Sunday, April 13, 2014

Prepper's Long-Term Survival Guide - BOOK REVIEW

The Prepper's Long-Term Survival Guide by Jim Cobb is a book that I greatly anticipated reading.

In reading this book, I love the way that each chapter begins with the concept that the reader is currently dealing with a long term situation that coincides with the theme of the chapter. That opening in each chapter helps with the mindset needed to deal with the information that follows.

Chapter 1 begins with some events from history and then lays out several probable, potential scenarios that could occur in modern times from pandemics to economic collapse. The case is cogently laid out that whatever your concern, that right now is the time to plan for whatever it is that concerns you.

Chapter 2 deals with the topic of water. The human body can survive roughly three days without water after which our bodies start to shut down. From water procurement to filtration and proper storage, this chapter deals with all of the aspects of this precious resource.

Chapter 3 talks about food and what types of food to store. While this book is not the place for in-depth conversations about hunting, fishing and trapping, those topics are also touched on and provide some food for thought. Food preservation techniques are also talked about, including how to make a small root cellar-like storage area to keep food cool. The chapter ends with the topic of cooking and includes a section on making a simple solar oven.

Chapter 4 is the medical chapter. It talks about training and medicine and includes a comprehensive listing of a medical bag. It wraps up with some great information of common natural remedies.

Chapter 5 goes into hygiene which is an oft overlooked area of prepping. This chapter speaks about topics from proper human waste disposal to bathing to garbage disposal. While not too pleasant, it is an important area for which to prepare.

Chapter 6 discusses clothing and the proper items needed for the tasks that will most probably be done in a post-collapse environment. The fact that one will be spending more time outdoors than he/she probably does now figures into the important considerations of this chapter. Later on, the chapter discusses shelter and the importance of it as well as various common sense ways of keeping warm and cool.

Chapter 7 covers security, including structures and weapons as tools as well as a description of the mindsets that one needs to adequately provide for the protection of a yourself and your family.

Chapter 8 talks about tools of all kinds that will be needed in a world of an extended crisis. Tools for basic repairs, tools for gardens and tools for various jobs around the house and property are covered. Overlooked topics such as protective safety gear and communications are also discussed.

Chapter 9 deals with a topic that I admittedly have not heard a lot about when reading or talking about preparedness… entertainment. After the initial realization of what is happening regarding the crisis sets in, people will be spending time performing manual labor and other duties, but there will still be periods of down time.

Chapter 10 examines well thought out bartering parameters for items and services as well as potential post-collapse professions.

Chapter 11 discussed the importance of communities and community planning. A lot of people think that the lone-wolf approach to survival is the way to go, but this drastically overlooks the necessity of having others and the diversity of skills and resources that that brings. This chapter also covers very practical ways for dealing with refugees.

Chapter 12 ends the book on a high note, that is the hope that being prepared can provide. It is a pleasant change from the doom and gloom that is often portrayed by some preppers.

At the very end of the book, there is a pretty complete checklist as well as a suggested reading section for the beginnings of your own survival library.

The depth of information that is covered in this book is incredible as is the unique way that the author makes us really think about ideas, situations and resources that are mostly overlooked in the usual short-term survival planning resources. All that being said, this book belongs in the hands of anyone who is concerned with a long-term disruption in society as we know it today. It's practical, common sense approach makes it a valuable asset to all those who wish to not only be prepared, but for those who want to thrive.

Most prepper books provide you with the fundamentals and tell you what it takes to make it through a temporary crisis, be it a hurricane, tornado or ice storm. What happens, though, when the crisis lasts longer? What will happen in the event of a pandemic or economic downturn? This book fills a much needed information gap in the prepper community for a resource that deals with the long-term events of a disaster that lasts beyond the first 72 hours.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Eggshells For Chickens

Yesterday, my wife noticed that a few of our chickens' eggs shells were a little on the thin side. I knew that we could give our chickens their eggshells back to them to give them the needed calcium in order to make their new eggs stronger. The only thing that I was worried about was giving our chickens a taste for their own eggs. I figured that by washing them and then crushing the shells pretty small, but not powdery, that they would not resemble the eggs that they lay.

Step 1: Wash the used eggshells to get any residual egg out of them. I just opened them up, placed them in a collender and  and washed them with hot water.

Step 2: Lay out the eggshells on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 350 degrees for 10 minutes. This will kill any bacteria and dry them to make them easier to crush.

Step 3: Crush the eggshells. I used a mortar and pestle to crush the eggs. Now they should be ready to feed to our chickens. I'm going to put in in a small feeder and leave it to the chickens for whoever wants to eat it.

I hope that this helps you if you discover that your chickens' eggshells are getting a little thin.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Vertical Strawberry Planter

We just completed the build of a small vertical strawberry planter. We used some scrap wood that was given to us and some old milk jugs.

We removed the 1x4's that were part of a packing crate. We then used a hatchet to split about 1" off off the width of the slats. Then we attached milk jugs to the slats by sliding the slat through the handle of the milk jugs. After that, we re-attached the slats to the frame, then cut the bottoms of the milk jugs off. The last step is to take a nail and poke holes in the caps of the milk jugs to allow for drainage.

Following that, the only thing left to do was to fill with soil and plant our strawberry crowns.

The video of the build can be found here.
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Spring Has Sprung!

It's finally here... Spring!

As I sit here, listening to the sounds of the upland chorus frogs as the night settles in and a cool breeze blows, I am reflecting on the beginning of Spring.

We had some strong storms come through last night, the chickens are laying like they should and gardens and projects begin.

A few days ago, our youngest son spent the better part of a day helping to create a three-sister's garden (corn-beans and squash) by prepping the ground and making 25 mounds for us to begin to plant.

This week we built a vertical strawberry planter and are in the process of editing the video of it. The planter is made with pieces from an old crate and milk jugs.

Today, we mulched our three sisters garden of which corn was planted this week.

We'll be laying some mulch and planting some more in the next few days.

Spring is definitely here!