First Aid

Herbal Medicine Kit: Preparations for Internal Use

Part 2 in our Herbal Medicine Kit series. See the other posts in this series at the end of this article.

by Kat Yorba

Kat Yorba

Kat Yorba

Herbs: “Trees, shrubs, mushrooms lichens and fruits & vegetables that have medicinal properties…or ALL medicinal and cosmetic plants as herbs.”

Welcome Back

There are countless different herbs and as many different combinations of herbs that are used for our good health and healing.  Thankfully, there are only a few basic and different types of preparations that are used in treating illnesses and wounds.

These preparations take dried or fresh herbs and transform them into life giving medicine that can be taken internally in the form of teas, capsules and the like, or applied topically such as salves, oils, bath salts and compresses.

Sometimes you will use both methods of preparation for a single herb with differing expected outcomes such as using St. John’s wort to make capsules and also a salve.  The nature of your ailment will ultimately determine your preparation.

Ingredients for your various preparations can be obtained from a variety of sources:

  • Your own kitchen/back yard
  • Harvesting from the wild
  • Your whole foods market
  • Your local Herb Store
  • Online Herbal Supply Companies (links will be provided for who I use)
  • Recycle & Re-use containers

For most of your preparations the supplies you will need on hand are quite basic and once you purchase or acquire them, you can get a lot of use for quite a long time out of them!

  • Quart Mason Jars, Pint Jars, Recycle sauce & salsa jars**
  • Amber or Blue 2 oz. bottles with droppers
  • Labels
  • Strainer OR Cheesecloth
  • Herbs (of course)
  • Liquid of Choice (Alcohol, Glycerin)
  • Beeswax, Olive Oil, Shea Butter, Almond oil, Apricot Oil, Oils of your preference, clays
  • Cheesecloth or Muslin for compresses
  • Capsules (capsule maker-inexpensive, will provide links)
  • Honey, Vinegar
  • Re-fillable tea bags OR Tea Spoon/ball

Image source

Now lets look at various basic Preparations for Internal Use…

Preparations for Internal Use

Glycerites

Glycerites provide an alcohol-free alternative to the popular tincture in which the herbs properties are extracted with alcohol.  Glycerine is used to create a Glycerite…the Glycerine extracts the herbs medicinal properties instead of alcohol.  Glycerin has a syrupy consistency and is sweet, but does not affect the blood sugar like honey/sugar can.

There are two types of Glycerin; one derived from animal fat, a by-product of soap making and the other is derived from vegetable oil.  Animal fat Glycerin is sold in Pharmacies, vegetable oil Glycerin can be found at Natural Food Stores.  Be careful, there is also a petroleum Glycerin becoming more and more available!

Average dosage for Glycerite: 30 drops or ¼ tsp. to ½ dropper-full.

Dosage should be diluted in water, tea or juice as irritation may develop.  Glycerites are not as potent as tinctures and are more expensive than teas.

They are easy to prepare and make other preparations from such as syrups.

Capsules/Pills

Capsules or pills release their herbal contents in the stomach as they dissolve.  They provide an easy way to take herbs without the bitter aftertaste.

They are slower acting and generally less potent than tinctures.  But armed with a variety of intake can be an excellent addition to your arsenal come cold/flu or allergy season.  Hit illness with all fronts, I say!

Pills are more convenient when feeling really, really ill as they do not require preparation such as teas would.  They are also easily portable to work or school so you would be able to keep up with your remedies on the go.

After purchasing empty capsules and a capsule maker, your Herbal Capsule selection is only limited by your creativity…not your herbal/whole food store of choice’s availability!

The typical capsule is comparable to half a cup of tea or 1/6th of an ounce of herbs.

Syrups

A syrup is a tincture, liquid extract, glycerite or sometimes even a very strong tea.  All are normally sweetened with sugar, honey or glycerin.  I prefer honey for the added benefits honey brings to the table, however if you have issues with your blood sugar glycerin would be an excellent choice for you.  Also any preparation made with honey should NOT be given to children under the age of 2)

Syrups make ideal cough syrups as it coats and soothes the throat.

Syrups herbal content can be lower due to dilution, the average dosage is 1 TBSP.

Teas

Teas are the simplest and least expensive way to prepare herbs.  A cup of tea only costs a few pennies.  The typical dosage is usually 1 tsp per Cup and 1 C. 3-4 times a day.  That’s roughly 6-10 cents a day!  Some tea remedies are fever reducing teas and work only when taken as a hot tea because of the heat promoting sweat.  Tea does have certain advantages…forcing you to be still, quiet and relax for the few minutes your are partaking of it’s health benefits.  But it can also be a hard cup to swallow when the herbs that will help you are strong, bitter and foul smelling!

Methods:

Infusion:

Pouring hot water over herbs and allowing to steep for 5-10 minutes either in cup or kettle.  Flower and leaves are the usual herbal ingredients.

Decoction:

Gently simmering herbs in a pot of water for 15-30 minutes. Roots and bark are the usual herbal ingredients here.  Keep heat low and cover with lead to keep all of the essential oils in the tea.

Cold Infusion:

Soaking herbs in cold water for 8 hours or more. Delicate fragrant herbs are used in this infusion.  In this manner they do not lose their essential oils.

Tinctures

Tinctures are a concentrated liquid for of herbal medicine.  A tincture is easy to carry with you, easily to take and needs no refrigeration.  It will keep for years as well.  With tinctures it is easier to take those strong tasting and smelling herbal preparations especially when you need large doses.

Average dosage: 30 drops, ¼ tsp or half a dropper-full.

The liquid medium of choice for tinctures is alcohol which draws out very important properties from the herbs.  It also extracts compounds which are not water-soluble.  Making a tincture requires no heat which means that precious essential oils are retained.

Tinctures are more costly than tea…about 35-40 cents a dose, or a couple bucks a day.  But there is something to be said for convenience!

If alcohol is a concern for you then you can eliminate much of the alcohol by dropping a dose of the tincture into a cup of hot boiling water or tea.  The alcohol will evaporate behind.

Vinegars

Herbal Vinegars are prepared like Tinctures, using vinegar to infuse the herbs instead of alcohol.

Most Herbal Vinegars are made for culinary use, however an herbal vinegar is easy to make and can be used as an additional weapon in your arsenal when combating illness such as sore throat…use as a gargle!  It can also be used quite effectively externally as a hair rinse or skin wash for fungal infections or even perhaps as a douche for yeast and other infections.

Typical dosage: 1-2 tsp.

That concludes our look at Preparations for Internal Use.  Next post we will cover Preparations for External Use and give you a shopping list for your first recipes!

Here are resource links that may help you in gathering ingredients for upcoming preparations…

Resources for Ingredients On-Line

Mountain Rose Herbs

Herbs, Essential Oils, Packaging, Equipment,

Bulk products such as clays.

From Nature With Love

Same as Mountain Rose

Capsule Connection

I suggest 00 size which is smaller, this is what I purchased…0 is a bigger capsule, okay if you are used to taking larger pills.  You can find various capsule machines and empty capsules on Amazon when doing a search…this is just a suggestion.

The Bulk Herb Store

Same as Mountain Rose and FNWL

StarWest Botanicals

Starwest Botanicals is your on-line supply source for bulk herbs and natural products. Dried herbs, organic herbs, bulk spices, loose leaf organic teas, organic essential oils and aromatherapy supplies are part of the nearly 3000 natural products to choose from at Starwest Botanicals.

About Kat Yorba: I am a “red-neck country wife” to one wonderfully amazing man, mother to many outrageous children, daughter of the ONE Glorious God. Learning to be more self-reliant & self-sufficient in a semi-homemade, homesteading way! Connect with Kat on her blog, Simply Living SimplyFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Google+.

Go-to Herbal Medicine Kit series

Part 1: Go Herbal: Putting Together Your Go-To Herbal Medicine Kit

Copyright Information: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely, in part or whole, with a link back to this site crediting the author. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Thanks for sharing the stuff!

 

Categories: Doing the Stuff, First Aid, Herbal Remedies, Homeopathy, Medical | Tags: , , | 7 Comments

Go Herbal: Putting Together Your Go-To Herbal Medicine Kit

I’m excited to introduce Kat Yorba to the Sherpa family of contributing authors! She will be adding value in the herbal medicine realm – an area I’m weak in but have always wanted to tighten up.

This is her first installment and introduction to a series called Herbal Medicine Kit. Please welcome Kat and check out her bio at the end of this article!

Why Go Herbal?

by Kat Yorba

Kat Yorba

Kat Yorba

As Homesteaders, Preppers and people who just want to eat and feel right….we have learned that “Whole” foods are best for us.  If we nod our heads in agreement with that statement, then why do we continue to use man-made chemical pills, syrups and drugs when we get sick?

The best course of action in my opinion would be the “whole” route…granted the road less traveled, but getting busier everyday!  Your bodies were created to break-down, metabolize and use effectively whole foods, plants, spices and the like….so, let’s look at several reasons why it would be good for us to “Go Herbal!”

  • Herbs are nature made…so they are really and truly natural.
  • We know what’s in them; they have a very small ingredient list!
  • Very inexpensive to grow, harvest, create and use.
  • They work!

I am sure there are many more very good reasons but this is an awesome start!  Let’s take a peek at #2 for a minute: The ingredient list….have you looked at that cough syrup you take, lately?  I have been dealing with allergies this season quite badly…and instinctively reached for a leading name brand allergy syrup to relieve my symptoms.  But lucky for me, I have been on this reading labels kick so I did!  Wow…take a look:

Diphenydramine HCI, anhydrous citric acid, D&C red #33, FD&C red #40, flavors, glycerin, monoammonium glycyrrhizinate, poloxamer 407, purified water, sodium benzoate, sodium chloride, sodium citrate, sucrose.”

Some of the ingredients I actually know like glycerin and purified water, but the ones I cannot pronounce I am quite sure I don’t want in my body!!

Go Herbal: Putting Together Your Go-To Herbal Medicine Kit

Barrel of medicine

Your “Go-to” Herbal Medicine Kit!

The Herbal Medicine Kit 101 – Your Basic First Aid

So let’s create an Herbal Medicine Kit that you can have in your home for any minor medical emergency and everyday aches, pains and illnesses.  The beauty of this kit is YOU make it; so you know what’s in and YOU customize it for you and your family!  This also means YOU can decide how far you want to go in deploying your Herbal Medicine Kit; bit by bit or cold turkey!

Herbal Medicine Kit 101 will deal with just the basics to get us all started.  But look for future postings for information and recipes for specific ailments, and issues that come with the changing seasons.  These posts will help you expand your Herbal Medicine Kit and create a very personalized kit just for you and yours!

What’s In the Herbal Medicine Kit?

Thought you would never ask.  Here’s a run down for you:

Dried Herbs

Herbs we will look at and use in-depth:

Arnica

Lavender

Tea Tree

St. Johns Wort

Yarrow

Astragalus Root

Baptisia Root

Echinacea Root

Comfrey

Calendula

Yellowdock

Grindelia

Goldenseal

Oregon Grape Root

Essential Oils

Essential Oils we will look at and use in-depth:

Lavender

Peppermint

Eucalyptus

Cinnamon

Clove

Marjoram

Chamomile

Lemon

Tea Tree

Citronella

Pennyroyal

Cedar

Rose Geranium

What products will I make?

Aloe Burn Spray

Arnica Tincture

Herbal Compresses

Herbal Healing Salves

Herbal Liniment

Homemade Aloe Vera Gel

Insect Bite Oil & Repellant

Lavender Smelling Salts

Antiseptic Spray

Poison Oak, Ivy & Sumac Past

Ant Bite Remedy

St. John’s Strain & Sprain Oil

Wound Healing Tincture

Yarrow Tincture

Looking Forward

Once a week, Herbal Medicine Kit will be updated with new information ranging from detailed info on each of the herbs and essential oils listed, recipes for the products listed above and fun trivia and pics thrown in for good measure!  I hope you look forward to traveling down the Herbal Road with me…as much as I do!

As we both become more and more familiar with herbs and gain greater knowledge of them I feel confident that we will all find ourselves turning to herbs first in most first aid and everyday illness situations.  I hope you will enjoy and find useful the tutorials (printable too), in-depth descriptions of plants, tips, tricks and recipes that will be a part of this series.

I look forward to learning with you!

About Kat Yorba: I am a “red-neck country wife” to one wonderfully amazing man, mother to many outrageous children, daughter of the ONE Glorious God. Learning to be more self-reliant & self-sufficient in a semi-homemade, homesteading way! Connect with Kat on her blog, Simply Living Simply, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

 

Categories: First Aid, Herbal Remedies, Homeopathy, Natural Health | Tags: , , , , | 17 Comments

Using the Humble Onion for Colds and Coughs

Many times we get comments from our ‘Commentistas’ that are so value-adding that I have to share them in a blog post. The Herbal Survivalist constantly adds value to the readers of this site and the followers at The Herbal Survivalist Spot. Here’s a homemade cough and cold syrup recipe that she shared this morning using onions! One of my favorite eats.

onions

Homemade Cough and Cold Syrup with Onion and Honey

by The Herbal Survivalist

It comes from a book I mentioned briefly before called 10 Essential Herbs by Lalitha Thomas. This is a rare (I believe because it’s out of print) book from 1996 that my mother-in-law stumbled upon somewhere. It’s very interesting because Lalitha is not a “certified” anything when it comes to herbs, but it’s clear as you read through the book that they are very much a part of her daily life and that her own personal study and use of herbs is extensive. Personally, I’m very happy to read a book by someone who doesn’t have letters after her name but has devoted much of her life to learning a craft, and Lalitha is incredibly skilled at communicating how to use herbs in a down-to-earth way for anyone who is just learning. I love this book in particular because it focuses on 10 easily acquired herbs (cloves, chaparral, cayenne, comfrey, ginger, garlic, onion, peppermint, slippery elm and yarrow) and shows you how to treat almost anything with only these 10 herbs. Amazing!

This recipe I’m sharing comes from her chapter on Onion, which I confess I had sort of skipped over at first to read the other chapters on more “interesting and useful” herbs. The laugh is on me, because when I finally got around to reading about the humble onion, I was astounded at how useful it is! I made this recipe in 20 minutes yesterday while puttering around the kitchen making other things and Abbie and I have been using it since then. It seems to be keeping her coughing to a minimum, as well as helping to ease my sore throat and minimizing my stuffiness. I feel like it’s helping to decongest my sinuses, which is such a relief, even if it means I’m going through tissue by the boatload.

Ingredients:
1 cup freshly chopped onion

About 1/2 cup raw honey

Plus any of the following (optional):
1 tsp. Cloves (whole or powdered)- specifically good for pain relief

1-2 Tbsp. Comfrey or Slippery Elm (dried or powdered)- Comfrey is particularly good for healing, and Slippery Elm has more of a reputation for soothing and coating the throat

1-2 Tbsp. fresh chopped Ginger root OR 1 tsp. Ginger powder- Ginger increases warmth, circulation (important for healing) and the overall effectiveness of the syrup

**You can include all of these optional herbs, but at a maximum of 2 Tbsp. extra herbs total

Directions
Put chopped onions and any herbs of choice into a small stainless steel or glass pot (not alumnimum). Add enough honey to cover the onions ( for me, this seemed to be about 1/2 a cup, though I didn’t measure exactly).

Turn the pot on low heat and slowly simmer. The honey will soften and become liquidy, and you want to keep the temperature very low while allowing the herbs to steep in the honey. It’s best to keep a lid on to help keep all of the medicinal properties of the herbs in the syrup, and just take the lid off to give it a quick stir every few minutes to ensure it doesn’t burn at all (though the temp. should be low enough to prevent this).

Give it 20 minutes of simmering, then remove it from the heat. Strain the onions and herbs out and store the remaining honey (which might have flecks of herb in it and this is fine) in a small glass jar with a lid and keep it in the fridge.

The syrup can be used as often as needed, up to every half hour. Here are the dosages:

1 tsp. for a younger child

1 Tbsp. for anyone 10 years and older

While we’re on the topic of using onions medicinally, I thought I should mention another use I learn yesterday. A commenter said that when her children are sick, she puts chopped onions in a small bag around their neck when they go to bed and in the morning, they wake up well. First I had ever heard of it, but I’ve heard stranger things. Wouldn’t you know it that later yesterday, as I was reading about onion in the book, I read that breathing the fumes of an onion will help with congestion from a cold or other illness!

Since both Johanna and I have been plugged up lately (her more at night, me all the time) I decided to chop a large onion into chunks and put it in a bowl on the night table near where we both sleep. I couldn’t quite bring myself to actually put it in bed with me, but I could still smell it, for sure! Well, last night was the best sleep I have had in a few nights and the first time that I woke up without feeling all plugged up! Three cheers for the onion!

Adult recipe additions

These additions are to be used by only an adult 80lbs or over
Herbs to add:
Cumin 1/4 tsp nutrition
Cayenne 1/8 tsp for heat diaphoretic
Slippery elm bark powder 1/2 tsp nutrition demuculant
Thyme 1/4 tsp strengthen immune system

After straining onions and syrup take warm onions in a press or potato ricer and press juices out into the honey. This is the consent rate. The good stuff.

For more great tips and helpful herbal remedies, The Herbal Survivalist provides free info and recipes at The Herbalist Survivalist Spot. Also consider ordering her e-book “Herbal Survival and First Aid” here

As always, thanks for stopping by – and follow me on Twitter if you’d like: @SurvivalSherpa.

 

Categories: First Aid, Frugal Preps, Herbal Remedies, Homeopathy, Natural Health | Tags: , , , , , | 18 Comments

Preparedness priorities: First aid, part II

First aid.  This area of basic preparedness is covered well over at Living Freedom (Clair Wolfe’s blog). Also, be sure to check out an excellent article over at Backwoods Home Magazine by Clair on the importance of other people in our preparedness plans!

Preparedness priorities: First aid, part II

Friday, November 9th, 2012

This is another guest blog from Will Kone, aka BusyPoorDad. His first installment is here.

—–

What are the minimal items to have in a first aid kit?

We have all seen the ads, heard the sales pitches, wallowed in the fear-mongering marketing. “You MUST have this special kit! Your life depends on it!” Which is why companies who sell specialized first-aid kits feel they have to charge so much for stuff they sell. After all, it must be great, it costs a whole lot!

I have nothing against making money selling stuff. And there is value in having someone else doing the work of assembling it for you. But I’m not made of money and I doubt the person I am seeing when I write this is either. I’m a practical guy, and want the lowest price, but highest quality, goods. With that in mind, let’s look at the minimum you want when building a first-aid kit.

First off, what do you know? Are you Dr. Bones or Nurse Amy? A Paramedic? Boy Scout? A fan of House and Grey’s Anatomy? If you have never taken a first aid class, your kit should be a lot smaller than the kit for the ER Doctor. (If you have not taken a first aid class, do that. This assumes you know the very basics.)

Second, who is this kit for? Many commercial kits [Ed note: especially those intended for the SHTF prepper] seem to be marketed towards either the single warrior in the middle of a combat zone alone or the Special Forces Medic trying to care for a battalion from a back pack. This scares off the new prepper. Medical kits seem like some mystic bag of equipment that needs massive training to assemble and use.

They are not.

The most basic need for a kit is one that a person can use on someone else. My home has five people in it. The kit I have today is five times bigger than it was when I was single. Since you are going to use this kit, it should contain items you know how to use and you should have a good idea who you would most likely use it on.

Third, apply a risk assessment. The actual risk assessment is beyond this article, [Ed note: maybe medical risk assessment is a topic for another post; general disaster risk assessment MJR covered here recently]. Odds are, you will say to yourself, “Odds are I will most often need to deal with minor scrapes and cuts.” If you don’t cut your own wood, you are not likely to have a chainsaw accident. If you make your own soap, you are more likely to encounter burns or chemicals.

Lastly, you need to consider how available help is. First aid does not fix a major problem. If you cut off a hand, you are not going to pull something out of that expensive kit that will re-attach it. A large cut, cracked bone, some burns, heart attack, etc. can only be “fixed” by serious medical attention. First aid, and later emergency medical care, are aimed at keeping the problem from getting worse till you can get to a doctor or other medical provider.

Sure, there are people who can re-set that bone and cast it with a toothpick and duct tape. I’m not that person and have only heard about them.

Your starter kit should be enough to help you take care of an injury till help can arrive or you get to the help.

Read the rest here

Categories: First Aid, Preparedness | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

The Regular Guy Strategy: Escaping Prepper Prison

I read lots of folks lamenting over family and friends who don’t embrace prepping. I can’t blame them. Images of being holed up in an underground bunker, sleeping on a canvas cot, crapping in a coffee can doesn’t appeal to them. Me either.

Even though it’s going more mainstream, “prepping” is prison. You feel shackled. You can’t tell anyone you’re storing extra food, bullets, or even band aids. If we don’t observe OpSec (Operational Security) we get labeled “prepper”, “survivalists” – or even worse, extremist. We wake up in a puddle of sweat worried that we’re not ready for TEOTWAWKI and TSHTF because we’re not living off-grid in the boonies with three years of food storage, fuel storage, and the latest weapons. We’re scared to build community – afraid to blow our cover. It’s that OpSec thing again.

Welcome to Prepper Prison. The bars and razor wire are in our minds and souls. Fear rules. Doom and gloom is upon us! The experts tell us how to get ready. What to buy. Skills to learn. Books to read. Where to move. Lists to make. Here’s a news flash: We’ll never be completely ready. You might possess expert knowledge in one area, but no person can do it all. Don’t underestimate the importance of community in making your jailbreak.

I began tunneling out of my cell last month. I felt like “Andy” in Shawshank Redemption. He was wrongly convicted and sentenced to life in prison. He finally quite accepting the institutional ‘authorities’ plan for his life. He planned his escape. He had lots of time and a will to be free. His tools of freedom were a rock hammer, a pin-up poster, and his fellow inmates – “Red” in particular. Pressure and time did the rest. It was a simple choice: “Get busy living, or get busy dying.” He chose living.

I often wonder if I’m good enough. Do I have enough stuff to get me through the next two inches of snow? Don’t laugh my Yankee friends. We shut down around here with a light dusting. A run on bread, milk, eggs, and PBR soon follows.

With Dirt Road Girl not working, we’ve slashed our survival supplies. Honesty is a crazy quality. I’m the first to admit I’m no guru at preparedness or self-reliance. I’m just a regular guy trying to become as self-reliant and prepared as humanly possible. Compared to preparedness experts, and I’ve read many of their books, I don’t even come close to being ready. I don’t own any night vision goggles or fancy optics for my guns. Would those be cool to own? Sure. I just don’t have $3,000.00 extra fiat dollars lying on top of my stash of gold bullion. Dang, I forgot OPSEC! There is no gold in my underground bunker. Now that we are in Great Depression II, I’m guessing many are a little short on money to buy what the ‘experts’ recommend. So I thought I’d share my Regular Guy Preparedness Plan.

1.) Build community. This is a freebie. It cost some time, but that’s it. Building relationships in the community is the most important, yet it’s a glaring weakness of mine. A lone wolf will always object to this strategy. I realize the importance of flying under the radar. Uninvited attention is bad. I got that part. It’s just so anti-me in the other compartments of my life. I’m very social. So are we stuck with the YOYO (Your Own Your Own) method of survival? Not hardly. Retreating to the jungle to live off the land is so Hollywood. Stop the fantasy.

Is mediocre good enough? I hope so. I’m a serial multi-tasker – read mediocre at lots of stuff. I’m also well aware that I can’t provide all that I need for long-term survival. I’m below average at first aid and medical skills. I’m not going to spend time trying to become a combat field doctor or a RN. I’m not that interested in the field. For those that are, great! For our immediate group, we have someone who is medically trained. Then there’s that motor head cousin of mine that can rebuild an engine blindfolded. Not me. I can do the basics. There are other areas that need to be shored up in our group. That’s where building community comes in. But how?

Here are some places to network, build community, and plan your prison-break.

  • Local meet up groups. Face to face and local is both real and productive.
  • Family – if possible. This one is often times the hardest to penetrate in many cases. This is whispered at some Thanksgiving dinners – “Okay sweetie, stay away from crazy Uncle Henry. He totes guns and raises chickens in his yard.
  • Local farmers markets and food co-ops. Buying local builds community.
  • Gun/hunting/hiking/outdoor clubs. It’s easy to bring up preparedness speak with folks sitting around a fire eating beans and sipping rot-gut coffee or bourbon. “Man, what if we had to do this for more than a long weekend?
  • Church, school, and work. Like fishing, you have to go where they are to catch them. Even then, they don’t always take what you offer.
  • Internet prepper groups: Wolfe Blog, Prepper Groups, American Preppers Network, Alt-Market, A.N.T.S. (Americans Networking To Survive). Be wise about sharing personal info until you establish trust. Face to face meetings can follow when both parties are ready. I know, it sounds like online dating.

2.) Regular Guy Skills. People tell me I’m handy – right before they ask me to do stuff for free. I like adding skills to my toolbox. I’m best at those that I enjoy and interest me. You probably are too. Skills don’t cost much, but offer a great return on my time. Here are some Regular Guy Skills I find helpful and relatively cheap:

Chemistry: The most overlooked skill in survival. I’d like to recommend “Caveman Chemistry” by Kevin M. Dunn. Mr. Dunn offers 28 projects to help you become a producer, more self-reliant, and a cool science nerd. Want to make your own mead, gunpowder, soap, pharmaceuticals, and plastics? Get the book.

Build stuff with your hands. If you already do this in your day job, start reading the book above. Or try this one: Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World. Read broadly to stretch your mind outside the preparedness world. Diversify.

For those that are trapped in cubicle hell, find little things to do around the house to shrink that honey-do-list. Make your own gear. Learn to restore and sharpen an axe or other bladed tool. Here’s an old adze I restored last month.

Treating an adze I found at a flea market

I recently made a cedar bench for Dirt Road Girl with pioneer hand tools – I did cheat and use my chainsaw twice. I ended up building a shaving horse in the process. Another useful bonus tool created from this bench project.

Make stuff with paracord.

Learn to sew. Check out my wool hunting shirt I made from a 20 dollar, 100% wool army blanket.

More Dave Canterbury inspired gear

Stock your toolbox. You can pick up pioneer tools and other off-grid hand tools cheaply at yard sales, estate sales, Free Cycle, thrift stores, and grandma’s attic. I like new stuff as long as it’s old. I bought a set of bits and a brace from a guy off the side of the road for $10. The local antique malls charge $25 to $45 for these items. If you buy nice, you only buy once. Avoid cheaply made junk.

Bits for my brace

What’s on your wall?

Wish these were mine. Shot these at the Foxfire Museum this summer.

3.) Regular Guy Priorities. I use conventional wisdom from experts when preparing for SHTF sometimes. Chew on the hay, spit out the sticks. Other times I kick conventional wisdom to the curb. I’m unorthodox. For instance, I don’t store a lot of wheat. Your kidding, right!? No. It’s not something I eat. The experts tell me to stock things that I use in my eating plan now and practice cooking from my food storage. I stock stuff I eat. There’s logic for ya.

I write IEP’s (Individualized Education Plan) for students with special needs. Preparedness should be no different. Each of us should write our own IPP (Individualized Preparedness Plan). There so much information out there that most folks have no idea where to start. Avoid information overload by starting with your unique, individual situation. Throw out the cookie cutter books and build your own IPP. Priorities for your family will differ from our family (ex: environment, finances, mindset, fitness level, diet, health, spirituality, location, etc.).

Start with the basics: water, food, shelter, and a way to protect yourself. This is enough material for an article all to itself. I’ll try to keep it short. Develop your IPP based on your individualized needs. I hope I’m preaching to the choir about self-defense. If you’re not comfortable owning evil guns, develop a plan to defend your family with other tools. Guns are simply tools by the way. No different from your Smart Car, garden hoe, or blender. Your faith may be a roadblock to owning these fine tools. If so, check out Kathy Jackson’s article tackling Christians and Passivism.

If you’ve got a spring or well on your property, water is less a priority than someone who lives in the Arizona desert. My point here is to keep ringing the individualized bell. Break the mold. Be yourself. Prepare for yourself and the unique needs of your family… no matter what the experts tell you. To assume their plan will work for you and me is dangerous and costly. Think. For. Yourself.

Look, I just gave you the best advice ever. Does that make me an expert now?

Doing the stuff,

Todd

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, DIY Preparedness Projects, Economic Collapse, Firearms, First Aid, Food Storage, Frugal Preps, Preparedness, Primal/Paleo Lifestyle, Self Defense, Self-reliance, SHTF, Survival, TEOTWAWKI | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Potassium permanganate: The Most Useful Survival Chemical

Today’s post is reprinted with permission from Urban Survival Podcast hosts Aaron and Jonathan who are two city boys with a lifetime affinity for the outdoors, but a love of the city, passion for survival topics, and Libertarian Ideals. Check out their site In The Rabbit Hole with a focus on the things that matter most: What’s likely to happen. Then preparing for it in a rational and productive way.

Refreshing vision gentlemen! If you believe an alien invasion is eminent, their site isn’t for you. If you want help prioritizing your steps to preparedness for life’s curve balls, then you’ll find sound advice.

Doing the stuff,

Todd

__________________________________________

Source: In The Rabbit Hole

by Aaron Frankel on July 28, 2011

Potassium permanganate sample full 300x196 Potassium permanganate: The Most Useful Survival Chemical

When people think about survival tools, chemicals are usually not one of the first things that come to mind. Potassium permanganate should though.

Also known as KMnO4, Condy’s Crystals and permanganate of potash, Potassium permanganate is a jack of all survival trades.When it comes to survival, the more you know, the more you can do with less. Like wilderness medicine, it also often becomes about improvising with less than ideal tools.I first learned about the usefulness of this chemical while watching a Survivor Man episode titled Sonoran Desert. In the Sonoran Desert episode (Season 1 Episode 2), Les Stroud demonstrates how mixing Potassium permanganate and glycerin will start a chemical fire. Intrigued, I did some digging.

Turns out it’s not just good for making fires. It’s also good for:

  • Purifying water.
  • Creating an antiseptic solution.
  • As an anti-fungal treatment for the hands and feet.
  • As a cholera disinfectant
  • Treating canker sores
  • Marking snow as an emergency signal.

Proceed with caution, however. The information provided in this article is intended for emergency situations only. Caution should be exercised when using any of the following information.

Potassium permanganate will start a fire when mixed with a couple of different compounds. Glycerin is the most common, but antifreeze will also do the trick. Antifreeze seems to create a reaction that is a little more violent. Be very careful when using either. The reaction is not always immediate. It can take several seconds for the reaction to start a fire – let it be.

Read the rest here

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Bushcraft, First Aid, Preparedness, Self-reliance, Survival, Water | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Making Herbal Tinctures from Lawn Weeds

[SS Note: Plantain is my go to herb/weed for all stings/bites and poison oak rashes. I simply chew it for a few seconds and secure it on the effected area with tape, band aid, or whatever is available. Instant relief!]

Source: Catastrophe Network

We, like most of the country, have been experiencing drought the past few weeks, so the lawn hasn’t been mowed in a some time. While the grass is dead, there are several weeds (herbs) that are thriving. Two of them that I have identified are of course plantain and yarrow. Today, I decided to make a tincture out of those beneficial herbs before I mowed the grass and destroyed them all. To do this, I picked a quart jar full of each kind of herb and then dropped them in the food processor with a little vodka. After pulverizing them, they now fit in a nice little pint size jar, which I then filled to about a quarter inch from the top with vodka. In a few weeks, or maybe a month or two, I can strain out the pulverized leaves and I will be left with a very potent herbal tincture of plantain and yarrow.

Plantain tincture can be applied externally to:

  • Act as an antidote for stings, bites, poison ivy, etc.
  • Stop bleeding and promote healing
  • Pull out puss, slivers, dirt, etc. from wounds.

Plantain tincture can be taken internally by putting a few drops of tincture in water and drinking it to:

  • Serve as a general antiinflammatory and antiallergenic
  • Heal urinary tract infections

Yarrow tincture can be applied externally to wounds to quickly stop bleeding or taken internally by putting a few drops of tincture in water and drinking it stop bleeding of the digestive system, such as a bleeding ulcer.

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Plantain
Yarrow
Categories: Bushcraft, First Aid, Frugal Preps, Herbal Remedies, Medical, Preparedness, Primal Skills, Self-reliance, Wildcrafting | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ten unconventional additions to your emergency medical kit

Hat tip to Tess Pennington for adding this outside-the-box post over at her site Ready Nutrition.

Source: Medically Speaking

By Lizzie Bennett

Okay, I am sure you all have a medical kit to be proud of, you’ve got all the bandages, the slings, the ointments and creams, but sometimes, just sometimes, the most mundane items can make life simpler, especially if you need to move fast, or find yourself in a situation where you need to improvise, or, the stuff you have just isn’t right for the job in hand. Here are a few ideas, and examples of what to use them for.

AN OLD CREDIT CARD/ATM CARD

These are great for a good deal more than stuffing in a hole in the wall of your bank. Scraping out a sting with the edge of a plastic card is preferable to fingernails or tweezers, both of which, just by the pinching action pump the last bit of venom from the sting into the skin.

Cut into strips they are excellent splints for broken fingers, and the gaps between the strips allow for swelling. Position either side of the finger and tape into place.

Used whole they can help inflate a deflated lung caused by a sucking chest wound. Put over the hole and tape on three sides only, the card acts as a flutter valve, preventing air from entering the wound but allowing air outside of the lung but inside the chest cavity to escape as the lung inflates.

DUCT TAPE

I love duct tape, it needs to be good tape, not a cheapo one that is not very sticky. Use to secure the card to the chest as described above. It can be used to hold splints on limbs in place, to secure pressure dressings,and even to make a makeshift stretcher to carry a casualty if wrapped around two poles and stuck to itself across the gap between them. There are dozens of uses for this stuff.

A DOZEN MIXED SIZE CLEAR PLASTIC BAGS

Clear plastic bags form a great barrier between a wound and the air, preventing pathogens from getting into the body. They are great for wounds and burns on hands and feet and are carried in ambulances for this reason. Duct tape into place and the wound will stay clean until you can deal with it. This is particularly beneficial if you are near water and you want to prevent contamination.

Use as a flutter valve on large sucking chest wounds. Fix on three sides as described for the card method above.

SANITARY PADS

Sanitary pads make really good pressure dressings. Put over the wound and tape tightly down covering the whole pad with tape, extend the tape a good distance from all edges of the pad to make sure the pressure is maintained.

HALF A DOZEN STRONG TEA BAGS

Tea leaves contain tannin which has anti-inflammatory and vaso-constrictor properties. To wash out an eye make as you would tea, leave to cool and lean forward so the liquid in the container reaches the eye and open and close the eye whilst in the liquid. The tea bag can be placed on the eye afterwards, to reduce any swelling and irritation.

Tannin is a vasoconstrictor, it causes blood vessels to contract and therefore slows blood loss. It would be no use at all for anything major, but for nosebleeds, traumatic tooth extractions and minor cuts and abrasions, it works well. Put just enough boiling water on the tea bag to make it swell to its maximum size and show a little liquid leaking from it, then when it has cooled sufficiently apply it to the tooth socket, cut etc. for nose bleeds roll the bag as small as you can and plug the nostril with as much of it as you can, you can cut it in half if need be and roll so as the cut edge is on the inside of the roll. There is no worry about sterility with a nose bleed.

STRONG SMELLING VAPOUR RUB

There are times when the smells around you are almost too much to bear. Infected wounds, corpses, human waste all give off gut-wrenching odours and dabbing vapour rub under your nose helps a great deal.

I have heard occasionally that a dab under the nose of someone having an asthma attack, who does not have an inhaler with them, helps open the airways a little making breathing somewhat easier. I have no experience of this and therefore cannot vouch for it. Having said that an asthma sufferer without an inhaler will not come to any harm by trying this.

A SECTION OF BICYCLE TYRE INNER TUBE

The inner tube from a bicycle tyre is very stretchy and it makes an excellent tourniquet. It is also possible to use it as a fire starter, and it will burn even when it is pouring with rain, and it burns for a long while, often long enough to dry out a little damp tinder placed very near it.

A SUPER ABSORBANT DRYING CLOTH

These microfibre cloths are very light weight and take up almost no space. They are excellent for drying around wounds so that dressings and tapes stick more easily. As they hold a good amount of liquid, one dunked in water and lightly squeezed out is useful for giving a casualty that cannot sit properly sips of water, they just suck on the cloth.

AN EMPTY SODA BOTTLE

Cut off the top and bottom and then cut it along it’s length. This gives you a sheet of strong plastic that rolls back into a tube when you let it go. These make great splints, keeping clothing etc away from a wound or helping to immobilise a broken bone. Unroll, place around the limb and gently let it go back into its tube shape. Then, very gently, close the plastic up, one edge will slide under the other with little effort. Fix in place with a piece of tape. To store, roll it up tight and secure with a rubber band. We used this method in hospitals to stop babies and toddlers ripping off their dressings, works very well.

A PAIR OF ADULT OVER THE KNEE SOCKS

Get an adult pair of knee high socks and force them over a large, full soda bottle to stretch them. When stretched for a couple of days, roll them down the bottle so what you end up with resembles a donut, store them in this shape so that they can be rolled onto a limb rather than forced up over it causing pain and possibly more injury. They are great for holding a leg dressing in place, and make a good sling for arm injuries. Roll onto the arm, position the arm comfortably and safety pin to the patients clothing in a couple of places, beats messing about with a triangular bandage if you are in a hurry. If they have long sleeves, position the arm and pin the sleeve to the body of their clothing.

Well there you have it, a few conventional items with a few unconventional uses.

Take care

Lizzie

Categories: First Aid, Frugal Preps, Medical, Preparedness, Self-reliance, Survival | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Topical Home Remedies the Easy Way

By Tess Pennington
Source: Ready Nutrition
August 2012

What will you do when tubes of triple antibiotic cream is no longer as close as the pharmacy department of the nearest Wal-Mart?

With a little study and preparation, you’ll make your own, of course. I have a child with numerous allergies and sensitivities, so even now, with the commercial salves readily available, I prefer the peace of mind that comes from making my own topical remedies so that I know every single ingredient contained within.

Salves and balms are very simple and can be made in a few easy steps.  They have two basic components – the base and the healing herbs.

Step 1: Create a Base for Your Salve Base

  • Petroleum Jelly – I’m not a fan – if you are going to the effort of using natural non-chemical products, you might want to reconsider a base made from petroleum.
  • Beeswax (not good for people with pollen allergies). Also added to salves to harden the oils more easily. For two cups of plant based oil, use 1 1/2 ounces of beeswax. For smaller quantities of salve: one ounce of oil will need about 1/2 teaspoon of beeswax to harden the salve.
  • Lanolin
  • Plant oil (grape seed oil, coconut oil, olive oil) – these are rich in vitamin E
  • Honey (has the benefit of being a natural antibiotic)

Typically, for a larger quantity of salve, you will use around 1/2 to 1 cup of oil. Keep in mind that you want to use enough oil to cover 1 inch above the herbs while they are heated. Once you have chosen your base, then it is time to select your “herbal medicinal” ingredient or ingredients. (See below for a directory of some commonly found medicinal herbs.)

Step 2: Add the Healing Herbs or Essential Oils

If you have essential oils available you can skip the step for extracting the medicinal qualities from the herbs. Otherwise, use this process to extract the healing properties of the herbs.

  1. On a double broiler, stir the 1 cup of plant-based oil and herb or herbs on low heat for one to two hours, stirring often. Ensure the oil is covering the herb blend. The longer you cook the herbs in the oil, the stronger your mixture will be.
  2. Alternatively, use your crockpot on a low setting to extract the medicinal qualities from the herbs.  In the crock pot the process takes 3-5 hours but the mixture does not have to be tended and stirred.  It takes longer to extract the healing qualities from roots than from leaves.
  3. Using cheese cloth or an extremely fine mesh colander, strain the herbs from the oil. Place the oil back into the top of the double boiler and add beeswax to harden the salve. Stir until completely melted.
  4. Check to see if the balm has hardened sufficiently by dipping out a small amount in a spoon and allowing it to cool. If it is still runny, you need to add more beeswax.
  5. Pour the mixture into a sterile container and add essential oils or vitamin E oil (if desired), stirring well.  Store in a cool dry place.
  6. Always test a skin patch before wide use, and then, if there is no reaction, most salves can be used as needed several times per day.

Using the directions provided above many different salves can be created. Try some of the following combinations or refer to the 30 Most Popular Herbs for Natural Medicine for more examples of herbs that can be used medicinally.

  • Aloe Vera and Vitamin E – great for burns and sunburns
  • Calendula and Comfrey – soothing for rashes, burns and minor irritation
  • Aloe Vera and Vitamin E – great for burns and sunburns
  • Goldenseal, Comfrey and Echinacea – antibacterial
  • Black Walnut, Burdock, Echinacea and Tea Tree Oil – fungal infections
  • Eucalyptus oil and Camphor oil – Chest rub (like homemade Vick’s)
  • Arnica Flower – sprains, sore muscles and bruises
  • Tea tree oil and Lavender oil – antibiotic
  • Chamomile and comfrey – soothing for rashes and insect bites
  • White willow bark – mild analgesic

One day you may be looking to nature for your pharmaceuticals.  As well, consider planting the herbs (many of these are perennial) and/or locating places in your area where they grow wild. Do some research – find out what bounty nature provides in your locale and find out how the items can be used in your natural medicine cabinet.

 

For more homemade salve recipes, click here.

 

Author: Tess Pennington
Web Site: http://www.ReadyNutrition.com/

Date: August 3rd, 2012

Related Categories: Featured, Homesteading, Medical Emergencies, Natural Alternatives, Recipes

Categories: First Aid, Frugal Preps, Herbal Remedies, Homeopathy, Medical, Preparedness, Self-reliance, Survival Skills, Wildcrafting | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Most Often Forgotten Survival Preparations

This article was written by Brandon Smith and posted over at his site Alt-Market.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012 06:47 Brandon Smith

I think it’s safe to say with some conviction that in the year of 2012 the concept of survival prepping is NOT an alien one to most Americans.  When National Geographic decides there is a viable market for a prepper TV show (no matter how misrepresentative of true preppers it may be), when Walmart starts stocking shelves with long term emergency food storage kits, when survivalism in general becomes one of the few growing business markets in the midst of an otherwise disintegrating economy; you know that the methodology has gone “mainstream”.  There is a noticeable and expanding concern amongst Americans that we are, indeed, on the verge of something new and unfortunate.

Is it the big bad hoodoo of the soon to expire Mayan Calendar?  For a few, maybe, but for the majority of us, no.  That jazz is a carnival sideshow designed to make the prepping culture appear ridiculous.  We don’t need to believe in magical prophecies to know that there is a catastrophic road ahead; all we have to do is look at the stark realities of our current circumstances.  It does not take much awareness anymore to notice looming fiscal volatility, social unrest, the potential for unrestrained war, and the totalitarian boldness of our government.  I’ll take the wrath of Quetzalcoatl any day over the manure storm that is approaching us currently.

With some estimating a count of 3 million prepper families and growing in the U.S., the motto of “beans, bullets, and band-aids” is finding a home amongst legions.  However, being closely involved in the survivalist movement during the past six years and speaking with literally thousands of preppers, it has become clear to me that we still have a long journey ahead of us before we can claim true efficiency and mastery.

Sadly, having a stockpile of food, weapons, and some slick tactical gear is not enough to ensure a high likelihood of survival, at least not in any of the social collapses that have occurred in the past century around the world.  It’s a start, but only just…

There are a number of detrimental weakness to the survivalist movement and considerable holes in prepper knowledge that must be addressed now while we have the time and relative safety to do so.  The greatest threat to the common survivalist is not economic collapse, roving bandits, Blackwater mercenaries, or predator drones; those dangers are a piece of cake compared to the threat of an overblown ego, which will get a man killed faster than the most sophisticated smart bomb.  If we cannot accept that there is always more to learn, and room to improve, we have been defeated before we have begun.

The following is just a short list of the many areas in which there is obvious and acute inadequacy in the movement overall…

Secondary Retreat Locations

Never put all your eggs in one basket.  I hear a lot of tough talk from some survivalists who claim they would rather die than leave their property.  Of course, I suspect they will see the error in this brand of bravado when the legitimate chance of death actually arises.  There is no harm whatsoever in having a backup plan.  I’m not sure any survivalist who doesn’t is really a survivalist.  Stand your ground when necessary, but don’t let pure pride and stupidity prevent you from living to fight again another day.

Physical Fitness And Health

You may be the Tom Berenger-like master sniper of your particular county, but if you can’t run a hundred yards with your rifle rig without going into coronary thrombosis, then you aren’t going to live long during a collapse scenario.  Even those preppers who have age as an excuse…don’t really have an excuse.  I personally know survivalists and homesteaders in their 60’s and 70’s who could physically outmatch numerous other preppers of the same age or younger without much effort.  The difference?  They make a concerted effort to take care of their health.

Sometimes certain wise-cracks made by the insipid yuppies of our modern era against suvivalists are true, and we should take serious note when this occurs.  The primary insult being that many of us are far too fat to outrun or outfight a paper sack, let alone a determined opponent.  I have, to be honest, seen chest beating antics from more than a few clinically obese “preppers” that were truly embarrassing.  On the bright side, this does not have to be a permanent hindrance to our success.

The solution is simple:  Eat less.  Eat healthier.  Exercise more.

A person who has attained a high level of physical fitness has done more than prove his prowess.  He has also proven he has the will and the passion to pursue a directed goal and achieve it, regardless of difficulty.  This is where the adults are separated from the children in this world.  Are you willing to endure extreme difficulty to win something of legitimate value?  Do you have the self discipline to forgo certain luxuries and comforts to gain long term advantages?  Or, would you rather take the path of least resistance and certain doom?  Personal health is no joke for the survivalist.

Community Building And Networking

Organization is not the strongest suit of the survivalist movement for a number of reasons.  The first being that our paranoia completely impedes our ability to work with others.  Now, to be clear, it is not paranoia if they are really out to get you, and with multiple leaked documents like the MIAC Report, the Virginia Fusion Center Report, and the DHS reports on “right wing extremism”, it is not as if our concerns are unfounded.  However, the movement needs to realize that the primary object of labeling us as “extremists” and categorizing us as potential threats to national security is to create crippling fear.  Their main goal is to condition preppers to censor themselves, and to stifle their own organizational efforts.

Solid community, even open formation of community, is necessary for countless reasons.  The more we isolate ourselves from one another now, the more alone and vulnerable we will be tomorrow.  Calls for “OPSEC” should be embraced to a point, but they can also become an excuse for laziness and inaction.  No prepper who goes it alone during crisis is going to come out unscathed, if they come out alive at all.  This is the great forgotten lesson of survival, from the Depression and Weimar Germany, to Argentina and Bosnia; those persons and families who were isolated simply did not make it.  The wide spectrum of skill sets and supplies needed to establish a survival foundation are far too many for any single prepper to attain.

The logical fallacy that usually prevents survival networking is the argument that if you are a bigger group, you are a bigger target.  This thinking shows a lack of prioritization.  During a social or economic collapse, EVERYONE is a target.  National chaos does not make distinctions between those who never shared their survivalist tendencies and those who did.  The DHS might, but they are not the biggest threat to the common prepper.  The most dangerous environment for the prepper, no matter what the circumstances may be, is one in which he has no support.

If you do not have ample neighbors and friends on board with the prepper lifestyle, and who can be counted on in an emergency, then you are not ready, nor are your chances very good.  Period.

Barter Markets And Trade Skills

At Alt-Market we relentlessly promote the idea of decentralized trade markets because, to be frank, they are going to spring up one day soon whether the IRS, the DOJ, or the Federal Reserve likes it or not.  The crisis in the EU has proven my position on the inevitability of the barter dynamic conclusively.  These private trade networks are becoming the new foundation for countries like Greece, Italy, and Spain, and it should be noted that the financial instabilities in America far outweigh any of the problem in those places.  If we know that economic danger is on the horizon, and we know that barter markets will be the immediate result, then why not build them now, instead of waiting and scrambling after disaster strikes?

Any survivalist that does not know who he will be trading for essential supplies, and who does not know what skills he will use to garner those supplies, is in for a world of hurt.

Overlooked But Vital Items

There is a saying in the survival movement:  You’re never done prepping.  I absolutely agree.  Unless you are a millionaire with a highly organized brain, there will always be some other piece of equipment that you’ll discover you need down the line.  That said, there are some things every prepper should have, but many, from my observations, do not.  I have also heard every excuse imaginable and some unimaginable when such people are presented with the recommendation that they obtain these items, lack of money being the usual suspect.

Yes, many of us are broke, or feel broke, these days  Invariably, though, when most survivalists examine their financial situation carefully, they will discover a host of peripheral expenses that are unnecessary or outright extravagant.  I once had a would-be survivalist make the argument that he could not afford a year’s supply of food, then admit that he had just went on a Carnival Cruise to the Caribbean.  This is an extreme example, but it illustrates a common hang up.  Now is not the time for people to live beyond their means, or to shrug off their preps so that they can have a new La-Z-Boy, cable TV, an internet gaming account, a high priced vacation, a six day a week stockpile of beer (hey, cut back a day, guys!  Try it out and see how it fits) etc.  Times are changing, and they will definitely change without us if we are not careful.

There is always a way to get the preps you need, if you are motivated enough to make it happen.  Here are a few items that seem to escape from people’s lists:

Extra Survival Clothing:
Clothing is a real pain for a lot of survivalists because it is one prep that they must absolutely purchase doubles and triples of.  Good durable shoes, pants, even socks, can get expensive.  Base layer clothing like Smart Wool sometimes costs in the range of $100 or more for a single set.  Take the pain, bite the bullet, and get the absolute best clothing you can find in multiples.  It may have to last you quite a long time without replacement, especially the artificial fabrics.  Imagine having to wear the same vapor producing sweat drenched crusty duds day in and day out while sharing a retreat location with some less than amused buddies.  They may end up coming after you before the looters do.

Body Armor: This stuff is going to be at a premium in the near future.  I have already seen price spikes in good body armor in the days after the Aurora Theater shootings.  Why?  Because the fear is that the establishment will move to try to ban said gear in response, causing a rush to purchase.  That fear is not misplaced.  Plus, I would imagine a bullet to the gut, whether accidental or intentional, is not an event to celebrate with a rootbeer float.  Believe it or not, body armor rigs that include rifle plates are extremely sparse amongst preppers right now, and this simply can’t continue.

Gas Masks And Filters: Not long ago I wrote about the revolutions and rebellions that took place in Russia after the formation of the Soviet Union against the abuses of communism.  At that time, the more successful the rebellion, the more apt the Soviets were to dump chemical weapons over entire towns, mountains, and valleys, to erase the problem.  Never expect that a tyrannical government is going to fight fair.  In fact, expect that they won’t.  Even if you don’t foresee such an event taking place in the U.S., it is imperative that every person owns not just a gas mask, but extra filters as well.  Plan on dealing with multiple incidences in which your air will be unsafe to breath.

NBC Alert Items: How many preppers do you know with a Geiger Counter?  I know three, out of the hundreds I speak with regularly.  This is not a good sign.  If the Fukushima disaster has taught us anything, it is that radiological threats are not just relegated to the realm of nuclear bombs.  Every community should have several Geiger Counter devices handy, along with chemical warfare strips which change color when exposed to an offending airborne agent.  Remember the panic buying that ensued in Japan for these kinds of goods after the reactor meltdown?  Don’t overlook radioactivity.  Knowing what has been hit by concentrated fallout and what hasn’t is a tremendous advantage.

Thermal Countermeasures: A box of road flares, IR flashlights, and IR floodlights, should be in every survivalists home.  With the advent of predator drones armed with night vision and thermal vision, as well as numerous other nasty weapons platforms, the need for countermeasures that create false thermal signatures to confuse an attacker with this kind of technology is a must.

Extra First Aid Supplies: During a collapse, you become the hospital, and no amount of Obamacare is going to help you.  Almost every prepper has a first aid kit, but few have one that will really last through a prolonged crisis.  Collapse brings with it all kinds of injuries and sicknesses we never think of facing in our current atmosphere, with more frequency than I believe many would like to admit possible.  A sterile bandage may be as sought after and as rare as a warm shower in the near future, so stock an ample supply.

Solar Panels: I am astonished at how many preppers still do not have any solar power capability today.  It’s FREE off grid power, for god’s sake!  Pay the initial costs, and at least buy a system that is capable of charging and running batteries and essential electronics that will aid you in your survival.

Greenhouse: When discussing the idea of relocation, I sometimes hear the assertion that places like Montana are terrible for growing food (usually from people who have never lived in Montana).  In fact, a survival garden could be grown almost anywhere, regardless of region or climate, if you use the right methods.  One of the best methods is the use of a greenhouse, which many preppers do not have.  Set aside your preconceptions of what gardening is, and do what works.  Even in winter, some plants can be grown in a greenhouse environment to provide you and your family with precious vitamin rich food.  Just build it.

Raw Building Materials: Do you have a stockpile of lumber and nails?  What about raw iron and steel?  Sealants to repel pests and maintain your home?  Bags of concrete to reinforce a new addition?  Think about how much you will need to build after the final shoe drops.  Probably a lot more than you have ever built in your life…

No Room For Error

Time is running short, and if we are to succeed as a movement, we must be ready to hold a candle to ourselves, admit where we are lacking, and fix the problem while we have the luxury to do so.  Ultimately, the most important and most ignored aspect of prepping is our own mindset.  Do we have the correct sense of urgency, and are we acting on it?  Have we prepared ourselves psychologically for the difficulties ahead?  Are we ready to make sacrifices for survival and victory?  Will we have what it takes at our core to see this thing through?  At this very moment, many do not.  But, they have the potential to rise to the occasion.  The decision is theirs to make…

 

 

You can contact Brandon Smith atbrandon@alt-market.com

Categories: Barter, DIY Preparedness, Economic Collapse, equipment, Firearms, First Aid, Food Storage, Gardening, Gear, Homesteading, Investing/Tangibles, Preparedness, Self-reliance, SHTF, Survival Skills, TEOTWAWKI | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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