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Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag – Book Give Away

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.
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FEMA guidelines and instructions for CERT drills and exercises

CERT Logo

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has long supported CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams) in locales large and small by providing training material, grants and other support. This week they released a new set of FEMA guidelines and instructions for CERT drills and exercises. These exercises cover the gamut and include tabletop exercises, functional exercises, full scale exercises, and competitive events.

Find out more about these drills and exercises after the jump.
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Backyard Chickens

Over the past year, I have noticed an increased interest in raising chickens arising all over the nation. Locally, KSL has published several articles recently about this phenomenon (see below) as has the Wall Street Journal (also below) and most prepper blogs. My family started keeping backyard chickens about four years ago and have had some good success. In this article we’ll summarize some of the benefits to raising chickens, what you’ll need to get started and some links to resources to help you out once you’ve got your flock.

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Utah Garden Planning Documents

A while back we posted on a series of classes that the incomparable Gordon Wells was teaching throughout the Utah Valley. Some of you may have attended and hopefully have started out on your first gardening attempts or are implementing his teachings into your existing garden.

A coworker of mine went to the same class last year and implemented it in his garden that spring. He was amazed at the results he was able to obtain just by following the simple guidelines laid out by Mr. Wells. He was so impressed that he created a series of three PDF documents that simply and quickly illustrate when and what to plant. (more…)

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Book Review: The Raft by Robert Trumbull

The Raft

The plane sunk from below their feet into the depths of the deep blue abyss. Three naval airmen now find themselves floating alone in endless waves and ocean expanse. This is a gripping true story of their grueling adventure adrift at sea for 34 days in a rubber raft not much bigger than a bathtub.

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Book Review: The Zombie Survival Guide

Since we haven’t had a humor post recently (and boy do I need one), I decided to do a little review of one of my favorite books.zsg-cover The Zombie Survival Guide, by Max Brooks.  Now who among us hasn’t felt some joy in responding to the question, “What are you prepping for” with a glib reply of “For the oncoming Zombie Invasion”?  If you haven’t ever used that response, you should try it sometime, and feel the joy. (more…)

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Carrying a Concealed Pistol in Utah

Who has the legal obligation to protect you and your family?

Given the following:

In the 2005 Castle Rock v. Gonzales case, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Jessica Gonzales did not have a constitutional right to police protection, even in the presence of a restraining order.

it would seem that YOU are the only one who can or should be depended on to defend you and yours in a dangerous situation. Law enforcement is often minutes away when a life or death situation is over and done with (for better or worse) within seconds.
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one-quarter cup

Over on “Food Storage… A Necessary Adventure”, there is a recent post called Have you seen a 1/4 cup lately.

One Number by 427 on flickr

One Number by 427 on flickr

It put a few things into perspective for me. Of course you should go read the post, but the basic rundown for me was that the minimum amount of food for longer term survival comes in the form of 1/4 cup of rice, and another 1/4 cup of beans, in dried form. How much is a quarter cup, really? We all have measuring cups that size, go check it out. It is really little.

This should give us all some hope for the possibility of storing enough for ourselves. A 25lb bag each of beans and rice gives just over 300 days of *minimal* sustenance! Not only does that show us how easy it can be to get started, but as the poster notes, that also gives us a great understanding of how we can provide some charity in the worst of situations. I know I plan the food for my family, and in the worst of cases, I would need to focus on keeping those resources for my family. But inside we all want to help others. Even if we’re not giving much, just a quarter-cup of dried beans and rice can keep a person alive. Understanding that from our side makes it easier to share.

Now you need to learn how to make the best use *of* that little amount.

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Wood burning stoves as a prep.

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.
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Making it Yourself: Cheese

One of my favorite comfort foods to have around is cheese. While I do not consider myself any kind of cheese-snob by any means, I do have several varieties 180px-emmentalerthat I like to have on hand (Cheddar, Jack, Gouda, to name a few), and really care about the flavor and texture of those cheeses. These cheeses make up a very important part of my regular diet, and having to go without them would not only cause me and mine to feel the lack of something, but our bodies would probably quickly notice it, and our digestion would likely suffer.

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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

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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.

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