Skills & Knowledge

Worst case scenario medical care

Reader Maureen F. emailed to me an excellent list of observations made by a medical doctor, Michael Karch, M.D., who treated victims of the 9/11 attack in New York City. He wrote a lengthy article that you can read here. This particular comment is rather chilling: “To get to Ground Zero, one has to walk thru a maze of 6-12 inch ash, paper, twisted iron, mud, junk, rubble….it looked like a tornado had hit the city.” Just in case you want …

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A Dutch Oven Cooking Primer, Part 2: Cooking Tips & Recipes

  There are several tools you will need to begin cooking in your Dutch oven. Lid lifter and/or long-handled tongue and groove pliers Gloves 16” or longer tongs Charcoal chimney starter (optional but almost a must-have) Newspaper and/or lighter fluid Matches Long handled spoon Charcoal Vegetable oil and applying clothes or paper towels Bricks for lid cooking When cooking in your Dutch oven it must be on a flat surface clear of dried weeds, grass, etc.  This is where a …

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A Dutch Oven Cooking Primer, Part 1

By Archie and Linda Dixon, authors of Just Dutch It! Have you ever wondered how you would cook when there is no gas or electricity for any length of time? There is a real possibility that this could happen. For instance, ice storms can take out power lines for weeks.  Tornadoes do the same, and earthquakes break natural gas and electrical lines.  Another possibility is a virus in the computer system of your power company. Any of these emergencies could …

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Medical Kit Lessons Learned

Over the last several months, I have put together a small, yet flexible, medical kit for my pack, which is also my 72-hour kit. A while back I tested my 72-hour kit and wrote about my experiences here. It took a minor family medical crisis to make me realize my kit was mostly complete when I had to remove a portion of my son’s toenail.  I had everything in my medical kit needed to removed the nail, treat the nail …

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How to Use Desert Survival Skills to Get Drinking Water During Floods

Just in case any of you are in harm’s way this hurricane season, I wanted to post Leon Pantenburg’s excellent article for maintaining a supply of healthy drinking water during a flood.  The more methods you have to collect water, the less likely you are to become dangerously dehydrated.   An irony of floods is that muddy, filthy water inundates everything, but there is generally a shortage of anything to drink! If you are stranded in an area surrounded by …

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Prepping on Pennies: #5 Learn one new skill this month

Sometimes we get too caught up on stocking up on this and stashing away that, all of which cost money.  When money is tighter than tight, there are still ways to be better prepared.  One of those is to learn practical skills. Often a new skill is as close as your public library.  No special training is required to learn about medicinal herbs, for example.  Other skills can be learned by watching free videos on YouTube.  That’s how I learned …

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Make a Garbage Bag Shelter Part of Your Survival Kit

I’m not sure how the early settlers along the Oregon Trail or the western frontier got along without duct tape, WD-40 or trash bags, but life surely would have been easier with them! Trash  bags, in particular, are included in all my survival kits. They have a multitude of uses, including being containers for picking up trash! But in an emergency, when correctly used, trash bags can prove a quick, temporary shelter from the elements. I first noticed this trash bag shelter …

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Add a Cheap, Reliable Firemaking System to Your Survival Kits

The best fire-starting system can also be the cheapest and the materials are the easiest to find at any drug or grocery store.  This Boy Scout Hot-Spark and a prescription bottle filled with cotton balls and petroleum jelly make a reliable fire starting method that is cheap enough to be placed in all survival kits. After extensive testing, my nomination for the best overall survival fire starting method is cotton balls, slathered with petroleum jelly, combined with a magnesium or …

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The Dutch Oven Survival Kit

If you’re one of those folks without power, heat, or warmth because of the recent snowstorms, you probably know that you need a cooking tool that can bake, boil, fry, and saute. And it should be able to function with a variety of heat sources since you don’t know when the electricity might come back on. My nomination for this wonder implement has been around for hundreds of years. It’s easy to find, cheap, and effective.  Go get a cast …

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12 Things You Will Need to Live Comfortably While Homeless

Having lived in the woods, and houseless, for quite a few years before I had offspring, I know what you DO need and what you DON’T need to live happily in an off-grid, houseless situation. This would apply to a homeless situation, too. Here is what you NEED for living in a homeless situation: Bandanas — Use as a washcloth, napkin, snot rag, TP, easy bag for berries or herbs, a quick shirt (two knotted together), loincloth, head cover, mask, …

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