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New for the Week of 2023-05-29

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Stop the Bleed Online Course

The in-person class is better if you can find one near you.  But this is a great way to get started if an in-person class is not available OR to review your skills AFTER taking the in-person course.

https://www.stopthebleed.org/training/online-course/

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Looking for preppers in Arizona and Florida for documentary

Hi everyone! I don’t post often here but some of you know me from the 60 Minutes episode with John last year. I also wrote the book Bunker, which you may have run into. 

I’m currently trying to help a friend with a documentary she’s producing about how Gen-Z have became more aware of prepping due to COVID. She’s going to be travelling to Arizona and Florida, and is looking for preppers under 25, or families with children that began prepping  – or ramped it up! – during the pandemic. 

If anyone is interested, feel free to drop me a line at [email protected] or respond here. And thanks! 

     -Brad

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Update: Costco has Mountain House 15 pouch set for $80 ($5.33/pouch) 4/28-5/25/23

UPDATE:  Thanks to Bill Gabriel!   This assortment now has an additional $20 off coupon.   Now you may purchase the 15 pouch Emergency Meal Assortment for $79.99.   The discount will apply to each kit ordered.  (If you order 3 kits, you will get $60 off the $99 list price.)  

Mountain House Emergency Meal Kit 15-Pouch Assortment

1 pouch = 1 meal (never go by servings for any emergency food, they have trickster marketing in the entire emergency food industry).  15 pouches for $79.99 = $5.33 each pouch.  This is the lowest I’ve see in 4+ years on MH backpacking pouches.    These are perfect to put in Go-Bags.    (I  also put water filters in each family members’ Go-Bag (Sawyer Mini, Seychelle, Lifestraw) so if we are unable to carry last-minute water, we can safely obtain and filter water elsewhere to rehydrate the meals.) 

For bulk food storage, best-bang-for-your-buck, 30 year food if you plan to shelter-in-place, the Latter Day Saints offer superb value.    I wrote this forum post 3 months ago. 

Low Cost Long Term Storage Foods from Latter Day Saints/Morman Food Storage Centers

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Inherited emergency food lot (advice)

Hello! My family recently inherited a large emergency food lot (200+ cases of #10 cans, 100+ buckets). While we will be keeping what we can and have space to store, I was wondering if anyone has advice on selling emergency food as a lot? It is primarily Mountain House, Emergency Essentials, and Provident Pantry. Located in southern California. 

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Safe place to live when it goes south

Do you think living within or next to an Amish community is a good idea as most of them are self sufficient and not violent and may be open to trading etc?

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Boil water alert – Washing your hands

Our city is currently under a boil water alert.  I have plenty of water in 55 gallon drums, 1 gallon jugs, and bottled water.  I pulled some gallon jugs and put them near each sink.  However, it is very inconvenient to wash your hands.  What solutions would you recommend to make it easier?  I’ve thought about buying some pump dispensers but not sure how well they will work with water.

https://www.berlinpackaging.com/xp3811-38-400-white-pp-plastic-high-output-dispenser-pumps/

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Screenshot from 2022-08-31 10-59-07

For UK members: April 23rd 3pm (1500 local) Alert Test, What do you think???

I checked in here to see what you all thought of this alert thing? is it useful? does it have the potential to help anyone in a real situation? etc…

because I went to a busy motorway service station near me to see what would be like in a crowd, how people would respond and how easily heard it would be so that I would get the most from the test, and I know that other country use similar systems so I guess it must work

What I experienced:
– there was a loud noise because there was enough people with compatible phones for everyone in the crowd to hear it
– my phone was too old (you need android 11 or later), I did expect to receive a text at the very least but I got nothing
– I think it was about one in ten people with a version of android new enough to receive it
– This 1/10 included a group of Indian tourists (so where your SIM is registered doesn’t matter) you can still receive the alert, but it came through on there phones in English so the children had no idea what it was until there farther translated it for them
– There is no alert through FM or DAB radio, just phones

If I was on my own I would have had no way to receive this, but it is still better than nothing, so should I upgrade my phone?

What are you thoughts on the UK Alert System?

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I am new, advice?

Hey everyone! I just turned 18 and I am learning about the prepper community. I have always been interested, but never really started “prepping” until recently. Does anyone have an advice for me?

I am looking to have a good stock pile, but I am not sure where to buy from (that will be effective and relatively inexpensive). I am not really sure how to use this site either, but I am trying to learn as much as possible. Any advice, recommendations, warnings, etc. would be infinitely appreciated.

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Incredibly beautiful bird !!

I like to feed birds and have many feeders.  I’ve always thought the Rose-breasted Grosbeak is amongst the most beautiful birds alive.  I always count myself blessed when I see one on the feeders.  Today I was sitting in my office and heard a thud on the glass pane on the outside door.  Sure enough a bird had crashed into it and I saw it was a Grosbeak.  I gave it a bit to recover but it still wouldn’t fly off, so I gently picked it up and sat down with it in the shade.  It was always somewhat alert but made no attempt to move.  I hoped it was just stunned so I sat with it for around 15-20 minutes and then it flew over to a nearby shrub.  All seems well.

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Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Homesteading – how much does it cost?

Homesteading and equivalent self-sufficient scenarios where you have a few acres, dedicated water source, and the intention of being able to produce at least some of your own food/fuel seems to be one of the gold standards for practical, attainable prepping.

But I’m curious what the extra/unexpected costs are – now I know its a bit gauche to talk about money in this society, and to be honest if you’re fortunate enough to have millions to invest, some advice on higher cost items may not be practical those who don’t have millions to spare – still interested in your perspective on things to look out for, just might not be able to use all your advice is all!

So what’s actually involved, cost wise, in setting up a viable homestead?  I know costs vary wildly based on location but are there any rules of thumb?  For example when buying a “normal” house I was told “aim for something 2-3 times as expensive as your combined household income” as a reasonable mortgage.  Sure, the bank was willing to approve me for a loan for much more, but I was not interested in living pay-check to pay-check in order to live in a larger house.  I assume this applies to homesteading too, no point in buying the perfect place if the bank takes it from you because you can’t afford it or you can’t afford to buy seed/fertilizer/tools to make it useful.

So with that as the set up I started looking at Redfin listings just to get a wild ball park of what 5-10 acres would actually cost.  I was surprised at what I found as a couple random examples:

A 10 acre river-front luxury-oriented plot for 13 million (hah, well, it helps to set the upper and lower limits for an estimate!) A 9 acre wooded lot for 300K thats still somewhat close to the city a 20 acre plot a few hours away for $80k fairly far away from anything I’m familiar with At what point does land become cheap because its functionally useless? 100 acres in the middle of a desert with no water rights is probably not as useful, even if you can easily afford it?

The knee jerk reaction would be “get the large cheap one” but what realistic factors are involved, even assuming the *only* different was location (don’t focus on these three specific plots, I just had no idea what the price range was for land and wanted to put boundary conditions on the problem).

So what are the major costs?  I can imagine at least the following:

Building an actual home, anything from a tiny home to a mansion so costs could vary wildly – is there a good target range estimate? what if there aren’t local builders near by? What does it cost to add things like septic/well water where utilities may not exist?  How does an electric hookup work if the nearest residential power line isn’t close to your building site? What does it cost to build a road when one doesn’t exist? how expensive are things like site surveying, permitting, soil testing, etc? Transportation: if you buy far away and you don’t already have an off road car, do you need to buy one for unimproved roads with no snow plow service? Land improvement what does it cost to clear an acre or 3 of trees and roots? What does it cost for grading if land needs to be leveled? Agricultural start up costs realizing you can try and start small, learn slowly, what is a realistic range of tools/costs for building a self sufficient mini farm? storage sheds minimum viable tool/equipment set estimates What are the time costs – if you’re working a full time job, lets assume you can do so remotely (and also get high speed internet…) – how much time does it take to homestead?  If you expect to still work full time for a pay check, how does that impact your infrastructure expenses (say a log splitter and chain saw because you can’t spend all day using an axe, even if its cheaper)

To sort of tie this all together, I bet if I had a casual 20 million to spare I could pull something together easily (hah!).  I bet if I had a million I could probably make something work (I don’t, though).  If I got a loan for half a million I probably have options, but perhaps only a smaller/more remote option to really make it work?  If I could only finance 200-300K, am I SOL or at risk of living pay check to pay check?

I can research these individually but it seems like there are a whole lot of variables to factor so curious what I’m missing and if there are any shortcuts?

I’m also really interested in all the extra costs you don’t think of, for instance, a rural trash service, or a PO Box, I’ve even heard of air-ambulance insurance if you need to be flown to a hospital in an emergency from your remote farm (is that just a rich people thing?).

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Strange vehicle spotted

One of my friends spotted this vehicle northbound on I-81, with private Virginia lic plates…no markings. At first I thought it might be a new replacement “Doppler on wheels” for our storm chasing scientists out west….but the dish is wrong, and there’s 2 of them, one fixed, one on a rotational device. I have a couple military types who are suggesting this is a new crowd control sonic weapon. Opinions?  

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Is using natural gas a realistic option in most grid-down scenarios?

Given the number of electrical grid-down scenarios over the past year or so, I’ve been thinking about how to heat my home should that happen in the dead of winter.

My question is this:  Does natural gas ever get disrupted, specifically in locations like the Rocky Mountain West?  Power outages exceeding more than a few hours in my area are rare, perhaps once a year at most.  I don’t recall ever–in my lifetime–having a natural gas outage, period.  Though, obviously, anything is possible given the right bad circumstances.

It occurred to me that in a simple extended power outage (ranging from a few hours to a few days) due to, say, downed power lines in a snowstorm, I could simply plug the fan for my gas fireplace (or, possibly, the fan for the main house heater, which uses forced air) into a Jackery or DIY power station and keep heat circulating through the house.  While I haven’t yet taken a look at the setup in the basement furnace room, my initial thought is that that electric fan on my fireplace would require significantly less electricity and would be sufficient to keep our small two-bedroom ranch style home “warm enough” in an emergency situation.

Obviously, as well all things prepping, I wouldn’t want to put all my eggs in the same prepping basket.  So being prepared to function without natural gas ultimately needs to be part of my plan.  But, it seems, that many if not most grid-down situations would be no electric BUT natural gas still available, allowing me to battery power the fans to circulate the heat.  And, obviously, for an extended outage, natural gas–if available–is in much greater supply than the amount of propane I can realistically (and safely) store onsite.

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News for week of 2023-03-06

Make a top-level comment for a new story/topic. Discussions about the topic should be in the replies to the top-level comment. That way things stay organized and every main comment as you scroll down is a different piece of news.

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News for the Week 2023-05-08

Make a top-level comment for a new story/topic. Discussions about the topic should be in the replies to the top-level comment. That way things stay organized and every main comment as you scroll down is a different piece of news.

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Fogotten Items for BOB

I binged-watched Black Summer (Netflix) again and noticed that they had 2 different scenrios where someone pulled a short crowbar out of a backpack in the same episode.  I never thought about putting a crowbar in a BOB before, but will likely be a short pry bar.

What other things have you put in your BOB that others may not have thought of?

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Pooping in a pail and other prepper pastimes

I am in the middle of a plumbing problem and thought I’d share what I’m learning AS I’m learning it, since I learn a lot from the “what went well/what didn’t” threads elsewhere in this Forum. To the extent possible I’ll try not to repeat what is in the “Toilets when there’s no water” thread. 

It seems our outbound sewer line is blocked. We are lucky that we have an unfinished basement so the disgusting backup is mostly in our non-living areas. But though we have plenty of clean incoming water, if any of it goes down the drains it just makes the backup WORSE and more disgusting. My preps are coming in handy, but I’ve learned some things!  Warning, this thread is – kinda gross. 

You need more trash bags than you think. I’m peeing in the toilet as usual but not flushing, and throwing the wet TP in the trash. Despite my husband’s objections, I am also Pooping in a pail, using my “luggable loo” for “#2”, with two trash bags inside and a big scoop of kitty litter. It still smells, though, so I take it out to the trash afterward and thus the need for lots of trash bags. 

I wasn’t thinking clearly when this first happened and at first I was trying to practice “hygiene” outside – hand washing, etc. using the outdoor faucets. This sucked since it is freezing here. I quickly realized that all I really have is a drainage problem, so I put big bowls under each house faucet to catch the hand washing water and then I throw it outside.  From this I learned a few other things:

Pails are REALLY handy.  LOTS of pails.  In addition to the “luggable loo” pail, which is serving its purpose, I have a pail in the bathroom to dump the hand wash water into, and a pail in the kitchen for dishwater. To the extent possible I’m using biodegradable soap and as the pail fills up I’m dumping it on the edge of the woods.  I also had to use a pail for cleaning up the backup in the basement. It was disgusting. Thank goodness I had dish gloves and plenty of hand sanitizer.  At first I was cleaning up with the ol’ wringing out a wet rag method, but this took forever. I finally figured out that using a squeegee to push the water into a large dustpan worked much faster. I probably made thirty trips to the woods with buckets of gross water. My next prepping purchase will be a water vacuum. Would love a review of those for a  future guide. 

The stuff I bought for hurricanes – shampoo caps, GoodWipes, wet toilet paper, etc. (plus the hand sanitizer that has basically become a staple in pandemic times) have been absolute gifts when I need to use as little water as possible. Here are some other tiny things I’ve noticed:

Habits are VERY hard to break. My husband kept running the faucets etc. without thinking, thus making our backup worse. I made signs with a big red magic marker and post-its saying “STOP! Minimize water use!” and posted at each sink and toilet, and that helped.  My preps were not as – prepped – as I thought. It took me a while to find the Luggable Loo, the trash bags, and the solar shower (which I ended up not needing).  I thought I was SO organized! I wasn’t.  We always say we should practice but does anybody really? These “mini emergencies” – only a drainage problem, instead of a full on emergency – are the ideal scenarios in which to work out the tiny details (which is why I am writing about it).   We should have a list of hotels with in-room laundry and kitchen facilities.  This problem has been going on for three days now (a plumber came on day one and SAID the problem was fixed – it wasn’t!) and we are considering moving to a hotel. However, with Omicron raging I really, really don’t want to be around other people, so finding a place with in-room laundry and kitchen facilities would be ideal.  Good to learn this now as in the future I might need to find one quickly, and WHEN you’re dealing with a literal “poopy situation” is not the time to figure stuff out like that. I found myself remarkably reluctant to use my preps. Example: The kitty litter with the Luggable Loo. I thought, Well maybe I should save this for a “real” emergency. I decided the situation definitely warranted the use of my supplies and that I can buy more kitty litter later! Very grateful for my “not quite BOB”. In addition to my full-on BOB, I keep a fully packed suitcase with three days’ worth of clothes, toiletries, and medications in case of a family emergency. I haven’t needed to use it yet but knowing that it is there is a stress reducer.  Given that we can’t do laundry just now, having three days of clean clothes set aside is a blessing.

Well, the plumber just called and is on his way.  Stay tuned. My next post might be about my hotel room kitchen kit, that allows us to have hot healthy meals even in a hotel without a kitchen. I put it together last summer in case we had to travel in the pandemic but haven’t tested it out yet. 

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Recommendations on .308 Bolt Gun

I haven’t gotten into long range precision shooting yet, but that’s something I’m interested in now (I already have all of the ordinary bases covered: ARs, pistols, 22’s etc). What I’d like is to make this an enjoyable project which I can upgrade and improve over time, gaining knowledge and competency of long range shooting in general.

The main models I’ve been looking at are the Ruger American Predator, Savage 110, and Remington 700 SPS Tactical. What I’d plan to upgrade on these are the stock, trigger, bolt etc. I definitely need something with a threaded barrel since I plan on using a suppressor which I recently picked up.

Thanks for any feedback you guys can provide.

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First Time Water Storage Questions

Hey everyone,

I am researching how to store water for emergencies and was wondering what recommendations you have for storing tap water. I purchased Scepter 5 Gallon Containers and was wondering if I have to santize these and if I need to do anything to treat the water.

Thanks for your help!

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News for the week 2023-05-01

Make a top-level comment for a new story/topic. Discussions about the topic should be in the replies to the top-level comment. That way things stay organized and every main comment as you scroll down is a different piece of news.

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What do you keep in your BOB for menstruation?

This came up in a different thread about prepping resources for single women, https://theprepared.com/forum/thread/single-female-prepper-resources/

Wanted to start a separate thread to dig deeper into period prepping! 🙂 Everyone was so generous with suggestions on the other thread, thought we could continue and consolidate here.

These were the main ideas that came up so far

Menstrual cups are a good idea because they’re washable and reusable, though the learning curve can be steep and there might be hygiene issues Diva Cup seems popular but not all brands work for all people https://divacup.com/ Period underwear such as Thinx may be better for bags since they can be worn regularly and won’t add more weight https://www.shethinx.com/ Disposable paper products are cheap and can be used as a fire starter too, but you are limited to what you already carry

One person mentioned getting a UTI from her cup, so obviously everyone’s experience will be different. Whatever you choose, you should be sure to practice with it in real life. Don’t switch to a new method the same time you’re dealing with an emergency.

So… what do you keep in your bag? How do you think about prepping for periods when you’re not at home in an emergency? Has anyone gone through this, like at a shelter?

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The new techniques and advice on how to save someone from choking

Has anyone ever saved someone from choking? What steps did you take to do so?

2500 people die from choking in the US each year. With Thanksgiving coming up this week and everyone stuffing more food into their mouths than they should I wanted to research and learn about the best techniques to save someone from choking.

Side note, did you know that Thankgiving is the deadliest holiday in regards to automobile accidents? Don’t drive drunk, and be careful when you travel.

If someone says they are choking, they probably aren’t too bad because they are able to talk. If they can breath and say things, than keep an eye on them and tell them to try and cough it up. 

If they can’t speak, are having difficulty breathing, if their skin and lips are turning blue, or they lose consciousness then they do have a full on choking incident and you need to step in ASAP. 

Have someone call 911.

The American Red Cross has changed their advice on choking techniques in 2006 to first start out with back blows. If that doesn’t work, then you switch to the abdominal thrusts (also known as the Heimlich Maneuver)

For abdominal thrusts, stand behind the person and place one foot between their two. Lean slightly back. You are setting up this position for the chance that they lose consciousness and fall. When you are in this position you can more easily support their weight and not fall over with them.

Wrap your arms around the waist, make a fist with one hand and aim the point of  your thumb into the area between their belly button and under the sternum. Grasp your fist with your other hand and in sharp firm squeezes thrust upwards like you are trying to lift the person up. 

Variations: For children you may have to kneel down to get to their level and instead of using both arms, just use your fist and with one hand thrust upwards if they are fairly small. For babies use 2-3 fingers when thrusting. See the above picture for positioning.

If you are related to Darth Vader and will be seeing him this Thanksgiving, try and avoid sensitive topics such as his deceased wife or sand. There’s not help saving you from that kind of choking.

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choking red cross

SCOTTeVEST: opinions?

Hello folks! Was reminded of an interesting clothing brand the other day and would like to ask for your opinions from a prepping standpoint.

That clothing line is SCOTTeVEST and their unique selling point is very simple: pockets, and lots of them. Back pockets, side pockets, front pockets, stash pockets, secret pockets. DeepPockets (TM), TopDrop (TM) pockets, Pocket in Pockets (TM). Pen pockets, document pockets, RFID blocking pockets. Dresses with pockets, t-shirts with pockets, hats with pockets, masks with pockets, gosh darn underwear with pockets.

It all seems very fun. But to what extent do you think this is useful? And can anyone speak from experience?

Looking forward to hearing your responses 🙂

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News for the week 2023-04-24

Make a top-level comment for a new story/topic. Discussions about the topic should be in the replies to the top-level comment. That way things stay organized and every main comment as you scroll down is a different piece of news.

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Garden Pics

Anyone else started their garden yet?  So far I am harvesting asparagus and will be soon picking collard greens.  My tomatoes are in and growing fast and today I planted my sweet corn.  The blackberries are leafing out now and should bloom pretty soon.  Down in the orchard the blueberries have finished blooming and most apple trees are in bloom.  The muscadines are just now waking up.  

This winter I setup the mesh trellis and will grow my pole beans there.  I’ll be planting them on those 3 rows soon.  Once it gets a bit warmer, I’m gonna grow red noodle beans on the old wire trellis.  I’ve never grown them but they are supposed to love very hot weather.  As our planet warms, I’m experimenting with varieties that can handle temps that stay up near 100.  These beans are actually related to cowpeas, such as black eyed peas and purple hull peas, but their pods, which can grow 2 -3 feet long, are edible and have no strings.  They go by lots of names, such as yard long beans, asparagus beans, etc.

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