I’ve always been interested in Blacksmithing, both as a link to past skills and as a possibly useful prepping skill. Early in 2012 I began looking into how I might be able to start learning this craft.
I quickly found ABANA, the Artist Blacksmith Association of North America. As the organization’s name might imply, most people doing blacksmithing today are doing it as an art or for ornamentation purposes. Through ABANA, I was pointed to our local Utah ABANA chapter, the Bonnevile Forge Council.
This local chapter has meetings on odd numbered months for its members and those interested in learning about the club and blacksmithing. These meetings are often centered around demonstrations of hands on projects. The club members try to make it less intimidating for newcomers who have never heated metal to 2000 degrees before.
I was able to attend the March 2012 meeting and meet many of the club members. I haven’t missed a meeting since. The next meeting for the club will be this coming Saturday in Provo and focuses on teaching forge welding. I hope any of you who are interested will be able to make it out. Please see the meetings link above for details.
If you are not able to make it to the meeting this weekend, the club president is hosting a short class on making flint strikers which will teach several basic blacksmithing skills. This three hour class will take place the evening of Wednesday, May 15, 2013. More information is here.
We recently posted about an all day introductory blacksmithing class taught by the club President and Mark Henderson, both accomplished blacksmiths. I was informed that the class filled up quickly, mainly due to interest from those who heard about the class through this site. I’d like to hear any feedback any attendees have on the class as well as gauge interest in additional introductory classes and other courses of instruction.
Back in May, I pre-ordered the book “Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit”. When it arrived a short time later I read through it and was immediately impressed with the job the author Creek Stewart had done. As I was reading it the thought kept emerging that this book was exactly the sort of detailed how-to that we like to do here at Utah Preppers, but on a larger scale. As it turns out, the book initially started out as a blog post on the art of manliness blog. After receiving a good response, Creek decided to work on expanding the concept into a comprehensive how to guide.
On Saturday the 16th a few of us will be attending the Rocky Mountain Gun Show. It’s always fun to browse the various shops, negotiate a few deals on supplies, and take some time to mingle with other folks. Let us know if you’ll be there so we can meet each other, and let’s plan on a 12:00 lunchtime at the crown burger across the street.
Following their link, you can pre-purchase tickets to avoid a line, and you can also get coupons for $1 off entrance.
I work near a Sam’s Club and sometime head over for a lunchtime visit. It is hard to beat a Polish Dog and soda at $1.50 for lunchtime frugality. While I am there I often browse through the store to see what seasonal items are on display. Over the last couple months I’ve noticed a few preparedness items at local Sam’s Clubs.
Join us for an evening of free information on different options for cooking when the power goes out. Representatives from great companies such as Sun Oven, Volcano Grills, Humless, and InstaFire will be combining with Jodi and Julie from Food Storage Made Easy to help you learn about these products as well as several free or inexpensive tools you can make yourself. Come and enjoy free handouts, event discounts, giveaways and more!
Cost: FREE! Bring a friend!
Date: Thursday May 10, 2012
Time: 7-9 pm (7-8 will be instructional, 8-9 will be Q&A at individual booths)
American Preparatory Academy 12892 S. Pony Express Rd. (Just off of I15 and Bangeter) Draper, Utah 84020
At times when I’m building up my various forms of disaster kits, I want to throw you hands up in frustration at how reliant I am on different forms of technology. As much as I enjoy the outdoors I’m always bending it back to my more technological side. While this may make things more fun, accurate, or whatever other benefits I get, it also makes me dependent on power.
A great example of this is my need for light outdoors. Now sure we’d like to never be reliant on non-natural light forms, but it’s a reality. Even if you just have a midnight bathroom run once and a while, there are times that you need light. Historically of course, man has relied on fire to provide this light, and now we have flashlights to give us nice, portable light whenever we want, provided we have charged batteries.
A long time ago, in a country far, far away… Ok, I won’t disclose how long ago, I was in Brasil for two years. Heading down there I was often told a familiar maxim to American travelers, “Don’t drink the water”. Everybody has heard this in relation to some foreign location. Once in Brasil I actually heard it from the locals as well. To deal with the various forms of bad things in their water, each home has a terra-cotta water filter that was so simple, that it was shear genius. The base was built with a simple spigot for easy water usage, and on top sat a ‘dirty’ water container that had filters mounted in it, letting gravity do all the work for you.
Fast forward several years, and I’ve started a family, and have moved from the bounteous moisture of the Pacific Northwest, to the arid, seemingly desolate land of Utah.
In my mind, I can hear the sound of an 80’s song, but I am not an egyptian. No, but I do like a Wok. Most commonly associated with Chinese cooking, the wok actually has variants found from India to Japan. Billions of people have relied on this simple pan as their main cooking pot for good reasons. The wok represents one of the most efficient means to utilize a fires heat and cook in a variety of ways. This is why we thought it to be a good test at our recent stove party.
In short, a woks shape allows it to provide the best surface area to connect with your heat source, and concentrate it for efficient cooking. Depending on what food you use, you could boil, saute, stir fry, and more. So for our test, I grabbed some of the cheapest stew meat, and frozen veggies to test a stir fry. This cooking method is good in a preparedness sense in that it allows you to take smaller pieces of whatever proteins and vegetables you can get your hands on, and quickly cook them with some flavor for a group. This can be really important in an extended emergency when food fatigue has set in, or if you just are trying to get the most out fo your food budget today.
A few weeks ago, several of our authors met up on a Saturday to test out some stoves we were given to review. Jayce will be posting some information and pictures on those soon. The subject of this post was an unexpected surprise to me. At our meet up were the owners of Saratoga Jacks, a local company that imports and sells high quality thermal cookers.
Like most preppers my family has 72 hour kits for each member of our family. We try to keep the consumable items in them rotated, work to ensure that the spare clothes in them are seasonal and fit, etc. Since my children are too young to be in school right now, I haven’t spent too much time considering how I will handle a “get home”, “bug out” or 72 hour kit for each child once they are spending a significant amount of their day in a state run education center. I also need to consider the restrictive policies in place these days regarding what is “dangerous” per current school policies. This begs the question, as a prepper, how do you handle emergency kits for young school age children when they are away from the home?
Today I decided to write a little review on a product that I really wish I didn’t have to do. The reason for this is not for a lack of quality in the product, but the fact that I actually needed to use it. Yes, this is a first-aid bandage that I’ve had sitting in my cabinet waiting until needed, and now it is.
Several months ago I met with Mike at Shield-Safety, and went through their sales pitch about some first-aid products they had. While a lot of what they did was not new, they had several things that did pique my interest and stand out as something I wanted to buy. Now I’m not normally a person to give into a home sales pitch, but the Shield-Safety people approached us a little bit differently, they taught first-aid basics, and how to actually use the different items that you should have available in a home first-aid station. One of the products they had that got my attention was a sealed wrap for sprains. (more…)
Recently I wrote a bit about my new toys, a varied set of Goal0 solar and battery products. One of the key pieces that I bought was their 7m folding solar panels. This well-designed kit provided 7-watts of peak solar power in a tiny kit that could easily strap on to my backpack and provide charging throughout the day for small devices. The kit I bought also included their ‘rockbox’ speaker set, a small set of speakers that that have a built in battery, but easily charge from this small panel.
As handy as the device is, there were some shortcomings. First off, the device I most wanted to use on it is extremely finicky with what it allows to charge (yeah, it’s an iPhone), and the variability of solar electricity meant that the iPhone didn’t like accepting the charge. Secondly, some of my devices simply take AA or AAA batteries, and I didn’t have a good charger that would run off the USB adaptor that the 7m provides.
Thankfully there is a relatively new product that addresses these shortcomings, their Goal0 Guide 10. In short, it’s a battery charger, that doubles as a combined power pack for those devices you would most likely charge from the panel. (more…)