Blog

Well hello there, there's lots that's new. This web site!!! This blog. We've been working on this site for over a month now, and it's finally ready to launch to the next level. We've still got more things to add, but that will be ongoing. We'll be adding more material and pages as time goes on.

There's so much going on all around the world and it's getting harder to keep track of everything. There's more destruction happening all the time, some of it is mother nature (she's been a little mean this year) and some is man made. The point is, it's happening all around us, we see so many families stuck with nothing, because they weren't prepared or couldn't afford to get prepared.

We know not everyone can go out and buy a years supply of food at once, but when ever you have a few bucks to spare, buy something. Instead of that $60 restaurant meal next payday, go and buy some essentials. You would be surprised how fast it adds up, if you do it on a regular basis, in no time at all you'll have a nice cache of supplies to fall back on. (Don't worry restaurant guys, they'll be back!)

Dec.1/12

I'll give you an example of what unprepared can do. A number of years ago, my younger brother in law,(Don), and I decided we'd go trapping for some extra money. We were living out in the wilderness already, while Don was taking some upgrading in the city. He had come home a couple weeks before Christmas and was going to be there for three weeks, so we figured that would be plenty of time to get some trapping in, and besides, once he went back to the city, I could go out by myself if we weren't finished yet.

We had talked to the local native trapper and he told us about one part of his line that he or the others in his village would not trap. Apparently, many many years ago there was a settlement along Woody Creek, small pox had wiped out everyone there. They now called it Graveyard Creek. We asked permission to trap that area and he gladly gave it to us. We got our licences and proceeded to gather equipment we would need for our adventure.

We didn't have much for trapping equipment at all, so we had to borrow what we required. We didn't have a snow machine (there was just over a foot of snow by now) so that meant that we would have to walk in on snowshoes, about a 3 or 4 mile hike from the main road. We were going to bring a tent and set up camp along the creek as we didn't plan on walking in and out everyday. We then proceeded to gather some cooking utensils, tent, pillow, blankets, rope, traps, wire and whatever else we could fit on our toboggan and on our backs. No backpacks or anything else that would have made this any easier. It took us a few days to gather everything and be ready to go. For food we packed (other than the sandwiches we had for that day) some bannock mix, coffee, sugar, and some canned beans. We didn't bring any meat, "we're going to eat whatever we trap!" were our parting words.

Oh did I mention, at the time we were planning this spur of the moment adventure, the temperature during the day was holding pretty steady at about -20 F and at night it would dip down to -40 F. We lived 75 miles from the closest city, so when you heard the weather on the radio, you didn't know how it was going to be where we were. Everyday, you'd just kind of guess as to how much it was going to warm up, but generally, once it turned this cold, it stayed for a while. We didn't care, we were young, and this was exciting, so off we went.

Dec.2/12

We left at daybreak in Don's truck and got to the lake a short time later, it was a 10 mile drive from the house. We unloaded the truck, loaded the toboggan, and what we couldn't fit in we carried, along with one gun. It was over 500 yards from the truck to the other side of the lake. The temperature was holding at -25 F as we struck out on our snowshoes. We had to break a trail for the toboggan as it was loaded a little top heavy, so we took turns breaking trail and pulling the toboggan. There was a bit of water under the snow on the lake and every so often our snowshoes would break through and make things a little slow going. Once we got across the lake, we followed a game trail that ran through the pines along the creek.

By noon we had gone far enough up the creek to set up our camp, a little clearing up on a knoll amongst the pine trees. We had set a few traps as soon as we started up the creek, so while I set out to gather fire wood and clear a camp spot (no we didn't bring a shovel), Don went up ahead to set a few more traps. I made a fire pit. got a fire going and put the coffee pot on. I then set the tent up and went about cutting a bunch of spruce and pine bough's for each of our beds. By the time we had everything set up and with enough fire wood, it was pretty well time for bed and the temperature was really dropping. It was a long tiring day, I was sure looking forward to laying down for the night to get a good nights sleep.

Man, it was sooo good to lay down and sleep, that lasted for about an hour and half!!! The pine and spruce boughs were now compressed and hard as the frozen ground beneath us. I woke up shaking so badly from the cold that I could hardly strike a match, to lite the gas lantern we had brought with us. This was our only means of heat, as the fire was too far from the tent to do any good, and if we moved it any closer, it would catch the tent on fire. We could only let the lantern run for a few minutes at a time as it would get too hot in the tent, and besides, we forgot to bring extra fuel. Pretty well every hour, we'd take turns lighting the lantern, that way you would only have to stick your head out from under the blankets every two hours. Were we ever glad when the morning sun came up and we could get the heck out of that tent. It had warmed up a touch, but now it was snowing.

We stoked up the fire, made coffee and bannock for breakfast and set out to check the traps we had set the day before. That night we had muskrat for supper. It was the only damn thing we caught that first day. By the time we went to bed that night (after stocking up on more boughs) it had snowed about 4 inches more. We didn't bother knocking it off of the tent, we figured what the heck, we'll just leave it on there for insulation. The snow will help keep the heat in. Well, let me tell you, that snow did two other things also, it made our four man tent squeeze down to a two man tent and every time we lit the lantern, it would rain water on us and our blankets. We were in for another night from hell.

Dec.3/12

Before I continue on with the story, I wanted to let everyone know that we are now on Twitter! You can now follow us on both Facebook & Twitter. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed, and the blog page.

Well, that night turned out as bad as the night before, cold, tired and now getting sore from our makeshift beds. But, we said we were going to stay out for three nights so we had to suck it up make the best of a bad situation. We had our usual breakfast of coffee and bannock then went and checked our traps. We had caught a couple of beaver and muskrats, then as we approached one of the other beaver houses where we had set a trap, we saw what looked like a war zone. Sticks and snow thrown in every direction. In the beaver house itself, was a hole dug into the side of it and all we could see was two beady little eyes looking out at us. We couldn't figure out what exactly was going on, as we were using snares, drowning sets and body grip traps, that are all humane type of killing traps. That way nothing has to suffer for any amount of time. Our first thought was that we had caught a wolverine, one of the most ferocious animals in the bush. As it turned out, we had caught a fisher in a snare, the way he was held there just made him really angry because he couldn't escape, but he wasn't hurt either.

That night we had a triple "B" feast. Beaver, Beans and Bannock. We then tried to get as much of the snow off of the tent and build a bit of a shelter over the tent in case it snowed any more. (like it wasn't going to, this was the end of December, for the love of pete) There wasn't much we could do with the beds, when it gets down to -40 F and you don't have some kind of soft foam under your butt, it's going to be uncomfortable. There was just enough fuel left in our lantern for one more night, if we used it sparingly.

Well, somehow we made it through that night, checked our traps and made sure everything was working properly before we headed for home sweet home. We loaded up the toboggan with our fur and headed out just before noon. As we were crossing the lake, we start seeing more and more water coming up into our tracks. The lake was starting to flood itself. When we got to Don's truck, we had to build a fire under the motor to warm up the oil before it would start. A bit of diesel and a rag in a tobacco can does the trick. At least this was the one thing we planned far enough ahead for. Were we ever glad to be home with our family. Don wasn't married, but his mother and younger sister was staying with us for the holidays.

After looking after our fur, getting a good nights sleep and getting some much needed supplies to set up a better and more comfortable camp, we headed out the next morning. We drove up to the lake only to find that the lake was now completely covered in water. It was almost a foot deep at the shore line. There was no other roads around the lake, this was it. We attempted to go around the lake on the only side that we could access, but it was surrounded by swamps and they were flooded too. We had no way of getting to our camp until the water that flooded the lake froze over hard enough to walk on. We were going to have to wait this one out, we were extremely disappointed, but also glad to be able to spend some quality time with the family, after all, it was the Christmas holidays.

Dec. 4/12

Knowledge

Remember, you can have all the water ,food and emergency supplies stored away and be really prepared, and have it all taken away from you by some kind of disaster. But, you'll always be able to carry your knowledge around with you, so get educated on survival and carry that knowledge.

The rest of the story will continue on the blog tomorrow. Have a wonderful day!

Dec. 5/12

Today we added a new page under Tips & Tricks, it's all about the Bug Out Bag and what you should have in that bag.

To continue on with the story, we had to wait for another three weeks before the ice was thick enough to walk on, about 4 inches thick. As it was freezing, we were also getting some more snow. When ice is freezing and you mix snow with it, it doesn't make for real good ice. Also if you get too much snow, it insulates the ice that has formed and it takes a lot longer to freeze. Good ice is clear, you don't need as much "good ice" to walk on, as you do with snow ice.

Don had long since gone back to the city, so my other brother in law (the one we borrowed the equipment from) Jake and I planned out how we were going to retrieve everything we had left at Graveyard Creek. The morning we went out to execute our plan, the weather was still extremely cold. We had snowshoes, two toboggans, a thermos of coffee and some lunch. As it turned out, it took us all day to walk in and find all the traps. It wasn't just finding them, it was digging and chopping them out of the ice. Next came digging the tent out of the snow without destroying it. Everything else, like the pots and pans, we had left hanging in the trees. By the time we reached the lake, it was starting to get dark and turning colder.

It was still light enough we could follow our tracks crossing the lake, the thing that slowed us down though, was we each had a toboggan to pull, the snow was deeper and some places the snow had drifted across our trail. We were about half way across the lake when Jake's snowshoe broke through the ice and down to one knee he went. Every time he'd try to lift his leg up, the snowshoe would catch on the bottom side of the ice and he'd have to re-adjust and try again. By the time he got his snowshoe out of the hole, his boot was full of freezing cold water. For those of you that have not worn snowshoes, your boot is laced to the snowshoe by way of a harness and the harness is attached to the snowshoe. You can't just pull your boot off, it all stay's together until it gets unlaced.

Once Jake was out of the water and away from the hole, we took the snowshoe and his boot off of his foot. He was wearing felt lined boots, so we emptied the water out of his boot and wrung out as much water as we could from his sock and liner, before putting them back on. As we continued on our way, we walked very cautiously as we headed out towards where the truck was parked. If we had another incident like this one, we'd be in rear trouble. By the time we reached the truck it was dark and the thermometer attached to the side of the mirror said -42 F. Jake's boot was frozen solid and his foot was getting painfully cold. As I started to unload the toboggans into the back of the truck, Jake climbed into the drivers seat and hit the key. All the motor did was moan. It turned over about three times and the battery died. We were devastated. What next??

Dec. 6/12

We added three new affiliates today, the first was Jacob Bromwell - they make quality products that you can hand down to your kids or grand-kids. Next we added 1-800-PREPARE were you can get pretty well whatever you need to get prepared. Then came the U.S.Cavalry, this site has a lot of everything, military, outdoors and tactical. Check them all out, a lot of great products.

Dec. 7/12

Today we did some window dressing by adding a few of our pictures. These pictures where taken in both Alberta and British Columbia. If you enjoy seeing them, let us know and we'll post some more.

Dec. 8/12

Today we added some more content to our Tips & Tricks section.

Dec. 9/12

Today we'll add some more pictures to the Wilderness Recipes and to the Tips & Tricks pages. I'll also finish the story about how not to be prepared.

When the truck wouldn't start, we debated as to build a fire by the truck or walk a couple more miles to the closest neighbor and see if they could help. Jake figured if he kept walking, his foot wouldn't freeze up any more than it was. That neighbor was Lon, a guide who lived on the shore of the lake further down the road. Jake and Lon had a feud going on, but we figured under the circumstance maybe he would help us out. Our other option was Joe and his wife Joan who ranched about four miles further down another road. We also knew our wives would start to worry now that it was dark and we hadn't returned home yet. There was no phones, no way of letting them know that we were okay.

As we approached Lon's house, we could see the lights on and smoke coming out of his chimney, going straight up into the atmosphere because of the cold weather. Jake elected to stay by the edge of the driveway as I walked to the door of Lon's house and knocked. Right away I could hear a dog start to bark and Lon yelling at him to be quite as he came and opened the door. He invited me in and the heat from the wood stove felt so good on my cold face. I explained what had happened and that if he could just come and give us a boost to get our truck started, we would make it home alright. His first question was if Jake was with me, I replied yes, he was out by the driveway and very cold. He said "I'm sorry, but I don't think any of my vehicles would start in this kind of weather and you should walk down to Joe's place and see if he could help you", he then opened the door for me to leave. What respect I had for the man left that night, we never spoke again.

Jake and I had to backtrack about a mile before getting on the road to Joe's ranch. As we approached the gate to the ranch yard, we could hear the diesel generator running and knew Joe would have his truck plugged in and ready to go. When we got to their door, Joe invited us in and promptly asked Joan to pore us each a hot cup of coffee. We told them our story and Joan started immediately heating water as she told Jake to take his boots and socks off. She then instructed one of her girls to go get some dry socks and a spare boot liner. Joan got Jake to soak his foot in some warm water and massaged his foot to get the circulation going again. In the meantime, Joe put on his parka and winter boots, then went out and started his truck.

Once Joe had his truck warmed up, he drove Jake and I to our homes. He said he'd help us get Jake's truck going tomorrow, in the daylight. We stopped at Jake's truck and grabbed whatever valuables we had in there and left the rest, there wasn't going to be much for traffic in this kind of weather. As we drove up to our house, I could see a fire going on under my trucks engine. My wife was trying to get our truck started to go and look for us, her and the kids were getting pretty worried.

Now there were so many things that we just were not prepared for! Today there's no way I would go out in the bush when it's that cold, without the proper equipment or the means to provide the adequate shelter to stay over night. In our vehicles all we really carried back then was a Jackall, a shovel, a towrope and a few hand tools. We were more worried about hitting the ditch then we were about breaking down.

Today I carry extra oil, windshield washer fluid, tools, rechargeable flashlight, first aid kit, collapsible shovel, hatchet, towrope, booster cables, spare serpentine belt, toque, gloves, warm coat, portable fishing rod and lures plus an emergency kit. This all fits in a tote, (other than the emergency kit) that stays in the back of my SUV.

In the winter I also carry an emergency heater. This is made up of a coffee can with a lid and a roll of plain white toilet paper. The can is about 4" across and a roll of toilet paper fits tightly inside, (take out the center cardboard piece), you want the roll to fit as tightly as possible. If a single roll fits to loosely, use a double roll. For a fuel I use methyl hydrate, you can also use isopropyl alcohol. Just pour fuel on the toilet paper, getting it really saturated and light with a match. Either fuel will burn with a nice blue flame and it gives off quite a lot of heat. When ice fishing, we use this to heat our hut with. If your ever going to use it in your vehicle as an emergency heater, crack one of the windows a little bit, for ventilation, just to be on the safe side.

My emergency kit is about 8 inches wide, 12 inches long and 4 inches high. It contains the following items:

  • lighter/matches
  • LED flashlight
  • copper snare wire
  • One 5 foot 1/8" aircraft cable snare with lock
  • emergency blanket
  • bag of lint
  • 3 candles
  • 50 feet paracord
  • band aids & 4" compress
  • compass
  • roll of hay wire
  • surveyors tape
  • towelettes
  • pocket knife
  • 8 feet of clear plastic tubing
  • slingshot
  • fish net hammock
  • carpenters pencil with some duct tape wrapped around it
  • small container of nails, screws and paper clips

It fits under the back seat of my SUV, don't even know it's there.

Dec. 11/12

In the next couple days I'm going to be adding a bunch of wild plant articles, such as rose hips, dandelion, cat tails, etc. and their uses. If there's any special plant that you would like to add, please let me know through our Wilderness Recipe form or the blog request.

Dec. 13/12

Went out today and looked through the thrift stores around town to see what kind of treasures I could add to my stash. I was able to find a few items for future use, which included a brand new 9" cast iron frying pan for $4, four bags of marbles at .50 per bag, a large 3" X 8" candle for $1.25 and three wooden spoons for a dollar. Not to bad, but what I've really been looking for is a cast iron dutch oven, found one today but it didn't have a lid or any legs, also it was a bit on the smaller size, only about 10 inches across. With a good cast iron dutch oven and a large frying pan, you can cook pretty well anything with a good campfire, that you can cook with a electric kitchen stove. Oh well, maybe next week.

Dec. 15/12

Someone asked me if I had lost all my marbles and is this why I needed so many more. Well, they could have a point there, but the reason I collect them is for ammunition, I use them in my slingshot for hunting grouse, squirrels and rabbits. I know that rocks are cheaper, but finding the right shaped rock isn't always available when you need them. Marbles are uniform in size and the projectory will be more level, powerful and consistent then an odd shaped rock would be.

Here's another item you can add to your slingshot, get a couple of rubber bands and a 1 1/2" key chain ring. Attach the rubber bands on each side of the ring, next take the rubber tubing off of your slingshot (the one you use to shoot with) and attach the two rubber bands with the ring in the middle, to each side of your slingshot, adjust the length of the bands so that the ring stays in the middle of the Y on your slingshot. Now put the rubber tubing back on. You will now be able to shoot arrows with your slingshot. Put your arrow through the ring and hold the notched end in the pouch, pull back and start practicing. When you don't need the arrow ring, you just slide it down out of the way and raise it back up when it's needed. I'll post a picture of this on Tips & Tricks.

Dec. 16/12

I don't know if you have thought about keeping meat, if you were to lose power and go without refrigeration. Well you have a few different options to chose from. Here's a couple of ways of preserving meat.

You can cut it into very narrow strips, dry it and make jerky, then you can cut it up and add the jerky to stews, soups or chili style dishes. Of course, you can also eat it just the way it is. You can use pretty much any kind of meat, as long as it's fat free, fat does not dry and will cause your jerky to spoil much faster. Another variance is to first put the cut up strips in a brine and then dry or smoke it. With this method you can have different flavors depending on your choice of brine's, as the list is endless, everything from pineapple juice to tobasco sauce and everything in between.

Another method is to can the meat using a pressure cooker. You can either put raw meat (cut into cube size chunks) in the jars and fill them with a gravy mix or water and bullion cubes. Adding spices such as salt and pepper, is also an option. You can also make up stews made with beef or chicken, cook them first and then do the canning process. Never fill the jars to the top, always leave an inch of head space before putting the lids on. Before cooking, you will have to check and follow the manufactures instructions as to altitude and temperature. Altitude makes a difference on both pressure and boiling point, the higher the altitude the longer it takes to cook. Once the meat is canned, let the jars cool for at least 10 to 15 minutes before storing, this is to prevent the jars from cracking. Once the meat is canned, it will keep for many years.

You can also use a salt brine, smoke bacon and hams or use crockery pots with rendered fat as a sealant. Just something else to think about as your making your survival plans.

Dec. 17/12

I came across a unique item today. It's called a Wood Gasifier, what is does is produce a gas from burning biomass, such as different wood products or nut shells. To burn this gas in your vehicle, you'd hook it up the same as you would if you were running your engine on propane. They claim you can run most any spark ignition engine, from 10 hp, right up to 110 hp.

If you were to add a heat exchanger to the unit, you can also heat your house with this gasifier. It's like a rocket stove, burns very clean on very little material and produces lots of heat. The only waste coming out of the unit is called biochar, the benefits of biochar is, it sequesters carbon in the soil, adds nutrients and gives the soil a long term fertilizer.

I suppose that the best scenario here would be, one in the back of your truck for getting around with and another one hooked up to your house, with a heat exchange, for all your hot water and heating needs, plus being able to run a small generator for your power consumption, all at the same time.

Dec. 19/12

I was out today, shopping for Christmas and decided to stock up on a few items for the emergency food reserve. There are a lot of items that you can stock up on, that are reasonably priced and you can do it a little at a time. While your going through your favorite store, look for items that are on sale. A lot of the time, it's nothing that you need right now, but it might be a good product to add to your survival food cache for future use.

I don't normally buy granola bars, but today, they had some on sale for half the price, so I bought a couple boxes for the stash. There was also some dry soup mixes, a couple spices and some dry drink mix that were also on sale. Most of the time, this are not advertised sale items, but "in-store" specials. The store may be overstocked with a certain product or got shipped the wrong item or something to that nature, so the managers put these selected items on sale, just in their own store outlet.

So keep an eye out for specials like that and your survival food supply will gradually start to grow, without breaking the bank.

Dec. 20/12

We added a new affiliate today, audible.co.uk (this is an amazon company). If you like listening to books, they've got a lot of them, over 60,000 titles to choose from. The prices are in British Pounds, the conversion right now is roughly around $1.60 Can/US dollar to 1 Pound.

We also got our logo finished today. I'll have a picture of it posted on the web page tomorrow. There is a picture of it on facebook already. Check it out and see what you think.

Also when your sending in recipes for Wilderness Recipes or anything for Tips & Tricks, let us know if you want your name included, either just your first name, or your full name or no name at all. Also if you want to add where you live, city, province, state or country. Totally up to you as to how it appears.

Dec. 22/12

Well we finally got some snow in time for Christmas, only a couple inches, but that's enough. Temperatures have dropped down to the -19 C mark, which means the lakes will finally start to freeze up good, so we should be able to go ice fishing next week.

As I was thinking about ice fishing, I start thinking about ice fishing huts and how portable and warm they can be and what a good emergency shelter they would make, any time of the year.

The new ones out now are called pop-ups and go up in a matter of a couple of minutes, some claim in less than 60 seconds. These tents are fairly light to pack around and they also come in many different sizes, from the 2 man that is 5 ft. wide and 6 ft. long right up to the 6 man that is 6 ft. wide and 12 ft. long. You can stand up and walk around in these tents, ranging in height from 67" for the 2 man, to 80" for the 6 man tent. They have windows that you can cover or uncover, ventilation flaps that you can open and close, zippered doors and  reinforced corners so the wind will not tear them apart. Once their anchored down, these tent will withstand some wicked winds. With a small heater, the tent stays pretty warm, depending how cold it is outside, if your trying to live in there when it's -40 C, you may need a little bigger heater.

I don't know how water proof these tents are, they are designed for ice fishing in the winter, so if your trying to survive in one in the summer, you may need a tarp to cover over top of it, to keep the rain out, or seal it with a water proof coating such as Thompson's Deck Sealant.

I've also made a ice fishing hut out of tarps and 2 X 2's. When I set this hut up, I flooded the area where it was going to sit and froze it down with water and slush so the wind would not blow it away. This hut was roughly 8 feet square, 6 feet high on the front, 5 feet on the back and it served quite well on a cold windy day. I used a kerosine heater for heat and it would get warm enough so that you could remove your coat and sit comfortably on a lawn chair, while ice fishing. I posted a picture of this on Tips & Tricks.

So in a survival situation, you may already have something to use, or it would not take too much to build an emergency shelter, (if your prepared with the right supplies), to keep you safely out of the elements.

Pictured below is a 6 man pop up ice fishing tent, one of many currently on the market.

Dec. 23/12

One of the topics that always come up is what kind of weapon a person should have for survival? I guess it comes down to what you want to do with it, do you want to go the bush and hunt your next meal or do you want to defend your family against intruders, who out to harm you and take your food supply by any means possible.

If your going to hunt for food, the first thing that comes to mind is a high powered rifle, something no smaller than a .223 that has 1086 ft. lbs. at 100 yds. and right up to a .500 Nitro Express that has 4477 ft. lbs. at 100 yds. The latter would be a little over kill to say the least. Probably the best all round caliber would be a .308 with a detachable clip. The main reason I'm picking this cartridge over the rest, is to do with the availability, has good hitting power (2197 at 100 yds.) and is economical to purchase. Why I'm saying a detachable clip is that most clips only hold 4 or 5 rounds, so if you buy extra clips, this will give you more options, if the time ever comes when you need lots of fire power in a hurray.

I have a .243 with a detachable clip and I wouldn't trade this gun for anything. I personally think this is the best all round rifle, it's light, accurate, ammo is cheap and it can knock a deer down at 400 yds. I've had lot's of other calibers over the years, and I've sold most of the rest. This rifle is just my own preference.

When it comes to hunting, you also have other options, like a crossbow, a compound bow, a spear or a slingshot with broad head arrows. Here again, it's going to come down to personal preferences.

Another gun that I think everyone should have is a good .22 caliber rifle using long rifle cartridges. This rifle is quite capable of putting lots of food on the table plus defending your family from intruders. Here again I'm going to say the best .22 on the market is a Ruger 10/22 with a rotary 10 shot detachable clip, actually, you can get clips for this gun that will hold up to 25 cartridges from the factory and up to 50 from an aftermarket brand.

Dec. 24/12

Due to family commitments and Christmas around the corner and all, I was unable to finish the blog yesterday.

As I was saying about the .22 caliber rifle, I always mount a 1 inch scope on my guns, for better sighting and a clearer view of what I'm aiming at. This is very handy if your shooting squirrels or rabbits but if your going to use this rifle for defending your home, you'll want to take the scope off of it. The scope is excellent for far off objects, but not so good for anything close, this is where open sights are the best, just point and fire. A well placed shot from a .22 will stop any intruder, either from a rifle or a hand gun.

Another option for a weapon is a over/under, .22 caliber as the top barrel and a shot gun as the under barrel. I have a Savage over/under that is .22 LR on top and 20 gauge on the bottom. This a excellent little rifle, the disadvantage of this gun is, you only have two shots and then you have to reload, so if you have four intruders trying to come in that are armed, you may not have the time to stop and reload before the SHTF.

If all your looking at is defending your home, hand guns are good, as are pump or semi automatic shotguns. There are numerous calibers of hand guns and also numerous gauges of shotguns to choose from to help protect your family and your property.

Another weapon that is an absolute must, is a good knife. I can't stress this enough, how important a good sharp knife can be in a survival situation. Unless your a expert mixed martial arts type of person, your probably not going to defend your home with just a knife against armed intruders, but it will assist you in so many other ways.

We could discuss this topic for quite awhile, the pro's and the con's of each type of rifle and shotgun. What you have to figure out is, what is the weapon that is going to do the best job for you, in the situation that may arise in the future, and go from there. If your comfortable with a baseball bat, then by all means, go with that. If you want something more, then first go with something that you can handle and then learn how to use it properly and safely.

Wishing you all a very "Merry Christmas".

Dec. 26/12

You have to wonder sometimes, where do all the people come from all of a sudden? You go down town and traffic is almost double what it normally is. You know a lot of people left town to visit family and friends else where, but it seems like for every one that left, three times as many came in to take their place! What if a disaster hit when everyone was so busy and had all that extra family over for the holidays.

Let's say you and your family were just getting ready to sit down for Christmas dinner and all of a sudden, a plane crashed into the main power station that supplied electricity for your city. Would you have enough provisions to last any amount of time with another dozen mouths to feed? What about water?

Preparing for holidays are always the worst in the winter months, because of the cold temperatures that can be experienced. In our neck of the woods, the temperatures have been hovering around the -22 C range (-8 F) so now it's not only feeding them all, it's making sure there is enough water to drink, it's also keeping everyone warm, for who knows for how long.

Defiantly much more planning has to go into winter prepping. Especially during the holidays.

Dec. 27/12

Water, water everywhere, but is it safe to drink? Some people claim that you can go days without water with no ill side affects, I've read where their was some people in Haiti that went 13 days without food and water and came out without any problems. Well I'd have to call them on that one. The normal person can go days, even weeks without food, but not so about water.

Have you heard about the rule of three, three minutes without air, three days without water and three weeks without food. Now everything is going to depend on your own metabolism, some people will last a lot longer, some others, not as long. This is just a general rule of thumb and it's easy to remember.

The truth is, after 72 hours after going without water, your organs will start to get affected, mainly the kidney's and the liver. Once damage is done to your main organs, it's irreversible. Your body needs 8 to 10 glasses of water everyday to replenish what your body uses in a day, and if your really active, it will require a lot more.

When you go without water, this is called "Dehydration" and it should be avoided at all costs! Symptoms are headache, blurred vision, confusion, anxiety attacks, cramping and hallucinations.

Another interesting fact is that most women will survive longer than most men, because women have less muscle mass then men do. It takes more calories to maintain muscle then it does to maintain body fat. When you don't have food and water, the body will literally start to consume itself.

So the bottom line is, make sure you have lots of water on hand for any kind of survival situation. In case you don't have any in stock, we have diagrams of self made water filters and ways to purify water in our Tips & Tricks section, on this web site. Learn about these techniques, then try some out, one day they could save your life.

Dec. 29/12

Have you ever thought, "what if my food supply is lost due to a flood or fire, maybe something worse, what could I  do to help keep my family going?" One way, and this is only a short term solution, is to keep some energy bars along with some multivitamins stashed in your bug out bag, vehicle or any other place, away from your food supply.

Having enough energy bars to last you and your family for 72 hours isn't that hard and does not take up very much room. Even if you only have enough for one bar each per day, if you take a multivitamin along with that bar (vitamins should always be taken with some type of food) and some water, then this will definitely give your a body a boost in the right direction.

When your choosing a multivitamin, read the label and pick what's right for you. There are so many on the market that make all kinds of claims about, they can do this and they can do that, bottom line, they are just vitamins. They are not going to build muscle mass or help you lose weight, they're a supplement. Some will have minerals along with the vitamins, so choose one that has a good balance and will provide the proper requirements for you and your family.

If you happen to be one of those adults that just can not swallow a pill, regardless of the size, get some chewable vitamins. They are made in both children and adult strengths and they also come in different types of flavors, and yes, they do make adult gummies.

Dec. 30/12

When you talk about homes, most people think about houses, condos, apartments, building permits and concrete foundations. Well today we're going to talk about survival homes and how you have to start thinking outside the box.

Speaking of boxes, you can actually live in a box if you had to, one of those big garbage dumpsters, laid on it's side, with the two big doors hanging down, you could have one door propped open so you could have a campfire in front of it, for heat and cooking. With enough newspaper and cardboard, you'd have an emergency blanket and mattress.

If you have broken down buildings made out of brick, concrete blocks or any kind of this debris, you could build yourself a shelter by stacking broken pieces on top of each other until you had built yourself a wall, then add another until you have something big enough to live in. It does not have to be four sided, it can be round, multi sided or in the shape of an A frame. For the roof you could use   broken fencing, poles, old doors, counter tops or anything that you can find that will support your top sheathing such as cardboard, tarps, plastic, boards, branches or tin, to help keep moisture out and heat in.

Two mini vans parked 12 ft. apart, along with two or three 16 foot sections of a wooden fence, (to act as a roof between the vans), a large piece of plastic to put over the fencing and you'd have a shelter with beds and a stereo.

There are so many ways you can build yourself a home, if you had to make do after a disaster. Depending on the material you have to work with, you could use pallets, dirt, clay, straw, sand, wooden boards, tin, logs, rocks, concrete blocks, bricks, cord wood, bottles, doors, windows or a combination of any of these items. If your in survival mode, it doesn't have to be fancy, as long as it keeps you and your family safe and out of any extreme weather after your ordeal. 

On the Tips & Tricks page, we'll be posting some pages about how to go about and build some of these structures, over the next few days.

Dec. 31/12

The end of this year is coming to an end and the beginning of a new year is just around the corner. I hope you have all survived this one without any hardship and we wish you the very best in the new year, may 2013 be a year of peace, joy and prosperity. Happy New Year, Everyone!

Jan. 3/13

Well here we are at the start of a new year and already the eastern coast of North America is getting hammered again with more storms. I guess these kinds of unusual weather patterns have been around forever, it's just with technology the way it is now, it's being broadcast a lot faster and to further regions of the earth. As far back as the weather was recorded there have been earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, eruptions, snow storms and freezing rain. It seems like they're getting worse in some places and better in others.

But, as bad as it seems now, it was nothing compared to the flooding that went on in China over the last century or more. According to Epic Disasters, The Huang He (Yellow) River flooded in 1887 killing upwards of 2 million, then flooded again in 1931, killing up to 3.7 million, then again in 1938 killing another approximately 900,000 more people. Also in 1931, the Yangtze River flooded and killed around 145,000 people, but affected over 28 million people living in the region. This particular flood came after a long drought from 1928 to 1930.

The National Climate Data Center claims the worst tropical storm of the century, was the storm that hit Bangladesh in November of 1970, that killed up to 500,000 people due to high winds and driving rain.

So here's hoping we wont see numbers like this anytime soon. Actually the number of weather related deaths have dropped dramatically in the last century, more so in the last twenty years, due to more heads-up warnings on the radio, television, internet and now with the smart phones.

The best thing to do right now is to keep planning and preparing. What's the old saying "it's better to prepare for the worst, and not need it, than to need it and not have it".

Jan. 4/13

Today we added an Invitation section to everyone, located on our home page. This will allow anyone to post comments, ask questions or leave a interesting story about surviving for everyone to see. You can post up to 4 pictures with each story or comment. You will also have the option of leaving your first or last name and where you reside. You'll also be able to see other postings and comments so that you can comment on their comments, or just voice your opinion on a subject related to anything you might find on our survival site, as long as it's done in good taste. It's like having Wikipedia, Facebook and Flickr all in one place, except we don't have profiles for everyone to fill out, plus, we don't gossip. So try it out and see what you think. Leave your comment...

Jan. 5/13

When your making up your bug out bag, throw in some needles and thread. Clothes get torn and ripped, so if there's a chance that you can repair your clothing, take it, they may have to last for awhile. If you don't know how to sew, see if you can barter with someone who can, it will be a win, win for everyone. Remember, you may have many talents that others do not possess, there just might be many things that you can barter for in a time of need.

Jan. 7/13

Hey everybody, are you all up on your first aid? Basic first aid is a must in a survival situation. Especially learning CPR or how to stop bleeding when somebodies got a main artery cut and the blood is pumping out with each heart beat, you could be saving someones life if a disaster ever hits in your area. In the next few days we'll be adding some first aid practices in our Tips & Tricks section for you to brush up on.

We also received some smoked salmon recipes from a couple of our readers, so we'll be including these in the Wilderness Recipes section. I know, when you try to smoke salmon, it gets the papers wet, then use a pipe......

 Jan. 10/13

Today we hooked up with a wonderful little product that everyone could use. It's called a Folding Fire Box. When it's open, the size is 7.5 inches high and 5 inches square, when it's closed, it's 7.5 " by less then 1/2 of an inch thick and weighs only 2 pounds. This little unit is a multi fuel type of stove, it will burn wood, solid fuel tablets, alcohol burners, gel fuel, pellets or charcoal briquettes. It's made of 18 gauge stainless steel and is a very sturdy little stove. You can heat anything as small as a camp cup and is stable and strong enough to heat up a large dutch oven.

The first picture below on the left hand side is the Fire Box folded flat for transportation and the other Fire Box is opened up, ready for fuel. The next picture is a Fire Box at work, and with a fire like this, the stove will boil 1 liter of water in about 4 minutes.          

To check out the video's on this stove and to place an order for one go to http://www.foldingfirebox.com  (copy and paste in the address bar)

R U Ready Survival customers will get a 10 % discount if you type in "ruready" in the Discount Code box on the order form.

Jan. 12/13

Winters here in full force. We received about 8 inches of snow in the last 48 hours, but nothing compared to what Newfoundland and Labrador got slammed with. Our snow was light and fluffy with just over a breeze, while they were getting pelted with heavy snow and winds of over 100 km. per hour. You never know what's around the corner, two days ago we didn't have any snow, then wham, this snow storm went right across the prairies, some places getting blizzard like conditions. Yes winters here, so I'm going to spend the rest of the day ice fishing, and make the best of it. We really need to take advantage of these long, cold, winter days!  

Jan. 13/13

Speaking of long, cold, winter days, what's with the weather in the western U.S., Vegas 1 C, Phoenix 5 C, Dallas 2 C, LA 8 C, snow storms in New Mexico and icicles hanging off of cactus's in Arizona. It must be a little strange for them to have temperatures like these. Going to be pretty hard on the winter crops down there, hope they survive through this cold spell, or it's going to be a lot of hardship for a whole lot of people.

Jan. 14/13

Looking through my closet this morning I spotted my fishing vest, and thought "wouldn't that make an awesome survival vest". The vest has 13 pockets on the front, 2 on the inside and 1 big one on the back. That's plenty of storage for all kinds of survival paraphernalia, including D rings that you can attach things to, like a compass, nail clippers or small LED flashlite. These vest come in a number of different colors including camo, and sizes from small up to 5X large. This kind of vest would go hand and hand with a bug out bag, giving you more room in your bag for essentials. I'll make up two of these, one for the SUV and the other to stay with my bug out bag for now.

I also have a surveyors vest with 8 pockets on the front, 2 on the inside and 1 large one on the back, which would also make a great survival vest, (unless you wanted to keep a low profile), it's a bright red with reflective tape on the front and back, you can spot it a mile away. It makes it really easy to find, even in the closet.

They also make a number of photographers vests that have multi pockets, (up to 21) front and back that could also be used for a great survival vest.

Pictured below are a couple of Jeep brand fishing vests. You could use any vest that has multiple pockets in them, I guess you could also include coats, use your imagination and see what you can create.

Jan. 16/13

We just did a write-up on snake bites in our Tips & Tricks section. Would you be able to identify snakes in your region? Would you know the poisonous ones from the non-poisonous? Did you know that pit vipers (rattlesnakes, cottonmouth and copperhead) have fangs that are hinged and are only used when they want to inject venom into their prey.

Did you know that the only difference between a true viper and a pit viper is that the pit viper has an additional sense organ located on their face, in between and just below their eyes, called a heat pit.  This pit senses heat and helps them to hunt for warm blooded prey, such as rodents, even in total darkness, with remarkable accuracy.

If a snake is startled, a lot of time it will strike in defense without venom, because it didn't have the time to calculate how much venom to inject at that particular time.

Most of the time snakes don't go out of their way to bite people, they try to avoid people and they usually will give some warning before they strike, the rattlesnake and copperhead will vibrate their tails, while the cottonmouth will generally open it's mouth wide and display it's fangs and white mouth as a warning. Heed the warnings and stay clear of them, whenever you can.

Jan. 17/13

Did you get your flu shot? Did it work? Lot's never, so if you want a more natural remedy try some of the suggestions in the Wilderness Recipes section. The Master Tonic will also rebuild your immune system, good for colds, flu's and a lot of other ailments. Stay healthy!

Jan. 19/13

Have you ever had to use an outdoor bathroom in the winter? When you sit on that toilet seat when it's 30 below outside, it really wakes you up in the morning. If you have an outhouse or ever in a situation where your going to need one, make sure you have some Styrofoam with you. A piece about two inches thick and the size of your toilet seat is just right. When you sit on the styrofoam, it's not bad , even at 30 below.  Comfy too, year round!

Jan. 21/13

Do you realize how many foods that resemble the same shape as many body parts, and how they seem to connect to that very part. In Wilderness Recipes you will see over a dozen different foods that truly resemble body parts and are good for that particular part. The best thing is, these foods are really good for you and should be included in your diet. Some of these foods can be grown at home and should be part of your survival seed cache. The ones that cannot be grown in a home type garden, should be dried and stored for future use.

Jan. 22/13

Now I know this isn't a survival type machine, but it brews 23 liters of commercial grade beer in just 7 days. What beer drinker wouldn't want one of these? It would also make a heck of a bartering tool, check the details on Tips & Tricks.

Jan. 23/13

Everywhere you look, you're going to see more and more solar products, from fan cooling solar hats to solar tents. The solar backpack is another one of those that can  charge up cell phones, laptops and other gadgets that you carry around with you, that might need recharging. In a side pouch of this backpack, it even has a special outlet for headphones to connect to. Go into today's Tips & Tricks, as we take a look at solar tents and what's coming in the near future.

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Jan. 25/13

I know we all need at least 8 glasses of water per day, but did you know that it really makes a big difference as to when you have those 8 glasses of water for your body to function at it's peak? You can read about it in the Wilderness Recipes section.

Did you also know that you can also follow us on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.

Jan. 26/13

Take a look at this picture. I would think that the dog should be carrying the backpack, instead of the man carrying both. Now I know where the phrase "lucky dog" comes from.

Take a look at this view, that would be an awesome area to backpack in, look for wild plants, mountain springs, a place to just enjoy and absorb  what mother nature has to offer. Who knows, maybe even a future retreat. You just never know.

Jan. 28/13

You have so much knowledge,  everyday you learn some more and yet sometimes it's so hard to remember all that extra information. We find that the best way to have all that new information on hand is to purchase USB flash drives and download the info onto them. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, from the basic 256 MB that will hold up to 600 photo's right up to a, well check out our Tips & Tricks and see some more information on this subject!

Jan. 31/13

Well this month went by fast, hope this isn't a indication of how the whole years going to go. At this rate I'm going to be getting a lot older, a whole lot quicker then what I had originally anticipated.

I was out checking water filters for our home today and could not believe the difference between the pitcher style filters and the faucet type filters. We have been using a pitcher type for the last few years and they hardly take anything out of the water. Out of the 8 contaminants located in many water systems, most of the pitcher filters only remove 2 of the contaminants, chlorine and mercury, whereas most of  the faucet type removed all 8 contaminants, there's one that took only 7 of the 8. (still really good compared to the pitcher style) The only good thing about the pitchers is that they are portable.

A faucet filter will process anywhere from 100 to 500 gallons of water, costing as little as .12 a gallon. We pay $3.50 to get a five gallon (that's .70 a gal) jug of water filled from the water store, so you can see how much cheaper it would be to get a faucet type filter, especially if it removes the majority of the contaminates out of your water. I'm sure with a little ingenuity you could probably adapt it to a gravity feed system, if the situation ever arose.

For anyone that wants to check out the charts and see how your water filter compares to the rest, go to www.waterfiltercomparisons.com

Gamquistu - I could survive for 402 days in the Zombie Apocalypse! How long could you?

Gamquistu - Games, Quizzes and Stuff.

Feb. 2/13

So how long do you think you could survive against zombies. I'm good for at least 402 day's, by then I'd have enough of everything that I'd be good to go for another 402 day's, just don't come knocking on my door in the dark. (lol, have fun with it:-)

Feb. 3/13

The sun is shining, the snow is melting and it's feeling a lot like spring (at least it is here), so now is the time to start thinking about getting your garden seeds ordered. Whether your ordering or just buying your garden seeds locally, make sure you get enough so that you can keep a good supply in your food cache. You have to also make sure the seeds you keep for storage are sealed tight and kept in a cool dry place, this will assure you that you'll have enough garden seeds for years to come.

The picture to the right is from www.PaseSeeds.com

Feb. 4/13

Have you ever considered getting a canvas wall tent? They are tall enough that you can stand up it them, without hitting your head on the roof, they're usually between 8 and 9 feet at the peak, depending on the model you get. These tents are also treated with fire retardant, along with water and mildew protection, giving them a much longer life span. They weigh anywhere from 35 to 95 pounds, here again depending on the size of tent that you get, the smaller ones being 8 X 10 and the bigger one being 16 X 24. You can also get insulated canvas wall tents for year round comfort.  

Pictured below is a couple different styles of canvas tents, these pictures are from www.canvastentshop.ca

Feb. 6/13

If you go to Tips & Tricks, I did a review on canvas wall tents, you'll get a lot more information on them there. And yes I have lived in one for a summer, sure beats a small pop up tent. My oldest son even had a pet squirrel that he had rescued from the mouth of a large dog that summer. Poor little squirrel ended up with a broken leg, so we put a splint on him, converted a box into to a home for him to live in and fed him granola cereal along with fresh water. Once he knew we were helping him, he became very tame, he eventually started sleeping with my son, riding around on his shoulder or inside his shirt if he became frightened, then he would stick his head out to see if everything was safe. Eventually though, when he though the time was right, he returned to the wild and we never saw him again.

Feb. 8/13

We live in a city of about 90,000 people, it's usually easy enough to get around in, except for friday's, then it seems like there are 190,000 people running around in circles. If a disaster was to ever hit here, it would not be that major of a problem getting out of town, I'm roughly three minutes from one edge of our city and within 5 minutes of two major highways, depending on the direction I want to go.

But now, if you where in a city of a few million people and happened to be working on the 10th floor of an office building downtown, I only hope you have a plan in place. If a disaster hit there and the power were to go out, that would mean no elevators, no signal lights, creating complete chaos in the streets with traffic jammed in every direction. Even riding a bicycle is going to be a challenge. If your going to walk or run, you better be in shape, and if your not, now would be a good time to start planning and exercising. You could be fighting the weather and that can make things a lot more challenging and requiring more exertion for you to get from point A to point B. 

Feb.10/13

I often wander how many people know how precious soil is, or what soil is even made up from? Did you know that only 8 % of the earth's surface is covered with good crop growing soil, and that's shrinking every day. If you were to put some soil in a glass of water, stir it up and then let it settle, you would see coarse sand on the bottom, then silt, then clay and lastly you would see floating around is the part that gives soil it's growing power, called humus. This is made up from the dead remains of plants, animals, fungi and bacteria. By adding manure, garden and food compost to the soil, you can increase the amount of humus. Every time a crop is harvested off of the land, a lot of the nutrients are removed from the soil.

They're trying to replace these nutrients with chemicals, but that's just not right. Everyone needs to start composting more and starting their own gardening, even if it's on a balcony. There's over 7 billion people on earth right now and that number is climbing. The vast majority of those 7 billion people live in cities that are growing outwards and using up some of that 8% of usable crop soil. Do the math.

Feb. 12/13

Well I did the math and here is how it turns out, the earth has a total of 14,900,000,000 ha. of land, 8% usable is 1,192,000,000 ha, the population on earth is just over 7,097,000,000 people. One ha. of land is 100 metres by 100 metres = 10,000 sq. metres, leaving each man, women and child with 40.96 sq. metres for each person's life support. Fifteen years ago that number was 44.72 sq. metres, so you can see how that number is shrinking. This is why they use more and more chemicals, to make food grow bigger and faster on a smaller amount of land.

If you really want to survive on good wholesome food, start planning a garden, and composting as soon as you possibly get one started. There are also a number of kitchen scraps that you can use that will keep you in fresh vegetables year round. Instead of having flowers growing all over the house, grow vegetables, inside and outside as well. We'll have a write up on this in the Wilderness Recipes section in days to come.

Feb. 14/13

First off, happy Valentines Day everyone. I can just feel all the love that's in the air, no, I guess that was a flock of geese flying over. Oh well, they're lovers not fighters, so it's all good. Everyone that has a sweetheart, enjoy the day together, and those that don't have a sweetheart in their life yet, I wish you all the best in finding that love of your life.

Now let's get serious, I read that there are people saving chain link fencing, cut to the size of their doors and windows, and are going to attach the fencing with lag bolts to their house, if SHTF. I myself, would think twice about doing this, to my way of thinking, all your doing is sending up a big red flag saying "I have a lot of stuff in here, and I'm going to try and keep you away from it". If I were not prepared, this is exactly what I'd be looking for, someone that did prepare. I would then get a couple dozen of my buddies along with weapons, hook a chain onto your chain link fence, the other end onto a vehicle and pull it off of your wall. We would then come at you from all sides, presuming that you are also armed and ready to defend your stash. It wouldn't be pretty, but you would become a target, especially if your the only one within a few blocks doing this kind of security.

Here's what I would do, I'd close the drapes and put the chain link on the inside of the windows, making everything look normal. I'd leave peep holes in the doors and windows so that I could observe what 's going on in the neighborhood. I'd put re-enforcement across the doors by way of planks sitting in brackets mounted to the wall, also on the inside. I'd try and make everything look as normal as possible and keep a real low profile, acting like we didn't have any more than the next person. The unprepared are going to far outnumber the prepared, the bigger the city the bigger the numbers will be. The unprepared are the ones that are going to turn into the zombies in this situation. That's just my own personal opinion, so when your reading this, my only hope is that your one of the people that is getting prepared. Have a good one and keep prepping.

Feb. 15/13

I wonder how many people in Russia were thinking they were being invaded today when that meteor hit. It would have been a pretty scarey moment for a lot of people, luckily there were only injuries. This could of been so much worse if that meteor hit a school, hospital or anywhere else that was heavily populated. You just never know what's going to happen.

Pictured below is of the meteor as it's traveling towards earth.

Feb.17/13

Well it sounds like the east coast is getting hammered again with another winter storm. It seems like they've had more then their share this winter, I wonder how many of them were prepared with the right necessities, with the power outages and all.

Snow storms, rain storms, floods, droughts, forest fires and now meteorites, there are so many natural disasters happening all over the world. People have to start getting prepared for the worst, then they will be able to overcome minor setbacks with a lot less stress.

Feb. 20/13

We've been so busy lately, setting up a shop where we can build stuff for survival situations, so that we can take pictures and make videos to post onto our web site. We can then be able to give instructions as to how different things are made and operate. If there is anything special that you would like us to try, leave us a message and we'll see what we can do. 

Feb. 21/13

I received a dehydrator as a gift this last christmas, so I figured I better check it out and see what I could shrink down to size. First I dehydrated some apples and they turned out pretty good, but you don't realize how much flavor there is in the juice, they're just not as flavorful. The next thing I dried were some mushrooms and they turned out good, 2 kg. shrank down to about 200 grams. You can also dehydrate canned fruit, so I did 4 cans of sliced pineapples and two cans of sliced peaches. The conclusion on this experiment is that you should check them more often and rotate the trays as they're drying. Some of the pineapple almost look burned because of over drying, also the peaches should have been sliced all the same size, some were thicker and consequently, they took longer to dry then the rest. From those six bulky cans of fruit, I was able to fit it all in a medium size freezer bag.

My machine has only five tray's and they are spaced about 1" apart, really limiting you to how much you can dry at the same time. Overall though, this is a great little machine, now I can't wait to build a much larger one in the shop, kind of a combination smoker and dehydrator out of wood.

Feb. 22/13

Part of your cache should include the earthworm. Remember that you may need to grow some sort of garden in order to survive. A good garden will depend on good soil, the best soil in the world is produced by the earthworm, no holds barred. The pre-digested, pulverized soil that's passed through the worm, (called worm casts) is the richest in the world for growing anything. The earthworm are nature's own little cultivators of the soil, they transform vegetable and animal waste into rich humus, particularly from dead leaves and plants. They also break up the earth, allowing water to drain through, and roots to take hold. So in short, look after the earthworm and it will look after you.

Feb. 25/13

With the GPS on all the smart phones now, I wonder how many people know how to use a compass. Remember, if the phone towers go down for any number of reasons, your smart phone will not be so smart anymore. If you need to navigate any distance at all, the compass is your most reliable source.

Here's a tip for telling directions, the sun always rises in the east and sets in the west, so if the sun is coming up on your left side, your facing south and if the sun is coming up on your right side your facing north, anywhere in the world. That all good and fine as long as you can see the sun, if it's really overcast this won't do you any good. They say that moss grows on the north side of the tree, but I've seen more moss on the south side than I have on the north side, I've also seen moss grow all around the tree, so the tree thing is not a reliable way of telling direction.

If you know how to use the stars at night, that will also help you, the only star that does not move is the north star, this star is directly above the earth's axis. First find the big dipper, then follow the two outside stars on the bowl of the dipper to the top of the handle of the little dipper, this is where the north star is. Depending on the time of the year, the dippers will be in different positions, but the north star will always be in the same place. Learn to find this star, called Polaris, and you'll always know where true north is. You can even check your compass for accuracy, that's how true north this star is. If your in the southern hemisphere, the north star will be a lot lower in the sky then if your in the northern hemisphere, but it will always be there, anywhere in the world.

Now knowing where north is will only help you if you know where you want to go, so what you need is a plan, a map and a compass. Learn to read all three, know your surroundings. If you don't have any of these, get a map and a compass and start planning and learning. This takes time to learn properly, so don't procrastinate. I'll write more on this in the day's ahead because there is so much to explain.

Feb. 26/13

There's a CONTEST Coming. In the next couple days we'll give you all the details and what the PRIZE will be.

On a compass, North is always 0 or 360 degrees, East is 90 degrees, South is 180 degrees and west is 270 degrees. Anything between these points will be called the two names together, like 315 degrees is called Northwest, because it's halfway between the West and the North, or 345 degrees is called North by Northwest because it is half way between the Northwest and the North but closer to the North then the West.

To get back to the navigation planning, here's a exercise that you and some of your family or friends can do. If you have a big park or wooded area that you have access to, make a map of that area and have a scavenger hunt. Go out the evening before and tack small objects on the opposite side of trees then the line of travel, so if your approaching the park from the west side, you would tack these items on the east side of the trees. Just tack something small up high that other people and animals would not be interested in, like a bottle cap or a button. As your tacking your objects, mark this down on the map, so let say the first object is 80 degrees and roughly 90 paces from the starting point, then the next one is 120 degrees and 150 paces, etc., do this all over the park. Now have your friends go and find these objects just by using their compasses for navigation, it will be a good practice exercise and everyone will get use to using a compass. Even if they go wrong, who's going to get lost in a park.

Pictured below are a couple of Silva compasses. The one on the left will cost you about $10 and the one on the right will be about $50. The one on the left is all the compass you will need.


Feb. 27/13

Yes, a Contest is Coming, a Contest is Coming. On March 1/13 we will announce what the contest is, how you can participate and what the rules will be. We will also display what the prize package is going to be awarded to one lucky winner.

March 1/13

The contest is on, all the details are on the home page. Check it out and jump right in!!

March 8/13

The contest is canceled due to lack of interest, we'll try this again at a later date. Thank you.

March 12/13

Sorry I've been neglecting this blog, I've been busy doing reno's on a place we're going to be moving into on the 15th of this month. Once we're settled in, I'll be back adding more content to the site and to the blog. But until then, check out our affiliates and review all the great information that we have posted so far. Thanks for your patience.

March 19/13

After painting, floor laying and plumbing, I think we're finally settling in. Now I can spend more time adding useful information to help everyone on their journey to survive. I'll be adding info on the Tips and Tricks section to start with.

March 26/13

Spring is here!!!! We can finally go outside and get things done in some decent weather. It seems like so much to do, with so little time. I've got a list a foot long that I would like to get accomplished this summer, most of it requiring some warm temperatures, things like building a outside kitchen, cob style. If you can learn to build things using only natural material, (in this case, sand, clay, straw and water) then you'll be more capable of becoming self-sufficient, if the situation were to ever arise. I plan to build a outdoor oven, bar-bq, and a fire place in one continuous structure, with an added fire pit built out of rocks in a portion of our back yard, with fire wood being the only means of fuel. With this type of outdoor kitchen, you can cook anything from a hotdog to a 25 pound turkey, any time of the year, without any electricity, propane or natural gas. All good stuff to know, Knowledge is Power.

April 2/13

Now that North Korea is getting it's panties in a knot, might be a good time to start prepping on certain things. You never know how far this is going to go, right now it looks like it's them against the rest of the world, but this could just be an illusion, no one knows what goes on behind closed doors or, who else is going to jump in when one nation gets vulnerable.

If nothing else, people should start planning, and when your planning, plan for the worst and hope for the best. When the Korean's are talking about nukes and long range missiles openly, I think they need to be taken very seriously.

April 8/13

I can't believe how slow spring is coming this year, last week we had plus 20 C and today it's snowing and -10 C. Good day to stay inside and do prep work. We've been stocking up on a lot of dry goods, items that have a fairly long shelf life. So today I unpacked the dehydrator and I'm setting it up for drying heavy canned goods, like tomato sauces, canned fruit and vegetables. You can drastically reduce the weight from all of this items by removing the moisture content, allowing a person to store a great deal more, in a lot less space. If you ever have to get up and go, you'll be glad that you spent the extra time dehydrating some of the heavy canned items and converted them into a more manageable lightweight product.

Like the rest of the world, we're still wondering what North Korea is or isn't going to do and how it's going to effect us. Looking after the family is always the number 1 concern, so we're getting ourselves prepared, hope your doing the same.


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