Articles

Survival Defense – What About Your Gun Rights?

It’s no secret that prices and availability of ammunition have fluctuated greatly in the past several years. Politicians frequently threaten to regulate guns more tightly or even ban them altogether.

It doesn’t seem to matter who’s president. And the antigun rhetoric goes on at the federal, state and local levels.

As a public service to my readers, here’s a list of gun rights groups for your consideration or action, as the case may be.

Here’s something to keep in mind. I’ve never heard of muzzle loading firearms being on any proposed gun ban list.

Perhaps you’ve heard it said that if guns are outlawed, then only outlaws will have guns. Choose for yourself whether or not one of your options for self defense and survival is to be an outlaw in the eyes of those in power.

Growing Open-Pollinated Tomatoes

Tomatoes may be the most popular garden crop ever. Very likely they’ve found a place in your survival garden.

Jackie Clay-Atkinson has written a mini-primer to help you and me grow open-pollinated and heirloom tomatoes in “Backwoods Home Magazine” for July/August, 2017 (Issue #166). Check out the excerpt below, then go on to read the whole thing at the link for it.

Grow open-pollinated tomatoes

By Jackie Clay-Atkinson

Nearly all of us homesteaders grow tomatoes in our gardens. Tomatoes are hugely valuable as a homestead crop. After all, they give us a wide variety of products.

Many people just run to their local big box store and buy seeds or tomato plants as spring hits full force. But homesteaders are self-reliant; with tomatoes, this means not only starting your own plants to set out in your garden but also planting tomatoes from which you can save your own seeds, bringing things full circle.


Read the whole article here:
http://www.backwoodshome.com/grow-open-pollinated-tomatoes/

Excerpt used with permission of Backwoods Home Magazine.
http://www.backwoodshome.com (541)247-8900.

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Survival Strategies for Safe Summer Camping

Editor’s Note: Camping is a great way to have fun and practice preparedness at the same time. Plus, it gets the whole family involved.

Joe Alton, M.D., aka Dr. Bones, gives helpful advice and survival strategies for safe summer camping in the following article. It originally appeared at DoomAndBloom.net and is reproduced here with permission. – John

 

Camping

Camping Safety

The kids are out of school, the weather’s great, and families are planning this summer’s camping trip. Camping is a great way to create bonds and memories that will last a lifetime. A poorly planned outdoor vacation, however, becomes memorable in the worst way, especially if someone gets hurt. A little planning will make sure everyone enjoys themselves safely, and some of these plans are similar to survival strategies.

 

KNOW YOUR LIMITS

Bad Idea

Not the best choice for a family camping trip

If you’re not a veteran camper, don’t start by attempting to climb Yosemite’s El Capitan. Start by taking day trips to National Parks or a local lake. Maybe you could start using that firestarter tool, setting up your tent, and making a campfire in your backyard to get through the learning curve. See how things work out when you don’t have to stay in the woods overnight. If the result is a big thumbs-up, start planning those overnighters.

Whatever type of camping you do, you should always be aware of the capabilities and general health of the people in your party. Children and elderly family members will determine the limits of your activities. The more ambitious you are, the more your plans may be beyond the physical ability of the less fit members of your family. This leads to injuries as the end result in normal times or in survival scenarios.

 

PLANNING

An important first step to a safe camping trip is knowledge about the weather and local terrain you’ll encounter. Talk with park rangers, consult guidebooks, and check out online sources. Some specific issues you’ll need to know:

  • Temperature Ranges
  • Rain or Snowfall
  • Location and Status of Nearby Trails and Campsites
  • Plant, Insect, and Animal Issues
  • Availability of Clean Water
  • How to Get Help in an Emergency

 

COMMON MEDICAL RISKS

Not Dressed for Success

Probably Not Dressed for Success in the Snow

A very common error campers make is not bringing the right clothing and equipment for the weather and terrain. If you haven’t planned for the environment, you have made it your enemy.

Although Spring and Fall have the most uncertainty with regards to temperatures and weather, storms can occur in any season. Conditions in high elevations lead to wind chill factors that could easily cause hypothermia. Here’s the thing with wind chill: If the temperature is 40 degrees, but the wind chill factor is 20 degrees, you lose heat from your body as if the actual temperature were 20 degrees. Be aware that temperatures at night drop precipitously. Even summer rain can lead to a loss in body temperature if you get soaked.

In cold weather, you’ll want the family clothed in layers. Use clothing made of tightly woven, water-repellent material for protection against the wind. Wool holds body heat better than cotton does. Some synthetic materials work well, also, such as Gore-Tex.

That’s all well and good in cool temperatures, but if you’re at the seashore or lakefront in the summer, your main problem will be heat exhaustion and burns. Have your family members wear sunscreen, as well as hats and light cotton fabrics. Sunscreen should be placed 15 minutes before entering a sunny area and re-applied to skin that gets wet or after, say, a couple of hours.

 

Heat-Stroke

If you don’t take the environment into account, you have made it your enemy

In hot weather, plan your strenuous activities for mornings, when it’s cooler. In any type of weather, keep everyone well-hydrated; dehydration will cause more rapid deterioration in physical condition in any climate.

The most important item of clothing is, perhaps, your shoes. If you’ve got the wrong shoes for the activity, you will most likely regret it. If you’re in the woods, high tops that you can fit into your pant legs will provide protection against snakebite and tick bites. Tick populations are on the rise in the Northeast and Midwest, so beware of signs and symptoms of Lyme Disease. If you choose to go with a lighter shoe in hot weather, Vibram soles are your best bet.

Special Tips: Choosing the right clothing isn’t just for weather protection. If you have the kids wear bright colors, you’ll have an easier time keeping track of their whereabouts. Long sleeves and pants offer added protection against insect bites and poison ivy.

 

YOUR CAMPSITE

Real estate agents’ motto is location, location, location and it’s true for survival retreats and camping safety too. Scout prospective campsites by looking for broken glass and other garbage that can pose a hazard.

Look for evidence of animals/insects nearby, such as large droppings or wasp nests/bee hives. If there are berry bushes nearby, you can bet it’s on the menu for bears. Berries that birds and animals can eat are often unsafe for humans to eat. Advise the children to stay away from any animals, even the cute little fuzzy ones. Even some caterpillars are poisonous.

 

Bear-Poop

Bear Droppings! Camp somewhere else!

Learn to recognize poison ivy, oak, and sumac. Show your kid pictures of the plants so that they can look out for and avoid them. The old adage is ‘leaves of three, let it be’. Fels-Naptha soap is especially effective in removing toxic resin if you suspect exposure. The resin can stick to clothes, so cur chips off and use for laundering.

Build your fire in established fire pits and away from dry brush. In drought conditions, consider using a portable stove instead, like the EcoZoom. In sunny open areas, the Sun Oven will give you a non-fire alternative for cooking. About fires: Children are fascinated by them, so watch them closely or you’ll be dealing with burn injuries. Food (especially cooked food) should be hung in trees in such a way that animals can’t access it. Animals are drawn to food odors, so use re-sealable plastic containers.

If you camp near a water source, realize that even the clearest mountain stream may harbor Giardia, a parasite that causes diarrheal disease and dehydration. Water purification is basic to any outdoor outing. There are iodine tablets that serve this purpose, and portable filters like the Lifestraw and the Mini-Sawyer which are light and effective. Boiling the water first is a good policy in any situation, although time-consuming. Remember to add one minute of boiling for each 1000 feet of elevation above sea level. Water boils at lower temperatures at higher altitudes, and takes longer to kill microbes.

 

GETTING LOST

Preppers Survival Navigation

Glen Martin’s Book on Navigation

Few people can look back to their childhood and not remember a time when they lost their bearings. Your kids should always be aware of landmarks near the camp or on trails. A great skill to teach the youngsters is how to use a compass, a skill you can find in Glen Martin’s new book “Prepper’s Survival Navigation“. Besides a compass, make sure children have a loud whistle that they can blow if you get separated. Three consecutive blasts is the universal distress signal. If lost, kids should stay put in a secure spot instead of roaming about. Of course, if you have cell phone service…

INSECT BITES

Even if you’ve clothed the kids in protective clothing, they can still wind up with insect bites. Carry a supply of antihistamines, sting relief pads, and calamine lotion to deal with allergic reactions. Asking your doctor for a prescription “EpiPen” is a good idea if anyone has ever had a severe reaction to toxins from insect bites or poison ivy. They’re easy to use and effective, and few doctors would refuse to write a script for it.

Citronella-based products are helpful to repel insects; put it on clothing instead of skin (absorbs too easily) whenever possible. Repellents containing DEET also can be used, but not on children less than 2 years old. Don’t forget to inspect daily for ticks or the bulls-eye pattern rash they often cause. If you remove the tick in the first 24 hours, you will rarely contract Lyme disease.

 

YOUR CAMPING FIRST AID KIT

Amys Survival First Aid Supplies

Get a Medical Kit!

Besides appropriate clothes, insect repellants, and a way to sterilize water, you will want to carry a medical kit to deal with common problems. This should contain:

  • Antiseptics to clean wounds (iodine pads are good)
  • Bandages of different types and sizes: butterfly, roller, pads, moleskin, elastic (Ace wraps)
  • Cold packs to reduce swelling
  • Splints (splints and larger conforming ones)
  • Burn gel and non-stick dressings like Telfa pad
  • Nitrile gloves (some people are allergic to latex)
  • Bandannas or triangular bandages with safety pins to serve as slings
  • A bandage scissors
  • tweezers (to remove splinters and ticks)
  • topical antibiotic cream
  • Medications:

Oral antihistamines (such as Bendadryl)

Pain meds (Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, Aspirin, also good for fever)

1% hydrocortisone cream to decrease inflammation

BZK (Benzalkonium Chloride) wipes for animal bites

Your personal kit may require some additional items to handle special problems with members of the family that have chronic medical issues. Take the above-listed items and add more to customize the kit for your specific needs. Maybe adding a tourniquet, hemostatic gauze, and an Israeli dressing for more significant injuries? Perhaps some antibiotics for longer backcountry outings? The more you add, the more it approximates a survival medical kit.

 

Trauma Kit

Grab and Go Deluxe Trauma Kit, made by Doom and Bloom Medical with quality first aid supplies

One suggestion for a quality, custom designed kit is our Grab and Go Deluxe Trauma Kit, which weighs less than 3 lbs. and is stocked with first aid and trauma supplies. Another smaller kit that weighs less than 1 lb, is our Ultimate Compact First Aid Trauma Kit, newly redesigned and perfect for short trips outdoors.

In an emergency, the most important thing to do is to simply stay calm. If you have the above supplies, you can handle a lot of medical issues in the wilderness. Gain some knowledge to go along with those supplies, and you’ll have the best chance to have a safe and fun outing with your family.

Joe Alton, M.D., aka Dr. Bones

Author Joe

Joe Alton MD

 

Are you ready to deal with medical issues when the you-know-what hits the fan? You will be, if you get a copy of Joe and Amy Alton’s #1 Amazon Bestseller The Survival Medicine Handbook.

Survival Medicine Handbook, Third Edition

Survival Medicine Handbook, Third Edition

 

Discover Ham Radio for Preparedness and Survival

If you’ve been thinking about exploring the possibilities of ham radio for preparedness and survival, here’s an easy way to get exposed to what it’s all about.

The last weekend in June is set aside by ham radio operators all across the country as Field Day. It’s a time to operate radio equipment off the power grid. It serves as a good demonstration of how ham radio can work during emergencies.

But amateur radio plays a part in our lives every day in ways you may not be aware of. The video below gives a comprehensive look at how we use radio technology in society and the role ham radio plays.

The video was originally published in 2013, and it’s still relevant and interesting today. You’ll be surprised by the many applications for radio as part of our modern technology. It’s not going away any time soon.

 

 

There’s a helpful companion site to this video at http://www.radioqrv.com.

 

Have a Good Radio in Your Survival Supplies During a Disaster

Some years ago the BBC broadcast life-saving information to the hundreds of thousands of people affected by monumental flooding in Pakistan. So many were cut off from emergency aid efforts.

The BBC issued bulletins in the languages spoken most in that region on staying safe, avoiding disease, and how to get food and other help.

It’s not uncommon for this to be done by the BBC and other international broadcasters, including Christian ministries like Trans World Radio. Most international broadcasters have cut back on shortwave transmissions in favor of partnering with local AM and FM outlets who receive designated programming by satellite and Internet.

Though the Internet is growing world wide, and the use of smart phones has expanded, many in lesser developed countries still rely on radio for information. Local and international broadcasters provide a useful and valuable service that can literally save lives.

When there’s a major natural disaster here in the U.S., where do most of us get our information? Though many turn to the Internet with computers or smart phones, plenty of us still turn to local radio. AM and FM broadcasts may be the only option when the power’s out.

A key advantage to listening to radio is you don’t have to be connected to the Internet. No wireless connection required. The only thing you need is good batteries or another source of power, such as a wind-up generator or solar power. Radios have gotten better at stretching battery life, too.

We often turn to radio in severe weather. But think back to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Radio stations in New Orleans combined efforts and personnel to provide useful information to their listeners.

People who still had phone service of some kind could call into the stations to report what was happening in their neighborhoods. For me the listener, this was fascinating.

I was able to listen in because, like many, I can hear WWL radio, New Orleans, at night from hundreds of miles away. In fact, WHRI, a U.S. shortwave station, broadcasted WWL to an even larger audience.

When the big earthquake struck San Francisco in 1989, I heard the rebroadcast of one of San Francisco’s stations on WLS, Chicago. Again, for me it made for fascinating listening.

In 1999 during the pre-Y2K jitters, one expert made a list of skywave radio stations available on his Web site. He believed it was important to be able to listen to those stations which could be heard over great distances at night.

You may have your own examples of how standard broadcast radio has been helpful to you in a time of disaster. If so, you already know how important it is to have a simple AM/FM radio in your survival supplies.

Several companies featured in the DestinySurvival Prep Mart offer portable radios meant for emergency situations. Some radios feature weather band capability and are combined with flashlights. Without trying out such radios ahead of time, it’s hard to say whether they’ll meet your needs adequately during or after a disaster.

I recommend getting a good radio–the best one you can afford. It may be necessary to monitor stations at a distance if local stations are knocked off the air. Cheaper radios may not pick up distant stations well.

Unless we have a giant EMP (electromagnetic pulse) one day which takes out all things electronic, you can’t beat an AM/FM radio as an information source when disaster strikes. Make sure you have one or two among your survival supplies. I wouldn’t be without mine.

 

FANGS! Snakes In The Hood

Editor’s note: Capt. William E. Simpson told me that the CDC and many state poison control centers are being swamped with calls about snakebites. Since this could be of concern to each of us, he submitted the following article as a public service.

Capt. Bill is the author of The Nautical Prepper and Dark Stallions – Legend of the Centaurians, and has been my guest on DestinySurvival Radio. He occasionally contributes articles here for DestinySurvival. – John

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Fangs!

Author Capt. William E. Simpson displays the fangs of a Pacific Rattlesnake; its deadly venom is seen dripping off the wire.

 

Looks like it’s shaping-up to be a particularly bad year for rattlesnakes and snakebites here in the Pacific Northwest and across America as many news stories are now reporting; here’s one:
http://www.wyff4.com/article/dramatic-increase-in-snake-bites-reported-know-which-snakes-are-most-dangerous/9593029

In fact, we killed 7 rattlesnakes so far just in May around the homestead (here in Siskiyou County, CA) and seen one I let live (seen in the photos in my ‘Mr. Grumpy’ article: read here: http://www.myoutdoorbuddy.com/articles/67877281/mr.-grumpy-rears-his-ugly-head–again.php).

When these pit-vipers (rattlers) are operating in close proximity to people, homes, pets (horses & livestock) accidents can and do happen. In these cases where a venomous snake presents an unacceptable ‘danger-close’ risk, I prefer to eliminate the risk by killing the viper.

Here’s two rattlers (photos below) that my wife Laura killed just 15-minutes apart in her bird garden yesterday (Friday May 26th). She was wearing flip-flops when she noticed the first one that appeared a few feet behind her. So after killing it using a few rocks, she got her boots on and when she returned to finish filling the bird feeders (15-min.) there was another one waiting.

 

Twin Rattlesnakes

Of course, my buddy Mr. Gnome (in photo above) isn’t impressed, he sees-em all the time… he lets anyone into his garden parties.

 

Then, a little later the same day, Jack our trusty McNab dog started a warning bark; he had found another rattler in the driveway… this one was even bigger… maybe 4.5 feet.

And the season has just begun! Families who are planning on spending vacation time at the lakes, rivers and streams (places with water) should maintain an extra careful lookout over children and pets. Like most other snakes, rattlesnakes absorb most of the water they need from their prey. It’s usually their prey that requires the water. However, venomous snakes maintain habitats in the mountains, forests and in driest areas as well, such as the deserts of Eastern Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico and yes, Southern California.

 

Snake Venom

When I pulled the fangs forward, venom begins to flow.

 

Large Rattler

 

A large male rattler (photo above) is seen hiding in my wife’s rock garden near the bird feeders/water. This well-camouflaged snake remained unseen by my wife even when I pointed to it. The heat sensing pits on the snakes nose are easily seen (black colored pits)… and allow the snake to strike and hit warm blooded animals with deadly accuracy.

Depending on variables of temp and humidity, Rattlesnakes are most active during the hot days of summer early in the day from around 7:00-11:00 AM and then again early evening from around 4:00PM through sundown and early evening. They spend a lot of time around areas that attract rodents (chicken coops, bird baths and feeders, barns, areas of litter and garbage, etc. Because rodents do require water, and the snakes know this instinctively, places where there is water and food suitable for rodents are prime real estate, and snakes like to lay waiting in nearby shady places in ambush.

The Pacific Rattler is fortunately not as deadly as many other poisonous snakes in America. South and southeastern CA, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Nevada have numerous species of rattlesnakes, including some areas there, which have been known to host the Mojave-Green Rattler, whose venom contains both a hemotoxin and a neurotoxin… a devastating combination!

The Pacific Rattler’s hemotoxin poses an additional threat to folks who are taking blood thinners, and therefore, requires special attention. Attending EMS personnel and doctor(s) should be made aware of any drugs that have been taken during the intake process for snakebite.

As many folks know, I grew-up in the Applegate Valley of Southern Oregon where we had our fair share of Pacific Rattlesnakes. And I have collected and studied snakes as a hobby for decades, so I have extensive experience handling and dealing with them, meaning; don’t mess around with any snake unless you have the knowledge and experience! Handling any venomous snake, even when it is dead is extremely dangerous and should never be done except by expert handlers.

Folks with questions, feel free to contact me via my email contact form.

Snakes are mostly beneficial, so unless you have a rattler near pets, livestock or the house, don’t kill them; they eat mice and rats, which do a lot of property damage and spread disease.

It’s interesting to note that many snakebites are instigated by inexperienced people attempting to kill a snake.

 

Capt. Bill with Bullsnake

Capt. Bill with a beneficial gopher snake.

 

Capt. Bill with Dispatched Rattlesnake

A 5’4″ viper (Pacific Rattlesnake) above; one of the largest Bill has dispatched in Nor. CA/OR…

 

Snake's Buttons

It had 12 buttons… second most, behind a larger Rattlesnake that had 18.

 

Have a safe and fun Summer!

 

Capt. William E. Simpson II – USMM Ret.
More about the author here.

 

Rediscover Mittleider Gardening

If you’re eager for ways to amp up your garden for survival, you’ll be glad to know The Mittleider Gardening Course has been updated and improved. This is the book with the excellent “how to” knowledge you need to grow bigger, healthier plants.

Jim Kennard, President of the Food For Everyone Foundation, sent me the news of this. I’ve edited the text slightly because a small part of it wasn’t intended for general readership. Here’s what you need to know now.

 

Mittleider Gardening Course

 

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The time and effort, plus the knowledge and experience of many dedicated Mittleider gardeners that have gone into creating this new edition of The Mittleider Gardening Course book are astounding.  And the result is something everyone who calls him/herself a Mittleider gardener can be proud to be associated with.

It has 149 color pictures!  They are a pleasure to look at, and they show how to do the important gardening processes in every lesson in the book.  Is there a picture from your garden in there?  Many of the pictures are from Mittleider gardeners just like you, which shows that ANYONE can have a great garden if they follow this Recipe!

There are also literally dozens of new and improved illustrations – again visually helping the reader to see and understand how to do the best job possible in their garden.

And there are many other additions to the book, including instructions (with great pics & illustrations) on building and growing in 4′-wide boxes, seedling equipment, T-Frames, and in-the-garden greenhouses.

You will love this book, and I’m confident you’ll want all your neighbors, friends, and family to own and benefit from it themselves as well.

I invite you to get your own copy of the new book – Now.  It will thrill you – trust me…

…Blessings on you, and best of success in your gardens, your work, and in your homes and families.

Jim Kennard, President
Food For Everyone Foundation
“Teaching the world to grow food one family at a time.”

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Jim Kennard was one of my earliest guests on DestinySurvival Radio back in 2011. I’ve linked to several of his informative articles here, and they’re my most popular downloads to date.

To get The Mittleider Gardening Course, click on its title in this post. Or click on the image of the book cover above.

Happy survival gardening!