Wood burning stoves as a prep.

Here is Utah it is very common to have a basement, often fully finished.  My house is no exception.  Our basement is around 2,000 square feet with only two finished rooms, both bedrooms.  The previous owner of our home had ducting installed to heat the downstairs, but to do so would require another furnace which they apparently decided to set up in the closet of one of the two bedrooms.

Here in Utah it is very common to have a basement, often fully finished.  My house is no exception.  Our basement is around 2,000 square feet with only two finished rooms, both bedrooms.  The previous owner of our home had ducting installed to heat the downstairs, but to do so would require another furnace which they apparently decided to set up in the closet of one of the two bedrooms.

In the interest of preparedness and to avoid losing a closet (and therefore a bedroom per building code) I started looking into the option of installing a wood burning stove in the basement.
Continue reading “Wood burning stoves as a prep.”

Sample EDC (Everyday Carry)/mini-BOB(Bug Out Bag)

This is the bag I carry around with me on a daily basis.  I don’t carry it everywhere with me, but if it is not with me, it is in my car or at my desk at home or at work so it is always nearby.

I get asked about it quite often so I thought I would detail the contents in a post.

murse-0032
An example of an EDC Mini-Bug out bag

Continue reading “Sample EDC (Everyday Carry)/mini-BOB(Bug Out Bag)”

Why a Depression today would be worse than in the 1930’s

A while back, I saw this post on SurvivalBlog www.survivalblog.com.

Jim
I run a museum that covers, in part, the Great Depression. In a reply to Steve’s letter about how people may react to a “modern” 1930s type depression, you listed a number of economic, social and cultural differences in America in the two time periods. I might add, or expand on, a few.

In the 1930s, many more people lived on farms or gardened. Even in many towns and cities, it was common to have a garden and raise a few animals including chickens, rabbits, pigeons. An enormous difference, then and now, is that the garden seeds then were “heritage” or open pollinated. That means that a family could save their seed year after year, and always have a crop. That is no longer possible with today’s hybrids. If you save seed now, they, (the hybrids), won’t come back the next year. In a major economic breakdown, there will be little distribution of anything, including seed. No seed, no garden.

In the 1930s, most people had wells or cisterns for water. Today, if the electricity goes off, no more “city” water. Formerly, most people had outhouses. They didn’t need flushing. Today, if you can’t flush, you’ve got a biological lab in your bathroom within three days. In the 1930s, there were more horses, more donkeys, more mass transit and railroads, and more bikes. Today, no gas means no mobility. 80 years ago many more people preserved their own food. It was common for most folks to dry, can, smoke, salt, pickle and cold cellar, food. Today, many people consider food storage a discount card to a restaurant. In the 1930s, most people heated with wood or coal. Now, it’s almost entirely “on demand” gas in a pipe, or electricity. Formerly, most people had treadle sewing machines, grain grinders and meat grinders. Today, nada. In the 1930s, far more people practiced folk medicine and used herbs. If you got cut, sew it yourself. Got sick, chop a chicken and make soup. Today? You’d better have a pill bottle and insurance.

In the 1930s, far more people were church goers. Families tended to live closer to each other. People in general had a more self-reliant attitude. If someone had a problem, they tended to try to solve it themselves. And if they couldn’t, their church family, or own their family, would help them. Society today includes far more people who think the gov’t should, and will, be their caretaker.

It’s my belief, that if today we have a depression, if only as bad as the 1930s Great Depression, that [the societal impact of] such a depression will be many times worse. It’s a somewhat real possibility that, today, in a severe enough crisis, there would be no transport, little food or medicine, no heat, no sanitation, no water and very little cohesion of society.

In the 1930s, people sold apples on street corners, and a popular song was “Brother Can You Spare a Dime?” I’m afraid that today, it may be far more common for people to try to take what they can, and consequences be d***ed. A 1930s-type Depression today ? Not pretty.

Jim Fry
Museum of Western Reserve Farms & Equipment

I have to completely agree with everything the museum curator said. Americans are entirely NOT prepared for anything remotely resembling hardship. We have become a nation of debtors and are addicted to debt. We’ve lost the sense of personal accountability and self reliance that characterized Americans for 200 years.

Here in Utah, I am surrounded by people who believe in the principle of self reliance, preparedness, etc. Not everyone is on board with these tenets, but I believe we Utahns are far better prepared than most in other states, particularly those in large cities.

Don’t believe me? How would these people react to a pandemic, food crisis, etc?

Do we even need to wonder if they have any food storage, money, etc. set aside for a rainy day, let alone something far worse?

What are YOU doing to prepare your family? Even if a catastrophic event were to never occur, what is the downside to gardening, food storage, and general self reliance? I know that if I could afford it my family and I would live on a self sufficient family farm. Today I would be running it in maintenance mode, just keeping a bare minimum of animals, produce, etc. However if something were to happen I could ‘flip the switch’ and ramp up to a self sufficient family farm. What I mean by this is that we would be producing enough milk, honey, wool, etc. to supply our own needs and have some to sell or trade for what we can’t or aren’t producing ourselves.

For now this is just a dream. Our little half acre just isn’t big enough. It is already cramped with our garden, chickens, goat and dogs.

What do our readers think about these topics? Am I being to down on our preparedness level as a society? Am I crazy for dreaming about a little family farm? Comments welcome.

One last plug for the great SurvivalBlog:

Celente Predicts Revolution, Food Riots, Tax Rebellions By 2012

I saw this reported on a number of web site, here is one of them.

It seems more and more likely that we have only seen the beginning of the financial chaos that is to come. This goes along with our post last week about the Top 10 Tips To Prepare For A Depression and our post on Why we prep.

Top trend forecaster, renowned for being accurate in the past, says that America will cease to be a developed nation within 4 years, crisis will be “worse than the great depression”.

The man who predicted the 1987 stock market crash and the fall of the Soviet Union is now forecasting revolution in America, food riots and tax rebellions – all within four years, while cautioning that putting food on the table will be a more pressing concern than buying Christmas gifts by 2012.

Gerald Celente, the CEO of Trends Research Institute, is renowned for his accuracy in predicting future world and economic events, which will send a chill down your spine considering what he told Fox News this week.

Celente says that by 2012 America will become an undeveloped nation, that there will be a revolution marked by food riots, squatter rebellions, tax revolts and job marches, and that holidays will be more about obtaining food, not gifts

“We’re going to see the end of the retail Christmas….we’re going to see a fundamental shift take place….putting food on the table is going to be more important that putting gifts under the Christmas tree,” said Celente, adding that the situation would be “worse than the great depression”.

“America’s going to go through a transition the likes of which no one is prepared for,” said Celente, noting that people’s refusal to acknowledge that America was even in a recession highlights how big a problem denial is in being ready for the true scale of the crisis.

Celente, who successfully predicted the 1997 Asian Currency Crisis, the subprime mortgage collapse and the massive devaluation of the U.S. dollar, told UPI in November last year that the following year would be known as “The Panic of 2008,” adding that “giants (would) tumble to their deaths,” which is exactly what we have witnessed with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns and others. He also said that the dollar would eventually be devalued by as much as 90 per cent.

The consequence of what we have seen unfold this year would lead to a lowering in living standards, Celente predicted a year ago, which is also being borne out by plummeting retail sales figures.

The prospect of revolution was a concept echoed by a British Ministry of Defence report last year, which predicted that within 30 years, the growing gap between the super rich and the middle class, along with an urban underclass threatening social order would mean, “The world’s middle classes might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape transnational processes in their own class interest,” and that, “The middle classes could become a revolutionary class.”

In a separate recent interview, Celente went further on the subject of revolution in America.

“There will be a revolution in this country,” he said. “It’s not going to come yet, but it’s going to come down the line and we’re going to see a third party and this was the catalyst for it: the takeover of Washington, D. C., in broad daylight by Wall Street in this bloodless coup. And it will happen as conditions continue to worsen.”

“The first thing to do is organize with tax revolts. That’s going to be the big one because people can’t afford to pay more school tax, property tax, any kind of tax. You’re going to start seeing those kinds of protests start to develop.”

“It’s going to be very bleak. Very sad. And there is going to be a lot of homeless, the likes of which we have never seen before. Tent cities are already sprouting up around the country and we’re going to see many more.”

“We’re going to start seeing huge areas of vacant real estate and squatters living in them as well. It’s going to be a picture the likes of which Americans are not going to be used to. It’s going to come as a shock and with it, there’s going to be a lot of crime. And the crime is going to be a lot worse than it was before because in the last 1929 Depression, people’s minds weren’t wrecked on all these modern drugs – over-the-counter drugs, or crystal meth or whatever it might be. So, you have a huge underclass of very desperate people with their minds chemically blown beyond anybody’s comprehension.”

The George Washington blog has compiled a list of quotes attesting to Celente’s accuracy as a trend forecaster.

“When CNN wants to know about the Top Trends, we ask Gerald Celente.”
— CNN Headline News

“A network of 25 experts whose range of specialties would rival many university faculties.”
— The Economist

“Gerald Celente has a knack for getting the zeitgeist right.”
— USA Today

“There’s not a better trend forecaster than Gerald Celente. The man knows what he’s talking about.”
– CNBC

“Those who take their predictions seriously … consider the Trends Research Institute.”
— The Wall Street Journal

“Gerald Celente is always ahead of the curve on trends and uncannily on the mark … he’s one of the most accurate forecasters around.”
— The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Why we prep.

This Reuters article on steep food price increases is very interesting. This seems like a good enough reason for most people to begin prepping. Anything you buy now may become a 7-9% return on investment if food prices increase as much as they are projecting.

What are some other reasons that people prep?  TEOTWAWKI, TSHTF, peace of mind?  Speak up and let us know some of the reasons why you prep.

List Universer – Top 10 Tips To Prepare For A Depression

Thanks to List Universe for this Top 10 list to survive the coming Depression. They all appear to be good advice to this prepper. View the original using the link.

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There is a chance that the world could be heading in to a depression, so it seems appropriate to make a list that will come in handy should that eventuate. We all hope that it won’t be the case, but there is no reason at all to not be prepared just in case. Hopefully at least one or two of these tips will be useful to you all.

10
Get To Know Your Neighbors

It is a very good idea to get to know your neighbors well – even in times of a normal economy. Your neighbors can keep an eye on your home while you are away, they can feed the pets, and they can lend you a cup of sugar if you need one! In the event of a depression they can be even more useful – you can create a small community where you can share necessities that one may have and others lack, you can set up patrols (if the situation were so dire as to need it), and you can even have shared meals which can help to keep waste and costs down.

9
Buy Metal

If you have a considerably large amount of money, you will probably want to consider investing some of it in metals – such as gold and silver (though these are already seeing massive price increases). Of course, if you have a fortune you probably already know this, but it doesn’t hurt to remind people. In the event of a collapse of your nation’s currency, you will need a backup – and precious metals have been shown in the past to be an excellent one.

8
Stockpile Drugs

If you regularly take medication, try to stockpile as much as you can. In a depression you may find that you can not afford drugs, or – in a worst case scenario, the drug companies may go under! Additionally, store up bottles of aspirin and other common over-the-counter drugs that we all tend to use from time to time throughout the year. As you use these drugs, be sure to use the ones that are the closest to their expiry date – to prolong the life of the others.

7
Save Money

Right now. Begin saving as much money as you can. Cut down on all of your expenses (except debt repayment) and save every penny. If we end up in a depression, you are going to need it. This is also a good time to start thinking about selling any items in your home that you may not need. If it becomes very likely that a depression is going to hit, sell everything non-essential – that means the TV, DVD player, stereos, etc. I would recommend that you keep your computer (preferably a laptop in case you lose your home and need to move around) as it will come in handy when the depression ends.

6
Get rid of debt

You should try to get rid of as much debt as you can right now. While you can pay your mortgage now, you may not be able to in a month – and as banks are feeling the pinch, they are not going to tolerate even one missed payment. This can obviously lead very easily to you losing your home. If you think the recession now is painful, try suffering it on the streets! This is a tip to help you cope before the depression hits. If you find yourself in an untenable situation and the depression has already arrived, forget this tip and read the bonus item carefully.

5
Move your stocks

If you own stock, it is now a good time to consider the types of companies that are likely to do well in a depression – these are the companies you should move your stocks in to. The companies most likely to survive and profit are dry food manufacturers, diaper and toilet paper manufacturers, and any company making products that are seen as essential to survive. “Comfort” and “sin” stocks like cigarettes, alcohol, etc. are also stocks that do extremely well during bad times as people rely on them to blot out their suffering.

4
Learn a useful trade

Some trades are more in demand during a depression than others. For example, a baker, a handyman, or an electrician should be able to find work during the worst economic downturn, but a change control facilitator may not. Invest in some good old fashioned skills now and not only will it help you survive a depression, it may well be a complete career change for you in the future.

3
Store up Food

Right now you should be hoarding dried and canned foods. Also tablets for purifying water and other nice-to-haves like toilet paper, candles, and batteries. I know this sounds like preparations for a nuclear holocaust, but the effects could be horrifyingly similar. Keep all of your goods in a dry clean area. I would also recommend a book on the basics of cooking, so you can convert your flour to bread and perform other culinary miracles that require nothing processed or pre-packaged. This is a skill that will be invaluable whether we have a depression or not.

2
Relocate or buy an RV

If you think you are in a job that is likely to not be needed during a depression, you should consider relocating to an area that has a lot of wildlife and land. If you lose your house, an investment in an RV now (not on credit!) could be your life-saver. You can drive it to a new town, find a private area where you won’t be disturbed, and park up while the depression rides out. Make sure you find an area where you can rely on plentiful fresh water and animals – which brings us to item one…

1
Buy a Gun

If things get so bad that people begin to steal off each other, this will come in very handy. You can use it to protect your family and belongings, as well as to kill animals for food. And if you really are in dire straits, you can use it to rob someone else! (Okay – I didn’t mean that – we should all try to help each other out – not kill each other). A gun will be most useful in hunting so be sure to buy one that is practical for shooting birds and larger animals. You will also want to buy a book on how to skin, clean, and prepare wild animals for human consumption.

Bonus
Blow your credit cards

Okay – this is going to appear very controversial – but this is about surviving a depression; this is a matter of living or dying. If you are about to go bankrupt, are out of work, and see no hope in the foreseeable future of correcting this situation, use your credit cards right to the limit to put yourself in a better position – whether it be buying food, or moving somewhere you might be able to find work. If we really do enter another great depression, you will have to be prepared to do things you would normally not do in order to ensure the survival of your family and yourself. Under any other circumstances, this would be a very very bad thing to do.

Liberty and Learning lecture series in Utah

Unfortunately the majority of Americans voting today are criminally ignorant when it comes to a reasonable understanding of the rights afforded them by the Constitution. Over the last couple of years I have been devouring as much information as I can find to study on my own. This study has included opinions from those believing the Constitution to be a static document and those who believe that it is a ‘living, breathing document’.

All the studying I have done has placed me firmly in the static camp. The founding fathers feared that clever words, exaggerated security fears and other ‘crises’ could cause the people to cede their rights to an ever more powerful government. To combat this, the power of government was severely limited with the power and therefore responsibility laid in the laps of the people themselves. If a change to the Constitution were actually necessary, the mechanism to amend it was created. However, this should be seen as a solemn, game changing event and as such is a long and very difficult process.

During the 219 years since the Constitution was created, only 27 amendments have been added, INCLUDING the original 10 of the Bill of Rights. This alone should demonstrate the intended nature of the Constitution. It is a sacred document unswayed by the temperamental winds of changing opinion. It is the duty of all citizens to learn what rights and responsibilities are placed upon us by our Constitution.

Now more than ever our rights are assailed by the government, special interests and those seeking to gain more power over your life and the very decisions you are allowed to make. Our state indoctrination centers (known as public schools to most) teach nothing of this, in fact this is where the idea that the Constitution should be interpreted anew by those in our power hungry government is most espoused. We must combat this by being informed and working to teach our children, family friends and neighbors.

I urge everyone to attend a lecture series like the ones presented here. Liberty and Learning

Seeds in food storage?

Lately it seems I have been seeing a number of survival blogs recommending seeds as part of your preps. Not everyone has the time, space or talent to have a functioning garden. But should that stop you from adding seeds to your broader food storage?

One item to consider is that seeds have a limited (and varied) shelf life. Some good information can be found here

I feel my own gardening skills are severely lacking and the garden areas at my home have been neglected in the two years we’ve lived there. However, after I do some more research, I expect I’ll be adding a variety of seeds to our storage soon.