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Interesting non-lethal self-defense tool – Self-Defense Whip

I was looking for a non-lethal self defense tool to put in the bug out bags for family members.  Although some are trained in martial arts, they were more about learning the katas than the actual fighting.  I was looking for a self-defense tool that wouldn’t require a lot of training.  I settled on of all things a self-defense whip based on the following criteria:

Simple to use/minimum training required. Doesn’t require physical contact (like a knife or stun gun) Not as easily grabbed (like a baton or stick) Compact  

I know that no weapon checks all the boxes, but this one peaked my interest.  Not sure why there isn’t more discussion on these types of weapons.  I also watched a video of some martial arts experts trying it out on each other (https://youtu.be/zWvEuK9DDtY).  I’ll be packing this along with the pepper spray.

I am not affiliated with any companies who make these products.

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What are your softcore preps?

Even though flashy crises are more fun to talk about, a prepping mindset has a big impact on day to day life. Do you have any creative everyday/non-SHTF prepping that you’re particularly happy about?

For example, I finally got tired of never being able to find new heads for my razor (yay supply chains), and I am not shaving under my arms with my Leatherman, so I started to use a metal razor. It can use any razor blades (which can be resharpened) instead of proprietary ones only, it means I have a pile of spare blades (safely) stored, and I’m not worried about it breaking anytime soon.

I’ve also moved towards wearing more durable and easily repairable materials like leather and using mechanical pencils and refillable pens instead of disposables. This won’t save anyone’s life, but moving away from disposables feels like prepping to me because it increases resilience both materially and financially in the long run. In the short run, they’re just nicer to use.

Even in the more traditional EDC, my bike (hex key) multitool sees more use than my Leatherman or Swiss Army Knife, but that’s probably because I’m still in the Ikea stage of life.

All that said, do y’all have any creative softcore prepping tips?

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Prepping for self-managed abortion post-Roe v. Wade

In the event that Roe v. Wade is repealed in the U.S., access to abortion will fall to the state level to legislate. Many people with uteruses will very quickly have a much more difficult time accessing healthcare that allows them to end a pregnancy.

Therefore, pro-choice preppers who want to understand self-managed abortion care may be interested in learning how to gather materials, build local community networks of support, and access information about how to perform different kinds of as-safe-as-possible self-managed abortions for people with uteruses in your community.

I’ve been doing a little research about this and wanted to share what I found.

This is obviously a topic that can get super politically charged. I’m not interested in having those conversations. If this prep isn’t something you’re okay with for any reason, you don’t have to do it. I’m sharing information in case somebody else can benefit from it.

Books:

Handbook on a Post-Roe America by Robin Marty Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom by Christiane Northrup M.D. A Cooperative Method of Natural Birth Control by Margaret Nofziger

Websites & articles for information:

An academic journal article (no paywall) detailing how to purchase safe, effective abortion pills online as a U.S. based consumer, including a chemical composition study of what was actually in those pills Women on Waves, providing information about the safety of abortion pills and on how to access self-managed abortion How Activists Can Prepare for a Post-Roe World video lecture on how to spread the word about self-managed abortion within your community Self-Managed Abortion with Pills how-to video lecture & information Investigative journalism article from 2018 on networks of people learning to provide at-home abortion services as a form of civil disobedience — full of great information and search terms to mine in Google Guide to performing a menstrual extraction with a homemade Del-Em device r/Childfree sourcing information about healthcare providers who will provide seterilization services in the U.S. and many parts of the world An overview of abortion laws by U.S. state, to help forecast which states might protect access to abortion if Roe v. Wade was repealed

Affordable Plan B and pregnancy tests to add to your prep kits:

My Way Emergency Contraceptive (3 Plan B pills for $15 USD on Amazon) Pregnancy test strips (50 count for $15, $0.30 each, on Amazon) Read More
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News for the Week 2023-11-06

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Lead blanket

I am building a tiny shelter along the lines of a trench with a roof and then layered dirt and tarp on top. Would a layer of lead blanket (0.5mmpb lead lined x-ray protection) between the dirt cut down much, if any, on gamma?  Thank you!! 

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The best faraday cages and sleeves

Hello, 

There are a number of Faraday cages and bags for sale at a wide variety of price points, but it isn’t clear to me which ones are good. Does anybody know what company makes a quality laptop bag at a fair price, for example?

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Some chores are better than others

I’m sure we all have chores we don’t really care for.  The thing I dislike the most, which I did Sunday, is cutting the bottom pasture in the heat of the summer.  The feel like temp was around 110 and I was out in the full sun sitting on a hot diesel tractor.  Being on a homestead, especially when the wife is off caring for her 100 year old mom & 102 year old aunt, well there are plenty of chores & lots of animals to feed.

One chore I love this time of year is taking the dogs out for a final bathroom stop before bedtime.  We currently have 8 dogs living with us.  This time of year is special around 8:30 at night.  The sun has set but it is not yet dark.  The sunset has faded to muted colors of normally salmon pink & light blues.  It is still warm out but not oppressively hot.  Actually, rather nice.  And at this time of day, as I sit on the back patio overlooking the back of our property, waiting on & watching the dogs , I get to watch the bats perform their acrobatics as they hunt down mosquitos.  They put on quite the show!  Kinda like watching the bald eagles… it feeds my soul.  With it seems like the whole world going to hell, it is nice to just slow down and appreciate nature.  The time of evening I’m talking about:

Anyone else have some chores that you really enjoy?

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back

New Guy

Just wanted to say hey y’all! I’m just a dude in Des Moines, Iowa. I’m currently prepping for certain events and this looks like a great community!

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News for the week of 2023-10-23

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DYI Air Purifier for Wildfire Smoke

Facing the worst air quality in recorded history (and my air purifier temporarily inaccessible in storage) I built my own today using Eric’s COVID Air Defense System kit, also known as a Corsi-Rosenthal Cube.  It works for wildfire smoke as well as for Covid.

I followed these instructions to build it: https://encycla.com/Corsi-Rosenthal_Cube

I was able to have the MERV 13 filters delivered the same day by Instacart so I didn’t have to leave my apartment.

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air purifier

News for the Week 2023-10-30

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Documenting Important Information – Big Book Of Everything

Lately I have been updating my ‘important information’ document which my family can use in case something happens to me.  It contains information on financial accounts, insurance information, location of important items, etc.  Recently I came across The Big Book of Everything which has a nice list of information to collect.  While I don’t use it, it has given me some ideas on other things to include in my document.

What resources have you found useful?

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Home security

I just had a break-in in my community. Any recs for protecting doors and windows? And would any of these double as protection from storms? For example, impact-type film over the windows. 

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Moooooooo…Can you rec a powdered milk?

I have descended into the rabbit hole of instant / powdered milk and my eyes are about crossed with all of the info. 

Simply, I just need recs from folks who have taste-tested an instant/powdered milk.

Looking for:

– long shelf life

– for cold cereal

– for cooking hot cereal

– for baking

We don’t really just “drink a glass of milk,” here. But, we do prefer whole milk as we use it in baking…and got used to that many years ago.

TIA! 

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How to clean, sanitize, and properly store portable water filters

I recently saw a post on Reddit where a person is turning on the tap and nasty brown water comes out of it. A few people in the comments were talking about if a water filter would be able to make this potable. Further down in the comments, someone who claims to be a water engineer says that it was from unclean pipes that allowed microbes to grow in them. He then makes the following comment

“The same situation happens when people reuse portable water filters when camping. In dry storage it’s perfectly fine to keep a filter around for months. But the instant you get it wet, you put that filter away and then bacteria starts growing on the filter media. The next time you go camping, you get sick and you can’t figure out why because you use the water filter.”

I agree that if you use your filter and then just throw it in your bag and leave it wet for a couple months it will get all nasty, but if you properly backflush and dry it out you should be fine right? I emailed some of the main portable water filter companies out there and they said I was correct. You need to take some steps to properly store your filter after use.

Their replies will probably be pretty long if I copied and pasted them here, so I’ll sum it up in some bullet points

Backflush your filter with clean water after each outing. If you have mineral rich water that you are constantly filtering, soaking the filter in white vinegar for 30 minutes and then backflushing can help restore flow rate. Pump/flush a weak bleach solution through the unit occasionally, any hoses, and on the outside to kill any bacteria living inside. Then thoroughly air dry before storage.

Here’s a good video on filter care by Sawyer.

Hope this friendly reminder is helpful to everyone to #1 make sure you have the tools and experience backflushing your portable filters and #2 make sure you store them correctly and dryly.

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Game that we don’t usually hunt and eat, but could and would…….

Hunters/trappers usually eat pigs, deer, moose, squirrels, rabbits, turkeys, ducks, doves, quail, geese, and various game animals in different regions.   

But there are some animals that are not traditionally consumed, but in an emergency, would be gladly eaten and enjoyed for nourishment and taste.  A quick rule of thumb is that you can eat just about anything with fur, feathers, or scales as long as it is properly prepared and cooked thoroughly to kill bacteria and other pathogens that would make us sick. That means most mammals, birds, and reptiles are fine to eat, although palatability is never guaranteed.  But the hungrier you are, the better all foods will taste. The wrong plants we eat can harm us more than animals.

Alligators: Alligator meat has been described as having a mild flavor and a firm texture. It tastes like quail, with a mildly fishy flavor, and is often chewy, depending on the preparation. Alligator meat is lean meat that has high protein and low fat content. It is regarded as a healthy food. Alligator tail meat is white in color and tender.

Bobcats (cats):  Bobcat (cat) meat is very similar to that of lean pork. It holds many of the same textures and flavors that pork holds. It’s mild, lean, and tender when cooked correctly.  At first, the meat is chewy, but then surprisingly light and soft. There’s a certain delicacy to it, almost like fish. It’s not particularly heavy, rich, or strong like dog meat, and the addition of the herbs can give the meat a menthol, licorice quality that makes it taste clean and warm.

Birds: We normally don’t eat songbirds or endangered species, but in a SHTF disaster, they’d end up on the menu. Sparrows and Starlings are small but edible and plentiful. It’s been said that crow tastes like wild duck and Mockingbirds have an earthy aroma, and the dark meat is rich, slightly sweet, and flavorful.  

Raccoons:  Despite what you might think, raccoon tastes pretty good when cleaned and cooked properly. Like dark meat chicken or turkey, though it is greasier and more tender.  

Snakes:  You can eat just about any snake, but the most popular snake that people most often choose to eat in the wild is the rattlesnake. Its diet is mostly rodents, plus insects, and smaller reptiles. The meat has an earthy or gamey taste similar to alligator meat, with flesh that’s white and a little rubbery to the touch.

Turtles: Almost all turtle is edible except the lungs, gall bladder, skeleton, skull, and nails. The legs and tail are particularly esteemed, but remove the skin before eating. Snapping Turtles are good eating, but they can be a bit of a chore to clean.  Turtle meat has a firm texture and tastes a bit like chicken.

Opossums: Native Americans enjoyed eating opossums before Europeans or Africans arrived, and they introduced the animal to early colonists. Possum meat tends to have taste similarities to that of squirrel and rabbit meat. The taste is a gamey meat and greasy.  

Horses:  Horse meat is healthier than beef: it’s lower in fat, higher in protein and has a greater proportion of omega-3 fatty acids.  Mexico, Switzerland, Kazakhstan, Belgium, Japan, Germany, Indonesia, Poland, and China are nations where many people eat horse meat without a second thought. While meat from younger horses tends to be a bit pinkish in color, older horses have darker, reddish-colored meat.  

Coyotes (dogs):  Coyotes and dogs are not known for being edible in the U.S., but when properly handled and prepared, it can taste just as good as lean beef.  Dog meat is consumed in South Korea, China, Indonesia, Nigeria, Switzerland, and Vietnam.  Each year, around 4 million cats and 10 million dogs are believed to be slaughtered in China. 

Rats/Mice: In many places around the globe, rat provides much-needed sustenance. As long as it isn’t diseased, it could provide needed nutrition.  While rats seem gross to eat in the US there are many countries that include rat meat in their regular diets: Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, parts of the Philippines and Indonesia, Thailand, Ghana, China and Vietnam. As long as the rodent has been sufficiently cooked through at a high temperature to kill off the many pathogens it may contain, it is safe to eat.

Wild Boars:  Wild boar is very lean and low in cholesterol. Wild boar is an excellent alternative to beef and pork for those who want food that is good for them without sacrificing taste and quality. Wild Boar is high in protein. They are a good source of monounsaturated fats and zinc.  

My trapping boxes contain 20 Conibear body grip traps, 20 wire snare traps, 10 rat traps, wire,    a pack of clothes pins, and misc. items: all for trapping small game. 

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Best solar generator for HOT Arizona desert

Trying to figure out which small portable solar generator would be best for us.  We are in the Phoenix area and get temps up to 120+ F in the summer. Rarely go below 35 F in the winter.

I do have several of the small Novoos and Ruffwear solar fold up panels that were rec’d here on the prepared for charging smaller items.

Would like to get something bigger with plugs so we can run larger fans, etc. Not looking to run major appliances.  And yes, we already have some mid size fans that run off of Li-ion batteries.  Cost is not really an issue. Willing to invest in the best product to suit our needs.

Looking at Goal Zero Yeti 150 (lead-acid battery) and Goal Zero 200x (Lithium) and their appropriate solar panels.Q1:  What type of battery is best for our hot desert environment?

Q2: What about Jackery? Better/ Worse/ Same?  EcoFlow RIVER?

Q3: What would you recommend?Thanks for your help, should you decide to respond. Been having a health issue that has been making me foggy and tired, lately, so researching for me, right now, is draining.

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Sanitation when the grid/water is down

After the winter storm excitement in Texas last week, I realized there is very little on prepping sites about sanitation.  Without water pressure, many in Texas lacked flushing toilets and showers.  There was a nasty story from a hospital in San Antonio about transferring patients because all the toilets in the building were overflowing. 

We were caught a bit off guard – we usually fill buckets of water to flush toilets right before a tropical storm or hurricane (if we don’t evacuate). In this case we didn’t think of it, and I didn’t want to use up stored drinking water. 

Aside from breaking down and finally buying a generator to keep our well powered, I’ve been looking at simple composting toilets.  These look incredibly easy to set up.  Might be worth an article here at some point?

The best information I’m finding is from the RV/Marine community who don’t want to deal with black water tanks.  Anyway – some food for thought and discussion…

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News for the Week 2023-10-16

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Solar Water Distiller

https://yaleclimateconnections.org/2022/02/solar-stills-help-people-obtain-clean-water-using-the-power-of-the-sun/?fbclid=IwAR1wkHu59qTQJ2dhLd6SQbhdeRLbNpUgUYGTjhctV59JxnE5Vl3nUQUdfxA                  

http://www.watercone.com/product.html

I post this in hopes someone in the plastic manufacturing field will see the value in a Solar still … no Filters no moving parts 100% pure drinking water easily stacks on top of each other .. Glenn

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Scepter 5 gal jugs for 43 bucks

This is a heads up for you guys that one of the Prepared picks for water storage can be had for 43 dollars at tractor supply.

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Water Preserver replacement

It’s time to refresh some of my water storage again.

Last time, I used a product called Water Preserver Concentrate from 7C’s Safety & Environmental Inc. I think that I bought it from Water Brick or from Ready Store. From what I can tell, that product is no longer sold for whatever reason. 

Does someone have a recommendation for a similar product?

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What are my fellow urban Canadians doing different about prepping? Here’s some of what I have done and worked.

I hope I’m not duplicating an existing thread, but I thought it would be useful to have some discussion specific to Canadian members, given differences in laws, available products, climate, infrastructure, etc. I’m a newish prepper and am interested in how others are setting themselves up. I live a in a city in Western Canada, in a condo, so I don’t have land, a garage, or tons of storage space. Given those limitations I’m still better set up than most people in my city.

First, my perspective. I really only focus on a two-week scenario. I’m assuming my plan would involved (1) bugging in, (2) assisting three elderly family members, (3) contending with overloaded public services, and (4) no “societal breakdown,” partly because that is such a vague concept. I have no problems with guns but don’t own any and don’t plan to (though I might get armor). There are very different laws here regarding weapons, self-defense, etc., and it would be good for Canadians to be aware of those.

My main scenarios are (1) loss of power during extreme cold or heat, (2) water system breakdown, (3) air contamination largely from fires.

I’ve developed my plan by asking, what would I need to get by, and what shortfalls/losses would I find demoralizing. So I’ve planned on the high end for maintaining hygiene and related items. If the water system went down, the prospect of 00s of 000s or millions of people pooping in their yards or plastic bags (ineptly and in a panic) raises concerns about air and water contamination, and obvious panics about supplies. 

I have food and water preps, medical, and air filtration, so far. I’m investigating solar generators and am debating which one I should get (affordable but also useable over 14 days), as well as a panel. I’d prefer to get a large unit and two smaller ones for elderly family members.

For the elderly family I’ll be assisting, the first question is whether they’re safe to remain at home, or join me. In general, I’ll want to stay away from hospitals and any emergency public service centers as they’ll be chaotic and unpredictable, so psychological and medical aid on site is preferable.

Because I have limited space and am not planning for a very extreme scenario, I’m not going into my preps in detail because they’re pretty standard. But I’m curious what other Canadians, especially urban dwellers, are doing.

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News for the Week 2023-10-09

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News for the week of 2023-10-02

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