All posts for the month June, 2014


Since its inception back in January of 2013, The Prepper Journal has been a blog that I started with the hope of being able to share information with people from all walks if life in order to urge them to prepare for unforeseen disasters. I like to think we have been true to that goal and that hopefully we were able to add something to the conversation that continues to this day. In the articles I have personally written, I have stated numerous times that I believe Prepping is a lifestyle. Prepping is something you have to do every day and there really is no end. I still believe that is valid in one sense, but today as I was walking my dog, I started to realize that there really is an end. Prepping for a natural disaster for example is over the second the disaster strikes. If the event you are prepping for happened today it would be the end of prepping as you know it and you would need to start surviving.

There were a couple of reasons I came to this personal revelation and primarily it stemmed from reading other survival blogs as I do almost every morning. I read an article on the Master Woodman site that I reached from Survival Blog about Cody Lundin and his reflections on “Survival Entertainment”. For those who don’t know, Cody has written at least two books, one of which I personally own and recommend (When All Hell Breaks Loose ) additionally,  he appeared on the TV show Dual Survival for several seasons. The article wasn’t what inspired my doom and gloom mood today, but it was thinking about Cody and how he has taught Primitive Survival for so many years. I have for a long time tried to argue with myself about the balance of primitive survival skills I should reasonably have versus urban survival skills. In my mind, knowing how to make fire from a fire plough for instance was neat, but when would I really ever get to put that into practice? Sure, I could somehow find myself lost in the wilderness with no way to start a fire, but a little planning should prevent that, right? At least that is my thought process to date and that is regardless of the disaster, I will be able to start a fire someway using quasi modern technology.

The other thing that caused me to think about an end of Prepping was my family and the news recently. The good old news always has a way of perking my mood up. Not! I read another article today on Mac’s SHTF Plan site from an article originally on Dave Hodges site, The Common Sense Show about his thoughts on the very real possibility that the UN will be brought in to play somehow with the latest surge of illegals coming over our border and this will be their foot in the door moment, along with a false flag event to facilitate gun confiscation in the US. Dave lays out a compelling argument and even mentions as a possible catalyzing event some form of EMP attack, which I have even written about back early this month on the Prepper Journal. I have heard far less credible theories than his.

Do you want to be one of these people?

So these two thoughts occupied my mind as I walked with my dog through our neighborhood. I normally walk and listen to something on my iPod, but today I just walked and looked around. I looked at each home as I passed and tried to notice details that could become important if the grid really went down. I started looking again at alternate paths back home and contemplated what a hypothetical UN force in our country would look like and what could possibly happen. I looked at yards that are nicely manicured and imagined them overgrown for the most part, or their smooth contours displaced with freshly dug gardens in an effort to provide food for themselves and their families. I imagined large picture windows boarded up to protect from desperate people trying to break in. It wasn’t a happy walk at all and the cloudy sky added a nice atmosphere of approaching doom to the rest of my thoughts.

This was an unusually pessimistic day for me, but it made me think again about all my preps and surviving. Too often I talk about events that could happen although I honestly hope they won’t. I tell myself that I hope to have a few more years to prepare, to watch my children grow and to try to be in some way better able to defend and protect them as I go about my daily chores of work, raising a family and trying to prepare. But if tomorrow finds us all in the event we were are so worried about, prepping is over and the real challenge will be in front of us all. These imagined or envisioned calamities would become reality and life would necessarily have to change. If the disaster is large and prolonged enough, could those primitive skills be useful after all? I could easily see that happening.

So what am I saying? There are several things that I have put off for one reason or another and today I was simply convicted that if I don’t move on some of these things I could be sitting there with a wallet of worthless paper kicking myself for not stocking more food. I could have a decent amount of money in the bank that I can no longer get to because of some bank holiday or hyper inflationary event and not have something my family really needs. I guess I am saying that to me is seems like time is drawing near and I don’t think we have too much longer to wait for some of our worst fears to materialize. This is just my uniformed opinion so take that with a grain of salt.

I have always said that I hope I am wrong. I want to believe that I have simply become too immersed in the news and that it is effecting my mood. Maybe I shouldn’t have eaten dessert so late last night and my dreams were affected? Who knows? I really would like nothing better than to be proven wrong even as I know that if that happens I will look like a complete idiot for believing in all the dire consequences I feel are in store for our country.  So be it.

I gave an interview this week to Dave Becker over at Survive Our Collapse and I said “I would love nothing better than to be sitting in a rocking chair when I am 100 years old, holding my great, great grandchildren on my lap while I am surrounded by my whole family as they laugh at me for all my crazy ideas that never came to pass.”

I truly hope that is what happens not just for me, but for all of you too. I simply just can’t shake this feeling that we have a much darker future to go through and I plan on upping my game. If it all goes to Hell tomorrow I don’t want to say I didn’t do all I could to get my family prepared. If I do get a surprise quiz tomorrow that tests what I have learned on Prepping; I want to ace it, not fail. How about you?

This information has been made available by The Prepper Journal: Pop Quiz: Are You Ready for the End of Prepping?


8 Easy Steps To Growing Grapes In Your Backyard

By JD Lara

Grapes are hardy plants. They grow in many different parts of the world, even in the hot, humid Asian tropics where I live. I remember seeing a vine just growing out of a huge container in my parents’ front yard when I was small, but its fruits were small, green and sour. It was probably the kind used for wine-making.

In the US, many varieties of grapes thrive beautifully. They’re classified into 3 main groups:  American, European and Muscadine. American grapes are cold-hardy, thriving for a short season in areas like the Northeastern states. European types, usually used for wines, grow for long seasons in dry, sunny, Mediterranean-type regions like California or the USDA Zone 7 states.  (There are many hybrids between these 2 types.) Thick-skinned Muscadines are a vigorous, native variety, adapting well to the heat and humidity of the South.

Grapes would be a good addition to any garden. They have lots of uses, from jams to juices, desserts to cereal toppings, or just eating straight off the vine. You could try your hand at wine-making, or drying them into raisins. Not only are they rich in essential vitamins and minerals, they’re also loaded with antioxidants like resveratrol, known to reduce the risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer.

Grapevines can provide a leafy green shade on your patio during the summer, or a nice screen from the neighbors on your fence. Growing them organically isn’t difficult. But it does take patience and some level of commitment, says one winery owner in California. But since they are vigorous growers and can thrive for as long as 30 years, with proper care and attention, grapevines can provide you and your children decades of nutritious and delicious satisfaction. They’re also prolific — some varieties can yield up to 15 pounds of fruit per vine. So 2 vines would be enough to support a household of grape-lovers.

New Natural Fertilizer Doubles Garden Production!

Should you decide to grow grapes, several factors would have to be considered.

1. Location. As mentioned above, the local climate will determine which varieties would grow best in your area. Grapes vary in flavor, color, size and texture. Some are sweet and ideal for the table, others are best suited for jellies, juices and wines. Your local agricultural extension office can recommend the exact variety for your region, and whether they’ll be good for table or wine.

2. Sun. Grapes require full sun. If you don’t have a spot in your yard that’s sunny all day, find a place where it can at least receive the morning sun. In northern areas, find a south-facing patch where it can enjoy as much of the summer sun as it can.

3. Air flow.  Good air circulation helps to prevent funguses from attacking your vine.  Find an area away from trees, tall brush or buildings that can block breezes from blowing into your vine.

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4. Water and drainage. A growing vine needs about an inch of rain per week. If your location doesn’t get much rainfall, you’d have to water it. But it doesn’t like getting its roots soaked, either. A gently sloping or hilly terrain would provide perfect drainage.  You may set up a drip irrigation system at the base of your vine so it can get small amounts of water on a regular basis, especially during droughts.

5. Soil. Ideally, your soil should be deep, loose, well-drained and free from weeds and grass. Soil that’s slightly sandy or loamy with a pH just above 7 is best. Mulch it with aged compost. Do not fertilize unless you have problem soil — grapevines don’t require high fertility. As it grows, check if it looks vigorous and healthy, and the leaves dark green. If not, apply a nitrogen fertilizer.

6. Pests. Insects and diseases that afflict grapes vary from one region to another. Warm, humid weather in the East can attract mildew and fungus. Mild winters and cool, wet springs in the Pacific Northwest can cause powdery mildew. In California, the phylloxera is a common pest that attacks the roots; and Pierce’s disease can scorch the leaves and canes. Other potential enemies are aphids, mites and Japanese beetles. Find a variety that has a high resistance to disease so you can minimize problems in the future. For insects, you could spray organic insecticide on aphids and mites. (Ladybugs are a natural consumer of aphids, too, and won’t hurt your vine.) You may just handpick beetles off the leaves, and prevent birds from pecking on fruits with an over-head netting.

7. Training.  Before planting, set up a structural support system to train your grapes. Vines can be grown on a trellis, overhead arbour, or an iron, PVC or wooden post with wire fence or wooden lattice. Young plants often need to be coaxed to grow upwards, which would also help to cut the risk of disease. At planting time, prune the top of a bare-root grapevine back to two or three buds. Trim off any broken roots, or excessive ones longer than 6 inches. You may allow the vine to grow unchecked the first year. During its first winter, select the 2 strongest, longest canes and remove all other growth. The buds along the canes will produce several shoots that will grow leaves and flowers. On the second year, prune back all canes.  Leave a couple of buds on each of the arms. As flower clusters begin to form, remove them as well. Vines should not be allowed to bear fruit in the first 2 years as the weight could damage them. They need to establish their root systems first before they can support the extra weight.

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 8. Regular care.  The secret to growing very productive grapes is good pruning. It’s probably the most important and demanding task you’ll have to do in caring for your vines. Most home gardeners don’t prune grapes enough, resulting in lots of vine growth and little fruiting. Prune yearly when the vines are dormant, around late winter or early spring. Keep a few vines that grew last year, then cut everything else off. Note that fruit is produced from the current season’s growth, which in turn grew from the previous season’s wood. So don’t be afraid to remove up to 90 percent of last season’s growth – your grapes will grow better because of it. Heavy pruning produces the best quality fruit, while light pruning results in large yields of poor quality. Also, if you want to produce bigger fruits, cut off every third bunch the moment they form so that more energy goes into developing the remaining fruits.

The key to growing grapes successfully is choosing vines that will flourish in your climate.  Make sure you buy your vine or cuttings from a reputable nursery. Look for healthy, 1-year-old plants with an even root distribution and symmetrical canes. Try to make sure they’re virus-free stock, and find out if you will need more than one plant for pollination.  Most varieties are self-fertile, though.

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In mild winter areas (USDA Zone 7 and warmer) you can plant your grapevines in late fall or early winter. In colder regions, wait until late winter or early spring when most bare-root varieties are available.

You can expect to harvest good, edible fruits in the third or fourth year, around late summer or early fall. Test their ripeness by picking from different areas and tasting them. Color and size aren’t good indicators of ripeness, so harvest only when they’re as sweet as you’d want them to be. Grapes don’t ripen any further after picking.

You can eat them fresh, store up to a week in the refrigerator, 6 weeks in the cellar, or freeze in zipper bags for use later in smoothies and desserts. My kids relish sweet frozen grapes like popsicles in the summer! I’m sure yours would, too.

What grape-growing tips do you have? Tell us in the comments section below. 

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This article first appeared at Off The Grid News: 8 Easy Steps To Growing Grapes In Your Own Backyard


Survivopedia Self-Efficiency off grid


We are ferm believers that one of the best way to being fully prepped for a SHTF situation is self-sufficiency. When you don’t have to depend on anyone but yourself for survival, you are one step ahead of the panicked herds who will have to either loot or starve.

This week we made a round up of the best articles on self-sufficiency and surviving off-grid.

Let us know your opinion on the topic on the comments sections! 


1. 6 No-Drama Survival Tips for a Clothed and Confident Summer

Survivopedia off the grid“It’s Summertime! A season where families and friends hit the trails and waterways for hikes, boating, and outdoor adventures. Sounds fun, right?

But here’s the thing…

Well over half of all survival scenarios occur on short outings in the woods or on the water.

One wrong turn and you’re lost. Or an ankle sprain hobbles your partner. Your two-hour day hike turns into an over-nighter. Fly fishing that river in your canoe becomes a survival trip after a late-day thunder-storm.”



Read more on Survival Sherpa.     


2. Surviving the Ammo Shortage

Survivopedia ammo shortage“If you enjoy the shooting sports as much as I do then you have no doubt been affected by the ammo shortage.

There are many theories out there as to why the shortage occurred and how it can be fixed, however it seems that few know the true answers.

What we do know is demand + prices have steadily increased while supply has seemingly plummeted. For the millions of us that own .22 caliber rifles/pistols the ammo shortage has been especially critical.”

Read more on Expert Prepper.


3. Prepping Tips for Beginners – Helping You Prep Better

Survivopedia prepping for beginners“One of the Pack (RedC) asked me a while ago if I would write up something on how I got to the level of food storage I currently have as well as what keeps me motivate.

The easy answer is a little at a time and bad times are coming, but I’m guessing he wanted a little more then that.

Prepping food has always been natural to me, we had 9 kids in our family and my moms Grocery budget was never more then $100 a month. We were all home schooled and worked on the farm, and quite honestly she never really needed most of that.”

Read more on The Survivalist Blog.


4. When You Get Cast Away and Cast Out

Survivopedia self sufficiency“As a bachelor I was pretty good at NOT accumulation a lot of stuff, mostly because I couldn’t afford it.

I still remember the days when furnishing my apartment consisted of a hand me down love seat, a few dishes, a mattress sitting on the floor and a 19” TV sitting on a TV tray… what else was I going to use it for, I didn’t have any food.”


Read more on Survivalist Prepper.


5. 12 Survival Hacks Using Just Leaves

Survivopedia off grid“Nature provides an abundance of tools and resources if you just know where to look.

Today, I’m discussing just one of them – LEAVES.

You’re not going to believe all of the survival functions you can do with just LEAVES and a little bit of know-how.

No matter the season, leaves can provide you with some kind of a solution.  Nature is freaking amazing!”




Read more on Willow Haven Outdoor.

Find out more about surviving off the grid on “Darkest Days”.

This article first appeared at Survivopedia: Prep Blog Review: Self-Sufficiency Is the Key

By Josh

Let’s take a look at survival knowledge from around the web, including some helpful commentary to assist you in choosing the most interesting articles.


From 50+ Dumpster Diva Hacks That Turn Waste Into Wealth


“Dumpster diving” is mainly the province of bums and hobos, at least according to “conventional wisdom”. However, as is typical when it comes to prepping, that wisdom misses a lot of the value to be found in digging through garbage for the treasures left behind. This article demonstrates this very well, including demonstrations of the kind of projects “useless garbage” were used in. From a CD rack used to feed rabbits to an entire house built of used tires, the “junk” shown in this post proved to be far more useful than their original owners thought! Preparedness definitely requires an ingenuitive mind, and repurposing garbage is one excellent way to make you rethink how you can use common and simple items. Check this article out, and see if you can find a few items of your own to repurpose.

From 700 Days of Urban Survival in Syria


Sometimes an article doesn’t need many words to give some great advice, and the infamous FerFal does a great job summing up the things you’d need to know in a pretty terrible situation. His advice is extremely simple, but it covers the most important things that you would need to know if you were trapped for an extended period of time in a place suffering like war-torn Syria currently is. Given FerFal’s own experiences in Argentina, these tips are definitely coming from someone who has been “in the survival trenches”, so to speak, and are definitely worth checking out.

From Guess What Silly Problem Kept Me Stranded 300 Miles From Home?


Real-life experiences are always good examples, particularly when the author is willing to be honest about his weaknesses! This post makes a key point throughout the description of the event that kept the author stranded…every little thing can help, or hurt! You never know when one small thing you overlooked can make all of your major improvements and preparations completely useless, which is why practice and practical uses for your preps are so important. Furthermore, even just one practice one won’t do it, as evidenced by the author overlooking the crucial detail that left him unable to move despite a pretty thorough vehicle inspection previously. Practice and judicious care are the way to overcome the problem of little details, so check this article out to get a real-life example of this principle in action.

Your thoughts?

What did you think of the articles selected here? Let us know in the comments below!

This article first appeared at Prepared For That: Dumpster Diva Hacks: Josh’s Take on Survival Knowledge

By Brian Lada

Rounds of severe weather, including tornadoes, will threaten the Midwest and central Plains through Monday, creating a significant danger to lives and property.

Monday is likely to start with some stronger thunderstorms over eastern Nebraska before the severe weather outbreak commences later.

As this outbreak unfolds on Monday afternoon and evening, it will target some of the same communities that were slammed by storms on Sunday afternoon. Des Moines, Iowa, and Kansas City, Missouri, are two such cities.

“I’m concerned about a significant severe weather outbreak Monday afternoon that likely includes some tornadoes across much of Iowa, as well as adjacent areas of southeastern Minnesota and southwestern Wisconsin,” stated Senior Meteorologist Frank Strait.

In addition to the tornadoes, the strongest thunderstorms on Monday afternoon will produce damaging winds, large hail and flooding downpours.

“The danger should transition into more of a widespread damaging wind threat for areas farther to the east and south into Illinois, Missouri, northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan through Monday evening,” Strait continued.

There would still be a concern for isolated tornadoes in the latter region.

Other cities bracing for Monday’s severe weather outbreak include Omaha, Nebraska; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Chicago; and Kalamazoo, Michigan.

For Chicago, the violent thunderstorms and an isolated tornado will roll through on Monday evening.

INFOGRAPHIC: Lightning Strikes in the US by the Numbers
AccuWeather Severe Weather Center
‘StormReady’ Amusement Parks Put Visitors’ Safety First

On Tuesday, the severe weather danger will shift to places around Lake Erie and the Ohio Valley and will stretch back to Oklahoma and Texas. Tuesday, however, may prove to be less active than Monday.

The timing of these storms can lead to high impacts around the major travel hubs in the Midwest on Monday and Tuesday.

Evening commutes can turn treacherous as torrential downpours significantly reduce visibility for those driving on the roadways, as well as increase the risk of hydroplaning.

Those headed to the airports should also prepare for delays not only because of the extreme weather, but also the higher volume of travelers for the Independence Day week.

As storms roll through, temporary ground stops may be put in place at major airports such as O’Hare International in Chicago.

Wind gusts associated with the storms will also lead to power outages and property damage as they are expected to be strong enough to blow over trees and power poles.

Looking ahead to Wednesday, showers and thunderstorms are in the forecast for much of the Northeast as the storm system continues to shift eastward.

However, severe weather on Wednesday is not expected to be as widespread as Monday and Tuesday as the system responsible for the thunderstorms weakens.

Soaking downpours will still be possible which can lead to urban flooding.

More at AccuWeather: Storms, Tornadoes to Slam Chicago, St. Louis Monday

Stromboli (Eolian Islands, Italy): Activity at the volcano increased further and produced several lava overflows both inside the crater and on the upper Sciara del Fuoco. At the moment, the latter one is still active and has a length of approx. 200 m.
Following intense phases of continuous spattering (or small lava fountaining) from the cntral and other vents, accompanied by increasing tremor, a first intra-crater lava flow started around 08:30 local time from the NE hornito (S2).

Shortly after, starting from 11:18 an effusive vent starts to open up on the outer northwestern slope of the crater terrace, some ten meters beneath the NW vent complex (vent S3), and issue a lava flow directly onto the Sciara.
Both lava flows were relatively short-lived, while strombolian and spattering activity continued intense at the various vents.

More at Volcano Discovery: Volcanoes Today, 30 Jun 2014: Stromboli


By Suspicious0bservers

Published on Jun 30, 2014
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