The Survival Mom » Preparedness http://thesurvivalmom.com Helping moms worry less & enjoy life! Thu, 28 Aug 2014 19:09:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 The Four Organizations Preppers Need Now http://thesurvivalmom.com/four-organizations-preppers-need-now/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=four-organizations-preppers-need-now http://thesurvivalmom.com/four-organizations-preppers-need-now/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 06:00:42 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=16941 Preppers should always be learning and increasing their knowledge base. I believe they should also always be helping others prepare for or respond to disasters. Here are four great organizations that you need to enhance your levels of preparedness… and Read More

The post The Four Organizations Preppers Need Now by Amy Van Riper appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

AVR Four Organziations Final TitlePreppers should always be learning and increasing their knowledge base. I believe they should also always be helping others prepare for or respond to disasters. Here are four great organizations that you need to enhance your levels of preparedness… and who also need YOU to share your time and talents with them!

Project Appleseed

What They Do:

Project Appleseed is a non-profit organization that runs Marksmanship and Heritage events all around the country. The all-volunteer instructor corps is dedicated to teaching every American our shared heritage and history, while also teaching traditional rifle marksmanship skills.

What Instruction You’ll Receive:

Appleseed Instructors are passionate historians that bring alive the history of the Battles of Lexington and Concord that took place on April 19, 1775. Attendees will better understand the choices and sacrifices made by American Patriots that ultimately led to the creation of an independent United States not under British rule. Just the history is enough to make the weekend worth your time, but added to the marksmanship training, it makes for a perfect weekend.

AVR 4 Orgs - Appleseed Photo 2 - If you only use one photo, I like the other one better Attendees will learn how to accurately shoot a rifle using proven marksmanship skills to hit targets out to 400 yards. I attended my first event with zero rifle experience and ended the weekend with a full understanding of how my rifle worked and consistent accuracy to 200 yards. Each subsequent weekend has given me a deeper understanding of the history and greatly increased my skills as a shooter. I have attended clinics alongside men and women who have been hunting and shooting their whole lives and even they come away with greatly increased skill and accuracy.

Almost everyone can participate in Project Appleseed events. Children and teens are encouraged and happily welcomed as long as they are mature enough to safely handle a rifle. (I have been on the shooting line with a child as young as 10.) There is no upper age limit and no shooting experience required. Most physical challenges can be worked around to make sure you can still get time on the shooting line. Contact an Appleseed representative in your state to discuss any challenges you may have and how they can be accommodated.

Also, you may not have to own your own rifle. Most events will have some “loaner rifles” available. Again, contacting a representative ahead of time will ensure you’ll have everything you need. Active Duty military, Reservists and National Guardsmen, peace officers, and elected officials can attend free of charge as guests of the program (bring current identification).

Why You Should Be Involved:

Becoming better marksmen with our rifles is always a good prepper skill. Even if you neither own a rifle nor intend to get one, learning how one works and how to effectively fire it may turn out to be good information to have one day.

Further, more people need to truly understand our shared heritage and the establishment of Liberty in America. We need to get more plugged into what’s happening in our country and work to make it better. If you have your own large group (approximately 15-30 people depending on the range location) you may be able to set up your own private event. Groups can be family, friends, church groups or civic organizations, homeschool or scout groups, or even your prepper group. I promise you, a weekend at a Project Appleseed event will be one of the most worthwhile things you will ever do.

Contact Information:

You can read more about the program and check the schedule in your state by going to the Project Appleseed website. When you check the schedule, be sure to consider events in surrounding states. Depending on where you are, your closest event might be across a state line. Also consider looking up state level Facebook pages, like this Alabama Appleseed page.

Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)

AVR 4 Orgs - CERTWhat They Do:

We must remember that in an emergency, it can take a significant amount of time for a first responder to arrive, especially in a large scale event. The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training goal is to teach participants how to be an “immediate responder” and safely bridge the gap between when the emergency happens and when the first responders arrive.

What Instruction You’ll Receive:

How the classes are taught varies somewhat from place to place but typically take place for a couple hours one night a week for eight weeks. You learn basic preparedness, first aid, light search and rescue, fire suppression, disaster psychology, terrorism basics, and more. On the last night you will be “tested” in a mock disaster scenario.

Classes are generally free of charge or have a small fee for equipment and supplies that you get to keep.

Why You Should Be Involved:

CERT classes are chock full of information and practical skills that are good for not only individuals and families, but also ideal for a group of neighbors or neighborhood watch groups and small teams at your business or place of worship. CERT groups often gather after a disaster to help support local response and recovery efforts, which allows you to help your community in its time of need.

Contact Information:

Learn more about CERT by visiting the FEMA webpage. You can also locate a CERT in your area by searching by state here.

American Red Cross Disaster Action Team

What They Do:

AVR 4 Orgs - DAT PhotoYour American Red Cross chapter has a team of volunteers who provide on-the-scene service and support to both the victims of disasters and first responders. These are called Disaster Action Teams or DATs.

Teams are on call 24-hours a day for a one week period about every two months. You don’t have to be on call the entire time! Team members coordinate their schedules to allow for full coverage.

The most common call for a DAT is the house fire. My local chapter responds to more than 200 house fires each year and provides families in need with temporary shelter, food, clothing and prescription medication replacement as needed. DATs can also be called out to respond after larger disasters to go into affected areas to distribute food and water and assess damaged neighborhoods.

What Instruction You’ll Receive:

As an American Red Cross volunteer you must go through an initial one day training course to introduce you to the organization and its mission and values. That course can then be followed by a number of disaster services courses, including Disaster Services, Client Casework, Shelter Operations, Disaster Assessment, and more. All courses are free of charge to the volunteer.

Why You Should Be Involved:

I have been a team member and a team captain for my local Red Cross chapter. The Red Cross is a well known and respected organization that makes a huge difference for those who find themselves in need after a disaster. The training received can be beneficial to you and your own family, but being trained and willing to help others in their time of need is an important and effective way to “give back” to the community.

Contact Information:

Contact your local American Red Cross Chapter and ask them about opportunities for training and serving in disaster services.

Local Prepper Groups

What They Do:

AVR 4 Orgs - MCP1 Photo - Fire Starting ContestLocal prepper groups vary greatly and therefore some are “better” than others. It depends on the specific group of people involved as to what will be offered. Some groups are focused on combining knowledge and resources and setting up a joint bug-out location. Others meet to learn from each other by teaching their own area of expertise or bringing in experts to teach their group. Still others tend to be more social in nature.

What Instruction You’ll Receive:

Again, this depends on your local group, their interests, and who they have in the area to help teach. With the Madison County Prepper group in Northern Alabama, we learned things like food preservation, first aid and suturing, ham radio, self defense, gardening, water filtration, bug out bags, precious metals, and more.

We have “Dungeons and Dragons for Preppers” nights where one person leads a scenario and we, as a group, determine what we would do in each situation as the disaster progressed. We have also gone camping together to try out our gear and learn wilderness skills.

Why You Should Be Involved:

I don’t advocate the “lone wolf” preparedness plan. I believe it is important to find a group of like-minded individuals that have skill sets different than yours to both learn from and teach to. IAVR 4 Orgs - MCP2 Photo - Teaching How to Clean Fish encourage you to check out a group and “go slowly” to get to know people before sharing too much personal information.

Once those relationships are formed and trust is established, the benefits can be huge. I have made lifelong friends in my prepper group, including people that I know without a doubt I can count on in times of trouble.

Contact Information:

It can be difficult to find a local prepper group. You can use websites like Prepper Groups, American Prepper Network, and Prepper Meetups. You can also just do generic Google and Facebook searches for groups in your location. But as mentioned above, you’ll want to be cautious. Can’t find a group in your area? Start one yourself!

So when you are trying to figure out your next steps, contact one of these four organizations and get active!

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

The post The Four Organizations Preppers Need Now by Amy Van Riper appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/four-organizations-preppers-need-now/feed/ 3
A Famine Menu — A Bare-Bones Food Storage Plan http://thesurvivalmom.com/famine-menu-food-storage/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=famine-menu-food-storage http://thesurvivalmom.com/famine-menu-food-storage/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 15:47:38 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=17695   I found this “famine menu” on a political forum, of all things, several years ago. There was no link to an original post nor was any author listed. I liked the plan and wanted to share it because too Read More

The post A Famine Menu — A Bare-Bones Food Storage Plan by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
famine menu food storage

You may want to pin this one! Click on the image to go to Pinterest.

 

I found this “famine menu” on a political forum, of all things, several years ago. There was no link to an original post nor was any author listed. I liked the plan and wanted to share it because too many Americans see the need to prepare but can’t. The paycheck, if there is one, doesn’t come anywhere near to meeting the necessities.

On this famine menu food storage plan you’ll find very basic foods that are available anywhere. If you’re using an EBT card currently, buying a few of these items each month will barely make a dent. Once you have these items in place, you can always begin to add additional foods that you and your family enjoy. I’d recommend adding additional meat and chicken, either freeze dried or home canned. (Read this article on home canning meats. When you can buy meat or chicken cheaply enough, this is a great way to stash some away for emergencies.)

Keep in mind that every food storage plan must be customized to your own circumstances. If someone in your family is allergic to one of the items on the list, buy less or substitute something else. Stock up on the spices you use most. Those vary from family to family.

If you’d like a printable of this list, click here.

The Famine Menu Food Storage Plan

Per day for one person

3 slices of whole wheat bread (lunch and dinner)

1 pot of oatmeal (breakfast, vary with spices and fruit from the orchard or dehydrated or nuts)

1 pot of rice (dinner)

1 pot of beans (dinner, vary with spices and vegetables from the garden)

1 glass of milk

In addition per week

1 pint of jam

1 jar of peanut butter

1 spaghetti dinner with hamburger

4 pots of soup (From leftovers and Soup for A Year)

7 jar sprouting seeds rotation

In addition per month

1/2 -#10 can popcorn

1 can potato flakes

1 can refried Beans

1 can white flour

Shopping list: Amounts to store for one Person, two persons, three persons, four persons

Grains

Wheat:  90 lbs, 168 lbs, 252 lbs, 366 lbs

Rolled oats:  24 lbs, 48 lbs, 72 lbs, 96 lbs

Rice:  60 lbs, 120 lbs, 180 lbs, 240 lbs

Proteins

Dry beans:  60 lbs, 120 lbs, 180 lbs, 240 lbs

Refried beans:  24 lbs, 48 lbs, 72 lbs, 96 lbs

Peanut butter: 17 lbs,34 lbs, 52-16 oz, 52-16 oz jars

Canned hamburger and other meats:  52 pints

Staples

White flour:  48 lbs, 96 lbs, 144 lbs, 192 lbs

Granulated sugar:  40 lbs, 80 lbs, 120 lbs, 160 lbs

Oil:  9 Quarts (See Bread for a Year), 18 Qts, 18 Qts, 18 Qts

Yeast:  (See Bread for a Year) 2 lbs, 4 lbs, 8 lbs, 8 lbs

Salt:  8 lbs (See Bread for a Year)

Honey:  18 lbs (see Bread for a Year), 36 lbs, 57 lbs, 57 lbs

Powdered milk: 16 lbs (kids 32 lbs), 32 lbs, 48 lbs, 64 lbs

Miscellaneous

Potato flakes: 18 lbs, 36 lbs, 54 lbs, 72 lbs

Spaghetti sauce:  52 Quarts

Spaghetti noodles;  60 lbs, 120 lbs, 180 lbs, 240 lbs

Spices

Multi-vitamins:  365, 730, 1095, 1460

Popcorn:  #10 cans, 6

Fruit jam:  52 Pints (one per week)

Sprouting seeds (Wheat, beans, seeds), 40 lbs, 80 lbs, 120 lbs, 160 lbs

In a dire emergency, you may not have electricity, or it could be subject to black-outs. In that case, start your famine menu using lesser amounts of food than you’ll need, since you won’t be able to refrigerate the leftovers. With each meal, add a little more food until you’re consuming everything within one day and tummies are all fairly satisfied.

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

The post A Famine Menu — A Bare-Bones Food Storage Plan by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/famine-menu-food-storage/feed/ 23
Personal Protective Equipment http://thesurvivalmom.com/personal-protective-equipment/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=personal-protective-equipment http://thesurvivalmom.com/personal-protective-equipment/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 06:00:33 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=16718 Virtually any natural disaster will entail a fair amount of cleanup. Whether we’re talking about downed trees or mountains of snow to be shoveled, it seems that once the initial crisis has ended, the real work begins. With all that Read More

The post Personal Protective Equipment by Jim Cobb appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

Virtually any natural disaster will entail a fair amount of cleanup. Whether we’re talking about downed trees or mountains of snow to be shoveled, it seems that once the initial crisis has ended, the real work begins. With all that work comes no small amount of injury potential, if you’re not careful.

Personal protective equipment goes a long way toward preventing you from getting hurt. Keep in mind that medical attention may not be readily available immediately after a disaster. Therefore, it is imperative you take steps to prevent injuries from happening.

Protecting Your Head

One of the most important pieces of protective equipment is safety glasses or goggles. Your eyes are precious and need to be protected as best you can. Glasses or goggles should be worn any time you’re dealing with the potential for flying debris, such as when using a chainsaw or a snowblower.

Dust masks should be worn when dealing with flying dirt and debris. I prefer to use N95 masks simply because that means I’ll have them on hand in the event of an infectious disease scenario.

Ear protection is important whenever you’re handling or working near loud equipment, from chainsaws to weed whackers to firearms. Ear damage is cumulative and can creep up on you before you realize it. Even disposable ear plugs are beneficial.

As a side note, both ear and eye pro (short for “protection”) are required at many gun ranges. You can use the same ear and eye pro recommended you use on the range in a disaster situation. The ear muffs that blunt the sound of gun shots also blunt the sound of a chainsaw or a generator, if you need to work near one for long.

Protecting Your Extremities

Your hands are typically the body parts closest to the action, so to speak, and should be protected by gloves of some sort. For most chores, I prefer one or another pair made by Mechanix. They are high quality, durable, and long lasting.

For winter work, such as snow removal, I’ll typically just go with whatever warm gloves I have on hand, no pun intended, although they should be waterproof. On top of protecting your hands, gloves also provide you with added grip, helping to prevent things from slipping through your fingers.

Heavy work boots are recommended any time you’re clearing storm debris. The ground may be slippery and you’ll appreciate the heavy boot tread. If possible, spring for the steel toe. More than one person has had their tootsies smashed by a falling log when they’re clearing out downed trees.

The #1 Protection Tool

The absolute best protective tool you can use, though, is that lump residing between your ears. Don’t rush through the cleanup.

Take your time, evaluate the situation, and think through all the steps before lifting or moving anything. Common sense goes a long way toward preventing accidents and injuries.

And don’t forget: kids need safety gear too!

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

The post Personal Protective Equipment by Jim Cobb appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/personal-protective-equipment/feed/ 0
Five Misconceptions About Herbal Preparedness http://thesurvivalmom.com/five-misconceptions-herbal-preparedness/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=five-misconceptions-herbal-preparedness http://thesurvivalmom.com/five-misconceptions-herbal-preparedness/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 06:00:04 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=16707 As an herbalist and a prepper, I have noticed several common misconceptions people have about using herbs in general, but that especially apply to people interested in learning about herbs for preparedness. These misunderstandings usually come from overly simplified ideas Read More

The post Five Misconceptions About Herbal Preparedness by Agatha Noveille appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

5 MisconceptionsAs an herbalist and a prepper, I have noticed several common misconceptions people have about using herbs in general, but that especially apply to people interested in learning about herbs for preparedness.

These misunderstandings usually come from overly simplified ideas about plants and herbalism.

Keeping it simple is good, but oversimplification can get in the way and, in this case, even cause harm. So what’s a would-be herbal prepper to do?

Let’s look at the five most common misconceptions about herbs that seem to affect the prepper community.

Misconception #1: If It’s Natural, It Must Be Safe

Reality: Not necessarily! Most herbs have a high margin of safety, but some are toxic in large amounts or under certain conditions. Some herbs should be avoided during pregnancy because of historical use as abortifacients.

Other herbs that were considered safe traditionally have been found to contain toxic compounds when subjected to modern research. Examples include herbs like Borage and Comfrey, which contain alkaloids that can cause liver problems.

Herbs can also interact with other medications, so make sure you keep your doctor apprised of any herbal supplements you take regularly.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), herbs are classified into three groups: the first level are as safe as foods. The second are more targeted in their effects on the human body and are used safely as needed. The third level are used sparingly, and may contain plants that modern science has identified as toxic.

For example, lobelia is an herb commonly used for lung problems and as a natural aid to stop smoking. Lobeline, part of the plant’s chemical profile, is similiar in structure to nicotine but is non- habit forming. However, in large amounts, lobeline can act as an emetic and cause vomiting.

Misconception#2: Herbs Don’t Really Work – I Tried Them

Reality: You may not have been using the right herb for the job, or used it the right way. Herbs actually have a complex relationship with the human body when used correctly. Because worldwide traditions of herbalism focus on the state of balance within the human body as a whole, rather than the modern, western fascination with disease as a separate entity, it can be difficult to translate the proper use of herbs into a modern context.

Many resources make the mistake of oversimplifying, listing herb after herb under each category with no distinction of the most appropriate situation for use. A great example of this is herbs for coughs. The list typically goes something like this: plantain, coltsfoot, thyme, marshmallow, cherry bark, pleurisy root, elecampane, mullein…and it could go on! Does that mean that all the herbs on the list can be used interchangeably? Far from it!

Plantain and Marshmallow are going to give the most benefit to a dry cough where there is only a little mucus that is hard to bring up. Herbs that can be used when there is lots of mucus that the body is trying to expel include cherry bark and elecampane.

Mullein is a wonderful herb for coughs, but it is traditionally used for allergies and asthma rather than an acute respiratory illness. Herbalists observed that it works on the cough reflex, so using it while the body is trying to get rid of lots of mucus is not a good idea! Suppressing the reflex and having the mucus just sit around in the lungs can set the stage for infection.

So, as you can see, all of the above herbs are great for coughs, but it’s important to consider the type of cough for best results.

In addition, some herbs are drunk as a tea, others are inhaled in steam, and still others are applied topically. You can rub chamomile on your tummy all day long, and it still won’t help you sleep the way drinking a cup of chamomile tea does.

Misconception #3: Herbs Don’t Really Work – There’s No Science.

Reality: Much of the current research on herbs has been done overseas, rather than here in the US, but there is actually plenty of literature in medical journals worldwide to explore. Most research focuses on identifying the active constituents in the chemistry of plants. This leads to more information on why a plant traditionally used for a given ailment was effective, and how that can be harnessed for the modern pharmaceutical industry.

Digitoxin is a cardiac drug that is one example of this. It was originally extracted from the herb Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea), used by medieval herbalists.

It is interesting to note that many traditions of herbalism rely on taste to group herbs into different useful categories. Before modern chemical analysis emerged, this was a crude way of noticing that the chemical make ups of the plants were different.

Many “bitter” tasting herbs were observed to have a “cooling” effect on the body, and therefore matched with the observation of “heat” in the body. “Heat” conditions in traditional herbalism are a broad category that include cases that would be explained by modern science in terms of bacterial infection. Modern science confirms that many of the bitter principles found in herbs have an antibacterial capacity that makes them suited for use in an infected, or  “hot”, condition.

It’s also important to note, however, that the chemical makeup of plants is complex enough that science is only beginning to scratch the surface of the way they interact with the body. Sometimes reducing the plant down to one or two chemicals that seem to be “active” is actually another oversimplification in itself. But it’s a start.

A great resource on the chemical science behind herbalism is the textbook Medical Herbalism by David Hoffman.

Misconception #4: Animals can tell what plants they need instinctively or by taste. So can I!

Reality: This is a really, really bad idea.

Here’s why:

Yes, herbalists traditionally group herbs for use by taste. Herbs that were sweet, salty, bitter, or sour were believed to have an affinity for different body systems and conditions. (See number three, above.) However, when this myth comes up in the prepper community, people are usually talking about using taste and instinct to IDENTIFY random plants they find growing nearby and make use of them.

This is either used as an excuse to avoid learning how to identify plants safely out of laziness, or for the sake of some weird “I’m Very in Tune with my Body” bragging rights. Either way, considering that cattle poison themselves rather frequently (just ask any experienced rancher), and that most of the people who have this misconception can’t “intuitively” identify poison ivy, it’s safe to say that there is an incredibly dangerous disconnection here.

A great example here is water hemlock, which regularly poisons both people and livestock. It is a common wild plant in the carrot family, but a single bite of the root can kill an adult human, and cattle have died in less than fifteen minutes after ingesting more. The few people who have survived accidental ingestion have remarked that it’s quite pleasant tasting.

Exhibit A: If you don’t know what it is, don’t put it in your mouth. Period.

Misconception #5 I’ll Just Stock up on Field Guides and Books. If SHTF, I can Forage for Everything I Need.

Reality: People who don’t spend a lot of time in nature often don’t realize that it is a far cry from the mythical, unspoiled bounty of the collective imagination. Nature is not a grocery store.

For one thing, just like garden vegetables, wild herbs and plants have an ideal harvesting window that can vary by the length of their life cycle. We don’t experience this in our modern grocery stores because of worldwide shipping and greenhouse growing, but very few plants can be harvested year round. There’s almost nothing available from late fall through mid-spring in most natural settings.

Why do you think canning was invented?

Another problem with relying on books and planning to harvest “as needed” in a SHTF scenario is the potential difficulty in resource management – the threat of over harvesting. Stands of wild plants require special care to avoid wiping them out permanently in a single harvest. In some cases, this means harvesting less than 1/10 of the plants in an area that can be acres in size, and allowing rest years for the population to re-stabilize.

SHTF, you can bet no one is going to be concerned about whether they pick too much. This problem doesn’t even occur to most people now. “Poaching” and over harvesting for the commercial trade is an issue even without the desperation implied by a SHTF scenario.

During a major disruption, it’s possible that many areas would be stripped of available edible and medicinal plants in short order and take years to recover.

The Take- Away

So, considering these five misconceptions, I think there are three very important things the prepper community needs to take into account if we want to consider herbalism as a viable skill for our personal and community toolkits.

For one thing: know thy plants! It’s better to know a few herbs very well than to have had a brush with many. Learn how to identify the herbs which you use the most in every stage of growth, and learn all of the small distinctions in use that set them apart from other herbs in the same category.

For another: get set now. Stock an herbal pantry with your most commonly used herbs in their dried, bulk form and in alcohol extracts. As a minimum, consider four oz of the dried herbs per person, stored in an airtight container away from light and temperature extremes. This will need to be replaced yearly.

Keep a minimum of four oz of each extract per person. These can last much longer (in some cases more than ten years!).

And last, whenever possible, learn to grow your own herbs. Even a small container garden on a patio can be used later to grow a larger garden if it becomes necessary.

By learning from these five misconceptions, not only do you have a much better chance of using herbs safely and effectively for health and well-being now, but also in scenarios where you are down to no other options.

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

The post Five Misconceptions About Herbal Preparedness by Agatha Noveille appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/five-misconceptions-herbal-preparedness/feed/ 8
Canning Home Preserved Peach Jam http://thesurvivalmom.com/home-preserved-peach-jam/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=home-preserved-peach-jam http://thesurvivalmom.com/home-preserved-peach-jam/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 06:00:58 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=17437 Sweet Preservation was generous enough to send me a big ol’ box of peaches. My husband LOVES peaches, and although I’ve never worked with them before (they’re not my favorite) I was super-excited to make something that he would enjoy. Read More

The post Canning Home Preserved Peach Jam by Courtney Wollam appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

peach jamSweet Preservation was generous enough to send me a big ol’ box of peaches. My husband LOVES peaches, and although I’ve never worked with them before (they’re not my favorite) I was super-excited to make something that he would enjoy.

But, what to make? Luckily, Sweet Preservation has tons of recipes and canning instructions and I was granted inspiration from their site. There were 10 recipes just for canning peaches! Homemade Peach Jam it is.

Getting Ready

Before your hands get all sticky with peaches, prepare your canner, jars and lids. I washed everything, then set the jars in the water bath canner and filled with water to a couple inches above the jars and turned it on high to start them sterilizing. I also placed my lids in a pie plate, alternating back to front, and my rings in a small saucepan on the stove.

You should also gather all the tools to fill the jars since you have to fill them pretty quickly as soon as the jam is done. I’ve got my magnetic lid lifter, my jar lifter, a ladle, and a chopstick to use to push out any air bubbles from the jars.

Starting to Make the Jam

peach jam3On to the jam: First, all these peaches need peeled and pitted. I thought it was going to be a daunting task, but it actually wasn’t too bad. It goes pretty smoothly, especially once you get into a rhythm.

First, drop the peaches in boiling water for about a minute or two, then remove them to a sink or bowl of ice water for a minute or two. After that, the skins slip right off the peaches. Use a paring knife to help along any part that is being stubborn. Slice around the peach with it’s natural indentation (it looks like a seam going around the fruit). Gently pry the two halves apart and scoop out the pit.

peach jam4Next, finely chop the peaches, measuring 4 cups.

Add them to a large, heavy duty pot along with 7-1/2 cups of sugar and 4 tablespoons of lemon juice.

Stir it all up and heat it over high heat until it comes to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Stir in one pouch of liquid pectin, boil itpeach jam8 hard for one minute, remove from heat and skim the foam off the top.

Finishing the Canning

Fill your hot, sterlized jars with the hot jam, leaving 1/4 inch headspace (image at top). Remove air bubbles and wipe the rim. Add the lid and ring, screwing it to fingertip tight.

Place jars in canner and ensure they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove the jars, cool and store.

SweetPreservation.com also has recipes for apricots and cherries, and some awesome downloadable canning jar labels and ideas for throwing your own canning party!

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

The post Canning Home Preserved Peach Jam by Courtney Wollam appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/home-preserved-peach-jam/feed/ 0
6 Reasons to Stockpile Blankets http://thesurvivalmom.com/6-reasons-stockpile-blankets/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=6-reasons-stockpile-blankets http://thesurvivalmom.com/6-reasons-stockpile-blankets/#comments Sat, 16 Aug 2014 06:00:02 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=16688 Don’t pass up those older, maybe even oddly colored, blankets at thrift stores and yard sales. Those cheap blankets can serve many purposes and can easily be tucked into corners until needed. You should keep a small stockpile or several of Read More

The post 6 Reasons to Stockpile Blankets by Kathie Lapcevic appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

6 Reasons to Stockpile Blankets - The Survival MomDon’t pass up those older, maybe even oddly colored, blankets at thrift stores and yard sales. Those cheap blankets can serve many purposes and can easily be tucked into corners until needed. You should keep a small stockpile or several of blankets on hand, depending on your gardening and livestock keeping habits for the following reasons:

  1. Let’s start with the obvious, blankets keep us warm and in an emergency situation, sitting underneath and on top of blankets when there’s no or little heat can quite literally keep us alive. Having more than enough on hand means we can care for extra people as well – the elderly neighbor, extended family and friends who come to visit, etc.
  2. Keeping a garden is an important part of the homesteading lifestyle and a late spring or early fall frost can destroy our plants quickly.  Keep extra blankets in the garden shed for frost protection. When the weather forecast looks ominous, toss the blankets over sensitive plants to protect them from the damaging effects of a light frost.
  3. Add a pocket to one edge of a quilt and hang it from a tension rod in windows, to add an extra layer of warmth during frigid cold spells. This helps keep the cold out from drafty windows or even just large windows that get cold from sheer size. These window quilts can help keep cold out and heat in, helping us use less wood or other forms of heat energy.
  4. 6 Reasons to Stockpile Blankets - The Survival MomUse them as makeshift beds. A few blankets piled on a floor add padding and a slightly more comfortable sleeping space. It’s not as comfortable as a bed, but for extra guests in an emergency situation, it would be appreciated.
  5. Pets and livestock occasionally need bedding beyond just wood chips or straw, these blankets can be a just as much a lifesaver for them as they are for humans. Keep a pile in the barn or outbuildings specifically for animal bedding. At worst, they get destroyed and can’t be used again, but most likely they can be washed and re-used multiple times.
  6. Receiving blankets and other thin cotton and wool blankets can make great scrap fabric. Hold onto these to repair thicker quilts that get torn or for piecing together larger quilts and throws. Depending on your sewing skill level, they can often be fashioned into coats, pants, pajamas, and more.

To keep your stockpiled blankets in the best possible shape, store them in plastic garbage sacks, space bags, or even plastic tubs to keep them from getting dirty between uses and to protect them from pests like insects or mice, especially when being kept outside.

Do you have any favorite uses for old blankets?

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

The post 6 Reasons to Stockpile Blankets by Kathie Lapcevic appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/6-reasons-stockpile-blankets/feed/ 8
Choosing a Folding Knife http://thesurvivalmom.com/choosing-folding-knife/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=choosing-folding-knife http://thesurvivalmom.com/choosing-folding-knife/#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 06:00:40 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=16724 Folding knives are often the blades of choice when it comes to every day carry (EDC). Let’s face it, they are far easier to toss into a purse or slip into a pocket than their fixed blade counterparts. But, there Read More

The post Choosing a Folding Knife by Jim Cobb appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

Choosing a Folding KnifeFolding knives are often the blades of choice when it comes to every day carry (EDC). Let’s face it, they are far easier to toss into a purse or slip into a pocket than their fixed blade counterparts. But, there are a few things to consider when choosing a folding knife. Remember, as with any other piece of gear, you may end up staking your life on this item, so it pays to be a bit finicky and not just buy something based on price (or appearance) alone.

Blade Considerations

First and foremost, the blade should be made of high quality steel, preferably something with a high carbon content. This allows for a harder blade that holds an edge longer, without being nearly impossible to sharpen.

As for length, this is sort of a judgment call. Personally, I like a folding blade of around four inches or so. This is large enough for most common tasks, including self-defense, without being cumbersome.

Folding blades generally come either plain or partially serrated. I prefer a plain edge as these are far easier to sharpen in the field. Serrated blades require more specialized tools to keep sharp. Keep in mind, you are far more likely to cut yourself with a dull blade than a sharp one. With a dull knife, you end up having to exert more pressure to make a cut, leading to slips.

Handle Considerations

Next, you need to consider the handle. It should have some texture to it, providing a solid grip if it gets wet. It should be comfortable in your hand, without any sharp edges that will dig into your palm or fingers as you use the knife.

100_6413 I highly recommend a “lockback” folding knife. This is a knife where the blade locks into place when opened. This locking feature makes for a safer knife, one that isn’t going to close up accidentally while you’re using it.

There are two basic types of locking mechanism. The older style has the lock release along the back of the handle. The other, illustrated here, is called a “liner lock.” You push the metal strip to the side to release the blade for closing. Both locks work well, with the liner lock being much more prevalent today.

100_6411

Another nice feature is a thumb stud, which gives you the ability to swing the blade open with one hand. While it is possible to open a folding knife lacking this feature with one hand, you end up doing something of a juggling act to accomplish it.

The stud, shown here, is simply pushed upward with your thumb, opening the knife. This is a great option as you may be in a situation where one hand is either injured or occupied and you’ll want to be able to open the knife with just the other hand.

100_6408

Many folding knives today are sold with clips attached to the handle. This allows for a very secure carry in your pocket. Clips can be large or small. The one shown here is very small, yet holds the knife extremely well.

100_6412

It pays to shop around and compare prices but a knife is not something you should just buy on the cheap. It is a tool and like any tool, you get what you pay for. Among the brand names I recommend for folding knives are Swiss Army, Southern Grind, and Buck. (Southern Grind and Buck are both made in the USA.) I’ve used their products for years without complaint or failure.

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

The post Choosing a Folding Knife by Jim Cobb appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/choosing-folding-knife/feed/ 3
7 Summer Children’s Activities for Sowing Survivalist Seeds http://thesurvivalmom.com/childrens-summer-activities-survivalist-seeds/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=childrens-summer-activities-survivalist-seeds http://thesurvivalmom.com/childrens-summer-activities-survivalist-seeds/#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2014 06:00:03 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=16733 Summer activities can be a fun and creative way to introduce your children to basic survivalist concepts. Ways to pass the lazy summer days has changed a great deal over the last decade or so. What used to be typical Read More

The post 7 Summer Children’s Activities for Sowing Survivalist Seeds by Brandy Schau Dibert appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

7 Summer ActivitiesSummer activities can be a fun and creative way to introduce your children to basic survivalist concepts. Ways to pass the lazy summer days has changed a great deal over the last decade or so. What used to be typical summer past times has now become occasional treats for today’s youth. Help introduce your little ones to general survival skills while reintroducing your summertime to do list favorites!

1 | Building Forts

A childhood favorite both indoors and out is building forts. Whether it be a table and blanket fort inside or a more complex structure in the backyard, allowing children to use their creativity to build these small getaways can help teach them early on about what works and what does not.

Very few of us will ever become an award winning architect or cutting edge engineer, but the trial and error process of building those wobbly but fun hideaways with friends can aid in constructing a more serious shelter later.

2 | Swimming

Swimming or splashing around in cool, refreshing water is a summer favorite on those hot, humid (or arid) days. Learning how to swim and water safety is something every child should experience early on. What seems like water fun can really be a subliminal survivalist skill that could save his or her life later on.

3 | Fishing

As the old saying goes, “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.” Spend those lazy summer evenings on a riverbank with your little one and teach them the ins and outs of fishing. Be sure to teach them how to properly set up their pole and bait the hook. Kids typically think of nonstop casting and reeling when it comes time to fish, but teach them the basics and patience so if the occasion ever calls for it, they can catch their own dinner!

4 | Outdoor Sports

In the midst of an electronic age, it is important for children (and the rest of us) to get unplugged and outside. Putting down the PSP, DS, tablet, etc., and getting active outside helps children become more resilient to natural environmental conditions such as prolonged sun exposure and lack of a constant stimulant. In other words, kids are forced to entertain themselves in the summer heat.

This may sound like a no-brainer but when kids spend most of their time inactively indoors playing video games or watching television in climate controlled conditions, making the transition to moving about in the humidity of summer can be tough. Encourage your children to play outside to build stamina so if an occasion occurs where moving about outside is necessary, they will be conditioned and ready.

Some active outdoor summer favorites include baseball/whiffle ball, basketball, flag football, tag, catch, jumping on trampolines, jumping rope, mastering the hula hoop, hopscotch and kickball.

5 | Hiking

Pack a bag, grab a walking stick and hit the trail! Hiking can certainly help condition the body for long hours outside and help teach little ones forest safety. Many state parks have hiking trails for all levels so if you are new to hiking, talk with a park ranger or other official about which trails are best for beginners.

Some state parks and campgrounds may even offer guided hikes which generally include basic lessons on the area’s wildlife, plant life and environment. Be sure your children know what plants are dangerous to touch and eat and how to respond to wild animal encounters. What is a fun day in the woods now can be a ticket for survival later.

6 | Target Shooting

Water guns are a summertime blast. Children giggle and scream as they run barefoot around the yard trying to blast their siblings and friends with that ice cold stream of water. What they generally do not realize is that they are building their hand-eye coordination as they practice zoning in on their targets. Another target shooting favorite is shooting aluminum cans with bb guns.

Try setting cans up in different formations and teach your kids how to use the basic sight feature that is standard on most bb guns. If your child decides to take up hunting for sport or necessity later, he or she will have a comfortable edge hitting their target.

7 | Campfire Fun

Summertime campfires are a must for childhood nostalgia! Roasting hotdogs on a stick, making ooey, gooey s’mores, and sharing ghost stories are childhood campfire traditions for a reason! Teach your children how to make a campfire, introduce them to primitive cooking over the fire, and then how to properly and safely extinguish a fire.

Get unplugged and outdoors!

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

The post 7 Summer Children’s Activities for Sowing Survivalist Seeds by Brandy Schau Dibert appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/childrens-summer-activities-survivalist-seeds/feed/ 2
Is a cruise ship any place for a Survival Mom? Answers to your cruise ship safety concerns http://thesurvivalmom.com/cruise-ship-safety/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=cruise-ship-safety http://thesurvivalmom.com/cruise-ship-safety/#comments Wed, 13 Aug 2014 17:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=15570 Several weeks ago my family participated in a one-night promotional tour on the Navigator of the Seas, a huge Royal Caribbean cruise ship. The cruise was all too brief, but it provided a chance for me to check out safety Read More

The post Is a cruise ship any place for a Survival Mom? Answers to your cruise ship safety concerns by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

cruise ship safetySeveral weeks ago my family participated in a one-night promotional tour on the Navigator of the Seas, a huge Royal Caribbean cruise ship. The cruise was all too brief, but it provided a chance for me to check out safety features typical on most, or all, cruise ships and discover one very, very good reason why a cruise is definitely a place for a Survival Mom and her family.

Evaluating cruise ship safety is a smart thing to do if you’re planning on a cruise vacation.

Flu outbreaks on a ship

I know there are occasional reports of cruise ship flu outbreaks. It’s usually the norovirus that spreads and affects crew members and passengers alike. Any illness while on vacation is made worse because you’re not surrounded by the comforts of your own home. Been there, done that.

Most of these large ships carry more than 3,000 people on a typical voyage. If 100 passengers get sick, that’s only 3% of the entire population aboard ship. The average high school population is around 700. If 25 kids, 3.5% of the student body, came down with a flu bug, it wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow, but somehow on a ship, that same percentage qualifies as a scary headline on the Drudge Report.

How many people come down with a virus after visiting Disneyland, a mall, or a water park? Those numbers are unknown but could easily be higher.

While we were on the Navigator, and on a longer cruise last year, there were hand sanitizing stations everywhere. In fact, we couldn’t enter the dining room until we had sanitized our hands! Royal Caribbean, as well as other cruise lines, I’m sure, fear the negative publicity that a flu outbreak brings and do everything they can to make sure passengers stay healthy.

The flu, or any other sickness, can happen on board a ship. If you’re headed out on a cruise, I recommend bringing a long a package of Clorox wipes for a quick wipe-down of your cabin when you first arrive. If possible, avoid the most crowded areas of a ship when you can, such as the casino.

People falling overboard! Oh no!

I’ve read the headlines, too, of passengers falling overboard, their bodies never recovered. I’ve been on 3 cruises and have no idea how someone can fall overboard unless they jump overboard on purpose, are pushed, or are doing something really stupid. And, doesn’t that pretty much describe how any serious injury or death occurs anywhere, not just on a ship?

If someone determines to end their life, they’ll find a way to do it. If someone decides to kill another person, pushing them overboard is just one of many,  many options, and if a person is determined to do something stupid, especially while intoxicated, then it doesn’t matter where they are. They’re going to get hurt or killed.

On a cruise ship, there is a rail 48″ tall around all decks, and on many decks there is also a clear barrier of thick laminated safety glass. It wouldn’t be impossible to climb over the railing and glass barrier, but it would be difficult.

What would be more likely is falling down a flight of stairs or slipping in a puddle of water by the pool. Avoiding these accidents is just a matter of common sense.

You should also know that before any ship leaves port, every single passenger has to report to their assigned muster station for a safety drill. The crew members are very well trained in safety procedures and they make sure everyone knows where to find their assigned lifeboat and how to put on and activate a life preserver.

What about the Carnival Triumph?

There are dozens of different cruise lines and hundreds of cruise ships that set sail every week around the world. The Carnival Triumph was just one of those.

It made headlines, for sure, with its damaged engines and stories of poo in the hallways, but most passengers reported that conditions were bearable and that the crew went above and beyond in their efforts to keep passengers comfortable.

Even a single negative headline can affect a cruise line for months, if not years. Following the incident on the Triumph, Carnival invested $300 million in new and upgraded safety features.

Safety concerns aside, here’s my One Big Reason to go on a cruise

While we were on the Navigator of the Seas a few weeks ago, my family stood at the (very tall, very safe!) railing. We were miles from shore and all we could see was the ocean. It occurred to me that most people never have that experience — being out on the ocean surrounded by nothing but water. Unless you join the Navy and are assigned ship duty, you’ll never know what it’s like, never be able to truly understand just how big The Big Blue really is.

Maybe that’s a silly reason for going on a cruise, but it’s a unique experience that can’t be duplicated by even the best 3-D IMAX movie!

For a list of preparedness and safety tips for a cruise, read this.

Pin this!

Cruise Ship safety

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

The post Is a cruise ship any place for a Survival Mom? Answers to your cruise ship safety concerns by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/cruise-ship-safety/feed/ 3
Homesteading Health Tip: Sneaky Sugars To Watch Out For http://thesurvivalmom.com/homesteading-health-tip-sneaky-sugars-watch/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=homesteading-health-tip-sneaky-sugars-watch http://thesurvivalmom.com/homesteading-health-tip-sneaky-sugars-watch/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 06:00:43 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=16472 As part of my Gluten Free journey, I removed refined sugars from my diet and even cut back on the natural sugars that kind of appease my sweet tooth. Of course, that meant checking what is added to food when Read More

The post Homesteading Health Tip: Sneaky Sugars To Watch Out For by Karen Lynn appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

sneakysugars - Karen LynnAs part of my Gluten Free journey, I removed refined sugars from my diet and even cut back on the natural sugars that kind of appease my sweet tooth. Of course, that meant checking what is added to food when when go grocery shopping.

I did not  realize just how rampant it is until I became more educated on refined sugars and their effect on my body, my brain, and my general health. The food industry is sneaking sugars into a lot of foods on the grocery shelves – even food items I didn’t expect to see sugar added to.

Coffee drinks were not a big surprise, although I am not sure everyone realizes just how much sugar is in those delicious caffeinated beverages. Other items were surprises – bread and yogurt, for example.

Bread

Yes, read your bread labels carefully. I recently picked up a loaf of bread and it stated on the label: Made without high fructose corn syrup and I was thinking…corn syrup really in my bread? Bread doesn’t weigh in high on the sugar scale, but I didn’t like seeing the trends in labeling since it means many companies are adding high fructose corn syrup or other sugars.

I don’t know about you, but when I choose bread for my family – and I do because they haven’t all given up bread – I look for company’s that are using more healthful options with their ingredients.

Catsup or Ketchup

This once-healthy condiment is now loaded with sneaky sugars. Just turn the label over  and read it. One product in particular not only added high fructose corn syrup, they added a little extra regular corn syrup for good measure.

So what do you do? If all else fails, you can make your own ketchup. It’s really not terribly difficult. (Keep an eye out for the October 2014 podcast with the writer of that article on The Survival Mom Radio Network.)

Let’s face it: not everyone is going to make their own catsup. You can follow my lead and just avoid it for most meals, but there are many new kinds of catsups on the market, including lower sugar, spicy, lower sodium, and more. I recently purchased a low sugar version on vacation and liked it well enough to continue using it. Personally, I have already given up my bread, so I really want to keep the catsup on my hot dog. I feel like I’m at a Baseball field. It’s more festive!

Spaghetti Sauce

It actually stunned me when I started making better eating choices and saw how many sugars are on your plate of pasta. I had always known to stay away from fatty white sauces, but I never knew to steer clear of sugar laden marinara or spaghetti sauce.

Now, I prefer to just add home-canned diced tomatoes to most of my food. There are also healthier store bought sources of canned tomatoes that use proper canning techniques. It may seem too plain to your palate at first, but season it with a few well appointed seasonings (such as basil and oregano) and you will be won over in know time.

Flavored Yogurts

Many of these are loaded with either sugar or aspartame. I started making my own plain, full fat yogurt and add fruit and nuts. My husband does not care for plain yogurt, so he switched to cottage cheese. Sometimes eliminating sugars takes a little more change, but whatever works for your family is the right choice.

Parents for sure don’t want their children eating too much sugar. If your kids won’t go for the plain yogurt, try adding a teaspoon or two of honey (raw, of course) or a low sugar jam. It will be sweeter for them, but much healthier than the list of chemicals and sneaky sugars they are slipping into flavored yogurt.

Coffee Drinks (Lattes, Frozen Coffee Beverages, etc.)

Not so sneaky, but there are so many gourmet coffee shops and specialty coffee drinks I thought it worth mentioning.

The average small latte has about 200 calories and 13 grams of sugar. A small caramel frozen coffee beverage boasts an even higher sugar content – a whopping 60 grams of sugar.

Alternatives?

I am an avid enthusiast of all things honey and well that’s easy for me to say since we are beekeepers and have an abundance of it. The primary sugars I keep in my family’s diet are natural sugars, mostly honey and stevia. If we were not beekeepers I would probably eat even less.

I’m thankful I gave up coffee drinks a long time ago! Give me a nice delicious cup of coffee with a little cream and honey, and I’m a happy gal. And when I say a little honey, I mean a very little maybe a ¼ to a ½ of a tsp., and a very generous tablespoon of cream.

For some folks sugar is not a problem, but understanding those sneaky sugars is key because that might change later, such as when you have kids. Simply getting older forces many of us to start paying attention, whether we want to or not. If you start earlier, maybe you can put that day off a bit longer, and provide a good example to  your family. (Even if you are a teenager now, you can be the example to your parents.)

Now, when I purchase spaghetti sauce or almost anything else pre-made, I take the time to read the labels.

These are just a few examples of some sneaky sugars that can sneak into you and your family’s diet. Be watchful and put on your spy glasses! I am a Certified “Sugar Spy” these days! ;) I hope you have accepted this mission to join me, and that you enjoyed my latest homesteading health tip for The Survival Mom Blog.

Disclaimer:  I am not a nutrition expert, just a Suburban Homesteader who is slowly educating herself on how to eat healthier and live a healthier more active lifestyle!

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

The post Homesteading Health Tip: Sneaky Sugars To Watch Out For by Karen Lynn appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/homesteading-health-tip-sneaky-sugars-watch/feed/ 0