Saturday, August 29, 2015

Five Basic Suvival Foods to Keep You Alive

One Day's Rations of the Basic Survival Foods
Let's start our Disaster Plan with learning what basic foods are needed to keep a person alive. 

The FIVE basic survival foods you should be storing are:

1. Grains (Rice, Pasta, Wheat, Oats, Cornmeal)

     One adult needs 3.5 kg or 7.5 lb of grains for one week

2. Legumes (Beans, Peas, Lentils)

     One adult needs 1/2 kg or 1 lb of legumes for one week

3. Fats and Oils (Vegetable Oil, Mayonnaise, Peanut Butter, Olive Oil, Shortening)

     One adult needs 3/4 cup of fats or oils per week

4. Salt

     One adult needs 70 grams or 2/3 cup of salt for one week 

5. Water

     One adult needs between 1 to 3 L of water daily which is 7 to 21 L of water per week.  Water requirements depend on the temperature,  the amount of exercise the person is doing (how hard they are working) and their body weight. 

I also include in my basic survival needs plan Sugar (sugar or honey) and Milk (powdered or canned)

Sugar (sugar, honey)

    For one adult you should have 1/2 kg or 17 1/2 oz. or just over 2 cups or 1 lb of sugar per week

Milk (powdered milk, canned milk)

     For one adult plan on 140 grams or about 1 cup of milk per week

These 7 essential basic foods will keep you alive for one week. You won't have very interesting or fun meals as you will mostly be eating such things as rice and beans but you'll survive.

Note that there are only 15 L of water (30 bottles) in this photo on the right. I personally store the maximum per adult per week which is 21 L. 

I've included oatmeal and rice as my weekly grains as that gives me more variety in meals. What meals can I make with these basic foods?

Not much! That's the reality. But I can make hot oatmeal every morning with a bit of sugar (or honey) 

I can make beans and rice for supper. Lunch could be lentil soup. I think you get the idea.

Remember, these are BASIC survival rations. They will keep ONE adult alive for ONE week.

I'll show you how to expand your food rations and make more variety of meals cheaply and easily in future blog posts.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Free Storage Containers for Emergency Survival Food Stores

Free Storage Containers for Emergency Survival Food Stores One of the things every Prepper needs is good airtight storage containers for storing food.

Now you can go purchase containers but that gets expensive. So to save some money I have found a good source. Restaurants.

Many restaurants order food in bulk. Thing like pickles and fetta cheese. Often this stuff comes in nice air tight food grade pails that are just tossed out after use. I have one restaurant that gives me one large pickle pail each week for free and another that gives me all the pails I want for $1 each.

Caveat: the pails are not clean. I do have to spend a few minutes washing each one out but I figure the savings more than make up for my time.

So ask around at your local restaurants. You might be surprised at what you can get.

Oh one more thing - make sure the pails are completely dry before you put food in them! 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Dehydrate Foods for Survival Planning!

My wife dehydrates leftover vegetables and fruits. So here she is to tell you all about it.

Dehydrate Foods for Survival Planning!
Dehydrating Apples
Hi. I'm a huge fan of dehydrating food. You know how you buy celery but only use a little bit and the rest wilts and you end up throwing it out? Well I cut off what I'm going to use and then I immediately dehydrate the rest! I save the leaves for making soup - just wash and dry them and toss them in a freezer bag into the freezer.

Sometimes I buy bruised fruit, like bananas, on sale, then I dehydrate them. I have two dehydrators and have also used my oven in a pinch (but you have to buy the mesh mats or the food falls through the oven racks)

I've dehydrated bananas, apples, lemons, rhubarb, carrots, celery, potatoes, brussel sprouts, cabbage, yams (sweet potatoes), zucchini, cherries, mushroooms, bell peppers, and all kinds of herbs including parsley.

Dehydrated Rhubarb

Dehydrated Brussel Sprouts

I store my dehydrated foods in sterilized glass jars. I use leftover jars from other foods - salsa jars, herb bottles, spaghetti sauce jars, etc. When I say sterilized I mean put 'em in the dishwasher on sani-wash.

Then I keep the dehydrated food in a dark cupboard. I'm running out of room so have to find another dark spot. A closet works fine.

There's two great things about dehydrating food for emergency food supplies - they last a long time and they take up very little room. You can see how much room 24 brussel sprouts took up once I dehydrated them! To cook 'em just rehydrate overnight or toss directly into your pot.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Be Ready To Cross The Border as Your Bug-Out Plan

Be Ready To Cross The Border as Your Bug-Out Plan
If you live within a few hundred miles of another country you may want to consider the idea of crossing the border.

Now crossing a border in a disaster is generally not a good idea as it involves all kinds of potential problems but one must consider the possibility that a situation could arise that would necessitate such a move.

So with that in mind it's always a good idea to keep your travel documents in good order and keep some foreign cash on hand.
If you live in Canada you will want some US dollars. Living in USA you'll want Mexican and Canadian money. I'm sure you get what I'm talking about

Another good idea if you live close to the border is to investigate locations for crossing without documents. I am not suggesting you break the law but if your life depends on it you would be wise to have a plan.  

Monday, August 24, 2015

Flu Mask Kills Virus on Contact - On My Wish List

Flu Mask Kills Virus on Contact - On My Wish List
Flu season is going strong. It can spread easily and for people who are already sick, it can be deadly. Now, there's a tool in the fight against influenza. Sure you can get a flu shot now but you won't be getting them during a survival situation.

But good news! Doctors have developed a mask that can actually kill flu viruses on contact. Unlike regular masks, it has extra protections against influenza viruses and it can be used in the hospital or by patients who have no medical problems. Doctors say the mask is very effective.

Infection Control Specialist Dr. Lawrence said, "The mask is very efficient at screening out or filtering out at least 95 percent of the particulate that we can breathe in. It wicks up the virus if it's on the mask and it kills it before it can infect the patient."

The bio mask can be bought in drugstores.They are intended for surgeons and patients in hospitals, but if you have an underlying disease and want to protect yourself, this could be a great choice. I'm going to hunt for some next week so stay tuned to see if I can find any.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Dehydrating Foods for Survival in a Zombie Apocalypse

Ronco  5-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator
Dehydrating Rhubarb
Dehydrating fruits and vegetables is a great way to store nutritious foods for a Zombie Apocalypse. It's cheap and it's easy. You can buy a dehydrator for anywhere from $30.00 to $300.00. Yes the more expensive ones are faster and more efficient. But the cheaper ones work fine. We have both.

You can also use your oven as long as you can set it to 125'. Some ovens won't set that low. Ours has a special dehydrator setting. We bought mesh to cover the oven racks so the fruit and vegetable pieces don't fall through.

We use ours to dehydrate rhubarb, lemons, celery, potatoes, yams, mushrooms, cabbage, bananas, apples, zucchini and more. We pick fresh from the garden. We buy bruised fruit on sale. We dehydrate leftovers that were sure to be tossed or fed to our pigs.

Cut the Rhubarb
To dehydrate you need a sharp knife. There's other things you can use such as a shredder for cabbage, or a saline solution to stop apples turing brown but you don't have to have them! Just thinly slice your fruit or vegetable, put it on the trays, turn the dehydrator on to the correct temperature (usually 125-135' for fruit or vegetables) and let it go for 8 to 12 hours.

Check on the food after about 8 hours to be sure it's not over-drying. When it's hard or leathery, let it sit for a few minutes to cool then store in a clean glass jar. You don't have to buy fancy mason jars, just save and wash your jam jars, salsa jars, spaghetti sauce jars - whatever you have on hand.

Dehydrating foods to store for emergency situations is a space saver. Recently my wife took 10 cups of fresh rhubarb and dehydrated it. She ended up with 2 cups of dried rhubarb.

Label your jar with the name of what's inside, the date (we use month and year) and if you remember, the amount of fresh you started with. When you're ready to use the dried food, you will need to find out whether you leave overnight in water to rehydrate or toss it in as is and cook as dried or eat right from the jar.

Dried rhubarb for example rehydrates well if put in pan of water (you don't need much, just barely cover the dried fruit) and leave overnight.  When we do apples we sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on some so we can eat them as a treat. Experiment. Remember to try things out now so that when the Zombie Apocalypse hits you aren't left wondering what the heck you do with the stuff you prepped and stored beforehand.

 Excalibur 3900 Deluxe Series 9 Tray Food Dehydrator - Black
 Here's the big 9-tray food dehydrator we use. It works great. It gives efficient all-round drying as there is a fan inside that circulates the hot air.

You don't get even drying in the cheaper dehydrators but we have one of those too. All my wife does is rotate the trays every few hours.

Caveat: I use the words Zombie Apocalypse tongue-in-cheek. It's a way of making us all sit up and take notice of what's going on in the world. Hopefully it will encourage you to get started on your Emergency Food Preparation and Survival Plan

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Epsom Salts - Amazing Emergency Supply item

Epsom Salts are an amazing Emergency Supply item. Did you know that Epsom salts can be used for medicinal purposes, gardening and extending the life of a battery? Epsom salt has numerous health benefits as well as many beauty, household and gardening-related uses.

We stock Epsom Salts to extend battery life. With a solar panel like HQRP 50W Mono-crystalline Solar Panel 50 Watt 12 Volt in Anodized Aluminum Frame 10 Years Limited Power Warranty we can charge a car battery and then use it for lighting or other purposes. Epsom salts will extend that battery from 2 or 3 years to 4 or 5.

And we can use it in our First Aid Kit too.  Epsom Salts/Magnesium Sulfate 10lbs are available at 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Review of Dominion Arms Grizzly Part 2

Review of Dominion Arms Grizzly Part 2
So in Part 1 we established that while the Grizzly is perhaps not the best hunting shotgun, it can be used effectively for small game animals. But what else is this little gun good for? Self Defence? Wilderness Survival ? Well it is in this area that the Dominion Arms Grizzly really comes into its own.

Lets take a look at the Grizzly as a survival gun. A survival gun can mean different things to different people but in the context of this Blog post a survival gun is a firearm that you might take camping or hiking in the wilderness or perhaps carry in your truck, boat or plane in case you are stranded. First lets ask what qualities you would want in a firearm for this purpose.

(1) Reliability. Its no good if it wont work. The Remington 870 action is one of the best shotgun actions available so we know the design is good. Now as to the quality and reliability of the Grizzly only time will tell. So far the limited shooting I have done with the Grizzly has been without incident but more use is needed.

(2) Light weight and handy. You will not carry a firearm with you if its too big and awkward. The Grizzly gets good marks on this one. Its short and handy so it wont get all caught up in tree branches and brush. With a sling you can still work, climb and generally do what you need to without resorting to leaning it up against a tree someplace. I can tell you from experience how tempting it is to put your gun aside when you are struggling to work in the bush.

(3) Versatility. In a survival situation you may need a firearm to do many jobs. Well a 12ga is probably the most versatile gun ever invented. All you need is a few different kinds of shells in your pocket. Small shot like #4 #5 or #6 for small game. A buckshot load will defend you against large predators or get you a deer at close range. It is also a good signal gin as a 12ga is nice and loud and you can get flares for it. Now you can also shoot slugs out of the Grizzly but I have not had good luck with that so far. I believe its an issue with the front bead sight being so low. I am going to change the front sight at some point and will let you know how that works out.

(4) Ammunition Capacity. This sounds important and it is true that the more shots you have the better. However in real life practical terms it really is not as important as it sounds. I have over 30 years hunting experience and can tell you that its the first shot that counts. Most game that I have taken in my life went down on the first shot. I have on occasion got something with the second shot but I cant think of a single time when a third shot was needed. Animals move fast and disappear quickly. With the exception of waterfowl hunting most people who take a 3rd shot are doing it out of desperation and frustration. As to defending your self against predators. 3 shots with a 12ga should do the job. If you cant drop a charging bear with 3 shots from this gun you probably cant do it with any gun.

Shot Gun For Zombies
At 25 yards the shot spread is just a tad over two ft.

Self Defence against human predators is another use that people often suggest for the Grizzly in fact its the most often suggested use. I think that we can all agree that it has some value in this area. It really comes down to the 3 shots issue. Are you comfortable with just 3 shots? I can tell you when looking at the statistics on gun fights that most bad situations are over quickly with just a few shots fired. 3 shots from a skilled person with a 12ga will resolve most situations one way or another. In fact just looking at a Grizzly is intimidating and I would bet a lot of attackers would take one look at this nasty little gun and head for safer pastures.  I myself would feel comfortable using it in this role but I know others would not agree with me. Its a matter of taste.

The myth of the Sawed Off Shotgun. One little issue that I should touch on is the myth in popular culture that a sawed off shotgun can literally spray the room with shot. This is of course silly as the photo below illustrates quite clearly. Even at 25 yards you can only expect about a two foot spread of shot. That's is hardly going to clear the room.

So get yourself a Dominion Arms Grizzly. Its a handy little gun.   

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Review Dominion Arms Grizzly part 1

Dominion Arms Grizzly. A handy Zombie gun or just a novelty?

Review of Dominion Arms Grizzly Part 2
One firearm that has been getting a bit of attention the last few years is the Dominion Arms Grizzly 12ga shotgun. The Grizzly in most respects is an unremarkable shotgun. It's just a cheap Chinese copy of a Remington 870. If you compare the Grizzly to a Remington, the Grizzly is a poor second cousin. However what makes the Grizzly stand out is its 8.5 inch barrel. Yep 8.5 inches. That's about 20cm for us Canadians. In fact it's for us Canadians in mind that this gun is manufactured for it would be illegal to have such a short shotgun in many countries.

Now many people have said this gun has no purpose other than killing people. It has been said ( by so called Gun Experts ) that you cant hunt with a shotgun that has such a short barrel so it must be for killing people. Well let's look at that first. Can you hunt with it?

Well yes you can. It is generally excepted in the hunting and shooting community that you want a longer barrel because that will give you longer range and better penetration of the target. This is true for the most part but if you look at many real world hunting situations you will see that often a lot of range and penetration is not required. It depends on what and where you are hunting.

Now waterfowl hunting is probably out. The grizzly is just too short for that. But many of us old boys use our shotguns for small game like rabbits, squirrels, raccoons and other critters. And I can say that most of the small critters shot by me over the last 30 years have been only a few yards away. If you think about it most squirrels and raccoons are going to be in a tree you are standing under. Most rabbits if you are hunting in the bush are only 10 or perhaps 25 yards away. As you can see from the shot pattern in the target photos the Grizzly has not a bad pattern out at 25 yards.

Dominion Arms Grizzly
At 25 yards with #5 shot. 

Now Deer or other large game require larger shot so I tested out a few rounds of 00B and again as you can see from the photos the shot pattern is not all that bad out at the 25 yard line. I would be comfortable taking a Deer at that range but that is about the max with 00B. Next time out I will see how it shoots with slugs.
Dominion Arms Grizzly
00B at 10 yards. Shot is nice and tight.

Dominion Arms Grizzly
00B at 25 yards. Starting to spread out now.

The bottom line is I myself would be quite comfortable going for a nice walk in the woods with my Grizzly looking for bunnies or squirrels. I would never use it for large game as better firearms are available but in a survival situation it would knock down a Deer or a Bear. A good hunter needs to know the effective range of his gun and be prepared to pass on the shots that are too far away.

So OK you can do a bit of hunting with it but what else is it good for? Well lets look at that in Part 2 of my review of the Dominion Arms Grizzly.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

You're Hunkered Down, But What's your Bug-IN Plan?

Food Stored as part of a  Bug In Plan
We've talked about bug-out plans and bug-out bags. But what if your plan is to stay put. Perhaps you are already in a safe place, a place that can be protected and has a stockpile of food. You still need a plan to maintain and protect your family and food stores.

Think about what you need in a worse case scenario.

                       PLAN FOR THE WORST AND HOPE FOR THE BEST.

Store a minimum of one year's supply of food.

Have a way of getting fresh water.

Have a way of heating your safe place. Cut firewood now and store it for an emergency situation.

Develop a method of hunting for game. Do you know how to hunt? Do you have the necessary tools? Can you skin and butcher game?

Develop a protection and security strategy. Figure out how you are going to defend your home. What kinds of barriers or protection can you quickly set up in a worst-case scenario? Do you have sandbags? Or some other method of bullet proofing your home?

Decide on a method of cooking meals. Make sure that you have items you need for whatever plan you decide is best.

Bring more trusted people into your community. If the worst happens you will not be able to protect and defend yourself, your family, your property and your food stores unless you have several people involved as support.

Hide food supplies in other locations that you can access if necessary. For example what if the government is still functioning and stockpiling or hoarding of food is illegal. Do you want all your food stores confiscated? Make sure you have other food storage locations just in case. If you need to hide water too, do it. If you live in an area where water sources are plentiful, be sure you have contamination tablets hidden with your food.

Also you should have a fall-back location in case your safe place cannot be maintained. Not only do you need food stored at your secondary location, you need to hide (bury) food and water along your escape route from your primary safe place to your secondary location.

Make sure that every member of your family or community knows what their roles are and what tasks they are to complete in order to secure your safety location.

Do you have ideas to contribute? Use the comment area of this blog to post them. If you like this post feel free to tweet it or send it to Facebook or Google+  Share the link with other preppers if you find this helpful.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

An Emergency Preparedness To-Do List

An Emergency Preparedness To-Do List
If you don't have an Emergency Survival To-Do List, maybe it's time to think about writing one up. Figure out what you've done and what you still need to do to prepare for an emergency situation. 

What food have you stockpiled? What do you still need in the way of food for one year?

What about water? 

What about weapons?

What about gathering and storing firewood ahead of time? 

These are all things you need to think about as a Prepper.

This is not the same thing as your Emergency Survival Plan.  Your Emergency Preparedness Plan is what you create first. It's your overall plan of how you and your family and friends plan to survive a catastrophe. 

The To-Do list is what you're going to focus on in the next few months or during this year. For example our To-Do list includes the following:

* Buy more oats. We plan on breakfasts of Oatmeal each day and for a year's worth of such breakfasts we need a specific amount of oats. This year's focus is to reach our goal for enough oats for one year for 6 people. 
* Buy more corn - need to reach our goal of enough for one year for 6 people
* Buy more dried beans - need to reach our goal of enough for one year for 6 people
* Make a manual pump for our drilled well. The time to build this is now, not after a disaster. We need more than one.
* Cut and store firewood. Firewood takes time to cure and it takes time, effort and gas to power a chain saw to cut trees. The time to do this is now
* Make a root cellar. We have a work weekend coming up in July. Both my step-sons are coming up to help me dig out under the mudroom to make a small root cellar. We need it now so that not only is it done and ready but my wife and I can experiment with how best to use it to keep our vegetables and fruits for prolonged periods of time
* Buy more baking powder - this is something my wife has worked out that she needs to bake one Irish Soda Bread loaf for 365 days for 6 adults. 
* Extend the herb garden and rhubarb patch
* Plant squash and pumpkin this year in addition to last year's vegetables (zucchini, onions, peppers)
* Organize our available storage areas and figure out what items need to be kept in each. We have some climate controlled areas but we also have some with extreme fluctuations in temperature and humidity so we are starting to create a  list of what items can go where.  I'll go into detail on this in another blog post.

What's on your To-Do list? 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

What's Your Bug Out Plan and What's in Your Bug-Out Bag?

What's Your Bug Out Plan and What's in Your Bug-Out Bag?
Do you have a bug-out plan? If you are going to survive a disaster you need a plan - either stay put or leave. A GOOD plan, as in Get Out Of Dodge.

Your Bug-Out Plan
Today I'm going to talk about a bug-out plan. First, where is your safe place? Have you got one in mind? Do you have your primary route planned? What about backup routes in case roads are blocked or impassable due to weather or other problems. You might not be able to count on GPS or your iPhone so be sure you've got old-fashioned paper maps in your bug-out bag.

Make sure every family member knows your family's emergency signal - that is, what you are going to do if it's time to hustle and get out. Is it a code word? Is it a blast on a whistle or fog horn? Define each family member's task - and practice the drill. You should aim for 10 minutes or less for grabbing what you need and getting to your car.

Even little children can have a task. In my family, my son has trained his children in their tasks. The 7 year old's job is to help his younger brother grab warm outdoor clothing and boots even if it's summer, then get them to the front door. Their older sister knows she helps with the youngest.  Why warm clothing? Because he's prepared for a year or longer and they may need winter clothes later even if it's summer when the crisis happens.

Each child knows to grab their own bug-out bag (they call it a go-bag), one toy and get to the front door. There they wait for mom or dad to escort them to the vehicle.

You need a different plan for summer then you do for winter. Do you have a wagon for summer in case your car breaks down or is stuck somewhere? A wagon will allow you to pull younger children or bottles of water and bags of food. What about bicycles? And for winter you need a sled or toboggan in case you have to walk to your safe place. You could also pack snowshoes and make this a fun family activity ahead of time - learning to walk on snowshoes is exhausting and takes a bit of practice so why not plan some family snowshoeing outings?

Think about the weather and the geography of where you live. If you live in a big city you will want to plan a route that doesn't use the roads and highways that everyone else will be using. If you live in a deserted desert area, your choice of clothing and water will be very different from someone who lives in a rural snowy area.

Your Bug-Out Bag
You do have a bug-out bag for each family member don't you? A bug-out bag is a small backpack filled with essential gear and food to last you 72 hours or as long as it takes to get to your safe place.

What you put in your bug-out bag is up to you but experts recommend 3 to 4 litres of water per person per day. You will also need water contamination tablets in case you have to purify water from streams or lakes.

Non-perishable food is necessary - granola bars, trail mix, or MRE's (Meals Ready to Eat) if you have them. Look for lightweight foods and be sure every family member has some in their personal bug-out bag in case you get separated. It's a personal choice as to how much food you need to pack.

Take sleeping bags if possible. Duct tape, ropes, a tarp and a good knife may come in handy if you have to abandon the vehicle and sleep outside. I like to have a small knife for things like removing a splinter, cutting string or rope, and a larger knife for defense, chopping small branches off of trees, opening cans etc.

Rain gear is essential. Be sure everyone has something they can wear in case you're walking - ponchos, even garbage bags with a hole cut for the head are better than nothing

Have some extra clothing already packed - socks, undies, pants, sweaters, shorts etc. Be prepared for all types of weather. Lots of extra socks are important as your feet may get wet if you have to walk.

Take any medication you need. Throw in some basic medical supplies - bandages, antibacterial ointment, pain meds, anti-diarhea meds etc.

If a weapon is on your list as a necessity, make sure you have ammo for it ready to go. Ensure that every family member who is old enough has training in gun safety if you are taking a weapon with you. Being safe is important!

Everyone should have a signalling device such as a whistle in their go bag, and once you are on the road, it should be on each person's body. That way if the group gets separated you can hopefully find each other. Teach your children what to do if they get separated from you. Pack a signal mirror and a foghorn or a flaregun too.

What else might come in handy? A compass, flashlight, matches, something for collecting and boiling water.... the list is endless. If it's winter, take some tea candles and a clean tuna or salmon can to put the candle in, so you can have heat in your vehicle if you end up sleeping there.

And don't forget cash. We suggest you have some cash hidden and handy in case of an emergency situation. Remember electronics may be down so that ATM machine isn't going to work. Stores and banks might be closed.