Monthly Archives: March 2013

Make Your Own Mustard

I have two recipes that I use depending on what I am going to use it for the first one is very easy but a little spicier. Andy does not like spicy mustard’s but I love them, so this is the one I like to use on sandwiches.

4 Tablespoons dry mustard powder

2 Tablespoons vinegar ( I use cider vinegar)

1 ½ teaspoon turmeric

2 Tablespoons water

Optional 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder, paprika, salt

Put all the dry ingredients in a small bowl

Whisk all together.

add the water a 1/2 tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency. Let the mixture sit at least 20 minutes before serving. will last up to two weeks in the fridge.

The second one isn’t as spicy and is what I like to use in my macaroni and potato salads or where ever I need mustard in a recipe. This one does require a little more work but not much.

½ cup dry mustard powder
½ cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
½ cup white vinegar
½ cup water
2 eggs
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon softened margarine

Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium sauce pan.

add the vinegar and water and mix well

beat the eggs and add

place on low heat and stir constantly until the mixture thickens (it will thicken very fast) and begins sticking to the pan it may be lumpy.

remove from heat and add margarine.

mix with an electric mixer or stick blender on low until it is a  smooth consistency. You can add more margarine to make it thinner and creamier.

Put in a jar and store in the fridge

Dry mustard powder is a lot easier to store then prepared mustard. And you will always have mustard.


Via: frugallivingonthewatkinsranch


Baking Soda is a Booming Product of the Recession

Is it any wonder that Arm & Hammer Baking Soda was the top performing product during times of recession?  This diverse product can be used for medical treatment for sunburns to a cleaning agent for barbecue grills.  Due to its multipurpose properties, any prepper knows to have a major stock pile of baking soda on hand.  Baking soda works by releasing carbon dioxide when it interacts with an acid and a liquid.

In an article by U.S. News, four years before the recession, Arm & Hammer baking soda sales were slow at a 1% sales increase.  Now that the recession has hit full force, sales increased into the double-digit numbers.

In the midst of the recession, the company ramped up advertising for Arm & Hammer products, which has helped deliver double-digit sales gains for the past 12 months.

Recently many are feeling the beginning waves of the “Crunch,” and are coming to the realization that they must make due with what they have around them.  This is nothing new to the many men and women who made it through the Great Depression.  The infamous motto that came about during that time was, “Use it up.  Wear it out.   Make do, or do without.”  In that day and age, they had to use what they had on hand, and mainly out of necessity, they found a plethora of uses for this fine white powder.  In an article at, there is a list of 75 ways to use baking soda (Did anyone realize there were that many uses for baking soda?).

Uses of Baking Soda

1. Use it as an antacid.

2. Use it as underarm deodorant by applying it with a powder puff.

3. Mix half a teaspoon with peroxide paste and use it as toothpaste.

4. Use it as a face and body scrub.

5. Add a cup to bath water to soften your skin.

6. Relieve skin itch from insect bites and pain from sunburn.

7. Remove strong odors from your hands by rubbing them with baking soda and water.

8. Put two tablespoons in your baby’s bath water to help relieve diaper rash.

9. Apply it on rashes, insect bites, and poison ivy irritations.

10. Take a baking soda bath to relieve skin irritations.

11. Heartburn? Take a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with one-half glass of water.

12. Freshen your mouth by gargling half a teaspoon of baking soda mixed water.

13. Relieve canker sore pain by using it as mouthwash.

14. Use it to relieve bee stings.

15. Use it to relieve windburns.

16. Apply it on jellyfish sting to draw out the venom.

17. Unblock stuffy nose by adding a teaspoon of baking soda to your vaporizer.

18. Keep cut flowers fresh longer by adding a teaspoon to the water in the vase.

19. Put out small fires on rugs, upholstery, clothing, and wood.

20. Put an open container of baking soda in the fridge to absorb the odors.

21. Sprinkle it on your ashtrays to reduce bad odor and prevent smoldering.

22. Sprinkle it on your slippers, boots, shoes, and socks to eliminate foul odor.

23. Turn baking soda into modeling clay by combining it with one and 1/4 cups of water and one cup of cornstarch.

24. After feeding your baby, wipe his shirt with a moist cloth sprinkled with baking soda to remove the odor.

25. Wipe your windshield with it to repel rain.

26. Improve the smell of dishrags by soaking them in baking soda and water.

27. Suck it in with your vacuum cleaner to remove the odor.

28. Freshen the air by mixing baking soda with your favorite perfumed bath salts. Put the mixture in small sachet bags.

29. Restore stiff brushes by boiling them in a solution of 1/2 gallon of water, 1/4 cup of vinegar, and a cup of baking soda.

30. Put it under sinks and along basement windows to repel cockroaches and ants.

31. Scatter baking soda around flowerbeds to prevent rabbits from eating your veggies.

32. Sweeten your tomatoes by sprinkling baking soda on the soil around your tomato plants.

33. Sprinkle it onto your cat’s litter box to absorb the bad odor.

34. Sprinkle it on your pet’s comb or brush to deodorized their fur and skin.

In Cooking

35. Use it as a substitute for baking powder by mixing with it with cream of tartar or vinegar.

36. Wash fruits and vegetables with it.

37. When boiling a chicken, add a teaspoon of baking soda to the water. Feathers will come off easier, and the flesh will be clean and white.

38. Soak dried beans to a baking soda solution to make them more digestible.

39. Remove the distinctive taste of wild game by soaking it in a baking soda solution.

40. Make a sports drink by mixing it with boiled water, salt, and Kool-Aid.

41. Remove the fishy smell from your fillets by soaking the raw fish in a baking soda solution for an hour inside the fridge.

42. Make fluffier omelets by adding half a teaspoon of baking soda for every three eggs used.

43. Reduce the acid content of your tomato-based recipes by sprinkling them with a pinch of baking soda.

Cleaning Purposes

44. Add a cup to the toilet, leave it for an hour, and than flush. It will clean the toilet and absorb the odor.

45. Use it to scrub sinks, showers, plastic and porcelain tubs

46. Spray it on walls, mirrors, and counter tops.

47. Add a spoonful to your dishwasher to make scrubbing dishes easier.

48. Remove grease from pots and pans.

49. Dry clean carpets and upholstered furniture by sprinkling baking soda over the fabric and gently brushing it. Leave it for an hour or overnight, then vacuum.

50. Boost your laundry detergent’s cleaning power by sprinkling a handful on dirty clothes.

51. Combine it with water to make a paste for polishing stainless steel and chrome.

52. Remove scratches and crayon marks from vinyl floors and walls.

53. Clean your shoes with it.

54. Clean garbage cans with it.

55. Use it to wash diapers.

56. Clean the fridge with it.

57. Soak brushes and combs in a baking soda solution.

58. Mix it with water to wash food and drink containers.

59. Put three tablespoons of baking soda to a quart of warm water, then use the mixture to wash marble-topped furniture.

60. Absorb it with a damp sponge, then clean Formica counter tops with the sponge.

61. Use it to get rid of stale odors from cooling containers and thermos bottles.

62. Run your coffee maker with a baking soda solution, then rinse.

63. Combine with hot water to clean baby bottles.

64. Sprinkle it on barbecue grills, then rinse it off.

65. Scatter it on your greasy garage floor, scrub the floor, and rinse.

66. Remove burned-on food from a pan by soaking it in a baking soda solution for 10 minutes before washing.

67. Clean your ashtrays with a baking soda solution.

68. Keep your drains clean by putting four tablespoons of baking soda in them each week. Flush it down with hot water.

69. Clean your shower curtains by soaking them in baking soda and water.

70. Put it on a small brush to rub canvas handbags clean.

71. Use it to remove melted plastic bread wrapper from a toaster. Sprinkle baking soda on a damp rug, then use the rug to clean the toaster.

72. Use it to clean your retainers and dentures.

73. Make a thick paste of baking soda and water, and used it to scrub enameled cast iron and stainless steel.

74. Mix four tablespoons of baking soda with a quart of warm water, and use it to clean the inside part of an oven.

75. Use it to unclog gas stoves.

 Source –

It is quite obvious that baking soda has been modest in displaying it’s many uses to us.  Since this product is quite inexpensive, stocking up on it will not be a large dent in your budget.  With the harder times to come, this product is literally an all-in-one product to have on hand.  Make sure this list of baking soda uses goes into your G.O.O.D Survival Manuals so that you can refer back to them when need be.  Go to the Arm & Hammer website and sign up for free coupons for Arm & Hammer products.

Something to keep in mind for keeping baking powder in long term storage.  It will lose its potency and be of no value when you need it the most. 

However, you should store the components of baking powder so you can make your own.  They are baking soda, cream of tartar, and cornstarch.

1 tsp baking powder = 1/4 tsp baking soda + 1/4 tsp cornstarch + 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
Another comment on this:  Store bought baking powder usually has aluminum in it

Via: readynutrition

Vitamins, Minerals, and Survival

This article was by Simple Survival.

© 2004 Gary L. Benton

A few years ago, when I had first entered the military, I had the chance to read a copy of a survival journal written by a man that was discovered dead. The rescue team had brought out all of his gear, and then turned the journal over to the Air Force. The Air Force had copied the journal and distributed it to various sections to assist in survival training. There were many lessons to be learned from the dead man’s situation. The key to his death, or seemed to me anyway, was nutrition.

Most of us know little about nutrition, because many of are not very interested in the subject to start with. Generally, we have nutritious meals (or at least they are available), we take multi-vitamins, and we (as a country) may be a bit over weight. But, what do we, as hunters, fishermen, campers, and backpackers, know about survival nutrition? I suggest we know (and may not even care) much about the subject.

The man with the journal had died in World War II, and was not discovered until sometime in the 1950’s. His journal was not printed and distributed until the early 1970’s. While less was known about nutrition during the writer’s lifetime, there were things known that could have saved his life. However, I think, like most of us, he was neither interested nor very knowledgeable of the subject. In other words, he was typical of many outdoorsmen and women.

The dead man’s aircraft had crash-landed on a frozen lake up north (Alaska perhaps). I can’t remember exactly where he went down, and it is not very important where it happened, because his situation could be relived in many states or countries. The thing to keep in mind, his crash site was remote.

As I read his journal, I discovered a man with the guts and determination needed to survive. He was an experienced outdoorsman, with years of hunting behind him. He had also been trained, to a small extent, by the military. His journal showed a man of discipline, as well as a deep “will to survive.” Then, you are most likely asking, why did he die?

His journal indicated that while there was no big game in the woods around the lake, it was heavily populated by rabbits. He wrote of eating rabbits regularly, and then as time passed, describing how he was losing weight. Eventually his writing stopped completely. His last entry, if I remember correctly, was of his confusion of starving to death as he ate rabbit after rabbit. I remember one old grizzled survival instructor who commented about the victim, “He starved to death on a full stomach.”

The instructor went on to say that the man might have survived, he had the guts, if he had only known more about nutrition, “A rabbit is a lean critter. Not much fat on ’em and a man in a survival situation needs fat and oils. See, that man was only eating the lean flesh of the animal. He discarded the other parts that may have kept him alive. If he had eaten the contents of the rabbit’s stomach, which contains essentially green leafy grasses, (vitamins B, C, E), the rabbits eyes (which contain salt), along with the liver, heart, and kidneys (which contain vitamin A), as well as other vitamins, he might have made it. I suspect he just plain didn’t know about it. Or, he didn’t like the idea of eating a critter’s innards. Keep in mind, in a prolong survival situation protein along won’t keep you alive”

Over the years I have done a lot of thinking about what the man had written, reliving his fear of death, as well as what the sergeant had said. I have done a little research on nutrition and while I cannot even remotely claim to be an expert, I have found some basic facts we should all keep in mind about vitamins.

First, I suggest all of us carry a small container of good quality multivitamins in our survival kits. They are light and easy to carry. Keep them in the original bottle, because it protects them from sunlight, which can decrease their effectiveness, and it keeps them dry. But, what are the basic essential vitamins for us if we are in a survival situation and do not have vitamins along. Many professionals and “armchair” survival “experts” may disagree, but this is a group of vitamins I think we should be concerned about.

  • Vitamin A, (retinol). We get this vitamin from milk products, animal fat, carrots, and leafy green vegetables. Why do we need this vitamin? It helps keep your vision working well, your immune system up and working, and assists in the functioning of most major organs. Where do you find it? From animal fats, contents of the stomach of plant eating animals, wild green plants in the field.
  • Vitamin B complex, (B1, B2, B3, B5, and B12). All meats, green plants (vegetables), dairy products, gains and cereals (you can get them elsewhere as well, but they are not a source readily available to most survivors, i.e., brewers yeast). Why do we need this vitamin? They are needed for the nervous system, maintaining healthy skin, the cell production process, digestive process, respiration, bone marrow production, and to assist our metabolism. Where do you find it? Once again, by eating green leafy plants (try dandelions or banana leaf), the flesh of wild animals (including the stomach contents if the environment does not allow you to forage for fresh green veggies), pine nuts, walnuts, and perhaps even wild grains or rice.
  • Vitamin C, is found in fresh fruits, vegetables. Remember that citrus fruits and tomatoes have high levels of vitamin C. Why do we need this vitamin? It helps to build healthy tissues, tendons, and assists in absorbing iron. It is essential for healthy teeth and gums as well as for healing wounds or fractures (which may be experienced by survivors). Where do you find it? If you are lucky enough to attempt survival in a jungle, then citrus fruits may not be much of a problem. One source I use in mountains or in general locations is pine needles. The needles on pine boughs can be brewed to make a rough tasting tea. While not that tasty, it does the job of providing vitamin C as well as keeping the drinker warm.
  • Vitamin D, can be found in eggs, dairy products, and fish with fatty flesh (tuna, salmon, sardines, oysters, and others). Why do we need this vitamin? It assists in the building of bones and cartilage. Also, it is used to regulate the absorption of phosphorus and calcium in the body. Where do you find it? During your searches for food look for bird nests. While the eggs you find will not belong to a chicken, they will serve the same purpose as far as vitamin D is concerned. As far as I know, all eggs are eatable and should be eaten if available. Additionally, set fish traps, make a dip net for smaller fish and try your hand at fishing. There may not be much of a problem procuring salmon if you are along streams and rives they run on. Thousands of salmon move on our nations waterways each year. If you catch too many of them, make a drying rack and save them for future needs.
  • Vitamin E, is in rice and green leafy vegetables. Why do we need this vitamin? This is one of the least understood vitamins, but it is known to assist in the prevention of muscular dystrophy. So, it seems this vitamin may be associated with muscular functioning. Where do you find it? Look for wild rice. Surprisingly, it is out there. Remember, rice grows in wet locations so check long the banks of small ponds or lakes. You may get lucky and find a source. Keep in mind to constantly search for sources of food and vitamins around your survival site.
  • Vitamin K, is produced by our intestinal tract. It can also be found in egg yolks, leafy green plants, fish liver oils, and other sources. Why do we need this vitamin? It assists in the clotting of blood. The last problem a survivor needs is the inability to clot a bleeding injury. Where do you find it? Look for eggs as we suggested earlier, search for various green leafy plants, and it need be, build up the courage to eat the contents of an animal’s stomach. The contents of the stomach can be added to soups without affecting most people very much, especially if you don’t tell them or they don’t ask.

Other Considerations are carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and minerals.

  • Carbohydrates are found in a variety of food sources. They are found in sugars, honey, fruits, roots and tubers (cook these well) as well as in cereals. Why do we need them? They are excellent sources of energy and help prevent the nausea often caused by the breakdown of body fats in the body. Where do you find it? Look for bees (honey), wild apples, cattail roots, or even wild potatoes. Cattails will most likely be the easiest to find.
  • Fats are an excellent source of energy and are found in most animal and fish. Additionally, some plants may contain fats, as well as eggs and nuts. While some “survival experts” suggest fats can be found in fungi (mushrooms) I do not recommend eating them. They are not easy to identify by most people and overall, have very little nutrition. They have the disadvantage possibly of being poison if the survivor is unsure of its identity. Why do we need them? Fats give us our energy in a concentrated form. A key consideration here is the availability of water. Fats take water to digest, so make sure you have sufficient water when you ingest fats. Where do you find them? Animal fats are the easiest way. Keep in mind, wild game has less fat than farm animals. Also, during the winter months or early spring, wild animals may contain less fat. In the fall, after eating well all summer, wild game is usually the fatter.
  • Proteins are found in meat, eggs, fish, nuts, and grains. While also found in dairy products, you are unlikely to find a cow in a survival situation. Why do we need them? They supply amino acids, which are necessary for good health. Where do you find them? Attempt to locate wild eggs, fish often, gather nuts and grains if possible, and eat wild meat.
  • Minerals, minerals are need for good overall health. Some, not all, of the minerals we need are sodium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, chlorine, magnesium, and sulfur. Why do we need them? They all play a role in maintaining good overall health. Where do you find them? Salt water may be boilded to produce sodium, or the eyes of the animals you kill will contain salt. Other minerals will be in the foods you eat and it should not be a problem as long as you eat a variety of foods.

While all of this information may seem overwhelming to you, you are most likely getting most of these vitamins and other things during the course of a day. We are just not aware of what is in most of our meals. Those of us who take a good quality multi-vitamin daily are getting our requirements of both vitamins and minerals.

When in the field, and forced to procure food, make sure any plants you harvest are known by you to be safe to eat. You may find almost any of the vegetables and fruits in the wild that are for purchase at your local market. Remember to wash them, but do not soak them in water (prolong soaking can reduce the vitamin content). I suggest boiling them in soups or stews to retain most of the vitamins that would otherwise be lost. While the idea of eating some of the foods survivors are at times forced to eat may be repulsive to some, what is the option?

It has been less than 100 years since the link between foods and diseases has been identified to some degree. British biochemist Fredrick Hopkins, in 1906, proved in his studies the association between vitamins (though not called that yet) and the human body. He found a “missing link”. His research indicated that a body not only needed proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, water, and fats to develop, but it also needed what he called “accessory factors.” Further research by others has shown these “accessory factors” were in fact what we today call vitamins.

Primitive man had no knowledge of vitamins, but his instincts were fairly good. Often, after the killing of a buffalo or large game, he would eat parts of the liver or other internal organs raw, almost immediately. I have read of explorers who did the same and they described a deep “animal like craving” for the bloody meal. Additionally, Native American ate most parts of the game they killed. Were they merely being thrifty with the game they killed or did the act serve some other unknown urge? I think this urge to eat most of killed game was a body’s need for life saving essential vitamins and minerals.

If you are ever faced with a true life and death survival situation, remember this article. Keep in mind to constantly be looking for a variety of foods, thus a variety of vitamins and minerals. Eat plenty of green leafy plants (if you can safely identify the plant), gather eggs, nuts, pine needles and other sources of food. Set out fish traps. Consider eating the parts of an animal you would not usually consider a “prime cut.” Survival is not for the weak of heart. Those who do what ever is needed still have no assurance of survival. Nonetheless, the will to survive, continuous hard work, and constantly procuring sources of food can increase your chances of survival. Take care and I hope to see you in the field.

This article was by Simple Survival.


Vitamin Infused Powders – Essential Emergency Preps

It has been said that taking vitamins are not to keep death at bay, but to keep us from deteriorating.  What happens if you become vitamin deficient? A few of the symptoms may include, (but are not limited to) chronic fatigue, anemia, lowered immune, scurvy, susceptibility to immune deficient diseases such as MRSA, hypertension, joint pain, and chronic inflammation to name a few (Source).   These symptoms are no way to survive an emergency, especially if it is for the long haul.

Regular intakes of essential vitamins such as vitamin A, B, C, D, (and the rest of the vitamin alphabet) are required to maintain physical health, mental clarity and diffuse stress.  If a long term emergency occurs, many individuals may find these vitamins hard to come by.  Storing vitamins is always an option, but their potency may diminish due to natural elements such as humidity and sunlight.  Alternatives such as vitamin supplement drinks are a great way to get the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to help maintain metabolic function, and to boost energy levels.

Benefits of Storing Vitamin Powders

  • Each packet delivers essential vitamins and minerals that benefit the immune system, increase energy levels, promote healthy nervous system functions, and promote healthy neurotransmitter health.
  • In fact, vitamin powders such as Emergen-C provide 1,000 mg of vitamin C, 7 of the B vitamins to increase energy naturally, electrolytes to refuel the body, and offers an array of flavors.
  • Individual packets are sealed for long term use.
  • Packets can easily be stored for 72 hour kitsand vehicle 72 hour kits.
  • Packets provide a refreshing taste to treated water (Typically water that has been treated with iodine, bleach or chlorine has an unattractive taste.  When a flavored drink mix is added to the treated water, the chemical taste is not as apparent).

Emergen-C vitamin packets can be given to children as well.  For children 2-3, mix half the packet of vitamin mix to a 4 ounce glass of water.  For children 4 and up, mix 1 packet of vitamin mix to 4 ounces of water a day.   Go to the website for more information.  For more information and facts about the vitamin drink mix, click here.

Click here for a free sample of Emergen-C

I use this myself when I become sick or feel I am starting to get that way. Good way to up your vitamin C and others.

Via: readynutrition


Use Calcium Hypochlorite to Disinfect Water – Better than Bleach

This article was originally posted at Survival Topics

Many outdoorsmen, survivalists, and households preparing for emergency disasters rely upon common household bleach as a disinfecting agent to make water safe to drink.

Bleach will destroy most (but NOT all!) disease causing organisms (boiling water to make it safe to drink is always the best method).

What is not well known is Calcium Hypochlorite is far better for chemically disinfecting water.

Old Way: Using Bleach to Disinfect Water

I cringe to think how many people have expired bleach in their disaster emergency kits that will be used for treating polluted water.

Those of us who have emergency preparedness stocks of survival food and survival gear often keep a gallon or two of unscented household bleach on hand for making safe drinking water in large quantities. Bleach is often the chemical of choice because it is commonly available and frequently mentioned when discussing the how-to’s of drinking water.

Typical fresh household chlorine bleach has about 5.35% chlorine content (be sure to read the label).

To use household bleach for disinfecting water:

  • Add two drops of bleach per quart or liter of water.
  • Stir it well.
  • Let the mixture stand for a half hour before drinking.

If the water is cloudy with suspended particles:

  • First filter the water as best you can.
  • Double the amount of bleach you add to the water.

Why Using Bleach to Disinfect Contaminated Water is a Problem

A little known problem with long term storage of bleach in your disaster emergency supply cache is that it degrades over time. Consulting a Chlorox bleach representative produced this statement:

“We recommend storing our bleach at room temperatures. It can be stored for about 6 months at temperatures between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. After this time, bleach will be begin to degrade at a rate of 20% each year until totally degraded to salt and water. Storing at temperatures much higher than 70 degrees Fahrenheit could cause the bleach to lose its effectiveness and degrade more rapidly. However, if you require 6% sodium hypochlorite, you should change your supply every 3 months.”

I cringe to think how many people have expired bleach in their disaster emergency kits that will be used for treating polluted water. Even what are considered reliable sources of information such as the EPA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA will show you how to use bleach to disinfect water but will leave out this exceedingly important piece of information.

This is why I created Survival Topics – to give you the real information you need to survive.

So if bleach is unreliable for long term storage in emergency preparedness kits then what other commonly available chemical methods of disinfecting water are there? As it turns out a better solution is easily available.

Use Calcium Hypochlorite to Disinfect Water

A 1-pound pag of calcium hypochlorite in granular form will treat up to 10,000 gallons of drinking water

Calcium hypochlorite is one of the best chemical disinfectants for water, better than household bleach by far. It destroys a variety of disease causing organisms including bacteria, yeast, fungus, spores, and viruses.

Calcium Hypochlorite is widely available for use as swimming pool chlorine tablets or white powder that is much more stable than chlorine. This is often known as “pool shock”.

How to Disinfect Water Using Calcium Hypochlorite

Using granular calcium hypochlorite to disinfect water is a two-step process.

  • To make a stock of chlorine solution (do not drink this!) dissolve 1 heaping teaspoon (about one-quarter of an ounce) of high-test (78%) granular calcium hypochlorite for each two gallons (eight liters) of water.
  • To disinfect water add one part of the chlorine solution to 100 parts water to be treated.
  • Let the mixture sit for at least one-half hour before drinking.

 Be sure to obtain the dry granular calcium hypochlorite since once it is made into a liquid solution it will begin to degrade and eventually become useless as a disinfecting agent. This also means you should make your treated drinking water in small batches, for example enough for a few weeks at a time at most.

Another plus for using calcium hypochlorite to disinfect water for emergency use is that a little goes a very long way. A 1-pound pag of calcium hypochlorite in granular form typically costs only a few US dollars and can be obtained in any swimming pool supply section of your hardware store or online. This amount will treat up to 10,000 gallons of drinking water, which is enough for a family of four for some six or seven years at a gallon per day per person!

Calcium hypochlorite will store for a long period of time and remain effective as a chemical drinking water treatment. So get rid of the household bleach and buy a can of Calcium hypochlorite for your disaster emergency water disinfection needs. It lasts far longer and treats far more water than the traditional chlorine bleach water disinfection treatment.

This article was originally posted at Survival Topics

Remedies from the Pantry for Cold and Flu

With cold and flu season in full swing it is a good idea to review ways to deal with it. As miserable as a cold or flu might be now, with the pharmacy shelves bursting with over the counter remedies, one day relief might not be that close at hand.

Most of our prep kits have a stash of OTC medications but in a long-term disaster situation it will be important to make those last as long as possible. You might be surprised to discover that your kitchen cupboards may hold the key to curing your stuffy nose, scratchy throat, cough and chills.

Turning toward natural remedies now will give you the knowledge and skills you need to keep your family well during the onset of a disaster or extended disaster. Consider learning ways to make homemade lozenges to soothe sore throats, or possessing basic knowledge on which herbs may be used to treat cold/flu symptoms. Further, knowing how to combine these together to make cold/flu syrups will only better your family’s chances at beating the cold/flu season when OTC medicines aren’t as readily available.

Listed below are some other homeopathic ways to care for yourself and your family when you are ill.

Lemon-Ginger Jelly:  Place lemon slices and ginger shavings into a small jar.  Cover this with honey.  Keep this in the refrigerator.  In a few days you will have a “jelly” – stir one tablespoon into a cup of hot water for a tea that will soothe your throat and stuffy nose.

Honey Cinnamon Cough Remedy: Sprinkle powdered cinnamon onto a tablespoon of honey to calm a cough caused by a scratchy throat.

Peppermint tea: Peppermint tea will aid in relieving congestion and opening up the sinuses, plus sipping the hot beverage will help you combat chills.

Chicken Noodle Soup:  Chicken soup loaded with garlic and onion is full of antioxidants that will boost your immune system while helping keep you hydrated, relieving irritation in your throat and mucous membranes and warming you up if you are suffering from chills.  Chicken noodle soup has also been proven to have some antiviral properties which can help shorten the duration of a cold or flu.

Steam: Simmering a pot of water on a heat source can put humidity into the room, which helps loosen mucous from nasal passages to ease breathing and soothe coughing. Certain herbs, like basil or mint, or aromatics like eucalyptus or tea tree oil, can be beneficial when added to the pot of water.

Water: Keeping well-hydrated is important when you are blowing your nose ten thousand times per day.  Drink water, juice, ginger ale or sports beverages but avoid drinks containing caffeine. Staying hydrated has the added benefit of offsetting fatigue.  If you can, spike your water with lemon juice for a burst of vitamin C.

Salt Water:  Gargling with salt water can calm a scratchy throat and help get rid of mucous.  It has the added benefit of being mildly antibacterial.  Dissolve one tablespoon of salt into one cup of water.

Ginger Tea: Chinese medicine has turned to ginger root for thousands of years to combat viruses and infections, while boosting the body’s natural immunities.

These remedies have stood the test of time – give them a shot and you might be surprised to find out that you don’t actually need the over-the-counter chemicals to relieve your symptoms!

Via: readynutrition

Make Your Own Survival Bars

This article was originally posted at Adventures in Self Reliance

Apparently there are a couple of different recipes out there for these, we just used one I had been given by a food storage lady. Now, this was really a fun experiment, because there were 6 of us making these survival bread loaves, and of course they turned out 6 different ways. We’ll discuss what happened as we go through the directions.


2 cups oats

2 1/2 cups powdered milk

1 cup sugar

3 TB honey

1 3 oz package jello (orange or lemon)

3 TB water

Mix the oats, powdered milk, and sugar together in a bowl: A couple of us used regular oats, a couple used quick oats. I really don’t think it matters which you use–whatever you have on hand is fine.

In a medium pan mix water, jello and honey. Bring to a boil. We found that a rolling boil was better than just beginning to boil for the mixing step. I did not know why the recipe called for lemon or orange jello so we made some with raspberry and watermelon. When we tasted them, we figured the lemon or orange were specified due to the high amount of sugar in this recipe! The sweet jello bars were REALLY sweet when they were done!
One of us also mis-read the instruction email and mixed her jello in with the dry ingredients, so we just boiled water and honey at this step and it gave the final product a slightly different texture, but still worked.
Lemon jello barely boiling:

Raspberry jello at a rolling boil:

Add jello mixture to dry ingredients. Mix well. If the dough is too dry, add a small amount of water a teaspoon at a time. This is where it got a bit tricky. You want this to be dry, but it has to be moist enough to stick together, and this stuff is stiff!!! Spoons only work for about 30 seconds–you’ll end up cleaning your hands and smashing it all together that way (or you could use your mixer, I guess–why didn’t we think to do that???)

Add the water a little at a time–do NOT get impatient and just add a bunch of water! You’ll be able to stick it together lots easier, but the idea is for it to be dry so it will not mold in your car trunk like your kid’s leftover tuna fish sandwich…


Shape dough into a loaf about the size of a brick. Yeah, right. We had a couple of Martha Stewarts with us that were able to form lovely brick shaped loaves, I just wasn’t one of them. I don’t think it really matters what shape your loaf is–it’s not like you’ll be posting pictures of it on the internet or anything . . . I’m thinking if I do these again, I’m going to make smaller loaves anyway and just have 3 smaller loaves instead of one big loaf. I’m going to need a chisel to be able to eat any of this!

Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Another recipe I found says to put it in the oven and dry at low heat. That might be better overall. Our loaves got a bit brown on the bottom and we had severe stickage to the pan (think melting/cooking jello+sugar), so you might spray your pan first. Here’s the loaves after they cooked. Okay, I know, they look just like the loaves before they cooked, but really, I didn’t just go to the other side of the pan and take a picture, these were the cooked loaves.

Cool. Wrap in aluminum foil to store. I do not know why you wouldn’t put it in a ziplock or something, but I guess maybe it stays dryer in the foil. Not sure about you all in humid climates–this probably wouldn’t last in foil–I think I’d maybe make sure it was really dry, then vacuum pack it with my food saver if I lived anywhere besides the desert!

This bread will keep indefinitely and each loaf is the daily nutrients for one adult (approx 2000 calories). This is what the paper says. My loaves are going in the back of my suburban when I get my car kit put together and we’ll see how long they last! This was not too difficult to make. I figured the cost of 1/4 of a #10 can of powdered milk at $2.00 (we got the powdered milk at $8/can–lots of places are more expensive than that) the jello at $ .50 (okay, mine was $.97 because I had to buy it at the little store here in town–jello is a non food that I don’t usually have in my food storage), the sugar, honey, and oats another $1.00 or so. So on the cheap end, these cost $3.50ish for 2000 calories, compared to $4.95 for 2400 calories of the commercial emergency food bars. These are larger and heavier than the commercial bars also. I will say however, that the orange jello brick (my personal favorite) actually tasted pretty good and not all processed and shortening (yep, a real word).

So there you have it. Making your own survival food bars from the goods in your food storage! And if you don’t want to eat it you could always use it as a doorstop!

This article was originally posted at Adventures in Self Reliance

Personal Preparedness Kit for Kids

We all know that emergencies occur when we least expect them – especially when children are concerned.  Teaching them to be prepared for unforeseen events starts at home.  And, like school, you have to start with the basics.  Putting a few basic emergency items in your child’s book bag will help your child be the most prepared kid in school.  And, knowing that your child has his or her basic needs met will calm your concerns while they are away.

Studies have shown, that a child is less fearful of unforeseen circumstances when they know they can handle the situation on their own.   Having the right tools at their disposal will significantly reduce their stress levels, while at the same time; give them a bit of comfort during a stressful event.  Consequently, your child’s self-confidence will increase because he feels entrusted by you with these emergency items.

As long as I have had this blog, I have advocated that each person should have a personal preparedness kit that they carry around with them.  I firmly believe children should be taught this as well.  Most of these small preparedness items can fit conveniently into a pencil bag, or a small sized bag with a zipper.  These items were approved through the school nurse at my children’s school.  Before packing up these basic emergency items, check with your child’s principal, school nurse or teacher.

Items May Include:

[ ] Bandages

[ ] First aid ointment

[ ] Chapstick

[ ] Whistle/compass combination

[ ] Pen/tablet

[ ] Light stick or wind up flashlight

[ ] Emergency blanket

[ ] Sanitary bags

[ ] Hand wipes

[ ] Emergency rain poncho

[ ] Energy bar or snack

[ ] Water bottle

Via: readynutrition

What It’s Like To Live In a Bankrupt City

So far, just a few cities have gone fully bankrupt.   As the economic continues it slow roll into a collapse, we can continue to see the slow roll of cities entering bankruptcy.   In 2013, I am expecting the more cities will face the reality that their obligations can no longer be met.   When the 2nd Great Depression becomes a full reality, there will be 100′s, perhaps 1000′s of cities, small and large, going bankrupt.

This article discusses the impact a city’s bankruptcy has upon it people.

When a city goes into bankruptcy, it is not a singular event where a city suddenly stops paying its bills.  Cities go to any length to avoid bankruptcy.  So when a bankruptcy does arrive, often there were a series of difficult events and hard decisions that preceded the bankruptcy.   Cities will utilize every asset, source of credit, and every bit of goodwill first, before going into bankruptcy.  When bankruptcy can no longer be avoided, the entire community is negatively impacted.

To date, the following cities have entered bankruptcy in the United States:

  • Boise County, Idaho
  • City of Central Falls, R.I.
  • City of Harrisburg, Pa.
  • City of San Bernardino, Calif.
  • City of Stockton, Calif.
  • Jefferson County, Ala.
  • Town of Mammoth Lakes, Calf.


One prediction for 2013, I’m estimating that 5 more cities will enter bankruptcy.

Here are a list of impact upon a city going in to bankruptcy:

  1. There are mass layoffs of city personnel.  The layoff of city personnel will likely add to the high employment in that city.
  2. The quality of people remaining in the employment of a bankrupt city will likely decline.   Highly skilled and valuable employees will depart for better jobs.  What remains is a low-quality, demoralized work force.
  3. In a bankrupt city, city employees are more likely to be involved in corruption as a way to obtain more money.  Bribes will make long city transactions go quicker.  Crimes will be overlooked in returns bribes to police.  Way few city contracts are preserve are routed to family members of city officials or used as a mechanism to collect kick-backs.
  4. One of the primary reasons why cities go into bankruptcy is the inability to meet the obligation of city workers’ retirement benefits.   Cities have a long history of underfunding their pension plans.  When budgets start to get tight, contributions to pension plans are reduced.   Retirees of the city will likely lose some or all of their pension and retirement health care benefits.  Many cities don’t participate in social security, thus city employees are doubly screwed during a bankruptcy.  Unless the state absorbs the pension plan, there is the risk that city retirees can lose everything.   Those current city employees will see their pension plan closed or cancelled.   At one time not too long ago, working for the government was considered stables and reliable employment.  Working for the government meant that salaries were sub-par that of the private sector.  But benefits, especially retirement benefits, were very generous for government workers.  Unfortunately, government workers tended not to save their own money towards retirement.  This is a mistake.   Everyone, regardless of their employment, should save their own money towards retirement.
  5. Service levels of any city-related function can be expected to take much longer, or perhaps not done at all.   Without city employees to process the paper work, such activities like obtaining a business license, filing a zoning request, or paying a fee will take forever to process.  More likely, paperwork will get lost or sit in the in-box of the few remaining city works for months.
  6. If your company was a vendor to the city or was owned money from the city, your business will get screwed in the bankruptcy process.   Many city vendor contracts will be outright cancelled.   Existing vendor contracts will be forced to renegotiated at lower prices.  City debts will not be paid.   Payments towards any debts can held back by a bankruptcy court or can be delay for months or even years.   Many small businesses that provide goods or services to a bankrupt city will correspondingly go out of business.
  7. The infrastructure of the city will degrade incrementally over time.  Roads and bridges will not be repaired.  Traffic lights will fail and not be repaired.  Street lights will not be turned on at night.  Sewer lines become backed-up.  Water lines burst and fail.  It becomes extremely difficult to make a new city water or sewer connection.  The quality of the city’s water can degrade due to lagging maintenance of the water treatment plant or due to water pipe leaks.   You vehicles can be easily damaged by the poor quality of streets.   And if your vehicle is damaged by badly maintained streets, you doubly screwed, since you can’t sue a bankrupt city!!
  8. You start to see trash everywhere in bankrupt city.   Trash pickup services are delayed.  Instead of picking up trash once per week, trash pick up might be only twice or once per month.   Since no one is watching, people will come to a bankrupt city to dump their trash.
  9. Abandoned buildings will appear, as residents move away and businesses close.   A block with abandoned houses is just depressing.   Abandoned buildings invite drug addicts, homeless people, and criminals.  Why pay rent, when you can merely squat in an abandoned building, right?   Utilities (electricity and water) are often illegally tapped by squatters in abandoned buildings.
  10. If you are involved in an accident with a bankrupt city vehicle or injured on city property, you’ll likely never be able to sue or receive compensation for the damages.  If the police from a bankrupt city inappropriately beats the snot out of you, no longer can you expect to receive million dollar judgments in civil courts.   As a result, many city employees will act as though they are above the law and immune from judgment.
  11. Often the quality of the schools in a bankrupt city decline dramatically.   High performing students will leave, as their parents depart for greener pastures.  The remaining students will be lower performers.   The school district will see lower graduation rates, lower test scores, increased pregnancies, increased crime and drug usage in the schools.  The high quality teachers will run to the suburbs or adjacent school districts.  Schools will run out of books, toilet paper, pencils, etc.  Schools in a bankrupt city or bankrupt school district can quickly regress to 3rd world quality.
  12. Crime usually dramatically increases in a bankrupt city.   This is for a variety of reasons.  First, with less police on the street, criminals are embolden and less constrained.   In a bankrupt city, you will see higher levels of poverty and desperation, which leads towards more crime.   Gangs become the new families for teens without a future.   Young girls will more likely to become pregnant, which adds to the repeating poverty cycle.    The city attorney for San Bernardino, CA told a group of city citizens, “Lock your doors.  Load your guns.”  This was said after the layoffs of police and resulting increases in crime.   Crime become a force multiplier in the miserly of a bankrupt city.
  13. Police respond time to 911 / emergency calls become delayed.  Some bankrupt cities stopped responding or stopped investigating non-violent crimes.   With less police, even a report of a violent crime in progress can be further delayed.   In most cities, the response time to a 911 call is about 9 to 15 minutes.   In a bankrupt city, the response time could be 20 or 30 minutes.   In the even of a protest march or riot, you can expect no police response to a 911 call.
  14. Dead animals will start to litter the streets of bankrupt cities.   Dog and cats will go feral, as their previous owners could not longer afford pet food or moved away from the city.  Animal control officers are among the first to be laid off.  Packs of dogs can become a safety concerns as they regress to primal instincts.
  15. Businesses are highly unlikely to invest or expand in a bankrupt city.  Viable businesses will depart for a better environment.   Many small, family run businesses will simply fold up shop and close forever, due to loss of customers.   The closing of business will add to the unemployment rates and misery of the bankrupt city.
  16. Skilled professionals run away from bankrupt cities.  When a city becomes bankrupt, you’ll find it is hard to find a quality doctor, lawyer, accountant, plumber, electrician, HVAC tech, and other highly skilled professionals.  People with high skills are much more mobile that blue-collar workers.
  17. When a city declares bankruptcy, the value of homes and businesses in that city immediately decline.   You could wake up tomorrow to find your city declaring bankruptcy, which results immediately in the value of your home declining by as much as 50%.    As demand ceases for home buying in a bankrupt city, so will home prices immediately drop in value.  This often traps city residents from moving away from a bankrupt city, since no one will buy their home and banks will not refinance a mortgage this is under water.
  18. A general sense of vibrancy is lost in a bankrupt city.  You don’t see people walking the street at night or going to entertainment spots.   Restaurants are bare of people.   Businesses don’t appear to have customers.  The look on the faces of the people are glum, reflecting the economic realities of the place.  Sports teams will look to uproot and move to a different town.   Movie theaters and night clubs close.   Any people who you do see out and about at night look shady or despondent.
  19. Any business remain viable improve their security.  Security guards will be posted where there were none before.  Alarm systems and barbed wire are added.  I remember walking through downtown Los Angeles a couple of years after the Rodney King riots.  The entire downtown area of Los Angeles looked like a prison camp, where every building had bars on the windows and barbed wire on fences.
  20. Mental illness, drug addiction, alcoholism, and homelessness dramatically increase in bankrupt cities.  People will no hope will attempt to escape reality with drugs and alcohol.   Loss of jobs results in increases in mental illnesses.  Rates of depression and suicide increase.
  21. The hospitals that serve a bankrupt city become places of misery. As people lose their jobs and their health insurance, their only option sometimes become the emergency room.   Wait times at public hospital can increase up to 30 hours for minor emergencies.   Some hospital could close due to budget problems, adding to the workload of the remaining hospital.

The key element of planning related to city bankruptcies is get out before bankruptcy is declared.  If you have a sense that bankruptcy of your town or city is possible, you have a small window of time to sell your home and move away.  Once the bankruptcy is declared, you have already lost.   If you must live in a financially unstable city, don’t own a home.  Rather, rent a home to give you the flexibility to move away quickly.

The following are warning signs that your town or city might be approaching bankruptcy:

  1. Layoffs of city workers — Most cities are no longer overflowing with slack employees doing little work.  Most people working for cities these days finds their workload are overwhelming.   Thus whenever a city does conduct a layoff, that is a bad sign.
  2. The city is unable to issue new debt – If you see that your town or city attempted to issue new debt, but was somehow rejected, that should be a strong indicator.
  3. The city has its credit rating lowered — It is my observation that credit ratings agencies are like Monday-morning quarterbacks.  The game is already over when a credit rating agency lowers the credit rating of a town or city.
  4. City officials suddenly resign or involved in some type of scandal or crime. –  If your mayor or city executive is in the news for bad reasons, often the economic situation of the city has not been disclosed.
  5. If the unemployment rate of the city is higher than the state averages, that is a huge warning sign.  – If the city has an unemployment rate of 12%, but the state average is 9%, that represents a huge imbalance in the city’s economy.
  6. The city’s pension plan is funded to 65% or less, that indicates that the city is falling further behind in its obligations to retirees.   — An announcement that pension plans are being closed or lessened for new employees is a bad sign.
  7. If city labor contracts are cancelled, that is an indication that the city is having severe financial problems.
  8. If a utility system related to the city runs into financial problems, soon the city might need to absorb the financial problems of the utility.   This occurred in Harrisburg, PA with a trash incinerator project when bad.  Harrisburg was on the hook for the failed project, which dragged the entire city down.
  9. There is news or discussion about the city being taken control by the state or an overseer is appointed to watch the city’s finances.   Or perhaps a control board is appointed to watch over the city.   If the city’s elected official lose any measure of control over the city’s finances, that is a bad sign.
  10. If debt payments are delayed or “restructured”, that is a strong indication that a city is going into crisis mode.
  11. If a city suddenly declares a major tax increase or increases in fees, that is an indication that a city is become desperate.

In the belief that the 2nd Great Depression is inevitable, I advocate strongly that you move out of any major cities.  At minimum, move to the suburbs where there is green grass and plenty of trees.   Have enough land to plant your own garden.  Cities of significant size will become places of misery during the next Great Depression.  It will be difficult to obtain food in large cities.  Crime will become out of control.

To valid the information in this article, I invite you to learn more about the economic crisis in Argentina.   It has been 10 years since the onset of the Great Depression in Argentina.  Life for ordinary Argentines remains difficult.  Inflation is high.  Corrupt runs through all levels of government.   Crime is widespread and ever worrying for law-abiding people.   The following are news articles about Argentine’s economic collapse:

Argentina: life after bankruptcy

Surviving in Argentina

Ten years after economic collapse, Argentina is still in recovery

Argentine economic crisis (1999–2002)

Despair in Once-Proud Argentina

The price of cooking the books – Argentina’s Inflation Problem

Ten years from now, the United States could look like Argentine today.  Or like Spain, Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Malta, Hungary, and other countries who are slow rolling into the 2nd Great Depression.   Cities are not the place to be, when the 2nd Great Depression becomes the reality of life for ordinary people   The ideal location to live comfortable during the 2nd Great Depression is in a rural area, surrounded by extended family and like-minded, self-reliant neighbors.   Also living in small towns of less than 10000 people is ideal if you are not able to handle the workload of rural life, such as retirees.   The future  could be a bread-line of a major city or eating fresh vegetables pulled directly from your own garden.   A daily bowl of soup from the Red Cross, or a roasted chicken from your own hen house.  Being surrounded by gangs in your neighborhood, or keeping criminals at the distant of 700 yards through the scope of your .308 rifle.

Via: survival5x5

This could NEVER happen where you live… right?

This is a short but interesting thing I came across that gives more reasons to stay informed and be prepared:

As you no doubt have heard by now, the government of Cyprus announced Saturday morning (when the banks were closed) that they would impose a ‘levy’ on bank deposits.

Originally they announced levies of 9.9% for accounts above 100,000 euros, and 6.7% for accounts below 100,000 euros.

In the face of such a massive backlash, they’re now talking about increasing the levy on larger deposits to 12.5%, and reducing the levy on smaller deposits to 3%.

A final vote on the measure won’t come until later this week. But they have imposed a mandatory ‘bank holiday’ this week to prevent people from withdrawing their savings.

And, according to the draft legislation, anyone who doesn’t hand over the money will be thrown in jail.

Now if this doesn’t prove the point of what we’ve been talking about for so long, I don’t know what will.

Cyprus is totally broke. And as we have discussed, bankrupt, insolvent governments have a very, very limited playbook that almost unilaterally involves stealing from their own citizens.

Bankrupt governments can, and do, steal from people. Pensions funds. Private property. And yes, even bank accounts.

This has happened so many times before throughout history; just over a decade ago in Argentina, for example, the government was in the middle of a debt and currency crisis. They shuttered bank accounts and completely vanquished the savings of their citizens.

Here’s my advice, plain and simple: do not hold the preponderance of your assets in insolvent, bankrupt nations. This includes the United States, Japan, and most of Europe.

Rather, move at least a portion of your assets to stable, independent countries. These are the same places that we routinely discuss in this column– Hong Kong, Singapore, Chile, Norway.

An Argentine friend of mine is staying down here at the farm with me, and this morning over breakfast I informed him this morning about what happened in Cyprus.

“Duh,” he responded. “What did they think would happen..?”

It just goes to show, there are two types of people– (1) Those who know that these things happen, and (2) those who refuse to believe that these things can happen.

One group will be able to protect what they have. The other will become victims.

Which one are you?

Via: sovereignman