Prepper’s Survival Navigation Will Help You Get There

We’ve become dependent on our cell phones and GPS devices to help us get to our destination. But what if you’re out camping, hunting or hiking and your GPS quits?

Perhaps your batteries have died. Or you don’t have good service where you are. Or maybe “the big one” has happened.

Do you know how to find your way without modern technology? Do you know how to use a compass and a map? Your survival could hinge on these basic skills.

For DestinySurvival Radio I talked about land navigation, and more, with Glen Martin, author of Prepper’s Survival Navigation.

It’s about land navigation without the high tech gadgets. But it covers other basic survival skills as well.

Below I’ll share thoughts about the book and my conversation with Glen Martin.

Who Is He?

Walter Glen Martin is the name of the author given on this book. But most people in the prepper community know him as Glen. He chose to be formal and used his full name as an author.

In case you don’t know who he is, here’s a little background. I’m sure you’ll agree he’s well qualified to write this book.

“Born in California, Walter ‘Glen’ Martin was raised at the base of the Strawberry Mountains and later near the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. He spent his youth as an avid hunter and fisherman. Knowing how to live off the land, it was not uncommon for Glen to head up into the mountains on a hunting or fishing trip with little more than his rifle or fishing pole.

“After earning his degrees in architecture and mechanical drafting, Glen spent the next 30 years as a design consultant in several Western states, including Alaska. Now living in the mountains of northern Idaho with his fiancé, Glen has settled into an off-grid lifestyle. He owns and operates Prepper Broadcasting, a 24/7 Internet radio station devoted to self-reliance and independence. When not at his desk, you’re likely to find Glen somewhere in the mountains.”

 

Prepper's Survival Navigation

 

Why Have This Book?

Watching videos and DVD’s about navigation is good, but I’m glad Glen’s instruction is in the form of a hard copy book.

If you plan on traveling, take it with you. Keep it with your compass in your bug out bag or pack. The info on direction finding, maps, making a shelter, getting water and dealing with medical issues makes it indispensable.

Prepper’s Survival Navigation wasn’t written to say using a GPS is all bad. In fact, according to Glen, if you have knowledge about navigation, you’ll better understand how to use your GPS.

But keep in mind that bad weather or low battery power can make it inoperative. Therefore, have along this helpful instructional guide.

Chapters cover…

  • Finding North without a Compass
  • The Topographical Map
  • The Compass
  • Movement and Routes
  • Dead Reckoning
  • Terrain Association
  • Terrain Comparison and Navigation
  • Exposure and Treatment While Navigating
  • When You’re Lost
  • Finding Shelter
  • Obtaining Water
  • Fire Craft
  • Survival Medicine while Navigating

In each chapter Glen relates some of his own experiences. You know he’s not merely theorizing about wilderness survival.

But he told me, for something he didn’t know, or when he didn’t trust memory, he sought out credible information from military manuals and other survival experts.

You’ll find plenty of useful drawings and illustrations. References are mentioned within the text with a few more given at the end of the book. You’ll find the extensive index helpful, too.

How Do You Get There?

As good as Prepper’s Survival Navigation is, you and I need to practice. You need to know what to do if you should ever lose your way.

Land navigation can be fun for children to learn. And there are benefits throughout life to knowing these skills.

Glen told me about an event he’s planning a few weeks after this writing in which he would incorporate navigation into one of the activities.

Did you know you can determine which way is north by looking at the branches of a tree? That’s just one of the direction finding tidbits Glen has written about.

Could you use the sun to find which direction you’re going? Would you know how to tell time by the sun? Glen shows you how in his book. We also touched on it in our conversation.

Finding direction by the sun isn’t as straightforward as it might seem. Changing seasons and weather conditions make a big difference.

Travel at night isn’t recommended, unless you know the stars. Even then, you’d better know what you’re doing. For example, did you know the Big Dipper looks different because it changes position from season to season?

If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, be familiar with the Southern Cross and its appearance throughout the year.

Glen recommends getting well acquainted with topographical maps. They give you a three dimensional view of a given area. He gives us a primer on reading these maps. Much of what he discusses throughout the book calls for their use.

And, of course, a compass is absolutely a must for land navigation. Get to know how yours works.

Your compass is a precious instrument. In the book Glen gives us tips on caring for your compass you might not have thought of.

You’ll also find explanations of important matters like declination, dead reckoning and terrain association.

During our visit he said not to walk and stare down at your compass needle. You won’t get where you want to go by doing that. Instead, find a reference point in the direction you want to go and walk to that point.

To understand declination, remember there is magnetic north and true north. A compass finds magnetic north. A topo map indicates true north. You have to know the difference between the two norths and account for it when plotting a course.

You can use dead reckoning when visibility is low or if you’re in thick woods. It involves traveling from one point to another a number of times. If you’re traveling with others, each person can act as point men.

Terrain association entails recognizing a landmark and plotting your way to it by associating the real landmark with the one on your map.

Glen explains these terms better than I can.

What Else Should You Know?

As noted above, there’s more to Prepper’s Survival Navigation than land navigation instruction. If you’re lost, you’d better know how you’ll survive.

The chapter on exposure points out the importance of having the right clothing. Pay attention to conditions to avoid over heating (heat exhaustion or stroke) or getting too cold )hypothermia).

The chapter on what to do when you get lost warns against being over confident. It can get you into big trouble. When your senses tell you something isn’t right, pay attention.

If you do get lost, stop, think, and observe your surroundings. Above all, stay calm. Don’t be motivated by panic to do something foolish.

You have two options when you’re lost. Stay put or get moving. In the book Glen discusses pros and cons of each option.

If you stay where you are, your first priority is finding or creating shelter.

When it comes to signaling, be creative. If you light a fire, or more than one fire, be careful not to lose control of the fire.

The shelter chapter gives a good survey of natural shelters and those you make yourself. Don’t overlook the simple poncho because it can serve more than one purpose.

But what about water? Glen has drunk from outdoor streams and has lived to tell us about it. But it’s not something he would recommend to the uninitiated. You and I had better know how to filter and purify water outdoors.

You’ll learn from the book how to find sources of water, make a primitive still, filter and purify water.

In our chat Glen reminds us that making a small still is a temporary measure to help you keep alive, hopefully until someone finds you. If you’re dying of thirst, you’d better know how to signal for help, too.

The best way to avoid dehydration is to plan ahead. If you can’t take enough water with you, know where to get it.

As you might expect, the chapter on fire craft tells how to start a fire a number of different ways. Several kinds of igniters are discussed. Find out how to make a Dakota fire hole.

The last chapter is on survival medicine and covers dealing with dehydration, finding food, hygiene, taking care of fractures, bleeding and insect and snake bites, and more.

As for his own wilderness experiences regarding medicine, cuts and scrapes are what Glen is most familiar with. So for the chapter on survival medicine, he went to the experts. Namely, Joe and Amy Alton–Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy.

Is There More?

Glen enjoys living off grid. It’s been a fun, learning experience. I asked him about his biggest adjustment when making that move. Find out his answer by listening to our chat.

Do that by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for May 18, 2017. (Right click to download.)

You shouldn’t have to worry about getting lost. Get Prepper’s Survival Navigation by clicking on its title wherever you see it linked in this post.

Stay safe when you travel, and survive.

 

Prepper’s Total Grid Failure Handbook Will Help You Power Up When the Grid Goes Down – Part 2

What would you do for electricity in the event of a total grid failure? How about taking advantage of free energy from wind, water or the sun?

Setting up a solar power system for your whole house might seem out of reach at first, but Alan and Arlene Fiebig show us how it can be done in Prepper’s Total Grid Failure Handbook. DestinySurvival Radio features a two part conversation with Alan Fiebig.

If you missed the first half of our conversation, click here for part 1.

Keep reading for highlights of the second half of our visit as well as a few more thoughts on the book. And, of course, below is a link to hear the podcast.

 

Prepper's Total Grid Failure Handbook

 

Switching Over

If you had to live totally off the electrical grid, you’d need alternative ways to power devices and small appliances.

You wouldn’t try to power energy hogs like a washer and dryer. You’d find ways to do laundry and dishes by hand.

You’d have fans instead of an air conditioner.

You’d find alternatives to an electric stove, such as a wood burning stove and a sun oven. You might be able to use a microwave oven on rare occasions.

You’d use people-powered generators to charge phones or other small electronics.

You’d do it like the Fiebigs have done.

The bottom line is, you’d use less power overall. And that’s the power the Fiebigs can guide you into providing for yourself.

Alan says doing laundry by hand was the biggest adjustment they had to make. They miss central air conditioning, but they’ve come up with other ways to keep reasonably cool.

He reminds us that the worst application for electricity is to create heat of any kind. For example, forget about using an electric toaster oven. Don’t even think about a clothes dryer.

How the Fiebigs handle refrigeration makes for fascinating reading in their book. Alan described it in our conversation as well.

Spending Less

It’s a myth that solar power has to cost thousands and thousands of dollars. The Fiebigs’ system cost about $2,500.

That’s a good price for getting energy from the sun. It’s also a good deal compared to what you’d pay for other alternative power options.

Alan says a solar power system shouldn’t cost $10,000-$20,000 for a system like theirs. He advises you and me to walk away from anyone who offers financing.

Stepping Carefully

Alan and Arlene wrote Prepper’s Total Grid Failure Handbook to give you the guidance you need for becoming more self reliant where electricity is concerned. And they want to help you avoid the mistakes they’ve made.

For example, one of the mistakes they hope you’ll avoid is the use of thin film panels. The kind of panels they use are much smaller and more efficient. They give specific component recommendations because they know they work, but they’re not promoting a turnkey system.

Speaking of efficiency, the Fiebigs’ system is a winner. They use one tenth the Wat/hours the typical home uses. And they’re not suffering. They have the electricity they need for survival.

Fiebigs have done workshops on why they use 12 volt DC power for nearly everything in their home, but Alan concisely packed critical information into a few minutes durin our chat. The biggest advantage to doing it their way is efficiency. Alan’s comments are sensible and convincing.

Sourcing Higher Power

On the book’s dedication page you’ll find the mention of Noah of Bible times and a reference to Hebrews 11:7. The Fiebigs wanted to dedicate their book to the Savior, Jesus Christ, who they believe has guided them along the path they’re on.

In the King James Version, that verse says:

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

People in Noah’s day likely thought he was crazy for building an ark, but he was proven right for doing so. So it is with getting prepared. Those who are ready will one day be vindicated.

I appreciate the verse cited above because it shows Noah had both faith and fear. Faith and fear aren’t mutually exclusive. The lesson for us is to keep moving forward because faith can overcome fear.

Seeking More Knowledge

If you’ve heard the first part of my visit with Alan Fiebig, you know how well he makes the complicated simple. I invite you to hear the conclusion of our conversation by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for May 4, 2017. (Right click to download.)

Get Prepper’s Total Grid Failure Handbook by clicking on its title wherever you see it linked in this post. Keep up to date with the Fiebigs by going to http://off-grid-geeks.com.

 

Prepper’s Total Grid Failure Handbook Will Help You Power Up When the Grid Goes Down – Part 1

What if you could build a solar power system for your home that would give you all the electricity you need for survival?

What if it cost just under $2,500?

And what if your home used only a fraction of the Watt/hours used by most American homes?

Think it’s impossible? Alan and Arlene Fiebig have done it, and they tell about it in Prepper’s Total Grid Failure Handbook.

Alan Fiebig was my DestinySurvival Radio guest for what turned into a two part conversation. In this post I’ll share highlights from that conversation and the Fiebigs’ book.

A Glimpse of the Power Team

Here’s background info on the Fiebigs..

“Alan and Arlene Fiebig (aka Off Grid Geeks) leaped off the grid in 2012. Their goal in this pre-emptive bug out was to become as selfreliant as possible while still maintaining their high-tech lifestyle and work-from-home jobs. While Alan’s 40-plus years of expertise in all things electronic and Arlene’s degree in mechanical engineering proved to be beneficial in their new lifestyle, their ability to think outside the box allows them to come up with inexpensive alternative solutions for costly projects.

“This husband-and-wife team lectures and consults on a wide range of off-grid and self-reliance topics and are appreciated for their ability to explain technical subjects in an easy-to-understand manner. You can learn more about going off the grid at their website, http://off-grid-geeks.com.”

Alan was an articulate, knowledgeable guest. During our chat he went into teaching mode a couple of times. I believe you’ll find it enjoyable because I think you’ll understand what he said when you’ve heard him.

 

Prepper's Total Grid Failure Handbook

 

A Glance Inside the Book

Prepper’s Total Grid Failure Handbook is a fascinating read.

Fiebigs have made an effort to make their subject matter understandable to you and me. Even if you’re not pondering the possibility of going off grid now, this is an informative book to get you thinking.

If you’ve forgotten what you learned in school about electricity, you’ll be glad for the simplified explanations the authors give. For example, do you know the difference between a dynamo and an alternator? An engine vs. a motor? Wiring in series vs. parallel?

This book is meant for both preppers and homesteaders. The Fiebigs want to help their readers make fewer mistakes than they did. Thus, they give specific component recommendations.

If you’re not sure if you want to build a solar power system yet, you may find the material later in the book to be challenging. Much of it went past me.

But if you’re serious about going off grid, I’m confident you’ll get what you need from this book. Start from the beginning and go through it. You should be able to follow instructions and descriptions given. Have a highlighter marker handy as you read.

Here’s a ray of sunshine on what the Fiebigs show you how to do…

  • Create your own power
  • Manage energy storage
  • Choose cost-efficient solar panels
  • Select durable battery banks
  • Rewire for energy efficiency
  • Control energy consumption
  • Install a high-efficiency refrigerator and LEDs
  • Charge laptops and cell phones

You’ll find a number of black and white photos throughout the book. Some are small. You’ll also find helpful charts and tables.

Appendices deal with zoning codes, the charge controller Fiebigs recommend, and keeping batteries healthy. The last appendix lists resources mentioned in each chapter.

A Nod to a Possible Threat

The prologue is a brief, fictionalized account designed to get you and me to think about what might happen in the event of a CME (coronal mass ejection) from the sun. What if a massive EMP (electromagnetic pulse) knocked out electricity and fried electronics everywhere?

What about an EMP or solar CME? Would the Fiebigs’ system stand up to one? Alan thinks it will.

He further explained why an EMP might not be as devastating as some predict. He’s no longer actively seeking to buy a pre-1980 car that doesn’t have today’s computer technology.

Of course, no one knows what will really happen until it happens.

An Overview of the Possible Solutions

Here’s something to keep in mind. Energy can’t be created. It can only be transformed. What’s the best way to transform that energy into something usable?

Alan and I discussed the merits of solar power compared to wind and micro-hydro power. Your location will be a determining factor as to which should be your primary alternative power source.

These other methods are touched on first in the book. The authors point out drawbacks compared to the advantages of solar power.

For example, if you use a generator, you’ll need the right kind of fuel. How will you store it? How long will it keep? How and when will you be able to use it to get the most out of it?

One of solar power’s greatest advantages is that there are no moving parts.

Solar power can be economical, too. The price of photovoltaic technology has come down considerably over time.

Decreasing cost and improved efficiency have made solar power more attractive and useful today. Alan hopes for continued improvement in storage battery technology.

But what about a string of cloudy days? Believe it or not, they don’t present the problems for the Fiebigs you might expect. They’ve figured out ways to have enough power to get by.

 

Spring with Sunny Background

 

The Way It’s Done

Fiebigs started with a goal of becoming as self reliant as possible. Their book is for anyone else who wants to move in that direction.

Fiebigs began with only one solar panel, but they eventually ended up with four. They decided to go cold turkey and worked themselves up to the system they have now.

Alan and I talked about why they went cold turkey. In their situation they didn’t have much choice. The two of them agreed that, if you start with nothing, it’s easier to come up with solutions you can live on,rather than having to wean yourself off of what you’re used to.

If you’re thinking of setting up a solar power system that lets you sell electricity back to the utility company, you need to hear Alan’s comments first. Also read what Fiebigs say in their book.

The Fiebigs aren’t trying to equip you to use 100% of the electricity you use now. Rather, they want you to have enough power to survive should the grid go down. This means adapting your power usage to your power production capability.

In chapter 5 they walk us through the activities that might take place on a given day using their solar power system.

Chapter 7 and following chapters describe components needed–batteries for a battery bank, charge controller, an inverter, and, of course, solar panels.

Incidentally, if you’re thinking you need to put solar panels on the roof, Fiebigs tell you why you shouldn’t do that. They’ll tell you where to put them instead, since they must be repositioned at least twice a year.

Fiebigs give specific guidance on batteries–which ones to use and what to do or not to do to keep them going.

As for smaller electronics, which rechargeable batteries are best? How can you deal with all those wall warts that call for different voltages?

What about lighting? Fiebigs use LED lights which require much less electricity to produce the amount of light we’re accustomed to from other bulbs.

Fiebigs make a strong case for operating as many of their electrical devices as possible from 12 volt DC. Alan and I discussed that in the second half of our conversation.

The Path to Greater Enlightenment

Reading the above is no substitute for hearing the first part of my conversation with Alan Fiebig. You’re invited to listen to DestinySurvival Radio for May 2, 2017. (Right click to download.)

Get Prepper’s Total Grid Failure Handbook by clicking on its title wherever you see it linked in this post. Keep up to date with the Fiebigs at http://off-grid-geeks.com.

Click here for Part 2.

 

Going Beyond Off Grid – A Conversation with Jason Matyas – Part 2

Going beyond off grid. Where did the concept come from? And how can it be lived out?

DestinySurvival Radio features the conclusion of my two part conversation with Jason Matyas to talk about the documentary film entitled Beyond Off Grid. We discussed more, too, so you’ll want to hear what we said.

If you missed the first part, click here for Part 1.

I included Jason’s background info in that post about the first part of our chat. He volunteered a little more in the second part of our visit. It will help you understand something about why he and his family have chosen the lifestyle they’re living.

 

Beyond Off Grid - DVD

 

Overview of the Film

Someone else had started working on Beyond Off Grid a couple of years before Jason got on board in 2013. The project was a long time in the making. You can tell by watching that a great deal of thought went into crafting the message.

An excellent summary is included in promotional info I received from Jason.

“…It’s primary purpose is to inspire fundamental lifestyle change so that we can start rebuilding a solid foundation for the future from the ground up, starting in families, then working up into our churches, communities, and regions.

“As current events make the future look more and more uncertain, you need to understand what’s coming and take action to prepare for the future.

“And the Beyond Off Grid film can be an inspiration and motivation to help you do just that.”

Overview of Our Conversation’s Conclusion

I asked Jason to talk about the dozen or so experts featured in the film. They include:

  • Michael Bunker, author of Surviving Off Off-Grid, which inspired the film
  • Codey of the Wranglerstar YouTube channel
  • Permaculturist Paul Wheaton
  • Rick Austin on homesteading
  • Franklin Sanders on economics
  • Jim Smith, owner of a back to the land store
  • …And others

I agree with Jason’s assertion that we can’t thrive or survive alone. With that notion in mind, the film spends time focusing on building families and communities.

It’s Jason’s hope that churches will take the film to heart and act to provide solutions. If a church isn’t prepared to meet the needs of their people, how can they serve their community?

This is important because we can’t count on the federal government or politics in general to solve our problems. We should know that by now, shouldn’t we?

What lies in the future–a dramatic collapse or slow burn? I invite you to hear Jason’s thoughts. Then draw your own conclusions.

But regarding our present circumstances, consider this. What would you do if you lost your job?

Jason recommends we act on diversifying our income streams. What possibilities exist for you outside of typical employment?

How is this working out for jason and his family? You’ll want to hear what he says about his career change, which led to home schooling their children, starting a family owned seed company (Seeds for Generations) and the challenge presented by the Beyond Off Grid project.

 

Beyond Off Grid - Return to the Old Paths

 

Overview of Action Steps

You and I should be leaders, according to Jason. Why wait for the collapse, hoping to rebuild afterward? Take steps now to live a more self reliant, fulfilling life.

Listen to the conclusion of my conversation with Jason Matyas on DestinySurvival Radio for April 27, 2017. (Right click to download.)

Then watch Beyond Off Grid by first clicking on its title wherever you see it linked in this post.

Why should you explore returning to the old paths? Because it’s not about nostalgia. It’s about survival.

 

Going Beyond Off Grid – A Conversation with Jason Matyas – Part 1

Many preppers and homesteaders are working toward living off the grid, if they’re not already doing it. But is going off grid the final answer for survival?

This week’s DestinySurvival Radio features a conversation with Jason Matyas to talk about Beyond Off Grid, a documentary film that can provide answers and inspiration for those of us wanting to make significant lifestyle changes.

In this post I’ll share thoughts about the film and part one of my two part conversation with Jason Matyas.

Incidentally, I’m releasing the first of two parts on Tuesday, and the second part is being released on Thursday, the normal day for releasing DestinySurvival Radio.

The Knowledgeable Guest

 

Jason Matyas

 

My conversation with Jason Matyas centered around the Beyond Off Grid film. If you’re aware of a number of the big issues we face in the world today, and you’re looking for solutions, Jason’s comments will resonate with you. But if you’re not familiar with who he is, here’s some background.

“Jason Matyas is a husband and father of seven, lifelong gardener and growing homesteader, 18 year Air Force veteran with 9 worldwide deployments, entrepreneur and business consultant, and is the Co-Founder of Beyond Off Grid, Executive Producer of the documentary film, and producer of Beyond Off Grid’s training series and courses.

Beyond Off Grid is devoted to inspiring and equipping you to reduce your dependence on the modern economy and seek true freedom by returning to the old paths of productive households and local community interdependence.”

“He is the founder of a family business with his children called Seeds for Generations that provides heirloom garden seeds and inspiration for gardening as a family.”

At the site for Beyond Off Grid, “Jason is featured in our Summit Online Course, Summit Event Video Course, and Grow More Food Course.”

The Information-Packed Film

Beyond Off Grid lasts about an hour and a half. It’s very well produced. Getting distracted by poor quality won’t be a problem.

There’s a lot to digest. You’ll want to watch it more than once to soak it all in.

The first half of the film takes the time to define the problems we face. A number of parallels are drawn between the Roman empire and the U.S. This isn’t a new concept, but it’s presented well.

If you’re like me, you’ll agree with the assessments set forth.

As the film moves on, we’re given an explanation of modern society’s grid. As I mentioned to Jason in our chat, I can imagine someone picking up a sentiment of anti-structure and anti-progress. Over regulation is indeed a problem, but could talk against regulations cause someone to think of survivalists who promote anarchy?

If someone isn’t already of the prepper mindset, they may find parts of the film to be offensive. Yet we all know that all that’s claimed to be progress isn’t good. For example, one of the presenters describes a toddler who was given a print magazine, and the child tried treating it as if it were a touch screen.

Beyond Off Grid is family friendly and comes from a Christian emphasis or perspective. But it’s not preachy or heavy handed.

There’s a significant turning point in the film where the topics discussed are more familiar to preppers. For example, what would be the impact of an EMP (electromagnetic pulse)?

One of the other issues touched on is the dangers found in GMO foods.

Homesteading, developing skills and going back to the old ways are encouraged. You’ll see info on having your own water supply, raising your own food, and restoring the family and community.

Thankfully, this documentary proposes solutions. We’re not left without hope. This isn’t one of those presentations that leaves us steeped in fear and in the dark about possible outcomes for the future.

The Thought Provoking Conversation

During our chat Jason said the film and the term “Beyond off grid” were inspired by Surviving Off Off-Grid, by Michael Bunker. The idea is that going off grid isn’t enough because isolation isn’t going to solve the larger problems we face.

Beyond Off Grid is designed to encourage preppers and homesteaders to see a bigger picture and, at the risk of sounding cliche, think outside the box. This may mean a change of mindset.

Once you know how we got where we are and can put what we face into context, then you can make lifestyle decisions to address those issues. That calls for consideration of what’s appropriate for you, your family, your church, and your community.

What does it take to become more productive and self reliant? How can we break the chains of our consumer-based society?

As I watched the film, I couldn’t help but wonder how many will follow through to make life better for themselves and their families. The task of real change seems so daunting.

Making lifestyle changes is no small undertaking, but Jason believes it’s not impossible. He encourages taking one small step at a time.

It’s in the second half of the film that we see positive examples of the changed lifestyle of several families. And those examples are simply there to show us the possible alternatives.

Beyond Off Grid will reinforce what many preppers and homesteaders already understand, but it can also serve as a tool to help others wake up to enlightenment and action.

 

Beyond Off Grid - Return to the Old Paths

 

The Next Step

I’ve only shared highlights here. Find out more by listening to the first part of my conversation with Jason Matyas on DestinySurvival Radio for April 25, 2017. (Right click to download.)

Then watch Beyond Off Grid for yourself by first clicking on its title wherever you see it linked in this post. You and your family will be glad you did.

Click here for Part 2.

 

Home Canning – Get the Help You Need from The Prepper’s Canning Guide

Does your food storage strategy include food you’ve canned yourself? If home canning is a stumbling block for you, you need the help you’ll get from The Prepper’s Canning Guide, by Daisy Luther.

It may seem odd to think about canning at the time this post is being published in early spring, but as you’ll hear from my DestinySurvival Radio conversation with Daisy, planning, as with any aspect of preparedness, is most certainly an important component of canning.

Daisy’s book will expand your imagination and open new possibilities for you. There’s more to canning than filling your pantry shelves with green beans or strawberry jam. Why not try entrees, soups and side dishes?

Whether you’re new to canning or you’ve been doing it for years, you’ll want to hear what Daisy shares in The Prepper’s Canning Guide and our DestinySurvival Radio conversation. I’ll give you a few highlights about both below.

Getting to Know Your Prepper Canning Guru

Daisy Luther has been my DestinySurvival Radio guest before, in the summer of 2015 when we talked about The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide. She’s well known by many in the prepper community at large, but if you’re not familiar with who she is, here’s a little background, as it appears in The Prepper’s Canning Guide.

“Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting, homeschooling blogger. She writes about current events, preparedness, food, frugality, and the pursuit of liberty on her websites, The Organic Prepper and DaisyLuther.com. She is the cofounder of Preppers University, where she teaches intensive preparedness courses in a live online classroom setting.

“Daisy is also the author of The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half Price Budget, The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource, and Have Yourself a Thrifty Little Christmas and a Debt-Free New Year.”

During our conversation Daisy and I stuck mainly to the subject of canning. But as you can tell from the above paragraphs, she’s well versed in a number of other areas. Her other books and web sites are well worth your time.

 

The Prepper's Canning Guide

 

Looking Inside the Information Container

The Prepper’s Canning Guide is divided into three parts. The first few chapters cover canning basics, including how to can safely.

Part two covers…

  • Traditional canning tips and recipes
  • Jams
  • Condiments
  • Pickling
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Beans
  • Meats

Part three is about meals and the things that go with them, such as…

  • Soups and stews
  • Main dishes
  • Leftovers
  • Getting creative

You’ll find helpful tables, especially in the appendices. Fore example, you’ll need to know how to accommodate for the differences in canning times when you live in higher altitudes. The index will help you find your way through the book as well.

Tasting the Prepper Canning Guidance

I confess to ignorance when it comes to canning. That’s why I’m glad we have Daisy’s book to refer to. And I’m glad to share our conversation with you.

Why this book? Daisy says it’s because preppers have a different focus than others who can things like fancy jams.

Canning your own food calls for a more engaged attitude toward food preparation and consumption than buying ready-made storage food with a longer shelf life. Your survival pantry should be diversified. But with home canning you’re sure to make conscientious decisions about what you eat and how you rotate your food supply.

Why home canning? There are a number of good reasons to can food for your survival pantry, but one good reason is so you have control over what you eat. You know what goes into what you’ve canned. You can gear your food to meet special needs, such as sensitivity to gluten, colorings and preservatives.

You also have control over how much you set aside. For example, Daisy knows how much spaghetti sauce to can for her family.

Besides, according to Daisy, having home canned food on your shelves is the closest you can get to homemade fast food.

Plus–and this should get your attention–you’ll save money.

What’s the difference in canning methods? I asked Daisy about the difference between water bath canning and pressure canning.

Water bath canning is for high acid foods, such as fruits, pickles, tomato products, jams and jellies. Pressure canning is for all those low acid foods which call for a higher temperature. Vegetables and meats must be canned using a pressure canner.

Daisy was quick to point out the difference between a pressure canner and a pressure cooker. Without going into detail, a pressure canner is suited for canning and holds more quarts. Daisy described her choice for a pressure canner.

Another reason for using a pressure canner is to prepare foods at a high enough temperature to reduce the risk of deadly botulism poisoning.

Incidentally, during our visit and in her book Daisy explains why you don’t have to be afraid of using a pressure canner. There’s no need to worry about blowing up your house.

What if you can’t grow all you need? If you’re like most of us and aren’t able to grow all of your own food, pay attention to Daisy’s tips on going to farmers markets and getting to know local growers.

Why try to buy 100 pounds of tomatoes? Daisy cans several foods using tomatoes for her family. Chances are you’ll also want more tomatoes than you might think at first when you realize how many things you eat that call for tomatoes.

What about supplies to have on hand? Of course, jars, lids and rings. You may or may not want pectin, but you’ll need sugar and canning salt. The book goes into greater detail.

What about reusable canning lids? They’ve been marketed to preppers. But Daisy isn’t a fan. She explains why in our conversation and in her book.

What do you do when there’s no electricity? Is a wood stove adequate? Daisy uses an outdoor propane burner. Trying to can with an open fire calls for a lot of fuel and may not cook evenly or long enough to do the job.

What foods should you avoid canning? Daisy and the USDA don’t recommend canning dairy products. Daisy also says not to can starchy ingredients, including rice and noodles. Add dairy or starches at serving time. There’s more in our chat and in the book.

It’s also not wise to use much seasoning or spices. Flavors become stronger with canning. You can always add more seasoning or spice, but you can’t take it out.

What about canning leftovers? Daisy talked a little about this with me, but she says you should see her book for the details.

 

Home canned vegetables

 

Sampling More Tidbits

You’ll appreciate the many recipes throughout the book. If you’re like me, your mouth will be watering as you read.

For example, I like the idea of using fruit jams in yogurt, ice cream, or in muffins and cookies.

The chapter on condiments features recipes for relishes, salsas and various kinds of pickles. Ever thought of pickling carrots? How about beets?

You’ll discover more than one way to can apples, peaches, pears and other fruits. How about making your own fruit coctail?

You’ll want to pay attention to Daisy’s tips in the book on cleaning veggies and fruits you can, especially if they come from sources known for their use of pesticides.

You’ll be surprised by how many vegetables you can can. No need to limmit yourself to green beans and tomatoes.

However, if beans are among your favorite foods–or if you want to know how they can be–there’s a separate book chapter to help you get creative.

Digging In

Pop the lid off the jar of goodies waiting for you by listening to my conversation with Daisy Luther on DestinySurvival Radio for March 30, 2017. (Right click to download.)

If you look through The Prepper’s Canning Guide and you’re not drooling, something’s not right. Get your own copy, and you’ll see what I mean. Click on the book’s title wherever you see it linked in this post.

If you’re new to home canning, or if you need a refresher, let Daisy’s book be your guide. She also offers online classes through Preppers University. You might also check with your local extension service to see if they offer classes on canning.

Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment. Daisy has done a lot of that over the years. That’s how she’s been able to put such a variety of recipes in her book. There are things you can can which you may not have known of or thought about.

Dare I say it? (Bad pun ahead.) The Prepper’s Canning Guide will get your creative juices flowing.

And that’s a good thing because home canning is worth it now for your family and as part of your food storage strategy for the future.

 

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