Prepper: 10 Often-Overlooked Medical Supplies To Stockpile For A Societal Collapse
And the latest from the prepper world...
And the latest from the prepper world...
There are certain mistakes I see made over and over again among those in the preparedness community. Most of them are understandable. We live in a society where we have a plethora of resources and support available to us, and breaking out of that mindset and thinking of how to be truly self-sufficient is hard, even for those of us who are trying.
But if we are going to survive a major natural or man-made disaster, we’ve got to be ready to make it on our own. That means having both the knowledge and the supplies to do everything we need, for ourselves.
One area that is commonly overlooked is the area of medicine. Oh, we all have first-aid kits, and I’ve even seen some pretty good ones around. But that’s not the same as medical preparedness.
Let me enumerate some of the problems:
- Medical facilities and personnel becoming overwhelmed with the large number of people who get injured in the crisis and its aftermath.
- Lack of transportation making it difficult to get injured or sick personnel to medical facilities.
- Modern medical doctors and facilities not having electricity. Many hospitals only have about 48 hours of fuel for their generators.
- Breakdown of the supply chain, making resupply of even the most basic medical supplies iffy at best.
Here are a few of the top items you’ll need to stockpile, and stockpile well.
1. Bandages of all kinds (in bulk)
Injuries are common and will be even more common in a survival situation. When medical care is difficult to come by, any injury is serious. Injuries create openings in the skin by which bacteria and other pathogens can enter.
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So, it’s important to clean, disinfect and protect even the smallest of injuries.
- For smaller injuries, cloth adhesive bandages are great. They stick better than the plastic kind, so they protect you better. That makes them worth the extra money they cost.
- For large injuries, one of the best bandages you can have is a sanitary napkin. They are sterile, and designed to absorb a large quantity of blood. They are also much cheaper than other sterile bandages.
- The new “cohesive” medical tape is much better than other types, in that it sticks to itself, rather than the patient. So, when you take it off, you won’t be pulling any hair out and causing the patient any extra pain.
2. Gauze (in bulk)
Gauze is great for larger injuries, for times when you have to soak up blood or for cleaning off a wound. You can buy it in several forms, but probably the most common and most universally useful is in four-inch squares. These come in both sterile and non-sterile varieties.
When bandaging a wound, you need to use sterile dressings directly on the wound. But the second layer doesn’t have to be sterile. So, if you have a bleeding wound, you can use those four-inch non-sterile gauze pads on top of a sterile one, and save a lot of money.
Stretchable gauze is also useful, especially in cases where you need to protect the skin, but not necessarily soak up a lot of blood. Skin rashes are such a case. Once you medicate the rash, you should cover it for protection. Stretchable gauze is an easy way to do this. It can also be used in place of medical tape, although it doesn’t work quite as well.
3. Antiseptic cream, alcohol and hydrogen peroxide (lots of it)
Any wound needs to be cleaned and disinfected. The first step is to flush it with a sterile solution to remove debris. This could be clean drinking water. If it’s safe enough to drink, it’s safe enough for cleaning out a wound, too. But after that, something that will kill bacteria and other germs must be used.
Many people clean the wound with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide and then apply an antiseptic cream. This is ideal, as it provides the maximum protection. You really can’t be too careful where the possibility of infection exists.
4. Clotting agent
These clotting agents are available either in a granulated powder that is sprinkled on the wound or embedded in bandages of various types (including a sponge). Either will work. The powder is useful for smaller wounds, but larger wounds require the bandages with the clotting agent included.
5. Personal protection equipment
It is important to do everything possible to prevent the spreading of infection and disease. For this reason, medical staff wear masks, gloves and eye protection. Well, if you’re going to be treating patients, you’ll need the same. Non-sterile gloves, which are sufficient for everything short of surgery, come in boxes of 100, in a variety of sizes. Buying them like that helps ensure that you’ll have them when you need them.
The most common place for pathogens to enter the body is the face. You have more naturally occurring openings in your skin, there in your face, than anywhere else in your body. That makes it necessary to protect your face from splashing blood and the droplets of sneezes. A medical face mask and simple plastic goggles is sufficient for this.
Gaping wounds need more than a bandage; they need the skin brought back together and held there for healing. In a hospital, they accomplish this with stitches. You can do the same, although it’s recommended to practice beforehand, as sewing up someone’s body is different than sewing on a button.
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But there’s an easier way — adhesive sutures. 3M’s Steri-Strips and butterfly bandages both work well for this. While both are good, the Steri-Strips come in a package of five, which makes them much easier to work with.
7. Elastic bandages
Elastic bandages are useful for a host of things, especially dealing with broken or sprained limbs. Keep an assortment of sizes on hand, so that you have the right size for every need.
In order to be able to splint broken limbs, you’ll need something to use with the elastic bandages. In a pinch, sticks will work. But a Sam Splint is even better. This is a sheet of foam rubber-coated soft aluminum sheet, four inches wide. You can form it to fit the limb, and then attach it in place with the elastic bandages. Properly done, this will work almost as good as a cast.
8. Pain relievers
There are several different over-the-counter pain relievers available; if you consume mainstream medicine, stock them all. Different ones work differently with different people. That’s why ibuprofen might work well for one person, but not for another. You should have as a minimum:
- Ibuprofen (Advil)
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Naproxen (Aleve)
Many homesteaders buy veterinary grades of antibiotics, for which you don’t need a prescription. They usually come out of the exact same factories from which human antibiotics come. Another way is to buy them in Mexico, if you happen to be traveling that way. In Mexico, you can buy them in any pharmacy.
10. Over-the-counter medicines
Finally, stock up on all of the common over-the-counter medicines you use. Remember, you won’t be able to get them during a disaster, and even though they don’t actually cure most things, they do alleviate the symptoms, making it much easier to carry on and do the things you need to be doing. Specifically, you should have:
- Antihistamine (Benadryl) — for runny nose.
- Decongestant — for stuffed up nose or sinus headache.
- Loperamide (Imodium) — anti-diarrheal.
- Meclizine (Dramamine) — helps prevent nausea and vomiting.
- Hydrocortisone cream — to help alleviate itching, such as from poison ivy.
- Omeprazole (Zantac) — for heartburn
- Clotrimazole (Lotrimin cream) — for fungal infections on the skin
There are still going to be times that it wouldn’t be that bad to know how to use a map or other navigational techniques. It doesn’t even have to be in a scary situation but due to everyday circumstances. There’s the possibility you’ll need to navigate without GPS. You might find you have no Internet access, the battery has gone out or you’re in a foreign place with no streets.
Mastering the Map
There are a large variety of maps out there that have differing uses. There are road maps for people driving through the city or other residential and country roads. They have maps for famous tourist attractions that are good for sightseeing or famous landmarks. Then there are maps for hikers and anyone out exploring the country. We’ll explore all of these maps and what works best for you.
Many people are familiar with the all-popular Google Maps, that isn’t always available though without the Internet connection. You’ll have to learn a few things about choosing a map and picking the one that best suits your environment.
Check the map’s orientation. Most maps are drawn with north located at the top.
Sometimes this may be depicted using a compass rose. Or, it might simply be stated to be the assumption of the map. If there is no indication to the contrary, presume it is north at the top.
Mapping the Journey
All maps have key figures to take note when you’re going to be using them. All maps should have a legend. These legends are a key of symbols denoting things on the map itself. So they’ll be different if you’re traversing the wild in a car like the Jeep Renegade or heading down a bustling street in the city.
Lines can depict roads and routes from a side street to major artery of a highway. They’ll vary in size and color depending on the environment.
Natural & Artificial Topography
Forests, parks, and grassy areas will be denoted in green. The same goes for the symbolic relation between bodies of water and other natural objects. Cities are usually shown in shades of grey and black tones. It’s always a good idea to keep a backup map in your car or offline version on some kind of device for whatever environment you may be entering into. If the place isn’t familiar then you can’t rely on just the map forever.
By driving around without GPS you can then use the technology and eventually paper or offline maps for reference. It really comes down to knowing what type of map you need, being able to understand the symbols and finding your way around by current location and being able to check out the area around you beforehand.
It’s no secret that, in a survival situation, you’ll face an enemy just as dangerous as a man with a gun: disease. Survival hygiene can be just as deadly as a mob if not prepared.
I asked my friend, Dan Sullivan of SullivanSurvival.com to help put things into perspective and give some expert advice on ways to keep your hygiene up as a means of protection (not to mention morale boost) in a survival situation. He kindly agreed and penned this informative and thought-provoking article on the subject.
Whether we’re talking about mosquitos, rats or other crawlers, you’re looking at an entire array of medical issues that can kill you or make you sick, such as tuberculosis, dysentery and hepatitis. And don’t think that if you bug in, you’ll be safe from all of them. The way you live inside your home right now is different than post-collapse. Just think about the mice and rats that will start showing up when you can’t take your trash.
In what follows, I want to give you a few hygiene tips that will do one thing: minimize the chances of you needing a doctor where there won’t be any. Even if they will be, that doesn’t mean they’ll have the medicine and equipment to treat you. Venezuelans doctors (who are facing total collapse these days) can’t do surgery because the Government restricted the usage of medical equipment and, to make matters worse, they’re importing cheap medicine from China.
#1. Have a Hygiene Kit
It all starts with stockpiling the right items. Hand sanitizer, paper towels, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, disposable nitrile gloves and toilet paper – all of these are needed. The good news is, they cost pennies today so stock up before their prices will increase tenfold. The other good news is that, unlike the bow drill or a crossbow, they’re easy to learn how to use. As you’re about to see, it’s all about discipline.
#2. Make Trash Your #1 Priority
We mentioned trash in the intro, now it’s time to take a closer look to it and how it can affect you.
When garbage accumulates, you get disease. That’s a big problem particularly if you live in the city or the suburbs where there are lots of people who generate lots of trash. We aren’tjust talking about cockroaches and thinks like that, but also about the things you don’t see with your naked eyes such as lice, fleas and fungi.
If you have a dog, you can safely assume fleas are going to feast on everyone when you won’t have access to a vet. They might not like to actually live on humans but they never say “no” to a feast should they get there.
So what do you do with all your trash? There are actually three main things you can do with every little thing you plan to throw away:
- burn it
- take it to the dumpster yourself
- or reuse it
The other two options, burning it or taking it to the dumpster, depend on your unique situation and on what things will look like. A fire creates three things that attract attention: light, smoke and smell. Taking it to the dumpster requires you to take regular trips, which may not be safe. I’ll leave it up to you to think about these two scenarios but, to help you make the right decision, let me just say that the less neighbors you have around you, the more likely it is that you’ll have to burn your garbage.
#3. Store more water
It’s easy to think you’ll just shower less post-collapse, but that may not be the best thing for you to do at all. Yes, you save water but the trade-off may not be worth it. So what can you do?
- stockpile more water
- install small water catch system
- and learn to stay clean with minimal water
#4. Don’t mix your first aid kits
What I mean is, the first aid kit for your pet as well as its stockpile should be kept separate from your FAKs and your own stockpile.
#5. Get a good garbage can and plastic bags
The goal is to seal the waste as much as possible. This is why a tight-fitting seal is mandatory, and so is putting all the trash inside plastic bags. You don’t want flies or rats getting inside and you certainly don’t want your garbage to get inside the can. If that happens, you should definitely clean the can thoroughly.
#6. Keep your pets outside
I know you love your pet but, in a post collapse situation, keeping it at a distance may save you a world of trouble. You probably won’t be able to give it proper and regular baths, and you certainly can’t control the other animals it plays with.
#7. Keep your hands extra clean
Our hands come into contact with so many things throughout the day, it’s staggering. In an SHTF situation, pathogens will spread faster than wildfire. A few tips to keep your hands clean:
- wash your hands as often as you can
- use hand sanitizer if water or soap are not available
- wash your hands every time you come home
If you can (and there’s no reason why not), please practice better hygiene today. Practice all these things to make sure you remain just as strict when the big one hits. Teach them to your children too, of course.
Stay safe and out of trouble,
Dan F. Sullivan
My husband loves to eat cereal and bananas with milk while reading the newspaper each morning to start his day. So, of course, we buy the cheapest, biggest bags of cold cereal a shopping basket will hold. I’m not kidding. Remember, I don’t like to grocery shop. For my breakfast, I like oatmeal, a little honey, no milk, raisins, and pecans or almonds. I do make smoothies with fruit and veggies from time to time as well. I don’t want oatmeal every day. I also like my whole wheat bread toasted. I’m just giving you a few ideas to think about for breakfast. Mickey Mouse waffles are a must for my grandkids.
Store Food-Where Do I Start:Cereal: easy to store (always on my food storage list).
Bananas: I could use fresh or freeze-dried bananas
Milk: fresh milk or I could buy some long-term milk in a #10 can in case a disaster or unforeseen emergency happened.
Oatmeal: easy to store-I can make oatmeal in 15 minutes, make your own oatmeal in a jar.
Honey: long term storage/sugar is another long term storage sweetener Cox’s Honey from Shelley, Idaho.
Raisins/Nuts: long-term storage, although the nuts must be kept in the freezer or they go rancid.
Spinach, onions, and celery: I freeze my spinach, freeze-dried onions, and freeze-dried celery.
Water: I need the water to make the milk if all I had was instant or dry milk (you can never have too much water).
Whole wheat: I buy 200 pounds at a time. I am very fussy where I get my hard white whole wheat (this is always on my food storage list as well) Yes, you will need a hand crank wheat grinder or an electric one if you have a solar generator.
Yeast: some people make bread without yeast. I prefer my whole bread recipe: Whole-Wheat-Bread Recipe or Whole-Wheat-Bread-For-Two Recipe.
Salt: it’s a basic necessity to make several things to eat.
Baking powder/Baking Soda: basics to stock.
Oil: (be careful, oil does go rancid) but I need it to make my bread (I buy Olive and Coconut).
Okay, so you can see if you have canned your own food you are in great shape. If you have a garden you are in great shape. Now every time you go to the grocery store you will pick up a few extra bags of cereal (in our case). Maybe one #10 can of instant milk. Grab a container of honey or sweetener of choice. Start contacting your friends and work together to buy in bulk, mainly to save money. Buy a few buckets with airtight lids and fill and date them with oats, if you like oatmeal. Buy one extra large bag of flour (9-12 months is the shelf life-you cannot see the mold spores, but they are there). I am very careful what I buy and store so I do not waste a penny. Learn to make biscuits. Learn to make bread.
Food Storage List For Breakfast:So basically my breakfasts consist of: milk, cereal, fresh bananas, oatmeal, honey, raisins, nuts. The smoothies would have spinach, kale, celery and a variety of fruits. I would need wheat to grind to make my bread, yeast, lemon juice, salt, etc. I would need water to make the smoothies, oatmeal, and the bread. We need 4 gallons of water per person per day.
Food Storage List For Lunch:Bread: I make my own bread because it is critical to keep my grocery costs down, learn to make tortillas, bread, pizza dough or biscuits.
Water-packed canned tuna and chicken: they have a fairly short shelf life (2-3 years). This keeps me out of the store and is cheaper than buying freshly sliced meat or expensive pre-packed lunch meat.
Mayonnaise and Miracle Whip: (typically 1-year shelf life).
Peanut butter and jam: (typically 1-year shelf life).
Apples: (they last a couple months, depending on the type of apple and stored in the refrigerator).
Carrots: (one month, if stored properly in the refrigerator).
Soups: good to have in your pantry as well (some store longer than others).
Water, water, and more water
Okay now for long-term, pick up several cans of tuna or chicken/turkey. If you can pressure can your meat that is awesome! Grab extra containers of peanut butter and jams or jelly. If you make jam or jelly even better. Grab a few jars of mayonnaise or Miracle Whip. A few extra apples in the refrigerator would taste great if we were unable to travel on the roads because of a disaster or unforeseen emergency.
Food Storage List For Dinner:Salad or fresh vegetables from the garden but canned work great as well (I make my own dressings).
Dehydrated potatoes are a staple in my home.
Pasta, quinoa or rice with some kind of meat (I buy hamburger in bulk and re-package one-pound baggies).
Chicken or turkey: (I buy frozen in bulk)-if you raise chickens that are awesome, hunters are prepared for the unexpected for sure, learn to smoke or pressure can your meat
Water, water, and more water (never ending item on my food storage list-WATER).
Long term budget food storage: pick up some cans of green beans, corn, beans (dry or canned), quinoa, rice and pasta
Learn to dehydrate what you grow in your garden or on your fruit trees.
Learn to can/bottle the fruits you grow or buy cases of fruits and vegetables as your budget allows.
Food Storage List-Free Printable:
FSM Meal Planning Schedule
Please start to today, not tomorrow to store food and water, one can at a time. Thanks for being prepared for the unexpected.
My favorite things:
Prepare Your Family for Survival: How to Be Ready for Any Emergency or Disaster Situation
Augason Farms Country Fresh 100% Real Instant Nonfat Dry Milk 29 oz 10 Can
Augason Farms Dehydrated Chopped Onions 6 oz 2.5 Can
Mountain House Cinnamon Apples
Quaker oats, old fashioned, 2 5 lb. bags, 100+ servings 10-lb
By: Tom Chatham
Many people today know there is danger on the horizon and want to do something to prepare for it but lack substantial money to buy what they think they will need. They have scanned many good lists online and know what others are stocking up on. There are many good ideas out there but most of them take a conventional stance in preparing. When everything goes wrong with the economy and you can no longer depend on a regular income you must have a plan to maintain a decent standard of living.
If the day ever comes that you suddenly have no job, your savings and retirement are gone and you have no source of income, what will you do? If you can no longer make your monthly rent or mortgage payment, do you think you will be able to continue living there and for how long? This is a serious question that many people have not contemplated and refuse to even think about. When the greater depression picks up speed, your whole world can be turned upside down overnight.
Those that have made the decision to store emergency supplies may not have contemplated losing their dwelling when it hit’s the fan. Even if you have supplies for your family where will you take them if you lose your home? Have you planned for that eventuality? Even if it is remote you need to think about it.
The first three things people need to satisfy are shelter, food and clothing. Regardless of the situation, these are the first things people will try to get before moving on to other needs such as transportation, security and sanitation to name a few.
As a minimum your 72 hour kit should be upgraded to a two week kit with a good four season tent and cold weather sleeping bags for each person. This will provide you with the minimal level of food and shelter that you should be prepared to provide for your family. Adding to this, you should increase your food reserves to the amount you could transport if you had to move. This should be the minimum resources you have to take care of your family if it all falls apart.
In the event you lose your home and have no place to go you should plan on a more permanent type of shelter that you can feasibly pay for on a limited budget. The following are the six items you should try to acquire to care for your family in a worst case scenario. Even if you declare bankruptcy, in many cases the homestead act will allow you to keep up to $5,000 worth of property. The following list will fall far below that threshold with a little shopping around.
Older pickup truck- You should have a vehicle that is fully owned so there is no chance of losing it if all of your financial assets are lost. You want an older vehicle so you can maintain it yourself to a large degree. Newer vehicles since the mid 1980’s have fuel injection, computers and many electronic sensors that make diagnosis and repair difficult for anyone without the proper equipment. You also want a vehicle that can pull a trailer which leads us to the next item.
Camper trailer- Living in a tent is better than nothing but is still miserable in very cold weather. Having a hard shelter is far more comfortable especially if you have children. You can maintain a good deal of normalcy with a camper and you still maintain your mobility. Trailers can be found very cheaply today and the longer you have to look for one the more likely you will find a good deal.
Food supply- With a hard shelter that is mobile you maintain the ability to store several months of food and move it quickly if needed. You should acquire at least a years food supply even before you have a trailer to carry it all. If you plan to set up for long periods of time at a stationary location you would also benefit from having some basic garden tools and a supply of seeds to extend your food supply.
Energy systems- In a long term depression you will still need a certain amount of energy for certain systems. A wood gasifier will allow you to power your vehicle when fuel is hard to find or too expensive to buy. Your vehicle will also provide you with a power source for electrical power. Solar panels will also prove useful for electrical power over the long term crisis. For heating and cooking, wood stoves are good to have since wood is available in most locations and relatively cheap.
Security- Having a means to protect your family will become necessary if the social conditions deteriorate to the point that large numbers of people seek out resources for survival. A good pump shotgun and at least 500 rounds of ammo will give you a basic level of protection in most circumstances. It will also provide you with the means to hunt for food should it become necessary. A shotgun is a good entry level weapon for someone with little or no experience handling weapons. If finances permit a good pistol and a rifle with a good supply of ammo would be a good investment as well.
Silver-Some wealth preserved in the form of precious metals will give you the ability to buy items in the future that are truly needed. Paper money can lose it’s value in a national crisis but gold and silver will maintain their purchasing power over the long term and provide you with options you would not have otherwise. Having at least $20 face value in junk silver coins is a good start but more is better based on some of the economic signs we are now seeing.
These six things are only one type of plan but they provide you with the means to provide the basics no matter how disruptive things get. If you are unable to service your debts in the future you may end up with only those things you fully own and have physical control over. Regardless of your plans you need to analyze your current situation very carefully to insure you will have the means to provide the basics to your family.
It may be thought as premature by some to make such drastic plans at this time but once crisis strikes it will be too late to get the things you will need to ride out the social disruptions. If the government continues to print money we will eventually lose our reserve currency status and the petrodollar will be destroyed. When that happens inflation will run rampant until the dollar that we know disintegrates into nothing. Before that happens you need to ask yourself some important questions and have good answers now.
What will I do if I lose my job and cannot find another?
How will I continue to pay for food, rent, energy, clothing or medications if my income is cut off?
What will I do if inflation destroys my wages, savings and retirement accounts leaving me with nothing?
Will I be able to stay at my current home if I no longer have any money?
Where will I go if I am forced to leave my home?
What assets do I have that are fully owned?
How can I preserve my wealth if the dollar hyper inflates to nothing?
How will I take care of my family if the banks are closed?
What can I do to earn money if we have another great depression?
This is just a sample of some of the things you will need to know if the worst happens and judging from the current economic numbers we are getting very close to a terminal situation that will destroy most of the wealth that exists in paper and digital form. Continued money printing will only make the situation worse but that is the path of least resistance and the one we are likely to take as a nation of economically illiterate stooges.
If you do not have your economic survival strategy operational at this time you are playing with an economic fire that will burn everything you have in short order. You should not complain about your preps if it does not happen next week or next month. The longer it takes to happen gives you that much more time to make the necessary preparations so use this time wisely.
Apple cider vinegar is one of the most useful things you can make at home. It is good for your health, has a number of culinary uses and it can be used to keep you and your home clean and healthy too. What's more, apple cider vinegar is great for animals in and around your homestead. Making your own will go a long way towards helping you to live a more sustainable way of life.
Whether you grow your own apples or can easily get your hands on the produce of a local orchard, the good news is that you can eat your apple and preserve it too! You can simply use the cores, peel and other waste from apples you have eaten to make your apple cider vinegar. Click here to read our post on How To Make Apple Cider Vinegar From Scraps.
Once your vinegar is at the acidity level and flavor you like, here are just some of its many uses:
For HealthAdding just a tablespoon a day of apple cider vinegar to your diet has been proven to help your health in a number of different ways. Organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar contains a web of beneficial proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria that can aid weight loss and improve digestion. It lowers blood sugar and aids in the alleviation of type two diabetes, reduces cholesterol and lowers your risk of heart disease. Some studies have also suggested that it can help lower blood pressure. Apple cider vinegar may also have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects and though science has not yet conclusively proven this, there are suggestions that ingesting apple cider vinegar may help to prevent cancer.
In The KitchenFortunately, apple cider vinegar also tastes great and can be used on salads, in juices and in a number of cooked recipes and in preserves such as pickles and chutneys. In cooked recipes, apple cider vinegar can help to create a deep and flavorsome sweet-and-sour flavor, without overwhelming the flavor the way a white vinegar could do.
In our household, we love apple cider vinegar in a range of dressings and dips for use with our fruit and vegetable crisps and crudités. Experiment with the produce from your garden and store-cupboard basics to see which flavors you enjoy. I also use a dash to improve the depth of flavor in a spiced apple pie mix made from our orchard apples, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
In The BathroomAnother way in which I always use apple cider vinegar is entirely different to the culinary uses outlined above. For several years now I have been washing and conditioning my hair using bicarbonate of soda and apple cider vinegar. Neither my husband nor I have bought any shampoo or conditioner for a long time and both of us have seen an improvement in the condition and balance of our hair. My hair is thick and beyond waist length. Since I started to use apple cider vinegar (diluted 2/3 water to 1/3 vinegar) as a rinse my hair is easier to brush. It is less oily at the roots and much less dry at the tips. The vinegar has also had a very gentle lightening effect. I would recommend the use of apple cider vinegar in a hair care regime to anyone.
Home CleaningApple cider vinegar is useful to clean your home too. When my husband and I began our journey to a more sustainable, greener way of life, I decided to switch away from proprietary household cleaners. I how just use bicarbonate of soda, apple cider vinegar and a few essential oils for all of our household cleaning needs. Apple cider vinegar is more gentle than white vinegar and has a more pleasant smell. It can cut through grease and grime and kill harmful bacteria just as effectively as the strong, toxic cleaners on the market.
For Pets and LivestockApple cider vinegar can be added to drinking troughs to stop the build up of algae. Although there is no firm evidence of the benefits of adding apple cider vinegar to the drinking water of chickens and other livestock, some believe that it can be beneficial and it is a common folk remedy. Chickens (at least mine) do seem to enjoy the taste of a small amount of apple cider vinegar in their water – perhaps a half tablespoon per gallon. There is anecdotal evidence that it may aid overall chicken health and some have reported an increase in egg production. For pet dogs, apple cider vinegar is also said to be a beneficial dietary additive. It can also be used to help with fungal infections on the paws and other minor skin ailments, though of course if in doubt you should always take animals to a qualified vet.
Survival 101: How To Forecast Tomorrow’s Weather … Without The Weather ChannelWhen you left the Jeep by the trail, and began heading down the oak leaf-covered footpath that winds its way up the mountain ridge, you felt certain about today’s weather. You had enjoyed a gorgeous night of tenting under the stars and a delicious breakfast, but then it hits you: the realization that the sky seems to be turning darker by the hour.
Before long, you’re getting the distinct impression that you might have just hiked 16 miles into the woods, only to shiver in the rain, and may even be forced to head home in defeat. And then there’s always the possibility that this might just be … well … a bunch of rainless clouds.
This is going to be one tough call to make.
And even if you had brought your smartphone with you, and not left it in the Jeep, it wouldn’t have done much good. There are no smartphone towers around here, and technology isn’t really going to help you in this situation.
Many have suggested that a hiker’s barometer/thermometer watch could provide data on the current situation, but unfortunately, most in the “affordable range” tend not to work effectively. Besides, you’d also have to know how to interpret this data, and it’s not even going to offer near the accuracy that you’d get from two important pieces of gear — items that you had with you all along: your eyes and your brain.
The Survival Water Filter That Fits In Your POCKET!
Your eyes can see the data, and your brain can do a darn good job of interpreting it. So, here are just a few of the basics on reading the clouds for when you have just as much need for a smartphone in the woods today, as just another text from the boss.
Clouds You Should Know
To start off, here’s a quick little guide on how to identify the clouds overhead, along with descriptions on what they mean:
Fair Weather Clouds
Cumulus – Fair weather (unless closely clumped together, which could signal a little rain on the way). They generally look a bit like floating cotton balls.
Cirocumulus – Looks like a very thin high-altitude blanket, most likely to dissipate into clear blue sky. This could also foretell of a massive hurricane-like storm system approaching within days in extreme cases.
Possible Warning Clouds
Cirrus – High-altitude wisps, indicating a possible major weather change and storms within 24-48 hours. Especially pay attention if cirrus clouds appear in a wavy pattern.
Cirrostratus – Cirrus clouds accumulate and thicken, possibly warning of rain or snow on the way.
Altostratus – These create a thick grey veil over the sun, meaning the rain is soon to come.
Nimbostratus - Low level thick, wet wisps, meaning it’s probably not going to clear up anytime soon.
Cumulonimbus – These are your thunderstorm clouds. You’d better hunker down and take cover immediately.
Storm Clouds Descend
One important thing to pay attention to is how the weather is progressing. With the exception of certain regions with their own unique weather phenomena, most storm systems will move over the area, starting with high-altitude cirrus patterns and ending with low-altitude nimbostratus formations. In most cases, it progresses like this:
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Nevertheless, there’s a very good chance that both scenarios will be preceded by those high-altitude wispy cirrus clouds, so always pay closer attention to the sky when they show up.
Warm Front. Cold Front.
Warm and cold fronts tend to have very distinct attributes that will reveal themselves to you in the sky without your needing those squiggly lines on the Doppler map. You can usually tell the two apart, using these criteria …
Warm Front – Weather generally changes in a more gradual, more even manner, and is usually accompanied by lighter precipitation that lasts for longer periods of time. It’s also usually preceding a low-pressure zone. To give you an illustration, it’s just like in a super-hot cup of coffee: the half-and-half tends to stir itself if you let it sit, and the same goes for warm fronts.
Cold Front - Weather generally changes in a rapid and often chaotic manner, and these are known for stressing out sailors and sea captains. Because cold air is denser than hot air, cold fronts will form a wall, which then churns and causes rapid convection, and thunderheads shortly thereafter. Much like a weather explosion, these systems tend to precede a high-pressure zone, quickly condensing the water vapor in its path … and becoming heavy rains, heavy wind, and other various storm nasties.
Thus, if the weather seems to take days to change from blue to grey, then you’re probably looking at days of rain due to an inbound warm front.
But if the weather goes from blue to terrifying in 90 minutes, then you’ll only have to whiteknuckle that tarp for about 15 insane minutes of nature’s fury.
Weather Patterns You Can Basically Bank on
When temperatures change rapidly, or there’s a sudden increase in wind speed and/or direction, then it’s time to keep an eye on the sky. Depending on your region, of course, weather systems generally roll in from the west or southwest. So if you’ve got a hunch that the weather may be changing, then turn your eye where the sun sets, because that’s where your trouble’s going to originate.
Obviously, there’s still plenty else to learn about reading the clouds, but this should at least get you started. As for another more obvious fact, if the weatherman says you should stay indoors, then folks: Please stay indoors. Your eyes may be 20/20, but their eyes are seeing things from orbit, and, well, bad storms kill people.