Share your knowledge & learn from experts

Because prepping and community go hand in hand

UK media focusing on pan US shortages in stores

Please ignore anything political in the DM article and focus on the logistical issues.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10094485/Biden-ridiculed-online-EmptyShelvesJoe-frustrated-shoppers-complain-shortages.html

EG this sort of detail rather than the political sniping.

Read More
5
6
Screenshot 2021-11-01 at 17-55-27 #EmptyShelvesJoe trending as concern mounts about Christmas shortages

Fear, scary movies, our evolution; values to a prepper

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/fear-can-be-fun-and-it-might-even-be-good-for-you

Good morning,

Had thought I posted this article several weeks ago.  Apparently not. Redundancy better than neglect.  Some forum member might need this info now.

Note:  “When the fear subsides, … pleasure”.

Note:  “stress hormones”.

Did not know about Oxytocin and hugging.

Note Dr Mendez’s “Risk takers … “.

Note:  “., short-term fear can have psychological benefits … to practice controlling”.

Read More
5
4

The need for insecticides in your survival garden

I’m a long time gardener that has a small vegetable garden, that provides lots of great food for my wife & myself, plus we have a rather large orchard (over 150 trees).  As a prepper, I plan for an extreme scenario, where possibly for a year or more, we might have to become self sufficient to survive.  Obviously, to rapidly become self sufficient, the number one thing you need is lots of garden seed, so I keep several hundred pounds in cool storage and add approximately 50lbs per year.  Most seed will become much less viable after 3-5 years, so it is important to add new seed to your stores each year.

Sounds great, but there is something many preppers don’t plan on… battling insects when you just might need every plant to survive.  My many years of gardening has taught me one thing and that is, at least where I live, there is no such thing as organic growing for many foods.  This year has been especially bad for critters wanting to eat up my garden.  Beetles of all sorts have been especially bad from the tiny ones you can barely see to the big ones.  Squash bugs will kill any squash (or similar) within a few weeks.  Now we have army worms attacking the grass all around this whole area.

Picture this.  We have a crisis & all good preppers pull out their hoes & seed & put in a nice, big garden.  The plants start off great, but then your squash starts dying and most of your other plants’ leaves start looking like swiss cheese… full of holes.  What good are those seeds & implements if you can’t control the bugs?

My solution is insecticides.  Yes they have all sorts of bad connotations, but if you really want to protect you food, and possibly your life, you will need them.  Some insecticides are much safer than others.  Spinosad is my go to insecticide, as it is one of the safest & some folks consider it organic.  If applied properly, around dusk when the pollinators have left, it will only kill insects that bite into the plant… the bad guys.  Once dry, it doesn’t harm the other insects & pollinators… the good guys.  I purchase a quart of Conserve SC, which has a very concentrated amount of Spinosad for under $200.  1 oz of that makes 10 gallons, so that single quart can make over 300 gallons of insecticide.

Another rather safe insecticide is Cypermethrin, is a very concentrated synthetic pyrethroid that kills insects on contact.  It is considered very safe & safe around animals.  That same chemical is used in my fly spray system in my horse barn.  I’ll be spraying that tomorrow on my grass to kill the army worms.  It only takes 3 oz per acre.  Another contact killer I use in my garden is BioAdvanced Vegetable and Garden Insect Spray Concentrate.  I use this as little as possible.

My point is not to push any specific insecticide.  I too keep lots of insecticide soaps & oils, such as Neem oil.  I’m just letting you know some of what I use.  My point is to remind any prepper that plans on growing their own food, that they really need to have insecticides on hand… and a lot of it.  Besides having it on hand, it would be nice if you have some experience using it prior to a crisis, where a mistake can mean you and yours going hungry.  I’ve found soaps & oils can be effective but sometimes you need something a bit stronger, at least IMO.

Read More
18
65

Specialized prepper multitool for food preparation

This multi-tool is for preppers – food preppers that is

Good morning,

It’s about a gadget for food preparation when out in the field and this multitool is the de factor kitvhen drawer of gadgets.

It’s approximately configured like a Swiss Army Knife.  It has a cheese grater, inter alia – amongst other things. Not familiar with “Zester”.

One thing I’m sure the gadget cannot do is open Brazil nuts. My method requires use of a crash ax and multitool with a vice grip.

Most definitely carry the needed cleaning products along with this field expedient kitchen tool(s).  Otherwise the bugs /  animals will follow.

Read More
4
5

Avoiding a Halloween disaster

With Halloween right around the corner, I wanted to share some of the safety tips that I have used over the years. Maybe it’s a bit overkill, but I haven’t lost a child to Halloween yet. There are tips that all can benefit from, those with children and those who will just stay home.

Take your children trick or treating to known houses of people you trust. Check the sex offender registry and avoid those houses when trick or treating. Download the NSOPW app from your app store to see a map of houses to avoid wherever you go. Go out early and go home early. As the night goes on, people get drunk, it gets darker, and the older kids are out and about pulling tricks. Tell people which routes you will be walking and when you will be home. Inspect candy for any that have been tampered with by squeezing the packaging. If there isn’t a little bubble of air, it might have been opened. Look for any candy that your child may have a food allergy. One of the biggest dangers during Halloween is cars. If your three year old is running around in a black gorilla suit, it will be hard for a car to see them. Make safety fun for them by buying glow in the dark paint, using reflective tape, create a costume with LED lights, or a cheap option is buying packs of glow stick bracelets and necklaces from the dollar store. Make your children as visible as possible. If possible, avoid wearing masks that can obscure your vision. Drive slow and have your lights on as you are going around the next few days. Charge up and bring a headlight or flashlight when going around with your children. Print off your contact information and pin it to the inside of your child’s treat bag and costume. If they get lost, they can show that to someone to help reunite you. Before going out, make sure your and your child’s cell phones are completely charged and you have settings like Find My iPhone turned on. Take pictures of your children with and without their costumes on right before they go out, this can be used to show people or the police a description of your child if they get lost. Don’t make it scary for them and tell them it’s in case they get lost, just mention how you want it as memory. Do the same for your teenagers, no matter how much they complain and whine. Things happen unfortunately. If you are handing out candy, have some pepper spray close by the door in case you have some drunk teenagers come by that try and cause trouble and enter your house. Again, things happen, be prepared. Pull the jack o lanterns in when you are done handing out candy for the night and you turn your porch light off. Unless you want to pick up pumpkin guts from teenagers going around pumpkin smashing. Make sure any security cameras and home alarm systems are armed are working properly a couple days before and after Halloween. Do an extra security sweep around your property and house. Make sure all windows, doors, and padlocks are secured. People are just out and about looking for trouble. Bring a small first aid kit with you when trick or treating, running around in the dark can lead to some injuries. Have it nearby as well when carving pumpkins. If you are sick or think you have COVID, please do not go out trick or treating or hand out candy. There will be many more holidays you can enjoy, take it easy and watch a scary movie at home. Read More

Brit article on Brit preppers

[Edit of article link by Gideon:] https://todayuknews.com/uk-news/uk-preppers-always-ready-for-armageddon-dismissed-as-paranoid-then-covid-hit/

Good morning,

Per title, article tells of more acceptance of prepping after BREXIT.

Article mentions Mathias, West Virginia.  This place next to Virginia and just north of George Washington National Forest.  Since the forest is Federal land, it can be readily packed with Fed LEOs.  The mentioned 50 cal machine gun is something “frowned upon”.

Reminder to forum members of the American upstart colonies: “torch” means in American English “flashlight”.

Read More
2
7

Massive Facebook, Instagram / internet outage

Its global  FB and many other mass user sites have been down since 5PM GMT, nearly 5 hours out of action.

Read More
6
4

Current global problems could worsen because of diesel shortage in China

Some news agencies are taking an ever more closer interest in the economic problems in China, In some cities truckers are limited to 200 litres a time, but when you leave the cities people are waiting up to a week to refuel.  This is having a major impact in china being able to meet its export obligations and even driving up food prices as well.  The cost of fuel has doubled in some areas and one of the knock on effects is that Vegetables in some areas are now more expensive than meat.

https://www.wionews.com/world/due-to-fuel-shortages-china-rations-diesel-424700

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202110/1237632.shtml

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-59059093

Read More
3
5

Preparing for evacuation to a public shelter

I realize this is not what most folks here, including myself prepare for. But recent massive flooding in my area has me wondering- if I could not shelter in place, AND my vehicle was flooded (many people in my town lost their cars)or roads were closed, and I ended up in some sort of community shelter, what would I wish I had packed? Across the board from hygiene, to privacy and comfort but also personal security and preventing theft, etc? 

Read More
11
28

Washing machine broken, might want to try something non-electric

What would you use to wring out clothes, that *does not hurt your hands*? The washing machine just broke. Maybe I can get it fixed, maybe not, but it occurs to me to have something for backup. My hands can’t really do the wringing on their own at all any more, although I have done it in the past. I see some hand wringers (mangles) online, and would like to avoid something that is going to break.

Read More

Preserving meats with salt

This is kind of a splinter conversation based on the one started by Jay Valencia (Avoiding freezer burn when storing meat). I mean, prior to the advent of refrigeration, this was *the* method of preserving meat.

I’m wondering if anyone has any practical experience, advice, or tips for preserving meats with salt, in case refrigeration (and freezing) isn’t an option.

Read More
18
17

Has anyone bought any “cheap but worth it” prepping supplies from Wish.com?

I’ve found that there are many potential prepping supplies on wish.com for a very low price (+shipping from China) and was wondering if anyone has had luck finding worth it items to round out their preps there? I’ve seen molle first aid bags, ferro rods, solar items, and other such things there for very low cost.  Of course, I’m aware that the quality of many of their items is questionable, but I was curious if anyone had found items that are worth it?  Many items seem identical to what I find on amazon.  Thanks!

Read More
18
7

Preparation for flying?

I think this is the worst time to be flying and have no plans to fly.  However, the other day a question arose in my mind, “What if I had to?  How would I prepare?”

If you were to fly on an airplane, what would you bring with you?

My first thought was that I would want excellent respirator and eye protection.  It would need to be comfortable for a long flight (which is inherently uncomfortable to begin with).  I would need to feel confident that nothing would slip off of my face by accident.  This line of thinking made me want a full mask [1].

Then I thought, what about drinking water?  The Aerospace Medical Association recommends drinking 8 ounces of water each hour flying because the humidity in the cabin is low (20%) [2].  I would want to be able to drink without taking off my mask, so that steered me to a gas mask with a drinking tube such as the Avon C50 [1].

I know that wearing a N95 with an exhalation port is illegal in San Francisco, for example [3].  Does this apply to airplanes as well and do gas masks have exhalation ports?

What about the social impact?  I usually try to keep a low profile while travelling, especially to other countries, to minimize being targeted for crime while I’m outside of my home environment.  Wearing a gas mask would draw a LOT of attention to me.

I appreciate your thoughts.

[1] https://theprepared.com/gear/reviews/best-gas-mask-respirator-survival/

[2] https://www.asma.org/asma/media/asma/Travel-Publications/HEALTH-TIPS-FOR-AIRLINE-TRAVEL-Trifold-2013.pdf

[3] https://sf.gov/information/masks-and-face-coverings-coronavirus-pandemic

Read More
20
19

My winter safety kit

Greetings all,

I love the kit builder on this site. Having said that, I put together something I am calling My Winter Safety Kit.

Feedback, comments, questions?

Read More
10
13

Has anyone made and used a snare or trap for small game?

In various bushcraft books and even in the SAS Survival Handbook it talks about snares and traps as a method of passive hunting. Has anyone made and used one of these to catch something?

There are so many varieties like a spring snare, figure 4 palute deadfall, and more.

Read More
10
13
download

Need advice on my winter vehicle emergency kit

Winter is coming. I hate my commute during this time of year and always dread getting stuck. So I’m trying to prep now before it gets cold and miserable.

I have snow tires on my car, am up to date with repairs, and have my normal everyday get-home-bag that has maps, fire starters, food, first aid kit, etc… But I wanted to get your advice on my Winter additions. And The Prepared has a pretty nice Kit builder that I thought I would try out. Here is a link to my kit:  

My budget is kinda small so these are things I just had around the house, but is there anything you recommend that I add or replace? Tell me the why behind your suggestion too.

Thanks guys!!

Read More
16
47

Fox news ” Twitter boss reports likelyhood of hyperinflation

Something to definately be monitoring fairly closely.

https://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/twitter-ceo-jack-dorsey-hyperinflation-warning

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey has issued a cryptic warning that “hyperinflation” will “change everything.”

In typical Dorsey style, the social media CEO tweeted out his comment, saying that “it will happen in the US soon, and so the world.” 

 Hyperinflation is typically very high and accelerated inflation. Researchers have documented 57 cases of hyperinflation as of 2018, with the first recorded episode occurring between 1795 and 1796 in post-revolutionary France, according to The Economist.

Some economists and writers have looked at possible hyperinflation in the U.S. as early as March 2021 when the economy started to get back on track after an artificially depressed year due to lockdowns and immense restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic – policies that officials started reversing as vaccines became more available. 

The term raises some grim images, with Venezuela the most recent example and Zimbabwe perhaps one of the most famous examples of hyperinflation. 

“This is meme economics,” Bloomberg Businessweek wrote earlier this year. 

“Fear of inflation – if not outright hyperinflation – helps explain the meteoric rise of Bitcoin,” the article argued. “It’s behind distrust of the Fed. And it feeds congressional opposition to President Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic relief plan.”

Indeed, Republicans have warned of inflation since the start of the summer when gas prices first started to tick upward and prices followed shortly after: consumer prices rose 5% over the 12 months between June 2020 and June 2021, The Associated Press reported. 

This marked the largest one-year increase since 2008, and possibly the biggest since 1992 – excluding more volatile items such as food and energy. 

Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., said his constituents have “seen the higher prices on gas in particular, but also groceries and the cost to keep their businesses running.” Such voters, he said, “know, intuitively, that this is due to Democrats’ economic agenda and big spending plans.”

Prices have continued to trend upwards as an historic global shipping backlog delays the transport goods and services across the board, slowly driving up prices for everything from toilet paper to toys. 

Gas prices in some have hit around $4.00 a gallon, such as in California, Hawaii and Nevada, according to AAA. Premium in these states is almost at $5 a gallon. 

Read More
5
9

“Listening to Katrina” website: Bugging out is a tool to escape danger and then find home

The recent discussions about Hurricane Ida reminded me of a website I had skimmed years before called “Listening to Katrina” (see here: http://www.theplacewithnoname.com/blogs/klessons/ ). I re-read the website in full, and think it has a key idea that people here may appreciate thinking and talking about, so I made this new thread.

(I did a quick search, and didn’t see too many official The Prepared contributor articles on the recovery process, aside from making sure that important documents are in the Priority #1 bag for bugging out.)

The “Listening to Katrina” website is an extended read about the author’s personal experience with evacuating for Hurricane Katrina, starting the recovery process for his family, and a lot of discussion of what he learned about general emergency preparation from his experiences, listening to the experiences of others and combing through additional information available. It’s mostly the view of one person, so in addition to the news and historical records he draws from, it’s replete with anecdotes, opinions and personal color. I don’t anticipate readers here will agree with everything on the site.

Instead, I want to point out the part of his discussion that struck me the most: his philosophy about the ultimate goals of preparing (especially bugging out, but also bugging in). If you would like to read it in his words, that specific page is here: http://www.theplacewithnoname.com/blogs/klessons/p/0025.html 

Here’s my summary of that page: the point of bugging out (and bugging in) is to…

First, Safeguard your health and wealth by letting you escape from/avoid danger

Second, Help you “Go Home”

Third, Help you profit by using “the rebuilding as an opportunity to grow wealth”

The second point is what made the biggest impression on me when I reread the website (years after first encountering it and not remembering much beyond “put information about insurance and identification into your bug out bag”). A lot of discussions around bugging out and bugging in rightly emphasize how this lets you avoid/reduce danger. But equally important is to emphasize how bugging out/in is a tool to facilitate your recovery process.

Whether Getting Home is returning to your previous home, or finding/building a completely new home, the goal of bugging out/in isn’t to be bugged out/in forever, it’s a stepping stone. It’s a tool you use to safeguard your health and wealth, and to create the launching platform for Finding Home, wherever that may be. So, planning to bug out/in shouldn’t be divorced from planning to recover/Find Home. Connecting the two addresses the question “after you’ve successfully evacuated to ____/after The Event has passed, then what?”

I’m adding this philosophy to the toolbox I use for evaluating my personal preparations — specifically, asking the question “will this prep also help me Get Home, wherever that may be?” Hopefully that is useful food for thought.

Read More
10
6

DIY swamp coolers for emergency use?

For those of you lucky enough not to be in California just now, we’re having record heat and also record levels of wildfires, caused by a series of mostly dry thunderstorms that came through last week (NoCal doesn’t GET thunderstomrs usually, and certainly not in August.) The air is bad and I’m trying to figure out how to keep the place cool and filter air. So far I haven’t been able to convinece myself to sleep with closed windows.

As part of my solution I started looking at swamp coolers. The ones that particularly interest me are homemade ones, like this one: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mini-Coleman-Red-5qt-Portable-Swamp-Cooler-Air-Conditioner-4-USB-Fan-Adapter/153685876714?hash=item23c8645fea:g:W8EAAOSwsQ5e9Aec. They also come in larger sizes. I’d probably buy one rather than build it myself because I don’t really have the right tools or level of handiness to make one out of the plastic coolers, and styrofoam seems too breakable.

Since I’m mostly interested in using these when I sleep I’d probably try to fill the cooler with a few frozen 2 liter bottles and maybe some extra ice so the cool air production lasts.

I’m just wondering if anyone has used similar contraptions.

Do they work to cool a medium sized bedroom? I know they’re not like air conditioning but if they can drop the temp some that would help a lot. Do they work if the window is open?

I live in coastal Northern California with a relatively mild and relatively humid climate (although getting dryer and hotter by the year!) Do swamp coolers still cool down a room in that kind of climate if you fill them with ice?

How much ice or what configuration of ice would I have to put in and what size cooler would I be looking for to keep it going for say 6-8 hours while I sleep?

What size of fan would I need to be able to feel the air some feet away? I would ideally like a USB fan so I can rechage it from a power pack if the power goes out.

Read More
17
4

What triggered you to prep?

Hello All! I’ve observed that many preppers have had some sort of (sometimes traumatic) event that woke them up to the fragility of normal modern life. In my case, when I was about 10 years old my family was snowed in at our remote farm in northern Montana for 6 weeks. I learned to drive the bulldozer so my dad could pitch hay to the cattle. I vividly remember seeing the snow machines from town 26 miles away bringing supplies to the stranded farm families after a several weeks of isolation. I didn’t give much thought to it until I had little ones of my own and the Y2K scare came along. I’m really enjoying the tidbits of stories that I’ve seen here on the forum and have gotten curious. What sorts of things have motivated y’all to feel the need to prep?

Read More
25
113

Bike trailers

I recently upgrade my bicycle into an ebike, and I love it. Got me thinking though. I could get over 20 miles on my bike before the battery ran out, and I had to work a bit harder; I could probably get 40+ miles away in the first day. But, I don’t have a good way to carry my stuff. 

Can anyone recommend a nice sturdy bike trailer? Ideally from your personal experience and use? I’d like something that could hold probably 250 or 300 pounds, so it could hold my bug out bag (40 lbs), my cat and her go bag (maybe 15 lbs together), some of my wife’s stuff (she could ride her own bike but it also doesn’t have cargo capacity), and still have spare capacity to carry my wife or myself if one of us became injured or incapacitated. Having some kind of mesh top with rain fly would also be good in case there’s a feline and/or human riding in there. If it could fold up to take up less  space that would be ideal as well, but it not the top priority. 

I’ve prepared pretty decently for Plan A (bug in), Plan B (bug out by car), and Plan D (bug out on foot), but I’m thinking Plan C (bug out by bike) needs some more thought and preparation, thus my question. 

Read More
21
7

Winter 2021/22 energy outlook – expect increased prices

Just received the EIA, Short-Term Energy OutlookOctober 13, 2021 Release 

We forecast that average U.S. household expenditures for all major home heating fuels will increase significantly this winter primarily because of higher expected fuel costs as well as more consumption of energy due to a colder winter. Average increases vary by fuel, region, and weather assumptions. Compared with last winter, we forecast propane expenditures will rise by 54%, heating oil by 43%, natural gas by 30%, and electricity by 6%. We expect space heating demand to generally be higher this winter based on forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that U.S. average heating degree days will be 3% higher than last winter. Altering our assumptions for a 10% colder-than-expected winter significantly increases forecast expenditures, while a 10% warmer-than-expected winter still results in increased expenditures, because of price increases.

https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/steo/

If the budget is tight, add a little padding for heat this winter. Maybe think about sealing up the windows (tape up some plastic sheeting), maybe add a lining to the curtains—walmart has small pieces of precut fabric or maybe you can find some cheap sheets. If you are ambitious check/repair/add weatherstripping to exterior doors. Change the filter in the furnace.

For the worse case, lay in some Goodwill coats and blankets, space blankets are awesome (but don’t tuck them in because they trap moisture) and know where the pup-tent is, you can always camp out in the living room.

Read More
11
10

What creative ways do you manage your trash when city services are falling behind

If your city is having waste removal problems, what creative ways are you managing your trash? I have adapted in many ways but since this community is very resourceful I would like to hear what others have done as well.

My city and surrounding counties has been having waste removal issues as well. Lawn debris has been stacking up on streets for months and garbage pickup is unpredictable, leading to garbage in the streets and an increase in the rat population. This is also a hazard if we had a hurricane which thankfully this year we didn’t. Our mayor decided to suspend recycling pickup so that workers can focus on the backlog of waste pickup complaints. On Nextdoor there is a huge amount of complaining and arguing about this which I find pointless. I have adapted in several ways, mostly through changing how I compost.

Because of the rats I tried several methods and found the ONLY method I found that doesn’t feed them is Bokashi composting which is fermenting the food first. I tried making the fermenting the compound myself and that experiment didn’t work but I know what I did wrong and could try again but got lazy and bought the granular mix online. I’m impressed at how the granular keeps the smell down and with a seal tight bucket you can’t even smell it in the house. 

On recycling I educated myself on what can and cannot be recycled so that I’m not adding garbage to the mix and keeping less in our recycle bin. We have drop of locations to take the recycling, you just have to time when to go and not find it full.

Since these very large rats can chew through any plastic no matter how thick I had to go on a shopping hunt for the old fashioned galvanized steal can for the rest of the garbage.

Regarding the lawn debris I need to explain that I live in a semi-tropical area where anything and everything grows prolifically and some of it you don’t want to compost in your yard to have it grow back. What I do is let it compost in the bins first until it is half its size, then spread it in our alleyway then mow it.  Our alleyways are all green and look more like hiking trails and already have everything growing there. Anything larger like limbs I keep for weekend backyard fires for a safer way of hanging out with friends.

Read More