The Survival Mom » Preparedness http://thesurvivalmom.com Helping moms worry less & enjoy life! Mon, 28 Jul 2014 12:20:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 How to Baton Firewood http://thesurvivalmom.com/baton-firewood/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=baton-firewood http://thesurvivalmom.com/baton-firewood/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 10:00:03 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=15980 Mother Nature often doesn’t like to play nice. While we’d hope that if we had to spend the night in the woods, it would be nothing but clear skies and perhaps just a bit cool, the reality is you are Read More

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Baton FirewoodMother Nature often doesn’t like to play nice. While we’d hope that if we had to spend the night in the woods, it would be nothing but clear skies and perhaps just a bit cool, the reality is you are just as likely to be sitting in the middle of a steady rain with not a dry twig in sight for the evening fire. But, as they say, where there’s a will there’s a way.

If you have a sturdy knife, you can find dry wood, even in a downpour. I do have to stress, though, that the knife must be of good quality. A cheap “Made in China” knock off probably won’t stand up to this sort of abuse. Most folding knives aren’t going to have the blade length necessary, either. Ideally, your blade should be four to five inches in length or longer. Batoning firewood is an age-old technique for splitting wood in the field. The objective is to split thick branches so as to expose the dry wood inside.

To baton properly, as well as safely, you need your knife and a solid surface, such as a flat rock or a tree stump. You can do this on packed earth as well, but I’ve found having a harder surface makes the job much easier.

The branches you select to baton or split need to be thinner than the length of your knife blade. For example, if your blade is five inches long, search for limbs that are about three inches thick. As for branch length, look for branches up to about three feet or so. While I’ve successfully batoned branches upwards of five feet long, shorter lengths make things easier to handle. If need be, you can always break or chop long branches into shorter pieces.

Concentrate your searchBaton pic 2 on dead wood that is off the ground, either low branches still attached to trees or branches that have fallen but are resting on rocks or logs. The reason for this is branches lying directly on the ground will have absorbed more moisture and are less likely to be dry inside.

You will also need one branch to act as a hammer of sorts. A solid piece of wood around eighteen inches in length and a couple of inches thick will do the trick nicely.

Position the branch vertically on your rock or tree stump. Place the blade of your knife across the top of the branch, with the blade edge facing into the wood, making a T shape. The100_5864 blade should extend beyond the side of the branch by a couple of inches at least. Next, pick up your “hammer” stick and gently tap the spine of your knife blade, driving the edge into the wood. As it digs deeper, strike the blade more firmly and toward the tip of the blade.

Continue driving the blade through the branch until it splits completely or until you’ve reached a point where you can easily pull the pieces apart by hand. The wood inside should be dry and ready to burn.

Batoning is an excellent addition to the wilderness survival skills toolbox.

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Try it Today! How to Can Green Beans in a Pressure Canner http://thesurvivalmom.com/try-today-can-green-beans-pressure-canner/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=try-today-can-green-beans-pressure-canner http://thesurvivalmom.com/try-today-can-green-beans-pressure-canner/#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 10:00:52 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=16012 Green beans are a great candidate for a first-time gardener and for someone new to canning. They grow well in lots of different gardening zones. They grow and produce rather quickly, and the more you pick them, the more they Read More

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How to Can Green Beans in a Pressure CannerGreen beans are a great candidate for a first-time gardener and for someone new to canning. They grow well in lots of different gardening zones. They grow and produce rather quickly, and the more you pick them, the more they produce.

They are easy to can and will provide your family with a green vegetable throughout the winter, making them a great choice for food storage. We love green beans in our house. It’s the only green vegetable my whole family likes, so we eat them about twice a week, with lots of bacon grease. You can find our favorite recipe here.

Equipment Required

    1. Clean canning jars with lids and rings

 

    1. Pressure canner with gauge and rack (you cannot use a water bath canner)

 

    1. Canning funnel

 

    1. Ladle or large spoon

 

    1. canning green beans1Jar lifter

 

    1. Magnetic lid wand

 

    1. Non-metallic small spatula (I use a chopstick)

 

    1. Large pot to heat jars

 

    1. Large pot to heat beans

 

  1. Colander

canning green beans6To Can Green Beans

    1. Break ends off beans and then break into smaller, 1 – 1 ½ inch, pieces. (I normally break beans at night while watching TV and can them the next day; it takes awhile to get them all broken.) Rinse well in several changes of water.

 

    1. Gather your equipment and wash with hot soapy water.

 

    1. Place clean jars in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a simmer. Place the lids in a smaller pot and bring to a simmer as well (do not boil lids.)

 

    1. Add water to your pressure canner to the appropriate level (check the directions for your specific canner model) and turn the burner to medium. You want to warm the water to about 180 degrees, not boil it. Tip: add a splash of vinegar to your water to help keep yourcanning green beans7 jars free from residue while processing.

 

    1. Bring another large pot of water to a boil and add the broken, washed green beans. Boil for 5 minutes and remove beans from cooking liquid. Reserve cooking liquid to cover beans in jars.

 

    1. Working one jar at a time, use your jar lifter to remove the jar from simmering water, dumping the water back into the pot.

 

    1. Put the canning funnel on your jar and fill hot jar with hot beans, to 1 inch of headspace.

 

    1. Add canning salt (optional) ½ tsp for pints, 1 tsp for quarts.

 

    1. Ladle the hot cooking liquid over the beans, leaving 1-inch headspace.

 

    1. Slide your spatula – or any non-metallic utensil – between the green beans and jar; press back gently on the beans to release any trapped air bubbles. Do this a couple times, then add more cooking liquid if necessary to the correct headspace.

 

    1. canning green beans9Wipe rim and threads of jar with a clean, damp cloth. (Any liquid or debris on the rim of the jar could keep your lid from sealing properly.) Remove lid from hot water using a lid wand; place lid on jar and add the ring, screwing to fingertip tight (do not over-tighten).

 

    1. Place jar on rack in pressure canner and repeat with remaining jars.

 

    1. When all jars have been filled, put lid onto the canner and lock it into place, leaving the vent open. Turn up the heat under your canner and watch for the stream of steam to escape out the vent. When steam is escaping steadily, set your timer for 10 minutes, turning the burner down if needed to maintain a steady stream.

 

    1. Once the steam has vented for 10 minutes, add your 10 lb pressure gauge (for altitudes below 1,000 ft above sea level, refer to this chart for proper adjustments) and turn the heat back up if you turned it down while the canner was venting.

 

    1. canning green beans8Once your canner has come to the correct pressure, start your timer. (The weighted gauge will begin to rock when the correct pressure has been achieved.) Process pints for 20 minutes and quarts for 25 minutes. Make sure to keep the pressure steady during this time. (Steady means the pressure gauge should be rocking gently back and forth for canner that use a weighted gauge.) When processing time is complete, turn off the burner.

 

    1. Let canner cool down and return to zero pressure naturally, then let cool for at least an additional 10 minutes before opening the lid. Unfasten the lid and remove it. Always lift the lid towards you so that the steam inside doesn’t burn you. Let jars cool inside canner without lid for 10 minutes then remove each jar using your jar lifter and set on a dry towel to cool. Make sure to leave a couple inches between each jar. Let set  12 to 24 hours. You will hear a loud popping noise as the jars cool (the sound of success!!).

 

    1. canning green beans featuredRemove bands and check to make sure your jars have sealed by pressing down in the center of the lid. If the lid pops back up, your jar hasn’t sealed correctly and should be refrigerated and consumed within one week. Store your canned goods in a cool, dry, dark place.

 

Now it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor!

Want more information about canning? I recommend these resources:

Simply Canning by Sharon Peterson

Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving by Judy Kingry

The Canning Diva website

Simply Canning website

Canning Granny website

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Water Purifier Comparison: The Sawyer Point ZeroTWO and The Berkeys http://thesurvivalmom.com/water-purifier-comparison-sawyer-point-zerotwo-berkeys/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=water-purifier-comparison-sawyer-point-zerotwo-berkeys http://thesurvivalmom.com/water-purifier-comparison-sawyer-point-zerotwo-berkeys/#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 10:00:12 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=14793 The saying “two is one, one is none” is common in military and survival circles, and for good reason. The principle is especially true when considering water purification, as most people can function effectively for weeks with little food while Read More

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water purifier comparisonThe saying “two is one, one is none” is common in military and survival circles, and for good reason. The principle is especially true when considering water purification, as most people can function effectively for weeks with little food while they require water in greater and more frequent quantities.

Today’s water purifier comparison includes two filters that are appropriate for the home or car. They are a bit large for normal backpack carry, though they could be hand carried for some distance if necessary.

The Sawyer Point ZeroTWO

I snatched up a Sawyer Point ZeroTWO for just over $100 and so far I am impressed. The filter is simple, although it requires a five-gallon bucket to work as designed. The Sawyer Point ZeroTWO kit includes a drill bit that can be used (without a drill) to attach the filter to the bucket (see below.)

Sawyer with Bucket

Photo by Sawyer

The Sawyer Point ZeroTWO uses gravity to purify water. Users need only fill the five-gallon bucket with collected water, then unhook the filter from the bucket and hold it above a second container. The bucket of “dirty” water will obviously need to be placed on a shelf, or, in the wilderness, attached to a tree or improvised platform to allow gravity to do its work.

Also included in the kit is a syringe that is used to “clean” the working mechanisms of the filter. The instructions are well written and this system could be set up “on the fly.”

For the price, this filter is outstanding, and Sawyer advertises it is good for 100,000 gallons! The manufacturer states that the Point ZeroTWO “offers the same level of protection against bacteria and protozoa, and is the first portable filtration device that removes the virus mechanically. It has a removal rate of 0.02 micron absolute with a record rate of 5.5 log (99.9997%), the highest level of filtration available today. This small and light kit filter can provide up to 170 liters of drinking water per day for hospital, camp, etc..” (This is presumably in comparison to the PointONE specs.)

Berkey

Photo by Berkey

The Berkeys

Berkey’s counter-top filters, like the Big Berkey pictured here, are constructed of highly-polished stainless steel and come standard with two purifications elements. Two additional purification elements can be added (for just over $100.) The basic two-filter Big Berkey costs around $250. It can filter 3.5-7 gallons of water per hour, depending on configuration, up to a total of 6,000 gallons.

In addition to aesthetic and durable construction, the Berkey systems are powerful enough to remove bacteria, viruses, cysts, and parasites. They can even remove harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, organic solvents, radon 222, and trihalmethanes. They can reduce nitrates, nitrites, and metals such as lead and mercury. Berkey states that “this system is so powerful, it can remove food coloring from water without removing the beneficial minerals your body needs.”

Comparative Pros and Cons, and Strategy

Berkey Systems are certainly  more durable and powerful, with a price tag that reflects such. They are not easily transported by hand, and extra purification elements are necessary beyond 6,000 gallons of water filtered.

Sawyer’s Point ZeroTWO, like the Berkey, is a bit bulky to move by hand once attached to a bucket, and can filter 100,000 gallons. They are not as powerful, though the drinking water is clean and can sustain life. These filters are not as durable as the Berkeys, and will require gentle handling in a wilderness environment to avoid damaging them. They are not overly fragile, but survival living can be rugged and care should be taken.

Ideally, I would like to have several gallons of tap water stored, perhaps in a closet or the garage, a Berkey on the countertop, and a Sawyer ZeroPointTWO waiting with my other gear. Cost (as always) is a factor, but the possession of multiple solutions brings invaluable peace-of-mind because “two is one, and one is none.”

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The Prepared Immune System: Four Herbs to Know (Other Than Echinacea) http://thesurvivalmom.com/prepared-immune-system-four-herbs-know-echinacea/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=prepared-immune-system-four-herbs-know-echinacea http://thesurvivalmom.com/prepared-immune-system-four-herbs-know-echinacea/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 15:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=15972 Your immune system protects you from many threats even on a normal day. After  stamina and physical conditioning for your body, making sure your immune system is in top shape should be your next big priority for health preparedness. The Read More

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preparedimmunesystemYour immune system protects you from many threats even on a normal day. After  stamina and physical conditioning for your body, making sure your immune system is in top shape should be your next big priority for health preparedness.

The immune system isn’t isolated in one area of your body, though. It’s an incredibly complex system made up of cells communicating in your bloodstream, in your bones, and even in your intestines! A full 70% of immune cells can be found in the gut, and modern research is only just beginning to understand the way “good” bacteria (probiotics) in the gut can have an influence on overall immunity.

This is just one example of how the strength of your immune system relies on many different factors and many other body systems. Sleep, stress, nutrition, and hygiene are all important, and so is exercise. Some studies indicate that regular, moderate exercise can decrease the incidence of illness by almost 30%. But, once you have all the bases covered in terms of lifestyle and hygiene, herbs can add another layer of support.

Using Herbs for Immune Support

If you are doing everything else to support your health and immune system that we just mentioned, there should be no need to use herbs for immunity on a daily basis. But many people (myself included) find it helpful to use herbs for immunity at the onset of acute symptoms.

Even if you are doing everything right, busy schedules and chronic stress can wear down the immune system over time. A single high stress event, such as the sudden loss of a loved one or another personal emergency can tip the scales of the immune system. For any long distance or high performing athletes out there, you may know that while a little exercise is great for the immune system, the toll of running a marathon or other rigorous training can have a short term negative impact on immune resistance. A little boost to the immune system at the right time can make all the difference in the world.

Four Herbs For Immune Support

So, when I am looking to give my immune system an extra boost, here are the herbs I am most likely to turn to:

1. Andrographis: An herb native to India, Andrographis paniculata is traditionally used as a bitter tonic, antipyretic, and stomachic. Modern studies have shown that it helps activate the immune system and enhance immune function. It seems to have a broad influence and affect several parts of the immune system.

2. Oregon Grape root: Oregon grape root, mahonia aquifolium, is currently being studied for use in conjunction with antibiotics. One of the chemical components of the herb, berberine, appears to make antibiotics more effective by decreasing or eliminating bacteria’s ability to resist antibiotics. Traditional herbalists refer to Oregon grape as a cooling herb, so it is paired with “heat” signs in the body, a category that includes many types of infection.

However, simply labeling it as an herbal “antibiotic” is much too simplified and misleading – a fate that often also befalls echinacea and goldenseal. One of my favorite articles about this plant can be found here at Methowe Valley Herbs. Rosalee de Foret does a great job explaining how to most effectively use this herb.

3. Elderberry: This one is a favorite of mine! Elder, Sambucus nigra,  is a versatile herb, with both the flowers and berries being commonly used. The berries have been studied for their ability to increase cytokine cell production by the immune system, and also for their ability to interfere with viruses as they try to gain a foothold in the body.

Cytokines are the proteins released by immune cells to communicate with one another and coordinate an attack on bacteria or viruses. Elderflower tea is traditionally used for hayfever, and it is one of my favorites teas for allergy season.

4. Reishi and Maitake Mushrooms: Several types of culinary mushrooms have traditionally been valued for their medicinal properties as well. Reishi (Ganoderma spp) and Maitake (Grifola frondosa) are two of the most common, but what all of these mushrooms have in common is a substance called beta-glucans. Among other things, these substances appear to help the immune system by boosting cells of the immune system called macrophages and natural killer cells.

Other Considerations

Because these herbs have been shown to affect the immune system, they should be used cautiously by anyone with autoimmune disorders - only under a doctor’s supervision, if at all. As I mentioned earlier, there normally shouldn’t be a need to use any immune herbs on a daily basis. However, I would be comfortable using a good mushroom blend as part of a daily wellness plan long-term in the event of an epidemic or pandemic.

Personally, I supplement with teas or extracts when I first start feeling like I have a cold or flu coming on, and usually continue supplementing for five to seven days. If I catch it early enough, noticing that I’m getting “that feeling,” I may simply use a blend of yarrow, elder and peppermint as a tea and go to bed early that night. Often, that’s all I need to tip the scales back in my favor.

It’s a traditional trick that has worked very well for me many times. For things that come on suddenly, or are more localized than a cold or flu, I may continue to supplement for ten to fourteen days. My personal rule is: if it gets worse after three days of taking good care of myself, I go the the doctor. Also, if it’s really unusual – something that I haven’t experienced before or am not sure about, I go to the doctor immediately. For other things, rest and a little herbal TLC are usually all I need.

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Tornado Survival: No Shelter, No Basement, No Problem http://thesurvivalmom.com/tornado-survival/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=tornado-survival http://thesurvivalmom.com/tornado-survival/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 16:30:40 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=16046 It you live in an area that is vulnerable to tornadoes, you have undoubtedly heard the advice to head for your shelter or basement as a severe storm approaches. Hopefully, you’ve made tornado survival plans. For an entire week prior Read More

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tornado survivalIt you live in an area that is vulnerable to tornadoes, you have undoubtedly heard the advice to head for your shelter or basement as a severe storm approaches. Hopefully, you’ve made tornado survival plans.

For an entire week prior to the April 2011 storms and tornados that devastated parts of my town and Northern Alabama in general, the local weather forecasters gave us warnings. They saw the emerging weather pattern as it traveled across the country and how dangerous it would likely be. If your weather forecaster starts talking like this, you need to start planning ahead. Many storms won’t give that much warning, but staying weather aware will give you enough lead time (usually hours at least) to enact your pre-determined tornado plan.

So what do you do if you don’t have a shelter or a basement?

1. Go to a friend’s house

Consider leaving your home and staying with a friend who has a shelter or basement. Of course, you must ask first! Don’t just assume there will be space for you or that they will even be home. If you’re invited to stay with your friend, you don’t want to be a burden, so bring enough food and water to last your family a minimum of three days. Be sure to take your emergency kit and important papers with you in case your home is damaged or you are not able to return to your neighborhood for a period of time. 

2. Go to a community storm shelter

When you create your emergency binder,  include a list of community storm shelters in your area. Know where they are and the quickest route to get to each one. List the rules of the shelter – most don’t allow pets, some don’t allow large bags or bins, and many request that you bring your own bottles of water and snacks. Know that shelters often fill up quickly so don’t wait until the last minute to arrive. Community shelters are often cramped, sweaty, and full of frightened and/or bored children, but the safety and peace of mind they provide will be worth it.

tornado survival3. Go to a public building

Some public spaces like churches, libraries, malls, large stores, and government buildings have storm shelters or “safe areas” built in for their employees and customers. Going to these locations and waiting out a storm is an option. Speak to a manager ahead of time and ask them what their policy is for allowing members of the public to use their location. Include this information in your emergency binder. If you choose this option, be sure to leave your home well ahead of the storm. Keep in mind that tornadoes can happen in the middle of the night and public buildings are unlikely to be open and available.

4. Make the best of what you’ve got

Sometimes you may not have enough of a warning to be able to leave your home. Or you may choose to ride out a storm in your own home instead of at a public place with strangers. For whatever reason you decide to stay put, you need to make a plan to stay as safe as possible.

When looking for your home’s safest place when you don’t have a shelter or basement, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Be on the ground floor.
  • Go to as close to the center of the structure as you can so you have as many walls between you and the outside as possible.
  • Do not be in a location that has an exterior wall.
  • No exterior doors and no windows.
  • Be in as small of a space as possible.
  • All of these rules apply to apartment dwellers as well. If you don’t live on the first floor, you need to find out from your apartment manager what the tornado warning protocols are for your apartment complex.
  • Common places in many homes that fit these criteria are bathrooms, closets, and under stair storage areas.

5. Prepare to enter your safe place

  • Make sure everyone is wearing shoes.
  • If you own motorcycle, bicycle or football helmets, get them and put them on to protect your head from flying debris.
  • Stage the location with emergency supplies like bottled water, protein bars, a first aid kit, flashlights, battery or crank powered weather radio, a blanket to cover your body, and a hatchet to help remove debris if needed. If possible, keep these items stored in your safe place all the time.
  • If you do not store your emergency kit and/or bug out bags in your safe place, bring them in.
  • If your pets are small, put them in a crate with a towel or blanket covering them. Ideally each pet will have a collar on as well. Dogs and cats should be chipped in case they lose their collars in the chaos of a tornado. Have leashes nearby. If you have larger pets, consider having both collars and leashes on them while you are waiting out the storm.
  • Have on each person as available – photo ID, cell phone, and a whistle.

When your area is put under a tornado watch, start preparing your safe place. If you are upgraded to a tornado warning, pay very close attention to the advice of the weather forecaster. He or she will tell you when you need to be hunkered down in your safe place. If in doubt, go into your safe place and wait. If you hear the words “Tornado Emergency” for your area, that means a tornado is actively on the ground. You should be bracing for the tornado in your safe place, NOT outside taking a tornado selfie!

The reality of tornadoes, especially the stronger EF-4 and EF-5 varieties, is that anything above ground that is not a specific tornado shelter is unlikely to survive a direct hit. That said, the statistical chance of getting a direct hit by an EF-4 or -5 is very low. You are more likely to encounter a survivable, less destructive tornado, and the difference between walking away from it and suffering an injury or death can be as simple as choosing the safest place in your home to weather the storm.

Author’s note: One specific caveat. Mobile homes do NOT have a “safe area.” NEVER “make the best of it” if you have a tornado warning in your area and you live in a mobile home. ALWAYS leave to stay with a friend or go to a community shelter. 

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Six maps you need for an urban evacuation http://thesurvivalmom.com/six-maps-you-need-urban-evacuation/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=six-maps-you-need-urban-evacuation http://thesurvivalmom.com/six-maps-you-need-urban-evacuation/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 16:46:15 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=16595 Let’s assume an urban disaster scenario, and you must leave quickly. How will you find your way? What maps do you need? We’re talking about the printed, paper in hand type. Don’t plan to rely on a GPS. They are Read More

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maps you needLet’s assume an urban disaster scenario, and you must leave quickly. How will you find your way? What maps do you need?

We’re talking about the printed, paper in hand type. Don’t plan to rely on a GPS. They are as reliable as their batteries, and constant use could mean the unit is soon powerless. Also, any electronic device can break or just quit working.

So before you worry about maps, get a good compass. I prefer one with a clear baseplate that is designed to work on maps. Invest in a good one with declination settings, and then learn how to use it. The smaller compasses that come with some survival kits are only useful as backups and for giving a general direction.

Here are the maps you need:

City map: Your evacuation will start with this map, so get one with the finest detail possible. This map can help you figure out alternative street evacuation routes if bridges and/or overpasses are closed. Also, gridlock on major highways and freeways is a given, so you might need to plot a course around them.

Topographical map: A topo map is a three-dimensional view of an area. Looking at it, you can get an idea of the terrain.

According to the Geospatial and Analysis Cooperative of Idaho State University: “The concept of a topographic map is, on the surface, fairly simple. Contour lines placed on the map represent lines of equal elevation above (or below) a reference datum.

Topographical maps show the terrain features of an area.

Topographical maps show the terrain features of an area.

“To visualize what a contour line represents, picture a mountain (or any other topographic feature) and imagine slicing through it with a perfectly flat, horizontal piece of glass. The intersection of the mountain with the glass is a line of constant elevation on the surface of the mountain and could be put on a map as a contour line for the elevation of the slice above a reference datum.”

I have the National Geographic mapping software for Oregon, so I create a custom topo map for every outing. I print them out on standard-sized letter or legal-sized paper. These sizes fold nicely in half and fit in a quart Ziploc plastic bag. This bag, in turn, rides in the thigh pocket of my BDU pants. The map is easy to pull out and check, which means it will be.

During an urban evacuation, you might need to go cross-country through a park or open space to avoid crowds or other potential dangers. The city map gives street details, but it may not show water obstacles or other physical barriers. With your topo and compass, you should be able to plot a course effectively.

State Highway map: This gives the big picture of your situation. It shows major highways and roads, and gives general directions. It could be useful for figuring out where to go once you get away from the urban scene.

Forest Service map: I carry this in my car in central Oregon. Commonly referred to as a fire road map, this is a large overview of the national forests and public lands. Most importantly, it shows fire and logging roads. The map doesn’t show if the roads are improved or not, so don’t depend on this map to tell you if you can drive on it. In some instances, the roads may have overgrown into trails. You may be able to hike or ATV them in the summer, or, in the winter, snowshoe or operate a snowmobile.

These maps help you figure alternative routes in wilderness areas. Assuming you make it to a wilderness area, a good compass, this map, and the appropriate topos will be worth their weight in gold.

These four maps should help you get out of town.

Here are some others that could also prove to be useful:

History maps: I buy any historical map I come across. Some of them, such as the Oregon Trail or Lewis and Clark maps, show routes used by historical figures. While the trails may be obscure right now, that doesn’t mean they aren’t useful. Overland pioneer routes were established because wagons or pack trains could travel on them. Those trails might be a good thing to know at some point.

River charts: My fishing obsession and map nerd-ism combine again with these charts. Every navigable river in the United States has detailed charts showing river terrain, danger areas, and topography of the stream. These charts allow a traveler to plan a river evacuation or trip. I carried a set of Mississippi River charts on my end-to-end journey in 1980. It was easy to plan overnight stops, or decide where to pull out.

On smaller streams, the maps can show take-out points, landings, and water dangers.

Hunting maps: Put out by your state fish and wildlife departments, these are useful to anyone who goes into the wilderness areas. I carry one to see the boundaries of my hunting unit, road closures, and the terrain, to some extent.

None of these maps are of any value if you don’t know how to read and use them. A good training activity including some exercise could be to take your compass and maps, create a possible evacuation scenario and practice navigating somewhere using alternate routes, streets and cross country travel.

So check out these maps, practice with your compass, and give some thought to how you might get out of town if you had to.

For more info on land navigation, visit Staying Found

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When Mom Can’t Help: 3 Things Your Family Should Know http://thesurvivalmom.com/mom-cant-help-3-things-family-know/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mom-cant-help-3-things-family-know http://thesurvivalmom.com/mom-cant-help-3-things-family-know/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:00:07 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=15536 Moms do a lot. In fact, I tell my mom all the time that she deceived me growing up! I had NO clue how much Moms really did until I became one. The list never ends, the house is in constant disarray, Read More

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when-mom-can't-help

Moms do a lot. In fact, I tell my mom all the time that she deceived me growing up! I had NO clue how much Moms really did until I became one. The list never ends, the house is in constant disarray, and someone is whining at any given moment (at least in my house).

About the only thing that scares me more than my kids, is the thought of what they would do without me. As much as I hope and pray I will be there for them at any given moment, that may not be the case.

This year I’ve definitely had a rude awakening as I’ve witnessed a teenager lose her mom to cancer, a young mother die after giving birth to her 2nd child, and the most tragic event of all happened in our community last week when a family of 7 was attacked leaving only one survivor.

Fortunately these instances are rare, but at the same time, what if something did happen to me and I couldn’t be there to help my family? What would I want them to know? Be able to do? Or even remember about me?

Here are a few things I thought of, but I would love for you to add to my list and share your thoughts below!

3 Things Your Family Should Know When Mom Can’t Help:

- Where Important Items are Located

Knowing where things are located might seem obvious, but I’m surprised how often my husband can’t find things, usually because I move things around and forget to tell him.

So I encourage you to think of all the important items your family needs to know about and take them on a tour of your house. You can even use inventory sheets or make a map of your house if it helps, just keep it in a safe place.

Here are a few of the items I made sure to point out in our home tour:

- How to do Things for Themselves

Currently my children are fairly useless at doing much, unless it comes to Minecraft where they can manage to build entire cities, make rollercoasters for their animals, and keep away from zombies.

I really am trying to change that and am working on incorporating more real-world skills into their lives, instead of just virtual ones.

I believe one of the greatest gifts moms can give to their children is to teach them how to do things for themselves, especially if you’re not there to do it for them. I know it’s a lot easier said than done, but go ahead and try teaching them how to do a few things, if nothing else hopefully they’ll appreciate you more. Maybe eventually, they will be able to do it all and you can kick back and build a few houses on Minecraft too (ok, maybe I’m dreaming;)

Here are a few things my kids will know how to do (at least in my dreams):

  • Cook (especially with the food I have stored)
  • Garden
  • Pay Bills & Manage Money
  • Clean Anything, especially Toilets
  • Pick-up after themselves
  • Basic Survival Skills (Here’s a list of 48 if you need ideas)

- How Much You Love Them

I know I said earlier it worries me to think of not being there for my kids, but I just thought of something even worse – for them to not realize how much I love them!

Does your family know how much you love them? If today was your last day, what would you want them to remember about you?

Here are a few things I try to keep up with so they can always know how much I love them, especially if I’m not here to tell them myself:

What would you want your family to know if you couldn’t help?

 

 

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3M™ Kind Removal Silicone Tape – The “Ouchless” Medical Tape http://thesurvivalmom.com/add-first-aid-kit-3m-kind-removal-silicone-tape/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=add-first-aid-kit-3m-kind-removal-silicone-tape http://thesurvivalmom.com/add-first-aid-kit-3m-kind-removal-silicone-tape/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 10:00:50 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=16314 You know the feeling. Someone is removing a well-stuck-on Band-Aid or medical tape  from your arm. You grimace, the skin on the wound area stretches, your arm hairs pull out at the roots as the tape is peeled off – OUCH! The 3M™ Kind Removal Read More

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3M silicone tapeYou know the feeling. Someone is removing a well-stuck-on Band-Aid or medical tape  from your arm. You grimace, the skin on the wound area stretches, your arm hairs pull out at the roots as the tape is peeled off – OUCH!

The 3M™ Kind Removal Silicone Tape offers an alternative to traditional medical tape, one that doesn’t stick aggressively to your skin. If you or someone you know has special medical needs, consider using this “ouchless” medical tape.

What’s Different?

This 3M™ tape, which looks and feels almost like paper tape, is made using an adhesive which is engineered to be stable. It does not get stickier over time as most traditional tape and band-aid mastics do.

 This is For…

  1. Baby’s new skin.
  2. Elderly with “thin” skin.
  3. Anyone who needs repeated taping of an area (such as a stent or catheter).
  4. Trauma patient, having areas of new tender skin which are healing.
  5. Someone with sensitive skin, which reacts to adhesives used in other types of medical tape.

Benefits of this 3M™ Tape

This medical tape is hypoallergenic, great for sensitive skin, and for combating allergic reactions to adhesives. It is easy to tear with only your fingers, so there is no need for scissors or a knife as you apply the tape. When you are working with the tape, it can be gently pulled up and re-laid down multiple times without loosing stickiness.

The Downside

3M™ Kind Removal Silicone tape is a specialized tape for special needs, costing over two times as much as similar non silicon based tapes. This definitely is a tape to supplement your standard issue medical tape and not a full replacement.

If you or someone in your family could benefit from this tape, consider making the addition to your home medical kit. Take the “OUCH!”  factor out of your medical tape, at least for certain kinds of special situations.

Product Specifications

Click here for the 3M™ Product specifications.

Additional Resources

Product Videos

Product Review - Nerdy Nurse

Medical Trade Show Nurse Commentary/Testimonials- 3M™

Taping Technique Videos

Tape Application Basics -3M™

Special Taping Situations - 3M™

Maximizing Adhesion - 3M™

Tape removal Techniques - 3M™

Note: All images are the authors or Amazon’s

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Try it Today! Fire Starters with Built In Ignition http://thesurvivalmom.com/try-today-fire-starters-built-ignition/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=try-today-fire-starters-built-ignition http://thesurvivalmom.com/try-today-fire-starters-built-ignition/#comments Sun, 20 Jul 2014 10:00:14 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=15986 I have to be up front and say this isn’t something I came up with myself. I learned it from my good friend John McCann over at SurvivalResources. This is a very simple DIY project that produces a fire starters Read More

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FirestartersI have to be up front and say this isn’t something I came up with myself. I learned it from my good friend John McCann over at SurvivalResources. This is a very simple DIY project that produces a fire starters that have their own ignition source as well as accelerant. Plus, the finished product is completely waterproof until you’re ready to use it.

For this project, you will need:

–Strike anywhere matches

–Toilet paper

–Melted wax

–Pliers or tongs

–Wax paper

–Clean, used soup can

A use for old crayons

Your first step is to get the wax melting. What I’ve found works very well is to use old crayons or broken candles. Remove any paper wrapping and break them up into small pieces. Put these pieces into a clean and empty soup can, then place the can into a pot with a couple of inches of boiling water. As the wax begins to melt, stir it with a twig to break up the chunks until it is smooth.

fire starters

fire starters

 

Once the wax is melted and ready to go, take one square of toilet paper and tear it in half. Pinch one end of the toilet paper between two strike anywhere matches so the paper rests just at the bottom of the match heads. Roll the paper around the matches somewhat tightly.

fire starters

fire starters

fire starters

 

Using a pliers or tongs, dip the matches head first into the melted wax. Go as far down as you can without dipping the pliers into the wax. Then, lay the matches on a piece of wax paper to cool. Once the wax on the matches is hard, reverse them and dip the exposed ends into the melted wax, then again lay out to cool. When you’re all done, the matches should be completely sealed in wax.

fire starters

fire starters

fire starters

 

To use, simply rub or gently scrape the wax off the match heads and strike the matches as you normally would. Hold the burning end down slightly so the wax and toilet paper ignite, then place the whole thing where needed to light your fire. These DIY fire starters will burn hot for several minutes, easily enough time to get your fire going. Plus, no burning plastic or other chemicals!

fire starters

fire starters

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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

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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.

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