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All posts for the month December, 2015

new-year-resolutions

By Ken Jorgustin – Modern Survival Blog

Traditionally this time of year we make commitments to ourselves, resolutions, which we try to keep true as long as we can into the upcoming new year. While many of us may fail to complete some or all of these resolutions, some of us will make progress for a time – which is better than nothing, right?

It is a good mental exercise to consider a set of new year resolutions – and this article and comments will focus on those having to do with general preparedness (a WIDE subject).

Here are a few suggestions to consider while making your own resolutions, and a few resolutions of my own…

Continue reading at Modern Survival Blog: Your New Years Resolutions For General Preparedness

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By  – SurvivoPedia

Today’s article is aimed at boosting your chances of survival when living off-grid, and then some!

I mean, the ideas I will present to you today are perfectly applicable to your day-to-day life, but in the case of a SHTF event, they will dramatically increase your chances of survival and they’ll make your life more comfortable.

Continue reading at SurvivoPedia: 5 New Products For Your Off-Grid Survival

 By Tess Pennington – Ready Nutrition

Looking back on 2015, I feel very fortunate; with all the insane events that transpired, we were still given more time to prep and get ready. It gave me a chance to remember some of my earlier lessons I learned when I began prepping and ultimately, helped me remember how important it is to stay alert and hopeful in dire circumstances. It seems that each year brings new emergencies and events that cause many of us to go into panic mode (Need I bring up the Ebola scare of 2014 or the buckling economy in September of this year?).

All the while these events were evoking fear and trepidation, there were prepping and survival websites weighing the information and providing solutions to help their common man better prepare. This is why I love the prepping and survival community so very much. Rather than going about their daily lives, the editors of these websites are tirelessly putting forth effort to provide the much-needed answers to help the layman get through these harder times. As Mike Snyder from The Economic Collapse blog points out, the general public needs all the help they can get.

And sadly, the truth of the matter is that most Americans are not prepared for much of anything at this point.  The following statistics come from a survey conducted by the Adelphi Center for Health Innovation.  As you can see, a substantial portion of the population is not even prepared for a basic emergency that would last for just a few days…

  • 44 percent don’t have first-aid kits
  • 48 percent lack emergency supplies
  • 53 percent do not have a minimum three-day supply of nonperishable food and water at home
  • 55 percent believe local authorities will come to their rescue if disaster strikes
  • 52 percent have not designated a family meeting place if they are separated during an emergency
  • 42 percent do not know the phone numbers of all of their immediate family members
  • 21 percent don’t know if their workplace has an emergency preparedness plan
  • 37 percent do not have a list of the drugs they are taking
  • 52 percent do not have copies of health insurance documents

Survival and prepping have come a long way since I first started Ready Nutrition. In that time a lot of websites have been created, but there are some who stand out. I wanted to take the time to showcase some of my favorite prepper and survival sites that I go to regularly. I respect these sites because, as I said earlier, writing about preparedness and survival takes a lot of time and effort and they set the bar high when it comes to quality content. As well, this list is also my way of thanking these websites for their hard work. As many of them know the thank you’s for all they do are few and far between in this line of work. In no particular order, these are some of my top picks for the best prepper sites out there.

  1. Graywolf Survival 
  2. The Survivalist Blog
  3. Survival Blog 
  4. Prepper Website 
  5. The Organic Prepper 
  6. The Economic Collapse Blog
  7. Natural News
  8. The Daily Sheeple
  9. SHTF Plan
  10. Backdoor Survival
  11. Survival Sherpa
  12. Survival Mom
  13. SHTF School
  14. The Prepper Journal
  15. Off the Grid News
  16. Survival Life
  17. Doom and Bloom
  18. Offgrid Survival
  19. Survival At Home
  20. Survivopedia

What are some of your favorite prepper sites?

 This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition: Top 20 Prepping and Survival Sites

The Prepper's BlueprintTess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals.

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

 

 

By Daisy Luther – The Organic Prepper

During all of the time I’ve been involved in preparedness, I’ve had difficulty combining my love for whole food with my need for long-term storable food to consume in the event of an emergency. For years, I sought an emergency food that tasted reasonably good, had fewer additives, contained no MSG (that’s an instant migraine for me) and wasn’t loaded with genetically modified ingredients from a country with low food standards. (Cough, China.)

In my pantry, you can find buckets of emergency food from several different companies, but until recently, there was not a product line that I felt I could really get behind and endorse. There were always things like MSG, asparatame, GMO corn syrup (just no), unpronounceable ingredients, or a label that announced “Made in China.” Don’t even get me started on the copious amounts of gluten and sugary drinks that seem to be the backbone of many emergency kits.

Readers frequently ask me how they can immediately build a supply, and hands down, emergency buckets are the easiest, fastest way if you have the need for speed. At the same time, it’s difficult for me to recommend products that completely go against everything I believe in as a real food activist.

Despite all of the drawbacks, emergency food buckets have an essential place in your pantry. You just have to make the best choices available to ensure that you’re nourishing yourself instead of poisoning yourself.

Why emergency food buckets are essential

Please understand that emergency food buckets, while vital, should not be the basis of your food storage or your everyday diet. They are only part of the picture of a perfect pantry.

Here’s why every prepper should have some emergency food buckets stashed away:

  1. A lot of calories can be condensed into a very small amount of space.
  2. If you have the capacity to boil water during an emergency, a filling meal can be yours.
  3. They add variety and speed to an emergency food supply.
  4. Calorie for calorie, they’re lightweight and easily portable in the event of a bug-out scenario.
  5. They’re professionally packaged to have a 25-year shelf life, so you can get it, stick it in the back of your closet, and forget about it until you need it.

Now, the downside.If you’re looking for ready-made meals, you have to understand that none of them are going to be

If you’re looking for ready-made meals, none of them are going to be completely without additives. This is impossible, because they’re made to last for 25 years, to take up minimal space,  to cook up quickly and efficiently, and to taste reasonably good.

Some compromises must be made. Yes, emergency food buckets contain processed food, but you don’t have to let go of all of your focus on healthful choices.

I recommend NuManna Foods.

Finally, I’ve found a product line that I can get behind. I recently got the NuManna Defender Nutritive Pack  to test it out and I’ve been very impressed with the company, the mission, and the food. (I also have the gluten-free family pack.) 

Here’s the company’s vision statement:

NuManna believes that emergency food should be as healthy if not healthier than the food we eat on a daily basis. The effects of food on our overall health have never been a bigger concern. Chemical preservatives, food allergies, gluten intolerance, MSG, and certainly Genetically Modified (GMO) foods are all challenging our well-being.

NuManna Foods is well aware of these problems. The founders of NuManna have their own special dietary needs and were seeking storable foods with no Aspartame, or High Fructose Corn Syrup before NuManna began. GMO-free ingredients and gluten restricted options were also a high priority. They didn’t find storable food meals quite up to the standards set for their own family. So, they decided to create them and became one of the first storable food makers of its kind to offer such selective and chemically free products.

We understand customers with exacting standards. We understand how food intolerance can be overwhelming. We also realize the human body cannot eat preserved foods for an extended period of time without getting sick. Your food storage and emergency supplies should not be a health crisis. We work to meet and exceed your expectations and make it easy to find the high-quality storable foods you want and need without sacrificing flavor or value.

Allow our pursuit of quality preparedness food to overcome the frustration you may have felt in seeking out healthy food storage. Our standard packages are Certified 100% GMO-Free with no preservatives, no soy, or other controversial ingredients. We also offer complete Gluten Restricted buckets with the same chemical and preservative-free standard. Our foods are even free of Autolyzed Yeast Extract. NuManna is a true innovator in healthy and chemically free storable foods.

I haven’t found anything else in the storable industry with these standards, and I believe that this could raise the bar to the point that the industry is changed completely.

Numanna free shipping

The Defender Nutritive Pack

The NuManna Defender pack is a 3 month supply of NuManna meals with a wonderful twist: it contains an additional supply of high-quality superfoods.

4defender_nutritive_pack

These can be combined with the standard dehydrated meals to increase both calories and nutritional value. The extra goodies are all organic except for the parboiled rice:

  • Organic Quinoa
  • Organic Black Chia Seeds
  • Organic Sprouting Seeds
  • Organic Brown Jasmine Rice
  • Parboiled Rice
  • Organic Spelt

The other food in this particular package is a mix of gluten-free choices and five containing gluten. (I’d be really excited to be able to get this in a gluten-free offering, but it was still a worthwhile package for us, since not all members of our group have an issue with wheat products.)

I’ve marked the items that are gluten-free with a star. (*)

*Sweet Habanero Chili (6 x 2 servings)
Mac n Cheese (1 x 6 servings)
Pasta Primavera (1 x 6 servings)
*Enchilada Beans and Rice (1 x 6 servings)
Hearty Soup w/ Pasta (1 x 6 servings)
Pasta Alfredo (1 x 6 servings)
Italian Pasta (6 x 6 servings)
*Potato Casserole (1 x 6 servings)
*Hawaiian Sweet n Sour (1 x 6 servings)
*Black Bean Soup (1 x 10 servings)
*Cheddar Broccoli Soup (1 x 10 servings)
*Cheesy Potato Soup (1 x 10 servings)
*Granola (1 x 10 servings)
*Classic Chili (1 x 10 servings)
*Rice Pilaf (1 x 10 servings)

Last night, we combined two goodies together to make one tasty meal.

Sweet Habanero Chili with Quinoa

I love chili in just about every version that exists and this one was not a disappointment. However…if you have a family member who doesn’t like spicy food, opt for the Classic Chili instead of the Sweet Habanero. One of my daughters said that it was too spicy. Keep in mind, this is also the daughter who finds cinnamon gum spicy enough to make her eyes water, so take that opinion with a grain of salt. (Or spice.)

Here are the packages for the chili and the quinoa. Initially I had put these into a snazzy collage, but then I realised you couldn’t read the information on the back. So, this isn’t as snazzy, but you can read it.

chili

quinoa

The quinoa is simply organic quinoa, the kind you’d get at Whole Foods or Trader Joes. This means that it has to be rinsed, which could be a problem if you are in a situation in which water is at a premium. If you have running water, this is, of course, no big deal at all.  For the absolute best flavor, if you saute it in a pan with a little butter or cooking oil, it will be restaurant quality delicious. For the purpose of an emergency food review I didn’t get all crazy gourmet. I simply washed it and boiled it.

There is an enormous benefit to having grains like quinoa packaged up in 16 servings apiece. This way, if you were relying on your food storage for the long term, you wouldn’t have to worry about the product becoming rancid or getting buggy before you could consume it all.

Back to the food. Once cooked, the quinoa was fluffy and perfect. The quality of this product was excellent.

cooked quinoa

Next, the chili. Here’s what it looked like when I took it out of the package and dumped it in a bowl.

chili dehydrated

The food came to us sealed into bags containing 6 servings. I’ve found that the servings from NuManna are very generous, so since there were just two of us eating, I mixed the contents of the bag well, then scooped half back in to have at a different time. The bags have a heavy duty zipper seal, so they close right back up.

Every time I’ve cooked emergency food, I’ve found it requires a little more water than the instructions recommend to get the items completely rehydrated and tender, and this was no exception. I ended up adding two extra cups of water to our half bag of chili. Now, in case it’s just me and there’s some weird, sci-fi, water-draining bubble around my kitchen, follow the package instructions, but be prepared to add extra water if needed. As well, I simmered the chili for 30 minutes instead of 20-25.

This chili had tender beans and tasty, sweet bits of real pineapple. As far as emergency food goes, this was a foodie’s delight. It was delicious. I served mine in a bowl over my quinoa, and it was a filling, satisfying meal.

NuManna sweet habanero chili with quinoa

The Price

In the smallest packages (single buckets) the meals cost anywhere (including shipping costs) from $2.40 for the gluten-containing food to $2.52 for the gluten-free food. If you get a ginormous supply that would last your family for a year, it drops to less than $1.50 per serving.

Now, if you compare this to some of the other buckets on the market, you might feel like that’s too high of a price. But, you have to keep in mind, this is for real food.

One other popular company charges an equivalent amount per meal, but the “meals” are ridiculous items like instant rice (just plain – nothing but white rice), oatmeal, cream of wheat, pudding, sugary energy drinks, and powdered milk.  If I was in an emergency situation and had been working hard all day, I wouldn’t be too happy to open my food bucket and find and orange energy drink or a bag of plain rice for that night’s dinner.

If you want to add things like oatmeal or drink powders to your stockpile, you can do it for FAR less money than $2.40 per serving. Any time you’re shopping for food buckets, check to see what you get and decide if these items should really be considered a meal.

The verdict

I’m very impressed!

While I wouldn’t serve processed food on a daily basis, in an emergency or for a rushed meal when I don’t have time to cook, I’m absolutely thrilled with Numanna Food Storage products.

The company’s commitment to making a better quality storable food is admirable, and I’ll definitely be stocking up on more of their food. It’s like insurance in my pantry against a year when gardens fail, farm animals die, and the store is unavailable. As well, in a tight financial situation, I know that I could feed my family for minimal additional output with a pantry full of these items.

Check out the product line HERE.

It’s such a relief to find an emergency food line that I can recommend without hesitation. I wholeheartedly endorse NuManna Foods.

If you give it a try, let me know what you think of it. I’m planning to do some experimenting to combine this with some of my other stored foods to boost the protein intake and add some variety.

From now until Jan. 1, you can get FREE SHIPPING on your purchase, no matter how much you buy. If you’ve been on the fence about stocking up, take this opportunity. You will save approximately $20 per bucket on the shipping. Don’t forget to add dry milk to your purchase. You can get a bucket of hormone free milk powder or even a 3 pack or organic milk powder. (That’s a hard-to-find product I’ve searched high and low for.)

Click here to get FREE SHIPPING for a limited time.

Numanna free shipping

This article first appeared at The Organic Prepper: NuManna Defender Pack Review: Sweet Habanero Chili with Quinoa

About the author:

Daisy Luther lives on a small organic homestead in Northern California.  She is the author of The Organic Canner,  The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget, and The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy uses her background in alternative journalism to provide a unique perspective on health and preparedness, and offers a path of rational anarchy against a system that will leave us broke, unhealthy, and enslaved if we comply.  Daisy’s articles are widely republished throughout alternative media. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest,  and Twitter,.

8 Ingenious Off-Grid Ways To Split Wood (Without An Ax)

Image source: Pixbay.com

By Rich M Off The Grid News

I’ve had a pile of firewood sitting in the backyard for a while — actually for a few years. This pile was made up of branches that I’d cut off our various trees, either because the branches were dead or I needed to cut back branches of the trees because they were spreading too far. Regardless of the reason, there was a stack of tree limbs that needed to be dealt with.

Finally, though, I got around to building a firewood rack, so that I’d have a place to put all of that wood. Setting the rack beside the garden shed, I started stocking it. So far so good. Some logs had to be cut to length, “bucking” them for firewood, but that wasn’t much of an issue, either. The problem came when I tried to split them.

Now, I haven’t split firewood for a few years, so I expected to be a little rusty. But rusty wasn’t exactly the term for it; the Three Stooges comes more to mind. Even though I (supposedly) knew what I was doing, all I could manage was to split small chunks off the sides of the log, not really splitting it into usable firewood.

 

By AccuWeather

Storms will take a little break across the nation as colder air expands southward and eastward for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

“The vast majority of the nation will be free of precipitation as 2015 comes to a close and the first hours of 2016 unfold,” AccuWeather Chief Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok said.

Exceptions to the dry weather will be spotty snow and flurries downwind of the Great Lakes. Cities that may experience some snow include Sault Saint Marie and Kalamazoo, Michigan; South Bend, Indiana; Cleveland; Erie, Pennsylvania; and Buffalo and Watertown, New York.

A small pocket of freezing drizzle may develop in part of the area that was hit by the blizzard after Christmas. Motorists should be on the lookout for slippery roads in eastern New Mexico and part of western Texas.

Continue reading at AccuWeather: US New Year’s Eve forecast: Storms to take a break as cold air takes hold

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Small explosion at Santiaguito on the morning of 28 Dec 2015

Santiaguito (Guatemala): During our stay at / near Santa Maria volcano during 26-29 Dec, we observed only explosive activity at Santiaguito, but no signs of effusive activity (lava flows): no rockfalls or other movements were seen at the recently active lava flows or on the flanks of the dome itself, indicating that at present, no lava flows are active.
The volcano’s activity consisted in explosions of varying size, at irregular intervals ranging between 10 minutes and 8 hours and producing ash plumes that rose up to 2-3 km above the Caliente dome. Sometimes, only loud, jet-engine like degassing events took place instead of ash explosions. These degassing events often lasted more than 10 minutes, while the explosions typically only took less than one minute.
Photos and impressions from our (still ongoing) tour will be posted in the New Year.

Fuego (Guatemala):
The activity at Fuego might be picking up towards a new paroxysm (eruptive phase with strongly increased effusion rate, resulting in lava fountaining and lava flows).
We camped on the SW side of the volcano last night, and observed mild to strong strombolian explosions that occurred at intervals between 1 and 10 minutes. The strongest explosions sent incandescent material to heights of up to approx. 500 m and similar distances. One particularly intense explosion was accompanied by a very strong shock wave.

Continue reading at Volcano Discovery: Volcanoes Today, 31 Dec 2015: Santiaguito volcano, Fuego