Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Primitive Shelter

There are many forms of primitive shelter.  First is a survival shelter, which is temporary vs a Sustainable shelter which is long term with more comfort.

The best advise is usually to stay put so that you don't wander too far away and are easier to find. In that case start with a temporary shelter and improve it over time. 

In a wilderness survival situation, a quick, easy structure is the goal, especially if you are on the move; the more natural your shelter, the better.

A natural overhang, or a large healthy tree can be a good starting point but avoid widow makers (trees likely to fall). Instead of cutting trees down, bend some saplings over to serve as a frame. Use brush and leaves as cover and insulation.  In cold weather, make your survival shelter small as it takes less to insulate it and keep it warm; make your sustainable shelter large enough to safely burn a fire and store fire wood so they can stay dry.

If you are building a longer term shelter, the Native American Tipi is an excellent choice, that will support a small (uses less wood) inside fire. The Native Americans moved frequently, but had regular places they lived during the different seasons.  While nomadic, this still permitted primitive gardening.

The Tipi is very functional with many good design features.

Plus it is not overly hard to build, especially if you have a tarp.  It is also portable, which is important for a Nomadic live style, which is essential to primitive living. Imagine a similar stationary shelter using live tree saplings, bent over to form your structure, covered with branches and leaves.

Ben Hunt, author of some good books drafted this detailed design below.

For additional information see the following links:
Blog Table of Contents

Complete Sustainable Living Plan
Naked & Afraid Survival Plan

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Sunday, November 5, 2017

Prepper Livestock - Pigeons

Another sustainable source of food are Pigeons.  They are excellent foragers and require minimal care. Pigeons can breed at 6 months of age and reproduce all year round laying 2 eggs 4-6 times per year that hatch in 17 to 19 days.  The Squabs grow to edible size within 4 -6 weeks.   With 8 pairs of pigeons, you could have two 10 ounce squabs for dinner every week.   Pigeon lofts need 2 square feet of floor space per bird, so for up to 32 birds, you would need 64 square feet or about an 8 x 8 area.  A small high door will allow them to enter & exit with less risk of varmints.  

In addition to a food supply, they are good pets, security - flying when spooked and they can carry messages back home when carried off on regional travels with an easy 50 - 100 mile range when worked up to it slowly starting about 6 months old after freely flying their area daily for 4 weeks.  Start taking the bird a mile away. Go North, South, East, and West so they know how to return from all directions. Do this a few times and then two miles, then five miles, ten miles, and so on up to 50 miles where most homing pigeons will do fine. A true homer will return from hundreds of miles and some have found their way home from over 1,000 miles.

Historically, pigeons carried messages only one way, to their home after being carried off.  However, by feeding them at one location and housing them at another location, pigeons have been trained to fly round trips up to 100 miles daily.  

Multi-purpose is important in prepping.  Pigeons serve many functions outlined above; chickens provide eggs and meat while goats provide milk and meat.  Rabbits provide fur and meat. 

If you don't have pigeons, you can trap some in hard times for food or breeding stock.

For additional information see the following links: 
Prepper Livestock
Blog Table of Contents

Complete Sustainable Living Plan

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Best Prepper Dog


I don't know the answer, so I'm looking for suggestions. I do know what some important factors are:

  1. Alert - able to detect intruders
  2. Smart - able to recognize family and not bark a false alarm, and not bark when instructed
  3. Family compatible, loyal
  4. Ability to hunt and find food
  1. Large, intimidating dog
  2. Long/Short hair depending on your climate
 The German Shepherd Dog is one of America’s most popular dog breeds — for good reason. He’s an intelligent and capable working dog. His devotion and courage are unmatched. And he’s amazingly versatile, excelling at most anything he’s trained to do: guide and assistance work for the handicapped, police and military service, herding, search and rescue, drug detection, competitive obedience and, last but not least, faithful companion.  Their biggest draw back to me is they shed a lot of hair.
I went through the Animal Planet Dog Breed Selector and it found me a dog breed I'd never heard of; a Belgian Malinois with a 97% match.  It is a variation of the German Shepard, a fine dog no doubt.

As runner up it was a tie at 95% between the German Shorthaired Pointer (left) and (right) a regular Pointer (right). 

PointerGerman Shorthaired Pointer


 Having owned a pointer before I had reservations about whether he was smart enough.

I went thought he Breed selector again, selecting the following:
  1. Dog Size - Medium 23-44 lbs and Large 45 - 88 lbs
  2. Energetic - Not Important
  3. Exercise Time Available - Not Important (on a farm) 
  4. How often will you play with them - Not Important 
  5. How affectionate - Not Important
  6. Do you have other pets - Yes, if you count livestock
  7. How Trainable do you want your dog to be - Very
  8. How protective - Extremely
  9. Maintenance & Grooming - Low
  10. Climate - Hot weather
Drum roll..... The Belgian Malinois with a 99% match this time.  Runner ups were:
  1. Australian Cattle Dog - Interesting dog
  2. Pembroke Welsh Corgi - too short and harry for me
  3.  Beauceron - Interesting multi-purpose dog
  4.  Canaan - Interesting hardy, primitive dog breed
  5. Labrador Retriever - this is perhaps the most common dog suggested
So now I tried the American Kennel Club (AKC) selector tool.
  1. Zip Code
  2. House
  3. Two kids and one dog
  4. Going on an adventure
  5. Two of 9 on the noise scale
  6. Super Tidy on house keeping
The suggestions were ok for someone wanting a little house dog, with one exception, a German Shorthaired Pointer coming up a second time from two different web sites.  This is a hardy, energetic, hunting dog, good with older kids.

IAMS,  suggested a Boerboel A what?  yea, that is what I said.

Another site with a comprehensive list of questions: https://www.selectadogbreed.com offered a Bullmastiff as the best option.

The site: DogTime suggested several dogs of interest, including a Canaan, and Belgian Malinois.

The Pedigree site suggested a Blood hound, Bulldog, Bullmastiff, Doberman, Mastiff and several others.

The dogs that come up frequently and look best to me are:
  1. Belgian Malinois
  2. Canaan
  3. Pointers - the German Shorthaired Pointer and a regular Pointer
  4. Bullmastiff
After all this research, I'm still not sure what the best Prepper Dog is.  It is important to go look at the dog breed you are considering and spend time with them before making a decision.  Look at their behavior and living space;  do they dig holes and chew things up; do they bark a lot?

Use this post and these resources to narrow your options down, and then go look at your top choices to help make a final decision.

Good Luck!

American Kennel Club (AKC)
Animal Planet Dog Breed Selector

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

EMP Survival

Think about your 9 closest family and friends: only one of you is likely to survive. The government estimates that a single EMP bomb attack on the US could cause 90% fatalities making this one of the worst disasters behind an Asteroid Impact. or all out Nuclear War.  
So why is an EMP so deadly? An EMP will take out all electrical and electronic devices that are not isolated in a metal container (Faraday Cage).  The drastic dark results include:
  1. Every Computer, the Internet, cell phones watches, clocks, radio, TV and form of modern Communications will be dead.
  2. Every ATM, Bank, Stock Exchange, credit card, and most Financial Investments.
  3. Every Car, Truck, Train, Tractor, motor cycle and ATV made after the 70's won't run.
  4. Those who recognize the Red Flag Warnings will get out of town early before Gangs start door to door looting. 
  5. This will stop all commercial farming that supports 97% of the US population.
  6. Refineries that produce gasoline and diesel will be incapacitated.
  7.  Existing stores of gasoline with ethanol added will become bad after about 6 to 8 months.
  8. This will disrupt harvesting and transportation of crops to market.
  9. Americans will begin to starve as crops rot in the fields.
  10. City Survival will be impossible on your own.  Even with good Home Security.
  11. Enemies of the Right to Bear Arms are many. Gun confiscation will occur in area's with high level of gun control while armed citizen Urban Security will be organized in states that respect the right to bear arms.  Country Security and Military Security will be in place in some regions. 
  12. Electricity (except possibly off-grid solar power), and running water will be gone for up to 10 years or more.  
  13. Mass hordes will begin exiting the cities in search of food and water.
  14. For many it will be necessary to adopt a Nomadic life style.
  15. Most forms of wild game become extinct in a few months as people turn to Wilderness Survival and cannibalism to survive. 
  16. Terrorist will seek to take over our country.
  17. China will invade and take over our US west coast under the pretense of providing humanitarian aid. The few remaining starving Americans will welcome them until they realize that Chinese colonization is occurring and their rights and freedoms are gone.
  18. Europe, Russia and Saudi Arabia will be competing to provide "Humanitarian Aid" to the starving US East Coast. 
  19. Canada will offer aid to the Northern Border and Mexico to the Southern Border, but these regions being more self sufficient will be harder to take over.  
  20. Facing the End of Free America, the few of us that remain will have to fight to Protect America. like those in the Prepper Movie - Red Dawn.
So what can we do to protect our family from an EMP?

The answer is that it won't be easy, even if we are well prepared.  It will require more than Beginner Preparations. The Blue Highlighted Links will provide you more details on a particular subject.

We will need the following Advanced Preps:
  1. A Step by Step Plan to build and protect your supplies.  
  2. Know what to do on DAY ONE
  3. Food and Water to meet your needs for 1 year.
  4. A CRITICAL NEED will be security to protect your families and supplies as the Mass Hordes and Gangs seek to steal them from us. Click HERE for a list of security plans for City and Country groups.  About half of the fatalities from an EMP are likely to be from MURDER by other starving Americans.
  5. We will need Sustainable Food & Water Supplies to feed us after the first year including Seeds for Barter, Gardening and Livestock for meat.
  6. In a short period, there will be plenty of Guns available as much of the US population has been killed.  But Ammo will be hard to find. How much Ammo should you have?  
  7. What do we do After the Ammo Runs Out?
  8. Have BB guns to train beginners and save Ammo.
  9. Books will be great sources of information and entertainment after the electronics are gone.
  10. First Aide supplies, including Antibiotics, will be critical to survive the period of anarchy. 
  11. Having Paper & Silver dollars will be essential.
  12. Nuclear fall out is likely; underground shelter will be necessary if near heavy fallout areas. NBC suits are a huge plus.
  13. Solar power equipment, communications, night vision stored in a metal container have a good chance of surviving an EMP, and providing highly valuable tools for survival and security.
  14.  You need enough guns for everyone to carry a rifle and a pistol, and a good Security Pack.
    Even with all this, it will be difficult to survive, unless you are sustainable living already on am isolated island some where far away. 
    For additional information see the following links:
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Acorn Flour - Pancakes

The process for making flour out of acorns isn’t actually very difficult, but it is time consuming and a little tedious at times.

1. Gather the Nuts

A 1-gallon bucket of acorns

The first step is to gather up about a gallon of acorns. We have an abundant acorn crop this year in Minnesota (which means it will probably be a good year for squirrels, too). I had my niece Esther go around her yard and fill a one-gallon ice cream pail with fallen acorns. This was the easiest part.
2. Remove the Caps

A bowl of uncapped acorns
A bowl of acorns with their caps removed
Jamie Carlson
Remove the caps from the nuts. This took me about one whole Game of Thrones episode.
3. Shell the Acorns

Nutmeat of a shelled acorn

Place the acorns in the freezer overnight. This helps keep them fresh, and it also helps make it easier to crack them. There’s a paper-like membrane around the nut and inside the shell; when you freeze them, that papery layer comes off the nut cleanly and leaves just the meat of the nut. The nuts will oxidize quickly, so it’s important to toss the nutmeat into water so they don’t turn brown.

4. Blend the Acorns

Blended acorn nutmeat and water

After you have shelled all the nuts into water, transfer the water and the nutmeat into a blender. Blend on high for several minutes.

5. Leach the Tannins

Soaking acorns in water to leach out tannins

Then transfer the blended nuts and water to a large container. Place it in the fridge overnight. All the blended acorn paste will settle, allowing you to pour off the water. Add more water and stir the water and acorn paste. Place it back in the fridge and let sit for another day. Acorns typically taste bitter, so by changing the water every day for 3 to 4 days, you can leach out that bitterness.

6. Drain and Spread the Paste

Blended acorn paste on parchment paper

Pour off all the water one last time and then pour the paste onto cheesecloth, or use a clean towel and wring as much moisture out of the acorn paste as you can. Spread the paste out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place it in the oven at its lowest setting with the door cracked open. You need to dry out the acorn paste until it is absolutely dry. As it dries, you can stir it and turn it over to help speed the process.

7. Grind the Paste

A grinder or food processor to refine the paste
Use a grinder or food processor to refine the paste.

When the acorn paste is completely dry, it will be kind of clumpy. If you have a grinder you can grind the acorns into flour or you can use a food processor or blender. This should result in a fine flour, but you may still have some larger pieces.

8. Sift the Flour

Sifting ground acorns
Sift the ground acorns. Use a mortar and pestle to break up remaining large chunks.

Using a fine mesh sieve, sift the flour so that any debris or large clumps are separated. If you want, you can use a mortar and pestle to break up these remaining clumps.
9. Sift it Again

A second sift of the acorn flour
A second, finer sift of the acorn flour.

Acorn flour
The resulting acorn flour.

At this point, you should have roughly three cups of flour.

Acorn-flour pancakes


1 cup acorn flour
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons maple sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1 ¼ cups whole milk
3 tablespoons canola oil

Combine all ingredients, then pour onto a skillet over medium heat and cook until bubbles form on top. Flip the pancakes over and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes more. Serve with butter and syrup, and enjoy.

To read the Original Story with all the pictures, click HERE:

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Monday, October 2, 2017

Prepper Livestock - Rabbits

Rabbits can be the best prepper livestock if you live in the city where "livestock" like chickens or goats are prohibited but "pets" are allowed.   Rabbits are good breeders and vegetarians eating grasses, plants, and hay. They produce some of the cleanest, healthiest meat (white) there is. Many rabbits can be raised in open bottomed pens and pastured to get their own natural food (grass). The most common rabbit breed used for meat production are New Zealand whites.  Some of our links below talk about other breeds.

In our Prepper Handbook  sustainable food plan chapter, three doe rabbits and one buck will feed us 4 pounds of lean healthy white meat every week or 208 lbs per year. Four weeks after mating, rabbits give birth to about 5 to 8 kits, which can be processed for eating in about 8 – 10 weeks. 

Ideally you would stagger breeding the does about 4 weeks apart which provides a steady supply of young tender rabbit for eating.  Two does and a buck, fed commercial food, can raise 180lbs / year of meat; I would figure about half to 2/3 of that for free range rabbits.

In the wild, there can be up to 3 to 5 rabbits per acre. However, I estimate that a fertile one acre pasture with good grass and strips of sorghum planted about 20' apart could sustain up to 10 rabbits.  Some of the sorghum would need to be harvested in the summer and saved for winter. 

We could raise 5-8 rabbits from 1 buck and 1 doe on 1 acre every 12 - 14 weeks and eat a 4 lb rabbit every second or third week. This would be your best place to start after you had a few chickens. and Basic Preparations in place.

Add a second doe and a second acre to raise 10 to 16 rabbits every 12 - 14 weeks to eat a rabbit almost every week. 

Add a third doe and a third acre to raise 15- 24 kits with 4 breeding rabbits (28 total) to eat a rabbit or more every week. Any extra rabbits will be great for barter.

The important thing is to get started now; don't wait!   

For additional information see the following links: 
Prepper Livestock
Blog Table of Contents
Mother Earth News on Raising Rabbits
Raising Rabbits on pasture 
Omlet - source for rabbits and more
Complete Sustainable Living Plan

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Saturday, September 30, 2017

Top 5 Combat Rifles

The Mosin Nagant traces its roots back to 1891. During the past 120-plus years it has earned a reputation for reliability. Best of all, it is still available and one of the most affordable guns, so it fits any budget whether you are a collector or first time shooter. Packed with five rounds of 7.62x54R, the long-action bolt rifle has the knock down power for medium and big game, but is also ready to return to battle should the home fort need defending. Given the price, the Mosin Nagant is an ideal rifle to stash in the back of the safe, hunting cabin or even as an emergency truck gun.

M1 Garand, One Rifle to Rule Them All 

Choosing the M1 was only tough because I carried the M14 and it did not make the list, although it is very high on the honorable mentions. There is simply something about a rifle that you served with that earns it an eternal place in your heart. However, the Garand revolutionized a generation and the “ping” of an empty en bloc clip is as sweet a sound as a touch of Hoppe’s No. 9 is to the nose. The M1 Garand saw action in WWII and Korea and many GIs would not have made it back otherwise.

The M1 can be stoked with eight rounds of .30-06. The M1 Garand should rightfully hold a higher place on the list, however, many find reloading difficult at best, especially under pressure. I have never really experienced this phenomenon, but I have watched enough shooters to say it isn’t the easiest.

Springfield 1903

Dominant for the first half of the 20th century, the Springfield is another rifle chambered for the .30-06. Officially adopted as a U.S. military bolt-action rifle in June 1903, the Springfield 1903 saw plenty of action in WWI. Although it was officially replaced in 1937 when the M1 became standard issue, the Springfield 1903 still had a special place in WWII. In WWII as the battle lines changed and the sniper became a high-value infantryman, the 1903 was decked with a scope and viola! —instant sniper rifle. When you consider the 1903 Springfield’s history as a battle and precision rifle of its day, and the fact that it is chambered for the .30-06 how could you deem it any less than America’s penultimate rifle?

Click HERE to see #2 and #1

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Friday, September 29, 2017

Tax Facts

Looking at the facts demonstrates how unfair our US Income Tax system is.  Lets look at a hypothetical example. Suppose that every day, ten men go out for dinner. The bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

the first four men, the poorest, would pay nothing;
the fifth would pay $1;
the sixth would pay $3;
the seventh would pay $7;
the eighth pays $12;
the ninth would pay $18;
and the tenth man, the richest, would pay $59.

"That's what they decided to do. The ten men ate dinner in the restaurant every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement --- until one day, the owner threw them a curve (in tax language a tax cut).  Because they were good customers, he lowed their bill from $100 to $80.
How do you fairly split up the $20 tax cut?

As before, the first four men paid nothing;
now the fifth man also paid nothing;
the sixth man now paid $2;
the seventh paid $5;
the eighth man paid $9;
the ninth man paid $12;
leaving the tenth man with a bill of $52 instead of his earlier $59.
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to eat for free.

But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. 'I only got a dollar out of the $20 reduction,' declared the sixth man, but he, pointing to the tenth. 'But he got $7!'. 'Yeah, that's right,' exclaimed the fifth man, 'I only saved a dollar too; it's unfair that he got seven times more than me!'

'"That's true,' shouted the seventh man, 'why should he get $7 back when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!. 'Wait a minute,' yelled the first four men in unison, 'We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!'

"The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up. The next night he didn't show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered, a little late what was very important. They were now Fifty-Two Dollars short of paying the bill. Imagine that!

And that, boys and girls, journalists, and college instructors, is how the tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up at the table anymore.

"Where would that leave the rest? Unfortunately, most taxing authorities anywhere cannot seem to grasp this rather straight forward logic."

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

BB Gun

WHY should we get a BB gun?

  1. It is a great gun to use when learning to shoot
  2. Ammo is cheap and it doesn't make a lot of noise
  3. They are realistic and great for improving your aim 
  4.  It is less dangerous when teaching young shooters (see NRA Shooting Rules
  5. It can kill small game
  6. You can make a pellet mold from a pair of pliers 
When buying your BB gun, get a high fps (feet per second) model that does NOT require CO2.  Pump models are typically a good choice.

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