Posts Tagged With: Self-reliance

How to Dress for Winter Survival Success

by Dave Steen

Going out in the wintertime can be dangerous, even when things are normal and you’re living at home. The cold winter weather can quickly sap your body’s heat, bringing you to the brink of hypothermia without notice. The one defense we have against the risks of cold weather is dressing properly to prevent the cold from winning the battle.

How to Dress for Winter Survival Success

How the Body Heats Itself

Before talking about clothing, I want to make sure we understand how the human body heats itself. Our clothing doesn’t do a thing to generate heat, it merely acts as an insulator to keep that heat inside our bodies, rather than radiating it into the cold air around us.

The body’s heat comes from the chemical reactions involved in breaking down food into energy and then using that energy. The heat produced is actually a by-product of the chemical reaction, albeit a by-product that we need. Glucose is considered by many to be the molecule that cells use for energy, but in fact, glucose breaks down into 38 molecules of Adenosine Tri-Phosphate (ATP), which is the molecule that cells use for energy. It is the process of breaking glucose down to ATP which provides most of our body’s heat.

Each and every chemical reaction in the body produces heat. The liver, which performs more chemical reactions than any other organ, can be seen as the body’s heater. Blood actually leaves the liver warmer than it enters it. However, the liver isn’t the only heater, each and every muscle and organ performs chemical reactions, causing them to generate heat.

The most consistent source of heat in our bodies is from the body’s core. The organs in our body cavity work, regardless of whether we are exercising or are at rest. Muscles, on the other hand, only produce heat when they are active. Shivering is merely a means of forcing the muscles to work, so that they will generate heat.

Heat is moved though the body by the blood. As the blood passes from the core to the extremities, it carries heat with it. If there is not enough heat, this blood flow is restricted, so that the core can maintain its temperature.

Dressing for Warmth

Many people dress in the winter by putting on the heaviest clothing they can, hoping to keep warm. In reality, that may not work. One problem with piling on the heavy coats is that it can make you too warm, causing you to sweat. You never want to be sweating in the winter, as the sweat can turn to ice, pulling out your body’s heat.

The human body’s normal temperature is 98.6oF. So, if you manage to insulate yourself perfectly, it’s going to be like being outside on a 98.6 degree day. What does your body do on such a day? It sweats. Obviously, your insulation job has to be less than perfect, so that your body can get rid of excess heat and not get hot enough to sweat.

It’s actually more effective to dress in layers, than to dress in one heavy garment. That way, if you find yourself getting warm, you can remove a layer, adjusting your clothing to keep you comfortable, without keeping you too warm. Ideally, you want to be just a touch cool, rather than being warm.

Dressing Your Core

The most important part of your body to dress in layers is your core. You’re best off starting with a foundation of a shirt which will wick moisture away from your body. Some athletic wear is designed specifically for this, but other than that, it’s hard to find.

Your next layer should be a long-sleeve sweater, preferably out of wool. Most of the time when doing physical activity outdoors, a good sweater is enough to keep you warm. Wool repels water and can actually insulate when wet; the only material that does.

Over the wool sweater you should have a coat. It’s a good idea to have a selection of coats to choose from, so that you can pick one that is appropriate for the temperature. Even if your sweater will be enough for while you are working outside, you should wear a coat for the time going to and returning from that work. Having the coat with you is also a good precaution in case the temperature should drop suddenly.

Any coat you buy for use in the wintertime should be water repellant. You really don’t want it to be waterproof, as that will make you sweat when you are wearing it. The best insulation for coats is down or polyester fiberfill. Unfortunately, both of those will absorb water readily. Once wet, they will make you lose your body heat considerably faster than being naked. A water repellant covering will prevent that problem.

Dressing Your Legs

The most common pants that I see people wearing out in the cold is blue jeans, which are made of cotton. That means that they don’t resist water at all, but rather, they absorb it quite well. If you are going to wear blue jeans, then you should wear something that is water repellant over them.

There are actual snow pants available on the market, for about the price of a good pair of blue jeans. These are insulated, and have a water repellant nylon covering, which makes them ideal for being out in the cold and snow. However, they may be too warm for wearing out in the snow if you are working. The leg muscles are the body’s largest and can produce a lot of heat. If you are going to be working outdoors, you’re better off with wool pants.

Dressing the Rest

A hat is the most important single article of clothing you wear when going outdoors in the cold. One-fourth of the body’s blood supply goes to the brain. If your head is uncovered, you will lose a lot of heat. A good hat needs to provide insulation to the head, as well as covering the ears to protect them from the cold. The best hats are actually the fur hats, called Ushanka, they wear in Russia.

Good warm boots are an important part of dressing for winter weather. Your feet are the part of your body which will become cold the easiest, as well as being the part which your body restricts blood flow to, in the case of hypothermia. Wearing good warm boots, with wool socks will help prevent any risk of frostbitten toes.

The last thing you need to consider is gloves. After your toes, the next place that your body restricts blood flow to in the case of hypothermia is your fingers. If you are not doing work that requires fine motor skills, mittens will keep your hands much warmer than gloves will. Having all the fingers share the same space allows them to share heat as well, keeping them warmer.

davepreppingplanAuthor bio: Dave is a 52-year-old survivalist; father of three; with over 30 years of survival experience. He started young, learning survival the hard way, in the school of hard knocks. Now, after years of study, he’s grey-haired and slightly overweight. That hasn’t dimmed his interest in survival though. If anything, Dave has a greater commitment to survival than ever, so that he can protect his family. You can learn more about Dave on his site,

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…

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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: Gear, Preparedness, Self-reliance, Survival Skills | Tags: , , , , | 15 Comments

Applied Physics for Self-Reliance: Newton’s 3 Laws of Doing the Stuff

by Todd Walker

Scientists use applied physics to find solutions to real world problems. These smart people put principles of physics to work to add value to our everyday lives. They trade theory for action!

In one of the most monumental scientific books ever written, Sir Isaac Newton painted a different picture of how the world works. His three simple laws of motion transformed the scientific community and set in motion a revolution in math and science.

Have you ever thought about applying the 3 laws of motion to improve your life, skill sets, and self-reliance?

If not, follow along as we go back to science class to explore, without boring lectures and calculus, the physics of Doing the Stuff of self-reliance.

“Self-reliance is the only road to true freedom, and being one’s own person is its ultimate reward.”
~ Patricia Sampson

Newton’s big idea became law after many people verified his theory with action. Here’s a simplified version of his Laws of Motion and how to apply them on your climb to self-reliance and preparedness. Keep in mind that each of these laws builds upon the previous law.

The 1st Law of Doing the Stuff

Newton’s first law of motion simplified…

Objects tend to keep doing the stuff they are doing, resting or moving, until some other force is applied to them.

Your level of self-reliance will not change without an unbalanced force being applied. Your lack of motion will not change unless something happens to you. Your life and skill set will stay the same.


The flip side of this law is also true!

If you’re already in motion Doing the Stuff, you tend to continue in that direction. Once you start doing the stuff of self-reliance, momentum builds. The act of doing is the force needed to break the dam of dependence we all float in at times.

The first law of Doing the Stuff is to start. I put together 13 Preps You Can Do in 120 Seconds or Less to help you get moving. You’ll also find several self-reliance projects to try on the DIY Projects tab at the top of this page. Once the ball is rolling, it’s easier to keep it moving.

Self-reliance is a climb with many small steps. You may be putting off one or two skills you’ve always wanted to learn. Owning the skill will never happen until you take the first step of starting.

For instance, I was reluctant to start crafting leather. There was a 40 year stretch between my first leather project and my new leather creations. I’m no professional but, by starting, I’ve learned to make functional stuff from raw material with my own hands. That alone is reward enough for me.

By far, the biggest mistake I’ve made on my journey to self-reliance is failure to launch. Not starting a new skill, for whatever reason, effects zero motion. Overcome inertia with small starts.

Get this out of your mind. You don’t have to master the skill. But you must start! I would argue that combining many self-reliant skills trumps expertise in only one specialized area. Robert Heinlein said it best, “Specialization is for insects.”

Start doing as much as you can as much as you can!

The 2nd Law of Doing the Stuff

Newton’s second law of motion simplified…

When a force acts on an object, it will cause the object to accelerate.

Obvious, right?

A simple equation sums up the second law of Doing the Stuff:

F=ma (Force equals mass times acceleration)


The more force applied to an object, the more it accelerates. This implies that working hard (applying force) will accelerate your skills.

Not so fast, speedy!

Force is a vector.

What’s a vector?

You can’t hold a vector. It’s not tangible. Simply put, it’s a number value. Vectors add both direction (focus point of the force) and magnitude (size of force) to the 2nd Law of Doing the Stuff.

The entire concept of accelerating your skills depends on where you apply force and the size of the force. Acceleration has direction. Speed does not. To accelerate your Doing the Stuff skills, it’s important to understand that acceleration is any change in an objects speed or direction.

To get an object (you) moving in a direction of self-reliance, focused force must be applied in that direction. The size of your force depends on the mass of the object (simple or complex skill) you want to move forward. Grabbing yourself by the bootstraps and hard work alone won’t get you there. You need force applied in a specific direction.

Here’s the thing…

You only have x amount of force available. It’s a limited resource which needs to be conserved – just like calories in a survival situation. Where you apply force is more important than how hard you work to hone your skills.

For instance, anyone who practices primitive fire craft understands the importance of direction and magnitude of force. Learning the nuances of friction fire methods takes practice and properly prepped material. Even then, all you’ll get is smoke and a sweaty shirt until you apply the proper amount of force at the correct angle. You can’t know that until you’ve created a primal ember.


Our son’s first bow drill ember!

But once the ember is born, you’ll be in a state of euphoria staring at its glow!

The 3rd Law of Doing the Stuff

Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion simplified…

When one object exerts a force on an other object, the second object exerts and equal and opposite force back.

The chair you’re sitting on exerts an upward force equal to the downward force of your butt. If the size of the downward force exceeds the upward force, the furniture fails. In this example, you want equilibrium.

Forces come in pairs. If forces are symmetrical (equal), balance is achieved. No movement, forward or backward. The object is at rest and will remain at rest. Forever. See Law #1.

However, to move your Doing the Stuff skills along, you must create an unbalanced state. Controlled. Reproducible. Consistent.


The Battle of Forces

There are two options to create motion (unbalanced state) in the battle of forces:

  1. Increase the magnitude (size) of one force against an opposite force
  2. Decrease or eliminate an opposite force

As mentioned in Law #2, force is limited. Option 1 is unsustainable for long-term self-reliance. You can only pump yourself up for so long before reaching exhaustion. Caffeine induced bursts of energy and hard work are necessary at times (and I partake in both), but eventually you body runs out of force.

The sustainable choice to build skills is to take a deuce. Eliminate and flush unproductive forces.

To illustrate, apply physics to your 72 hour kit or bug out bag. If your reduced to foot travel, the latest shiny survival stuff only adds mass on your back. Are these shiny objects even necessary to effect your survivability? Probably not!

With proper skills and essential tools, you increase skill set acceleration with the same amount of force. F=ma. The older I get, the more I realize the need to simplify life and remove opposing forces.

Less stuff x skills = self-reliance

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,


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: Doing the Stuff, Self-reliance | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Not Your Typical Recipe Book: Recipes and Tips for Sustainable Living

by Todd Walker

What I’m about to share is ‘Dirt Road Girl’ approved!

When Stacy Harris sent me her new book to review, Recipes and Tips for Sustainable Living, before I could get my hands on it, DRG snagged it and wouldn’t put it down. She immediately performed her sniff test ritual. She opened the book, plants her face between the pages, and inhales deeply. Congrats Stacy! Your book passed DRG’s sniff test with flying colors!


Our first impressions of Stacy’s new book were high quality, glossy pages with excellent photos of food, recipes, family, and sustainable practices for self-sufficient living. It’s good that the pages are high gloss since I began drooling by just looking at the food photos and recipes.

Stacy’s passion for growing heirloom plants and animals that are natural, pesticide, hormone, genetically modified free is clear. And she’s able to cook for a family of 9 from her heirloom garden, pastured animals, and wild game. Very inspiring!

The tips for sustainable living are mixed in throughout the book. One of my favorites is on page 88 – The Perfect Boiled Egg.

“To determine the age of eggs, place eggs in about five inches of water. If the egg lays flat on the bottom it is very fresh and is good for baking and poaching; it the egg tilts on the bottom it is about 10 days old and is great for boiling; if it floats throw it out.”

There’s also tips on foraging wild foods, beekeeping, seed saving, and other self-reliant skills. The tips aren’t going to teach you everything you need to know about sustainable living, but they will motivate you on your journey.

Being an avid hunter and fisherman myself, I loved the ‘Woods and Water’ section of Stacy’s book! I’m always happy to try new recipes for venison, wild turkey, duck, quail, small game, and seafood and fish. Even if you don’t harvest wild fish and game, she provides a substitution page to incorporate domesticated animals for recipes to please everyone.

Not Your Typical Recipe Book: Recipes and Tips for Sustainable Living

10 slices of bacon on Stuffed Venison Meatloaf – perfect!

A note to my Primal/Paleo readers – a few of the baking recipes call for sugar and flour. You can easily substitute for these if you wish and still enjoy the goodness of these traditional home cooked recipes.

Reading Stacy’s story and new cookbook will inspire you to take your next step towards personal freedom and sustainable living. All while eating the best prepared foods on the planet!

You can also connect with Stacy on her blog, Game and Garden, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube channel. Enjoy!

Special Announcement: Congratulations to Stephanie G. on winning an autographed copy of Recipes and Tips for Sustainable Living from our Reader Appreciation Fall Giveaway! We appreciate everyone’s continued support of our blog as we continue Doing the Stuff of self-sufficiency and preparedness together!

Keep doing the stuff!


P.S. ~ Thanks for sharing the stuff! You can connect with us on TwitterPinterest, and our new Facebook page

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


Categories: Gardening, Homesteading, Preparedness, Real Food, Resilience, Self-reliance, Wildcrafting | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

This One Step is Guaranteed to Continually Improve Your Preps

by Todd Walker

You want to improve your preps.

I know this because you’re reading Survival Sherpa. Our motto here is, “Helping each other on the climb to self-reliance and preparedness…the Survival Sherpa way…One step at a time.”

I also realize that you are afraid of change. You’d like things to stay the same. But you also feel the tsunami coming and want to head to high ground. You’re worried that all the boats will sink. You don’t have enough time, energy, and resources to get there.

Here a truth that set me free. Preparedness is a journey, not a destination. You’ll never arrive! But what if you only had to change one thing to be better prepared, you’d think I was crazy, right?

Headlines often promise more than they deliver. But this one simple step really will increase your level of preparedness, self-sufficiency, and resilience.

What’s the one step?

Prepping Kaizen!

What’s Kaizen? Breaking the word down, “kai” means change/make better, “zen” means good. Apply the word to prepping and it means “continuous improvement.”

Kaizen was practiced here in the U.S. during the great depression and later to help rebuild Japan after WW II. Once it took root, it helped this war-torn country bounce back and become a dominate economic power. I own one of their success stories – a Toyota Forerunner. It just turned over 235,000 miles. I’d say it’s middle-aged now, thanks to kaizen – and regular maintenance.

Preparing for the coming chaos may look like a cooked elephant sitting on your table, so add a little Prepping Kaizen to help clean your plate.

That’s the purpose of this article – to help you bounce back from whatever gets thrown at you… without being overwhelmed. If you’re new to prepping, you may feel like throwing your hands up in despair. You’ve  managed to click away from a well-meaning, self-proclaimed expert prepper blog extolling you to get ready for the zombie apocalypse. Anxiety grips your mind and emotions.

“You mean I’ve got to have 10,000 thousands rounds of ammo, one years worth of food storage, and live off grid – by next month!?!”

None of these are bad if that’s you goal. But for those newly initiated to preparedness, this is a blueprint for burnout.

This is where Prepper Kaizen comes in handy.

You see, you don’t need to have to have it all. You never will anyway. But what you do need is the ability to see the whole picture and take the small, simple steps, master these, and look back at how much you’ve improved and accomplished. Those weekly Buy-One-Get-One deals at the grocery store start to accumulate. You notice that your pantry mysteriously grew from a three-day supply to a three-week supply.

The key to lasting success is lasting.

Micro manage your preps

Prepping Kaizen is a strategy that takes your focus off the size of the tsunami and helps you do the little stuff (micro) to get you to safety. This approach is like taking your first step as an infant.

You learned locomotion one step at a time. You didn’t crawl up on the sofa arm and run sprints in diapers. You mastered walking first.

Most of you aren’t building a multi-million dollar corporation. But you can benefit from the kaizen model that rebuilt Japan.

Here’s how to get your Prepping Kaizen on.

  • Step 1: Start

Sometimes a tiny step is all it takes to build momentum and confidence for your journey. If all you see is the approaching tsunami, you’ll be tempted to just bend over and kiss it all good-bye. 

Stacy (new to prepping) drives home this point in her recent comment to me, “I feel more like I’m in a whirlpool!” She’s not alone. 

She and her husband have made the first step on their journey to self-reliance. They started with emergency water containers. Now she’s working on food storage. Her husband wants to know how to get 6 months of food storage. Simple answer: One bite at a time. Start buying extras of what you already eat. Before long, you’ll need to find creative ways to stash all this food – under beds, furniture, and other unlikely pantry spaces. 

  • Step 2: Stick to it

Now that you’ve taken the first step, pick an area you feel is most important and break it down into smaller steps. This is a very personalized process. Priorities are dependent on your individual scenario. If you live on property with fresh water springs, water storage won’t be as important to you as the family living in an arid climate.

With that being said, pick one area to improve and focus your energy and resources for one month on that priority prep. If it’s food storage, take conscious steps each week to improve this area. Having spent a month dedicated to the process of storing food, the remaining 11 months will become routine. You fix the kinks and streamline the process. This discipline will easily transfer to your next area of focus.

  • Step 3: Pick the low hanging fruit

This is how smart preppers apply Prepping Kaizen. Smart people pick the easy stuff first. The stuff that’s free, inexpensive, or readily available.

  • Buy an extra case of bottled water for 4 bucks
  • Do some bodyweight exercises – no expensive gym membership needed
  • Buy a 50 cent box of table salt
  • Read free ebooks on prepping and survival – knowledge weighs nothing
  • Never pass on Buy-One-Get-One deals
  • Save your pocket change in a jar to buy more preps – don’t trade in your nickels though
  • Become a yard sale junkie – chew on the hay and spit out the sticks.

Easy pickins give you immediate, tangible results. The foggy path to preparedness begins to clear and you grow more confident. So does your knowledge and skills. Build off this new-found confidence and pick the next area of improvement. How hard can it be?

  • Step 4: Ask why with an axe in your hand

Mistakes are not a sign to quit. They’re markers of what not to repeat. Even if you’ve been prepping for years, you make mistakes – sometimes stupid ones. I’ve made my share. Mistakes improve the process if we ask… why, why, why, why, why. 

Part of kaizen is asking 5 whys. There is always one root cause to every problem. Some issues won’t take 5 whys. Other may take more. Instead of dealing with the symptom, the 5 why method digs until you find the root. This forces you to stop the hurried Do-Do cycle and fix the real problem.

Try this. You notice the bottom of your tomatoes are developing brown, rotting spots on their bottoms:

  1. Identify the problem. That’s easy. The spots are visible. You’re green-thumbed neighbor tells you it’s blossom end rot.
  2. Identify the cause by asking, ‘why did this happen?’ Brainstorm all the possible causes.
  3. Write it down on paper. Insufficient calcium, not enough water, too much water, soil PH, etc.
  4. Ask why for each of the causes you’ve just identified. Ask 5 times per possible cause.
  5. Once you’ve identified the root cause – use your axe.

Was it the soil, minerals, or watering that’s destroying your fruit? Whatever it is, this process will help you lay an axe on the root cause. Armed with this knowledge and experience, you’ll make continual improvements to bear more fruit next growing season.

  • Step 5: Take Curly’s advice

If you’ve made it this far, you want to be better prepared. Keep in mind that you don’t have to ‘get there’ immediately. Making sweeping changes to your lifestyle is not a prerequisite to being more resilient, self-sufficient, or whatever it’s called these days.

Remember the scene from the movie City Slickers when Curly (Jack Palance) gives Mitch (Billy Crystal) his simple version of the meaning of life?

Curly: Do you know what the secret of life is?

Curly: This [as he holds up one finger]

Mitch: Your finger?

Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don’t mean shit.

Mitch: But what is the ‘one thing?’

Curly: That’s what you have to find out. (smiles)

Figuring out your one thing is up to you. I don’t assume to know what you need. I’ll leave that to a fictitious cowboy. Curly wisdom maybe right in the movie…

But, if you want to be better prepared to face uncertain times, you have to do more than one thing. Lots of things actually – without freaking out.

You have to take that first step. Then another, and another, and another.

Maybe you’ve already gotten your fundamental preps in order. Congrats! Now take the next step and apply Prepping Kaizen through out your journey. You’ll notice steady improvement in quality and quantity over time.

You’ll be more prepared tomorrow than you are today.

Keep doing the stuff – one step at a time,



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Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Preparedness | Tags: , , , , | 7 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.


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

Preparedness Community: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Too big to fail globalists want us to believe their titillating noble lies. Their mouthpiece, the Main Stream Media (MSM), denies the Newspeak coming from elite lips and to disguise  what their hands are doing. To reduce thought and critical thinking, truth is labeled ‘conspiracy theories.’ You’re a whack-job if you believe alternative news sources.

Elitists hate individuals. To them, we’re a pebble in their jack boots.

MSM is not their only promoter. Public schools are shills for the Collective. It matters not whether the school is populated by offspring of mostly conservative, liberal, or fence sitters. Every government-run school in America is a decoy for State enslavement – for the good of the group.

For those unfamiliar with the term collectivism, it is the complete opposite of individualism. Many times my students yell the answer of the math problem, 4 – 10 = 6. The answer given is the complete opposite of the correct answer, (- 6). Leaving out the negative sign seems like such a trivial matter. I point out the ‘simple’ error more times than I care to admit. The two numbers are on opposite ends of the number line.

“The answer is correct, except for that little sign,” Mr. Walker.

The importance of building resilient communities for not only survival, but to thrive in the coming days, can not be overemphasized. Neighboring Matters was an article I wrote about the importance of community in dealing with unknown unknowns. Today, some of the unknowns are turning into knowns. Confiscation in Cyprus ring any bells?

We’re social animals and thrive in community. What we don’t do well is live in the societal super-organism called the Collective. In this living, breathing entity, the individual merely survives by sacrificing his/her own self-interest for the “good of the group” – unless you’re at the top of the elitist pyramid.

“Collectivism often sounds humane because it stresses the importance of human needs. In reality, it is little more than a rationalization for sacrificing you and me to the desires of others.” — Jarret B. Wollstein

Individualism and Community

First, let’s explore building community based on individualism. By community, I’m referring to building mutual assistance and aid based on voluntary association without force, coercion, or treat of violence.

What makes you happy?

In a community of individuals (anti-collectivists), one is able to exercise his natural right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. A moral individual wishing to pursue her happiness will find it necessary to cooperate with other like-minded individuals, not just in trading goods and services, but sharing knowledge, and developing genuine relationships as well.

The aim of building community should be to increase our quality of life. In a true free-market, these pursuits (life, liberty, and happiness) would be more easily attained.

Individuals make up a community, obviously. We’ve all witnessed how individuals come together during a crisis to serve (voluntarily) to help others in their community. Remember the devastation of Hurricane Katrina? The communities that rebounded quickly took matters into their own hands. They weren’t coerced into giving charity. They saw a need and made a decision to help neighbors.

The recovery time of any natural or manmade disaster takes longer when collectivist thinking dominates a community or society. Charity to your neighbor becomes a duty – enforced by the State. Give until it hurts or until the-powers-that-be say stop. Violating my rights in no way motivates me to give. I’ll gladly and willingly help others out of love for my fellow man and mutual benefit. However, coerce me and I resist.

No amount of guilt, force, or pressure applied by the Collective can be matched by the power of individuals motivated to pursue their own self-interest.

Individuals in the Collective are like oil and water. They don’t mix.

Collectivism and Controllers

Look no further for a shining example of that living super-organism called the Collective than our public schools. Students are trained to snitch on individuals who don’t play by the rules. Schools are a reflection of our nanny state encouraging “see something, say something”. The Powers of Fairness rule schools. Individualism is ferreted out and dealt with brutally for the good of the group. Parents chained to their office cubicles see no way out of their compassionate cage and allow the hostage taking to continue.

It’s only fair, right?

There seems to be no escape.

Ask yourself this question: Who benefits from those dependent on the Collective?

From an evolutionary point of view, bad ideas should die out. The Collective not only controls the bad idea factory, they have the State in their pocket to enforce their insanity. As the bad idea of collectivism becomes worse, it manifests destruction, an unproductive class, theft, vice, and pure evil. The Controller’s matrix punishes producers and rewards dependence. Before long, your proper position in the food chain is established.

Exposing the self-sufficiency myth

There’s a myth (or dream) floating around the prepper community about being completely self-reliant and self-sufficient. I’ve been guilty of falling for and even promoting the myth. Is it really achievable or just selling snake oil? With so many odds against us, I sometimes feel like I’m constantly selling some secret elixir out the back of a wagon.

The main obstacle to self-sufficiency is not money, resources, land, or skills. The biggest hurdle is the Collective.

That pesky Collective keeps us dependent on their matrix. I’ve got to keep my health insurance, pay for shelter, food, and other needs – rinse and repeat. Stop paying rent (property taxes) on what you may call ‘free and clear’ land or house, and the Controllers send in goons to take what you once called home. Fiat greenbacks are required to pay tribute. Bartering in this situation won’t work.

Is there a better way to earn your freedom and escape the Collective cage? Freedom and liberty trump control and forced servitude. I’ve tried to wrap my mind around living off the land, hiding in caves, or some other Hollywood Doomsday lifestyle. It’s not for me, DRG, or our loved ones. If you think you’d enjoy that lifestyle, more power to you. I enjoy things that satisfy me personally and connect me to my true nature – without extravagance. This forces me to rethink my preparedness paradigm.

Redefining preparedness 

  1. Get your mind right. Ditch the spin doctors. Whatever label you have pasted to your forehead, spinning your version of truth doesn’t apply to everyone. We’re individuals. Not groups crammed into the Collective. Absent regulatory control, the free market will expose fraud and bad ideas. The Medical Industrial Complex, Industrial Food Machine, mass media, and whoever you voted for are cogs in the collective wheel.
  2. Adopt a depression lifestyle. This one involves distinguishing between the needs and wants. Take pleasure in withholding produce from the Collective. They need me more than I need them. Play their game better than they do. Do it all legally and above-board. Shrug.
  3. Bloom where you’re planted. If you’re not already living in a sparsely populated western state, and don’t have the resources to relocate, or better yet, don’t want to relocate to what experts call the safe haven states, what’s a prepared family or individual to do? Bloom right where you are. No doubt the number of potential roving gangs of looters drops in less populated regions, but if every follower of this brand of prepping acted on this advice, wouldn’t these states quickly grow in population? Yes, but they’d all have the right mindset. Don’t be so sure of that. Follow your gut.
  4. Down size. Learn to love less. Houses, cars, gadgets, etc. Decide what’s a priority in meeting needs, not wants. Tangibles and quality equipment and tools and things that hold value over time are stuff to go after. When the balloon goes up, you’ll be glad you collected stuff smartly.
  5. Take advantage of living in our modern world with our modern conveniences. Use technology to resurrect lost skills – and make them better. Alternative energy (passive solar, hydro, and even wood gasification) will be a key element to bouncing back from chaos. Every family needs at least one geek. Khan Academy is an example of a ‘geek’ who has bypassed traditional brick and mortar classrooms to teach effectively online. The same strategy can be applied to starve the Collective and build resilience. Geek on!
  6. Resilient health. Health is wasted on youth – among other things. After our personal SHTF experience, we don’t take our health for granted. Be proactive about what you put into your body. This one act alone can reprogram your health. You’ll also need proper amounts of sleep, exercise, sunshine, play, and down time. The last thing you want is to be dependent on the medical/pharma system to keep your ticking. This is one more step in pulling the plug on the Collective.

Not everyone is going to grab the flag and lead the charge. But once one person storms the hill, they won’t be alone. Many will follow. If you haven’t begun building a group or community, it’s not too late. It’ll take some time, but it can happen, one individual at a time.

If you found this helpful, consider helping get the word out by sharing it with your social network, family, and friends. We certainly appreciate all the support we get from you!

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Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Economic Collapse, Preparedness, Survival | Tags: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Fear Built the Coffin, Are You Carrying the Shovel?

by Todd Walker

Preppers seem to be an intelligent, discerning bunch. They embrace individual responsibility, self-reliance, preparedness, and self-sufficiency. Very admirable traits indeed. My intention here is to shine some light on the foundation of many doomsday preppers – fear.

Grave digger removing a casket

All fear is not bad. It’s a gift in many cases that has been passed down ancestrally.

Fear of our future has motived many of us to change our lifestyle. Too much fear paralyzes. Picture your health. You’re chilling on the sofa after work with remote in hand – feeling fine physically. An ad from the Industrial Pharmaceutical Complex interrupts compelling you to take action (and their newest wonder drug – which may cause anal seepage). Hum, as the thought bubble forms. I do remember not being able to remember the name of my co-worker’s daughter’s husband. Is this the onset of …. [fill in the blank]. I can put up with a bit of seepage if that pill can help me.

Then there’s the pesky problem of information overload. We’re drowning in a tsunami of threats, boogeymen, four-horsemen hype that would make for a bad day – even for the most prepared. Anxiety and hand wringing in the corner or buying the latest shiny object seem to be our only hope of survival for our species. Negative news sells. Who tunes into a local newscast with stories of families that made it home safely for dinner? No one. We rubberneck to see the disconnected devastation and destruction on our idiot tubes. We want to have our fear – and be happy too.

But we have to stay informed on all the potential S hitting the fan, right? There’s better ways to stay informed than faux news. I try to find a happy medium – staying informed – without succumbing to anxiety-induced anal seepage.

Last year our family experienced our own genuine, personal SHTF scenario. This was not a drill or practice session. DRG’s life was on the line. Discounting or overlooking real threats to our families is just plain stupid. Minimizing our risk in this preparedness game is all we can do. The first step would be to prioritize what’s really likely to happen in our individual situation.

I’m not your typical prepper – whatever that term implies. I don’t own a single gas mask. I know the three minutes without air rule. It’s just that, in my estimation, owning a chemical suit and gas mask is not a priority for our family now. Would I buy one if I thought breathable air was in short supply? Yes. But for now, my priority is to fry bigger fish – like water and food.

Here’s the good news! We don’t have to watch fear-based TV news to stay informed. No more throwing remotes or shoes at the talking heads on your screen. Online alternative news sites are everywhere. User beware. Some prepping sites fall into the fear, doom and gloom category. I’ve found that I was guilty of this myself in the early stages of this blog – fanning the flames of fear drives web traffic. Again, look for information that offers practical advise and steps to living a more simple life. A lot of “non-prepping” sites offer excellent information. Meaning, surf outside the prepping wave pool. I’m always interested in other non “prepper” sites y’all ‘Commentistas’ have discovered. Please, do tell!

How do we avoid the coffin that fear built?

Put down the shovel and stop digging.

  • Relax. Take frequent breaks from the potential unknowns that keep you from sleeping. Health-destroying headlines top my list.
  • Turn off the TV. I use to be a news junkie. I’ve broken the addiction. I value my psychological health. Here’s a study that found that watching the news on television triggers persisting negative psychological feelings that could not be buffered by attention-diverting distraction (i.e., lecture), but only by a directed psychological intervention such as progressive relaxation.
  • Erase the hell-in-a-handbasket mindset. Bad stuff has happened in our time and to our ancestors – yet they prevailed.
  • Fire the worker bee in you. What if the secret to survival was to fire yourself? You’ve probably read the “What did you do to prep” threads on forums. If not, they’re easy to find. I sometimes get the impression that if you’re not doing something to prepare everyday that you’ll eventually get caught, um, unprepared. We have to escape the tyranny of the urgent – the daily grind. Well Mr. Knowitall, who’s going to do all that stuff ‘experts’ say are essential to survival? You will. But first, you must fire yourself. Go ahead. Step away form the food dehydrator. You could use the break, right? Take a weekend off to concentrate on your long-term plan. Act like a CEO, not a worker bee. Then, step-by-step, begin implementing your plan. Scurrying around full of fear is unproductive.
  • Focus on the main thing. Every trivial “news worthy” event has side-track potential. Your main thing may not be my main thing. Discover yours and focus your energy there.

What’s the next pandemic? I don’t know, and frankly, don’t care. Viewing life through the lens of fear shapes our future. Sadly, a lot is written in prepperdom that reinforces the panic-stricken mindset. My job is to decide what’s worth my time and energy. Standing over my coffin of fear with a shovel and dirty hands is not an option for me. Fear not.

How about you?

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Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Life-Liberty-Happiness, Preparedness | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 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

Economy Plummet In 3,2,1…

This article was originally published at My Family Survival Plan and is republished here with the author’s permission.

Source: My Family Survival Plan

By Alec Deacon

In case you were wondering when the brand new economic failure would settle in… well, wonder no more! The most recent reports show that it has already begun since January. So, to all those thinking all the “fuss” about a new financial crisis in 2013 is just fear mongering… here`s some bad news: the FACTS prove not only that it`s going to happen this year…. but that it`s already happening and it`s only getting worse.

Unfortunately, these people don`t read this site unless it`s by accidents. I know the MFSP community is made of concerned Americans, who are very aware of the realities of our times and try their best to protect their families against the looming crisis. On the other hand, most Americans are completely ignorant to these events and here`s the best example of their ignorance:

U.S. Incomes Fall


A decline in incomes was expected in January, but the estimated numbers were wrong. According to WSJ, personal incomes dropped 3.6% in January, as the Commerce Department said Friday. However, economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires expected a 2.5% decline. This marks the most dramatic decline since January 1993.

Now, what`s troubling is not the income plummet itself. The fact that numbers are bigger than expected is not all that surprising. In December, the monthly income was unusually high, because companies preferred to pay out early dividends to avoid 2013 upcoming tax hikes. A lot of $billion companies, such as Wal-Mart, Oracle, and Costco Wholesale Corp chose to pay dividends to their shareholders at the end of 2012 and not wait until 2013 and pay more on taxes. Therefore, when you compare January 2013 to December 2012, it`s absolutely natural for the numbers to be bigger than estimated. So the problem doesn`t necessarily lie here, but in what`s to happen in the next three to four months. And by that, I`m referring mainly to consumer behaviour.

Consumer behaviour


What did Americans do when a chunk of their paychecks suddenly vanished?“Households responded to this hit to income by reducing their savings, rather than by reducing their purchases, Paul Dales of Capital Economics said in a written analysis of the report.” (

In January, the spending rate rose 0.2%, while the personal-savings rate dropped to 2.4% from 6.4% in December. That`s the lowest rate since November 2007. I don`t what you think of this, but I think this is completely irresponsible, especially since…

Inflation is soaring!



You don`t need to be an economist to see how obvious it is. Prices are the best indicator and judging by the amount we spend just on groceries or on gas, inflation feels as real as it gets. But people don`t seem to learn their lesson. Remember 2008, when the crisis was just about to burst, and Americans were spending much more than they actually HAD? You`d think the crisis taught them to cherish saving more than irrational spending…

Well, here we are in 2013 and, after a so-called “slow, yet steady economic growth”, as our government lies in official numbers, Americans have easily adapted their old bad habits again. Even now, barely half of the population has more money in their savings account then they owe in credit card debt. (

And you know what`s worse? The government thinks it`s a good sign. Consumer spending accounts for ⅔ of the U.S. economy, so let people shop like crazy and get the economy back on its feet! But what happens when they don`t spend their OWN money? What happens when their savings get lower (like it`s already started to), while their debt gets higher? It`s the same vicious circle that got us into the 2008 crisis in the first place. So, for God`s sake, for once in your lives, learn something from past mistakes (especially since they`re so recent!) and stop trying to push the economy forward in a toxic manner.


Categories: Economic Collapse, Preparedness | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Charcuterie: Off The Grid Food Storage For Meats

Ever eat cured raw pork?On my list skills to learn is the lost art of off grid meat preservation. I can meats, store meat in the freezer, and have some canned seafood in our primal pantry. What happens when the fragile electrical grid goes down? Leaning to cure meat for long-term storage would be a great skill for bartering, building resilient preps, and, well, it’s just plain cool to see meat hanging from the ceiling in your basement or root cellar.

Caroline Cooper has an interesting article on her blog (eatkamloops) about a technique I’ve never heard of or was able to pronounce. Click here for the proper pronunciation. It’s fun to say and sounds like it’d be fun to make and eat.

Any of y’all ever tried making charcuterie? I’d like to hear from you.

Pantry Foods: Charcuterie

Source: eatkamloops

cured pork 1 Pantry Foods: Charcuterie

Charcuterie adds a wonderful element to winter pantry food. A small slice of cured meat goes a long way with its rich flavor. With traditional charcuterie there is a natural order to when the cured meats are ready and when the cured meats should be eaten.

“These dry-cured meats and sausages, almost always sliced thin, are dense and chewy, with a strong, dry-cured flavor and smooth, satiny fat. When we eat them, we’re most often eating pork that’s never gone above room temperature, let along come close to the 150F recommended by government. And yet, properly prepared, these are perfectly safe to eat. There really is nothing similar to eating cured raw meat — it has a flavor and an effect like no other food.”

Charcuterie: The Craft and Salting, Smoking and Curing by Michael Ruhlman

cured pork ribs 4 Pantry Foods: Charcuterie

Raw cured ribs are the first cured product to come out of the cellar. Sliced thinly, the sweet meat of the ribs is a wonderful contrast to the salty cure. One rib will satisfy.

I just wanted to share a few pictures of the cured pork my husband Shaen made with the expert mentoring from Joe Trotta. Charcuterie is not an easy craft to learn from books. Charcuterie is a craft best passed down from the older generation to the younger generation. If you are interested in learning the craft, I have no books for you, or courses you can take. You will just have to look around and find someone knowledgeable in the craft and someone willing to mentor you in the techniques. If you can find someone to show you how to cure raw meats, the process becomes simple, and the stress of wondering if you are doing it right, is greatly reduced.

Two warnings. Hurry up and learn. Many of the people who know these techniques are older. Many have children that do not value the wisdom that came from the old country and have never learned the craft. These old techniques are dying with the people, and unless we learn their knowledge, the knowledge will pass out of this world. If you are a professional cook or chef, you will have to empty your cup of knowledge, if you want to learn traditional charcuterie. Everything you think you know about FOODSAFE is wrong regarding these foods. If you come to traditional cured foods with your own ideas of how to do it right, you will likely miss the mark, and mess up the process. Saying “Oh my God, that isn’t safe,” is meaningless and disrespectful to someone who has eaten these foods their whole life.

cured pork bacon 5 Pantry Foods: Charcuterie

This is raw cured bacon with sea salt and paprika. The sticks help keep the bacon flat and stop it from curling. This is the second cured product out of the cellar. Very few people have enjoyed the flavor of raw bacon. It can be cooked but you will miss the satiny smoothness of the fat.

“Dry-curing results in a beautiful type of sausage, the most individualistic, idiosyncratic, and temperamental sausage there is, precisely because of its reliance on atmospheric conditions, which change all year round, and the presence of varying microflora in the air.”

cured pork 2 Pantry Foods: Charcuterie

Soppressata is the third cured product out of the cellar. Soppressata is made from raw pork, sea salt and paprika which is stuffed into the pig’s intestine. There is no curing salts or other ingredients. Soppressata’s flat appearance is from pressing to help remove air from the salami.

But when your sausage has dried just right, and you slice it thin, and the interior is a glistening deep crimson red with bright pearly chunks of fat, it is incredibly exciting. This is real mastery over the food we prepare. To make a home-cured pork sausage, with just salt and pepper for seasoning, is a deeply gratifying experience, like making a great wine.”

cured pork 3 Pantry Foods: Charcuterie

Soppressata is hung by it’s string on clothes hangers cut into hooks. Soppressata with its white coat is an eerie sight in the cellar. The white coating is safe to eat though traditional Italian sausage makers like Joe wipe the soppressata with vinegar and water to remove the coating.

Mastering the technique of transforming raw meat and fat, whether a sausage or a whole muscle, into something delicious without using heat, enhances your ability to work with all food. This is true craftsmanship, craftsmanship aiming for art, a craft reliant on the cook’s skill and knowledge and, perhaps, a little bit of divine intervention.”

Divine intervention indeed. Or maybe just allowing for the peaceful co-existence of humans with their helpful bacterial friends. When you cure long-term your household will become colonized with helpful microbiota. If you would like to learn more about traditional Italian curing please see: Pantry Foods: Fast Cured Green Olives.

Categories: Barter, Food Storage, Lost Skills | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

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