Category Archives: Columns

Prepper Lingo: Resistance 44

Resistance 44 is the conservatives counter-movement to Generation 44. “…young minds that value freedom, liberty and American Exceptionalism. We are unapologetic freedom loving activists who see Obama as a threat to freedom…”

The Resist44.com website puts forth a four-part plan to achieve their goals:

1. Resist 44 will dominate the social media conversation by creating trending topics on Twitter, friending thousands of Facebook fans, and using every social media platform available to promote the goal of Resistance 44.

2. We will bombard social media platforms with high impact video entertainment that uses shock value, humor, and irony to educate millions of voters ages 18 – 40.

3. Resist 44 will mobilize our nationwide army of activists comprised of accurate and dependable researchers, writers, public speakers, and podcasts who will share goodwill and demonstrate the power of millions of people making a positive impact on the future.

4. We will debunk the stereotypes that progressives place on young conservatives. We will accomplish more without the shackles of government interference and will prove it through concentrated and focused action to change the “it’s always been this way” culture.

Also from the Resist44.com website:

Resistance 44 is a nationwide network of young activists committed to facilitating a radical culture shift from a generation indoctrinated to embrace mob mentality to informed, politically active individual thinkers.

Resistance 44 will make history and fight progressivism at the polls by generating the largest turnout of informed young voters. For far too long, we have been spoon-fed the progressive culture from the likes of Hollywood elites and sensationalized news pundits. We WILL DOMINATE the narrative. We WILL have a say in our future. WE ARE RESISTANCE 44.

Resistance 44 was founded with the mission to create the largest standing force of young conservative activists in America, dedicated to encouraging independence over government dependence, countering the progressive agenda and having a say in the future we will inherit.

PG
About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

Skills or Stuff: What Really Matters

When we first get in a preparedness mindset, it seems overwhelming considering everything we need to actually do.  I remember when I first started.  There was all that food and water I needed to store.  All that ammo as well.  Of course I needed more guns to protect all my stuff.  Then there’s the need for the biggest, baddest bug out bag available.  A 3 day bag?? No way, I wanted a week!  My vehicles needed prepped, and not just the basics.  I wanted mobile bug out locations.  I was excited and couldn’t wait to get it all done and be ready for a pandemic of Mayan zombie hurricanes!  Finally I was awake to the possibility that things could go wrong and I didn’t have a second to spare.

It didn’t take long before reality set in and the cost of all this stuff smacked me in the face.  It was time to prioritize since I couldn’t just run out and buy everything I thought I needed.  As time went on and I was slowly building up all of this stuff, I had an epiphany.  All of this gear and all of these supplies were great for becoming self reliant, but self sufficiency should have been the goal.  I’ve heard that self reliance is how long you can go without systems of support.  Self sufficiency is how many systems of support you no longer need at all.  A 30 day store of food means I can avoid the grocery store for a month.  Learning how to hunt, fish, and garden means I can avoid the grocery store indefinitely.  Of course, feeding myself 100% from the land would be hard in the best of times but if we can become 30% self sufficient in food, that is 30% less dependent we are on a system.  My epiphany centered around the idea that with enough learning and skill development I could rely on the things around me to provide what I need rather than an expensive piece of gear.

If our grandparents knew we were having the conversation of self-reliance vs. self-sufficiency, they would surely laugh at us.  They understood the importance of learning skills and learning to rely on themselves.  100 years ago, kids were put to work in the garden when they were old enough to walk.  Developing life skills started as early as possible with past generations.  These days our children are told that survival skills involve using a computer to do English homework.  If they need anything, there is a product at Wal-Mart we can buy to take care of that need.  I’m guilty of it myself, as I’m sure most of us are.  How many of us can build a fire without matches, or even with a single match?  Why should we bother when we can get a starter log and have instant fire!  It only took me about 30 minutes to teach myself to get a fire going with a single match.  Once I had that down, learning to do it with a fire steel took about 5 minutes.  It sounds like it would be as easy as touching a lit match to some dry grass, but if you haven’t tried it you can’t know for sure.

A large aspect to learning a new skill is saving money.  The more you know, the less you rely on someone else to provide a service or product.  An example that comes to mind is dehydrating foods.  That skill is pretty simple to master, but can save a lot of money on the grocery bill.  It can also help you preserve foods that would otherwise go to waste.  If we wanted to take the example to the extreme, we can, with a little ingenuity, bypass purchasing a $100 electric dehydrator and build a solar dehydrator from scrap wood and some metal screen.  Now we have eliminated that purchase and our dependence on electricity to dehydrate food.  The concepts behind solar dehydrators are simple, and designs abound on the internet.  With an investment of a couple of hours, you can have a solar dehydrator up and running.

Most of the problems we have in our day to day lives and any we might face in a survival situation can be overcome with just a few basic skills.  I could go on with a list of important skills until this article turned into a book, but that’s not my intent with this article.  My point is to say that we should evaluate what skills we feel we lack then start to learn them.  With all of the resources available to us these days, there is no reason we shouldn’t be able to learn anything we want.  We live in a time when all the information in the world is at our fingertips.  If you want to learn it, there is probably a video on Youtube to show you how.  If not, someone has written an article or book about it.  It’s amazing at how many skills I’ve learned this way.  However, learning takes more than just watching a video or reading an article.  You have to practice that new skill to become proficient.  Too many times I’ve read about something and assumed I was an expert on the subject only to find out it was harder than it looked online.  But with a little practice, I’ve figured out that I can learn just about any skill I want to.

Part of the reason I started my website and became a contributing columnist here at Radical Survivalism Webzine was to share new survival skills as I learn them.  It not only lets me help others, it makes me really focus on learning a skill fully so I feel qualified to share it with others.  Stay tuned for future articles where we will cover some basic but important skills.  Some of the subjects might seem simple to some people, but remember that we all started somewhere.  What seems simple to some of us might be a revelation to a new prepper.

PG
About The Author: SML is the editor of the SurvivingModernLife.com blog site and a Contributing Columnist for Radical Survivalism Webzine.

We Simply Can’t Have Too Much Of This

There are a lot of lists out there on items that you should have in your preps. These include items for barter and items to have on hand even if you don’t know how to use them, “just in case” someone else might know how to use them.  I think stocking items like this will tie up money and storage space that can be much better used for items that you can and will use in daily life or if the world goes to hell in a handbasket.

Having all sorts of great HAM radio gear costs a ton of money to buy and can take up quite a bit of space.  Being a licensed radio operator, I can assure you that just having the equipment will do you no good whatsoever.  There is a significant learning curve on using HAM to make contact with other operators.  Unless you are practicing these skill already, you won’t have the ability to use this gear when you need it.  I encourage everyone to become proficient in communications, but I’ll never recommend that someone buy radio gear “just in case”  For the price of a good transceiver and antenna you can put back a ton of beans.  Literally a TON of beans.

In my opinion, barter items are in the same boat.  If you overstock ammo with some trade in mind, that’s not too bad because you can use that ammo yourself if there is no need to barter.  I hear a lot of people that store liquor for barter, but they don’t drink at all.  I like a good drink, so I know exactly how expensive liquor can be.  Don’t get me wrong, if you drink it’s all good to store some of your favorite beverage.  It will store indefinitely and I can think of nothing better than facing the end of the world with a nice Bourbon to take the edge off.  However, I’m not going to tie up hundreds of dollars to store a luxury item before additional food or medical supplies.

Now that I have my rant out of the way, we’ll look at some items that you can feel confident about storing without worrying about overstocking.  Of course, I’m a proponent of “Store what you eat, eat what you store”, so rotating these items shouldn’t be a major problem.  You should only be limited by the amount of space you have available to you.  This list isn’t meant to be completely inclusive, so use your best judgment on what would serve you and your family.  Also, note that the list is not in any particular order, so don’t feel the need to add any items in order of appearance.

Food:

  • Water – You can never have too much, but it is bulky.  Have a way to purify water from outside sources!
  • Rice – White rice stores a really long time.  Wild and Brown rice have a much shorter life span.
  • Beans of all types
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned meats – only store these if you are willing to eat them!
  • Pasta
  • Powdered milk – You’ll need to learn to cook with this, so practice now.
  • Home canned goods.
  • Dehydrated foods – These take up very little space and store for a long time.
  • Freeze dried foods – These are a little pricey, but can’t be beat for shelf life.
  • Dried eggs – Check out the OvaEasy brand.  They are amazing!
  • Sugar
  • Flour
  • Baking supplies
  • Powdered drink mixes
  • Coffee
  • MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) – Try before you stock up.  They are calorie dense, [and chock-full of artificial preservatives]. Some people despise the foods within.

Personal:

  • Soap – Bar and liquid
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental floss
  • Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • Toilet paper
  • Feminine products
  • Razors
  • Shaving cream
  • Baby powder

Medical:

  • Band-Aids
  • Gauze
  • Medical tape
  • Q-Tips
  • Nitrile gloves
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Saline solution
  • Antiseptic solutions
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Over the counter medications
  • Antibiotics

Supplies:

  • Batteries – all sizes and types used in your household
  • Duct tape
  • Sewing supplies
  • Cordage – stock a variety of sizes and types
  • Trash bags
  • Zip-Loc bags
  • Foil
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Ammunition – This is also a great hedge against inflation since the price only seems to go up!
  • Propane
  • Gasoline – Gas must be treated to increase shelf life, so plan for this if you have long term in mind
  • Kerosene or lamp oil
  • Seeds – Heirloom varieties ensure a supply of seeds from the garden year after year
  • Currency – None of us can ever have too much money!
  • Canning lids and rings

Like I said earlier, this isn’t a complete list, nor is it in any particular order.  Each person or family’s needs will vary a little bit, so each of us will need to evaluate what should be in our preps.  If I have any glaring oversights, please feel free to leave a comment so we can build this list up with useful items.

PG
About The Author: SML is the editor of the SurvivingModernLife.com blog site and a Contributing Columnist for Radical Survivalism Webzine.

Drop The Rose Colored Glasses

I find some of the ideas people have of a post-SHTF world as an idyllic pastoral life quite worrisome. Although basically an optimist myself, I am also a realist. While I do believe that a rebuilding of society will occur once the worst is over, I do not have any illusions about how bad it can get first. At best it will take many months to reach the point of restoring civilization. Depending upon exactly what happens, it may take a decade or more to reach that point. We must not deceive ourselves about this.

The thought really hit home with me tonight after reading a guest post on another blog regarding WSHTF birth control and the comments that followed. Many of the commenters negated the author’s intent to get women thinking of this subject and extolled the virtues of large families working together in agricultural settings. They envision a world like “The Waltons” meets “Little House on the Prairie.” They sound like historical revisionists who likely believe in the portrayal of happy slaves singing while they worked the plantations of their beloved masters. One said WSHTF, he will head off to the nearest ER to volunteer. What will he do when he discovers it no longer exists?

Primitive rural life is no picnic. If you think it is, read historical narratives or journals. Look around an old cemetary at all the children’s tombstones, many whose birth and death dates are the same. Many are next to that of a mother who died the same day. Theirs was not an easy life.

More to the point, it could take years before we even reach the point of a colonial type society again. In the meantime, the Stuff will be continually Hitting the Fan. No matter what the precipitating event, we will likely deal for at least some time, with a world Without Rule Of Law. Survival will be of the fittest, smartest, best prepared. Any region plunged into insurrection and war is extremely dangerous. The same people who will kill now for a pair of sneakers will be out there wanting what you have. There are a good many people who plan to survive by stealing and looting. The world will always be filled with those who will destroy what others have just for fun.

One of the worst things that happens in WROL situations is rape. Rape of old women, young women, children and even men occur during war. Developing self defense skills now, with and without weapons, are vital to avoiding this. Man’s inhumanity to man (and woman) knows no boundaries. Be certain that if you fail to learn and practice defensive skills, you will be the victim of rape, torture, and murder. If others are depending upon you, your lack of ability to protect them may lead to a horrific fate for them. Every member of a group or family must learn defensive skills suited to their abilities.

Yes, I am storing seeds and tools in hope of ensuring my long term survival. However, I don’t look forward to what lies ahead. IF I make it through the WROL stage, life will still be no paradise. Hard work, probable malnutrition, lack of advanced medical care and resurgence of diseases that have disappeared from the developed world will all be challenges to be overcome. The male population is usually greatly reduced by war. Without proper care and nutrition, more women die from childbirth. Infant and child mortality increase, for they are the most vulnerable. More primitive, rural societies have more children because a smaller percentage will survive to adulthood. True, if all survive and their land is able to sustain them, there may be large happy families. But, this sort of pretty picture is unlikely for quite some time after SHTF.

So, do yourself and everyone who depends upon you a huge favor and take off the rose-colored glasses. Once SHTF, life is going to be hard and dangerous for quite some time. Those who think that they will have their big happy family farming their nice little country acreage without nasty constraints of big government and the evils of modern life will be in for a terrible surprise. This is not going to be like somebody hit the reset button and magically transported us back to a (romaticized) simpler time. This will be the remnants of humanity pulling themselves upward from near annhilation. We will have to be prepared to fight and claw our way to a new life. Many will die trying. If you are not realistic, you will surely be one of them.

PG
About The Author: Mama (Catherine) believes in preparedness as a way of life. Special emphasis on health as well as preparedness for women, families and communities. You can follow her on Twitter @MamasGotAGun.

Prepping: It’s About Responsibility

Responsibility is a value which has been severely eroded in modern life. Our society has moved from the ideals of self determination that settlers treasured to an abdication of all pretense of responsibility for the self. When something bad happens to us, we blame everyone but ourselves. Struck by natural disaster? Blame the government for sending too little help, too late. Injured? Sue somebody. Sick? Blame the doctor. Kids cannot read? Blame the teachers. Took a pill and had side effects? Sue the manufacturer.

When an area in Connecticut was hit by the freak October snowstorm in 2011, people blamed the electric company for leaving them without power for up to two weeks. Who did the electric company blame? The weathermen. The CEO of our utility actually said on television that the fault lay with the weathermen who didn’t warn him. Of course, everyone else knew the storm was coming days ahead with wet, heavy snow and high winds. The governor declared a state of emergency before the first snowflake fell. Unfortunately, no one “told” the utility to prepare. Of course the other political party blamed the governor. As you all know, politicians do control the weather. Most residents had at least minimal preparations. But, there was still an outpouring of blame and anger at everyone from the electric company to the fire department.

Preppers know not to expect help from the government, the utility companies or for that matter, anyone else. We recognize that even with good intentions, help won’t necessarily arrive when we need it. We see our neighborhoods becoming more crime-ridden and realize that there is no way for police to be everywhere, at all times, to prevent crime. Our faith in our government diminishes everyday as we see corrupt and power hungry leaders stealing our freedoms. We see the direction our world is headed and conclude that the situation is likely to get worse.

No matter what, there will always be crisis or disaster in one form or another. Rather than leaving our fate and our loved ones’ fates in the unreliable hands of others, preppers choose to take responsibility for ourselves. This was the natural order of human life until the most recent decades. Independence and self reliance were simply fact for previous generations. We choose now to take back those values that made modern civilization possible. We don’t take for granted that the comforts we are accustomed to will always be there. Electricity, fuel, automobiles, computers, cell phones and more have become things people believe they cannot live without. We know that people can survive without these comforts as they did for centuries.

Preppers look at their lives and their surroundings differently than mainstream society. We prepare for short term and for long term loss of the trappings of modern civilization. We take responsibility for our own safety, knowing that even in the best of times, the police aren’t always able to help us in time. And, these are certainly not the best of times. We make certain that we will have food, water, and shelter for ourselves even if disaster strikes. These are considerations no sane person would have thought odd a century ago.

We choose to break free of the cycle of dependence on systems that can fail. Taking the credit or the blame for the consequences of our own actions is not revolutionary thinking. In a world where government has run amok and the people have become dependent and complacent, this ideal does set preppers apart from the rest. Anyone can be prepared. The first step is taking personal responsibility.

PG
About The Author: Mama (Catherine) believes in preparedness as a way of life. Special emphasis on health as well as preparedness for women, families and communities. You can follow her on Twitter @MamasGotAGun.

Thoughts On Gun Stories In The News

There have been many stories in the news recently involving the use of a firearm by civilians. Some have resulted in praise of knowledgeable citizens employing their firearms in emergency situations. Others have resulted in arrests of the citizens for various firearm-related crimes, thus sparking outrage among other pro-gun folks. Just as it is difficult to  believe that all of these arrests were necessarily wrong, it is equally difficult to think  that all of those praised in the news for their actions were fully in the right. Let us examine some of the legalities and practical aspects of using a firearm in self defense.

First and foremost, a private citizen who legally owns and carries a firearm is allowed to use it in defense of himself or another person where there is reason to believe there is imminent risk of death or grave bodily injury. At all times, the firearm operator is expected to consider the possible risks to other innocent people from missed shots, over-penetration and ricochets. In a high pressure situation such as an armed robbery, this information has to be evaluated and processed instantaneously. It is because of these risks that discharging a weapon in a residential area is illegal unless dire circumstances require it. (Check your local firearms laws.) The lawful gun owning citizen is not a police officer. It is not our job to prevent crime, apprehend suspects, nor hold them for police. We neither have an obligation nor a right to defend physical property with lethal force.

An article of  concern was in regards to the first Wisconsin resident to use a gun since the new concealed carry law took effect in that state. The local media hailed this man as heroic and the incident was treated as a lawful shooting. This may have not been considered lawful in every jurisdiction. The man was inside a supermarket as armed robbers entered waving guns around. There had apparently been a string of such robberies. However, the robbers had not shot anyone or pointed a gun at them. The gunmen were relying on the intimidation factor of waving their guns around. In other jurisdictions, the fact that the guns were not being pointed at anyone thereby posing immediate threat may have counted against the armed citizen. What is troubling in this situation is that there were several other people in the store who were at more risk from shots being fired so close by and the possibility of an actual gunfight if the robbers returned fire. Fortunately, the cowardly criminals did not fight back and no innocent bystanders were harmed. It is possible that while under the stress of the situation the armed citizen may not have given enough thought to the potentially negative consequences of his actions.

The 2011 Tuscon shooting that injured Representative Gabrielle Giffords has been fodder for the anti-gun lobby. One rather ridiculous point that was brought up was that a man in the crowd was lawfully carrying a handgun but did not act. The argument on the anti-gun side is that we “allow” people to carry guns for situations like this one, and this incident proves lawful guns are useless. It is a waste of time to engage in a rant about “allowing” gun ownership and carry because it is our right as citizens. The rest of the reasoning cited by the anti-gun proponents is just as flawed. The responsible citizen carrying a firearm was not close enough to be sure he could hit only the shooter rather than hurting more innocents in the crowd. He was also smart enough to know that when the police arrive at the scene of a shooting like this, anyone with a gun may be presumed to be the perpetrator. It was unfortunate that there was nothing the bystander could do in this situation, but it appears he made the responsible choice.

Recently, a store owner was charged in the death of an armed robber. Two armed men held-up the man at gunpoint. He fired at them, hitting one and bringing him down. Gun in hand, he chased the other robber down the street. Unsuccessful at catching the bad guy, the man returned to the store where the first robber lay on the floor, wounded but alive. The owner then shot him again, killing him. Police arrested the store owner for this killing. Why? Because he knew that he had stopped the threat and incapacitated the robber. Had he kept shooting initially, he probably would not have been charged even if he kept shooting after an incapacitating shot was fired. Having left and then returning to find the robber was too injured to move, the store owner was no longer defending himself from a threat. We all should know that chasing a criminal down the street with your gun drawn is illegal. That of course, is the least of the store owner’s problems now. He may or may not find some sympathy from a jury on this.

Another story involved a man in New Hampshire who discovered his home had been robbed at which point he witnessed the burglar climbing out of his neighbor’s window. The gentleman then confronted the burglar. He fired a warning shot into the ground to let the criminal know he meant business. He then held the robber at gunpoint until police arrived. There was great outrage that the good citizen was arrested for reckless discharge of a firearm in a residential neighborhood. The charges have subsequently been dropped by the prosecutor after a flurry of outraged calls and emails. This appears to be a fair outcome, especially as no one was injured. The man who stopped the burglar also happened to be a senior citizen which gave the victim good reason to believe he needed to make a point. This should serve as a reminder to all of us that we should not be firing warning shots. If there is such imminent risk and fear of bodily harm that we are entitled to use a gun, there is no reason for a warning of any kind, more specifically a warning shot.

It is possible Castle Doctrine laws are misunderstood by some to mean that you can defend your property from burglars with your gun. This is not really the meaning or intent of the legislation. These laws are common sense rules of law against those in the legal system who on occasion argued that a victim always has a duty to retreat from a threat rather than stand and confront it, even if that meant jumping out the window of their own home. These laws, which now exist in many states, give the legal presumption that if someone unlawfully enters your home with you in it, they do intend bodily harm to you. It seems like simple common sense that if you wake up in the dark to find a stranger in your home that you would believe he has bad intentions. There are still many places where the presumption of innocence for criminals trumps the right of a person to be secure from threats of harm or death in their own home. It is not, in legal terms, that Castle Doctrine allows you to defend your actual property when you encounter a criminal in your home. It is rather, the legal right that you should be able to be safe from assault or murder in your own home. It is this same presumption that a criminal must be planning an act of violence if he breaks into an occupied home that is behind new tougher laws that differentiate home invasion from simple burglary to that of a vacant residence.

We must remember at all times that, as lawfully armed citizens, we are not police. We may suffer severe repercussions if we use a firearm to defend property or to prevent property crime. We do not warn or threaten use of lethal force. If the situation is sufficiently dangerous that a citizen may defend himself with lethal force, the time for warnings is past. Know the laws in your jurisdiction. Also, know the practices of local law enforcement regarding firearms. Occasionally, the normal practices and procedures are not what you might expect when reading the law. While it is true that you will likely not face prosecution if you were arrested under these circumstances, most would not have the time, money or inclination to go that route.  You would be well advised that when you see these stories in the news that you carefully consider what you would do in the same situation. You can run scenarios in your head, but sometimes real life is more complicated than what our imagination can conjure. If you use your firearm responsibly, legally and appropriately, you should have no fears of prosecution. The time to think it through is before it happens.

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this article are the thoughts and opinions of the author. With respect to firearms, in all cases, it is the reader’s responsibility to know, understand, and follow all applicable laws regarding the ownership and use of firearms. The author, nor Radical Survivalism Webzine will be liable for the information contained in this article.

PG
About The Author: Mama (Catherine) believes in preparedness as a way of life. Special emphasis on health as well as preparedness for women, families and communities. You can follow her on Twitter @MamasGotAGun.

Sour Dough, Sweet Dough, But We All Love Yeast

Jamie from Weed, California writes, “If the end of the world as we know it will happen in December, how to I stock up on yeast?”

Great question Jamie. Yeast is a not a bacteria, it is a fungus. A plant. So if you are going to stock up on carrots for a collapse, you can stock up on yeast seeds. Wait, you’ve never heard of yeast seeds? Well, they don’t exist. As we use seeds to restart a new generation of plants, we can do the same with yeast. And the best way, the yummiest way, is to make yeast. There are many ways of doing it, but the best way I think is from the Amish Friendship Bread recipe. Here is the starter:

Ingredients

  • 1 (0.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup milk

Directions

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Let stand 10 minutes.

In a 2 quart glass, plastic or ceramic container, combine 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly or flour will lump when milk is added.

Slowly stir in 1 cup milk and dissolved yeast mixture.

Cover loosely and let stand at room temperature until bubbly. Consider this day 1 of the 10 day cycle. For the next 10 days handle starter according to the instructions for Amish Friendship Bread found here: http://www.friendshipbreadkitchen.com/amish-friendship-bread

  • Day 1:
    • Do nothing with the starter.
  • Days 2-5:
    • Stir with a wooden spoon.
  • Day 6:
    • Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Stir with a wooden spoon.
  • Days 7-9:
    • Stir with a wooden spoon.
  • Day 10:
    • Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Stir. Take out 3 cups and place 1 cup each into three separate plastic containers. Give one cup and a copy of this recipe to three friends. To the balance (a little over one cup) of the batter, add the following ingredients and mix well.

Note: When you make a starter from scratch, you can sometimes end up with a much greater yield than 4 cups depending on the temperature of your kitchen and eagerness of your starter! If this happens, reserve one cup for baking and divide the remaining batter into Ziploc baggies of 1 cup each to freeze or share with friends.

As long as you continue to “feed” your starter, it can stay at room temperature indefinitely. One of the wonderful things about the starter is that you can bake almost anything with it, pancakes, bread, biscuits. It is a sweet dough, not a sour dough because of the sugar.

Just give it a bit of flour every week or so and it will continue to survive and you’ll have a lifetime of yeast. Run out of flour? Then dry some acorns, and ground them up fine to be a flour substitute. Any carbohydrate like flour, rice flour, will work.

See the original article here: http://www.thecovertprepper.com/?p=329&cpage=1

PG
About The Author: TheCovertPrepper is the editor of TheCovertPrepper.com, PPRNNews.Wordpress.com, the host of the PPRN News Show podcast, and is a Contributing Columnist for Radical Survivalism Webzine.

Preppers As Parents

Have you watched a television show or a report on the internet about the people prepping for “Doomsday,” “The End Of The World As We Know It,” or some terrible catastrophe and asked yourself how these crazies can be allowed to raise kids? It has to bad for children to be raised in this kind of environment, right? Well, hold on now, is it really bad for children to be raised in a prepper family?

The first thing you must understand is that it is because of the children that many people are trying to be more prepared for whatever may come. Every new parent remembers the moment when you brought your baby home from the hospital and it suddenly registers what a immense responsibility you have. There you were holding this innoocent little life in your arms and that life depended upon YOU, the parent, for everything. You had to feed, shelter and love that little bundle and protect him or her from all the perils of life. You thought of many things: car accidents, house fires and household dangers. You baby proofed your home and checked your smoke detectors and bought life insurance. You had put the baby in a car seat to go for even a short ride. You took her when she was sick to the doctor and for checkups when she was well.

Prepper parents take a step, or maybe many steps, beyond what others do. We plan for what to do when the power goes out. We plan for making sure our families are cared for if a tornado, hurricane, earthquake, blizzard or whatever other disaster may happen. We know where the flashlights are when the lights go out. We have plenty of food and supplies so that if something happens that the store is closed or we can’t get to it, our children won’t suffer. The more you think along these lines, the more you see potential problems you want your family to be prepared for.

Every new parent has a diaper bag. In it we keep diapers, ointment, milk or juice, a pacifier, extra clothes and whatever else baby may need. Most parents I know keep the diaper bag ready to go. We change out the perishables and replace what we have used.  As the child gets older, a backpack replaces the diaper bag and the contents change.

A Bug Out Bag (often referred to as a BOB in the preparedness community) is the identical idea at a higher level of planning. It brings peace of mind to know that if there’s a chemical spill on the highway or a flood coming and we need to get out of our home fast, everything is there, in the bag, ready to grab and go.

Prepper families focus on having the skills to survive if everything that can go wrong does go wrong. Family preparedness involves a lot of family time together. Time for camping, fishing, hiking, swimming and other pursuits that build self sufficiency are also family bonding time. We want our children to grow up strong, confident and self-reliant. Helping them master skills they will need takes a lot more time than doing everything for them. However, we believe the rewards are well worth it.

It is understandable that some people are concerned about the firearms that many preppers keep for personal defense as well as hunting. Our society is generally disapproving of firearms and fears them, especially around children. All of us must realize that preparedness is about responsibility. Responsible parents have had children and firearms safely in their homes for generations. As parents, we teach children the dangers of firearms and the safety rules for handling them. We realize the consequences of improper storage and keep firearms safely stored. We have no tolerance for the irresponsible or criminal adults who allow children unsupervised access to firearms.

It is obvious that some of the possible disasters that some preppers worry about seem far-fetched to some. Having odd ideas does not, in and of itself, make a person a bad parent. Our goal is not to make our children fearful of disasters that may never occur. The goal is for our children to know that they are safe and that we will take care of them no matter what. It gives a parent incredible peace of mind to know their family is provided for even if the unexpected happens. This, in turn, allows us to relax and truly enjoy every minute that we spend with the ones we love.

So, we all ask (we the Prepper Parents) that before you judge prepper families negatively, that you consider how much love and care we put into making every provision we can for our families’ well being. Consider how happy and secure it makes a child to be certain his parents will be able to take care of him. More importantly, consider the positives of raising children who will be independent, self-sufficient adults ready to take their place in the world someday. These are the ideas that are things of value to prepper parents.

PG
About The Author: Mama (Catherine) believes in preparedness as a way of life. Special emphasis on health as well as preparedness for women, families and communities. You can follow her on Twitter @MamasGotAGun.

You Don’t Have To Be Crazy To Be A Prepper

If your first exposure to prepping is through the media, you are probably thinking all preppers are extreme or kooks. I once thought of preppers and survivalists were some kind of crazy Rambo-Grizzly Adams hybrids. At best, I thought they were like Woody Harrelson’s character “Charlie Frost” the doomsday radio DJ in the movie “2012.” I believe you will find, as I did, that the majority of preppers are actually pretty sane, even ordinary.

There are two major details to keep in mind regarding media portrayals. One, ‘ordinary’ doesn’t make for good entertainment. Second, hours of film are shot which are then edited to fit the time frame and entertain the audience. Explanations of the “why” and the “how” are often edited, and sometimes (well, a lot of the time) taken out of context. Try not to place blame on the editors for doing this.

My personal goal, and that of the people who let themselves be filmed, is to educate. Just as many who are far less extreme recognized something in the shows they watched about hoarders and sought help, I hope that some will recognize the value of prepping. If even a handful of people are inspired to give more consideration to their own preparedness, then a worthy goal has been achieved.

Believe it or not, most preppers started small with modest worries. At this time, local and federal agencies are encouraging preparedness. Everyone from FEMA to the CDC is urging people to prepare a 72 hour kit for emergencies. Every part of the world is prone to some type of disruption in daily life. Depending upon where you live, you may be at risk from wildfire, earthquake, tornado, hurricane, blizzard, flood, or other hazard. Some of these disasters may require you to evacuate your home quickly, while others may leave you trapped at home without power or unable to get more supplies.

Rehearsing a preparedness plan will spare you panic, or worse, when an emergency does occur. Having supplies in your home to get by for a few days, if needed, is simply good common sense. An emergency bag on hand and ready to go for each family member will save you valuable minutes if you must evacuate your home in a hurry. I long for the day that everyone will do at least this much. The life you save may be your own, or that of someone you love.

I have discovered that the more I experienced emergencies and considered the consequences, the more it becomes apparent that these basic preparations may not be enough. Frequently, electricity is out for much longer than three days. Some disasters can completely destroy your home. If you look at recent catastrophes this is all too clear. In the last year, we have seen devastating tornadoes, the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown in Japan, a hurricane headed for major metropolitan areas of the eastern seaboard, wildfires ravaging the Southwest and a freak October snowstorm that left hundreds of thousands in the Northeast without power for over a week. To me, it is the epitome of rational thought to prepare as best we can for these events.

The fears that some preppers express of governmental collapse, martial law or complete end of life as we know it may seem extreme. These fears, however, are typically based in part on events that have actually happened in the past or in other parts of the world. We only have to watch the news to see a country such as Greece where the economy is now collapsing, or Syria, which is currently being ripped apart by internal war. If a pandemic like the 1918 flu happened today, with more population and faster travel, it would be far more devastating. Some wonder, how long can we be so fortunate as to avoid this kind of life changing event? It is a simple question, really: Is it not more advantageous to an individual to be over-equipped than under-prepared?

Hurricane Katrina was a turning point for many of those who have been considering preparedness. We all watched in disgust and dismay as people who trusted authorities and followed directions experienced tragedy. They died waiting for evacuation and those who made it to SuperDome suffered without adequate food, water, or sanitation. There were assaults, rapes, and murders. Looters ran wild while police either abandoned the city or turned on the residents. Patients could not be evacuated from flooded hospitals because the helicopters were being fired upon by gunmen. Authorities seized guns from registered owners leaving the law abiding citizen defenseless. The horrors went on and on.

That this could happen in modern America was unthinkable to most. The people who suffered in the path of the hurricane trusted in the authorities that they believed would direct, protect, and assist them. For many, this was a wakeup call. We realized that we, ordinary people, must take responsibility for our own survival. If any large scale disaster occurs, our government may provide too little, too late. Or worse yet, those we expect to help us may abandon us or turn against us.

Being a prepper is about taking responsibility for ourselves. Some of the catastrophic scenarios you see people preparing for may seem farfetched. What we prepare for is not the important component of the message. The critical concept to assimilate into your daily dialog is that people must take responsibility for themselves. Even in a best case scenario where authorities do come to the rescue, if there are greater numbers of the population who are prepared, the fewer resources the government will have to allocate to rescue us.

We can all take pride in our ability to provide for our loved ones. We can all feel confident in our ability to weather whatever storm may be ahead. These are the values and concerns we “preppers” all share. It will never be “crazy” in any way to want the best outcome for our families no matter what challenges we may face in an uncertain future.

PG
About The Author: Mama (Catherine) believes in preparedness as a way of life. Special emphasis on health as well as preparedness for women, families and communities. You can follow her on Twitter @MamasGotAGun.

Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer

Washing hands well with good old fashioned soap and water is the best preventative there is against infection. But hand washing  is not always convenient. Enter hand sanitizers. They are available in stores everywhere and just about everybody has some of the handy little bottles. When SHTF, water may be scarce for some time, so folks are stocking up. Have you ever considered making your own?

Besides cost savings, you will have control over ingredients when you make it yourself. Most commercially manufactured hand sanitizers are alcohol based. Some are 99.9% alcohol. For killing germs, alcohol is great. However, applying it frequently can irritate the skin and can cause drying and cracking. Those little cracks are a great portal for germs to enter directly into your body, possibly resulting in illness. Some sanitizers are available with moisturizer which can help alleviate dryness. You can also apply moisturizer regularly. Or you can make your own!

You will need a bottle for your sanitizer. If you prefer to make gel, reusing the little plastic containers the commercial stuff comes in will work well. For the spray type, you can re-purpose any small bottle with a non-aerosol pump. A fantastic recommendation is to recycle the 2 ounce bottles of “trial size” hairsprays and the like.

Next, you will need a base. If you want an alcohol base, you can use rubbing alcohol or grain alcohol. Even liquor such as vodka will work. Witch Hazel makes for a wonderful natural antiseptic base. To make gel hand sanitizer, purchase pure aloe vera gel. Not the stuff that is sold for sunburns; make sure you have the type that is 100% natural.

To increase the effectiveness of your base, use essential oils. Many essential oils have scientifically proven antiseptic properties. As a bonus, most smell wonderful. Consequently, you also get a little aromatherapy! Tea tree oil can be used “straight,”  but it has a strong smell which some may find unpleasant. Tea tree oil has antiseptic and anti-bacterial as well as anti-fungal properties. Add about a teaspoon ( 5 ml) to a 2 ounce bottle then use other oils to cover the smell. A popular favorite is lavender oil. Use about 10 to 20 drops. Other antiseptic essential oil choices are eucalyptus, pine, thyme, peppermint, lemon and rose. You can add one or more of these a few drops at a time to achieve a desirable fragrance. Be sure you purchase 100% pure essential oils, not fragrance oils. Fragrance oils do not have the healthful properties that essential oils do.

You may add water to a witch hazel or alcohol base to conserve or to mellow it a bit. With witch hazel, as much as 50% water is fine as long as you have the added essential oils to boost the antiseptic action. With alcohol solutions, you must have at least 60% alcohol for best results. If using vodka or other liquor, remember that “proof” is two times the percentage of alcohol. So 100 proof equals 50% alcohol content. If you use aloe vera gel, you can thin the consistency with witch hazel.

Be careful that children don’t ingest your hand sanitizer. This can happen by children putting fingers or hands in the mouth or by thumb sucking. This is also true of commercially made products. Non-alcohol based mixtures may freeze, so store indoors.

PG
About The Author: Mama (Catherine) believes in preparedness as a way of life. Special emphasis on health as well as preparedness for women, families and communities. You can follow her on Twitter @MamasGotAGun.