25 Ways to Use Flour Sack Dishtowels Around the Home

25 Ways to Use Flour Sack Dishtowels Around the Home | Flour-Sack-Dishtowels | Off-Grid & Independent Living PreparednessSurvival

One of the cornerstones of being prepared is to identify items that multitask and to embrace their use during normal times.  Doing so not only saves money but also saves storage space and eliminates having to choose which product or item to use for what.

A good example is the common Mason jar.  Another is the flour sack dishtowel.

I was chatting with Backdoor Survival reader, Susan Perry, about this very same thing when she offered to share her top twenty-five uses for flour sack towels.  How cool is that?

I grew up around flour sack dishtowels.  I remember how my grandmother used them for everything including cleaning rags, aprons, and tidy little bundles holding dry goods. I had forgotten about them until ten years ago when I saw a package at Wal-Mart.  There was no looking back and I still use those same towels today.  I even embroidered them myself with colorful little cabins.

What the Heck are Flour Sack Dishtowels?

As a homesteader, I’m all about quality when it comes to basic supplies, and as an herbalist who also loves cooking from scratch, that goes double in the kitchen. I discovered years ago that when it comes to kitchen towels, flour sacks are the only way to go.

Although the term might provoke an image of rough, dusty, oversized rags, they are quite the opposite. They’re super absorbent, lint free, and vastly superior to the decorative towels you might find at a department store.

A Short History of Flour Sack Towels

It all started back in the 1850’s. Those old wooden barrels were heavy and bulky. Cotton had become inexpensive, so grain mills began shipping flour in large, thick cotton bags strong enough to hold fifty pounds.

Before long, cotton bags were being used not only for flour, but also for sugar, seeds, animal feed, fertilizer, and more. These goods were sent out to general stores and carried home by horse and wagon. Resourceful housewives soon realized that the bags’ sturdy fabric was way too useful to be tossed out. Rural families typically had limited income, and soon this packaging material was finding new life not only as towels, but also as aprons, diapers, coverlets, and even clothing.

Of course, no one wanted to wear a shirt or dress with the name of a flour company printed across the front for all the world to see. Housewives learned how to remove the labels with several rounds of soaking and washing with lye soap and bleach.

25 Ways to Use Flour Sack Dishtowels Around the Home | Flour-Sack-Dress-Great-Depression | Off-Grid & Independent Living PreparednessSurvival

During the Great Depression, women fashioned clothing out of flour sacks.

Over time, manufacturers decided they could increase their profits by upgrading the bags. They began using removable paper labels and started printing embroidery patterns onto the fabric. But the real excitement began in the mid-1920s when cotton mills started producing sacks using colorful flower prints, border designs for pillowcases and curtains, and patterns for children’s clothing, dolls and teddy bears.

The clever use of cotton sacks only increased during the depression years, and as clothing wore out, every scrap was put to use in beautiful, carefully designed quilts.

I’d been on my farm only a few months when I discovered today’s version of flour sack cloths. A neighbor showed me the Lehman’s Catalogue, and there they were, more than thirty inches long and almost as wide. With every week that went by, I found more ways to use them. That was twenty years ago, and I still find a new use for one every now and then.

Two Kinds of Flour Sack Towels

For homestead use, the best towels measure at least 30 by 30 inches and are thick and durable, made of pristine, high-quality cotton cloth with hemmed edges and a high thread count. With their quality and size, these are the most useful and longest lasting kind, giving good service for many years.

They are perfect for dealing with large batches of herbs and produce. I’ve used them to carry two gallons or more of blueberries from the counter to the sink.

The one thing I don’t use them for is straining herbs, yogurt, or jellies, as the thick fabric usually holds back too much of the liquid. I’ve even had the liquid squirt out the top and onto the counter when I tried to hurry things along by squeezing.

Some may think the smaller, lesser quality towels are not worth having, but I disagree. Their thinner fabric makes them the best choice for straining. They are much less expensive and readily available at discount stores such as Wal-Mart. I keep a kitchen drawer full for daily dish drying and counter wiping, and for small batches of herbs or produce.

There are other sizes and fabric choices, so hopefully the above will help you decide what you need.

Twenty-Five Ways to Use Flour Sack Dishtowels

In the Kitchen:

1. Cover bread dough and baked goods to keep them warm while rising.

2. Wrap and cover dinner rolls and breads to keep them warm at the table and contain crumbs.

3. Spread towels out on the counter to drain produce after rinsing.

4. Fold a towel in half and sew a seam on the edge of the long side, and on one of the short edges. This makes a bag you can use for storing produce in the refrigerator.

5. Line a refrigerator drawer with a slightly damp towel to keep greens, lettuce, and salad items moist and fresh. The produce won’t be harmed as it would be by plastic wrap, which can quickly cause deterioration.

6. Sort blueberries on white towels to easily see and remove damaged berries, loose stems and bits of leaf; clean the berries by holding up one end of the cloth and rolling them from one cloth to another. Any remaining debris or tiny insects cling to the cloths. This eliminates the need to rinse the berries, which causes the skin to toughen when frozen.

7. Use thinner cloths to strain homemade jellies, yogurt cheese, and anything else that needs straining. For large amounts, line a metal strainer with the cloth.

8. Dry dishes, wipe counters and do general kitchen clean-up. Save trees by using fewer paper towels.

9. Set canning jars on a towel to drain after washing; spread out a new, dry cloth to keep jars clean, avoid slips, and catch drips when filling jars with soup or other liquids for the freezer, or when filling jars with beans, grains, or other items for storage.

In the Garden and Around the Homestead:

10. Line a peach basket with a large towel for picking small or delicate produce such as berries, beans, lettuce, and tomatoes. This keeps berries from falling through the gaps and protects produce from the rough edges.

11. Hold the corners to carry a few handfuls of produce from garden to kitchen.

12. Use a cloth to line a wicker basket to cushion fresh eggs as you gather and carry them from the hen house.

In the Home:

13. When a cloth is stained and worn, relegate it to the box of cleaning rags. Snip off a small piece of one corner to identify it as a rag, so it doesn’t end up back in the kitchen. Use for cleaning windows, appliances, wood furniture, and cars; for blotting up carpet stains; and for general cleaning, polishing, and dusting.

14. Fold a towel in half and sew along two edges to make a bag for protecting delicate clothing in a washing machine. These bags can also be used for storing or organizing like items, such as small toys, travel items, candy and snack bars, things to keep in the car, first aid and cosmetics. Add a button or snap to keep it closed if needed.

15. Make a broom cover for collecting spider webs and dust in the high corners of a room, on ceiling fans, and behind furniture. Just fold the cloth in half, place the ends of broom bristles in the fold, then tie the corners together: tie the two corners on the right side, then the two corners on the left side. When finished cleaning, just shake the cloth outside and throw it in the wash.

For First Aid:

To use flour sack towels for first aid, wash and fold new, never-used cloths, then store them in plastic zip-close bags and keep them with other first aid supplies.

16. Use a towel to make a castor oil pack for healing serious injuries.

17. Make a sling to support an injured arm, hand, elbow, wrist or shoulder. Just fold the towel into a triangle, then tie the ends together.

18. Cut a towel to the right size for use as a bandage for covering wounds or wrapping injuries.

19. Stop serious bleeding by applying pressure with a clean towel or wrapping the towel to serve as a tourniquet.

20. Arrange one or more towels to cushion and protect painful areas.

For Working with Herbs:

Prepare towels as for first aid above, and store separately.

21. Use a towel to gather and carry fresh-cut herbs.

22. Spread towels out on the counter to air-dry large quantities of herbs after rinsing. To dehydrate, change to a dry towel as often as needed.

23. Crush and add hot water to healing herbs like comfrey or plantain to make a poultice; place the herbs and liquid on a towel and apply where needed.

24. Use a thin towel to strain herbal oils, alcohol extracts, and teas.

25. Cut a towel into pieces measuring about five by ten inches. Sew together two sides, fill with dried herbs, then sew the third side to make an herbal bath bag or aromatic sachet. These make nice gifts or a luxurious treat for yourself.

Resources

For premium flour sack towels, check these out:  Aunt Martha’s 33-Inch by 38-Inch Flour Sack Dish Towels.  These standard flour sack towels are also good:  Utopia Kitchen 12 Pack Flour-Sack-Towels

For fun craft ideas using flour sack towels check out this Pinterest Board.

To learn about the history of flour sack towels, read this article from the Floursacktowels’s Blog.

And finally, check out these 1930’s flour sack dresses.  It will make you wish flour was still packaged in cloth rather than paper!

The Final Word

Learning how to do things in the resourceful and creative ways of earlier generations can both save the budget and be deeply satisfying. And for me and most other preppers, it’s also great fun. What additional ways have you found for using flour sack dish cloths?

Please leave a comment and share your good ideas!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


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How to Survive World War 3: Prepping for an Off-Shore Conflict

How to Survive World War 3: Prepping for an Off-Shore Conflict | How-to-survive-an-off-shore-conflict | PreparednessSurvival Sleuth Journal Special Interests War Propaganda

If an all-out war erupts, it will be like nothing the Earth has seen before. All of our “progress” means that each side now has the weapons at their disposal to destroy their enemy many times over. Because of this, we can’t as readily look back in history to learn how to survive World War 3.

Most of the time, when I write an article, it’s based on research or personal experience. I can find times when the incident has occurred in the past and study them. I can learn what catastrophes came hand-in-hand, and analyze what we need to know ahead of time to survive. The potential of a conflict like WWIII is quite different because, during the last World War, our technology was a drop in the bucket compared to what is now available. The situation we have now is called MAD – Mutually Assured Destruction – and the acronym couldn’t be any more accurate because it’s utter madness to destroy our world.

I have to be honest. This is based on speculation because we just don’t know how it would play out. It’s based on the most likely consequences, on what I know of our economy, on how wars have played out for ordinary citizens in the past, and on what I know of general preparedness. Earlier this week, I posted a compilation of reader’s comments about what we could face if we went to war. You can read that article here.

If there are developments, I’ll send out alerts via email, so make sure  you’re signed up to the newsletter.)

What this article is not about

There are some topics I won’t be covering in this article.

Current events: This won’t cover the current bombings, sabre-rattling, and incidents. I recommend the following sources for that coverage:

The dubious morality of war: A lot of folks seem to be thrilled at the concept of war. They don’t seem to comprehend that whatever our military does to another country, someone else could come along and do to us. The stuff I saw on social media reminded me of that naive scene in Gone with the Wind, when Civil War was declared and all the young men at the barbecue were whooping with excitement, having no idea of the horrors and brutality that would soon occur.

The United States is not untouchable, and I won’t even discuss the dubious morality of war. All I’ll say to those folks who are cheering from the sidelines and treating it like a football game, “You have no idea what you’re asking for.”

Nuclear war: Although a nuclear strike is a possibility, that isn’t a topic that will be covered in this article. That horrible prospect requires far more than I can provide in the scope of a single article. (Here’s some basic information on surviving a nuclear strike and you can look for a very thorough upcoming crash course on the topic at Preppers University – sign up here to get on the email list so you’ll be alerted when it is available.)

Attacks on American soil: This article is pretty long already and that topic deserves its own article – look for it next week.

Rainbows and Unicorns: And finally, before we get started, a quick note to all of the people who scorn articles like this as “fear-mongering:

Is it less frightening to face a situation with no knowledge of how it might play out? Is it preferable to be blithely unaware of what might befall us? Would you rather it all be a horrible shock for which you are completely unprepared? If that’s your philosophy, stop reading now. I’d hate to ruin the surprise for you. Go ahead and believe in unicorns and rainbows.

For the rest of us, who want to give our families the best possible odds, read on.

Prepping to Survive World War 3

In a non-nuclear conflict, there are two possible scenarios: fighting in distant lands and conflict on our soil. Many of the preparations are the same, so we’ll start with involvement from a distance.

Economic Ramifications

While some people will become mind-blowingly wealthy due to war, it won’t be ordinary folks like us. If previous World Wars are a good indicator, we’ll be asked to make sacrifices to “support” our soldiers.Think about all of the WW2 propaganda posters that encourage people to raise their own food, to go without certain items, and to whole-heartedly embrace rations. I can assure you that people who own stock in defense companies won’t be dining on pigeon and squirrel, but I can’t say the same for the rest of us.

Whether you wish to live frugally or not, it will be forced upon all but the most well-to-do.  This is in part due to shortages (which we’ll discuss below) that will drive up the cost of consumer products. The price of transportation will also increase due to inflated gasoline prices, and this will affect the cost of every single good that has to be transported across any distance.

It’s likely that jobs will be available, due to increased enlistment in the military. (This could be due to a draft or simply voluntary sign-ups.) However, the money you make will have to go much further to combat the price increases.

Here are some immediate steps you can take to help counteract these potential economic ramifications. And if nothing bad happens, this won’t go the way of the Y2K preps. All of these are logical and reasonable steps for anyone to take to protect themselves from a financial downturn.

Stock up NOW. There’s no time to waste, given current global tensions. You need to have as much food quietly stashed away as possible. Remember that hungry friends and neighbors can be a threat later if you have food and they don’t, so keep your preps on the down-low.

Enact your self-reliance strategies NOW.  If you’ve been idly pondering the idea of a garden or a few chickens, put those plans into action. Raising food isn’t as easy as throwing some seeds in the dirt or erecting a chicken coop and tossing the birds a handful of grain now and then. Thinking that a survival homestead is something you can do later, on the spur of the moment is a terrible – and potentially deadly – mistake.

Keep cash on hand. In a crisis, banks often close and if this happens you won’t be able to access your money. Another possibility is that a cyber attack could cripple the financial system. Keep at least enough cash for a month’s worth of expenses. Have the cash in small denominations so that you won’t have to try and get change during an emergency.

Invest in precious metals. For many of us, the best investment is tangible goods like food, tools, and homesteading supplies. However, if you are in a situation in which you have wealth to guard, the best way to do this is with precious metals. Gold and silver will hold their value even if the dollar goes under.

Learn to live frugally. Living beneath your means will help you survive potential economic woes.

Focus on general preparedness. Aside from the specifics mentioned above, do everything you can to become more prepared in a general way. This will help you take any difficulties in stride.

Shortages That We Could Expect

Another issue that comes hand in hand with war is shortages. We live in a country that runs on imports. The US has a trade deficit of over $500 billion. (source) This means that we import far more than we export, which could be a massive issue in the event of a war. This could happen in a few different ways:

  • Another country could halt our supply routes
  • Other countries could refuse to do business with us
  • Prices could rise dramatically due to the conflict from increased transportation costs, worries about safety risks during transport, or by the countries from which we import suffering their own shortages.

When President Trump was inaugurated and said that he was going to tax imports, many articles were written about how an import tax could affect our cost of living. The same information is applicable if you look at it through the scope of war. Although the imports wouldn’t necessarily be taxed, we’d be looking at similar shortages. (This article on Consumer Reports gives an excellent overview on what could be affected due to an import tax.)

Here are some of the shortages we could anticipate and supporting links to help you prep for them:

Gasoline: A fuel shortage will, quite literally, affect everything. It will increase the cost of goods because getting them from one side of the country to the other will be more expensive. It will cause shortages because importing the goods into the country from elsewhere will be more difficult and costly. The ability to travel or commute will be affected for many people, causing it to be more difficult to get to work or school. Our worlds will get much smaller in such a situation.

This could happen in a few different ways. First, our fuel could be diverted to the war effort, or secondly, since a quarter of our petroleum comes from other countries (source), a shortage could evolve the same way as shortages of consumer goods, as addressed above.

Food: For all of the reasons mentioned above, we could be facing food shortages. America imports $130 billion per year worth of food, and we have all become accustomed to blueberries in December and bananas on demand. In 2011, statistics showed that 20% of our food is imported with particular emphasis on seafood (70%) and produce (35%).  With droughts and weather concerns plaguing agricultural hubs of the country over the past few years, this percentage has surely risen, although I was unable to find specific recent statistics.

Prescription medications: We are also a nation that is heavily reliant on prescription medications, many of which are made offshore. A whopping 80% of our prescription drugs are imported, according to the FDA website. In the event of a war that halts imports, the almost 70% of Americans who regularly rely on prescription drugs will be in big trouble.

Shortages of prescription medications could result in increased use of medical facilities due to uncontrolled heart conditions, diabetes, or other chronic ailments. This could cause reduced access to physicians, fewer available beds in hospitals, and higher prices for drugs that are available.

  • Sign up here to get a special report on Venezuela that discusses the medical crisis there that erupted due to pharmaceutical shortages. (It also lists the other things that they ran out of first during their own economic crisis.)
  • Look for options other than pharmaceutical for a backup plan. This book is loaded with natural remedies in the event that meds are no longer available.
  • Do your best to reduce your reliance on prescription medications if you can at all. Some health conditions can be managed with good nutrition. If you have an underlying issue that can be taken care of, do so now.

Power: In previous conflicts, power has been rationed in some parts of the world. This could be anything from predictable rolling blackouts to cutting power entirely in order to “support the war effort.”

Of course, during WW2, people were less reliant on electronics for every facet of their lives. Now, we are all completely hooked into the grid. Most folks rely on it for everything: information,  warmth, communication, money, and food storage. If that grid was no longer reliable, everything would change and some people would have a lot of difficulty adapting.

If your budget is tight, I strongly recommend against investing in a generator. First of all, they’re expensive and that money can be spent elsewhere. Unless it is solar, you’ll have to have fuel to run it. And it’s a pretty safe bet that if electricity is rationed, fuel will be outrageously expensive and difficult to acquire.

What if the conflict hits American soil?

The last time there was war on the American mainland was during the American Civil War. The next article in this series will discuss ways to prepare for the potential of conflict if it comes to us. Be sure to sign up for the newsletter so you don’t miss it.

Part 1: Is World War 3 Coming? 18 Preppers Discuss Effects, Shortages, and How to Get Ready

Part 2: How to Survive World War 3: Prepping for an Off-Shore Conflict

Part 3: How to Survive World War 3: Prepping in Case the Fight Comes to Us (coming soon)


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Secret Sniper Technique Revealed: Ballistic Loophole Shooting (VIDEO)

Secret Sniper Technique Revealed: Ballistic Loophole Shooting (VIDEO) | brandon-precision | Multimedia PreparednessSurvival Special Interests

First, I brought you a practical method for easily building a ghillie suit which defeats thermal imaging (FLIR).  Now, I’ve decided to create an entire YouTube channel dedicated to equipping the citizenry with advanced means of self defense.

Guerrilla Think Tank is a project created by Brandon Smith of Alt-Market.com focused specifically on training, tactics and outside the box thinking.  We will study alternative means by which the general liberty-loving public can counter an advanced aggressor with the sometimes meager means at their disposal.  We will also study the psychology behind propaganda and how to recognize it, as well as study geopolitical events around the world and the perhaps unseen influences they can have on the future.   In short, Guerilla Think Tank is about asymmetric thinking and dismantling seemingly insurmountable threats with simple but unique solutions.

My first video teaches the long “secret” method of shooting at any distance through a ballistic loophole; effectively making the shooter invisible to observation.  Be sure to give the video a thumbs-up and subscribe to Guerrilla Think Tank if you liked it:

If you want Alt-Market to produce more videos like this one, consider sending a donation for our Guerrilla Think Tank fund.  There is a lot more training info on the way that you probably won’t find anywhere else!  Visit our donations page here: http://www.alt-market.com/donate

This article was republished from Alt-Market.com.


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Patient Advocacy For Good Times and Bad

Patient Advocacy For Good Times and Bad | holding-hands | General Health Medical & Health PreparednessSurvival

Becoming medically prepared can be one of the most difficult aspects of prepping.  First, there is the unpredictable nature of medical emergencies themselves.  Then there is the prospect of inadequate medical training coupled with the lack of supplies and medicine.

Even during normal times, doing the right thing medically can have dire consequences.  Something you may not have considered is the need for patient advocacy, both now and in the future when the prospect of getting good proper medical care is not likely.

Dr. Joe Alton is back again with an all-new and all-important article of medical preparedness.

Advocating for the Patient in Good or Bad Times

We spend a lot of time talking about medical issues in natural and man-made disasters. However, a calamity can also be very personal, such as when you or a loved one suffers a major medical emergency, whether in good or bad times.

In many instances, it is easy for someone like this to “fall through the cracks” of a huge medical establishment. I know this happens, as I saw the results of it as a resident in a large inner-city hospital. The lack of having an advocate, for example, in an epidemic setting can be very hazardous to your health.

A similar scenario that could have been fatal also happened to one of our sons, Daniel. Daniel is a 32-year-old who has had severe diabetes since he was nine years old. Due to his disease, he had developed kidney failure, partial blindness, circulatory problems, and had been on dialysis for more than a year. He had been on a transplant waiting list as well.

After a number of false alarms, a kidney and pancreas became available as a result of a drunk driver taking the life of a young father of two as he was riding his bicycle. Daniel underwent transplant surgery at a large city hospital, one of the few in the state that performed this type of procedure.

The good news is that the new organs functioned well from the very start, producing urine and lowering his blood sugars to almost normal levels within 24 hours. Several days after the operation, he was deemed fit enough to leave the Intensive Care Unit and go to a regular floor. This meant that, instead of having a nurse specifically for him, he shared a nurse with several other patients. This is standard operating procedure and usually, has no ominous implications.

However, when we went to see him the day of his transfer, he wasn’t looking well. He seemed pale and his abdomen seemed more distended that it did before. There was a drain coming out of his belly, and it was full of bright red blood.

As a surgeon, seeing a drain with some bloody fluid isn’t that unusual. But the sheer volume of blood draining out of his abdomen was concerning. Nurse Amy and I took it upon ourselves to check Daniel’s vital signs earlier than scheduled and found him to have a racing pulse and a dropping blood pressure. As we were unable to find medical staff, we emptied the bloody drain and watched it rapidly fill up again (and again) in short order. It was clear that he was bleeding internally.

This occurred in the wee hours of the morning after most visitors had left. Staffing was light, and it took some time to find his nurse, who was attending another patient. Our hackles were raised, and we’re not ashamed to admit that we raised a racket. An overworked resident came in to take a look at him. To her credit, she realized that something was wrong, and he returned to the operating room. They wound up removing 3 or 4 liters of free blood from his abdomen before the hemorrhage came under control.

Daniel recovered from this ordeal and, thankfully, his transplanted kidney and pancreas are still functioning. However, thinking about this episode, it was clear to us that it could have ended very badly. If not identified in time, it’s very likely that we would have received a call in the morning notifying us that Daniel had passed away during the night.

We tell you this story not to gain sympathy or a pat on the back, but to convince you of the importance of being a patient advocate. Our advice is not just for family members. If you are working to become a better medical asset to your people in hard times, then you must take patient advocacy as serious as learning first aid. You must walk a mile in the shoes of your patient.

You may already see yourself as an advocate for your patient. Indeed, most doctors today feel they know what’s best for their patients. I certainly hope it is this that guides them; that they would do for their patients as they would for a member of their family. As a medic in a disaster, however, you may be overworked and under stress.

This may make it difficult for you to see things from your patient’s perspective. Your patient may “fall through the cracks” if you’re not careful, simply due to the amount of pressure on you to care for a large survival community.

Consider appointing a family member or other individual to follow a sick patient with you, not necessarily to provide care but to provide support as an advocate. Allow your patient to participate in medical decisions regarding their health and never resent their questions. If they are too weak to do so, communicate your plan of action with their appointed advocate.

Three A’s of Patient Advocacy

Here are Alton’s Three A’s of Advocacy

1)   Accept the importance of a patient’s right to be informed and, if possible, participate in medical decision-making.

2)   Advise the patient so that they understand the medical issue in question and can be a full partner in the therapeutic process.

3)   Allow an advocate to be an intermediary if the patient is too weak to actively participate in their care.

Hard realities may make it difficult to provide quality, informed care in times of trouble. Unfortunately, medic, that is your duty; it’s a responsibility that’s as imperative in bad times as it is in good.

The Final Word

It is not difficult to imagine a time or a place when medical help may not be readily available.  The scenarios are many.  Following a catastrophic natural or manmade disaster, during a pandemic, or even a during a vacation to a remote location.  In each of these cases, you may have to take patient care under your own wing and do the best you can to ensure a good outcome.

In those circumstances, do the best you can, keeping in mind the Alton’s three A’s: Accept, Advice, and Allow.  As a matter of fact, start practicing them now.  They could be a game-changer.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


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Not Prepared: Will Most Americans Be Absolutely Blindsided By Multiple Wars And A Simultaneous Economic Collapse?

Not Prepared: Will Most Americans Be Absolutely Blindsided By Multiple Wars And A Simultaneous Economic Collapse? | Lightning-Storm-Public-Domain | Collapse Economy & Business PreparednessSurvival

According to CBS News, an astounding three-fourths of all Americans have to “scramble to cover their living costs” each month.  In other words, most of the country is either living paycheck to paycheck or very close to it.  But instead of tightening their belts and trying to put something away for the very hard times that are coming, most Americans are completely and utterly unprepared for what is ahead because the people that they trust on television keep telling them that everything is going to be okay.  Unfortunately, everything is not going to be “okay”, and when things start falling apart all around us there is going to be a lot of anger directed toward those that have been lulling everyone into a false sense of security.

One of the reasons why I am sounding the alarm so loudly is so that people will not be blindsided by the things that are about to happen to this country.  As you will see below, we are on the precipice of two major wars, conditions are ripe for a devastating economic collapse, and if you were to throw in a major natural disaster or two you would have a recipe for the kind of “perfect storm” that many have been warning about.

Earlier today I focused on our looming economic problems, and in this article I want to address the potential for more military conflict in the very near future.  When Donald Trump hit Syria with 59 cruise missiles, millions of Americans greatly celebrated, but much of the rest of the world was deeply alarmed.

The Trump administration has said that more strikes are possible, but Russia and Iran are both pledging that “we will respond with force” if any more attacks are conducted…

RUSSIA and Iran have said they will respond to further American military actions following the air strike in Syria last week.

In a joint statement, the command centre for the two countries and allied groups said “we will respond to any aggression”.

The statement read: “What America waged in an aggression on Syria is a crossing of red lines. From now on we will respond with force to any aggressor or any breach of red lines from whoever it is and America knows our ability to respond well.”

Do you understand what that means?

If Trump fires off any more cruise missiles at Syria, we will essentially be in a state of war with both Russia and Iran.

Previously, Russia had warned that our two nations were “one step from war” because of Trump’s actions, but the Trump administration is showing no signs of backing down.  In fact, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley says that regime change in Syria is now a top priority

The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, who has done a remarkable job of continuing the diplomatic tone set by her predecessor Samantha Power, said in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” which will air in full on Sunday, that regime change in Syria as one of the Trump administration’s top priorities in Syria.  Her statement was a complete U-turn from what she said just over a week ago, when she told a group of reporters that the US was “no longer focused on getting Assad out.”

Some members of the administration are apparently even advocating a full-blown invasion of Syria.  For example, it is being reported that National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster has come up with a plan to send 150,000 U.S. ground troops into the country…

As NSA, McMaster’s job is to synthesize intellience reports from all other agencies. President Trump is being given an inaccurate picture of the situation in Syria, as McMaster is seeking to involve the U.S. in a full scale war in Syria.

The McMaster-Petraeus plan calls for 150,000 American ground troops in Syria.

Many special operations veterans including General Joseph Votel have raised serious concerns about McMaster’s plans for Syria.

I don’t know if I have the words to describe how incredibly foolish that would be.

Do we really want to fight an extremely bloody ground war with the combined forces of Russia, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah?

There is very little good that could come out of a war in Syria even in the most rosy scenarios possible, but if things go bad they could go really, really bad.

Meanwhile, NBC News is reporting that President Trump is considering various military options for North Korea, and one of those options includes “killing dictator Kim Jong-Un”…

The National Security Council has presented President Donald Trump with options to respond to North Korea’s nuclear program — including putting American nukes in South Korea or killing dictator Kim Jong-un, multiple top-ranking intelligence and military officials told NBC News.

After seeing what happened in Syria and hearing these threats openly discussed in the U.S. media, what do you think Kim Jong-Un is thinking at this point?

One member of Congress is warning that “millions can die” if a military strike against North Korea goes badly.  Once U.S. missiles begin flying, North Korea can start firing off their nukes and their vast arsenal of chemical warheads almost instantly.

Could you imagine what would happen if large numbers of deadly nerve gas warheads started exploding in downtown Seoul, downtown Tokyo and at U.S. military bases in Japan?

The carnage would be off the charts, and this is a scenario that we want to avoid at all costs.

Unfortunately, it seems like we are coming closer to a conflict with North Korea with each passing day.  In fact, today we learned that an aircraft carrier strike group headed by the USS Carl Vinson is sailing in the direction of North Korea right now

Amid rising tensions with North Korea, an aircraft carrier strike group led by the USS Carl Vinson were heading toward the Korean peninsula.

The aircraft carrier and its accompanying ships had been scheduled to leave from Singapore for port visits to Australia on Saturday, but Adm. Harry Harris, head of U.S. Pacific Command, ordered the strike group to head north toward Korean waters instead.

So what happens if the U.S. starts fighting two major wars simultaneously, the biggest debt bubble in the history of the planet starts bursting, and the U.S. stock market crashes by 50 percent as some analysts are projecting?

Some Americans still have memories of living through the Great Depression and World War II, but most of us have been living in a bubble of peace and prosperity for so long that we don’t think that anything could ever come along and threaten our way of life.

And since the election of Donald Trump, interest in “prepping” has dropped to the lowest level that I have ever seen.  Most people have been lulled into a false sense of security, while the truth is that we have entered perhaps the most dangerous period of time in modern American history.

So you all can do whatever you want, but me and my house are going to get prepared for the tremendous storm that is about to hit this nation.

Those that are wise will do the same, but unfortunately most Americans are going to get absolutely blindsided by what is coming because they have been trusting the wrong voices.


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The post Not Prepared: Will Most Americans Be Absolutely Blindsided By Multiple Wars And A Simultaneous Economic Collapse? appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.


Source: Alternative news journal

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Get 11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life for Free

Get 11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life for Free | life-options | Off-Grid & Independent Living PreparednessSurvival Special Interests

Things tend to move fast and furious at times and at this moment, such is the case in Backdoor Survival Land. So what is happening?  I am in the process of getting settled at my mountain retreat in Payson, Arizona.  When a prepper moves, it is hectic!

That being said, a couple of days ago I took a break to be interviewed by Todd Sepulveda, the editor of Pepper Website.  He has a new website, The Prepper Website Podcast, and today he is featuring an interview with both me and my BFF, George Ure, who runs the Urban Survival website.

Free eBook:  11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life

We are both honored and thrilled and to celebrate, a copy of our eBook, 11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life: A Guide to Survival During Uncertain Times will be available on Amazon for free between April 5 and April 9.

What is this book about?  Strategic Living, of course.

Here is a section from the interview. (Click here to hear the whole thing.)

Question: Could you paste in a paragraph from your book that gives a good feel for what readers will experience?

Answer Gaye:

“Living strategically – by our own definition – means living a life full of abundant adventure while embracing the tenets of simplicity and sustainability. It means being healthy and reaping the benefits of bounteous friendships and caring relationships.

It means living a life full of happiness and readiness, without the burden of wanting to be someone else or someplace else. It means liking yourself and moving forward with this business of life with animated spirit and optimism.

This all sounds like lofty stuff but when you get right down to it, we think we have been preparing for this moment for a long long time. Living strategically means being self-sufficient and being self-reliant. It means being prepared for life in these uncertain times.”

Answer George:

“The only real “business equation” you need ever learn is that if you spend less than you make, you will always be well off. It seems almost childish to say this, but if you can pay cash for anything it is a good idea to do so. There are plenty of reasons why:

1. If you pay cash, your ownership in generally unencumbered. This means that you own something outright and no one can take it away from you without breaking the law. One exception here is that the government can seize property for nonpayment of taxes.

2. If you pay cash, you don’t pay interest charges. Even though real estate loans are at record low levels of interest, there are still credit card outfits which gouge people for 21% and higher at a time when they are borrowing at the Fed discount window for less than 1%. Oh, sure, they whine about nonpayment’s, charge-off rates and other items, but in the end they’re gouging. You don’t have to contribute to their greed and that’s the power paying cash offers.

3. You don’t have to work. We can’t count the number of people we’ve run into who have to work or face bankruptcy, and some multiple times! If you don’t have cash — and can get even a small home with modest utilities and taxes and save something up to provide a few years of cushion, you can take off work for extended periods of time. You stop being a wage slave.”

Sound interesting?  Here is the link to get our eBook for free between April 5-9.

Speaking of Strategic Living – Subscribe Now

At the beginning of the year, I did a gentle roll out of my new Strategic Living website.  There is not much content and the site is still a bit rough around the edges but I expect things to pick up in earnest early this summer.

Want to be the first to learn about new articles being posted to the site?

Subscribe to Strategic Living

I also have a Facebook page where I will be continuing the tradition of posting free eBooks.  The difference is that the Strategic Living FB page will focus more on DIY, Cooking, Essential Oils, and, topics to related to living and being awesome.

The Final Word

I am keeping this brief because I need to get back to unpacking and organizing my preps.  When I can once again see the forest through the trees, I promise to share what moving is like, prepper-style!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


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20 Strategies and Tips for Creating a Rainwater Catchment System

20 Strategies and Tips for Creating a Rainwater Catchment System | rain-water | PreparednessSurvival

Living in the desert has taught me not to take water for granted.  Unlike the Pacific Northwest, I am not footsteps away from streams, ponds, or a vast sea just waiting for me to collect and purify for personal use.

In a continuing effort to educate our readers on the finer aspects of self-sufficiency, I have invited Dan Chiras to share his best strategies and tips for creating a rain catchment system that works.

If Dan’s name sounds familiar, it is because he is the author of two Prepper Book Festival titles, Survive in Style: The Prepper’s Guide to Living Comfortably through Disasters and Power From the Sun: A Practical Guide to Solar Electricity.  Today he is here with specifics on collecting rainwater, regardless of where you live.

Let it Rain: Collecting Rainwater from Your Roof to Survive in Style

In a crisis, rainwater can become one of a prepper’s greatest allies. If you live in an area with as few as 30 inches (12 cm) of precipitation a year, you may be able to live entirely off water falling on the roof of your home. That is, you could collect enough water from precipitation to meet all of your needs for cooking, cleaning, bathing, flushing toilets, watering gardens, and supplying a few chickens and a goat or cow – if you use water efficiently. I’ve done it for many years.

In drier climates, you may not be able to live off rainwater, but you could capture enough water to irrigate a vegetable garden and fruit trees and perhaps supply a few animals that provide the food you’ll need to survive in style.

Rainwater catchment systems are about as simple as they come. All you’ll need is a roof, gutters and downspouts, several rain barrels or a large tank (cistern), and water filters and purifiers. Chances are you are already well on their way to having a successful rainwater catchment system.

If your house is equipped with gutters and downspouts and you’ve got a water filter like an MSR Miniworks EX Microfilter and water purification device like a SteriPen, all you’ll need to do is to add a few rain barrels or a cistern connected to several downspouts to start collecting rain water right now.

I lived off-grid for 14 years in Colorado in the Foothills of the Rockies and supplied all of my family’s water with a rainwater catchment system during that time, although we used water very efficiently. I was constantly amazed by the amount of water we were able to collect off our roof. You will, too.

20 Strategies and Tips for Creating a Rainwater Catchment System | 2500-gallon-plastic-tank | PreparednessSurvival

This 2500 gallon plastic tank was installed to catch rainwater off our roof.

How Much Rainwater Can I Collect?

To estimate the amount of rainwater you can capture from a rooftop, simply multiply the square footage of your home by the amount of precipitation in inches by 0.55. (IF your home is two stories, divide the total square footage by the number of stories.)

A 2,000 square foot (190 square meter) home in the Midwest in an area that experiences 30 inches of annual precipitation could capture 33,000 gallons (125,000 liters) of water per year. That’s about 90 gallons (230 liters) of water per day.

In most conventional homes, that’s only enough water for one person. If used judiciously, however, that 90 gallons (230 liters) per day could meet all of your and your family’s needs. (Judiciously is another way of saying you will need to use water very efficiently.)

How to Create a Water Catchment System from Rainwater

Here are some tips to create a successful rainwater catchment system.

1.  Check with local authorities to be sure that rainwater catchment systems are legal in your state.

Some western states like Colorado prohibit rainwater collection, although I’ve known a few rebellious individuals who have installed them anyway, flying successfully under the radar. I can’t recommend that strategy, for legal reasons, but doubt anyone’s going to care if they’re capturing rainwater to survive. Even in “normal” times, illegal rainwater catchment is not a high-priority crime.

2.  Remember, you can collect rainwater off your home, but also off roofs of other buildings such as garages, carports, sheds, and chicken coops.

Doing so will greatly increase your supply of water.

3.  The cleaner the roof the better. Metal and tile roofs produce cleaner water than asphalt shingle roofs.

The cleaner the water, the less filtering and purification you’ll need to render the water drinkable. Bear in mind, however, if you’re going to simply use rainwater to irrigate gardens, fruit trees, and berry patches or supply a few chickens and a cow or goat, the water won’t need to be as clean up front.

4.   If your home is surrounded by deciduous trees, install leaf guards on your gutters.

At the very least, install a leaf screen on your downspout. Leaves clog up gutters, but more important, decaying leaves in gutters produce organic compounds that contaminate water supplies. They probably won’t kill you, but they may turn the water brown.

5.  For best results, install a roof washer.

This is a rather simple device that diverts a small amount of water initially flowing off a roof during a rainstorm away from your cistern or rain barrel. This, in turn, prevents dirt and bird droppings, if any, from contaminating your drinking water supply. (See the website I cited below to learn more about roof washers.)

6.  If you live in a warm climate, rain barrels and cisterns can be installed above ground.

Be sure to install tanks with opaque walls (not clear or translucent). If possible, install them in shady locations to keep the water cooler and protect the tank from UV radiation. Tanks with transparent or translucent walls allow sunlight to penetrate. Sunlight, in turn, supports algae that will contaminate your water.

7.  If you live in a colder climate and want to collect water from snow melting off your roof, be sure to bury your cistern below the frost line or place it indoors – for example, in a basement.

Only bury water tanks rated for underground burial.

8.  If you are planning on drinking water from your system, it’s a good idea to install a tank rated for potable water, although a high-quality filter that removes organic chemicals may be all you need.

If you are going to be using the water for cleaning, watering plants, and supplying animals, a clean plastic tank will generally suffice.

9. If you purchase used tanks, be sure they have never been used to store toxic chemicals such as herbicides or insecticides or natural oils like Vitamin E.

The latter are very difficult to clean initially.

10. Rainwater can be emptied directly into open barrels from gutters cut off just above the rain barrel or can be filled by rainwater diverters that are installed in gutters.

20 Strategies and Tips for Creating a Rainwater Catchment System | simple-two-tub-system-collects-rainwater | PreparednessSurvival

It ain’t pretty but this simple two-tub system collects rainwater off one of our outbuildings to help water our cattle.

11.  Be sure to place a fine-mesh screen over open rain barrels to keep mosquitos and other critters out.

They’ll lay eggs in standing water. Mosquitos are also potential carriers of some microorganisms that result in fatal diseases such as malaria, in tropical and semitropical climates. They’re also known to spread the West Nile virus in temperate climates. Lest we forget, they’re also a nuisance for those who like to sit outdoors at night. A screened top will also prevent birds and mice from gaining access and drowning, then rotting, in your water supply.

12. Place rain barrels on cement blocks and install a spigot so you can easily remove water from the tank with a garden hose or bucket.

20 Strategies and Tips for Creating a Rainwater Catchment System | Rain-barrel-with-spigot-e1491005696397 | PreparednessSurvival

You definitely will want to install a spigot on your rain barrel.

13.  Remember, two or more rain barrels can be daisy chained (plumbed) together to increase the amount of water you collect.

14.  If you install an underground cistern or an aboveground barrel or tank, be sure to equip it with an overflow – a safe outlet that will carry excess water away from the tank should it top off in a rainstorm.

Be sure the drains at least six to 10 feet away from your foundation.

15.  If you draw water out of a cistern with an electric pump, be sure the inlet to the pump is six inches or so off the bottom of the tank so it won’t suck up any sediment.

16.  Drain rain barrels and cisterns every year or two and clean them to remove sediment or organic residues that may have collected on the bottom of the tank or organic matter such as algae attached to the walls.

17.  Purify water intended for human consumption – for example, water in which you cook food or water you drink.

Because rainwater collected off most roofs tends to be pretty clear (free of sediment or suspended solids), you may not need to filter it or it’ll require very little filtering. Do purify all potable water to eliminate potential parasites and microbes.

18. After you have set up your rainwater catchment system, have the water tested for a wide range of contaminants, especially if you live in or near a polluted city.

19.  Purchase filters and purifiers, then try them out.

Have the water tested again to determine how clean the water is.

20.  Start learning many ways to use water more efficiently.

You can learn about them in my new book, Survive in Style: How to Live Comfortably through Disasters.

Additional Resources

To learn more about roof washers and system design visit http://extension.psu.edu/natural-resources/water/drinking-water/cisterns-and-springs/rainwater-cisterns-design-construction-and-water-treatment.

To obtain information on cisterns for personal water collection visit http://www.rainharvest.com/rain-harvesting.html.

The Final Word

Rainwater catchment systems are perfect for those who want to stay put or for those who have a safe place to escape to in times of crisis but lack a water supply. Although you may have to use water very efficiently, for instance, by taking shorter and less frequent showers, you’ll be much better off if a short-term disaster morphs into a year-long nightmare than those who have simply stockpiled water. You can even use a rainwater catchment system in times of relative calm to reduce your dependence on well water or municipal water supplies.

Get going now and set up a system as soon as you can. This will give you time to learn how much water you can collect and how the system works. It will also give you time to work out any bugs. You’ll never regret this decision.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


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How To Prepare For An Earthquake

How To Prepare For An Earthquake | Quake | PreparednessSurvival

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How to Survive a Nuclear Strike

How to Survive a Nuclear Strike | nuclear | PreparednessSurvival US News

Learning what to do in the event of a nuclear strike just took on a whole new urgency now that Kim Jong Un just threatened to nuke the US.

We don’t know if Kim Jong Un actually has the capability to nuke the United States, but we do know that little dictator in North Korea is batcrap crazy. So if he actually does have the ability to hit the United States with a nuclear weapon, do you have any doubt whatsoever that he’d do it?

Last week, it was reported by numerous sources that Seal Team 6 had been deployed to do away with Kim Jong Un. At the time, I thought that seemed a little weird, because wouldn’t that be a top secret mission? Why would they actually warn Un that they were coming?

Weirdness aside, the leader of North Korea responded with an incredibly unsettling warning via his Foreign Ministry:

“The Korean People’s Army will reduce the bases of aggression and provocation to ashes with its invincible Hwasong rockets tipped with nuclear warheads and reliably defend the security of the country and its people’s happiness in case the US and the South Korean puppet forces fire even a single bullet at the territory of the DPRK.”

According to a report on SHTFplan, the Secretary of State said that Americans “patience has ended” with the antics of Kim Jong Un.

If you were one of those people who felt such a sense of relief when Trump became president instead of Hillary Clinton that you stopped prepping, you might want to rethink that. A nuclear attack could mean one of two things – a missile sent to some location on American soil or even an EMP that detonated above the country, wiping out the power grid.

If there is anyone is crazy enough to start a nuclear war, it’s this guy. He has already shown that he refuses to cooperate with the demands of neighboring countries. Even though he has to be aware that retaliation would be swift and brutal, if he thought he could get in a sucker punch, I believe he would do it.

Do you know what to do in the event of a nuclear strike?

Preparing for a strike vs. an EMP are very different. For the purposes of this article, we’ll talk about a direct strike.

Contrary to popular belief, a nuke won’t kill everyone within hundreds of miles. If you aren’t in the immediate blast radius, a nuclear strike is absolutely survivable.

If you are within 10-20 miles of the blast, the winds will be coming at about 600 miles per hour. This will take down buildings and cause a tremendous amount of pressure. Some experts recommend that you keep your mouth open to try and reduce the pressure on your eardrums.

If you manage to survive that part, you have about 10-15 minutes to evacuate the area before you are exposed to a lethal amount of radioactive fallout. It’s time to get the heck out of Dodge if at all possible. The advantage you will have is that most people will still be trying to figure out what on earth happened. The disadvantage is that roadways may not be clear due to damage from the blast.

Your other option is to immediately get to shelter.

During a talk on surviving a nuclear attack, professor Iwrin Redlener, US specialist on disaster preparedness, said: “In that 10 to 15 minutes, all you have to do is go about a mile away from the blast.

“Within 20 minutes, it comes straight down. Within 24 hours, lethal radiation is going out with prevailing winds.”

Prof Redlener said you should feel for the wind and begin running perpendicular to it – not upwind or downwind

He said: “You’ve got to get out of there. If you don’t get out of there, you’re going to be exposed to lethal radiation in very short order.

“If you can’t get out of there, we want you to go into a shelter and stay there. Now, in a shelter in an urban area means you have to be either in a basement as deep as possible, or you have to be on a floor – on a high floor – if it’s a ground burst explosion, which it would be, higher than the ninth floor.

So you have to be tenth floor or higher, or in the basement. But basically, you’ve got to get out of town as quickly as possible. And if you do that, you actually can survive a nuclear blast.”

The most hazardous fallout particles are readily visible as fine sand-sized grains so you must keep away from them and not go outside if you see them. (source)

If you take shelter, you should plan to stay there for a minimum of 9 days.

A few other nuclear survival tips:

  • If you are in your car, make certain to turn the vent to recirculation so that you don’t bring any outside air into the vehicle.
  • If you have duct tape on hand, use it to seal up any entrances to the room in which you are taking shelter. (Hint: You should always have duct tape on hand.)

If you are far enough out to have a bit of time, you can fortify your home to prevent much of the fallout from getting inside.

  • Use duct tape and tarps to seal off windows, doors, and vents.
  • Turn off any type of climate control that pulls the outside air into your home.
  • If someone enters the home, make certain that there is a room set up that is separate from other family members so that they can decontaminate.
  • All clothing they were wearing should be placed outside and they should immediately shower thoroughly.

Have enough supplies on hand to wait out the danger.

As with many emergencies, you need to be prepared to survive at home without help from anyone.

  • Stock up on emergency food.
  • Have a supply of water for all family members and pets that will last throughout the 9-day waiting period that you need to remain indoors.
  • Make certain you have an iodine supplement on hand to protect your thyroid gland.
  • Be prepared for the potential of a power outage.
  • If you have pets, have supplies on hand for their sanitation – you can’t let them go outside because not only would they be exposed, they would bring radiation in with them.
  • Make sure to have a supply of any necessary prescription medications.
  • Have a well-stocked first aid kit.

Finally, print out this manual from the US government about surviving a nuclear emergency. It was written with first responders in mind, but much of the information would be applicable for us, too. It discusses:

  • The effects of a detonation in an urban environment
  • Shelter and evacuation recommendations
  • Medical care
  • Decontamination
  • Preparedness steps you can take well before an emergency occurs

None of these preps are completely outrageous items that you’d never use. I’m not suggesting that you go set up a bunker in an underground cavern. (Although that would be pretty cool.)  These are common sense preps that many of you may already have on hand.

Personally, I’d rather know what to do ahead of time instead of trying to figure it out after the fact when I only have 10 minutes to save the lives of my family members.


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Why Your Carefully Calculated Prepper Food Supply May Not Be Enough (And What You Can Add)

Why Your Carefully Calculated Prepper Food Supply May Not Be Enough (And What You Can Add) | Why-your-prepper-food-supply-may-not-be-enough | News Articles PreparednessSurvival

We all prep for different future scenarios. Some of us worry about losing our jobs. Others live in drought-stricken areas and put extra food back to see them through the next lean time. Some believe war is coming…there are almost as many reasons for preparing as there are people actually doing the deed. But the common thread is that many of us are working hard to build a prepper food supply to see us through an emergency.

Maybe you’ve been storing extra food for quite a while and feel confident that regardless of what the world throws at you, your family won’t starve. Your stuff is stored in the best conditions you can provide. It’s bagged and tagged, dated and rotated…what could possibly go wrong?

You aren’t going to like the answer.

In an all-out epic disaster, what would be a plentiful supply with our usual cushy lifestyles won’t go nearly as far to keep us well-fed. The increased energy requirements of your new lifestyle could mean that you need double or even triple the calories you are consuming now. Not only that, even the least nutrition-conscious among us have grown accustomed to instant access and a wide variety of foods that keep us fairly well nourished.

But luckily, there are some clever additions you can make now to help boost calories, nutrition, and variety.

What works now wouldn’t work after a massive collapse.

We all need a basic number of calories just to stay alive – this is called your Basal Metabolic Rate. But basing your food storage supply on this is an enormous mistake.

Most folks have purchased and stored based on the reality in which we currently exist. But post-collapse, we’d be living a very different reality. In my book, The Pantry Primer, I wrote about the need for more food than you think you require:

…it’s very important to remember that once you think you have a one year food supply, you should continue to build your pantry.  Disasters don’t go by the books, and no formula can tell you how much you will need to eat. Stress increases your need for calories, and epic events are nothing if not stressful. Furthermore, you may be doing a lot more physical labor to produce food and repair structures, which will also increase your caloric need.  A supply that would last for a year during non-eventful times will probably not stretch that far if you are completely reliant on your pantry.

A post-collapse lifestyle would be much more labor-intensive.

  • Moving around on foot or by bicycle uses way more calories than driving a car or taking the train. A pedestrian reality could be the result of an economic collapse (no money for gasoline) or an event that takes out electronic components in engines, just to name two examples.
  • What if you were responsible for providing your own food supply? It takes a lot more effort to grow vegetables, preserve them, to raise and butcher livestock, or to hunt than it does to make the trip to the grocery store.
  • Providing your own heat is also calorie-intensive. Chopping wood increases the energy you need by thousands of calories per week over the current lifestyle of flicking a switch to turn on the central heating. Even if someone else provides the wood, you’ll still have to stack it, carry it in the house, and keep the fire going – which still requires more physical work than turning the thermostat dial.

So while you’re probably off to a good start, let’s look at some factors that may cause you to revisit your stockpiling plan.

Input needs to match output.

If you are at a healthful body weight, maintaining it boils down to one simple fact – the energy you take in needs to match the energy you expend going about your daily life. A deficit of 500 calories a day will mean you lose one pound of body fat a week – which is great for some of us and not so much for others.

So if you currently need 2000 calories a day to keep everything ticking over and to maintain your current weight but your new lifestyle means you will need 3000 calories a day by eating the 2000 calories you currently consume you are going to lose two pounds a week…every week.

While this might be nice for a while, for many people, it isn’t going to be nice on an ongoing basis. Not many people carry enough excess weight to be able to handle a loss like this on an ongoing basis. To put a real-life face on it, over the past year, the average weight loss of Venezuelans has been nearly 20 pounds. And if that’s the average, it means half of those people lost more than that.

And then there’s a lack of nutrients.

In addition, although you wouldn’t starve to death eating a diet of rice and pasta, you would reach a nutritional deficit in a short period of time. This could lead to depletion of vital vitamins and minerals, which in turn will lead to weakness, debility, and deficiency diseases that are rarely seen in the United States.

Don’t forget rabbit starvation. If you haven’t heard of that, it’s a term that was coined by Arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson, who took part in the ill-fated Greely Exploration in the late 1800s, during which only 6 of the 25 original explorers survived. Stefansson observed that those who ate only rabbit, a very lean meat, ate incessantly but were never satisfied, but those who ate fattier meats like moose, beaver, and fish were satiated. There have been many cases in which “rabbit starvation” – a diet that was absent of fat – was considered the most probable cause of death.

Fats will play an important part in a post-collapse diet. Having just over twice the calorific value of carbohydrates and proteins fats can add a calorific boost to diets that are deficient in the overall calories consumed.

So what should you add to your stockpile?

There are things you can add to your stockpile to help stave off the nutritional effects of a collapse for a bit longer. Most of these items will last a very long time if properly stored. These items can help to stave off malnutrition, starvation, and food fatigue in the event of a long-term situation in which our lives dramatically change.

The links below are to the products we keep in our own stockpile. Feel free to substitute with your own favorite brands or locally sourced items – this will give you a starting point if you are looking for high-quality choices.

  • Vitamin and mineral supplements – get the best quality ones you can and store them optimally in a cool dark place.
  • Nutritionally complete meal replacementsthese are useful to have around if someone has been ill and is not yet able to return to a solid diet. While perhaps not the most “whole food” choice, they make a great addition to bug-out bags and backpacks as they have a high calorific value and are protein based. If you get the individual packets as a dry powder to mix with water they hardly add any weight to a pack.
  • Dry milk – this adds protein in a shelf-stable format (as well as a sense of normalcy for kids – or grown-ups – who like cereal and chocolate milk.) I use this hormone-free brand – some of the less-expensive stuff that you can buy is from cows treated with growth hormones.
  • Additional stored food – I like a combination of buckets of dehydrated food that take up little space in your stockpile and are already packaged for the long term along with #10 cans of healthy additions like fruits and vegetables. We also keep on hand some vegetable soup mixes, freeze-dried meats, and freeze-dried vegetables that can easily be added to other dishes for extra nutrients.
  • Protein powder – An unflavored version can be added to all of those rice and pasta emergency dishes for a healthy dose of protein. This brand, while expensive, is completely free of additives and chemicals. We also stir it into creamy soups and mashed potatoes. Flavored protein powders can be added to water for a sweet beverage with some nutritional value.  There are less expensive brands you can add instead, but be warned that they may contain chemicals, additives, HFCS, and fillers that some people will not wish to consume. “Gainers” are used by bodybuilders to get a lot of calories in one shot and can be used post-collapse for the same reason. This one adds 1600 calories per serving.
  • Fats – I stock coconut oil by the gallon – literally. Not only does it last basically forever, it has about a million different uses. You can get “peanut powder“(assuming there are no allergies in the house) to add to shakes or baked goods for more healthy fat. The powder can be reconstituted with water in a 2:1 ratio. Also, if you raise animals for meat, be sure to render the fat for many future uses.

Take a look at the prepper food supply you have put back.

Factor in the extra calories that will be required during an emergency and look at the range of nutrients. You may discover, to your dismay, that you need to top up your supplies to cover the deficit. Of course, wouldn’t you rather find out now that you haven’t got enough than five minutes after the store shelves are stripped bare during the first two hours of a crisis?

Do you have any clever additions to your stockpile that others might not have considered? Share your ideas in the comments section below.


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The post Why Your Carefully Calculated Prepper Food Supply May Not Be Enough (And What You Can Add) appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.


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