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 means.fire-717504_1280

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.