TEOTWAWKI

The Prepper’s Exhaustive Guide to Sleep Saboteurs

by Todd Walker

Catching enough zzzz’s can be difficult. A hungry infant, tomorrow’s big presentation at work, blogging, paying bills, TV, a novel you can’t put down, catching up with visiting relatives, or little Johnny’s science project – good or bad – all serve as sleep saboteurs.

The Prepper Exhaustive Guide to Sleep Saboteurs

Image source: Mommasgonecity.com

These all happen in ‘normal’ times and leave us feeling half-baked! I still remember being a sleepless zombie for a year after our first daughter was born. Will she ever sleep through the night!?!?

Now imagine the nightmarish effect a wide-scale disaster scenario will have on our physiological need for quality sleep. Being sleepless in Seattle or anywhere else for an extended period of time will only increase your chances of not making it out alive.

Not getting enough sleep makes us sloppy. We can cope with some sloppiness when times are good. Our modern medical systems are in place to cover our mistakes.

However, you need to be functioning on all cylinders in the crunch. No matter how much stuff, skills, and knowledge you’ve acquired, fatigue makes cowards of us all.

Have you thought about how you plan to get enough sleep WTSHTF?

Your natural circadian rhythm can be ignored, but not for long – and not without consequences. When all hell is breaking loose around you and your family, your body and mind need sleep to survive. Not the one-eye-wide-open variety. But the deep, dead-to-the-world type that restores the body, mind, and soul.

When the crunch arrives, sleep as we know it will change – suddenly.

The Sandman cometh

Off the top of my well-rested head, here’s the science on how insufficient sleep will sabotage your health and survival:

  • Accelerates aging and may increase age-related pathologies like cancer. Have you ever heard this line before. I used to say it myself. “I can sleep when I’m dead.” Insufficient sleep will oblige and speed up your journey.
  • Associated with chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression.
  • Heading over the river and through the woods to grandma’s house for Thanksgiving? Just realize that 1 in 10 of your fellow travelers have fallen asleep at the wheel in the past year. Drowsy driving is responsible for 16.5 percent of deadly crashes.
  • You want to consolidate and use all those new survival skills you’ve been learning, right? A group of researchers in Switzerland found that sufficient sleep was the key to good memory and increases our ability to perform new skills.
  • Group cohesion is likely to come unglued if your tribe doesn’t have enough people to pull graveyard guard shifts for those who are sleeping. The stressors in survival situations take a toll on our bodies, minds, emotions, and overall health. Add sleep deprivation to the mix and the attitude of your group will likely take on a more negative tint.
  • Poor sleep disrupts metabolic function. That’s right, sleepless nights are linked to obesity and diabetes. This study shows data supporting the role of sleep in the regulation of glucose homeostasis and the hormones involved in the regulation of appetite. For preppers wanting to lose weight and build lean muscle mass, get quality sleep before the reset.
  • Reaction time slows. Instead of responding alertly to a threat, sleep deprived individuals are slower to react than those who are well rested. This could be costly when seconds count.

The main occupational hazard of survivalists is dying. When our sleep equilibrium is out of whack, nature finds a way to balance the equation. Our body stops functioning at peak capacity in an effort to restore and rebuild. That’s not something you can afford in the coming collapse. You need to be strong to be useful.

Sleepless nights will abound in an extended SHTF scenario. Food, water, shelter, security, and personal hygiene are top priorities in the preparedness community. If you’ve got these basics taken care of, congrats! However, you’ll be reeling in regret if you neglect sleep hygiene.

Sleep hygiene simply means getting proper amounts of quality sleep.

This photo shows an owl perched at a tree bran...

In case it hasn’t dawned on you yet, a scheduled sleep plan is one of the most important, yet most neglected, parts of long-term survival with the added bonus of chronic good health!

To turn your dream of quality pillow time into reality, here’s my Sherpa tips for creating a Survival Sleep Hygiene Plan.

Tips for a Survival Sleep Hygiene Plan

A.) Listen to your biological clock

It becomes more important to follow our natural sleep cycle as we age. Over the last four years my sleep patterns have changed. It may have something to do with following a Primal/Paleo lifestyle. I get sleepy and go to bed around 8 to 9 PM and get up between 4 to 5 AM – without an alarm clock. I stare in silence at my lunch table buddies when the conversation turns to who won American Idol or Dancing with the Stars. They know not to include me since I’m in dreamland at that hour. I’m sure I didn’t miss any significant stuff.

B.) Schedule your sleep

As much as possible, stick to a regular bedtime and wakeup schedule. If you have children, you already know the importance a sleep schedule.

If you can’t sleep with the thought of missing your favorite TV show, record it and watch it later. Better yet, unplug it during the work week. Your body will thank you the morning after! In a crisis, mindless entertainment won’t be on your immediate list of priorities anyway.

C.) Find your balance

The average person needs 7-9 hours of shut-eye each night. Too little or too much sleep adds oxidative stress.

D.) Light discipline

This one may be easy to come by if our fragile power grid goes bye-bye. Until the lights go out, sleep is best had in total darkness. Even the glow of LED lights on an alarm clock can interrupt sleep. Cover your alarm clock or just ditch it. Your rooster will let you know when it’s morning time.

Outdoor security lights can be blocked with blackout window shades – useful to keep light inside your house when the need arises.

E.) Avoid the blue glow after dark

Bright light is linked to a decrease in melatonin, the hormone that helps control your natural sleep-wake cycle. Filling your eyes with bright lights before bedtime will have you counting too many sheep.

A word of caution: Melatonin supplements are sold as a natural, safe sleep aid. It’s a hormone – not a vitamin – and can cause damage if miss used!

Blue light emitted from your computer and TV mimics sunlight. Consider installing Flux to make your screen match the light in your room.

For night-time TV viewing, try wearing a pair of orange tinted safety goggles to filter out the blue light. Since I don’t watch much TV, I haven’t tried this geeky trick.

F.) Get more natural blue light

Our primitive ancestors spent lots of time outdoors in the sunlight. Natural light can help regulate your circadian rhythm. Escape your artificially lit cubical and step into the sunlight on work breaks for a natural shot blue light and fresh air.

G.) Room temperature

Dirt Road Girl and I sleep best when it’s cold in the bedroom. We open a window for cold air flow in the winter. Of course, make sure you have security measures in place for open windows.

My best sleep happens at our off-grid cabin in cold weather. No lights and cold sheets. Snuggling under wool blankets is a valid heat source! In the spring/summer/fall, I like to take a deep dive into the spring-fed portion of the lake to cool down before jumping in bed.

H.) Physical exertion before bed

Regular exercise is great for optimal health. But working out just before hitting the sack without giving your body time to cool down can hamstring quality sleep. A few minutes of light stretching before bed should be okay.

I.) No big meals before bedtime

J.) Burn a candle

Lighting candles not only adds a romantic mood while eating Meals Ready to Eat in your survival lair, fire light doesn’t emit artificial blue light. Plus, you might get lucky with this added sleep aid.

K.) Read a book before bed

Nothing new here.

L.) De-gadget your bedroom

Get rid of TV’s, phones, electronic devices, and any other potential sleep saboteurs in the bedroom. That includes pets.

M.) Take a short nap

A 20 to 30 minute power nap has been shown to increase productivity. Maybe your boss will catch on.

N.) Does your city ever sleep?

Mr. Rawles of SurvivalBlog.com may be right about the American Redoubt.

Map of Sleep Insufficiency:

The map below depicts age-adjusted* percentage of adults who reported 30 days of insufficient rest or sleep† during the preceding 30 days. Data is from the 2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, United States.‡

A map of the United States displaying the Percentage of Adults Reporting 30 Days Insufficient Rest of Sleep During Preceding 30 Days
* Age adjusted to 2000 projected U.S. population.
† Determined by response to the question, “During the past 30 days, for about how many days have you felt you did not get enough rest or sleep?”
‡ Includes the 50 states, District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands.

Map Source

Sleep has been viewed as a passive event and a waste of time by some. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sleep is vital to your survival! Find a way to let melatonin do its night-time job of restoring and repairing your body tissue and cells. 

Are you sick and tired of being exhausted? Get ahead of the herd by starting your Survival Sleep Hygiene Plan before the next crisis erupts.

Stop yawning and let us know your thoughts in the comments. Life is short – sleep hard!

Keep Doing the Stuff!

Todd

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Categories: Preparedness, SHTF, TEOTWAWKI, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 8 Comments

Would You Choose Chuck Norris to Survive?

by Todd Walker

I hate hypothetical scenarios with situational ethics.

would-you-choose-chuck-norris-to-survive?

Remember the roundhouse! Source

In a recent training for fellow math teachers, our instructor started off the day with ‘what if’ situation. I’m normally bored to death at these types of trainings. My prepper ears perked up when she threw this bomb at us.

She tells the class that we are about to be bombed. There’s a bunker that only holds 4 people. The problem is that there are five people needing shelter: a doctor, parent, lawyer, athlete, and movie star.

“Who would you choose to survive in the bunker?” she said.

She divided us up into five groups and assigned each group a character to represent. I was randomly chosen to be in the ‘movie star’ group.

She gave us 3 minutes to devise a plan to convince the other four characters that we deserved to be saved from the bomb. Of course my Survival Sherpa brain went into overdrive.

We were the last group to plead our case. I was elected spokesman for our group with one minute to argue our point and one minute for rebuttal. My opening line was…

“Hi. I’m Chuck Norris.”

You’d think that would be enough. Apparently not. The movie star was eventually voted out after being tied with the lawyer.

I tell this story not to make you think about who would be the most valuable in a TEOTWAWKI bunker. But to stop you, or at least slow you down, from judging preppers by their day jobs.

Let’s break down each of the characters voted into the survival shelter in this exercise in futility. No background knowledge was given for any of the potential bunker residents.

Doctor

The doctor argued about the ability to save lives, medically speaking. Everyone needs a good doctor, right? Doctors know how the body works and how to heal… blah, blah, blah.

My rebuttal: The last two years of DRG’s battle with cancer taught us that modern medical doctors are not very useful without modern medical technology. That’s why it’s called ‘practicing’ medicine. Without electronic equipment and BigPharma’s pills, doctors may not add much value in the bunker.

I would a prefer a general practitioner over a specialist in this case. Maybe an older country doctor that was use to making house calls and not afraid to use unconventional methods.

SmartPrepper Tip: Stocking up on medicine and medical supplies is smart. A more important resource is to develop skills and knowledge in alternative medicine and herbal remedies. The pills will eventually run out.

Parent

The main argument to keep the parent was for procreation. We’ll need breeders to repopulate after weathering the storm. Plus they have nurturing skills.

Rebuttal: (I didn’t add to this one) Others pointed out that the other three would have the same fertility properties as the parent. Note: gender was not specified for any of the participants. I think everyone assumed ‘parent’ meant mom.

Lawyer

One of my good friends argued the benefits of keeping the lawyer. She noted that we would need a lawyer who understood legalese when it came time to rebuild and write a new constitution.

My rebuttal: One reason we’re in the mess we’re in today is because lawyers were involved in writing our Constitution. It’s not that cut and dried, I know.

Immediately, another teacher from the lawyer’s firm piped up and declared, “The U.S. Constitution was written by farmer not lawyers.” Yes, she was demonstrating her vast knowledge of history and the success of our indoctrinating system of education. Not a critical thought in the collective’s head.

Athlete

This person made it into the bunker. They pointed out the benefits of having a strong, healthy person to do the heavy lifting. The athlete would also add speed and endurance and good genes for the parent in procreation.

Rebuttal: The physical strength of the athlete was intimidating for some. Many argued that he/she would take over and rule the group by sheer force.

Making Judgements without Background Knowledge

Choosing any of the above characters for survivability without background knowledge is an exercise in futility. The lawyer, my least favorite, could have been one of my readers who is a multitasking SmartPrepper who values personal liberty. I’d still want him/her on a short leash ;)

The parent could be Lisa Bedford, The Survival Mom, or James Wesley Rawles of Survival Blog, or an unknown SmartPrepper busy doing the stuff.

The point is to get to know people when building tribe. Don’t make hasty judgements on who can and can’t add value to your group. Vetting is important and takes time. You won’t get to know other people if you’re not in an active, ongoing relationship.

And just so you know, Chuck Norris doesn’t need a bunker anyway. He is the bunker!

Just for fun, out of these, who would you choose?

Keep doing the stuff!

Todd

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Categories: Preparedness, SHTF, Survival, TEOTWAWKI | Tags: , | 8 Comments

What To Do If The Nightmare Becomes Reality?

by Todd Walker

I’ve waited all day trying to decide to post this or not. I don’t know what to think. So I’m putting it out there.

Last night I woke up in a panic. “It was only a dream,” I told myself.

The dream was real.  But could the terror in my dream materialize? I’m not a mystic or prophetic, but I do believe we should pay attention to dreams … and even nightmares.

It’s unusual for me to remember the details of a dream. In this one, I was horrified. Sweating. Agony. I don’t ever remember utilizing all 5 senses in a dream. Last night I could smell, feel, hear, taste, and see the detailed devastation.

It was a dark night of the soul experience.

photo

TEOTWAWKI happened and I was caught with my pants down. Literally. It was like the scene from Schindler’s List where the Nazis were making their captives run around naked in the yard of the concentration camp. The older, weak, and less “useful” were sent to the furnace. Horrible!

The worst part about it was that I felt responsible somehow. I didn’t do enough.

DRG was ripped from my arms. Terror gripped me because I had no control. I couldn’t fight back the overwhelming numbers and force. “What would happen to our children, grandchildren, and expectant daughter-in-law,” I remember thinking.

Why am I sharing this miserable night? I’m not looking for an interpretation. The meaning is crystal clear to me.

Here’s what I took away from my twilight zone.

A.) Prepare now! You can take it as a warning or write it off as a dream from a crazy mind. Each of us are free to choose. The catch is that we can’t choose the consequences. Redouble your efforts in these areas.

  • Self-sufficiency skills. Increase your ability to acquire the basics – water, food, shelter, and security.
  • After the basics, begin to build resilience into systems like alternative energy, sustainable gardening/permaculture, and self-employment.

B.) Never give up your ability to defend yourself. Owning modern weaponry keeps the State in check, some what. Giving up your natural right to defend yourself from Enemies, Foreign and Domestic, leads to genocide. History is full of examples of the wholesale mass murder of disarmed subjects. Beware of lethal laws. Are you sure you’re not an enemy of the State? Are you on any lists?

C.) Build a strong relationship with your family, group, community, and God.

  • Find ways to add value.
  • Exchange value for value within your group and community.
  • Establish beneficial bartering relationships locally.

D.) Wake up. Don’t fall for the it-could-never-happen-here doublespeak. Read some history. Our government has engaged in civilian round-ups before… in the name of national security. And we willing traded liberty for security.

  • In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, which permitted the military to circumvent the constitutional safeguards of American citizens in the name of national defense. Over 120,000 Americans of Japanese decent were forced to leave their homes, livelihoods, and families with the stroke of a pen. About half of these prisoners were children. Source
  • President Andrew Jackson signed the The Indian Removal Act of 1830 which forced Native Americans to relocate to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi. It was spun as voluntary, but always remember that government equals force. Over 100,000 people were forced to follow the Trail of Tears. 15,000 died on the journey. Source

We don’t have to have this kind of nightmare to jolt us into action. World events and the poly-ticks are evidence enough to shift your prepping into overdrive.

Was my dream just a nightmare or a premonition?

 

Categories: Preparedness, Resilience, Self-reliance, Survival, TEOTWAWKI | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

How To Avoid Having A Mountain Pass Named After You

by Todd Walker

Can you get there from here?

Photo credit

Dirt Road Girl loves mapping our trips – even if I know how to get there. She claims I have a built-in GPS in my head. That doesn’t stop her from whipping out her trusty atlas from behind her seat. She’s the first to admit that she’s directionally challenged. She doesn’t use her smart phone map. She likes the paper version.

I’ve been “lost” a few times due to poor planning. Being of the male persuasion, I never admit to being lost. I call it exploring. Here are three strategies that will help you navigate the not so clear path to preparedness in Lewis and Clark fashion.

How to Avoid a Donner Party Bug Out

Over 160 years ago, a bunch of pilgrims hitched about 90 wagons and let the dust fly on the “Great Highway of the West” chasing their dream of a better life. The tragedy that followed in the Sierra Nevada happened to everyday folk like you and me – merchants, teachers, farmers, fathers, mothers, and children. Almost half of the group died.

Keep in mind, they weren’t bugging out as we know the term today. The pressure and stress of bugging out runs through my mind like a bad taco through my business end. If you’ve ever packed for an extended vacation, or visit to the in-laws, you know what I’m saying. I once packed my young family of four and moved to Siberia for 6 months. The amount of stress involved in carrying a two-year old on my back, carry on luggage, my four-year old by the hand, and wife #1 by the feet, was memorable – but doable with modern transportation. How about trying it Donner style with primitive means of locomotion? I now understand why death visited these pilgrims even before the winter snows reduced them to eating each other.

Reading survival fiction makes me go hum at times. Some authors portray what I think would be a fairly accurate journey in the land of TEOTWAWKI. For some, not so much. Who knows what to expect? I’m certain that it won’t be a drive or walk in the park. To get a glimpse of a real-life SHTF event, look no further than the Donner Party tragedy. Their life and death struggle offers many lessons on survival. Here’s a few.

Beware of untested advice

Decisions made by ‘leaders’ of the group didn’t end well. Leaders lead only if they have followers. I’ve seen many self-proclaimed leaders and leaders-by-title in this category. All they’re doing is taking a long walk by themselves…with no followers. It’s always easy to follow leaders when they make good decisions and the journey is easy. No one makes all the right choices. I’ve made many horrible decisions that not only effected me, but those following me. That’s the worst part. Knowing I’ve caused pain to those closest to me. There’s no easy way or short cut to right the ship. And the bigger the ship (group), the longer it takes to turn it in the right direction.

James Reed, the unofficial leader of the party, read “The Emigrants’ Guide to Oregon and California” by Landsford W. Hastings before their departure. Granted, Reed had no way of knowing that Hastings route was untested when they packed their last cast iron skillet on the wagons in Springfield, IL. Hastings claimed his short cut would shave 400 miles on easy trails for westward pioneers. It didn’t. Pay close attention to snake oil salesmen like Hastings. Examining his motives, one finds his vision of building his financial empire in the Golden State. Nothing wrong with making money. However, choosing to follow untested advice from his little book was one cause of the Donner Party’s doom.

Even with new information available along the journey, proving this short cut to be a hoax, the ‘leader’ decided to stay the course. If you’ve read advice or watched videos on preparedness and survival, follow your gut – no matter what the ‘experts’ say. Some in the Donner wagon train followed their gut and a proven route and dodged disaster.

Beware of untested equipment

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There’s nothing wrong with owning quality equipment. In fact, I encourage it. However, all the high-tech gadgetry promoted to ensure your survival is worthless if used stupidly. Mr. Reed had a two-story bug out wagon with extravagant suspension, sleeping quarters, and a stove for heat and cooking. His daughter called it “The Pioneer Palace Car.” This pimped out BOV (Bug Out Vehicle) might have made the journey in tact had the head-strong owner, hell-bent on saving a few miles, not pushed it and his family over the proverbial hill of destruction.

Accidents happen. I get it. This was no accident. He was warned. Here’s an account of Reed’s stupid decision from Legends of America:

At Fort Laramie James Reed ran into an old friend from Illinois by the name of James Clyman, who had just traveled the new route eastwardly with Lansford Hastings. Clyman advised Reed not to take the Hastings Route, stating that the road was barely passable on foot and would be impossible with wagons [Emphasis mine]; also warning him of the great desert and the Sierra Nevadas. Though he strongly suggested that the party take the regular wagon trail rather than this new false route, Reed would later ignore his warning in an attempt to reach their destination more quickly.

If your Survive-O-Meter is pegged on red-alert, back off and reassess. Getting to your destination alive is the objective, right? Experience is a great teacher. Why would Reed jeopardize the lives under his care after hearing first hand advice from an old friend? Pride? Belief in untested equipment? Whatever drove him, it cost him and his party dearly.

Putting confidence in your equipment you personally have never tested is dangerous. I’m afraid too many in the preparedness community fall into this category. My nephew and I had a conversation around the fire pit about his ability to make fire. He told me about his journey to making fire from friction. When he was in middle school, he wanted to make fire with a bow drill using only what he had on his person – a pocket knife and his clothing. He’d read “how to” do it. Now he wanted to test the methods in the book. He gathered wood from behind his house, used his boot lace as cordage, and constructed the bow drill. On the second day and many disappointing hours later, his labor paid off. He created fire from friction! Something I’ve yet to manage, even with training wheels.

Doing the stuff trumps knowing the stuff. Have you tested that new pressure canner, rifle, solar charger, or other shiny survival gizmo?

“In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice, there is.”
— Jan L.A. van de Snepscheut

 

I’ve ignored experience-based advice before and have the scares to prove it. If an alternative route to your “destination” is proven, take it. Weigh the risks and calculate the potential pros and costly cons. Follow your gut. Arriving off schedule is better than dying. Stay prayed up and laid back.

Beware of untested relationships

JIMMY- IRON SHARPENS IRON

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Iron sharpens iron, but there’s a lot of heat in the process. How do you plan for the internal stress that will visit any group on the run to their hide-y-hole? Even if you are able to shelter in place to weather an extended TEOTWAWKI event, plan on tempers flaring. Will arguments over those struggling to keep up or pull their weight with the party end in death? James Reed was banished (some of the group wanted to hang him) for stabbing one of his fellow stragglers. Geez, keep up or die, eh! Other accounts say he killed a teamster for excessively whipping the oxen. Whatever the cause of the attack, it highlights our susceptibility to stress when facing less than predictable situations.

Even if you’re in a group of people you really like and respect, sparks can fly. It would be wise to develop a plan for the added stress and pressure of bugging out or staying put in a world of ‘zombies’ when civilization collapses. The Donner Party had to deal with their own ‘zombies’ – some from within, some from outside their group. Mr. Wolfinger hung back with a few others to cache his wagon in Nevada. Not wise. The survivors in his small group said he fell prey to Indians. The oxen and cattle were easy targets for the natives as well.

From within the group, there was an accidental shooting, minor accidents leading to infection and death, and in the most extreme stage, cannibalism. I’m in no position to judge. I’ve never been close to this kind of extreme survival situation.

In our unpredictable futures (maybe the future is predictable to a degree), it would be wise for us all to heed lessons from the tragic trip of the Donner party. Practicing resilience, self-reliance, and preparedness might keep our names out of the history books.

 

Categories: BOV, Preparedness, Self-reliance, SHTF, Survival, TEOTWAWKI | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

How Many Pills Until Pharmageddon?

http://www.freakingnews.com/pictures/25000/Prozac-Santa-Claus-25108.jpg

by Todd Walker

Expert preppers recommend at least a years worth of the 3 B’s: food (beans), guns and ammo (bullets), and first aid supplies (band aids). I addressed this issue in a previous post about becoming a producer. All this stuff is consumable. What then?

A question I don’t see addressed by many experts is: What happens when the psychotropic drugs run out? How many Adam Lanza-types, armed and drugged, do we work with, live beside, or are married to?

The other day a fellow teacher told me that one of my students in his class must be off his meds. “What happened,” I asked.

“He was flopping on the floor like a fish and making strange sounds and had crazy eyes,” my friend said.

Most times, teachers just send out of control behavior to me to handle. I’ll ask if they took their medicine. The usual reply is negative.

The link between school shootings/violence and legal pharmaceuticals is disturbing to say the least. Here’s a sobering read on the effects of all the mind-altering pills swimming in public schools (Hat Tip to Caroline Cooper – a regular Sherpa commentista). What a disastrous mix: Big Pharma, Medical/Psychiatric Establishment, Industrial Food Complex, and Gun-Free Zone Government Schools. Our appetite for quick fixes, coupled with pharmaceutical profits, places America on top of other pill-popping nations consuming 60% of all psychotropic pills manufactured.

Every year it seems, we hear of another manufactured illness. Ever heard of ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder)? Here’s how the Mayo Clinic defines ODD: [NOTE: I added emphasis in bold, a helpful layman's interpretation for those not familiar with psychobabble, and alternative solutions to pills in brackets]

if your child or teen has a persistent pattern of tantrums [take Jane or Johnny to the woodshed], arguing, and angry or disruptive behavior [see Founding Fathers] toward you and other authority figures [Police State, the collective, Leviathan -  they know what's best for their subjects citizens] he or she may have oppositional defiant disorder (ODD).

As a parent, you don’t have to go it alone in trying to manage [not raise] a child with oppositional defiant disorder. Doctors, counselors and child development experts [BEWARE of ALL 'experts'] can help.

Treatment of ODD involves therapy, training to help build positive family interactions, and possibly medications to treat related mental health conditions (follow the money equation: more patients = more money).

A “problem” child often gets labeled with a mental disorder by refusing to submit and obey the oppressive rules, constant spying, and authoritarian rule in public schools. A school counselor pointed out to me that one of my students (we’ll call him John) must have this dreaded ODD mental order. He would often refuse to sit down and shut up. His mom made the decision to take him off the prescription drugs the previous year. He was making great strides in my math class. Unfortunately, the target was already painted on his back. And he knew it. I responded to the genuinely concerned counselor by saying that I think I must have caught the ODD too. This young man and I had a great year together. I ran interference for him as much as possible to give him a chance to learn. You see, once a child gets labeled, the collective memory of staff and teachers can’t be erased. Finally, his mom moved him to another school.

Zombie Factories

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Government schools are the perfect Petri dishes for profitable pharmaceutical companies. Anti-psychotic drugs, once only prescribed to adults, are readily available to school aged children. Unruly children are drugged for social compliance more than for the mental health of the individual. I call it the zombiefication process. Mix a mind-numbing cocktail of strong anti-psychotic drugs and the invisible straightjacket turns any student into a compliant zombie. Even after John’s mom took him off the drugs, I believe his young, developing brain was badly affected.

Parents and teachers embrace and encourage the pill-popping culture in Zombie Factories. In this fantasy world of rainbows and flying unicorns, we can alter behavior with a prescription pill. We are no longer responsible. Big Psychiatry will “save the children” – some doctor, bought by Big Pharma, will make everything okay with a pill. Like I tell my students repeatedly, school is not the real world. The real world is not fair. Everyone doesn’t “win” and get a trophy. It’s even more cruel when living as mind-controlled zombies drugged on legally addictive pills.

Big Pharma’s Best Kept Secret

Can prescription drugs cause you to kill someone? “Absolutely”, says Dr. David Healy, author of Phamageddon. “Violence and other potentially criminal behavior caused by prescription drugs are medicine’s best kept secret,” he adds. Want to find out if the drugs you or a loved one are taking might cause violent behavior? Enter the name of the drug over at the Violence Zone. Even if it’s “just” a pill to help you quit smoking, side effects can be deadly. Don’t expect to hear about this on major media outlets. Pharmaceutical companies have a vested interest in keeping journalists inline.

Dr. Mercola reports on a disturbing top-ten list below.

Antidepressants Top List of Most Violence-Inducing Drugs

It’s certainly worth paying heed to drug interactions such as violence and homicidal leanings, both as a patient and as a concerned parent, family member or friend. According to a 2010 study published in the journal PLoS One, half of the top 10 drugs disproportionately linked with violent behavior are antidepressants:

  1. Varenicline (Chantix): The number one violence-inducing drug on the list, this anti-smoking medication is 18 times more likely to be linked with violence when compared to other drugs

  2. Fluoxetine (Prozac): This drug was the first well-known SSRI antidepressant

  3. Paroxetine (Paxil): Another SSRI antidepressant, Paxil is also linked with severe withdrawal symptoms and a risk of birth defects

  4. Amphetamines: (Various): Used to treat ADHD

  5. Mefoquine (Lariam): A treatment for malaria which is often linked with reports of strange behavior

  6. Atomoxetine (Strattera): An ADHD drug that affects the neurotransmitter noradrenaline

  7. Triazolam (Halcion): This potentially addictive drug is used to treat insomnia

  8. Fluvoxamine (Luvox): Another SSRI antidepressant

  9. Venlafaxine (Effexor): An antidepressant also used to treat anxiety disorders

  10. Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq): An antidepressant which affects both serotonin and noradrenaline

The big lie laid on our pill-for-everything culture destroys self-reliance and individual responsibility. The food I eat makes a huge difference in my overall health. The S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) served in government school lunchrooms won’t create physical specimens of students, much less mental health. Could our stomachs be connected to our mental health? I think so. I’m not alone. Below you can check out a few resources to put you on the road to enlightenment and self-healing.

The typical food storage recommendations by prepper experts are loaded with foods that destroy the brain-gut-axis. I wrote about my Primal Pantry here. My Down and Dirty Sauerkraut is loaded with gut-healing probiotics. Maybe it’s time to rethink food storage methods.

How many pills?

So, this brings me back to the original question: How many pills? What happens when your personal stock of antidepressants run out? The drug-altered fantasia will disappear when the pain of withdrawal grips the one in ten Americans dependent on psychotropic pills just to get through the day – when times were normal. Times won’t be “normal” when the sh*t hits the fan.

Images of maniacs shooting up innocent victims could pale in comparison once the prescription pill machine grinds to a halt. Adding insult to injury, all the  stuff needed to combat depression are the exact things that will be hard to come by in a prolonged SHTF situation. For instance, proper amounts of sleep, vitamins like B12 and D, omega-3 fats, and exercise all have been proven to help with mental well-being.

Educating yourself, then taking action, could save you and yours lots of future pain. A few small steps now could help you prepare for the coming Pharmageddon.

 

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Economic Collapse, Natural Health, Preparedness, SHTF, TEOTWAWKI | Tags: , , , , , | 17 Comments

Don’t Worry! Mayans Were Tricksters Too

Oh, how I love this.

I may be wrong, but I don’t see many folk wringing their hands over the world ending on December 21. I’m not riding the wave in that shallow doomsday wading pool. But what if they’re right? Holy jingle bells. We’ve only got 12-13 days left.

Let me share a bit of history that you weren’t taught in school. This should erase worries and enable you to enjoy the remaining two weeks of life on this ball of dirt.

No Worries

Ah Puch, the Chief Mayan Calender Maker, organized his union buddies to strike for more corn for their calendar carving duties. Collectivism, even in their day, bred an entitlement class. They figured out that together they could shut down the calendar kiosks at the local market – just in time for the festive holiday season. What modern, progressive thinking Mayan would stand for not having a current 645 stone calendar hanging in their thatched hut? The cupcake editions were wildly popular in 644.

So it began. Chisels in hand, they marched holding heavy picket signs. The best sign read, “Will CARVE For CORN!

At first, this was no threat to Pakal The Great and the Palenque dynasty. But the rebellion began to spread. Ixtab, his lovely queen, reminded him at a royal dinner of the wise words of his ruling predecessor and mom, Lady Sak K’uk’. Ixtab leaned in and whispered in hushed tones, “Remember, Government equals force. Crush these useful idiots. We’re in charge.

With that, Pakal The Great ordered the round-up of these rabble-rousers. The human sacrifice pool was getting low anyhow.

A decade later, a remnant of tablet carvers remained. Etched in their mind and on secret pocket tablets were the accounts of blood on the altar of their king. “Never Forget – December 21, 655″. A day that would cause much freaking out 1,356 years down the road. The day Mayan tricksters ran out of room on their stone calendars.

Feel better?  :)

Doing the stuff,

Todd

Categories: Humor, TEOTWAWKI | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

70 Notable Prepper Links in November 2012

A new blogger friend recently started SchemaByte which is a website dedicated to a single master plan, helping people make the transition from cubicle-confined consumerism to a self-determined life of independent income and disaster preparedness.

Part of our plan around here is to continue to look for those avenues of independent income while living an intentional lifestyle of self-reliance and preparedness. 

I was honored to find Sherpa stuff on his list. Check out his site for more preparedness resources…  And keep doing the stuff.

Todd

70 Notable Prepper Links in November 2012

Posted date: November 29, 2012

Here’s a rundown of my personal favorite prepper links of November 2012. I grouped the links by type but, within each list, the links are in no particular order.

I’ve used two notations in this list:
IM indicates the link is to an image.
SB indicates the article was released on schemabyte.com.

I’m sure I missed some notables! Feel free to drop them into the comments if you care to.

November Prepper Links: Gear

  1. An Unusual Tool for the Bug Out Bag
  2. Shooting, Hunting, and Prepping: Another 550 Cord Use; A Great Bow String Substitute
  3. Making a Bola
  4. Just what exactly is a rocket stove?
  5. 25 Practical Survival Uses For Duct Tape

November Prepper Links: Food, Food Storage, & Herbs

  1. WHY Can’t I *Can* that?
  2. How to start your own chicken flock
  3. Turn a Can Tab into a Survival Fish Hook IM
  4. How to Render and Can your own Lard
  5. Weevils: Learn to Love the Bugs Or Do Something About It
  6. Amy and Toby: Canned Food Storage
  7. Chia seeds are the ultimate survival food for long-term storage
  8. Individual Preparedness Program: My Primal Preparedness Pantry
  9. Yarrow- Rich in Legend and Medicinal Use
  10. Storing Oats and Their Differences
  11. Butchering Chicken Schematic IM
  12. 9 Vegetables to Grow Indoors
  13. Diatomaceous Earth: An Introduction SB

Read the rest here

 

Categories: Preparedness, Self-reliance, SHTF, Survival, TEOTWAWKI | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Overwhelmed by guns-$-gear-$-guts-$-n’stuff approach? Try this.

I try to turn conventional wisdom on its head when it comes to eating, education, fitness, God, politics, and even preparedness. I’m sharing Claire Wolfe’s excellent post questioning conventional wisdom of ‘experts’ and the avalanche of information overload in the preparedness community. Makes ya think. Head on over and join the spirited discussion.

Thanks for the mention Claire!

Doing the stuff,

Todd

_____________________________________________

Preparedness priorities, part I

by Claire Wolfe of Living Freedom

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Recently, one of the big preparedness gurus suggested that his readers plan to re-roof their houses with metal to make it safer to collect rain runoff.

He didn’t say we should consider it if our house needs a new roof, anyhow

He didn’t say we should consider it if we have all our other preps in order and have $10-20,000 burning a hole in our pockets.

He just said it.

Not only did he say it; he said it in an article directed at preparedness for newbies!

—–

I recently read a book by a survival consultant. It was filled with useful, interesting, and mostly (IMHO) valid information. I couldn’t point to a single thing in it that’s actually wrong.

But it also had the strangest mix of inclusions and omissions. It had, for instance, an entire chapter on building a bug-out trailer (something hardly anyone will ever do). Yet it spoke barely a word about the special, but everyday, needs of children, pets, old people, and people with chronic illnesses or disabilities.

I ask you: Which is a typical family likely to need most urgently? A specially built trailer or medicine for baby’s earaches? A specially built trailer or food for Fido? A specially built trailer or extra adult diapers for granddad?

——

One of the biggest problems getting people to prepare for emergencies or long-term hard times is that once you get beyond “pack a three-day kit” or “be sure to have a week’s worth of food and water on hand,” brains tend to overload.

Read the rest here

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Life-Liberty-Happiness, Preparedness, Self-reliance, SHTF, Survival, TEOTWAWKI | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

10 Reasons Why Building a Community is Key When Surviving Disaster

This is reprinted with permission from the author. It was originally posted over at The Home For Survival and at SHTFPlan.com. Thanks Survivor Mike! You can check out his blog regarding surviving disaster here.

Doing the stuff,

Todd

_______________________________

Sep 28, 2012 by

Picture the below Surviving Disaster scenario…

You’re living in your suburban home, CNN has just said that the stock market has dropped for the ninth day in a row and people are now racing to their banks to empty their accounts. Couple these with an unstable euro, an unstable Middle East and a worldwide economic recession and you get the start of the sh*t hitting the fan.

How does your neighborhood react to this?

Who in your neighborhood do you trust?

Now take that a step further and imagine a state of civil unrest. Homes nearby are being looted and undesirables are now common in your neighborhood. You have a weapon, but the occupants of your home include you, your wife, and your two small children. You have a front door, a backdoor, and the garage door. How do you cover all three much less the first floor windows?

What I’ve described above is the situation you will be faced with when the SHTF. So, do you need to build a community of liked-minded folks when the sh*t hits the fan? I believe there are 10 reasons why building a community is key when it all goes down.

1) Strength in Numbers

Being in a suburban area, I tend to worry about what will happen if looters run amok. I imagine when the SHTF, criminals will likely run in gangs. Those gangs will target individual homes for looting and potentially seek to oust the folks living there. They would target homes with a small number of occupants to make their raids that much easier.

So, to avoid being in their crosshairs, it would be optimal to be viewed as a large group. These criminals will have quite a few homes to choose from when things get tough and there is no sense in being an easy target. Remember, giving the perception of a large force is enough to deter those with bad intentions.

2) More Hands, More Work Done

Continuing with the theme of a group, the more folks in that group, the more workers you have. Those additional sets of hands will be able to help garden, cook, pack supplies, gather water, and hunt for food. While you will have to feed and care for those extra bodies, the work you get from them should more than make up for it.

I would much rather have 5 people foraging for food and supplies versus 1 as time will be of the essence.

3) Pre-planning

Knowing you’ll have a community of preppers allows you to be proactive with planning now. You can request your neighbors start preparing by gathering supplies, preparing their homes and getting their financials in order. You can even go as far as planning the homes you will use for what purpose. By having those families focus on particular areas of prepping, you can be sure you will be best prepared when the trigger event happens.

At the very least, having your neighbors prepared will prevent them from being a liability when things go south. The last thing you need is a needy “friend” eating into your families’ supplies.

4) Multiple Locations

Having multiple homes in a community provides several advantages. Besides the tactical advantage of defending yourself, you acquire additional space for supplies, including areas to prep them.

Additionally, you provide the sense of normalcy for the folks in the community. Utilizing one house as a mess hall could be a possibility. Having a house serve as a medical facility is another. You would almost be able to build a town within the community. You cannot underestimate the importance of helping with the psychology of the group trying to survive.

5) Additional Resource Network

Your neighbors will have different supplies, different tools, and especially different skills. That alone is a huge asset when attempting to survive in uncertain times. However, the resources we don’t think about are the various contacts they may have.  They may have an uncle who owns 10 shotguns. A cousin that has an RV for sale. A friend with access to critical medical supplies.

Each neighbor will have their own network of contacts that may come in handy. Those contacts become even more valuable when things get very tough. You may even choose to join a larger group that your neighbors will have paved the way by providing that connection.  We can be sure that we will need to be creative during difficult times.

Read the rest here

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Economic Collapse, Preparedness, Self-reliance, SHTF, Survival, TEOTWAWKI, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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