Preparedness 101: The Very Basics – By ZMalfoy

From yesterday’s thread… an idea……to ZMalfoy’s resourcefulness and writing skills…and here we go!  Thank you to all the creative hearts and minds.  You guys are something else (a very nice “something else”).  This thread will be like Our Treehouse, The Chapel, Our Mission and Heroes Contact List: a permanent place to come any time you have ideas, questions or comments that fit within what follows, which was prepared by  ZMalfoy. Thank you all!


Preparedness 101: The Very Basics

by ZMalfoy

Since there was some interest in the subject of preparedness, let’s start a thread for reference for the Tree Dwelling Community.

Since we all have different info, I’ll start with the basics.  There will be some (optional!) homework.  Anyone who has any tips, advice, corrections, stories, links, etc., is invited to share them in the comments.  There will be questions, too, for the community to answer, which may become posts of their own in the future.  One caveat:  Since the writer and blog are based in the U.S., it will be written from a U. S. point of view.  If you live elsewhere, adjust the information and feel free to share with us the variables in things you are dealing with.

So we begin:

1) What are we supposed to be preparing for?

2) Where do I start?

What are we preparing for?

Short answer: Life.

Slightly longer answer: Anything that could happen to disrupt our fun–anything from house troubles to sickness to The End Of The World As We Know It (aka TEOTWAWKI).  Maybe economic collapse, maybe natural disasters, maybe an epidemic or terrorism.  This can be a bit hard to handle, so a few things to keep in mind as we begin:

1) The emergency you face will not be the one you prepared for.  This is the prepper’s corollary to Murphy’s Law.  If you’re ready and waiting for the next flu epidemic, you’ll get an earthquake.  If you’re ready for an earthquake, you’ll get terrorism.  If terrorism, you’ll lose your job and live off your food storage for a few months while working at Starbucks to pay the mortgage.  Luckily, much in the way of prepping overlaps–it’s just the details and the particular tinfoil-hat designs that differ.  So, if you’re prepping with Economic Armageddon in mind, and you see someone freaking out about the New Madrid Fault line, it’s okay–you’re both getting ready for things going pear-shaped.

2) Sometimes, the asteroid hits your house. Sometimes, even if you prep to the nines, all that work will go up in smoke.  Realize that.  Even if you have a “retreat location”–it’s the retreat that gets hit.  In other words–don’t put all the eggs in one basket.  But have the humility to realize that still, sometimes, The Schumer Hits The Fan (TSHTF).  It’s for this reason that many people consider skills to be the most important part of preparing, with stockpiling coming after.  If circumstances make you a refugee, knowing how to sew, grow crops, preserve food, work with wood or metal will be far more valuable than great skill with Excel.  Not that Excel isn’t useful–but in a grid-down situation, your ability to grow tomatoes and weld metal will be far more valuable.

3) Never stop enjoying life. You know the stereotype, and maybe you’ve run into the real thing.  Guys who get so into the mode of preparing against the horrors of the future that they forget about living today.  Don’t be that guy.  Do what you can, as you can and enjoy the blessings God showers you with every day.

4) You will never be entirely self-sufficient.  No man is an island, it is said, and this is true.  One desires to become as self-sufficient as possible, but you will always need someone else, for some reason or another.  As a single chick myself, I’m really coming to appreciate how much I can get done in one day–even on a Saturday.  One more person could double that workload.  A Team would be invaluable.  So talk to your spouse or your family.  This is sometimes hard–people don’t understand it.  But many preps result in frugality–so talk about the economy, look at the fate of northern Japan.  Get a team, if you can.  Network with neighbors, with people online, with extended family.  On the other hand, remember Operational Security (OPSEC).  Don’t tell the neighbors about your food storage, and make sure the kids or spouse don’t either.  Instead, try to subtly nudge the neighbors in that direction without letting them know where the food will be if it all goes to crap.  Talk with them about gardening, the price of groceries, etc.  You know your neighbors–you’ll know the best balance.

5) Every little step helps.  Just go, one thing at a time.  Do what you can, as you can.  Every small thing put away for an emergency, every bit of skill, it all adds up.  Every bag of rice, can of tomatoes or tuna is one more meal that you and yours won’t be hungry.  Every skill is one more thing you can do, not just for yourselves, but for others if needed.

So what should you prepare for?  Well, there are (0verall) two different types of emergencies: Acts of God and Acts of Man.

Acts of God: Look at your geographic region–what is your area prone to?  What weather or other phenomena happens or has happened on record?  Drought?  Hurricane?  Tornadoes?  Blizzards?  Floods?  Earthquake?  Dust storms?  If it has happened on record, it can happen again.  Do you live near the New Madrid Fault line, or any of the West Coast fault lines?  Is there seismic activity anywhere within a 2-3 day drive?  If a local volcano blows its top, where will the ash fall?  If your house may be affected, this is something to prepare for.  Granted, if the Yellowstone Caldera up and explodes (as it has in the past) everyone in the U.S. east of Yellowstone is screwed.  But this is not the most likely scenario.  Start with the most likely event, of whatever scale.

As for the Acts of Men: What dumb stuff can people get up to around where you live?  Is there a government or military facility which might be subject to terrorist attack?  Is there a plant or other places that houses toxic chemicals that might spring a leak (deliberate or accidental)?  I live just Northeast of DC, which is often downwind from the city.  Therefore, I have a stash of Potassium Iodide, just in case Iran finally gets the bomb and gets it into the hands of a bad person who gets it to DC.

Finally, what particular vulnerabilities do you or yours face?  Asthma?  Diabetes?  Physical impairment?  Mental impairment?  What happens if you lose electricity?

Homework Assignment #1) Make notes on three potential areas of concern: Likely/possible Acts of God, possible Acts of Man, and Personal Vulnerabilities.  Let’s look at this danger and face it head on.  Keep in mind, however, there are some things you cannot prepare for.  (See #2 above)

Now this can start getting overwhelming real fast.  If you know what the vulnerabilities are, how do you even start to address preparing for these things?

There are two ways to help organize:  The Rule of Threes, and Start with Short, Move to Long.

The Rule of Threes

You can survive:

  • 3 Minutes without Air
  • 3 Hours without Shelter
  • 3 Days without Water
  • 3 Weeks without Food

I would add, you cannot survive a moment without God.  This rule gives a good hierarchy for where to focus your efforts.  When I was starting with preparedness, this rule helped me focus on what to get first.  Let’s look at each one:

3 Minutes without Air–when would this come into play?  Well, if your car is sinking in water, if a tsunami is hitting, if there’s a chemical attack near you.  Also possibly involved in air–biological attack or natural pandemic.  So, how do you prepare for these things?  Have a device in your car to get you out should you find yourself in this situation–Mythbusters had a great show on this, and I recommend you find it on YouTube.  If it is possible that your area gets hit with a tsunami, the best thing is to be ready to run like hell at a moment’s notice.  In the case of Chemical attack, first, know the direction of the wind, and get out of “downwind.”  Second, a wet bandana is ok as a line of defense if you’ve got nothing else.  Even better are N95 masks with respirators.  Or, you can go truly survivalist and get some gasmasks with filters.  It’s up to you how hardcore you go.

3 Hours without Shelter–this really has to do with keeping your body temperature right.  Cody Lundin has an entire book dedicated to this one thing–98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive! I don’t have this one myself, but I was impressed with another of his books, When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need to Survive When Disaster Strikes.  In short, however, this includes clothing, housing, bedding, air circulation and even water.  How do you stay warm?  How do you stay cool?  Naked in a blizzard on the plains is not the situation you want to be in.  What shelter backups do you have?  Tarps?  Tents?  Sleeping bags?  Do you have a way to heat your shelter in winter?

3 Days without Water–FEMA (and others) recommends one gallon of water per person per day.  Some people debate between water storage and water filters.  I say both.  Store water–the water in parts of Japan is testing for high radiation, so stored water would be better in that situation.  On the other hand, you can only store so much water.  There are filters (kinda pricey) that will filter out almost all known biologic problems, and many chemical.  Even so, do you have a backup way of boiling water to be sure it’s safe?  In a longer case scenario, will you be able to water your garden?  Will you have clean water not just for drinking, but for cleaning wounds?  Will you be able to keep your surroundings moderately sanitary?

3 Weeks without Food–Food storage is a Big Deal right now, and I’m thankful for it.  Lack of food can cause real social problems–the more people have even a slightly bigger buffer, the better.  How long will the food in your pantry last you?  Can you prepare it without electricity?  Does it need refrigeration if opened?

Assignment #2) Inventory what you have on hand, right now, that addresses each of the parts of the Rule of Threes.  You may be surprised at what you already have!  Add a Medical Inventory to those lists as well.  This inventory will give you a good idea of where you already are, right now.  This will show you your holes–so many people forget about water!–and will help you get a handle on where to focus future efforts.

Finally, when thinking about what you need, start with short term emergencies.  If the car breaks down, if the power goes out in a storm, etc.  Use these preps as the foundation for longer term preparation.  Start with 3 days food backup, then a week, then a month, then 6 months, etc…..Remember: Every little bit helps. Get CPR Certified.  Take a First Aid course.  Learn to can food.

A last word for this post: When you are prepping, you start by prepping just for yourself and your family.  But ultimately, you are preparing for everyone.  You prepare to ride through emergencies, but also to be able to help people–your neighbors, your friends, your community–when it counts the most.  Knowing that, but for the Grace of God, it could be you that was the refugee, you prepare to be able to offer some measure of assistance when TSHTF.  Be ready to be a shelter for others–but to do that, you need to have a shelter to provide!

Final Assignment! Identify one skill you would like to learn that would be of use in a long or short term emergency.  Following posts will go into more detail on various subjects.

Good resources on the net are YouTube,,,, the, and the forums at

Please share any info, questions, tips and links in the comments below.  Your input is essential.

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267 Responses to Preparedness 101: The Very Basics – By ZMalfoy

  1. Patriot Dreamer says:

    I admit I know next to nothing about canning.

    How do you start canning? An op/ed by Frank Belcastro

    Liked by 1 person

    • freedom1781 says:

      I can a lot. I have both a pressure and water bath canner. I can’t use my water bath canner on my ceramic glass cooktop so I’ll have to buy an electric burner. I’ve canned beans, sweet corn, zucchini relish, pickles, salsa, sweet tomato relish, salsa, and tomatoes. My quince tree is finally bearing fruit so I plan to make quince jelly in the fall. Canning is a lot of work but it’s so worth it!

      Liked by 2 people

      • chuckles49 says:

        Don’t forget to plant your garden while stocking up on those canning supplies. 🙂 Both activities are labor intensive!


        • amr632 says:

          You need to sore seeds that bear seeds for the next planting. Modern ag supplies do not necessarily contain plants that provide seeds.


      • Rejuvenated says:

        You should try canning bacon- nothing better than frying bacon after the end of the world 😋 All you need is butcher paper, bacon and jars. Cut the paper into 24″ lengths. Lay strips of bacon (the thicker the better) side-by-side (top/bottom paper orientation), barely touching. When you reach the end, lay another piece of paper on top, fold in half from the top then roll the length. Should slide pretty easily into a wide mouth quart jar. Pressure can 90 minutes with proper weight for your altitude. Enjoy! (I always crisp it up when I open a jar even though it’s already cooked).

        Liked by 1 person

      • czarowniczy says:

        How about practicing canning over a wood fire? As we found out in Katrina, life gets really interesting when you are without gas/electricity for a few months. If the grid goes down gas along with electricity are history.
        There’s also smoking and drying, alternatives to canning.


        • kabuki says:

          Since you mentioned Katrina, there is an excellent blog that recounts the debacle that was Katrina from a very personal point of view. This is a long but fun read. It changed the way I look at preps for me and mine.


          • czarowniczy says:

            The interesting thing to me was the city dwellers finding out how really dependent they were on government for their daily existence. They had no gas, water or electricity and the government cut off all access into the city for gas and food. Even for those of us on the west bank of the Mississippi who suffered minimal damage the lack of basic supplies was crippling for those who hadn’t prepared ahead of the storm.


      • JW says:

        Why don’t they call it Jar’ing since one actually prepares food in Jars and not cans?

        Liked by 2 people

    • freedom1781 says:

      Community canning centers are making a comeback, especially here in Virginia. Unfortunately, there are none near me. Maybe there’s a canning center near you:


    • stellap says:

      I used to can with my mother – jelly, jam, tomatoes, pickles. These are good things to start with, because they can be done in a water bath canner without worry of poisoning your family! I bought the canner I have now at a garage sale for 50 cents; it has calcium deposits on the inside, but it works just fine. I still can jam – peach and cherry are my specialties. Maybe I’ll do tomatoes this year too. We’ll see. It’s not difficult, but it is important to be precise about measuring ingredients, and sterilizing your equipment, jars and lids.

      Liked by 1 person

      • solaratov says:

        Calcium deposits come right out when you soak them in vinegar.
        I use the cheap. store-brand white vinegar, and once a month run it through my coffee maker to keep it running fast. Then, I use that vinegar (preferrably while still hot) to remove any calcium deposits on pots and pans.

        Works like a charm!! 😀

        Liked by 4 people

      • mztore says:

        add wiping lids to make sure they seal right. Also learned to not fill more than they call for in the recipe. Overfilling causes poor/no seal (discovered to my displeasure).


      • James Bong says:

        You could also just stock up on canned goods beforehand. Meats are especially recommended. Don’t call it hoarding if you don’t plan to commercialize after the s… hits the fan.


    • czarowniczy says:

      Go to your local agricultural extension office, they have a wealth of information – free too (OK, your tax dollars paid for it, but you don’t have to pay a 2nd time and for the government that’s free). Canning books like the Ball Book or, my favorite, Google canning and whatever you wanna can. I learned to can living in Utah where canning was, or at least it seemed, to be a requirement for a state driver’s license. When Googling try to stay with the various PDF pubs from real universities whose names you recognize, their extension/homemaking services have tons of stuff on line.
      I’d suggest doing waterbath canning of things pickled until you’re comfortable – tomatoes, pickles, beans that sort of stuff that sets up fast and generally won’t grow things that will kill you if you screw up. Tomatoes are great too BUT don’t ignore the warnings that you should add vinegar as many commercial varieties are bred for less acidity for the New Palate. Screw up canned tomatoes and before they get to the deadly stage you’ll be cleaning exploded tomato jars (don’t ask) of the pantry walls.
      As you get better you can graduate to stews with meat, canned meat and canned fish that have to be pressure cooked. I make a huge pot of stew that the wife and I like and can it using an electric pressure cooker from Walmart though we are also set up to do gas-fired pressure cooking – all outside (hose cleanup versus plastering and repainting).
      Jam, jelly and various sugar-heavy preserves are a snap – only problem is eating all of the stuff before the next batch is due out as you’ll usually make more than you’ll eat.
      Don’t ignore drying such as jerky, fruit leather and dried veggies, not as much work and cheaper overall.
      Use that ag office, it ain’t only fer usen who be wearin’ overalls, you’ve already paid for it so use its stuff.

      Liked by 4 people

    • wlbeattie says:

      Thank you for that canning link! I read it with great interest! 😇👍

      I’m an old Aussie 🇦🇺 duffer (normally I’d say b*gger – which isn’t rude where I come from).
      But I remember my widowed mum canning peaches (from our 2 x suburban trees) in the 1950’s!

      I never knew how she did it – now I do!
      So thanks again!


    • Bob says:

      Everything you need to know is on you tube….pretty easy. Lists for a good GO Bag too


    • Conservative Tea says:

      Your local county extension agent can help you, they offer classes in a lot of places. Canning is stupid simple–just follow the directions to the letter so the food integrity is good. I canned a lot of fresh veggies from the summer garden for the cold IL winter and it’s always time well spent.


  2. You can make an emergency candle out of a can of Crisco and a piece of string. It can last around 45 days!

    Liked by 3 people

    • wlbeattie says:

      WOW – We don’t have “Crisco” in Aussieland 🇦🇺 – but tins of Tuna – I eat nearly every week day!


  3. Max Yemet Tells About Living In Hyper-Inflationary Ukraine–03-27-2012

    Direct link to Max’s site:

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rainwater Collection System Series [Youtube videos]

    Liked by 1 person

  5. solaratov says:

    Knowledge of the proper knot can save your life. Learn a few and practice them.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. solaratov says:

    Before you invest in an AR-15 type rifle as your primary MBR (main battle rifle), read this……………..

    In fairness, there are a couple of manufacturers out there turning out reliable 15s – but they are not ‘entry-level’ guns. They cost a bit more than a brand-new shooter – or someone new to the AR platform – wants to spend.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Caliber and load and cost issues aside, I stopped looking at AR-15 types permanently after hearing first-hand stories of action problems out of the box. For example, a gal I know bought a Colt recently, and is still proud of it, but she talks about the action not being quite right, jams on the range under IDEAL conditions and having her gunsmith polish the action parts to get it working right. What kind of piece of shit battle rifle costs a grand and a half and doesn’t sh00t right, out of the box? What kind of workshop-queen rifle needs to be at the gunsmith twice for every day it spends misfiring at the suburban rifle range? I’m sure some of the other makes are better, but no thanks. I’d rather have a lever action that shoots when it’s dirty.


      • solaratov says:

        At this point, the only Direct Gas Impingement ‘battle rifle’ that I’d trust to run for me would be one from Crusader Weaponry — and you’re talking about spending north of $2000.00. But each one is custom built to your specs and has a permanent Slipstream application.
        Other than that, I am a Piston Operated kinda guy. I prefer the AK-47, FAL, M14/M1A, LWRC (REPR), and others – both new and old. They just are more reliable. And the “extra” weight is only a matter of a couple of ounces – which isn’t going to make a lot of difference in a 9 – 10 lb. rifle. I’ll carry the extra ounces if it means that the gun’s gonna go Bang! every time.
        The piston guns also seem easier to clean — and don’t get as dirty in the actions and chamber areas in the first place (all things being equal).
        And, I like my battle rifles in 30 caliber or better. I don’t want to have to waste time or ammo on a “make sure” shot. I want an enemy down and out when he’s hit the first time – as long as I do my part.

        Yeah. I know. I’m old-fashioned. But then, I’m still alive…aren’t I?


        Liked by 1 person

      • chuckles49 says:

        I own an AR 15, but it’s definitely not a grab-and-go gun. It must be cleaned after every use, and the ammo and magazines much be carefully matched up if jamming is to be avoided. It’s cool-looking, light, and a great target shooting gun, but I wouldn’t bet my life or my family’s on it.

        An SKS or an AK47 is a much better rifle. They have a robust design, will shoot under the worst of conditions unfailingly, require little maintenance, and can be had for under $500.

        Lever action rifles are a good choice too, but are limited by their ammo capacity, and in time of crisis, ammunition will not be as plentiful as .the 5.56 or 7.62×39 rounds which are NATO standard.


    • amr632 says:

      The Ruger ranch now comes in a .223 and 7.62 chambered model that looks more like a Ruger .22 rifle; not some scary AR-15/AK-47. Even .22 rifles with its cheap ammo is useful for small game. In an end of the world as we know it situation, it is still a creditable defense firearm as even a .22 wound without proper medical care can be deadly.
      Reality is that some people will take what you have since if you cannot defend yourself and they didn’t prepare. My property is a rallying point for friends and family. Defense in depth and numbers would be needed.
      The shotgun in the 1950’s fallout shelter to defend your family from neighbors/people who didn’t prepare was a scandal in my youth, but I have always recognized that for you to survive, you must not be someone who will too easily share your supplies with those who refused to prepare.
      The greater good ideal does not supersede my, my family’s and close friend’s survival..


  7. Patriot Dreamer says:
  8. solaratov says:

    Liked by 1 person

  9. diane says:

    Another great site Re: How To Survive In Hard Times


  10. 1harpazo says:

    If you seemed overwhelmed or behind in prepping, start now! My DW and I felt that way about two years ago until a coworker gave me a list of what disappears first when the SHTF. So we purposed to buy something on that list nearly every time we went shopping. We’re way ahead of where we were two years ago. The list is here:


  11. doodahdaze says:

    Now I got my Stove Tec Rocket stove. It is really cool. It is a wood burning camp stove you can cook on or distill fresh water. The 2 main problems in the coming breakdown. I made my distiller out of a pressure cooker and stainless tubing coil. I got 200 lbs. of salt too. They ain’t got us yet.


  12. doodahdaze says:

    I am thinking we have to plan on permanent survival. These Bug Out plans are for the birds. We should learn to live off the land permanently. If it comes that far temporary plans will fail.


    • chuckles49 says:

      Sheltering-in- place is a good idea, especially if you have compromised health, elderly members of your family, or small children. But eventually, you’ll need to become mobile to avoid getting overrun by looters, scavengers, and the dregs of society. A bugout bag for each family member is a great insurance policy. Plan your route ahead of time and where exactly you’re going. On foot will probably be your best mode of travel. Roads will be death traps for the unwary. People, like electrons always choose the path of least resistance, and the predator types will know that. Ambushes will be set up for those lazy enough to use them.


  13. 22tula says:

    Arm Yourself With Knowledge – Read Along

    U.S. Historical Documents – audio

    Charters of Freedom – text

    The Federalist Papers – audio

    Federalist Papers – text

    “On Liberty” by John Stuart Mill – audio

    “On Liberty” by John Stuart Mill – text

    “The Law” by Fredrich Bastiat – audio

    “The Law” by Fredrich Bastiat – text

    “The Law of Nations” by Monsieur De Vattel – text

    The Philippics – Marcus Tullius Cicero – audio

    “He who knows only his own generation remains forever a child.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero


  14. 22tula says:

    “Democracy in America,” Volume I & II – Alexis de Tocqueville – Audio
    “The Spirit of the Laws (Volume 1) – Montesquieu – Audio

    “Democracy in America” – Alexis de Tocqueville – Text

    “The Spirit of Laws” Vol. 1 – Text

    Democracy in America – old time radio – Audio

    “The Predictions of Hamilton and De Tocqueville” – Text
    or Computer Voice – upper rt. corner – speaker symbol
    By James Bryce, M.P. – 1887


  15. 22tula says:

    “Old Family Letters” – Alexander Biddle

    Old Family Letters: contains letters of John Adams, all but the first two addressed to Dr. Benjamin Rush; one letter from Samuel Adams, one from John Quincy Adams, and several from Thomas Jefferson addressed to Dr. Rush; “Letter of credence to the king” and “Letter of credence to the queen” by George Washington as president. Series B contains letters of Dr. Benjamin Rush to his wife written during the yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia, in 1793
    Series A
    Series B

    The Biddle Family Papers


  16. 22tula says:

    Publius Huldah on the Original Intent of the US Constitution
    Published on September 8, 2012

    The Biblical Foundation of Our Constitution

    Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary

    Samuel Rutherford – Lex, Lex

    The Federalist Papers: Modern English Edition – Amazon

    Mary E. Webster

    Constitutional Study Group – For New Members
    Scroll Down & **Please Read** Publius Huldah April 25, 2010 Post


    • Sharon says:

      22tula, boy, you are creating links for a lot of great stuff. I’m trying to capture some of them in a list I’m building in my documents files, so that I can access it when I can plan time.

      Our son and dil have requested time with me to share things I’ve been reading and studying in the last year or so, regard the issues we’re facing. They are very busy people with a daughter still in h.s. and a son who works with them in their successful business….they certainly don’t have the luxury of time for soaking and reading and thinking like I do…so want me to synthesize things. They are both thinkers and paying attention and very very concerned. I’ve locked into much of the stuff out of Hillsdale, but some of the things that you’re linking are very practical and useful.

      There’s no way we will all have time to take it all in, but anything we can internalize/understand a bit better we can make use of with friends and family. It will help folks feel more oriented. I think a high % of people truly understand that “there’s something very wrong” but because the national conversation has been dominated by the loud election year arguments (as opposed to conversation and education between citizens) many of us lack a reference for things that need to be discussed.

      I appreciate your contributions.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. howie says:

    I be preppin up. The death spiral is unstoppable now. 4 more Obama years…..cain’t work.


  18. ed357 says:

    Here’s another site that may help. Many cheap and easy to do survival type things……..


    • doodahdaze says:

      I prefer a shotgun over a bow. Tried to shoot one and jus could not get it right. But I got a good recipe for wild game the other day. Now I am figgering how to keep bug’s away. I was trying to burn Spanish Moss to see if it would run off the skeet’s.


      • chuckles49 says:

        Shotguns are great, but they’re very noisy and will draw attention to you and your camp quickly. A silenced .22lr or a crossbow is much stealthier. Learn how to set traps and identify edible plants in your locale. These two skillsets provide you with more food than hunting will, and you’ll expend less energy and resources.


      • hebejg says:

        take the peels from 2 oranges and place ina mason jar fill rest of jar with heinz (the strongest i’ve found)apple cider vinegar. to that add2tbls of cayenne pepper.
        close lid tightly and shake well. leave sit on counter for one week shaking daily.
        after a week strain the juice out and put in a spray bottle.
        go fishing.
        works for me and i fish in the La. marsh. ive seen gnats n skeeters so bad there that you’d smother yerself in Limburger cheese if u thought it might work.
        wind the wind lays down, u may be catchin feesh hand over fist but the gnats n skeeters turn it into hell on earth.
        this recipe works damn well and smells pretty good.

        lemme know how u like it should u try it.


        • doodahdaze says:

          Just saw this will try it. Did you try it? I don’t have a mason jar but can use another kind?


          • hebejg says:

            hi doodah
            sorry for the delay.
            i didn’t see where you had asked me a question.
            yes, any old glass sealable jar is suitable. pickle, mayo, etc.
            i have since incorporated one more ingredient.
            i have never tried growing it before and have found it does great with a few hrs. of direct sunlight and moderate amounts of water. i thought it would be a thirstier plant but no.
            anyway, when mixing a batch this time i put some citronella and vinegar in a blender then continued with the normal recipe.
            IT IS FANTASTIC.
            so good in fact, i have thought about increasing the batch sizes exponentially and selling the concoction at the local flea market.
            i have a friend who has a booth there and i’m sure he would be willing to put some out.
            and yes, i have heard the Alaskan skeeters are HUGE and will easily bite through a t-shirt.

            i’ve read your other survival posts here. looks like you really have it going on.
            i noticed that you have ease to fish.

            well, it’s HIGHLY illegal but in desperate times the law in regards to fish&wildlife go out the door.
            if you can find an old crank telephone (really old)
            it can be used as a fish shocker. it never needs batteries and is much quicker than line fishing.
            also its not hard to learn to throw a castnet but it can be physically taxing.
            i have a 15ft creasote dipped net with a chain bottom.
            weighs about 10-12 lbs and sinks fast.

            btw- where do u get tobacco seeds?
            ive never seen them anywhere.

            nicotine spray is an excellent substitute for SEVIN dust.
            i always wondered why my grandmother had a coffee can with cig. butts in it when i was a kid until she showed me.
            she simply strained the liquid out and sprayed on her tomatoes, cucumbers, etc.
            she grew awesome ‘maters (actually she grew awesome anything she wanted to)and kept her best seeds for the next year.
            she did a lot according to moon phases (planting, pruning,even cutting her hair)also and sadly i never soaked up that knowledge.


        • doodahdaze says:

          BTW. I used to run a supply boat out of Gran Chenier years ago. Never saw so many skeets in my life. Except in Alaska.


        • doodahdaze says:

          I went up to Bethyl Alaska a few years back so a friend could get off for a family thing for a few week to relieve him. Running red flag barges down that river out to the settlements to fill em up with fuel. It was awful.


      • Rejuvenated says:

        Get some guineas- they’ll eat all kinds of pests, make good watch dogs and are good eating themselves if things get that tight (tastes like pheasant).


  19. ed357 says:

    Need a good garden and meat source?

    Check out aquaponics……

    Aquaponics is growing a garden above a tank of edible fish……

    build by using common throw-away discarded (real cheap) IBC’s (Industrial Bulk Containers)….see IBC’s of Aquaponics………

    You can even get a pdf how to section.


  20. doodahdaze says:

    I just re-piped my well. I got a new Pitcher -pump and set up my well where I can quickly uncouple the pump, move it out of the way, and screw on the Pitcher-Pump. I also ordered online EPIVIR. Anti-Viral that may reduce the fatality rate of Obola. I have plenty of fish and game all over the place but I got a couple salt licks at the feed store to put away. Salt is good to have extra. I got a 5 gallon bucket full if rice and beans and gallon of soy sauce. I got a bunch of fish penicillin too. I will be able to bunker in for a good while even with no power. I got a new campfire grill and some cast iron cook ware too. Slowly heading to defcon 4. I got a new axe from walmart that is awesome. From Finland. it can make short work of a Cabbage Palm to get the hearts out. Slowly getting it right. Rocket stoves are great i got 2 of em. Just sharing some of my ideas. Plenty of batteries too. I don’t have to worry about meat or fish just the side orders. I am looking for a nice freshwater Mussel bed I heard of nearby too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • oldiadguy says:

      You forgot your rechargeable batteries and a solar charger. 🙂


      • doodahdaze says:

        I am not worried about that. I haz a lot of regular batteries and there are too many trees here. But I got a Canoe.

        Liked by 1 person

        • oldiadguy says:

          I have loads of batteries as well, but they do have a shelf life.

          Another note, I’ve been buying as many non PC books about the Civil War, slavery and the people of the time as I can find, before the book burners find them.

          If you haven’t read it, The Real Lincoln, A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War by Thomas J. DiLorenzo is a must read.

          Also, White Cargo by Don Jordan and Michael Walsh, about the white slaves in America.

          I can list others I have bought if you are interested.

          Take Care

          Liked by 1 person

  21. nyetneetot says:

    I actually have a copy in my library. How to Stay Alive in the Woods (1956)


    • doodahdaze says:

      I am getting there. Today I got a half dozen “Shyster” lures. They are great for catching fish. I can get 20 or 30 panfish anytime I want with them. Now I am going to try to make a heart of palm salad next week. There are lots of small palmetto palms around here and you can cut them back to get the heart. I hear it tastes like artichokes. I got my pitcher pump set up in case a storm knocks out the power. I think I can live off the land if I have to now and have plenty food. I am already in the woods but I thinks anyone who is wanting to better get plenty of Deep Woods Off. I do.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Pieface says:

    Canning is labour intensive. The jars take up a lot of space. I now dehydrate vegetables and seal them in one-quart mylar bags with an oxygen absorber. I then put them in bucket from bakeries and store them in a cool, dark place. The shelf life is much longer than canning. My buckets are light and hold pounds and pounds of vegetables dehydrated. As a long term prepper, this is the way to go.

    I also buy 25 pounds of rice and macaroni and store them in mylar bags with an oxygen absorber.


  23. Jack Enright says:

    Don’t forget the superglue!
    A friend was cut off by deep snow one winter. His wife had just given birth by caesarian section, had a fall, and split the wound open. When he rang the emergency services and explained what had happened, they asked him if he had any superglue in the house. He did, as he builds model aircraft. “Then stick the wound closed with that,” they told him. “Are you serious?” he asked. “Yes”, the medic said, “believe it or not, that’s what superglue was designed for, and issued to front-line troops in the Vietnam War.”
    He followed their advice, and it kept everything together, staunching the bleeding, until the air ambulance could reach his house and airlift his wife to hospital.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Stel says:

    God knows when He wants me to die. He will take me when He is ready and by the means He wants to use.


  25. Backspin says:

    Last month West Virginia floods , now Louisiana , and Cali. is on fire East of LA. – Be Prepared say the Boy Scouts , but WHERE DO I START ? …. Right here .. NOW. Do Not be overwhelmed. Just start small , and keep learning + building. First thing , work up a ‘ Bookbag kit ‘ ***********************// Go Bag Basics = 2-3 large plastic garbage bags flat on the bottom of bookbag , use as rain wear ( stick arms+ head thru ) or use as shelter roof liner or as fresh water catcher , 1 or 2 folding sturdy knives ‘ Buck ‘ knife / Lockback blade. Film canister w/ waterproof matches , compass lensatic. (sightline type or any ) Flint + Steel firestarter , a small metal block size of thumb. Several flashlights and batteries , same type , keep separate until use, if you leave batteries in flashlight , they # 1 – drain slowly and # 2 they leak acid because you forgot to rotate them every 3-4 months MAX. Trust Me Here , I have had to scrap many flashlights . Small First – Aid Kit , Adhesive tape, bandaids , gauze pads , alcohol prep wipes … ect , expand and adapt to your needs / area. = Store all in double Ziplok bags. Mess kit + Food // WATER is BIG TIME – food can wait. Water Filter , hand pump type , learn =buy= get. OK you have no water filter … what DO ? A couple tin cans of food will work , eat food , save cans , boil water in cans. Your Mess kit should have 2 metal spoons + 1 regular flat knife. Your Buck knives may have raw fish / rabbit / squirrel on it , best to not eat off it. Throw some plastic forks / spoons in too. FOOD – keep it light .
    Double up a ziplok 1 gal. bag, add .. 3 tea bags , 3 boullion cubes, a few sugar packets , some CLIFF Bars ( they keep + travel well ) things that will not melt. Dry soup mix ( Lipton Pouches )
    3-4 Mt. House camping dehydrated meals. Small enamel cook pot / large cup. Leatherman pliers tool .. to use as tongs , pot will be SSSS … HOT !! OK , throw in some extra socks , glasses , any stable medications ( room temp ) …….. Basic kit almost done , YOU customize the rest , Easy.
    References : Boy Scout Manuals – Army Field Manuals – MY fav. ” Survival With Style – By Bradford Angier. ” …. lots online , read and print and PACK !! See you on the A.T. 🙂


  26. Emma says:

    I’d never even clicked on the preparedness link and just now found this thread! So…’s some stuff I thought I’d share…

    Someone already mentioned Ferfal’s book upthread, but it won’t hurt to mention it again: Surviving the Modern Economic Collapse.

    Other books I’ve found useful:

    Making the Best of Basics Family Preparedness Handbook by J. T. Stevens

    The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery

    Any of the Backwoods Home anthologies

    In addition to some of the websites others have mentioned, you might find to be useful. I have not been to the site in a few years, but I’ve used it in the past and have some of their anthologies, which have tons of great info in them.

    My current ‘wish list’ item: a Kelly Kettle. Saw it at a gun show a year ago, wish I had bought it then!

    When water purification becomes a serious issue, remember the SODIS method. Read about it here and you won’t forget it, it’s not perfect but in a survival situation, it’s good info to have inside your head:

    Someone upthread mentioned gardening by the moon signs. I learned how to do this from my grandfather (born in 1895) and continue that tradition today. I use this page to see where the moon is:

    Then I use my ‘grandpa knowledge’ PLUS the info on this page in order to decide when to plant:

    Last thing I’ll drop in here….Preacherman’s lessons from Katrina are ESSENTIAL reading IMO. Real life experience of what happens in an emergency SHTF situation.

    Sorry this post is so long…hope the info helps someone along the way.


  27. spindlitis says:

    Take a look at any book by Calvin Rutstrum. He’s sort of fallen out of favor but wrote some excellent books about survival skills. He covers both hot and cold climates.


  28. Howie says:

    DDD Alert…..If you want to stock up on various Vet antibiotics do so now. They are going to outlaw it Jan. 1. I am ordering 2morrow.

    Click to access VFD_Presentation.pdf


  29. BakoCarl says:

    “I would add, you cannot survive a moment without God. “

    Thanks Zmalfoy and Sharon. And in that light . . . the very first step of preparedness 101:

    How is it with your Soul?

    When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
    When sorrows like sea billows roll;
    Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well with my soul.

    Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
    Let this blest assurance control,
    That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
    And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

    My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
    My sin, not in part but the whole,
    Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

    For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
    If Jordan above me shall roll,
    No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
    Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

    But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
    The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
    Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
    Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

    And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
    The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
    The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
    Even so, it is well with my soul.

    – Horatio G. Spafford


  30. maggiemoowho says:

    While prepping, don’t forget to prepare for your pets. My husband bought these large plastic containers that have screw on lids to keep pet food (and people food) dry in case of emergency.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. HollowofHishand says:

    Please remember that anything you look at on-line wont be accessible if the grid goes down or the internet blows up. So create a file on your computer’s desk top and copy all the information you may need. Then print it all out, place the pages in page protectors and then in a zip lock bag.
    Also, don’t forget that you may need leave your home in a hurry. So have grab-and-go boxes ready with the basics (camping and survival). Here is a list of what I keep in two large water-proof boxes and two smaller ones:

    Box 1
    12 candles, one sharpening kit, one hatchet, two pairs leather gloves, one small hammer, one rechargeable auto light, one magnesium firestarter, two boxes of waterproof matches, one magnifying glass, 1/4 inch polypropylene braiding utility cord, one pair of kitchen scissors, one bag wood fire starter sticks, One bag pencils and lined paper, four rolls toilet paper, one roll trash bags one solar diamond dynamo rechargeable lantern with radio, one Swiss Army knife

    Box 2
    One box bandage rolls, one box 50 latex disposable gloves, one box 130 sterile cotton balls, one small box stretchable rolled gauze, one box sterile wound gauze, one box 10 sterile pads, one box stretchable rolled gauze, one container dental floss, one thermometer, one small sewing kit, one roll waterproof first aid tape, one envelope 50 assorted bandaids, one pair tweezers, one box 10 small sterile pads, one box 41 size sheer Band-Aids, two toothbrushes one small bag safety pins, two rolls of thread, two medicine droppers, 10 sterile pads 3 x 4″, one small jar Vaseline, one eye wash cup, one bottle hydrogen peroxide.

    Box 3
    One utility knife, one roll of duct tape, one box cling wrap, one box aluminum foil, four metal mugs, four metal bowls, eight heavy duty plastic knives forks and spoons, one pot holder, one book on homeopathic medicines, nine Ziploc bags, one metal spatula, one metal ladle, book on edible plants of New England, salt, pepper, manual can opener, trowel, packs of vegetable seeds.

    Box 4
    Tylenol, Orajel, ibuprofen, bag of soap, 100 alcohol swabs, one whistle, one travel pack Q-tips, one washcloth, vitamin E, rolled bandage, 10 clothes pins,

    I also have a 3×5 card that I keep on the fridge that list things I need to grab in an emergency in order of importance. This is because if I am in a panic I may not remember what to grab. These are things like sleeping bags, meds, lock box (with important papers), solar oven (with pot), canned goods from the pantry, large tarps, etc. Each broken out into where they are kept so no searching or trying to remember.

    I keep adding things as we age and also once a year I check expiration dates to replace the old with new.


  32. peter8piper says:

    ACTS OF GOD: Why do we blame devilish acts on God? Did we forget about the devil? I say he’s most likely the culprit.


  33. Mike diamond says:

    Comey,the biggest weasel of our time!!!!


  34. agentcommonsense says:

    I am a third generation prospector I have so many cool things to offer and I have actually done all of them
    I don’t want to go overboard with a list so long you zzzzzzzzzzzz here is a couple favorits
    Buy a used parachute from craigslist or a new one
    This makes a perfect teepee . Hang from a tree with opening at top like a teepee or cut tree limbs when you get there don’t haul . slice an opening attach Velcro strips for a door
    The best part is you can have a fire inside for warmth or cooking in bad weather it is awesome
    and BUG FREE

    Water purifying pills so you don’t have to haul
    5 dollars disposable hazmat suits for Home Depot because it is a buggy buggy world out there; The disposable will last forever
    case of spam and a big bag of shelled pumpkin seeds. Why seeds.. Pumpkin seed will kill any parasites that you may get.. Its a tough world out there and parasites are a plenty .


  35. agentcommonsense says:

    Mylar bags in all sizes from camping stores..Food will last for years no refrigeration needed
    Got left over pizza throw it in a mylar
    Got left over anything throw it in a mylar.. Don’t forget to label


  36. agentcommonsense says:

    Thrift store wagon because I am cheap is the best thing I ever bought for my hikes in the mountains


  37. wlbeattie says:

    OK – I’m an “OLDER” Aussie 🇦🇺 who became a “survivalist” after the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis!
    Plus too much Robert Heinlein and Sci-Fi doomsday scenarios aided me in my teenage years of total panic.

    In the early 1970’s I found a US book called “The Foxfire Book”!
    I still have that book after nearly 50 years because it recorded “survival” mechanisms used by the even older Americans. (Photographed this Au evening in the twitter link below).
    (Need more info – please contact me “wlbeattie” at most social media except fb!)

    The Cuban Missile Crisis altered my entire future.
    I collect books, both Sci-Fi & technical reference books. Model Steam Trains + linking to generators!

    I’ve been a PC buff since 1971 & a Commercial Analyst/Programmer since 1974 (+ Electronics Engineering #RMIT). I understand computing from its base principles up. I was once a Guru – but the field developed so quickly. (I learn more every year & still fall behind – but that’s another story).

    When it’s all said and done – I advocate collecting “real” books. Especially those dealing with practicalities. Wood working, metal working, curing meat, making moonshine 😏, animal traps (plus more).

    I built a cheap (eBay) 6 KW Solar Panel + MPPT + Inverter + Lead Acid Batteries system – which I use when my Grid Linked Solar Array fails) for about USD$1500.

    I drive old cars that will start without ECU’s (although I know how to program them). Same with telephones – no GPS. My first GPS was a Garmin in 1995 – I wrote a personal mapping app to convert the NMEA data via RS232 to view downloadable maps – so I could work out where I was (including Selective Availability).

    I also learnt how to “reload ammo” in the early 1970’s – how sad is that! Remember I live in Aus 🇦🇺 where we don’t have a #2A – we just seem to borrow our legal guns from the current Governing body and hand them back when the #liberals demand them!

    This sounds like it should be my eulogy!


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