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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Observations of a Prepper - Are the Homeless Bugging Out of the Big Cities?

Re-post courtesy of Riverwalker's Stealth Survival

You can read about all kinds of things that are going on right now. A very bad economy with politicians offering solutions that even the least intelligent of persons out there realize won’t work. Perhaps you just need to take a little time and observe what’s happening right where you are. When was the last time you actually stopped and took a really good look at what’s happening in your own little part of the universe? Are the homeless people in your area bugging out?

One of the most frightening things I’m seeing is the very real possibility that the homeless are leaving the big city and heading to more rural areas. About 9% of all homeless people live in rural areas according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness in a survey in 2007. As times get tougher, the homeless are going to be moving out of the big cities and heading for the hills, literally.

I’m currently seeing more and more homeless people in the rural areas in my “neck of the woods”. Most of the homeless I’ve seen are on bikes loaded with their sleeping bags, clothes and other items. I live in a basically rural area of the state and I’m pretty familiar with most of our “regular” homeless types that hang around here. I’ve even had to deal with a few who were causing minor problems. But when I start to see more homeless people traveling the roads and highways in my county that I don’t recognize, my level of concern starts to go up. Why is this happening now? Will it get worse? If homeless people are starting to have problems surviving in the city, how will regular people living there make it?

I consider most homeless people experts at what I like to call “Urban Bushcraft”. Those more experienced at “bushcraft” techniques will be the first to tell you that surviving in a wilderness setting takes a lot of skill and fortitude. It takes similar skills to survive in the big city. With only simple and basic means of transportation, limited possessions, and with little or no money they live a life where survival is a daily struggle. They are real survivors in a real world.

They don’t have B.O.B.’s because they use shopping carts and bikes. They’ve already learned it’s a lot easier to push your gear in a basket than pack it on your back. They know bikes don’t need gas to get them where they’re going. They know where to find free food. They know which restaurants throw out the best scraps. They know how to scavenge items from dumpsters to sell and make money when thrown out by people smarter than they are. They know how to find every clothing donation box in town to keep there “wardrobe” up to date. They know the best areas to avoid the rain and the cold and can make some of the best “expedient type” shelters ever conceived.

I seriously doubt that you could leave the average person in an unfamiliar part of town with no I.D., no money, no food, no shelter and no transportation without them having serious difficulties surviving the night.

According to the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, there are an estimated 5 million homeless people in the United States. Rural homeless people only account for about 9% of this total. That leaves approximately 4.5 million people who may be looking for greener pastures. Those greener pastures may be in your area.

This is probably just another sign of the times and how many things are going to change. The best thing is to observe what’s happening where you are at. It will probably give you a better perspective than the national news media about what’s really happening in your area. I just hate to think about the effects of a few million homeless people deciding that city life may not be right for them anymore.

You can check some statistics on homeless people here:


Coming soon to an area near you...a few million homeless people?

(*Edit*) Here's a link provided by a reader in the comments section:

Survival Guide to Homelessness

Staying above the water line!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tuesday’s Tips for Preppers - Non-Toxic Pest Control

Re-post courtesy of Riverwalker's Stealth Survival

Pest control is sometimes an area where people may compromise their safety for a little convenience. The effectiveness of chemicals, while not the safest, causes us to abandon safety because they are efficient killers of those tiny pests that plague our everyday lives. Here are some suggestions for non-toxic pest control that may allow you to stick to your principles of safety and still rid your home of pests that can affect your food storage and your daily lives.

Cleanliness is the best way to begin a non-toxic pest control system. This is especially important in the kitchen, dining areas, bedrooms and bathrooms.

1.) Make sure there are no open food sources. Dirty dishes and open cans of food are an invitation to pests of all types.

2.) Make sure there are no readily available sources of water. Dripping faucets, leaky valves and dishes soaking in the sink can all cause pest problems.

3.) Try not to eat in areas where there is carpet. Those little crumbs on the carpet are a bug magnet. Eating in bed should also be avoided as it also can create even bigger problems.

4.) Vacuum all areas of your house thoroughly and regularly.

5.) Always wash your bedding in hot water.

6.) Bathe and shampoo and comb your pets regularly.

7.) If you’re saving aluminum cans, keep them stored outside and away from any food storage areas.

8.) Always take the garbage out regularly. An over-flowing trash can be like a dinner bell for pests.

9.) Keep your house organized and free of clutter. Old newspapers and magazines can create real problems. They create an ideal source of nesting materials for rats and mice. The fewer hiding places you give pests, the better off you will be.

For more specific approaches to getting rid of certain pests, try these following remedies.

Mice and Rats

1.) Place dried peppermint leaves behind and under the stove and refrigerator to get rid of mice in the home.

2.) Don’t forget to use the proverbial mouse or rat trap. They are very efficient mechanical type killers of mice and rats, especially when loaded with a little peanut butter.


1.) Place cucumber peels or slices in areas where ants are active as a deterrent.

2.) A small line of cayenne pepper or coffee grounds, or even a piece of string soaked in lemon juice and placed at the point of entry will keep ants from crossing.


1.) Make catnip sachets and leave in strategic places around the house or simmer some catnip in water and use to make a spray which can be applied to baseboards, etc.

2.) Put a couple of slices of beer-soaked bread (stale bread and stale beer are OK for this purpose) into an empty 1lb coffee can, and yes you can use the plastic ones that are so prevalent nowadays. Leave it out where roaches congregate as this can be an effective deterrent for roaches. Cut small openings or holes in the plastic lid.


1.) Pour a cup boiling water over a sliced lemon and let it soak overnight before sponging on your pet. Lemon scented dishwashing liquid also works great as a flea shampoo.

2.) Add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (plain white distilled vinegar works also) to your pet’s drinking water on a daily basis.

Outdoors you can try these tips:


1.) Mix 1 part garlic juice to 5 parts water for a natural mosquito spray. Soak strips of cotton cloth in the mixture and hang in outside areas as a localized repellant.

2.) Use citronella candles or “tiki” torches with citronella oil.


1.) Hang cheesecloth squares filled with bay leaves or cloves in windows.

2.) Fill plastic bags with water and hang in doorways and around patios.

3.) Plain old fly strips are also quite effective.

Inside the house and in the garden - Use Diatomaceous Earth (food grade)
Diatomaceous earth is a non-toxic, chalky dust that can be used both indoors and out to control many household and garden pests. Made from the fossilized remains of diatoms, which are hard-shelled algae, the small, sharp particles are harmful only to the exoskeletons of insects. A mechanical, not chemical killer, it clings to their bodies as they walk or crawl over it, cutting the waxy coating and causing them to dry out. The insect will dehydrate and usually dies within a couple of days.

The use of dangerous and toxic pesticides can also endanger the safety of your water sources through groundwater contamination.

There are numerous ways to avoid toxic and harmful pesticides that could create a problem for your safety and the safety of your family and pets. Using non-toxic means of pest control will benefit everyone.

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.