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25 November, 2014

Guest Post: Electrician Talk -- Benefits of Appliances Using Solar Power

By: Jake Hyet


It seems that without even trying solar power has become the hottest trend in energy conservation. Sure people have been promoting its advantages for years, but it never quite caught on the way it has now. Which is great, because those people who are utilizing the power of the sun are also contributing to the efforts to save the planet? But, as any electrician will tell you, the increasing use of solar power has created a real need for more solar-powered products.

As the use of solar power has improved, people are now able to live a great deal more effectively by building solar-powered houses than they were in the past. In these houses they also want solar-powered appliances, lighting, water pumps, heating, water heaters, etc. Fortunately, there is now a way to buy solar-powered appliances to use in the kitchen and throughout the house. Here are some of the benefits of doing so:

Appliances Available

Now it goes without saying that it would be rather foolish to go through the expense and effort of converting your home to solar-power and then still continue to use standard appliances. When you have a solar-powered home you want solar-powered appliances.

Refrigerators: Any electrician will tell that the one really great thing about solar-powered refrigerators is that they provide the convenience of a refrigerator, as well as a freezer, and that's usually at a minimal cost. They are also thermostat-controlled which permits you to set the proper temperatures for both the refrigerator and the freezer. There is very little noise when it's running, which is generally true because the flow of electricity is constant. Plus they come in a variety of sizes and colors in order to fit into any solar-powered kitchen.

Appliances that are Efficient: Unfortunately, as even an electrician Brisbane will tell you, not all appliances can be solar-powered, and because of that fact, efficient appliances are the next best choice. They use a minimal amount of energy to keep them running, while at the same time, give you the service that you would have a right to expect out of that particular appliance with no problems. Dishwashers, stoves, microwaves, chest freezers, washers, and dryers are all types of appliances that can be bought on an efficient level to conserve energy and also save money.

Now be aware that when you use appliances that are efficient, they normally cost more up front, but in the long run they are definitely worth the cost as they ultimately do save money. Furthermore, given the proper maintenance, these appliances can last for quite some time. It wouldn't hurt to perform a simple inspection every now and then though. If any malfunctioning or damaged parts are found, just check online for a place to replace them. So that's basically it. As even an electrician Brisbane will tell you, for not much cost, and a little cleverness on the part of your handyman, your solar-powered kitchen can last for years to come.

Keep in mind that when you conserve energy you aren't just helping yourself, you are benefiting everyone. When the day comes that all of us can use solar power to provide energy for our homes and appliances, we will all see a difference in the cost of our energy bills. So use energy efficient appliances and think of it as a great investment that will last for years.


Biography: Jake Hyet is considered an expert when it comes to anything to do with electricity and energy conservation. He was a Static electrician for seven years and worked as an electrician Brisbane, where he perfected his knowledge and skills. He now writes extensively on the topic of electricity in many forms.


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23 November, 2014

REVIEW: The Walking Dead (AMC Network TV Series): Season 5 - Episode 7 "Crossed"

A number of plot points will inevitably be revealed in the course of these writings.  My intent is to review this program from the perspective of the Doomer / Prepper / Survivalist community, but, to do that effectively, some things have to be explained in greater detail than I might normally prefer in a review.  As a result, spoilers will follow.  You have been warned.  In truth, you might more accurately describe these posts as in-depth discussions of certain aspects of each episode with an emphasis on how the character's actions might be applicable in a real-life societal collapse.  I hope you enjoy.
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I find it very hard to believe that this episode represents the last before next week's mid-season finale, but here we are nonetheless. Unfortunately, that means there won't be any more episodes after next week until the show returns sometime in February. I'm a little bummed about it, to be honest, just like I am every year. Not sure what other entertainment one can find this time of year on a Sunday night. LOL

One thing we can learn from watching this episode is that it is possible to improvise defenses for a retreat or stronghold from things that you and I today might not even consider to be in the realm of emergency preparedness gear. Not to give away spoilers, but since it involves a simple detail of the setting, rather than a plot point, I'll just say that what I am referring to specifically are the preparations put in place to protect those who stay behind at the church. The pipes from the church organ are repurposed to create what are essentially sharpened poles to protect the approaches to the building, and some of the pews of the church are cannibalized for their wood in boarding-up the door. After all, the only people remaining behind are two juveniles – one of them a baby – and two adults, one of which is the minister Father Gabriel who has shown no willingness or ability to be an asset in a fight up to this point. They are, essentially, locking themselves in for safety's sake until the others can return. They even came up with a makeshift hammer for pounding the nails... they used the leg of one of the pews to beat them in. Very ingenious and a wise use of available resources.

With respect to the church, I know some of you may disagree with this assessment, but I imagine in a world ravaged by a societal collapse that there will be instances wherein a church might become more of a sanctuary, rather than a spiritual center. Call it a sanctuary for survival, rather than for the soul. I understand that it is the role of a man of the cloth to look principally after people's spiritual well-being, but there comes a point when being a shepherd might translate to the physical definition as well. Churches might be a place where good people can get together and help each other survive a bad situation, and I – for one – can't imagine any Higher Power having a problem with that.

One issue we may all run into in the event of a TEOTWAWKI-style societal collapse situation will involve other groups of survivors. This shouldn't come as a surprise, considering I have said many times what this show does its best to hammer home to its viewers: no matter what danger exists, it's likely that other people will be the true monsters with which one has to contend. But what I'm talking about here, specifically, is the possibility that there may be other groups of survivors around whose leaders are barely holding things together, resulting in a situation where the proverbial "inmates are running the asylum." Beware of any of these sorts of people. One can never know how far things have been allowed to go down the wrong road in the effort simply to keep things from falling apart through appeasement of people in that group who might be very bad characters.

And we actually saw someone on the show creating a water filter this week. This is something I have thought was missing for quite some time, simply because it should be well known to everyone reading this that drinking water from wild sources can sometimes result in health problems, due to bacteria, parasites, etc. A lot of the time we have seen the characters catching rainwater, which is okay, but we've also seen a lot of them filling up their water bottles directly from rivers and the like, yet there hasn't seemed to be much talk about people suffering from dysentery or anything of that sort because of this. Anyway, what we see created is a simple drip water filter that appears to be created by stuffing rags or cloth into a water bottle to clog the opening, and then turning the bottle upside down to allow the water to drip slowly out, having been filtered through the fabric. One good thing was one of the characters mentioned the necessity of boiling the water even after this, but it was still a welcomed addition to the narrative of the show. FYI, using a mixture of sand and gravel in place of the cloth would also achieve the same goal in this situation. For that matter, looking at the screenshot above and to the right, it looks as though it's even possible she may have used some silt from the riverbed or something like that. We never actually see her build it, so it's kind of up in the air.

A bit of a theme for this episode seemed to be the importance of loyalty in a world where law and order no longer constrains people. We have all talked about the issues that abound from attempting to trust people in that type of setting. Hell, it's nearly impossible to find trustworthy people in today's world; it will be even more difficult when the thin veneer of polite society has been ripped away. That is precisely why loyalty and trust will be paramount in dealings with other people, including members of your own family, friends, and/or survival group. In the episode, members of the group have been taken prisoner, and so it is only right that their compatriots put forth a plan to rescue them. If I were stuck somewhere in a bad way, I would want to know that there were people out there looking for me and trying to figure out how to get me back. And so, it is only right to say that I would make that effort on the part of one of my people. How else can I expect them to have faith in me if they cannot be assured that I will fight to keep them safe and do whatever I can to bring them home?


The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

My previous reviews for this series can be accessed by clicking the links below:



22 November, 2014

Don't Sleep on The Ebola Virus: That Particular Fat Lady Ain't Sung Yet

Now that the craze has passed, for the most part, you would be hard-pressed to hear much at all mentioned in the news media regarding the disease outbreak that everyone was sure was going to end us all just a few weeks ago. Interestingly enough, though, the outbreak isn't over yet. In fact, we just recently had another death here in the U.S. from Ebola as well as the death of one of the hundreds of New York patients currently being monitored for the disease. That one, thankfully, turned out to test negative for the virus, and I never actually heard what the real cause of death was.

In the meantime, A Brooklyn man – having recently returned from West Africa – started feeling sick on Thursday (20 November). He did the responsible thing and apparently called 911 pretty quickly, resulting in him being rushed to Bellevue Hospital. Since then, we've been told that he tested negative for the virus… yet, for some reason, he remains in isolation as a patient? Interesting.

So, despite the fact that we aren't hearing much about it lately, the current Ebola outbreak hasn't gone anywhere, at least not yet. In fact, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop spoke before the United Nations Security Council recently, referring to the disease as nothing less than a threat to global security.

One very telling detail that a lot of people seem to have overlooked, in my opinion, is the fact that the doctor who recently passed as the 2nd Ebola victim to die here in the U.S. had initially tested negative for the virus. It wasn't until his health continued to deteriorate that further testing confirmed he was suffering from Ebola after all. So what that tells me is that even the testing is not to be trusted.

How are we to know that the lady who died in New York didn't actually succumbed to the Ebola virus after all? And do they know that the testing is inconclusive and are just afraid to tell us that? Is that why the guy at Bellevue, who supposedly tested negative after returning from West Africa and showing Ebola-like symptoms, is still in isolation?

My advice is to get yourself squared away with regard to pandemic emergency preparedness right now, while things are relatively calm. Even if this particular bug doesn't turn out to be the one that threatens civilization itself, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is not an issue of if that particular disease will come along, but rather when that will happen. Prepare now and you will already be ready for the future threat when it comes along!

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21 November, 2014

Stock up on Your Emergency Preparedness Supplies and Gear with These Awesome Sales

There are some upcoming sales I wanted to make you all aware of with respect to emergency preparedness supplies and survival gear, etc. See details below:

The good folks at Camping Survival are longtime sponsors of us here at Backwoods Survival Blog, and they are giving you a chance to stock up on emergency preparedness supplies this weekend, ahead of the rush when everyone else will be shopping like crazy on both the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday. They've got some great deals at which you need to take a look, and I can personally vouch for this company. They have been in business for over 50 years, and they are Veteran-Owned.

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Mother Earth Products is running a big 25% off sale on all packaged items (details and restrictions explained on their site) only on Black Friday, 28 November, 2014. Use promo code BLACKFRIDAY14 to receive the discount.

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Valley Food Storage is running their Black Friday sale from 12 o'clock midnight until 5 PM. The first 10 customers who order will receive a whopping 40% off with all others who utilize promo code bf40 still getting a very respectable 25% discount on all food orders.

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Thrive Life is also going to be running big sales between Black Friday and Cyber Monday (28 November-1 December) with pretty much everything on sale. This includes food, emergency supplies, and even shelving with some items on sale for as much as 50% off. Definitely check them out.


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If you enjoyed this article, feel free to check out the rest of the site, and please consider subscribing to the blog via email by placing your email address in the sign-up box on the right-hand sidebar of the screen. You can also "Like" our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.

20 November, 2014

Bug-Out Bag Essentials: A Link to a Very Informative Article

While I have always been more of a proponent of sheltering in place (sometimes referred to as "bugging-in,") I have always considered it very important to account for the possible need to Get Out Of Dodge either in a hurry or at all. As much as those of us who are very proud of having built a place geared towards survival, one never knows what circumstances may come to pass that could force us to leave behind our retreat / stronghold. In the event of a societal collapse, you could find your homestead suddenly overrun by invaders intent on taking it away from you, or something as simple as a chemical leak in the area or other unforeseen area-based event could force a situation where leaving is the only option. For that very reason, I have always found it wise to have a Bug-Out Bag packed and ready at all times. In fact, I keep one in each vehicle as an emergency kit.

The good folks over at the Last One Alive site recently published a really informative article discussing essential items to have in your Bug-Out Bag. Check it out when you have a chance. You won't be disappointed.

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19 November, 2014

Making A Campfire Without Matches Using A Surplus Flashlight

As pretty much everyone (including, likely, your own common sense) will tell you, probably the most important thing you can do in the event that you find yourself attempting survival outdoors in the wild is to build a fire. There's a reason why the discovery of fire represents such a momentous achievement in the history of mankind. Fire keeps you warm when it's cold, cooks your food and can boil water to make it safe for you to drink, and it can even help to ward off wild animals that might see you as either prey or a nuisance in their habitat.

Not surprisingly, survival gear retailers are flush with hundreds of different little gadgets to help you start a fire, but I thought I would take a moment to highlight one method that is very ingenious and probably gets overlooked by most people. If you read the title of this article, you will read that I mentioned specifically using a "surplus" flashlight. This is because the process essentially breaks the flashlight. Of course, it might still be usable as such as long as you keep it away from moisture, but I wouldn't bank on it having a long life after you do this. Still, if it gets you a fire on a cold night (and especially if you have followed the Rule of Redundancy and have more than one flashlight packed in your survival gear, as you should), sacrificing something so small could easily be worth it.

You can watch a video of this process below that is actually a clip from the Survivorman TV program with Les Stroud (an absolute favorite of mine), but the essentials are thus:

1) Disassemble flashlight
2) Break the outer lens of the flashlight to gain access to the bulb
3) Carefully break the bulb without destroying the filament inside
4) Reassemble the flashlight
5) Place tinder (fire starting material i.e. dry grass, etc.) within the bowl of the lens, so that it makes contact with the now-exposed filament
6) Switch on the flashlight as you normally would


The exposed filament should now generate enough heat to cause combustion and get you a tiny fire going. Be sure to have more tinder available as well as some dry wood to keep your young flame going until it can blossom into a proper campfire.



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18 November, 2014

The Meaning of Those Codes Used Over the Airwaves by Law Enforcement, Etc.

During the any type of actual emergency for which we prepare, a police scanner can be a very useful tool. Whether it be a riot and civil unrest or some sort of natural phenomenon, such as a wildfire, listening to your scanner can allow you to be on the front lines as far as information is concerned. You don't have to wait for the news to tell you something is coming, because you know it at the same time the authorities on the ground become aware of it, and this allows you a better chance of preparing for any future threat. The only problem is that they often talk in code that can sometimes be difficult to figure out.

Courtesy of Zipscanners.com, here is a detailed info graphic to let you know what those codes actually mean:

Police Codes


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16 November, 2014

REVIEW: The Walking Dead (AMC Network TV Series): Season 5 - Episode 6 "Consumed"

A number of plot points will inevitably be revealed in the course of these writings.  My intent is to review this program from the perspective of the Doomer / Prepper / Survivalist community, but, to do that effectively, some things have to be explained in greater detail than I might normally prefer in a review.  As a result, spoilers will follow.  You have been warned.  In truth, you might more accurately describe these posts as in-depth discussions of certain aspects of each episode with an emphasis on how the character's actions might be applicable in a real-life societal collapse.  I hope you enjoy.
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This particular episode of The Walking Dead was mostly character-driven as well as being a vehicle through which the writers are moving more toward reuniting characters who have been separated and showing what some of those characters were doing while we weren't seeing them on screen. That being said, it was probably less juicy from the standpoint of someone looking for Prepper/ Survivalist ideas, but it too was not without its lessons to which we should all pay attention. Here are the tidbits I was able to draw from it:

If you are on the move, surviving in temporary locations, such as in an abandoned office building, you can get yourself some fresh water in the event of a rainstorm. The episode portrays a nifty trick where one of the characters constructs a tiny rain-catch outside of a window. She uses some sort of plastic bag-type material (maybe just pieces of sheet plastic that she has torn from a larger roll) as a means of actually catching the rain. She appears to be attaching them (she had multiple small rain-catches) to the window frame using a bent piece of what looked like typical coat hangers. If not that exactly, it was close enough and that would work to do the same thing she was doing. One could even use normal sandwich baggies if available.

Her plan, I'm sure, was to pour the few ounces she caught in each one into her actual canteen/water bottle, which is exactly what I would suggest. One could even use more of these than she is shown using in the episode, attaching them to multiple windows. Obviously, this isn't the kind of permanent solution we would look for at a stronghold / retreat, where using a food-grade plastic barrel tied into building guttering would be the absolute best option. Rather, this is the kind of thing you could do if you were on the road, passing through and just looking to hole up for a day or two in an abandoned home or building.

In that same sort of situation, it would be advisable to do some rudimentary fortification of any place you intend to call home, even if it is only a temporary home of a few days. If you are going to be sleeping there, your shelter needs to be as secure as possible. One great option is to use what I refer to as sound countermeasures. This could be something as simple as spreading broken glass outside the door that you will hear crunch if someone were to step on it, even if they are trying to be quiet. Previously in The Walking Dead, we have seen characters ring their campsites in string from which they had hung empty tin cans, etc. This is the same basic idea. It is simply a system that will allow you to be alerted should someone approach you. While we are not likely to ever see a real-life Zombie Apocalypse, the sad truth is that other people will be the real monsters in any situation where TS has HTF and society has collapsed, so knowing when someone is coming up on your place of rest will be just as important as it is for the characters in the show.

Also, when moving through hostile areas, be aware that the proper use of diversions can benefit you greatly. In "The Art of War," Sun Tzu spends a lot of time making the point that asymmetrical warfare is the proper path one should take if they want to be victorious. Essentially, the lesson is to evade whenever possible, only engaging in battle when it is on your terms and at a place of your choosing. A good lesson to always remember. Simply shooting your way through a bad situation may make you feel like an action movie star, but it is exceedingly stupid and will probably get you killed at some point.

And, the final lesson of this episode is an enduring need to find some sort of balance between the ideals of morality and human survival. If there is no more law and order to fall back on, each of us will inevitably be faced with situations where we must do things that would likely get us thrown in jail in today's society. There's no way around that, if you intend to survive and keep the people you love alive in a harsher world. But, there must be more to living than simple survival. In the absence of laws, we must all work hard to develop our own personal moral compass and allow it to guide us, so that we do not lose ourselves.

As a side note, I can't help but complain about one thing: early in the episode, two of the characters are in a car, attempting to clandestinely follow the car in front of them (I'm purposely trying not to give away spoilers). The problem being that they appeared to be following them from a pretty close distance. I do not understand how it is possible that they weren't seen. Obviously, one must allow a bit of leeway and let realism go somewhat when dealing with fiction (especially Doomer Fiction), but this seemed to be a rare oversight to me on the part of the writers and the people filming the episode. I mean, you're on a deserted road in a world in the midst of a societal collapse where few vehicles are moving at all. It isn't exactly like today where you may not notice a vehicle tailing you. It's the only other car on the road, after all. Even if you don't think it's following you, it's difficult to imagine a situation where the people didn't see them creeping along behind them at all, despite them having their headlights off and all that. It just seemed like a big plot-hole to me.


The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

My previous reviews for this series can be accessed by clicking the links below:



15 November, 2014

Canned Chicken Noodle Soup... That Just Happens to Be 5 Years Old

All of us in the Prepper / Survivalist movement are no doubt familiar with the idea of the expiration dates on canned food being bogus. They're actually less an indication of food spoilage and more a way for food companies to convince you to throw out perfectly good food and buy more. Well, here is my contribution to the body of proof that your food lasts a lot longer than people would like you to believe.

This Great Value brand soup, opened and consumed in November 2014, was purchased by me from Walmart in 2009. The fact that it was still good after 5 years was no surprise to me. The cans had been stored in a cool, dark place since their purchase. I thought it worthy of posting a pic, however, because of the texture and taste.

Often, folks mention that, even though food may not be spoiled, there could be changes in taste, texture, color, et cetera that come with age. My soup, though, showed evidence of no such degradation. Rather, it presented as no different than freshly-purchased soup once heated. I emphasize "once heated" because it did come out of the can a bit clumpy, but that quickly went away with heat and a bit of stirring. The only aspect that's impossible for me to be able to measure is whether or not it's lost any of its nutritional value over time, so - if depending on this as a food supply - I would advise supplementing it with fresh food from your garden to ensure you and your family are getting all your vitamins.

Just thought I'd share this with you guys. Stockpiling a selection of these soups can make a great and very affordable start to your emergency preparedness efforts.


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09 November, 2014

REVIEW: The Walking Dead (AMC Network TV Series): Season 5 - Episode 5 "Self-Help"

A number of plot points will inevitably be revealed in the course of these writings.  My intent is to review this program from the perspective of the Doomer / Prepper / Survivalist community, but, to do that effectively, some things have to be explained in greater detail than I might normally prefer in a review.  As a result, spoilers will follow.  You have been warned.  In truth, you might more accurately describe these posts as in-depth discussions of certain aspects of each episode with an emphasis on how the character's actions might be applicable in a real-life societal collapse.  I hope you enjoy.
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In many ways, episode five was about the aspect of human nature that leads us to seek out purpose. There are times – and there will, undoubtedly, be those kind of times in the event of a societal collapse when the world has gone to crap – when an individual might lose everything that once kept them going. In that event, everyone will react differently. Some will soldier on out of a sense of self-preservation: some will shut down in despair; and others will continue to stay the course only because they have managed to identify some mission or ultimate goal to serve. We see in this episode that Abraham is the latter of the three, and it is a worthy thought exercise for us to ask ourselves – as he now must – what we would then do if that mission fell apart?

As for practical lessons one can learn from watching this episode, I would argue that one of those would be to prepare for the eventuality that all your plans can go to Hell at a moment's notice. Be ready to adapt on-the-fly. In the world of the TV show, this took the form of their vehicle becoming disabled, followed by crashing and eventually burning, but this type of problem can manifest itself in any one of a million different forms. It's pointless to get hung up on every eventuality... simply train yourself to be ready to adapt to whatever may come.

Other lessons presented here include the necessity of training every individual to be able to, at minimum, defend themselves. There is no doubt that, in the event you or I find ourselves in a much more dangerous TEOTWAWKI type of situation, there will be people who require our protection, such as significant others, children, elderly family, etc. But, aside from that, people have to be able to take care of themselves. You simply cannot spend all of your time protecting someone who has no excuse for being weak, other than that they are a weakling. Everyone will need to tow their own proverbial line, because there won't be a lot of room in a societal collapse / apocalyptic type of setting for people who are nothing more than dead weight.

And, with that same sentiment in mind, I would advise everyone that now is the time for each of us to be learning skills that will make us more useful to a group if those sort of dark days do occur in our future. When actual survival is at stake, the skillset that will keep you alive and make you someone that other people want to have around may very well not be the same skillset you are adept at right now. There isn't going to be a lot of call for accountants and grocery store clerks in a harsher world. But even an accountant or grocery store clerk can take the time now to learn woodland survival skills, first aid, gardening, archery and/or shooting. You can even take it upon yourself to become an EMT. It's up to you what you decide to do. But learning skills and attaining knowledge that make your existence valuable will do nothing but help you.

I very much enjoyed that this episode highlighted a source of clean drinking water that pretty much all of us have access to in the event of an emergency, yet few people probably think of: the water from the tank of a toilet. That may make some of you cringe, but I can sure you it is clean and drinkable. We aren't talking about the water in the bowl, but rather in the tank. If you find yourself in an unfamiliar location, such as the characters in the episode and if it makes you feel better to do so, boiling it acts to sanitize the water and will kill the vast majority of microscopic germs, etc. I was also intrigued by the idea of them commandeering the fire truck that held 500 gallons of water (though it was, no doubt, heavily depleted already even before being used as a water cannon in the episode). In the event of a true societal collapse, I could definitely see the value of commandeering such a vehicle, if for no other reason than to park it in front of your stronghold or retreat as a convenient source of drinking water. Even once depleted, all you would need to do is take a party out to a local spring and refill the tank, which strikes me as far more efficient than hauling water by hand in jugs and bottles.

Lastly, the final lesson presented by episode five is the reality that even otherwise decent people may come to find brutality gets easier and easier for them in a world where every day is a fight for survival. As the character Abraham stated, you get to the point where most of the weaker people are gone and everyone who is alive is strong, many of them threats to you and your people. That is just a fact. Mankind is a rough animal, and when the hold of law and order is no longer present and the thin veneer of polite society is ripped away, many people will reveal themselves to be no better than common predators. The goal will be to maintain our own humanity as we are forced to deal with such people.




The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

My previous reviews for this series can be accessed by clicking the links below:



06 November, 2014

Television Casting Producer May Be Seeking You

I was recently contacted by a New York-based television casting producer, seeking out individuals who might be interested in participating in an upcoming project. What they are looking for, specifically, is someone living in a remote location with one or more animals as companions. The animal can be domesticated or wild, and the animal need not be the individual's only companion. The goal of the project will be to explore the unique lifestyles and relationships that form when an animal becomes a companion, protector, and even a hunter.

"Do you primarily live alone, with only your pet - whether domesticated or wild - to keep you company? Have you trained your pet to help your everyday survival in unique ways? 

Whether you have a dog, wolf or even a falcon - if this is the way you live your life, we'd love to hear your story. 

The main focus is finding people living with an animal - hopefully in a remote location (it's okay if they don't live by themselves)."

If any of you readers think this sounds like you and would be interested in participating, email me with the details and I would be glad to pass it along.

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If you enjoyed this article, feel free to check out the rest of the site, and please consider subscribing to the blog via email by placing your email address in the sign-up box on the right-hand sidebar of the screen.

05 November, 2014

Stove Lite: A Kickstarter Campaign That Looks Like It Could Be Worthwhile for Preppers / Survivalists

Being an active member of the thriving Prepper / Survivalist subculture as well as running a site like Backwoods Survival Blog (in addition to private consulting), means that I am always on the lookout for any kind of new emergency preparedness product. These are the kind of things that act as force multipliers, ensuring that we are all better prepared and able to survive more comfortably, while burning as few precious calories as possible and reducing stress on off-grid alternate energy systems. So, with that in mind, allow me to share one with you that I received in my email recently.

The Stove Lite is an LED lantern that sits on top of your woodstove. It powers itself by converting the heat generated by the fire into energy to light the LED bulbs. In addition, it has built-in circulating fans that will help to push the heat from your woodstove throughout your dwelling. The unit also has an external charging port that will allow you to keep it fully charged via grid power or your alternate energy system, so that it is ready to go immediately in a blackout or any other emergency. It even has a USB port that will allow you to charge your smart phone or other small devices directly from it.

What's more, as the unit is charging itself from the heat generated by your stove, the brightness of the LED light can actually act as a guide for you regarding just how hot your fire is burning. In other words, if the light begins to dim considerably or the circulating fans slow/stop, then it probably means it's time to stoke the fire!

Be advised: it looks like this is a Kickstarter campaign, rather than something you can just order. In other words, reserving your unit is how they are raising the capital they need to start their business and begin production. As a result, no one can really speak as to the quality of the finished product, but it's an interesting concept I thought worthy of sharing with my readers. They are asking $109 for the "Basic" unit and $149 for the fully featured "Pro" model, so if you consider ordering be sure to follow the links and read what you're getting before you sink any of your money into anything.

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04 November, 2014

Contrary to What Some May Seem to Think, the Threat of Ebola Has Not Passed

Recently, mentions of the recent Ebola outbreak here in the U.S. have slowly begun fading into the background of the media Zeitgeist. It is still mentioned, of course, but it is less and less being concentrated upon as the country begins to calm down somewhat. The problem with that, though, is that the possible future threat caused by this contagion has not yet completely passed, and, even if it does pass us by without turning into a full-blown pandemic, there are many things for us to learn from the way this entire debacle has played out on the global stage.

First and foremost, the disease should never have even spread outside of Africa. Everyone knows that the reason it flourishes there is because much of Africa is made up of small economically downtrodden communities that lack a proper public health infrastructure. That's why it tends to get stamped out more easily when it pops up in Europe or here in the United States. We simply have better systems in place to deal with the problems. But, the fact that it ever spread at all is a failure. An ounce of intervention with respect to public health in these African communities could easily have quelled the the outbreak before it became so serious, and restrictions on travel visas / air travel (and, truly, travel of any kind) from these countries would have gone a long way toward nipping this thing in the bud.

Meanwhile, those of us keeping tabs have witnessed the government doing an unbelievably poor job of handling this outbreak thus far. Never mind the fact that infected individuals were allowed to return home where it was possible for them to infect others, but we also have proof now by way of testimony before Congress that the Department of Homeland Security completely dropped the ball with respect to pandemic preparedness. Basically, they just spent a bunch of money on "stuff" like some lunatic newbie Prepper with more money than sense. No assessment was made beforehand of what would actually be needed or how it would be distributed, and half of it is now expired sitting on government warehouse shelves. Idiocy.

And, in the thick of all of that, it's actually becoming a thing to openly defy the idea of even quarantining people who have been confirmed to have been exposed to the disease until after the period of incubation has passed. You know, so they don't just run around infecting other people while they're having a latte in the mall food court. Maybe I'm an idiot, but that sounds pretty elementary to me. Yet, the whole idea is being criticized, our Idiot-in-Chief is admonishing state-level officials against enforcing quarantines in their own jurisdictions, people are openly defying quarantine orders, and – maybe worst of all – the sons of bitches are actually making me agree with Piers Morgan. Which is, needless to say, enough to drive me up a wall.

But, what is worst of all is the fact that the American people and – in fact – those on the world stage have been utterly misled regarding the future threat of an Ebola pandemic. I have highlighted the many disturbing inconsistencies previously here on Backwoods Survival Blog, but it just seems to keep getting worse and worse. We were told for the longest time that the only way to contract this deadly and virulent contagion was through "direct contact" with an infected individual that involved their bodily fluids, but that is simply not the case anymore.

As I have stated many times, they are essentially playing fast-and-loose with the terminology in an effort to curb panic and mislead people. They will talk until they are out of breath, doing their absolute best to convince you that the disease is not "airborne," while actively downplaying the fact that they now openly admit it can be spread through droplets in the air or upon surfaces. So, it's possible you could be essentially screwed if someone who is infected coughs or sneezes around you or if you are sufficiently unlucky to be the person who touches a doorknob after they do. But, remember, it's not "airborne," so everything is okay. If you believe them, that is. Oh, and we now know that disease particles can live on surfaces for damn near two months in low temperature conditions. You know, like in winter, which just so happens to be bearing down on us!

And every last bit of that is stuff that the supposed "experts" assured us wasn't possible and accused people of being fear mongers every time it was mentioned. Keep that in the back of your skull the next time you are tempted to believe the crap they try to feed us. The sad truth is that it isn't in these people's best interests for any of us to really know how bad it could be. Better we remain uninformed and docile.

My consistent and continuing advice to everyone is to continue being persistent about emergency preparedness with respect to preparing for a future pandemic. Even if Ebola turns out not to become that serious of an issue, it is a known fact that we will eventually face a deadly pandemic in the future. Preparing now only means you will be more prepared when that time comes.

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