Category: Life style

Preserving Oral Hygiene In A SHTF Scenario

Preserving Oral Hygiene In A SHTF Scenario

Oral hygiene is of upmost importance, and we’re familiarized with the toothbrush and toothpaste from an early age. Keeping your teeth clean on a daily basis is vital for preserving oral hygiene. But despite the rigors and norms of the modern consumerist society we live in, there are many other ways of keeping your teeth clan and healthy. And they work best in a TEOTWAWKI scenario, when the products we’re used to won’t just be available anymore. You’ll need to improvise, but luckily there are many substitutes for the traditional methods and products. And despite what many people believe, teeth aren’t made of glass. Cleaning them with something else other than toothpaste won’t damage them in any way. There are plenty of raw foods that known to have a cleaning effect on the teeth (apples, pears, carrots); provided they are hard enough (soft and ripe won’t do), they’ll do wonders for your teeth and gums, preventing even gingivitis and canker sores. Here are some of the best replacements for modern teeth cleaning methods.

BAKING SODA

Baking soda is probably the most famous alternative when it comes to cleaning the teeth. The baking soda’s natural properties lets it neutralize acids that are harmful for the enamel, kills off bacteria that is responsible for plaque build-up and as far as aesthetics go, it’s an excellent stain remover. It’s used dates as far back as antiquity, as even Hippocrates himself had a mouthwash recipe based on baking soda, vinegar and alum. Alongside baking soda, there are many oils you can throw into the mix for added beneficial effects: cinnamon oil (has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties), peppermint oil (has antibacterial effect, it freshens the breath and it clears up the sinuses), clove oil (fights off bacteria and has painkilling properties) etc. These oils work in more ways than one. If you have swollen gums, you can dip a piece of clean cloth of gauze in any of these and a place over the affected area; for best results, let the gum-pack sit overnight.

SALT

Salt is the ingredient that no serious prepper should go without. And believe it or not, it even serves a purpose in the field of oral hygiene. Salt brushing can be used even today, in moderation of course; salt can whiten and brighten one’s teeth. It has mild cleaning properties and it can be used daily; you can also make a salt based mouthwash that you can use for disinfection purposes, against bad breath, tartar, plaque and even boost the healing process. Salt can be used raw or mixed with baking soda (30% salt, 70% baking soda); you can even add sage to the mix, if you happen to have some at your disposal. Mouth wash is even easier to make; just add salt to potable water and there you have it.

OXYGENTATED WATER (HYDROGEN PEROXIDE 3%)

The product has been proven to be very effective against gingivitis, canker sores and harmful bacteria. It should be diluted with water before usage, because it’s a bit to abrasive on the teeth. Just mix equal parts of water and hydrogen peroxide 3% and you get a very affective mouth wash. However, you should never swallow the mixture. Before brushing your teeth, swish it around in your mouth and spit it out, but don’t keep it in for longer than 20 seconds. After you’re done, you can wash the toothbrush with the oxygenated water-based concoction, to destroy residual bacteria.

PRIMITIVE TOOTHBRUSHES (aka. CHEW STICKS)

Chewing on sticks and branches is a primitive teeth-cleaning method, that’s still used today among tribal societies. It might seem a bit rough, but it works. The method consists in chewing down on little twigs and branches and splitting them into several small brands. When you’re done chewing and the twig gets spread enough, you can used it to clean your teeth similar to a toothbrush. Some plants are more efficient than others, thanks to their healing properties. Some of the best and most spread DIY toothbrushes can be made out of oak, juniper, eucalyptus and the neem tree. Their rich in tannins that are extremely helpful in cleansing and curing gum-related afflictions and oils that stimulate blood flow.

There you have it, some of the best methods to help you keep your oral hygiene even in the toughest conditions imaginable. When your toothpaste and mouthwash reserves run low, you’ll need to consider replacing them and fast. No matter how bad things get, overlooking oral hygiene is not an option.

The Best Natural Antiseptics You Can Use In A Survival Scenario

The Best Natural Antiseptics You Can Use In A Survival Scenario

When SHTF and the whole world falls apart, surviving each day at a time will be the key issue, as I have stated so many times before. Apart from staying safe and getting the right resources as far and food and water goes, keeping healthy will be just as important. I’ve advised you time and time again on being vigilant and avoid accidents at all costs, as have I advised you on keeping the right supplies in your personal survival medical kit.

But as far as medical supplies go, they’ll run out eventually. And vigilance just won’t be enough to stop accidents from happening entirely. When it comes down to it, you’ll need to improvise, and fast. No matter what type of accidents we’re talking about, be it a minor one (a bruise, a cut, bug bites etc.) or a more serious injury (burns, fractures etc.), a real important part of the treatment is avoiding infection. For such occasions you’ll need to have antiseptics in hand.

They are substances (that come in liquid, powder or ointment form) and get applied locally to help prevent infection, sepsis (harmful bacteria and toxins) and even putrefaction. Medical kits usually have Betadine (aka. Povidone-iodine), which is one of the best medical products when it comes to fighting off infection. But if you don’t happen to have any, there is still plenty of substitutes you can you use. Let’s have a look at what they are.

1. Mouthwash

You might have run out of Betadine, but if you still have some mouthwash lying around, you should be set. If you have a mouthwash that is set on fighting plaque and gingivitis, it should be able to do the same with any sort of pathogens that tend to build up on an open wound. Most of the products in this category have substances like zinc chloride, cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorhexidine (available by prescription) etc., that are nothing else but antiseptic agents. If it’s set to fight off germs in your mouth, it should do the same for cuts, bruises and flesh wounds.

2. Lemon juice

For those of you that have a high tolerance to pain, you can use lemon juice, or even better, lime juice to disinfect and clean open wounds. But be advised that the stinging sensation will be intense. Not only will lemon juice kill off potentially harmful bacterial agents, but it will also stops the bleeding. The juice is effective against pathogens thanks to its acidic properties that act like an alcohol-based disinfectant: it kills of germs, it cleans the wound and it dries up the area all in one swoop. If you can stand the pain, it’ll be worth it. But be advised, excessive use can damage healthy cells as well.

3. Garlic

Garlic is known to be one of the most potent natural antiseptics across many cultures throughout the world. But in order for it to work, the wound needs to have stopped bleeding. Once the bleeding stops, clean the afflicted area with water and gently dry it off with a clean piece of cloth. The garlic can be crushed and applied directly or you can make a concoction by adding red wine. Let it sit for 3 – 4 hours and apply to the wound. However, garlic can be damaging to the skin, so don’t leave it more than 25 minutes at a time.

4. Potatoes

I bet not many of you knew that potatoes have a natural ability of healing open wounds. Well, they do. And it’s all based on their ability to attract and draw out all sorts of infections. The first thing you’ll need to do is to shred a potato or two and spread them over a thin, clean cloth. Add this to the wound and let it sit for 5 hours at a time. When changing your potato bandage with a fresh one, you’ll need to clean the wound with some salt-water. Potatoes will keep the inflammation to a minimum and will keep pathogens at bay.

5. Chamomile

Chamomile is an ancient cure for so many ailments, that its notoriety has lasted through the ages. The plant’s dried flowers contain high levels of flavonoids and terpenoids that make it one of the most curative plants to have been discovered. If chamomile-based ointments or medicine isn’t available, you can easy get some tea bags or simply find fresh flowers, dry them and make them into tea. Once the tea is done, get a clean cloth and soak it in. Drain the excess liquid and apply directly on the wound; if you have chamomile tea bags, even better, as they’ll contain plant parts which will speed up the healing process even more.

6. Cayenne pepper

The Cayenne pepper works amazingly as open-wound treatment. Not only does it have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, but it also stops the bleeding in a heartbeat, as it makes the blood clot way fast than normal. The bleeding of a superficial wound should cease in about 15 seconds after the pepper was added; if the wound is more severe, drink the concoction made up of 8oz water + 1oz cayenne pepper daily. This will help you cause.

7. Pine sap + needles

The pine sap is considered as one of the most easily procured natural antiseptics there are. If you happen to have some pinesin you vicinity, getting some sap will be child’s play. Look on the body of the tree for lumpy formations. They or sap pockets witch you can easily pop or stick with your knife. Once the sap is out, simply take it and spread it over the wound. If you wish to strengthen the effect of the sap, you can grab some pine needles to snack on. They are edible and also have mild antiseptic properties.

8. Cactus bandages

This is the best option for all you desert-dwellers out there. The prickly pear cactus (Oputia sp.) has flat round pads, which have excellent antiseptic and astringent properties. Grab a pad and either split it in half or peel it. Place it directly over the wound, but assure yourself you have removed those pesky needles first. You can let it sit, even secure it with a gauze. The cactus will speed up the healing process.

Whether you’ll need to resort to such improvisations or not, is hard to tell. But if it ever comes down to it, at least you won’t have to endure a slow and painful death caused by infection. Nature is lending us a hand every here and there, just keep your eyes open.

By My Family Survival Plan

7 Unusual Uses For The Usual Egg

7 Unusual Uses For The Usual Egg

Chicken eggs are a part of everybody’s diet; well, everybody who understands the importance of a balanced diet that is. Not only are they tasty, easy to handle and prepare, but they’re also extremely versatile in the kitchen: you can eat them raw, boiled, fried and in billions of combinations for billions of recipes. Yes, eggs area edible, we’ve figured that part out already. But just because they’re good for eating, doesn’t mean that they’re not good for anything else. You’d be surprised to discover that the good ol’ egg is not the boring item you’ve known all your life. There are plenty of other good uses for the egg and they have nothing to do with appeasing your hunger. Because of its wonderful properties, the egg (egg white, egg yolk and eggshell) can be used for the following purposes:

1. Make candles out of eggshells

An emptied eggshell will make an excellent support for a candle. Just drill a hole in the upper side of the egg and once this is done, simply start peeling the eggshell little. Pour out the content (the white and the yolk) and stop peeling when you’re left with 2 / 3 of the eggshell. You can pour melted wax gently and start a candle from scratch in the eggshell or you can improvise one. Just add a candle inside and, preferably, surround with melted wax.

2. Temporarily plant seeds in eggshells and egg cartons

Get an egg carton and have it filed with half eggshells. Next, fill up each and every single half shell (or as many as you need) with soil and press the sides inside it. Because the eggshell contains many nutrients, the plants with develop better this way, especially in the incipient phases. Once the seedlings reach 3 – 4 inches, you can take them out of the eggshells and transplant in normal gardening conditions and settings. The remaining eggshells should not go to waste; you should crush them and add them to the compost. Not only will they give a boost of calcium to the soil, but they will also deter slugs and other pests.

3. Increase your calcium intake

The calcium found in the eggshells can also be beneficial to human beings, especially to those who have deficiencies in the matter. You have to get some empty eggshells and bake them at 250° for about 25 minutes. Once the baking is done, take them out and let them cool. Once they’ve cooled, you’ll have to grind them shells into the finest powder you can. This is in fact a DIY food supplement that you can add to your juice or smoothie; if your pet has calcium deficiencies, you can add it to the dog / cat food as well.

4. Make better coffee

Get your hands on some dry eggshells and crush them. You don’t have to crush them into the thinnest powder, so don’t waste time on doing it. Now take the crushed shells and add them to your coffee just before brewing. The calcium-rich shells will greatly improve the overall taste of the coffee, as it will absorb a great deal of its natural bitterness. After you’re done with the coffee, don’t throw the leftovers away. The grounds and the shells can be added to your compost heap and re-used for gardening purposes.

5. Cleanse your skin

Science has proven that egg whites have an amazing effect when it comes to clearing up complexions, tightening skin and destroying acne. If you need some skincare and you don’t have any professional skin products in reach, you can make your very own remedy by combining an egg white with half a tea spoon of lemon juice. Beat the concoction gently, place it on the area you wish to treat and let it sit until it dries. Once is dry, apply a second layer for maximum effect. After the second layer is applied, let it sit for 10 – 15 minutes; once the time is up, wash your face with warm water.

6. Moisturize you skin

If egg whites are great for skin afflictions, egg yolks do wonders for dry skin. They are rich in lecithin, which is very effective against dry skin. You’ll have to make a face mask following this recipe: mix an egg yolk, ad 3 teaspoons of honey; stir gently until you’ve obtained an homogenous paste. Apply the paste on the face, in a thick layer. You have to let it dry and sit for about 20 minutes. Once the 20 minutes are up, remove the mask by washing it with warm water.

7. Glue for paper and light cardboard

If you need to glue some paper, cardboard or some other light materials and you don’t happen to have any glue around, a simple egg white will suffice. Just break an egg, separate the egg white from the egg yolk, dip a brush in the egg white andspread it gently on the surfaces you want to glue together. The egg white contains proteins that tend to get very sticky when they dry up. It works excellent for paper or light cardboard at least; not recommended for heavier materials.

Believe it or not, the many uses of eggs do not even stop here, I’m sure there are plenty more tasks that the apparently-average egg can fulfill. Maybe many haven’t even been discovered yet. All in all, it really pays having some eggs around the house. Whether you’re looking to achieve some wacky goal or you’re simply trying to grab a bite to eat, a couple of eggs could be just the thing you need; especially if there’s some bacon involved.

By My Family Survival Plan

The Benefits Of Chewing Gum In A Survival Situation

The Benefits Of Chewing Gum In A Survival Situation

Chewing gum / bubble gum is a pop-culture element so rooted into modern society that it’s impossible for our generations (the gum-chewing, bubble-blowing generations) to envision it otherwise. As kids, we used to go for the sweet flavored types, the ones that came into a multitude of colors or flavors. As adults, if we lost our sweet tooth along the way, we changed directions when it comes to chewing gum. We mostly go for the minty ones, which are great for oral hygiene.  No matter your age or social status, for some reason or another, at some point in space and time, you’ll find yourself the benefits of chewing gum.

You might think that the product in question is a characteristic of modern 20th and 21st century society, but that’s far from truth. The “ancestor” of chewing gum originated in antiquity, and it can’t be attributed to a single civilization. The Greeks were chewing on mastic tree sap, the Egyptians had a mixture of sap and spices (cinnamon, frankincense, myrrh etc.) and the Mayans and Aztecs chewed Sapodilla tree sap. The habit of chewing gum (or its various alternatives) stood the test of time because, apart from flavor and texture, chewing has its benefits.

Enhances memory capacity and overall concentration

It has been demonstrated that chewing gum can do wonders for both the memory and the ability to concentrate. There are caffeine-based chewing gums that are best suited for the job, but any sort of gum will do well too. An NBC report has shown that chewing is in direct correlation with memory enhancement and improved test scores, due to the increase of physiological activities like blood flow, blood pressure and heart rate. The increase of blood flow in the brain means higher oxygenation, which makes for better brain functions. Because chewing increases mental alertness, is also highly recommended for kids with learning problems or mental disabilities. Mental alertness is always beneficial, especially in a survival situation where you’ll need to be aware of everything that goes on around you, to make fast decisions and act quickly as your survival depends on every step you take.

Relieves stress and boosts morale

According to his scientific study, chewing gum is a very powerful nerve tonic, because it helps calm down the nerves and alleviates negative moods. It’s exactly for this reason why chewing gum is included and distributed amongst the soldiers that find themselves in a war zone. Chewing gum helps reduces the levels of cortisol , which is a hormone secreted by the adrenal gland as a response to high levels of stress or to low levels of glucose in the blood stream. Increased levels of cortisol can be beneficial on short-term periods, but on longer periods of time they can be detrimental to cognitive functions and can even lower the immune system recovery. Because chewing gum contains small amounts of sugar, it can also serve as a small reserve of energy. Having a pack of your favourit gum on you will not only supply you with that tiny bit of energy, but it can also increase your morale and distress your jaw muscles and lower anxiety. So leave some room in your survival kit for a couple of packs of gum.

Suppresses hunger, thirst and aids digestion

The military (and trained combatants in general) use chewing gum as a means of suppressing hunger when the opportunity of eating is not available. The same principle can easily be applied in a survival situation, especially if SHTF and you find yourself a bit short on food supplies. The Zoft Gum is a very potent appetite suppressant and you can get 5 packs for about $10. Believe it or not, not only is there a gum to fight of hunger, but there’s also one that can quench thirst. The Quench Gum was primarily made for athletes in order to keep them hydrated as much as possible during periods of physical effort. It’s packed with 5mg of potassium (K) and electrolytes. The Quench Gum is available on the market in costs about $9 – $10. Chewing gum can be very supportive when it comes do digestion. Chewing constantly will increase the levels of saliva, which in turn will boost the quantity of digestive acids in the stomach. This is achieved with the aid of xylitol, which is found in most chewing gums.

Chewing gum based life hacks

Apart from chewing, there are a lot of other unorthodox uses for gum.

  1. Bait – surprisingly, you can use chewing gum as fish bait, just chew it a little and place it on the hook; it’s very efficient for catfish and it can also lure crabs if you place it on the crab line!
  2. Radiator patch – this is a good temporary solution for a leaky radiator; it may hold long enough for you to reach a mechanic
  3. “Magnet” – it can be very useful if you’re trying to retrieve small objects from an nearly unreachable place; just place some gum on the end of a stick or a piece of string and you’ll be able to recover that lost ring or keys in no time
  4. Window fixer – if you have a lose window pane, don’t worry too much about it; get a stick of ordinary chewing gum, chew on it a little and simply place it as putty
  5. Repel bugs – extra minty gum will repeal mealworms and other bugs from getting into your flower; of course, provided you previously placed a small piece of gum in there first

You’ve probably been chewing gum for some years know, without knowing the benefits that ordinary chewing gum had to offer. Now you know, as the wonders of chewing gum are irrefutable. No matter who you are or where you’re at, always have a pack of gum on you; you can never tell how and when it will save the day.

MFSP

Keep Breathing: Some Of The Best Gas Masks You Can Afford

Keep Breathing: Some Of The Best Gas Masks You Can Afford

We’re all aware of what a gas mask is; at least we have some idea about them. Gas masks (aka. respirators) are heavily used in society. The Police force has them, the Special Forces have them, the firefighters have them, spray painters have them etc. The basic use of a gas mask is to serve as filter for the air you’re breathing in and to stop possible irritants and noxious substances from getting into your respiratory system and affecting you general state your health.

The best gas masks (or respirators) are based on the same principle: the air is pulled into the canister that has a filtering system (on 3 layers: aerosol filter, charcoal filter and dust filter) and then is released towards the interior of the mask; the filtered air is safe to breathe.

The air is sucked into the canister as the wearer breathes. There are also battery operated gas masks, equipped with a fan, that will syphon air inside, but become useless when the batteries die out. There are also some that work just like a scuba breathing system: they don’t have a filtering canister, but a pressurized air canister, that is completely sealed.

A gas mask is a real asset for any serious prepper. It’s an absolute must-have in case of a chemical or biological attack. Works just as well in a combat zone, as it’ll filter out heavy smoke and even dust clouds. There two main types of masks: half masks and full mask. I half mask will cover your mouth and nose only; they’re used in spray painting and are recommended only if you know what contaminant you’re dealing with. In case of an extremely dangerous contaminant or if you simply don’t know what you’re facing, a full gas mask is the way to go. Not only will it cover your respiratory system, but I’ll also protect your eyes and face from dangerous agents, like Anthrax etc.

Israeli Civilian Gas Mask

This gas mask was issued by the Israeli government, is NATO approved and it’s perfect if you consider the quality / price ratio (it costs about $80). Because of the relatively low price and good features, it’s regarded to be as the standard gas mask for civilian protection. It’s best used in an evacuation scenario from a contaminated area. The mask itself is made out of a soft but durable rubber that covers the whole face (full mask); it offers great protection not only for the respiratory system, but also for the entire face. It has extremely efficient filters (NBC filters) that will keep you safe from almost everything, from nuclear and biological agents (like Anthrax) to chemical agents. This particular gas mask comes in both adult and child versions.

M61 Finnish Gas Mask

The MA61 model was developed in Finland and it’s meant to be used as a heavy-duty gas mask. It’s a side-mounted mask, which means the filter is screwed into the side of the mask, rather than in the font. The rubber it’s made from is extremely durable, but rather soft flexible at the same time. Its flexibility means that the mask will incase the face of the wearer perfectly, making it airtight, so that noxious fumes or chemical agents won’t find their way inside. It uses a twin goggle system rather than a single visor. The exhalation system has a plastic valve with an integrated speech diaphragm, for better communication.

ADVANTAGE 1000 CBA-RCA Gas Mask

The 1000 CBA-RCA mask is 100% American and it was developed based on a US Military design that was used by the USAF during the Operation Desert Storm. It has a Hycar face piece which is about 40% lighter than most full gas masks and also a customizable fit. There’s also a standard nose cup to eliminate visor fogging and a mechanical speaking diaphragm. The visor is a one piece that’s extremely tough and offers great field of vision. The canister can be mounted on both the left and the right side and it’s effective against all sorts of biological and chemical agents, like Mustard, Lewisite, GA, GB, GD etc. The head harness is adjustable and stable. There’s also an ID tag attached and it includes a CBA-RCA canister. The whole package comes at about $300.

There are plenty of models that are available on the market, it’s only a matter of personal choice. The price of a certain gas mask does not necessarily reflect its quality, so you don’t have to spend a lot of money for a good product that will filter well and fit great. But you’ll need to educate yourself in the matter a bit so you won’t throw your money out the window. Luckily there’s many manufacturer’s and sellers and price ranges vary from one to the other. So keep hunting for bargains, you’ll most likely find them.

By My Family Survival Plan

Survival Tents: DIY Shelters For Critical Situations

Survival Tents - DIY Shelters For Critical Situations

Whether you’re simply having a camping a trip or you’ve found yourself fighting for your life in a post-apocalyptic scenario, you’ll need to have a good quality tent with you in order to make your situation just a bit more bearable. If it’s a trip in the local surroundings or you’re exploring uncharted territory due to some sort of unfortunate event that forced you to leave everything behind, it doesn’t matter that much. As long as you’ve packed the right tent before setting off, you’ll have a proper shelter that will offer your insulation and protection. Those of you that aren’t that knowledgeable in the area, let me tell you that there is a great variety of products to choose from. There is basically a tent for every hostile situation that you can think of: tents for low temperatures, tents for flood situations, above ground tents (that will keep you safe from ground predators, etc.), simple hiking tents and more.

Upon purchasing your very own tent, there are many things to consider apart from the price. You should consider first of all the type of situation you are trying to counter (cold climates, high temperatures, wild animals, excessive precipitations etc.), and once you have this figured out, you can start looking into the size of the tent, the material it’s made up of, the price etc. 

I’ll show you some of the most affordable and versatile tents on the market.

The Trango 3.1


The Trango 3.1 by Mountain Hardwear is a semi-professional product from Mountain Hard Wear, built especially for those who take wilderness adventures really seriously. It costs about $559. It’s pretty sturdy as a tent and it packed form it weighs about 11lbs 4oz. It’s roomy enough for 3 people and it was built to withstand much of what nature can throw at him: it has welded guy clip anchors, welded corners and it’s waterproof and watertight. The DAC Featherlight NSL poles used by these tents are extremely resistant despite they’re light weight, and make for a great foundation. The structure itself is more intricate than what you’d expect; it has a vestibule in which you can change you wet dirty and wet clothes before entering the main, warmer chamber of the tent. It does way a bit much and it may become strenuous to carry it over long distances, but it makes up for it in quality and toughness. Be it cold, windy, rainy or hot, this tent won’t let you down. Check out the Trango 3 on Amazon

The Tentsile Stingray 3-Person Hanging Tent

Well, the product name says it all: this is less of a tent and more of a tree house, all for the price of $675. The idea is that you
can suspend this tent from trees and have a hammock-type, covered structure, large and strong enough to shelter 3 people. The ratchet buckles and straps are about 19.5ft long and the manufacturer assures us that they can withstand about 2.5 tons of weight. So unless you’re planning to park your car inside, you have nothing to worry about. The floor of the tent is made up of a certain 240D composite that is wide enough for 3 people to sleep comfortably. The whole surface of the tent is coated in 190T PU polyester rain fly, which not only makes it completely waterproof, but also resistant to all sort if insect stings or bites. The rain fly can be extended down to ground level, making a rainproof vestibule for your gear. Once the tent is set up, you can gain access through 2 doors. A side door is available, but if you’re too high from the ground, you can also use the center floor hatch. This tent is perfect for survival scenarios which involve predatory ground animals. Not only will you be safe, but the experience of camping in such a tent is unique.

The Sundome 2-Person Tent

This is a fairly simple tent released by Coleman, which weighs in at about 8lbs. It costs under $50 in some places and it’s the optimum choice for serious campers. If camping is your lifestyle, look no further than the the Sundome 2-Person Tent. It’s a one door tent and it can easily accommodate 2 people. The tent is pretty stable even in tougher weather conditions thanks to its 2-pole system; it also is very easy to set up, as an untrained camper can put it together in no more than 20 minutes.  The outer coating, the material on the outside of the tent wall (aka. the outer fly) is waterproof, so precipitations won’t bother you much. But keep in mind, although it’s a perfect camping tent, it’s not all that great when it comes to expeditions to remote and extreme areas; using it as a survival tent will not be a good idea. It’s not well ventilated, and this may cause dampness on the inside as a result of moisture buildup. I’ve been using this tent myself for a while now, and as an occasional camper myself, I think this is the best camping tent when it comes to quality / price ratio. Check out the Coleman Sundome 2-Person Tent on Amazon

Camping for fun or survival requires some education in the matter and should be done properly. Whether you’re just a casual camper, an avid one or you find yourself in need of shelter in order to survive the harshness of the wild, you should always be prepared and leave nothing to chance. Do serious research in the matter and you’ll find one or several tents to suit your needs.

Survival Navigation Tools: A Compass Will Save Your Life

Survival Navigation Tools: A Compass Will Save Your Life

Let’s assume for a moment that you’re out hiking or exploring. Or even a worst case scenario: you’ve been stranded due to an unfortunate accident or event into an unknown place, far from civilization. Even if you’re a bit familiar to the wilderness or have a clue where you are, it’s still bad; not knowing is even worse. The first reasonable thing to do is to try and locate where you are and start moving towards a safe zone. Many of you will consider the modern approach to navigation, based on a GPS system. But what if your electronic device (phone, tablet, GPSdevice) gets damaged or it simply runs out of battery?

You should be fine as long as you remembered to pack a survival navigation tools, a map and a compass as a backup. Every serious prepper should have a compass in his private survival kit. There’s a great variety of compasses on the market, to suit the needs of even the keenest explorers. The beginners or light travelers could always get a basic compass, one that’s cheap, works great but it doesn’t have some bonus features, such as a mirror or a declination adjustment etc. For the more serious hikers and preppers, there are more advanced compasses, with many additional features (magnifier, mirror etc.) that make navigation easier and are perfect for those who wonder regularly into unknown territory. It all comes down to choosing the one that works best for you. Let’s have a look at what’s available on the market.

How a compass works

A compass has a tiny plastic bubble filled with liquid, a damping fluid, which is mostly oil based and treated with antifreeze so the compass can work even in low-temperature environments. Its role is not only to protect the pointer needle from outside interference, but also to prevent the needle from excessive jiggling and trembling caused by the magnetic forces of the earth. If you find yourself in a cold environment or at high altitudes, the liquid will contract creating a bubble inside the plastic casing, but this won’t affect accuracy. When you return to normal conditions, the air bubble will disappear.

The magnetized needle encased in the plastic liquid-filled transparent bubble is the one that’s responsible for telling directions. It has 2 pointy sides, one of which is strongly attuned to the earth’s strongest magnetic field, generated by the magnetic North Pole. So at any point, this needle (which is normally red) will point north. However, the magnetic north is different from the geographic north. The magnetic north is situated in a chain of islands in the Canadian Arctic. So you must compensate and calculate the differences when traveling by map and compass.

There are also electronic compasses available on the market, which are easier to read thanks to their displays. But they’re less reliable than traditional ones for the same reasons every other battery operated GPS device is: they’re fragile and are dependent on an external energy source that will run out soon or later.

Compasses to consider

The Suunto A-10 field compass is a very simple and efficient compass that works great.  It’s lightweight, made from a scratch-resistant and shock-absorbing transparent material and it has an ergonomic design which makes it easy to hold and handle or to fit in a small pocket; it also comes equipped with a detachable snap lock. It supports a two-zone reading (covering the entire north hemisphere) for an extra accurate reading, which can be done in both inches and centimeters. The needled is not flooded in liquid, but this doesn’t seem to affect the overall performance of this compass in any way.

The Cammenga Phosphorescent Clam Pack Lensatic Compass is a very established name in the field. It’s a very sturdy field compass that is completely waterproof and it’s has a very tough aluminum frame. You can carry it tied to your wrist, clipped securely to your belt or just have it sit in its own carrying pouch. It weighs about 8 ounces and the dial includes both degrees and miles. It has phosphorescent paint to make for easy readings at night and for those who don’t mind spending twice the money, there is also a tritium version available. This tiny navigation gadget has been approved by the DoD, so that tells us a lot about its quality and efficiency.

The Suunto KB-14 360R Pro Compass it’s absolutely state of the art as far as accuracy goes. It’s a professional compass, which means great investments have been made and excellent materials went in the making of this particular model. It’s extremely accurate, down to a third of a degree or 0.5 degrees when it comes to graduated intervals. The shell is made from a durable anodized light alloy, it has superior damping fluid (which stay consistent even in extreme conditions) and a nylon pouch for protection. This model is highly used by professional cartographers, surveyors and foresters. It’d be the perfect compass if it had the declination correction feature; luckily this feature is available on the improved (and more expensive) KB-14D model.

There are still plenty of models out there for you to check out and chose from. But make no mistake about it: we’re far from that technical breakthrough, when electronics can replace classical gadgets in a survival scenario. I’m not saying that the GPS systems are completely useless, far from it. But when the computer systems fail, you’ll need to revert to a simpler way if you want to survive.

4 Meats That Are Packed With Protein

I know I’ve advocated meat consumption many times before; I’ve talked about the benefits of eating meat (in moderation of course). In many cases I have stated that the human omnivorous diet (comprised of both meats and vegetal matter) requires a balanced intake of nutrients, from which meat shouldn’t not be left out, mainly because it’s the best source of protein we get. But I feel that I’ve never treated this subject with the proper respect it actually deserved, so I’ll fix that right now.

If you’re a body builder or a fitness enthusiast you probably know much about what proteins are and what they’re good for. But for those of you who don’t, allow me to explain. Proteins are essential to living organism and humans make no exception. It helps build and repair muscle mass, it serves as a building block for body chemicals (enzymes, hormones etc.), skin, blood, bones, helps release carbohydrates into the bloodstream and so on. Every single fully functional cell in the human body needs protein in order to function properly. Some tissues (hair and nails) are comprised mostly of protein. So this macronutrient is one of the building blocks of life, it’s a major part of who and what we are and it’s important to have a balanced diet in which to include rich sources of protein. Let’s have a look at these 4 meats that are packed with protein. And there is no better natural source of protein out there that meat.

Venison (27g of protein / 3 oz)

Venison is an excellent source for protein, even better than the common beef. Not only does it have a higher amount of protein / per oz., but it also has a lower count of saturated fats. Protein is only one of the nutritious compounds venison has to offer. It’s packed with iron, riboflavin, vitamin BS and other minerals that are beneficial to human health. It’s pretty versatile when it comes to cooking methods. You can make mouth-watering stakes and stews from back straps, tenderloins or top hams. The neck the belly and the lower ribs can be easily grinded into sausages or stew meat. The best roasts result from the lower hams, but you’ll have to cook them long and slow to tender the meat. Venison has a specific taste, and if you’re not very keen on it, you can marinate it and tinker with the flavor as much as possible.

Chicken breast (27g of protein / 4 oz)

The chicken breast is a common household name that’s known and loved by everybody. We are all familiar with its tenderness and deliciousness. We all know how easy to prepare it is, in how many dishes and recipes we can include it in and how easy it is to procure (found in all types of stores and markets, big or small). But I don’t know how many of us are actually aware of the chicken breast’s nutritious properties. Apart from proteins, it also has phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc and also a small amount of calcium. The healthiest approach to eating chicken breast is to serve it grilled, with a side of fresh, steamed or grilled vegetables. But for those of you who don’t mind adding calories in the mix, you can just fry it and eat it with pretty much everything your heart desires. When it comes to cooking chicken breast, the sky’s the limit.

Ground beef 95% lean (24g of protein / 3 oz)

This is the best type of beef money can buy. The 95% lean ground beef it’s full of beneficial compounds, such as iron, creatine (that do wonders for your muscles), vitamin B6, vitamin B12, niacin, riboflavin, zinc, calcium and more. The leaner the beef, the better! Ground beef that starts at 90% lean is lower in fatty acids and calories, which makes it perfect as the main pillar of a healthy diet. Cooking it requires some caution and preparation. Because the meat lacks a high amount of fats, it’s advised to use the right amount for cooling oil before frying. If you’re planning a roast, it’s best if you add sauce and cook it slowly, because it’ll need all the moisture it can get. If you already have your heart on switching to this type of meat product, go for grass-fed beef, as it’s tenderer and even richer in protein and nutrients than regular lean beef.

Anchovies (24g of protein / 3 oz)

The anchovies are a small breed of fish that are extremely delicious and beneficial at the same time. Apart for being a rich source of protein, they’re also a rich resource of omega 3 fats (beneficial non-saturated fats), vitamin D, vitamin B12, niacin and other nutrients and minerals that make for tough blood vessels, strong bones and a healthy heart. Their small size also prevents them from accumulating high amounts of toxins, like bigger fish do. Before eating them, soak them in water for about 30 minutes; they retain high amounts of salt and this will remove the excess salt. They’re not meant for cooking (as they tend to dissolve), so just eat them out of the can with greens and cheeses or add them to salad dressings.

For a while I’ve considering pork chops as well. But I ultimately decided to drop them from the list, because of their high amount of fat: 1.2 g of polyunsaturated fat, 3.3 g of saturated fat and 3.9 g of monounsaturated fat.

These are some of my personal favorite meats, but I’m sure there are plenty more out there to take into consideration. I’m sure there are plenty of you that could successfully add to this list, and make it go for pages on end. But that is not my goal; all I wanted to do is to share with you the importance and joy of eating meat. Stay safe and healthy!

Hay Bale Gardening: How To Grow Your Own Veggies Without Fertilizer And Weed-Free

Hay Bale Gardening: How To Grow Your Own Veggies Without Fertilizer And Weed-Free

I’ve been really into gardening lately, trying to find the best techniques and methods for growing fruit or veggies with as little effort or resources as possible. One method that really caught my attention was the straw bale method, a method that is based on planting into straw bales rather than in the ground. You prepare the bales thoroughly and that’s pretty much it. It’s cheap, requires very little care as the method is not pretentious at all and another bonus is that the plants are raised above ground level, which puts them out of the reach of various critters that could take a liking in whatever it is you planted. And not only that, picking the plants will from the straw bales, will be a lot easier than picking them from the ground.  The seemed perfect, but only until I stumbled across the alternative: the HAY bale gardening method, which made the straw bale method seem less appealing all of a sudden.

Hay bale gardening vs. straw bale gardening

For those of you who have very little to do with gardening, there is a major difference between the two. Straw bales are usually comprised from cereal crops stalks (corn, wheat, oat, rye, barley etc.). It’s mostly used for bedding livestock, and apart from carbon, it has no real nutritional value. It’s not inefficient as a surface for growing plants, but it will require regular watering and fertilizers to get the job done. Hay on the other hand, it’s nothing but rich grasses that are mainly a source of rich and
nutritious food for cattle during cold periods (winter time), when the fields are empty. They are filled with nutrients and minerals like nitrogen, potassium, phosphates etc. that vegetables require to grow. It’s exactly this natural cocktail of minerals and nutrients that require no additional fertilizing methods when it comes to hay bale gardening. Hay also holds water more efficiently than straw due to its density and chemical structure. So a hay bale garden requires watering once a day, whereas a straw bale garden will require watering 3 times a day.

Getting started

The first thing you’ll need to start your very own hay bale garden is getting your hands on hay bales. If you have nobody to turn to in your vicinity that could sell or give you the hay bales, you can always go on the internet and find farmers that have hay bales for sale. Once they’re delivered to you, pick a spot to your liking (preferably in your garden) and set them as you see fit. Next you’ll need to prepare the hay bales for the planting process. What’ll you’ll need is some 42-0-0 or even better, some nitrogen. You’ll treat the bales with nitrogen for 5 days; the nitrogen will break down bacteria, fungi and insects into nutritious compost that will serve as “fuel” for your growing plants. If you’re not that keen on spending money on nitrogen or fertilizers, you can just pee on the hay bales for the 5-day period; pee is rich in nitrogen and it’ll get the job done just as efficiently. However, the daily dose of pee a person produces will not be enough for this endeavor, so I suggest you start saving your pee in bottles or containers.

The preparation of the bales will be done over a period of 10 days total before planting. In the uneven days, the bales will be treated with half-a-cup of nitrogen and sprayed with water. During the even days of the 10 day period, the bales will be watered only.

During this process, the temperature inside the hay bales will rise dramatically, most likely to 120°F – 140°F. Although is very unlikely that the bales will simply catch fire, the risk still exists. So water the bales regularly I order to avoid any unwanted incidents. When the “ordeal” is over, the temperature will subside, from how to warm. Once this happens, you can start planting your vegetables. Just add regular seeds, water the hay garden once a day and you’ll be able to pick the fruits of your labor in no time.

Accurate temperature readings using a professional thermometer

Professional tips

  1. The bales should be tightly bound if you want them to hold. Synthetic twine works great and hold the hay bales together just fine during the growing season.
  2. A single bale of hay will hold about two tomato plants, two pumpkin hill, 3 cauliflower plants or 3 broccoli plants; plants cover the same amount of space in the bales as they do in the ground.

  1. Growing tall plants (sunflower, corn etc.) is not advised, as hay bales do not offer such plants the support they need. If you won’t provide these types of plants with a stacking system, they’ll most probably fall over.
  2. You shouldn’t water the bales more than two times a day. There is no danger of drowning the plants, because the water will evaporate quickly; the hay bales will not get drenched like soil would.

This method is very interesting and it seems to give great results even for the rookies. You don’t need much to get started. Just a minimum investment and the will power to get things done. If you’re looking for a cheap and fast alternative to gardening, look no further: hay bale gardening is the way.

By My Family Survival Plan

Top 3 Forms Of Martial Arts To Learn For Your Personal Protection

Top 3 Forms Of Martial Arts To Learn For Your Personal Protection

You can benefit greatly from studying martial arts. And no, it’s not meant for kids only: If you’re serious about it, you can start out as old as you like and still end up being good at it. Martial arts can be more than learning combat moves for self defense: they’re great physical exercise, great self-discipline training, each form has its own philosophy and spiritual practice behind it (which you can study along with the moves) and great fun. But for those of you who are planning on getting their money’s worth, you can ultimately become an expert.

You might find yourself during your lifetime in certain situations from which you could easily escape unharmed if you have the proper training. Learning a fighting style could be very useful as a self-defense method: against attackers, muggers, perpetrators etc. If you’re trained well enough you could easily disarm assailants or even take on more than one at a time. There have been many fighting styles and techniques developed throughout history in various parts of the world. There are also many combinations of fighting styles available (mixed martial arts), for people who want to get the best of ALL worlds. It’s a matter of choice; let’s see what are the most popular at the moment and maybe you’ll find the one that suits you best.

Krav Maga

This it may come as a surprise, but it’s Israel’s very own fighting style. It was developed (mostly) by Imi Lichtenfeld during the 1930s. The style itself is very direct, meant to counter holds and incapacitations of every sort. Because it’s full contact and it gives advantage against almost any type of attack, it’s excellent for street survival, and not only. It’s a mixed style, comprised of elements which are basic to other fighting techniques like Karate, Jiu-Jitsu throws and grappling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ground fighting, Wing Chun burst of hands and even Greco-Roman wrestling. Its dynamics consist in the fact that it allows the practitioner to a attack and defend at the same time, in a single movement of the body.  In most martial arts styles the tendency is to block and immediately respond with a counter blow. Things are different in Krav Maga, we’re you’re suppose to block and deliver the attack at the same time: you could (for example) block an attack with you right arm and at the same time strike with the other arm or the legs. The strikes delivered and promoted by Krav Maga are vicious, meant to incapacitate and hurt as much as possible. You learn to go for the most exposed body part, like the throat, eyes, groin or the liver. It also teaches a lot of techniques for disarming your opponents, no matter if they bare sticks, knives or guns. The style is very efficient, it develops hand-eye coordination and it takes no longer then 5 months to learn.

Aikido

This is a very distinct fighting style, which has been promoted a great deal in pop culture by Steven Seagal. Don’t let Seagal’s reputation as an actor throw you off: he is probably the leading authority in the field when it comes to Aikido, having studied most of his youth years in Japan, with the greatest masters. He’s a legit 7 degree black belt who not only mastered the style, but also developed it: the kote gaeshi (Seagal’s signature move) or “forearm return” is a prolific move, essential to all survival fighters, no matter the style or technique.

This style uniqueness consists in its approach to direct fighting: Aikido teaches almost no direct blows whatsoever, it mostly teaches you how to counter everything that can be thrown at you. Its philosophy is based on the idea that an attacking opponent always leaves himself vulnerable. What you need to do is exploit that vulnerability and use your enemy’s momentum against him. For example, a straight punch could simply be countered by side-stepping and grabbing the opponents wrist or arm. You can simply pivot and throw him down if you grab the arm, or if the wrist is involved, simply twist it towards the outside. The momentum will help you break the wrist with almost no effort from your part, incapacitating your attacker immediately. This style requires awareness rather than speed or strength. If you keep your cool and your eyes opened, as an Aikido practitioner, you’ll have no trouble breaking the joints and wrists of your attackers.

Muay Thai Kickboxing

The fighting style was originally developed in Thailand, in the 19th century, and it translates to “the art of the 8 limbs”. It’s a contact fighting style, based on a large variety of punches, elbows and kicks. It’s philosophy consists in the fact that someone who is using a tool for fighting is limited by that one tool. A muay thai practitioner, on the other hand, has many such tools (punches, kicks, elbows), therefore has the advantage. It’s not a fancy style, but rather an effective one. It’s based on lighting speed, precision and power, and can exploit even the slightest opening in your adversary’s defense. The best way to counter a weapon attack (as long as you not held at gun point) is to approach the attacker as forward as possible. Simply aim for the jaw, throat or liver and kick it as hard as possible.

With enough technique and training, your legs and punches could easily crack bones and inflict serious pain. Kickboxing requires some serious physical training, as its practitioners do a little something called combat qi. It’s basically subjecting your body parts to repeated hits and damage, until the “hardened” body part no longer hurts as it used to. This practice is mostly used to harden the shin bone; kick boxers hit hard surfaces for 2 hours-a-day, 2 years straight.

There are many other fighting styles available, but these are my personal favorites and possibly the most useful in a combat scenario. But if you have to take one thing away from martial arts, that’s discipline and self control. Do not get carried away and avoid confrontation unless there’s no other way but standing your ground and fighting. But if that time comes, at least you now know where to go in order to overcome your opponents.

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