Articles

Cook Meals, Boil Water and Make Electricity with BioLite’s CampStove 2

I appreciate resourcefulness and creativity, especially when they prove useful for you and me. It’s good to know it’s possible to cook meals, boil water and make electricity with BioLite’s CampStove 2.

There’s a lot going on inside the CampStove 2. Watch the short video below and discover how BioLite burns wood like gas and turns flames into electricity.

 

 

Find out more by clicking on the BioLite banner.

 

BioLite

 

Have the Right Battery Powered Devices When the Power Goes Out

whether you experience a local power outage because of a major storm, or the whole grid goes down, you’ll need to have the right battery powered devices when the power goes out. Jeff Yago gives us guidance in the January/February 2017 “Backwoods Home Magazine” (Issue #163).

He covers four areas of concern.

  • LED hanging lanterns
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Battery pack and solar charger
  • Digital battery charger

Find a list of recommended products and suppliers in the article as well.

An excerpt of the article follows. Click on the link below to read all of it.

Grid-down battery devices

By Jeff Yago, P.E., CEM

Most of my past articles and my just-released new book titled, Lights On, drive home the importance of having multiple battery-powered devices during an extended power outage. I also keep reminding everyone that having a generator during a power outage is great, at least until you run out of fuel. Whether you are without power from the start of a utility outage due to not owning a generator, or you are well into an extended power outage but ran out of fuel, the results will be the same unless you own battery-powered devices. There are many battery-powered devices that will make life easier and continue to operate during an extended power outage, but there are four specific battery-powered devices that everyone should have.

LED hanging lanterns

Of course lighting is our primary concern, but I am not talking about having a flashlight. A flashlight is handy to illuminate a small area directly in front of you, assuming you have batteries. However, during an extended power outage you need room-filling lights, at least in the room or rooms where most of the family will be congregating. I recommend having several of the new LED hanging lanterns.


Read the whole article here:
http://www.backwoodshome.com/grid-down-battery-devices/

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

 

Controlling Rodents at Home or in Your Bug Out Location

Editor’s Note: Joe Alton, M.D., a.k.a. Dr. Bones of DoomAndBloom.net has written an excellent overview of the disease problems rodents can cause and how to keep them under control. It’s a mini-primer worthy of attention for both your home and your bug out location. – John

 

How to Control Rodents as Disease Vectors

 

>rats-in-a-trap

Brown rats may reach 16 inches in length, including tail

in survival settings, it’s been said that rats will do a better job of surviving than humans. Rats, mice, and other rodents are well-known causes of “zoonotic” infections.  A zoonotic disease is one that can be transmitted from animals to humans.  The animal in question may not have symptoms of the disease itself, but may serve as a “vector”; that is, it carries the disease to a human target.

Rats and mice belong to the order Rodentia, from the latin word rodere (“to gnaw”).  This order contains various families, including beavers, porcupines, squirrels, and gophers.  As you are unlikely to have an infestation of beavers in your home, we’ll concentrate on rats and mice. A pair of rats could produce 1,500 offspring in one year if they all reproduced. Most rats and mice that cause issues for humans come from the “Old World”.  These include:

Brown rats (rattus norvegicus): Also called Norway rats, although they didn’t originate there (Norway has no more rat issues than other countries). Brown rats may reach 16 inches (including the tail) and are good swimmers; the term “sewer rat” was coined for them.

Black rats (rattus rattus): Thought to have introduced the Plague to Europe through their fleas. The black rat, also called the “roof rat”, is slightly smaller than its brown cousin and is an excellent climber.

House mice (Mus musculus): Used to living in close quarters with humans, mice are “nibblers” and can contaminate an entire pantry by taking a few bites out of multiple food items. Mice and other rodents can also chew through electrical wiring, thereby constituting a fire hazard.

Rats and mice are some of the world’s most invasive species. Every year, a percentage of the world’s food supply is contaminated by their droppings, urine, and hair. These items, known as “fomites”, may contain disease-carrying organisms and, as such, render food unfit for human consumption.

hooded rats

Long-Evans hooded rats I worked with in labs help further medical research

Before I go further, let me tell our readers who have rats and mice as pets that they (the pets, not necessarily the owners) are generally clean, intelligent creatures.  I have had the privilege of working with them in university laboratories as a student.  Despite this, it is indisputable that the diseases they may carry are cause for concern.

MEDICAL ISSUES CAUSED BY RODENTS

From a medical perspective, what diseases might one contract from a rodent or its droppings?  These include:

Plague:  The Plague is caused by a bacterium known as Yersinia Pestis. It is carried by fleas. The black rat’s arrival in Europe in the Middle Ages (and with it, its fleas) caused pandemics of the disease that wiped out a third of the population. Even today, Plague exists in developing countries and, there have been hundreds of cases in the U.S. over the past three decades.

Hantavirus: Hantavirus, transmitted by mice in urine, droppings or saliva, causes a serious lung disease that may become fatal without the availability of intensive care.

Leptospirosis: Caused by consuming food contaminated by rat urine, Leptospirosis causes a flu-like syndrome that progresses to kidney and liver failure if untreated.  This disease can also be carried by certain livestock.

Lymphocytic Chorio-Meningitis Virus (LCMV): LCMV may be contracted from mice urine or droppings or from pets in contact with mice, such as hamsters.   It causes a flu-like syndrome that occasionally causes complications in the nervous system, especially in people with weakened immune systems or pregnant women.  LCMV may cause miscarriage or birth defects.

Salmonellosis: Infection with the bacteria Salmonella may occur as a result of handling of pet rats or mice, especially if they have had diarrhea.  It causes severe diarrheal disease in humans, and is one good reason for owners of rats and mice to wash their hands after handling.

Rat Bite Fever: Infection with the bacterium Strebtobacillus occurs from rat bites and scratches or from ingesting food or water contaminated with rat droppings. Abrupt onset of fevers, rashes, vomiting, and headaches are noted at first, with general deterioration afterwards. If untreated, there is a 10% death rate.

RODENT-PROOFING A RETREAT

homestead-cabin-pixabay

rodent-proofing

It’s simply common sense to take measures to prevent rodent infestation in the home and to eliminate those already there. Once an infestation has occurred, much more effort is required to dislodge these unwanted guests. Rodent-proofing a home requires careful evaluation for points of entry from the level of the foundation to the roofline.  This includes sewer lines, bathroom vents, pipes and gutters, doors and windows, and vegetation near concrete slabs.

Some rodent-proofing techniques for homes include:

  • Sealing cracks in building foundations, walls, siding, and roof joints with, for example, mesh hardware cloth or concrete patching. Rodents only need ¼ inch of opening to gnaw their way into your home. Metal mesh scouring pads or galvanized window screening (not steel wool, which quickly deteriorates) may be stuffed into crevices as a temporary solution.
  • Installing vent guards in bathroom or washer/dryer vents.
  • Placing barriers to prevent climbing rodents from going up pipes or gutters.
  • Trimming trees so that branches don’t come close to the roof.
  • Contacting the utility company for strategies to prevent rats from traveling along power lines to your house.
  • Preventing rodents, especially rats, from tunneling under the foundation by placing flat concrete pavers or gravel for the first 3 feet from the base of the house.

Rodent control also involves careful attention to both indoor and outdoor sanitation.  Here are some suggestions for the wise homeowner:

  • Never leave food or water out overnight. Keep your countertops clean and disinfected.
  • Breadboxes may seem old-fashioned, but they are there for a reason: To keep the bread away from rats and mice.
  • Never leave pet food outside, clean all bowls daily, whether they are used inside or out. Rodents love to eat dog and cat food.
  • Clean under kitchen appliances. Even a few crumbs will make a meal for a mouse or rat.
  • Keep garbage disposals and sinks clean with a cup of bleach once a month.
  • Never flush grease down the sink drain.
  • Keep toilet lids down until needed.
  • Store dry foods, even pet foods, in sealed containers at least 18 inches off the floor.
  • Construct barriers around birdhouses and bird-feeders to prevent seed from being accessible to rodents.
  • Remove any fruits or vegetables from your garden that you won’t use.
  • Keep garbage can lids tightly closed.
  • Keep the side and back yards free of debris that might serve as shelters.
  • Deny access to water by fixing leaky faucets.
  • Avoid putting animal products in your compost bin.

IDENTIFYING INFESTATIONS

Rodent droppings

rodent droppings (source: city of Berkeley, CA)

If you’re not sure that your home is currently rodent-free, you might consider:

  • Looking for any partially eaten food, gnawed containers, or nesting material.
  • Inspecting your home’s interior at night with a flashlight; look especially closely at the bases of walls, as rats and mice prefer to travel along them. Little used areas of the home should be especially targeted.
  • Looking for rodent droppings. Mice and rat defecate 50 times a day; if they are in your home, you should be able to find their feces along floorboards, in attic crawl spaces, and in basements.
  • Setting out a thin layer of flour or talcum powder by areas through which rats and mice might enter your home. Place some, as well, along floorboards; rodents prefer to travel along walls. The rodents will leave tracks which will prove their presence.
  • Having cats and dogs as “mousers”. They may or may not be efficient, but they usually will alert you when a rodent is near.
  • Listening for squeaking and scrabbling noises inside walls at night.
  • Check for unusual smells. If there are a lot of rats in your home, you may notice an odor from their urine.

ELIMINATING THE PROBLEM

rats as food

A method of rodent control not discussed in this article

Once you have made the determination that you have rats or mice in your home, it’s time to reduce the population.  It should be noted that long-term control will be difficult if you haven’t followed my earlier suggestions for indoor and outdoor sanitation.

There are myriad mouse and rat-traps on the market and a number of poisons available to kill rodent invaders. It makes more sense to use traps, in my opinion, as poisons may leave you with a bunch of dead, rotting animals inside your walls. The stench may last a month or more, and sometimes deodorizer is needed to be inserted through a hole drilled in the wall.

If you have a lot of rats in your yard, you shouldn’t use poisons, as they may be ingested by neighborhood pets or even children. You should, however, consider trapping boxes. These can be snap traps, electronic “zappers”, glue traps or even catch and release versions. Both rats and mice will readily go for a small amount of fresh peanut butter as bait. Advice to the soft-hearted: Brown rats, black rats, and house mice are not native wildlife; besides other damage, some will cause casualties among endangered songbird eggs and young if released.

Glue traps are popular but controversial.  They are better weapons against mice than rats. Unfortunately, they usually leave you with a live animal to kill.  If you must use them, euthanize the rodent by throwing the trap and animal into a bucket of water or by striking it with a stick several times just behind the head. Another disadvantage of the glue trap is that it loses effectiveness in dusty areas or in extreme temperatures.

Snap traps should always be placed in perpendicular fashion, with the bait side against the wall.  Never use just one trap: Place a number of them several feet apart in the rodent’s usual path. Traps can be fastened to pipes with wire or thick rubber bands.

When cleaning out a building that has been infested with rats or mice, specific safety precautions should be followed to avoid infection. First and foremost, remember that you should never handle a wild rodent, alive or dead, without disposable gloves. Masks should be worn when cleaning. Other steps to follow:

  • Open windows and doors before cleaning to allow it to air out, then leave for an hour.
  • Avoid raising dust if at all possible.
  • Steam-clean all carpeting and upholstery.
  • Clean all surfaces with a diluted bleach solution or other household disinfectant, soaking areas that held dead animals, nests, or droppings.
  • Wash all bedding linens, pillows, etc. and use the high heat setting on your dryer.
  • Eliminate any insulation material contaminated by rodent urine, feces, or nesting material
  • As ultraviolet light can kill viruses, place contaminated items that cannot be thrown away (such as important documents), outside in the sun for several hours. If this isn’t possible, “quarantine” the items for a week in a rodent-free area.  This should give enough time for viruses to be inactived.
  • Dispose of any contaminated items or dead rodents in a plastic bag, and then place them in an exterior garbage can.
  • Thoroughly wash hands after cleaning. Consider showering with soap and hot water.

We share our world with many other creatures. Some of these creatures invade our homes and can damage our possessions and, more importantly, our health. With careful attention to sanitation and the occasional surgical strike, we can eliminate unwanted guests and make our homes safe environments for our families.

Joe Alton, MD

JoeAltonLibrary3

Dr. Alton

Learn more about animal-borne diseases and 150 other medical topics in the Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way, now available at Amazon.com.

 

The Tyranny Of A Cashless Society Coming?

Editor’s note: It’s becoming more convenient to pay for items without cash. Technology has made some incredible advances. And electronic currencies appear to be with us for some time to come.

But another aspect of a cashless society calls for our attention as preppers. And it may not be what you’d think. The following is food for thought from Capt. William E. Simpson.

He 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

***************

After governments abolish cash in useful denominations, then governments will likely focus upon eliminating personal and commercial commerce through the use of compact high-value commodities such as gold and silver, a natural progression if $100-dollar bills are taken out of circulation in the United States.

People today who are living in the legacy of the Obama economy already need a fist-full of $20-dollar bills just to buy a week’s supply of groceries. And it’s easy to spend $400/week on fresh groceries for two people, especially if you buy premium products and organic.

If we consider the increasing trend, where banks, institutions and big retailers are regularly hacked, combined with I.D. theft, digital commerce and credit cards aren’t all they’re cracked-up to be, and in reality are posing an ever-increasing level of liability on all levels through their use.

Like many people, I am a careful person when it comes to digital commerce, yet nonetheless had two of my credit cards hacked (twice in the last 4 years); one time by a supposedly reliable online retail company, another time when I rented a trailer. And both times, it required an incredible amount of time, police reports, phone calls, etc. just to get back to square one and get my money back. But my own experience was just one of nearly 18-million Americans who suffered from some form of I.D. theft in 2014 alone.

‘Digital commerce’ is very problematic and is not the panacea that companies and government want the public to believe. And the relatively few people who may ultimately control all of the digital wealth of Americans, will virtually have control of all the people in a cashless society. This results in a definite loss of freedom and liberty.

There are many, many other ways for law enforcement to hammer criminals and curtail their enterprises, if that is truly the goal. But any method that inhibits or erodes the freedoms of Americans in any way, including limiting or infringing upon person-to-person commerce and personal privacy in any manner is to be shunned and counter to the intents and spirit of our beloved U.S. Constitution.

Digital currency transactions in lieu of cash, would allow virtually 100% tracking of all Americans, including law-abiding citizens and all that we do. We have already learned over the past 8-years of the Obama led government that governments don’t necessarily work-for or even represent the will of the People. So how can anyone justify giving the government this much power over Americans? There is no such justification.

The vast majority of Americans are not criminals, and therefore any action by government that affects or targets the vast majority of people, in order to deal with a small factional percentage of criminals in the population is manifestly unfair. Politicians simply need to do the jobs they are being paid to do, and come-up with anti-criminal tactics that strictly focus upon the bad actors, not the majority of law-abiding Americans, instead of suggesting that the removal of cash is necessary to deal with criminals. It is just a convenient lie.

If the minds behind a cashless society are allowed to have their way, America would become little more a monumental ant-farm, where the elitist-class studies Americans to a much greater extent than ever before; how we move around, what we do, use, eat, watch, listen-to, and then using this deeply insightful personal information, potentially plot how to control everyone. Things like; if we’re allowed to be born (abortions already control this to some extent), how long we get to live, and what we are allowed to do in between… Orwellian yes, but true nonetheless.

Here’s a video that should be alarming: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-38973042

Brazil played-around in past decades on many occasions with re-issuing, devaluing and recalling currency to limit amounts of currency in circulation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazilian_cruzeiro And the Marxists paid close attention to that exercise.

However, India’s currency games are more immediate and could have a sinister effect, since they are already a socialist state and we know how fond socialists and communists are of controlling all aspects of their populations. One might assume that India is merely executing a plan similar to what may soon be in the works for Americans?

http://www.businessinsider.com/india-currency-money-2016-12

I have to say, that it’s looking like living in the countryside on a piece of land that provides sustainable sustenance and provides a firewall from a population that may recoil and strike-out in anger sometime soon is the only viable path to surviving past what may be an ugly and austere potential future. Anyone who cares to look at the news these days will see riots, murders and unrest all around inside the United States, a result of numerous factors, not the least of which is the rise of the ‘Deep State’.

Even as much as most Americans admire and respect President Trump, the Marxist-socialist momentum that has already metastasized in America might be too much for him and his team to overcome? Our new President definitely needs our continued strong support more than ever.

Smile and pray for the best, but adequately prepare for the worst.

==========================================

Capt. William E. Simpson II – USMM Ret.
Member: Authors Guild
IMDb

Homeopathy – Overlooked for Preparedness and Survival Medicine

Many of us as preppers are interested in alternative medicine and health. But how much do you know about homeopathy? It approaches health and wellness in a different way than other forms of alternative medicine.

I think homeopathy has been overlooked for preparedness and survival. Perhaps this week’s DestinySurvival Radio and this post can help remedy that.

OK, bad pun.

On this week’s DestinySurvival Radio I explore homeopathy with Becky Rupert, a traditional naturopath and board certified homeopath.

Why Homeopathy now?

An excellent article by Becky about homeopathy can be found on DoomAndBloom.net, the web site for Joe and Amy Alton, also known as Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy. Search their site for homeopathy or click the link below under the Additional Resources heading.)

I applaud Dr. Bones for publishing Becky’s article. It’s in keeping with his attitude of using every tool in the shed when it comes to survival medicine.

I’m familiar with homeopathy because I discovered its benefits for me back in 1995. I’ve been seeing a homeopathic physician for over 20 years. Nonetheless, I can’t claim to be an expert on homeopathy.

But it works. It’s safe for everyone in the family, including babies and even pets.

Remedies aren’t expensive compared to some alternative medicine options. A kit the size of a recipe box can hold an amazing amount of remedies. Becky offers a kit with 40 of them.

And you don’t have to worry about expiration dates.

Upon reading Becky’s article, I realized I hadn’t mentioned homeopathy for preparedness, other than in a casual way. So I contacted her, and she agreed to do an interview for DestinySurvival Radio.

Who is Becky?

 

Becky Rupert

 

Becky Rupert is a Traditional Naturopath and Board Certified Homeopath who has been in practice for 20 years.
She has been a homesteader most of her life and has used homeopathy not only for her family, but also for her garden, bees, and farm animals.

She maintains a full time practice in Northern Ohio, but consults with people all over the united states and abroad.

Get more insight on how she came to pursue homeopathy from our conversation.

What’s So Different About Homeopathy?

In a nutshell, homeopathy calls for a different mindset toward healing.

It uses intensely diluted individual plants and minerals in its remedies. Symptoms of sicknesses and injuries people may have are matched to the symptoms a remedy can cause.

This is different than conventional medicine. If you have a fever, conventional medicine offers you something to suppress the fever.

Homeopathy offers you something that would normally cause a fever. As odd as this may sound, this gives the body a chance to heal itself gently.

Even herbalism seeks to create a result opposite to that which may be happening in your system when you’re ill or injured.

Becky and I talked about the comparison between homeopathy and getting a vaccination. In both cases the body is given something that would normally cause certain symptoms. But there are significant differences.

For example, homeopathy uses one substance as a remedy, not a combination of substances. And there are no additives in homeopathic remedies as there are in vaccines.

Furthermore, it may seem contrary to common sense to dilute substances and expect greater results. But those who understand chemistry will know that dilution can make substances stronger.

So it is with homeopathic remedies. Stronger potencies last longer and work on a deeper level.

Is This for Real?

I know from my own encounters that homeopathy has its share of skeptics.It doesn’t make sense to some, while others consider it nothing more than administration of sugar pills and the placebo effect.

Becky addressed both of those things in our conversation.

Homeopathic remedies can come in various forms, such as pills, pellets or liquid. Becky briefly described how pharmacies make remedies and how various potencies are achieved.

Incidentally, homeopathic remedies are FDA approved.

As for placebo, Becky described giving an ailing horse three different remedies before it got better. If placebo were involved, the horse would have improved with the first remedy, not the third.

This indicates the importance of knowing as much about a given ailment and its causes as possible to choose the right remedy for the situation.

But When Might You Use Homeopathy in a Survival Situation?

When it comes to preparedness, most of us will be dealing with acute situations, such as scrapes, bruises, fractures, colds and so on.

There’s a difference when treating acute symptoms vs. chronic (long term) symptoms. Becky explained this further in our conversation, but she says we can do a lot for acute symptoms with a good book and homeopathic kit.

The name of several remedies came up during our conversation. Arnica is one you’ll certainly want to have on hand. Belladonna is another.

If you can’t keep track of the names, or you’re not familiar with them, click on Becky’s article from the Additional Resources section below.

 

Homeopathic Kit

 

Of course, the goal is to achieve healing. Homeopathy is very individualized. The parent, practitioner, or physician must be observant. Patterns must be looked for.

In other words, if someone has a sore throat, there isn’t one single homeopathic remedy for that which will work for everyone. Is the sore throat on the right or left? Is it red?

The remedy that causes the symptoms exhibited is the best remedy. They’re all safe, so if the first attempt doesn’t work, or it works partially, try again.

Is There More?

I’ve attempted to give a brief overview of homeopathy above, especially for those who aren’t familiar with it. Becky did a good job of explaining things better in our chat. I encourage you to listen to the whole thing because we covered other questions like…

  • Does homeopathy conflict with other medications?
  • Can Homeopathy help cut back on conventional medications?
  • Can medications, herbs or essential oils cancel out the benefits of a homeopathic remedy?
  • How many doses of a remedy should be taken to know whether it works?
  • How does one find a reliable homeopathic practitioner?
  • How can someone learn more about homeopathy?

Listen to my conversation with Becky Rupert when you hear DestinySurvival Radio for February 23, 2017. (Right click to download.)

If you have questions for Becky or want to get the OTC homeopathic remedies or kits she offers, call her office at (419)853-3805. E-mail beckyrupert(at)frontier.com. (Replace (at) with @ in the address.) She also does skype appointments all over the US and abroad.

In conclusion, if you’re new to homeopathy, give it a try. Don’t be afraid of it. Have an open mind. It will fill gaps in your survival medicine strategy. And it can help you keep healthy today as well.

 

Berkana logo - mortar and pestile

 

Additional Resources

Survival Pantry–Five Simple Tips to Outsmart Your Supermarket

It goes without saying that everybody’s trying to save money these days. But supermarkets are designed to appeal to our human wants, not necessarily our needs. When you go grocery shopping and want to stock up on a few extra things to put by, you don’t want to get ripped off.

Here are five tips to help you save money when you go grocery shopping. This is about as basic as it gets.

  1. Make a list and stick to it. If there’s something you see and think you should have that’s not on your list, check out the label for info on calories and nutrition facts. I’ll bet you decide to keep to your list.
  2. Don’t shop when you’re hungry. Those smells from the bakery or deli can be enticing, but don’t give in. Get what you came for and go.
  3. Shop the perimeter of the store. That’s where you’ll find fresh produce, lean meats, low fat and fat free dairy items.
  4. Shop for what they hope you don’t see. The items the store wants you to buy are at eye level. Sugary cereals for kids are put down at their eye level. If you don’t look up and down hard enough, you could miss generic or less expensive brands.
  5. Shop midway into the aisle. That’s where you’ll find staples. All those appealing items are at or near the ends so you’ll see them first. You may have to look harder for what you want, but it’s worth it.

For more common sense grocery shopping help, check out Groceries On A Dime from Living On A Dime.

Growing Strawberries in Your Survival Garden

Who doesn’t love strawberries?

For a berry sweet success story, and to get guidance for growing strawberries in your survival garden, check out the article excerpt below from “Backwoods Home Magazine,” Issue #162, November/December, 2016.

Growing strawberries

By Patrice Lewis

As you read this, the wind may well be howling and the snow piling deep, and you’re likely curled up next to the woodstove with a mug of tea at your elbow. However, it’s never too soon to plan for next year’s garden.

So let’s talk strawberries. We love strawberries. This past summer, we harvested 160 pounds.


Read the whole article here:
http://www.backwoodshome.com/growing-strawberries/

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

Find heirloom seeds and gardening supplies for growing strawberries and more by going to the Survival Gardening Page in the DestinySurvival Prep Mart.