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A Green Beret’s Guide To Building an Emergency Winter Shelter January 31, 2017

ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, we covered a few items on winter camouflage and winter preparedness training.  I’m going to throw out to you the concept of the winter shelter.  Most are self-explanatory.  Going into the basics, we need something to keep the snow from falling on our heads, as well as something to insulate us from the cold and the wind.  If you have no tent available, then it’s up to you to build something if the emergency arises.  Undoubtedly someone will comment about sleeping in the car, but circumstances may arise that may prevent that, such as a bad accident with leaking gas or combustible fluids.

The Simplest Survival Shelters

One answer for you is the lean-to, which is simply a couple of vertical poles jammed into the ground and a cross-pole (or cross-beam, if you will) lashed to the top across the two vertical poles.  Then you “lean” other branches across the top edge of your cross-pole, building a triangular shelter for yourself as you create this roof.  Ideally the rear can be on the slope of a hill or mountain without any runoff, leaving you a “front” to sit in at the edge of the lean to.

Tree-pit ShelterIn areas where heavy snows accumulate, you can also make a tree-pit shelter.  Excavate around the trunk of a pine tree with low boughs (a tree with thick branches and the boughs close to the ground).  If you have about two to three feet to dig, all the better in this case.  You’ll excavate about a 6-7’ diameter “hole” around the tree, and with the snow you remove, stack it up and pack it on the edges of the hole, building it up until you reach those bottom boughs.  You can also reinforce the construction by using boughs and dead branches to set the snow on top of.  Be creative, and use your imagination to make the situation fit your needs.  You want to make a front “gap” for yourself to squeeze through, and maybe a “door” out of pine boughs to close the gap off.


The principle being to create walls of snow that extend to the thick tree-boughs.  The tree will be your insulation topside, and the walls of snow akin to a semi “igloo” that will protect you on the sides. 


Reinforce those walls by placing branches on the inside vertically, stuck into the ground, or use a foam pad to run around the walls of the pit (Army issue ones work well).  Pack the top of the wall before putting branches and snow on the sides to build it up.  Don’t build a fire in the thing, unless you want to risk the fate of Jack London’s “To Build a Fire” character and risk bringing stuff down on top of you to smother you.  Also, don’t pick a tree heavily laden with a billion pounds of snow.

Why These Shelters Are Ideal

The principle is to crawl in this thing, taking support against the tree (lean against it to rest and sleep).  Even if you were buried, the tree itself will protect you and create an air pocket when you lean against it.  This type of shelter will buy you some time until you can build something a little more permanent.  If you did what I advised many moons ago, and packed your “A-bag”/bug-out happy-camper-survivor bag the way I advised, it’s packed per the season, and you should have a poncho and poncho liner in it.  The poncho can either be stretched out on the ground for a ground-cover, or used to solidify a lean-to and make it more waterproof.

The tree-pit shelter is for when you need to get out of the elements quickly.  If that can’t be done, you can dig a snow-cave for yourself.  With the poncho and/or a ground pad, you can insulate yourself from the ground and “hole up” in this snow cave (nothing more than a “spider hole” to protect you from the bite of the elements) and allow your body heat to warm up the hole.  It is the same principle that sled dogs use when they dig holes in the snow and bury themselves.  The principle is sound and can work for you as well.

Also for the tree-pit shelter: try not to pick a tree that is growing on the side of a mountain or hill.  You don’t need an avalanche to ruin your day on this one.  The lean to you can get out of.  Let the tree-pit shelter be on fairly-level ground, if you can make it so, and check it out thoroughly beforehand.  Be prudent and carry your pack with you should you have to leave the vehicle.  Practice building these shelters and familiarize yourself with them when you have the time, prior to an emergency occurring.  Stay warm, drink coffee, and take care of one another!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published January 31st, 2017
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Homesteading Basics: How To Dehydrate Herbs for Long-Term Storage January 30, 2017

dehydrating herbs for storage
Herbs are one of the first plants we put in our garden. There is nothing like fresh culinary herbs to intensify the flavors of food. As well, herbs are hardy garden plants that don’t have to be watered as much as vegetables and can serve more than one purpose by being used as natural medicine. For instance, did you know that a sage leaf can be used instead of a band-aid because it has natural healing qualities? Some of these popular culinary herbs are oregano, thymne and sage and can grow year-round in many parts of the country.

To enjoy these herbs year round, many choose to dehydrate them when they are at the peak in freshness and combine them to make their own spices and even homemade tea blends. Can you imagine how much money you could save at the grocery store by implementing this into your pantry?

How To Dehydrate Herbs for Long-Term Storage

Dehydrating herbs and other leafy greens is one of the easiest items to dry for long-term use. All you really need is a constant stream of air. You don’t necessary have to own a dehydrator because herbs can dry naturally from the air, but it does help with even drying.

Here are some steps to get started:

  1.  Prep herbs for drying. Wash and place herbs evenly on a drying rack and ensure that enough space is make for proper air flow.
  2. Set temperature and time according to the directions on your dehydrator.
  3. Ensure that herbs are 95% dehydrated for long-term storage.

Here are some great spice mixes to start adding to your pantry!

Cajun Seasoning

  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Chili Powder

  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

French Herb Mix

  • 3 tablespoons marjoram
  • 3 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons savory
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seed

Chili Powder

  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

Storing Dehydrated Herbs

Herbs can be dehydrated to store for longer periods, but storage is important for any preserved food, and dehydrated foods are no exception. Store either in heavy duty zippered bags in a metal container, or store in dry, sterile, glass jars. For long term storage, I recommend using Mylar bags.

As I stated previously, before storing, you want to ensure that your food is 95% or more dehydrated because the more moisture your food has the more likely molds and microorganisms can grow. Like all emergency food sources, ensure that you keep your dehydrated food away from natural elements.

“Best Used By” Guidelines for Dehydrated Food 

  • Spices – 1-2 years
  • Vegetables/Fruits – Up to 12 months
  • Meats – Best at 1-2 months, but can be stored for 6 months.

We are all looking for frugal ways to bulk up our preparedness pantries. Using herbs is a great way to do that. Some of our favorite herbs we love to grow in our garden can be utilized to make long-term herbal seasonings to use year round. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to start dehydrating!

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published January 30th, 2017
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The United States Is On The Precipice Of Widespread Civil Unrest January 29, 2017

SFO Muslim Ban Protest - Photo by Quinn NortonIt doesn’t take much of a trigger to push extremely large crowds of very angry protesters into committing acts of rioting and violence.  And rioting and violence can ultimately lead to widespread civil unrest and calls for “revolution”.  The election of Donald Trump was perhaps the single most galvanizing moment for the radical left in modern American history, and we have already seen that a single move by Trump can literally cause protests to erupt from coast to coast within 48 hours.  On Friday, Trump signed an executive order that banned refugees from Syria indefinitely and that placed a 90 day ban on travel to the United States for citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.  Within hours, protesters began to storm major airports, and by Sunday very large crowds were taking to the streets all over the country

From Seattle to Newark, Houston to Boston, hundreds jammed airport terminals — lawyers, immigration advocates, ordinary citizens compelled to the front lines, many refusing to leave until those who had been detained by U.S. Customs had been freed or had obtained legal counsel.

On Sunday, the movement caught fire and demonstrations and rallies erupted in communities across the U.S. from city halls to airports to parks. In the nation’s capital, the site of the march that drew a crushing 500,000 people Jan. 21, Pennsylvania Avenue was shut down Sunday as thousands trekked from the White House to the U.S. Capitol. An energized crowd stopped outside Trump’s showcase hotel along the avenue to shake fists and chant “shame.”

You can see some really good pictures of the protests going on around the nation right here.

As I was going through articles about these protests today, I remember one woman holding up a sign that said “Remove Trump By Any Means Necessary”.

It doesn’t take much imagination to figure out what she was suggesting.

Visions of violence are dancing in the heads of these very frustrated people, and they are being egged on by top members of Congress such as Chuck Schumer

‘These orders go against what America has always been about,’ Schumer told the crowd in Battery Park according to the New York Daily News. ‘The orders make us less humanitarian, less safe, less American and when it comes to making us less safe people forget this, that’s why so many of our military, intelligence, security, and law enforcement leaders are opposed to this order and all those like it.’

Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of Trump’s presidential rival, Hillary, tweeted a picture from the rally. It was captioned: ‘Yes. We will keep standing up for a country that matches our values and ideals for all. #NewYork #NoBanNoWall.’

On Sunday, President Trump attempted to clarify what his executive order was really about and make it clear that it was not a ban on all Muslims.  The following comes from CNN

President Donald Trump insisted Sunday his travel ban on certain Muslim-majority nations would protect the United States from terrorists, after a weekend of outrage and confusion over the move.

In an afternoon statement, Trump wrote the country would continue showing “compassion to those fleeing oppression.”

Unfortunately, polls show that somewhere around a third of the country greatly dislikes Trump, and those people are more than ready to believe that Trump is a racist bigot that hates all Muslims.

But the truth is that Trump does not hate any group of people.  His target is simply Islamic terror, and he is actually pro-immigration as long as it is legal immigration.

Let us not forget that his wife is a legal immigrant.

I know that Trump is quite eager to get things done, but putting out this executive order at this particular moment was definitely a case of poor timing.

We are a nation that is deeply, deeply divided, and now this latest controversy threatens to divide us even further.

When I was out earlier today, I saw a pro-Trump billboard that some business owner had put up that was urging liberals to quit their whining.

On the surface that may sound funny, but it definitely doesn’t do anything to bring us together.

If you give anger enough fuel, eventually it leads to violence.  I am certainly not suggesting that we should ever compromise on what we believe, but what I am suggesting is that there is a wise way to handle things and an unwise way to handle things.

Someday, widespread civil unrest is going to sweep across the United States and major American cities will burn.

My hope is that we can put this off for as long as possible.

In fact, I sincerely hope that this will not happen at all during the Trump/Pence era.

But you would have to be blind not to see the hate, anger and frustration that are all growing like cancer in the hearts of our young people.

This is a time for the peacemakers.  If there are any left in Washington, we need them to rise up now and try to bring healing before it is too late.

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