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Friday, January 22, 2010

What is a prepper?

Here is an excellent post (one of my favorites) that was done by Shy wolf which posted about a year ago on a forum where people were asking what preppers are. I thought I'd go ahead and repost it here because it relates to an article that I'm about to post on APN.

Greetings, folks. Jim Shy Wolf here from the Minnesota

Preppers Network. You seem to be curious about us, so I'll

attempt to answer a few questions. Let me begin with this by

Estimated Prophet.

First- one has to define what a 'wackjob' is, since we may be

using different terminology: in my neck of the woods we spell

something similar as 'whackjob', which means 'put together in

a hurry' or 'put together by chance'. Well, we are neither.

Let me 'explain, Lucy.

The American Prepper Network was created to join all the

'preppers' out here in BlogLand, in effort to aid us all in

having a single location to gather information on 'prepping'.

I can hear your heads rattling, "What's a

'prepper'?" Simple answer is, "A 'prepper' is

someone who prepares."

Do any of you have auto insurance? That is prepping. Do you

have home insurance? That is prepping. How about medical

insurance? That is prepping. Do you have a savings account,

stocks, bonds, etc? That is prepping. Do you have a few days

food supply in your cupboard? That is prepping. So, whether

you realize it or not, you all, hopefully, are 'preppers'.

The American Prepper Network is taking these topics to a

different level.

We all are aware of what happened during hurricane Katrina.

(I hope, anyway.) Also just last fall with hurricane Ike.

Some of you may even have been involved in very personal ways

with either of those. I live in Minnesota and we get some

extreme cold and lots of snow. Just as many did in New

Orleans, I prepare for inclement weather. I have some extra

rations of food and water, durable and weather appropriate

clothing. That is called 'prepping'.

There are different levels of 'prepping'.

At the simplest form, it is having a few days or a week of

food and water in your home. No need to starve or be thirsty

if you are stuck during a storm. To not be prepared for

unfortunate circumstances is foolishness- we have families to

care for. To not do so is to not love or respect or care for


Going one step beyond the week end of being

snowed/rained/tornadoed/flooded in, is the second stage of

prepping. We have more than a few days or a week of food,

water and clothing. To that, in my instance, I have added a

wood burning stove and necessary wood. I also own a chainsaw

and axe, wood splitter and storage area. I have the chainsaw

to clear roadways, as well, or whatever else a chainsaw is

good for. I am also an REMT- Registered Emergency Medical

Technician. I have a 'jump kit' filled with medical/emergency

supplies. Enough preps to deliver a baby if need be- and

sometimes here in the wilds that does happen. Babies don't

always come when you want them to. So I, and many other

'preppers', are trained medical personnel. It's just

'prepping'. Actually, it's not 'just prepping', it's 'smart'.

Any fool can let someone die or starve or go thirsty- the

smart person will aide them.

A step beyond the above prepping, is a more in-depth style.

These people, of which I am one, prepare for a more serious

'survival' situation, whatever that may be. To go without

electric power for a month, as New Orleans did- and longer-

when you can do something about it yourself is stupid. So I

have a generator. Many up here do- it's only smart. Of

course, if we KNEW when the disaster was going to hit, it'd

be easy to be ready for it. But that is not the nature of

'emergencies'. So we prepare. We also have four wheel drive

vehicles. Ever try driving your eco-friendly Hyundi through

two feet of snow in a blizzard to get to a house fire? Ain't

gonna happen. But it does happen with 4WD trucks and SUVs. So

we prepare. We do not take life lightly. Ours or anyone

else's. We prepare.

Some people think of 'preppers' or 'survivalists' as people

who are hiding in the woods waiting for the other shoe to

drop, for calamitous circumstances. That is not a 'prepper'

or 'survivalist'. That is a 'doomer'. There's a big

difference. We are not shouting doom and gloom, waiting for

the world to come crashing down on our shoulders. Quite the


We are preparing to live. To keep our loved ones safe and

secure in difficult times.

Some preppers form from family units or groups of friends or

church groups or just neighborhoods. We have groups who

perform 'neighborhood watch' groups: only makes sense when

the police are miles away. Just as we have volunteer firemen

when the 'big city' fire departments are miles away.

Preppers come in all flavors- red, white, brown, black, green

and blue. Preppers come from all walks of life. Retirees,

teachers, students, police, firemen, lawyers, ministers,

laymen of any sort. Some are religious, some are not. Some

preppers are shoe-string preppers saving on a very tight

budget. Some are wealthy and can have the 'best' of their

prepping desires. As you can see, we 'preppers' are from a

variety of backgrounds. We don't care, we just prep to save


About the only commonality in all 'preppers' is a love of the

country in which we live, love the Constitution upon which it

is based, and the only color we are under is red, white and

blue. To sum up what a 'prepper' is, is a difficult thing.

Perhaps the best way to do it is to say, "We prepare for


Jim Shy Wolf

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A little civic duty info

This is a heads up for anyone who has had enough of the politics we are seeing, and frustrated with who is 'representing' you do not miss out on participating in your local precinct caucuses. For more information on the caucuses you can read the info here at the MN League of Women Voters for the process, what to expect, and where to find where the caucus is convening in your precinct. Caucuses are held on Tuesday, February 2nd at 7:00 PM. Don't miss out on this opportunity.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

It's that time of year......

The holidays are over, hunting season is done and spring turkey season seems to be so far away. The land of 10,000 lakes has its annual change in its waterfront landscape, from crystal clear waters reflecting the clear blue skies to a white canvas dotted with huts, trailers, tents and the occasional igloo, all for the sole purpose of sitting around a 8" hole in the ice hoping for a sizable walleye will gobble up your ice jig and trip the tip-up. Something else happens at this time as well, cold water drownings.

Winter drownings happen most often as the ice first starts to thicken, and avid fishermen cannot wait, and at the beginning of ice-out, when said fish guys just cannot let the season die. Being neither of these gentlemen/ladies, as I like to fish in a pair of shorts w/o the need of a parka, I thought I would post some information on cold water safety.

Cold Water Dangers

* Cold water is any water below 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
* Cold water robs the body of heat 25-30 times faster than air.
* Safety experts estimate that half of all drowning victims die from the fatal effects of hypothermia, not from water in the lungs.

What is Hypothermia?[1]

Hypothermia is severe lowering of the body’s internal temperature. This occurs when the body loses more heat that it can produce, which as a result, prevents the heart and lungs from functioning properly. Hypothermia is caused when the body is exposed to cold, chilling winds or by getting wet. Hypothermia can happen on land or in water and progresses quickly.

Symptoms of Hypothermia:

* Absentmindedness or confusion
* Lack of coordination and weakness
* Difficulty speaking or slurred speech
* Uncontrollable shivering
* Semi-consciousness or unconsciousness

To Prevent Hypothermia:

* Wear layers of warm clothing.
* Protect your head and hands from the elements by wearing winter hats and gloves/mittens.
* Keep as dry as possible.
* Always wear a personal floatation device (PFD) when around cold water.
* Carry matches in a waterproof container.

How to Help Someone with Hypothermia:

* First call for medical help immediately!
* If the situation is safe for you to do so, remove the person from the cold water or cold air.
* Remove wet clothing.
* Keep the victim as dry as possible.
* Wrap the victim in blankets or in a sleeping bag.
* Build a fire to warm the victim.
* Give the victim warm fluids to drink (no alcohol or caffeinated drinks).
* Seat the victim in a warm shower or warm bath with the arms and legs of the victim out of the water. This allows the core of the body to warm first.

How thick is "safe" ice?

Ice on moving water in rivers, streams and brooks is never safe. The thickness of ice on ponds and lakes depends upon water currents or springs, depth and natural objects such as tree stumps or rocks. Daily changes in temperature cause the ice to expand and contract, which affects its strength. Because of these factors, no one can declare the ice to be absolutely “safe”.

Ice Safety Tips

* Never go onto the ice alone. A friend may be able to rescue you or go for help if you fall through the ice.
* Always keep your pets on a leash. If a pet falls through the ice do not attempt to rescue your pet, go for help.
* New ice is usually stronger than old ice. As the ice ages, the bond between the crystals decays, making it weaker, even if melting has not occurred.
* Beware of ice covered with snow. Snow can insulate ice and keep it strong, but can also insulate it to keep it from freezing. Snow can also hide cracks, weaken and open ice.
* Slush is a danger sign, indicating that ice is no longer freezing from the bottom and can be weak or deteriorating.
* Ice formed over flowing water (rivers or lakes containing a large number of springs) is generally 15% weaker.
* Ice seldom freezes or thaws at a uniform rate. It can be one foot thick in one spot and be only one inch thick 10 feet away.

What To Do If Someone Falls Through Ice

* Reach-Throw-Go. If a companion falls through the ice and you are unable to reach that person from shore, throw them something (rope, jumper cables, tree branch, etc.). If this does not work, go for help before you also become a victim. Get medical assistance for the victim immediately.
* If you fall in, try not to panic. Turn toward the direction you came from. Place your hands and arms on the unbroken surface, working forward by kicking your feet. Once out, remain lying on the ice (do not stand) and roll away from the hole. Crawl back to your tracks, keeping your weight distributed until you return to solid ice.

[1]American Red Cross’ Whale Tales Water Safety Education

As a little keeper, here is a download for you to keep in your ice houses and tackle boxes:

Ice Safety Tips

Have a safe ice fishing season!!!


Thursday, January 7, 2010


“Humor is just another defense against the universe.”
Mel Brooks

“A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It's jolted by every pebble on the road.”
Henry Ward Beecher

“You can turn painful situations around through laughter. If you can find humor in anything, even poverty, you can survive it.”
Bill Cosby

I have always been of a belief that no matter how bad a situation is, a little humor can lighten the load and it lends strength that you never knew you had. Even though I tend to rant angrily at politics, or get serious about our prepping plans, there is always a sense of humor waiting in the wings eager to leap to the forefront. In that spirit, I give a small rant, and a slice of humor to lighten your load.

Well its almost 1 AM and I wasn’t ready for bed and after driving home tonight through the nasty-ass winter slush on the ground I wanted to lay down a lil rant about winter driving in Minnesota. What is it about winter driving that makes the average human think they are invincible? I watch people in their “invincible” SUVs panic if there is a bit of rain, because they might hydro-plane off the road. Yet let six inches of snow fall upon a good inch of ice, and those same people will drive like the highway is a NASCAR track and they are 2 pts away from taking the Nextel Cup. They tail-gate, cut you off, make their own driving lane, and fish-tail down the road like they are the only thing on the winter covered asphalt. Then, they have the nerve to be enraged when you reduce speed, increase the cushion between yourself and the car in front of you, and try to maintain control of your car in hazardous driving conditions. I'm beginning to think these are the same idiots who, at three A.M., make the donuts in the vacant parking lots. (Yes it’s true, it is a man and his car that make those mysterious circles, not an alien mother ship fresh from turning crop circles in the English countryside).

It gets worse as winter is dying down in March. At this time of the year our semi-fearless Dale Jrs are totally confused. We have days of 15 degrees and 3 inches of snow, followed by temps in the 40s and slushy streets, mottled with mini-reservoirs over still frozen manhole covers. OH NOOOOOOOOOO! "Do I drive like a blue-haired grandma with my nose an inch above the steering wheel, or try to break the land speed record in my family-friendly assault vehicle????" Poor souls just don’t know how to drive until they hear from the trusty weatherman and his technologically advanced Doppler radar.

Anyway, as I said, in March and like sporadic days in January & February (when the temperature rises above 25), the streets do get a tad damp from a slight thaw. For those of you who don’t live in the snow-belt, rock salt generally won’t melt ice and snow when the temperature is below 20 degrees, hence the use of sand and brine mixtures. Now with the thaw, comes a lovely incarnation of mid-winter driving, ROAD-PISS. That wonderful concoction of salt and dirt and sand and water and antifreeze and oil and grease, all loosened from the frigid pavement by running water and Michelin tires turning at 55 MPH. This divine winter shower turns black cars white, and windshields into wonderful sunscreens. What’s a driver to do? Why use windshield washer solvent of course!!! That lovely blue liquid that saves our vision and help us to see the car in front of us (or the occasional small child crossing the street) before we hit them. But the magical blue stuff does more than clean glass (and I don’t mean to drink, although some stupid people do need the warning label. More on the idiots of the world another time). It is yet another item in this world that is meant to drive us all insane.

This necessary solvent is part of a grand conspiracy. One, it cost twice as much as a gallon of gas during the winter. I know, supply and demand. Lord knows that during the rest of the year the window wash producers don’t want to deplete the natural solvent mines and refine the super juice year round. AND they like to pull out the SUPER-DUPER purple version that will clean your windshield in temperatures down to 40 below zero for the extra cold season (the cost of which is about 30% more than the blue).

Part two of the conspiracy involves the automotive industry. You see, the pretty blue stuff comes in gallons, windshield washer reservoirs will stop pumping the vision juice when there is room for 13 cups of liquid, leaving 3 cups in the jug (well not 3 because they made the hole small enough in the reservoir that you are sure to spill a cup on the pavement, more if it is windy). Now, if we paid $6 for this gallon of manna, we surely won’t toss the rest in the trash. So into the trunk it goes, only to roll around like a decapitated head, causing anxiety whenever it thumps the quarter-panel making us think we've been hit, or hit something. Just what one needs when dealing with the rest of the pathetic drivers on the road. Ahhhhh I can't wait for construction season, (the OTHER half of the year in Minnesota)

Well I do think I have gone on enough on this. It really is kind of a silly thing to rant on about, but I don’t care it’s my blog entry; I can type what I want. And for those of you who live where the snow never blows, you can get termites so I guess we're even.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Starve the Beast: Low intensity Revolution

"...Fighting a revolution does not mean that you have to take up arms and head off to engage in combat with the forces sent to assure your continued servitude. Not all of us can take another human being's life. Some of us, for reasons of conscience, will not engage in violence. Not all of us are physically capable of taking the punishment of a life of privation, and asperity.

But we all must do something to impede the progress of the enemy.

It is my belief that most of us are engaged in an epic struggle against the forces who would extinguish the light of Liberty forever. To turn this world into a vast feudal state where most are serfs, doomed to toil for the few at the top. Some of us may not even realize that we have joined the struggle. The thought that many of us are fighting a low intensity revolution has not come to the minds of people everywhere.

We must foster this idea, low intensity revolution, and spread it. It will give hope to those who feel hopeless. It will give direction to those who know not what to do. It will give those who want to fight a purpose, a mission. A way to strike back without exposing themselves to undue risk..."
Catman is onto something here. Something ot only do-able, but something we should all be doing already, but aren't. It's much more easy to whine than act. Now, act, and go read the rest of what he has to say...
Tell him Shy sent you.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year and ......... an Introduction

Allow me to introduce myself; I am a new contributor to the Minnesota Peppers Blog.I go by “Loki” and if we connect on a personal level I will be more than happy to give my Christian name. A little about myself; I have been actively prepping for 5 years now, mostly do to realizing that no one is going to ensure the protection of my family better than I. I believe in the premise of “Beans, Bullets & Band Aids” as a necessary start to your prepping plans. Please don’t get me wrong, it is only a phrase, and NOT the sum of my inventory. During the course of time that I contribute here, I will bring to the page as much reliable information, ideas, direction as I can (mixed in with a healthy dose of sarcasm, a smattering of humor, and the occasional blood pressure lowering rant). I love feedback, never shy from dissenting opinion, and welcome questions or requests for help. I will never be one of those “holier then thou” writers who believes their keyboard spews the gospel of preparedness. I’ll never tell you what you MUST have or do. I’ll never claim “my way or the highway”. What I will do is pass on as many frugal, smart, or best suggested ways to bring about the one thing we all are striving for, independence and security for ourselves and our families.

For those of you that have ventured over through a web search, word of mouth, or via the recent Newsweek article, please do not miss the treasure trove of information on the APN forums. I may from time to time direct you to something there, and you can always find me posting there. For all of you who are new to this idea of prepping please check out my post on where to start. Do not let the massive amount of information at your fingertips and the know-it-alls who tell you what to do if you want to survive (and if you don’t follow their paradigm, you will die). Keep an open mind, but a sound conviction to you morals and principles. The two most important rules to prepping are; be calm, yet diligent and be organized.

The old saying goes, “Those who keep their heads, when all about them are losing theirs, are the ones to survive”. This is never truer than for the preparedness mindset. Organization will make keeping calm “easy breezy”. Organization will make known where everything you prep is where it is to be when you need it. Organization will have your plans laid out along with back-ups for your back-up plans. Organization will allow for simpler budget making. Organization will make the whole process smooth. With organization on your side, you’ll be able to remain calm knowing you have what you have, the definition your needs, and leave room to pick up on some of the wants. Keeping calm will help your family even more than the plans you make by allowing them to see that you are, not in control of the situation, but confident enough to deal with it and help get you all through it. Well know panic leads to panic. The same holds true for confidence and preparedness.

So again, I want to thank Shy Wolf and the rest of the APN family for allowing me to be apart of this organization and group of like-minded thinkers. Feel free to contact me with questions or suggestion. I wish all of you a safe and productive New Year and may all of your plans come to fruition as easily as they came to mind.

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.