Share your knowledge & learn from experts

Because prepping and community go hand in hand

Learn about animal behavior and basic tracking this winter

I like to go out early in the morning after a fresh snow and see all the wildlife tracks in the snow. I try and identify what animal it might be, follow the tracks to see where they came from, why did they come to this area, and where they are going.

There are many benefits of studying tracks such as to know what kind of wildlife is in your area, look out for predators that might harm you, your children, or pets, know what you can hunt and trap, look out for pests that might be setting up home in the foundation of your house or up in the warm engine block of your vehicle, and more.And the snow is just to make it a lot easier while you are learning how to track and identify prints.

What animals are in your area? If you see any cool prints, share them here. My area has been lacking snow so far this winter so the above pictures are ones I stole online. I will keep an eye out for tracks when we do get snow and post my pics here.

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Best online first aid course?

I just took an online first aid course from the Red Cross called “Adult, Child and Baby First Aid/CPR/AED Online” for $35 and found it very informative. In addition to the material mentioned in the title, it also covers some of heat stroke, hypothermia, bleeding, diabetic emergency, and other stuff. It’s an interactive course where you work through scenarios and click on the screen to apply pressure, perform CPR, etc.

Have y’all found any other courses you’d recommend?

I also recently took First Aid for Severe Bleeding Online ($30), which was brief and not as interactive but still informative. Next up I’m planning on First Aid for Opioid Overdoses Online ($11) because I regularly interact with IV drug users, and I’m scheduled for REI/NOLS Wilderness First Aid ($245) in June (with 4 fully vaxxed buddies). My final plan is to take REI/NOLS Wilderness First Responder ($765) after WFA.

The Red Cross courses described what is useful in various scenarios, but did not get into how to carry the gear in an EDC so that you have it when you need it. I’ve been doing that part myself, with substantial assistance from this site! I’ve got stuff for bleeding (shears, tourniquet, quikclot, etc.), various pills (aspirin for heart attack, diphenhydramine for anaphylaxis), and other stuff like an emergency blanket in case of shock, all in an EDC that I take whenever I leave my home. See:

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Covid omicron – Holland going into lockdown tomorrow

Holland is going into a hard lockdown tomorrow

UK is seeing huge surges inOmicron infections and government is considering a Circuit Breaker lockdown,  10,000 new cases in UK in one day.  infection rates doubling every 24 hours near as dammit.

London declares Major Incident over Omicron

The Mayor of London has declared a “major incident” due to the rapid spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant in the capital.Sadiq Khan said Omicron is now the “dominant variant” in London and was having an impact on staff absences in the emergency services across the city.He said London was the UK region with the largest number of Covid cases.Latest government data shows there are 1,534 Covid patients in London hospitals – up 28.6% on last week.Mr Khan said in the last 24 hours, London had seen the largest number of new cases since the coronavirus pandemic began – more than 26,000.

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Hardware for emergencies

I went to pick up some of those nifty little hang-on-a-bar to organize your hardware bins, and was told that the contents (a bunch of humongous nuts and bolts) were included.  Not one to turn down a free meal, as it were, I hauled the mess home, put it in a large plastic bag and let it all sit for months to kill any spiders/eggs.

The house from whence I was gifted this treasure was some distance from any hardware store of any size, so I can understand why someone would want to keep common hardware around, and for this guy, musta been nuts and bolts.  If I ever need to bolt 2 2x4s together, I have the hardware…

Which gets me to my point:  other than the obvious screws and nails (and bolts as big as your thumb), what other hardware would be useful to have on hand? 

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An article on the huge growth in gated communities

The global rise of gated communities – a by-product of shifting social needs

One of the most notable features of urbanisation in recent years has been the surge in popularity of gated residential communities and commercial parks and, although often associated primarily with security, there is a lot more to the growing global trend than a peaceful night’s sleep.

Chris Cilliers, CEO and Principal of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in the Winelands, believes that that these developments truly are a sign of the times for a number of reasons over and above need for heightened security.

“This trend has been one of the most widespread global patterns of development over the past three decades and, transcending cultures, the rise of gated communities has not only been prolific in the Western world but also in countries like Egypt, Turkey and Russia.

“People who prefer living in gated communities are seeking certain values, be it a sense of community, prestige, lifestyle, convenience or security.”

Cilliers says that convenience is a key factor in the appeal of these properties.

“Since the advent of the digital age, we have become increasingly used to having every convenience at our fingertips or the click of a mouse and, in gated residential communities, especially lifestyle estates, this need is very much catered for.

“Many now have facilities such as a golf courses, tennis courts swimming pools and gyms and, as the collective memberships to such facilities would costs an exorbitant amount, significant savings is an added benefit.

“In the commercial sector, developments that are generally faring best are the newer parks or precincts which offer a safe environment and often the convenience of being mixed-use which means that staff needn’t even leave the property to have lunch or visit the hairdresser.”

Shifting demographics have also been a major influencer, especially the fact that life expectancy today is higher than it has ever been.

“It’s predicted that by 2050 the global percentage of people aged over 60 will exceed that of those under 15 for the first time,” says Cilliers.  “They are also more vibrant and active at this age than the generations before them and therefore have very different property requirements for their golden years and is making a notable impact on the industry, especially in developed economies.

“Most looking to extend their independent lifestyles well into retirement and when they do give up the family home there is a growing preference for multi-generational communities, preferably with amenities.”

And, as they will also require more nursing homes, healthcare and associated facilities will also become more significant.

Cilliers says that increased congestion in cities is also driving people to seek peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle and gated communities, even in the heart of cities, offer them a tranquil haven.

“As entry is restricted, there tends to be a lot less traffic in streets within gated communities which considerably cut down on the noise levels and the lack of traffic also creates a safer environment for children.

“There is also far less chance of them encountering strangers and, with dedicated communal play areas, it’s also easier for parents to monitor their kids.”

Another advantage of living in a gated community is the extra privacy that it provides.

“As only residents and verified guests are permitted access, residents can enjoy their own space with little chance of intrusion by trespassers or strangers ringing their door bells – and the world at large.”

Cilliers adds that people who enjoy living in clean and orderly environments are also attracted to these communities.

“Estates generally have stricter community rules and codes of conduct which require everyone to take care of their homes and surrounding property and be considerate of their neighbours and this makes for a peaceful living environment and also keeps up the appearances and value of the community.

“It also engenders a strong sense of community which is lacking in so many neighbourhoods these days.”

Cilliers concludes: “With emergent trends like cocooning and hipsturbia fast becoming established trends, it is unlikely that the growing popularity of gated commercial and residential communities is likely to wane any time soon.”

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Analyzing past SHTF history to prepare for the future

when we talk of a SHTF situation I look what happened to the UK during world war 2 and what people had to endure for 6 years and beyond.   I was born in London in 1947 and growing up I was told of what is was like in the UK during the war, a lot of the food and everyday products was imported this stopped very quickly and rationing was introduced , everyone was encouraged to grow vegetables ,  fruit  to have chickens and rabbits , some families would get together to raise a pig but on the day of it was killed a police officer had to be present as half of the pig would go into the rations for everyone . Hoarding was illegal [preps] and any one found to do so would have those confiscated and could face criminal charges. Government soon realised that farms would have to increase output so inspectors would check production and there where 3 categories ABC , if you where A you doing good if you where B you where told to improve if you where C you could loose your farm and some farmers did with tragic consequences . On the whole the vast majority of the population was behind the government  of Winston Churchill .

So fast forward to 2021 a SHTF today would the vast majority be behind the government of any free voting democracy in any country I have my doubts 

Would any one who as been preparing give up there  preps so they can be shared 

Would farmers who for generations have had the farm give it up 

When everything is in short supply would we help each other to get through this which what happened a lot of the time in the UK.

Look forward to your Comments 

Regards John


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Should membership sign up be changed?

Just wondering because of the notification about every 30 minutes of new posts only to see those bloody spammers trying to sell drugs every time. Can the system be tweeked a bit more so their attempts to post dont come up as notifications ? 

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Evergrande, a Chinese property developer, has defaulted on debt. This could possibly be very bad on a global scale

Global crash warning as Evergrande defaults on debt: $300billion black hole cripples world | City & Business | Finance | |

WATCH: Fitch downgrades ailing property firms Evergrande and Kaisa Group, bringing them closer to a full and formal default

— Reuters Business (@ReutersBiz) December 9, 2021

China’s giant property group Evergrande has failed to pay interest due on US$1.2 billion of bonds, ratings agency Fitch has reported, resulting in its formal downgrade to ‘default’ status.

— NBR (@TheNBR) December 9, 2021

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Foodmageddon Youtube series

I’m not a big YouTube user but stumbled across this and thought it was cool:
Foodmageddon Playlist

The scenario is basically a peak oil related fast crash knocks us back to muscle power overnight and how this guy thinks he might try to feed his family on a small plot. Right up my alley! Regardless of the peak oil part this is hard core prepper-stuff.

I came in on episode 20, harvesting wheat. I dig how this guy tries to remake some old equipment, then experiments and revises his method.

Give it a look if deep prep are your thing and report back if you care to.

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How to prepare for the crazy weird weather we are experiencing

Can we have a discussion on the crazy weather of late please ,BUT not on its causes, just how we can possibly prepare for it.

I’ve seen storms, droughts, blizzards, hurricanes etc, but come on guys, in the US Tornadoes lasting for HOURS and staying on the ground for 200 miles is something else.

In the UK 95MPH Winter storms tearing down the UK from the NORTH, Both events almost unherd of before this year

The SIZE and FEROCITY of some of the WILDFIRES on the US West coast, The INCREASE in the number of major storms, the VERY prolongued droughts in places where only moderate droughts are the norm.

I watched Met office guys in both countries recently looking utterly dazed and confused by these very unusual events.

I think the prep community needs to have itself a conversation about what possible changes, adaptations and increased investments in our preps we need to undertake.

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50 dead at least in Kentucky storms, could rise to 100

Least 50,000 homes also without power


The primary tornado was on the ground continuously for over 200 miles in the state. 

“Something we have never seen before,” Beshear said.

According to the governor, Graves County appears to be hit the hardest — which is where the city of Mayfield was destroyed. 

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Looking for Miami area community- hurricanes, zombies, Liechtenstein invades, whatever…

My impetus for prepping is now more or less 4-fold: building mental fortitude, getting physically fit, being as minimalist-savvy as possible- wild edibles, field craft, etc.- and building and maintaining a community. I need others for the last, of course, so I’m reaching out to any in the Miami area. I just got out of a shop & into a storage unit, and after only 2 days there, it looks like I may have trouble with management, who don’t even know about all the food I have, but smelled something funny (I smelled it myself, you can probably guess what) and thought it was me. In short, living out of a van & storage is almost as illegal as being homeless, and it’s only going to get worse as CC forces people out of homes. Having a national group for help  and advocacy would be great, but I’m looking for others here, for now. Tried to get to Ham radio Meetup 2 months running, will get there next month. Anyone in the area who wants to share ideas, get coffee, go to the beach, start a Meetup, whatever, let me know.

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Reflections on “Move: The Forces Uprooting Us” by Parag Khanna

I was one of the people given a courtesy copy of the book. Here are my reflections. My frame of mind is a bit gloomy due to the omicron variant and because I live in Wisconsin. The verdict in a recent high-profile trial continues to weigh on me. In addition, my home town is where, sadly, someone recently drove a vehicle through participants in a parade. And it’s winter. The next three weeks have the least sunshine of the year. Under other circumstances, I might have been more upbeat. The book is good. 

My review:

Reflections on Movement as Destinyby Seasons4

Given the news headlines in early December 2021, it is surreal to read about the importance of relocation as a necessary human strategy in Parag Khanna’s persuasive book Move: The Forces Uprooting Us. Movement is destiny, he proclaims, in a provocative sound bite. Overpopulation is not the world’s major problem. Instead, there are too few people, and too many of us are living in unsustainable places. Adaptation to a changing environment requires that we make it easy for people to move into and out of the neighborhood, region, country, and continent.

Where we live on the planet and whether we are able to adapt to disruption by moving are key variables in determining our likelihood of survival in the future. To survive in the year 2050 and beyond, Parag Khanna writes, we need to move inland and move northward, eventually perhaps to areas of Canada and Russia that are relatively unpopulated today. Those areas will probably be able to sustain agriculture in the year 2050, in contrast to many population centers today.

Can we get there from here? I am not feeling optimistic. We need movement of energetic, talented people to places of opportunity, yet often we are emotionally stuck defending NIMBY (not in my back yard) or OIMBY (only in my back yard). There is no guarantee that we can develop the broader perspective necessary to exercise enlightened self interest as individuals and larger social groups. Obstacles to enlightened self interest include travel bans, restrictive immigration policies, supply chain breakdowns, toxic politics and political deadlock, rising crime, climate change (disproportionately affecting poor people and people of color), and new virus variants emerging from the pandemic pressure cooker.

My attitude is shaped by my social location as a white middle class American who is retired. I am more conscious of my physical limitations than my prowess. Relocation requires the stamina and risk taking of youth, I suspect. As the lifespan gets longer, it often gets harder to muster the wherewithal to make big moves. With age come vulnerabilities that make staying put, even in a danger zone, feel like a better option. In my work life, I encountered quite a few older people who were living with cognitive decline. Perhaps by the year 2050, the young will be in Canada and Russia, checking in by videoconference call to elderly friends and relatives in assisted living bubbles bobbing in the rising seas.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought emotional trauma to places and people who had managed by class, race, or other characteristics to evade such trauma in “The Before Times.” If we manage to find a way forward to a future worthy of human beings, I believe we will have to prioritize trauma-informed care for the long term. How will that look in what may be a future of “postmodern feudalism”? I am intrigued by Parag Khanna’s views on the potential for city-states to re-emerge along the lines of ancient Greece or the medieval Hanseatic League. It is smart to pay attention to what is local – and the next locale, and the next, and the next.

Quality of life matters, for ourselves, for our loved ones, for acquaintances, and for strangers whose fate is entangled with ours. As people with an orientation toward preparedness, we do well to read and reflect on Move: The Forces Uprooting Us.

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Prepper – a free light take movie on YouTube

I actually thoroughly enjoyed this light hearted PRO prepping, it portrays preppers and community cohesion in a very positive manner.

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The Stockpile of Food in My Garage – Another interesting article in the Atlantic

The Stockpile of Food in My GarageAs I hunker down at home with my family amid a global pandemic, I have a new appreciation for a strange religious tradition.  By McKay CoppinsMarch 19, 2020 

On a metal storage shelf in the corner of my garage, dozens of multi-liter cans sit stacked on top of one another. They are filled with dehydrated carrots and pinto beans; wheat, oats, and powdered milk—enough food, at least in theory, to keep me, my wife, and our three kids fed for several weeks in the event of an emergency.

I am not a doomsday prepper, nor did I acquire this stockpile in a recent spasm of pandemic panic-shopping. I am, instead, keeping up an odd religious tradition that stretches back more than a century—one that I’ve always found slightly embarrassing and anachronistic, but that’s felt a lot more vital lately.

Like most lifelong Mormons, I grew up hearing about the importance of “food storage.” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has long encouraged its members to keep enough food, water, and emergency supplies in their home to last at least three months—counsel that has spawned a quirky subculture within the faith, complete with home-pickling seminars, dedicated Pinterest pages, and custom-made furniture for cleverly storing canned goods. While the most extreme practitioners tend toward apocalyptics, the Church offers a more practical reason for food storage: to ensure that “should adversity come, we may care for ourselves and our neighbors, and support bishops as they care for others.”

This ethos of preparedness permeates Mormonism. Among the faithful, stories abound of Latter-day Saints leaning on food storage after losing their jobs, or doling out canned fruit to neighbors after a natural disaster. We take turns volunteering at the Church’s many “storehouses,” where stockpiled food is distributed to people in need. We read about our ancestral pioneers, who on their westward trek established crops to be harvested by the companies that followed. “If ye are prepared,” an oft-quoted scripture goes, “ye shall not fear.”

Here’s what that looked like in practice for a ’90s Mormon kid in suburban Massachusetts: A section of the basement in my childhood home was transformed into a kind of makeshift grocery-store aisle—wooden racks covered in nonperishable food items. Like many families, we would rotate our supply so that it didn’t go bad, drawing on it for daily meals and then replacing what we’d consumed during trips to Costco.

 I didn’t think much of this practice at the time. My Mormon friends saw it as normal, my non-Mormon friends got a kick out of it, and, hey, we never ran out of canned corn. But the pioneer spirit of the enterprise was lost on me—and the older I got, the less it resonated. Spending most of my life in comfortable cities and suburbs, I never had to think much about the source of my next meal. This relative privilege fueled a lack of imagination: The idea of confronting a systemic food shortage was as far-fetched to me as a zombie apocalypse was.

This sentiment was only hardened once prepper culture started gaining mainstream notoriety a few years ago. The bunker builders and ammo stockpilers on reality TV seemed like distant caricatures compared with the people I knew practicing commonsense emergency preparedness. (PSA: The Department of Homeland Security suggests that Americans keep enough food and water in their home to last two weeks.) But the growing prepper cottage industry, promoted by hucksters such as Alex Jones, made food storage look paranoid and extreme, even toxic. There was never a moment when I consciously ruled out the idea of keeping around some extra water and rice; I just didn’t want to be associated with the cultural trappings of that world.

Around the time my first daughter was born, my in-laws—apparently concluding that I was a dud in the preparedness department—began taking steps to ensure that our new family would not die of starvation in the event of a famine. Each Christmas for several years, they gifted us (foisted on us, really) several large cans of storable food. I tried to protest that the stockpile didn’t make sense in our small Brooklyn apartment, but my objections were overruled. I was, I’ll admit, less than grateful for their generosity. “We don’t have room for this,” I would grumble to my wife, as we shoved cans of freeze-dried bell peppers under our bed.

Eventually, we moved to a suburb of Washington, D.C., where space was less of a concern, and we largely forgot about the cans in our garage—that is, until recently.

Ten days ago, I joked on Twitter that my coreligionists would do well to keep quiet about their food storage “in case things go full ‘Contagion.’” A few days later, as the seriousness of the coronavirus came into view, I joked—a bit more nervously—to my wife that the told-you-sos from her parents would be unbearable if we actually ended up needing the supplies they’d given us. In the days that followed, as the virus ravaged Europe, and major U.S. cities shut down; as social distancing became an American obsession, and restaurants came to resemble petri dishes; as the threat of a global recession grew imminent, and stories about potential supply-chain disruptions started appearing in the press—well, I wasn’t making jokes anymore.

A few nights ago, after an unnerving trip to a local grocery store that had been picked over by panic-shoppers, I came home and sheepishly suggested to my wife that we go out to the garage and take inventory of our food storage.

I had never actually looked closely at the cans, and as it turned out, the collection was less grim than I’d imagined. Yes, there was plenty of dehydrated broccoli. But there was also brownie mix and granola and something called “chocolate-milk alternative”—foods that actually seemed edible (or at least servable to our young children).

I knew that the sense of relief I felt as we examined the cans was irrational. Our fridge and cupboards were full. The grocery store would get new deliveries the next day. The likelihood of a serious food shortage in America remained, according to experts, extremely small. But the ritual of counting and stacking and sorting the cans—like so many rituals of faith—offered something more abstract than physical sustenance: peace of mind, a sense of hope, something to grip while the world is unraveling.

I don’t think I’m alone. Early yesterday morning, Utah was hit with a 5.7-magnitude earthquake. Debris rained from the top of a Salt Lake City building. Tens of thousands of people lost power. A recently established coronavirus hotline was temporarily knocked out. When I called a friend in the state to see how he was doing, he said the experience had made him realize how unprepared he was for an earthquake. After spending the morning brushing up on safety guidelines, he was on his way out to pick up supplies: His food storage needed replenishing.

McKay Coppins is a staff writer at The Atlantic and the author of The Wilderness, a book about the battle over the future of the Republican Party.

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A good suggested pantry list to get started

I read the Guide to Food Storage linked on another thread from JennyWren, as well as all the other terrific suggestions on the thread. It resulted in me spending the afternoon looking at my pantry and realising I have quite a few dinner options on my storm shelf, but my pantry is lacking in long term breakfast, lunch, snack and drink options. (We’re in the middle of the official storm season here in Qld, with cyclone season due to start in January.)

I went surfing because braining today was far too difficult, and found this pantry list from my state government, outlining suggested food and amounts to store that should feed two people for seven days.

I’m pretty sure the experienced among us here know what and how much they need, but for a newbie prep person like myself looking at a longer term pantry than the official three days, it seems to be a good place to start.

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Looking for opinions on OTF Knives

Howdy all. I’ve been reading posts on here for awhile, but this is my first post.

What are y’all’s opinions on OTF (Out-The-Front) knives? I’m thinking about purchasing one but wanted to get some possible input from people who know more about OTF knives.

Thanks in advance!

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Only 3 nights without power and many cannot cope (Storm Arwen)

Another unwelcome example of just how so many people in modern times (EVEN IN REMOTE AREAS)  are  ill equipped both mentally and practically to deal with a major weather event. And this includes the Local authorities and the utilities.

No land lines, no cell service, roads blocked across the UK by faling trees, downed power lines, landslips, floodwater  and drifting snow.  No open shops,  No heating or hot water, indeed no water at all in some places.  Many former urbanites who have relocated to rural areas have simply made no provision incase things go bad.

In many areas the only hot food available has come from charitable groups.

I must have said this a thousand times in my 40 years of prepping, but I’ll say it again.  You simply cannot rely on the state to come to your assistance in a large scale event. They simply do not have the resources.

Storm Arwen: ‘We can’t go another night without power’

After three nights without electricity, residents in the parts of Scotland worst affected by Storm Arwen are growing weary. 
In Torphins, Aberdeenshire, people are struggling to keep warm in sub-zero temperatures and are grateful for the hot food handed out by local good Samaritans.
Among them are Paul and Rebecca Murray, a father and his daughter, who are relying on the heat provided by a single gas heater.
“It’s been pretty horrific,” Rebecca told BBC Scotland. “The power went off on Friday. I live in a little council house and I’m a single mum of a three-year-old. In our house you can see our breath.
“Thankfully I could go round to my mum and dad’s house and they’ve got a gas heater, but aside from that we just had nothing.”

Paul and Rebecca have no phone signal to contact anyone and on Sunday there was no water. “It’s absolutely terrifying,” Rebecca said.
They’ve not been told by their energy provider when the power will be restored.
“I don’t think they know themselves,” said Paul. “They’re just trying their best to get it put back on.”

Fiona Fyfe said she was initially told the power would be restored on Friday night, but it has been repeatedly postponed.
Energy firm SSEN has now told her they hope to get her power back by 22:00 on Monday.
“I don’t think we can go another night without power,” she said.
“It’s been really, really cold. We’re lucky, we’ve got a stove and lots of logs but obviously with more snow, it’s just maddening, absolutely maddening.”
She said that food in her freezer is starting to defrost and she has to walk to the main road to get signal on her phone.

Andrew Hutcheon is among those dishing out hot food and drinks in Torphins. He runs Cafe 83 in Kemnay.
“Yesterday back in Kemnay, we didn’t have any power, the signal was down so we decided to throw the barbeque on, find some hot water, get some heat into people and get a feed into them,” he said
“It’s a bit of dire situation but everyone who’s coming to us is more upbeat because obviously they’re getting some hot food and hot drinks.”
He said the crews working to restore power have an “unbelievable” task ahead of them.
“Over the years we’ve obviously had a bit of wind but it’s never been anything like this – the amount of trees that are down in the forest, I’ve never seen anything like that,” he said
“Coupled with the freezing weather and the snow, it’s not ideal.”

Meanwhile in Aberfeldy, in Perth and Kinross, Debbie Martin has bought a second-hand generator after recently switching to fully-electric heating.
She has been told she could be without power until 11:00 on Tuesday because it is still too dangerous to remove trees which have fallen on to power lines.
She told the BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “You can’t do the things you would normally do.
“You can’t brush your teeth because your toothbrush is flat. You have to drive round in the car to charge your phone.
“To boil the kettle, I’ve been putting it on the log burner stove and it’s been taking an hour and a half.”

When you get a power cut, you just assume that it’s going to come back on in an hour or two, but obviously it hasn’t,” Debbie said.
She said it’s been “really difficult to get information” from her energy provider SSE.
“Everything in our house is electric. We’ve got an electric heating system, an electric cooker,” she added.
“We bought a second-hand generator in Dundee yesterday, so we’ve gone round a couple of neighbours’ houses to get their phones and iPads charged because people can’t contact relatives.”
‘Worst in decades’
Kenny Anderson, from Castle Fraser in Aberdeenshire, is used to power cuts having lived in rural north-east Scotland all his life.
But he says the damage wreaked by Storm Arwen is the worst he has known in more than two decades.
He told the BBC: “Our power went off at four o’clock on Friday afternoon. We’re a bit lucky in that we’ve got a gas hob because we get two or three power cuts a year.
“They only usually last a few hours, or maybe a day. So this is the longest one we have had in 23 years.”
“I was brought up in Glenlivet in the 60s and 70s and I don’t remember power cuts ever lasting more than a day or two.”

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Diet of meat needed for hunter-gather societies

Good morning,

This link proved interesting, at least to me.

It says hunter gatherer societies were smaller than the others.

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What medieval life taught me

A few days ago, I offered to come up with a list of what I could write about from my time as a medieval recreationist and ask folks to vote on what they want to read about. 

I have been thinking about it and am now lamenting the sorry state of my memory! It’s been years since I was in that world and I’ve forgotten a fair bit. So, rather than write ad nauseum about a particular branch of medieval living that I can’t really remember anyway, I thought I’d hit you all with a list of neat factoids that may be useful for preps. YMMV.

 In no particular order:

1.       Pies can be your best bet for preserving meat in the event of a prolonged blackout, as long as you can bake them (usually over a fire). Some medieval pastry was made SUPER salty and not meant for eating, therefore preserving the filling on the inside which was great in the days before refrigeration or while on campaign fighting. A fellow recreationist made some pies with the pastry made from an actual medieval recipe and paid to have the bacterial load tested at day 1 and then again weeks later. There was no difference in the readings after keeping the pie in a larder. Also, the pastry was so unpalatable, anyone who tried it immediately spat it out!

2.       I’ve mentioned previously in a comment, a good way of keeping pests from your food is vinegar-soaked bags if you can’t refrigerate them for whatever reason. You want a natural cloth with a fairly close weave (really small gaps between the threads of the fabric. We used linen). Soak the bags in vinegar, let them dry naturally, then pop whatever you want into them. We had pepperoni and choritzo in these bags hanging from the kitchen pavilion over a camping weekend and flies ignored them completely. 

3.       Beeswax soaked linen was used as a kind of medieval cling (or saran) wrap. These days you get beeswax wraps with resin so it sticks to itself, but back in the day, they used twine to wrap up what was covered in the wrap, or to hold it down over a jar. (Ever notice how all old jars have that little lip at the top? It’s the perfect spot for the twine.) 

4.       Sewing – I have a few of these, since it was my focus – 

a.       Linen is your friend. Worn mostly as an undergarment closest to the skin during the middle ages and renaissance, linen wears extremely well and holds up to the rigours of washing, getting softer over time. If you can afford it, linen is a vastly superior fabric to cotton. It wicks away sweat and cools you down in summer, while allowing your skin to breathe under layers in winter. 

b.       Thinking thread, plant with plant, animal with animal. A friend made a dress out of linen with polyester fabric and wore it for years. As I mentioned, linen gets softer over time but polyester thread doesn’t, so her threads were literally wearing away the fabric around the seams. The lesson I learned from that is I use cotton thread with linen fabric (linen thread is too costly and sometimes hard to come by) and silk thread with wool fabric. They should wear together and hopefully result in less mending later on.

c.        Not all seams need to be backstitched when sewing by hand if you ever need to make your own without a sewing machine. I am a lazy-ish costumer – I will use a sewing machine on any seam or for any stitching you won’t see and hand stitch what you can see. However, the jacket I am wearing in the below pic was entirely sewn by hand for an experiment in period construction techniques. Each piece of this jacket puzzle had the seams folded in and tacked down, then each piece was sewn together using a whip stitch. This jacket saw me through a few winters and has been handed to someone else to use. For those interested, I used a wool/poly blend for the outer fabric and linen for the lining.


5.       Poles and laundry are a match made in heaven. If you ever need to hand wring your washing, a sturdy pole is just the thing. Say you’ve just washed a towel, take one end around the pole so that you have one end in each hand. Twist for as much as your hands can stand, or as much as the fabric can stand. You’d be surprised how much liquid comes out and a good choice if you can’t get your hands on a mangle. I use the clothes line pole for this. After you’ve twisted out as much of the water as you can, give the piece a flick, with a good snap of the wrists, and you can work out a goodly proportion of the wrinkles before hanging it up. (Another tip, to avoid wrinkles, is to fold the washing as you bring it on off the line, while it’s still warm from the sun. Saves ironing!)

6.       Soap – I left the group before my friend and I could experiment with it, but apparently, if you run water over wood ash, you get lye, which you need to make soap. I imagine that different types of wood would give you lye with different sodium hydroxide (NaOH) concentrations and would be a great art to master. As in, “I burned birch/oak/pine/etc and the ash would make the best laundry/body/etc soap”. (FYI, I have been making my own soap for about 8 years now, but using store-bought NaOH.) 

7.       A linen cap, or head covering of some description, is a great way of keeping dirt out of your hair, therefore you don’t have to wash it as often. Not a real issue if you’ve got short hair, but a pain in the proverbial if you don’t have access to a shower. My bestie can’t go for more than two days before she has to wash her hair. When we had four-day long camping events (plus set up and take down days), she usually only had to wash her hair once over that period. (I am lucky that my hair is trainable – these days I can go for at least 2 weeks before I need to wash my hair.) 

8.       A wash and some clean underthings are almost as good as a real shower, as I’m sure any hiker or camper will tell you. Over the aforementioned 6-day camping event, I would only use a small basin of soapy water and a face cloth for washing and change my chemise (the linen layer that was against my skin). Nothing quite beats that first shower when you get home though… 😊

 I think that’s it. Phew, what a long post! 

Does anyone else have handy hints from history that may be useful in preps?

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GB 16th Cent Dress

What to do if you are lost while hiking?

You all probably have seen the recent news headline about a lost hiker that didn’t answer calls from Search and Rescue because he didn’t recognize the phone number. I take it he wasn’t desperately lost otherwise he would call for help if he has service and is receiving calls from unknown numbers right? Anyways, it got me thinking about what we should do if we are lost while hiking.

The number one thing you should always do when hiking is give an itinerary to loved ones at home and if you don’t keep by it let them know, otherwise you will have Search and Rescue out looking for you. Also, bring a small survival kit with you, even if it’s just a day hike. 

What are some actual things you should do though if you are out in the middle of the woods and have no idea where you are because you got distracted by the beautiful scenery?

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What juicer should I buy?

I’d like your opinion on which juicer to purchase.

I bought a manual HealthyJuicer, which is fantastic for leafy greens and wheatgrass but not practical for everyday use or big amounts of juice. Hand pumping enough for 1 nice-sized glass takes an eternity.

I’m debating between acquiring a centrifugal juicer (Breville) to motivate me to juice every day or a single gear juicer (Champion, Omega, or anything else) for quality.

What are your thoughts?

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Insulin for type 1 diabetics that does not need refridgeration created in India

I honestly cannot remember if I posted this piece before so mods please delete if i have.

Scientists have developed an Insulin for type 1 diabetics that does NOT need refridgeration. Great news for Type 1 Preppers.

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A clothing puzzle – Looking for advice for sensitive skin

I am new to prepping and am trying to work out what clothing I would want for a good go bag. I have an unusual constraint: I have sensitive skin and can’t wear wool (even merino) or most synthetics against my skin. They aggravate my serious eczema. I rely heavily on cotton clothing in daily life but linen, hemp, silk, and (I think) rayon/bamboo are also okay against my skin.

Obviously cotton is not recommended as a base layer for emergency scenarios. Given my constraints, is silk my best option? Is there a meaningful difference between cotton and linen or hemp here? I normally think of them as similar since they’re all cellulose-based fibres.

A bit of context: I live in an urban area in the Pacific Northwest.

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Prepping Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals 2021

This forum thread is going to be updated throughout the next week with various Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other holiday deals related to prepping. Keep checking back often and share this list with others to get the best deals on your preps. Add whatever deals you find in the comments below!

Olight – Up to 50% off plus freebies. The more you spend the better the freebie.Dates: 11/24-11/29

Valley Food Storage – 10% off with code BFCM10. (our review of best food buckets)

Emergency Essentials – various items (our review of best food buckets)

Readywise – Up to 50% off select products (our review of best food buckets)

Thrive Food Storage – 15-30% off select items with code BLACKFRIDAY. (our review of best food buckets) – 30% off sitewide until 11/28. (our review of best food buckets)

Harvestright – $300 off home freeze dryer.

Silence Co – Buy one get one free suppressors

Jackery solar generators – $36-$405 off. Dates: 11/26-11/29 (our review of a Jackery solar generator)

Solo Stoves – Buy one get one free camp stoves

Klymit – 30% off site wide until 11/29. (they have sleeping pads, bags, pillows, blankets, lights, and more)

Darn Tough Socks – 25% off with code HIKETOUGH Dates: Now-11/30 (our review of best socks)

Smartwool socks – Buy 3 get 1 free Dates: Now-12/5 (our review of best socks)

Stego Socks – 25% off Dates: Now-11/29 (our review of best socks) – 25% OFF Sitewide & Up to 80% OFF Doorbusters + FREE SuperSkin Assorted 12 Pack & Neck Buff with any purchase over $100.

Survival Frog – Various deals

Traeger – Free ultimate accessory bundle ($165 value) with purchase of select grills.

 32 Degrees clothing – 70-80% off Cyber Monday

Toshiba 1TB external hard drive – $50 + $10 off with promo code BFFRDY45 (our article on Digital security and privacy 101)

PowerBlock Personal Trainer Adjustable Dumbbell Set – 42% off. Usually $500 down to $290 (our guide on Physical fitness for preppers)

Self Reliance Outfitters – 20% off store wide and free tri-fold cookbook with every order

Smartwool liner gloves – Price dropped from $24 to $18

Renogy Solar – 15-20% off sitewide. Dates: 11/22-11/30

Kidde Plug-In Carbon Monoxide Detector w/ Battery Backup – Price dropped from $30 to $13 (radio and other cool gadets) – various holiday deals

Sportsmans Warehouse – Various deals on ammo, socks, fishing gear, clothing, camping, and more

Ecoflow solar generators – Save up to $700


18,000 BTU Big Buddy Propane Heater – $109. ($223 on Amazon, so that’s a great deal) (our review best portable space heater)

Instant Pot 8 Quart – $59 Dates: 11/22-11/28 (Good for cooking those beans in your food storage)


Milwaukee M18 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Combo Kit (7-Tool) – Price dropped 44% from $900 to $499.


Up to 25% off Kidde fire safety products 

Up to 15% off APEC under counter water purification systems

45% off Energizer LED headlamps (our review of best headlamps)

Up to 15% off 3M powered air respirator systems

Up to 22% off Streamlight products

Up to 26% off Sentry safe products

Up to 15% off 3M and Peltor hearing protection

Up to 51% off Crimson Trace and LaserLyte sights

Eveready 360 LED camping lantern 4 pack – 20% off. Price dropped from $35 to $28

KN95 Face Mask 25 Pack – Price dropped from $30 to $16

Coleman Dome 4 person Tent – 25% off. Price dropped from $200 to $150 (our review on Best survival tents)

2 pack of 160W LED adjustable garage lights – 35% off. Price dropped from $65 to $42

Samodra bidet attachment – 35% off. Price dropped from $40 to $26 (our review of bidets when there is no toilet paper)

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter 2 pack – 42% off. Price dropped from $40 to $23

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter 1 pack – 57% off. Price dropped from $30 to $13

Trailbuddy collapsible hiking poles – 33% off. Price dropped from $40 to $27

Luci inflatable solar light – 44% off. Price dropped from $25 to $14

215 piece first aid kit + 43 piece mini first aid kit – 18% off. Price dropped from $40 to $33. (Great gift for a neighbor or relative for Christmas to help them be more prepared)


Garmin inReach Mini satellite messenger – Price dropped from $350 to $300

ENO DoubleNest Hammock – 25% off. Price dropped from $70 to $52


Sigma III Survival School in Missouri, is having a 35% off and one kid comes for free sale on their courses.

July 2022 Pathfinder Gathering in McArthur, Ohio – 25% off. Price dropped from $100 to $75. Children under 13 are free.

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