Posts tagged: health

Amazing: Insects Solving World Hunger

Amazing: Insects Solving World Hunger

The total of human population at the beginning of 2016 is roughly around 7.6 billion. And if it’s one thing that’s characteristic for us, is the speed in which we’re depleting our resources; not only are we fast, but we’re constant as well. There’s plenty of us already, and in the near future, there are many things we’ll need to learn to do without. The world reserve of petrol won’t last more than 20, maybe 30 years before its completely depleted. But even more important, it’s finding an alternative for when the food runs out. You can live without petrol and other commodities, but you can’t live without food. The best solution at hand is to throw aside culinary “traditions”, toughen up and accept the fact that the insects solving world hunger. They are the best source of food for dark days! Whether you’re the survivor for a massive World War, scouting the remains of a destroyed society or you’ve been stranded in a hostile environment, you’ll still be surrounded by insects. Most insects are good for eating, just don’t go for the poisonous and venomous ones. It’s their high concentration of protein (can go even up to 75% protein), but also saturated fats (the good kind of fats), minerals and fibers that put them at the top of the list; about 70% of the world’s population is living of insects already, so how long until the rest of us join in? Even the UN launched and official recommendation which encourages insect consumption. Not only is insect consumption healthy, but insect farms would be far less costly and pretentious than any other type of animal. If I’ve got your attention, let’s see some of the best insects across North America that you can get your hands on if SHTF, or if you simply want to experiment.

ANTS (the Formicidae family)

There are plenty of ants to choose from. They’re widely spread and within reach all the time. Just take a bit of patience to scout around the place and you’ll find some sooner or later. Most of the ants you’ll come across are harmless. But if you come across red ants, means you stumbled across some fire ants. They’re bite is really painful, so be as cautious as possible. If we’re talking about an extreme survival case, you can simply reach in the anthill and grab the ants or even better, use a container. I’m sure that if you’ve been starving for a while, you won’t mind their vinegary taste or the fact that you ingurgitate some soil. But if you have the time, boiling is the way to go.

TERMINTES (the Termitoidae family)

Termites are colonial insects, just like ants, they can often be found in large number at ones and their diet consists mainly in eating wood (xylofagous diet). In many places around the world, they live in regular fortresses; termite mounds that are run by all sorts insects devised in social ranks: workers, soldiers, scouts and the queen. However, the mound type structures are no longer found in North America; only fossils are left. Finding termites is really easy, just look for any signs of decaying wood, tree stumps and most of all, damp dead wood.

CATERPILLARS

The caterpillar is not a genus of insect, but rather a transitional form for all sorts of butterflies and moths. Before reaching adult state, moths and butterflies are found in caterpillar form. They don’t have wings, are rather slow by nature (which means they’re easy to catch) and are full of all sorts of nutrients and beneficial substances: vitamin B, calcium, sodium, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc, copper and iron. Whether they’re hairy or not, they’re still a fully nutritious food source. Some reports I have come across suggest that some of the caterpillars you might come across are potentially toxic, but I have found nothing conclusive in this regard. But just to play it safe, I strongly advise you to stay away from the brightly colored ones. In nature, bright colors mean imminent danger.

CRICKETS / GRASSHOPPERS / LOCUSTS (the Orthoptera order)

The insects in this order are some of the most popular amongst people. And with good reason too. They’re everywhere, easy to catch and sometimes swarm in large numbers; they can be devastating to crops, so if you add humans to they’re natural predatory lists, means less damage they’ll be able to produce. Start eating them, before they’ll eat what you worked so hard for. Besides, they are very nutritious; they have a good overall taste, which is similar to peanuts. Frying them accentuates the flavor, and because they’re packed with protein, you can also dry them up and grind them into a fine powder, which you can store in a cool and dry environment.

Be warned, procuring insects is not as easy as it seems. You really need to know what you’ll be going against. If it’s small and it’s crawling, it’s good to eat. BUT if you see bright colors, stay away. Bright colors mean that the insect is probably poisonous or venomous, so move on and keep looking. You also must be aware of you “hunting ground”. You should gathering insects from urban areas or large crop fields, as these are very likely to have been sprayed with all sorts of insecticides, which can be very toxic.

By My Family Survival Plan

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

How To Treat A Burn Victim In A Survival Scenario

How To Treat A Burn Victim In A Survival Scenario

The danger of getting burned is ever-present in our day to day lives. Whether we’re talking about a minor burn caused by carelessness or a severe degree burn caused by an unfortunate event, it’s important to know how to react in such a situation. Most of us have already dealt with burning injuries at least once in their lifetime, so the sensation and the gravity of the matter is known to most people. We’re not lacking in the health department in this day and age; there’s plenty of doctors and clinics out there that are able and equipped to deal with burn victims. Even if they’re not immediately available, medicine is widely available and many people already have their stock set aside for darker days. But what happens in TEOTWAWKI situation, when medical care and supplies won’t simply be available anymore? In this case, it’s important to know how to treat a burn victim and to improvise as best as we can in order to save one’s life.

The first thing we’ll need to asses in a burning accident is how much of the overall body surface has been affected by the burn. People that have less than 20% of their body’s surface affected by 2nd and 3rd  burns are not facing direct life threats (although the danger of infection and complications is still present); 1st degree burns do not pose a life threat, as the skin is not significantly affected. But those who have suffered. This is easily calculated by using the rule of nines, according to whom the surfaces on the human adult body are as follows: head = 9%, chest (front) = 9%, abdomen (front) = 9%, upper/mid/lower back & buttocks = 18%, arms (each) = 9%, palm (each) = 1%, groin = 1%, legs (each) = 18% (front = 9% + back = 9%).  For children, the numbers are as follows: head = 18%, chest (front) = 9%, abdomen (front and back) = 9%, upper/mid/lower back & buttocks = 18%, arms (each) = 9%, palm (each) = 1%, groin = 1%, legs (each) = 14% (front = 7% + back = 7%).

After the affected surface area has been determined, it’s imperative to understand what degree of burn you’re dealing with. As an international convention, burns are split into three distinctive categories:

1st degree burns or mild burns are what happens in the best case scenario. The injury is superficial and the skin is not completely affected. A good example of a 1st degree burn is a nasty case of sunburn. It requires a lesser form of treatment and it’s not life-threatening

2nd degree burns are much more serious and pose a greater threat to general health. They are far more painful as the affliction penetrates far deeper into the skin. If this is the case, it’s recommended you seek medical help, if available.

3rd degree burns are the most severe types imaginable. Because the injury goes so deep into the skin, the pain receptors can be completely destroyed, so they victim might not feel pain at all. If the affected area gets swollen, turns leathery or black, you’re dealing with a 3rd degree burn; as a mentioned before, pain is no longer an indicator. This is an emergency, and you should seek professional help if it’s available, if not, turn to your medical kit.

Before you start applying a treatment, you’ll need to determine the nature of the burn. Various types of burns require different treatments. These are some of the most common causes when it comes to burn injuries and how you should deal with them:

If the victim has been subjected to a flame source, the first step is to take the person away from the fire source and to extinguish his clothes if they’re on fire. Water is the best choice, as this will not only put out the fire, but it will also wash away any remaining pieces of charred clothing. Cold water will cool the burned areas and sooth the pain. Next, remove the clothes, gently tap with a dry and clean piece of cloth and apply any treatment available.

Treating electrical burn victims requires a different approach. In this case, the insides are just as damaged (if not more) than the outside. Electrical current takes a toll mostly on the heart, so before treating burns, check the patient’s vital signs first. You might need to perform CPR before anything else. Once the victim is stabilized, you can proceed to treating the burns.

Chemical burns are also a hazard to take into consideration. Treating skin that’s been exposed to corrosive substances requires a lot of patience. The burned area should be washed with water for about 30 minutes before proceeding to apply any type of ointment. If the area is not cleaned perfectly, the remaining substances will continue to destroy skin cells. After the area has been cleaned, you should double check that the ointment you’re about to apply won’t react with the chemical residue found in the burn.

If medical help is not available and if your personal survival medical kit is depleted, worry not. Luckily you can still improvise burn treatments out of everyday household items. Here are some of the things found around the house that can do wonders in case you’re dealing with burns:

  1. Honey is a fantastic first aid solution when it comes to treating burns. It can also work as a permanent solution, provided you’re in a survival scenario and you happen to have some honey lying around. You should cover the affected surface in honey completely. Next cover the area in a plastic warp. Honey will prevent bacteria from reaching the wound and keep the risk of infection to a minimum. Check the wound daily and apply as much honey as you can spare.
  2. Vinegar can also be used for cleaning the burned area, as it can be used as an antiseptic. Because it’s an acid, the vinegar will sting and add to the burning sensation, but in the process it will clean and sanitize the burned area, killing of any unwanted pathogens that might lead to severe infection. Diluted vinegar is the way to go.
  3. Baking soda works perfectly for treating a burned area. Just add water, turn it into a paste and apply it gently over the burned area. The baking soda will help reduce the swelling and the pain sensation. You can add it to any type of burns EXCEPT chemical burns. It may give an unwanted reaction with the chemical that caused the burn, so avoid using it in this case.

Aiding a burn victim in no easy task, and you should take it seriously. Educate yourself in the field before taking on such a task, as the wrong move might have unwanted consequences. There are many popular treatments that do not give great result, quite the opposite. Burns should be cleaned with cold water, but never ice water. You might have been told at some point to press something cold next to a burn, but you strongly advise you not to. The surface you might be pressing into the burned area might be carrying pathogens that will cause infection. Also egg whites and oil do not work either, so don’t bother. If your hands and fingers have been burned, remove rings and jewelry asap, because burned areas tend to get swollen. Nasty burns will most likely result in enormous blisters; do not pop them! They’re helping the healing process. Popping them may result in infection, pain and permanent trauma.

NOte – this is an informational article and not to be seen as medical advice nor substitute for consultation with a medical professional, nor a recommendation to self-diagnose or self-treat.

The Benefits Of Coffee In Your Survival Stash

Can you imagine starting off each day without having that first cup of coffee in the morning? I can’t, and I’m pretty sure that most of you can’t either. And in all fairness, how could we? It’s hard to be responsible and functional adults without that boost and the “friendly kick in the rear” that coffee gives us. Caffeine gives us just a bit of energy to get us started through the day and on top of it all, the habit of having a cup of coffee is social activity that often times brings people together, by opening the door for socializing and small talk.

If coffee is such a necessity in our day-to-day average lives, imagine how much more we’re going to need it in a survival situations, when social structures will fall and we’ll be forced to fend for ourselves. Life will be infinitely harder and stressful, as we’ll find ourselves in a struggle for procuring the simplest necessities, like food and water. You’ll need to keep your strength up, have a clear head and keep your wits about you. And there’s no better way of boosting yourself than to add some coffee to your survival provisions.

Coffee improves your health

Coffee has been known to have beneficial effects when it comes to human health; but this only applies to fresh coffee that you brew at home. The processed one tends to lose its beneficial traits. According to a study released in 2012 by the National Institute of Health, coffee drinkers have a higher life expectancy. And it’s no wonder if you consider that the drink is a major source of antioxidants, which reduce overall inflammation and the danger of succumbing to respiratory cardiovascular diseases. The study previously mentioned also states that coffee drinking prevents other afflictions as well, like diabetes, strokes and infections.

Coffee boosts energy and mental alertness

And we’re back to what coffee does best: gives energy when there’s need for it. The caffeine is plentiful in the coffee beans, and this is the main source of energy that gets us started in the morning. It stimulates the adrenal gland that releases cortisol, a steroid hormone, which acts upon the sugar reserves stored in the liver. The result is a burst of energy, which won’t last for very long, but it will be more than enough to get you up and running, especially when will power just isn’t enough. Coffee is being consumed by humans for ages. In certain zones Africa, hunters wrap coffee berries in animal fat. They consume them for extra energy when they’re out hunting, to increase stamina and awareness. Apart from the energy boost, this wonder drink also increases mental alertness; it gets you thinking clearly and very aware of your surroundings. That’s why preppers shouldn’t go without it when SHTF. Because of its wonderful properties, coffee has been a part of the military way of life for decades now. Caffeine consumption has been encouraged greatly amongst our troops, even if it comes in the form of tea or caffeine-based chewing gum.

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Coffee improves morale and reduces depression and suicide rate

Having a cup of coffee every once in a while can be a great morale booster, as well as energizing. Especially in a survival scenario, when the whole world will seem to have been turned upside down. Coffee, just like other familiar rituals, will give you a sense of normalcy which will make the ordeal just a bit more bearable. The smell and taste of coffee will work towards keeping your morale up, just as well as it will keep you alert at all times. If you’re spirit is up, depression will be kept at bay. Studies have shown a direct correlation between low rates of depression and suicide amongst those who drink two or more cups of coffee a day. So if you want to make your doomsday experience a bit more bearable, don’t forget to add coffee to your survival stash. But use it wisely, as reserves will be limited.

If you’ve been convinced by now, waste no more time and start stocking up on the wonder-beans as soon as possible. Coffee products don’t have a very long shelf life and it’s not native to North America. The best option you have is to procure freeze-dried coffee that you can store for long periods of time. When you need it, just take it out, roast it and grind it yourself.

By My Family Survival Plan

Survival First Aid: Treating Bone Fractures

Survival First Aid: Treating Bone Fractures

Broken bones, fractures and joint injuries are a common thing that happen on a daily basis. We’re only one phone call away from receiving immediate medical assistance if in need. It’s not a life threatening situation in the 21st century, unless there are immediate complications. But what if we happen to brake a hand or a leg in a TEOTWAWKI scenario, where medical assistance will cease to be a commodity and when our very survival will depend on our mobility and full functionality? In case this happens, all is not lost, there are procedures to follow that will get as out of harm’s way. But if the treatment is to be successful, you’ll need to do everything by the book. The first thing to do is to make sure that the injured person’s life is not threatened in any way; once he’s out of harm’s way you can start treating the injury. Once his vital signs have been checked and you’ve concluded that he has been completely stabilized, you can start treating the fracture.

First and foremost, you’ll need to make sure that what you’re dealing with is a fracture and not something else. Most commonly fractures bear the following signs and symptoms: the inability to use or bear weight on the affected body part, severe pain, swelling, deformity, discoloration etc. In some cases, the ones that suffer the injury might even hear a loud cracking noise. In extreme cases, the fracture is so bad that the bone will pierce the flesh. Apart from bone fractures there are other injuries that are easier to treat and not as severe, but can be just as debilitating if left untreated, like muscle strained ligaments and joint dislocations. Fractures can be very tricky and should be approached with care. Many complications can arise (damaged blood vessels, torn muscles, damaged nerves), so minimal and gentle manipulation is imperative. If the affected area becomes swollen, pale, numb and the patient succumbs to shock, it’s probably that an important blood vessel has been damaged, causing internal bleeding. In this case, you should put on hold the fracture treatment and stop the hemorrhaging instead.  The best method of dealing with broken bones is splinting. Many people would advise that the splint should be applied without traction, in the position found, but this would be completely impractical, as the bone should be placed in an anatomically correct position in order to prevent severe pain and loss of function (partial or even complete). So it’s ok to manipulate the fracture gently.

Broken legs

You’ll need two forked branches that are strong enough, so you’ll need them to be at least 2 inches in diameter. One should measure the exact distance from the armpit to 12 inches past his broken leg, while the other should measure the distance from the groin to 12 inches past the broken leg. Next you’ll need to pad the splints. The ends that go past the leg (that measure 12 inches past the leg) will get a 2 inch in diameter branch placed in between them. Now the two splints should be tied together accordingly with the splinting guidelines with anything you can get your hands on: cloth, vines, rope etc. With the same material (provided it’s strong enough), tie a wrap around the ankle; the free ends will get tied to the cross member. Finally, add a twisting stick at the free end of the ankle wrap; twisting the wrap will provide traction. Continue twisting until the broken leg is in line with the healthy leg.

Broken feet

Splinting a foot will require a piece of long and tough cardboard or plastic. This piece of material should be bent lengthwise so that you get three identical (more or less) segments. You can add cloth or padding on the inner side to add comfort. Place the splint under the foot and the leg, so that it reaches halfway to the knee, yet it goes enough under the foot to immobilize the ankle; once this is done, add some cloth between the ankle and splint. Fold the cardboard around the leg and secure it with some tape.  Now do the same as you did with the ankle for all the empty spaces between the leg and the splint: add cloth. You can reduce swelling and discomfort with ice, but don’t keep it on for longer than 20 minutes.

Broken arms

Once the arm is adjusted in its natural position, you should apply the splints. You can use any material as long as it’s hard enough (strong cardboard, sticks, wood etc.) and long enough, so they extend passed the wrist and the elbow. Before the splints go on, wrap the arm in a clean and soft cloth, for comfort more than anything. Once the arm is wrapped, you can wrap the splints as well. The splints should be applied equally when it comes to length; for forearm fractures the splints should go beyond the wrist, while in the case of upper arm fractures, they should extend beyond the elbow. The cloth that holds the splints together should be at least 5 inches before and after the fracture. Don’t tie the bonds too firmly; if you can slip two fingers in, it’s perfect. In order to keep the arm secure and in place, tie a piece of cloth around the neck of the patient and slip the fractured hand in it. The hand should be centered on the sling and it should be at a flat and horizontal position. If the elbow is at a 90 degree angle, you’ve done an excellent job.

Broken hands

Securing a broken hand in place will be a bit trickier, as you’ll need a material that is strong and rigid enough to hold the hand in place, yet flexible enough to fold. It should extend from the wrist to the end of the fingers. The hand should be straight and relaxed, with its fingers slightly opened. Place some cloth in the palm of the hand and place the first splint under the wrist, so it extends to the end of the fingers. The splint should be folded up and around the wrist. Tie it together and add tape for extra security. Once you’re done, stuff the open spaces with cloth to increase comfort and firmness.

If you ever find yourself in the posture of treating broken bones or fractures, remember the first thing to do is to keep calm and act with caution. You’ll need to be very aware and have enough knowledge in the matter. You can educate yourself further in anatomy of the limbs and learn a few knots that will secure your splints in place. You can practice these techniques and even take up courses for first aid, so you won’t have to do it for the first time in a SHTF situation.

By My Family Survival Plan

How To Stop Excessive Bleeding In A Survival Situation

Everybody who has been following my writings or has some clue about who I am and what I “preach”, will have an idea of how much I advocate safety before anything else. I’ve talked many times before about the importance of having the right stuff and a personalized medical kit for and emergency situations, be it for TEOTWAWKI or simply for everyday life situations. But even though you might plan things in advance, the outcome of a situation can change unexpectedly. You might find yourself in need of medical assistance and have no professional products at your disposal. This is where you’ll need to improvise and fast. Open wounds and cuts are some of the most common injuries that usually occur. Find out how to stop excessive bleeding because will be imperative to reduce health risks as much as possible. Luckily there are plenty of methods to reduce hemorrhaging that don’t require special bandages and other products that are usually found in a professional medical kit. Here are some of the best methods to get the job done.


Applying direct pressure on the wound

Stopping the heavy blood flow by applying a piece of cloth (or pretty much anything else that can stop the blood flow) directly on the gush will be your first instinct. And you wouldn’t be wrong. Any type of cloth or cloth-like material will do. In some cases, if the situation is desperate enough, you can even apply direct pressure with your hand. Using a sterile cloth would be preferable sure, but in a life-threatening scenario pathogens are the least of your worries. Infections are risk factor beyond the shadow of a doubt, but it will take some time (days, even weeks) to set in and become a real problem. But blood drains really fast, especially if the wound is deep enough. You can die in a matter of minutes, considering the average adult male has a volemy (total blood volume) of about 5l, while the average female has 4,5l. So if SHTF, stopping the blood loss is top on the priority list.


Using pressure points

If applying direct pressure on the open wound fails and the blood loss can’t be stopped, you’ll need to take the technique a step further and resort to applying pressure on the nearest artery. The key is to press the artery against the bone in order to reduce blood flow; the main idea is to compress the artery that correlates the heart with the open wound. If you do the technique right, the blood transported from the heart to the affected area will be stopped in its tracks, hence the bleeding will cease. There are many pressure points on the human body for stopping massive hemorrhaging but the main two are the brachial artery (the primary pressure points for the arms) and the femoral artery (the primary pressure point for the arms). The brachial artery is placed a few inches below the armpit area, on the inside of the upper arm, somewhere in between the biceps and triceps muscles. Feel for the pulse; once you’ve got it, apply pressure with 3 fingers. The femoral artery is located on the inside of the thigh, in the groin area; it’s pretty deep in, so you’ll need to use a bit of force to actually apply enough pressure to stop the bleeding. Once the bleeding has stopped, do not apply pressure on the artery for longer than 3 – 5 minutes.


Applying a tourniquet

This method is probably the most efficient method in stopping heavy blood flow, but it should be used as a last resort only, as it can cause irreparable damage. It reduces the blood loss entirely, but it also prevents the oxygenation of the affected area and of all the living tissue below the pressure point. This could cause permanent damage or even the loss of the limb in question, so apply the tourniquet only if there is no other option available. You can improvise a tourniquet out of pretty much everything, whether it’s a belt, a hose or a folded piece of cloth (never wires or thin ropes). The contraption should be placed between the heart and the open wound, more precisely a few inches above the gush. Just make a simple knot, push a stick through it and tighten firmly by twisting. Loosen the tourniquet every 20 minutes to check if the bleeding stops. Once the hemorrhaging stops, apply direct pressure on the wound and ice packs (if available).


Astringent plants

Once again, Mother Nature comes to save the day. If you find yourself in a desperate situation, you’ll be glad to know there are plenty of plants you can grow (and find) that will do wonders for excessive and periodical bleeding. Once you’ve treated and open wound, you can always use prepare a mixture of concoction to fix the problem from “the inside” as well. Here are some of the most important and easy to use plant

Cayenne Pepper (Capsicum minimum) – this pepper is recommended for external use; dry them up and grind them in a thinpowder, that you can use on open wounds to stop the bleeding

Plantain (Plantago sp.) – it’s mostly used against superficial cuts; you can use the leaves to make salves, juices or even tea

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) – it’s an excellent astringent and aids blood clotting; you can make a tea from both leaves and flower heads (fresh or dry)

Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) – as far as internal use goes, the witch hazel can be brewed into a tea that does wonders for internal bleeding, especially for the stomach and bowels

You should be very vigilant when treating a deep open wound. It’s preferable to have a professional medical kit at your disposal, but if for some reason or another you won’t, at least you know the alternatives. Respect these techniques, and if there’s ever the need for it, you’ll save lives.

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

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