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17 April, 2015

Making Charred Cloth for Use As a Firestarter


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16 April, 2015

Growing 100 Pounds of Potatoes in 4 Square Feet of Space


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15 April, 2015

PREPPER PRODUCT REVIEW: Mountain House Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Time for another long-term storage food review here on Backwoods Survival Blog, and I'll readily admit once again that the Mountain House Freeze-Dried Spaghetti with Meat Sauce entree is yet another of their line of excellent products with which I was already familiar. I actually tried this one for the first time several years ago, but I wanted to be able to review it here on the site with pictures in the same way my readers have become accustomed to seeing. And, seeing as how it's also a particularly great meal, giving it another go didn't hurt my feelings in the slightest.

All that being equal, please take it under advisement that this one also carries with it the same ambiguity with regard to serving sizes as a lot of these meals, regardless of the brand name manufacturer. I'm assuming that they are actually using some sort of FDA guidelines in order to delineate serving size, but I've tried to make it clear throughout my reviews exactly what one is getting when they decide to cook up one of these pouches as a meal. As expected, this is another one where it required the entire pouch in order to have a completely full bowl of spaghetti.

Appearance straight out of the package

Just beginning to heat up and rehydrate
The very satisfying finished product, but remember that what you're seeing in this picture represents the entire contents of the pouch, which was supposed to be 2.5 servings. Personally, I would consider the entire pouch a meal for one adult. YMMV, I suppose.


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14 April, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: "Anarchy Rising (The Survivalist Book 2)" by Arthur Bradley

As somewhat of a continuation from previous weeks, today's book review will focus upon "Anarchy Rising (The Survivalist Book 2)" by Arthur Bradley (Kindle edition). I reviewed the first book in this series, entitled "Frontier Justice," last week, and I was pleased enough with the story to want more. If nothing else, that alone should let you know that these novels are definitely worth a read with the caveat that they are fairly short. On one hand, that's not really a problem since they are part of an ongoing series and they are entertaining; but, on the other hand, it's something I feel a person should be made aware of before they spend money on this product. If you're a fairly avid reader, just be advised that you will likely blow through these novels fairly quickly, but you won't be left unsatisfied – at least that remains my opinion after reading this second novel. I'll definitely continue on with the series, and I'll be doing these reviews along the way, so stay tuned as they say.

Whereas the first installment in the series began with the main protagonist (a Deputy United States Marshal who shares many similarities with a certain popular cable television and literary character) coming down from a weeks-long vacation at his family's isolated cabin to find that a devastating pandemic has wreaked its havoc on society, while he was safely and blissfully tuned out in the wilderness.Realizing quickly that something terrible has happened, he pokes around a bit and finally gathers enough information to piece together the tail of what has occurred. After that, the rest of the novel revolves around him taking care of his own immediate needs and then eventually branching out to assist a local community in ridding itself of a cadre of violent convicts, who has set up shop and are victimizing the populace.

This second novel in the series, on the other hand, serves to expand upon the world a bit, giving the reader a bit more detail as to the events occurring outside of the immediate geographical area around where the Deputy Marshal has his cabin. The idea being that he wants to get back to the Marshal's facility in Georgia where he works to see if he can hook up with other law enforcement officials and assist in efforts to resettle things. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that his trip there from North Carolina in a post-apocalyptic landscape is anything but uneventful, including a brief sojourn into a small South Carolina town that appears orderly at first (a militia, surprisingly under the leadership of a strong female character has taken over the town and asserted authority), but later turns out to have a much darker side. Also, this installment continues to follow other characters from the first novel as well, including a released convict traveling with a little girl who is none other than the daughter of the President of the United States in an effort to get her home.

Definitely worth continuing to read further books in the series. Honestly, I think I actually enjoyed this one more than the first. Check it out!


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13 April, 2015

MOVIE REVIEW: "The Purge: Anarchy" (2014)

My film review today "The Purge: Anarchy" (2014) Blu-ray (DVD version) is, of course, the sequel to the first film in The Purge movie franchise, which I reviewed here last week. This one is set exactly one year later, beginning approximately 2-and-a-half hours before the commencement of the Annual National Purge in March 2023. Only one character returns to reprise his role from the first film, but I won't reveal anything more about that at this juncture as his appearance occurs well into the film and I don't want to spoil any of the plot for anyone who has yet to see it.

As I stated in my review last week, it is my opinion that the first film has value to folks in our circles as a portrayal of a family defending themselves during a particularly violent home invasion, which we all know is a phenomenon that is becoming more and more of a future threat all of us need to keep in our minds. Like the first film, I assert that viewing this sequel is also a worthwhile exercise. All of you reading this know, as well as I, that the true structure of polite, everyday society is – in reality – nothing but a cruelly thin veneer that hides something far more sinister. Behind that false surface lies the truth: the only thing holding things together and keeping people (mostly) safe is the fragile rule of law and order and the fear of punishment. Even now, there are certain parts of every city where it is inadvisable to find oneself after the sun goes down. If people believe that they can get away with it, there is a large section of the population who would gladly act as predators. It occurs now, and it would occur far more frequently if there were no consequences for those actions. This film utilizes the plot device of the National Purge occurring annually to create this lawless environment, but any instance of civil unrest or rioting (up to and including an all-out TEOTWAWKI societal collapse) would place each of us in similar life or death situations, and these are eventualities for which we should all attempt to prepare ourselves.

Another thing I enjoyed about this installment in the series was that it affords the viewer a glimpse of how The Purge plays out across different sectors of society. As previously stated, the first film concentrated on one upper-Middle Class suburban home being invaded by violence, but the sequel takes things in a completely different direction and shows us multiple settings across the city, including characters from wide-ranging income brackets and social statuses. In this way, it does a very good job of effectively expanding the mythology eluded to in a vague fashion by the characters in the initial installment.

As for my overall opinion of the film, let's face it… neither this one or its predecessor are going to win any awards as being great cinema, but then again they aren't really attempting to do so. Being what they are and me understanding the truth of that prior to viewing either of them, I enjoyed both films as I am sure I will enjoy the upcoming third installment, which I'm hearing could possibly take the form of a prequel exploring how The Purge came to be instituted as a social phenomenon. From the perspective of a Prepper / Survivalist, I find both to be interesting explorations of the violent nature of the human animal, and so I feel comfortable recommending both films, despite the fact that you aren't likely to learn much by way of emergency preparedness from either of them. They are, however, films which fall firmly into the genre of survival, while simultaneously presenting the viewer with a stark picture of a society set in the very near future where the divide between social classes in America is not only still present – it can have deadly consequences. You see, in addition to all of this, there remains the underlying truth that the real reason for The Purge is to allow for artificial population control and an efficient "thinning of the herd" when it comes to those in society unlucky enough to be on the lower end of that social strata. With all of that in mind, I imagine most of you will enjoy these movies as much as I did.


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12 April, 2015

Snake Oil

OTC cough syrup is more than useless. It is, quite literally, the exact modern analog to the snake oil that got people tarred and feathered for trying to weasel people into buying it a hundred years ago. Going all the way back to the Dark Ages, charlatans would roll into town and sell fake concoctions as miracle cures to sick people and then do their best to run out of town with everybody's money before the local Lord got wind they were there and had them stripped and publicly whipped. The pharmaceutical industry is no different in modern times, except for the fact that they figured out having a lobby in Washington to constantly bribe The Powers That Be (by way of political contributions) would keep them from being punished like they used to rightfully be.

Not that all modern medicine is bad, obviously, but half of the stuff in OTC cough medicine actually keeps you sick longer. Makes you wonder if there's not a conspiracy behind that. For instance, a fever above a certain point can be a big problem for a small child, but most of us have no business taking anything that suppresses fever – a low-grade fever is actually your body's way of naturally burning out the bug in your system. Ditto for cough suppressant – keeping stuff in your lungs longer keeps you sicker longer. Most people are too dumb to actually allow their body to heal itself in the way nature intended, so they busy themselves with treating their symptoms with snake oil instead of concentrating on actually getting well. They are just big, spoiled babies who want their sniffles gone right now this instant. I swore off 90% of that stuff years ago. I get vaccinated against flu and pneumonia, and I'll take antivirals and antibiotics when actually necessary, but I faithfully treat cold symptoms with nothing more than bourbon and honey to wonderful results. Honey is a natural antiseptic and is very healthful. The ancient Egyptians considered it to be medicine. And at least I know how my bourbon was made, and that it didn't involve some joker in a lab coat doing a chemistry experiment.

11 April, 2015

Sometimes Bugging Out Can Be the Best Option for Survival

Often, the most important survival gear you can possibly own is your own mind and instincts. This is why I don't really endorse modes of survival based around "bugging out" or staying at home and sheltering in place, but rather prefer a middle road where all the options are kept open and such decisions are made based on the nature of the situation at hand. That being said, I fully recognize that there are times when "bugging out" may be, by far, the best option for ensuring survival for ourselves and our families. Depending on the nature of the disaster or other emergency occurring, the area where you live could quickly devolve into a mecca of violence, civil unrest, mass panic, and all-out rioting. Therefore, it is advisable as an emergency preparedness measure for each family member to have a "bug out" or go bag that doubles as an emergency kit and can be accessed quickly in the event you and your family must flee your home.

The brief video clip below is a scene from the film "World War Z," wherein the lead character (a former United Nations worker) played by Brad Pitt makes his case attempting to talk a stubborn gentleman who has sheltered he and his family during the crisis into leaving with them for the sake of a better chance at survival...


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10 April, 2015

My Views on Climate Change and the Absurdity of the Debate

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Among the questions I am asked often, one of the most enduring themes involves whether or not I am a skeptic or a believer in climate change. In fact, I get this question often enough that I have deemed it easier to simply express my opinion in an article, rather than answer each query individually. Interestingly enough, though, my views on this subject are a bit complicated.

In order to try to simplify things, let me say simply this: I am a believer in the changing climate, but essentially an agnostic with respect to whether or not human activity is the cause. Truthfully, I don't believe our industrial society has caused anything, but I am open to the idea that it is possible we has exacerbated an already existing problem. I think far too much time is dedicated to a debate that is, essentially, pointless. Whether our activity is harming the environment or not, attitudes are never going to change on either side. Human beings naturally veer toward a self-confirming bias, which is a fancy way of saying that we tend – as a species – to truly only listen to information that helps confirm things we already feel, discounting and sometimes even ignoring those who disagree, even if they make good points. Most people, quite simply, pick their side and stick to it, so debating back and forth decade after decade is a futile exercise. Neither side will ever change sufficient minds to end the debate.

What we should be concentrating on is the "already existing problem" I mentioned above, instead of haranguing to each other as to the question of whether or not we caused it or are making it worse. The problem is that our climate *IS* changing. Whether or not we have caused this or what can be done now to stop it is irrelevant.

It's too late to head-off climate change, even in the event it is a problem created by our activity. It was too late 10 years ago. The only reason it's still being pushed is to use it as a rallying cry to push through regulation that anti-business, pro-environmental zealots will never get passed otherwise. People need to stop debating stupid issues and begin a dialogue about how to best prepare. Probably 80% of it is just cyclical anyway. I'm not one of those to argue that our misuse of the environment isn't having an effect, but I'll say– at most – I believe we are the smaller part, simply exacerbating a process that would be occurring regardless.

The geological record seems to indicate that we are coming out of a brief warming period that has lasted the past few hundred years, and much of the northern hemisphere is likely to get colder as solar cycles decline in energy output. Pretty much, the whole process will be punctuated by more extreme weather conditions across the board. It already starts getting chilly earlier in the year and warmer weather starts later in the Appalachian region than was the case when I was a child growing up in these mountains. I remember going outside for recess at school  in high 70s-low 80s temperatures in May. We still see days like that occasionally in that month, but they are few and far between. Outlying warm days that crop-up amidst the much chillier norm. We don't get that type of warm weather consistently until July-August in this area nowadays. The growing season is shorter. Ask a gardener. You have to baby plants now to keep frost from killing them in May and September.

So, those are my thoughts on the subject and another reason why I favor a lifestyle conducive to being prepared for whatever nature may bring. What do you think?

You might also like to read:

Chilly Hearth, Empty Table: A Meditation on the Wealth of the Household Under a Colder Sun, Part 1

Chilly Hearth, Empty Table: A Meditation on the Wealth of the Household Under a Colder Sun, Part 2


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09 April, 2015

Another Highly Affordable Option for Stocking One's Pantry in Case of Emergencies

Maybe it's not the most enjoyable thing to eat or even an example of complete nutrition, but anyone who has ever been either poor or in college (or, typically, both of those at the same time) will be able to preach to you from the altar of Ramen noodles being both cheap and filling. Remember, we're talking about food security as an emergency preparedness measure here, so don't overlook the wisdom of adding a supply of these quick and easy meals to your food storage efforts. Even in the event that you go mostly in another direction for the bulk of your diet (which is what I would suggest), Ramen meals are very easy to prepare, pretty much just requiring water and the means by which to heat it. They also store well as dry goods, and they are very easy on the wallet, which means it wouldn't be difficult at all to build up a fairly decent supply of them to utilize as a filler between meals.


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08 April, 2015

PREPPER PRODUCT REVIEW: Mountain House Lasagna with Meat Sauce

I'll have to admit to cheating just a bit with respect to this review. The Mountain House Lasagna with Meat Sauce entree is something I have tried previously, years before I was ever writing Backwoods Survival Blog, so I already knew fully what to expect. I wanted to be able to have pictures to coincide with my writing here, however, so I ordered myself another pouch and decided to dive in once again. And my willingness to eat it yet again should tell you that I enjoyed it quite a bit. It seems that disappointing me when it comes to taste and texture is pretty much the only thing Mountain House can't seem to get right.

Another important factor to keep in mind with respect to this product is the typical disparity between the serving sizes listed on the packaging versus what the typical person would actually need to eat in order to be satisfied. I've talked about this numerous times here on Backwoods Survival Blog; to put it mildly, you typically just need to ignore what they tell you and assume you're going to need one pouch per person per meal. With respect to the Mountain House Lasagna with Meat Sauce, however, that isn't quite as much of a problem. Perhaps it is owing to the fact that a pasta dish of this type makes for such a bulky and filling meal, but there definitely seems to be more food here for your money – nutrition as well, especially in the form of carbohydrates.

That being said, I did eat the entire pouch myself as a dinner one evening, mostly because I had been away from home and hadn't eaten anything else all day. In the past, I have fed two people fairly comfortably out of a single one of these mylar pouch meals, so YMMV. You can see what half of the pouch looks like in the photo at the bottom of this article (I initially intended only to eat half and save the other half for the next day, but I went back for the rest of it). It should be easy enough to look at that picture and make your own assumption as to whether or not half of the pouch would be enough for you or if you need to eat the entire thing on a one pouch per meal per person basis. Honestly, I think that may be the very most valuable thing about taking the photos along with the reviews.

Dry mix as packaged

Just started cooking. Please ignore the splashes. Accidentally let the water boil a little too much, and it was trying to bubble over on me.

Look at that and tell me if that is a sufficiently-sized serving of this yumminess to work for you. That's exactly half of the pouch. Sometimes, that would actually be plenty for me, especially with some bread on the side, etc., but YMMV. Either way, you can look at the picture now and see what you're getting, eating the entire package would simply mean doubling what you see here.


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07 April, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: "Frontier Justice (The Survivalist Book 1)" by Arthur Bradley

This week's book review centers on "Frontier Justice (The Survivalist Book 1)" by Arthur Bradley (Kindle edition), the first of what appears to be a series of Doomer Fiction novels. I always like series, because they typically allow for the opportunity of a more complete story being told, and I will typically follow each novel in a series with respect to these weekly reviews as long as it's any good. Life is simply too short for continuing to read something that has proven itself to be crap, but so far I've had pretty good luck with choosing stories to highlight here on Backwoods Survival Blog.

And, it appears, that streak will continue as this first novel in the series was fairly entertaining. Needless to say, I do have a few critical points to make. First of all, while the story was engrossing (a complete societal collapse, resulting from a disease pandemic with an outrageously high mortality rate) and most of the characters were interesting, there where a few cast members in this novel whose presence felt a bit forced and wooden to me. Interestingly enough, this doesn't really apply to any of the main characters in the novel, but rather to brief interludes that attempt to show the reader what is going on outside of the microcosm surrounding the characters. To be specific, I'm talking about the President of the United States and the new Vice President of the United States, who was Speaker of the House of Representatives before being appointed VP after that individual's death in the crisis. Reading the interactions between these folks pretty much left me feeling as though they were little more than cardboard cutout stock characters, shoehorned into the story only to provide context for things that come into play only as this first installment is ending and that will probably play a bigger role in the overall story as the series continues. In addition (and I'm not even sure if this can be considered a critique, though I believe it bears mentioning), readers should be aware that these are very short novels. It looks like they are typically slightly under 200 pages, which was a bit disappointing.

All that aside, the overall story was fairly entertaining, and I'll definitely continue on with reading more of the series. The author did what I consider to be a very good job of demonstrating just what would likely occur in such a situation within the microcosm of a limited geographical area, and that is to be commended as worthy, seeing as how an all-out societal collapse scenario would definitely return all immediate concerns to that which is local to each individual. Without the rule of law and order to keep things in check, traveling longer distances could prove to be rather dangerous as violence spreads, so keeping things local with respect to the story makes a lot of sense.

One other thing I feel the need to mention (and this isn't a criticism at all), but I couldn't help but notice as I was reading this first novel in the series how many striking similarities exist between the main character and that of Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, played by actor Timothy Olyphant on the FX Network television program "Justified." Not only do both characters share the same job, but they both also previously served as a firearms instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia, and both carry themselves with a very similar attitude and demeanor. Again, I'm not looking at that as a detriment to the story, whatsoever. I just thought I would mention the similarities, because I actually made myself laugh during my reading as I realized I was very likely reading a story about what the character from "Justified" would be doing were he to find himself suddenly in the middle of a post-apocalyptic setting. Needless to say, that alone served to give this story a special place in my heart.


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06 April, 2015

MOVIE REVIEW: "The Purge" (2013)

On the surface, "The Purge" (2013) Blu-ray (DVD version) would appear to be just another Hollywood offering that glorifies violence, while perhaps boasting a bit more uniqueness with respect to the actual setting of the story. In my opinion, however, this film is actually a lot more complex than it appears by just a cursory glance. Even the most basic ways of looking at this film, though, can be seen as a depiction of a family defending their home during a home invasion.

Set in the year 2022 in an America that is now ruled by a totalitarian government that is referred to colloquially as "The New Founding Fathers," unemployment sits at only 1% and crime is at an all-time low. We learn, bit by bit, through the films dialogue that this new regime seems to have taken power out of the ashes of a severe economic meltdown involving a complete collapse of financial markets in what would technically be our immediately impending future. Part of this takeover involved a new law by an Amendment to the Constitution, which instituted what is referred to as the National Purge. This event takes the form of a 12 hour period that occurs once every year, apparently from 7 PM on March 21 two 7 AM on March 22, during which nearly all crime is legal. This includes murder, rape, arson, robbery, etc. The only exemptions from the law are that government leaders above a certain level are not to be harmed, and weapons above a certain class (such as bombs, missile launchers, etc.) may not be used. Everything else is legal, and all emergency services are closed during this 12 hour span. Some people stock up on necessary supplies and barricade themselves in their homes during this time, while others go out to hunt.

It is openly stated that this event serves as a form of natural release and psychological catharsis for the people, and that much of the reason for the violence that pervaded society before "The New Founding Fathers" took power was because of the attempt to suppress the normal, natural human thirst for violence. And these claims are backed up by the fact that it seems to be working, at least on the surface. Violent crime is nearly nonexistent outside of those 12 hours each year. The truth, however, is that the real reason for The Purge is to act as a hidden form of population control. Most wealthy and upper-Middle Class people can afford to purchase protection in the form of weapons and elaborate, expensive security systems for their homes. Homeless and lower-income citizens, however, are unable to protect themselves in the same way, and it is this sector of the citizenry – which can be considered as noncontributing or under-contributing members of society – who make up the lion's share of the victims during The Purge.

Also, who knows whether or not the true crime rate really is as low as is publicly claimed. This information is repeated over and over by members of the mainstream media, including interviews with psychologists who backup the theory of the cathartic release it represents, but you get the impression as a viewer that this is mostly state propaganda. Seeing as how it is doubtful that a totalitarian government would allow for a truly free press (Hell, we really don't even have that even now), I am highly skeptical as to the numbers reported by such entities. As is true with the average citizen even today, though, most people don't seem to question what they are told at all. Sheep don't often ask questions of the wolves, after all, now do they?

Beyond the issue of the actual setting for the film, however, one can view this from the perspective of a Prepper by simply thinking of it as a film that depicts a home invasion scenario. As we all know, this form of violence is becoming more and more a problem in today's society, and that is only likely to continue to get even worse as time goes by and conditions continue to worsen. It was from this point of view that I decided to review this film, and it really isn't a bad one. In fact, it was a big hit at the box office, despite receiving only mixed reviews from critics, bringing in somewhere in the neighborhood of $90 million in profit when it only cost $3 million to make. Anyway, if you haven't yet seen it, give it a try.


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05 April, 2015

What Once Passed for Wisdom

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It might surprise you, but maintaining a website like this one can get somewhat old at times. I greatly enjoy sharing my thoughts and ideas as well as the things I've learned over the course of my own personal journey with respect to emergency preparedness. I've even done some private consulting here and there that brought with it a great deal of satisfaction, knowing I have helped people to be better ready to deal with whatever emergencies might arise. Although of those things are wonderful.

What does get old, however (and there's no way you could possibly know this is a reader), is the multitude of emails and comments I receive from the Trolls out there in cyberspace. Needless to say, these folks pretty much denounced everything any of us think of as important. A seemingly popular theme is that folks like me have completely cooked-up what they considered to be the "myth" of a possible upcoming SHTF scenario, during which survival gear and certain skill sets might be important. Apparently, I and those like me are nothing but fear mongers, trying daily to drum up business and sell water filters and prepackaged freeze-dried foods to those they consider to be our "gullible" victims – namely you readers.

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Never minding the fact that I don't sell anything whatsoever from the site. Don't get me wrong, the companies who advertise with me obviously do sell those things, but this site existed before I ever had one single entity willing to pay my pitifully small advertising rates and it would continue to exist even if all of them suddenly disappeared. It also apparently doesn't make any difference to these folks that I'm not sitting on a boat somewhere in the Caribbean, living the good life on all my supposedly ill-gotten profits, but rather I have personally turned virtually every nickel I've ever made from this site into emergency preparedness gear and food for myself and my family.

I guess you can't please everybody or even manage to talk sense to fools.

As I've stated probably a *BILLION* times previously here on Backwoods Survival Blog, I'm not even necessarily a member of the school of thought who believes some all-out societal collapse scenario is actually altogether that likely to occur. Realistically, something like that is a true Black Swan event, which is to say exceedingly rare, despite the fact that even the most miniscule effort to learn the history of human societies will quickly show you that it has happened over and over again throughout the epochs. It could definitely happen and very well may. My philosophy on emergency preparedness, however, is geared more toward the overwhelmingly more likely occurrences, such as extreme weather events, terrorism, disease pandemics, and regional disaster scenarios. It isn't a matter of "if" these things are going to occur, but rather "when," so those scenarios are where I concentrate most of my emergency preparedness efforts.

And you know what? One truth that I have found to be proven over and over and over again is that preparing for these kinds of very likely events serves to help me be in a greater state of readiness even for the more dramatic and unlikely possible future threat scenarios. To put it simply, someone who is truly and completely prepared for blizzards and hurricanes will also quickly find that they are also prepared for a loss of the electrical grid and even a complete society sundering TEOTWAWKI event. And that's perfectly how it should be.

This is why you don't have to be crazy to be a Prepper...
The fact that it isn't particularly likely that we're all going to wake up tomorrow and find that an EMP burst over our heads in the middle of the night, destroying the electric grid and thrusting the world back into the 19th century, doesn't mean it isn't okay and even sensible for us to be in a greater state of readiness to take care of ourselves and those who depend on us if something like that were actually to occur. And being prepared for extreme weather emergencies and the like automatically puts a person pretty far down that road. There seems to be some sort of disconnect when it comes to the idea of being ready for a serious event like that; as though you have to be crazy to spend your time and money preparing for something that probably, statistically speaking, isn't going to happen.

Yes, a true End of the World-type apocalyptic event isn't particularly likely at any given moment. You know what else isn't particularly likely to occur from a statistical standpoint? Your home burning down tomorrow or being torn apart and carried away by floodwaters or you dying in a horrible car crash... yet, almost magically, the same people who think you're nuts for storing away a few months worth of food, 1000 rounds of ammunition, and a decent water filter will be the same ones who won't bat an eyelash paying for insurance every month *JUST IN CASE* one of those other unlikely events occurs. Somewhere along the line, the mental disconnect that I truly consider to be almost a form of bigotry won't allow them to see that what you and I are doing is also simply nothing more than another form of insurance. We are protecting ourselves and those who depend on us *JUST IN CASE* the worst should occur, even as we live our lives hoping for the best.

What's truly frustrating is the fact that the idea of having oneself positioned and ready to deal with whatever Fate may bring was once considered the height of wisdom. Even in the Bible, you can read about Joseph advising the Egyptians to store away extra grain during the seven years of plenty in anticipation of the seven years of drought to come. This kind of thinking the old folks would have referred to as "good horse sense" was also practiced regularly all throughout ancient and medieval times with Lords decreeing how much of a crop those working under them would be required to set aside for coming winters, etc. Somehow, though, we've come to a point in history where showing this kind of wisdom only marks you as somehow "weird" in the eyes of others, storing away for a rainy day now equals "hoarding," and a lack of faith in the rickety, tenuous infrastructure of the JIT (Just in Time) mode of delivery our modern culture depends upon has become akin to some sort of heresy. People don't honestly believe there's any way anything could ever go wrong with the way things are, and it does no good to show them proof of societies collapsing all throughout the history of Mankind. They simply ignore it. It's a difficult pill to swallow and disagrees with their preconceived notions, so they simply reject the idea offhand as a result of suffering from a seemingly species-wide case of cognitive dissonance.

Only those with eyes to see realize how foolish a position this is. What a true idiocracy we live in these days.

And, being among those who can clearly see such things, I hope you'll agree with me in sharing the notion that I don't particularly need folks approval when it comes to how I live my life. Some men play golf and spend tons of money on nice, new clubs and the fees associated with playing at certain courses. Others will spend $30,000 to restore an old car, then thousands more over the course of a lifetime traveling around to show it off at car shows. Others take numerous vacations every year. Instead, I try to strike a balance between living my life and putting some of my money toward practical emergency preparedness efforts like storing away food and survival gear. And, truthfully, the way I this my life right now has helped me get through enough bad times already to convince me I'm doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing.

Keep preparing, folks, and don't listen to all the noise. It's all just static anyway.


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04 April, 2015

What to Expect in the Possible Future Threat of a Societal Collapse or Other Serious Emergency

Depending on who you're talking to, the threat of an all-out TEOTWAWKI SHTF societal collapse is either something they'll tell you is right around the corner or they'll claim it's impossible and look at you like a crazy person. Other serious crises happen all the time, however; even events of a more temporary nature have been proven time and time again to have the potential for inducing violent criminal acts, mass panic, civil unrest, and even full-fledged rioting. Just take a moment to remember what happened during Hurricane Katrina, the 1989 rioting in Argentina, and the 2007 food riots that spread through multiple provinces of India. Not to mention the civil unrest more recently over perceived police brutality in America. Therefore, even if you don't see the end of the world coming for us as quickly as some do, there is still plenty of potential for darker times ahead and the need for emergency preparedness and self-defense training efforts should be a priority now while things are more sedate.

The video below contains some clips from the popular Hollywood films "Contagion" and "World War Z," which readers of Backwoods Survival Blog might be accustomed to my referencing them as a genre I call Doomer Fiction. Watch this clip and you should have a decent idea of what to expect in a societal collapse or other serious emergency...


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03 April, 2015

Crafty and Incognito Toilet Paper Storage For a Survival Retreat or Homestead

While not an actual physical necessity for survival, toilet paper is a modern convenience that virtually all of us have come to depend upon, and – interestingly – it's an area that many Preppers overlook. I find that interesting because it's also one of the first things that will disappear from store shelves and be greatly missed in any type of long emergency situation in which our emergency preparedness efforts might come into play in the future. The thing to remember is that, while human beings went without such niceties for virtually our entire history up until recent times, pretty much nobody living today has the innate knowledge required to recognize and locate natural alternatives. This means that a lack of toilet paper would result in a lot of people simply going unclean in a way that would create serious health concerns. As a result, storing a sufficient supply of toilet paper is something I always recommend when I'm doing private consulting.

With that in mind, check out the following video which details a very interesting way of storing a years worth of toilet paper for a family of 4-5 people:

**NOTE: The addition of a few oxygen absorbers as well as something to help absorb moisture within each of the tubes wouldn't have been a terrible idea either. Probably not necessary, but something to be considered.


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