Archive for the ‘Survival Reading’ Category
Enter “Prepare Magazine.” It offers hope and help to preppers and seeks to lend encouragement and helpful motivation. On yesterday’s DestinySurvival Radio I spoke with Joseph Miller, founder and chief visionary officer behind the magazine. “Prepare Magazine” is celebrating its first anniversary. While it’s had its share of growing pains, Joseph and his staff are moving forward, and you’ll want to be in on it.
The Man and the Mission
By the way, you may know Donna from Millers Grain House and Your Preparation Station on the Preparedness Radio Network. I’ve been on her show a few times, and she’s been on mine.
Joseph’s background is in community service. He served over 20 years in a not for profit organization helping families and children. Then he spent some time in the corporate world, which gave him a different kind of knowledge and training. It all worked to bring him to where he is today.
His call to prepare gave rise to his vision to start “Prepare Magazine.” Though he’d never published a magazine before, he saw a need to counter the fear and negativity often associated with preparedness. It’s his desire to publish a relevant preparedness magazine with a focus on sharing expert resources, purpose-filled training, and support and encouragement for others who are on the preparedness journey.
The Magazine and the Message
Joseph estimates they have 15,000 to 20,000 subscribers to the digital version, and they’re growing. Much of that growth has come through word of mouth and social media. The numbers are amazing, considering they’ve been around only a year. I’d say God has blessed their efforts.
The magazine won’t be overloaded with advertising. They’re selective about advertisers and want to emphasize good content. The goal is to cover a broad array of topics and themes of interest and importance to preppers, such as gardening, alternative energy, alternative health, bartering, mindset and community.
Contributors come from within the preparedness movement who write from their experience and expertise. They’re not writing about theory or regurgitating something from online.
The magazine doesn’t engage in politics. However, they are open about sharing the Christian faith and hope in Christ. They’re not heavy handed about it though.
It’s Joseph’s hope that “Prepare Magazine” will provide excellent value to subscribers. He’s sensitive to the needs of readers. It’s also his desire to help bolster community among preppers.
Find Out More
I’m a subscriber and appreciate what Joseph and his people are doing. There are other publications out there which have useful info for preppers. But for something just a little different, give “Prepare Magazine” a try. Join them as they grow, and you’ll move forward in your preparedness journey, too.
If you’re already a subscriber, why not leave a comment below and let others know how you like the magazine. Would you recommend it to other preppers? Is there something else you’d like to see the magazine cover?
Now picture this. You could plant a survival garden that you…
- Plant once in your life-time
- Takes very little space
- Grows 5 times more food per square foot
- Provides food for the next 30 years
- Never have to weed
- Never have to use fertilizers
- And never have to use pesticide– ever.
- And it’s all disguised to look like overgrown underbrush!
Rick Austin has been doing it for years and has been teaching others to garden that way. In fact, he’s written Secret Garden of Survival-How to grow a camouflaged food-forest to show you and me how to do it, too.
Who is Rick Austin?
To quote from Rick’s info, he “is a long time survival expert, and has been using sustainable living and home building practices for 30 years. He is a permaculture gardening, solar, and off-grid living expert and has been a guest speaker to architectural, agricultural, sustainable building, and survival preparedness conferences. His presentations contain real life examples, photos, and anecdotes.”
I can tell you from our interview that he’s the real deal. He’s been prepping long before prepping became fashionable.
What’s in his book?
- What Do I Know About This?
- Starting with a Clean Slate- barren or existing ground; southern exposure, slope
- Grey Water Systems- as simple as laundry, complex as man made wetland
- Swales, Irrigation, Micro-Climates- exposed rocks collect and give off heat
- Permaculture Guilds- different types, how to plant them, what to plant
- Rain Water Collection- everybody has a roof.
- Vegetable and Herb Garden- key hole garden
- Infrastructure for the Garden- how to create berms, retention ponds,
- Preparing the Ground- micro-organisms, mulch, nitrogen fixers
- Planting Your Food Forest- proper way to plant, tools,
- Observing and Improving- wet, dry, hot, cold, windy,
Natural Pest Control- deer, raccoons, rodents; fire ants, trap plants (mustard)
- Growing Through The Season- what to do beginning, middle, end of season
Bonus–What To Do After The Harvest- preserving- canning, dehydrating
What about Rick’s survival garden
Keep pests away. For example, planting onions around fruit trees keeps mice away in winter. Catnip near tomatoes keeps tomato hornworms away. Attract beneficial insects by growing plants that will attract them.
Plants are grown in concentric circles around fruit and nut trees to achieve the food forest, camouflaged look. Space is saved when you grow vines up the trees. And plants are interplanted. This is both stealth gardening and intensive gardening.
Each tree with its surrounding plants is called a guild. Trees are planted 40 feet apart, but plants growing out around each tree will take up enough space so the guilds touch one another.
Rick has about 20 fruit and nut trees. He grows as many fruits as he can for his region in North Carolina, including numerous kinds of berries. He grows grapes, too.
From their first year of gardening this way, Rick and his wife grew more fruits and vegetables than they could consume. This was all done without fertilizers or pesticides. Even Rick is amazed by how well it all works.
It takes careful planning to make this system work. You must consider the space you have and select carefully for the varieties of plants that do well in your area. Rick says the best way to get started is to get his book and follow the step by step directions. Pictures demonstrate more than many words could explain adequately. It’s his goal to make it simple to understand.
This is truly low maintenance gardening. In fact, Rick doesn’t even worry about weeds. He says the most work comes at harvest time. Fortunately, crops are harvested at different times.
But the key is to work with nature, rather than against it.
How can you find out more?
No matter where you get the book, you may want to get the paperback version so you can take notes to refer to later. And you’ll have a hard copy for the future when we find ourselves in the proverbial off grid situation.
What do you think? Does Rick Austin’s secret garden of survival sound too good to be true? Or is it the way survival gardening was meant to be? Is this something you’ll try? Would you grow this way at a bug out location? I’d love to know your thoughts in a comment below.
Alex Smith (no relation) has written a book about that called Getting Home, and it’s a DestinySurvival Amazon Pick. Alex was my guest yesterday on DestinySurvival Radio. Alex describes himself as an avid outdoorsman who enjoys hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, etc. He says he’s saved by grace, and loved by an awesome woman. How can you beat that?
It’s not a lengthy book, yet it packs in a lot of info without being overwhelming. Chapters cover…
- Creating a robust Every Day Carry (EDC) kit
- Supplementing your EDC with a Daypack (DP)
- What to store in your office (or other facility while you are away from home)
- Selecting and outfitting your vehicle
- Selecting and outfitting a Get Home Bag (GHB)
- Creating Caches
- Getting Home: Tips and Tactics for Survival
Talking About Getting Home
He’s modest in saying he’s not a professional expert. But his extensive outdoor experiences have taught him much about what’s important and what isn’t when it comes to basic survival. This translates into guidance he can give as it relates to preparedness.
Getting Home is written to help you and me tailor what we need for our specific situations. Some of us work close to home, while some drive an hour to work. What you pack in your kits is determined by your particular circumstances.
Personal health and self defense are so vital to survival that Alex put them first in his book. In a nutshell, take care of yourself, and exercise your Second Amendment right to responsibly protect yourself.
Alex says self defense isn’t about killing someone. It’s about you being able to survive. Neutralize the threat and escape. If you finish off your opponent out of bravado, you’re committing a crime.
If you’re not familiar with the various ways to carry a handgun, you’ll appreciate Alex’s info on holster options. There’s quite an array of creative carry options for both men and women. Your clothing, climate and lifestyle should be considered when you choose what’s right for you.
While Getting Home includes very good lists of what to have in your various packs, be mindful of what not to have, too. For example, if your workplace prohibits firearms, don’t get yourself in trouble over having a gun or ammo.
Don’t expect your employer or even First Responders to take care of you if you’re stuck at the office for a day or two. The same is true if you’re stranded in your vehicle. Be responsible enough to be prepared.
What if you’re stranded with your children? Should you seek help from strangers? Alex and I covered these, too.
We also discussed what it means to be the “gray man.” He emphasizes several times in his book that your pack shouldn’t be camouflage. Blend in. Don’t stand out.
Would you believe Alex suggests packing tampons and comdoms? They do have their repurposed uses for survival in extreme situations.
If you get stuck on your route back home, would family or friends know where you might be found? Have you plotted out way points or notable landmarks for point of reference?
And what’s the deal with putting an apple in your mouth if you’re confronted by a shark? There’s a bit of humor in that one. But the last chapter of Getting Home deals briefly in general terms with several myths and sets the record straight as to what you should really do to survive.
Find Out More
Order Getting Home by clicking on its image below. That takes you to the Amazon page where it’s featured. Add it to your cart to start the order process.
How well prepared are you if you’re away from home when things start popping? Share any insights you have by leaving a comment below.
You know the type. The woman who instantly knows how to turn an old pair of blue jeans into a backpack. Or the guy who takes scrap materials from all over to make an aquaponics unit.
So much of what we face as preppers calls for problem solving skills. You can spot problems easily enough. But how do you solve them when you don’t seem to have that creative instinct? Is there a way to gain much needed insights?
Maybe you’re stumped by the everyday problem of how to make a casserole to stretch what’s in the pantry for just a couple more meals. Or maybe it’s cutting expenses so there’s not always too much month at the end of the money. Perhaps it’s about making better use of limited space for your survival garden. Or it could be figuring how and where to bug out to when things start popping.
The bad news is that there are no magic formulas. And let’s admit it, not all of us can be geniuses. But I’ve come across a book that lays out some helpful guidance for those of us who want and need to be more than ordinary. What you and I need is a kind of prepper creativity.
The book is Imagine: How Creativity Works, by Jonah Lehrer, and I’m making it a DestinySurvival Amazon Pick.
It would take too long to recap how Procter and Gamble, Bob Dylan, Pixar and others have managed to make the most of creativity. But I can share a few notes and principles I gleaned from my reading of Lehrer’s book. And I hope we can each apply them to our benefit as preppers.
- Trying to force an insight can actually prevent an insight. Creative insights come when we’re in a relaxed and positive mood, without being analytical.
- Get the daily down time Gay Levy and George Ure talk about in 11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life.
- While you and I might do well while concentrating hard and focusing on a particular problem, we may not have many creative insights. Sometimes it’s best to be distracted and stop looking for the answer.
- Focusing can actually make us fixate on the wrong solution. The needed insight comes when we’ve stopped looking for it. Let the right hemisphere of your brain take over.
- Don’t be afraid to make wild connections between things that seem unrelated. Many inventions and discoveries have come about this way. Putting this into practice is called conceptual blending.
- Daydream. Your brain will be amazingly busy making connections.
- Inhibiting impulses stifles creativity.
- Ask plenty of questions. Don’t be afraid to be embarrassed. Don’t be afraid to leave the safety of your own expertise. It’s OK to display ignorance.
- Get away from everything. Travel.
- Become an outsider. Our thoughts are often shackled by the familiar. Forget yourself and what you think you know. See the project you’re working on through someone else’s eyes.
- Network and collaborate with others.
- Brainstorm with others. Engage in debate and constructive criticism. Pick apart ideas. Stimulate thinking to fix mistakes and find solutions to problems.
- Hang around smart people. Don’t let your digital connections with people online override the contacts you have with real people in the flesh.
- Don’t be discouraged by failure.
- Get inspiration from the work of others.
- Insights may come in a flash, but they may not come quickly. It takes time for the refining of thoughts and ideas.
- Persevere. Don’t give up when you’ve got a problem to solve.
- Let go. Be spontaneous. Don’t worry about perfection.
There’s no way I can do justice to Jonah Lehrer’s book. So if you’re interested in reading it, I highly recommend you get a copy for yourself. Click on its image below. That takes you to the Amazon.com page where it’s featured. Add it to your cart to start the order process.
Can you think of something creative or resourceful you’ve seen someone else do? Do you wish you’d thought of it yourself?
Or do you have insights or advice to pass along to others about how you stimulate prepper creativity? Leave a comment and pass on any little thing you know. The rest of us will be grateful.
Disaster readiness expert Jim Cobb shows you how to implement a complete plan for operational security and physical defense in his book Prepper’s Home Defense. He was my guest yesterday on DestinySurvival Radio to talk about it.
The bio in his book says he lives in the upper Midwest. So he’s not giving away secrets about his exact location. But wherever that is, he’s with his wife and three kids, which he describes as adolescent weapons of mass destruction.
This book is one that’s worth having in your survival library. Each chapter could be a book in itself. The appendices at the end contain resource lists on further reading and where to find prepping supplies.
Here are the topics he covers.
- Basic Security Concepts
- Operations Security
- Perimeter Defense
- Structure Hardening
- Safe rooms
- Secure Storage and Hidden Storage
- Other Weapons
- Hand-to-Hand Combat
- Guard Dogs
- Mutual Aid Agreements
- Children and Security
- Bugging Out
It’s Jim’s goal to inform people about the many pieces to the security puzzle. It’s not just about having firearms and ammunition. You don’t have to have a military background. And you don’t have to have a lot of money.
Jim explained the strategy to deter, delay and defend. Deter a threat by not giving anyone reason to think you’re a target. Delay by slowing down the bad guys enough so you can take action. That makes you better positioned to defend yourself.
One of the topics relevant to today, before a collapse, is structure hardening. Will your doors withstand an attempted break in?
For OP SEC, are you practicing discretion and not drawing undue attention to yourself? Are you introducing others to prepping so there will be fewer people pounding on your door when things fall apart?
Should you have a safe room? Do you have food storage and other prepping supplies first?
If you’re new to firearms or have little experience, should you get a revolver or pistol? Do you really have to have a big caliber firearm?
What weapons or tactics aren’t effective? Isn’t it better to have weapons you have experience with?
Are you practicing situational awareness? Or are you missing clues that could allow someone to attack you?
Which breed of dog makes a good family guard dog? Is a mutt from the pound suitable?
Should you tell your children that your prepping is secret or private? What should you tell your children to do if they get lost?
How do you connect with other preppers? Could there be more of them out there than you realize?
Get a copy of Jim’s book by clicking on its image below. You’ll be taken to the Amazon.com page where it’s featured. Add it to your cart to start the order process. By the way, it’s a DestinySurvival Amazon Pick.
But keep reading below because you might win a copy for yourself.
I gave away a LifeStraw personal water filtration system, courtesy of EarthEasy.com. Knowing most of my listeners hear the podcast rather than the live show, I was looking for the first person who sent me an e-mail before the 19th with “LifeStraw” in the subject line. I made this giveaway as simple as possible because I’ve had trouble with contests announced during my show.
This time things were different, and I had a winner right away. She’s Anna
from Silicon Valley, CA, who e-mailed me while the show was still airing live. I discovered her entry when I finished the show.
I gave readers a chance to win a prize, too. Between December 14th and the 19th, anyone who left a comment on this post was entered to win a copy of Prepper’s Home Defense. My first winner didn’t claim her prize, so I reopened the contest until December 30th.
Here’s how I picked the winner. Ten different people (not counting myself) left comments on this post during the contest. I used www.random.org to generate a random number from 1 through 10 The number generator kicked out 2.
Angel B. was the second person to leave a comment, so she wins the book. Congratulations Angel.
My thanks to everyone who entered the contest.
My thanks to Ulysses Press for making the book available to give to you. I’m grateful they put me in touch with Jim Cobb as well. He’ll be on DestinySurvival Radio again in a few weeks, and we’ll talk more about Prepper’s Home Defense and related things.
You’re invited to leave a comment, even though the contest is over now. Any thoughts on what you’ve read in this post? How about something you heard on the show?
But what about the disruption to society and the economy which the Internet itself has already caused? There’s a bigger picture than the one you and I see every day as we surf online, do our banking, order from Amazon, do Facebook, Twitter, or whatever. The Internet has become a seemingly indispensable part of our social fabric.
George Ure, author of Broken Web: The Coming Collapse of the Internet, talked about these notions yesterday on DestinySurvival Radio. Before the show, Steve, the producer, asked me if George was the author of How to Live on $10,000 a year – or less. Yes, he is, and he’s working on an updated edition for 2013. But his current book–and related topics–dominated our conversation yesterday.
Curious About George
He has been a big city radio news director, international airline vice president, college president, software strategist and accomplished sailor. He has an MBA and multiple competencies in flying, sailing, construction, farming, and research.
George takes preparedness seriously and is a drop-out from “big city life.” He now lives with his wife Elaine on a secluded 29-acre ranch in East Texas which features solar panels, a well, a garden and shooting range.
This is important because, as I’ve said numerous times before, we need to know what’s going on in our world. It’s because of that crazy world that we’re prepping, isn’t it?
While George tackles technical issues, I don’t think you’ll get baffled. However, if you miss some of the technical info, you’ll still come away with the overarching concepts he shares. I appreciate his historical perspective. Have we created our own worst nightmare? You’ll get caught up in his book as you read.
Issues he tackles include…
- Economics, globalism and socioeconomic changes
- Surveilence and its dangers
- Viruses, worms and other malware
- Cyber war and terrorism
- Systemic vulnerabilities, including EMP threats
- What the future might look like, including 3D printers and desktop manufacturing
- Limits of complexity
- A few solutions for you and me
- Planning for life without the Internet
- …and more
Our chat About Big Ideas
But the problems with Y2K were largely programming and software issues. We face greater, more complex threats today.
One such threat is electromagnetic pulse (EMP). What if it comes from nuclear attack? Or what if it comes in a different form from intense solar activity? Either way, when it’s over and batteries and generators run out of fuel, life will be much different–maybe like the 1800′s.
What’s the greatest threat to the Internet? Could it be a terrorist attack? Or will people back away from the Web because it’s no longer seen as useful or productive? Will people get tired of being spied on by marketers, employers and the government?
Is there an Internet “kill switch?” Why might such a thing be activated? What might happen if it’s used?
Are we too hooked on what George calls “digital cocaine?” Have we become mentally imbalanced? What’s happened to our relationships and morals? Does everything follow a business model of some kind now?
The impact on the labor force is huge. We’ve imported so many jobs overseas because so much can be done online from places like India. And what has been the impact of robotics?
The nature of work has changed. One example is photographs–taking them and distributing them. George and I reminisced about that a few minutes.
Other large questions come to mind. What has happened to the quality of information and news we get when everybody’s broadcasting events to the world by using their smart phones? What about copyright laws and intellectual property infringement?
The Internet has changed our language and how we use words. Can following such changes predict the future?
And in that future, do you have the necessary job skills to survive? What changes will you need to make to your lifestyle to develop and use those skills?
Hear my whole interview with George Ure when you listen to DestinySurvival Radio for December 6, 2012. You get a bonus half hour because we were given the luxury of extending the show. I applaud George for holding forth in spite of recovering from the flu. He’ll be a guest again in the future because there’s so much more to talk about.
George’s book Broken Web is a DestinySurvival Amazon Pick. He says it’s only meant for people who use the Internet. If you’re reading this, then his book must be for you.
To get your copy, click on its image below. You’ll be taken to the Amazon.com page where it’s featured. Add it to your cart to start the order process. It’s a Kindle e-book, but remember, if you don’t have a Kindle, get Kindle for PC free from Amazon.
I’m interested in your comments. Are you preparing for the day when the Internet won’t be around? Or do you hold a more optimistic outlook?