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Monday, November 30, 2009

Preparedness - Sharing the Burden

Re-post courtesy of Riverwalker's Stealth Survival

Too many times in our lives we attempt to do everything on our own. Our fierce sense of independence won’t allow us to accept the simple fact that there are times in our lives when we all need help in some form. From the time we are born , we all need assistance in some form in our lives to survive. The sooner you realize this the more prepared you will become.

Learning to share the burdens of preparedness will make it an easier lifestyle to accomplish. Preparedness can be a lifestyle that will leave you free to live your life without the need for incessant worrying about what can or will go wrong. Attempting to be all things for all situations will soon leave you with a stark sense of realization that many times situations are going to require help or assistance from someone else, regardless of your skills and abilities.

Teaching others your skills will help reaffirm your own abilities while increasing the skills and abilities of someone else. Teaching others is a great way to realize how good your skills really are and where they may be lacking in practical use and knowledge.

In contrast, learning new skills will alleviate some of your own burdens and make a state of preparedness second nature to your everyday lifestyle. You will find increased confidence follows learning new things. A confidence that will help you survive even the most difficult times.

Sharing the burden of preparedness doesn’t stop with simply teaching and learning new skills. It must be followed with the practical application of those new skills. It is in the "doing" that we become proficient and with increased proficiency comes the benefit of being able to solve more and increasing difficult problems. Problems which may have previously been a burden have now become an opportunity, instead of a roadblock, to achieve your goals.

Just as you wouldn’t hesitate to use a needed tool or a particular item of gear to help you eliminate a crisis or to handle an emergency, don’t hesitate to use the skills and knowledge of others as well. Family and friends can be valuable tools when the need arises. You only need realize that they are quite often more than willing to help, if you will only give them the chance.

Once you realize that no man (or woman) is an island you will be well on your way to a better state of preparedness. Being prepared is a lot easier if you simply learn to share the burden.

Staying above the water line!


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Safe Storage of Pesticides

Re-post courtesy of Riverwalker's Stealth Survival

Improper pesticide storage and disposal can be hazardous to your health, the health of your family and pets and extremely dangerous to the environment. If conditions are such that you must use pesticides, make sure you are aware of how to do so safely. Here are some simple safety tips on using pesticides.

Pesticide Handling and Storage Safety Tips

Don't stockpile. Reduce storage needs by buying only the amount of pesticide that you will need in the near future or during the current season when the pest is active.

Follow all storage instructions on the pesticide label.

Store pesticides high enough so that they are out of reach of children and pets. If possible, keep all pesticides in a locked cabinet in a well-ventilated utility area or garden shed.

Never store pesticides in cabinets with or near food, animal feed, or medical supplies.

Store any pesticides that may be flammable outside your living area. Keep them away from any possible ignition source such as a furnace, a car, an outdoor grill, or a power lawn power.

Always store pesticides in their original containers, making sure it has the label listing ingredients, directions for use, and first aid steps in case of accidental poisoning.

Never transfer pesticides to soft drink bottles or other containers. Children or others may mistake them for something to eat or drink.

Use child-resistant packaging correctly. Close the container tightly after using the product. Child resistant does not mean child proof, so you still must be extra careful to store properly, out of children's reach, those products that are sold in child-resistant packaging.

Do not store pesticides in places where flooding is possible or in places where they might spill or leak into wells, drains, ground water, or surface water.

If you can't identify the contents of the container, or if you can't tell how old the contents are, follow the advice on safe disposal.

You can get additional information here:

Safe Pesticide Transport and Handling (560.90 kb)

Knowing how to safely handle and store pesticides will make them safer to use when necessary.

Staying above the water line!


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Simple Survival Tips - Avoiding Allergy Problems Without Medication

Re-post courtesy of Riverwalker's Stealth Survival

Are you an allergy sufferer? Have you been coughing your head off, constantly sneezing, blowing your nose, frantically rubbing your irritated eyes and grasping for breath through a highly congested respiratory system? Guess what? You’re not alone because millions of Americans suffer with allergies every year.

What can be done to avoid the symptoms caused by pollen and molds that can dramatically affect your quality of life? You can choose the medicine route and end up dependent on medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, that often have side effects worse than your original ailments you’re trying to alleviate or you can try some simple and practical tips that can help you tame your allergies naturally.

Practical Tips to Avoid Allergy Problems

1.) Wear sunglasses or protective eyewear during outdoor activities when pollen and mould counts are high. Even the slightest breeze can cause pollen and mould spores to get in your eyes causing serious allergy problems.

2.) Use a tissue or clean cloth to wipe your eyes or nose. Never rub your eyes or nose with your fingers. It will only make your conditions worse. Keep a small pack of tissues or a handkerchief handy at all times.

3.) Wear a bandana or kerchief. Farmers have done this for years when working in dirty and dusty conditions to prevent the inhalation of dust and other irritants. You can also wear a simple dust mask. You may not make the local fashion page but you won’t be suffering as much either!

4.) Avoid outside activities during the hours of 5 AM to 10 AM. This is the time when pollen and mould counts are typically the highest. Schedule your outside activities for alternate times if possible.

5.) Wear gloves. You’re less likely to rub your eyes or nose and thereby transfer pollen and mould spores to the highly susceptible areas of your body.

5.) Always take a bath or shower and put on clean clothes after any type of outdoor activities. Your clothes will be loaded with pollen that can create problems for you.

6.) Change the filters on your A/C or heating systems more frequently. High pollen and mould levels inside your home can be reduced with a good quality air filter that is changed on a regular basis.

A few simple precautions can make the difference in having a good day or a really bad one.

Staying above the water line!


Friday, November 27, 2009


Re-post courtesy of Riverwalker's Stealth Survival

Many people talk about being prepared and some even find it hard to convince others of its value. It has a value that is shared by most people. Being prepared is really quite simple when you think about its true purpose and the value it adds to your life and the life of others.

Many people go through their lives everyday being prepared to one extent or the other without even realizing it. Many are, in fact, quite good at it even though they don’t recognize it as such. They prepare in simple but effective ways to keep order and a sense of "normal" in their lives.

To understand what preparedness means, it is necessary to understand what it does. Being prepared does one major thing for everybody no matter who they are or where they may be. It allows you to return your life and the life of your family to a state of “normalcy” in the fastest and most expedient manner possible, regardless of the circumstances which have disrupted your life.

Many people carry a spare tire in their vehicles so that in the event of a flat they can return to “normal” vehicle operation as soon as possible. The frustration of a flat tire dissipates quickly once the spare is in place and you’re back on the road, able to continue your trip and eventually arrive at your destination. Unfortunately, if you’re unprepared and your spare tire is flat, you will need a lot longer to return to a state of “normal”. This is but one simple example of the value of being prepared. The worst the crisis, the harder it is to return to "normal" and the more you will need to be prepared.

Everyone likes “normal”. "Normal" is natural for everyone. "Normal" is a good thing, with a small dose of “routine” thrown in every so often for good measure. "Normal" is comfortable and a lot easier to live with than being unprepared and winding up in a state of “NOT NORMAL”. "Normal" is good for your health and well-being. Many things have a tendency to disrupt those good feelings that a sense of "normal" creates. These should be prepared for in order to handle these disruptions in your life as quickly and efficiently as possible. Normal is something you should be prepared to maintain in your life and the life of your family.

Preparedness means being ready to return your life and the life of your family to a state of “normal” as quickly and expediently as possible, no matter what type of crisis or emergency.

Staying above the “normal” water line!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Proper Food Storage Conditions - Avoiding the Effects of Natural and Artificial Light

Re-post courtesy of Riverwalker's Stealth Survival

After getting temperature and humidity under control, it's necessary to look at the effects of light on your food storage. Light is a form of energy and when it shines on your stored foods long enough it transfers some of that energy to the food. That energy has the effect of degrading its nutritional content and appearance and will eventually make it unfit for consumption. Artificial lighting and sunlight can create serious problems for your food storage.

High intensity lighting can expose both perishable foods and packaged foods to increased heat and radiation from infrared and ultraviolet rays that cause discoloration, surface fading and spoilage.

Perishable Food Items

Fruits and vegetables should be stored in a cool, dark place, away from the adverse effects of light. They are extremely susceptible to the effects of light. Light from both natural and artificial sources accelerates the ripening process of fruits and vegetables. This can cause fruits and vegetables to ripen more quickly which will cause them to decay and rot before they can be eaten.

Packaged Food Items

Direct sunlight is also very detrimental to packaged foods. It can speed the deterioration of both the food and its packaging. The heat from sunlight can also speed the deterioration of nutrients, such as fat soluble vitamins. It is always best to store foods away from excessive sunlight or other high intensity lighting.

Tips to Avoid Excessive Light

1.) Store your food items in a cool, dark place away from light sources.

2.) Use opaque food containers to limit the effects of natural or artificial light on your food storage items whenever possible.

3.) Keep the light in your pantry turned off when not needed.

4.) Cover any windows to block out excessive sunlight in food storage areas.

The detrimental effects of artificial and natural light on your food storage items are easily avoided with a few simple actions on your part.

Staying above the water line!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone

Happy Thanksgiving, America. May we always have much to be grateful for.
Bless God, God bless.

On Preppers and Sheeple

Apologies for the long absence, Folks. Aside from the day-to-day routine, head problems have been wreaking havoc with sounding alarm and prepping.
To whit...
We're all painfully aware of what's been happening in our country and around the world. There's not a person in America who isn't aware of what's happening on the political front, with the monetary system (even I, who knows nothing about money and banking and stock is aware of it), and the climate situation. And here has been a lot of my problem.
Everyone has been aware of what's going on. If not, how do we account for the tremendous leap in firearms and ammunition sales, for the dearth of MRE and dehydrated food supplies? How do we account for the humongous numbers of unemployed among us- even in the Prepper community? How do we account for the numbers of 'new' people who've been flocking to preparedness sites?
Yet in daily talks with people, there's no real alarm to speak of.
I've talked with people-- gently, so as not to come on too strongly about "you're all gonna starve to death" (or freeze or be mugged or eaten... or worse)-- yet the words fall on deaf ears. People just do not want to believe this kind of thing can happen in America! They just don't want to see it at all.
And it's created a temperament in me that says, "Screw them!"
Even family members have taken to (or still) ridicule me, and undoubtedly other preppers they know and it's taking its toll on my noggin.
So what's to be done about it? How do we convince them?
We don't.
It'd be easier converting an atheist to Christianity. Speaking of Christians, it's just as difficult to show them as well, They don't see what God is doing (which might show how strongly they believe?) or they come up with, "God won't let me starve (or die or whatever)." They're not seeing God is giving them the warning to prepare, as the old saw about God sending a boat, a Coast Guard crew and helicopter to rescue the stranded flood victim who turns all offers down because he's waiting for God to save him. And God says, "I sent you three opportunities."
Well, IMO God has given them the life boat, they're refusing to get on because they don't see Jesus walking on the water.
It's difficult to try rescuing someone who's thrashing about and pulling you under as well and I've about given up trying. No clubbing them on the jaw or over the head with a two-by-four or tossing them a rope. They'll just have to learn to swim and do it quickly.
Survival blogs are full of queries about, "How do I convince an unbelieving spouse?" Or friend or whatever... and responses are always to "go easy, don't frighten them, prep them on the sly until they get on board." Honestly, there is no easy answer, for sure, and maybe no answer at all until they see it happen, feel the hunger and smell the blood coming from their wounds.
None of us wants to see such happen to someone we love or know, if even to those we dislike, but it's a hard fact we have to face. We can lead the horse to water but we can't make it drink.
Negatives. Right. Negative thinking never got the floor swept, and is a hard mind-set to get out of. Still, have to try. Thank you for your patience and help.
Get that BOB loaded and carry it with you everywhere.
Now for some serious questions about how we're thinking in these days of growing danger. Let's get our mind-set right. (According to the Book of Survival, anyway.)
What are you thinking about your CCW situation? Are you not carrying because you don't have the permit? Are you not carrying a knife because it could cut someone? Are you afraid of being thought loony (hey- we live in Minnesota, we're all loony!) for carrying an umbrella (with concealed sword) because it isn't raining? Are you thinking you'll not be bothered by the punk gang member because you don't look like a victim? Are you thinking you look like an oddball carrying a BOB-backpack over the shoulder of your three-piece Gucci suit? (Does Gucci make suits?)
It's time to start thinking beyond the preps and thinking survival, of how far will I go to protect myself and loved ones? Just what will I do in a particular situation?
The next few posts from me (RW- keep it up, you're so good I love it and read you all the time, too!) I'm going to be letting you in on how I think in my preparations for keeping my carcass in one piece in nasty situations. Not that I'm an expert in it, 'cuz I ain't, but I'm certainly going to show you I usually think outside the box in that regard. If not outside the box, certainly outside the norm.
Of course, I am also assuming we've all done the basics: got the BOB ready, the arms cache filled to capacity, the car/truck/camper/boat (thanks RW) topped off and ready to roll.
We're going outside the house into the coming world where there are bad guys who really want to kill you. You know this because they've told you so. It's a world filled with distrust of every person you see, paranoia and confusion, riots and muggings and rapes and gang warfare. It's a world where even the big dogs walk softly and angels have better sense than to tread.
Bless God, God bless.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bug Out Boat - Living on a Houseboat

Re-post courtesy of Riverwalker's Stealth Survival

The purpose of a houseboat is similar to any other type of shelter located on land. It still serves the same basic purpose of providing us with a safe place to live, sleep, store our food and water and furnish us with a place to keep our personal belongings. Living aboard a houseboat would be a vastly different experience from any that most people have encountered in their lifetimes.

At its most basic level, a common houseboat offers extremely modest amounts of living space even when compared to small apartments. Unless they are state-of-the-art, which can be very expensive, they won't have many of the same conveniences that a house on land might. The major drawback would probably be the limited amounts of storage space that would be available and the necessity of having a large stream, river or lake available for your houseboat. You would have the advantage of a readily available source of fresh water, if on a fresh water stream or lake, requiring only treatment and purification, along with a high protein food supply in the form of fish, etc. Plus putting into shore would also give you the option to do a little hunting on land to supplement your food reserves.

The names of the spaces in a houseboat are different but their basic use is the same as a home located on land. Here are some of the basic areas in a houseboat:

Berth: The bed.
Stateroom: The bedroom.
Galley: The kitchen.
Head: The bathroom.
Cabin: A common living area or room where passengers get together.
Bridge: The place where the boat is steered (the helm is the specific steering station).
Navigation Room: This is the place where navigation equipment is located. This is where the houseboat's radio for communications, navigation charts, GPS, and other instruments will be located.

Everyone's needs are different, but the above rooms are the same kind that can be found in most homes. This is pretty much the same whether or not they're on land or floating on the water. The navigation station and equipment are necessary additions that would be required in houseboats since they have the capability to move about on the water and you would need some way to determine your position. It would also enable you to be ready for emergencies.

Non-cruising houseboats are similar to homes on land in that they're simply hooked up to a direct source of water and sewage treatment. An external hose brings in water from any fresh water system available directly onto the boat. A separate sewage line will suck sewage directly from the houseboat's head (bathroom) away from its location in the same fashion a regular house.

If the houseboat is of the cruising variety, additions commonly include a water tank for drinking, showering and washing. There would be a separate holding tank for waste. This would be similar to an RV in many respects. A head can either be electric, similar to a regular house, or a manual type. There are also several different options for disposing of waste on a houseboat. Some of the systems treat the waste and are then allowed to pump it off of the boat, while other systems incinerate the sewage into ash which can then be legally disposed of into the water.

Power could be provided in several different ways. Alternate sources, such as propane, kerosene, or diesel, could also be used but would require a greater amount of dependence on oil products that may not be readily available. A stationary (non-cruising) houseboat could also be directly hooked up to utilities located on land or at a marina. Cruising houseboats might use generators or solar power with rechargeable batteries. A separate battery source would be needed for the engine. Additional equipment would be required, such as amperage and voltage meters, to monitor the amount of electrical power that is being used or would be available during trips. Refrigeration, running and heating water, flushing toilets, using lights or watching television will use power. Being stranded without power or electricity could cause you some problems.

While considering your options for a retreat location, you might want to consider living on a houseboat. Rental fees at a marina could be expensive or you might just purchase a small lot onshore to give you a place to “park” your houseboat, or merely lease the right to tie up at someone else’s place for a modest fee. You would probably need to be well organized due to limited space and have a location where a lake or river would make it feasible. And if you’re really handy, you might want to build your own!

Houseboats were also used by many people during the Great Depression after they had lost their regular homes. Read a brief story about this here: http://www.seattlefloatinghomes.org/about/history

Living on a houseboat would be a great way of bugging out if needed.
You can read an update here: Boat Living Revisited

Staying above the water line!


Monday, November 23, 2009

Controlling Cottonmouths and Copperheads - # 9 Shotshells for Your .38 Special / .357 Magnum Pistol

Re-post courtesy of Riverwalker's Stealth Survival

You can add a little more versatility to your .38 Special / .357 Magnum handguns by shooting #9 shotshells. This is a good option for close shots at snakes, varmints and other pests where the possibility of a shoot through could be a danger to others in the area.

CCI / Speer makes more handgun shotshell ammunition than any other manufacturer. This is a good choice for close range pest control. The cases are aluminum and not intended to be re-loadable (the cases are head stamped NR). They come in a hard pack of 10 rounds of # 9 shot (1/4 inch) with a pellet count of approximately135.

I use this load in my Smith & Wesson Model 65 Revolver. It’s a great little round for my revolver and will take out the occasional copperhead or cottonmouth and other small pests around my property. I’ve got a lot of field rats around my property in the country and they are really destructive little critters, so I try to be prepared with a few rounds to keep those nasty rats out of the shed. This ammo works great from my revolver out to distances of about 10 yards, which is about the maximum range for # 9 shotshells. Most of the time the actual distance is only about 10 to 15 feet.

This round is excellent and very useful for killing snakes which can always be a threat when out in the sticks. You need to be pretty close to achieve maximum effectiveness for this round, but it sure beats having to go at that copperhead with a shovel or a hoe, which have awfully short handles when dealing with a large snake! This makes my S&W .38 Special / .357 Magnum revolver a good tool for use around the property or while on a fishing trip in the country.

Be sure and pattern test the rounds for your particular pistol, as the rate of twist makes a huge difference. In S&W revolvers with 18"rifling, these shotshells at distances of about 10 to 12 feet will cleanly kill a snake shot in the head, but in faster twists they will only wound it and a second kill shot may be required. You might want to keep a couple of speed loaders handy with regular .38 Special or .357 Magnum rounds handy in case you run across something a little bigger.

Around my part of the woods this round is usually called “rat shot” because that is its main use. Eliminating rat problems will keep the snake population down, as you eliminate a primary food source of the snakes.

Staying above the water line!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Simple Food Storage Items - Powdered Milk

Re-post courtesy of Riverwalker's Stealth Survival

Milk is a combination consisting of fats, proteins, minerals, vitamins, enzymes, carbohydrates and water. Milk is a highly nutritious food. It is also used as an ingredient in many recipes. Milk is often difficult to transport or store in its liquid form due to the weight and its highly perishable nature. Storing powdered milk is a better option.

Powdered milk contributes nutritionally and economically to a wide variety of food recipes including baked goods, reconstituted milk, nutritional beverages such as cocoa and other prepared foods.

Powdered milk products have an extended shelf life. By removing the majority of the water, liquid milk is transformed into a shelf stable dry powder with a shelf life of 12 to 18 months. The maximum shelf life of liquid milk is only about 18 days when kept refrigerated.

Approximately 10% of the world's powdered milk is manufactured in the United States.
This makes the United States one of the largest powdered milk producers in the world.

Approximately 60% of the powdered milk produced in the United States is actually used within the United States. Many food manufacturers depend on powdered milk when formulating their food products. The other 40% is exported to other countries.

Advantages of Powdered Milk

1.) Powdered milk requires significantly less storage space than liquid milk.

2.) It does not require refrigeration.

3.) It retains a high level quality during its 12- to 18-month shelf life

4.) Its cost is very economical.

5.) It can be used in an emergency or crisis situation when fresh milk may be unavailable.

6.) It is easily used as an ingredient in a wide variety of foods and beverages.

Powdered milk can also be stored in your freezer. This will extend its shelf life for an even longer period of time.

Staying above the water line!


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Food Storage Tips - Preventing Corrosion of Canned Goods

Re-post courtesy of Riverwalker's Stealth Survival

Many areas have difficulty storing metal canned goods for long periods of time. This is usually caused by very high humidity levels, exposure to moist, salty air in a coastal environment or storage in basements or cellars with high humidity. If this is a problem, it is possible to extend the life of metal cans by coating the outsides of the cans. There are several different ways in which this can be accomplished.

Paste Wax Method

Combine 2 to 3 ozs. of paste wax with a quart of mineral spirits. Warm the mixture carefully in its container by immersing it in a large pot of hot water. Stir the wax and mineral spirits thoroughly until it is well mixed and completely dissolved. Paint the cans with a brush making sure to coat all seams and joints. Place the cans on a wire rack until dry. DO NOT HEAT OVER AN OPEN FLAME!

Paraffin Method

Using a double boiler, paraffin is melted and brushed onto clean, rust free cans. Make sure to get a good coat on all the seams and joints. If the can is small enough, it can be dipped directly into the wax. Be careful so as not to cause the labels to separate from the cans. Do not leave in long enough for the can to get warm. Afterwards, place on a rack to dry.

Spray Silicone Method

A light coating of ordinary spray silicone may be also used to deter rust. Spray lightly, allow to dry, and then wipe gently with a clean cloth to remove excess silicone.

Clear Coating Method

A clear type coating may also be sprayed or brushed on the seams and joints of the cans. This is best suited for larger re-sealable cans, but it will keep your canned goods protected from corrosion for years.

Staying above the water line!


Friday, November 20, 2009

Simple Survival Foods - Health Benefits of Turkey

Re-post courtesy of Riverwalker's Stealth Survival

Turkey is an extremely good source of protein. A four ounce serving of turkey provides 65% of the daily protein needed by our bodies. It also provides approximately 12 % of our daily requirements for saturated fat. This is less than half the amount of saturated fat found in red meat.

Turkey is also a very good source of the trace mineral known as selenium. Selenium is very important to our health. It is an essential component of several major metabolic systems in our bodies. Just four ounces of turkey provide 47% of the daily amount of selenium needed for good nutrition.

Turkey is also a good source of two other important nutrients. This is the B vitamin known as niacin and vitamin B6. These two B vitamins are important for energy production by our bodies. In addition to its DNA actions, niacin is essential for the conversion of the body's proteins, fats, and carbohydrates into usable energy.

Vitamin B6 is essential for the body's processing of carbohydrates (sugar and starch), especially the breakdown of glycogen. This is the form in which sugar is stored in muscle cells. Four-ounces of turkey supplies 27% of your daily needs for vitamin B6.

Get healthy! Eat more turkey! You can grow your own or hunt them in the wild!

Staying above the water line!

Minnesota Preppers Network Est. Jan 17, 2009 All contributed articles owned and protected by their respective authors and protected by their copyright. Minnesota Preppers Network is a trademark protected by American Preppers Network Inc. All rights reserved. No content or articles may be reproduced without explicit written permission.