Wednesday, June 19, 2019



by Ol’ Remus, The Burning Platform:

People from deep metropolitan America see woodlands in a peculiar way. Other than a day trip to some attraction, or a weekend at a cabin on the lake, their experience is commonly at a managed reserve such as a state park or other public accommodation where involvement with the Great Outdoors is bounded and wholly optional.

They’ll typically stay in earnestly rustic cabins fitted out with utilities and amenities not materially different from an efficiency apartment, presented in an improbable mix of decors suggesting a mining camp of the old west imagined by a designer of Swiss chalets, or if severely downscale, something resembling the shotgun houses of Louisiana’s unfashionable wards.

When hiking the over-designated “wilderness trails” they’ll caution each other in grave tones against getting separated and lost, as if an unspeakable fate awaits just off-trail. This, where a minor walk in any direction except up would get them to discount gas, snacks, lottery tickets and a cartoony map commending vendors of crafts and local honey.


Tersely worded signs along scenic routes and jogging trails feature low level bullying concerning the disposition of trash offset with the promise of personal redemption by recycling, or the care to be exercised when building a fire in the meteor-proof facilities provided, all of which reassures them their welfare, perhaps nature itself, is being actively managed by competent and watchful professionals.

This is the woodlands on terms they’ll accept, those of a valued guest in a picturesque but alien land. Park managers well know what underlies their expectation of convenience and reassurance. Fear. Places like the Ozarks or Alleghenies are their equivalent of East Saint Louis or Baltimore, menacing by day, potentially lethal by night. It’s why they gather ’round in the evening and build Dresden-like campfires and laugh a lot.

It’s not possible to overstate the disorienting effect night has on them in the woods. Perhaps it’s the first occasion their eyes have had reason to become dark-adjusted, conceivably an unsettling experience. The resolutely unadventurous pack a flashlight of such power there’s a felt recoil when switched on, in case they’ll need to attract a rescue helicopter from afar or signal a distant township, I assume.

But it’s not just the dark they fear. It took me a long while to understand why they talk so much. It’s the quiet. Thinking back, the nighttime stillness is often remarked upon by visitors, admiringly, but tentatively so. Their aimless chatter is as if the Great Outdoors had whispered “your move” and they’re struggling to excuse themselves gracefully. It’s understandable, they live a life of obligatory blather, it’s their go-to survival skill.

On the other side, we have the people who live in the hills, often for generations past. They know the woods as a familiar part of their neighborhood. Night holds no fear for them, they rambled and camped at night even as youngsters. They find the urban pilgrim’s anxiety puzzling. In a catastrophic collapse, the street mavens who “head for the hills” with intent of armed aggression will be surprised by their own incompetence and fears.

Moving quietly and efficiently through rugged, heavily wooded country is a skill learned over time. There are no prodigies. Even in daytime, lack of woodcraft or foul weather will see the urban intruder make blunder after blunder until he’s totally ineffective, perhaps incapacitated, almost certainly lost. Discreet night travel at a useful pace is at another level yet, mastered only with practice and an irrational fondness for the idea.

Some city-dwellers work in occupations providing a basic woodland experience: surveyors, wildlife biologists, gas and oil field workers, and so forth, but they’re not likely to be dangerous. They’re more likely to have a provisioned bugout location of their own than rely on marauding, or if not, be an asset to an existing survival community.

Street mobs from the inner city could be a significant threat to “flatland” rural areas near the cities for as long as there are working vehicles and passable roads—the infrastructure is held together with patches and promises as it is—and enough fuel for the return trip. Should they venture into the hills, narrow roads winding through steep woodlands present more places suitable for ambush than not.

However, it’s their long history of creating enemies with ultimatums and violence, their lack of cohesion and disinclination to plan a step ahead that will work decisively against them. To their cost, the word “minority” has a specific meaning older than the rhetoric that’s grown up around it. It’s unlikely they’ll keep their legions of peripheral supporters when gunfire replaces theatre. Uniforms issued at birth will almost certainly become the ruling default.

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19 Foods That Eat the Stress Away


by Joshua Krause, Ready Nutrition:

At best, stress can interfere with your happiness and productivity.

At worst, stress can be a slow killer: It can adversely affect your immune, cardiovascular, neuroendocrine, and central nervous systems, especially when it is experienced chronically.

Avoiding stress entirely is impossible. Many of the ups and downs of everyday life are simply out of our control.

For many, reaching for comfort foods that are high in sugar or refined carbohydrates during times of stress is instinctual. It is an attempt to self-soothe.

I Just Backed The ‘Polymule’ on Kickstarter


by SGT, SGTreport,com:

I got an email today asking for some support for a Kickstarter project. I get a lot of emails like that. I can’t nor do I have the time to investigate every single project or request that I get. But this one really piqued my interest.  A practically bulletproof survival-style reinvented wheelbarrow?   I’m in.  These guys are trying raise $250,000 to take their project mainstream, and they only have a couple weeks left to raise the money. I just pledged $319 ($369 with shipping) so I can get one and support the project.  I don’t know these guys personally and I have no skin in the game, I just like to support cool people doing cool things. By the way, if they don’t raise the full $250,000 over the next 13 days, your pledge via credit card will not be charged.

Here’s a copy of my pledge.  

And here’s the link to the POLYMULE Kickstarter page so you can investigate and make a pledge to too: Polymule – a Handcart for Adventure, Work, and Survival.

And here’s an excellent article about this cool product from Gear Junkie:

by Nate Mitka, Gear Junkie:

The wheelbarrow is a tool that hasn’t seen much innovation for decades. It functions well enough, but the team at Polymule thinks it could stand improvement.

New to Kickstarter this week, Polymule aims to address common problems found with wheelbarrows, garden carts, or any wheeled hauling device.

The design is all about comfort, ease of use, and increased capacity. Padded grips, high ground clearance, and the ability to set it up completely without tools are just a few of its innovations.

Use it for carrying gear, wood, or even people (as demonstrated in the Kickstarter video below).

It retails for $320 if the Kickstarter campaign is successful.

Polymule Handcart Features: Updated Wheelbarrow

Poor stability, back and shoulder strain, splinters, and poor ground clearance are problems the Polymule aims to address with its hauling design.

The handcart, as the company calls it, offers 15 cubic feet of hauling space with a 350-pound load capacity. An aluminum frame folds down for a level resting position and folds up to move the cart.

Integrated kickstand

As noted, it assembles completely without tools. Slide the parts into position, snap them down, and haul away. The company claims the Polymule sets up in five minutes.

The two wheels and wheel stands detach completely and fit within the hauling space for storage. When assembled, the large wheels lift the handcart 26 inches off the ground to navigate messy work spaces or uneven ground.

Pack it up entirely within its hauling space

Throw the Polymule into the back of your car, as the whole assembly fits within its 46″ x 32″ x 12″ frame.

You can also purchase a canvas cover for shade and weather protection.

Optional canvas cover

Build A Better Wheelbarrow: The Polymule

The Kickstarter video shows the Polymule hauled into the backcountry, to a rock climber’s descent, and a child’s rescue after a car accident.

While the applications are not typical of wheelbarrows and push carts, an updated design to the wheeled-hauler may inspire new uses. Of course, it appears to carry typical wheelbarrow items like wood and tools just fine.

Until we get our hands on the Polymule for testing, it’s hard to tell how it will hold up. The durability of the wheels, its plastic body, and the aluminum arms all raise questions for us.

However, we’re all for reinventing things that we didn’t think needed reinventing, much like the YETI Bucket. This could be a welcomed update to an old stalwart.

Stronghold of all the world’s seeds in the Global Seed Vault reaches the one million mark


by David Williams, Natural News:

The world’s largest repository of crop seeds recently celebrated its 10th-year anniversary. And to mark the occasion, it received shipments of more than 70,000 additional crop varieties from a total of 23 different institutions for it to store. This new shipment just about bumped up its number of stored seeds over the one million mark.

Indeed, from the first shipments of crop seeds back in 2008, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway now has a number of deposits that amounts to a little over a million in total. A report from the U.K.’s BBC noted that this total number doesn’t include certain emergency withdrawals of about 90,000 crop seeds, which were needed to make up for the seed samples that got stranded in Syria because of the ongoing conflict there.

Not just for eating: The 5 health benefits of manuka honey superfood


by Zoey Sky, Natural News:

Honey is a popular superfood because it’s nutritious and it also offers various health benefits. But did you know that manuka honey, which is native to New Zealand, also has many unique health benefits and uses?

What is manuka honey?

According to Will Cole, a functional medicine expert, manuka honey has a higher nutritional content compared to regular raw honey. The honey is produced by bees that pollinate the flowers of the manuka bush (Leptospermum scoparium).

Thirsty Are Those Who Do Not Prep- Part 1


by The Grumpy Gunfighter, Survival Blog:

As a prepper who has lived in an off-the-grid home in the arid southwest desert for the past 20 plus years, I am no stranger to the challenges of obtaining safe and reliable sources of water. My family and I have used a professionally drilled well for our water. However, the unfortunate reality is that the water table in our region is dwindling. Years of historic drought in our area, coupled with the significant increase in the population, have made it apparent that water scarcity will continue to be a growing issue. We prep and have taken action so that we won’t find ourselves thirsty in the event of a crisis.

I wrote this article to hopefully inspire you all who also live where water is scarce to consider the importance of planning for clean drinking water. This applies even after the collapse of our modern water infrastructure.

The 4 Levels of Disasters (And How to Prepare for Each One)


by Daisy Luther, The Organic Prepper:

Disasters come in all shapes and sizes, and so do your preps. There are four different levels of disasters, from personal emergencies to a full-on SHTF end-of-the-world kind of thing. The good news is, no matter what your level of preparedness or your budget is like, there are things you can do to prep for each one.

Often we get new people on board in our group and they feel so overwhelmed because other folks are much further along in their preparedness efforts. You may be feeling like that yourself, reading this article and others like it. But don’t despair! Start out by prepping for Level 1 Personal Emergencies and  Level 2 Short-Term Situations and then work your way through the other levels.

How to decide which animals to raise on your small farm


by Zoey Sky, Natural News:

Before you head out to buy livestock that you want to raise on your homestead, you need to consider these important points. Reading the tips listed below can help, especially if you’re having a hard time deciding what kind of animals best suits your needs.

This article will focus on the basic aspects of raising livestock like animal cost and their housing needs. It will also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of various livestock. As you try to decide what kind of animal you’re going to raise in your homestead, keep your personal preference in mind.

As an aspiring homesteader, you also need to read up on livestock regulations because there are local restrictions and laws that will affect the kinds and number of animals that you can keep. Check these rules before your build or purchase anything. Don’t forget to think of the noise and smells that your neighbors will have to deal with, so be considerate. (Related: You Should Really Learn These 10 Homesteading Skills.)

5 Mini-farm animals to raise on your homestead

  • Rabbits – Rabbits are clean, quiet, and fertile animals. You only need a small space to keep them in, and if their hutches or cages are clean enough, you won’t have to deal with flies. Rabbits are worth every dollar you spend on them because they will provide you with meat and pelts on a regular basis. However, rabbits are prone to predator attacks so build fences to keep them safe.
  • Chickens – Homesteaders are fond of chickens because these birds are a reliable source of eggs or meat. Dual breeds will also provide you with both if you raise them well. Chickens are also good at foraging, but keep them fenced in or clip their wings so they don’t fly over your barriers. You’ll also need strong coop fences to protect your chickens from predators.
  • Sheep — Like rabbits, sheep are quiet and clean animals. In season, you can raise sheep on good grassland. Sheep will provide you with milk, meat, and wool. These animals require less maintenance than chickens or rabbits, but they also need protection against predators.
  • Goats – A steady source of milk, goats can also provide homesteaders with meat and hides. Take note that a dairy goat needs milking “twice a day, seven days a week, through her entire ten-month lactation period,” which can be too much work for newbie homesteaders. Goats are also noisy, and they might attack their fences. When raising goats for their milk, read up on their nutritional needs, especially during lactation and dry periods. Goats will also need proper veterinary care.
  • Pigs – A good source of meat, pigs can also get rid of kitchen scraps. Pigs need pens that measure at least 16 square feet. While pigs don’t jump over their pens often, you can prevent this by making your enclosures “swine tight” near the bottom. If you want to raise pigs for backyard meat production, buy them as weanlings in the spring so you can raise them through the summer. Weanlings can reach a market weight of at least bout 220 pounds. Before it’s time to butcher them, you can simply feed and water your stock twice a day. Don’t forget to clean out the manure, which can be used for your compost pile.

Good animal husbandry is important when raising livestock because it can help you minimize feed costs and boost production. Take advantage of an animal’s natural cycles, select and keep the best “doers, and cull those that aren’t contributing enough. These three steps will help double the cost-effectiveness of your livestock.

Before you buy your animals, factor into consideration the potential return on your investment, e.g. how much eggs, milk, meat, etc. you can harvest compared to the time and money that will go into raising the livestock. The following four basic factors can help you estimate an animal’s cost compared to its productivity: age, pedigree, popularity, and quality.

  1. Age  The price of homestead livestock must reflect its age and the remaining years of productivity.
  2. Pedigree – An animal with a good family background will most often give you good results, and livestock that came from parents of the same breed are called purebred. Owners selling purebreds usually list them in a breed club registry to prove their authenticity.
  3. Popularity – Some breeds are more popular than others, and this can affect their price.
  4. Quality – This can be deduced from an animal’ post-production records. If the records aren’t available, check the established “standards of perfection” for the animal you wish to purchase.

If you’re raising animals for their meat, you need to come to terms with butchering them. This can be hard to accept for some homesteaders because it’s hard not to get attached to livestock you raised from birth. If you think you’re going to have this problem, it’s best to stick to goats that produce milk or chickens that lay eggs.

However, if you have the stomach to raise animals for their meat, you’ll see that harvesting your own meat can teach you to respect each animal. Raising animals for meat also teaches homesteaders to be responsible.

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Are We Due for a Pandemic Flu? Here’s How to Prepare Just in Case

by Lisa Egan, Ready Nutrition:

It has been 100 years since the Spanish Flu (also known as the 1918 flu pandemic) spread across the globe, infecting 500 million people and causing the deaths of 50 million – which was three to five percent of the world’s population at the time.

Imagine the catastrophic numbers in today’s time if a similar flu hit – and how quickly it would spread from the ease in transportation modern society allows.

While you can rest easy right now knowing a global pandemic is not currently a threat, it is just a matter of time before the next one arrives.

How & Where Can Preppers Store All That Information?


by Anonymous 411, The Organic Prepper:

Most of the information discussed in these articles will be electronic files – specifically PDF and TIF files. This article will discuss how to safely store these files and use them before and after the SHTF.

Portable Storage of the Library
What I need to be able to do is read PDF and view TIF (graphic) files using my cell phone. It would be best if I could read these files from a USB drive, or secondarily, from a miniSD card. The plan would be that I would copy these files from my computer to these storage (USB and/or microSD) devices. I will sometimes call the information stored on these devices as the “Library”.

Hurricane Irma Projected To Reach Category 5 And Hit The East Coast – Panic Prepping Begins In Florida


by Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse Blog:

On Monday, Hurricane Irma strengthened into a category 4 hurricane, and some meteorologists are projecting that it will eventually become a category 5 storm before it eventually makes landfall in the United States.  And since a “category 6” has not been created yet, category 5 is as high as the scale goes at the moment.  Over the past couple of days, the track of the storm has shifted “a lot further to the west”, and at this point it appears that Miami is the most likely to take the full force of the hurricane.  But as we have seen, trying to forecast the behavior of hurricanes is not an exact science.  Irma may never become a category 5 storm, and it may never hit the U.S. at all.  Or it may zip past Florida to the south and end up making landfall in the Gulf of Mexico.  The truth is that we just don’t know.

But for the moment things are not looking good for Florida, and a state of emergency has already been declared for every single county in the state

On Monday afternoon, Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for every county in Florida in anticipation of Irma. A state of emergency was also declared in Puerto Rico earlier in the day.

Another scenario still on the table is that Irma curve northward and miss the East Coast entirely. This would still generate large surf and rip currents along the East Coast. However, this scenario is the least likely to occur at this point.

And as I mentioned above, many are projecting that Irma will become a category 5 storm just a few days from now.  The following comes from the Express

Many projections show the category storm strengtheing to a category 5 hurricane, capable of ripping roofs from houses and causing huge waves and storm surges.

Predictions from both the National Environmental Satellite data and Information Service (NESDIS) and international weather forecaster Ventusky suggest though Irma is currently a Category 3 storm by Thursday she is expected to strengthen to a Category 5.

A category 5 storm has winds of more than 157mph – enough to destroy whole buildings and cause devastating flooding.

But just because the experts are telling us that certain scenarios are likely to happen does not mean that they will actually take place.

In the end, it is entirely possible that Florida may not see a single drop of rain.  Hurricane Harvey certainly behaved in ways that nobody was expecting, and I have a feeling that the same will be true for Irma.

As Irma inches closer to Florida, “prepping fever” has hit the public.  Grocery stores and home improvement chains are already being flooded with traffic, and this is only going to get worse the closer that Irma gets.  The following comes from one local news report

As Hurricane Irma continues to make its way towards a possible strike on the Southeastern U.S., stores in South Florida are beginning to see a rush for supplies.

Several Publix supermarkets were full before noon Monday as residents grabbed water, non-perishable food and other items.

Another local news report noted that essential supplies were already running low at a Home Depot in south Florida

With Hurricane Irma churning west, many South Florida residents are taking precaution and stocking up on supplies on Labor Day.

A Home Depot in Royal Palm Beach on Monday morning posted a sign that said they were short of some hurricane supplies, including wing nuts, 5-gallon containers for gasoline and 5-gallon jugs of water.

Those that wait until the last minute are going to find that there is nothing left for them.  One resident of Palm Beach Gardens told reporters that the local Wal-Mart in her area is already completely out of water

“There was nothing at Walmart,” said Bianca Rodriguez of Palm Beach Gardens. “Not even like one thing of water.”

Of course those that have been preparing all along don’t have to run out to the store in a panic.

If Irma hits the United States as a category 4 or category 5 storm, it is going to make history.

Meteorologists are telling us that the United States has not been hit by two hurricanes of at least category 4 strength in the same year in more than a century.

And prior to Hurricane Harvey, a hurricane had not made landfall in this country in about 12 years.

There is still a possibility that Irma could miss us completely, but as CNN’s Tom Sater has noted, “that window is shutting quickly”…

Computer models show the system moving through the Caribbean, and by the end of week, it will turn right toward the north, said CNN meteorologist and weather anchor Tom Sater.

“There is a small window. If it turns sooner rather than later, we could maybe see the system slide by the East Coast into the ocean, but that window is shutting quickly,” Sater said. “It definitely looks like we will be impacted by a major hurricane that is a Category 3, 4 or 5.”

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