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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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If You’re Bugging Out, Avoid Fatigue and Have These in Your Supplies June 12, 2017

ReadyNutrition fans, we’re going to talk about something that may seem simple, but it can make a big difference for you when the SHTF and the situation arise that you must bug out and be “on the move” without respite.  By “respite,” I don’t mean a half an hour break, or an hour to nap.  I’m speaking about when there is continuous activity for many hours (8-12) that may run up to a day or even longer.  If such a thing occurs, you’re going to need all the help that you can get.

Your Body Will Be Under a Tremendous Amount of Stress

There are several things that happen under stressful conditions from a physiological perspective.  As explained in earlier articles, your body burns off stores of glycogen (stored in the muscles) until it runs out.  Without replenishment, the body cannibalizes its muscle tissue and “manufactures” its glucose and glycogen requirements.  After “hitting the wall” (your body’s limit, usually reached within an hour or so), you burn off muscle tissue during this cannibalistic phase at a rate of 5 grams of muscle protein for every thirty minutes of prolonged effort.

With epinephrine and norepinephrine going haywire during your “fight or flight” metabolic reactions and with adrenaline pumping levels to the moon, your body will consume a tremendous amount of energy.  When there is any kind of a lag, the body kind of “sags” as it attempts to relax.  Notice how I wrote “attempts” here?  So, how do we solve this one?

Some kind of snack would be beneficial, and keeping in mind what we wrote earlier, you may not have the time for it.  Remember what I wrote for you a few articles back:

You need to ingest protein and carbohydrates within 20-30 minutes of a strenuous workout, and more if the workout is protracted.

That being mentioned, many people turn to things such as power bars to make up for the protein and carbs.  Those are OK, but make sure you have plenty of water when you eat them, or else they’ll pull water right out of your cells in order for your body to digest them…leading to dehydration.

If You’re Bugging Out, Make Sure You Have These Energy Enhancers

Even then, you may still be “lagging” for a while waiting for your body to extract what it needs.  In the meantime, try the caffeine.  Instant coffee can be consumed in an instant, just as the name implies.

While in the service, our MRE’s came with packets of coffee (Taster’s Choice, to be exact).  We “stocked” up on them and kept those packets handy for when we might need them besides just (if we could do it) the proverbial “morning cup of Joe.”  Be careful not to take in too much…but if you’re in a bind and don’t have a lot of time to restore your mental alertness, the caffeine in a helping of instant coffee (either in a happy manufactured packet or one you make up yourself) can do you some good.  I’m going to cite the PDR for Herbal Medicines, page 215, for Coffee for you:

“Quantities corresponding to as much as 500 mg of caffeine daily (5 cups of coffee) spread out over the day are toxicologically harmless for healthy adults accustomed to drinking coffee.”

The PDR goes on to state that dosages of 1,500 mg per day can lead to problems, but unless there are underlying health concerns such as arrhythmias, there is normally no real concern.  Consult with your friendly and happy family physician before using the coffee.

Many people extol the virtues of guarana, and if it works for you, that’s great.  Understand that guarana seeds (from which the energy drinks are made) main constituent to provide that energy is none other than caffeine, as well as theobromine and theophylline, two purines that are also stimulants.  Guarana is listed as a tonic for fatigue in the PDR.  Caffeine overall is also an appetite suppressant.

Keep this in mind: caffeine is also a diuretic, meaning that it works against ADH (anti-diuretic hormone) and increases the frequency of your urinations.  Care must be taken when using it so as to prevent dehydration.  Ensure you take in enough water to prevent it from occurring.

Please let me clarify one final time with all of this: I’m referring to a situation that you’re not going to get any real rest for a long period of time.  All of these items in the form of premade beverages, dried product, or tablets can be purchased in advance and stocked aside for the time you may need to rely on them.  Let’s hope that need never arises and still plan for it nonetheless.  Keep in that good fight, drink some coffee (just because it’s good!) and take care of one another!  JJ out!

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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 12th, 2017
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Prepper Sustainability: How to Observe and Monitor Local Game June 9, 2017

I have written a few articles here and there on the benefits of hunting, as well as some firearms for you to consider.  There is a good reason for becoming proficient in hunting.  You must eat, and you must feed your family.  Sometimes it’s the small things…the small details that lead to success in the larger, bigger picture.  In order to be proficient with hunting, you need to learn about your quarry.

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Why is this important?  Because in a grid-down, SHTF situation, you’re going to need to eat, and you probably will not be able to grow everything you need or raise all the livestock you will use to support the family.  The blending of agriculture and animal husbandry is not complete until you have also learned to become a hunter-gatherer when need be.  Our Revolutionary forefathers supplemented the meat slaughtered at the happy butchers with meat they shot in the woods.

So, how do you learn about your quarry?  There are lots of different ways.  The library is replete with books and videos on every subject from deer to migratory birds, from field care and butchering wild game to the habits of game animals.  No, what I’m referring to here is to take the time and do a study of your immediate area and/or the closest woods to your home.

A notebook needs to be compiled with your observations.  It is not hunting season, and there are plenty of deer and other game animals to observe and learn about.  Finding the deer trails means finding where the deer go in the normal course of the day to forage and to drink.  Learning where the squirrels can be found, where the pheasants bed down for the night, and where aquatic birds such as ducks and geese can be found are some keys.  By observing them, you also have to maintain your silence and mask your scent…so you’re training while you’re observing them: you’re practicing your stealth and masking your presence.

You need to find out where your predators are: black bear, bobcat, and so forth.  Remember, when you hunt for game, you’re competing with them.  In a survival situation, you may also have to rely on them for a food source.  It would behoove you to map out your area.  Use existing maps and either trace them out and create a whole new map or make an overlay where you can mark important points where you find them.  When you see groups of deer, try to identify them as a unit and as individuals.  You may have “group 1” that has a couple of bucks and does, and two fawns.

This Group 1 may be identified because one of the bucks is missing one antler, or another has a limp.  This is all fieldcraft, and it can pay off because in a SHTF situation, you’re not the only one who’s going to be hunting the wild game.  Give yourself the edge of knowing what is in your area and their regular feeding and watering times.  It will take time, but you can practice a boatload of other tasks as well and boost your training.  Learn to document exactly where they are moving, what they are doing, and the times.

Soon you’ll have a collection of notes that you can rely upon to gauge the habits of these animals.  For birds: knowing their haunts can lead to learning about where they nest and where they bed down for the night.  This can yield eggs in addition to meat.  Where the ducks and geese are feeding, the chances are this is a good area for fishing, as well.  As you gather information, you will be painting a picture…similar to a documentary…on their habits and activities.  Supplement this with watching what they do.

Watch what they eat, and familiarize yourself with these local plants.  You’ll also want to be aware of how many people frequent these areas.  Other people will be your competition for hunting wild game in a collapse-scenario.  Use a compass and map, and have exact locations described in detail.  Why?  Here’s why.

The scenario: we suffer a collapse, and in the course of things, you develop an infection and are going to die.  You’re leaving behind a wife and two kids, boy and a girl.  “Standard fare,” right?  Now, if you don’t document where all of this wild game is, how are they going to hunt for themselves while you’re in the backyard under a headstone?  That journal with all the habits and haunts of that wild game can benefit them and give them a better chance.

So, Springtime is here.  Go out and get yourself some good training by hiking around and following the wild game and migratory birds.  Learn about your backyard, and it just may be that someday (if your notes are good) the information may benefit you or benefit others who rely on you if you’re not around.  Let’s hope that latter is not the case.  Keep in that good fight, and fight it to win.  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 9th, 2017
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