The Survival Mom » More http://thesurvivalmom.com Helping moms worry less & enjoy life! Sat, 19 Jul 2014 11:00:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 How to Always Be Prepared, No Matter Where You Are http://thesurvivalmom.com/always-be-prepared/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=always-be-prepared http://thesurvivalmom.com/always-be-prepared/#comments Sat, 19 Jul 2014 11:00:25 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=15990 When you get right down to it, prepping is all about planning ahead, right? We stock up on food, water, and other supplies so we have them at the ready, come what may. All that, though, is the easy part Read More

The post How to Always Be Prepared, No Matter Where You Are by Jim Cobb appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

always be preparedWhen you get right down to it, prepping is all about planning ahead, right? We stock up on food, water, and other supplies so we have them at the ready, come what may. All that, though, is the easy part of being prepared. The hard part is to always be prepared, no matter where you happen to find yourself.

To a large degree, preppers go about this stuff in a rather casual manner. You pick up a few extra cans of veggies when they’re on sale, no big deal. Today, though, we’re going to talk about prepping while on the move and anticipating needs in a more active and immediate manner.

How do you make sure you’re prepared for any number of survival needs when you’re away from home?

Never leave home without the basics

First, make sure you have a well-equipped emergency kit in your vehicle and in a small bag or backpack that you always have with you. These could be a few Everyday Carry (EDC) items, a Bug Out Bag, or just an extra cosmetic bag in your purse filled with a few items like a Swiss army knife, small roll of duct tape, pocket water purifier, and a LED flashlight.

These supplies will form the core of your survival, no matter where you are. Here’s a handy list to get you started.

Look around for resources and basic survival supplies

Here’s an example of how this works. When taking a break while hiking, look around for natural forms of tinder, such as seed pods, dry grass, and such. Put a handful of it into a plastic bag (you DID remember to put a few empty bags in your kit, right?) and stash that in your pocket. Odds are you won’t need it for building a fire later, but if you do, you’ll have it with you. When you make it home safely, just take it out of the plastic bag and toss it on the compost pile.

Make a mental note of other resources you come across as well. If you happen across a stream or spring that might end up being a source of emergency water, try and remember its location relative to your travel going forward. Assuming you’ve learned a thing or two already about wild edibles, keep an eye out for those, too, in case you need a night’s meal. You might even go so far as to pick a few plump blackberries to munch on later.

While you’re at it, make an effort to check your compass (real or an app) on a regular basis and keep track of your direction of travel. Do this often enough and you’ll get to the point where you develop an internal compass and you’ll just know which way is north. That probably won’t happen your first time out, of course, but spend enough time outdoors and it’ll come. The point is to be in a position where you’ll be able to retrace your steps, to one degree or another, in case you stray from the path and make a wrong turn.

When Should You Do This?

This isn’t something limited to wilderness excursions. Get in the habit of anticipating survival needs everywhere you go. When you go to a movie or out to eat, take note of where all the emergency exits are located, in case there’s a fire or another reason to evacuate. Keep an eye out for easy to remember landmarks when driving in an unfamiliar area. They can help you backtrack, if you make a left when you should have jogged right.

Getting lost while driving might not seem like a true survival situation but, take it from someone who does an awful lot of city driving, it can be quite easy to suddenly find yourself in a very sketchy part of town. If that happens, you want to be able to exit stage right posthaste.

At first, you’ll need to keep all of this at the forefront of your mind, actively thinking about how you’ll meet potential survival needs. But, as time goes on and you do it more and more, you’ll find it becomes second nature and you’ll do it unconsciously.

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

The post How to Always Be Prepared, No Matter Where You Are by Jim Cobb appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/always-be-prepared/feed/ 0
Medical Book Review: The Prepper Pages http://thesurvivalmom.com/scavenge-first-aid-prepper-page/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=scavenge-first-aid-prepper-page http://thesurvivalmom.com/scavenge-first-aid-prepper-page/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 10:00:13 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=15886 Generally speaking, if I buy an e-book, then I don’t buy the same book in print form. I’m making an exception for The Prepper Pages: A Surgeon’s Guide to Scavenging Items for a Medical Kit, and Putting Them to Use Read More

The post Medical Book Review: The Prepper Pages by Liz Long appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

Generally speaking, if I buy an e-book, then I don’t buy the same book in print form. I’m making an exception for The Prepper PagesThe Prepper Pages: A Surgeon’s Guide to Scavenging Items for a Medical Kit, and Putting Them to Use While Bugging Out by Dr. Ryan Chamberlin. It’s that good.

What makes this book so good? Knowing exactly which items you should keep on hand for emergencies and having specific advice on how to use them.

If you are in a disaster area, there might be a doctor around but the odds are slim that they wouldhave sterile sutures and a scalpel on hand, or not enough for everyone in need. Having a small stock of your own scalpels and sutures isn’t a bad idea.

Since Dr. Chamberlin is a surgeon, surgical items and skills are covered more extensively in this book than in most similar books, but that is precisely what makes this so useful. He covers topics most skim over.

A secondary focus of the book is how to scavenge items or find them in non-traditional places. For the large number of people who get nervous having our data (including shopping habits) tracked, that’s a definite bonus.

Specific Items, Not General Categories

Like most preppers and people who live a bit far from emergency services, I have a substantial First Aid kit. However, there are things I don’t have because I simply have never figured out exactly what I need or how to get it. Scalpels and sutures are two of them.

Scalpels come with numbers and are different sizes and shapes. I’m not a surgeon, and I’m not going to become one. I don’t need or want 20 boxes of different sized scalpels. I want one, maybe two, so we have a sterile scalpel if we ever need them. (Side note: they can be handy in a pinch when doing detailed craft work.) This book explains exactly which sizes are best and why!

Dr. Chamberlin also talks about not only what suturing material is best for different uses both in ordinary life and in an emergency, but also where to buy it, what sizes to buy, and how to do basic sutures. In a true emergency, that could be a literal lifesaver. Other topics include the differences in vinyl, nitrile, and latex gloves, treating snake bites, and food poisoning.

Scavenge First Aid Items

While we all hope to never be in a situation with looting, Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy are proof enough that it can happen, even here. But if you could loot items from a place, you can certainly buy them there, and that’s good information to have.

Knowing where to scavenge First Aid items can also help you save money by giving you a less-expensive alternative or an easier place to buy them. It’s also nice to be able to spread out your sales and help several smaller stores, instead of one large one.

It is a good idea to be prepared for the unexpected. You may be confident that no one in your family has a latex allergy and will not react to the one kind of suture you bought, but the reality is that you might be wrong. I have used bandages my entire life – Band Aid brand, Nexcare, Care Mark, generic, all kinds, sizes, brands and types with no problems. I particularly like the Nexcare tattoo-style bandages.

Following a minor surgical procedure, I found out I am allergic to the adhesive in bandages. It’s not a big deal, but it could be in a true disaster, so remember to be flexible and have some variety in your supplies. We now have paper tape and more gauze squares on hand for me, but simply keeping a few different brands of bandages might be enough for other families.

Because The Prepper Pages: A Surgeon’s Guide to Scavenging Items for a Medical Kit, and Putting Them to Use While Bugging Out by Dr. Ryan Chamberlin contains highly useful information, much of which isn’t found elsewhere, I highly recommend this book.

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

The post Medical Book Review: The Prepper Pages by Liz Long appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/scavenge-first-aid-prepper-page/feed/ 0
Keep it Simple and Survive!™: 8 Keys to Survival, Part 2 http://thesurvivalmom.com/keep-simple-survive-8-keys-survival-part-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=keep-simple-survive-8-keys-survival-part-2 http://thesurvivalmom.com/keep-simple-survive-8-keys-survival-part-2/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 10:00:17 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=15176 Even the best prepared outdoors person can find themselves in difficult straits sometimes, a true survival event. If you backpack, raft, climb, ski, snowboard, mountain bike, sail, fish, hunt, snowmobile or just love to go on day hikes it can Read More

The post Keep it Simple and Survive!™: 8 Keys to Survival, Part 2 by Robert Camp appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
8 Keys to Survival

ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING IN SURVIVAL!

Even the best prepared outdoors person can find themselves in difficult straits sometimes, a true survival event. If you backpack, raft, climb, ski, snowboard, mountain bike, sail, fish, hunt, snowmobile or just love to go on day hikes it can happen and does, every season of every year.

Review Part one of this article on survival: Your ability to deal with a survival event is maturing. You have been acquiring  knowledge, practicing specific skills, gaining experience, and adding tools to your survival kit which is tailored to the adventures you and your family enjoy . Is that all to being prepared to take on a survival situation and succeed? Not even close.

Two Tales About Survival

Desert Ordeal

A man became stranded far out in the Arizona desert.  For eight days, he traveled on foot in extremely hot weather though inhospitable terrain. His food and water were depleted by day two, but he persevered for six more days, traveling over 150 miles until he was found. When his rescuers located him, the man had lost over 20% of his body weight do to dehydration (usually a 10% loss of body weight from lack of fluids causes complete incapacitation or death). His blood was so thick, lacerations on his body would not bleed! He should have been dead, but somehow, against extreme odds, he survived.

Death in The Canadian Wilderness

A pilot, flying over the Northern Canadian wilderness in good weather, sent out an emergency signal. His plane had developed engine trouble and was losing altitude fast. Looking out the cockpit window he sighted a frozen lake and decided to make a dead stick landing there. After sliding to a stop, the airplane came to rest on the ice. The pilot, unhurt but shaken, decided to leave the plane, take his survival gear, and head for the relative safety of the tree-lined shore 200 yards away.

He walked half way across the ice, towards the nearest land fall, and then turned around and went back to his plane. He climbed into the cockpit and without explanation or note, the airman took his own life. Rescuers found his body less than 24 hrs after his distress call went out, the emergency kit untouched. Why would a pilot, unhurt and trained to survive this kind of emergency simply give up? What was he thinking?

To understand both these survival events, we need to look at the psychology of survival and learn from it.

The 4 Psychological Components

There are 4 important psychological elements which are intrinsically bound and inseparable from the 8 keys to survival. They, too, must be understood, considered and mastered along with the 4 core elements of knowledge, skills, experience and tools in order to maximize you and your family’s odds of surviving a significant emergency. These 4 psychological components are the mortar which binds together the 4 core elements of survival, the glue which holds YOU together during a survival event. These components of survival are:

  1. The Will to Live
  2. A Positive Mental Attitude (PMA)
  3. The Ingenuity to Improvise
  4. The Ability to Adapt

The will to live

The will to live is paramount to life. Without it, none of the other 7 keys to survival matter, because you won’t survive! The will to live is instinctual, bred into the human race through thousands of years of trial, error, and success. It is not a passive thing. We all have the fight or flight genetic patterning as a result, some stronger than others. John “Lofty” Wiseman, decorated Instructor with the British Special Air Services (SAS – Special Forces) and noted author of The SAS Survival Handbook believes,

“Survival is 85% down to the will to live.”

In my experience, I think it is more like 90% plus. It is the engine driving our instinct to survive, without it you simply won’t live.

What kind of person has the strongest will to live when things get tough and an emergency situation ensues, when their survival is at stake? What characteristics make up someone with a high probability of being a

The 8 Keys to Survival

These 4 psychological components are the mortar which binds together the 4 core elements of survival, the glue which holds YOU together during a survival event.

successful survivor? The study and evaluation of many survival incidences, severe emergencies and rescues gives rise to some common traits.

Attributes of Success and Failure

Successful survivors are not quitters; they are leaders, fighters, scrappers, determined, stubborn, proactive, confident, quick and focused thinkers and team players. When a situation becomes extremely dire, they are fanatical about living, staying alive against incredible odds. When things get tough, they get tougher, rising up to meet the challenge.

Conversely, those who tend to be fearful, apathetic, indecisive, lackadaisical, unfocused and panicky are good candidates for not meeting the challenges of even relatively mild survival events.

Promoting The Will To Live

What can you do to encourage and promote the will to live in you and others during a survival event? Here are some key things to do:

  1. Be a leader, even if it is a leader of one, you!
  2. Create a survival plan which overcomes the survival event. Keep the plan simple, down and dirty. Not a PhD dissertation.
  3. Take action, the steps necessary to implement the plan.
  4. Stay focused  and Conserve your energy and resources.
  5. Be proactive and decisive in your actions. Be deliberate and do not hesitate.
  6. Use ingenuity. Be creative and improvise using the resources at hand.
  7. Adapt, adapt, and adapt to the ever changing circumstances of the survival event. Do not become stuck and rigid in your overall approach, thought process and response as the survival event unfolds, or you likely won’t survive.

The will to live is strongly linked to a positive mental attitude. The two, in my opinion, go hand in hand. Where you find one, you will find the other.

A Positive Mental Attitude

Attitude is everything in survival. Like the will to live, keeping and cultivating a positive mental attitude (PMA)  is central to success. I would wager more emergencies have gone from bad to worse because of a lack of PMA, usually caused by fear and panic followed by apathy and depression.

Fear and panic, triggered by the right set of circumstances, can grip the most seasoned and well trained outdoors’ person. Even rescuers must guard against it when they are working with survivors in an adverse environment. Fear is a very natural and ingrained response to a life threatening situation. It is part of the fight or flight response we humans have which help us to survive. However, panic is fear run a muck, out of control. Randy Gerke, Outdoor Guide and Survival Instructor, in his book Outdoor Survival writes,

“When you perceive yourself as not being in control of a situation, a combination of feelings can temporarily overload you and trigger the panic response.”

What can you and your family members do in a survival event to control fear and ward off panic. Since PMA is integral to survival, what can you do to promote it during a survival event?

Cultivate PMA

Things to do to promote a positive mental attitude, defeat fear and control panic as well as ward off depression and the onset of apathy:

  1. Stop! Sit down and be still once you deal with any immediate and urgent safety or medical issues.
  2. Focus on your breathing. Breathe slowly and deeply. This promotes relaxation and helps reduce anxiety.
  3. Slow down your thinking. Focus on positive thoughts and feelings. Fear and panic are at their strongest when your mind is racing and your imagination is running rampant with negative thoughts and ideas.
  4. Create your survival plan. Focus on what you need to do to survive.
  5. Get busy and be proactive. Concentrate on the fundamentals of survival: shelter, water, fire, signaling, navigation and first aid.

Improvise – Adapt – Overcome

The United States Marines have an unofficial saying made popular in the Clint Eastwood movie, Heartbreak Ridge,

“Improvise, Adapt, Overcome.”

You should take heed and adopt this as your official mantra if you or your loved ones become part of a survival event. It will serve you well. When you are in the midst of an emergency, trying to plan and create the best possible outcome, having the ability to improvise and adapt will be key to overcoming problems. It won’t matter that you bring all the latest gadgets and gear. Having all the tools necessary to cover every possible emergency scenario is impossible.

Thin and Act - Survive!The ingenuity to improvise

To be able to improvise is an essential survival skill. It’s the ability to use the things around you in ways other than what they were originally intended. Improvisation is an “on the spot” or “off the cuff” moment of inventiveness, no preparation or training needed, although there are steps you can take in order to become more skillful at improvisation.

To be successful at improvising, you will need to call on all of your skills, technical expertise and knowledge – and not just about survival – in order to succeed. This is learning to “MacGyver” your way to survival. You know, the ability to be so creative as to jump-start your truck with a cactus. Improvising is a skill that needs to be cultivated and practiced. You ever used a butter knife as an impromptu screwdriver?

Steps to Help You Improvise

  1. Think it though. Think of what you need or need to accomplish.
  2. Inventory your resources: Human, equipment and gear, natural, salvageable and reclaimable.
  3. Make a plan. Keep it simple and realistic.
  4. Make sure you consider the consequences of using the chosen resources in the way you plan.
  5. Think of alternatives.
  6. Be Safe! Especially if you are using things in ways not originally intended.

Ability to Adapt

To adapt is to change. It’s the capacity of a person to alter or adjust to the environment as it is changing. Remember, no survival event or emergency is static. In a true survival situation, the ability of you or your family to adapt to the ever-changing demands of the event could mean the difference between success and failure. What does adapt mean when you are trying to survive?

To Adapt is to…

  1. Be aware of your surroundings.
  2. Constantly assessment of your physical, mental and emotional state.
  3. Understand what the capabilities and limitations are of the resources  at your disposal.
  4. Anticipate rather than react to the many changes taking place as an event unfolds, so you are not caught off guard.
  5. Be willing to change even when the decision is a tough one.
  6. Be able to tolerate discomfort, suffering and pain.
  7. Know your strengths and weaknesses: mental, emotional and physical. Be willing to push your limits and endure.

The ability of you and your family to adapt in any emergency or survival event  is crucial to not only surviving but thriving as the incident runs its course. Ultimately, you will need to improvise and adapt in order to overcome and survive.

In his book Survive!, Les Stroud, The Survivorman, states,

“Survival instructors tend to romanticize survival by teaching the many excellent, sometimes advanced skills that will help you [and your loved ones] live as long as possible in remote areas, but the bottom line in a true survival situation is that you’re scared, hungry, tired, and cold. You just want out of the nightmare.”

My hope is long before you or your family is ever involved in a survival situation or extreme emergency you will adopt the 8 keys to survival, amend, adjust and adapt them to fit your specific needs. If so, you will be ready to take on a survival situation and prevail. Keep it simple and you will survive!Maximize Your Survival

I look forward to your questions, comments and suggestions. If you have a question I can’t answer, I will find an expert who can.

If you know of additional key resources related to this subject: Books, videos, magazines or Internet sites etc., I would appreciate you taking a moment and adding them in with your comments.

Additional Resources

Books

In addition to the books recommended in Part One of this article, here are some further recommendations:

Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales

Will to Live by Les Stroud

The Unthinkable by Amanda Ripley

The Outdoor Survival Guide by Randy Gerke

The United States Air Force Search and Rescue Survival Training, United States Air Force

Survivor Kid: A Practical Guide to Wilderness Survival by Denise Long

Videos

Extreme Survival Psychology Part 1, Patriot Armory

Extreme Survival Psychology Part 2, Patriot Armory

Extreme Survival Psychology Part 3, Patriot Armory

A Positive Mental Attitude – Essential in Survival Situations, Chandan Lahiri

 

 

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

The post Keep it Simple and Survive!™: 8 Keys to Survival, Part 2 by Robert Camp appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/keep-simple-survive-8-keys-survival-part-2/feed/ 0
Review and Giveaway: “Forsaking Home” by A. American http://thesurvivalmom.com/review-giveaway-forsaking-home-american/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=review-giveaway-forsaking-home-american http://thesurvivalmom.com/review-giveaway-forsaking-home-american/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 17:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=15478 Don’t miss your chance to win a complete set of the exciting “Survivalist” series by A. American! (Contest details follow the review.) When I had first agreed to review FORSAKING HOME, I didn’t realize I was picking up on book Read More

The post Review and Giveaway: “Forsaking Home” by A. American by Helen Ruth appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

Forsaking HomeDon’t miss your chance to win a complete set of the exciting “Survivalist” series by A. American! (Contest details follow the review.)

When I had first agreed to review FORSAKING HOME, I didn’t realize I was picking up on book four of a survivalist series.

The first sentence of, FORSAKING HOME, took me immediately into a prison camp. Like the female detainees in the book, I felt chained and immersed in total darkness.  I wanted to know who these characters were and why they were being harshly treated. As it came to light that they were in the detention center of the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) I wanted to understand from the very beginning what brought them to this point.

As a newcomer to the series, I at first struggled with the introduction. Fortunately, the dialog between the inmates filled me in on many points and before I knew it, I was on chapter three. Then something magical happened.

Things started to click.

Lessons from the series

The author, A. American, has been involved in the prepping and survivalist movement for more than 20 years. As I turned each page, I realized his work of fiction was loaded with useful information.

FORSAKING HOME is the glimpse of an American family surviving the aftermaths of a collapsed society that has been thrust into the dark ages. With no electricity, no running water, and very little food, the characters are forced to make do with what they have.

Fortunately, for the reader, they can learn along with the characters on what foods are edible, how to live off the grid, and practical skills like making soap.

For procrastinators who want to put off learning survival skills in real life, we’re taught in the book, “Sometimes tomorrow doesn’t come.”

A reality check is also pointed out with the statement, “Food is Freedom.”

Some characters in FORSAKING HOME are prime examples of what could happen in real life when an unprepared society is faced with the options of going hungry, or handing over their freedoms in exchange for food.

“Control the food, you control the people,” is not fiction.

Read the whole series!

GOING HOME, the first book of the series, takes you on a harrowing journey with Morgan Carter. He’s a husband and father, stranded on a highway 250 miles away from home.

In the second book, SURVIVING HOME, Morgan who has already reunited with his family, is dealing with the collapse of his community.

Struggling for survival in the third book, ESCAPING HOME, Morgan and his family are on the defensive with Martial Law.

FORSAKING HOME, brings us back to the prison camp, and some “payback” action. Weaving actual survival skills and knowledge into a work of fiction is nothing short of genius.

I won’t post any spoilers here, but highly encourage you to read the entire series. It may not be the first thing you think of For a beach read, but this is a great series to enjoy this summer, especially if you are the lucky one who wins a free copy!

Win the entire series!

This giveaway is open to all legal residents of the 48 continental United States and the District of Columbia who are 18 years of age and older at the time of entry. The giveaway starts July 10th, 2014 at 5:00 am (CDT) and ends on July 15th, 2014 at 5:00 pm (CDT). We will choose a winner at the end of the giveaway and that person will be notified by email.  They will have 48 hours to respond. If they do not respond we will choose another winner.  Good luck to everyone and here’s to enjoying a great book series!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

The post Review and Giveaway: “Forsaking Home” by A. American by Helen Ruth appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/review-giveaway-forsaking-home-american/feed/ 77
Book Review: Little Jars, Big Flavors http://thesurvivalmom.com/product-review-little-jars-big-flavors/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=product-review-little-jars-big-flavors http://thesurvivalmom.com/product-review-little-jars-big-flavors/#comments Fri, 04 Jul 2014 20:00:06 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=15765 Not a lot of produce but reluctant to waste? No problem! Southern Living presents a 2013 cookbook with something for everyone! Whether you’re a beginner, a seasoned canner, or a microwave-only cook, you’ll find inspiration in Little Jars, Big Flavors Read More

The post Book Review: Little Jars, Big Flavors by Kris appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

Little Jars, Big FlavorsNot a lot of produce but reluctant to waste? No problem!

Southern Living presents a 2013 cookbook with something for everyone! Whether you’re a beginner, a seasoned canner, or a microwave-only cook, you’ll find inspiration in Little Jars, Big Flavors from author/chef Virginia Willis.

Little Jars Big Flavors For Beginners

Detailed instructions with beautiful color photos will walk you through the process. And because there’s no pressure canning (water bath-only recipes), no need to worry that you’ll blow up your kitchen.

Included are helpful tips to prevent messes; what you aren’t allowed to “fudge” in processing and ingredients; and full-color pictures of gel tests. It’s much easier than learning the hard way.

It’s fine if you don’t have a huge garden and tons of produce. Blueberry-lemon jam only calls for 3 cups of blueberries and yields 4 half-pint jars. No worries that you’ll waste a bunch of produce doing it wrong. Even if nothing seals, you only have a few jars to eat and share. Take the kiddos to a local pick-your-own farm and see how much produce makes it home. We only had a few cups left, anyway!

The layout includes at-a-glance references for prep time so you can determine whether you have time to preserve what’s in your refrigerator just before leaving for the weekend.

For Experienced Canners

You’ll love the new twists on old favorites. I still had some strawberry and blackberry jam left from last season and didn’t want to put up more of the same. Soooo…I now have some strawberry-basil and strawberry-port jam, as well as blackberry-black pepper jam. The coolest thing? The time and produce investment is small enough to experiment. If you don’t like the results, you only have half a dozen jars to give away. I plan to try peach-rosemary jam, mimosa marmalade, and double-onion marmalade when the harvest changes.

Experimenting is extra fun because the author includes ideas and even recipes for using your yummy concoctions. Onion marmalade sounded pretty gross—until I read that it can be a quick substitute for carmelized onions in my recipes. What an awesome shortcut!

And for even shorter shortcuts, try some freezer pickles or jams or even microwave nectarine-ginger preserves. The flavor combinations in Little Jars, Big Flavors are different from anything in my Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, my go-to guide in the summer.

Best Value for Purchasing

I ordered my paperback copy for $9.95 plus shipping from the Lakeside Collection online catalog. It lays fairly flat during use, so I’m glad I didn’t pony up for the $32.00+ hardback version from Amazon. Some used paperbacks are just under $9 on Amazon, but for an extra buck, I like the assurance of a pristine book. No kindle version exists at the time of this writing, but for beginners, I think an e-version would be a mistake.

The Very BEST Part

An entire chapter is devoted to what the author calls “Putting-Up Parties”. I LOVE this idea! If you’ve ever thought about starting a prepper’s circle, this is a completely fun and non-threatening way to get started.

Think of it like a “cookie-exchange” party. A few women get to share the work, chat together in the kitchen, share a few snacks, and at the end of the day, everyone has a few different recipes to take home rather than a year’s worth of one item.

Because the recipes require just a little produce, each lady can bring the ingredients for one recipe for very little cost. Go ahead and call up a couple of church ladies, the moms from your homeschool circle, or the parents of your kids’ friends! It’s a great way to get to know each other. And chances are, if some of them are already canners, they may possess other skills you can learn from them. (I’m still hoping someone can show me how to use the sewing machine I got for Christmas!)

I’m planning a “putting-up party with my sisters-in-law who aren’t currently prepping. They’ll walk away with new skills and confidence (and a few jars of awesome goodies). This will definitely open the door to conversations about other food preservation methods I’m trying and other efforts to be prepared.

We’ll only mess up one kitchen. The dads will spend a day herding kiddos, and the cousins will spend some quality time together.

As a side benefit, I’m eager to try out some of my sister’s expensive Pampered Chef gadgets that I haven’t been able to talk myself into. The last time I went on and on about how much I loved my mom’s strawberry huller and my mother-in-law’s apple peeler/corer/slicer, I got one of each as a gift. Just sayin’.

Canning for “Real Women”, not Martha Stewarts

Believe me, I’m no Martha Stewart—but I don’t really have to be. This chapter suggests canning recipes for each season with some overlapping ingredients, snack and beverage suggestions, and lovely ways to decorate those beautiful jars for gift-giving. If you have kids, have them help out with making teacher gifts for Christmas or teacher appreciation.

Even if that’s not really your thing, you can probably pretend for a few hours to make prepper connections in the least awkward way I’ve ever seen. At the very least, you get to walk away with a variety of goodies that you didn’t spend all day doing by yourself.

If a friend shared this post with you via Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, consider yourself invited to her next “Putting-Up Party.” You can host the next one in the fall when you’ll be eager to put big apple, pear, and cranberry flavors into little jars.

*Kris and The Survival Mom team have no affiliation with the author or publisher.

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

The post Book Review: Little Jars, Big Flavors by Kris appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/product-review-little-jars-big-flavors/feed/ 2
17 Things to Do with Tomatoes http://thesurvivalmom.com/things-to-do-with-tomatoes/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=things-to-do-with-tomatoes http://thesurvivalmom.com/things-to-do-with-tomatoes/#comments Sun, 29 Jun 2014 11:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=13264  It’s summertime! And with summer come summer vegetables, like tomatoes! Whether you are harvesting tomatoes from your own garden, or purchasing them from a grocery store or farmers’ market, you can use them to make some of these great recipes. Read More

The post 17 Things to Do with Tomatoes by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

tomatoes 2 It’s summertime! And with summer come summer vegetables, like tomatoes! Whether you are harvesting tomatoes from your own garden, or purchasing them from a grocery store or farmers’ market, you can use them to make some of these great recipes.

Main Courses

 A tasty but simple tomato soup recipe will start us off! Don’t like to eat soup when it’s hot outside? Why not make it in the winter with your stored tomatoes? Read more here!

 Try this delicious and spicy sauce next! Pour it hot over some meat and beans for a hearty chili or serve it cold with chips or vegetables for a yummy salsa. Find the recipe here.

 Have leftover scraps from all these tomato recipes? Why not turn them into tomato sauce? Find out how to make a versatile sauce with just your scraps from the recipe at this link.

 Looking for ideas on how to use your fresh tomato sauce? Add some seasonings and it would make the perfect topping for cabbage rolls like the ones in this post!

 Looking for another tasty dish that could be served both hot and cold? How about some chicken and sun-dried tomato pasta? Find the recipe here! (Bonus! This one has both gluten free and dairy free options. Double bonus! The post about dehydrating tomatoes, which you will find below, also tells you how to make the sun-dried tomatoes you’ll need for the pasta.)

 

Salads

 Love the flavor of a good BLT, but don’t want the bread? Maybe you’re allergic to gluten; maybe you’re staying away just to be healthier; maybe you just want to try something new. Whatever the reason, a BLT salad would be just the thing for you! Read more at this link. (Bonus! The end of this post has lots of links to other great salad recipes, many of which feature tomatoes.)

 

 Next up is the easiest veggie salad you’ll ever make! Just chop the vegetables and mix them in a big bowl. Find the recipe here along with some other ideas on how to use your mixed veggies.

 Looking for more unique and healthy flavors? Try this recipe for some corn, tomato, and quinoa salad! (Bonus! Had enough salads? try serving it warm as a side or even as a main dish.)

 

Sides

 Who doesn’t love a good salsa? Okay, maybe you aren’t fond of the spice, but if you make it yourself, you can adjust exactly how much (or how little) spice you use! Find an excellent recipe here.

 Looking to try something just a little different? How about some pico de gallo instead of just salsa? Read more here!

tomato ketchup Planning any backyard cookouts? Of course, ketchup is always necessary for your hotdogs and burgers,  but ketchup from the store is often full of preservatives, corn syrup, and other harmful ingredients. Why not make your own? Take a look at this post for a great recipe!

 Since bacon has been so popular lately, it only seems fair to include this tomato bacon dip in our list of recipes! Serve it with crackers, bread, veggies, or just about anything else! Read how to make it here. (Bonus! Try using turkey bacon for a healthier twist.)

 

Preserving

canning tomatoes Preserve your tomatoes in the summer to have fresh tasting tomatoes all year round! This post will give you instructions on two different ways to can your tomatoes.

dehydrating tomatoes For a slightly different flavor, preserve your tomatoes by dehydrating them! There are many ways you can use dehydrated tomatoes, and you can even reconstitute them to use them just like fresh tomatoes! Read more from this article. (Bonus! Find out how to make sun-dried tomatoes, too.)

 That last post mentioned using your dehydrated tomatoes to make tomato powder. This post tells you exactly how to do that, and it includes several great ideas on how to use your tomato powder!

 Probably the fastest and easiest way to preserve your tomatoes is by simply freezing them. This post has some helpful tips for when you’re freezing your tomatoes.

 

Growing

 Have all these recipes left you inspired to grow your own tomatoes next summer? Maybe you’ve already grown some but want some tips to improve your harvest. Check out this post for several great suggestions on growing tomatoes from how to select the best varieties to how to prevent pests.

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

The post 17 Things to Do with Tomatoes by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/things-to-do-with-tomatoes/feed/ 2
Coffee-Reserves GIVEAWAY! Green Columbian Coffee Beans — a 10 lb. bucket! http://thesurvivalmom.com/coffee-reserves-giveaway/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=coffee-reserves-giveaway http://thesurvivalmom.com/coffee-reserves-giveaway/#comments Fri, 27 Jun 2014 19:29:02 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=16099 Enter this Rafflecopter Coffee-Reserves giveaway to win a 10 lb. bucket of Green Colombian Coffee Beans! Roast, grind, and brew your own beans for the flavor you want, and these beans are packed for long-term storage with nitrogen and an Read More

The post Coffee-Reserves GIVEAWAY! Green Columbian Coffee Beans — a 10 lb. bucket! by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

Coffee Reserves giveawayEnter this Rafflecopter Coffee-Reserves giveaway to win a 10 lb. bucket of Green Colombian Coffee Beans! Roast, grind, and brew your own beans for the flavor you want, and these beans are packed for long-term storage with nitrogen and an oxygen absorber!

 

 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

The post Coffee-Reserves GIVEAWAY! Green Columbian Coffee Beans — a 10 lb. bucket! by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/coffee-reserves-giveaway/feed/ 78
Defensible Space Isn’t Just for Wildfires: How to Protect Your Home in the Aftermath of a Disaster http://thesurvivalmom.com/defensible-space-protect-home/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=defensible-space-protect-home http://thesurvivalmom.com/defensible-space-protect-home/#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2014 17:08:22 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=14819 One lesson we have learned from major disasters all over the world is that we can’t count on the normal public safety services like police and fire to quickly come to our aid; overwhelmed by the needs caused by the Read More

The post Defensible Space Isn’t Just for Wildfires: How to Protect Your Home in the Aftermath of a Disaster by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
image by USFWS Headquarters

image by USFWS Headquarters

One lesson we have learned from major disasters all over the world is that we can’t count on the normal public safety services like police and fire to quickly come to our aid; overwhelmed by the needs caused by the disaster, it can take from days to weeks before response times to 911 calls are once again reasonable.

In the meantime, natural forces and the sins of man are unchecked and it is up to all of us to take care of ourselves and our families. In the wake of the 2010 Chile earthquake and tsunami, bakery owner Karen Espinoza told the Dow Jones Newswires,

“What the earthquake didn’t take away, the sea took away. And what the sea didn’t take, the looters did.”

Thieves and other human predators look for easy targets, and if you present the image of a difficult target to them, they will likely leave you alone. You don’t have to turn your home into a fortress or castle, but if your house is a harder nut to crack than your neighbors, your risk of attack is lower.

The concept of “Defensible Space” is normally used in the context of preventing a wildfire from burning down your home. The idea is to have a significant gap between woods or vegetation and your home to give firefighters a good chance of defending the structure in a serious fire. We can apply the concept of Defensible Space to our home protection strategy.

You can protect your home and belongings, even in the aftermath of a disaster.

Defensible space in action

Oh, you didn’t know you had to have a home protection strategy? Most people who prepare for disasters don’t, other than maybe to assume that if they have a firearm in the house, they are protected. Unfortunately, a protection strategy based only on a gun is inadequate.

In our day to day lives, a home burglary is not the end of the world. Losses can be insured, valuables replaced. But imagine losing your precious emergency stockpile in the midst of a Katrina-level disaster due to flooding or other natural elements.

Then imagine it being forcibly taken from you. Different scenario, isn’t it? So let’s talk about Defensible Space in the context of your home following a significant disaster of some sort.

Architects call this area “Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design,” which breaks the issue down into:

  • Natural Surveillance
    • Refers to areas easily visible from within the home, and how to identify visual gaps that can be filled by video cameras or prevented by planting thorny plants there, etc.
    • What can you see from your windows and other vantage points, and, more importantly, what can’t you see?
  • Natural Access Control
    • Refers to those things that are obviously public, like sidewalks and roads, and those that are less-public or private like driveways and walkways.
    • Can you manage access to your home through a row of bushes or installing better bolts and locks on your doors and windows?
  • Territorial Reinforcement
    • Refers to landscaping and fencing to better define public and private areas. The bottom line goal is to put some thought into what your home looks like to someone driving by. Is this house a quick rip-off opportunity or too much trouble?
    • The effects are both psychological and physical, as in the use of fences and gates.
    • Fences, signs, lighting can all signal a sense of owned space, rather than property that might be neglected and an easy target.

While it sounds intimidating, the concepts will be familiar to everyone. The concept is mostly used in new building design, but the principles can be used as a guide to assess your existing home security situation. The idea is to look at your home as a bad guy would, and make your property less appealing to those that would do you harm, especially after a disaster when law enforcement may not be readily available.

Protect your home from attacks

Most home attacks can be divided into two categories, stealth and blitz. A stealth attack might come in darkness, testing windows and doors for one left open. In daytime, this might be an innocuous-looking man with a clipboard knocking at the front door. If there is no answer, the attack begins. Blitz attacks (sometimes called “home invasions”) are group efforts with doors kicked down and often with weapons displayed. The idea is to surprise and overwhelm any resistance quickly.

These tactics can be combined in various ways, i.e. with a stealth knock at the door turned into a blitz when the door is answered by someone who can be overwhelmed.

If an attack can’t be prevented, we at least want early warning and to delay entry into the home as long as possible. Early warning can be enhanced by a dog’s bark, some broken glass spread on the front walk (crunches), or loops of rope or wire in the lawn or across walkways (tripping hazard). (As a disclaimer, these suggestions are only for use after a major disaster.)

Elements of a successful home protection strategy

Successful home protection relies upon:

  • Psychological barriers (fences, gates, barking dogs) to discourage attack
  • Early warning (dog, broken glass, video camera, alarm system)
  • Strong physical barriers (security doors, deadbolt locks) to prevent or delay entry
  • A realistic defense or escape plan for all occupants (From grandma to school age kids)
  • Practicing the plan periodically to identify problems and improve the plan
  • Don’t forget to try 911 for help…just don’t make this your only plan

In truth, this subject is very complex and I was only able to cover the basics, and, of course, these are all smart strategies every day, not just when facing a disaster.

I hope this article prompts you to at least think about this important subject and at best to do some planning and reinforcement of your home castle and how you might defend it in multiple ways in the aftermath of a disaster.

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

The post Defensible Space Isn’t Just for Wildfires: How to Protect Your Home in the Aftermath of a Disaster by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/defensible-space-protect-home/feed/ 0
Last week on The Survival Mom Radio Network: Corporate emergency planners, angry preppers, and more! http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-mom-radio-network-corporate-planners/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=survival-mom-radio-network-corporate-planners http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-mom-radio-network-corporate-planners/#comments Mon, 16 Jun 2014 19:11:51 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=15596 Last week was a full week on our network, which received more than 140,000 downloads! I am so thrilled that our shows and hosts are finding a place on your smartphones, mp3 players, computers, and every other way you access Read More

The post Last week on The Survival Mom Radio Network: Corporate emergency planners, angry preppers, and more! by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

PinkRetroRadio-150x150Last week was a full week on our network, which received more than 140,000 downloads! I am so thrilled that our shows and hosts are finding a place on your smartphones, mp3 players, computers, and every other way you access them!

I interviewed one of my favorite people, Fernando Aguirre, aka FerFal, and we discussed why some preppers seem to be so angry. As a former resident of Argentina, Fernando experienced first hand what most preppers only talk about, and he has also picked up on a high level of anger in the prepper community. You’ll have to listen to my interview with  him here, and don’t miss my own observations from this podcast. See if you agree or just start feeling angry!

Later in the week I had the opportunity to review the emergency plans for one of the world’s largest corporation. An awful lot of money was spent putting these plans together, and I share numerous lessons that any family can learn based on the planning by corporate emergency planners. Here is the podcast, “Prepping Lessons from Corporate Emergency Planners.”

The rest of last week’s shows on The Survival Mom Radio Network can be found here…

An InLinkz Link-up

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

The post Last week on The Survival Mom Radio Network: Corporate emergency planners, angry preppers, and more! by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-mom-radio-network-corporate-planners/feed/ 0
7 Pieces of Essential Wilderness Survival Gear http://thesurvivalmom.com/essential-wilderness-survival-gear/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=essential-wilderness-survival-gear http://thesurvivalmom.com/essential-wilderness-survival-gear/#comments Sat, 14 Jun 2014 10:00:32 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=14640 Time and again, we see news stories involving people who became lost in the woods during a routine hike or camping trip. It happens all the time and, unfortunately, sometimes these stories have a very tragic ending. What often happens Read More

The post 7 Pieces of Essential Wilderness Survival Gear by Jim Cobb appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

Wilderness Survival GearTime and again, we see news stories involving people who became lost in the woods during a routine hike or camping trip. It happens all the time and, unfortunately, sometimes these stories have a very tragic ending.

What often happens is the person walked away from the campsite to collect firewood or something, got turned around, and couldn’t find their way back. That’s very easy to do if you’re not intimately familiar with the area. In most news stories I’ve seen, if the person had taken just a few small items of survival gear with them, easily carried in a pocket or belt pouch, the tragedy could have been merely an interesting anecdote at family gatherings for years to come instead.

Every single time you venture into the wilderness, you should keep the following essential items on your person. Note, these aren’t listed in any particular order because they are all essential.

Food, Water, and Basic Safety

One must-have is a whistle so you can help searchers find you. The sound of a good whistle carries much further than your shouts, plus you won’t get a sore throat. I suggest wearing the whistle around your neck so you won’t lose or misplace it.

The whistle pictured at the top is very good, but you can get a simple, sturdy metal whistle for less than $2 at major retailers.

Exposure and dehydration are two of the biggest potential threats.

A stainless steel water bottle, preferably filled with clean water before you set out on your trek, will be your ally in avoiding dehydration. Avoid plastic and aluminum because you want something in which you can boil water for disinfection, should the need arise.

knives croppedYou also need a cutting tool, such as a good quality knife. This is not an area where you should skimp and just buy something cheap (or something cute / pretty). You may very well be taking your life on it, so spend the extra money for quality.

Now, I will readily admit I’m something of a blade nut and have acquired dozens of knives over the years. My current favorites for sheath knives include the Condor Bushlore and the Brothers of Bushcraft (BOB) Fieldcraft Knife by TOPS.

cordage croppedFor a folding knife, you can’t go wrong with Buck, Bad Monkey, or even the venerable Victorinox Swiss Army Knife.

Cordage has tons of uses, from building shelters to tying gear to your belt or pack so it doesn’t get lost. Paracord is usually the cordage of choice, and for good reason. Provided you buy the real thing and not a cheap knock off, it is incredibly strong yet lightweight and rather thin, about the size of shoelaces.

It is also super easy to carry in the form of a paracord bracelet, belt, or other item. Check out this book, All Wrapped Up in Paracord.

To save space, I wrap lengths of paracord around old gift cards or expired credit cards. Not only does this allow for a more flat carrying size, it prevents the cord from getting tangled in a pocket or pack. You can also use the card to remove thorns and stingers from bug bites.

Light and Warmth Items

Exposure to the elements can kill you quicker than a lack of food or water. To that end, you should have  fire starting supplies and an emergency blanket. Fire will keep you warm, dry you out, and help people find you.

There are many possible components to choose from for a fire kit, including a butane lighter, strike anywhere matches, a ferro rod and striker, cotton balls soaked with petroleum jelly, dryer lint, tinder tabs (available at any camping supply store), or WetFire cubes (again, find them at camping supply stores or online).

An emergency blanket will also help keep you warm and dry. Not only can you wrap it around your body, it can serve as part of an emergency shelter, and the reflective surface may (may) help searchers find you.

Should you have need to tie cordage to corners of the emergency blanket, simply take a small stone, about the size of your thumbnail or a bit larger, and place it in the corner of the blanket. Fold the corner over the stone, creating something akin to a pocket with the stone in it. Then, tie your cordage around that pocket.

flashlights croppedThis last item isn’t life critical but it can sure be nice to have a good LED flashlight or headlamp on a dark night. Not only will it help keep you from stumbling on a log, it can be used to signal for help.

Personally, I like the Foursevens QT2A or the Fenix TK15, though admittedly both are on the pricey side. A bit cheaper, and still very rugged and worth having, is one of the many smaller Maglites available at any hardware or home improvement store.

A couple of extra batteries for small lights like these take up almost no space, too.

As you can see, all of these items are small, and even when all combined together, will not take up much space in pockets or a small pack. Also, they do not have to be expensive. Just be sure that each member of your party is equipped with these basics when venturing out into the beautiful wilderness.

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

The post 7 Pieces of Essential Wilderness Survival Gear by Jim Cobb appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/essential-wilderness-survival-gear/feed/ 0