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Sinkholes

First things first … what are sinkholes? Basically speaking, a sinkhole is created when a void is created under the top layer of earth. This void grows in depth and width until the top layer of soil can no longer support itself and caves into the void, thus creating sink holes.

What exactly causes sinkholes?

We’ve established that the sinkhole opens up when the immediate sub surface material shifts to another location and leaves a void. Sinkholes can be created naturally or by the actions of man. But that’s only the beginning of the story.

What causes the shift?

There are three main situations that cause sinkholes:

  • If the rocks below the surface are made of materials that dissolve in water, such as limestone or gypsum.

    Over hundreds or thousands of years, the water trapped beneath the surface causes natural underground currents that dissolve the rocks and forge chasms under the ground. As this occurs the top of the chasm gradually grows towards the surface and, eventually, the surface layer getting thinner and thinner, until it becomes too weak to support what is above it and falls in.

  • When the rock under the surface doesn’t dissolve in water, but instead is made of grains that are small enough to be carried away by underground water currents. For instance in Guatemala City, the underlying rock on which a three story building was built on, was predominantly weak crumbly volcanic rock, fine ash and other debris that had erupted from a volcano, the three-story building vanished into the sinkhole when the underlying material shifted,
  • The third situation has nothing to do with underground water currents, it’s all about water movements above-ground. They are triggered by intense rainstorms or floods, and burst or long-term leakage from sewer or storm-water pipes.

You’ll notice in all these examples, the water can’t go where it used to, so it finds a new path.

sinkholehouse

Where do sinkholes form? Sinkholes form mainly in limestone.

Limestone areas in a tropical, moist climate are much more likely to form sinkholes than those in dry climates. However, since they can be natural or man-made, Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, and Missouri, are experiencing sinkholes that appear from nowhere with little to no warnings. This threat obviously gives constant worry for anyone living around the areas where sinkholes are known to exist and the unpredictability of when or where in may occur makes the concern that more frightening.

Methods of mining have been directly linked to the sudden onslaught of sinkholes where few if any existed before. A sinkhole can range anywhere between a slight depression in the ground right up to an enormous hole reaching down half a Kilometer (1640 feet). The world’s current deepest sinkhole is in Chongquig, China, reaching down 662 meters (2171 feet).

Since there is no natural surface drainage, once water gets into a sinkhole it can’t get out via the surface, thus must drain downward, into the subsurface layers creating an ever deeper hole. Such an occurrence, of an abandoned mine creating a swirling water erosion created a huge sinkhole in the backyard of an Ipswich Brisbane neighborhood.

Sinkholes: Staying above the Abyss

The best method to avoid the catastrophe of being engulfed by a sudden opening of a sinkhole is being knowledgeable of the early warning signs and being aware of your surroundings. For instance, if the area is known to be prone to sinkholes it may be a wise idea to not build or buy a home in that area.

What are the warning signs?

In many cases sinkholes don’t form suddenly, they build up slowly over many months or even years. Its the last stage, when the formation of the hole or basin is at the very surface, that’s sudden. Here are signs that might indicated you have a slow-burning sinkhole on your hands:

  • Fresh cracks in the foundations of houses and buildings

  • Cracks in interior walls

  • Cracks in the ground outside

  • Depressions in the ground

  • Trees or fence posts that tilt or fall

  • Doors or windows become difficult to open or close

  • Rapid appearance of a hole in the ground

  • Dying or wilting vegetation in a circular form

Suggestions:

sinkholeladder

A sudden collapse of a sinkhole is nearly impossible to escape unless you happen to be located at the very edge of the hole and lucky enough to grab hold of something substantial enough to stop your fall. Or the depth of the sinkhole is only a few feet, as not all sinkholes open to the center of the earth. So what can you do to help avoid being swallowed alive?

  • Hire a Professional … If you are located in states or areas prone to sinkholes and wish to build or buy a home or business, hire a professional geologist to do tests in and around your property. It’s not an ironclad guarantee, but it’ll stack the odds in your favor.
  • Double Check Repairs … In certain cases, it is possible to repair a sinkhole. If you are considering buying property with a repaired sinkhole, make sure a licensed engineer certified the repair. Demand all documentation and data on the repair and if possible, have another licensed engineer review the documentation for accuracy. I couldn’t tell the difference between a quality repair report or a forged one. Could you?
  • Talk to Your Insurance Company … It’s best to do this before purchasing a property. Make certain the insurance company will insure against sinkhole disasters and the cost of such coverage. Having full insurance coverage, but at $1000 a month fee, is all but the same as not having insurance … for normal people anyway. See if there are any prior qualifications such as a certified engineer buy-off.

Warning Signs Review:

There is usually some sort of sign that a sinkhole is developing, not always, but usually. It’s important to take notice of these signals and know what they mean.

Be on the Lookout:

  • Constantly check for unusual ground and plant depressions in and around your property. These telltale signs are:
  • If a sinkhole is in the process of forming the structures on top of it can give a hint to its existence: for example, slumping or sagging fence posts, and trees that start to lean. More subtle signs can include doors and windows that don’t close properly.
  • Heavy rains can trigger the collapse of a sinkhole that had been slowly forming earlier. When rainfall collects in an area where water previously did not collect, that is another sign that the land is subsiding.

Hurricane Triggers:

Bad enough that sinkholes could be forming under your feet in normal rains. Bring a hurricane to the region and it could feel like not only the sky is falling, but the ground is falling as well.

Earthquake Triggers:

When the earth falls out from under your feet, it may not be a sinkhole at all, but rather an earthquake. When the Alaskan earthquake struck on March 27, 1964, Fourth Avenue dropped 20 feet below normal level as the result of the shifting fault-line.

When sudden seismic shaking occurs near the coast don’t wait for a tsunami warning siren, head to higher ground.

Blue Holes:

Blue holes along low-lying coastlines are the remnants of sinkholes formed during past ice ages when sea level was 300 to 400 feet lower than today. As sea level rose, the sinkholes became flooded, forming vertical caves. The deep blue color of the hole contrasts with the lighter white carbonate sands of the surrounding seafloor and the water is home to many varieties of marine species.

Scuba diving in a blue hole can be dangerous as the depth is difficult to judge with just your eyes. Divers must vigilantly check their depth gauges to make sure they don’t exceed their safety limits.

Sinkholes are an anomaly of nature that was no more of a danger to man than being struck by lightening, but that has changed recently. The ever increasing encroachment on nature by man and the damage that creates, both unintentional and mostly intentional, has completely changed the earth’s composure. New and destructive methods of mining and drilling for fossil fuels have restructured the earth’s crust in a matter of years, that which took a million years to establish.

You don’t need to know all the reasons, new and old, for the eruption of sinkholes, but you must be aware of their increased activities and the new areas which they have suddenly sprung up. Fortunately, few lives have been lost to sinkholes, however, losing a lifetime of valuables to a sudden catastrophe can make you wish you were dead.

Be mindful of the signs of sinkholes and act accordingly and you should be alright, physically anyway.

How to Get Rid of Flies

Ever been assigned fly detail at an outdoor family event, or get tired of yelling at the kids to close the door as they’re letting flies in? My favorite is the fly who was born to pester only me… landing on my food, on my drinking cup, on my arm all the time knowing I couldn’t kill it with my bare hand, then vanishing as soon as I reached for the fly swatter. How many times have you wished you knew how to get rid of flies?

Know your enemy:

Military strategy is military strategy and the first thing a commander will do is order intelligence on the opponent. You must know your enemy in order to defeat your enemy. Let’s do a little recon on the fly. Are they dangerous or just a nuisance?

  1. There are 100,000 known species of flies and probably as many not yet identified species. That’s at least 100,000 different enemies with different tactics, likes and dislikes, etc etc. No small task.

  2. Make no mistake about it … flies are carriers of diseases. How? Well, it’s a little gross, actually a whole lot gross, but … although flies are attracted, by their sense of smell, to solid food and waste, they are not able to eat it. When the fly lands on the food it creates a solution, which breaks down the solids into a liquid, and vomits it onto the food. It then sucks up the liquid substance and contaminates the food at the same time.

  3. This contamination of food is exponentially increased because the fly is a restless insect and will fly from food to waste, food to waste, continually infecting food in multiple places or multiple foods as it darts about.

What types of diseases do they carry?

You’ll want to know how to get rid of flies after contemplating this list. A fly will spread:

  • Salmonella Enteritidis generally known as food poisoning.

  • Typhoid and Paratyphoid fevers

  • Diarrhea

  • Dysentery

  • Cholera

  • Conjunctivitis

  • Anthrax

  • Tuberculosis

  • They are also identified as carriers that can transmit the eggs of parasitic worms.

Sand flies, which are normally found in South America, Africa and Europe, are known carriers of a microorganism that inflicts the disease Leishmaniasis, which eats away the human skin. These flies are about 1/8th of an inch in size and leave red bumps and blisters where they bite.

fly2

Horse Flies also called stable flies can bite a human, which is very painful and can draw blood. Obviously by creating an open wound the risk of infection is severe. A horse fly bite should be medically treated just as any other cut or open wound would be.

Biting Midges are tiny, tiny flies that can make one consider suicide in order to get away from their constant pestering. They are known to fly in groups, swarms, gangs whatever you want to call it, but they never seem to attack on their own. There are always enough of these badgering pests to make life miserable and their blood sucking feeding habits pose a severe health risk.

These examples are but the tip of the iceberg. If you’re not ready to know how to get of flies by now … well, I think you are. The repellents and deterrents, there is a difference, we’ll examine are all natural ingredients therefore we know they are safe around humans and animals. I’m not saying don’t buy or use store bought pesticides, I’m saying read the labels first to insure they are safe. Making yourself or your pets sick because you were too lazy to read the label is kinda stupid.

Vodka Repellent:

I have no idea how this was discovered, maybe drunken Russians who were not bothered by flies when everyone else was? In any event Flies Hate Vodka! It’s believed they can’t tolerate the smell, but who cares as long as it works. Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup of Vodka. Buy the cheap stuff it works just as well

  • 1 tsp of lemon eucalyptus oil

  • 2 tsp of aloe Vera juice

  • ½ tsp of essential oil blend

  • One spray bottle

Pour these materials into a container and thoroughly mix. Once mixed, pour the solution into a plastic spray bottle and saturate all exposed skin with the mist. You can also spray areas, like a picnic table, lawn chairs, etc in order to repel the flies.

Lemongrass Oil Repellent:

Again for whatever reason, lemongrass oil is repugnant to a fly’s smell and can be used to create a strong repellent that also serves as a room freshener. What you’ll need:

  • ½ cup of hot water

  • 20 – 30 drops of lemongrass essential oil

  • 1 plastic spray bottle

Thoroughly mix the ingredients together and pour into the spray bottle. Spray the solution along doorways, windows, screened in porch or any other fly infested area. They will not like crossing the invisible fragrance boundary.

venusflyeat

Clove Deterrent:

The fragrance of clove is quite enjoyable for most people, but flies, especially house flies, can’t stand the odor. Exactly what we want to hear. Needed Materials:

  • 1 lemon

  • 8 to 12 cloves

  • Plate (paper is fine)

Take the lemon and cut it into equal halves. Poke half the cloves into each half of the lemon, place each half on a separate plate and place the plates where you want to deter the flies.

Sugar Fly Trap:

One thing flies and I have in common, we both love things with sugar in it. That’s where we part company. Let’s use the fly’s weakness to sweets to get rid of him. Remember the old saying “You catch more flies with sugar than vinegar.” Well, it’s a fact. What you need:

  • A Wide Mouth jar (empty mayo jar, pickle jar, canning jar) I suggest not using anything you don’t want to throw away, because you’ll want to discard the jar after an afternoon of outside activity.

  • Fill the jar @1/2 full of water, pour in a spoonful or two depending on the jar size or how sweet you want to make the trap, of sugar. Sugar substitutes don’t work as well as pure sugar, but can be used. Be sure to mix this solution thoroughly, you don’t want sugar settling to the bottom.

  • Using a sheet of stout paper (like resume paper or construction paper) roll it into a cone shape. Either paper clip it or staple it closed as you don’t want the cone to unwrap while in the jar.

  • Cut a 1cm diameter hole at the apex of the cone. That’s a little hole for those of us that don’t do metrics real well.

  • Insert the cone into the top of the jar opening like a funnel. Be careful to not submerge the cone opening into the water as you don’t want the paper to become water soaked and fail.

Here’s the deal. The flies will be attracted to the sugar water through smell. They will venture down the cone tube and enter the water or land on the side of the jar and eat. Once inside they won’t be able to fly up the funnel through the tiny hole, becoming trapped and doomed. If they escape your hole is too large. Redo.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Witch Hazel Repellent:

This natural outdoor fly repellent that works mostly against house flies. To make this repellent, you would need following ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup witch hazel
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 30 – 60 drops of eucalyptus oil

To make this repellent mix 1/4 cup witch hazel and 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar. After this, add 30 – 60 drops of eucalyptus oil in the solution and shake the mixture well.

Now, you can apply this repellent on the uncovered areas of your body. It’s a good idea to not spray into your eyes or mouth.

Camphor or Citronella smoke:

Citronella and Camphor both are very good at repelling flies. In general flies hate smoke, but when the smoke is from a citronella candle or a piece of camphor then it becomes doubly effective against them. Light a citronella candle or a piece of camphor and spread the smoke in the fly infested area and you could see them leaving the place instantly.

Milk Sugar Pepper Trap:

Want to rid flies like your ancestors? This type of trap has been used since ancient times and is especially efficient against those very pesky fruit flies. You would need:

  • Milk- 1/4 litre
  • Sugar- 3 tsp
  • Ground black pepper- 1 tbsp

Pour all the ingredients in a pan, heat them for 5 to 10 minutes on simmer setting. After heating the solution, remove from heat and pour it into shallow bowls, then place them near the fly infested area. Fruit flies will be drawn to the bowls and as soon as they land on the solution they will suffocate and drown.

Home Made Fly Paper Traps:

I personally think fly traps hanging from the ceiling covered with dust and dead flies is disgusting, however, you can’t argue about its efficiency of trapping flies. If it didn’t work they would have stopped making them a long time ago. The theory is simple. Coating the paper with a sticky sweet solution, hang up and nature takes over. Even though they are moderately priced, if you were going to hang … say 25 or 30 in a barn and weekend cabin, the cost can escalate pretty quickly. Let’s see what we need to make our own fly paper traps:

  • Sheets of brown paper or thin cards
  • Scissors
  • Heating Pan
  • A large sized spoon for stirring
  • Corn Syrup
  • Water
  • Thread
  1. Cut the brown paper sheets into 2 inch wide strips.
  2. Use a needle and thread to punch through the paper and tie a loop on the end for a way to hang the paper.
  3. Take equal parts of corn syrup and water and pour into a pan. The amount of solution depends on how many traps you want to make, but in any event don’t go skimpy because you’ll need to dip the paper. Place on stove.
  4. Constantly stir the mixture while it heats to boiling temperatures.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat, lay the paper strips, fully emerged, into the mixture and allow it to soak 4 to 5 hours.
  6. Remove the strips from the mixture and hang up where you want to place them. If you don’t know where you want to hang them, hang the temporarily because the paper must dry.

Additional methods to address fly issues:

  • Cover as much skin as possible, either with clothing or insect repellents

  • Avoid day outdoor activities when flies are at their peak energy levels. But then again, at night you’ll have to deal with mosquitoes, I’ll take the flies.

  • Use fans to create a constant and rather strong wind current across the patio, porch, etc.

There are much worse pests than flies, but that doesn’t mean we have to endure their constant buzzing around trying to contaminate our food and infect us with diseases. The suggestions listed above do work … I’ve tried them myself. But when it comes to a war of how to get rid of flies … a good old fashion fly swatter works miracles.

The Attack on Alaska

Have you heard about the attack on Alaska? Most likely few of you have, but there were several viscous battles fought on Alaska soil during WWII, and unless you fought there or loss someone there, the memories have pretty much drifted off into oblivion as far as history is concerned.

Through people I have connected with while writing this survival blog, I have learned even the most ardent survivalist can become uninspired maintaining the rigors of constantly preparing for the SHTF event, while praying it never happens. Once the initial enthusiasm of becoming a survivalist wanes, it’s difficult to maintain the energy to stay on top of everything without motivation. Maintaining and rotating supplies is grueling and expensive, while keeping track of the newest and greatest survival gear can be mind boggling as technology sprints past most of our comprehension. Besides there hasn’t been an invasion of North America United States since the war of 1812, and although technically a foreign army, our fight with the British was more like quarreling in-laws. Every other war on the continent was waged between Americans mad at one another or stealing land from Mexico and the American Indians.

That’s why I decided to do a little research and discovered an event that may dash your false sense of security that America could never be invaded by a hostile force. Let’s look at the attack on Alaska through the Aleutian Islands. The invasion and occupation of continental United States land.

JAPAN SEIZES AMERICAN SOIL

In June of 1942, six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor and the defeat of American troops in the Philippines, the Japanese invaded the Aleutian Islands, a sparsely inhabited string of volcanic islands extending 1200 miles west of the mainland Alaska Peninsula. By June 6th & 7th the Japanese had invaded and controlled the islands of Kiska and Attu, establishing military garrisons and began conducting air strikes on Dutch Harbor where two American military bases were located.

At first glance the Aleutian islands appeared to be of little military value. The islands were historically barren with mountainous terrain, terribly harsh weather with heavy snowfall and dense fog. A wintry version of hell. Historians believe the Japanese invasion was a feint to draw the American fleet away from Midway, the real Japanese invasion target. It was also feasible that the Japanese thought holding these two islands would cut off any avenue of invasion by the US to invade Japan’s homelands. In either event the Japanese had invaded the US and now held American soil while attacking American troops. The blow to American moral was substantial. The Japanese had nearly destroyed the American fleet at Pearl Harbor, kicked MacArthur’s butt out of the Philippines and now occupied American soil. Moral tanked.

American Outrage to Japanese Occupation

The attack on Alaska shocked and outraged the American public. Just the principle that Japanese troops had invaded and occupied American soil, no matter how remote or barren, was unacceptable. Although the media stoked concern of Japan’s attack being the first step towards an invasion of mainland Alaska or perhaps the invasion of the US Pacific Northwest, the war planners were more concerned about rebuilding their Pacific strength and preparing for war in Europe. The Japanese invasion was hardly acknowledged with the exception of an occasional bombing raid originating from the nearby Aleutian Islands.

While being ignored the Japanese became acclimated to the harsh weather, built defensive fortifications and were kept well stockpiled by the Japanese navy. By the end of 1942 the Japanese were well entrenched and well supplied on the two islands of Attu and Kiska. However, the US war planners were now becoming proficient at addressing several war fronts at one time and by January 1943 the Alaska Command had grown to 94,000 soldiers, and had landed on Amchitka Island, 50 miles from Kiska.

The Attack on Alaska – Naval Blockade of Attu and Kiska

American brass anticipated the Japanese had used their time well and would be prepared to repulse an attack when America launched it. Surmising this they had to do something to weaken the Japanese before attempting an invasion, and they decided that would require a naval blockade in order to cut off all supplies to the garrisons on both islands, starving them of required resupplies.

Battle of Attu Anniversary

By March 1943 the navy fleet, under the command of US Rear Admiral Thomas Kinkaid, had encircled the two islands with a blockade intended to restrict the flow of supplies to the occupiers. On March 26, 1943, a Japanese fleet of supply and war ships attempted to breach the blockade in order to deliver supplies and reinforcements to Attu. The Japanese were spotted by scout vessels before they could run the blockade and the two fleets sped towards one another engaging in what became known as the Battle of the Komandorski Islands. The Japanese fleet outnumbered the American fleet and were more experienced in naval warfare than the Americans. After a several hour fight-fire the Japanese had extracted a severe cost on the American fleet in terms of ship damage and loss of life. Despite their advantage, the Japanese who were now low on ammunition and fuel for the return trip to Japan, and fearing American bombers being launched from Dutch Harbor could appear at any time, they withdrew without completing their mission. This would not be the last time the Japanese would withdraw prematurely while not realizing how much devastation they had wreaked on the American forces.

The blockade and subsequent battle had achieved its goal and with the exception of an occasional submarine supply vessel, the two garrisons were completely isolated and cut off. They Americans would starve them into a weakened condition before landing troops on the ground for actual combat.

The Battle of Attu … Operation Land-grab

The harsh winter climate these battles were waged in were far different from the sweltering heat of the South Pacific, but the lessons learned from these battles set the precedent of the entire island hopping campaign America used to win the war. No different than the battles of the South Pacific, these lessons were learned by the spilling of American blood.

The battle began with American naval ships bombarding the island for several weeks in conjunction with unleashing relentless bombing attacks in order to soften the enemy prior to the land invasion. On May 11,1943 11,000 American troops landed on Attu. This was the first of many strings of events where the Navy, Army and Marine top brass would continually underestimate the length of time required to secure the target island. In this case, it was estimated the island would be totally secured within 2 to 3 days, but the battle raged for more than two weeks.

The Japanese, being heavily outnumbered, retreated to their predesignated high ground fortifications, allowing the Americans to land unchallenged. The tranquility was short lived. The US soldiers were equipped with ill-designed uniforms and equipment that would not bear up to the harsh weather and rugged, muddy terrain that kept their advance at a snail’s pace. They endured more causalities from frostbite, trench foot, gangrene and other illnesses than they incurred from enemy fire. Unbelievably, food shortages, although well supplied, added insult to misery as they chased the enemy crisscross the barren island outrunning their supply route.

When they did engage the Japanese the fights were usually small but fierce as the Japanese, which became common, refused to surrender. Americans were ambushed while scouring the rocky terrain by dug-in enemy positions, pestered by sniper fire and harassed by deadly booby traps. The end result of the battle was never in question as the Americans controlled the air and sea denying any reinforcements or supplies from arriving. The only question was how many Americans would die before the island was declared secure.

By late May, the remaining Japanese garrison, starving, sorely lacking ammunition and trapped in a corner of the island, exemplified the Japanese attitude Americans would become all too familiar with in the South Pacific, they committed to a banzai charge. Colonel Yasuyo Yamasaki, garrison commander ordered the charge slightly before daybreak on May 29th. His troops charged wildly into the American lines, sweeping through their combat out post, penetrating line positions and not stopping until they reached the shocked American support troops at the rear of the American camp.

This suicidal charge ultimately failed, but mainly due to being outnumbered and out gunned by the Americans. The Japanese set a precedent which would be followed throughout the south Pacific theater of the commander, Yamaski, and all troops, 2000, dying instead of surrendering. The Americans lost 1000 men in the battle, a ratio worse than any other South Pacific battle.

BATTLE OF KISKA: OPERATION COTTAGE

The battle of Attu had taught the Americans some bitter and costly lessons, mistakes the Americans did not intend to repeat when they invaded Kiska, code name Operation Cottage. They knew they would encounter a much larger and better prepared enemy force, than they fought on Attu and mistakes would be extremely expensive.

On the morning of August 15, 1943 the Americans landed on Kiska unopposed, which they knew didn’t signal anything except hell waited ahead. 35,000 soldiers landed and fanned our across the island searching for the enemy. After several nerve racking days of scouring the entire island they realized the Japanese had used the previous weeks fog banks to evacuate the entire garrison. On August 24, 1943 the Kiska Island was declared secure and the Battle of the Aleutian Islands ended.

The Attack on Alaska – Cat & Mouse

Following Japan’s defeat in the Aleutians, they were forced to commit forces and resources to guard against an American invasion from the Alaskan Peninsula. Ironically their feint to draw Americans away from Midway may have given the Americans the idea of an invasion on their part. To reinforce that fear, American planes launched from the Aleutians would conduct an occasional surprise bombing of the Japanese Islands Kuril, which lies between Japan and Alaska. Just to perk the fear and unknowing.

Next time you get bored or disgusted with preparing as a survivalist for the SHTF event, remember American soil was invaded and occupied by a foreign enemy less than 80 years ago. If it can happen once… it can happen again. Just reminisce the attack on Alaska.

Basic Chicken Raising Tips

Let’s talk basic chicken raising tips. Obviously we’re not delving into any type of a commercial aspect of raising chickens, we’re delving into “I like fresh chicken eggs” and “I like fresh fried chicken.” type of endeavor. Besides, any self respecting long term Prepper or survivalist should know the basics of keeping chickens as they would be an integral part of maintaining a survival family farm plot.

The first tip I’ll give you is … as with all things nothing is as simple as it sounds. I’m sure if you’ve ever driven down a gravel country road you’ve seen the Norman Rockwell scene of a small farm house, with tin roof, wash hanging on a clothes line tied between two trees, and a dozen or so chickens wandering around the front yard pecking and ridding the homestead of pesky critters. It’s a tranquil scene and enticing for anyone that may want to have an on-call pest controller, breakfast and/or Sunday supper food source. However, where do these chickens go when they pick the front yard clean or it gets dark?

Reality Check Number One:

Chickens need a place to roost, that’s where they lay their eggs, sleep and socialize with one another. For that you’ll need to build a chicken hotel known as a chicken coop. You can find diagrams, blueprints and fully assembled chicken coops on the internet or probably at your MFA dealer.

A chicken coop is not an easy thing to build. A lot of thought and planning need to be considered before you begin hammering nails. For instance:

  • It must be large enough to hold a feeder and a water container

  • It must be large enough to build a nesting box for every three hens

  • It must be tall enough for you to be able to stand up in as you’ll have to gather eggs, refill food and water containers, etc etc

  • There will always be an ample supply of chicken manure that must be shoveled out

  • Do you want or need heat

  • Do you want or need lighting

As you can tell it’s not rocket science, but make a critical error in calculation, like no easy way to remove the manure, and you’re in a world of hurt. Chickens are sociable, so you’ll need at least 4 to 6 birds and at least 2 square feet of space for each. Cramped chickens become angry chickens and will peck and pull feathers from one another, which contributes to disease.

Realty Check Number Two:

Chickens are not what you’d call self-sufficient. Yes they capture their daily snacks of insects and what not, but they still require being fed and watered daily.

  • A 50 lb bag of feed costs @ $20. How long a bag lasts depends on the number and health of the chickens. Cost of feed is also market driven.

  • As long as hens have 12 to 14 hours of sunlight per day they will lay eggs, sometimes twice a day, which require gathering. In other words essentially from Spring into Fall

  • Shoveling manure is a year round en-devour

  • Taking a vacation is problematic unless you have a chicken sitter who can take care of the flock while you are gone.

Basic Chicken Raising Tip:

Building a prison is not cheap. What? What are you talking about? A good comparison to raising chickens is maintaining a prison of violent criminals.

  1. They must be fed and watered daily … check

  2. They must have a coop (jail cell) … check

  3. They must have an exercise yard … Say what?

Chickens, healthy ones, must have room to exercise, strut their stuff, take a dust bath and catch a few rays. Unfortunately the Norman Rockwell setting of chickens feeding in the front yard is not realistic. Does it happen? Sure. Are chickens killed and carried off by predators who have unrestricted access to the front yard? Yes!

hawk

Chicken Hawk

A chicken enclosure, known as a chicken run, is required and it must be protected by fencing of some sort, normally chicken wire (thus the name). You have to keep the chickens in and the predators out, which includes the family dog. The size of the outside exercise area depends on how many chickens to have and how spacious you want to build it. A good faith estimate at today’s prices is a 20’ x 5’ run will be @ $300 – $400. That’s material only. Add labor if you can’t perform the work yourself and the price may double. That’s a whole lot of store bought eggs.

*** Caveat *** I’m sure this is explained somewhere, but I haven’t seen it, so I’ll give you the tip. They don’t tell you, but your chicken run, exercise yard, whatever you want to call it … must have netting draped over the entire top of the opening. This net cover is not to keep the chickens in, but the predators out. My son learned this the hard way.

We built a chicken coop, a rather massive structure I designed and built, my eyes are always bigger than my stomach as the saying goes. The yard was rather large and very well fenced in and protected. It actually looked like a professional job when we finished.

The next week I visited and saw his flock was half the size it had been just 7 days ago. “What happened?” I asked.

Hawks, turkey buzzards, owls and whatever other kind of birds of prey we have in these woods.” he said.

*** Caveat *** Here’s another tad bit of info that the rookie won’t know. When a rooster(s) is introduced to the flock he will turn into a sex crazed maniac. If there are enough hens that’s alright, but if the hen to rooster ratio is not right, the rooster will literally kill the hens with too much sex.

Basic Chicken Raising Tip: Win … Win situation:

Gardening and chickens go hand in hand, not only because they both will exist in a farm like setting, but because they also compliment each others existence. When the bounty has been harvested and the gardening season is finished until next year, unleash your chickens into the garden patch and watch them go. You’ll swear they’ve never eaten before.

They will uproot the stems and stalks of weeds and inhale any damaged or overripe vegetables that remain on the ground. They’ll eat any weed seeds or insect they find in the soil, pecking apart and digesting any vegetable remains, such as carrot tops, kale, chard, broccoli stems and will scratch out any hidden worms or insects. In other words, they will clean your garden of negative issues that could be next years problems with the enthusiasm and work ethic of the employee of the year.

The chickens have joined in the garden harvest bounty, now they will repay it. Chickens if nothing else, are supreme manure creators, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, they never stop pooping. Fortunately this chicken manure is excellent compost and after aging, will greatly enhance the soil quality of the garden.

Simply collect the manure and used bedding materials, 2 parts manure to 1 part bedding, and add to the compost pile along with grass clippings, fruit and vegetable scraps, leaves, twigs and shredded paper. Stir it regularly to mix the decomposing materials.

Like the heading states, this is basic chicken raising, but if you read this, the pros and cons and are still interested in raising chickens, go for it. There’s nothing better than a good fresh egg for breakfast, plus you can make a little extra cash selling your excess. All in all a win, win, win situation.

Suicide in the Wilderness

I’ll assume committing suicide in the wilderness is not your goal when venturing out into the forest or desert, but an excitingly anticipated adventure can easily turn deadly in the wild. How? Well, accidents of course, falling from a cliff while attempting a selfie. Being mauled by the bear you didn’t notice because you were busy taking selfies, or being crushed by the huge branch that broke off the dead tree at a most inopportune time. These and probably another fifty accidental occurrences could result in death or severe injury. However, depending on how you view it, a death could be the result of a suicide in the wilderness.

The point I’m trying to drive home here is, going into the wilderness unprepared can end in tragedy. If you know this and still venture out into hostile unexplored areas, it could be viewed as a suicide should tragedy occur. Let’s look at a few examples or tools which could be construed as contributing to ones own demise.

Suicide Tips:

Venture into the wilderness without shelter. This stat does not include accidental deaths, but one must remember @98% of reported deaths from being lost in the wilderness are the result of exposure, which translates into the person died of hypothermia or heat stroke. The best method to avoid this type of potential deathly situation is to protect yourself with a shelter. That does not necessarily mean you need to pack a tent on your back, although that’s a good idea, but you must have the knowledge to use natures materials to construct a suitable shelter.

Originally this may sound ridiculously simple, but …. next time you’re in the wilderness stop and survey the immediate area. Then from what you see, imagine constructing a primitive shelter that would at least partially protect you from heat and cold. You may find yourself astonished at how difficult that may be. You require a certain amount of knowledge, adaptability and construction savvy to utilize several different available materials to build a primitive shelter.

leanto

Amazing what can be built

Suicide in the Wilderness Tips:

Most people, by nature, don’t want to face or think about an unpleasant experience occurring, much alone a life or death scenario. This is a person’s first potential fatal mistake. Have you ever read or heard of a person intentionally going into the wilderness totally unprepared just to see if they could survive the harshness of nature? “Just for kicks let’s see if I come out alive.”

99.9% of wilderness survival situations begin quite innocently. A canoe trip down the lazy river, a day hike with friends, or a father son hunting or fishing trip, all innocent adventures. However, we miscalculate the risk involved and are suddenly faced with a life and death scenario. The canoe tips over in the river and all the supplies are swept away in the middle of nowhere. An unexpected storm hits while you’re hiking at high altitudes with no shelter or the father accidentally shoots himself in the foot. These and a hundred other things could happen which turns the fun day trip into a nightmare.

The only thing you can do is take a reality check of your plans before you leave… after is far too late. No, you can’t think of everything nor could you carry everything needed to address all types of situations. But … you can do the basics.

  • Nice sunny day … take a jacket just in case the weather turns

  • Drinking fountains along the hiking trail … take a bottle of water anyway

  • Tell someone where you are going and when you’ll return…. Hard to find someone you don’t know is missing

  • Have a well supplied bug-out bag in the trunk of your car

Suicide Tips:

Dressing stylish. A day hike will probably mean meeting other hikers and one must be dressed stylish in order to impress. Short shorts, a sports bra top and flip flops, maybe sandals, creates an exciting appearance. It’s also an excellent way to die prematurely. Wearing the wrong clothes is an open invitation for disaster. There are a few Cardinal rules which should be adhered to even if you think they’re stupid.

  • As a rule always dress one layer warmer than you anticipate you’ll need. If its a 90 degree morning, wear a tee-shirt, but tie a windbreaker around your waist or around your shoulders. You may grumble all day about towing this annoying jacket around with you, but if the temperature drops by 20 degrees F, you’ll be very glad you have it to put on.

  • Along this same line. Forgetting your second layer of clothing in the car, or closet or at the front door hopefully would not come back and bite you in butt. There’s little worse than shivering in the cold and knowing your warm jacket is in the backseat of your car, 20 miles away.

  • Clothing of the right type of material. If you are an outdoors person you have probably heard the slogans “cotton kills” “cotton is rotten” and “friends don’t let friends wear cotton.” Once cotton clothing becomes wet it loses all its warmth retaining qualities and actually contributes to making you colder. Wear wool clothing when possible.

  • Have a shell jacket and pants tucked away somewhere. These articles can be squeezed into small packs and will help protect you from snow and rain.

  • Keep in mind …. most cases of deadly hypothermia occur in temperatures above 40 degrees F. You don’t need to be at the North Pole to die of exposure.

Suicide in the Wilderness Tip:

survival2
It Can Happen

Many people feel if they are hiking or what not in a public area or that they know the area, there is no need to know how to navigate. Just follow the trail. A potentially deadly mistake.

  • A short version. The entire summer I was helping my father-in-law log his 600 acre parcel of land before returning to school. I knew every inch of that 600 acre parcel. While deer hunting that winter I climbed to the top of a hill I knew very well. The entire mountain top had the appearance of an Apocalypse. The winter gray sky and devastation bewildered me and left me totally lost. What happened was loggers had clear cut the area since I had last been there leaving me confused and slightly panicked.

Anybody, experienced or not can easily enter a thicket of trees and brush and get turned around. You will swear you know where you are going, the entire time traveling deeper into the wilderness. It’s important to remember the survivalist saying “Two is one and one is none.” Meaning if you only have your cell phone GPS to guide you and it stops working you have no navigation help. If you count on your GPS also take a compass or a map. Familiarize yourself on how to navigate by the sun and/or stars. You may encounter a situation you had no time to plan for. Knowledge doesn’t break or gets lost.

Suicide Tip:

The wilderness is a strange thing. If you’re lost in a stand of timber and brush, you can hear the rescue workers yelling for you, but they can not hear you yelling back at them. Defies logic, mine anyway, but its true, So you can be yelling your head off and the rescue personnel will trek right on by. Moral of the story is you need to know how to signal for help.

Any well supplied sports store or gun shop will have an area dedicated to devises to be used to signal for help. They will include whistles, mirrors, flare guns, emergency beacons, radios, GPS locators, etc. etc. Know how to signal from natures bounty. Remember the number Three (3) which is an internationally recognized signal for distress. Pile three piles of rocks where they can be seen. Build 3 fires, one fire may be mistaken for another campers campfire. Use SOS in the snow. Learn how to draw attention to yourself.

sos

Suicide in the Wilderness Tip:

They say that without fire man would have never evolved into what we are. The ability to cook our food offered us an advantage over other animals. I don’t know…I wasn’t there, but I do know what fire means to me:

  1. Warmth. There’s nothing better than a roaring fire to warm the body and soul.

  2. Protection. A raging fire will keep wild animals and a lot of insects at bay providing protection in a hostile world

  3. A fire can be used to signal for help. Few things can be seen for miles like a fire at night and smoke during the day.

  4. Can be used to purify life giving water.

  5. And can be used to cook wild meat

  6. Can be a companion on a pitch black night

Always have more than one method of creating fire. Matches can get wet, lighters run out of fluid, rubbing 2 sticks together work once in a lifetime. Carry a fire starter, flint and steel, and tinder.

Tip:

Where’s the water? We all know, or should know, we are mainly made of water, @70% I think, therefore the idea that going without water for only a few days, (3) will result in death should come as no surprise. The issue may not be where is there water, it may be all around, river, lake, stream or pond, but the issue is where is safe water?

Water running along a babbling brook, clear as a bell, may contain waterborne organisms such as Giardia or Cryptosporidium which will inflict severe suffering on the drinker. You won’t die, but the severe diarrhea and vomiting will make you wish you’d die. Additionally the constant fluid loss only compounds the problem of dehydration, which is what you were attempting to avoid in the first place.

There are many methods for purifying contaminated water, but we’ll look at only a few. The first is obviously boiling the water over a fire, which will destroy any harmful bacteria. There are chemical tablets designed specifically for this purpose. Water filters, which look like a straw will filter dirty water. Bleach will also make potable water as will filtering through charcoal ash. Learn as many of these water purification methods as possible. Your life may depend on it.

Final Suicide in the Wilderness Tip and Summary:

Be Prepared” the famous motto of the Boy Scouts was not created to be a catchy or cute term. It’s a life long lesson that everybody should follow, but many who venture blindly into the wilderness do not. For some reason they think the hardships are only on the TV set, or they are immune to such situations. I can’t answer for them, but I can tell you “Nobody is exempt or protected from the unexpected.”

Know these 5 Keys to surviving in the wilderness:

  1. Know how to build a shelter

  2. Know how to start and maintain a fire

  3. Know how to find and produce potable water

  4. Know how to signal for help

  5. Know how to locate food

Suicide in the Wilderness should probably read how not to commit suicide in the wilderness, but I thought I’d try a different approach and maybe reach more people.

 

Fantastic Book for Coaches

 

Baseball Tutoring Book

 

EMP Attack

Many experts claim an EMP attack on America would be much more devastating than a ground impact nuclear explosion from a missile. Really? Number one … what is an EMP? EMP is short for an Electro Magnetic Pulse and I’m not intelligent enough to explain exactly how it works, but what it does is the stuff nightmares are made of. In short everything built with a circuit of any type would immediately fail … stop working.

Take a second to wrap your head around that. It means anything with a computerized circuit, all automobiles from the early 60s until today, trains, buses, subway systems, computers, cell phones, everything just stops working. Our electricity driven society, our power grids, will come to a standstill.

Again, think about some of the repercussions that will result from this stoppage of functions. Do you realize there are nearly 4000 commercial airline flights in the air at any given time. Seconds after the EMP all the planes would immediately begin spiraling out of control as they plummet straight to earth because nothing on the plane will work, including the engines. That horribly calculates to roughly 400,000 people dying within two minutes of the pulse. The scenarios could go on and on from vehicle traffic deaths, subways, trains wrecking, hospital life support systems shutting down. It doesn’t take much of an imagination to easily account for 2 to 3 million deaths with the first 30 minutes after the EMP attack pulse.

As an after thought … people fear the exposure to radiation from a nuclear explosion, and rightfully so. Think about every nuclear powered facilities in the United States that produce our electric, then think about everyone of them crashing… just like Chernobyl. Without computerized controls to make water transfer, etc etc the reactors will overheat and catastrophes will occur.

This is overwhelming! Let’s back up for a second. Why all the chaos immediately after an EMP attack?

Imagine if you can a world suddenly without radio, TV, cell phones, internet, refrigeration, washers and dryers, microwaves, sewage disposal, clean water, cooling, heating, gasoline, natural gas, the list is endless. Remember … this is not a glitch or a tree limb taking down electrical power lines for a few inconvenient hours … this is permanent!

It may take a day or two for the total shock of a world ended and another in its place to sink in, but people will eventually realize the food chain has been severed. There are no means to get meat, dairy, eggs, produce or any other food stocks from the farm to the city. 300,000 million people will descend on every grocery store, gas station, quick shop, mom & pop store, fruit stand and devour every bit of food. Many people will begin hording, stealing, taking by force, doing whatever they deem necessary to protect their families. That usually does not coincide with the rule of law. Food will disappear fast.

Many people will assume America’s allies will come to their aid, but recent actions by America to life long allies have broken any alliances. In reality they are happy America has met its doom.

emp1

Let’s pause and compartmentalize some immediate effects of an EMP attack.

1. To begin with it won’t take long before the entire population is reduced to a “hunter/gather” society.

  • With no working vehicles or delivery trucks working, their electrical circuits are fried, there will be no food deliveries to restock empty grocery shelves.

  • Just as bad, all foods requiring refrigeration will begin to go bad within a matter of a few hours. Imagine a freezer full of ice cream after 4 hours of no refrigeration, but instead increasing temperatures. A pool of muck.

  • Cooking the unfrozen meat will not keep it from spoiling, it’ll only slow the process.

  • Smoking meat is the only way to insure long term edibility. Anyone know the steps required to smoke meat? Thought not.

2. What happens when the lights go out for good?

  • We immediately think of our own comfort at home, but … what happens when the power to every prison and jail in the United States fails? How do you think Americas 1,000,000 (that’s one million) inmates are going to react? Mass riots? Mass breakouts? Mass killing and looting? Mass mayhem?

  • What about medical facilities, hospitals and nursing homes that care for the ill and elderly? Within mere minutes people who depend on life support systems will begin dying.

  • People requiring life saving surgeries will begin dying, more each day.

  • People who require certain medications to sustain life, such as insulin for diabetic patients, which must be refrigerated or go bad, will begin dying for lack of medicines.

3. Death from the skies as jumbo jets and small aircraft fall from the skies.

  • As alluded to earlier, the 4000 commercial airline flights which occur every hour of the day, will begin falling from the skies.

  • There will be no emergency landing procedures. All on board equipment, including engines, will stop functioning.

  • Communication with air controllers will cease.

  • Directions of where airports or possible emergency landing possibilities are located will not be communicated.

  • Millions will die as a result of these crashes, directly and/or indirectly.

Worse Places to be in an EMP attack:

Not that you’ll have any choice, but you may, so here in my opinion are the most dangerous and/or deadliest places to be in an EMP attack.

Commercial Airplane:

The only good thing to say about being in a commercial flight is your pilots are well trained professionals. If there is any chance of a safe crash landing, these pilots will be able to accomplish it. Emergency landings on ground are much more likely to succeed than a water landing. Additionally, since there is no lighting anymore, a night time landing will be more difficult than a daylight landing.

In all honesty, it is quite likely all of the 4000 flights will end up in tragedy, but there’s always a chance of a miracle. They happen everyday.

Trapped in an Elevator:

An elevator disabled in a tall skyscraper, in a large city, may be the most terrorizing experience one could be subjected to. You may be trapped for a matter of hours or days on end. If you work or live downtown and regularly ride elevators your chances of being trapped are greatly enhanced. Based on that fact, it would be a good idea to learn ahead of time the buildings emergency procedures for loss of power.

  • Be rather firm about knowing exactly what the building’s emergency plan for power loss, and most likely people trapped inside elevators, details. Don’t settle for “We’ll call a maintenance man” or the “elevator company.”

  • What if the maintenance man lives 10 miles away? How will he get there without transportation? Same with the elevator company. Where do their employees live?

  • Remember, neither cell or line line phones will operate. How they gonna call anyone?

  • Lastly, let’s be honest here. Who would you be concerned more about … taking care of your family or trying to reach a stranded elevator full of strangers?

That’s why it’s important to have a partial escape plan in mind before the emergency strikes. You can’t think of everything and more than likely you’ll need help, more than one person, to escape. But while everyone around you will be bewildered, you will be able to initiate a plan of action.

  • Keep in mind the entire building may be pitch black, even in the day time.

  • Be sure to make a lot of noise until someone acknowledges your presence and plight.

  • Lack of Ventilation: Another concern pertaining to being trapped in an elevator is lack of ventilation. Buildings are artificially ventilated with HVAC systems which of course are dependent on electricity for power. Shut the power off in the middle of summer and it doesn’t take long for these buildings, and especially interior elevators, to become an oven. Worse yet, these buildings are equipped with electronic ventilation systems which turn over the air supply, which won’t work without power. This stale air can quickly become unhealthy.

Trapped in a Highway Tunnel:

Imagine yourself clipping along at 65 mph half way through a tunnel when an EMP attack occurs. In an instant you are plunged into total darkness along with every other person and vehicle in the tunnel. The tunnel lights have stopped working as well as the circuit driven cars and trucks. There are no good choices here. Stop as soon as possible and you risk being run over by the concrete truck which was tailgating you. Attempt to slow down gently and run the risk of smashing into the vehicle in front of you. Every choice, every action is a terrible one.

pitchblackness

Total Pitch Black Darkness

The only good thing that results from the EMP attack is, if you survive the massive collisions and carnage of twisted metal and broken glass, the chances of an explosion or flash fire by igniting spilled gasoline is remote because there are no electrical components to spark. Unfortunately this doesn’t rule out sparks created by metal sliding along concrete or other material.

Can I Survive an EMP attack?

Thus far, and with good reason, an EMP attack sounds like a dooms day devise with no chance of surviving the effects. The world has come to an end. That is not true, but its possible life will never be the same. Even those who are preparing for SHTF scenario will be unprepared in this situation. For example:

Most Prep-er/Survivalists will automatically buy the most expensive bug-out vehicle they can afford. They want it large enough to accommodate everyone, four wheel drive, rugged, Hummers, Jeeps and Suburbans come to mind. However, few consider these vehicles are most likely dependent on electrical circuits to function. An EMP attack renders them totally useless. Very few would consider buying a predated 1965 or older vehicle for transportation. These vehicles have much less electrical dependent parts and those parts can be removed and stored in a Faraday Box / Cage which will protect the items. After the EMP attack, reinstall these protected electrical components into the vehicle and you have ready to go transportation. ATVs and motorcycles are also less dependent on electrical circuits, but are restricted in their carrying ability. Having several mountain bikes on hand is also another option.

Bear in mind…any operating mode of transportation you possess will make you a target of thieves. Plan accordingly.

EMP Attack Protection:

There are ways to protect your electrical components against the effects of an EMP attack, but it’ll require planning much like everything else a survivalist plans for. Once the event happens its too late for action.

A Faraday Cage is one such protective devise and can be constructed out of scrap metal containers, an old microwave oven and other materials. The goal is to redirect the electro magnetic pulses away from your components, insulating them from damage.

  • You can use any metal container, metal filing cabinets, metal gun safe, ammunition boxes, etc. etc.

  • For added protection wrap this box with some sort of copper covering, mesh, wire, etc. which will help ground the box redirecting the pulse.

  • Wrap each devise in a non-conducting material like paper, plastic or cardboard and place inside the Faraday cage.

  • Protective layers is the key. Much like dressing in layers to keep warm, wrapping your electrical devises in layers is the best protection method. For example, place the devises in a tool box, then place that tool box into a larger tool box, then wrap the entire thing in bubble wrap with a copper ground.

What to Protect:

Obviously this type of protection causes many problems. The devises and items stored in the protective enclosure can not be used again unless its an emergency. Like I said if the event happens, you won’t be able to quickly throw the devises back into the Faraday and close it up. Everything happens within seconds, not hours. So what to protect? That’s a personal issue, but here are some suggestions:

  • Emergency AM/FM radio

  • Two way radios

  • emergency medical equipment

  • solar battery charger

  • laptop

  • Ham radio

  • Inverter

  • Small generator

  • Extra batteries (all sizes)

  • Any electrical components you removed from escape vehicles

  • Watches (windup or solar powered) Time is important. It gives a sense of normalcy and will be important in coordinating meetings with other survivors.

This article creates more questions than answers, which I hate doing, but the issue is so massive covering everything would be a monumental task. I wanted to raise the flag on the effects of an EMP attack and offer a couple of helpful solutions in dealing with it. I realize sometimes a little knowledge is worse than not knowing, but … damned if you do … damned if you don’t. Welcome to my world.

How to Sleep Warm

Ever watch the series “Naked and Afraid”? Quickly, it’s a demonstration of a man and woman naked, with the exception of a tool each, and their attempt to last 21 days in the wild. The reason I mention this is in spite of biting pests and other aggravations the contestants are always able to grab a few hours of shut eye except … when they are cold. Knowing how to sleep warm can be more than a comfort matter, it can literally turn into a life and death matter.

Risking Hypothermia is a (excuse the pun) a good way to not wake up again. But let’s forget hypothermia and just concentrate on getting a good night’s rest after an exhausting day of hiking or climbing. Trying to sleep while cold, we’re talking the 50 degree F night in a damp tent or on the ground, not minus -20 F of the Arctic, is nearly impossible. The constant shivering of the body attempting to maintain core temperature will not allow you to sleep.

Let’s discuss sleep … what is it and how do we do it. Obviously sleep is when we enter into an unconsciousness that allows our body to mend and recuperate from the day’s strenuous activities. Although this is a critical part of staying alive, our bodies have a temperature range of @ 65-75 degrees F, that are ideal for sleep. Venture outside these parameters and you start experiencing difficulties going to sleep.

Do you know a person who has worked the night shift all their life and have difficulty sleeping on the weekend? That’s because their body has been forced to adapt to a new and abnormal sleeping schedule. Normally, every night as the sun sets, the darkening environment signals our brain its time to get sleepy and begins producing a hormone called Melatonin, a natural sleeping pill.

Scientists believe this natural instinct has not changed since the beginning of mankind, as darkness hid danger, therefore it was a perfect time to stay put and rest. This process also tells our body to begin dropping our body temperatures as a cooler environment is better for sleep. However, if the environment becomes too hot or cold, it can interfere with our sleep cycle and disrupt our natural sleep-wake pattern leaving us as tired when we wake as when we went to sleep. Learning how to sleep warm in a frosty environment will allow your body to recuperate instead of fighting the entire night to remain warm.

Tips to stay cozy on back-country trips:

Perform Light Exercises Before Bed: Keep in mind you want to increase your body temperature, but not to the point of sweating, as that can be counter-productive.

  1. Stand with your legs apart. Breathe deeply and raise your arms to the ceiling. Roll your shoulders backwards

  2. Exhale and lower your arms to rest at your side

  3. Inhale and raise your arms to the ceiling again, stretching as high as possible

  4. Do 10-12 reps

Drink Warm Liquid: There’s little better to warm yourself than to drink a hot beverage before turning in. However, avoid hot cocoa or coffee with caffeine as it may keep you awake. Choose a herbal tea or a mug of hot water with lemon and honey.

Wear Layers of Clothes: The rules that apply for staying warm during active times holds true for inactive periods. Layer your clothing in order to trap body heat before going to sleep. Clothing such as wool long johns, flannel shirts, sweaters, long sleeve t-shirts all add to keeping you warm. Additionally, should you awake too hot, you can peel off a layer of clothing to compensate without going to the extreme of opening your sleeping bag.

Layer your Sheets and Blankets: By layering your blankets you retain more heat. Place a thick blanket next to you, then a thinner blanket, continue alternating until you run out of blankets. This will help keep you warm and if you become too hot you can peel one layer off at a time without an extreme temperature change. Down comforters and wool blankets are excellent choices, as are down filled sleeping bags.

Footwear: The feet and hands, the outer extremities, are the first to feel the cold because they are the first parts the body restricts blood flow. As you age, and smokers, circulation of blood becomes harder, thus staying warm is harder. Wearing wool socks will greatly enhance the chances of keeping your feet warm and work better than wrapping the feet in a blanket. Keep an additional pair handy in the event one pair is not enough.

This leads to another foot issue. If you wake up needing to pee you’ll need footwear to insulate your feet from the ground. Having warm slippers, easy to use, will work better than trying to lace up boots. It’s important to relieve the urine as the body will expend heat keeping it warm and it’s hard the sleep with such an urge gnawing at the mind.

Snacks: If you are in an area where risk of animal intrusion into the tent looking for food is minimal, keep a candy bar or two within reach. Eating food will warm the body as it burns and digests the calories.

Cuddle: In the event of severe weather conditions, and severe is what you consider it not the “experts”, there is nothing wrong with cuddling with your partner, male or female, in order to share body heat. It’s a basic survival technique the military teaches.

Water Bottle: Some people may not even know what a hot water bottle is, but going to bed with one placed between your legs in order to warm the femoral artery will keep you warm for a long time. If its initially too hot, wrapped clothing around it until it cools.

Mattress or Pads: The ground will retain cold and pass it onto you. Therefore, getting up off the ground, by placing something between you and the ground will make sleeping warm much easier. Foam pads, air mattress, layer of dried leaves or cedar branches all serve as insulation.

Inside a shelter: Sleeping inside a shelter, cabin or house, offers additional methods on how to sleep warm.

Space Heater: There will be times you don’t or can’t warm a large area. For this situation use a space heater in close proximity to warm the immediate area. Be careful of creating a fire hazard.

Bath: Soaking in a hot tub of water or taking a steaming hot shower will increase the body core temperature.

Heated Bedding: Invest in a good quality electric blanket or heated mattress.

Insulate: This pertains to inside and outside environments. Drafts can cause you to be cold no matter what else you’ve tried to do to stay warm. Check for any openings that allow a draft to enter and plug them up with whatever material available.

How to sleep warm seems to be a pretty trivial subject …. until you’re freezing and shivering trying quite fruitlessly to go to sleep. Then it becomes somewhat important … like the most important thing going on right then.

 

 

 

Learn Not to Die in a Forest Fire

Climate change is a fact whether you want to contribute it to mankind’s actions, Godly intervention or just the ways of science and nature. To deny it justifies you being classified a pure fool. Nature is changing and as it does it has dramatic effects on mankind, from rising sea levels, never before experienced blazing temperatures and, somewhat overlooked by some politicians, the increased rates of forest fires. Currently California and several other states are fighting enormous forest fires which are consuming thousands of acres of land, reducing them to blackened ash. It’s time to learn not to die in a forest fire. If you’re thinking I’m being a little over dramatic …. you’ve never experienced the horrors of a forest fire.

The danger has always been there, that’s why “Smokey the Bear” was created as a public service announcement that would draw attention and be remembered, and it has been a tremendous success. So why the increased danger and attention? The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection estimate they will fight over 700 wild land fires this year. That’s not only a dramatic increase in number of fires, but the size and ferociousness of the fires makes fighting them much more dangerous and time consuming.

Per a Fire Department announcement of Butte County California, “The public needs to be aware of fire safety – that’s part of backpacking and hiking now days. People need to pay attention to their surroundings and provide for their own safety while being responsible in a forest.” in other words … learn not to die in a forest fire.

What’s climate change have to do with this? Scientist believe climate change is responsible for the extreme drought conditions the Western United States is experiencing as well as the extreme high temperatures, a perfect combination for instantaneous combustion and fire starting.

Recently in Oregon back country a 15 year old boy threw a firecracker into a ravine, normally an innocent act. This one firecracker started a blaze that consumed 200 acres of standing timber and trapped 176 hikers, who thankfully made their way to a popular swimming hole at Punch Bowl Falls, where they waited in the water for the fire to burn away around them. Had they not reached the water the chances of all 176 hikers perishing in the flames would have been high.

A similar fire broke out a few miles from this one, the Eagle Creek Fire, and consumed 50,000 acres, with damages estimated at 40 million dollars before it could be contained. Although several firefighters were injured, there was no loss of life which was considered a miracle.

The National Weather Service (NWS) predicts that up to 11 states will see the average annual area burned increase by 500 percent over the next 20 years. 500 percent! That’s enormous! NWS spokesperson Pawlitz “the reality is anyone who enjoys outdoor recreation will have to accept fire as a daily reality and will have to learn to deal with it.” In other words, learn not to die in a forest fire.

smoke

Analyze direction of smoke

Different Types of Forest Fires:

To the novice a wall of flames approaching you is a fire … a big fire. But in reality fires are broken into 3 categories, based on hazard level of fires and the propagation speed. Crown fire, Ground fire and Peat fire.

  1. The fire classified a Crown fire is the most dangerous. These types of fires burn trees and depending on the wind speed and direction can move with astonishing speed making them very deadly.

  2. The Ground fire is characterized by burning of grasses and lower bushes, but if not contained can develop into a crown fire as it begins to burn trees.

  3. The Peat fire is the least dangerous to humans, but can be extremely irritating as peat will smolder and release pungent smoke into the air which will cause a person to choke and perhaps vomit. Once removed the person quickly returns to normal.

Regardless of which type of fire it is, it’s rather easy to detect the outbreak of fire.

  1. You will smell smoke

  2. Observe restlessness of birds, depends on the time of year. If they have babies in nest they will panic as they know their chicks are in extreme peril, if not nesting they will fly continually or tree to tree.

  3. Should you begin to see wildlife react strangely or untypical such as deer passing close by or normally unseen animals, coyote or fox, suddenly visible

These are all sure signs of something being wrong. It may be an approaching thunderstorm or other natural event, but be sure to investigate. Your life may depend on it.

Fire in close proximity:

Let’s assume you or one of your party has accidentally started a fire and you spot it. Move quickly and with purpose to tend to the issue, but don’t panic. Panic creates irrational decisions and actions which will only compound the severity of the problem.

  1. Detecting a small grass fire immediately extinguish it by spraying water on it or covering it with soil. Small areas can be put out by stamping it out with your feet or throwing wet clothing over the flame. Green limbs may also be used to stamp the fire out.

  2. If you realize you are not going to be able to put the fire out on your own, it’s important you leave the burning area before you become trapped or overwhelmed with smoke. You’ll most likely have a sense of responsibility and accepting the fire is out of your control may not be easy, but you dying in a fruitless attempt to extinguish the flames will help nothing. Get Out!

  3. You want to totally escape the fire, not run back into it if it outflanks you. Check the direction the wind is blowing. Unless you know you can make it to safety, your truck is parked close by, never run with the wind as the fire can travel, wind assisted, faster than you can run. Travel perpendicular to the wind as your chances of walking around the fire are greatly enhanced.

  4. If there is no wind or you cannot determine the direction of flow, search for migrating animals or birds as they will always know the best way to escape.

  5. If you have a cell phone call 911. They will send rescue personnel to fight the fire and/or rescue you.

  6. No cell service, but you are familiar with the area, run to the nearest body of water, open clearing, forest road, creek or pond. Cover your mouth and nose with clothing to keep the smoke from completely disabling you.

  7. Final Action. If you find yourself surrounded and unable to escape the flames you must do whatever possible to survive. Locate an area which has already been burned, it may still contain hot embers so kick the upper layer of ash away. Lay down, the air along the ground is less smoke filled, cover your mouth and nose and wait for the fire to pass. This of course is a last chance action as chances of surviving are … let us say … not real good. Upon succeeding in escaping the fire, immediately contact the authorities.

Ounce of Prevention is worth a pound of Cure:

Ever hear that old saying? It goes along with Learn Not to Die in a Forest Fire. Taking simple preventive measures will possibly prevent the need to use drastic and possibly dangerous measures to get out of harms way. People who enter the woods normally don’t consider the dangers they may encounter.. if they did they may change their mind about going. Use these simple methods to help insure your safety.

  1. Pay attention to the weather forecast and current news headlines. If they indicate a higher than average possibility of a potential fire, it may be better to postpone the trip.

  2. Let someone know where you are going and when you will be back. It’s hard to look for someone if you don’t know they’re missing.

  3. Whatever food and water you plan to take … increase that amount.. just in case

  4. Make sure your cell phone battery is fully charged. Technology has made dead zones for cells less prevalent, but a dead battery is still a dead battery.

  5. Unless you are well equipped don’t venture too far off the beaten path. There is plenty of privacy within walking distance of safety.

  6. Lastly, use extreme caution building a fire and be sure it is totally out before leaving.

According to all the Experts, Wildfires are going to bigger and more frequent in the future, this what you must do to increase your chances of survival.

Before your next hike in the woods, here are a few helpful strategies if you find yourself staring at flames and rising smoke.

  1. Use your head before heading out on a hike. People anticipating a short trek may walk in flip-flops, carry little water, no food and are dressed wrong. Do not wear synthetic fabric clothing as it will melt into your skin if exposed to hot temperatures. Wool fabric is actually your best protection, but is hot to wear.

  2. Check weather forecasts.

  3. Check news media for reports of fires anywhere your planned destination.

If You Spot a Fire…

  1. The first thing you do is determine wind direction by analyzing the smoke. If the smoke is traveling straight up, that indicates there is no wind and that is good – the fire will move slowly.

  2. If you see the smoke is streaming in one direction across the horizon that’s bad as it indicates winds and the blaze will travel fast. It’ll also tell you if the fire is coming your way or traveling away from you. Should it be coming at you, don’t hesitate. Run! Get out of the forest asap.

  3. By the nature of the beast fires burn uphill. Knowing this your best bet is to travel downhill and upwind using dirt roads, stream-beds, or the hiking path if it is not enclosed with adjacent or overhanging vegetation. You want to stay away from anything that will burn if possible. If possible walk in a perpendicular angle to the fire in order to flank it.

If You are caught in a Fire with No Escape: Learn Not to Die in a Forest Fire

Professional firefighters have become trapped by fast moving and unpredictable forest fires so you becoming trapped would come as no surprise. As stupid as this sounds … try to stay as calm as possible and think. You must adopt the attitude of wait there no matter how uncomfortable … and it will be extremely uncomfortable.

  • Outrunning a raging inferno is impossible, therefore your goal is to wait it out.

The safest place in an active fire zone is what firefighters call the “in the Black” an area which has already been burned to ashes by the flames which now have moved on to fresh tinder.

safezone

Safe Haven

  • Locate a depression, the deeper the better in the topography, such as a roadway with a ditch and little to no vegetation. Lay down on your stomach, feet towards fire (face away from the fire), dig a hole and stick your face in it to help avoid breathing smoke. A handkerchief or other piece of clothing, not synthetic, placed over your face will help.

  • As the fire burns around you, consuming the forest and low vegetation, the heat will become intense. Your clothing may become so hot you want to yank them off, your hair may singe, hair on your arms will singe, it will be terrifying. But… remain hunkered down in your ditch. If the fire is that intense all around you there is no escape, no safe path to run to safety.

  • Don’t immediately get up and try to run away as the fire passes you. That will be your first instinct, but the fire may reverse direction which will happen if the wind reverses direction. Wait as long as you can to insure the fire is moving away then find a path away from the blaze remembering to stay in the “Black” if possible.

Curiosity Killed the Cat:

After it is totally safe, it’s quite normal for people to want to view devastation. I’m sure there is a clinical name for it, but I’ll call it curiosity. A forest devastated by fire is something to see as it holds an Apocalyptic feeling of how the end of the earth will look like.

stunned

Stunned but in danger

It will take years, perhaps decades for the environment to become stable again and this poses a danger for gawkers in the area. Damaged standing trees are of particular danger as dead limbs, some huge and deadly, could fall at any time. Burned out root systems can be precarious hiding invisible holes a hiker could step in and become severely injured. One must remember vegetation holds the ground in place, without it mud-slides, rock-slides and flash floods become dangerous and more possible.

Learn Not to Die in a Forest Fire While at Home:

We’ve talked about being trapped or encountering a fire while hiking or otherwise being outside. Probably 95% of the people exposed to the dangers of an out of control forest fire will be at home as the infernal approaches. Let’s look at what to do.

  1. Take Action Immediately! The fire won’t wait on your timetable …it has its own

  2. Quickly review your evacuation checklist. In the panic it is easy to overlook a pet.

  3. Ensure your emergency supply kit is still in your vehicle. Did dad take it out to put his golf clubs in the trunk and forget to put it back.

  4. Quickly check what you and your children are wearing. If it’s summer the kids will most likely be wearing shorts and flip-flops. Change clothing to long pants, long sleeve shirts and boots. A cap, dry rag or goggles will help protect against flying hot embers.

  5. Some may argue this point but … leave as soon as evacuation is recommended by fire officials. These professionals do not take an evacuation notice lightly, they want to help you avoid being caught in the fire, smoke or road congestion. Additionally it helps them do their job by keeping roads clear and not having to concern themselves with you. Besides, in the event the forest fire travels too quickly they may not be able to reach you for a mandatory evacuation order.

  6. Law enforcement agencies are typically responsible for enforcing evacuation as they have access to the latest fire location, winds, terrain, closed routes, etc. Follow their directions immediately. You may not be in a hurry, but the family with four kids behind you want to get away, now.

  7. You may be directed to a temporary shelter or assembly area.

Returning Home:

Do not attempt to return home until fire officials determine it’s safe. They know your anxiety and will clear access as soon as they know its safe.

Unless you have experienced the agony of losing everything you have, whether by fire, tornado or other natural events, there is no way to express the emotions you’ll have. You can’t allow yourself to walk blindly into harm’s way. Assuming your residence has survived the flames.

  1. Be alert for downed power lines. A live power line several blocks away can kill you.

  2. Check propane tanks, regulators and supply lines before turning them on.

  3. Check your residence for any hidden embers or smoldering fire

  4. Check for unwanted animals, snakes for instance, that escaped to your house.

Learn not to die in a forest fire is no laughing matter. It can be one of the most terrifying experiences you’ll ever endure. Knowing what steps to take in different fire scenarios could very well save you and your family’s lives. Learn not to die in a forest fire and reread this article.

Brush Fire Along I-84

Brush Fire

 


Survival Kit

Whether you call it a survival kit, bug-out bag, emergency survival kit or a backpack, the intent of the survival kit is to contain enough supplies to sustain your existence for x amount of days. The problem arises when one must determine what constitutes what supplies to pack as obviously packing for a trip to the arctic is entirely different than preparing for the Amazon jungle.

But what do the professionals, the people who make and sell survival kits think should be included in a standard survival kit? I’ve listed sample survival kit items from a very reputable company to give you an idea of how the professionals pack a survival kit.

Professional Survival Kit Examples:

Five Day Emergency Survival Kit for One Person. Giving an individual everything they need in order to survive for five days.

  • 32 TOTAL SERVINGS (Including Apple Cinnamon Cereal, Brown Sugar Cereal, Creamy Pasta, Southwest Beans and Rice, Hearty Tortilla Soup, and Whey Milk)

  • 5 X 4.227 FL. OZ. WATER POUCHES

  • PORTABLE STOVE (Including Fuel Tablets)

  • STAINLESS STEEL CUP

  • SQUEEZE FLASHLIGHT

  • 5-IN-1 SURVIVAL WHISTLE

  • 42 PIECE FIRST AID AND HYGIENE KIT (Including 37 Piece Bandage Kit, N95 Dust Mask, Pocket Tissues

  • 3 Wet Naps and Waste Bag)

  • WATERPROOF MATCHES

  • MYLAR BLANKET

  • EMERGENCY PONCHO

  • PLAYING CARDS

Standard Issue Items: These products have a 5 year shelf life.
24- 4oz. Water Pouches
12400 Calorie Food Bars (4800 Calories)
20 Water Purification Tablets-each tablet purifies 1 liter of water

Light and Communications: In the event of a power outage caused by you’ll have independent access to your own means of lighting and communication with the outside world.
AM/FM Radio with Headphones and Batteries
Rechargeable Squeeze Flashlight-3 LED flashlight
30 Hour Emergency Candle
12 Hour Emergency Bright Stick
5-in-1 Survival Whistle
Box of Waterproof Matches

Shelter and Warmth: These supplies will provide protection from outside weather forces. They will protect you from wind, sun, rain, and many other conditions you may encounter.
2 Emergency Survival Sleeping Bags
2 16 Hour Body Warmers
2 Person Tube Tent with Rope
2 Emergency Ponchos with Hood

Tools: These items are designed to be useful in disaster situations. They will be a valuable resource when you find yourself faced with navigation, transport, personal protection, or shelter troubles.
16 Function Knife
Pair of Leather Palm Work Gloves
295 Respirator Dust MasksNIOSH approved
50 Feet of Nylon Rope
Safety Goggles
Sewing Kit
All of our kit items are packed securely in a resealable, waterproof storage bag

Hygiene and Sanitation: When in a disaster situation it is useful to have access to hygiene products. Staying clean can protect against infection, disease, and depression.
224 Piece Deluxe Hygiene Kits
Tooth Brush
Tooth Paste
8 Wet Naps
Soap
Shampoo/ Conditioner
Dental Floss Pick
Twin Blade Razor
5” Black Comb
4 Maxi Pads/ Bandages
Washcloths
Shave Cream
6 Pocket Tissue Packs

First Aid: These first aid items can assist with minor injuries and protect against serious health concerns in disaster circumstances.
Guardian 65 Piece Deluxe First Aid Kit

Other: These items are useful for stress relief and activity in strenuous or challenging circumstances.
Notepad
Golf Pencil
Deck of playing cards for entertainment
Infectious Waste Bag

Emergency Survival Kit Information:
This survival kit was designed using advice from experts in the emergency preparedness industry. It follows guidelines given by government agencies and non-profit preparedness organizations.

This survival kit was designed to meet the needs of a child 11 years and younger. This quality kit is packaged securely in our Multi-pocket Hikers Backpack.

The kit includes the following:

Food and Water: The food and water in this kit will comfortably provide you with adequate nutrition for 72-hours without access to additional supplies. These products have a 5 year shelf life.
12- 4oz. Water Pouches
6 – 400 Calorie Food Bars (2400 Calories)
10 Water Purification Tabletseach tablet purifies 1 liter of water

Light and Communication: In the event of a power outage caused by you’ll have independent access to your own means of lighting and communication with the outside world.
AM/FM Radio with Batteries and Headphones
Rechargeable Squeeze Flashlight3 LED flashlight
3 – 12 Hour Emergency Bright Stick
5-in-1 Survival Whistle

Shelter and Warmth: These supplies will provide protection from outside weather forces. They will protect you from wind, sun, rain, and many other conditions you may encounter.
Warm Fleece Blanket
16 Hour Body Warmer
Emergency Poncho for Children

Tools: These items are designed to be useful in disaster situations. They will be a valuable resource when you find yourself faced with navigation, transport, personal protection, or shelter troubles.
Warm Winter Gloves
N95 Respirator Dust MaskNIOSH approved
All of our kit items are packed securely in a resealable, waterproof storage bag

Hygiene and Sanitation: When in a disaster situation it is useful to have access to hygiene products. Staying clean can protect against infection, disease, and depression.
Hygiene Kit
Tooth Brush
Tooth Paste
8 Wet Naps
Soap
3 Pocket Tissue Packs

First Aid: These first aid items can assist with minor injuries and protect against serious health concerns in disaster circumstances.
37 Piece Portable First Aid Kit

Other: These items are useful for stress relief and activity in strenuous or challenging circumstances.
Activity Coloring Book with Crayons
Children Toys Emergency Survival Kit Information:
This survival kit was designed using advice from experts in the emergency preparedness industry. It follows guidelines given by government agencies and non-profit preparedness organizations.

Weight: 9lbs

Dimensions (length x width x height): 15×12×6

This kit contains the following:

Food and Water: The food and water in this kit will comfortably provide you with adequate nutrition for one day without access to additional supplies. These products have a 5 year shelf life.
6- 4oz. Water Pouches
1 – 400 Calorie Food Bar Cherry Flavor
10 Water Purification Tablet’s – each tablet purifies 1 liter of water
24 oz. Water Purification Bottle

Light and Communications: In the event of a power outage caused by disaster you’ll have independent access to your own means of lighting and communication with the outside world.
Four Function Dynamo Flashlight with Radio
5-in-1 Survival Whistle
Box of Waterproof Matches
36″” x 24″” Bright Orange Help Flag

Shelter and Warmth: These supplies will provide protection from outside weather forces. They will protect you from wind, sun, rain, and many other conditions you may encounter.
Fire Resistant Wool Blanket 62″” x 80″”
2- Emergency Poncho’s with Hood

Tools: These items are designed to be useful in disaster situations. They will be a valuable resource when you find yourself faced with navigation, transport, personal protection, or shelter troubles.
Tundra Fire Extinguisher
Compact Multi-function Shovel
16 Function Knife
Leather Palm Work Gloves
2 N95 Respirator Dust Mask’s
NIOSH approved
50 Feet of Nylon Rope
Safety Goggles
Hard hat
3 Function Hatchet (hatchet, pry bar, hammer)
Pack of nails
All of our kit items are securely packed in a resealable, waterproof storage bags

Hygiene and Sanitation: When in a disaster situation it is useful to have access to hygiene products. Staying clean can protect against infection, disease, and depression.


24 Piece Deluxe Hygiene Kit
Tooth Brush
Tooth Paste
9 Wet Nap’s
Soap
Shampoo/ Conditioner
Dental Floss Pick
Hand/ Body Lotion
Deodorant Gel
Twin Blade Razor
5” Black Comb
4 Maxi pads/ Bandage’s
Washcloth
Shave Cream

First Aid: These first aid items can assist with minor injuries and protect against serious health concerns in disaster circumstances.
107
Piece First Aid Kit
10 Burn Cream Packet’s

Other: These items are useful for stress relief and activity in strenuous or challenging circumstances.
Deck of Playing Cards for Entertainment
Infectious Waste Bag

All items are packed securely in one Elite Multi-pocket Hikers Backpack which contains extra space available for your personal items and one 5 Gallon Bucket with Toilet Seat Lid

This kit contains the following:

Food and Water: The food and water in this kit will comfortably provide you with adequate nutrition for 72-hours without access to additional supplies. These products have a 5 year shelf life.
60- 4 oz. Water Pouches
40 – 400 Calorie Food Bars (24,000 Calories)
50 Water Purification Tablets
each tablet purifies 1 liter of water

Light and Communications: In the event of a power outage caused by you have independent access to your own means of lighting and communication with the outside world.
Dynamo 4-in-1 Radio Flashlight
Rechargeable Squeeze Flashlight
3 LED flashlight
30 Hour Emergency Candle
5
12 Hour Emergency Bright Stick
5-in-1 Survival Whistle
Box of Waterproof Matches

Shelter and Warmth: These supplies will provide protection from outside weather forces. They will protect you from wind, sun, rain, and many other conditions you may encounter.
10 Emergency Survival Blankets
2 Person Tube Tent with Rope
10 Emergency Ponchos with Hood

Tools: These items are designed to be useful in disaster situations. They will be a valuable resource when you find yourself faced with navigation, transport, personal protection, or shelter troubles.
5′ x 7′ Blue Tarp
7-1/2 Flat Pry Bar
16 Function Knife
2 Pairs of Leather Palm Work Gloves
Roll of Duct Tape
10 – N95 Respirator Dust Masks
NIOSH approved
Safety Goggles
Sewing Kit
All of our kit items are packed securely in a resealable, waterproof storage bag

Hygiene and Sanitation: When in a disaster situation it is useful to have access to hygiene products. Staying clean can protect against infection, disease, and depression.
2 Toilet Bags with Chemicals
10 Hygiene Kits
Tooth Brush
Tooth Paste
8 Wet Naps
Soap
10 Pocket Tissue Packs
Air Freshener

First Aid: These first aid items can assist with minor injuries and protect against serious health concerns in disaster circumstances.
37 Piece Portable First Aid Kit
107 Piece Deluxe First Aid Kit

Other: These items are useful for stress relief and activity in strenuous or challenging circumstances.
2 Decks of playing cards for entertainment
Emergency Survival Kit Information:
This survival kit was designed using advice from experts in the emergency preparedness industry. It follows guidelines given by government agencies and non-profit preparedness organizations. This 10-person deluxe office emergency kit has a retail value of $308.

Weight: 46lbs

Bucket includes 50 servings of delicious breakfasts, entrees and drinks for 1 person. The six entrees contains real meat and the entrees and breakfasts in this kit can be cooked directly in the pouch. See the description below for details.

What’s included in this kit?

  • 2 pouches of Chili Mac with Beef (4 total servings)

  • 2 pouches of Pasta Alfredo with Chicken (4 total servings)

  • 2 pouches of Teriyaki Chicken *GLUTEN FREE (4 total servings)

  • 2 pouches of Noodles in Mushroom Sauce (4 Servings)

  • 2 pouches of Cheesy Lasagna (4 Servings)

  • 2 pouches of Creamy Pasta with Chicken (4 servings)

  • 2 pouches of Strawberry Granola Crunch (4 servings)

  • 2 pouches of Apple Cinnamon Cereal (4 servings)

  • 3 pouches of Dairy Delight (18 servings of Whey Milk) 

Additional Product Details:

  • Includes 1 bucket

  • Total calories: 11,200

  • Average calories per day: 1600

  • Food is safely sealed in Mylar pouches

  • 7 year shelf life

What’s included in this kit?

  • 12 pouches of Cheesy Lasagna (48 total servings)

  • 18 pouches of Creamy Pasta (72 total servings)

  • 12 pouches of Pasta Alfredo (48 total servings)

  • 12 pouches of Chili Mac (48 total servings)

  • 18 pouches of Chicken Noodle Soup (72 total servings)

  • 18 pouches of Savory Stroganoff (72 total servings)

  • 12 pouches of Hearty Tortilla Soup (48 total servings)

  • 12 pouches of Potato Pot Pie (48 total servings)

  • 6 pouch of Teriyaki and Rice (24 total servings)

  • 12 pouches of Baked Potato Casserole (48 total servings)

  • 18 pouches of Tomato Basil Soup (72 total servings)

  • 18 pouches of Southwest Beans and Rice (72 total servings)

  • 12 pouches of Cheesy Macaroni (48 total servings)

  • 30 pouches of Strawberry Granola Crunch (120 Servings)

  • 60 pouches of Brown Sugar and Maple Multi-Grain Cereal (240 Servings)

  • 30 pouches of Crunchy Granola (120 Servings)

  • 60 pouches of Apple Cinnamon Cereal (240 Servings)

Additional Product Details:

  • Includes 12 total buckets

  • Food is safely sealed in Mylar pouches

  • To avoid waste, each pouch conveniently contains 4 servings

  • Lock-in stacking buckets for compact and secure storage without the need of shelving

  • Grab-and-go handles for easy transport in an emergency

  • 25 year shelf life

These professional survival kit manufactures invest millions of dollars into research and development for information which informs them of the most valuable resources, such as certain high calorie food for your required additional energy. However, in my opinion they can be confusing and unless I’m ordering the food packets from a survival food supplier, I’m not going to be able to find, for instance, potato pot pie. Not in my part of the country anyway.

My advise is to review these lists, make notes of items which may effect your situation, then repeat another review to include items overlooked. Be generous, include stuff that may or may not be for you, as you can cull them when you prepare your final list.

Bottom line: A survival kit is just that. It’s not an overnight bag for a pajama party or a snack pack for tailgating. It’s a serious survival tool that must be treated as such, as your life may depend on what’s inside.

Time Machine

The United States is currently in great peril and is on the verge of being defeated and run by Russia. We have a traitor in the White House, greed has bought and sold the Republican controlled congress, and everyone seems to be spell bound by this lying con man. Perhaps the issue of a Cyber attack is just beyond our comprehension. It is mine. I’m quite computer illiterate, as I believe a large majority of trump supporters are, so instead of explaining the intricacies of computer war, let’s take a different view of what’s going on in America today. Let’s compare apples to apples so we Cyber challenged Americans may better understand. For that let’s jump into a time machine and venture back in history, but maintain some of the characters who are currently ruining America.

December 7th 1942 the United States is attacked by a foreign power, Japan. Their intent was to strike a knock out blow to America by destroying its Navy. They knew the American people were split over the war in Europe, therefore if they annihilated America’s Navy power in the Pacific, public discourse would result in America surrendering, or at least reaching a favorable peace agreement with Japan.

December 8th 1942 President Trump addresses congress.

December 7th 1942 will go down as the day the biggest misunderstanding the world has ever witnessed happened. The navy of the Japanese empire, while undertaking naval practice maneuvers, may have accidentally hit several United States naval vessels stationed in Hawaii. It must be said Japan is not admitting it was their aircraft involved, only that they were in the area practicing. We must tread lightly before wrongly accusing someone of intentional attacks on the United States.”

The Republican congress stands and applauds the President for seven minutes, while the horrible Democrats sit on their hands.

In fact,” begins President Trump “The attack could have come from a rogue nation we know nothing about, or pirates … it could have been Japan, but it could have been a lot of other countries.”

January 2nd 1943 President Trump delivers a fireside radio chat to the American people.

I know some people are stupidly screaming for us to declare war on Japan, but I won’t do that because we’re not sure they attacked Hawaii. Sure they attacked the Philippines, but the Philippines is not an American colony or friend, no more than Puerto Rico is. What do we care what happens to them? Give them some paper towels and tell them to toughen up.”

February 1st 1943 at a news conference.

President Trump, why haven’t we sent any troops to Europe to help the United Kingdom? I mean Germany has declared war on us haven’t they?”

Who asked that question?”

Me sir, Walter Cronkite CNN news.”

Fake news!” Trump spits. “Someone else.”

Same question Sir.” Anderwrx Zuzinski Russian News.

Well, as you know our military is not prepared for war. They don’t have the equipment or the training to go to war yet. This military mess was created when Hoover was in office. You can’t blame me, although I ignored the clouds of war and the facts for the last 2 years. It was Hoover. Hoover did this.”

A secret closed door meeting of a select number of Republican Senators and Congressmen.

Mitch McConnell Republican majority leader starts the meeting. “We have a problem that we must address. Some news media are insinuating President Trump is somehow in cahoots with Japan, Germany or both because he refuses to acknowledge the world is at war.”

What can be so important you took me away from my workout,” asked Ryan arguably. “You know I’m jumping ship. F**K you rats. I’ve got a million dollar lobbying job waiting for me.”

Listen, Trump has agreed to give us huge pay increases, increase our medical benefits while destroying it for others and giving us Supreme Court Justices of our choosing so we can become essentially a dictatorship. Don’t like what did. Sue us and take it to the Supreme court.” The entire room erupts in laughter and back slapping.

But,” Mitchell continues “In order to do that we have to keep the damn Democrats, the people and especially the news media, except Fox news, from exposing him. I’m open to suggestions.”

Devin Nunes waves his hand in the air. “Sir, I can run interference for President Trump. Between me, my House Republican cronies and Fox news I can make Trump look like a knight in shining armor.”

Latest report in the Japan involvement investigation:

The Special Prosecutor and the Justice Department has issued charges against 12 Japanese military officials including Admiral Yamamoto and Toto accusing them of intentionally planning and executing an air raid against the United States Navy stationed at Pearl Harbor. Photos of Japanese aircraft were identified by ID numbers and the Japanese fleet was observed launching and recovering these aircraft.

President Trump in Europe instigating a fight and discord among the allies.

Well, Toto has denied bombing Hawaii before, but … to shut you damn news people up, I’ll ask him again if he did it. Although I already know the answer.”

President Trump! Why meet with Toto at all with these revelations?”

I’ll tell you what,” spat Trump, “You are the enemy of the people! I think it’d be great if we can be friends with Japan.”

But what about the attacks?”

The investigation that says Japan was involved is rigged and a total witch hunt. A real shame. There is no evidence Toto was directly involved … if there was an attack.”

When you view today’s events through rose colored glasses of the past, what do you think?

I’m going to stop now. Why? Because it is completely crazy! Know what is very sad … this is what’s going on in America this very minute. This and a million other incredible events that undermine everything every decent American believes in.