This week I begin with the Blizzard Survival 20% discount Offer, Self-Sufficient Britain-NOT, The Midimax 10% Discount Offer, Support these companies, CB Radio the Post SHTF Comms Solution, The Ribzwear 30% Discount Offer, Testing the Plan, The Wilderness 121 10% Discount Offer, Wilderness Survival, The Field Leisure 10% discount Offer, Survival Tips, The Buggrub 10% Discount Offer, Are Aquaponics the Answer? More companies to support, Homemade Laundry Soap, Hunters-Knives 10% Discount Offer, Growing Your Own Food & Becoming Self-Reliant, Further companies to support, Starting Preparing, An Extension Event.
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Britain has become so reliant on imports that the country would run out of food if we only had UK-grown produce to eat.
Our farmers now produce just 60 per cent of the total food we consume - meaning that if our import supply was cut off we could only feed the nation until August 7 each year.
Agricultural self-sufficiency has fallen 15 percentage points from 75 per cent in 1991, according to Government figures.
Farming leaders insist they have the capacity to boost production, but they say they need the support of politicians, retailers and consumers to ensure increasing demand.
The National Farmers Union last night called for a coherent plan to boost agriculture, including better promotion of home grown food, more tax breaks for farmers and better support from supermarkets.
Farmers react to markets, they react to confidence levels, and they are willing to invest in the future if they have that confidence.
Otherwise we will end up with 70 million people in the UK, only able to produce half of the food we need.
We need to ratchet up our ability to produce.
‘We need to sit down and develop a growth plan because the industry is going to require a huge level of investment in the years to come.’
Ministers are worried not only about the impact on UK agriculture, but also about being too reliant on inconsistent foreign food supplies and turbulent prices.
With a growing global population, the problem is only going to get worse as more people compete for resources.
What needs to happen now is for us as a country is to give farmers the green light to produce more food for us.
Our aim is to ensure the country - consumers, politicians, retailers and the wider food industry - is backing British farming, and within this, a solid plan for agricultural growth to ensure the current self-sufficiency trend is reversed and long-term food security is supported.’
Part of the problem is that Britain does not just ship in exotic produce such as bananas and pineapples, but also buys in cheaper varieties of food we could produce perfectly well in this country.
It means that food such as French apples, Spanish cucumbers, Danish bacon and Mexican runner beans fill our supermarket shelves, even in the spring and summer months.
Last year we imported 27 per cent of food that could have been produced domestically, up from 23 per cent the year before, and 13 per cent in 1991
In a bid to tackle the problem, the Government last month announced that the Armed Forces and all Whitehall departments will now buy British food where possible, even if it is more expensive, and schools and hospitals will be expected to follow suit.
It is therefore vitally important that we all plan to grow as much of our own as we can, we must also become proficient in all the different preserving methods to deal with the volume of extra food we will inevitably produce.
We would also be extremely foolish to ignore Auaponics as a solution to providing us with much needed protein and vitamins.
We as a country must revert to only eating seasonal foods whether that be vegetables or game, summer fruits or salads.
But it is now clear to me that we must look after number one as it appears we have no other choice.
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Is a solar powered phone charger really useful in the UK?
Recharge via mains usb, PC, Car usb and in addition, Solar
Hold charge for months, even when in a pocket
Any direct sunlight will trickle charge the battery.
Get more charges per given capacity and very useful in an emergency
CB Radio the Post SHTF Comms Solution
No, you don’t have to call out “Breaker breaker good buddy” when using one, or listen to Truck Driving Hits of the 1970s on 8-track tape while operating it.
Citizens Band radio is a free to use public radio communications service. It enables members of the public to communicate without the need to pay any subscription, fee or charge per minute.
It really is free, you don't even have to register to use it.
Simply get the correct equipment, connect it up, and get chatting. No license is required in the UK nowadays. Most C.B. Radios these days come with 80 channels (40 UK and 40 European).
All these channels can be used in the UK, but only the 40 channels designated for use in mainland Europe should be used in the rest of the EU. However, this point seems largely to be ignored.
The C.B. radio is actually an outstanding option for your post-emergency communication. In fact, it makes sense to have more than one on hand — one in the glove box of your car or motorcycle, one in your bugout bag, and then one at home.
Entry levels are extremely affordable and offer you instant plug and play communications.
Since a majority of Britons now have mobile phones, 75,750,000 wireless connections and most of them assume mobile phones will suffice in an emergency situation.
But mobile signals rely on a network of advanced towers, cables, satellites, super computers and droves of maintenance workers. One big disaster could bring the whole network down- or the region you rely on, and I’m sure you’ve experienced times when you really needed to use your mobile phone just to have the screen say “no service”.
You can’t rely solely on a mobile phone for emergency communications.
Imagine there’s a huge storm headed your way and you need to get home- there may not be a way to know if the bridge over the river ahead of you is still there.
Our infrastructure is in bad shape and being able to communicate with other motorist is more important than ever.
Radio towers which transmit important information can be easily taken out with high winds, electrical storms, water damage and debris.
Their towers are all over, most people receiving a signal from within a 40 mile radius so that the information is tailored to your local area.
The downfall to BBC emergency/weather warnings on your vehicle radio is that it is only a receiver. This means you can listen, but you can’t call for help for help.
A CB radio (Citizens Band) doesn’t rely on towers and connects you directly to anyone else in your range with a CB radio. The range of signal transmission and reception can vary depending on different factors but you can usually count on 2 to 5 miles of range with a CB.
Add better antennas and signal boosters and you could increase your range upwards of 20 miles.
This may seem like a limited range, and it is but our roads are filled with CB radio users and in rural areas the farmers and tractor drivers use CB’s to communicate between each other around the farm.
This means that there will almost always be someone to communicate an emergency situation to no matter where you are. As long as you have an operational CB radio.
Tip: Be prepared for a loss of power at home. CB radios operate on 12 volt car batteries.
I’ve personally used a CB radio when travelling and the information I’ve received about road conditions, police speed traps and other situations have been very valuable. Especially during bad weather when I’ll need to watch for ice, snow, wind and other dangerous conditions.
In a SHTF scenario a CB radio could be of great importance to find out which roads are closed or opened, and where you can go to get help! There are 40 channels on the CB radio with channels 19 and 17 being the most common used motorist channels to communicate over.
Channel nine is reserved for emergency use and is the channel where emergency information is transmitted.
I’ve heard of lives saved in blizzard conditions because motorist could communicate their positions.
But you’re not limited to only using a CB radio in your vehicle. There are many kits where you can install one in your home to communicate with the outside world and there are even hand held radios as well.
Being more local and commonplace than a HAMM radio, and much more affordable it‘s a great way to boost your communication network.
To guarantee its availability when needed, I suggest that you keep a spare set in a faraday cage as should an EMP attack/event occur then you will need a comms system that works. Check out www.cbradio.co.uk/
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A front pack is a pack or bag that allows for access of equipment from the persons chest. Front packs first and foremost allow for easy access of gear without the removal of any equipment.
In many adventure outdoor activities it can be critical to the sport to have the ability to reach essential gear fast without the removal of a backpack. Simplicity is the foremost purpose of the front pack but there are many additional benefits as well.
Weight distribution and balance is a key element in the utility of the front pack. Shifting weight forward in situations when carrying heavy loads can be critical to the comfort and balance of an individual.
Backpacking is a sport where in many situations it is critical to both minimize and maximize the contents of your load for a longer or lighter duration of stay. The ability to move small amounts of weight to the frontal region significantly reduces overall stress on a person’s shoulders and back.
Moving a small amount of heavy equipment forward to a front pack can allow for an individual to either maximize or minimize the overall load contained in a backpack.
In all there are unlimited uses for the front pack. Front packs are the best compliment to any outdoorsman’s gear when accessibility, functionality, mobility and simplicity are required. From horseback riding, long distance biking, motorcycling and kayaking. All sports where fast and easy access of gear is essential, a front pack is your best solution and as you can imagine it is going down a storm within the prepping and survivalist community.
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Testing the Plan
Have you ever tried to discover any weaknesses or vulnerabilities in your survival preparations? In the military, they do unexpected drills where soldiers must quickly pack up all their clothing and gear and be ready to head into action at a moment’s notice.
The reason for this is so they can discover their weaknesses and make adjustments. It’s a very effective exercise, and I recommend you do the same thing at home.
Although disaster can strike anywhere at any time, the first time you do this survival stress test it’s best to do it at a time in your life when things are relatively stable (you’re not expecting any guests or emergency phone calls) and during a time of the year when it’s not extremely hot or cold.
Wait until you have a few days off, or just do it on the weekend. You might want to start on a Friday or Saturday evening at 5pm when everyone is home for the night and go until morning.
Although the longer it lasts, the better.
Here’s what I recommend you should do:
Here’s what I recommend you should do:
Flip the circuit breaker that provides electricity to your house. (You might want to eat most of the food in your refrigerator before this) or do it before a monthly shop.
Take the batteries out of all mobile phones and battery-powered devices.
Pretend the taps don’t work. Put something over the handles to remind you not to use them. (You can still use the toilets, just write down how often they’re used and remember you’ll need several gallons of water to refill them each time.)
If you have gas-powered appliances, do the same thing with them.
Take all the keys to every vehicle and put them away somewhere.
Pretend your neighbours are in the same situation and that they have nothing you can borrow.
Doing these things will give you a glimpse of what life might be like after a collapse. It will expose your weaknesses and help you identify which areas you need to work on.
You’ll have a whole new set of questions and find out what you want to learn next and what types of items you need to stock up on.
To make sure you learn from this experience, get a notebook and write down your experiences. Concentrate on areas like hygiene, food, cooking, lighting and security. Write down how many things you use (you’ll probably use more supplies than you estimated).
Take note of which family members complain the most so you’ll be prepared to deal with them in a real disaster.
Here are few sample questions you should ask yourself:
What would it be like after two weeks of this? Or two months?
How long does it take me to cook a meal without a microwave or stove?
How long would my water last? How much work would it be to purify nearby water?
Are my camp grills, lamps, and other gear in working order?
Who will stand guard and when?
There are many more questions you could ask yourself, but this should get you started.
Now you might be thinking, “There is no way I can get my family on board with this.” Well, you might have to do some creative negotiations.
For example, “If we do this tonight, tomorrow we can go to the shops/park/whatever.” But don’t act like it’s going to be a miserable time. Make it fun!
Tell the kids you’re going camping at home, talk, tell stories, play games, and enjoy yourself. But don’t forget to learn as much as you can.
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When an outdoor accident occurs no matter how slight, or when you realize you are lost, panic is the first reaction we all must encounter and defeat before it brings on more harm. How you handle the effects brought on by panic can determine your rate of success or failure in any outdoor emergency situation.
Anyone can become lost, separated or stray too far from camp as night sets in. Just remember that you have within you the ability to protect yourself. Survival is a common element in all human beings, we do it every day in the concrete and asphalt jungles of civilization… now you have to do it in the wilderness.
The premise is the same, keep your wits, and use your brain. DO NOT PANIC… let your positive side rule your decisions?
To emphasize the effect that panic has on an individual, let me familiarize you with the "RULES OF 3."
Experience has shown that you can only expect to survive a panic induced emergency situation for 3 seconds, you can only survive without oxygen or from severe bleeding for up to 3 minutes, you can survive exposure to excess heat or frigid cold for up to 3 hours and you can survive without water for up to 3 days.
Panic is your major enemy, panic is the one thing you must overcome at once because panic can and will harm you.
To help you deal with panic let’s look at a simple method of handling an emergency situation. Remember the acronym S.T.O.P. Sit -Think - Observe - Plan.
SIT: When you realize that you are lost take the time to sit down and collect your thoughts. You are not lost, you are right where you are, your camp, vehicle and everyone else is lost.
THINK: What do I have at my disposal both physical and mental that can help me in this situation? Take an inventory of your survival kit items and how you will use them. Take an inventory of your mind, remember what you always thought you would do if you got lost. Most of all remain positive, you will survive.
OBSERVE: Look around, is there shelter, water, high ground, an open area so the searchers can see you. It will be easier for those searching to find you if you can stay in one selected location that will allow you to build a fire, provide shelter, set out signals and be in an area that can be seen at a distance or from aircraft.
PLAN: Now create your plan of action. Be positive and take care of yourself. If it is late in the day, build a fire for heat and signalling, find or make a shelter against the weather, and most of all remain positive, you do have the ability to survive.
You have conquered the major danger of not allowing panic to cast your fate, you can now conquer anything else that confronts you.
SUGGESTED SURVIVAL KIT
This is only a suggested outline for a personal outdoor survival kit, you should customize your kit to meet your specific needs.
Leave a detailed trip itinerary with someone you trust
A. Never forget that your brain and your ability to remain calm and not to panic are your most important survival tools.
B. Make sure your personal survival kit is waterproof, compact and fairly lightweight, so you will carry it always.
Know how to use each and every item in your kit. Don't wait till you need it. Make your kit fit the appropriate outdoor environment that you are venturing into. No one kit meets every need—customize your kit to your needs. (Cold climate, heat, wet conditions, mountains, desert, one day or longer).
C. Suggested Survival kit gear:
- Heavy Duty Aluminium foil (cooking, signalling).
- Heavy Duty plastic bag—large zip lock (water, food storage).
- Space Emergency Blanket (shelter, signalling, personal protection)
- Flares, bright coloured bandanna or flag or an Emergency Strobe (visual means of signalling).
- Whistle (sound signalling).
- Compass (navigation).
- Matches, candle (fire starting) one match-one fire, light.
- Bouillon cubes, one small pack of instant soup, salt (cooking, flavour).
- Spark Light, magnesium starter (or any other back up fire igniters).
- Sewing kit including some tape (repairing clothes and equipment).
- Small multiple function knife (general tool needs).
- Water filter or purification kit (potable water).
- Fishing kit (line, hooks, lures, snares, repairs).
- Signal mirror (daytime visual signalling).
- Wire saw (shelter building, tinder making).
- Boiled sweets or high energy bar (survival food).
- Rope, string (shelters, snares, repairs).
- Insect repellent (personal comfort/protection).
- Small first aid kit (suited to terrain, area and personal needs).
- Personal needs medication.
- A picture of your loved ones (will to survive).
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Making a Basic Survival Water Filter from Scratch
The first thing to consider when collecting water is to think about how soon you will need to drink. If you have time, collect standing water in a container and let it sit for a few hours. This will allow anything that floats to rise to the surface, and you can skim off any debris.
If you have two containers, try this method for filtering water: Take the first container and fill it with water. Then, put your shirt or some sort of porous layer over the other container. Put your pebbles on top of the cloth and filter your water by pouring it over the stones and into the container. Next, remove the pebbles and put sand, a finer material, on top of the cloth. Filter your water again.
Finally, the most effective way to filter is to crush up charcoal, put it on your cloth and let the water run through it. Charcoal filters remove sediment, many contaminants, and improve taste. Charcoal is used in store bought home and backcountry water filters.
You can make your own charcoal by making a campfire, covering it with dirt and ash, and allow it to cool completely. Once it has cooled, crush it into small pieces. Pour the water through the charcoal several times.
If at all possible, build a contraption that will combine all three filtering steps, letting the water flow from one material to another. This will make the water gradually clearer as you filter it again and again.
If you don’t have a manmade container, some natural materials are great alternatives. Bamboo is a prime example. It is hollow in the centre and water can flow through it easily. There are many other plants with hollow centres. Use these to your advantage.
A hollow log can be a great option. Place the materials (pebbles, sand, cloth and charcoal) in layers through the various parts of the bamboo or log. Remember to think about what materials you are carrying and check out your surroundings in any survival situation.
This should provide you with a basic insight on how to create a survival water filter. Realize that it is still possible to get sick, even if you follow the guidelines in this article. Then you must boil this water before you ingest it.
Always contact a physician after you drink questionable water. The side effects of pathogens and microorganisms will take at least a week to start affecting you. If you are in a survival situation, keep hydrated and worry about those side effects later.
If at home crawl under a sturdy table and cover your face and head with your arms. Stay away from windows and large bureaus or bookcases that could fall. If you become trapped under debris, cover your mouth with a cloth or shirt, and tap against a pipe or other object to make noise.
(Don't yell for help unless you have to; you risk inhaling dangerous quantities of dust.) If you are able, leave the building once the shaking stops--aftershocks can bring down a structure compromised by the initial quake. Finally, if you're outside during the quake, steer clear of buildings and utility wires.
Once you hear a storm warning, seek refuge in a basement--either your own or a neighbour’s--or go to an emergency shelter. As a last resort, stay on the lowest floor of your home.
If you're in a car as a tornado approaches, get out and seek shelter indoors. If you're caught in the open, lie flat in a ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands.
If a flash-flood warning is issued, move to higher ground immediately--don't wait to gather belongings. In any flood, avoid downed power lines and moving water. Six inches of moving water can make a pedestrian fall, while a foot will float most vehicles
Heed evacuation orders, first shutting off utilities ("Shut down Your Home in 5 Minutes"). If you stay home, turn off gas lines and fill your tub with water. Secure shutters. During the storm, move to an interior room and close all doors.
BEYOND FIRST AID
A basic first-aid kit may not be enough to get you through the worst of a disaster. It's a good start—you do want bandages, gauze pads, aspirin, hydrocortisone, antiseptic wipes, etc.—but unexpected emergencies demand unconventional remedies. So what have you got around you that you could use in a medical emergency?
DUCT TAPE—great for wound closure, splints, and casts.
SUPERGLUE—excellent for small, deep wounds. Use tape to hold while drying.
TAMPONS—an unexpected tool for stanching heavy bleeding.
PANTY PADS—as a wound dressing
NEEDLE-NOSE PLIERS—Use for removing large splinters or nails.
Boil for 10 Minutes - This is one so old, I don't even know where it came from. I've also heard 5 minutes, 15 minutes and even 20 minutes of boiling time.
All of these are B S I’ll keep this short... if the water reaches boiling point, it's safe to drink, period, end of story.
High Ground is Warmer - This is one survival tale that keeps popping up all over the place.
We're told that when considering locations for a shelter, we should avoid valleys and low lying areas because cold settles there and it may be several degrees colder than higher ground.
This is scientifically sound, but in actual practice... it's pure, unadulterated bullshit.
This is because while a thermometer may show a few degrees difference between two elevations, thermometers are incapable of measuring wind chill factors.
In most cases, higher elevations are exposed to a lot more wind while small valleys and lower areas are sheltered from it.
A thermometer may show that actual air temperature has increased 2 or 3 degrees by moving to higher ground, but the temperature as far as your body is concerned is likely to have dropped by20 or 30 degrees.
Wind will suck away your body heat faster than you can generate it. Today as I write this, it's almost 50 degrees and sunny outside... a seemingly nice January afternoon.
However, today's wind chill factor drops that to somewhere between 20 and 30... And suddenly it's not so great!
Shelters Should Be Built From Dead Materials
This one came from our friends in the "green “survival movement.
They are far more concerned that a few trees might get killed than they are about your life.
All advice from them should be considered highly suspect. Imagine building your shelter as a big pile of dead leaves and wood.
Now imagine having a campfire anywhere near that. Do you really want to climb in there and go to sleep? Nuff' said.
Plants Are a Good Source of Food in the Wilderness
Unless you're a certified expert not just in plants, but in the plants of the given region you happen to be in, stay the hell away from the plants!
Here's the facts...
ALL fur bearing mammals are safe to eat, and will provide you with nutrients and calories.
ALL 6 legged insects are safe to eat, and will provide you with nutrients and calories.
Almost all freshwater fish and almost all birds are safe to eat, and will provide you with nutrients and calories.
...and finally - MOST plants will harm you, make you sick, or worse... poison you.
There are actually very few that will provide you with any nutrients or calories.
It's a simple equation... if it walks, crawls, swims, or flies, the odds are in your favour that it's not only safe to eat, but that it will provide you with the nutrition and energy your body needs.
If it sits there like... umm... like a plant, the odds are against you both for your own physical safety, and for nutritional content.
It's just not worth the gamble unless you're absolutely sure!
Stay put: You arrive at “lostness” from one direction, a single degree out of 360.
You have 359 chances to depart your situation in the wrong direction.
The simplest Survival Navigation Technique
Things happen...you’re GPS or compass may become lost or broken.
You may find yourself needing an alternate method of finding your bearings. You can use terrain association, if there is some readily identifiable features in view, but you really need to orient your map to a direction.
Anyone who has gone through any survival courses has been taught a variety of methods of survival navigation. Most have two problems in common, first they only apply to certain conditions, second they are a little too complicated and very easy to forget.
If you wish to use the North Star, it must be night, you need a clear night sky and must be in the northern hemisphere. The watch method of survival navigation is difficult since almost no one can remember which hand does what, and how north is indicated.
Also most people now wear digital watches without the hands on them, especially during outdoor activities. The stick shadow technique for survival navigation is simple, easy to remember and works anywhere on the planet in conditions where you can see a shadow.
The improvised Survival Navigation Technique is the simplest and most versatile method for direction finding without a compass.
It works anywhere on the planet as long as the sun throws a shadow. Equipment needed is simple: only a stick or straight object such as a pen, and two small objects like pennies or rocks and you will be able to find north.
Step One of the Stick Shadow Technique for Survival Navigation
Place your stick or any straight object into the ground, so it throws a shadow.
Put a rock or penny at the tip of the shadow, something easily identifiable and wait 15 or 20 minutes.
Place a second object at the tip of the shadow's new position.
Place your left foot on the first rock or penny and your right foot on the second object. Just remember that you read left to right so your left foot goes on the first object and right on the second object, or if you are military-minded you always start off with your left foot.
You are now facing north!
All you really need to remember is to place the two rocks at the tip of the stick's shadow. Then place your left foot on the first rock and right foot on the second rock. if you ever find yourself without a compass and in need of a little help orienting yourself, then this technique is easy to remember and needs little equipment or special conditions.
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Are Aquaponics the Answer?
Harvesting food from Aquaponics seems to be a topic that a lot of preppers and even survivalists are interested in today. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation, grandstanding and downright B.S. out there about the realities of aquaponics. So I am going to try and separate the facts from the fiction when it comes to using aquaponics as a food production system.
What is aquaponics and why should I care about this?
Aquaponics is essentially a modified form of Hydroponic gardening. These two systems use a water-based solution and a soil-substitute medium instead of traditional soil for plants. In a hydroponics system, plant nutrients are added to the water solution to promote better growth and yield.
In Aquaponics, these nutrients are supplied mostly by waste from living fish that are kept in a tank within the system.
The main advantage to aquaponics compared to hydroponics is that the fish in an aquaponics system are supplying the nutrients to the plants, which means you do not have to add additional nutrients to your solution.
Oh yeah, and you can eat the fish too!
Can aquaponics produce 100% of my food?
This is probably the most-hyped claim for aquaponics systems. The fact of the matter is that aquaponics can provide an abundance of vegetables and supplemental protein from an enclosed, fairly easy to maintain system…..to a point.
But I think the idea that you could provide 100% of your food with aquaponics is a little far-fetched unless you’ve invested in (and spend a lot of time maintaining) a very large aquaponics system.
For the majority of people, this type of setup is just not practical and therefore, no, an aquaponics system is probably not the end-all / be-all answer to your food production needs.
How much food can a small aquaponics system realistically produce?
One of the most popular aquaponics designs (because of the low cost of setup) is using 300+ gallon plastic IBC containers as fish ponds and 55 gallon tanks or drums as garden beds. This setup is on the smaller end of aquaponics systems and still requires a decent amount of space.
There’s no definitive formula for how much food you’ll be able to harvest from a system like this but it’s fairly easy to guesstimate.
The 55 gallon tanks have a surface is that is usually no larger than a couple feet square. At most, you’ll be looking at no more than 4 small plants per tank at one time.
Although plants grown using aquaponics do tend to grow much faster and have a higher yield than a conventional garden (if done right), the fact is that 4 plants is a pretty small amount of food.
Realistically, in a perfect small setup like this you would be able to reliably harvest 1-2 fish a month (during a typical growing season) and with the right climate and temperatures, about 4-5 separate vegetable harvests per year.
Realistically, even a fully-optimized, full-time aquaponics system of this size wouldn’t be able to produce much more than about 5-10% of an average person’s required calories per year.
Obviously adding additional or larger systems could increase that percentage significantly; however the upkeep on these larger systems is a lot more than a standard IBC container/55 gallon tank system.
What do you have to do to maintain an aquaponics system?
Well maintaining an aquaponics system can take less than an hour a week or it could be a full-time job depending on the size and complexity of your setup.
For a smaller, more typical setup you have to make sure that the temperature stays consistent, the fish are fed, the PH levels in your pond are in line with what you need for the plants you’re growing and most of the other basic maintenance tasks for a conventional garden.
Realistically, the setup of the aquaponics system is the most time and resource intensive part. Maintaining it doesn’t require much more time than a regular soil garden.
What types of plants can I plant in an aquaponics setup?
One of the major benefits of using an aquaponics system is that as long as you can maintain the right PH, temperature and sunlight, you can pretty much grow whatever you want. This means that you can grow plants that normally wouldn’t grow in your area, as long as you can replicate their typical growing conditions.
How much does a small aquaponics system cost to set up and maintain?
This is the most commonly asked question about aquaponics. The cost of an aquaponics system ranges from dirt cheap to ridiculously expensive. A D.I.Y. setup using an IBC tank and 55 gallon drum shouldn’t cost more than a few hundred pounds from start to finish.
A larger system using specialized tanks and growing beds could potentially cost $10,000 or more to design, build and install.
Conventional gardening seems a lot easier and cheaper. What makes aquaponics a better choice?
Conventional gardening is a lot easier and it’s definitely a lot cheaper to set up. However, the benefits of aquaponics could make it worth the learning curve and expense.
Besides the obvious advantage of being able to harvest fish, plants grown in aquaponics systems typically grow much faster and have higher yields. It’s also possible to grow many plants you wouldn’t ordinarily be able to grow in your conventional garden in an aquaponics system.
It’s really up to you if those benefits are worth the hassle.
If the world as we know it came to an end tomorrow, would you still be able to use aquaponics to feed yourself?
Aquaponics could definitely make a dent in feeding an off-grid homestead but it’s unlikely it could be a primary food source for most people. You would have to have an extremely large aquaponics system to make it your primary source of food.
Most fish take well over a year to mature and unless you have a way of introducing new fish into your system every time you pull one out to eat, they’re not going to last long. It would take a lot of fish to make that completely sustainable on its own.
It would also require a decent amount of power to run pumps that would have to come from solar or other alternative power methods.
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The Survival Slingshot
Homemade Laundry Soap
So you’re surviving in the woods, or on the move into the wilderness, or you have arrived at your BoL.
Sooner or later you are going to want to in fact need to clean your cloths and perhaps even your bedding.
Beating your clothes on rocks by the river is one way but imagine having real laundry soap.
I knew it had to be easy...but I didn't know it was this easy. Most of the recipes I've seen for it use Fels Naptha Soap, a real soap that's been around for 100 years and is specially designed for the laundry, you can buy it on Amazon.
However the good news is that you can substitute any bar of soap, though I recommend one that's not got a lot of extra oil (super fatted).
A lot of people use a 100% lard soap with 0% super fat. You want a good, super-cleansing bar. (Extra oil is good for your skin, not for your clothes.) If you don't mind that it's not a "natural" soap, the Fels Naptha Soap works great.
1 bar of fels naptha (or other) soap
1 cup of borax
1 cup of washing soda
1 gallon + 1 quart of water
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
First, using a food processor or manual grater, finely grate the bar of soap.
Bring a quart of water to a boil on the stove and slowly add the soap, stirring gently.
Reduce the heat and let it simmer gently until all of the pieces of soap are melted/dissolved.
Add the borax and washing soda and stir until they are dissolved.
In a separate pot, heat up the gallon of water or measure out a gallon of very hot tap water.
Pour the soap/borax/soda mixture into a large container and slowly add the gallon of water to it.
Stir until the mixture is well mixed.
Let it sit overnight. It will "gel" together...kind of a custard-like consistency
Stir or shake the soap each time you use it.
You should use this soap in conjunction with the Breathing Mobile Washer from http://breathingwasher.com/
Nigel at www.hunters-knives.co.uk has offered you dear listener 10% on all his products simply by using the code PREP10.
Growing Your Own Food & Becoming Self-Reliant
Your preps, your stock of food and water will not last you forever and if you run out, you need to be able to figure out what to do. Even if your supplies will last a year, what if the shortages last longer?
When you run out of food you’re just like the rest of the unprepared people out there. OK look, you were prepared for the disaster or emergency, but you might not be prepared for the aftermath. If you have no way to replenish your supplies after you run out, you’re as good as dead.
This is where self-reliance comes into play. It is necessary to begin preparing to not rely on anyone. Reliance is the main problem with people not being prepared today. If everyone could provide for themselves, then there would be much less risk if anything major ever did go wrong.
Think about it, if everyone could grow their own food and never had to go to the supermarket, then there wouldn’t be the chance of panic buying. If communities bartered and traded within, the communities themselves would become much more self-reliant.
People would have to trust themselves and know that they can provide what they need. This way, there is no chance of a major unexpected problem.
The one main way to become self-reliant is to grow your own food. Have a garden with many different types of food that you know how to grow and harvest.
This is something that you can do all of the time, not just in times of crisis, and it will grow your skills so you know how to do it if you ever find yourself in that situation.
Be sure to know what to do with your harvest as well. If you plant wheat, know how to make bread. There are many other skills that are needed to be completely self-reliant, but gardening and homesteading seem to be number one.
In order to grow your own food you will need seeds.
Seeds are a very popular item for preppers to store. Seeds can definitely come in handy in a time of need. You need them to grow your own food, and without them, you can obviously not do so. Seeds are the one most important things you will need in order to prepare to be self-reliant.
If you’re going to buy seeds to store and to use, there are certain types that you should look out for.
The main types of seeds are hybrid and non-hybrid seeds. You might have no clue about the difference between them, but one kind is good and the other is simply bad.
Hybrid seeds are the bad kind. With hybrid seeds, you plant them and the plants grow, that’s it. On the other hand with non-hybrid seeds, when the plants grow, you can collect their seeds and reuse them again and again.
This clearly makes a big difference when it comes to an emergency or SHTF event.
You will want the non-hybrid seeds, trust me. This is the key to being self-reliant.
You plant the seeds, harvest the crops and their new seeds, and repeat the process. If this is done properly, you should be able to survive on your own land.
Growing your own food can be done by individuals, families, or even whole communities working together.
The more people you have contributing to this, the better.
Another thing you want to look for in seeds is whether or not they are GMO, or genetically modified.
Genetically modified seeds have somehow been altered to perform better. These seeds also are not organic and do not produce crops with the optimum amounts of nutrition, but may be engineered to repel bugs and pests.
Non-GMO seeds are completely organic and grow healthy, nutritious crops. This is just something else to watch when buying seeds, and non-GMO seeds are the better choice.
The best practice for storing seeds is to have a lot and use what you need, while keeping the rest. In order to do this, you will need seeds that are packaged for storage and have long shelf lives.
Most common seeds found at garden stores have relatively short lives and are required to be planted right away, but certain seeds made for preparedness can live much longer.
A great option for seed storage is a company called Heirloom Organics.
Heirloom Organics’ seeds are all non-hybrid, non-GMO, and all have about double the shelf life of most other seeds.
They are everything that you need in your seeds and have many different varieties.
Heirloom Organics uses a special packaging process that prepares the seeds for long-term storage without adding any unwanted chemicals or preservatives. This process is designed to give normal seeds twice their average shelf life by using advanced moisture management and double sealing of the individual seed packages.
All of the seed packs come in resealble, moisture and waterproof, green buckets that also add to the protection and storage of the seeds.
If you’re only storing seeds for a family of two, or even the Walton’s, it can’t hurt to get extra seeds. Now if things get bad enough and no one has food, your food and seeds could be worth a great deal.
What is money worth if there is no food to buy with it? Everyone could have millions of dollars but it might mean nothing if they’re starving and all anyone wants is food.
At a point like this, your seeds could be worth more than gold.
Bartering is a real possibility and seeds would be a very popular currency.
Everyone needs food, so if they don’t have it and you do, they would be willing to give you other valuable items that you may need.
You can get a ton of seeds for very reasonable prices. Seeds are definitely something worth stocking up on and are something that would be infinitely valuable to you during any food shortage and emergency.
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1 Person BASIC Backpack Survival Kit, the back pack that does it all
DD Hammock –The ultimate in Travel Hammocks
Elzetta ZFL-M60 Tactical Weapon-Grade LED Torch
Ultimate Adventurer Survival Kit everything in one kit
Adjustable Knife Lanyard Review
Handmade knives by James D. Sanders
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The LUCI light
Fire Dragon Gel
TBS Boar Folding Pocket Knife
Live Fire Emergency Fire Starter
THE ultimate Emergency Survival Fishing Kit
Gerber Mini Remix - Drop Point, Fine Edge
The Mule Light
The BodyGard is the Rolls-Royce of keychain emergency tools. Its two essential (and life-saving) tools are its seat belt cutter and door glass breaker.
The BodyGard also includes a sonic alarm (to attract attention and ward-off a would-be attacker), LED flashlight, and distress flasher (a bright red flashing light).
The BodyGard is compact and smartly attaches to your keychain so it's within reach during an emergency. You owe it to yourself and to your family to carry a BodyGard.
The BodyGard also includes a sonic alarm (to attract attention and ward-off a would-be attacker), LED flashlight, and distress flasher (a bright red flashing light).
The BodyGard is compact and smartly attaches to your keychain so it's within reach during an emergency. You owe it to yourself and to your family to carry a BodyGard.
The powermonkey explorer is not just for adventure travellers. Compatible with the majority of smartphones including iPhone and BlackBerry, mobile phones, iPods, MP3 / MP4, PDAs and portable games consoles, the powermonkey explorer is a portable charger for your 5V devices - giving you 96 hours of standby on your mobile, 40 hours on your iPod, 5 hours on your games console, 48 hours on your PDA and 6 hours on MP3/MP4 players.
Now you know much of what emergency preparedness is about. It might seem a little overwhelming to you, and if it does, that’s perfectly normal. There are endless numbers of things that you can do to prepare. Infinite possibilities of ways you can do things. It would be weird if this wasn’t overwhelming to you.
I guess if you’re very wealthy it would be extremely easy. Simply go out and buy the latest and greatest products and the best bug out location and really do everything right.
However, for many people this is not the case. Many people have to spend their hard earned money and figure out the most cost effective ways to go about prepping.
So how do you begin preparing with all of the options out there? There might seem like so many things that you can do. You might be worried if you will do the right thing or if it’s not enough.
Where do you really start?
Well the truth is that anything is better than nothing. Just get into it and start taking action, you’re sure to fail if you don’t even try. If you can afford some of the best products, then do that, as they are some of the very best options for you.
But if those products are out of your price range, start adding a couple of extra tins of food every time you go shopping.
Get some extra toilet paper and paper towels, some toothpaste and matches. Start picking up some inexpensive, everyday items when you’re out. Get them even if you already have a bunch of it.
Once you get things rolling you will want to think of a more definite plan.
What do you really want to prepare for? Think of the timeframe, how long you should prepare for, and how many people you will be preparing for. This all determines how much of everything you will need.
Next, start to think about what you will be preparing for. Will it be a flood, a power cut, a natural disaster, a manmade emergency, an economic collapse, or what?
These are things you will need to think about because the supplies you will need for an economic collapse are much, much different than what you would need for a two-week power cut in your town.
This might require some serious though but it will give you much more direction.
With the amounts and what you want to prepare for covered, you really need to analyze your thoughts to see if you’re a die-hard prepper or just some average person concerned about how things are.
This will also drastically affect your preps and purchases. If you are just casually doing this and you only have some minor concerns about emergencies, you probably won’t be buying 20 pallets of bottled water or year’s supply of food.
You would likely be sticking to some of the smaller products and regularly stocking when you shop.
There is nothing wrong with this.
If you truly are serious about emergency preparedness, you might view it as more of a way of life. You might be much more willing to spend large amounts of money on supplies and it might be something you think about all of the time.
You might actually be looking into some bunker in the hills or have a years’ worth of food already.
Gradually building up your preps is the most reasonable and cost effective way to do things. It also gets you moving as fast as possible so you don’t waste any time being unprepared.
You would want to start off being prepared for short timeframes and gradually build up so you can be self-reliant for longer and longer times.
Obviously the longer you are prepared for, the better. If you can go out and buy thousands of pounds of things, then do it.
Spending money on emergency preparedness is always a wise investment for you and your family and knowing that you have those preps gives you a great peace of mind. You will feel safer and less scared if you’re prepared.
For the many people who can’t go out and buy a bunch of preps at the beginning, here is a system for you.
This system of preparing gets you to get ready for certain lengths, one step at a time. This system I call Prep Steps and with it you will start out being prepared for days and end up being prepared for six months or more.
Step One: One to three days.
This could be a short-term power cut, a snowstorm, a fire or flood, or something else where you would need to evacuate your home or be confined to it.
Basically you want to have the necessary items that could get you and your family through a three day period. You will need to be ready to Bub-In and also be ready to get up and leave at any second.
Some items that you would need include food, water, first-aid, and sanitation.
Step Two: One to four weeks.
Larger power cuts, panic buying, and local or regional natural disasters, along with other things, can all be a one to four week emergency.
Here you will still have the same priorities as in step one, but you want to include more of everything.
Make sure you have warmth and shelter, food and water, and first-aid and sanitation covered.
Step Three: One to three months.
Some emergencies that may last this long are food shortages, riots, strikes, transport strikes, fuel shortages, and more major natural disasters along with other things. Here you should be worried about having longer term, replenishable water storage, capturing water and filtering it, and more food storage.
You should also start looking into home security because if the people around you aren’t prepared, they might be coming to you. You obviously just want to keep adding onto what you have as well.
Step Four: Four to six months.
Here you have the exact same priorities, but on a much bigger scale. You will want more food, water, and everything else, but you will want to be able to replenish your food supplies.
Here is where you really start becoming self-reliant. Fishing, hunting, gathering, and growing your own food are all great ways to restock, but these all need skills in order for you to do them.
Practice and training may be required, but this is also just another aspect of being prepared.
Step Five: More than six months.
This would be if a major natural or manmade disaster affected your entire country.
You can’t go anywhere to escape it and you need to deal with it for extended periods of time. In this time, you would need to have the resources and knowledge, skills, and abilities to be self-sufficient forever.
If you can do it for six months to a year, you should be able to rely on yourself for a lifetime.
This process isn’t intended to give you step-by-step instructions on how to go about preparing, but instead give you some idea of what to do. The main goal of this is to really get you started.
So whatever you do to prepare do it now.
An Extension Event
As far as Mother Nature-induced Armageddon scenarios go, the simmering super-volcano underneath the Wyoming Yellowstone Park is surely one clear and present danger not to be ignored.
After a super eruption event crops will fail, monsoons will fail, animals will die field full and on a global scale as the dust traverses the globe up into the Stratosphere where it will reflect sunlight and bring about a volcanic winter or worse, and people will turn on each other for even basic survival items to feed themselves and their families.
IF you are in the immediate downwind area and within 1,000 miles of the volcano, you need to think about the following.
Only people who have large enough bunkers and enough static and renewable resources and supplies to survive for a minimum of 3 - 5 years will have any chance of staying alive.
If you think that you and your family will have enough food or even be able to live in a 20 or 40 foot shipping container for 3 or more years, then you are deluded.
Most people will end up with Cabin Fever within 3 months and this will be compounded by a dramatic loss of Vitamin D as the years progress.
Lack of Vitamin D causes libido loss mainly in men and hair loss as well as thyroid problems - to name just a few - so the stress levels will certainly be active.
Gluttonous people who gorge themselves in the beginning of their ordeal will quickly find that they will run out of food.
How many Super Volcanoes are there?
It is estimated that there are approx. 40 Super Volcanoes around the world and most (we think) are extinct.
Yellowstone however, is definitely an active Super Volcano which first erupted 2.1 million years ago followed by 1.3 million years ago and then 640,000 years ago and based on that cycle, is due for another pop soon, this may be next week or it may be in another 50,000 or even 100,000 years from now.
Let’s look at Yellowstone
Based on current information and given the fact that it does not matter which Super Volcano actually erupts first, I am going to focus on Yellowstone since it has been displaying serious movement since 2003.
Some of the negative global effects will include, such as global cooling by 10 - 20 degrees, this will disrupt many of the "seasonal" rains such as the African and Indian monsoons, the die off of food crops, the enormous destruction of the American food belt, the fighting and wars which will ensue will have the potential to throw us back to the stone age as groups vie for supremacy led by people who are usually more brutal than intellectual.
Within 3 months of a Yellowstone Super Volcano EVENT, both China and India may easily lose over 75% of their populations. The same applies to Europe and most other countries in the Northern Hemisphere.
Sulphur forms sulphuric acid aerosols when ejected high in to the Stratosphere and these particles form a veil that deflects sunlight and depending upon the amount of sunlight deflected, has the potential to plunge the world into a Volcanic Winter (at best) or a Mini or Major Ice Age at worst.
This would cause catastrophic snow falls which would quickly cover around 1 third of the Earth. Anyone living above 30 degrees north or below 30 degrees South will also need to consider escaping from dozens of yards (meters) of snow.
This snow would persist for at least several years based on current data inputs but this may be longer due to the fact that each eruption is unique and as such, the data parameters would be different for each event.
Downwind will be worse
Those who will suffer the worst are the people who live up to 1,000 miles downwind of the eruption.
It is estimated that the pyroclastic flows from Yellowstone will kill almost every person within at least 60 - 100 miles. This may be even further based on the following facts.
The Mt St Helens Pyroclastic flow went almost 15 miles from the volcano.
Pyroclastic flows from a Super Volcano are predicted to exceed the speed of sound which is over 760 miles an hour. So a Pyroclastic which stays active and hot for say 30 minutes would cover over 300 miles).
Those who live further than this will also be at risk due to the amount of dust and ash in the air which, when inhaled, will sit in your lungs like concrete and eventually asphyxiate the victim.
The Mt St Helens eruption covered an area of approx 300 square miles so image that multiplied by 2,000 + times and you will have some idea of the potential magnitude and scale of the destruction area.
A Yellowstone eruption would almost immediately affect up to 75% of the United States and parts of Canada. It would then carried on to cause global decimation by the prevailing upper atmosphere winds which would then go on to affect the rest of the world within 1 - 2 weeks.
WHAT CAN I DO
For most people, especially in the immediate area, it will be a simple matter of quickly bending over and kissing your ass goodbye. You will look at the fast approaching ash cloud and you will be thinking that this cannot be happening to me because I have a brain and I am too smart to die. Many other people will be thinking the same thing.
While this may not be very helpful, it is unfortunately true. Most people within 100 miles of the epicentre will be dead or possibly buried under many dozens of yards of ash and dust very quickly.
Those who do have a shelter and can get to it will need to have a way of (firstly) surviving for at least 1 or 2 weeks until the ash settles, down and then "possibly" digging through 100 feet (30+ meters) or more of fine, soft, lung filling ash.
For those who can travel and who live further away from the epicentre, you will need to travel NORTH or SOUTH away from the centre of the ash cloud as fast as possible once you get notification of the event