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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My new and light B.O.B.

I thought I would talk about my mini B.O.B. today as I am thinking very hard on what to put together. It will be small… hopefully no more then ten pounds total.

I have a good backpack that I bought out of state years ago by NorthFace at an outlet store. I like it because it has a few extra pockets and spots for other things which I will talk about as well as an area for a camel back water bladder.

So what to pack in it? I thought about this for quite a few days. I purchased at REI for reasonable prices a magnesium striker, a little waterproof match holder, a tiny mag lite and most important… some water electrolyte tabs made by Camel Back. I bought the little tab’s (which are in a hard case and round and very light) rather then the little on the go electrolyte packages as I can easily find this little container and use it later if needed.

I have a small first aid kit for only dire emergency basics in it in which I will put in a small Ziploc bag (double bagged) as it had a water bottle with it and I couldn’t beat paying 5 bucks for it! I will have 3 water bottles with me at all times (not filled until needed). I will also have 2 changes of socks, flip flops, lip balm, a small lotion, a wash cloth and a travel bottle of liquid soap. I will also be carrying a double bagged pile of lint from my dryer, a double bagged roll of toilet paper (for the obvious and to help start a fire if need be) and a very small bottle to squirt with HEAT in it to help make quick fires. I am also packing for myself my GoGirl cup and a Diva Cup (Thanks Gen!) as you never ever know when you are going to need to go pee or have a monthly issue occur.

Now, what else I am going to pack is the question. I have BDU’s in woodland color. But I think I will just pack my bottoms… and only the summers. The reason is the summers dry out faster then the winter BDU’s do. Why BDU’s? Well when you walk for a long period of time, you will be losing quite a bit of weight. The clothes you decide to use for B.O.B.’s will actually be to large after 3 days and very baggy. BDU bottoms can be adjusted at the waist and taken up and they do not usually stretch out.

I will also pack 2 black t-shirts (one long sleeve one short), a black sweat shirt (with hood) and my black Columbia zip up jacket with a pair of stretchy gloves. I am buying a new pair of shoes soon… so the outdoor shoes I like to wear now will be put into the bag as well. They do not cause blisters and a very comfortable as well as dry out pretty fast. If you are wondering they are Keen.

Now I haven’t decided on food… but it would be very, very limited. Gum I will for sure stick in the bag as it is a great deterrent for the munchies. I will update you with a picture on what I decide to also add. Any other tips you would like to mention… please do so!

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Looking Forward

I think prepping is now more on the minds of Americans than one realizes.  Today, speaking to a co-worker, it dawned on me they were talking about prepeping but in their mind it was not prepping it was a just incase.  As I won't talk politics at work i asked them what they had which wasn't much and gave them recommendations on what they could get.  They smiled thanked me and then curiously asked how I knew about these things.  I smiled back and told them that I had been doing what they just started for years.

With what my BF went through recently, we have bought a few more hand guns.  As I can not carry where I work, I have pepperspray that he bought me.  I plan on buying a few smaller things as well.... as I am the only woman at work who will probably do something if someone tried to hurt a co-worker.  Nothing is scarier when you realize you have nothing to defend yourself with.....

But on to better things.  I have LOTS of little seedlings now.  My little hot peppers are 4 inches tall.  I have more tomato seedlings that are anywhere from 2-6 inches tall.  I just need them to grow out and stop being so leggy... so I have a feeling I will be replanting them in a larger bucket and burying the leggy parts.  I also have good looking 4 inch heirloom lemon cukes, a 12 linch long heirloom winter squash, herbs out the ying yang.  I am doing pretty well.  I didn't think we would as it started nice and got colder and started snowing again... but now it seems to finally be on the warming side. 

If it stays warm this weekend I will start showing the BF how to start "hardening" the plants so we can plant them sooner rather then later.  We had the greenhouse up but had to take it down due to the snow.  But that will be going up again this weekend.  Most of my raised beds are snow free and I will be looking out for potato starts soon!  YAY! 

I am also going to be doing a soil sample this weekend.  I hope for good news, but since we have mostly clay/sand like supposed "top soil" I have a feeling I am going to be adding quite a lot to my raised beds.  The faster we get out the samples the faster we can start planting.

On another note... we are going to be looking into building a cabin.  So if anyone around Alaska, within reasonable areas, who wants to get rid of some of their timber on their land (not cotton wood)... let me know.  I have no problems coming in and taking what you don't need or to thin out a little of what you have.  Or would anyone know how to get some of the spruce off the parks they are cuting down?  I haven't been able to find much information out on that.  If you don't know... from Willow up to Kashwitna (and maybe further now) they are cutting back up to 100 feet and giving the wood away it seems if not on private land.  Anyone know about it, please contact me.

Have a good week all.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

When you don't think to arm yourself...

Last week, my Sig. Other went to grab some food for us, as it was late and we had both been in meetings.

Coming back out, he was attacked by a bunch of kids in a gang initiation.  He didn't have any way of protecting himself, nor did anyone jump in and help him in any way possible.  Why he was picked, your guess is as good as mine.  The Cop who took the report won't do anything nor will go out and look for the kids who did it. 

As of right now my Sig Other is fine... physically.  Mentally is another story.  PTSD is not good as a veteran to begin with, but imagine having that and being jumped by a bunch of snotty kids.  He lost it and I unfortunately was up most of the night trying to make him calm and didn't do a great job even though I did keep him home and made him chill out. 

Now, would this have been as bad if someone at least stepped in?  I would say no.  But why are people sitting on the sidelines watching this?  Is it the fact that people are to afraid to become involved?  It is the repercusion of events and they are afraid they will be next?  Is it the fact that they are just afraid in general and wish everything is a utopian ideal?  Either way... no one helped. 

When they say an armed society is a polite society.  I think it is true, to a point.  When no one helps a fellow American from being attacked, guns can make or break a deal.  There was a law inacted by our Legislature, which a few would know called the Castle Law.  But is does not speak of protecting ones self on another property when threatened.  There is a new ammendment to the bill coming out soon concerning this and will make it easier to defend ones self, no matter where you are. 

I will be conceal carrying from now on due to the lack of police response (even if my property taxes do PYA their salary) and the fact that I am not going to be one to be assaulted by any means.

If you were in his situation, with no weapons and no way to defend yourself, how would you deal with it?

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Friday, April 9, 2010

Comfort Foods

From BubbaJ on our forum.

Hello all. I thought I'd start a topic on comfort foods eaten during a disaster. It seems that the most common definition of comfort food is something familiar to us such as mac & cheese or candy. I remember reading awhile back that people would rather starve than to eat the same thing every day and that it's best to have a variety in order to make a disaster more bearable. That got me thinking of a few ideas. I assume the variety of food would also include our drinks. To me, if people would rather starve than eat the same food over and over, then they'd also rather not drink plain water over and over. So let's begin with drinks. Please note: I'm not promoting any product listed here. I'm just using them as an example.

1) Soft Drinks. There's an item out there called the SodaStream that allows people to make their own sodas. From what I've read from the site, the sodas have less sugar and sodium than commercially bought soda as well as no high fructose corn syrup. I'm sure most Preppers wouldn't store soft drinks for several reasons. For me it would be due to a lack of available space and that I don't drink much of it anyway. But there would be many uses for a bottle of soda, including barter. I'm sure plenty of people out there would trade for soda simply because they've become addicted to it. Of course, the SodaStream would be useless if the power is out.

2) Drink Mixes. There's a bunch of drink mixes on the market, but I'm only going to focus on two of them. The 1st is Tang. An 8oz glass of it contains several vitamins, including 100% of vitamin C. During any long term disaster, we could be faced with illnesses brought about by a lack of sanitation. Not from your average Prepper mind you, but from the surrounding area. One only has to look at pictures of the aftermath of Katrina to see how quickly sanitation can become a problem. So the vitamins in Tang can help us to fight off infections. The 2nd item is Metamucil. Yeah, I can hear the protests now: "Ugh, Metamucil is for old people." Not so my young padawan. The way I see it, a disaster could force us to eat foods low in fiber which could result in poor digestion. It's not as though we could run to the local grocery store for a loaf of wheat bread. With Metamucil we could get plenty of fiber and keep ourselves healthy.

Speaking of bread, that brings me to:

1) Bread Machines. Now, I'd rather have my own brick oven to make bread, but for those who own a bread machine could use it to make specialty breads. To me, a loaf of cinnamon & raisin bread would definitely be a comfort food. Add wheat to the mixure and you'd have fiber and antioxidants.

2) Candy. I've read a lot of posts about storing hard candy and that got me thinking about alternates. There are candy-like items out there called "Coldeeze (zinc), VitaPops (vitamins), and Ricola (herbs & vitamin c)". All of those would help in fighting off a cold, especially if a disaster has shut down all pharmacies...assuming they haven't already been looted. Even though they aren't considered real candy, I think the brain would accept them as such and satisfy any need for sugary sweets.

3) Ice Cream Machine. Ummm...Chocolate chunk ice cream. 'Nuff said.

Well, that's all I can think of right now. I'm interested in what you all think. What would you change or add?

Please go here to leave comments: http://americanpreppersnetwork.net/comfort-foods-t1802.html

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Friday, April 2, 2010

Organize your Preps so you don't have to look around for them.

When it comes to be organized it can be hit or miss. Some do quite well while other lack either the means of being organized or the knowhow as they have never learned it.

The best way for most people to organize is to use labels. When it comes to prepping this could be a lifesaver as you may have a “Hectic” moment and forget what is where. The first step is using plastic bins with labels. This is very simple actually and doesn’t take much time at all if you have a communal effort with your family.

Figure out how you would like to “Bin” items. It can be whatever your heart desires in these bins. My method is pretty simple and makes like easy. I have a bin(s) for summer camping cloths, winter clothing, 3 for fishing (one fresh water, one salt water and one is gear but I think I may need to make a 4th bin for clothing), two for hunting (clothes in one and the other has all my hunting stuff), 2 for trapping (one small one for my lines and such the other is for my small traps), and I could go on and on. I do this with quite a bit of the items I own so I can grab and go and also so I know it is always in a good place that is dry and will last.

Then you have a food prepping bin. This can be more complicated. I have multiple bins for food stuff. A 5 gallon for flour only (don’t forget to put bay leaves in the flour), a 5 gallon for rice, a 5 gallon for spices and so on and I buy new buckets for this stuff and I have found reusing 5 gallon buckets can at time contaminate the food you put in it. When it comes to food, cans are heavy so I usually do not put them in a bin and besides rotating the canned food is always a good idea. But I do use the bins for dried good. I have a bin for pasta items. I have a bin for dehydrated food stuffs. I have a bin for fun food (brownies, mac and cheese). But I also have a bin for the wet storage food stuff like canola oil, olive oil, syrup etc. The reason I put those in a bin is if I ever have an earthquake I do not have to worry about it spilling and contaminating the rest of my food.

So while I put everything in the bins, I grab a notebook and write what I put into each bin. Some people do lists (which I think is awesome) on their computer. But the notebook paper does fine for me as I take things out and put new stuff in it, so it is easier to just scribble out what was taken out and replaced. Besides, there are times where a pen and paper is cheaper than a new ink cartridge. It is also a good idea (if you are inclined) to put the expiration date on most food stuffs to rotate them out. It makes life easy for you in the long run.

I also have a cheap label maker with a few extra label heads. The labels should be simple and easy. Such as… Food: Pasta. You know you have a list in your bin and just by glancing at the label you know what bin it is.

You can also make or buy (your choice this is your project) shelves that will fit your bins so you know where everything is at one given time. I put dehydrated on top as it is the lightest in most cases. And then work down. My canned food is separate from my binned food.

Lists for your bins should be simple. What is the item, how much do you have (4 bx *boxes* or 3 ea *each*) and do not forget expiration dates. In most cases prepped food can last well past the expiration dates. But I found out that if you buy those awesome prepped food stuff with a fruit (like raspberry bars) that they do go bad.

You should also make lists for your B.O.B.’ and if you have a Vehicles and what you have in them, especially if you are like me and have more than one. It will make life easier in the long run.

Here are some easy organizational links to look at. Some are fun organizational website, some are more informative on how best to help your prep.

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