Category Archives: Tools & Machinery

Propane for Preppers 101

It’s no secret propane is an important element in most family preparedness plans, as it is an excellent option for both comfort heat and cooking food.

For use as a heat source, propane heater heads and commercially available heaters like Mr. Heater are excellent sources of high-BTU heat for your work space.

To use propane as heat for cooking, some propane heater heads feature a burner surface atop the head itself which will work with just about any pot, kettle, or pan. Also available to the consumer are camp-style propane cook stoves that attach to the small propane bottles, and with an adapter, also connect to refillable consumer propane tanks.

What is Propane?

Propane is a gaseous byproduct taken from the refining of both crude oil and natural gas. It is compressed into a liquid at relatively low pressures and will convert back into a flammable vapor under the typical atmospheric conditions found anywhere on earth.

Propane was first synthesized back in 1910, it has been in commercial production since the 1920′s.

Propane has been used as a consumer product for the last 100 years and tight government regulations require propane hardware designs that are fairly fool-proof and reasonably safe to use, when used according to design and manufacturer’s guidelines.

Refillable propane tanks are a highly regulated item due to the potential for disaster upon failure. No one really wants to be in the vicinity of an explosion and fire resulting from a leaking propane cylinder. To help ensure this does not happen to you, here’s what you need to know first about dating and the aging of consumer propane tanks:

Instructions For Finding The Tank Manufacture Date

  1. Locate the collar of your propane tank. The collar is the raised piece of metal at the top of the tank, surrounding the valve.
  2. Stamped on the collar horizontally, look for a string of 4 large digits. This indicates the manufacturing date.
  3. The first two numbers represent the month the propane tank was manufactured. The second two numbers represent the year the propane tank was manufactured in.
  4. Subtract the year that the propane tank was manufactured from the current year to determine the age of your propane tank.

Re-qualified Tanks

If your propane tank has been re-qualified, the re-qualification date will either be printed on an oval sticker and affixed to the collar welded on top of the cylinder, or alternatively the date may be stamped vertically on the collar. If the re-qualification date does not have a letter to the right of it, your propane tank needs to be re-qualified within 12 years of the re-qualification date. If the re-qualification date has a letter “S” to the right of it, then your propane tank needs to be re-qualified within 7 years of the re-qualification date. If the re-qualification date has the letter “E” to the right of it, then your propane tank needs to be re-qualified within 5 years of the re-qualification date.

Expired tanks can be exchanged for new or re-qualified substitutes by visiting any of the major big box stores, or home improvement centers located nationwide. Look for the large white metal lockers filled with empty tanks directly in front of the main building. Simply inquire inside to complete the paid exchange.

Warnings

It may not be safe to use a propane tank that is 12 years older than its manufacture date if it has not been re-qualified until you have it inspected and re-qualified to ensure that it is safe to use.

Never store propane tanks indoors or in any other sealed environment due to the risk of explosion.

Propane is flammable and explosive! Always read, understand and follow the safety directions that come with every propane product you own and use.

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.

Tuning a CB Radio Antenna

By CrypticCRICKET | On Feb 24th, 2012

In this video I show you how to tune a CB radio’s whip antenna using an SWR meter. The antenna that I tune up in this video is a RadioShack – 64″ base loaded whip antenna ( pt # 21-988 ). In my experience, this antenna should be mounted on a 4″ spring for best SWR’s. This rugged antenna has provided me with excellent service and it gets very high marks in user reviews.
Why tune an antenna? Well because an out of tune antenna can burn up the circuits inside a CB radio if the antenna is far enough out of tune. In an out of tune antenna, RF energy will not leave the antenna and it will be reflected back down your intenna and into your radios circuitry. Some newer radios have some protections built into them but those protections will lower your radio’s output power in order to protect the radios circuits. That means your radio won’t transmit as far. A good antenna, properly tuned, is the secret to getting the most from your Citizens Band or ham radio.

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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.

RV Ops: Preparing Your Base Camp

Entering into a survivalist situation often means having to think on your feet. And sometimes, it means having to think on your back as well. Or, to be more specific, about how and where you intend to bunker down each night.

Preparing a camp isn’t simply a matter of pitching a tent and unrolling a sleeping mat. There are all sorts of things to consider when you’re in a survivalist situation; such as, how to make fire without being seen, how to sleep (or not) on wet ground, and how you should prepare for inclement weather or hostile conditions.

With these factors in mind, it becomes clear that preparing a base camp will take careful consideration. But if you prepare in advance you’ll find that, when it comes time to put your plans into action, everything will go smoothly.

Packing for a Survivalist Situation

When it comes to packing, the old adage is ‘pack light’. But when it comes to preparing your base camp, this doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on any of the essentials. You basic camping kit should contain:

  • A medical kit, including antiseptic, plasters and bandages.
  • Food; dry goods, energy bars and tins.
  • Water, and a water purifying system.
  • A cooker, and cooking equipment.
  • Firelighters, including a tinder box and flints.
  • A sleeping mat, sleeping bag and tent, AND
  • A hammock.
  • A navigation kit, including torch, compass, notebook, map etc.
  • Sharps and tools, including a hatchet, Swiss army knife and safety pin.

These items will form the basis of your survival checklist – the absolute bare minimum of what you will need in an outdoor survivalist situation.

How to Prepare Your Camp

Choosing the location of your camp is the first important part of setting your camp up. It doesn’t matter if you’re bunking down for just one night, or if you intend to ride out a few seasons in the same location. A well chosen spot will aid you in the event of your needing to find food, water or an escape route. With this in mind, camping with your back to a cliff or steep incline is a great idea, as you’ll also be protected from the wind.

The type of camp you will set up will be dependent upon a number of factors, including how permanent your camp will be, what the weather and ground conditions are like, and whether or not you expect to encounter any nasty bugs, predators or other dangers. If in doubt, opt for a hammock. Sleeping above the ground will offer you the best protection from most natural hazards.

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About The Author: Daniel Stratton is a freelance writer with an interest in outdoors and prepping topics. Most of the goods mentioned above can be found at http://rvops.co.uk who specialize in outdoors, tactical and similar gear and items.

How to Choose the Right Generator For Your Home

Emergency Generators: How to Choose the Right Generator For Your Home

“The Size of your generator depends on your unique power needs; these needs have to be determined before ever purchasing an emergency generator. This worksheet is designed to help you determine the right size generator for your situation…”

READ MORE: http://offgridsurvival.com/emergencygenerators-selectingtherightgenerator/

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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.

How To Recharge Alkaline Batteries

How To Recharge Alkaline Batteries – Backdoor Survival

“About a month ago, I learned that it was possible not not only to test old alkaline batteries to see if they are still are usable, but also that, with the right type of charger, you can bring dead batteries back to life and that you can actually recharge alkaline batteries. To be quite honest, I was blown away…”

READ MORE:

http://www.backdoorsurvival.com/how-to-recharge-alkaline-batteries/

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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.

Preparedness: The MSO Minuteman Protocol

By Rourke | From ModernSurvivalOnline.com | On Monday, Marc h 11th, 2013

msomen

A Minuteman is someone who is prepared – at a moment’s notice – to respond to whatever situation they may be confronted with. It may be a simple power outage. It may be suddenly finding yourself near a mass shooting in a mall. It could be walking into a situation

where your neighbors are getting assaulted by some drug addicts. It may be a breakdown of society and you find yourself and family in a world without rule of law.

Regardless—you need to be ready. You need to be a Minuteman.

Summary: What follows is a suggested “system” or template which one could follow and adapt to their particular needs and circumstances. A variety of minimum equipment/supply levels are listed.

People who read this document will live in many different states, have different economic capabilities, geographical conditions, and have a variety of environmental challenges which to deal with. This means that no single, individual system recommendation will work for all.

MSO Minutemen are made up of men and women from all religions, races, and nationalities. We all want to work, provide for our families, and live our existence on our terms. We believe in what the Founding Fathers of this country created many years ago. We believe in the Constitution.

We also believe that we all have a responsibility to provide and care for our communities and prepare for concerning times ahead. This preparation towards readiness combines food storage, water, defensive equipment, and gear which can be used in case of a power outage or a major supply chain interruption – or worse.

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A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

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Being a Minuteman does not mean that you are radical, anti-government, or unpatriotic. As a matter of fact as a Minuteman you should back the US Constitution 100%, and this Republic called the United States of America. You should also support peaceful, democratic methods which to guide and create positive change for America.

This country’s economic welfare, morality, and socioeconomic state are in a free fall towards a destructive demise. I hope what follows provides some guidance and provokes thought on how to be ready….”just in case”.

LEVEL I – Basics

This is not an all-knowing, endless list of all supplies that any Minuteman could ever need. Rather, it is just template which to follow and provide ideas. Customize your own individual system to fit your needs and situation.

SUPPLIES

soupFood – Most any serious emergency will disrupt the normal distribution of food. It is critically important to maintain enough food reserves to make it through until things return to normal. How long will that be? That is the $100,000 dollar question. We recommend for Level I to have at least a one month reserve of food.

A one month food storage supply for one person can be put together with commonly found food from at any grocery store. The saying – “Store what you eat and eat what you store.” holds true. What follows is an example of a One Month Food Supply for one person:

20 cans             soups

15 cans             beef stew

30 cans             vegetables

15 cans             fruit

2 lrg boxes        Pancake mix (add-water-only)

2 bottles            Syrup

2 boxes             saltine crackers/whole wheat crackers

2 jars                peanut butter

15 boxes           pasta/spaghetti

15 jars              spaghetti sauce

15 cans             baked beans

20 cans             meat/Spam

15 bars             candy bars/nutrition bars

This is not a perfect diet by any means; however it does provide plenty of calories and variety for one person for at least 30 days. In addition to the food items – plan on alternative methods for cooking and preparing food should the power go out.

waterWater – There is a commonly used adage that in an emergency the minimum water requirements are one gallon per person per day. This is the minimum depending upon activity and likely is not enough. For the MSO Minuteman, store as much water as you can – with Level I recommending at least 30+ gallons for each person.

What follows is an example of a One Month Water Supply for one person:

12 jugs, gal.      Spring water from local grocery store

3 cases             Bottled drinking water, cases of 24 bottles

3 jugs               7-gallon Blue containers, available at Wal-Mart/Amazon.com

Beyond water storage – the ability to filter water should be prepared for and considered. A common Brita-brand water filter is excellent for filtering out small foreign particles – however they will not work for water that may have pathogens or bacteria. With this in mind – it is recommended that a LifeStraw Water Filtration Straw be stored for each person.

fakitMedicalThe category “Medical” covers both first aid as well as other medical considerations. A good basic First Aid Kit is a requirement, along with some other first aid supplies. Should you have health issues requiring prescriptions or other necessary items – those should be stocked to have at least a one month supply.

Suggested Level I Supply List:

target2Defense – Firearms are a critical part of any Minuteman’s system. In fact – many would argue that it is THE most important part. In a serious SHTF or WROL (Without Rule of Law) event  – law abiding citizens will be preyed upon by criminals and thugs. It is up to the Minuteman to defend themselves, their families, and their neighbors.

ar15

The Minuteman is to be at the ready at all times to respond. With this said – they must be able to grab their firearms, their gear – and react.

Here is the recommended minimal equipment for Level I:

  • Rifle – any long gun that can be shot reliably and accurately
  • Ammunition – minimum 250 rounds of ammunition
  • Carrying System – system to carry ammunition, firearm(s), magazines, etc.
  • Gun Cleaning Kit

Method for carrying defensive supplies:

In order to achieve the “grab-and-go” concept there must be a system in place by which to transport needed defensive equipment efficiently. Whether a Winchester 94 lever-action .30-30 is your rifle of choice or an AR-15 – extra ammunition and other defensive supplies need to be at the ready at all times. Generally – this is achieved through a variety of pouches, packs, bags and vests.

condorvest2

For the Level I Minuteman – develop a system for carrying extra ammunition and magazines that fits your budget and is comfortable to use. Once decided on – practice with that system over and over again.

One possible solution for carry a defense load is the tactical load bearing vest. One inexpensive example is the Condor Modular Chest Rig running under $40.00 at time of publishing.

Another possible “grab-and-go” carry option for defensive gear is the 5.11 Bail Out Bag. Basically, the 5.11 is a shoulder bag with multiple compartments including magazine pockets in the outside for AR magazines.

Bottom Line: A system must be developed so that in about a “minute” your main battle weapon and needed supplies can be grabbed and you can go to where you need to be.

Rourke's rig

Rourke’s rig

SKILLS – Skills are the most underrated and under-discussed aspects of preparedness. To be part of the MSOnline Minutemen System – certain skills are necessary.

Here is the recommended minimal skills for Level I:

  • Basic First Aid Skills – take a basic first aid course or at a minimum self-study reading and watching video’s. Be able to:
    • Treat cuts, scrapes, and abrasions
    • Know the steps to stop bleeding
    • Identify hyperthermia, heat stroke/exhaustion – and how to treat
    • Apply a splint
    • Identify and treat shock
  • Breakdown carried firearms, clean, and reassemble

plansPLANS & INFORMATION – What happens if power is lost through an area and there is no method for communication with loved ones? Does everyone know what to do? This is the premise of this section – making plans “just in case”.

Here are the suggested plans to make for Level I:

  • Power Outage – everyone in the household needs to know what to do if there is a power outage. Don’t open the fridge, know where flashlights are, stay warm in winter time, radio for news, etc.
  • Significant Event/Danger – What will each member of the family do in the event of a significant event such as a terrorist attack? Communications may be down and family and friends may be away from home. Who will get the kids from school? How will everyone get home from work? What if?…….
  • Simple Vehicle Breakdown – car breaks down on the way home from work – then what? What if someone can’t be reached via cell phone? Are there numbers for local tow trucks in the glove box? How about an AAA membership?

Everyone’s potential problems and solutions will be different. Think of what plans and procedures need to be made as part of your Minuteman Protocol System.

MISC GEAR CHECKLIST – here is a basic list of general supplies that should be stored and readily available in case of an emergency.

Recommended Books – here are a few recommended books related to defense and preparedness and would fit well in any Minuteman’s library.

Summary – This completes the template for the ModernSurvivalOnline: The Minuteman Protocol – Level I. This is considered a minimal template for preparedness.

Remember – the Minuteman Protocol is to be at the ready, so in a moments notice you will be ready to defend your family, your loved ones, your property and supplies…..and your country. The MSO Minuteman is honest, has integrity – and is proud to do the right things. The Minuteman holds close those values which built this great country over 200 years ago.

This Level I Template is available for download HERE.  Please feel free to download and share.

– Rourke

Source: http://modernsurvivalonline.com/mso-minuteman-protocol-part-i/

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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.

The Prepper’s Kitchen: Choosing A Hand Grain Mill

By Ken (MSB) | From ModernSurvivalBlog.com | On Sunday, January 6th, 2013

The Country Living Hand Grain Mill made entirely in the USA.

The Country Living Hand Grain Mill made entirely in the USA.

How do I choose which hand grain mill to buy?

There are quite a range of prices for various hand grain mills, and it may seem difficult to decide which one to choose, but you can narrow your choice by considering two basic questions…

1. Do you intend to grind/mill into flour for breads (versus only for courser grinds)?

2. Do you intend to use it frequently?

If you will be milling wheat to make flour for bread, you will want to be sure that the mill will grind the wheat berries into fine enough flour. Many cheaper models apparently do not, although many claim that they do. Just read the reviews of the product in consideration and you will usually get to the truth.

If you will be using the mill frequently, then it will be important to choose quality construction that will hold up to the test of usage and time. Many of the cheap mills have reviews that indicate that the unit falls apart or fails in one way or another after a relatively short time.

The phrase, ‘you get what you pay for’, is usually true enough. Unfortunately it often requires a higher than expected amount of money to purchase a product that is at least ‘good’, and even more money for a product considered to be ‘excellent’.

It seems that nearly every grain mill priced under $50 has generally poor reviews. This hand mill however rated fairly well…

Victorio Hand Grain Mill, originally named the ‘Back to Basics 555′ (now called the Victorio Hand Mill), has fairly good reviews for it’s price range (~ $50). This might be a ‘good enough’ mill for the occasional user who isn’t too concerned that the flour may not grind as fine as more expensive mills or may not hold up as well under heavy usage.

This hand mill is apparently a quality mid-range choice…

Wonder Junior Deluxe Hand Grain / Flour Mill, which may be the best mix of value for quality and price. This hand mill comes with stone heads and stainless steel burr heads to accommodate different conditions, and will apparently grind fine flour (and everything else) without issue. It’s pricey though (~ $200), but will no doubt hold up to more heavy use.

The top-of-the-line hand grain mill on the market may be this one…

Country Living Hand Grain Mill, which will last generations and is built with the highest quality. It is very pricey (~ $400), but it may be the best, while you get what you pay for…

For those who are also interested in an electric grain mill, we have been using this one for years and have been very happy with it.

NutriMill Grain Mill

Browse around and read reviews. This will hone your choice. Keeping a hand grain mill is for the serious prepper who is preparing for the possibility of living without electricity for a time. Grinding / milling your own wheat is fairly hard work and it takes awhile to process the berries into flour. However the results will be unbelievably delicious and healthy. Don’t forget to stock up on wheat berries too!

This article was originally posted at http://modernsurvivalblog.com/survival-kitchen/choosing-a-hand-grain-mill/

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About The Author: Erica M. is the Managing Editor of Radical Survivalism Magazine.

Video Review: Rival SB150 Solid Single Burner

The SB150 sports an updated, stylish black housing. It also features a single, adjustable temperature control knob for simplicity, and a solid disc heating element for easy clean up. Skid resistant, non-marking feet are included. The SB150 provides additional cooking space during the holidays and while entertaining.

The Rival SB150 Solid Single Burner is available from the Amazon.com Marketplace.

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.

Gear Preview: Goal Zero Nomad 7M

The Goal Zero Nomad 7M

The Goal Zero Nomad 7M

The Goal Zero Nomad 7M is a portable solar panel system to be used to charge your 12 volt DC auto accessories, rechargeable batteries, and most handheld electronic gadgets.

Earthtech Products, the maker of the Goal Zero, says: Designed for the rugged outdoors and built to last the Nomad 7 Watt Flexible Solar Panel is an adventurer’s dream tool. It is completely weather proof, so you can use it anywhere, in any weather conditions. The Goal Zero utilizes the latest in flexible solar panel technology, monocrystalline solar panel technology, which provides the most power per square inch. The Nomad 7 Watt flexible solar panel can charge up all of your 12v devices quickly with the included 12v cigarette adapter. The Nomad even has a built in USB charging port, to quickly charge up all of your USB devices (Iphones,Ipods, Smartphones.) It even has a bult in pocket for your devices and chargers. It features super strong and flexible nylon hooks on all corners to ensure you can firmly secure it, where ever you need to. This foldable solar panel even folds up and fits into the included foldable fabric carrying case to insure it doesn’t take up valuable space in your backpack. On your outdoor journeys, feel safe in the knowledge that you have portable power, where ever the trail leads you.

Shelf Reliance Says: For the minimalist on the go the Nomad 7M delivers an ultra-compact yet powerful solar panel that enables you to charge your handheld devices directly from its USB and 12 Volt DC charging ports.

Features include:

  • USB charging port
  • Compatible with most USB devices
  • 12 Volt DC charging port
  • Includes 12 Volt female cigarette adapter for charging auto accessories
  • 30% smaller than comparable panels
  • Only weighs 13 ounces
  • Pocket for devices and for cell charger
  • Compact foldable fabric case
  • Durable loops for hanging
  • 5+ year lifespan

The Earthtect Products Goal Zero 7M sells for under $90.00 and is now available from Shelf Reliance as well as from the Amazon Online Marketplace.

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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.

How To Build A Hidden Door

This is a well made instructional video on building a hidden doorway within any stick-built dwelling.

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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.