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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Prepper: 10 Skills Needed To Thrive In A Post-Collapse World

Prepper: 10 Skills Needed To Thrive In A Post-Collapse World
The Latest from the prepping world...

Knowledge is something that no one can take from you. It’s the eternal wealth that will help you thrive in a Post-Collapse world.
Some experts see the perfect storm emerging for a dramatic collapse of Western civilizationclaiming we’ve reached environmental, economic, and geopolitical tipping points. Clearly, some skills will be far more valuable than others if this societal breakdown occurs.  Sorry bankers, lawyers, and accountants, there won’t be a need for you in a post-collapse world.



Before we quantify the skill sets that will be viable, it is important to define the severity of a “post-collapse” scenario. When taken as a whole, together these tipping points could potentially converge to create a post-apocalyptic Mad Max-type world for the vast majority of humanity.  However, given the advanced technology that we possess today, it is unlikely to ever become quite that primitive ever again. Surely there will be pockets of energy and food independence no matter what possible scenario unfolds, but the vast majority may be left to fend for themselves.
It would take a serious cataclysmic earth event like a super volcano, a meteor impact, major electromagnetic pulse event, or dramatic pole shift to affect the entirety of humanity.  Man-made events like nuclear war, environmental damage, or total economic collapse, no matter how devastating, will be somewhat isolated and contained to specific areas and populations. Incidentally, every nation or territory that has experienced these man-made catastrophes has roared back to life in less than one generation. The only example of nuclear survival was in Japan, while the largest recent economic collapse was the break-up of the Soviet Union.  In both cases those countries went through a very tough period, but ultimately they persevered.
Word of the day: Prepare! And do it the old fashion way, like our fore-fathers did it and succeed long before us, because what lies ahead of us will require all the help we can get. Watch this video and learn the 3 skills that ensured our ancestors survival in hard times of famine and war.
For sake of this article, let’s assume that some level of devastation is caused by each type of tipping point in the United States.  Our ever escalating wars finally reach our shores by way of long-range nuclear missiles, total economic collapse occurs rendering the dollar worthless, and we would likely have less electricity and water than Iraq did after Bush’s “shock and awe” campaign. Gasoline and oil supplies would likely be down to a trickle, halting all supply lines of food and other goods to big box stores.  Factory farming will be impossible without cheap oil products readily available.  The suffering will be dramatic.
The only question will become, how do the citizens react?  Both the USSR and early 1950s Japan were far more agrarian, and far less dependent on big box stores than America currently is.  American dependence on long supply lines, interconnected yet vulnerable electric grid, and pharmaceutical-based healthcare may lead to a more severe breakdown of society than witnessed in those countries.  Although, innovative technology for alternative energy and agriculture practices will play a part in surviving; but they can only help the few with the knowledge, means, and stability to use them.  And stability will be in low supply for some time, resulting in only small groups with relative comfort — those who planned for the worse. However, as an optimist, I believe that after the initial chaos Americans will rediscover solidarity for one-another, much like they did after 9/11, but this time it will be more sustained out of absolute necessity.
Many articles have been written about how to survive the coming collapse, or what is needed to survive, but not many articles have been written about what skills will have value in a post-collapse world.  Imagine fulfilling human necessity without consistent fuel or electricity, large-scale food production, or fully-stocked pharmacies and hospitals.  The only form of wealth in a collapsed civilization is the knowledge and skills to produce something of human value.
Here are 10 invaluable skills that will likely help you sustain yourself in a hand-made local world:

1. Organic Gardening and Seed Saving:

Skills involving food production will be the most valuable in a post-collapse society. Learning to grow your own food is a must.  Obviously, it is necessary to feed your family, but you will also be able to trade your abundance for other items. Additionally, learning to save seeds will also provide another excellent means of trade.

2. Food Processing and Preservation:

Learning to process and preserve foods will be another huge skill in a post-collapse world. Taking seasonal abundance and preserving it for future consumption or trade will be vital.  Remember, learning to do this with limited electricity is a must. This can also include learning to brew beer, mead, vinegar, or other alcoholic beverages from meager ingredients.

3. Hunting, Fishing, and Gathering:

Learning to fish and hunt is essential to survival. Having the proper gear and training will be priceless after the collapse of modern civilization.  Having reference guides for edible plants in your region, repairing weapons, trapping wild game, and fishing are great tools to have if you haven’t the time to learn them now. In regards to weapons, your ability to use them also gives you the skill of working security.

4. Animal Husbandry:

Notice the first four categories are related to food production.  It’s that important.  Just gaining knowledge of one of these categories will give you an invaluable skill to thrive in a post-apocalyptic world.  Knowledge of animal husbandry can provide endless amounts of sustainable meat, eggs, and milk to you and your tribe.

5. Construction:

Construction skills will be very important in a shattered civilization.  These skills, especially without power tools, are not something you learn overnight.  If you have some basic skills it may be worth learning a few techniques for building small structures with crude hand tools.  There are many books teaching anyone how to build basic cabins, sheds, and composting outhouses.

6. Alternative Energy and Fuels:

Having the knowledge to implement alternative energy systems will make you a wealthy survivor in a “dark” world. You can learn to build your own alternative energy systems, or you can purchase back up solar generators in preparation for emergencies. There are also small fuel refinery systems available like the biodiesel Fuelmeister, and the new invention from Japan that turns plastic into oil.  Knowledge of how to create energy would be invaluable when oil is scarce.
Find out how more than 78,000 Americans have greatly benefited from this amazing creation, and found energy independence, Click Here!

7. Water Purification:

Since it’s difficult to pump well water without electricity and with surface water likely to be contaminated, clean water will be in very limited supply.  Learning to purify water will allow you thrive during this time. You can also purchase water filters for your go-bag that will last weeks, and you can have back-up tablets should you need them.  However, the skill and knowledge to purify water should be the goal as that can never run out.

8. Basic First Aid and Natural Medicine:

This is another skill that can take years to develop and learn, but that will be crucial when supply lines of pharmaceuticals are cut off and hospitals are over-run. Knowledge of growing herbal gardens for making medicine at home will prove to be very important.  Learning basic procedures for stitching wounds, CPR, and more will also be of great assistance.  Being the tribe’s shaman with a natural medicine chest is a prestigious position

9. Mechanics:

Mechanics for cars, motorcycles, tractors and other machinery will likely be in high demand.  In addition, bicycle mechanics will also fair well in world where fuel is very expensive or hard to come by.  These are also skills that are not learned over night, but it will be wise to at least have access to books or how-to videos.

10. Soap and Candle Making:

With long supply lines decimated and electricity on the fritz, soap and candle makers will provide a valuable product. Clearly some preparation of storing raw materials may be needed to achieve trade-able levels of these goods.  Even if you just had the knowledge to make soap or candles just for your immediate tribe, you will be much better off for it.
You’ll notice that many of these skills also fall into the category of what you would need to be self-sufficient. Again, learning all of these skills will be virtually impossible, especially if the collapse isn’t that far off as many predict.  Determine which skills that most appeal to you and focus on them by studying and acquiring the tools needed. Since you can’t become an expert in everything it may be wise to recruit tribe members with various survival skills.  It will also be beneficial to build up your library of “how to” books and videos for tasks that you are not proficient in.  You can download any video from Youtube by using Keepvid.com and build your library into an external hard drive.

Winter Survival: Critical Training Techniques to Overcome the Elements

We’re deep into the winter, Readers out there in ReadyNutrition Land, as you well know.  Now, here’s a challenge for you: while the season is here, it’s time to put your skills to the test. Why?  Well, because you can practice doing a few things in a (semi) controlled environment.  This will enable you to gauge your weaknesses and strengths and iron out your problems, either for another “go” at it or for lessons learned to hone in the off season.

Essential Winter Gear

  1. Proper and effective dress: We have covered the importance of layering in previous articles. Everyone has their preferences; however, a good set of polypro thermals that wick off moisture and a good set of Gore-Tex upper and lower garments are a start.
  2. Backpack: I prefer the large Alice pack of the Army; however, what you need is to be comfortable with your gear, and for your gear to work. You need food, a source of heat, fire making equipment, a blanket/sleeping bag, a water supply that will not readily be frozen, extra clothing as needed, and the likes.  For a sleeping bag, I prefer the insulated issue bag with a Gore-Tex cover.  Don’t forget a ground pad of some type.
  3. Tools: A hatchet (preferably one with a hammer-head and a hatchet blade with one continuous piece incorporated into the handle; a good hunting knife, and a good utility knife (Swiss Army knife, or a multipurpose tool will fit the bill).
  4. Sheltering equipment: I prefer the Army issue poncho (that has grommets) and five (5) bungee cords for the four corners and the top (hood portion tied off) for an expedient shelter.  You can take a pup or dome tent, but be sure of how to put it up before you go out in the woods.
  5. Must-haves: these are things on your person when you venture forth – lighter, compass, thermometer (or device to compute temperature, such as wrist thermometer, etc.), flashlight, map of area for exercise. Use your judgement as to what other things you need.

Critical Tasks for Training in Winter

Let’s identify some critical tasks that you need to be able to perform in the wintertime.  These tasks pertain also to requirements you need to fulfill to be able to operate in the outdoors.
  1. For the first one, plan on just doing an “overnighter” or such, if you’ve never been outside overnight in a winter environment.  As with physical exercise: train, don’t strain.  Same principle here.  You want to see how well your skills work and what you need to improve upon.  It’s also a good way to test your equipment and yourself.  You are trying to learn by experience and not hurt yourself, so don’t push it beyond your limits this first time.
  2. For your water-carrying containers: use whatever you have that is insulated to a high degree, and if it is going to freeze?  You should leave about ¼ unfilled to keep your container from splitting.  Then, what do you do with it?  For wintertime, I have “special” one quart canteens, the older issue ones made from metal, with a screw on cap lined with cork.  The canteen carrier helps to insulate the canteens, but if they freeze…plop one on top of a small folding stove or at the edge of a fire and it’ll thaw that water out in no time.  In addition, the canteen nests in the canteen cup and you can thaw snow or ice to make water for yourself.
  3. Bivouac in an area that is close to home.  In an emergency, you can get home readily.  Now you can practice with that “safety net” if you need it.  Practice everything: making fires in the snow, making lean-to’s and igloos, and tree-pit shelters.  Practice your navigation with a compass.  This is where the military issue compass comes in handy, as it’s not liquid filled and not subject to freezing.  You should write down your experiences in some kind of a logbook or journal to use for improving later.
  4. Practice tracking your non-hibernating animals.  Learn the difference between a dog’s track in the morning, and in the afternoon when the sun melts the edges of the impression and expands the track, making it look bigger.  You’ve brought the ground covering mat and the poncho with you.  Alright.  Now, knowing you have that in reserve, practice clearing snow away from a patch of ground and using fallen pine boughs as ground cover.  Fashion a lean-to for yourself from the surrounding fallen timber.
  5. At night, practice building your fire and building a fire-reflecting wall.  Take constant notes on the things you observe: what you see, hear, feel, and smell.  Practice land navigation and orienteering in the daytime, and (until you’re comfortable) for short distances at night.  Learn to use the stars if they’re visible, as mentioned in previous articles.  If the S ever HTF, you’ll be way ahead of the power curve regarding living in the field and the boonies in a winter environment.
Mind you, these are all basics for you to try.  These basics will help you to inspire confidence in yourself and your skills.  Winter weather and a cold environment with snow and ice on the ground presents challenges, but they can be overcome and mastered with practice.  Stay warm, be safe, and keep up the good work!

25 Unusual Lessons From Long-Term Camping

 

If you’ve ever gone long term camping, you’ll be nodding your head in agreement, and then will have plenty more observations to add to this list. The more camping and outdoor skills you have, the better. Just a few days ago, I was contacted by a man who is now homeless and plans on living in his car as well as a tent, when the weather is conducive.
  1. Snails can CEMENT themselves to nearly anything, and often they will do it in the least expected places.
  2. You MUST make peace with the giant spiders. They eat mosquitoes.
  3. Raccoons have no respect for personal property. They can taste pretty good, though!
  4. If you fall asleep in in the open, don’t be surprised if you wake up with wildlife curled up with you or on you. Of course the wildlife could range from a squirrel to an ant swarm.
  5. Nothing shiny is ever safe in the open from raccoons.
  6. Armadillos like to lick plastic and exposed toes.
  7. Make peace with skunks or your life will stink (literally).
  8. Always look where you’re taking a squat (answering nature’s call) at least three times before going. You’re pretty vulnerable in that position, so you want to make sure there are no unpleasant surprises.
  9. Make sure you know what bull thistle looks like. Sharp thorns but, surprisingly, quite edible.
  10. Don’t allow people to throw cigarettes in the latrines, if that’s what you’re using.
  11. Cedar smoke may be hard to live with, but mosquitoes are much harder to deal with. Burning cedar bark is a natural insect repellent.
  12. Don’t camp by still waters. If you do, you’ll only do it once. (See #11 above.)
  13. Clear well the area where you put your tent. Rocks, briars, and twigs don’t disappear just because you put a tarp over them. If your camping is truly long term, weeks or longer, every bit of gear you have needs to be treated with care. You may not have the money or opportunity to get it replaced.
  14. Racoons will chew through things they cannot open easily. It’s easier to appease the raccoon than to keep buying new things.
  15. Given time, mice and rats can chew through things you might think were rodent proof. Be on the lookout for telltale signs of their chewing.
  16. Shake your clothes and shoes well before putting them on.
  17. Wet tobacco makes fire ant stings stop hurting.
  18. You may not react to the first, second or 100th fire ant bite, but someday you will and get huge welts from them. Chigger bites are almost as bad.
  19. Don’t camp anywhere near fire ants and know what their mounds look like. You’d be surprised by how many problems can be avoided just be carefully selecting your campsite.
  20. No matter how awesome that spot in a valley looks, and no matter how much your significant other likes it, don’t camp there. Water ALWAYS goes to the valley.
  21. Do not attempt to burn American literature books. It won’t work. However, over time you’ll develop survival hacks that DO work, or you can just buy a book like this one from expert Creek Stewart.
  22. Raccoons can chew through sterilite containers. (Yes, raccoons again.)
  23. You cannot protect your valuables from raccoons unless you half bury a box in the ground and set a small boulder over it.
  24. Dont piss off blue jays. They remember and have no inhibitions in attacking you.
  25. ALWAYS, I repeat, ALWAYS check your shoes before putting them on.

4 Tools to Cut and Chop Wood for Survival

One of the basics of survival is having the ability to cut and chop wood.  It is wood that will fuel the fires that keep us warm, boil our water, and cook our food.
It seems simple enough, right?  Grab your tool of choice, head outdoors and chop away.  Alas, if it were only that easy.  How many times have you gone to the garage or outdoors to the shed, only to be perplexed when it comes to choosing the best tool for cutting or chopping wood?  Been there done that.
For this article I have reached out to experienced outdoorsman, Cody Assmann, to share his knowledge with those of us that have yet to select the perfect tool to meet our needs.

4 Tools to Cut and Chop Wood for Survival | Backdoor Survival
These tools to cut and chop wood offer a wide variety of use.

An Introduction to Tools for Cutting and Chopping Wood

by Cody Assmann
When it comes to backwoods kits, everyone has their own opinions on gear. What to take, what to leave behind, and what to look for in tools is highly personal. It is also no doubt impacted by the area you will be traveling in and the time of year. Some people take shelters, others make them. Some people go modern, and some people stick to more traditional gear. Still, others aim to go super light-weight, while others go as gear heavy as possible. There is no right or wrong way to build a kit or head into the woods. That said, however, there is one tool that nearly everyone takes every time; a knife.
Steel knives are almost unanimously included in every backwoods kit because they are so absolutely useful. The list of tasks you can perform with a good steel knife is almost limitless but includes shaping wood, gathering fire material, cleaning animals, cooking, and creating other tools. The reality is that steel knives make life easier and better. It was one of the first trade items that Native American people were looking for when they contacted Europeans. In fact, one mountain man, Osborne Russell, met a group of Native people living in the Stone Age, except for the single steel knife they had almost completely worn out. History supports the modern ideology that a good knife makes your backwoods life better.
The truth is, though, there are a variety of tools to cut and chop wood that are extremely handy to have with you. There are many tools for the purpose of cutting wood, but some of the most common are a knife, hatchet, axe, and saw. These tools each serves a specific purpose and adding one to your survival kit might fit your specific needs. By understanding the applications and strengths of each tool you can best decide what you’ll need.

Specific Tools to Cut and Chop Wood

Knife

As discussed in the introduction, a good knife is a great tool to have along. It’s one of the tools to cut and chop wood everyone takes along. You’ll probably want to include one in your survival kit. Not all knives are the same though and understanding what you’ll be asking a knife to do is important to understand. Small knives, like a basic Mora knife, can be handy for a number of reasons. One, a small knife with a single cutting edge is super handy to have around for all the small camp chores you’ll likely run into. For basic carving and cutting, a simple Mora is hard to beat. Two, being so lightweight and small makes them easy to tote around even on long trips.
On the other hand, sometimes a large knife is what you’ll want. One large knife that has received a large degree of notoriety recently is a Condor knife designed by TV personality Matt Graham. This knife is robust and had a blade over eight inches long that is built to withstand serious abuse. If you are trying to stay light and only want one tool to do all your woodwork, a big stout knife like this might be the ticket.
Over the years I’ve been given two pieces of advice when buying a knife I believe are pertinent.
One, when you are buying knives you are generally buying the steel the knife is made with. That means a more expensive knife has generally used a better steel in construction that will last longer and keep a sharper edge.
Two, full tang knives are your best bet for rugged long term use. In a situation where you’ll be asking for your knife to really chip in and do some work, a folding knife has the built-in weakness of a pivot point. Sure they are convenient, but their inherent weak link can problems. I read a hunting story one time about an Alaskan hunter who was gutting a moose with a folding knife. Miles from anywhere, with his hand inside the moose, the blade closed shut and lopped off the fella’s fingers. Fluke or not, play it safe and get a solid full tang knife.
Another knife that is overlooked is the crooked knife. These knives are designed for specialty work such as carving and shaping wood. There are lots of different designs out there, and the specific bend you want will probably depend on what you’d like to achieve. For the most part, these knives tend to be smaller and wouldn’t add a lot of weight to a kit. On the other hand, every time you add something to your kit the heavier it becomes. If you are doing a lot of traveling you might think twice about bringing more than one knife.

Hatchet

A hatchet is another tool to cut and chop wood you might consider taking along with you. Hatchets are basically small axes to be used with one hand. These are good tools that many woodsmen and survivalists have toted with them in one form or another for generations.
Hatchets have a major benefit over a knife, in that they are designed for heavy usage in the field. Chopping small trees, splitting wood, and rough general usage are the tasks a hatchet is designed for. For someone heading to a heavily wooded area, that is predicting doing some heavy chopping and woodwork, a hatchet might be a good option.
Another benefit of a hatchet is the weight of the tool. Although a good hatchet is certainly heavier than a knife, they are still light enough to be strapped to a backpack and carried for considerable distances.
Men like the eastern long hunters and the mountain men of the west often carried a similar tool in a tomahawk. Hawks are lighter and are not as well adapted to heavy work. They can, however, be thrown, and generally come with longer handles which give the light head some torque when used. Personally, I carry a tomahawk on my trips as the reduced weight is ideal for me, and I don’t spend a lot of time splitting wood.
If you are going to constantly be moving camp, trekking, or just want a simple tool you can carry that is capable of heavy use, a hatchet or tomahawk is a good choice.
Having the Right Tool to Chop Wood | Backdoor Survival
Having the right tool for your situation is pivotal, and more importantly, individual.

Axe

Another tool that can really benefit someone in a survival situation is a good axe. An axe looks a lot like a hatchet, only much larger in size. These tools are well suited for anyone predicting to be doing an excessive amount of woodwork. Axes were used to fell trees by the pioneers to construct log cabins, build fortified walls, split firewood, and anything else that required the use of mature trees.
If your goal is to build similar structures in the woods, or want to create a large wood reserve, an axe should probably find its way into your kit.
Nearly all axes use a heavy axe head to sit on top of a long axe handle. The result of this is two-fold. One, you get a heavy duty axe head that can be somewhat abused and stand up to the task. Secondly, you can generate a good amount of speed and torque on the head as you swing it. This enticing combination is what made the axe a tool many woodsmen of the past carried with them while doing heavy work.
Not all axes are created equal, though. Before you choose an axe, you should consider what task you will be using it for.
Some axes are designed for splitting wood that has been cut. These typically have a flair in the head that acts as a wedge when driven into the wood. Other types are made specifically for chopping trees. These axes tend to have a smaller profile that makes the axe easier to remove while working.
There are double bit axes and broad axes. Each serves a specific purpose. Whatever task you plan on using your axe for, odds are there is a specialty axe for the job. You can also find a few designs that try to offer a mix of benefits. These could be referred to as the Jacks of all trades, Kings of none. They might be ideal for someone who can’t tote along a variety of heavy axes all the time.
The major downfall of an axe is its weight. Although the heavy head and long handle make using the tool ideal, it is not a combination that lends itself well to extended travel. If you are going to be in a situation where you can afford to stay in one place you might consider one. If you plan on doing any sort of frequent movement or travel, you may find it too cumbersome to drag along. However, if the ability to chop sizable wood is important to you, it might be worth taking along. It all depends on your needs, wants, and personal situation.

Saw

The final tool to cut and chop wood in a survival situation you may want to consider is the tool best suited for cutting wood; a saw. Saws come in all shapes, sizes, and designs, and might be something worth throwing in your bag. Today, we have the luxury of folding saws that are actually sturdy enough for heavy use. These saws stow away easily yet still have some beef to cut through fairly large logs. They are very popular with folks all around the country for their availability, compact nature, and convenience. Odds are you’ve probably seen one of your favorite YouTubers using one of these folding saws.
Another saw option out there is the takedown bucksaw. Takedown bucksaws come in many different designs, but the principle is the same. A takedown frame is put together with enough tension and support to spread and hold a saw blade tightly. Personally, I prefer this tool for several reasons. One, if it breaks you can make a new one, or fix your existing one, with just a few simple tools or materials you have lying around. Secondly, the blades are cheap, super lightweight, and stow away easily as long as you have something to store them in. Thirdly, the bucksaw design is comfortable to use. Not saying the folding saw isn’t, but I simply prefer the bucksaw.
If you’re looking at your local environment and think a saw would be handy and help you complete tasks you’d like to perform these two types of saws are probably your best options. Personally, I don’t often take a saw on my outings. Most of my camps are lightweight, portable, and easily moved. If I do happen to make a camp in one place for an extended period of time, that’s when the saw finds its way into my gear. Again, the tools you bring should reflect your particular situation.

Finding the Right Balance When Choosing Your Tools

Having the right tool to cut and chop wood in a survival situation is essential. For obvious reasons, wood will likely become the number one source of building materials in many areas. Having the correct tool for the job will allow you to get the job done more quickly and efficiently, thus opening up time for other chores you’ll need to take care of.
Knives, hatchets, axes, and saws are all possible cutting and chopping tools that could find their way into your pack. Some people can do just fine with a simple knife as their only cutting tool. Others may find the advantages of extra tools to balance out the weight. Finding the right balance is up to you.

The Final Word

I readily admit that there has been a good deal of trial and error involved with the personal selection of wood cutting tools.  I just wish I had read this article before making my selections because I now feel so much smarter!
That said, I do have a sizable collection of Moraknivs, both in my packs and in the kitchen. They are used in one manner or another on a daily basis.  I also have a decent axe, hatchet, and two different machetes. What comes next?  Getting outdoors and actually using them so I know what to do when my life depends on them for survival.

Preparing for Illness in SHTF

 

Prepping is a fun hobby! Buy guns and ammo and plot how to wipe out the hungry hoards of neighbors trying to steal your MREs in a grid down WROL scenario. But, like life, the fun stuff is not really useful when SHTF happens in SHTF. This short article is designed to make you think about your circumstances as I go on and on and on about mine and what I would do. I am pushing Pat’s “no story” criteria here. All the health advice contained is researched and useful.
Life in 2018 was different from life in 2017. I got up at dawn and went to bed at dusk. In between exhausted sleep in my smelly sleeping bag I find, chop, haul, and carry all day long. Wood, soil, water, and parts of wrecked houses all need to be gathered each and everyday as I try to build a life again without the aid of prepping videos or The Prepper Journal. I wish I’d downloaded that site before the War started! Too late now. What will your life be like in SHTF after the bombs stop falling and after the first Winter has seen the largest die off in human beings in our short and terminally stupid history? More to the point of this article, safely printed out and sealed in plastic, is what can happen to you and how will you prepare to deal with it after all the fun stuff has ended? Prepping for Year Two is a good mental exercise as it is too easy to get caught up in the first few weeks however stimulating that is (Check out BZA RZA GZA for the best shtf story of all time ).
Good health is more valuable than gold but is ignored until it is no longer there. Year Two I had some bad luck but I lived and we restarted civilization thanks to the Borgs (funny we called them that and they still do not know why!) so I can post my experiences in case another SHTF happens! SHTF ended by an alien invasion, now why did no one else think that would ever happen.

Huples Gets A Cold


This morning I ache all over and my throat and head are killing me.
Despite years of being a vegan and eating mostly vegan in SHTF I got a bad cold while trading some amaranth seeds for seed corn at the community market. I felt tired all day yesterday but I feel tired everyday. This morning I ache all over and my throat and head are killing me. I think I have a fever but there are no thermometers left working. Oh how I wish I’d kept those mercury ones I had when I started my nurse training.
Dragging out of bed I light the BioLite with wood stored in the hut. Love this stove but the electricity no longer is produced and the fan is dead. Still it reminds me of happier days camping. I drink mint tea and go back to my bed. Later I have a sneezing fit and green snot shoots out of my nose. Still I know I have a cold so two to three days rest and keep hydrated should fix me. No need to panic as I have several weeks worth of wood stored in the hut along with a lot of water. I’m not that hungry so I break out my emergency rations and have soup and oatmeal. I’m glad I kept pre War rations for when I’m sick. Going out to fish and forage would be very, very hard especially as I am not thinking very straight.
I also use some of my stored honey and apple cider vinegar to make a gargle. I also add in some dried raspberry leaves. Sadly I have no lemon juice anymore as a dash of that would help. I do have some single malt scotch and I have a generous amount of that at dinner time with my stored black tea. Helps me sleep and I know I have to keep drinking fluids all day despite feeling like death warmed over. I keep the fire going as well as warmth helps a lot. To help sleep I have placed two of the Winter blankets under my pillows as the elevation really helps the congestion.
I am not that hungry but I snack on dehydrated foods to help my body fuel itself to kill these nasty cold bugs. Blueberries slightly reduce fever and I like them and carrots for the beta-carotene. I drink a lot of my stored black tea as it contains catechin which is a mild antibiotic. 48 hours later I literally feel the fever go and bounce out of bed raring to go and start the day’s labors.

Huples Gets the Flu


This is really bad. I am drenched with sweat and shivering. I ache all over
Being a sociable sort I go to the community market again a few weeks later. I really want some baked beans and have been dreaming of them. I have a few buns I baked and almost no one has any flour anymore so I am hoping to be lucky. Nope. There appears to be no more safe baked beans in Canada. This truly is the apocalypse!
Two days later I wake up after feeling totally fine and I think my cold is back again. Until I try to get up out of bed. This is really bad. I am drenched with sweat and shivering. I ache all over like I did when I had the fight with the neighbor just after the War and had to kill him. My back, arms, and legs are so sore they hurt even if I just think of moving them. My throat is sore and I think I am having a stroke as my head is exploding in pain. The sudden and painful dry coughing fit seals the deal. Huples has influenza and that can easily kill me.
If I had any Tamiflu left now is the time to take them but I traded them for a bow last July when the Creeping Death flu hit the area. The bow has been a great gift but I also got the Creep and then had to use my remaining supply of Tamiflu. Tamiflu can cause nausea and vomiting and should be taken with food to reduce those effects. If you are reading this and have some Tamiflu I envy you. It is dangerous to use if you have asthma or any respiratory disease so those heavy smokers out there really should not take it. It can cause delirium and suicide in teenagers. But I have no Tamiflu left.
If I had my family still living I know that I would have already infected them the day before symptoms appeared. I do know that if I live I will be contagious for at least the next five days and maybe ten so no one should come anywhere near me without an N95 mask on and great hand washing.
I cannot light the fire as I am beyond weak. Luckily I can use my store of Winter blankets to cover my stinking, sweating, and shivering body. I immediately implement my illness protocol and use my stored water. I premix bottles with my stored Gatorade powder and really try to drink as much as I can. Once a day I throw my sheet onto the floor and wrap myself in a new one. Truly having a large store of linens was a game changer in SHTF for me.
Of course I survived and can happily tell you that flu had me in bed for about 5 days and as weak as a kitten for a month afterwards. This wasn’t the Creep and no one else around me had it. Still someone must have had it and infected me. Probably the trader whose baked bean tin I picked up even though it was obviously damaged. I never shake hands anymore after the Creep and stay one meter away but flu viruses are hardy and hangout on stuff as well as people.

Huples Breaks His Ankle


The foot is swollen and the inner ankle is rock hard and bruised but very pale everywhere else. My toes are numb when I prod my knife into them and I cannot move my toes at all.
Still weak from the flu I was running after a turkey I had hit with my bow in the back woods near where the 767 crashed, near the burned out Costco when I crashed down. I heard the snap and looked at my twisted foot but felt nothing until I tried to untie my boot. Pain. My world was pain. I stopped trying to see what was wrong and started looking for a stick. I could not feel my toes which is not good. I really hope I have sprained my ankle and not broken it. Luckily there were loads of sticks near me so I found two good enough as sort of walking sticks and then broke open my back pack to get to my EDC supplies. I wonder if I am the only prepper who carries an EDC in this new and not improved world! Carefully I tie four sticks to my boot and then attach them above the knee using paracord. This splint will have to do as I have to get back to my hut and get the boot off and do a visual inspection. The 600 meters to home took me three to four hours and I think I passed out a few times.
At the hut I regret not forcing the boot off when this happened as the foot and ankle are really swollen. I manage but barely and again passed out during this. I have opened the first aid box and ignored the precious aspirin as I they will interfere with inflammation and I need nature to work uninterrupted.

Elite First Aid Fully Stocked GI Issue Medic Kit Bag, Large
Visual inspection tells me it is a fracture. The foot is swollen and the inner ankle is rock hard and bruised but very pale everywhere else. My toes are numb when I prod my knife into them and I cannot move my toes at all. I wish I was not living alone as I really need help with this. I try to tape and straighten the foot but I just cannot do it. I blow my air horn, three short, three long, three short, pause, repeat. Keeping that seemed odd but now I am toast if no one comes a running to save me. I am guessing the population of our small town is around 400 now. 86000 dead but no one does a census and no one collects taxes so there is some good news I guess! Mike shows up after a few hours. He was really puzzled to hear the air horn when out hunting. He’s a good guy. Everyone is these days as the bad ones ended up among the 86000 by the end of the first Winter. Still he’s not happy at being asked to do foot care on Huples so he leaves after having a shot of rare scotch with me and send his 13-year-old daughter Kitty to ‘nurse’ me.
I am a nurse and proud of it so having little Kitty ‘nurse’ me is funny. She broke her wrist during the War and I fixed her up at the time using my great store of medical gear including a cast. I have her get the supplies ready including medical tape, gauze, and my last role of casting bandage. I have been thinking of clay casts but I am glad I have one roll of the real stuff left. My main issue is when the medical tape runs out. Duct tape works but ruins the skin as it does not breathe.
Kitty pulls my foot straight and I hear and feel the grinding. Kitty does not care and has seen and done worse but who of us has not? She tapes and wraps the foot like a pro. Casting soaks and then goes on and the warm heat of it setting is wonderful. I thank Kitty and gift her a Mars Bar (mini one) and a gold RN pin (my old nursing association sent me one a year and I hoarded them). She tells me she will come once a day and help out for half an hour but otherwise she cannot spare the time. Kitty should be a real nurse and I decide to ask her and Mike if I can apprentice her once I am literally back on my feet. So many old skills have literally died.
Thanks to Kitty and my SHTF prepper freeze-dried stores of food carefully hoarded these last few years I make an okay recovery but my days as a ballet dancer are over. My carefully carved ‘crutches’ are a lot heavier than those nice old aluminum ones that burned when the house went up but they do the job.
Anyway as we all know the Borgs invade before the third Winter. Humanity welcomed our alien overloads with open arms and they turned out to be decent enough for orange hairy lizards. I am sure I’d have cut myself, got an STD, had an eye injury, and maybe had one of the births end up as a c section (mortality about 99% I reckon) if the new world had not been forced on us by the Borgs. Yet I have the skills to deal with those things even without modern medicines and equipment the Borgs have given us in exchange for the Sahara and Australia. Still life would be a lot harder and shorter without electricity and powered ships and vans.

Natural homemade toothpaste heals cavities while whitening teeth

There are over 500 different microorganisms in our mouths, says Saveyoursmile.com. One of the most prolific, known as streptococcus mutans, is the one that causes all that sticky plaque. In the last 7000 years, a wide variety of substances have been utilized to get rid of it. The Eqyptians created a tooth cream by “mixing powdered ashes of oxen hooves with myrrh, burnt egg shells, pumice, and water.” The Persians added gypsum and the shells of burnt oysters and snails. The well-to-do in 18th century England tried borax, but that was not kind to the enamel, or the oral mucosa –  the membrane in the mouth’s lining and one of the most absorbent tissues in the body. Today, the American toothpaste marketplace is a $1.6 billion dollar business. Unfortunately, the ingredients in most commercial toothpastes, and even in some who claim to be “natural” may contain a bevy of toxic ingredients, reports CornucopiaFDA approved chemicals in toothpastes, even the “natural” ones can include paraben preservatives, sodium lauryl sulfate, artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners, carrageenan, and diazolidnyl urea. These compounds are endocrine disruptors, skin irritants, and suspected or known carcinogens. Why allow these in your mouth, when you can make your own great tasting toothpaste that can heal your cavities, help prevent gum disease and whiten your teeth without those nasty toxins? Here’s a recipe from Holisiticlivingtips.com:

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons of baking soda
3 tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil
1 tablespoon of xylitol
1 tablespoon of neem powder
15 drops of mint essential oil

Make your paste:

It’s recommended that you use a glass jar when making your truly natural and effective toothpaste. And it’s as easy as simply mixing everything together! Keep in mind that using extra virgin coconut oil is very important, as it has been shown to have antimicrobial effects. Neem powder provides the benefits helping prevent gum disease and bad breath, says Stylecraze.com. It also helps reduce plaque and cavities due to its “antibacterial, antiseptic, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties.”
Although the xylitol can safely sweeten the taste of your toothpaste, it provides additional oral health benefits, according to Authoritynutrition.com. The plaque creating streptococcus mutans bacteria can literally be starved to death by xylitol. Saliva is increased by using xylitol and that additional saliva helps with teeth mineralization. Xylitol also helps prevent gum disease.
Baking soda is helpful especially if you have stains on your teeth, as it can help remove discoloration, according to Newhealthguide.org. It’s alkaline properties “release free radicals that attack teeth stains,” and “has a bleach-like action.”  Essential oils are for more than aroma. Peppermint essential oil can help reduce anaerobic bacteria, which, if they proliferate, can cause gum disease. Spearmint essential oil has antiseptic qualities and can sooth the oral mucosa. Follow more news on natural remedies at Remedies.news.
It’s recommended to use this toothpaste three times a day. Oral health is so important to your overall health and self esteem. If you’re making every effort to eat healthy foods without chemicals, GMOs or pesticides, wouldn’t you want to make the same effort for the teeth that are chewing it?


TradCatKnight Radio, Nick Rosen "Off-Griding"