Practical Skills

By Ken Jorgustin – Modern Survival Blog

Most professional worker skills today are hinged with our modern day way of life. The majority of people in the United States generally work in services rather than manufacturing / hands-on.

Preparedness for the ‘here and now’
Preparedness for the potential ‘after’

Having practical skills are beneficial for the now and potentially the ‘after’. ‘After’ meaning a time of post-collapse, a depression era perhaps.

Continue reading at Modern Survival Blog: Practical Skills for Hands On and Preparedness Viability

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By Daisy Luther – The Organic Prepper

If you are a flu shot avoider, like I am, you probably aren’t crazy about the drug store flu remedies. Here’s a flu survival guide loaded with natural strategies and kitchen remedies in case one or more of your family members gets sick.

Despite your best efforts at prevention, sometimes the flu just happens.  If you work with the public or have children in school – or heck, even go to the store from time to time – you and your family will be exposed. Sometimes those viruses are simply tougher than your immune system. The flu is going wild right now and is widespread in 36 states, according to a report by the CDC. The current strain is H3N2.

Here’s an arsenal of strategies if someone gets sick.

Note: I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV.  These home remedies are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for medical attention from a professional.

Containing the Illness

When someone in your home is sick, one of your first goals is not to pass the illness on to other family members. The other priority is treating the sick people in the house with remedies that strengthen them rather than weaken them.

It’s important to make an effort to contain the illness. Despite your best efforts, it may not work, but it’s worth a try.

I’d like to note that antibacterial products are highly controversial. It’s my belief that the problem is the overuse of antibacterial products that causes the issues.  I believe that if used judiciously, they can be very effective aids in preventing the spread of an illness.

Try these techniques to help contain the contagion.

  • Isolate the family member as much as possible. Obviously, this doesn’t work well if the sick person is a young child.
  • Immediately wash cutlery and dishes used by the sick family member in very hot water containing a couple of drops of bleach.  Then, wash the items again with your regular, non-toxic dish soap.
  • Wipe items handled by the sick person with antibacterial wipes (I keep Clorox wipes on hand for this purpose.)  Things like the telephone, the television remote, the computer keyboard, door handles, faucets, taps, and the toilet flush should be wiped before someone else touches them. The sick person can help by wiping things after they’ve touched them.
  • Household members should wash their hands frequently, particularly before eating, before and during food preparation, and after using the bathroom (yes, I know this should be standard, but I’m repeating it anyway)
  • If you must touch items that the sick person has used, immediately wash your hands afterward.
  • Wash all linens and clothing that the sick person has been in contact with using hot water and color safe bleach.
  • If the weather permits, open the windows for at least an hour per day to air out the rooms of the house where the sick person spends time.

Treating the Flu

I generally avoid the pharmaceutical solutions because I choose not to use them.  One day, we could be in a situation where relief is no longer available a few minutes away at our local pharmacies or department store.  It’s important to learn now how to relieve unpleasant symptoms using simple home methods.  This will help you to select the most useful items for your stockpile while allowing you to become more comfortable with using natural solutions.

We always stock everything we might need to fight off a bout of illness, whether it’s the flu, the common cold, or some other type of sickness. We keep on hand chicken or turkey soup (home-canned is the most nutritious), rice and pasta, tea, honey, juice, elderberry extract, and ginger-ale. These provide both comfort and essential nutrients to help family members recover more quickly, and if the adults happen to be sick, no one has to venture out when they feel terrible in order to buy the necessary items.

Aside from that, we keep a well-stocked cabinet of home remedies. Forget heading to the petri dish that is your local pharmacy and don’t worry that you’ll require exotic ingredients gathered in Tibet on the night before the full moon by a left-handed virgin.  Many of these items can be found right in your kitchen – there are lots of things you probably already have that help reduce the misery to a tolerable level without the risk of nasty side effects!

Elderberry Syrup

First, I want to reinforce one recommendation that isn’t a standard addition to most kitchens.  If you purchase one thing to fight off the flu, make it elderberry syrup or extract. Medicinal use of the elderberry goes all the way back to Hippocrates.  Around the globe, folk medicine is full of recipes containing elderberries.

Recent research has shown some very significant results with the use of elderberry when treating the flu.  For anyone concerned about the possibility of a serious pandemic in the future, elderberry is a vital addition to your home pharmacy. The only elderberry extract that is tested and scientifically endorsed is Sambucol Original, which you can get here.

Elderberry may also help reduce the symptoms of cold and flu and shorten the duration of the flu by as much as three days, according to UMMC. The product used in one study was Sambucol, a combination of elderberries and vitamin C, so it wasn’t clear if it was the elderberry alone, or the combination, that had the effect. In a study released by Retroscreen Virology in 2006, a British medical institute associated with Queen Mary College at the University of London, researchers determined that Sambucol was at least 99 percent effective against the avian flu virus H5N1 and significantly neutralized the ability of the virus to infect cells in culture. Source

Elderberry syrup or extract can be mixed with hot water to make a tea.  It can also be added to sparkling water and served cold for a refreshing drink that will soothe a scratchy throat.  Learn more about the benefits of elderberry extract HERE.

Honey

Specifically, you want to stock up on raw honey, rather than pasteurized.  When honey is heated during the pasteurization process many of its health benefits are either lost or diminished.  If you don’t have raw honey, use what you have, but when shopping, look specifically for unheated honey.

Honey is antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral.  This means that before you know the source of an illness (virus, fungus or bacteria) you can still begin to treat the problem.

Sprinkle honey with powdered cinnamon and take a teaspoon 3 times per day as soon as you start to feel a little tickle in your throat.  This can often prevent the illness from taking hold.

Instead of reaching for the cough syrup, try a teaspoon of honey before bedtime to soothe your cough.  Honey taken this way is also very soothing to sore, inflamed throats. Learn more about the benefits of raw honey HERE.

Hot Peppers

Not everyone can tolerate spicy food, particularly when they are sick. However, if you can, there is no better way to clear your sinuses.

Capsaicin is the natural compound that is found in hot peppers – it’s what gives them their heat.  The capsaicin can help thin mucus, causing your nose to run, and thus clearing your nasal passages.  You can get a similar effect from freshly cut onions.

A spicy bowl of chili or a fiery Asian stir-fry could be just what the doctor ordered for sinus relief.

Green Tea

Green tea is the perfect beverage for someone suffering from the flu. A cup of green tea that has been steeped for 3-5 minutes is loaded with immunity-boosting antioxidants.  You want your immune system functioning at top performance your cells to fight off the germs which are making you sick.

Any hot beverage will help warm up someone suffering from chills, and you can sweeten it with honey (mentioned above) to make the drink even more powerful. As well, it’s important to keep hydrated when you have the flu and tea (of any type) will provide you with needed fluids.

Mint

Mint tea is the classic herbal tea. Mint is an ingredient in many different commercial tea blends and is much-loved for its refreshing fragrance.  There are all different kinds of mint tea available.  The most common are peppermint, spearmint and wintergreen.  They all contain menthol, a volatile oil.  Menthol is the component that gives mint that “cooling” sensation.  Mint tea is anti-spasmodic and has muscle relaxant properties that can help reduce vomiting. Mint tea is very multipurpose.

Mint tea is recommended in the following situations:

  • Reduce congestion in a cold or flu sufferer
  • Reduce pain and bloating from gas
  • Reduce cramping from diarrhea
  • Act as a mild expectorant for a chest cold or bronchitis
  • Induce sweating, the body’s natural cooling mechanism. This is a natural way to reduce a fever
  • Relieve nausea without vomiting

Garlic and Onions

Both garlic and onions contain the compound allicin, a powerful flu fighter.  Allicin has strong anti-viral and anti-bacterial characteristics.  It is most likely the high content of garlic and onions in homemade chicken soup that gives it the reputation of a “bowl of penicillin”.  In the 18th century in France, peasants drank wine with crushed garlic in it to ward off the Black Plague.

Similarly to the hot peppers, mentioned above, a fragrant soup loaded with these two ingredients can help to clear nasal passages making it easier to breathe.

If you don’t eat meat, you can make a powerful veggie-laden broth from garlic, onion, carrots, ginger, and hot peppers.

Yogurt

Yogurt can’t be tolerated in all episodes of stomach and intestinal upsets.  However, yogurt with active cultures is said to rebalance the “good flora” in your stomach and intestinal tract, making it especially valuable for treating diarrhea.  Regular consumption of yogurt can actually prevent stomach viruses in the first place by making your digestive tract inhospitable to viruses.

Eucalyptus

If you have an essential oil diffuser, try eucalyptus oil to help open up congested airways. If you don’t have a diffuser, add a few drops into a steamy bathtub. Some people say this also helps to relieve a bad cough.

Black Tea

Black tea is rich in tannins, which have been a longtime home treatment for diarrhea.  You can sweeten your tea but leave out the milk until you’re feeling better.

 

Ginger Root

Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory with a long history in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of nausea, motion sickness, and morning sickness.

Ginger can be found in the form of tea, the root itself or in tablets.  Keep in mind, though, if you are vomiting already, ginger, especially in the form of tea, can make the experience far more unpleasant because of worsened esophageal reflux.

Ginger tea can be taken twice per day if you have flu symptoms such as headache, sore throat, congestion, and chills.  Make the tea by steeping 2 tbsp of fresh ginger in a cup of hot water.  It’s not recommended to exceed 4 grams of ginger per day – components in the herb can cause irritation of the mouth, heartburn, and diarrhea if taken in excess.

When purchasing ginger tablets, read the ingredients carefully.  Gravol makes a “Natural Source” ginger chewable pill containing certified organic ginger.  I was really excited because you can find that in even the tiniest pharmacy.  However, upon closer inspection, the ingredients listed “aspartame”.  Ummm. NO, I won’t add a proven neurotoxin to my organic herbal remedy, thanks.

Several companies offer a ginger tablet remedy.  However, if you go over to the vitamin section, quite frequently you can find Ginger Root.  Buying it from the vitamin section, without the glossy anti-nausea advertising, can save you a hefty amount. I checked at my local pharmacy today and 90 Ginger Root capsules (500 mg) were the same price as the bottle of 20 “All-Natural Ginger” anti-nausea tablets.  Both were $8.99.  As well, the one in the supplement section had no additional ingredients aside from the gelatin capsule that encased the powder. Ginger pills are about $7 on Amazon, which is where I now get mine. You can also get a 3-pack of organic ginger pills for $30.

Salt

A gargle made from salt water can relieve a sore throat.  As well, it can stop a budding infection in its tracks.  Mix 1 tablespoon of salt with a cup of water and gargle.

Recipe: Homemade Cough Syrup

homemade cough syrup

I always keep a jar of this homemade cough syrup in my refrigerator.  It tastes so good that I don’t have to ask my kids twice to take it. You can give a tablespoon as needed right from the jar, or you can also stir a few tablespoons of the syrup into hot water for a homemade “Neo-Citran”-style hot drink without all the nasty chemicals.

Ingredients

  • 2 lemons, scrubbed and thinly sliced
  • 6 tbsp of grated ginger root
  • Honey as needed

Directions

  1. In a glass jar, layer the lemon slices and grated ginger until the jar is full.
  2. Pour honey into the jar, using the blade of a kitchen knife to move the lemon and ginger around and make room for it.
  3. Store it in the fridge for at least 2 weeks before using it.  Then, take 1-2 tsp 3 times per day, as needed, for coughs or sore throats.

What are your favorite home remedies?

It would be impossible to make the list comprehensive!  Do you have some home cold and flu remedies that you have used successfully?  Please share them in the comments!

Additional resources:

This article first appeared at The Organic PrepperThe Flu Survival Guide: Kitchen Remedies and Natural Strategies to Battle the Bug

About the author:

Daisy is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting, homeschooling blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper. Daisy is the publisher of The Cheapskate’s Guide to the Galaxy, a monthly frugality newsletter, and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, PreppersDailyNews.com.

She is the best-selling author of 4 books and lives in the mountains of Virginia with her two daughters and an ever-growing menagerie.
You can find Daisy on
FacebookPinterest, and Twitter.

By Jeremiah Johnson – Ready Nutrition

ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, this article is presented by request of one of the readers.  Here is the requesting comment, as posted to the recent METL (Mission Essential Task List) article of mine:

RedClay: “How about a list of circumstances for when it’s time to bug out. I’m amazed on prepper discussion boards about bugging out, at how many people are going to hit the road to bug out BEFORE the crowds mob the roads. But how will people know when to bug out? What combination of signs or circumstances will one depend on, in that decision? If one waits until it’s obvious, then everyone will know & be on the roads.”

So, as you can see, this is a common question in everyone’s mind, and not unusual by any means.  We have presented articles in the past to help you gauge by different sources how to prepare and when something is likely to happen.  Let’s jump into this in-depth!

One of the problems with preparation is the desire for an exact forecast of when the end of the world is going to occur.  First, allow me to state I’m Jeremiah Johnson, not the Prophet Jeremiah.  Secondly, anyone who claims to be a Prophet (not to delve into didactics) may not necessarily be one.  So, what to do?

If You See These 14 Signs It’s Time to Bug Out

What you do is observe what is happening and estimate…comparing possible with probable and coming up with the best course of action…and act when you know and feel it is the time to do so.

There are keys to show you that everything is going down.  The more that occur simultaneously, the higher the probability that it’s time to get out of town.  Let’s list some of them (and some of these may surprise you):

  1. complete collapse of the markets (a lagging indicator, but hitting rock bottom is a sign that it is gone), to include the Baltic Dry Index, and all commodities markets.
  2. The President, Vice-President, and members of Congress and the Pentagon “disappear” very suddenly and noticeably… (probably heading to a bunker on your taxed dime)
  3. National Guard and Active Duty troops and vehicles are out on the highways all of a sudden, moving out of cities and off of military establishments.
  4. A nationwide bank “holiday” for all banks occurs, with all accounts frozen…this would be very bad.
  5. Foreign military forces on the move either in the vicinity of or to the United States
  6. Outright declaration of either hostilities or an emergency condition by the MSM (mainstream media)
  7. Over a course of time: key members of industry, banking, and the government take “extended vacations” and disappear from the public eye.
  8. Sudden shortages or halts in the shipments of food, medicines, fuel, or any other necessary item…without any warning. Think Venezuela.
  9. Heavy troop and police movements and coordinating activities in major metropolitan areas
  10. Hospitals tasked with any kind of mass-casualty emergency preparations
  11. Numbers 1-10 happening simultaneously in foreign nations along with the U.S.
  12. Increased police and military checkpoints and restrictions on travel domestically or internationally
  13. Decoupling of financial markets and banks overseas and in foreign nations.
  14. Recall of any and all ambassadors and staff back to the United States on short notice.

We have mentioned a list of things here, but the list is not extensive.  I moved to Montana years ago and have taken necessary steps that my preparations are now in place.  This is key: to accomplish these objectives long before any of those listed items materialize, as those are “late” signs that something will occur.

If people all paid attention to things, then perhaps we would have a Civil Defense system in place.  The truth of the matter, to respectfully address RedClay’s concerns, is that even at the penultimate moment of truth, most will ignore the signs.  It’s not that everyone cannot be saved or alerted: it is that they will not pay attention to the signs even when it’s all coming down around them.

Best advice: have your plans in place long before all of this happens, be prepared to depend on yourself and your family alone, prepare today as if disaster will strike tomorrow, and don’t let anyone know your business.  Keep in that good fight.  JJ out!

 

Additional Reading Material:

How To Create a Coordinated Bug Out Plan

The Prepper’s Conundrum: To Bug in or Bug Out? Part 1Part 2Part 3

What If Your Preparedness Plan Isn’t As Sound As You Think

Using Layers to Build Your Preparedness Supply

Bugging Out: Preparing Multiple Escape Routes and Vehicles for a Major Emergency

Every Prepper Should Have Multiple Bug-Out Bags. Here’s Why.

This information has been made available by Ready NutritionIf You See These 14 Signs It’s Time to Bug Out
About the author:

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

 

By Nicholas – Modern Survival Online

When assembling your survival armory, you will need to focus on buying guns that each fills a specific need. I recommend that at least one of those guns should be a bolt-action hunting rifle in a long-range caliber such as .308 or .30-06, fitted with a scope.

While a bolt action rifle may not be the gun that you use the most (in fact, it might be the gun you use the least in a SHTF situation), no gun collection or survival armory is complete without one. Let’s go over the reasons why you should own one, and then talk about the top five models to consider.

WHY OWN A BOLT ACTION RIFLE?

To many, a scoped bolt action hunting rifle with a blued barrel and wooden stock is the archetypal American firearm. That being said, there are still many more reasons to own a bolt-action rifle beyond trying to fit in with fellow preppers:

Big Game Hunting

First and foremost, a long-range rifle in a larger caliber does something that a smaller rifle in an intermediate caliber (such as an AR or AK) cannot do. It can take down big game. Granted, people use AR-15s in 5.56 for deer hunting all the time, but a larger round such as .308 or .30-06 is still a better choice. Especially if you plan on going after even larger game such as elk, bear, or moose.

Long-Range Anti-Personnel Weapon

All the same, you can also use the old hunting rifle you keep in your closet as a long-range anti-personnel weapon if you have to as well. If your home or property is being attacked by opponents at distances that are too far away for your pistols, shotguns, or even your AR-15, a hunting rifle in a bigger caliber will do the job. Yes, it has a slow rate of fire and reloading times, but it will still accurately reach targets at distances that none of your other weapons can.

Using a rifle as an anti-personnel weapon at great distances can be tricky, but one fellow writer (Reaper) breaks it down in his article “How to Shoot Like a Sniper”. In that article, he describes various techniques you can use to accurately engage targets at long distances. Since we’re on the subject of bolt-action rifles that can reach out to greater distances, check it out.

Continue reading at Modern Survival Online: Top 5 Bolt Action Hunting Rifles for Survival

How much paracord for a survival kit?

By Ken Jorgustin – Modern Survival Blog

Paracord is a popular item for an emergency survival kit. There are lots of practical uses for cordage and it’s pretty much mandatory to have a length thereof in a preparedness kit.

The question is:

“How much?”
“How long?”
“What length of paracord should I have in my survival kit?”

Each time that I put together a kit or go through an existing kit, I ask myself the same question! So, what’ the answer??

Continue reading at Modern Survival Blog: Survival Kit Paracord – How Much To Include Or Take With You?

9 Overlooked Things That Can Go Wrong With Your Survival Plan

By Rich M – Off The Grid News

There’s a saying in the military that no plan survives contact with the enemy. This is a pretty good thing for us to keep in mind, as preppers. While we may not have a human enemy that has a vote in whether or not our plan will succeed, we can say that the disasters that we face and the need to survive are our enemy. As such, we should recognize that whatever survival plans we have won’t necessarily survive more than about five seconds after the disaster hits.

This was brought home to me by the hurricanes we had this year. While I was not caught in any of them, Hurricane Harvey looked like it was headed right for my home, before it veered north to attack Corpus Christi and Houston. But it was my after-action review of these hurricanes that made me realize that no matter how good any of our plans might be, we may not be able to use them, because nature and circumstances get a vote in their effectiveness.

Continue reading at Off The Grid news: 9 Overlooked Things That Can Go Wrong With Your Survival Plan

Image Source: Pixabay.com

By Staff Writer – The Survival Place Blog

If you love nothing more than getting away from the city and adventuring out into the wild, you will likely love the idea of getting away for a camping trip at the weekend. As it’s still winter right now, it can be pretty unforgiving in the wild at night, and you will need to prepare a lot more for your trip out into the wild.

Camping in the winter might be cold, but it is also very tranquil and fun. Not many people choose the winter time to come out camping, so you will likely have the whole space to yourself, and beyond all that, you will be able to enjoy watching the stars and cuddling up beside the fire when the sun goes down.

If you want to shed a few post Christmas pounds and have a break with your family, get yourself a tent and head out into the wild this weekend. Before you go though here is a list of the winter camping essentials which you’ll need to take with you on the trip.

Navigation

For navigation, you will want a GPS or your phone, and also a compass and map just in case you run out of power and signal in the forest.

Sun protection

Although you might think that the sun can’t damage you in the winter, it is actually slightly lower at this time of year so you could end up burnt if you are out for too long. Bring along some sunscreen, sunglasses and lip balm to protect your lips from cracking in the cold.

Insulation
It goes without saying that you are in need of some layers in the winter. Mountain Goat Outdoor Apparel provides a range of thermal underwear, tops, fleeces, jackets, pants, gloves and hats to keep you warm and protected against the harsh conditions outside.

Light

Because the days are much shorter in the winter, you will need a few forms of light to keep you going. You will need a flashlight, headlamp and batteries ready in case they run out during the trip.

First-aid

Of course, every trip into the wild needs a first aid kit. You can get a kit from any drugstore for a great price.

Fire

If you are going to be spending some cold nights out in the wild and cooking food, you are going to need a fire to keep you and your food warm. Bring either a fire lighting kit, some matches or a lighter with you and you will be able to collect wood and make a fire on site.

Tools

In case of emergencies, bring along a Swiss Army knife, cooking equipment and duct tape.

Food

Potatoes, meat,  vegetables and of course marshmallows are a must here.

Water

Always pack more water than you will need, because you never know if something will go wrong. It may be useful to bring a water filter to if you need to drink from the river or lake.

Shelter

It goes without saying that you can’t go camping without a tent, sleeping bag and blankets!