Friday, February 28, 2014
We store lots of food when the grocery is only minutes away. We rack up gear not knowing if we will ever use it. We train ourselves mentally for scenarios that may never happen. We spend countless hours of our time that could be devoted towards other "hobbies" that may be more in line with worldy fashion. We take our hard earned money and spend it on MRE's and heirloom seeds, when we really would have liked something more instantly consumable.
Why? Why do we go against the flow in so many ways?
I believe we do it because this is how we show love to our families. This is how we show love for our friends, our neighbors and our country. We do it because deep down we feel that it's the right thing to do. Whatever the scenario, whatever the cause, we feel this urge to protect, fortify, and prepare ourselves. We do it because we feel an obligation to work through whatever may come, and somehow still be smiling on the other side. We'd rather take a possibly harder route today, if it makes tomorrow's route look all the more sure. It's the code. It's who we are.
We are Preppers.
This post by Dwight from Briden Solutions - Proudly helping Canadians obtain high quality Survival supplies.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Updating Your Emergency Preparedness Plan
From time to time, people are reminded that their comfortable lifestyles could be torn from them by societal catastrophes or natural disasters. This has led many Americans to create emergency preparedness plans for themselves and their families. They often stash several months' worth of food, medicine, ammo, and other supplies. However, building an emergency stockpile is not a "set it and forget it" affair. There are some things that must be done in order to keep your stockpile up to date and reliable.
Rotate Food and Medicine Supplies
Many preppers boast of their enormous stockpile of food, but what they don't know is that their plans could be falling apart right under their noses. This is because even freeze dried foods commonly found in survival stockpiles can go bad. If they are not sealed properly, a spike in humidity can turn freeze dried foods into a moldy mess. Some preppers store their food stockpiles in the basement, where they may be vulnerable to flooding or pests. Even if the foods are completely sealed off from moisture, the nutritional value degrades over time. Rotating your food supply every few months will mitigate these problems.
Medications can go bad as well. Certain active ingredients break down over long periods of time, rendering the medications ineffective or even dangerous. Consult the packaging of your medications to find out the expiration date and shelf life. Remember that the rigorous conditions of a bugout situation could exacerbate any existing medical conditions, necessitating a higher dosage of medicine.
Keep Your Escape Route Up to Date
Every disaster preparedness plan should include an escape route that leads away from populated areas. Many people plan out such a route, but they sometimes forget to test it periodically. If your plan is to camp out in a secluded forest, your entire plan may be thrown into disarray if the forest has been bulldozed to make way for a shopping center. It is important to perform a "dry run" once in a while to make sure that your escape route is still usable. Moving to a new house can also necessitate updating your route; you must find a new one that is easily accessible from your new home. Neglecting to do these things could spell doom for your emergency preparedness plan before you even get out of town.
Maintain a Healthy Ammo Supply
If shooting is a hobby of yours, you may find yourself grabbing a few boxes of ammo from your bugout bag on range day while resolving to replace it later. This can be tempting during periods of high ammo prices and sporadic availability, but it is crucial to remember that the ammo in your bugout bag is only to be used for the most severe emergencies. You can avoid this situation by planning your ammo usage ahead of time. For example, if you are planning a trip to the range to shoot your new handgun, stock up on 9mm ammo a few days before to avoid depleting your emergency stockpile.
Remember that ammo has a limited shelf life. If stored for excessive periods of time or in undesirable conditions, it can become unreliable or unstable. Corrosion is also a concern; rusted ammo is likely to cause feed issues in your firearm. Ammo should ideally be stored in watertight and airtight containers. If you live in a coastal area or any other place with a humid climate, tossing a few packets of silica gel in your ammo containers will help it stay dry and free of corrosion. Keep the containers out of extreme temperatures if possible. The shelf life of ammo depends on the climate and storage conditions, but a general guideline is that supplies should be rotated at least once a year.
Update the Plan for New Household Members
Getting married, having a child, or taking in a relative are all events that require expanding your disaster preparedness plan. You will have to calculate their probable food consumption and add a sufficient amount to your stockpile. Be sure to store extra clothing, tools, and firearms (if appropriate) for the new household member. Take any special needs or medical conditions into consideration as well.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
- Canadian Badlands in the spotlight
- Continued discussion on the advantages of Cast Iron Cookware
- Special Guest: Owen Bjorgan of biophilicworld.com
Friday, February 21, 2014
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
These are all perfectly legitimate questions,and luckily I have been sent a sample pack of Legacy Premium freeze dried meals to check out for you...courtesy of Total Prepare Inc.
The sample pack consisted of four entrees of four servings each for a total of 16 servings with the following menu options:
Classic Chili Mix
Enchilada Beans and Rice
So let's take a look at a few of the main concerns most people have when it comes to freeze dried meals...
Don't be fooled by the size of the package. Once cooked, these meals are enough to go around. Calorie wise, each of these meals offered up between 320 and 420 calories, depending on the menu choice. Some entrees have even more per serving, just check around the website for complete nutritional information.
Nutritional information is printed on every package and is available on the website as well. Of course it varies by menu choice, but I found some pretty impressive percentages for daily intake in relation to calcium, vitamins, and iron. The salt content may seem a bit high, but under stress, you will be sweating more and needing to replace that sodium.
It really couldn't be much easier. All meals are prepared with water. For the entrees I tried, I used a butane camp stove, as this is one of my go to stoves for power outages and camping. The directions are easy, usually consisting of boiling water, adding contents of pouch, and simmer. Hey, it was so simple even I didn't mess it up! Don't forget though, there is an oxygen absorber in the pack that needs to be taken out first.
First of all, I want to mention that all Legacy products are GMO free...That means no frankenfood!
If you have specific dietary needs, each package lists possible alergens such as soy, milk, and wheat. For those of you who want a gluten free diet, there are options and packages specifically for you, as well as many vegetarian options.
Shelf life is 25 years, of course, depending on conditions. If you are concerned about leaving food in your bug out location through the typical Canadian winter,well this is likely a great option for you as the product is not affected by freezing. Once opened, the life of the food is about the same as anything you get at the grocery store so use it up in good time. This shouldn't be a problem as the pouches are usually 4 servings instead of bigger #10 cans. Leftovers should be refrigerated, but I never had any when I tried my samples.
OK, so enough beating around the bush...how does it taste! Personal preferences aside, they were pretty good. Don't expect the kind of foods that all the new foodie chefs are putting out in restaurants these days, but it was actually more tasty than comperable products from the supermarket like the Lipton Sidekicks...and there was more of it too. If I told you that it was better than my wife's cooking, not only would I be lying, but I would be looking for a divorce lawyer too. Then again, my wife has an extensive spice collection, lots of time to tweak her meals, and no stress from disasters to deal with when she gets in front of the stove...luxuries you won't have if you're breaking into these meals.
Freeze dried foods definitely have a place in a preppers food storage plans. The Legacy line has some great menu choices, tastes better than average, has a good shelf life, even when stored at an unheated and unattended BOL, and comes in easy to grab buckets, ideal for the grab and go bug out situation. As with anything, try it before you need to rely on it. I found the pasta dishes a little on the saucy side, but that is personal preference and easily dealt with by using a little less water or adjusting cooking or resting times. Also, if you want some meat to go in your chile, they have that too...actual meat that is, not textured vegetable protein!
Drop by Total Prepare to have a look at the various packages and get more information.
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Friday, February 14, 2014
This is a situation that shouldn't be ignored. You shouldn't have to hide your good intentions, nor should it be a cause of stress in your relationship. And it doesn't have to be a spouse, this can apply to any relationship, it could be a parent, friend, co-worker, or other relative. Lets try to fix this situation of yours up, so you can prepare with pride.
Most importantly, talk about it. You don't need to bring your gun collection out on the first date, but you shouldn't hide your preparedness goals from someone who you trust. Talk about what you are trying to accomplish. Even if your long term goal is a 5 year food supply for the whole town, thats fine, just break it down with your spouse and make it real. Month one we are going to buy two bags of wheat, month two a few more, etc. If your deeper into the relationship and communicating about prepping is already a tough sell, proceed to steps two and three.
2) Ease them in
Once again, I wouldn't recommend starting out by showing them your 100 strong gun collection, or by walking them down into the bunker. Start as simple as you need to. How about a first aid kit in the house and car? How about some flashlights and lightsticks spread around the house, just in case the power goes out? If your an outdoorsy couple, plan to take your spouse camping or hiking, and stop by the local prep shop together to pick up some stuff for your trip. Then when your out in the bush, pull out your 864 function multi tool and do something useful - make some tinder for the fire. Cut some rope to proper lengths for setting up your rain shelter. Show your spouse the simplest real life ways that "prepper" gear and food can be used for good. Note: DO NOT use that 864 function multi tool to bait, catch, skin and cook supper...however awesome that may seem. That can come later.
3) Show them how practical preparedness can be
Bring up a story or two from mainstream news (underline the mainstream!) about ice storms, massive blizzards or anything else that shut down normal society for a few days. Read those stories together and talk about how you'd like to have a few extra supplies on hand for peace of mind. Explain that preparedness is about "normal" issues like being stuck in your home during an ice storm, and isn't just about conspiracy scenarios. Bonus points here if you know anyone who has actually lived through something like this. Invite them over for supper and help the topic naturally come out. Real life survivor stories are powerful.
4) Take the financial stress away
Prepping can be quite the financial rabbit hole. There is always some new gadget out there that will make your personal survival man stats go up by x %. This can wreck havoc on any relationship when one of the partners is constantly racking up the Visa bill. Try to take away the financial stress by working together to set up a budget. Maybe its $200 per month, maybe more, maybe less. Then stick to the budget, or at least communicate if one month your going to save your budget and do a larger lump sum next month. If you need/want to, offer up a sacrifice to help this go better. Honey, I'm willing to drop one of my monthly wings nights to save $50 that I can also put towards this.
If your hobby is prepping and hers is knitting, trade. Make a deal that you each get to spend x time on your hobby, and once a month spend some time in each others hobby. Yes, you heard me, sit beside her and let her teach you knitting. Show her that you care about her and the things she feels are important. Thats relationships 101! And hey - knitting could be considered a really useful preparedness skill, who knows when you are going to need a new sweater after the SHTF? After you've spent an evening in her hobby, trade, and she spends an evening helping you prep your 72 hour kit. You've now accomplished three things - your relationship is stronger after two date nights, you have a new skill, and your fancy 72 hour kit is ready.
I have talked with many of you who find yourself in this scenario, and no doubt it's difficult. Remember that relationships are a key part of preparedness, its going to be really hard to survive out their lone wolf style should it come to that. Start with the relationships that are the most important, those close to you. Strengthen those bonds, secure those foundations and before you even purchase your first food bucket, you will find yourself 100% stronger and more able to deal with whatever may come.
This post by Dwight from Briden Solutions - Proudly helping Canadians obtain high quality Survival supplies.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Saturday, February 8, 2014
Friday, February 7, 2014
- Map out where you will be placing your garden
- Mow it as short as possible
- Leave grass trimmings in place
- Dig up and turn about one foot of soil breaking up the sod as much as possible
- If the soil is poor quality, dig another 6 inches to a foot and turn the soil so the sod lies on the bottom layer.
- The effort into the extra layer will result in a happier, healthier garden.
- Remember healthy roots lead to delicious fruits!
- Alternate the layers with as few or as many layers as you want, just make sure that it is packed loose enough that the layers can breathe.
- Make sure your layers are even, more greens than browns will create too much carbon dioxide.
- Leave the layers be, mixing them together does not speed the decomposition process and there is no benefits. Let them do their thing.
- Finish up with a layer of soil or a layer of brown straw or leaves.
- Keep it moist and water if needed
- Cover with plastic tarp if you want to speed up the process and keep out any pests.
- You can plant in the garden right away, but your best results will be next year when your soil is perfect!
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Winter Storm Tips: Preparing and Surviving
Frigid cold is sweeping across the nation, and in some areas the cold weather, snow and freezing rain are so bad that people simply cannot leave their homes. And from the looks of things, the storm is only going to get worse. Whether it is this polar vortex, Hercules, Ion, or something else, this extreme weather brings to light the importance of being properly prepared for any situation. It might be more bad weather, it might be a natural disaster, it might just be a spate of personal financial trouble. Whatever it is, every so often we stumble upon times when we are forced to hunker down and wait out a storm, perhaps unable to even leave our homes. It is important to be prepared for such situations, and there are certain measures that, in extreme cases, could be the difference between life and death.
If there is an arctic storm about to hit your city, sorting out your travel plans might just be the least of your problems. However, it is travel season, and if you are planning on a vacation this winter, you may have to rearrange some things in order for it to go smoothly. The cold weather has caused disruption to many of the major airlines with delays and cancellations across the board. To save yourself a travel nightmare, it is important to plan ahead. Check weather reports for your destination as well as any potential delays. If you have a flight which you think might be cancelled, try to change it around so that you can still go on your trip. If there are other airports that are close to your destination, try to change your flight and get the train or bus if necessary. As a last resort, consider rescheduling your trip.
If you are struck by a blizzard or even just extreme cold, you may not be able to leave your house. If you find yourself in such a situation, you will be grateful for having made some preparations in advance. One of the most important things that you can do is to create an emergency food supply. Store enough nonperishable food items, along with plenty of water, in your home for about a week for each person in your house (not forgetting pets). Just because it is going to be stored for a long time does not mean that you have to store food items that are bland and unappetizing. Go through your regular meal menu and take note of the different things that you eat and could easily store.
Driving and Car Tips
When winter weather strikes, driving is one of the main causes of severe accidents or fatalities. Consider taking a course on safe winter driving, and prepare your car for extreme weather. At the very least, you will need to get your fluids checked and replace the windshield wipers. However, you might also consider getting snow tires and having your car checked by a mechanic. For all of your preparations and safe driving, however, you cannot rely upon other drivers to take the same amount of care. As a result, it is recommended that you cut out all non-essential journeys. Of course, if you are stuck inside your house, this won’t be a problem!
Saturday, February 1, 2014
In this episode of the Barefoot Bushcraft Radio Show we discuss: Northern communities opting in to Bear Hunt Wolfmaan appearing at the 2014 Outdoor Adventure Show Special Guest: Kevin Vallely of kevinvallely.com