Remember the aftermath of Katrina?  Remember Super Storm Sandy?

It is foolhardy to believe that government assistance of any type will become available following a collapse. History has demonstrated over and over again that governments cannot be counted on when things hit the fan. You will be on your own so you better be ready mentally to accept that reality and the tough times that will ensue.

The Final Word

If you have made it this far you might be thinking “Gaye, we know all of that.  That is why we prep.”.

Agreed; I am preaching the choir.  But, that being said, the overwhelming ramification of having all of these things happen at once will be a blow to the psyche that is of greater magnitude than anything you can imagine.

Think about it.  To prevail following a collapse you will still need to get up in the morning, go about your chores, and go about the business of living.  This is going to take a level of fortitude that I can not fathom.  Heck, there are some days, during these modern, comfortable times, that I can barely face the day and all of its challenges.

So where do we go from here?  What solutions are there to get you through to that mental place you know you will need to go to?

Three things you need to remember are:

1.  Only you can be counted on to take care of yourself and your family.
2.  Leaning coping skills during times of calm will give you a heads up on coping during times of crisis.
3.  Give yourself permission to worry, to be concerned, and to be a bit afraid.  This will keep you alert and on your toes at all time.

At the end of the day, those that prepare will be in it for the ride.  The real question is whether we have the mental fortitude to get there without losing are path along the way.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

The post 10 Reasons To Prepare For An Economic Collapse appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.


Source: Alternative news journal

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The Prepper’s Guide to Making Homemade Baby Food (without a Blender or Food Processor)

The Prepper’s Guide to Making Homemade Baby Food (without a Blender or Food Processor) | baby-food | Off-Grid & Independent Living PreparednessSurvival

Making your own baby food is easy if you have a blender or food processor, but what if the power is out?

When my daughter recently had complications from oral surgery, letting her feast on nothing but ice cream for 10 days seemed pretty counter-productive to healing. While making her very soft diet for 10 days, the thought crossed my mind that post-collapse, people with dental issues and babies will still need to eat long after the jars of Gerber are gone. (And really, a lot of that jarred food is pricey and isn’t made from the best quality products, which means that making your own is a thrifty and healthful idea regardless of the circumstances.)

But, without our normal kitchen gadgets like stick blenders, food processors, and blenders, what’s the best method to make purees?

Here are the tools you need for homemade, off-grid baby food.

Making a puree without kitchen gadgets is only slightly more time-consuming. The only kitchen implements you need are probably things you already have on hand.

  • A potato masher (for longevity, go with a sturdy metal one instead of a cheapo plastic one)
  • A metal strainer (you want the criss-cross mesh and not the kind with perforated circles for best results.) You can get this kind with feet or this kind with a handle. Note how the one with the handle has the little hooks on the opposite side – this will make your life much easier.
  • A large metal spoon

Like I said, you probably have all of these things – the links are for informational purposes so you can envision exactly what I’m talking about. Unless, of course, you have no spoons, strainers, and mashers. Then, by all means, pick them up.

Here’s how to prepare baby food without a food processor or blender.

I used this technique with grains (like pasta, oats, and rice), fruits, and vegetables with great success. You can add broth for a little bit of protein, or, instructions for preparing meat are below.

  1. Cook your ingredients until they are soft. You won’t be able to get the right texture with lightly steamed veggies. Generally, boiling will be the best way to cook the food.
  2. Use your mesh strainer to drain the cooked food, reserving the cooking liquid to add back in for the right consistency.
  3. Depending on the sturdiness of the food, you may need to use your potato masher to prepare the food for straining. Starchier foods like potatoes, carrots, and sweet potatoes, for example, will require mashing first. Once the food has been mashed, return it to the strainer.
  4. Place your strainer over another pot or a large bowl. Using your large metal cooking spoon, press the food through the mesh strainer. The pieces left in the strainer can be used for the adults by adding them to a soup or casserole.
  5. If the puree needs thinning, add some of the cooking liquid back in a tiny bit at a time, stirring constantly to achieve your desired consistency. For a very young infant, you’ll require a much thinner puree. As the child gets older and more able to chew, it can be a bit thicker.

For older babies who are able to eat a wider variety of foods, the family’s dinner can often be processed this way so that they can enjoy the same meal.

How to prepare meat for baby food.

Meat is more difficult to prepare without a food processor but can be done for older babies. If your child is just starting out with solids and you are unable to puree it in a food processor, you may need to delay introducing it for a little while and just add bone broth to their vegetable purees.

  1. A slow-cooked, tender meat will yield the best results.
  2. Once the meat is very tender, cut it into tiny pieces – and by tiny, I mean about the size of a grain of rice.
  3. Place it back into the pot and use your potato masher to tenderize it even more.
  4. Stir in some broth or add a vegetable/grain puree.
  5. Press this through a colander with bigger holes. Strain thoroughly to ensure the pieces are small enough that your baby won’t choke.

There’s also the option of this baby food-making gadget.

The methods above all use simple, easily accessible products that most people already have in their kitchens.

However, if you like gadgets and your kitchen is not overflowing with them, this potato ricer would easily strain the daylights out of some baby food, performing all of the tasks that your three kitchen tools above will.

Preserving baby food by canning

If you want to preserve some food during harvest time for baby to eat later, remember this one important thing:

You should NOT puree food before canning.

Whenever you puree a low acid food and can it, you run the risk of not reaching the appropriate internal temperature throughout the puree to keep the food safe from botulism. Botulism can be deadly for a healthy adult – it would be difficult for an infant to survive a bout of the disease.

If you are putting food back for baby, can the item as is normally directed. For example, potatoes or squash should be diced, green beans should be cut into jar sized pieces – you get the idea. Then, at serving time, use the steps above to process the jarred food for baby. You won’t need to boil it any further to reach the appropriate consistency – just start right in with the straining and the smashing.

To learn how to safely home can fruits, vegetables, and more, check out my book, The Prepper’s Canning Guide.

The post The Prepper’s Guide to Making Homemade Baby Food (without a Blender or Food Processor) appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.


Source: Alternative news journal

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Darwin Weeps: Warning Labels And Technology Render The Survival Mindset Obsolete

Darwin Weeps: Warning Labels And Technology Render The Survival Mindset Obsolete | Caution-sign-sharp | PreparednessSurvival Society US News

Sometimes, warning labels concern me.

I mean, who inspired the label on blow dryers that points out the device should not be used in the shower? And what would even be the point, barring electrocution? Why would you dry your hair while the water is spraying you?

And are there actually people who need to be cautioned not to light a candle until they remove it from the package?

Also, you know those plastic bags that hold clothing when you order it online? Who needs to be offered the sage advice that it’s not a good idea to put said bag over their head?

Maybe, with all of these warning labelsDarwin Weeps: Warning Labels And Technology Render The Survival Mindset Obsolete | ir?t=prepping0a-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0312195346 | PreparednessSurvival Society US News , we’re rendering Darwin’s principle of natural selection invalid.

Darwin’s hypothesis states that living organisms evolve by differential survival in a world with “Malthusian” overpopulation, in which only the fittest spread their genes into future generations. By fittest we mean best adapted to the prevailing environment, and by environment we mean both the living and the nonliving environment. (source)

Before the emails roll in telling me that I “don’t science,” I’m well aware that the theory of natural selection was about genetic changes that occur over a series of generations. However, the point remains that once upon a time, being stupid got you killed. And no one got sued. The person who couldn’t figure out that some ill-conceived idea was a bad one faced the consequences. If the consequences didn’t kill them, they learned not to do the stupid thing again, making them just a teeny bit smarter and more equipped to deal with the world.  Some who believe our planet is overpopulated might even argue that the obsolescence of natural selection is the root cause of the people boom.

But now, we are coddled, cautioned, and warned out of needing to think for ourselves.  Another evolutionary theory says that when some trait or characteristic goes unused, it disappears after a few generations. Sort of like those cave fish that don’t have any eyes, After multiple generations deep underground in the pitch black, their eye sockets are now empty. Perhaps after multiple generations without the need for critical thought and common sense, those in “civilized societies” are going to evolve into creatures with their own empty spots where something useful was previously.

Well, here’s a warning for this article:

“WARNING: THIS ARTICLE MIGHT MAKE TOO MUCH SENSE. Since common sense is rare to the point of almost being completely extinct, the sudden appearance of it might be a little shocking. Should shock occur, please sit down and put your head between your knees, inhale through your nose and out of your mouth slowly until heart rate returns to normal. Some exclusions apply, see store for details.”  ~ Melissa Melton

Now, on to some warning labels that just shouldn’t need to be…

Here are some warning labels from actual productsDarwin Weeps: Warning Labels And Technology Render The Survival Mindset Obsolete | ir?t=prepping0a-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1439150443 | PreparednessSurvival Society US News . One must wonder about the origin of these warnings. Did they come up because someone in our litigious society actually sued a company because of an injury like the ones warned against?

  • Do not ingest. ~ Lava lamp
  • This formula may cause drowsiness, if affected do not operate heavy machinery or drive a vehicle. ~ Infant pain relief liquid
  • Do not attempt to stop chain with hands. ~  Chainsaw
  • Peel fruit from cellophane backing before eating. ~ Fruit By the Foot
  • Product will be hot after heating. ~ Mark and Spencer’s Bread Pudding
  • “Do not use orally.” ~ Toilet brush
  • This is not a lifesaving device.  ~ Beachball
  • Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly. ~ Superhero cape from a Halloween costume

Good grief. So, when the SHTF, in the midst of a warning label free disaster, what’s going to happen to all of the people who required these labels to survive?

I’ll tell you what’s going to happen to them.  You’ll have people trying to open a can of peaches with a giant butcher knife, in the process nearly removing a digit.  People who are accustomed to being nannied through every step of their days will be stymied by basic survival skills like sanitation, navigation (sans GPS), and the acquisition of safe drinking water.

And then there’s technology, making folks dumber…

Dumbing us down even more is the dependence on technology.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a chronic Googler. If I don’t know some random bit of trivia, I’m that gal typing it into a search bar at the first opportunity. “Who was the first person to….Holy cow, Google. Why would you even….Just NO.” Anyhow, back to technology.  As wonderful as it is to have the world of information in a handheld device, you still have to be able to think things through for yourself.

People have become so dependent on their navigation systems that reading a physical, honest-to-goodness-piece-of-paper map has become a lost art. Not only that, but some folks rely more on their GPS than their common sense, sort of like these tourists who drove right into the Pacific Ocean because the nav system told them to.

And what about situational awareness?

That’s another skill that seems to have gone the way of the dodo. Have you ever seen a person walking down the street so engrossed in texting that they don’t even see an obstacle in their path? Sort of like this woman and the giant fountain?

What if the situation was more dangerous than falling into a giant fountain? What if you were busy texting and there was an armed robbery and you walked right into the middle of it? What if your eyes were glued to the screen and there was some unexpected wild animal, like, I dunno, a bear?

Because…that actually happened.

Self-reliance is being bred out of society

It’s fun to laugh at these examples of life in today’s America, but there’s an underlying note of impending tragedy.

With all of this constant nannying, we have a society of giant toddlers. It isn’t really their fault. They’ve become accustomed to a society in which people never have to think. They don’t have to produce food, deal with injuries, or even work for a living. Heat is the turn of a dial, entertainment doesn’t require reading skills, and products get thrown away instead of repaired.  People don’t learn to predict impending danger by thinking the scenario through, and when danger does occur, they wait for heroes instead of rescuing themselves.  They don’t even have to hear unpleasant things, because they can just say the magical incantation, “I’m offended” and the offensive unpleasantness is summarily banned and made illegal.

The coddling makes it even more difficult for the overprotected to accept it when something bad happens. Acceptance is the first step of surviving any disaster. I recently wrote about the 3 steps of survival, and those steps are completely foreign to many of today’s general public.

To me, the pinnacle of preparedness is a way of thinking about pretty much everything you encounter. It’s a unique way of looking at a situation, assessing the options, and acting that defines the prepper mindset. Think about any stressful situation that has ever happened to you.  Once you accepted the fact that it had happened you were able to set a course of action. Once you had definitive steps to take, you probably felt much calmer. You took control of the things you could, and you executed your plan.  Only by taking that first step – accepting that this mishap had indeed occurred – could you take the next two.

Of course, a bunch of dependent dumb people are a whole lot easier to control than the critical thinkers who rely on themselves instead of Papa Government.

The difference here is pretty clear. Some of us are deliberate in our day-to-day actions, mindful of our surroundings, and possess a sensible, problem-solution mindset.  But we’re in the minority. We have to face it: a survival mentality is now an anomaly.  It’s all but obsolete.

We, the sturdy, practical, self-reliant folks are the mutant minority.


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Source: Alternative news journal

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How To Survive Anything In 3 Easy Steps

How To Survive Anything In 3 Easy Steps | How-to-Survive-Anything-in-3-Easy-Steps | PreparednessSurvival

You can have enough food to ride out 15 years of Armageddon. You can have a fully stocked retreat or a bunker. You can have so much ammo stashed that your floorboards are groaning.  You may have followed your favorite preparedness book’s How To Survive Anything In 3 Easy Steps | ir?t=prepping0a-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1496092589 | PreparednessSurvival guidelines to the letter, and thus have all of the physical aspects of survival in place.

But regardless of this, you may not be fully prepared.

Because surprisingly enough, none of these is an indication of “the prepper mindset.” Those items are a great start, but until your head is fully involved in the game, you’re not actually prepared.

To me, the pinnacle of preparedness is a way of thinking about pretty much everything you encounter. It’s a unique way of looking at a situation, assessing the options, and acting that defines the prepper mindset. Think about any stressful situation that has ever happened to you.  Once you accepted the fact that it had happened you were able to set a course of action. Once you had definitive steps to take, you probably felt much calmer. You took control of the things you could, and you executed your plan.  Only by taking that first step – accepting that this mishap had indeed occurred – could you take the next two.

There are 3 steps to handling any crisis with aplomb. While the execution isn’t always easy, making these steps second nature will greatly increase your chances of survival, no matter what kind of disaster you are facing.

1.) Accept.

No matter what situation comes your way, the first step is to accept that whatever the event is, it really happened.  This is tougher than it sounds, because our minds are programmed to protect us from emotional trauma.  Cognitive dissonance means that when a reality is uncomfortable or doesn’t jive with a person’s beliefs, that person may opt to believe in something false just to assuage his desire for comfort. Psychologist Leon Festinger, who identified the principal of cognitive dissonance, suggestedHow To Survive Anything In 3 Easy Steps | ir?t=prepping0a-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B004LGSD08 | PreparednessSurvival  “that a motivational state of inner tension is triggered by logically inconsistent ways of thinking.”

If you’re wondering exactly how powerful cognitive dissonance can be, check out Amanda Ripley’s book, The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes – and WhyHow To Survive Anything In 3 Easy Steps | ir?t=prepping0a-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0307352900 | PreparednessSurvival .  Ripley, a journalist, covered many disasters of immense scale: plane crashes, natural disasters, and 9/11.  She became curious about the difference between those who survived, and those who did not, wondering if it was dumb luck or if there was some other quality that made survival more likely. She interviewed hundreds of survivors and got her answer.  The ability to immediately accept what was occurring was the quality most of the survivors possessed.

The story that stands out in my mind the most was the one about the people in the World Trade Center on September 11. They described the last time they saw some of their coworkers.  There were many people who simply could not accept the fact that a plane had crashed into the building and that they must immediately evacuate. They gathered their belongs, tidied their desks, finished reports. They didn’t feel the same sense of urgency that those who survived did, because the situation was so horrible that they just couldn’t accept it. Their inability to accept the scope of the danger caused many of them to perish in a tragic incident that other people, who acted immediately, survived.

When disaster strikes, you can’t spend 5 minutes thinking, “This can’t actually be happening.”  It is happening, and moving past accepting that propels you through the first step into the second one.

2.) Plan.

Once you’ve accepted that this incident is indeed going down, you must devise a plan. It’s a whole lot easier to come up with a plan if you’ve spent just a little bit of time doing that previously.

This is where more mental preparedness skills come into play. Last week I put together a list for “Prepper Movie Night.” To build your prepper mindset, develop the habit of watching situations unfold and thinking through them.  What would you do in such a situation? What are the potential pitfalls? What is likely to go wrong?

Watching movies and reading books with survival situations is like a dry run for actual events. Obviously, it’s not the same as having an actual experience, but it’s a good way to practice the skills of assessing a situation and making a plan.

You can also work on building your awareness.  My friend Graywolf told me about “Kim’s Game“.  He said,

Groups including everything from the Boy Scouts to sniper schools to government spy agencies and surveillance teams use a simple game to teach situational awareness and develop your memory. This is a fantastic game that you can play with your kids or your team to get them to be much better at noticing and remembering details.

The game is based on a book by Rudyard KiplingHow To Survive Anything In 3 Easy Steps | ir?t=prepping0a-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0486445089 | PreparednessSurvival , and it teaches you to immediately observe your surroundings and commit these observations to memory. I have played a version of this with my kids for years, asking them questions like:

  • What are 3 things you could use in this restaurant as a weapon?
  • Can you find 3 ways out of this building?
  • Can you close your eyes and tell me how many people are sitting at the counter? What do they look like?

The habit of observing and absorbing information before a situation occurs will help in the creation of your plan. You don’t have to spend the extra time taking in the specifics, because you’ve already done so automatically.

When you make your plan, don’t stop at just one.  The best-laid plans are at the mercy of a fluid situation, and disaster often comes in bundles. If your Plan A doesn’t work, you must immediately go back to Step 1 and accept that it didn’t work, then move on to Plan B.

3.) Act.

Finally, this is the step that will save your life.  You’ve accepted the situation, and made your plan. Now, it’s time to act.

This sounds easier than it is.  Many people freeze in a disaster situation.  The ability to break this paralysis is paramount to your survival.

“Freezing” is called “tonic immobility” in behavioral science and it is a biological impulse.  A study exploring the “freeze response” to stressors, describes the reaction:

Part of Barlow’s (2002) description of an adaptive alarm model suggests that a freeze response may occur in some threatening situations. Specifically, freezing — or tonic immobility — may overwhelm other competing action tendencies. For example, when fleeing or aggressive responses are likely to be ineffective, a freeze response may take place.

Similar to the flight/fight response, a freeze response is believed to have adaptive value. In the context of predatory attack, some animals will freeze or “play dead.” This response, often referred to as tonic immobility (Gallup, 1977), includes motor and vocal inhibition with an abrupt initiation and cessation… Freezing in the context of an attack seems counterintuitive. However, tonic immobility may be the best option when the animal perceives little immediate chance of escaping or winning a fight (Arduino & Gould, 1984; Korte, Koolhaas, Wingfield, & McEwen, 2005). For example, tonic immobility may be useful when additional attacks are provoked by movement or when immobility may increase the chance of escaping, such as when a predator believes its prey to be dead and releases it.

Some of our data suggested that reports of freeze were more highly associated with certain cognitive symptoms of anxiety (e.g., confusion, unreality, detached, concentration, inner shakiness). This leads to some very interesting speculation regarding whether freeze responses are also manifested cognitively (i.e., the cognitive system, together with the behavioral system, being shut down). There has been some speculation that a form of cognitive paralysis occurs due to immense cognitive demands that occur in the context of life-threatening situations or stressors (Leach, 2005).

So, in the context of this particular study, the freeze response could be related to an overload of stimuli because of the demands of creating your plan.  By having thought through various situations and getting into the habit of quickly developing plans, you can override your body’s natural desire to “freeze” and you can take definitive, potentially life-saving, action.

In an emergency, hesitation can kill you. The faster you can move through steps one and two, and then act, the more likely you are to escape many situations.

Please keep in mind that sometimes, your action actually seems like inaction. For example, a person who is aware they would have little chance of victory in a direct combat situation against a stronger, more experienced opponent might take the action of hiding and being very still. Sheltering in place in some situations is a better course of action than proceeding out into more danger.  The key is to think clearly and assess each situation on its own merit.

Here are some examples.

You don’t have to be in the midst of a terrorist attack or on a crashing plane to apply the three steps above.  Here are a few examples of apply the three steps above to other situations:

Job Loss: In this economy, the possibility of job loss is not that far-fetched.  If the primary bread-winner in your home became suddenly unemployed, here’s how the 3-step Survival Method would apply:

  1. The job is gone. The income source is gone. You can’t go out to an expensive dinner like you’d planned, or take that pricey vacation, because as of now, you have no income. You must not act as though your income is the same as it was yesterday.
  2. You go through your bank records.  You check how much money is going out, how much you have, and figure out what expenses you can cut. You check your pantryHow To Survive Anything In 3 Easy Steps | ir?t=prepping0a-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1495933415 | PreparednessSurvival  and calculate how long the food will last.
  3. You take decisive action, immediately cancelling cable, pushing back the family vacation indefinitely, sending out newly-rewritten resumes, and dialing back the grocery bill. You sell some stuff just sitting in your basement and you fill out the paperwork for unemployment insurance.

Car Accident: Sometimes the aftermath of an accident is more dangerous than the accident itself.

  1. Your car is halfway down a ravine, held in place by a groaning tree that could give at any moment. Below you is a sheer drop off. You have to get your kids out of the car before it plunges further down, because no one could survive that.
  2. You assess the kids and it seems everyone is conscious and relatively uninjured. The car, however, is not so great and could tumble the rest of the way down at any moment. The electronics on the car are working. You speak calmly to them and explain that they will be going out the back window  driver window one at a time. They are to immediately run to the left and get as far away from the vehicle as possible. You will be right behind them. The meeting point is the top of the hill by the big rock.
  3. You roll down the window, cut a jammed seat belt with the knife from the console, and wait for the kids to get out and clear of the vehicle. Then, you make your own escape.

Convenience Store Robbery:  Occasionally, you’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

  1. As you’re browsing through the cooler checking the price of a bottle of water, you hear a crash, then shouting up near the cash register. It’s not a movie, a robbery is actually going down.
  2. You listen and realize the criminal is armed. You are, too, but you have your small children with you, so taking aggressive action is not an option. You decide that your best bet is to hide, but be ready to defend if necessary.
  3. You duck down and whisper to the kids to be quiet. You direct them to a hidey-hole, you pull your weapon, and you get between them and anyone that might come down the aisle. Then, you wait.

Evacuation Order: This almost happened to us last year during forest fire season.

  1. There is a giant fire drawing near. It is entirely possible that everything you own will go up in smoke. You have 15 minutes to get out.
  2. You grab the bug out bags, the safe full of documents, the pet carriers, and the photo albums. You also get swim goggles for the whole family and respirator masks out of your kit.
  3. Pets, kids, and important items are loaded in the vehicle. You’re already down the road in 10 minutes, while other people are still trying to put together an overnight bag.

Have you ever had to use your prepper mindset to survive?

Studying situations in which others have survived is a valuable way to develop your prepper mindset. Have you ever been caught up in the midst of a situation where your preparedness mindset was helpful?  Want to tell us about it?


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The post How To Survive Anything In 3 Easy Steps appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.


Source: Alternative news journal

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Top 10 Overlooked Survival Tips You Need To Know Today

Top 10 Overlooked Survival Tips You Need To Know Today | emergency-disaster | News Articles PreparednessSurvival

By: Tracey Watson, NaturalNews.com | 

Let’s face it: The world is a scary place to be living in right now. Many countries are dealing with serious political instability and the threat of terrorism; economic turmoil is pervasive worldwide; Dr. Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization, has warned that antibiotic-resistance might “mean the end of modern medicine as we know it;” and then we still have to contend with good old-fashioned natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis. The potential for collapse is immense, but instead of worrying endlessly, what we should be doing is preparing to face whatever comes our way.

Ask a Prepper provides a comprehensive list of survival hacks that can be implemented ahead of time to cope with just about anything nature or humans might throw our way.

  1. Hide your valuables: While it might be a good idea to hide your valuables so that they can’t be stolen, it is equally as important to remember where you stashed them. A good idea would be to bury them somewhere in your garden and then take a photo of a family member standing in that spot. Put copies of the photo in the family bug out bags, and make sure everyone knows what they’re for.
  2. Improve your fitness: Any stressful situation calls for physical endurance, and there is always the possibility that you might have to carry injured people, the elderly or children to a place of safety. So, take the time now to get fit so that you’re up to the task when called upon. You’ll be protecting your health and longevity at the same time.
  3. Move to the ‘burbs: While convenience might make living in the city an attractive prospect, from a survival point of view it’s a really bad option. In any collapse situation cities become hotbeds of mayhem. Being in a safe area out in the suburbs will be far safer, and will likely save you money on your mortgage in the meantime!
  4. Rotate your survival foods: While stockpiling food is obviously essential, the problem lies in keeping it fresh and not wasting money on food that goes bad. An excellent suggestion is to keep taking food from one side of your shelf and replacing it with fresh cans or boxes on the other end of the shelf.
  5. Make sure you’ve got baking soda: Baking soda has a myriad of health benefits, and most importantly, in a survival scenario it will protect your dental health. All you need is to mix half a teaspoon of baking soda with half a teaspoon of water to form a paste, and then use it to brush your teeth. [RELATED: Discover the cancer-fighting properties of baking soda and lemon.]
  6. Learn about the trees and plants in your environment: Whether you’re making a rope, looking for drinkable sap or simply starting a fire, the plants and trees in your immediate surroundings are an invaluable resource. Start learning about what’s in your area now, and how best to utilize it in a time of need.
  7. Plan your escape: Everyone in your family should receive SERE (survival, evasion, resistance and escape) training, which involves learning when to rest, move and hide, among other things.
  8. Be ready to secure your person and property: Civil society quickly disintegrates into violent gangs in a collapse situation, so you need to be able to protect yourself and your family. Purchase things like bulletproof vests and barbed wire ahead of time for this purpose.
  9. Be careful who you tell: Don’t tell anyone anything they don’t need to know. Someone might inadvertently reveal important information about your plans, compromising your security. Even your family members should be informed on a “need-to-know” basis.
  10. Make sure everyone knows the escape plan: Since you never know where everyone might be in case of an emergency, every member of the family needs to know exactly where to meet, how to get there, and any other relevant information. Plan ahead and have family drills so you can be sure of exact time-frames.

We all hope we never to have to deal with a natural disaster or other collapse situation, but if you take the preparatory steps above, you will be in the best possible position to keep your family safe. [RELATED: For more tips like these see Bugout.news]

Sources:

AskAPrepper.com

NaturalNews.com


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The post Top 10 Overlooked Survival Tips You Need To Know Today appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.


Source: Alternative news journal

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