Traditional Hardtack and Improved Hardtack

Hardtack isn’t appealing to most of us. But it has been a survival staple in times past for sailors and pioneers.

Watch as a man makes his version of improved hard tack and traditional hard tack. He proposes it’s good food to give to those on their way to FEMA camps.

 

 

A Few Thoughts on Fireworks and Surviving Tyranny

One early July evening my son was flipping through TV channels and came across a fireworks display on one of the PBS channels. That’s as much as I care to see of any Fourth of July fireworks.

In recent years I’ve had to wear ear protection at public fireworks displays. The sudden loud noises bother my ears, and the bright light bothers my eyes. Call it a consequence of growing older I suppose.

Besides that, Fourth of July fireworks displays are virtually meaningless. We presumably commemorate our country’s Revolutionary War and the resulting independence from England, but it’s pointless when you consider the ever increasing tyranny we’re living under these days.

Fireworks are nothing more than an expensive light show. Therefore, it makes no difference to me that, due to the state of the economy, some towns have decided paying the expense for a fireworks display isn’t something they can do any longer.

On the Fourth of July I appreciate National Public radio’s annual reading of the Declaration of Independence. Few people talk about this momentous document. They’ll talk a lot about the Constitution, which some call a “living” document. I don’t think they want the Declaration of Independence to live—at least not the spirit behind it.

Take a few minutes and click here to read the Declaration of Independence. You may see striking parallels to today. Namely, we’re living under a government that’s not responsive to the people it claims to serve.

Those who claim we should hold our representatives in Washington accountable don’t get it. The talk that says our government is there to serve us and that they are our employees is “feel good” rhetoric. Where is that really getting us?

If you think we can still turn America around, even a little bit, then consider a couple of questions.

When is the last time you wrote your Congressman and knew it did any good? As for voting the rascals out, when is the last time we held a trustworthy election in this country?

What’s the solution? I don’t think there is a good one. If you’re focusing on survival and prepping, you’re thinking more individualistically and less collectively than the masses. I’d simply say keep prepping and be ready to survive whatever comes our way.

Keep thinking about your own survival, regardless of whether the country survives or not. For centuries throughout history people have survived political oppression and upheaval, not to mention various natural disasters. Will you be one of them?

If pondering these things makes you hot under the collar, check out Don’t Worry About Government and Dash for the Timber. Both present a uniquely Christian viewpoint on a response to tyranny.

You may also want to view Survival and the Necessity of Independence.

Final Report?

Editor’s Note: When I first started DestinySurvival in late 2007, I wrote a number of posts as creative fiction with the aim of making thought provoking points to nudge readers toward preparedness. Below is one such piece, slightly revised and brought forward for your consideration. – John

* * * * *

It was a Saturday afternoon at a local fast food joint where Survival Sam, Duane and I were having lunch.

“I saw a headline that made me laugh,” said Duane. “It said ‘Experts to Complete Final Climate Report.’ Now, in my humble, but usually correct opinion, it should have read ‘Experts to Complete Final Draft of Report on Climate.’”

“What was it about,” I asked.

“Oh, some committee was working on a U.N. report about global warming,” Duane said.

“What made you laugh,” Sam asked.

“Well, guys, think about it. I mean, really! Final report? Are they serious? Did the author of that headline know what he or she was saying? Then it dawned on me. What if he does, and it really is the final climate report.”

Duane’s voice was going up in volume and pitch as he waved his burger around. “I mean the very last one ever? It just made me laugh, that’s all. The absurdity of it all..”

“But nobody could really know that the report they were writing was absolutely the last one, unless they knew for sure when the world would end,” I said.

“That’s what I mean,” said Duane. “Nobody but God knows that, in spite of the claims of some to the contrary over the years.”

“That’s just the problem, isn’t it?” asked Sam, setting down his cup of coffee. “We live in uncertain times.”

“Yeah, but people have been saying that for decades, even centuries, Sam,” Duane said. “Still, things go on.”

“These days though it’s truer than ever,” Sam said. Nothing is final. So many things go unresolved. Take former Israeli Prime Minister Sharon, for example. Remember him? Look how many years he lay in a coma before he was officially declared dead.”

Duane and I both just shrugged.

“Here’s another one. Will the U.S. ever attack Iran? They’ve contrived excuses to do so for years, deals notwithstanding. Nothing is conclusive.”

“I see what you mean,” I said. “It makes me think of how it is that scientists and economists always need more data.”

“You’re right on, guys,” said duane. “But where is this going?”

“It goes even further,” Sam continued. “Political correctness rules these days. So many people are afraid to take a stand for fear of being labeled extremists, so they prefer the extreme center.” He smiled at his own joke.

“You’re painting yourself in a corner here, Sam,” said Duane. “You talk like there will never be certainty. What do we do to prepare for anything if everything’s so uncertain?”

“None of us knows what’s going to happen from day to day,” Sam said. “The older we each get, the more we should grow to appreciate what it means to live one day at a time.”

“Now there’s an old cliche I’ve heard since I was knee high to a grasshopper.” Duane shoved a French fry into his mouth.

“But it’s true,” Sam continued. “If we’re wise at all, we operate on a certain set of assumptions about our daily lives. For instance, we buy a certain amount of groceries to last a week or a month. We put money in savings or retirement accounts. We fill up the gas tank of whatever vehicle we drive. We make doctor’s appointments. On and on it goes. We take certain action in the midst of uncertainty.”

“Yeah, so?” said Duane. “That’s just life.”

“That’s exactly my point. When it comes to preparedness, all I’m urging you to do is to start developing skills and buying the goods geared toward survival for you and your loved ones. There is a future, regardless of what it may hold. Face that future, and take certain meaningful action in the midst of today’s uncertainty. Your tomorrow may depend on it. And that’s for certain.”

Not Enough Jobs to Survive On?

Perhaps you’ve mulled over the notion that globalization and cut-throat corporatism has led to loss of jobs, and those jobs aren’t coming back. Whether you agree with it or not, get used to it because this is the new norm.

No amount of promises from politicians can undo what’s been done for decades to America’s job prospects.

As if this isn’t pessimistic enough, maybe you’ve also heard the idea that there aren’t enough jobs to go around.

Who says? Are jobs a finite quantity? Only so many, and that’s it?

To overuse a worn out cliché, can’t we think outside the box? Why can’t we create our own jobs? Am I being idealistic or naive?

If I worked at it, I could write an analytical article describing how we’re being enslaved, forced into serfdom, etc., but what good would it do?

Why complain about the state of our sick world? If you’re prepping, you’re already at some level of awareness and are taking steps to improve your own situation.

It could be you want to get prepared, but you don’t have money to get the storage food or other survival supplies you’d really like to have. Maybe you’re struggling to make ends meet. Maybe you’re out of a job already.

Don’t give up. Tiptoe toward preparedness.

Many people have started their own businesses. Perhaps you’re among them.

More and more sites have popped up about living a more frugal and self reliant lifestyle. Swapping and bartering are on the rise. I suspect the underground economy is growing. Those in power know that, too, and are pushing us toward a cashless society to keep better control over us.

Some communities are doing innovative things, such as creating local money and putting their own value on goods and services. Ithaca Hours is one example. If you’re curious, search online for info about time banks.

I applaud these efforts. Wisely, we’re rethinking the work we do and what is of value. Let’s keep at it.

How can we pave the way for survival in the new norm? Why should we believe there aren’t enough jobs to go around?

 

Thoughts on Prepping, Procrastination and Perfectionism

I don’t like to think of myself as a procrastinator, but I do it more than I’m comfortable with. A friend calls my procrastination dithering because I’m indecisive and I put off what I know I should do.

There is a connection to prepping, so bear with me for a minute.

I’ve heard writers say they can stare at their computer screen for hours before writing anything. I can’t do that. After a few minutes I get up and do something else.

What I’m contemplating may roll around in my head for a while. Or maybe I divert myself and put it out of mental reach. I can come back later with fresh perspective.

Then later I realize I didn’t get a blog post written. But it’s easy to justify it because I can say, “Well, I was gardening, and that has to be done sometime.” Or maybe I was messing with computer code to update an ad here at DestinySurvival, and that needs to be done, too.

The point is, it’s easy to rationalize why I haven’t done something, while staying busy and seemingly productive at the same time.

Someone has called this tactic productive procrastination.

Can you relate to this, particularly as it relates to preparedness? Maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed by all that needs to be done or how much money it will cost to buy a year’s supply of storage food. So you do other things and put it out of your mind.

Would you believe it if I said you might be a perfectionist? At least in this one area. But if you’re waiting for X amount of dollars or enough time to devote to a given task, it will never happen.

An Internet marketing mentor I once knew said “Perfectionism kills.” When it comes to prepping, he may be right–literally.

Perfectionism can lead to procrastination, and procrastination can lead to paralysis. And if you do nothing…

It’s time to let yourself be imperfect and take one little step at a time. Don’t worry about making mistakes. Anything you do now is better than nothing.

OK, so you can’t afford a year’s supply of long term storage food right now. Can you add a few small items and slowly build your survival pantry? Can you buy a couple packages of dry soup mix or a bag of navy beans when you go grocery shopping next time?

Sure you can.

What about finances? If you’re digging out of debt, you don’t think you have any money to spare. Believe me, I know the feeling. But can you focus in on something as small as putting $10 in a savings account each paycheck? Don’t have ice cream cones at McDonald’s as often with the kids.

In a few weeks you’ll have enough set aside to buy a good LED flashlight or a weather radio to put with your survival supplies.

You can do this. Set aside your anxiety and self doubt. Take baby steps. Keep your goals small and attainable. Don’t worry if you don’t reach even a small goal. Try again or focus on something else within reach. This means changing or lowering your expectations. That’s OK.

Our lives must be lived in less than perfect circumstances. It may be hard to accept, but it’s true. If there’s a disaster or major disruption to life as we know it, you’ll look back longingly and wish for today with all its present imperfections.

That’s why you’re better off taking small actions now. It’s the way to add a little stability to an uncertain tomorrow.

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. – Ephesians 5:15-16, words of the Apostle Paul, Holy Bible, King James Version

 

A Few General Reflections on Preparedness in an Insane World

Have you noticed how many things reported in the news don’t directly affect you and me? Does what’s going on in the Middle East today affect what you’re doing now? What about what goes on in Congress or with political candidates?

Sure, the fallout from weightier matters could have an impact on us. That’s why it’s a good idea to know what’s going on in the world. I’m not suggesting we ignore current events.

On the other hand, gardener and author Ruth Stout didn’t mind missing the newspaper for a few days. What did it report which had anything to do with what she grew in her heavily mulched garden? The plants didn’t care.

If much of what we’re told matters doesn’t matter, then those who are big into sports and the latest iPhone app aren’t so bad off are they? Ignorance is bliss, right?

Of course, unlike you, such people aren’t into preparedness and won’t survive when things collapse. There will be lots of them, and they’ll find out too late what should have mattered.

OK, let’s say you’re fired up about a given issue or two. If you’re tempted to be an activist, when push comes to shove, you’d be better off if you set aside storage food and extra supplies than you would if you write your Congressman in an attempt to straighten out the country.

An old saying says charity begins at home. If your cupboards are bare, you’re no good to yourself and those around you, let alone the country.

When I write these posts on DestinySurvival, I don’t focus much on current events. I think of the late Paul Harvey who started his “Rest of the Story” broadcasts by saying, “You know what the news is…”

I figure you know enough about what’s going on to know it’s time to prepare for survival. You know it’s time to be ready, whether it’s for a deepening economic crisis or natural disasters.

When you’re preparing, you’re not playing games. You believe you have a purpose in life and a will to live and beat the odds against you.

Keep in mind that, no matter what happens, you and I can’t function in a perpetually heightened state of fear. Our state of emotion must be tempered with wisdom and action. Stay the course. Think survival.

One more thought. Since I first started this site in late 2007, it’s been my belief that nothing happens by coincidence. It’s our destiny to meet here about preparedness and survival. Thus, the name DestinySurvival.

Whether you’re new or have been reading these posts a while, thank you for being here. Thanks to those of you who have purchased products and services through DestinySurvival. It keeps this site–and DestinySurvival Radio–going.

And it’s my hope that what you find here will literally keep you going.

Have a great day. And keepp prepping.

 

Life After the Generator

Powerful storms prompt many of us to think about getting a generator, if we don’t already have one. But is that enough? What if the power is out for weeks or months?

In “Backwoods Home Magazine” for January/February, 2016 (Issue #157), Jeff Yago offers good advice on solar power alternatives. Check out the article exerpt below, then click on the link to read the entire piece.

Generators alone are not enough

By Jeff Yago, P.E., CEM

When talking to fellow preppers at self-reliance expos across the country, I am always impressed by how many already have long-term food supplies, stored water, medical supplies, an emergency radio, guns, ammunition, alternative cook stove, fire starting materials, and bug-out bags. However, as soon as the conversation turns to emergency power it’s apparent they are totally relying on a backup generator.

Most believe their portable generator solves the problem — end of story. But what happens if the generator fails or the power outage lasts longer than their fuel supply? Most residential-size generators are not designed for an extended power outage and their warranty usually indicates a runtime in hours per year, not months. Even larger whole-house generators have runtime limitations, not to mention the ability to drain a 500-gallon tank of propane in a week of continuous operation. Parts of Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina and Long Island after Hurricane Sandy were without power for months, not weeks. Can your emergency backup plan meet a utility outage lasting this long? Perhaps it’s time to reassess.


Read the whole article here:
http://www.backwoodshome.com/generators-alone-are-not-enough-by-jeff-yago-p-e-cem/

Excerpt used with permission of Backwoods Home Magazine.
http://www.backwoodshome.com 1-800-835-2418.

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