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Live-Off-The-Land with These 7 Summer Survival Foods June 22, 2017

So, summer is here again, guys and gals.  What better time to practice your survival skills?  I have mentioned in articles past that it is a good idea to put away all the high-tech gizmos and get back to the basics of doing things to give your practice realism.  We’re going to do a few articles that broach that mindset, and this one is the first: how to make dinner when the SHTF…some not-so-obvious sources.

I’m not going to cover what has already been covered, such as methods of fishing and the types of fish to catch.  We’re going to utilize a hypothetical framework.  You are “under the gun” in a SHTF/the “Road” environment.  You can’t stand idly by with a fishing pole carved from a branch, seeking dinner in a relaxed, “On Golden Pond” manner.

While many would turn their nose up to these 7 survival food sources, in a dire emergency, where there is no food, you have to take it where you can get it. 

  1. The Crayfish: Let’s do it up, down and dirty, with the “mudbug,” as they’re called in New Orleans, as our first survival food. Yes, he is known by many names, including Crawdad, Crawfish, etc.  The crayfish will provide you with ready protein, and also for bait for night fishing later (this on trot lines).  Prepare them by boiling them.  Throw in some wild garlic or wild onions for a little flavor.  You’ll get some protein in the form of meat from the tail, and a little within the front claws.  You’ll have to round up a bunch to make a good meal.  Best method: find some large rocks in a shallow stream and slowly overturn them little by little.  As the cloudy/silty water clears, he’ll usually be sitting there, waiting.  One hand place behind him, and when the other is to his front, he’ll move back.  You can also use a small dip net if you don’t prefer my method.  The big ones lurk in the deeper pools.  Eat the meat right after you cook it in a pot.  The ones for bait at night keep in a separate container with water in it.
  2. The Frog: yes, those frog legs can be eaten.  They can be boiled and peeled, or roasted over a fire.  Protein is where you find it.
  3. The Grasshopper: Grasshoppers and other edible insects are packed with protein and can be dried out in the sun, or lightly roasted over a fire.
  4. Cattail roots: This survival food can be boiled and are similar in taste to potatoes, with a more starchy taste to them.  They’ll give you some carbs and sugars, to help round out the meal.
  5. Snakes: Yes, high protein in these guys!  Gut them, peel off their skin, and put them on a spit…a coat hanger (metal) works great…and then roast them.  If not, then slice it up and cook it over a fire.  Venomous snakes can be eaten in this manner, as well, but take care when obtaining them.  Decapitate the snake by cutting off the head and about 1” behind it.  Either bury or burn the head…you wouldn’t want to either step on it or sit on it and be bitten by a dead snake’s head!  The snake meat is a little greasy, but hey, you’re eating and he’s not, right?
  6. Trot lines: Set out fishing lines at night, and set them at intervals that enable them to be checked regularly during the night.
  7. Greens: Dandelions (the whole plant), shepherd’s purse, and wild berries you can garner for starters.  Make sure you can positively ID them!  Don’t survive the SHTF initial event only to poison yourself with something you didn’t recognize!  Pine needle tea will give you a supply of Vitamin C…boil it for about 20 minutes in a pot or canteen cup.

We’re going to go more in-depth in future articles but in a SHTF situation, you want to make sure you cook in a fire pit or on a shielded fire.  Don’t allow the flames to give you away either day or night.  This situation here follows a forage-cook-feed-move/hide method.  You’ll have to also take due diligence to clean up your mess so as not to allow others to trail you.  This is another reason the fire-pit method is good.  When it’s time to put out the fire, do so and then bury it.  Practice these skills now so that they will be second nature for you when the time comes that you need them.  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 June 22nd, 2017
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How to Train for a Worst-Case Disaster June 21, 2017

        


How you train in peace is how you’ll fight in war.


These true words are the basis for “High Suck Factor” training for you to follow.  What does this mean?  No, fear not: we’re not going to siphon gasoline or another volatile fluid with a hose!  No, this means that you need to train under the similar conditions (that “suck”) that you will be faced with in real life.  This is an all-inclusive concept that does not just refer to the weather or training in miserable outdoor conditions.  We will elaborate on what this means and how you can jump on this wagon to get the maximum, realistic effects out of your training time.

Firstly, anybody can disassemble a weapon on a clean, neat, dining-room table under a big light where there’s a cozy heater keeping your house nice and warm, with no distractions.  That is not realistic for what you’ll need.  Unless you’re on a range when you have a misfire and need to clear the weapon?  When rounds are whizzing by your ears and overhead, that is not the time to wave your palm out vertically before your face and call for a ceasefire.  You have to clear that weapon yesterday.  The bad guys don’t stop shooting at you or making noise.

Train under the most realistic conditions possible.  When you disassemble your weapon for time…practice until you can do it, first off.  Then practice it blindfolded, or with your eyes shut until you need to look.  Until you can do it completely blindfolded.  Why?  Because when an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) sings “Boom-Boom, Out Go the Lights,” you may not have any time when that jam occurs. 


Murphy’s Law: What can go wrong will go wrong at the most inopportune moment.


You need to learn to disassemble that weapon blindfolded…then with the loud music cranked up right next to you.  Then outside, when it’s raining, with no clean, “Holly-Hobbie” table to rest on.  Yes, it will suck!  The weather will suck!  But you will overcome it and learn to do it with a clear mind…never allow it to take you from your task.

Inclement weather, low-light levels, and noise.  These are all very good things to use.  Same for excursions in the field (or “camping” if you prefer).  Why just wait for that perfect two or three days that the smiling weatherman assures you of?  No, go out when it’s raining hard, or you’re threatened with alternating temperatures and weather.  That will test you: that will take you to your limits.  Anybody can walk all over the happy park with a GPS.  You need to practice with that Lensatic compass…day and night, in difficult terrain.

You need to prepare your meals over an open fire when it is pouring down rain to test yourself.  Learn!  You won’t die, and if you feel as if things are too much, “can” the exercise, regroup, assess yourself, and learn from your mistakes.  Then get back up on that bull and ride the next chance you can.  You need to challenge yourself and see what you can do.  If you don’t succeed, then go back to the drawing board and plan it out until you overcome it.  Pretty soon, you’ll have (if you keep training logs, which are very, very beneficial and I strongly advise you to) all kinds of successes.

You should take your weak points and make them strong points.  That is how we triumph as a species.  You’ll be amazed at what you will be able to do under pressure.  Break out those firecrackers, and on the 4th of July, instead of just sitting around blowing off M-80’s, turn it into a training event.  Set up a land navigation event complete with an “ambush” by a family member with the fireworks.  Of course, be safe, but use your imagination!  Try disassembling that weapon, identifying the parts groups, reassembling it, performing a functions check…all blindfolded.  Then fire at a target.  All of this while the firecrackers are going off all around you.

The more realistic you make your training, the more relaxed you’ll be when it all goes to pot when the SHTF.  You can make it real.  Just use the planning and organizational skills you have, and outline your tasks beforehand.  You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment as you overcome the obstacles and take your training to levels you had not previously imagined.  Only imagination limits us.  Keep in that good fight, and train to win.  The training may be simulated, but in the long-run, you will face the real thing someday.  Be ready when that day arrives.  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 June 21st, 2017
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Not Doing This Before Winter Could Endanger Your Home June 19, 2017

chimney sweeping
Now that the temperatures have changed into cooler days and evenings, this is the best time to begin the process of winterizing your home. There are a few prepping musts that homeowners need do annually to ensure the home is prepped and ready for winter – one of those is ensuring your fireplace is in proper working order. Whether you make a choice to have a professional clean it or decide to go the DIY route, it should be done before you plan on lighting that first fire.

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To provide proper maintenance and preventing the release of toxic gasses in your home, chimneys should be maintained annually. If you are using wood that contains excessive amounts of sap, consider cleaning it twice. If you fail to do so has been known to cause house fires and or property damage.

One practical solution is to purchase a chimney sweep and clean the chimney yourself. In the video below, you will see how easy cleaning your chimney is.

Dangers of Not Cleaning Your Chimney

All wood creates creosote. Perhaps one of the most damaging byproducts of burning wood is the presence of creosote, a highly flammable and can lead to house fires. According to this website, always watch for signs of buildup including dark, smelly smoke or soot on the furniture. Smoke filling the home is another danger sign, as is internal temperatures below 300-degrees Fahrenheit for a wood stove. Clean your chimney at least once a year — more often for heavy use — to remove inevitable accumulation and burn pine and other wood safely.

Carbon monoxide is a risk. This poisonous gas is produced when fuels that contain carbon (such as coal, gasoline, wood, charcoal, kerosene and natural gas) do not burn completely. Breathing in carbon monoxide fumes damages your body, organs to shut down and inevitably cause death. Signs of carbon monoxide poisoning are as followed:

  • Dull headache
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of consciousness

If you or any family members exhibit these symptoms, leave the area and seek medical attention. A way to circumvent this is to have carbon monoxide detectors placed strategically around the house and especially near the fireplace.

Soot is another toxic byproduct caused by fires and puts tiny particles of carbon in the air that will inevitably pollute the very air you breathe. It can travel deep into the lung, where the compounds it consists of can do some serious damage. Soot adheres to walls, furniture or any other surface that is cooler than the fire. To prevent soot buildup:

  • Always burn well-seasoned wood in your wood stove. Burning wood that hasn’t been well-seasoned can decrease the quality of your fire and cause it to be “smoky.” Smokier fires produce more soot build up on the glass.
  • Try burning harder woods like oak, cherry, or walnut, and avoid burning woods known for their higher sap content.
  • If your wood stove has a heat setting, try turning the heat controls up a few notches. Hotter fires will keep your glass cleaner.
  • Allow enough oxygen to vent into your wood stove. Many of the newer models are already built to help with air flow. Check the chimney/vent to make sure it’s clean and in a good position for air flow.
  • If you’re burning smaller fires, try adding some more wood to the wood stove. Smaller fires can’t always produce enough heat inside the wood stove for the soot to burn off the glass.
  • Position burning matter closer to the front glass on the wood stove. This will put the heat source closer to the glass.

Source

Many homesteaders and preparedness minded individuals have woodburning stoves in the home and rely on them to work properly – especially in off-grid situations. Like all preparedness tools, you need to keep these primed and ready to go.

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 June 19th, 2017
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