October, 2009

Building an A.R.K.

Probably the most well known TEOTWAWKI of all time is the story of Noah’s Ark. A devastating flood wiping out everything and everyone you know, and relocating you to some foreign land, is definitely the end of the world as you know it. When thinking about this story, we usually think about the 40 days and nights on the ark, and how Noah and his family had to survive that. But in reality that was not the real survival situation. The real survival situation started when the waters receded and Mr. and Mrs. Noah had to start over. Building, planting, raising animals – all had to be handled from square one. (more…)

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Reminder: Driving in Snow

With the recent storms, and onset of Winter conditions here in Utah, I felt it appropriate to send out a little reminder of things people should do to prepare for winter driving.  Please prepare before the storms come, so that you can be ready for the enjoyable experience that is Utah roads in the Winter. (more…)

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Living History to Learn Skills

(This is a cross post from my blog: Adventures in Self Reliance)

I read a post at Preparedness Pro recently about the importance of learning skills. Acquiring useful skills is actually something I’ve thought about a lot in case you couldn’t tell by all the crazy stuff I share with you that I’ve been doing. I believe that having a quiver full of skills and things you’ve actually tried is way better than having a library of books about self sufficiency. Now don’t get me wrong, your resource books are very important. It’s just that having experience with something, even if it didn’t go so well, gives you so much more to work with. (more…)

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Growing and Harvesting Dry Beans

Dry Beans, clockwise from top: Calypso, Jacob's Gold Cattle, Jacob's Cattle, Black Valentine, Mayflower

Dry Beans, clockwise from top: Calypso, Jacob's Gold Cattle, Jacob's Cattle, Black Valentine, Mayflower

One of my garden experiments this year was growing dry beans.  Most of the “survival seed” packs have a variety of beans in them.  I had five different kinds of dry bean seeds in addition to my usual favorite green bean varieties, so had plenty of beans growing in the garden this year.  The dry bean varieties I planted were Calypso, Jacob’s Gold Cattle Bean, Jacob’s Cattle Bean, Black Valentine, and Mayflower.  I also planted Blue Lake Bush Beans and Royalty Purple Pod Beans just for eating. (more…)

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Procrastinating the Day of Preparedness

(Cross-posted from my blog; for anybody wondering who Alma is that I reference at the bottom, it’s from a book of scripture from my religion—FYI)


photo credit: Michelle Cordes

Fancy televisions. 4-wheelers. Boats. Video game systems. Fancy clothing and jewelry. These and a slew of other material objects are some of the distractions by which people refuse to prepare themselves and their families for the storms on the horizon. In our culture of consumerism, instant gratification is a given; rarely do people acquire an adequate supply of goods to see them through troubled times.

This perpetual mode of procrastination has ill effects felt not only by those making such choices, but by those around them as well. Of course, those in this narrow state of mind do not even consider the consequences of their choices, let alone how they might affect others. Their focus on the here and now blinds them of any need to reflect on the future. A constant stream of entertainment pacifies them into a brain-numbing trance where, like the drug addict looking for the next fix, their cares take no thought of distant events.

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Canned butter and cheese group buy

I am organizing a group buy on Red Feather Brand canned butter and cheese. The price is $3.00 per can for the cheese and $4.50 per can for the butter and can be ordered by the can or the case of 36. These prices are a dollar less than anywhere I have found. Orders of twenty cases or more will be shipped to your home free of charge. All other orders will be available for pick-up in South Jordan or Lehi. Orders will be accepted until midnight Monday, 26 October and should be submitted by email. Payment must be submitted by midnight Wednesday, 28 October at by cash or check.

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Preppers meet up/Fun shoot North Springs Shooting Range

I’ve been hearing about a new shooting range out near Price for about two years now. The pictures and descriptions I kept hearing made it seem like a great place to check out, but the distance has kept me from visiting it. Until last weekend that is.

Now, I can’t wait to go back, this time with some firearms! Some of the Utah Preppers authors are heading up again on October 24th to watch some Cowboy Action Shooting and to do some shooting of our own. Read on to learn about this shooting sports venue, see some pictures and find out when some of us will be heading out.
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Product First Look – PolyFarm MonoVault

In a previous post we introduced the concept of burial or sinking to disguise or otherwise hide equipment, weapons or other preps. Today we will take a first look the MonoVault line of products by PolyFarm of Meridian Idaho.

Three MonoVaults, 107, 212 and 152

Three MonoVaults, 107, 212 and 152

Recently, some of the Utah Preppers authors met at the Crossroads of the West Gun Show in Salt Lake City. This is where we first met PolyFarm. After some discussions to learn about their production, they were kind enough to provide us with sample of one of their smaller MonoVaults to review and to beat up with some tests. I really like the idea of the product so I purchased a couple larger sizes so that we will be able to review several different sizes.
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Increase short-life supply with vacuum seal jars

As you work to build your short-life food storage, you should begin to consider techniques to help extend the shelf life of your food. The longer it will last, the more you can store. In addition to freezing, dehydrating, canning, smoking, pickling, and storing in a dark, cool place, simply removing the oxygen from food will make it last much longer.

jar_sealer
foodsaver.com

Many are familiar with vacuum bag sealers that allow you to suck the air out and seal it shut. Freezing food this way can extend it’s life up to five times. It also dramatically reduces or eliminates freezer burn. Many aren’t aware of what else their sealers can do though. Many models come with a utility port where you can connect attachments, such as a jar sealer. An inexpensive but powerful addition to your preservation toolkit, vacuum sealing jars should become part of your cooking and food storage routine. (more…)

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Food storage short-life supply

food-storage-photo
Jud Burkett, The Spectrum

I believe that there are two types of food storage: short-life and long-life. The difference is shelf-life. Note that it’s not short-term; the factor is how long the food can be stored, not the length of emergency it’s for. I believe that you should complete your short-life storage first because these are things that you are used to eating, used to cooking, are more interesting, and are generally more nutritious. Where the ratio between short-life and long-life falls depends on the length of time you plan to store against, the types of food you eat, and the methods you use for preservation.

The first step to improving (or starting) your food storage is to dispel the misconception that food storage is an emergency tool to be stowed away safely until the unforeseen day it is needed. A “2 person gourmet package” tucked away in the crawl space is better than nothing, but listening to your children cry because you can’t figure out how to rehydrate ingredients to make a meal or suffering from appetite fatigue isn’t what I called being prepared. Why store powdered eggs before real eggs? Potato flakes before real potatoes? MREs before peanut butter and jelly? Pinto beans before pasta sauce? You can’t just pour milk on a bowl full of wheat. (more…)

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Burying a gun or other preps

Mossberg 500 JIC

Mossberg 500 JIC

I have to admit that I have been a little obsessed with finding a decent option for burying, sinking or otherwise hiding a firearm and other preps since I first saw Mossberg’s Just In Case line of products a number of years ago.
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72 Hour Kit Rotation

Many products and services bill themselves as a “set it and forget it” way of getting things done. Adequate preparedness, however, clashes with this approach. Knowledge fades, food spoils, and medicine expires. One of the most important aspects of preparedness, then, is a refresh or rotation of your supplies or knowledge.

I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (like many people in Utah). Why do I mention that on this blog? Well, every six months our Church has a huge conference over two days. Since it’s such a frequent and expected event, I (like many others of whom I’m aware) have used the weekend as an easy reminder for me to rotate my supplies. Specifically, I rotate the food in my 72 hour kit (I refer to it as a “bugout bag” since it’s got more goodies than your average kit) and one of my water tanks.

This may be fairly basic for many, but here’s what I did for our bugout bags:

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