SHTF

Ability Is A Poor Prepper’s Wealth

by Todd Walker

“To attain knowledge, add things everyday. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.” Lao Tzu

 

Image source

I use to look at all the preparedness blogs and books and turn green drooling over all the cool stuff these folks say I needed to survive an emergency, SHTF situation, or TEOTWAWKI.

I’d wake up at crazy hours of the night wondering how I’d get my family to safety in an emergency. I still envy some of my self-reliant heroes and heroine. It’s addictive. But I’ve come to realize that only makes me more stupid.

I’m no expert on anything. I’m a self-professed serial multi-tasker. I consider myself the stupidest survivalist on the planet. I’ve added lots of preparedness knowledge to my brain, but I have to balance my knowledge with wisdom. Taking away things like prepper envy adds wisdom. It’s so unwise to envy what many in the prepper community have in terms of gadgets, supplies, skills, and tools.  But I catch myself still doing it. Then I remind myself to live Sherpa Simple.

Here are 7 ways to beat the envy trap.

Prepper Envy Cure #1:

Be honest. Seems simple. The most useful, yet most neglected, item in my preparedness toolbox is honesty. I wish I was more honest with myself. I said I’m the stupidest survivalist on the planet. I really feel this way. This isn’t false humility or self-depreciation babble. This falls into the more I know, the less I know category.

Arrogance humbles. Last year I decided I needed to start working out with my BOB (Bug Out Bag). I consider myself to be in above average shape for my age (50). So I sling my 40 pound pack on my back and start my daily 4 mile walk with my Dirt Road Girl. Into mile 2 I discovered I hadn’t been honest about two things: A) my fitness level; B) the amount of “needed” stuff in my BOB. Find out before showtime if you’re ready. Be honest and adjust your lifestyle.

Prepper Envy Cure #2:

Don’t worrying, be happy. Pollyanna notions about whirled peas is not what I’m talking about here. Worrying may be the biggest drain and waste of energy in the prepper community.

A friend gave me this advise in the early 90′s that has served me well since (when I do it): Be prayed-up and laid back. At some point, we all have to get over ourselves and depend on a higher power. Mine happens to be God. This is by no means a He’ll take care of everything excuse not to prepare for my future. Prepare. But stop worrying about things you can’t control. Do what you can do, do all you can do, and let go of the rest.

What’s your biggest fear?

Prepper Envy Cure #3:

Hone your abilities. Coach John Wooden once said, “Ability is a poor man’s wealth.” You don’t have to be wealthy to be prepared. Skills trump gadgets.

Ability comes from experience and practice. Doing the Stuff. Turn off the TV or computer (ONLY after you’ve finished my article) and get outside and practice woodcraft or camping skills. Take a kid fishing/hunting. Walk your lawn and identify common weeds that might be useful for meds or food. You do have weeds in your yard right? I know exactly were to find plantain in my yard for the occasional tick bite or skin irritation. It’s an amazing wild weed!

Quit wishing you had the latest shiny survival object some experts say you need. Time spent developing skills helps dissolve prepper envy.

Prepper Envy Cure #4:

Avoid stupid mistakes. Avoid getting a personal “Darwin Award”.

“That could have put your eye out,” Mama said.

Why? Because we were shooting our BB guns at each other and she found out. It was obvious with the welt over my brother’s eye. Two inches lower and she would have been right!

We all make stupid mistakes. Prepper envy doesn’t have to be one of them.

backyard-bushcraft

Fatwood shavings lit with a ferro rod

I’m a big proponent of backyard bushcraft. Your backyard is a great laboratory for testing gear and developing skills before you actually need them. As you get comfortable with a skill in a controlled setting, say fire craft, take the skill to the next level on a day hike or camping trip.

Prepper Envy Cure #5:

Exercise mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I know I should have only listed 4 cures. But I refuse to have “list envy” on top of prepper envy – (you’ve seen it, “The 39 Top Threats…”,  “7 Myths That Schools Teach as Real History”, “30 Canned Foods You Never Knew Existed“).

Functional Fitness: The Wild Woodsmans Workout

Squats on the rocks!

Check out these functional fitness ideas that will save you a gym membership and build your physical fitness.

Prepper Envy Cure #6:

Fail forward. No regrets. I regret way too much. Not what I don’t have so much, but what didn’t do.

When I was five, I wanted to grow up to be the guy that rode on the back of the trash truck. It looked fun at the time. I don’t regret following that childhood dream. I do regret wasting so much money, time, and energy on stuff that really doesn’t matter in the big scheme of life. I envy those with no regrets. See how it’s a vicious cycle.

Regrets waste energy and stop your momentum. Let the past go. In an earlier chapter of my life, I read a John Maxwell book or listened to one of his cassette tapes (that dates it, huh?). I remember hearing the phrase “fail forward.” That stuck with me. I don’t always follow this wisdom, but it’s still true.

Regrets kills future ideas! I’ve never read any science on this, but it’s been proven in my life. The more I wallow in regret, the less creative I am.

Prepper Envy Cure #7:

Perfection is overrated. If you have OCD (Obsessive Compulsion Disorder), I feel for you. My mother-in-law has it. I don’t know how I passed the vetting process to marry her daughter. Thankfully, she overlooked my many imperfections.

We’re bombarded with thousands of images daily promoting perfection – the perfect figure, job, car, drug, home, makeup, gun, knife, etc. Resist the urge to envy ‘perfect’ people/preppers. Their life may be photo shopped. Be yourself. That’s enough.

Be honest about your imperfections. This quality opens more doors and opportunities than the vinyl veneer of perfection.

See, I told you I’m the stupidest survivalist on the planet.

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, and our Facebook page… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network on PinterestGoogle +, and Facebook.

P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding sites while you’re there…

Thanks for Sharing the Stuff!

Copyright: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Bushcraft, Camping, Doing the Stuff, Preparedness, Self-reliance, SHTF, Survival | Tags: , , , | 18 Comments

DiY Cigar Survival Fishing Kit

by Todd Walker

Every year I get older and my backpack gets heavier. To trim some weight, I began downsizing items in my bag. Here’s a great stove that weighs less than 6 ounces and runs on twigs.

I humped my backpack the other day through the woods with DRG. I immediately noticed the extra strain on my hips. Not overbearing, but noticeable. As I age, I look for ways to lighten my load on stuff I carry – body weight included 🙂 Here’s a great way to shave a few ounces off any fishing kits you pack for your bug out bag, walk-about bag, or hunting bag. It fits in a glove box in your vehicle nicely too.

The idea for my last fishing kit for my bug out bag came from Dave Canterbury. It was made of PVC, which was very sturdy, but weighed more than I liked. This summer I wanted to trim the weight on my BOB. It’s not going to be ultralight, but every pound I trim only makes humping that thing easier. The first piece I tackle is my…well…my fishing tackle.

First, assemble materials. I looked for a lightweight tube for a couple of weeks. I didn’t want glass. Plastic would work. Aluminum would be even better. I found a plastic tube that held a watch on a shopping trip with my wife. I bought it for $5.oo and ditched the cheap watch. The problem with the plastic tube is that I would not be able to use it for boiling water in a survival situation.

Then we stopped by the adult beverage store for some wine. This place also has a nice humidor with a great selection of cigars.

*Aha Moment*

We spent the next five minutes rummaging through stogies looking for the perfect candidate. I needed it to be long enough and with sufficient diameter to hold the necessary fish-catching supplies. I found a cigar, which I enjoy from time to time, with a great tube. It measures 1 inch in diameter by 6 1/4 inches long tube. Being aluminum, I can use it to boil water in a pinch. The picture below shows the difference in sizes of the old PVC kit (bottom) and the new one completed.

Here’s what I used to assemble my kit: Cigar sleeve, duct tape, bank line, electrical tape, 10# fishing line, strike anywhere matches, fire starter, dry flies, artificial lizard, non-lead weights, 3 types of fishing hooks, metal leader, swivels, 2 floats/bobbers, and a snack size zip-lock baggie.

Assembly Process

Step A: Wrap the screw end (or non-rounded end) with about 3 or 4 feet of duct tape. Do I even have to tell you about all the uses for this miracle survival material?  I keep strips of it in my cars, wallet, desk, almost every where I go. Duct tape may not help you catch fish, but I’m sure it’s possible with a little creativity. It’s a utility player that should be on and in every preppers gear and bags.

Step B: Tie a slip knot on the end of your bank line (don’t forget to burn the nylon end to prevent unraveling) and tighten it around the tube next to the duct tape. Wind about 50 to 100 feet of line onto the tube. I used closer to 50 feet to keep the profile of the tube even. Bank line can be used for limb hooks and trot lines in a true survival situation. This allows for passive fishing while you attend to other tasks. [NOTE: Check your local fishing and game laws during rule of law times before using these methods.]

The bank line can also be used for a makeshift fly rod (and other cordage needs). Simply cut a sapling about 8 feet, attach 10 feet of bank line to the end, add a piece of mono filament line to the bank line with one of the dry flies in the kit and you have a hillbilly fly rod rig. When no bait is available for your hooks, use this rig to catch smaller pan fish to use for bait on limb hooks. This is very enticing for larger fish and turtles.

Bank line being wrapped

Step C: Secure the bank line to the tube with a couple of wraps of electrical tape. Again, more tape to use as needed.

Electrical tape wrapped around bank line

Step D: Now you’re ready to add the mono filament fishing line. I used 10# line. I wouldn’t recommend anything below 6# line. (Update: I used 50 lb spider wire for our son’s Christmas stocking). In a survival situation, the last thing you want to see is a decent sized fish run with 4# line and snap it off.

An old technique I’ve used for years is to lay the line inside a book and feed the line onto the tackle. I did this for the cigar tube as well. Tie a slip knot on the end of the fishing line and secure it to the tube where you taped off the bank line. Start rotating the tube to add line. I guess you could wind the line on the tube with you free hand. I prefer to roll the line on by rotating the tube with my finger tips from both ends of the tube. I’m a little OCD. I think the line might accumulate more kinks if you wind it with you free hand.

Add line until you get within one inch of the rounded end of the tube, then double back over the existing line. I added about 50 feet of line to my rig. Next, add a layer of electrical tape to secure the line to the kit. A wide rubber band might work, but I like the tape.

Below is the finished exterior of the kit. By the way, if you haven’t purchased and read “Boston’s Gun Bible“, do so now. I read it yearly.

Step E: Place the strike-anywhere matches, fire starter (more details about this item later), dry flies, artificial lizard, non-lead weights, 3 types of fishing hooks, and swivels in a snack size zip-lock baggie. Squeeze the air out by rolling it toward the top of the bag. Seal the bag and slide into the tube.

Step F: Screw end-cap onto tube and wrap with electrical tape for a water-tight seal.

Fire Starter Note: I made the fire starter a few years ago. It’s jute twin that was saturated with paraffin wax. It literally only takes a spark to get a flame going. Just cut a one inch piece, unravel, and “fluff” to create more surface area for your spark. Another added bonus is that it even lights in wet conditions. I have bundles in all my bags. You never know when you’ll need to cook up those fish you just caught with your new Cigar Survival Fishing Kit!

The only modification I’d add is to make a paracord loop extending from the end of the cap. I’ll add pics when that happens.

Your turn. Got any suggestions to make this better? Please add them in the comment section.

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, YouTube and our Facebook page… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network on PinterestGoogle +, and Facebook.

P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding sites while you’re there…

Thanks for Sharing the Stuff!

Copyright: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Categories: Bushcraft, Camping, DIY Preparedness Projects, Preparedness, Self-reliance, SHTF, Survival | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

7 Surprising Reasons Why Americans Aren’t Prepared for What’s Coming

by Todd Walker

I’ve never suffered a gunshot wound.

I had a friend who was ventilated by some grudge-holding thug. Apparently, this idiot wanted to get even for a business deal that went south. He chased my friend through the bays of his car wash shooting at him with a .22 revolver. Fortunately, only his love handles got pierced.  After recovering, my buddy began making a plan to never get caught defenseless again.

Tobacco Smoke Enema – Nice!

What follows may be painful for some. It may hurt as much as the old tobacco smoke enema. The only difference is that I’m NOT blowing smoke up yours.

Why do so many Americans refuse to prepare for worst case situations?

Or better yet, why do they not even prep for potential everyday emergencies? You’ve seen them pass you on their donut tire at 67 miles per hour heading to the 7-11 to get their winning lotto ticket. I’m sure with all their winnings they’ll be able to prepare, right?

Being prepared doesn’t take huge financial windfalls. So why do so many people think it’s a stupid idea to be prepared? Here’s my list.

A) Peer Pressure. Remember school days? Who wants to be standing outside looking in on the popular group? We all want to feel important and part of a group. We’re social animals. The group we associate with can determine our future.

My daddy always told me, “If you lay down with dogs, you’ll get up with fleas.” If you hang out with prepared individuals, you’re likely to become more prepared. As prepping goes more mainstream, many in the media portray preppers as crazy, racist, isolationist, anti-everything survivalist. None of us want that label. There’s always a few fringe types in any group that make media salivary glands wet. The new growth to the prepper movement is fueled by “normal” people like soccer moms, taxpaying business owners, and law-abiding folk.

B) Government Schools. My day job is to teach at a local school government indoctrination center. My advice to any preparedness minded parent of school aged children: AVOID GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS NO MATTER THE COST! Government schools manage ignorance for profit. Read more here.

Preparedness and survival requires self-reliance and the ability to think for yourself. The State forces kids to spend their most formative 12 years (16+ including college) learning how not to learn, but conform. Finding learning in government schools is as hard as finding a corner in a round room. A quarter of their lives circle the toilet bowl taking the path of least resistance to the collective’s sewage plant to be recycled and made “safe” and useful tax-payers.

Parent choices greatly increase or decrease their kid’s survivability. So what’s the solution for educating prepared individuals? Homeschooling may seem impossible. Both parents have to work to keep the family feed, clothed and sheltered. It comes down to our priorities. What “important” stuff can we kick to the curb to rescue our kids from government gulags and offer them a real education? I can’t answer that for you. Humans are individuals with unique situations. One size does not fit all. Homeschool, unschool, anything but government school.

C) Dependence. We’ve abandoned our roots. Due to reason # (B), our history is intentionally distorted. I often ask kids to tell me about historical figures and events like Abraham Lincoln, the War of Northern Aggression, or more recently – the Federal Reserve. As to Lincoln and the unCivil War, kids today are taught that Lincoln invaded the south to free the slaves. While I abhor the concept of someone owning another person, I know that Lincoln didn’t care about slaves being freed. Follow the money.

When my ancestors stepped off a boat in 1735, there was no free lunch or welcome basket full of government goodies. dependence on their own ability, family, and immediate like-minded friends started my family journey in America. Their self-reliant skills didn’t insulate them from set-backs and calamities. The find-a-way-to-get-the-job-done attitude is what helped me and my family survive to this point. Thankfully, I’m part of the remnant of self-reliance left in our country. When their Katrina-style disasters hit, communities rebuilt without the help of FEMA. This spirit of pioneering one’s own life has been traded for dependence. Even after natural and man-made disasters, I’m amazed at the false hope Americans place in our government’s ability to sweep in for the rescue. It’s a stupid idea most Americans hold.

D) MBM (Morally Bankrupt Morons). “All I need is guns and ammo to survive. When the SHTF, I’ll just take what I need.” I’ve read this statement, or similar sentiments on many preparedness/survival forums. I want to think they were just trolls. But I know there are lazy, corrupt individuals that will resort to this style of survival – for a while. Do they think that the very people they plan to plunder are not able and ready to defend their personal property?

I saw an episode of Doomsday Preppers where one in their group stated that they don’t buy weapons and ammo. Their plan, when the armed  horde of hungry looters show up, is to show them all their food and offer more if they leave them unharmed. Maybe some MBM’s will live to loot another day. I wouldn’t place my hopes of survival in this strategy. Your mileage may very.

Some people have an aversion, even a fear of tools called guns. In the wake of Sandy Hook, I’m encouraged by the bare ammo shelves and empty gun stores. It gives me hope that people are listening to their “gut” and making preparations for their future. Defending their life, liberty, and property against enemies, foreign and domestic, seems to be catching on. Why shouldn’t it? It’s our natural right.

I’ll put real simple here. I don’t care who, whether pastor, clergyman, senator, family member, or Santa Clause tells you guns are evil and you don’t need them, put as much distance between them and you as possible. Part ways. Period.

Back to the MBM. These individuals embody the entitlement mentality and our moral backsliding in this country. Hunger is a strong motivator for stupid stuff. I’ve never been shot, and I’ve never shot anyone else. I pray to Papa that I never have to face the choice of kill or be killed. If that time comes, and I’m afraid it will, we each have to wrestle before hand with our resolve to protect our life, liberty, and happiness.

Read the signs and heed legitimate warnings. Don’t live in fear. Prepare accordingly my friends. Avoid being low hanging fruit.

E) Nationalism. Arrogance leads to a fall. It could never happen here. This is America! We’re the envy of the world. I’m convinced that this is the thinking of the mentally ill – or the historically illiterate. I hear the disdain coming from ‘educated’ folk all the time. I think they suffer from altitude sickness in their ivory towers. Totalitarianism happens one step at a time. As long as we are allowed to wake up in our homes, drink our coffee, go to work, watch our TV programs, rinse and repeat, tyranny becomes routine. Vigilance dies. It’s frog-boiling 101. Gradually heat the pot of water and the frogs don’t jump out.

I love my country. I love my freedom more. Humility and honesty seem to be lost traits. I hope that there are enough people waking up to help rebuild our crumbling republic. .

F) Mental Enslavement. With enough time, falling water can cut through rock. Is what we call ‘freedom’ really freedom? Many in the patriot movement call themselves “freedom lovers” yet accept tyranny as normal. We’ve all heard the battle cry of patriot-lite types. You’ll have to pry my guns from my cold dead fingers! No worries. The State will gladly oblige. Yet, the water fall of tyranny continues to eroded our liberties. It’s like watching a catastrophic train wreck in slow motion.

“Necessity is the excuse for every infringement of human freedom.” – William Pitt

We have as much freedom and liberty as the State allows. To realize and enjoy our natural rights, we must free our minds. Stop listening to talking heads. Free your mind. Don’t be deceived. The smoke screen isn’t just coming from the liberal media types. I use to listen to conservative talk radio religiously. I can’t stomach the party line talk anymore. Some pundits distinguish themselves as conservative, not republican. Liberal vs. conservative, Democrat vs. Republican. They are just different sides of the same liberty-destroying coin. Flip the coin to choose your master.

Ancient Chinese proverb: “The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.”

G) Stifled Self-government. Critical thinking is dead (See # F). Passivity is encouraged, even demanded. Habits form us. We prefer  our guardians of darkness. It hides our secret need for fake security. We are addicted to our velvet chains. The principles of non-aggression and self-ownership have been systematically eradicated. Most Americans favor State coercion over individualism and self-reliance. Voluntary relationships between free individuals is no longer viewed as common sense. Our State monopoly on schooling crusades for government dependence and even sites individualism as a mental disorder.

Rejecting government dogma invites the use of ‘legal’ force, or the threat of force, to reform rebellious subjects of the State’s idea of being a good citizen. We have to get over ourselves and our dependency on government ‘safety’ nets. That is, if we want to be self-reliant. Breaking the addiction sometimes comes step-by-step. Sometimes it’s cold turkey that works. We’re all different. Do what works for you.

Don’t wait. Take one step towards building preparedness and resilience each day. What physical, mental, spiritual, emotional steps did you make today?

Don’t beat yourself up if any of these 7 reasons apply to you. It’s hard not to relate to some of these reasons. But who wants to be the person walking out of the restaurant bathroom with a strip of toilet paper stuck to their heel? How embarrassing.

So much is riding on you – your family, community, and even what’s left of our country.

Free you mind!

Follow me on Twitter for the latest on our journey to self-reliance, preparedness, and resilient living: @SurvivalSherpa

Categories: Economic Collapse, Life-Liberty-Happiness, Preparedness, Self Defense, Self-reliance, SHTF | Tags: , , , , , , | 14 Comments

How Chronic Couch Preppers Can Look Good Naked Again

by Todd Walker

Do you hate mirrors!

https://i2.wp.com/fitnessgurunyc.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/1.1250550826.fat-mirror.jpg

In the not so distant past, mirrors were my arch-enemy. I’d talk myself into believing that the shirt hid my love handles. The Dirt Road Girl must have used a shrinking agent in the laundry. Wait a minute! That doesn’t explain my leather belt shrinking. Hum. What’s up with that?!

I had become a chronic couch prepper. I was carrying 50 more pounds than my once athletic frame was intended to haul. In my delusional mind, I figured on summoning super-hero strength if the time came for me to hump my 40 pound bug-out-bag plus an extra 50 pounds of self-indulgent body fat. Pulling myself up by the bootstraps in a SHTF scenario or emergency situation has it’s time and place. What do I do when merely reaching for my boot straps is exhausting?

If you’ve followed my journey any length of time, you’ve heard me talk about my primal/paleo lifestyle. It’s not some fad diet. It’s a lifestyle of making choices and taking your health and fitness into your own hands. I can’t imagine that preparedness minded people would not embrace this lifestyle. Going into any emergency, natural or man-made, optimal health and fitness might give you the edge in survival. The people who depend on you can’t if you’re a chronic couch prepper.

If you stumbled upon this site and aren’t into preparedness, self-reliance, and resilience, but are looking for a solution to the dieting dungeon and want to experience real long-term health and fitness, you’re in the right place.

The benefits of going primal

Since going primal in February 2010, I’ve lost the aching joints, irritated bowel, sugar cravings, and 50 pounds. I’ve gained confidence in my physical abilities, muscle mass, increased energy levels, new appreciation for play, and a lifestyle of healthy living. An added bonus is I look good naked again – according to Dirt Road Girl 🙂 Vanity? Not really. It just goes with the territory of a primal lifestyle.

Do you have to follow the primal lifestyle to be physically fit? No. It’s the path I’ve followed and highly recommend for those who have tried ‘everything’.

Prisoner of the Pyramid

https://i0.wp.com/philadelphia.grubstreet.com/20070711zombies.jpg

The real Zombie Food Pyramid is the USDA Food Pyramid

Nutrition is key to a healthy lifestyle. Following conventional wisdom on nutrition was a big fail for me and millions of Americans. I have two degrees in Health and Physical Education. In those six years, I was schooled to follow the conventional wisdom of eating mostly carbs mixed with a little fat and protein. Great plan if you value chronic health problems, fatigue, and dying. Following the misinformation put out by our benevolent government (corporate-driven USDA food pyramid) will only help you remain a chronic couch prepper. Why would they do that? Follow the money. I’ve chosen to abandon willful ignorance and take control of my own life. Self-reliance and preparedness starts within you.

RESET!

Flip the pyramid upside down and start over. Eat no grains, or grain based meals for one month. Hold on there pilgrim! All preppers know that storing grain in 5 gallon buckets is the way to survive TEOTWAWKI. Again, think like a hunter/gatherer. Destroy the old conventional paradigm. I know this will offend and even anger traditional/conventional preparedness folks. I’m no expert on nutrition, I just know what worked for me. All I’m asking is that you take the challenge for one month. Break free from the conventional wisdom and give it a chance.

The Caveman’s Gym

http://agarlandcrown.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/caveman-fitness.jpg?w=470

What would Grok do? Short and intense is better than long and grueling. I’ve had friends join me on my work outs. They are very simple and minimalist. No gym membership, long hours, expensive equipment, or boring stuff. Here’s some of the ‘gym’ equipment I use.

  • My body weight for pull ups, push ups, lunges, and squats.
  • Rocks for throwing and lifting.
  • Fallen trees, broken into manageable pieces, are used for weighted squats and balance.
  • Sledge hammer swung at old tires. I also do Shovelglove. Never heard of it. Click here to check it out. Splitting wood with a sledgehammer, wedge, and axe are great full body movement creating functional fitness.
  • Don’t discount children and grandchildren. I hoist my grandson on my shoulders (40 pounds) every time he comes over and we do our walk. Well, he rides and giggles. I walk.
  • 7 gallon water containers. Grab two that are full to perform killer lunge sets. I don’t do many with that weight. Work up to heavier weight with two gallon jugs of water or other object with a handle.
  • Sprint as fast as you can every 7 to 10 days. This is all out effort whether you bike, run, or swim. My sprint sessions only last about 10 minutes. Long slow distance only leads to stress related injuries (chronic cardio)…especially in shoes.
  • Tree climbing. I’m not talking about with a deer climbing stand either. Get over your domesticated workout and go wild!
  • Here’s another wild workout I posted that you may find helpful.

Functional fitness for SHTF

Specialization is for insects. “Time to go to the gym,” my buddy moaned. He can bench press 400 pounds but can barely squeak out a pull up. In any survival situation, versatility will be the key to not becoming room temperature. If he and I were hiking and had to climb a tree to escape a charging wild boar, he might be out of luck. Ever watch a dog ‘exercising’ outside? He doesn’t run in a boring circles. He mixes it up with jumping, sprinting, sparing, playing, with an occasional stop to pee on bushes. Animals move without monotony. Movement is survival.

Wild animals depend on their ability to move to survive. The odds of us having to sprint to the nearest tree to outrun a wild beast is small. WTSHTF it’s the two-legged predators I’m worried about. Knowing we could escape a dangerous encounter is rewarding. More practically, could I carry my wife or children to safety if called upon? Our fitness level should be well-rounded. We’ve got to be strong to be useful.

Here are a few resources I recommend to get you into the wild and moving naturally.

1) The 13 MovNat Movement Skills© (Check out this site for natural movement)

If you’re wondering what moving naturally means for human beings, think of human species-specific movement aptitudes. Visualize how the human animal would move in nature for his survival – that is natural human movement.

‘Aren’t there more natural ways to move naturally than just running?’

Human beings possess locomotive skills such as 1) walking, 2) running, 3) jumping, 4) balancing, 5) crawling, 6) climbing, or 7) swimming.

In addition to locomotive skills, human beings also utilize manipulative skills such as 8) lifting, 9) carrying, 10) throwing, and 11) catching, and 12) throwing and combative skills, such as 13) striking or grappling.

2) Mark’s Daily Apple. Reprogram your genes for effortless weight-loss, vibrant health and boundless energy.

3) The Paleo Solution. Revolutionary solutions to modern life.

4) Free The Animal. Richard Nikoley’s quest to live a primal/paleo lifestyle.

If you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired when it comes to your workout, give these suggestions a try.

You’re turn. What’s been your exercise regiment? – I hate that word. It’s so hard to keep up with a regiment. Share your wild functional workout with us.

NOTE: A recent email conversation with Daisy Luther got us both thinking about the importance of fitness and health for survival. Over the next few weeks I’ll be putting together a more detailed series on functional fitness, healthy living, and unconventional advice for those following a preparedness and self-sustainable lifestyle.

Got anything in particular that you’d like to hear discussed?

 

Categories: Functional Fitness, Natural Health, Primal Skills, Primal/Paleo Lifestyle, SHTF | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

I Didn’t Know Squat About Proper Poop Technique Until Now

by Todd Walker

The bus stopped in front of a what appeared to be a service station with one gas pump. My American friend and I stepped off to relieve ourselves midway through our four-hour journey to another Siberian town in the early 90’s.

“Where’s the restroom,” my friend asked since he spoke Russian better than I.

We both headed around the corner of what was left the Soviet era fueling station. There wasn’t a long line waiting to relieve themselves. Here’s why.

What I saw will be hard to believe and offensive to most modern American sensibilities – unless you’ve been there, crapped there. The “Powder Room” consisted of a four-foot wide trench with two wooden slats straddling the bottomless abyss, no running water, and a stench that killed the blow flies before they could belly up to the feast. Contrary to popular belief, it gets hot enough in southern Siberia in July to raise flies in a latrine. One brave native sojourner was perched precariously in a squat position doing his business – no stalls or paper work to finish the job.

“You go ahead,” I told my buddy as I choked back my sudden urge to hurl.

We both decided to man-up, skip the squatty hole, and pray for a speedy journey. However, I did make my #1 reach the pit from the door-less threshold of the Russian roadside restroom.

Sitting is #2

While the facilities were less than desirable, the squatting Russian’s technique I unfortunately witnessed makes my mind flow with questions. Could our western society learn a thing or two about taking a #2. Could it be that we are doing this simple bodily function wrong? I never really considered that there is a wrong way to do this deed.

Without being anal about this issue, I realize I run the risk of becoming the butt of your jokes for writing this story. So be it. I want to eliminate, in one royal flush, the misconception that doing your business on a throne is best. From my research I’ve discovered that our western pattern of elevated pooping is actually number 2 in the world. I guess we all need to get our squat on, huh?

Unless you’re camping in the wilderness or traveling through third world countries as you read this, there’s a really good chance the crapper you use today will be an elevated toilet…thanks to indoor plumbing. Don’t get me wrong here. I love the convenience of running water and sewer lines. My daddy provided for our family by installing, unclogging, and repairing these pipes and fixtures. However, the unintended consequence of  modern sitting toilets have been linked to hemorrhoids, chronic constipation, IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), colitis, and even colon cancer.

Squatting improves colon health

Photo credit

Getting to the bottom of the issue

It appears that we humans are meant to squat when nature calls. You see, the puborectalis muscle (sphincter) is in a bind when we sit. When doing the squat technique, things flow with less restriction and strain. Folks in the know recommend creating a 35 degree angle between your thighs and torso for proper elimination. Talia Marcheggiani quotes the smart people at Standford in her post about colon health:

According to researchers at Stanford University, the puborectalis muscle, which chokes off the lower end of the rectum, preventing you from eliminating waste, is partially flexed while in a seated position (like when you sit on a modern toilet).  This prevents waste from leaving the rectum and prevents you from having a proper bowel movement, leading to straining and constipation.

This doesn’t mean you have to revert to caveman living, takeover you cat’s litter box, or dig latrines in the backyard. You can achieve the desired pooping angle on your sitting toilet by simply elevating your feet. Here’s a new DIY project for the weekend. Fancy is not necessary. A simple stool (no, not that kind) like toddlers use to stand and deliver when they’re going through their rite of passage – using the big boy toilet. A basket or crate could be used. Make sure it’s not flimsy. A collapse could de-throne you.

Not into DIY? Here are some commerically built potty aids:

  • Nature’s Platform. For those not afraid of heights. This product is for the squatty purist. They don’t settle for the 35 degree angle achieved by a stool on the floor. They go hardcore with their poop platform. For $144 you can own this nifty perch.

Is there any merit in these methods or only marketing myths?

What do y’all think? Time to log out and delve deeply into the bowels of the issue. Seriously, anyone want to share – anonymously if you wish?

Categories: Humor, Natural Health, SHTF | Tags: , | 9 Comments

Oil Pulling: An Ancient Technique For SHTF Dental Care

by Todd Walker

Do you kiss your mama with that mouth!?

Ever let one slip over at grandma’s house and have to wash your mouth out with soap? It was her attempt to exercise that foul language from your soul.

I’ve posted several times on the health benefits of coconut oil. Here and here. Just when I think coconut oil has reached its maximum usefulness, I discover Oil Pulling.

Oil Pulling: An Ancient Technique For SHTF Dental Care

Pulling a teaspoon a day keeps the doctor and dentist away!

Oil pulling has nothing to do with vehicle maintenance. Interestingly enough, this technique is similar to changing the motor oil in an engine. I started the ancient (bazaar to me) practice of oil pulling about two weeks ago. I’ll give you my take on its effectiveness (two weeks of anecdotal evidence) and a little research before you’re tempted to file this in the “Snake Oil” folder.

In DRG’s battle with cancer, preventive medicine has become a priority for us. Oil pulling is my latest journey searching for non-pharmaceutical methods of healing and health.

History of Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is a traditional Indian folk remedy dating back thousands of year from Ayurveda medicine. Many claim it’s healing effects, both for teeth and gums, and the entire body. We can trace the modern practice of oil pulling to Dr. F. Karach, MD who introduced the technique in 1992. He claims that oil pulling cured his chronic blood disorder and arthritis.

After reading Dr. Joseph Mercola’s article on oil pulling, I was intrigued. I follow his how-to suggestions.

Oil pulling is simple. Basically, it involves rinsing your mouth with coconut oil, much like you would with a mouthwash. The oil is “worked” around your mouth by pushing, pulling, and drawing it through your teeth for a period of 15 minutes…This process allows the oil to “pull out” bacteria, viruses, fungi and other debris. The best time is in the morning before eating breakfast, but it can be done at any time, the important point is to just do it. I seek to do it twice a day if my schedule allows. The used oil is discarded and your mouth rinsed with water. You should not swallow the oil because it’s loaded with bacteria, toxins, pus, and mucous. [Emphasis mine]

I especially like the whole idea of ridding my mouth of pusbefore DRG plants a wet one on me! Totally nasty, right. It’s too early to see the effects on my oral health. I can report that my teeth and gums “feel” better, cleaner. I’ve also noticed my sinuses completely clear after pulling. Is this just in my mind or does this stuff work? I guess I should make my once a decade dental appointment to get checked out. Seriously. My last visit was to have my impacted wisdom teeth removed in 2004. Oil pulling could push the frequency of dental visits to every 20 years I’m hoping.

The technique makes sense. When I change the oil in our vehicles, the previously clean oil has turned black from pulling out all the engine gunk hiding in the dark crevices of the motor. Sucking and swishing oil (oil has to be used to bind the nasties) between my teeth uses the same principle.

Photo credit

Lead or Fluoride

Why not just use a fluoride mouthwash? When I first started buying investment properties, I had to give every tenant a CYA brochure on the dangers of lead paint if the house was built before 1977. Apparently, allowing your child to eat the peeling lead-laced paint chips off the wall is a bad idea. Who knew?

Stating the obvious, government officials said eating lead is quite harmful. The same I’m-from-government-and-here-to-help crowd crowed about the importance of fluoride treatment for oral health despite studies showing this chemical to be more toxic than lead. Hum, which to eat – lead or fluoride? I’ll take unleaded, thank you.

Oil pulling shouldn’t replace regular brushing with a non-fluoride toothpaste and flossing (which I never do with string floss). My flossing method is achieved via wooden toothpicks. I floss with the shredded wood fibers. It’s more of a habit I kept from childhood. Oil pulling should only enhance my efforts.

It’s also important to quite eating processed junk foods and refined sugars. Oil pulling/swishing is now part of my SHTF dental plan. Its cheap and is beneficial to more than oral health.

How To Getting Started

You can use any veggie oil. Finally, a healthy use for hydrogenated vegetable oils. Just remember not to swallow. I prefer coconut oil. Every morning, I wake up and brew a pot of coffee. When its ready, I add some organic heavy whipping cream and a spoon of coconut oil to my cup of Joe. This has nothing to do with oil pulling. I just like CO in my coffee.

Oil Pulling: An Ancient Technique For SHTF Dental Care and Overall Health

5 gallons of Tropical Traditions coconut oil ‘under’ the Christmas tree

Next, I place a spoon full of coconut oil in my mouth. Do this without eating or drinking anything before hand. It takes a few seconds to melt since CO’s melting point is 76 degrees. I chew it up to speed the process. I sit down to do my daily routine on the computer – while swishing and pulling the oil around in my mouth for about 20 minutes. After checking email, responding to comments, and reading an article from LRC or SurvivalBlog, its time to spit out the disgusting pus-filled, bacteria, virus laden liquid in the kitchen sink. If you’re afraid of stopping up your drain lines, discard it in the trashcan. Of course, you won’t notice any visible nasties in the discarded spittle.

I wash my mouth out with water and go back to my coffee. I’ve read where it’s recommended to go ahead and brush you teeth at this point. Being up several hours before DRG, I don’t have to talk to anyone when I’m pulling oil through my teeth. You understand, talking with a mouth full of oil is not an option.

Oil pulling offers more than just oral health benefits according to experts. “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire” doesn’t necessarily apply. But there’s lots of smoke in the air surrounding oil pulling. Below are a few more links to help you investigate further.

  • Detoxification: Read here, and here.
  • Cleansing: I’ve experience a noticeable clean feeling in my mouth after each session. My sinuses are also relieved of congestion. If using coconut oil, Streptococcus bacteria, which causes plaque, tooth decay and gum disease, is inhibited.
  • Immunity builder

Read oil pulling testimonials.

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Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

Todd

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Copyright: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

 

Categories: Healthcare, Homeopathy, Medical, Natural Health, Preparedness, SHTF | Tags: , , , , , | 26 Comments

Is It Too Late to Start Prepping?

by Daisy Luther

Author bio: Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at daisy@theorganicprepper.ca

Is It Too Late to Start Prepping?

A lot of new folks are starting to realize that the outlook in North America is every bit as grim as the reality in European countries like Greece, Spain, Portugal and a host of others. When even the mainstream media is making dire predictions, the writing is truly on the wall.

If you’re new at this, you might be dipping your toe in the water, reading some survivalist and prepping websites, trying to figure out how to keep your family safe and well-fed in the difficult days ahead…and you may also read a host of discouraging comments saying that it’s too late to get started.  ”If you aren’t already prepared, there’s no time left,” many experienced preppers are saying dismally. “You’re screwed.

If you’ve already come upon some difficult times, you may think to yourself, “I’d like to prepare but I barely have enough money to keep a roof over our heads…We’re screwed.”

You might be reading these terrible prophecies, rolling pennies to buy milk at the grocery store, and watching the parade of terrible daily events and be ready to give up before you even get started.  You may agree, “Yep, it’s too late. I’m screwed.”

The thing is, I’m the eternal optimist, and I don’t believe that it really IS too late.  I don’t believe that you are screwed, even if tomorrow is the date of your first stockpile shopping trip!  If the stores are open, there’s still time.

While I agree that the situation is dire and that economic doom is getting closer every day, if you’re reading this site and others like it, you’ve taken the first step to preparedness already – just like a 12-Step program for addiction, you have recognized and admitted the problem.  This, in and of itself, puts you in the company of an estimated 3 million preppers who are aware that life as we know it today could change in the blink of an eye!

This recognition of the need to prepare puts you ahead of “the herd”.

  • This means that you will look at current events differently.
  • This means that you will think critically when presented with information via the media.
  • This means that you will truly weigh the pros and cons of fiat currency that you intend to spend.
  • This means that when you shop, you aren’t just looking to feed your family until the next grocery trip.

Even if you just have a little inkling in the back of your mind that things are not as they ought to be, you have crossed a thresh-hold and you can choose whether you want to step in to awareness or slam the door on that uneasy feeling and go about your life, doing things the way you have always done them.

If you’re still reading, then you may have decided to come on in and join the ranks of the prepared!

While it’s late in the game we aren’t in the last inning just yet – so let’s get started!

The wake-up call for many of us is a downturn in finances.  While it’s ideal to begin stocking up while your income is still good, don’t be discouraged if you’ve taken a financial hit. You won’t be able to buy a year’s supply in one marathon shopping trip but you can empower yourself by getting started.

Getting Started

The first step is to take inventory of what you have – you may be surprised to realize that you already have a week or a month of supplies in your pantry.  Read “If You Don’t Know What You Have, You Don’t Know What You Need!” for more detailed information on inventorying the items that you already have. (Note: the 52 Weeks to Preparedness section of the website Ready Nutrition contains a wealth of information for the beginning prepper. It’s a budget-friendly approach to getting prepared!)

Once you’ve figured out where you are as far as supplies are concerned, you must figure out a way to finance your prepping endeavors.  Your budget may be so tight that you can barely keep the lights on but there is still hope.  When you change the way you shop, you’ll soon find that some of the budgetary stress is relieved.  But first things first, you have to free up enough money to get started.

You might think that the week after Christmas is a terrible time to get started on something that costs money, but in actuality, you will probably never be in a better position to do so.  If your house is anything like mine, you probably have a whole refrigerator full of holiday leftovers – resist the urge to do your normal weekly shopping trip and feed your family leftovers combined with the goods you have in your pantry.  Use that money that you would normally spend for groceries and let’s get started!  No matter how small your budget is, you can begin building security for your family.  I am basing these prices on my teeny tiny small-town grocery store, this week. You may be able to get more, based on what’s on sale in your area.

$20 List

  • 2 pound bag of rice
  • 2 pound bag of beans
  • 4 cans of spaghetti sauce
  • 2 cans of peaches in water
  • 1 jar of peanut butter
  • 1 jug of white vinegar
  • 5 gallon jug of water

$50 List

everything in the $20 list and

  • 4 boxes of saltine crackers
  • 4 jars of unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 pounds of sugar
  • 5 pounds of flour
  • 1 liter of olive oil
  • 3 cans of green beans
  • 2 boxes of baking soda

$100 List

everything on the $20 list and the $50 list and

  • 1 canister of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 canister of baking powder
  • 10 pound bag of potatoes
  • 5 pound bag of onions
  • 5 pound bag of carrots
  • 2 pounds of powdered milk
  • 6 pounds of pasta
  • 5 bags of dried spices of choice
  • small assortment of treats (candy, chocolate chips, etc – you have $5 to spend on things that make life more pleasant!)

If you’ve read my other articles, you may think these lists are in conflict with the “organic” theme.  While I’d certainly love to see everyone give Monsanto the cold shoulder by buying local and organic, it’s just not always feasible, especially when you are just getting started. I’d rather see people begin to take control by having a supply like the one listed here – something that when combined with the foods in the cupboards might see you through a month of hard times.

What’s more, when you have this little bit of security – this one-month food investment, you can begin to build on this with healthier and more nutritious options.  You can start learning how to be more self-sufficient by growing what you can, by learning to preserve food and by buying in bulk.

It’s Not Over – There’s Time

That little voice whispering warnings is telling you something very important – it’s saying that things just aren’t right.   Call it instinct, the voice of God, or a premonition – but listen and get prepared. Start right now.   Even if you only have 2 weeks’ worth of food and water, that is two weeks that your family will not be hungry or thirsty. After Superstorm Sandy people were complaining that they hadn’t eaten after only two days.

None of us knows how long the dollar will last.  We, in North America, will be going the way of Greece – not if, but when.  Natural disasters occur, interrupting the flow of commerce and the availability of goods. Jobs are lost, illnesses occur, and storms blow in.  If you listen to that little voice telling you to get ready, you will not be standing in line with all of the rowdy crowds waiting for FEMA to dole out benevolence.

Take the time we have left and make the most of it.  Ignore the naysayers with their discouraging pronouncements that there isn’t enough time.  Every single meal you put aside, every book of matches, every candle and every alternative cooking method you invest in, increases the security of your family.

Focus on what you can do – and block out the static of those who say the word “can’t”.

If you are an experienced prepper, what budget-friendly suggestions do you have for the newcomer?  Post them here in the comments!

[Sherpa Note: Check out the comment section at the Organic Prepper to add your thoughts and read other suggestions to this list.]

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Economic Collapse, Frugal Preps, Preparedness, Self-reliance, SHTF, Survival | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 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

Photo credit

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?

https://i1.wp.com/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

21 Awesome Emergency Preparedness Hacks

Source: BuzzFeed

Hurricane Sandy is here. How many everlasting Crisco candles have you got on hand? 

Emily Fleischaker BuzzFeed Staff

1. Strap a headlamp onto a water jug to make a light.

Strap a headlamp onto a water jug to make a light.
Source: pinterest.com

2. Make a candle out of Crisco.

Make a candle out of Crisco.

Get directions here

3. Or out of olive oil.

Or out of olive oil.

Get directions here

4. Stock up on batteries and keep them organized and protected from water damage.

Stock up on batteries and keep them organized and protected from water damage.
Source: bhg.com

5. Convert AAA batteries to AA batteries with tin foil.

Convert AAA batteries to AA batteries with tin foil.

Get directions at Lifehacker

Read the other 16 here

Categories: DIY Preparedness, DIY Preparedness Projects, Frugal Preps, Preparedness, Self-reliance, SHTF, Survival | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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