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30 April, 2013

MOVIE REVIEW: "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World" (2012)

It's a fairly unusual move, but this week I'm going to review a comedy–drama film that, believe it or not, still manages to qualify as a Doomer Fiction / disaster film as well. "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World" (2012) Blu-ray (DVD version) begins with the main character listening to a radio announcement of the impending impact of a 70 mile wide asteroid and the destruction of the space shuttle Deliverance that had been sent to try to divert it. Considering the one that wiped out all of the dinosaurs was only 10 miles in diameter and still managed to pack a punch 2 million times more powerful than our strongest atomic bombs, this is bad news for mankind. There's your backdrop.

What follows is a funny, sweet, and sometimes sad tale of people's reactions to their impending shared demise. You see rioters and violence, as expected, while others simply throw all caution to the wind and start doing crazy things like getting together and having wild sex parties and doing heroin. Still others spend the time trying to correct past mistakes and put their broken lives back together before the end. All in all, a very decent movie.


One of my favorite things about this movie is that it actually paid off on the promise it made. It began with talk of a failed mission to divert the asteroid, very much like the ones seen in the films "Armageddon" and "Deep impact." Then, in the end, Superman did not fly in reverse around the planet to turn back time. The impact actually occurs and, though we do not know if the world ended, it definitely seems to have ended for the main characters. It's sad, but, at the same time, such a bittersweet ending with them finally being together is so much better as a payoff then some last minute miracle that cheapens the whole thing.

Also, we do get a small dose of some Survivalist / Prepper types, who are planning to survive the impact inside a bunker that looks suspiciously like a basement under their garage. The guy claims the walls are 12 inch thick titanium and they have enough food to live comfortably under ground for 6 months. To his credit, I did spy glimpses of what appeared to be cases of canned soups and calorie-rich peanut butter (a very good survival food). Oh, and a satellite phone and "a lot of guns and a lot of potato chips."

What I did not see was anything that resembled buckets of staple foods, such as wheat, oats, rice, beans, etc.; or how they intend to heat, cook, or run the video game console they intend to use for entertainment once the power goes out. Likewise, they have a hilariously privacy-devoid toilet, but there is no mention of how they intend to handle waste disposal. Probably the most glaring problem I can see is that there were no large water tanks or or barrels visible, so unless they're stupid enough to think they can still depend on the water mains, then something is amiss either in their planning or in the writing.

Perhaps the most curious thing is that they have a fleet of hybrid Smart Cars in the backyard, I suppose because gasoline will be difficult to come by post-impact, but I'm thinking they're expressing a bit more faith in the idea that there will still be passable, intact roads after the world has been burnt to a crisp by the firestorm created by the impact. Also, their fleet of little cars are not likely to fare well either out their in the backyard under no cover whatsoever. Methinks those were a waste of funds.

What the need are all-terrain vehicles, parked under a stout cover. Something like these:

Guest Post: The Importance of Planning - Part 3

Previous articles in this series by author Allen Currie:

The Importance of Planning - Part 1
The Importance of Planning - Part 2

As I outlined in my previous articles, I researched every combination of events I could think of, both “natural” (eg weather) and manmade. Once I established what I thought MIGHT happen, I could then prepare a reasonable response. I spent five years in this research.

On the “natural events” side it was pretty clear to me that weather, and other things like solar flares, would be significant in my survival. With that in mind I started studying where in the world weather might be modified to lesser extremes. There were a number of candidates. As I said, I loved the idea of the west coast of North America as a go-to-ground, but changed my mind. One of the most significant modifiers are largish bodies of water such as the Great Lakes. Not really large enough to CREATE weather, but large enough to modify it. Proximity to the Great Lakes turned out to be key in my final selection. During the dirty, dustbowl 30’s, there was adequate precipitation in some areas, particularly where a currently existing warm weather zone poked its nose up from the US into Canada. The second reason I loved this area was that there existed millions of acres of undeveloped wilderness, satisfying my need for maximum isolation from the maddened crowds. Unfortunately, it was all crown land with no purchases allowed.

Show me a politician who doesn’t have a favorite job creation program, and I will show you a dead politician. All one has to do is show that one is creating or potentially creating jobs, plus follow the inane paperwork and rules attached to the project. Most jurisdictions look to mineral rights, so I will use that example.

In this jurisdiction you buy a prospector's license ($25 and a valid – at the time - address.) plus staking tags (25 cents or $1 each, I forget. Four needed per 400 metre on a side claim. – you can stake up to one square mile of claims in one place). Get your hands on a map of locations open for staking. Every Department of Natural Resources – whatever it is called – has one, often on the net. Cross compare available spaces with a detailed topographical map. If I were doing it, I would look for slightly hilly terrain with swampy areas in the valleys. Say with a beaver dam (which indicates both precipitation and running fresh(ish) water). The area above the dam, now or recently covered with water, will be quite flat, and GOOD soil. Kill off the beavers, or let the wolves do it for you. You now have a ready-made growing area as the beaver pond drains. After picking out two or three potentially good areas on the maps, you have to get to the area to view it personally. Detailed topographical maps usually show trails, fire access roads, and things like skidoo trails. With an ATV or 4-wheel drive vehicle, you can usually drive in. Remember, you are going to have to make some kind of road from where you can drive to, to your camp-site.

Survey out your claim, stake it and register it (cost about $28 per 400 metre claim). Now, get an occupancy permit. Don’t know at what cost, but not very significant. Here you can “camp” on crown land anywhere without an occupancy permit, but you have to move your camp every 21 days by at least 100 metres. The permit removes the obligation to move. Still, here, you may not have a “permanent” structure. Any structure MUST be mobile, i.e. hitch-up and move it. Break ANY ONE of their rules and they can turf you out.

Now you are in a position to be able to haul in (by dozer, etc) say a 40 foot steel ocean-going container as living quarters. It is very difficult to modify the container way back in the bush with no electricity, etc., so have skids welded to the container and holes for windows cut back in civilization when you buy it. Ask me, I made that mistake. It is easy to haul in some 2X4’s, some chipboard, painted for interior walls, some quality insulation (which is one of the few modern devices I am allowing myself to use on an ongoing basis, because it has such a long life), one or more wood stoves (I paid $175 for two), a dry composting toilet (scrounged at the dump). I have no problem using modern, labor saving devices on a one-time basis, but my first goal is to be self sufficient e.g. I don’t object to using modern equipment to break land, but I want to be able to hand or horse till it. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best).

Now, I have a cosy (I can easily roast myself out on the coldest days) habitation, which -- with a few defensive measures -- will be a pretty tough nut to crack should a roving group of bandits actually find me. I do expect to be found about twice a year, once by bad guys and once by friendlies, which I may be able to add to my community.

There are a myriad of regulations which can be a pain or a godsend depending on how you use them. Here, to maintain the claim you must do $400 per year of work on each claim (and make appropriate filings), BUT you can do $800 and bank $400 for next year. The numbers were made-up way back when $400 was a months wage. A single grizzled old prospector had to work almost all year to support 10 claims. Today one can claim work at $200 per day, so you can bank a lot. Rather than use man-hours to inspect, they require photos and samples of what you found. Read the regulations carefully. So, two days digging to get rock samples per claim gets you through the year. No taxes or other costs required. Free rent, legally, and very few direct costs otherwise.

My novel, “Operation Phoenix” available in download, free sample read, and hard copy at www.AllenCurrie.ca takes a different location, but the same economic disaster I envisage and uses the same type of logic to cope with that downfall.

More to come soon.

Allen Currie

29 April, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: "Urban Preppers with Kids, Pets & Parents; Disaster Survival for the Family" by James G. Mushen

This week's book review will concern a nonfiction title: "Urban Preppers with Kids, Pets & Parents; Disaster Survival for the Family" by James G. Mushen (Kindle edition).  Geared toward its audience of the everyday urban/suburban individual (the majority of the population) with a beginner or intermediate level knowledge of Survivalism / Prepping, this book makes for a worthy addition -- in my opinion -- to the general compendium of emergency preparedness information available.

It is well-written, easy to understand, and covers a great deal of information in such a way that is not likely to bog down the reader.  And, when I say it covers a "great deal of information," I'm not kidding -- we're talking about a tome of just under 500 pages of useful emergency preparedness info.

Be advised: this is not a book that is going to teach you how to survive in the event of a long-term Black Swan societal collapse -type event where folks will be murdering each other for gasoline and Coca-Cola Mad Max-style.  What it will do, however, is help you get prepared for the much more mundane, yet much more likely-to-occur scenarios, and it will do so using everyday language (very light on jargon) in short chapters that are quick to read.  These self-contained chapters can continue to be accessed later as reference material.  Very useful.  The specific attention devoted to how best to assist and take care of pets, the elderly, and folks with disabilities in an emergency situation was a particularly nice touch.

Guest Post: Survival Clothing for Outdoor Emergencies

Perhaps you are someone who enjoys camping, or maybe you like to spend a lot of time going on excavations and other outdoor journeys. Whatever the case may be, it's important to know the type of clothing you will need for outdoor emergencies.

Layering Your Clothes

Image courtesy of Care2.com
You absolutely want to make sure you have clothes that can be used for layering. For example, some thermal shirts and leggings are always good for layering. If the weather gets really cold, you are going to be a lot warmer if you put on several layers, rather than just one piece of heavy clothing. Layering really helps to keep the cold out and to keep heat nice and close to your body.

Water-Resistant Clothes

Image courtesy of Strikehold.net
Outdoor emergencies might also mean a lot of rain or other precipitation. Therefore, it is important for you to have clothes that will fight against these types of issues. A poncho is a smart idea for sure, and you absolutely want to make sure you have waterproof boots. If the ground is saturated, your feet are going to get wet very quickly. Once your feet are wet, your entire body might start to feel too tired and uncomfortable to stand up against the outdoor emergency you are experiencing. Look into other types of waterproof clothes that are available.

Warm, Warm, Warm

Image courtesy of Washington Preppers Network
One of the worst things that could happen is that you are stranded somewhere, and the temperatures start to drop below the freezing point. Now, your body could easily succumb to hypothermia, and you could perish as a result. Therefore, you want to make sure you have plenty of warm clothes with you, and scarves, gloves and hats are just a few of the option. Of course, overheating can be quite dangerous as well. This goes back to the idea of layering. If you have a lot of layers on, then you are able to appropriately respond to the weather conditions as they ebb and flow throughout the day.

The Constriction Factor

Another problem you could face is if your clothes are too tight or too loose. Now, generally, you do not want them to be either of these. Loose clothes can be extremely dangerous however. Let's say that you are in an escape situation, and you are racing through an area to get away from some sort of danger. Your clothes could get snagged on a tree branch or some other sort of danger. Not only might you be held back in your pursuit of safety, but you could also be seriously injured. In some cases, the force with which you are pulled could be enough to hang you and actually cause death.

Quite a vast number of outdoor emergencies could raise. Being unpredictable is essentially the core of an emergency. However, if you suspect that a certain type of situation might come in the near future, you should start looking into different types of clothes that could help to keep you safe in such a situation.

Author Pam Johnson is a professional in the Public Health system who works with the FDA to make sure food is always at its best. She obtained her Online Bachelor's in Public Health.

28 April, 2013

Gueat Post: Top Tips for Preventing Mosquito-Borne Viruses This Spring

Spring brings with it warm temperatures and rain. With that rain, there is usually an abundance of standing water near homes and places of business. This is a lavish breeding ground for mosquitoes. The best way to prevent mosquito-borne viruses from becoming overwhelming problems in later months this spring and summer is to take simple measures now.

Early Spring Check

What I don’t like about spring!
As the weather warms up, most people enjoy having an opportunity to enjoy the wonderful warm days and cool night air. Before we begin using air conditioning, we enjoy opening our windows and breathing in the springtime freshness.

With that in mind, it is important to take some time to carefully inspect window and door screens. Be sure they are closely woven and without any holes or tears that will allow mosquitoes to enter your home.

Weekly Clean Up

This is the time to take action. Each week, homeowners should walk their property looking for and removing any standing water. Rain can accumulate in things like old tires, clogged gutters, wheelbarrows, and flowerpots. Remove these items from your yard or simply turn them upside down to keep water from entering them.

Stay Covered

The evil mosquito – she’s small but powerful!
Obviously, if you don’t get bitten by a mosquito, you don’t have to worry about mosquito-borne viruses. Prevention of mosquito bites is the best way to reduce your risk.

Keeping covered up will help protect you from bites. It’s a good idea to wear long pants, socks, and long sleeves. Insect repellent is also recommended. In fact, some experts say it is best to stay indoors during the times that mosquitoes are more active.

According to the New York State Department of Health, although some mosquitoes will feed at anytime of the day or night, others are most active between dusk and dawn.

Mosquito-Borne Viruses

La Crosse Encephalitis Virus: Initial symptoms of La Crosse Encephalitis Virus infection include nausea, vomiting, fever, tiredness, and headache. The disease can include paralysis and seizures. Specific treatments and care are based on symptoms exhibited. Most severe infections usually occur in children and teens under 16 years of age.

West Nile Virus: West Nile Virus is a potentially very serious infection that can include several severe symptoms, some of which can be permanent. Symptoms can include everything from body aches and neck stiffness to convulsions, vision loss, and paralysis. However, most people never experience any symptoms.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus: Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus is rare in the United States, and most infected persons report no symptoms. On the other hand, severe cases usually begin with chills, a high fever, headache, and vomiting. Treatment is based on symptoms.

Wrapping Things Up

The takeaway of this information is basically this:

1. Mosquitoes breed in water

2. Remove any standing water from your yard

3. Your home should be sealed to ensure mosquitoes cannot enter

4. Protect yourself from mosquito bites by staying indoors, covering up, or using a repellent

Vanilla extract – the simple solution.
One more quick tip: You can use regular vanilla extract as a mosquito repellent. Just apply it to your wrists and other pulse points. This is a cheap way to repel mosquitoes. You’ll smell good, and it’s a lot safer than using some of the products that are based on chemicals.

Please share any tips or ideas you have about ways to help repel mosquitoes or other pests.

Debbie Allen, a freelance writer, online marketer, and blogger, often writes about off-the-wall topics. She enjoys writing about everything from DIY home remedies and decorating ideas to online marketing strategies.

27 April, 2013

Gueat Post: 11 Plants to Keep Away Pests – Naturally

Gardening is a fun and economical way to produce your own food and to landscape your lawn. But there are garden pests that can take away from that fun and eventually destroy the beauty of that creative work. These pests can turn a pleasurable hobby into an expensive and dreaded chore.

Why You Should Avoid Chemical Defenses

Gardening should be fun – and pest-free!
We can either fight these pests with the use of harsh chemicals or we can choose more natural options, such as that of adding plants that will help deter pests. Obviously, chemical defenses are designed to work. However, they do come with some risks.

When you poison one lower level of the food chain in your yard – certain small insects, for example – you will make your yard less attractive to birds and other beneficial, natural predators of pests. This creates an endless cycle that leads to the ongoing need for chemicals.

Scents Matter

It’s important to know that when it comes to garden pests, scents do matter. That is, some garden pests, like deer, are apprehensive of strong fragrances.

With that in mind, it is sometimes possible to protect your garden by simply adding plants that have strong scents. Some gardeners even use innovative tricks like staking bars of soap to posts throughout the garden. Other ideas include planting fragrant plants, such as oregano and basil, next to those that are not so fragrant. This can create a sort of shield for the non-fragrant plants.

Passive Defenses

A few garden pests can ruin your hard work.
Planting defensively is perhaps the easiest way to defend your garden from troublesome garden pests. But because this can require more time than other options, it is important to carefully consider your preferences and needs before you begin.

Start by learning about the plants you will have in your garden. Find out what pests typically invade those plants. The next step is doing research into what plants can repel those specific pests.

Below, you will find a list of 11 garden plants that can be used to help deter common garden pests. Although this is a nice starter list, you may need to do additional research to find the exact solution for your particular needs.
1. Artemisia – This plant has a strong fragrance that can deter most small animals and repel insects.
2. Basil – Basil is a fragrant plant that can help to deter mosquitoes and flies.
3. Catnip – Catnip helps repel ants, flea beetles, Japanese beetles, aphids, weevils, and squash bugs.
4. Chives – Chives help deter carrot rust flies and Japanese beetles.
5. Dahlias – Dahlias are known for repelling nematodes.
6. Dill – Dill helps to repel squash bugs, spider mites, and aphids.
7. Garlic – Garlic helps to repel snails, carrot root flies, root maggots, codling moths, Japanese beetles, and aphids.
8. Lavender – Lavender is ideal for repelling moths and fleas.
9. Marigolds – Marigolds are excellent insect repellent plants. They repel nematodes, whiteflies, and more.
10. Nasturtiums – Nasturtiums can help deter cucumber beetles, squash bugs, whiteflies, and wooly aphids.
11. Petunias – Petunias are not only beautiful, they can also help repel tomato worms, asparagus beetles, leafhoppers, aphids, and other garden pests.

Invite Insects into Your Garden

It should be remembered that while some garden insects are considered pests, others are beneficial. Examples of beneficial garden bugs include ladybugs and praying mantis.

In most cases, if you choose plants that are native to the area you live in, the beneficial garden bugs will naturally be a part of your garden. Plus, because the plants are ‘at home,’ they are likely to thrive. There are even some plants that tend to attract the beneficial garden bugs.

The more you work with nature, the less real work you will have. Make gardening fun and pest-free, but do it in a natural way.

Debbie Allen is a professional writer and online marketer who writes about all sorts of topics, including things like how to choose gutter sizes, DIY spa recipes, working at home issues, and gardening topics.

Image courtesy of dan and papaija2008 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

26 April, 2013

Guest Post: GMO - What Does it Mean, and Why Should We Be Outraged?

What’s for dinner tonight?
In recent months, there’s been a lot of talk about GMO. But there is still some confusion about what the acronym stands for and what the term really means. GMO, or Genetically Modified Organism, is the term used to describe any food product, plant, or animal that has been altered at the gene level.

Other terms used to describe genetically modified foods include genetically altered, genetically engineered, and/or genetically manipulated. In essence, genetically modified foods come in three classifications: The genes are either mutated, deleted, or the modification is accomplished through the insertion of genes.

The Basic Facts

Put simply, GM (genetically modified) foods have been modified or ‘customized’ in some fashion in a lab in an effort to enhance certain traits. These enhanced traits may refer to such things as increased nutritional value or an improved resistance to drought tolerance.

An example of how this process is used is with the bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis, or B.t. This is a natural bacterium that is lethal to insect larvae. Corn is often injected with B.t., which makes it possible for corn to effectively protect itself from insects. This helps eliminate the need for chemical pesticides and also reduces the cost of corn production.

More Information

Many people have concerns about the long term effects of GM foods – and for good reason. According to information found at Food Matters, a position paper from the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) stated that studies indicate there are serious health risks associated with these foods.

The risks mentioned include accelerated aging, immune problems, and even infertility. The paper says the connection between adverse health effects and GM foods is much more than a casual association; it is described as “causation.”

You Are What You Eat

Tests provide evidence that GM foods are not safe.
We’ve all heard that our health depends on what we eat. Nowadays it is becoming increasingly common for doctors to prescribe GM-free diets.

The more you learn about GM-fed experimental animals, the scarier the situation becomes. For example, in a study that fed GM soy to some rats and natural soy to a control group, the babies of those fed GM soy died within three weeks of birth. In comparison, the control group had a 10% death rate.

One of the major problems with GM foods is that there haven’t been enough long-term studies. However, the ones that have been completed provide little reason for the average person to confidently say the foods are safe.

Why You Should Care

Information found at Food Matters confirms that even after GM food is no longer being consumed, it is possible to have harmful GM proteins continually being produced and living inside of you. This is because the GM soy that contains the modified gene is transferred into human DNA. It continues to live and function in the bacteria of our intestines.

AAEM claims that GM foods not only pose a serious health risk, but also, they have not been thoroughly tested. Although everyone wants ways to produce better quality crops that will grow quickly and take up less space, the health and safety of consumers must come first.

Obviously, at this time, the people who are responsible for engineering GM foods have lost sight of that. And that is why you should be outraged about GMO.

Debbie Allen writes about everything from marketing strategies and online reputation management to self-development and the Law of Attraction, health and wellness, and issues related to working at home. 

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane and bigjom at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Guest Post: Protect Yourself With A Spy Cam

I agreed to publish the following guest submission under our "security" and "technology" categories, even though it is geared toward professionals attempting to safeguard themselves again false allegations of abuse and other wrongdoing; because I believe the basic information within can have utility for our purposes. Survival is about more than just "beans, bullets and Band-Aids." It can also be about protecting yourself and your property from threats, whether physical or in the form of accusations with the potential of destroying one's life, family, and/or livelihood, or getting you sued for everything you're worth. Protecting ourselves from such allegations is a prudent form of Prepping.

Many people that work in the human service professions feel the need for increased security. There is a real and warranted fear among many practitioners that they could lose their livelihoods and licenses due to a fabricated story from an angry client. A number of mental health professionals are rightfully concerned that they could be charged with serious allegations of child abuse or sexual advances after providing services behind closed doors. Medical malpractice insurance can only do so much. Even if the allegations or charges were eventually dropped, professionals should be rightfully concerned about being potentially “blacklisted” in a certain community or state. Instead of hoping that no false allegations are made after acting as a mental health service provider to an unhappy client, take active measures to protect yourself.

How to protect yourself from false allegations

Investing in a spy cam is a great option for practitioners and clinicians who are concerned about what might be said about what happened behind closed doors. Spy cameras have evolved from what people typically think they might be. You can invest in a spy camera that looks like a watch or pen if you want a portable option to take to numerous venues. There are other types of cameras that look exactly like a typical digital clock or smoke detector. As is said, a picture is worth a thousand words. Nothing can beat a “he said she said” allegation better than video evidence.

Why many mental health professionals should take active measures

Many licensed mental health professionals do not have the luxury of choosing clients due to their places of employment. For example, a school counselor or school psychologist in a high school is typically given a caseload of teenagers to work with. Similarly, counselors and psychologists who work in group homes do not get to pick which clients they would like to work with. A number of people who seek (or are ordered to seek) treatment for mental health issues have Axis II disorders, also known as personality disorders. Axis II disorders are typically characterized by negative personality traits that are severe enough to negatively impact the life of the individual and the lives of others. Mental health professionals need to be especially proactive when working with these populations as their disorders are largely characterized by lying and lashing out in anger.

How a spy camera can help

In most states, it is required that all mental health professionals provide patients with a consent form that includes how to report any incidents to the proper licensing agencies. Many mental health professionals in private practice refuse to work with people with a history of diagnosed Axis II disorders as they fear for their livelihoods. Sadly, those diagnosed with a personality disorder often can benefit the most from talk therapy. Instead of refusing to provide services, all professionals should take proactive measures to keep themselves safe in the event of an allegation. Rather than being afraid after reading the file of a teenager new to one’s caseload, invest in a discrete spy camera. Go out and save the world. Just make sure that you are safe while doing it.

Author bio: This article was provided by Paul of brickhousesecurity.com, the premier website to go for more information on spy camera glasses technology.

25 April, 2013

Guest Post: Family Dynamic - Raising Pre-Teens with a Community Mentality

I accepted the following guest submission for publication here on Backwoods Survival Blog, due to the fact that I believe its subject matter – while specifically referencing an amicable divorce situation – could actually apply to individuals living in a survival retreat or remote homesteading scenario, either pre- or post-collapse. Read it and feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Although children begin needing less maintenance in certain aspects as they get older, they still require guidance and understanding. Before you know it, they will begin asserting themselves and making their own decisions that don't normally follow the same path you tried to lay out for them. It can be quite strenuous on any family let alone a single parent.

Adopting a sociological method between parents can be very beneficial for any household that has been split up due to divorce. In our situation, my ex-partner had my three boys while myself and my current partner have two girls and a son. As my ex-partner and I work relatively close together, we melded the households into a single parenting unit consisting of four adults and all six children. As my ex-partner’s new partner is coincidentally one of my good friends for the past 18 years, we all spend a great deal of time together anyway.

All six children are raised by two house-holds working together to form a cohesive and supportive unit. Each adult supports the decisions of the others to help guide the development of all the children consisting of four points of view. Seems like a convoluted development, but it actually worked surprisingly well for all six of the children.

1. Reinforcement - Rules are discussed by the parents and a common behavior is established between both households. There is no such thing as, "well, mom let me do it" when the adults are in sync. Rules and structure are supported by all of the adults and a democratic mindset reinforces consequences and praises. We treat praising our children within the home very important as positive reinforcement can accomplish a great deal within the development of a child.

2. Meetings - Twice a month, all ten family members are under one roof through the weekend. This gives us a chance to discuss matters as a family as we hold regular "family meetings." The children have a few minutes before hand to complete lists of situations that they would like to discuss with the rest of the family. There is a rule that we have in place where anything can be discussed in a meeting and there will be no consequences regarding such. If the parents are doing something that the children don't approve of, it can be brought up without fear of judgment in any way. These meetings provide a method for all ten of us to develop ourselves and each other. If an adult is behaving in a manner contrary to what the children believe should be established, it is discussed in these meetings where further explanation can be offered to our children as to why an action is conducted. This also helps us develop as parents as the children can express how they feel due to the actions of the parents and how we can improve ourselves as parents as well.

3. External Involvement - Our dynamic isn't an introverted one. We involve ourselves within the community and the school district as much as possible. It is a demonstration of how well a community can develop if everyone involved does their part in order to accomplish set goals. As we live in a rural area, we involve ourselves greatly into the development and maintenance of our local school. By including the children in this activity, they can see firsthand of the importance of working together regardless of family values or religious beliefs. By working as a unit, we are stronger than by being alone. Being the "lone-wolf" isn't always the most productive choice.

No one is saying that a single parent can't raise a child to be an upstanding citizen. However, there are benefits to involving yourself and your child into a community atmosphere where you can receive the benefits and wisdom of other parents. Although you may not be able to stabilize a dynamic such as my own, there may be other ways to include your family in the activities of others and become more sociable. The benefits may be greater than you can anticipate.

Author Bio
Nancy Parker was a professional nanny and she loves to write about wide range of subjects like health, Parenting, Child Care, Babysitting, nanny, www.enannysource.com/ etc. You can reach her @ nancy.parker015 @ gmail.com.

Guest Post: Places Not to Store Food During a Survival Situation

From natural disasters to extreme weather conditions, many people have experienced extreme survival situations. One of the biggest concerns is about how individuals are going to get food during these times. When you are preparing, what are some of the places where you should absolutely not store food?


While you might think that an outdoor place is the perfect spot, the food might get totally ruined by the storm. Furthermore, think about what is going to happen if you literally cannot get outside of your home or if it is simply too dangerous to do so. Animals might also find a way to get into the food. In addition to hungry animals, people might be wandering around looking for places to get food.

Tight, Hot Places

Part of your survival instinct might be to hide the food from everyone else and try to cram it into a tiny closet or behind a number of items on the shelves. Now, if the items are non-perishables, this idea might not be a terrible one. However, the containers could still be rather warm, and the food may need to cool down a little bit. Of course, you do not want to put a cooler or something of that nature into a hot space with a lot of sunlight as the food could certainly get warm.

The Fridge

Of course, you might be thinking that the fridge is the perfect place to store food. If you are going to be without power for an extensive time, however, then this idea is not going to work so well. Some of the items might keep in the freezer as long as you are not opening and closing the door. However, eventually, all of the food in the freezer is going to spoil as well. Anything that requires power to run properly is not an ideal place to store food in a survival situation if you need to keep it for the long term.

High Damage Areas

It's also not too smart to store food in places that are most likely to be damaged from the storm. For example, let's say that some serious floods are expected to come through your area. Get all of the food out of the basement! Not only does it have a chance of being ruined, but even if it's okay, you probably won't be able to get down there. In the event that a tornado is coming through the area, you want to move any food that you need away from the second floor in case the winds were to destroy the top layer of your house. Think practically about what weather is coming.

So many different survival situations exist, and you need to really consider what it is that you are going to encounter. It is so important to make sure that you have food, and buying plenty of non-perishables is wise. Even if you wind up having to eat black beans and cold soups for some time, at least you will be nourished.

Author Pam Johnson is a professional in the Public Health system who works with the FDA to make sure food is always at its best. She obtained her Online BS in Public Health.

24 April, 2013

Guest Post: General Survival 101

Contrary to what you might think, classic Swiss army knives are actually an extremely versatile and worthwhile tool for those who are trying to survive in the wilderness, and they’re quite good for emergency situations.  Never underestimate the power of any particular tool you can find or fashion, particular sharp objects such as knives, because they can mean the difference between life and death.

Before doing anything in the wilderness, be advised that you must pay attention to the weather and heed it if need be.  This means that you should always be careful about being too cold or too warm.  Anything below forty degrees Fahrenheit is generally considered “cold” so your first task is to create kindling for a fire.

On the other hand, if the days are quite warm – usually anything above eighty degrees Fahrenheit – you should stay as cool as possible during the day and wait until nightfall to begin working or walking.  Not following these simple guidelines could cause you some serious health problems because of the inclement weather.

Once you’ve determined that the weather is okay for what you’ve set out to do, immediately begin searching for water.  Not staying hydrated will ultimately be your biggest downfall as it’s something many people neglect, even though the human body can only survive three days without replenishment.  Finding water may not be easy, but remember to always keep moving downward just as water would travel.  Use your knife to dig into the ground or dislodge rocks to see if you can find any sources.  Editor's Note: Take care that you are carrying a quality knife with a full tang that extends all the way down through the grip; otherwise, extraneous pressure could snap the blade clean off.  Also, this may blunt the edge of even a quality tool, so be sure to carry the means to sharpen the blade as part of your survival gear.

Following the trail of water is also how you will eventually get your path back to the city or town you once originated from.  Most places aren’t far from lakes, rivers, or ponds, so if you find one of them, follow it until you can’t follow it anymore.

When you eventually find water, take some of the muddy soil around it and have a little bit of a mud bath with it.  This mud creates a thin layer on the skin that will protect it against cuts, scrapes, certain types of bugs, and the UV rays from the sunlight.  This is very important, so don’t bypass it.  If you have a jar or canteen, you could use your knife to dig some of the deeper mud up and keep it with you.

If you find yourself about to head directly into a rainstorm, you’ll need to find shelter.  Most of the time, you aren’t going to find anything immediately available to you, unless you’re near caverns or canyons, and, even then, it’s ill advised to travel inside of them just to get out of the rain.  They both have the potential to trap you inside.

Instead, grab some wood – preferably logs, although find whatever you can at that point, and use your knife to fashion it into workable pieces – to make a small shelter with lot of leaves on top.  The recommended amount of leaves is somewhere between three and five feet as that is when you’ll find most of the rain water being blocked out.

Remember that you can eat pretty much anything you want as long as it looks like it could be eaten.  A good rule of thumb for this is to ask yourself if your cat would eat it.   If your cat would turn its nose up at it, you probably should too, because it’s either infected with something or possibly rotten.  Editor's Note: Cats sometimes won't eat vegetation, even though a lot of it is okay for us to eat as humans.  That said, don't eat anything that you haven't researched as safe, which you should be doing before you ever leave.  Many wild plants are perfectly safe to eat, while others are poisonous and could cause illness, even if not deadly.  When in doubt, don't put it in your mouth.  The average human being can go up to three weeks without food.  Missing a few meals won't kill you.  If hunger pangs become an issue, drink extra water to fill your stomach.

Surviving in the wilderness is tough, but ultimately the most important thing you need to remember is to follow the water trail.  Water is going to be your source of salvation, and as long as you stick to some simple suggestions as you follow that path, you should be okay.

23 April, 2013

MOVIE REVIEW: "28 Weeks Later" (2007)

This Tuesday's film review settles on "28 Weeks Later" (2007) [Blu-ray] (DVD version).  It goes without saying that this film is the sequel to 2002's "28 Days Later," which I reviewed last week; and, in this reviewer's opinion, stands as just as worthy of a film as its predecessor, if perhaps for different reasons.  This sequel is, most assuredly, glossier and better looking, having been made with a much higher budget and a more mainstream, established cast of actors.  Where it suffers, in comparison to the earlier film, is that the writing is perhaps not quite as good.  It is also more violent and gory, so you should heed that warning if you are a person who is sensitive to such things.

I spoke at length in the previous review as to why I believe zombie fiction is an appropriate subject for us to concentrate on and discuss in Survivalist / Prepper circles, so I won't rehash all of that again.  Suffice it to say that I consider any story that involves the collapse of society and people having to survive in an environment where there are dangers at virtually every turn to be proper subject matter for us, even if it technically is more of a horror story.  Further, I would argue that these two films barely qualify as falling under the zombie fiction sub-genre of horror anyway: the "zombies" in these films are not zombies at all.  They are not undead creatures returned from the grave.  Rather, they are typical everyday people who have become infected with a sickness known as the Rage Virus.  In my mind, that makes it even all the more terrifying, because it isn't some supernatural threat – they're just people who have gone crazy and turned uber-violent.  They are basically no different than packs of dogs who have severe cases of rabies, but can also run full speed on two legs and open doors, et cetera.

Considering that I previously wrote an article, explaining how a so-called "zombie apocalypse" could actually happen if a certain existing illness mutated somewhat, this is a subject that I believe we ought to spend a lot of time on in the Survivalist / Prepper community.  It isn't a particularly likely scenario to actually occur, but then again neither are half of the other things that we spend our time preparing to survive, so why not add it to the list?  After all, if you are prepared for one eventuality, it is very likely that you are well on your way to being prepared for others.  The individual who spends his or her time preparing for a "zombie apocalypse," will find themselves much better prepared than the average person in the event of a real survival situation, so why not go for it?  If nothing else, wrapping our message in something that has become as cool and mainstream as "zombie apocalypse"-themed info will help us reach some folks that we might not otherwise be able to bring under the greater Preparedness umbrella.

In this film, we are just about six months out from the initial outbreak and, while the story is still centered on the city of London, the scope has been expanded in a scenario where international forces are attempting to straighten England's problem out.  In fact, one of the major characters is a U.S. military sniper.  Without giving away a lot of spoilers, allow me to just say that the basic gist of the plot revolves around the fact that everyone believes the outbreak is mostly contained and the dangers are mostly over… Needless to say, they are wrong.

Interestingly, the door was left wide open by this film for another sequel which would have revisited the situation 28 months later, but that film has – as yet – never materialized.  Sad, really.  I would have loved to have seen it, and they had the perfect opening with the possibility of the disease having spread to France via the channel tunnel.

22 April, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: "Dies the Fire: A Novel of the Change" by S.M. Stirling

This week's book review examines "Dies the Fire: A Novel of the Change" by S.M. Stirling (Kindle edition), and I must say – right here in the beginning – that this is one of the more entertaining novels I have read in a very long time.

As long time readers of Backwoods Survival Blog may recall, I have previously written a few articles on the subject of approaching survivalism from a medieval perspective.  You can read those here and here.  It was originally intended to be a series; I haven't written one in a long time, but I do intend to continue it at some point.  So, with that said, it should be no surprise that I derive a high-level of enjoyment from this novel.  It really is right up my alley.

For those of us in the Survivalist/Prepper subculture, the subject matter is not terribly different from those novels involving an EMP.  Basically, it is a story about people trying to survive once all modern technology has gone kaput.  The difference here being that the cause is very mysterious, straying into what could possibly be the science-fiction genre, and when I say that they lose all modern technology, I mean ALL modern technology.  No one has any idea, beyond wild and idle speculation, what has caused the event that they come to know as The Change, but it represents a complete reset for society, literally setting us back to what can only be described as a tribal age in an instant.  Quite literally, the laws of physics change, to the point where even chemical reactions, such as those that drive the use of firearms and explosives, no longer function.  As Survivalists / Preppers, imagine attempting to survive an event that results in a complete societal collapse, but you don't have your firearms or any of your gear that runs off batteries either.  You would, literally, find yourself suddenly reduced to defending yourself and your people with only bladed/blunt weapons and bows and arrows, much like the characters in this novel.

The story mostly follows two separate groups of survivors.  One, which later comes to be known as The Bearkillers, congeals around a basic nuclei of people who survived a rural plane crash together (as in their small airplane fell out of the sky when The Change suddenly occurred).  The name comes from a legend that grows up around them, involving them actually killing a bear that attacked their party and the scar worn by their leader as a result.  They survive some terrible things in the wilderness together, including an attack by several lawless white-supremacist types, and later begin taking in applicants based on whatever useful skills those people might be able to offer.  Eventually they evolve into what resembles a cross between an Old West cattle drive, a Gypsy caravan, and a Mongol migration, moving together en masse in an effort to locate a piece of land where they can put down roots.

The other group is an old Celtic-style clan, built around a nucleus of a group of Wiccans, who settle on the land belonging to one of their members.  They too begin to take in others, based on useful skills, and build for themselves and agrarian community, based on mutual support and labor.  They make use of wagons and other equipment that were previously part of museum displays, as well as an old mill that had been a tourist trap before The Change, setting it up near a waterfall to grind grain as well as operate a churn for butter and cheese.  In addition, they take over other nearby abandoned farmsteads and livestock herds and put their people to planting as quickly as they can, all the while working little by little to create a log fort around their property as a medieval-style stronghold.  Needless to say, the way they do things is after my own heart and is very close to what I will probably try to set up in any future societal collapse situation.

It should also go without saying that the world outside of these two groups is not so rosy.  The author mentions several other communities, where people are coming together and doing things to survive; but, these are few and far between, with most places devolving and virtually dying out as a result of plague, lawlessness, and even cannibalism.  An especially nasty threat that looms over everyone is a large group coming out of Portland, Oregon (the entirety of the novel takes place in eastern Oregon and parts of Idaho) that is essentially a feudal society set-up around a ruler who calls himself The Protector and appoints local thugs to titles such as Duke and Baron, tasking them with ruling local populations in his name with an iron fist.  I foresee this becoming a much larger problem in later novels of this series.

As I said, the subject matter and overall story and setting in this novel speak very much to my sensibilities, and, therefore, I greatly enjoyed it.  Give it a chance, and I think you will as well.

ATTENTION: Survival Retreat Property For Sale

I received the following email recently from some folks who are looking to sell a viable retreat property:


"I have property on Prince of Wales Island in Alaska that might be just what someone is looking for to prepare for what is coming. My wife and I had intended to move there ourselves ( we used to live in AK...my folks were there 22 yrs...we came outside in 1983 and moved to Colorado to take care of grandparents) but we have children who are scattered across the U.S.. Several are in the military and they have expressed their desire to see us stay in the lower 48. So...we are going to put our little place on POW up for sale. It is a little over three acres and borders the bay at Whale Pass. It is unbelievably beautiful. It has a fresh water stream that goes through the property that could be filed on and used for power or domestic. The stream isn’t large enough to allow salmon to spawn so that is not an issue. The land has a maintained Forest Service road on the south side with the bay being just across this graveled road. There are no gravel pits on the island but we were able to purchase a quantity of shot rock and made a nice gravel pad where someone can park an RV while building whatever...wherever. The state of Alaska will allow the owner of a non commercial property to harvest 10,000 board feet of lumber a year to build with...free. There is power to the property. The bay has three species of salmon that return every year and fishing for salmon and halibut is amazing. The berry picking in the fall is incredible and there are actually honey bees on the islands. In addition there is crab and shrimp to be caught and there are Sitka deer and elk on the islands. There are no brown bears on POW but there are black bear. The climate is warmer than most of Alaska because of the Japanese current which keep it temperate. Incredible gardens are grown on the island. Craig is probably the largest town on the island and can be reached by land vehicle. Wrangell is about 45 minutes by boat. Wrangell has a clinic and a wide variety of stores. Alaska Air flies into Wrangell and the Alaska Ferry docks at Wrangell and at the lower end of POW at Hollis. Hollis can be reached by car and as I said...Wrangell by boat or air. This area is as close to territorial Alaska as you will find and there are NO PROPERTY TAXES. This is one of the nicest places on POW in my opinion. We also have a 22 ft. Boston Whaler with a custom cabin that was built for Alaska that we would like to include. It has a cuddy cabin in addition to the pilot cabin and comes with a custom tandem trailer that uses 16” E rated tires and 8 lug rims. Our property is about 1/2 mile from a very nice state of Alaska boat dock on the bay. For pictures of the area I recommend you Google “The Lodge at Whale Pass”....they have some excellent pictures of the area."

If you are interested, contact me directly at backwoodssurvivalblog@gmail.com, and I will pass your interest on to the selling party. Thank you.


20 April, 2013

Guest Post: Magnetic Energy -- Why So Little Press?

I present the following guest article, as is, without editing for information purposes only.  The alternate energy source discussed within this article is considered by many to be little more than a hoax, which is why this post has been labeled under the category of "tinfoil hat" as well as "alternate energy" and "green energy."  I also make no assertions as to being in agreement with any of the statements made by the author.  Take from it what you will.
* * * * *

Building computers, I have been privy to all kinds of additional technology that you don't normally see in store-bought computer systems. I like to be flashy and use LED case fans to give my computers more character than just sitting idle in a plain tower on my desk. One day, I was cleaning my computer with a can of air - blowing the dust off while the computer was unplugged. When the pressure from the can of air hit the blades of one of the illuminated case fans, the LEDs lit up.

The simple movement of the fan blades spinning around the magnetic motor of the fan fed power into the LEDs to make them illuminate. Then it dawned on me just how much alike case fans are to alternators inside an automobile. That's when I got curious and decided to dig around on the Internet for magnetic energy devices.

1. Maintenance Free - Theoretically, a generator that can power itself while supplying power to the grid would need very little attention paid to it. Of course, parts will eventually wear out such as bearings in the motor. However, combining our technology of today we could use synthetic lubricants and stronger materials in order to keep the generator spinning for a great deal of time.

2. No External Needs - As solar power needs the Sun and wind power requires air currents, a magnetic self-powering motor wouldn't require any input after the initial start-up. This means that once it is activated, it will never stop until the components break down which could be years down the road.

3. Size - According to various videos and information provided on several websites, the generator that can provide power for your house is small enough to fit on a kitchen table. Why couldn't the design be magnified in order to create generators to supply power without the use of coal or even nuclear radiation? At any rate, units can be provided in order to replace gasoline powered back-up generators for hospitals and other important establishments.

4. Brushless - If companies have been developing induction motor fans for so long, why hasn't anyone furthered the development of using magnetic motor power generation? It boils down to who owns the patents and how much money the company or individual may want to lose by competing against a method that would provide a non-resource consuming product. Induction motors are seen in a variety of spinning devices such as oscillating fans for the home and even computer case cooling fans. It was OK to develop this technology as a form of moving air, but for generating power on a large scale it was seemingly taboo.

5. Cost - Although there have been scams floating around where you can spend less than $100 to build your own magnetic motor, the cost shouldn't be much higher when all parts are considered. It's hard to imagine that setting up a magnetic generator would cost more than covering a roof with solar panels which have been known to cost on the other side of $45,000.

With how simple the design is for magnetic generators, it begs the question, "why not build these on an industrial sized scale?" Probably because there is no profit from it. When I learned about Howard Johnson's invention of the magnetic generator back in the 1980s, conspiracy to cover up the truth came into focus. Innovation stunted by greed yet again. But for how long?

This is article is contributed by Madoline Hatter. Madoline is a freelance writer and blog junkie from ChangeOfAddressForm.com. You can reach her at: m.hatter12 @ gmail. com.

19 April, 2013

A Clean Perspective

When people ask you to justify the way we see the world, ask them instead why it is that they prefer the beautiful lie over the truth?  The view that most of them see every day is really just a false veneer, hiding the cold reality from their sight as though they were children.

And, because they are so deeply invested in the system that they believe exists, most of them would willingly fight to protect the lie.  That, folks, is a big part of why it is so difficult to educate people and make them see what we see and why some of them think we're crazy.  It is because we challenge the comfortable falsities upon which they have built their entire lives.

Photo courtesy of Truth Be Known on Facebook

Guest Post: How to Protect a Building from Vandals

By definition, vandalism is the deliberate destruction or defacement of a public or private property. There isn't always a motive behind such examples of criminal activity, which is why virtually every business or remote property is in some way susceptible to an impromptu attack.

Of course, company or remote property owners should always be looking to protect their assets when it comes to implementing security measures. Their privately owned facility usually falls under this category. However, a quick look around the car park will reveal that other aspects of the property are vulnerable to vandalism, like vehicles used by employees, outbuildings, and stored equipment. It's therefore important to consider a wide range of aspects when measures are being put in place.

Common forms of vandalism range from broken lights and windows, stretching all the way to graffiti and vehicle damage. Businesses and remote property owners pay millions each year to repair areas of their property and some businesses are even forced into increasing their prices to recuperate the costs. Needless to say, a strong security system is vital for modern day businesses, particularly when you consider the products currently available.

Here's a selection of safeguarding measures and investments you can make to protect yourself from vandals:

Good lighting

Vandals will often target darkened or remote buildings as their activities are less likely to be seen. You should use good lighting in and around your property to ensure that criminals are more visible to passers by. There's far from a lack of buildings for them to attack, so make them think twice about targeting your building in particular.


Modern CCTV equipment (closed-circuit television) will capture activity in clear definition, allowing businesses and remote property owners to cooperate with police to clamp down on vandalism. The clear advantage here being that any repeat offenders can be identified via the capture of moving pictures and subsequently charged for their actions. Any new vandals are also unlikely to take their chances with a building policed by video cameras, so be sure to scatter CCTV warning signs at the entrance and around the walls.

Anti-vandal paint

Every property has a few areas that are vulnerable to intruders. Any reachable drains, gutters or window sills should therefore be covered by constantly greasy anti-intruder paint. The coat never dries, so it will stick to the hands and clothes of all who come into contact with it. Its texture will make the object virtually unclimbable, while those that attempt to scurry up the object are likely to give up after caking their hands in the black paint.


Aside from your investments, common sense should also be applied when closing up for the night. Be sure to lock any gates, garages and other areas around your property to prevent unauthorised access. If you're one of the first to leave, hand this responsibility to a worker who stays a little later than the rest.


No matter how small, any act of vandalism should be reported to the police. More vandals will target your property if their previous acts have gone unnoticed. Some do it for the attention or buzz factor, but when local forces are called in to inspect the matter, they'll want to keep a low profile for the sake of their freedom.

About the Author:
Finley Talbot is a keen blogger with a deep interest in defence security systems and the upcoming technology in homeland defence. He is also a season ticket holder for Arsenal Football Club, as well as being an armchair critic of everything happening in football.

18 April, 2013

REVIEW: Mountain House Chili Mac with Beef

Cooking Instructions: The packaging states that this meal is easy to prepare, and that could not be more accurate.  These mylar pouches are actually designed to be carried by campers and backpackers and eaten in the bush, so the instructions actually call for you to cook the meal right in the pouch.  However, as I was in my kitchen, I used a pot.  All there is to it is to open the pouch and discard the oxygen absorber; then add 2 cups (16 oz.) of boiling water.  In my case, I brought 2 cups of water to a boil, and then dumped the one cup meal directly into it.  Stir thoroughly; let stand for 8-9 minutes; stir again, and then serve.

NOTE: Do not forget to remove that oxygen absorber.  Don't be that guy.

Let's be real here: Mountain House is considered to be the cream of the crop among all other freeze-dried storage food manufacturers for a reason.  There are plenty of other options out there that are very, very good, but Mountain House has been doing this for a very, very long time and have consistency on their side.  Their products are just always good.  If you come across something that they've made that you don't enjoy, it is likely simply a matter of personal taste, not a failure of the product.  That kind of consistency goes a long way toward customer loyalty, and it's one of the reasons why Mountain House is also fairly expensive when compared to other brands.  To put it simply, you pay for quality.

The Mountain House Chili Mac with Beef is no exception to that rule.  Once prepared, it comes out exactly as advertised: a slightly spicy chili with macaroni and beans (kidney) that is very filling.  I had a family member taste it as well and it was just a little too spicy for their taste, but it should be noted that this person really doesn't like anything that is spicy at all.  In my opinion, it had a very mild spicy flavor that I greatly enjoyed, but, then again, I always add a few dashes of hot sauce to my tomato soup.  I don't like things hot, but I do like them with a very mild bike.  I tell you that simply to give you an idea of what it's going to be like, so that you can match it to your tastes and those of your family or group.  YMMV

I purchased three of these pouches from our sponsor Camping Survival.  The reason for this was so that I would have one to prepare and consume for this review, while placing each of the other two inside the survival kits that I reviewed previously and have placed in each of our vehicles as emergency kits.

My one and only concern about this is the amount of food that is actually produced.  The packaging states that this is supposed to produce 2 1/2 servings, but, if so, these would be awfully small servings.  I am a grown man, but I am not a big eater.  That said, fixing this entire pouch yielded just about the right amount for me to have for one dinner (see pic at bottom).  And that is a LOT of sodium to consume in one meal.

The amount produced isn't a really big deal, but it is something that you should keep in mind when purchasing storage food.  When you are preparing freeze-dried soups, one pouch like this will obviously produce a lot more food in the end than will an entree like the Mountain House Chili Mac with Beef.  As you can see in the photos, even before being reconstituted, you can clearly see the macaroni.  This is far different than when preparing soups, which are typically just flakes before you reconstituting them, allowing for a lot more food to come out of the pouch once the water is added.

As I stated before, this isn't a big deal to me.  It only tells me that I may need to purchase two more of these pouches, so that I can put another one in each of my emergency kits.  My original goal was to make this one meal for two people, so adding one extra is how I will accomplish that.

NOTE: If you are very observant and have followed the link and looked at the review for the emergency kits, you may already be asking yourself how I intend to prepare the meal with nothing to boil the water in.  Don't fret.  I am not done adding extra items to each kit, and I will soon be reviewing another item that will be added and will act as a cookpot.