Prepper Gardening During a Drought

self-sufficient gardensWith droughts gripping a large portion of the nation, preppers are struggling to keep their gardens green and growing. A prepper garden plays a pivotal role in establishing a food storage. Without a garden, you are forced to rely on the grocery stores and pay ridiculous prices. It is only going to get worse considering many of the farms that supply that grocery stores are caught in the nasty droughts as well.

Preppers can keep their garden going by changing up the way they do things. Even the oldest dogs (preppers) can learn new tricks. These tricks will come in handy when the tap is dry and watering your survival garden isn’t as easy as turning on the faucet.

1-Put in a serious effort to keep the weeds down and away from your plant base. Weeds are water hogs and the little water your garden does get will be stolen by the weeds who are just as thirst as your plants.

2-Use pine needles, dead leaves, compost and even old newspaper around the base of your plants to keep the ground moist. The sun bakes the earth and evaporates the water quicker than your plant roots’ can absorb it.

3-Use soaker hoses or make your own out of an old garden hose. Poke a few holes along the defunct hose and lay it on the ground. The water will go right to the roots and not spray out and evaporate before it ever hits the ground.

4-Don’t waste water by over-watering. Set a timer or pay attention to the clock. Typically, 15 to 20 minutes is plenty of water for your veggies.drought-84611_640

5-Obviously, only water during the early morning hours or late at night. If you are a night owl, water throughout the night. Take advantage of the sun being down and it’s evaporating rays put away for the night.

Keeping your garden watered will help you control the bug population as well. When your plants are weak and thirsty, they are prone to disease and pests. Have you ever seen a lot of grasshoppers in a lush, green area? Not so much. They thrive in the dry areas.

Prepping for Summer Vacation Season

family-591579_640With summer weather, families everywhere are hopping in the car and heading out for a nice family vacation. Preppers are leaving behind the bulk of their supplies and enjoying everything life has to offer today. That is a good idea. There is no point in dwelling on all the what if possibilities and disaster scenarios. You need to get out there and enjoy everything we have available to us today. Before you head for the car, you do need to have a bug out bag in the car, just in case disaster strikes while you are on the road.

You can store these items in a back pack stowed in the trunk of the car or in the back of an SUV.

Emergency blanket—1 for each person
A portable camp shovel
Energy/protein bars
Water
Headlamp/flashlight
Waterproof matches and flint rod or magnesium stick
Orange cones for signaling and/or repairs
Cell phone charger for the car
Compass
First aid kit
Basic tools i.e. screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers
Duct tape
Canteen or bucket for carrying water
Spare tire and the equipment to change it
Extra bottle of car fluids; antifreeze, oil, brake fluidstreet-238458_640

These few items can mean the difference between surviving being stranded on the road for hours after an accident or breakdown and not making it. If a major disaster strikes while you are on the road, you need gear to get back home or to somewhere safe. Keep enough supplies in the car to hold your entire family over for at least a day. You never know when disaster will strike. Prepping isn’t just for home.

The Many Uses of Duct Tape in Survival

tape-589079_640Survivalists and preppers are always looking for ways to maximize everything around them. If you are forced to head out into the wilderness, you can only take what you can carry. You can’t afford to waste space in your bug out bag by packing items that are basically one-hit-wonders. You need tools that serve many purposes. There is no room for lazy tools that can only be used to do one thing and one thing only.

One of the tools that many preppers are rarely ever without is duct tape. Duct tape has a solid reputation as being the go-to for anything and everything that is broken. If you can’t fix it, duct it. We are going to talk about some of the ways you can use duct tape in a survival situation.

1-Use the tape to create butterfly stitches to hold a wound closed.

2-Wrap shoes with duct tape to give you waterproof protection.

3-Use duct tape to create a shelter with plastic sheeting, a tarp or even hold branches together.

kodiak-85921_6404-Repair a tent, tarp or sleeping bag by sticking on a piece of duct tape.

5-Use duct tape to fasten a knife to a long branch to create a spear for fishing or hunting.

6-Broken water bottles can be taped together so you can still hold water.

7-Use the tape to make a sling if you injure your arm or wrist. Wrap your arm with cloth or toilet paper and wrap it with duct tape.

8-Make an ankle brace or knee brace with duct tape.

9-Hem pants with a strip of duct tape around the bottom.

10-Cover your shoes and bottom half of your legs with garbage bags and duct tape them on if you are in the snow or rain.

11-Make a rope with duct tape to drag supplies or hang food off the ground.

12-Use duct tape to secure a prisoner if you have to.

13-Repair a broken knife handle, broken tent pole or broken fishing pole with tape.

These are just some of the things you can do with duct tape. When you are in survival and duct tape is on of the few tools you have, you won’t be let down. Open your mind and get creative. You are sure to find a way to use duct tape that isn’t listed here.

Are You Prepared to Hunker Down at Home?

riotingIf you were given an order by the military to stay in your home or neighborhood right this very minute, could you survive? Do you have enough supplies to keep your family alive and well for at least three days? What if the lockdown persists and you are essentially forced to be under house arrest for days or weeks. Very few people have what they need to live through such an ordeal.

You may be thinking that would never happen, but it could happen. You never know if or when our own military may enforce martial law or if we are invaded by a foreign army. While the probability is somewhat slim, it is out there. A terrorist attack or a riot that erupts in your neighborhood will drive you indoors in an attempt to find safety. Events can quickly spin out of control within a matter of hours and you could very well find yourself in this particular scenario.

The following list are some of the very basic essentials you should always have on hand just in case you are forced to shelter in place with no real warning.

*Canned food. You need to have a variety of canned foods, not just a bunch of veggies or a few cans of fruit cocktail. You need soups, fruits, veggies and canned meat if you like it.

*Freeze-dried foods are great, but you will need to store extra water to make the food into edible meals.food pantry-1

*Water is one of the most important things you will store. Some scenarios will allow you to still get water from the tap. Other scenarios will mean you don’t have water from the tap or the water available is contaminated.

*Soap for washing hands and dishes will be necessary. You can’t afford to get sick by using dirty hands.

*Personal hygiene items. Toilet paper, feminine hygiene and toothpaste are all easy to store. They will be very appreciated should you find yourself stuck in your house for days on end.

*Light sources, like a flashlight, candles or a lantern. Sitting in the dark when you know there is chaos outside is intense. You can help dispel some of the fear by having some light.

*Safety and security. It is really personal choice if you want to have a gun in the home, but it is a good idea to have some way to defend yourself and your supplies whether that be a taser, knife, gun or whatever.

*Blankets and winter gear are important to have on hand. If you are forced to hunker down in cold temperatures, there is a chance the power will be out. You need to be able to stay warm. If you have a woodstove or fireplace, make sure you have a supply of dry wood ready to burn.

*First aid kit and any necessary medicines. If you require certain medicines, it is important you keep extra on hand at all times, just in case.

These basic supplies will help you ride out any disaster scenario or even something like a severe storm that keeps you homebound. If you find yourself extremely ill or are stuck at home taking care of a family member who is ill, you can rest assured you don’t have to worry about making it to the store. You have the supplies necessary to survive for a few days or weeks without leaving your house.

Staying Cool When Bugging Out in a Heat Wave

desert-175465_640With a blistering summer expected to rock most of the country and severe drought in many areas, it is important you are prepared to deal with a survival situation in the extreme heat. Your survival is going to be made more difficult by the extreme temperatures. Oddly enough, many preppers assume it will be cold when they are forced to survive in the great outdoors. Heat waves can lead to civil unrest. People get hot, power grids are pushed to their limits and some will fail. It is a recipe for disaster. The following tips will help you if you ever find yourself forced to bug out or hunker down in a heat wave.

1-Stay out of the sun. Don’t get outside at noon and decide to walk 3 miles in the blistering heat. If you are on the move or have to walk to retrieve water or supplies, do it in the morning or late at night.

2-Cover up if you do have to be outside. Light cotton is best. Silk is also a nice lightweight material that will keep your skin covered and protected from the sun, while giving you plenty of breathing room.

3-Place a damp towel on the back of your neck and replace as needed if you feel warm or notice the signs of hyperthermia setting in.

4-Avoid doing any manual labor during the heat of the day. Relax in the shade. If you can’t find shade, try to create some with a lean-to or in the shadow of a rock wall. Caves are lifesavers and are naturally cool. cave-262258_640

5-If you have sunscreen in your bug out bag, wear it. You don’t want your skin getting burn. This will only dehydrate you and leave you in a very bad way.

6-Use a stick or a shovel and dig a hole in the ground long enough for you to recline in. The earth is much cooler than the surface by as much as 30 degrees. Don’t worry about getting dirty, just bask in the coolness of the soil.

7-If you are somewhere there is mud, rub the mud on your skin to act as sunscreen. It will also keep you cool. When the mud hardens and dries, it will slough off. Find more if needed.

We never know when we have to bug out, but being prepared to cope with extreme temperatures is one of the most important aspects of survival. Your core body temperature can only be off by 3 degrees, up or down, for 3 hours before you find yourself in real trouble. Stay cool this summer and avoid heat stroke.

Carry aTinder Bundle with You

fire-609439_640You have probably read and practiced how to make a tinder bundle from things you find in your environment. This means you are going to have do some scouting, which delays your fire. If it is cold, wet and dark, you don’t want to waste a lot of time trying to find the material you need to get a warm fire burning. It is always a good idea to take some things with you in your bug out bag that will help you get your fire going quickly, without wasting a lot of time and energy.

1-Pack along some lint from the dryer. It takes up very little space and is practically weightless.

2-Take your lint up a notch by stuffing it in old cardboard egg cartons and covering it with wax. You can use candle stubs or broken crayons melted down for the wax portion. Cut the individual egg holders into pieces and toss them in a sandwich bag.

3-Working on the same theory of wax and cardboard, you can cut up some pieces of cardboard, pour melted wax all over it and put them in a bag. They will burn for several minutes versus the few seconds dried grass will burn.

4-Cotton balls coated with Vaseline will also give you a nice flame for several minutes. Store the cotton balls in a sandwich bag or an old pill bottle.dry-69473_640

Don’t forget to look for dried grass, dry moss, pine needles and other material that can be used as a tinder bundle as you walk. Collect the stuff as you see it and stash it away. You never know when you are going to find yourself without anything dry to start a roaring fire.

How Will You Keep the Blues at Bay?

guitarist-407212_640We all know that survival after a major disaster is a lot more than simply finding clean water and something to fill our bellies. It is also about keeping our spirits up and finding the strength to go on at a time when everything seems so impossible. You need a distraction from the facts of your situation. You need to be able to give your mind a rest and not fret over where you are going to sleep tomorrow or what the future holds.

One advantage preppers have over the rest of the folks who are fighting to survive is that many of the most obvious duties related to survival are going to be handled. You spend time today taking care of food, water and basic necessities so it isn’t such a major ordeal when you truly need it. This will free up your time to relax and plan a brighter future.

Part of your preparing and planning should include ways to keep the blues at bay. Check out some of the following ways you can keep your spirits up while setting your mind at ease.

Spiritual Books

If you are a spiritual person, stash a few Bibles and books that offer words of encouragement. You are going to need them. Relying on your faith is one very effective way to keep your mind off of hardships while finding the strength and courage to keep fighting.belief-22190_640

Music

Stash some song/hymn books and musical instruments. Learn how to play the guitar, flute or harmonica. Music is one of the oldest forms of entertainment. It helps to ease the stark quietness of a long night and can truly soothe the soul.

Hobbies

Pick up a new hobby that doesn’t require a lot of supplies or electricity. Learn how to draw, paint, sew, knit or carve wood. Staying busy while creating a masterpiece will give you satisfaction and comfort. You can then trade your crafts for other things you need.

Set aside some time to think about what your interests are and what kinds of things you can do to keep your mind off a rough situation.

Getting the Kids Gardening Today

gardening with kidsPreppers know the importance of having a garden. It is one way to supplement your food supply in today’s world and it is teaching you the valuable skill of growing your own food. After a major disaster, you are only going to be able to rely on yourself to provide your family with the food they need to survive. Gardening isn’t going to be your only job. You are going to be busy taking care of plenty of other things, which is why you need to get your kids involved in the gardening hobby today.

Kids are not going to have all the luxuries they do today. They are not going to be spending time watching television, surfing the internet or playing video games. Kids are going to be a huge part of helping the family survive. Every available hand will be appreciated when your days are spent carting water, repairing your shelter and looking for food.

Teaching kids gardening basics today, will make survival much easier in the future.container gardening ideas

Some things you can help teach them today are as follows;

Identifying weeds and vegetable plants
The art of watering plants without drowning them
Knowing when to harvest fruits and veggies
Understanding why we garden
Getting first-hand experience harvesting and eating food they helped grow
Starting them early means they will be able to take care of their own gardens at a much younger age
Participating in the gardening duties also helps teach children responsibility. They will learn early on what happens if they don’t weed or tend their plants.

It is no secret our kids spend a little too much time indoors and not enough time outside getting their hands dirty. By spending some time with the kids outside and teaching them by example, you are teaching them lifeskills that will carry them through a survival situation. These are skills they can pass along to their children as well.

Staying Cool in Survival

sun-293615_640When you think about survival, you tend to gloss right over the little things we take advantage of in today’s world. With the heat of the summer right around the corner, it is important to start thinking about how you will stay cool in a survival situation. It isn’t just about comfort. It is about your health. Working hard in the heat is a recipe for disaster and will lead to heat exhaustion or possibly heat stroke. You need to be prepared to deal with the heat without the luxury of air conditioning to retreat to when you are hot.

  • If you are hunkering down in your home, cover the windows with blankets or use some aluminum foil to cover the windows. Blocking the sun’s rays from heating up your home is a major step in keeping your house somewhat cool.
  • Try to hang out in rooms of the home that are on the northern side. These will be a few degrees cooler.
  • If you are in the open, seek shade and stay put during the heat of the day. Do any manual labor in the early hours of the morning or in the late evening.forest-218266_640
  • Increase your water intake if it is overly warm or you are walking or expending energy in the heat.
  • Invest in a small portable solar panel now. You can hook a small fan up to the solar panel to provide a bit of a breeze.
  • Learn how to make a bucket AC out of a 5-gallon bucket. You will need a solar panel and a small desk fan. These are actually very effective.
  • Soak a bandana in water and lay it across the back of your neck. This will help keep you cool.
  • Always wear a hat and cover as much skin as possible with lightweight cotton or silk garments. You don’t want the sun beating down on your skin.
  • If you have a basement, hang out down there during the heat of the day.
  • If you are in the wilderness, the earth is actually fairly cool. Dig a trench and hunker down.

Being cool isn’t just about feeling comfortable. Your core body temperature must stay at a safe range, around the 98.6 range. A couple degrees over that and you will start to experience symptoms of heat exhaustion.

Don’t Get Caught in the Canned Food Trap

cansThere are plenty of preppers who put a great deal of faith, money and time into stockpiling cases upon cases of canned food. They shun other options like freeze-dried or dehydrated for various reasons. This is a dangerous practice. A good food storage will have a variety of foods in varying forms. Eating the same thing day in and day out isn’t only boring and repetitive, it can also make you sick.

There are some downsides to canned food that should be noted.

  • Most canned foods are high in sodium and nitrates that can increase risk of dehydration
  • Canned foods are heavy and require sturdy shelving
  • You are limited to certain foods
  • Once you open a can, you have to eat it all if there is no refrigeration

Now, to be fair, canned food is probably the most easily accessed and can be purchased anywhere and everywhere. It is also relatively inexpensive.

Freeze-driedhealthy freeze dried food

Freeze-dried food is a viable option that should be considered. Yes, it is more expensive, but it will last for decades or longer. You can buy freeze-dried food in full meals. Things like beef stroganoff, spaghetti and meatballs and chicken and rice are just a sampling of the meals available. You can also purchase a variety of freeze-dried products like sliced sliced potatoes or freeze-dried egg powder that can be used to create a delicious meal.

Freeze-dried food needs very little water to transform into a typical meal. In fact, you need less water to reconstitute freeze-dried food than you do dehydrated food. Freeze-dried food is a little harder to find and will often need to be ordered online. Many companies will offer free shipping if your order reaches a certain dollar amount.

Dehydrated

Dehydrated foods are popular with preppers because they can be eaten as is if it isn’t possible to reconstitute the foods with water. Dehydrated foods are also much cheaper than freeze-dried, but are more expensive than canned. However, plenty of preppers have learned the art of drying their own food at home to save money.

Fruits, meats and vegetables can all be dehydrated. While you would typically buy dehydrated foods individually, you can put together soups and stews that are made up of a variety of dehydrated ingredients and store those on the shelves. Keep in mind, dehydrated foods take hours to reconstitute and do best with hot water. Dehydrated ingredients are best used in stews and soups where they can cook slowly and absorb the other flavors.

Don’t get caught in the trap of only stocking one type of food. Diversify your food storage and you will be happier for it when it comes time to rely on it after a disaster.