Are You Ready for Hunting?

sniper-1194303_1280Tis the season hunters all across the country are gearing up and heading off into the forest or wilderness to do a little hunting. Hunting for ducks, elk, deer and so on is a family tradition for many. It is a way to bond with friends and family as you skulk through the woods, looking for an animal to take. In today’s world, you need a license and a tag to take your catch home. You spend a lot of money gearing up for your hunting expedition. You only have a small window and it is important you take advantage of the fancy gear and equipment to make sure you don’t go home empty handed.

Hunting in today’s world is cushy compared to what it will be like when hunting is how you put food on the table. When there are no grocery stores to pick up the slack, you have to be prepared to take an animal every time. You will be hunting more than once a year and while it may still be a sport, it is going to be very serious business.

You need to have supplies tucked away for hunting. Sure, you can rough it and you can hunt without a lot of the little luxuries that are available today, but why should you have to if you don’t need to? Plus, if you have never hunted the old-fashioned way, you are going to struggle without your gadgets.hunter-67002_1280

Some things you can add to your stockpile that will make hunting a little easier and possibly successful (depending on who you ask).

*Camouflage—waterproof is best

*Hunting knife

*Bone saw for processing what you harvest

*Dragging gear—makes it a lot easier to get large animals back to camp

*Hunting pack

*Gun with plenty of ammunition—rifles tend to be the weapon of choice

*Bow and arrows

*Calls—duck, deer or whatever you are hunting

You may be a hunter that really depends on the scents used to lure in animals or the descenting products that are meant to mask your smell. If you use these things and have had success, it would be a good idea to add some to your stockpile. Hunting is a lot like cooking. Everyone has their own style and personal preferences. It doesn’t matter what you do or don’t do. All that matters is that you are successful. Don’t worry about other hunters shaming you for using various tools. If they work, that is what counts and your family will be fed.

Preparing for High Winds

tree-14340_1280Strong winds can be a nuisance as well as a life-threatening, potentially devastating situation for many. For people who live in rural areas, a strong windstorm can disrupt their lives for days, weeks and in some situations, months after the storm blows through. Downed power lines are obviously a major issue, but it can be so much more than that. For those who have homesteads, your entire life gets tossed around when those winds tear through. Barns, gardens and even livestock can be severely impacted after a windstorm.

Strong winds are unlike any other seasonal storms. You can get a windstorm any season. Usually, the winds are accompanied by either snow, rain, hail or even lightning. In any scenario, it is a recipe for disaster. The winds can destroy buildings by blowing off roofs or dropping trees and other debris on top of the structures. There is little you can do in the moment, which means a home being flooded and all of the supplies and furnishings inside being damaged or destroyed.key-west-86025_1280

As part of your preparations, it is important to prepare for strong winds, no matter where you live. It is a fact the weather is getting more extreme. New records are being established all around the world. It is best to prepare for anything and hope for the best.

Fortunately, our weather forecasters can give us an idea of when a windstorm is headed our way, which gives you hours, if not days to prepare. The following list includes some of the things you will want to do to get ready for a serious windstorm.

*Take a walk around your property and cut down any dead tree limbs that will likely turn into missiles in a windstorm. Cut heavy branches that could fall and hit your home or any other outbuildings.

*Take a few minutes to inspect your roof. Tighten down loose shingles now. If you have a metal roof, make sure it is all secure.

*Put lawn furniture in the garage or tie it down. It takes very little to blow chairs and tables across the patio and possibly right through glass windows and doors.

*Secure any livestock fencing. A downed fence could spell disaster if your animals get out.

*Prepare for an extended power outage. Have flashlights, generator and water on standby.

*Close the blinds or curtains on the windows if you don’t have shutters. This can help prevent glass from being blown inside if the windows are struck by flying debris.

Don’t let the next windstorm take you by surprise. Be ready, just in case the storm turns into a record-setting event.

When Your Preps are Threatened

thunderstorm-567678_640We have all experienced the wrath of Mother Nature on some scale at one time or another. She can be a violent, temperamental beast and strike without warning. In some cases, we are fortunate enough to get a little inkling of what she is up to thanks to modern technology and various imaging tools. This week, it is Hurricane Matthew storming across the Atlantic and wreaking havoc as it goes.

For preppers along the south eastern coastline, it has to make you a little worried for your stockpile. For those not in the direct path of the hurricane, it should make you think a little harder about how you will secure your own stockpile in case a natural disaster heads your way. What happens if you have to evacuate? Do you have a backup plan?

Your stockpile is meant to be used in the case of a natural disaster, like a hurricane, so you need to make sure it will weather the storm with you. That means you need to do everything you can to make sure your stockpile is safe from the weather.

  • Store your food in 5-gallon buckets with lids that lock on tight. This will help protect your food from any water damage that may happen in a flood. If your roof is damaged in a hurricane, the buckets will keep your food dry.
  • Secure your shelving units to the wall with anchors. You don’t want your shelves to fall forward, possibly popping the lids off buckets, bursting cans or breaking jars.
  • Add a piece of 1×2 or a thick rope across your shelves to keep things from sliding off if there is an earthquake or even strong enough winds. If your home is seriously damaged, you want the majority of your supplies to be okay.hurricane-67581_640
  • Put your food storage somewhere that is fairly secure and well-supported. If you are using a root cellar or basement, make sure major flooding won’t be an issue. This applies to underground shelters as well. If it is in a spare room, put plywood over the windows, just in case the glass breaks.
  • If you can, put a tarp over your shelves stocked with food and secure with ropes or bungee cords. This is just another layer of protection for your supplies. It may also make it easier to find if you need to dig through the rubble.

While you can’t control Mother Nature, you can take steps to protect your investment. If you weren’t able to evacuate and an area is hard hit, you are going to need those supplies They will be extremely valuable. Every layer of protection you add will help.


Why Cover Crops are Important for Homesteaders

agriculture-87581_1280Preparing to live in a world that has been devastated by a natural disaster, war or an economic collapse means you need to be self-sustainable. Right now, you may have a good size survival garden and some livestock. You are probably feeling pretty good about your situation—and you should. You are almost there. If you have acres and acres of land available for your livestock to graze on, you probably aren’t too worried about feeding them when you can’t run to the feed store or to Farmer Joe down the road to buy hay. For those, who have limited land available, you need to grow food for your animals as well as your family.

One way you can keep food growing all year is by planting cover crops. Cover crops are a common practice for large farming operations because they help build up the soil. The roots are putting nutrients into the soil. This is an excellent way to help soil that isn’t quite ready for planting a full garden. Growing things alfalfa and clover will feed your livestock while preparing your soil for the following year’s garden. It is often referred to as green manure.clover-828698_1280

You will also help minimize weed growth over the fall and winter. This will save you a lot of time and trouble in the spring when you need to prepare your fields for planting. The soil will also be protected from hardening over the winter. Again, less work when it comes to spring planting.

What you grow is up to you. You will need to pick things that will survive the winter. If your goal is to feed livestock, stick with clover, which is very hardy. Throw out clover and alfalfa seeds in areas you will have your animals graze on as well. This will provide them with plenty of food the following year. Make sure you save seeds so you can start the process all over next fall.

Harvesting and Storing Your Survival Garden Seeds

pea-1205673_1280With harvest wrapping up, it is time to start preserving your fruits and veggies. When you are going through the preservation process, make sure you save the seeds. Hopefully, you used heirloom seeds to plant and are now going to be reaping the joys of your hard work in buying the right seeds. All the stuff you would normally toss to the livestock during your preservation process needs to be gone through so you can pick out the seeds. Those seeds need to be dried and stored to use next year and the following years.

Storing heirloom seeds the right way is important in order to ensure they are going to be viable for years to come. If you bought heirloom seeds or a survival seed package, they need to be stored properly. Don’t waste your time and money buying seeds and then not taking the time to stash them away so they are going to be useful.

If you are going to dry your own, make sure you dry them thoroughly. Leave them in a sunny window for a couple of weeks, turning them every few days so they can dry evenly. Spreading them on a cookie sheet is one way to keep them in place while they dry.seeds

Once the seeds are completely dry, you will want to put them either in a Mason jar or plastic bags. Add a silica gel packet to the container to absorb any leftover moisture. Store the seeds in the back of the pantry. If you can store them in the refrigerator or freezer that will work too. If you are going to store them in the fridge, put the container inside a paper bag to block the light from the refrigerator.

You can keep seeds for several years or more and they will remain viable. You may lose some viability, but storing a lot of seed ensures you will still have crops and those crops will produce more seeds.

An Emergency Blanket is More than Just a Blanket

wilderness survival kitEvery bug out checklist you find or stockpile checklist you come across will have a survival blanket or what are sometimes referred to as emergency blankets or Mylar blankets on the list. If you have ever gotten your hands on one of these and opened up the tiny, wallet-size packages, you may be wondering what all the fuss is. Like, how is that thin, fragile piece of shiny material going to save your life.

It really can. Despite it’s relatively fragile condition, it is extremely useful and effective at keeping you warm. Keep in mind; not all emergency blankets are created equal. There are some that are incredibly thin and they will shred with just the slightest tug. Because these are such a vital part of your bug out bag and survival, it is worth it to spend a couple extra bucks and buy the good ones rather than to go cheap. Have at least one quality blanket in your bag and a few of the lesser-quality ones to use for purposes other than covering your body.

What other purposes? Well, there are many, many ways you can use those blankets in a survival situation.bug out bag

1. Place a blanket behind a fire so the heat reflects back on you or into your shelter.
2. Use a blanket to signal for help.
3. Use the blanket to make a lean-to.
4. Use a blanket to put over the top of your A-frame shelter.
5. As a poncho to help keep you dry.
6. Make a sling for an injured arm.
7. Cover a window with a blanket to stop drafts.
8. Use a blanket as a barrier between you and the cold ground.
9. Braid strips of a blanket together to form cordage.
10. Tear shreds of a blanket to mark trails if you have to go out hunting or foraging.

There are plenty of more uses for the blankets. You may not even know you can use it for something until you are in the moment. Buy the blankets in bulk. Once you have opened them, you are never going to get them back down to the size of a credit card. They are flimsy and they will tear. Have several in your pack just to be on the safe side.

Preparing to Fight Your Own Fires After a Disaster

fire-175966_1280One thing many of us takes for granted today is the ability to call 9-1-1 and get help with whatever serious problem we are dealing with. One of the services we rarely think about is the fire department. Hopefully, you haven’t had to call them at any point, but if you have, you are probably very grateful for their quick response in saving your home or putting out a fire that threatens your property or life.

Now, think about what would happen after a major disaster. If the fire department is still functioning, they are going to be stretched thin. You may call for help, but they may simply not have the resources to get there. They have to decide what is more important; your home or whatever it is they are focusing their efforts on at the moment. You are on your own.

As with anything, the best defense is a good offense, especially in fire fighting. Do what you can to eliminate fire hazards around your home. Make sure you have plenty of working smoke detectors that will give you early warning of a fire. A fire that has spread to several rooms or even consumed a single room is going to be a huge problem and very difficult to stop with your limited

If you are in a rural area, create defensible space around your home, just in case of a wildfire. Cut back tree limbs and keep the area directly around your home green or make it rocks. If you are surrounded by fields, it will be especially important you have defensible space. Having a metal roof will certainly improve the odds of you saving your home in a wildfire if it is embers that are the issue.

Have plenty of fire extinguishers at the ready and know how to use them. Have them in the house, the garage, the car and in your barn. You won’t have time to run here or there to track down a fire extinguishers. It is also a good idea to have a manual hand pump for your well, just in case the power is out and your well pump is out.

Learn how to extinguish small grease fires in the kitchen before they become raging infernos. Keep flour on hand in the kitchen or near your outdoor grill to quickly put out a grease fire. Make sure everyone in the house knows your evacuation plan in case of a fire.

Remember, nothing in your home is more valuable than your life, not even your stockpile. Get out if you can’t put the fire out. Don’t try to tackle a fire that is already roaring. Be vigilant and do what you can to prevent fires in the first place.

Is La Nina a Legit Threat?

hurricane-67581_640If you live anywhere on the west side of the United States, you have probably heard a lot about La Nina. La Nina is a mean witch who is threatening to dump boat loads of snow on parts of the country. If you live on the east coast, you have also heard about La Nina. The southeast may get more violent hurricanes with this change in weather patterns. Basically, it is a real threat that everyone needs to prepare for. The entire world will experience some extreme weather, good and bad.

People who live in the northern parts of the country expect snow, but extreme snow is rare. Snow in the north is a part of life. However, no matter how much you expect it, when Mother Nature dumps more than 96 inches of snow in a matter of weeks, it is going to cause some problems. It has been almost 10 years since the last La Nina. For those that remember, it was an excellent year for the ski resorts in the northwest and parts of Utah and Colorado. This winter seems to be shaping up that way as well.snow WV

Are you ready?

If you live in an area that is likely to get a great deal of snow, you need to start preparing for the worst now. Don’t wait until it happens. That will leave you scrambling to get your hands on what you need because all of the other procrastinators took it all. Do what you can to start getting what you need now. The following list includes some of the things you will likely need.

This list is certainly not comprehensive, but it will get you off to a good start. If you have the ability to budget a new generator, snow blower or even a plow, go for it. You can never be too prepared. Don’t wait until you are buried under several feet of snow to figure out you need something like a good, sturdy snow shovel.

Stepping Up Your Medical Prepping Supplies

first aidEvery prepper has a basic first aid kit at the very minimum stashed away somewhere. Then there are those who have upped their stockpiles to include several sizes and boxes of bandages and what not. They realize that a single injury is not likely. After a major disaster, there are going to be numerous injuries and a wound will require daily bandage changes for weeks. One injury will deplete the basic first aid supplies the average prepper keeps on hand.

You need to up your game if you are truly serious about taking care of your family for the long term. Injuries can be minor or severe. A serious injury doesn’t necessarily mean death. You just need to learn some basic medical procedures like suturing, setting broken bones and reducing dislocations. Having the appropriate medical equipment will be the key to taking care of those serious, but not necessarily life-threatening injuries.

Along with really upping your supply of standard bandages, medical tape and gloves, considering adding the following items to your medical supplies.first-aid-kit-59645_640

  • Skin stapler—much quicker and easier than suturing
  • Suture kits—have a variety of needle sizes that are already threaded and ready for use
  • Tactical Cric Kit—if you need to make an emergency airway for someone, you will want this
  • QuikClot or hemostatic gauze
  • Scalpels in varying sizes
  • Israeli bandage—this is an excellent tool to use if you have a wound that needs direct pressure and you are all alone
  • Surgical drapes–needed to create a sterile field

While these things may seem a little scary, you can learn how to use them. When you are in a dire situation where a person will die if you don’t do something, these tools will give you the best shot at saving lives.

Bug Out Vehicles? Necessity or a Waste of Time?

all-terrain-vehicle-1351034_960_720Preppers are all about bugging out when it hits the fan. Nobody wants to stick around and see what kind of mess a major natural disaster, terrorist attack or the effects of a power grid failure will have. Getting out of dodge is the goal. It gives you the best advantage in the survival game. Sticking around in the middle of a city or busy suburb puts you at risk of encountering other survivors. Sadly, the majority of survivors will not be all that friendly. Those that managed to live through the initial disaster are going to be desperate. They want what you, the smart, savvy prepper, has.

When you think about bugging out, you assume it is you and the family carrying backpacks and hoofing it for 20 or 30 miles out of town. Have you ever actually walked 20 miles? What about 5 miles? It is tough. It is even tougher if the terrain is rough and you are carrying a heavy pack. For some folks, they may need to go at least 60 miles to get out of the city and into the forest where they will seek shelter.

That is a hard day’s work. There is also the issue that walking takes time. You are at an increased risk of being seen. You could be captured, injured or forced to fight. You will be outside in the elements for several days. If there isn’t a source of water on your journey, you risk dehydration. This is why many preppers are investing in a bug out

A bug out vehicle is one that is tough enough to go off road. It is big enough to carry you and your family and the supplies you need to survive. It doesn’t have to be pretty, but it should be reliable. Check out some of the other things you should look for in a bug out vehicle.

  • Four-wheel drive
  • Slightly raised to give you better clearance
  • Durable
  • Bully bars will protect the radiator when you need to push through objects
  • Light rack for additional lighting
  • Winch—just in case you get stuck

You don’t have to have a new truck or jeep. It can be one that is old and beat up that you can customize. In fact, older vehicles that don’t rely on computers are ideal because they will not be disabled should the disaster you are dealing with is an EMP from a nuclear detonation or a solar flare. A bug out vehicle is one of those things you should consider budgeting for. It will make things easier when it is time to bug out.