All posts by msp_jason

Moved from the big city to the country to find a simpler life in which we pursue YHWH (God) through following his commandments while living off the land that HE provided.

Winter Bug Out TIps

A bug out event presents challenges regardless of the season. Winter, however,  brings more challenges that people must be able to overcome for survival. Hypothermia, frostbite and lack of food supply all pose health and safety hazard. The following tips are designed to help people prepare for a successful winter evacuation.

How Do You Pick an Excellent Winter Bug Out Location?

Key terms that help make locations ideal for a bug out site. These include:

Security: Is the location you have chosen hidden, defendable, will it protect you and your supplies from animals and humans? Does it provide shelter from the weather and the elements?

Self-Sufficiency: Is there potable water, natural food sources such as game, plants, etc.?

Geography: Is it far enough away from people? Is it accessible during an emergency? Is it accessible during winter?

Duration: Can you live there year round or is there a limit on how long you can stay in that location? Is it safe year round?

All of these elements impact the quality of each location you might choose. Another thought is what happens if your location is occupied when you get there. It is best to have a backup plan and location just in case. Maybe even a handful of locations because in a natural disaster roads or other obstacles might prevent you from reaching one or more destinations.

Long Term Survival Tips and Planning

Who can say how long you might need to stay in one location? It might be a few days, a few months or even a full year. A few of the things you need to know are: How many people is this location going to support and is it capable of supporting that many people long-term?

Tip: Plan food stock for more people then you plan to bring. Also consider natural events such as food spoilage, pest damage, etc.

Tip: Learn to be a wilderness survivalist. Learn how to hunt, fish, and how to garden. It might be a good idea to leave some supplies hidden nearby. That means you’ll need to know how to properly pack and store caches.

Choosing Food Supplies that Last

Dry grains and legumes that are properly packed can last decades and still be edible. These include white rice, corn, wheat, and pinto beans.

Fruit and Vegetables include dehydrated apple slices, potato flakes, and dehydrated carrots.

Other food sources include powered milk, pasta, rolled oats, sugar, and salt.

Supplement with dehydrated meals from your short-term kit. If you can hunt or fish, that will also help, but you should not depend on that for food. Natural disasters affect wildlife too. Winter weather also means critters hibernate or migrate so game may not be available.

TIP: A 5 gallon bucket of dried food has enough calories to feed one adult for one month. One 5 gallon bucket holds about 25-30 pounds of food and will last a lifetime if packaged properly. Use mylar bags and seal the lid completely.

Watch this quick video to see how to store it:

What to Bring With You

Canvas or oil-tarps: They work well for creating doorways in caves or to keep equipment dry during storms.

Cold weather clothing: Plan for extreme weather for your location. Minus temps and wind chill factors can be deadly.

Bedding: Bedding for below freezing weather. Wool is often good because it dries quickly and it also provides some protection if it gets wet.

Emergency Shelter: A tent in case you have to camp out before you reach your destination.

Alternative travel gear: Snowshoes, etc. in case roads are blocked. This would also include framed packs for transporting stuff or use a sled.

Hunting and fishing gear if available: Guns and ammo or other hunting tools such as a bow. Fishing line with hooks is needed, and if have access to a river or lake. Guns for protection. Fishing line can also be used to create trip-line to help protect your base.

Test Your Gear

We have an annual winter bug out bag camp out so we can test our skills and gear. We camp for 3 nights and 4 days during the coldest time of winter to do this. It’s imperative that you know that your gear is adequate and you know how to use it before you actually have to rely on it for survival.

Conclusion

These tips provide a basic overall approach to what you will need to bug out in the winter. Adjust the information here to your location and consider aspects of your bug out sites, such as altitude and winter access.

 HOPE FOR THE BEST, PREPARE FOR THE WORST

Why You Should Consider Using Colloidal Silver

Although silver has been used in healing throughout history, it isn’t discussed much in mainstream medical circles today. Some speculate that its effectiveness, availability and low cost (that is, if you make your own) has caused “big pharma” to want nothing to do with its spread and proliferation. After all, they can’t make money from something that people can make for themselves.

“A Silver Spoon” Could Save Your Life

There have been references to the use of silver for health purposes throughout human history; one of the more noteworthy instances occurred during the bubonic plague or “Black Death” outbreak of Europe in the 14th century, which killed an estimated 1.5 million people. However, many wealthy and elite survived the plague, and it was later determined that their use of silver plates, cups, and utensils caused trace amounts of silver to be ingested and kept them safe from the disease.

As recently as the early 20th century, Western medicine has used colloidal and other forms of silver as an antibiotic, antibacterial and anti-fungal solution. However, around the 1930s, antibiotics became a major source of revenues for the pharmaceutical companies. Starting at about this time, information regarding the uses and benefits of colloidal silver began to be downplayed, ignored, denied or even ridiculed — and this pattern continues today.

Most Germs Can’t Fight It

However, as more and more antibiotics are created, it cannot be denied that diseases are evolving into strains that are resistant to them. By comparison, colloidal silver works consistently as an antibiotic no matter what the strain. The silver atoms in distilled water work on a cellular level, choking off the respiratory systems of all kinds of pathogens including viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungal spores. It literally stifles the enzymes that the pathogens need for their survival, so they cannot develop resistance as they do with antibiotics. Silver also promotes the rapid healing of damaged tissues.

The only reported side effect, argyria (skin turning blue or grey) has been greatly exaggerated. You would have to drink large amounts of colloidal silver for this to happen, and healing benefits are experienced from just a teaspoon or two per day.

How to Make Colloidal Silver

To make your own colloidal silver generator, you’ll need the following:

  • soldering gun
  • 3 – 9 volt batteries
  • 3 – snap-on battery lead connectors
  • 2 – insulated alligator clips
  • 1 ft. – 3/32″ heat-shrink insulation tubing
  • 1 ft. – 2 conductor stranded insulated wire for clip-leads
  • 1 – 24 volt 40 mA sub miniature incandescent bulb
  • 1 – small box to put it all in (such as an Altoids tin)
  • 2 – 5 inch pieces of pure silver wire (.9999 fine — not sterling); #14 gauge is ideal
  • 1 – large glass jar or mug
  • pure distilled water
  • TDM meter/PPM tester

Steps to make colloidal silver

  1. Solder the three snap-on battery lead connectors in series (red to black) to provide 27 volts. Connect the 24V incandescent lamp in series with either positive or negative output lead.
  2. Solder red alligator clip to positive (anode), then solder black insulated clip to the negative (cathode) 2-conductor insulated wires. (Shrink insulation over soldered connections with a hair dryer.)
  3. Bend top ends of each of the 5 in. silver wires to clip over the rim of your glass. Submerge about 4 in. of each wire in the distilled water.
  4. Run your generator for about an hour, then test using a PPM tester or TDM meter. Ideal PPM for colloidal silver is 10 to 20 PPM.

Suggested Health Uses for Colloidal Silver 

As an oral tonic. Small amounts (1 to 2 teaspoons) taken daily can offer immune system support against colds, flu, infections and viruses. You can also just take it if you ever feel a cold coming on.

Spray mist for wounds. Put some colloidal silver in a spray bottle and mist it onto cuts and burns to promote faster healing.

Oral health. Use as a mouth rinse for optimal oral health. For abscessed teeth, hold a mouthful of colloidal silver around the infected area for 10 minutes two to three times daily until the infection passes.

Staph infections. Staph infections can be fatal and are resistant to antibiotics. Colloidal silver works against staph. Use an eyedropper to drop it directly into infected areas.

Ebola? There doesn’t seem to be any definitive data as to whether or not colloidal silver could defend against the current ebola virus, but this paper by Rima Laibow, MD offers some compelling information.

As with any holistic or alternative treatment, use your own judgment and discretion as to whether or not it is a fit for you and your family.

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5 Great Knives For Preppers

A good knife is arguably one of the most important considerations for the prepper and should be close to the top of the equipment list. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to think of all the situations where a good knife could mean the difference between survival and, well, not surviving. From cutting firewood and building shelter, to preparing food, first aid and even defense, there’s hardly a survival situation where a piece of sharp steel doesn’t come in real handy.

Is Bigger Always Better?

So what makes a good survival knife? The prevailing wisdom has changed somewhat over the years. It used to be that bigger was better. This probably started in the 1950’s with America’s love affair with the Bowie knife as popularized by Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie at the Alamo. The well-equipped frontiersman would always have his trusty Bowie at hand for camp chores of course but also for fighting bears and Indians. Then came Rambo with his huge fighting blade with the cool hidden compartment to store fish hooks and band-aids and stuff, and Crocodile Dundee with his steel sidekick.

Some argue that a large field knife combines the functions of knife and hatchet into one convenient tool but in practice it doesn’t perform either particularly well, not being large enough for hard hatchet work but big enough to be unwieldy for the most common cutting chores. Better to carry a hatchet or an axe separately. A knife is made for cutting things, not chopping wood, digging or prying.

Made In The U.S.A?

A word about knife quality. For years the U.S. market has been flooded with cheap knives made in China. These have proven quite popular for their low cost and good looks but have gained a well-deserved reputation for terrible quality and equally bad performance. To the horror of knife enthusiasts everywhere almost all of the great old American knife companies are having their wares made overseas.

However, they’ve also started demanding that their knives be made to certain minimum specifications, and the Chinese themselves seem to have realized that they can offer a quality product and still make a hefty profit. So the situation seems to be changing, and good quality knives produced in China or Taiwan are starting to be seen on the market at very reasonable prices. But do some research and read up on the online knife forums to get a sense of what’s good and what’s not before buying.

5 Great Knives for Preppers

Here’s a look at five knives that every prepper should consider adding to their equipment. 

Mora Knives – No hesitation at all in saying these wonderful little knives should be a part of everyone’s survival gear. Buy one, buy several, they’re cheap. Made in the traditional Scandinavian style they are unsurpassed for basic, no-nonsense practical utility. They come in traditional carbon steel, laminated carbon steel or Swedish Sandvik stainless. The basic model can be found for around $8.95. The Mora knife has gained a stellar reputation with outdoorsmen the world over and are considered one of the best buys out there.

Kabar Knives – The Kabar Fighting and Utility Knife is one of the most familiar knives in the world and is a great choice for a larger all around knife. It’s a serious piece of 1095 carbon steel that’s been battle and time tested. The one drawback is that it’s a stick tang knife, which creates a weak point where the blade meets the handle but as long as you’re using it for cutting as intended that’s not a problem, and you can’t really argue with success. These run about $70 new and are a great bargain.

Tramontina Machetes – Not a knife exactly but a good machete is extremely useful in the field. Tramontina is a Brazilian company that’s been around for a long time but until recently wasn’t well known in the U.S. Their machetes have made a great impression not only for their excellent quality but also for their low cost, less than $20 new. And the smaller sizes make great utility knives too.

Skinning Knives – No particular brand or design to recommend here but a good skinning knife is almost essential, a blade designed for the job really does make it easier. Choose one that fits the hand comfortably and is made from quality steel to reduce re-sharpening.

Fillet Knives – Good fillet knives are cheap and readily available. Preppers might want to steer clear of the electric ones for obvious reasons. These can double as great food prep knives and the smaller ones work well for boning and caping.

Versatility is Key

While these are all great knives for preppers to have, in a survival situation you probably will only be carrying one blade so you want to pick one that can be useful for most occasions and is somewhat lightweight and easy to handle. A Mora knife, or something similar is a great place to start.

HOPE FOR THE BEST, PREPARE FOR THE WORST

Plant and Defend: Basics of Defensive Plants

Security planting is one of the most effective ways to keep your home safe now and in the future. Plants that deter intruders can beautify the landscape while protecting your property, and they don’t stop working if the power goes out.

Start improving your home’s security today by assessing the plants around it. Overgrown shrubs can provide cover for intruders and tree branches may offer an easy entrance to a top-story window. Regular pruning of your existing landscape plants will instantly make your home less attractive to home invaders. But well-pruned shrubbery is only part of the plan.

Using Defensive Plants

Growing defensive plants at your property line is like having your own security team keeping an eye on things 24/7. The security news organization, CSO Online, reports that some trees and shrubs are useful deterrents against individual trespassers. But choosing the right plants takes some thought.

Barrier Plants

Before heading to the local garden center, take these tips into consideration:

  • The further away from your home a plant is, the more low-maintenance you want it to be.
  • The best barrier plants are fast growing, attractive and require little care or supplemental water.
  • Using a variety of plants will create a more natural and attractive barrier.
  • Mixing plants provides more types of food and shelter to attract more types of wildlife.
  • A healthy hedgerow becomes home to a diverse number of birds, reptiles and small mammals—something that could be a real asset if a true emergency made it necessary to live off the land for an extended period.
  • Some barrier plants provide edible fruits and berries for humans.

The best places for defensive plants depends on the size and shape of your property. For example, on a larger piece of land, a thick growth of thorny shrubs will add some much needed security to a blind corner of your property, and a healthy crop of low-growing cactus covering the back boundary would certainly make an intruder think twice about approaching.

The methods used for defensive planting in an average-sized suburban yard are much different. Barrier plants in a typical neighborhood setting would be closer to the home, planted under windows or around other vulnerable areas.

Before you grab a shovel and start planting, consider how defensive plants might affect your ease of access or your ability to escape in an emergency situation. The point of barrier planting is to increase safety, not make it difficult to leave or enter your own property. You don’t want to put yourself or your family in the position of climbing through cactus if you should ever need to slip away unseen.

Plant Selection

Ultimately the best defensive plants are ones that are well-suited for your growing zone and planting area. The plants listed below are considered hardy and suitable for most zones and conditions.

Pyracantha is called “firethorn” for a reason. The painful thorns of the pyracantha can grow up to 3 inches long. The beautiful shrub provides an abundance of orange, red and yellow berries in the fall which attracts birds and other wildlife. It grows quickly, up to 2 feet per year in the right conditions according to Clemson Cooperative Extension, and is low-maintenance and drought-tolerant.

Roses add charm to any landscape, but some varieties also add a layer of security. The “Voodoo” rose is not only a hot-orange stunner, but its thorns are “more menacing than barbed wire” according to master gardener Fred Hoffman in an article for HGTV. Roses have an unfair reputation for being fussy and hard to grow, but many varieties, especially wild roses, need little care.

Hawthorne is sometimes referred to as a tree and sometimes a hedge. But as you can see, the word “thorn” is right in this plant’s name. It produces sweetly fragrant and delicate pink blossoms in the spring and its berries are used in natural medicine to strengthen the heart and lower blood pressure. But whether you call it a tree or a shrub, you’ll be impressed by its thick growth of 1- to 5-inch thorns. Ouch!

American Holly, black locust, hardy orange, barberry, nettle (which is also delicious when steamed) cactus or even thistle are also plants to consider when developing your living barrier plan. If you’re an inexperienced gardener and have no idea where to start, make friends with the people who work at the garden center. They can be an invaluable resource and help you from wasting money on plants that won’t grow on your site.

Plant Them!

Once you’ve figured out where your plants need to go and what kind you will be using you still need to plant them. I know it’s not as convenient as calling ADT to hook up your alarm system but in a grid down situation that alarm system won’t do you any good. Get out there, get dirty and get security!

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Thinking About Leaving the US? Some Things to Keep in Mind Before Going Expat

Leaving the USA might feel like the right thing to do before the global collapse comes, but are you going out of the frying pan and into the fire? There are countries in worse shape than the United States and without some thought and preparation, you may be going to worse countries than the one you’re leaving.

Think Before Going Expat

There’s so many things to think about before making the decision to leave the country. Below is a short list of things you absolutely need to figure out before you go.

Where Are You Going?

Before you pack up and leave with passport in hand, think about where you might be going. It’s not easy to pick up and move to begin with, but now you’re moving yourself, and quite probably,  your family and your preps. It’s not like moving across town or to another state.  We’re talking another sovereign nation with its own laws and own culture. There are mountains of paperwork required to move to any country, not to mention cost.  In fact, you need a fair amount of cash to get moved and situated in your chosen digs.

Before you decide to move, you should plan on visiting the country several times to make sure this is the place you want to live — even if no catastrophe happens.  It’s easy to say you want to live someplace in a SHTF scenario, it’s quite another to live there day after day when nothing happens.  That’s why you need to visit during all four seasons and even do a trial run of living there.  Stay there for a few months to decide whether or not this is truly the place for you.

Do People There Like You?

Do you know anyone in your chosen country?  If you have friends and family in the country, then you’re likely to have a great place to stay.  It makes sense to go to a place where you have people who can help you get settled and get established.

However, what if you don’t know anyone who lives there.  You need to know if this country is positive or negative toward your nationality or ethnicity. Maybe you’re a really nice person, but if the people in a particular country don’t like Americans, and you’re an American, you’re going to have a really tough time.  You  may become the target of crime or a victim in times of civil unrest.  Forget getting fair treatment through their government.  You’re likely to simply be ignored should something bad happen.

Do You Speak Their Language Fluently?

One of the big problems is whether you speak the language of that particular country.  It takes more than a tourist phrase book to interact with people.  And while you may be planning to not have a lot of contact with people, you’re still going to need supplies and to communicate with people in your chosen place.

This is where having friends and relatives who live in the country can help.  Not only can they help translate but they can find people who will help you, even if you’re not fluent in their language.

What Will You Do For Money?

Unless you’re independently wealthy, you’re going to have to make a living somehow.  That means either bringing your work with you or having a job there before you move.  Planning on working in the US and living in another country will just cost more money and you’re unlikely to gain anything by it.

Also, what happens if or when we see a global collapse? It’s unlikely that your business will remain intact should something catastrophic occurs.

More Stability or Less Stability?

Sure, you don’t trust the current stability of the United States, but what about the country you move to?  Some countries out there are already unstable and it’s unlikely that they will weather a change in global instability well.  You may decide it might be better to take your lumps and ride out the storm in the United States.

Indeed, there are many countries where crime is very common.  Mexico and several Latin American countries are good examples of crime-ridden areas. However, there are many countries with lower crime rates than the United States such as Iceland, so you may take that into consideration.

But stability isn’t just society.  Is the place you’re planning on living in a low risk area when it comes to natural disasters or are you on ground zero when the volcano goes?  Sure, every place has some natural disasters but some are less than others.  Be sure to understand the risks before committing.

What Are the Firearms’ Laws?

If you’re a staunch believer in the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, you may be in for a shock when you find out that you can’t own firearms in certain countries or that gun ownership is highly restricted. The United States is the most heavily armed nation, followed distantly by Serbia, Yemen, Switzerland, and Finland, respectively.  It’s likely that wherever you choose to live will have gun restrictions, as well as other restrictions to freedom.

Foreign Retreat

If you’re not crazy about living in a foreign country right now, maybe having a foreign retreat might be the way to have a great bug-out location out of the country but still have the benefits to living in the US.  That way if something does go wrong and the SHTF, you’re completely covered.  The trick would be planning your escape route to your bug-out location.  But with a little planning and a bit of foresight, you can have the bug-out location you need to keep yourself and your family safe.

Not a Light Decision

This is just a few things to consider when thinking of going expat. There are many more. Don’t make this decision on a whim, it’s one of the most important decisions of  your life and it affects everyone you care about. Take your time and do your research. Talk to others that have done it, seek advice, and most of all, pray.

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Prepare for Short-Term Emergencies Too!

When the lights go out during a storm, most of us calmly seek out a candle or two and sit down to wait it out. Most of us also are aware that we should not open and close the refrigerator unnecessarily, and that we will survive quite well for a meal or two on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or chips and salsa.

The Importance of Prepping for Short-Term Emergencies

If the power is out unexpectedly for 24 hours or longer, if the timetable for restoration of services is unknown, do you have a plan? When the unexpectedly severe storm swept through the Dallas-Fort Worth area recently scores of thousands of households were left without power for an extended period of time. Some supermarkets operated on generators, allowing shoppers to purchase prepared deli foods and snacks. Luckily, outside temperatures were moderate, and most area residents were comfortable. The outages were scattered enough that life went on pretty much as normal.

But, two days later, some residents were still without power.

Taking Stock of What Won’t Work

Modern life is heavily dependent on “plugging in.” Not only food storage and food preparation, but timekeeping, keeping in touch, getting news, transacting business — in short, most of the necessities — are disrupted by an electrical outage. Even transportation, in the case of filling a car from a neighborhood gas pump, can become an impossibility.

So what’s a family to do when the food in the freezer starts thawing, and the milk in the refrigerator gets warm?

When home services are interrupted, it is an inconvenience. When commercial or municipal services are interrupted, the situation rapidly escalates, resulting in traffic jams, fear and shortages of necessary supplies, including police and emergency services.

If the increasing regularity of “natural” disasters has not yet prompted you to consider prepping for an emergency, now may be the time to reconsider.

Simple Steps to Take

Getting through a 2-3 day power outage should not be a major concern. Here are a few steps to take to be ready. Food is generally the prime concern. But in extreme weather conditions, keeping warm or cool become vital as well.

  • Camping gear is a great help. Coleman lanterns, portable butane grills, battery-operated fans, heaters and radios, and nutritious food packs are easily stored and are a great help in an emergency situation. Sleeping bags and thermal gear can be important in the winter.
  • Have non-electric small appliances and health and grooming aids available.
  • Stockpile indoor and outdoor candles and extra lighters or a supply of matches.
  • Keep an extra propane tank filled for the backyard barbecue.
  • Know how to make dry ice from a home fire extinguisher.
  • Make certain you have a supply of appropriate batteries for flashlights and radios, and for other equipment you feel would be necessary or important to your health and happiness.
  • Keep jugs of water on hand, and also stock such products as powdered milk, powdered eggs and instant drink mixes.
  • Make a “meet-up” plan; develop a way to keep in touch, or a place to meet family members as a contingency. If the power goes out and you are separated from other family members, you will want a way to get together. Schools and businesses usually have contingency plans; families often do not.
  • Keep some cash on hand; the amount is up to you.

Start Short Then Go Long

By considering your options in advance of the need, you will increase your ability to cope in case of serious occurrences. And by planning to deal with little problems — such as a short-term power outage, you may just begin your journey toward long-term preparedness.