Monthly Archives: August 2014

Database Shows What Military Equipment Your Local Police Department Has Been Stockpiling

There’s no doubt that domestic law enforcement agencies on every level have been ramping up their militarization efforts in recent years. In fact, it’s gotten so bad that it has prompted Senator Rand Paul to call for a demilitarization of domestic police departments. “The images and scenes we continue to see in Ferguson resemble war more than traditional police action,” notes Paul in a recent article.

We know that the Department of Homeland Security has been buying up billions of rounds of ammunition, military grade rifles, armored vehicles, riot gear and a host of other supplies. But local police stockpiles have remained fairly hidden from the public, save for the brief peeks we get during mass policing actions like those in Ferguson, Missouri over the last week.

But if you’re interested in what your local county has been stockpiling compliments of The Department of Homeland Security, a database from the military’s Defense Logistics Agency can help.

The Law Enforcement Support Office, under the 1033 program authorized by the National Defense Authorization Act, helps local police departments obtain military equipment for use in their cities. As reported by The Detroit Free Press, over 8,000 participating agencies have taken advantage of LESO offerings from the U.S. military and DHS since the program’s inception:

This law allows for the office to transfer excess Department of Defense property to law enforcement agencies across the United States and its territories.

Since its inception, the 1033 program has transferred more than $5.1 billion worth of property.

In 2013 alone, $449,309,003.71 worth of property was transferred to law enforcement.

Simply choose your State and your County and you’ll have complete access to see how well militarized your local and county police departments are.

Click here to launch the database in a new window for easier viewing.
(Secondary Link to Database Here)

You may or may not be surprised to find everything from mine resistant vehicles and grenade launchers to night vision goggles and high powered assault rifles.

As an example of the heavy militarization efforts of domestic law enforcement agencies, The Detroit Free Press utilized the LESO database to see what Michigan police have been up to in recent years:

A Free Press review of items transferred from the military since 2006 shows Michigan law enforcement agencies have received 17 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles or MRAPs, built to counter roadside bombs; 1,795 M16 rifles (5.56mm), the U.S. military’s combat weapon of choice; 696 M14 rifles (7.62 mm); 530 bayonet and scabbards; 165 utility trucks; 32 12-gauge, riot-type shotguns; nine grenade launchers; and three observation helicopters.

James Quinn of The Burning Platform did a similar investigation into his local area and found that cops in his county of Montgomery, Pennsylvania now have a $733,000 mine resistant vehicle and a $245,000 armored personnel carrier. “I sure hope they will be able to clear all the land mines in my upper class suburban county,” notes Quinn.

The U.S. government has long been war-gaming large-scale economic collapse scenarios and civil unrest simulations, leaving many Americans wondering if they know something we don’t.

Use the LESO database above to find out what they’ve been stockpiling and what you can expect to see in your local neighborhood if the worst happens.


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Via: shtfplan

6 Reasons to Stockpile Blankets

Don’t pass up those older, maybe even oddly colored, blankets at thrift stores and yard sales. Those cheap blankets can serve many purposes and can easily be tucked into corners until needed. You should keep a small stockpile or several of blankets on hand, depending on your gardening and livestock keeping habits for the following reasons:

  1. Let’s start with the obvious, blankets keep us warm and in an emergency situation, sitting underneath and on top of blankets when there’s no or little heat can quite literally keep us alive. Having more than enough on hand means we can care for extra people as well – the elderly neighbor, extended family and friends who come to visit, etc.
  2. Keeping a garden is an important part of the homesteading lifestyle and a late spring or early fall frost can destroy our plants quickly.  Keep extra blankets in the garden shed for frost protection. When the weather forecast looks ominous, toss the blankets over sensitive plants to protect them from the damaging effects of a light frost.
  3. Add a pocket to one edge of a quilt and hang it from a tension rod in windows, to add an extra layer of warmth during frigid cold spells. This helps keep the cold out from drafty windows or even just large windows that get cold from sheer size. These window quilts can help keep cold out and heat in, helping us use less wood or other forms of heat energy.

  4. Use them as makeshift beds. A few blankets piled on a floor add padding and a slightly more comfortable sleeping space. It’s not as comfortable as a bed, but for extra guests in an emergency situation, it would be appreciated.
  5. Pets and livestock occasionally need bedding beyond just wood chips or straw, these blankets can be a just as much a lifesaver for them as they are for humans. Keep a pile in the barn or outbuildings specifically for animal bedding. At worst, they get destroyed and can’t be used again, but most likely they can be washed and re-used multiple times.
  6. Receiving blankets and other thin cotton and wool blankets can make great scrap fabric. Hold onto these to repair thicker quilts that get torn or for piecing together larger quilts and throws. Depending on your sewing skill level, they can often be fashioned into coats, pants, pajamas, and more.

To keep your stockpiled blankets in the best possible shape, store them in plastic garbage sacks, space bags, or even plastic tubs to keep them from getting dirty between uses and to protect them from pests like insects or mice, especially when being kept outside.


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Via: thesurvivalmom

Bennett’s Expedient Survival Tin

The Bennett’s Expedient Survival Tin (BEST)

This kit is designed to be a 72-hour kit. It is designed to be small and portable, but also to be effective in providing for the Survival “Rule of Threes.”

The basic kit is enclosed in an Altoids tin, wrapped with 10 feet of 550 parachute cord. Note the 3/32″ diameter hole drilled in the upper right hand corner of the tin. This kit provides for shelter preparation, fire making, water storage and treatment, signaling capability, basic medical needs and food procurement.


1 Survival Cheat Sheet – the Universal Edibility Test, Body Signals and Ground-to-Air Signals
1 large trash bag
1″ piece of drinking straw, sealed and filled with 5.25% sodium hypochlorite bleach.
1 rubber glove (it’s purple in photo)
1 BSA Hot Spark
10 matches with striker & cover
2 cotton balls
1 birthday candle
2 bandaids
1 small bolt w/ nut
1 safety pin
1 small SAK
2 jig saw blades
4 fish hooks
2 fishing flies – one wet, one dry
5 split-shot sinkers
15′ 15 lb. test line
1 rubber band

Remember the 3/32″ hole? The tin is modified to be a handle for the saw. The kit contains coarse and fine saw blades.

A slit is milled in the top lid of the tin and has a corresponding bottom of the tin has a channel cut from the wall of the side to allow the tin to close and to add support for the blade. A 3/32″ hole drilled in the tin near the same location. A jigsaw blade, similar to that used in the Gerber multitool fits through the slit and the hole in the blade is lined up with the hole in the tin. A screw and nut turn the kit into a handle for the saw blade to make a mini-saw.

The 3/32 hole is also used as a sighting system for signaling. The inside of the tin is shiny. Use the hole to point toward the plane to flash signals to them.

Water purification – water is stored in the glove. To disinfect, use the bleach. The 1″ tube provides about 8 drops of bleach. Puncture it and add 2 drops per quart to sanitize water as per FEMA instruction. Curious note: the Altoids tin filled 8 2/3 times (to the bottom of the hinges) makes about a quart of water.
Distance & Height Measurement – The cord can have a loop in one end and a knot at 36″ from the loop. This 3 foot measurement works with the 3/32″ hole to form a basic (READ: Good ‘nuf) distance/height measurement system. at 100 yards, an image fitting in the hole is 9 foot 4 1/2″ tall. 2/3 of the height of the hole – 1/16″, is about 6 feet.

Here are the Altoids Survival Saw mods: I used a bracket to shore up the saw. Works much better!


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Via: survival

With Rulers in Hand, the “Grass Police” Threaten Lazy Texas Homeowners

Tell me this isn’t crazy…

While the border of Texas and Mexico is being overrun with illegal immigrants, government officials in the town of Abilene, Texas are going around neighborhoods making sure that grass meets the government mandated length requirements.

That’s right, government officials are using taxpayer money to drive through neighborhoods, ruler in hand, to make sure that home owners keep their grass at the government required height.


If homeowners don’t keep their lawns manicured and up to spec with code, they’re then issued letters that threaten them to cut their grass — or else.

And get this. If a homeowner doesn’t act quickly enough, he’ll be issued a class C misdemeanor.

Fittingly, the town has come up with “Zero-Tolerance Week” from July 22-26. If the homeowners don’t have the grass within the margins expected by the town, they can receive a penalty up to $500.00.

On top of that, the town will hire contractors to come and take care of the grass, then charge the homeowner a fee for that as well.

It’s a shocking move, but unfortunately it’s one Americans are used to seeing.

What used to be a country with freedom in abundance has turned into a country where you have to live within an inch of the law, or be penalized or criminalized if you don’t.

While illegals are allowed access to a host of amenities free of charge, Americans are trying to stay in compliance with thousands of onerous laws and cling to the little freedom they have left.


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Why Were The Police In Ferguson Told Not To Stop The Rampant Looting On Friday Night?

On Friday night, the city of Ferguson, Missouri was absolutely packed with militarized police.  But when the looting started, they did nothing about it.  In fact, news reports indicate that the police were lined up just blocks from where the looting was happening but did not make any attempt to stop it.

When I first read the news reports that I am about to share with you, I could hardly believe them.  I had to read them more than once just to be sure that I was understanding what I was reading.  According to eyewitnesses, police vehicles were seen driving by some of the stores while they were being looted and they did not respond.

If the police are not even going to lift a finger to stop rampant theft, then what in the world are they there for?  Why don’t they just pack up and leave the streets completely?  If they are just there to confront protesters and arrest journalists, all they are accomplishing is inflaming the situation.  And is this what we can expect when civil unrest spreads to more cities throughout America?  Will we not be able to depend on the police to protect our homes and our businesses?

What I am about to share with you are excerpts from mainstream news reports about how the police did nothing to stop the looting.  To me, this stand down by the police is one of the most disturbing aspects of the Ferguson riots so far.

This first excerpt is from USA Today

During the night, buildings burned, windows shattered, and chaos ensued as protesters stood in the street criticizing police. Officers threatened to arrest protesters who came near their trucks. Yet authorities did not attempt to stop any looting as citizens moved to protect local businesses from sporadic thefts.

This next excerpt is from the local Fox affiliate in St. Louis

Police presence is in question after St. Louis County and Missouri State Highway Patrol officers left the scene in Ferguson once looters began attacking businesses overnight.

Protesters believe the media has started to confuse the difference between themselves and the looters. Fights have begun on the streets as well as social media with some believing this has become similar to a game of chess.

And this last excerpt is from Fox News

A reporter from the station tweeted that police cars were seen driving past some of the stores being looted and did not respond. It rained in Ferguson Friday night and protesters could be seen outside until 6 a.m.

Two store owners, standing outside their business holding guns, told that when they called 911, they were sent from one police agency to another, and got no response.

One of the owners, with a large black gun resting on his shoulder, told the station that police were lined up blocks from the looting, and did not engage looters making off with large boxes from these stores.

There’s no police,” he said. “We trusted the police to keep it peaceful; they didn’t do their job.”

Why did the police in Ferguson refuse to do their jobs?

Who told them to stand down?

Someone in the mainstream media needs to start asking some of these hard questions.

As the streets of Ferguson have descended into anarchy, business owners have been forced to take matters into their own hands.


The following are of a Wal-Mart in Ferguson that were posted by the Economic Policy Journal.  In this first photo, you can see that Wal-Mart employees have stacked rows of shopping carts across the front entrance in order to keep looters from getting in…


This next photo shows that dozens of cases of bottled water have been stacked just inside the front entrance in an attempt to deter looters…

Other business owners are taking even stronger measures to protect their property.

Every night now, business owners can be seen all around Ferguson standing out in front of their businesses holding guns.  You can see some examples of this in this article.

And unsurprisingly, gun sales are going through the roof in Ferguson at the moment…

Guns and ammo are selling at a feverish pace in and around St. Louis as violent clashes continue between protesters and police in nearby Ferguson, Missouri.

People are coming in with fear in their eyes and they’re saying they need something to protect their house,” said Steven King, owner of Metro Shooting Supplies, a gun shop in the St. Louis suburb of Bridgeton. “They’re scared to death.”

As I have written about previously, I believe that what is going on in Ferguson is a perfect example of how rapidly the streets of America can descend into chaos.

And I also believe that what we are watching is just a preview of what is coming to America in the years ahead.

Watch what is happening very carefully, because there is a lesson in all of this.

When chaos reigns, the police are not going to be there to rescue you.

In a crisis situation, you and your family are not going to be a priority for the authorities.  So you are going to need to come up with your own plan to ensure the safety of yourself and your loved ones.

If you think that I am being overly dramatic, you must not have been paying attention to what has been going on in America in recent years.

Today, our society is becoming increasingly divided.  A whole host of opinion polls and surveys show that anger and frustration in this country have reached all-time highs.  The civil unrest in Ferguson didn’t just come out of a vacuum.  The truth is that pressure has been building under the surface in the U.S. for years.  And it isn’t going to take much for more Fergusons to erupt all around the nation.

So what do you think?

Why were the police in Ferguson told not to stop the rampant looting on Friday night?

And what do you think is coming next for America?


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Economic Collapse Blog,


Should you bother making things from scratch?

There are many reasons to start learning how to make things from scratch – allergies, healthy eating, saving money – but one of the most important could be to prepare for a day when that could be a way of life.

It could be a prolonged power outage, a truck strike that delays store deliveries or just the cost of food that could make more people buy basic ingredients and start making the things they would typically buy.


I started years ago with baking our own bread. I discovered I had an allergy to sulfites and found only one brand of bread in Alaska that I could eat. I stocked up on the bread by putting it in the freezer since our family would go through bread quickly (or at least mostly me).

Then the day came that the company decided to stop shipping that brand up north. I started learning to bake bread. A bread maker machine made it very easy to start learning and once I felt comfortable, I branched out to baking without the machine.

Check out these posts also:

Real Simple Bread Making for “Dummies” or Those Who Are Kitchen Challenged

Make sandwich bread in a tin can.

Homemade 100% Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

Related article:

How to make a # 10 can oven



From there, I moved on to food items that I could make so my family could eat healthier. With the help of several food blogs and books, I learned how to make granola bars, pancakes (without baking mix), ice cream, seasonings, brownies, and salad dressings.

Some of the best I have found are 100 Days of Real Food, My Humble Kitchen’s 25-day challenge, The Food Babe,
Homemade Pantry by Alana Chernila, and GNOWFGLINS. The owner and editor of GNOWFGLINS, Wardee Harmon, is also one of the podcast hosts with The Survival Mom Radio Network.

“Small, but permanent, changes.”

In her podcast with The Survival Mom Radio, Jessica of My Kale Kids summed up how I approach these changes without getting overwhelmed: I set monthly goals and take one change at a time.

Some people tell you to clean out your fridge and pantry and start from scratch. That can lead to waste and feeling overwhelmed. I’ve been able to make lots of changes during the past few years by taking on one thing at a time. As she says, I am making small, but permanent, changes.

Practice makes perfect

Hopefully we’ll never have to face an end-of-the world scenario, but if we do, boxed mixes and pre-made meals will be a thing of the past. Knowing how to make basic items from scratch is easier to do beforehand than when the world has changed.

Bread requires very few ingredients and can be baked over a fire. Beef jerky sounds easy enough to make, but do you know what seasonings your family prefers to eat? Have you made oatmeal without a microwave? Can you bake bread on an open fire or solar cooker?

Make a list – here’s mine

Besides food, I have learned some basic sewing skills and my husband has learned some woodworking skills. We can now make pajamas and bookshelves instead of buying them at the store.

We are going to keep learning. I will be making jam and homemade fruit snacks soon. I want to start making our own cleaning supplies, butter, crackers, yogurt, and pasta. By doing one thing at a time, I know I will learn how to do it well and can be assured I will know how to do it if the worst comes our way.


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Via: thesurvivalmom

Homemade laundry products

When I first heard about homemade laundry detergent, I pictured myself stirring a pot of laundry over an open fire using lye soap.  It wasn’t until I made my first batch that I realized how easy and effective it is.  The recipe I use couldn’t be simpler, although there are more complicated versions to be found online.

This month, try making 2 or 3 different detergent recipes, giving them a try, and deciding which you like best.  They won’t have the strong smell of commercial products, but my husband actually prefers it that way.

Post your findings here as a comment and share any good recipes you discover!  Here’s mine:

1 cup borax

1 cup washing soda

1/3 bar Fels Naptha soap

In a container with a lid, combine all three ingredients and mix well.  Use 1-2 tablespoons per load. I keep a small chunk of the Fels Naptha soap to pre-treat stains.  It works great.  If you don’t have or can’t find Fels Naptha, any bar soap that doesn’t contain added oils, moisturizers, or perfumes will work.

Here are some helpful resources:

How to Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

Making Homemade Laundry Soap

Instructables Homemade Laundry Detergent  (read the comments for more tips)

…and for a different version of the recipe in video:


A couple of other videos:




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Via: thesurvivalmom

Could Real Life ‘Purge’ Threat Happen

Reports are coming in from cities around the United States where flyers are being put up announcing “The Purge” and saying “Get Your Squad Ready!”  They say “The Purge” will begin on August 31st!  It’s also going out on Instagram, Facebook and other social media!

Specific cities, venues and activities mentioned include; Louisville, KY; Detroit, MI; Jacksonville, FL; Kansas City, MO; Cleveland, OH; St. Louis, MO; Pittsburg, PA; The Kentucky State Fair and after school activities (sports events, concerts, etc.).

Where I am (Louisville, KY) the threats of a violent crime outbreak for tonight and other dates going forward — based on the movie “The Purge” — are being taken seriously by police.

For those that don’t know, “The Purge” is a movie series that has so far had two movies – “The Purge” and “The Purge Anarchy”.  In the movies, the government allows 12 hours where any crime is legal.  You can murder anybody in those 12 hours (7pm to 7am) and do any kind of crime and it’s perfectly legal!  Of course no emergency services will be available during the purge hours so they advise you to get off the streets if you’re not purging this year!  You can use weapons of Class 4 or lower during the purge.  The only people that you can’t murder are government employees of ranking 10 who are immune to the purge.  This was all setup by “The New Founding Fathers” who said that the yearly purge was necessary to “Release the Beast”, keep full employment and to bring about a renewed America!

Could it be that our society is so dumbed down and evil now that many gang bangers could go out and copycat the movie and start killing people!

Police in both Louisville and Jeffersonville, Ind., said they are aware of the “Louisville Purge” threats circulating on Twitter and will have officers ready to respond.

Louisville police spokesman Sgt. Phil Russell said the police “take any threat that would incite violence on our community seriously.”

LMPD: Residents urged to report suspicious ‘Purge’ activity

POLL: What image describes your feeling about “Louisville Purge”

He said their investigation has not identified any specific threats; they have only come across general information that goes along with crime that happened in the movie.

However, Russell said with the trend in the nation of mob violence and violent outbreaks, “it would be prudent for us to monitor it and to be ready for any possibility.”

As reported  by Connie Leonard of Wave 3 News, awareness of random violence was heightened beginning with a wave of violent crime beginning with theMarch 22 attackon the Big Four Bridge, in which a group of teenagers beat and kicked a man in the presence of his family without provocation. The violence continued seemingly aimlessly throughout the downtown area, captured on surveillance video. After a leaked FBI memo suggested planned gang violence might take place two weeks later, the LMPD placed additional officers at events like Thunder over Louisville and the Pegasus Parade. No actual planned violence took place.

Russell said he doesn’t know if the intent of the original poster of the “Louisville Purge” idea — which says the purge will take place from 8 p.m. Friday until 6:30 a.m. Saturday — was to be taken seriously. But now the police have to watch out for any criminals who might use it as a catalyst to exact violence in the community.

He said a lot of officers were already supposed to be on patrol Friday for various other events, such as the Kentucky State Fair, so the department will be adequately staffed and prepared.

Jeffersonville Police Maj. Josh Lynch said his department had received calls from concerned citizens about the threats.

Lynch said the department decided to beef up patrols and develop contingency plans in case something did happen.

“In law enforcement, we have to take all threats serious,” he said.

Both Jeffersonville and Louisville police are encouraging anyone who sees something suspicious or witnesses a crime to report it.

As reported by WLKY, Louisville Metropolitan Police report that posters and fliers have sprung up advertising that a ‘Purge’ crime spree would be in effect on Friday from 8:30 pm to Saturday at 6:30 am for residents in Kentucky’s largest city. Louisville MPD released a statement on the posters and fliers assuring residents that the department will be ready if there are any sort of mass disturbances.



Alright, all I can say is this is another reason to take you, your family and friends safety in your own hands at all times.

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Small Batch Fruit Preserving

As we work on maximizing garden produce, we need to stretch our preservation skills to include small batches. Fruit sauces, butters, and syrups are all easy and tasty ways to put up small bits of produce before any spoilage occurs. It might seem intimidating at first, but with a little confidence and some practice, small batch fruit preserving can quickly add up to a stocked pantry.

Making Fruit Sauces

Applesauce is probably the most common of all fruit sauces. However, almost any fruit can be made into a sauce or combined with other fruits into sauce. Pear sauce is especially yummy, as is apple-pear sauce. Apple combines well with most berries and even rhubarb.

To make a fruit sauce, simply core and chop fruit (peeling is optional) and place in a pot with an inch or two of water at the bottom. Bring to a simmer over low heat and cook until the fruit is soft. Remove from heat and either mash with a potato masher for a chunky sauce, or run through a food mill or blender for a smooth sauce. Bring this sauce to a boil one more time (adding sugar and spices if desired) before putting into jars and processing in a water bath.

When canning mixtures, can to the fruit that takes the longest amount of time to process. If you make apple-cherry sauce for instance in quart jars; apples need 20 minutes but cherries need 25 minutes. Process for the longer time, 25 minutes to keep everything safe.

Making Fruit Butters

Fruit butters are basically fruit sauces that have been cooked down even more into a thick, butter-like substance. These are a bit easier and less fussy than jams and jellies. They tend to be sweetened and spiced often, but this is a personal preference. When making a fruit butter, start just like making a fruit sauce by cooking the fruit until soft. Remove from heat and puree into a think sauce. To this sauce add spices and sugar as desired: peach-honey-vanilla is quite nice as is pear anise.

Fruit butters need to cook for a while in order to remove the water content and get thick. This can be done on the stove over very low heat but requires much stirring in order to prevent scorching. An easier way to do it is to put it in the slow cooker on low, keeping the lid off. The fruit will cook down with minimum stirring and make the house smell nice too. Process in a water bath canner according to the fruit that takes the longest time for safe processing.

Making Fruit Syrups

Fruit syrups are essentially sweetened fruit juices. Berries, cherries, and grapes make especially nice syrups. A basic fruit syrup method:

  1. Crush fruit in a saucepan and heat to boiling, simmering until soft – probably 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Strain through a colander and drain until cool enough to handle.
  3. Strain the collected juice through a double layer of cheesecloth or jelly bag.
  4. Discard the dry pulp.
  5. To the pressed juice, add sugar or honey and bring to a boil, simmering for 1 minute.
  6. Remove from heat, skim off foam, and pour into jars leaving 1/2-inch headspace.
  7. Process in a boiling water bath 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude.

Ways to Use The Preserves

Obviously fruit sauces make great snacks, fruit butters are great on toast just like jam, and fruit syrups are great on pancakes or waffles.  However, their versatility goes much further:

  • Unsweetened, plain applesauce makes a great fat replacer in baked goods. Other sauces would work as well, but might change flavor slightly, so experiment.
  • Fruit butters can often be used in baked goods just like jam or jelly – tarts, cookies, bars, etc.
  • Fruit Syrups mixed with club soda or even water kefir make for an occasional fun treat that’s great for kids birthday parties!
  • For a more adult version, mix fruit syrups with vodka or brandy for a cold night toddy.
  • The sauces, butters, and syrups make great mix-ins for yogurt, oatmeal, rice, even smoothies.

Take advantage of all those small bits of fruit and watch the pantry shelves fill quickly with homemade goodness for your family to enjoy all year long.


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.
Via: thesurvivalmom

Try This Quick, Easy Way to Make Jerky

Jerky is the original high energy survival/snack food, and maybe you’re thinking about making your own. Here’s some expert advice about a quick, easy method that uses meat from the grocery store, items you already have in your kitchen, and an oven.

Maybe you had a successful hunting season, and ended up with lots of meat to experiment on. Or possibly, the idea is to learn another do-it-yourself skill, so you can make a healthy snack for the kids’ lunches.

Regardless of your motivation, preppers, survivalists and folks looking for a way to preserve meat for long term storage should learn how to make jerky. Like any survival technique, it may be one of those skills that could prove to be vital sometime down the road.

But making jerky can be expensive. First, there is the cost of the meat. (As a hunter, I can attest to this fact: There is no cheap meat!) Then, there is the investment in a smoker or food dehydrator, and the cost of commercial jerky seasonings. When the math is done, it may appear that it’s cheaper to just buy jerky.

But you can produce top quality jerky fairly inexpensively, according to one expert, using meat from the local grocery store. All you need to do is watch your grocery store ads for sales, and for equipment, you need  an oven with some sort of wire rack.

“Jerky is just dried meat, and you can make it out of any kind of meat, and many kinds of fish,” says Clem Stechelin, 79, of La Pine, OR. “People have been making jerky forever, and the process isn’t complicated.”

Stechelin is a retired meatcutter, owner of “Clem’s Oregon Trail Seasonings,” and has been making jerky and sausage for decades. He says jerky can be simple to make, inexpensive and doesn’t require an elaborate smoker or dehydrator system. Originally, Stechelin said, primitive hunters who killed a large animal dried meat by solar power.

“They probably hung strips of meat over a bush or on some sort of rack in the sun,” he said. “Some of the different flavorings, like sage, might have started out when they realized meat dried on a sage bush tasted better.”

Later, these hunters figured out they could dry meat faster if they hung it over a smoky fire, Stechelin said, and people acquired a taste for smoked, seasoned meat. Primitive hunters probably smoked and dried whatever meat they had to use, he said, and some of it probably tasted pretty bad.

This is some very good organic elk meat that has been cut into strips to make jerky. Talk about expensive ingredients! image by Leon Pantenburg

Today, great-tasting jerky starts with a quality cut of meat.

“It’s like a computer analogy: Junk in, junk out. If you start with a piece of tough meat with gristle, it will end up as jerky that is tough and hard to chew.” Stechelin said. “You shouldn’t use an inexpensive piece of meat, and expect the jerky to turn out well.”

Some of the cheaper roasts have lots of fat and gristle, he said, which needs to be trimmed off before baking.

“By the time you’re done, there won’t be much usable meat,” he said. “You would have been better buying some London broil to start with.”<

Stechelin recommends watching store ads for meat sales. London broil and top round are on sale for about $1.98 per pound “at least once a month,” he said, and those cuts make excellent jerky. Other, more expensive meat cuts that work well for jerky are top round, bottom round and sirloin tip.

Probably the best cut for jerky is flank steak, but it is usually pretty expensive,” he said. “When you cut it across the grain and make jerky, it ends up tender, is easy to chew and has great flavor.”

Most of Stechelin’s seasoning customers buy beef to make jerky, and use the oven method. (The jerky seasoning feature all natural ingredients, with no nitrates.) It is the quickest, simplest technique, he claims, and anyone can use it to produce healthy, tasty energy snacks.
Here is what you do:

*Cut the meat, across the grain, into uniform slices between one-quarter and one-half in thick. Rub whatever seasonings you choose into the meat.

* Put the meat on a wire pizza rack or cooling rack for bread.

* Set the oven between 200 and 220 degrees. (Individual ovens vary, so some experimentation may have to be done.) Place the loaded racks in the oven, and put a piece of foil or cookie sheet on the bottom rack to catch any drippings.

From start to finish, this jerky took about three hours to make. image by Leon Pantenburg

Clem Stechelin has been making jerky and sausage for more than 50 years.

* Prop open the oven door with a towel, so the moisture escapes. If you forget this step, Stechelin said, the batch of jerky will bake instead of drying, and the result won’t be good.

* Cook the jerky for about two and one-half hours, or until it looks done.

“Take the meat out when you can still bend it. The meat will still dry a little more after it’s out of the oven,” Stechelin said. “Don’t leave it in the oven until it’s crisp, or it will end up being too hard and tough.”

All that’s left to do then, is let the jerky cool completely and store it. If you’re going to put the jerky in plastic bags, put it in the freezer, Stechelin advises. Otherwise, put the finished jerky in a cloth or paper bag so any moisture completely evaporates. Then hide some for outdoor excursions.

Home-made jerky is a great after-school snack, but be careful if there are teenagers in your house. Snacking on jerky is addictive, and the kids and their friends may wipe out the entire supply before you know it!


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


Via: thesurvivalmom