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Here’s Everything You Need to Know About First Aid for Your Eyes March 21, 2017

There probably isn’t any part of your body that is more sensitive, exposed, or crucial to your survival than your eyeballs. You use these soft, delicate organs during every waking moment and for just about every task, but unfortunately the only thing that protects them are a few eyelashes and 1mm thick eyelids. Evolution is cruel like that.

So given the vulnerability of our eyes, it would be wise to brush up on the first aid measures that should be taken in an emergency to protect them. Below are the most common eye injures and the protective procedures that you need to take to prevent further damage, at least until you can see a doctor:

Chemical Exposure

If a caustic chemical ever gets splashed into your eyes, your first knee jerk response will probably be to close them. In this instance however, that’s a bad idea. You want to keep your eyes open so that the chemical doesn’t get trapped under your eyelids. Find a source of water and rinse them out for 15-20 minutes while keeping your eyes open the whole time, and seek medical attention.

Foreign Debris

We’ve all had some kind of debris in our eyes at one point or another. It’s a situation that your eyes are normally capable of correcting themselves by tearing up and washing the debris away. But if the condition persists, refrain from rubbing your eyes. It’ll only irritate them more. Pull your upper lid down and blink repeatedly. If that doesn’t work, you need to pull open both eyelids and roll your eye around before rinsing it out. You can repeat that process a few times if it doesn’t work right away.

Embedded Foreign Object

If you have a foreign object embedded in your eye, the measures you need to take aren’t what you might expect. Unlike the previously mentioned first aid procedures, you’re not supposed to wash out your eyes (this also applies to any cut or puncture wounds to the eye). You’re also not supposed to remove the object. Find something that you can place over the eye without applying too mush pressure to it, such as large, loose-fitting goggles or a plastic cup; then seek medical attention.

Blunt Force Trauma

The most important thing to do if you suffer a blow to the eye, is to reduce the swelling. Apply a cold compress or ice to the eye for 5 or 10 minute intervals. You can also take ibuprofen for the pain and swelling. After a 24 hour period, begin using a warm compress instead. You need to look out for any bleeding or vision problems. Or if it hurts to move your eyes, there may be damage to the eye socket. In those cases, you need to find a doctor.

Welder’s Flash

You probably already know that the light from a welding arc can hurt your eyes. This is called “welder’s flash”, and it’s why every welder has to wear a mask with tinted glass. However, there’s a good reason why this condition goes by many names, including “snow blindness” and “corneal flash burn.” It can be caused by any overexposure to ultraviolet light. Sunlight that reflects off of snow, sand, or water can also cause the condition.

The symptoms may include eye pain, severe light sensitivity, bloodshot eyes, blurry vision, and a gritty sensation under the eyelids. To treat the condition, you need to stay indoors in a dark room and wear sunglasses as much as possible for 1 or 2 days. You should also be applying artificial tears on a regular basis. If you wear contact lenses, remove them until your eyes heal. Most victim’s of welder’s flash find that a cold compress helps alleviate the symptoms. If your symptoms continue for more than a couple of days or worsen after 1 day, then you should see a doctor.

 

References:

http://www.healthline.com/health/first-aid/eye-care#blows-to-the-eye

http://www.webmd.com/first-aid/eye-injuries-treatment

http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/snowblind.htm

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published March 21st, 2017
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Here’s the Absolute Best Way to Tell If a Wild Plant is Edible March 16, 2017

You have to give a lot of respect to people who practice foraging. It’s definitely one of the most underrated skills in the modern world, and it’s also quite difficult to learn. If you want to eat plants that are found in the wild, you must have an encyclopedic knowledge of wild plants, both where you live and abroad. And not just because there are thousands of plants in the world that are poisonous, but also because many of them look a lot like edible plants.

For most people however, it can be difficult to justify learning this skill. We live in an era that provides an abundance of cheap food (relative to previous eras of course). If you want to learn how to safely forage for food in the wild, you have to spend a lot of time and energy on a skill that may not ever come in handy for you.

But if you want to better your odds of surviving in the wilderness, and you don’t have time to gain such an impressive skill, there is a shortcut you can learn. Like most things in life that take less effort, it’s not as comprehensive or effective, but it’s a lot better than nothing. It’s called the Universal Edibility Test, and it’s a method of safely testing wild plants that you’re not familiar with to see if you can actually eat them. Here’s how it works:

  1. Say you find a tasty looking plant in the wilderness. To see if it’s safe, the first thing you need to do is separate its parts, such as stems, leaves, flowers, buds, and roots. That’s because in many cases, only certain parts of a plant are poisonous.
  2. Next you need to take one of those parts and smell it. Certain plants have evolved to avoid being consumed, and they often have a terrible smell. So if it smells something awful, throw it out.
  3. But if it passes the smell test, the next thing you need to do is rub or place the plant on your skin, preferably on your inner elbow or wrist. Keep it there for a few minutes, then wait eight hours. If that spot starts to feel itchy, numb, or develops a rash, then clearly that plant doesn’t want to be eaten.
  4. If the plant passes that test, then the next thing you need to do is cook it if you can, since that often neutralizes poisons. Then you need to rub it on your lips for about three minutes. If you don’t encounter any kind of burning or tingling sensation after 15 minutes, then you can move on to the next step.
  5. Now you need to put the plant in your mouth. However, don’t swallow just yet. Just let the plant material rest on your tongue for 15 minutes. If the plant tastes bitter, or just gag-worthy in general; or if you experience burning or tingling in your mouth, then it’s probably not safe to eat. If it passes this test, then try swishing it around in your mouth for 15 minutes and look for the same signs. If you do experience any of these negative reactions, then not only should you spit the plant out, but you should also clean your mouth out with water.
  6. Finally, if you don’t receive any negative reactions from that previous step, then you can swallow the plant. Wait till the next day, and don’t eat anything else while you’re waiting. If you’re still feeling alright after that, then you can be reasonably sure that the plant is safe to eat. You can repeat this process for the other parts of the plant.

Now you can try eating a more substantial amount of the plant. If you still feel fine after another eight hours or so, then it’s definitely safe to eat.

Given the time-consuming nature of this test, you’ll want to try this out first on plants that are more abundant in your environment. It’s also important to note that there are certain things that are not worth your time with this test. Most notably, mushrooms usually can’t be tested with this method, so don’t even bother with them unless you’re well versed in spotting edible mushrooms.

Obviously the Universal Edibility Test isn’t perfect, and conducting it in the wild is going to use up a lot of precious time. Nothing beats having actual skills, and genuinely learning how to forage for wild plants. But if you don’t know what is and isn’t edible in your environment and you’re in a survival situation, then this is the absolute best way to find edible food in the wild.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published March 16th, 2017
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Why “This War of Mine” Is the Perfect Video Game for Preppers March 9, 2017

this war of mineTo my knowledge, the video game industry has never really catered to preppers. Though they do create games that contain survival situations, they are generally steeped in glorified violence. Likewise, their attempts to create games with post-apocalyptic story lines are almost always based in pure fantasy.

If they did create a game that tackled survival situations or the collapse of society in a realistic way, the realism would probably suck all of the fun out of the game. Or at least that’s what you’d think. However, there is one video game that tackles both of those subjects brilliantly, without sacrificing fun or realism. It’s called “This War of Mine,” and I couldn’t recommend it enough.


As that trailer suggests, this is a war game unlike any other, in that you experience war through the eyes of a handful of civilians who aren’t taking part in the combat. They are merely trying to survive the terrible conditions that war creates. For that reason, I’m actually a bit surprised that the prepper community hasn’t latched onto this game, despite the fact that it’s has been out since 2014. This War of Mine captures the gut wrenching experience of survival in ways that don’t compare to most games.

And like I said, it’s fun. However, it’s not fun in the traditional sense. It’s not glorious and epic and bombastic. It’s subdued. You don’t experience fun by vanquishing waves of faceless enemies. You experience the satisfaction of surviving another day.

The game takes place in the fictional war-torn city of Pogoren. The conditions found in this city are inspired by the real world Siege of Sarajevo, which took place between 1992 and 1996. You command three or four civilians with no military experience. Each character has unique skills and attributes such as cooking, scavenging, bartering, strength, and speed.

You’re hunkered down in a dilapidated house, and you’re responsible for building barricades, stoves, workbenches, rain collectors, water filters, weapons, tools, alcohol stills, and traps, and more. You have to keep these folks alive in this house until a cease-fire is signed and the siege is lifted, which occurs at a random point in the game. You’re responsible for keeping them well-fed, well-rested, warm, and protected from looters and thieves.

So what makes this game so realistic? For starters, there is a degree of luck and randomness in the game that makes it unpredictable. Certain resources and events are generated randomly each time you play. You can’t just play through it once and master it. Strategies that will help you survive one play-through might not help you in another, so you’re always flying by the seat of your pants.

Also, you don’t get to save your game whenever you want. The game will only save at the beginning of each day, and you can’t go back to previous days. So if you make a mistake, there are often no do-overs. So say you send one of your characters out to go scavenging for supplies and that character dies, you can’t go back and try again. And when that happens, the remaining characters have to take a larger share of the daily tasks that are needed to keep everyone alive.

Because of these conditions, you can’t fight your way through the game. Unlike most video games, you can’t just go around killing people and taking their supplies. In fact, most combat encounters will kill you. And even if you survive an encounter like that, you’re almost definitely going to have an injury that requires rest and medical supplies to recover from. To survive this game, you have to be smart, stealthy, and diplomatic. Just like the real world, you’re much better off engaging in trade than you are by engaging in combat, which should be treated as a last resort.

And finally, This War of Mine will really challenge your altruism and morality. You will be faced with situations that will give you the opportunity to be charitable, and you don’t really know if you’ll be rewarded or screwed over. There are times in this game when you will run out of supplies, and you’ll be faced with the choice of going hungry and cold, or stealing from your neighbors.

For sure, This War of Mine is a grim and unforgiving game, but that’s what makes it so perfect for preppers. It will definitely put you in the headspace of someone who is just trying to survive.

 

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Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published March 9th, 2017
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