Taking a break from it all

As you know, I’ve been busy as a beaver in autumn with my new place, this blog and my upcoming book – but even I need a break sometimes. So yesterday,my girlfriend and I decided to take a trip to the Museum of Appalachiain near by Clinton, TN (about a two-hour drive) and I thought it would be a nice change from our usual postings to share some of the pics taken with you here.

Sorry, we are not as uptight as some of the other survival blogs and you may occasionally find some personal stuff posted here that may be totally unrelated to survival or emergency planning. I hope you enjoy these pics, if not, feel free to skip this post and come back tomorrow for another helping of the best survival information on the web. ūüėÄ

Please right ckick on each pic for larger image…

SGT. Alvin C York a local hero

A view inside the Tom Cassidy house (about 10x10 feet)

Pipes and Arrow Heads

The Maxim

Grandpa Jones (Country Music Hall of Fame) and his shotgun

Pickin' & Grinnin

Basket Makers of Appalachia

Jars and vessels

Local medical herbs and plants

Some of the first bullets fired in The Civil War

Civil War Muskets

The last ride you'll ever take

Steel traps sized from Muskrat to Bear

Fish Traps

Mark Twain family cabin

Inside the Mark Twain family cabin

Blacksmith shop

Moonshine Still used by famed moonshiner popcorn sutton

I hope you’ve enjoyed the pics – I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below…

Never To Late

This is a guest post by Judy W

[This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest where you could win a number of prizes including an 84 serving storage bucket of¬†Wise Food Storage, 500 rounds of 9mm ammo,¬†a NukAlert¬† a copy of my book The Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat¬†and a copy of my CD It‚Äôs The End Of The World As We Know It ‚Äď And I Feel Fine . For complete rules and list of prizes see this post.]

My journey began at age 14 while sitting in of all things a Religion class.I was one of the privileged¬†of the world,I attended private school for girls and learned early How to do nothing and let others take care of you.Sad but true.We belonged to the golf club the beach club,and had no responsibilities. I learned early drinking alcohol changed people and not for the better. Life just drifted along.So there I am in class staring out the window thinking of how I bet Jesus and Mary didn’t take golf lessons and I was thinking of how simple and wonderful there lives must have been,when I heard Sister bellow out my name.Yuck back to reality well not really.The idea of thinking for yourself was not taught nor fostered.We were herded and directed like stupid sheep. Is everyone ASLEEP?
 
My parents were big drinkers and later I learned they were alcoholic.It got rough,so at 16 I found a poor guy who also was not taught to think and I got him to marry me.I was 16 and he was 19  and I was Catholic so we had 4 little critters real quick.We were together 23 years and when I started to wake up and smell the stink we were being sold he preferred to keep head up but and moved home to his mom.Sad but true.Seems sleeping sheep like the easier softer way.They want someone to take care of them.
 
I am a giver and I love helping people.When my last kid went off to school I went back to school and got a job outside the home.I was a Social Worker/ Counselor for years.I learned I like poor people better than rich people.I learned Evil abounds in this world,and no one seems to care.I have spent years helping others to Think for themselves and not be dependent on others especially the government who wants them asleep.Sad but true.
 
I tried marriage one more time with a fellow who knocked me off my feet.He was so kind and generous I fell hard.As soon as he caught me the kindness disappeared,and I kept searching for it for 10 years.Yep it took 10 years before I realized he was a phony,or to be more blunt,BEFORE I WOKE UP. You see this is a journey this thing called life and it is a process of growing and sliding back.We can fall asleep anytime,which is why I encourage you to find a small group of like-minded independent thinkers to support you through these next horrific days that are coming.
 
17 years ago I decided I needed to get out of the city.I have been reading and studying and observing and planning on becoming self sufficient.I am a city girl who was brain washed to never think for myself.Can you imagine the journey I have had.Friends and family think I am crazy.I am always trying to educate them,or anyone who will listen. I live out in the sticks have a geo dome, solar lights etc. off the grid.
 
I read and read and then I went to a conference in Salt Lake and met some cool Mormons.They were AWAKE it was educational and a bit overwhelming.They coached me to keep it simple.I am an over achiever and wanted my homestead and food and garden etc all done in a week.Well you know what I mean,lol so where do I start.Make a plan and make a list.Then begin,and enjoy the journey.
 
I needed to find property,and I needed to keep working and I needed to start with basic supplies.For me the most important part of my readiness and preparedness is Spiritual.Nothing matters if I am not tight with God.I upped my prayer life and have made Him first in my life.You know the world can only take you away if you let it.So remember GOD FIRST!
 
I found property after a long search,and became the owner builder.I used as few people as possible and only people who I knew.I want as few people as possible on my homestead.If you do not know why you are still sleeping.I started building a food supply,WATER FIRST PLEASE,no water you die.Important lesson Always have a back up to your back up plan.Count on thee worst happening and be prepared.
 
Medicine and first aid courses are very importany.I read and learned about natural remedy and how to grow and use herbs.I now sprout which I had no idea what the heck sprouting was.Remember do not get overwhelmed,just do a little each day.
Learn to grow things and to raise animals,and make it fun.My first garden,was a nightmare.Oh, and a total failure.Mother Nature destroyed me,well not me ,my garden.lol  My second garden was a miracle I got red potatoes for a year.WHAT A JOY!

I will tell you now gardens are more trouble than husbands,and worth more too,lol DON’T GIVE UP.
 
Animals,well again this can be difficult.However not as difficult as my last boss so have hope.Fresh eggs are heaven.Fresh chicken meat is joyful.I put in a pond and have fresh catfish,now we are talking heaven.I want you to know the feeling of doing it yourself with God as boss is indescribable. This city girl has folks asking me how do I pickle¬†my eggs.CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT.When I started I didn’t even know where eggs came from,now I know,the coop,right?lol
 
Dogs and guns are very important.I have taken lessons on guns and have a shooting range on my property to let people know I know how to use them.The dogs are great alarms.My advice to you is wake up ,read and study.Tough times are coming and you will not be safe in the city.READ,STUDY PREPARE.
 
Now in my car, I have a 72 hour kit and I rotate items periodically,as I do my food storage.I have gas masks and suits for nuclear activities and iodine pills for radiation in my car home and bug out shelter.Remember always have a back up plan and a back up plan to your back up plan.It is called be prepared.2 of the terrorists ,who hit the world trade center,lived across the street from my brother ,in Boynton Beach,Fl.People will say the terrorists are coming WAKE UP PEOPLE,they are here.
 
I did an experiment I will share with you,I asked a 100 different woman at a Wal-Mart how much an item was they were putting in the shopping cart.NONE OF THEM KNEW. Scarry.Sleeping stupid sheep.Sad but true.A can of tomato soup last year was 50 cents.Today it is 1.50 cents.When the poop hits the fan and it will soon I believe the sleeping sheep will be looting and looking for your supplies.I am prepared to defend my homestead,are you,
 
Lastly,I have prepared survival bags for neighbors or anyone who shows up.They are around my property,for others.In my home in addition to my storage supplies,I have 10 bug out bags for family or friends who might make it out to me.Be prepared .Did you see recently in Japan,they had to barge in water after the earthquake and nuclear melt down.I DID.
Wake up people, take action now.Prepare,become independent and self sufficent,NOW.Good luck and Gods Blessings on you and on America.

In closing I want to tell you I turn 70 on Sept.8th this year and if I can do it anyone can.PRAY ,READ,MAKE A PLAN AND BEGIN. WAKE UP.

Are You Prepared For Disaster?

‚ÄúThis is a guest post by¬†Frank B and entry in our non-fiction writing contest ‚Äď where you could win $100 cash. (This contest¬†ends on June 5 2011 so get busy)‚ÄĚ

The world after a societal collapse¬†will be difficult to say the least. The so-called ‚Äúlight at the end of the tunnel‚ÄĚ (in this life at least) would be a return to some sort of societal norm or civil atmosphere on the outside of the bunker door that would allow for free trade and a safe environment to do so.

This ‚Äúsafety‚ÄĚ might come from a relatively local source such as a local militia or security force or a larger regional or state government but from where ever this safety is derived it will become an absolute necessity for small groups who hunker if we are to survive longer than our stored provisions would allow.

Trusting your fellow-man after the collapse might prove to be a difficult thing to do. Our home/retreat is fairly remote to most folks but not so remote to hunters. We have our land posted but still have hunters and fisherman coming through like they owned the place. All of them carry weapons and all of them know they are trespassing on our land. I have confronted them when I can (some run when I approach).

Those who stick around to discuss the situation almost always make statements like, ‚Äúmy grandpa hunted here 50 years ago and I have every right to be here too‚ÄĚ, or ‚ÄúJohn Smith gave me permission to be on this land‚ÄĚ. Of course John Smith has no phone or address and grandpa has been dead for years too (as if that really mattered). All said, if you are headed out into rural Amerika to find a retreat, be warned that the perfect location has been the secret hunting spot for everyone in the county for generations.

The locals in these rural areas that you will meet on your land are generally poachers and trespassers that would rather shoot you in the back than ask your permission to hunt on your land. I have been threatened by several when I asked them to get off my land.

What will they be like after a collapse?

Do you have enough man power at your home to field a security force 24/7, or is it just you and your honey? Who will watch for stalkers while the garden gets tended or you chop wood? Who will stay up at night so others can sleep tight without fear of night stalkers? Do you have enough fire-power to defend your home? Have you put up a perimeter fence?

Do you have a dog? Are you expecting others to join you? At what point do you expect them to arrive? Have you discussed alternative communications with them? What radio channel and recurring time did you set for communication?

Have you established a ‚Äúrally point‚ÄĚ for friends and family to meet at a future time? Is your information library safe from EMPs? How much planting seed do you have? Can you survive a winter of no outside food source? Two winters?

How much food do you have? Have you done a real count of meals and figured how many days food you have for the number of people in your home? Do you have a defense plan? Have you discussed a ‚Äúretreat‚ÄĚ from your retreat (bugging out).

Do you plan on living to fight another day or going down with the ship? Have you cached guns, ammo, and food, around your property for retrieval after an attack or bug-out or is it all neatly tucked away for its next owner? Do you personally know other like-minded people who you could count if your life depended on it? How far away from you are they? Would they consider joining you at your location? Would you consider joining them?

The questions can be overwhelming. The answers can be difficult at best. Most of us are limited to a level of preparedness based on financial constraints still, there are many other things we can have more control over.

If you are feeling less than prepared after asking yourself these questions, you should! Few can ever be totally prepared but, you can be reasonably ready for most issues you will face if you prepare.

Remember that ‚Äúyou are what you train for‚ÄĚ. And training begins with a goal and a plan.

Sitting down with a legal pad, a pencil, and a clear head you should write down all the issues you expect to face once a collapse has begun. After writing these down, you‚Äôll be better able to consider your current state of readiness to meet these issues and define a plan that will get you through the issues you had not yet considered. Play the ‚Äúwhat if‚ÄĚ game with each of these issues and follow the developing events to their end.

Having a contingency plan for what others might call ‚Äúunexpected‚ÄĚ gives you the edge in a survival situation and having the edge can make the difference between life and death. Having more contingency plans pushes failure farther away. Don‚Äôt be making knee-jerk decisions as the world turns bad in front of you. Know ahead of time what your plan of action will be and follow your plan.

I have a good friend who is also a prepper. He has it all; a great retreat fully outfitted with food, guns ammo, workshop, garden etc, etc, etc‚Ķ. I stopped by one morning un-armed when he was playing the ‚Äúwhat if‚ÄĚ game.

He looked me square in the eye and said, “Frank, I can not believe you walked in here without a sidearm. What if I pulled my gun on you? You’d be defenseless! “

Knowing my friend well, I knew this was no real threat. I had been in his home many times before and subscribed to most of the same catalogs he did as well. I told him that I was far from unprepared, knowing that if he did indeed pull a gun on me, that I would see his movement and easily reach up to my right and pull down the face of the clock on the wall where I knew he hid another gun in the ready and draw bead on him.

My wife was upset with me for spoiling his hiding place.

Are you prepared?

What Did You Do To Prep This Week

First, I’d like to thank Ranger Rick and¬†Joshua for their donations this week and a big thank you to Pam for all your prayers and for sending me a copy of ¬†“The Worst-Case Survival scenario Handbook” (neat book btw).

We also have a new advertiser Forge Survival Supply be sure to check them out and don’t forget to tell them M.D. sent you…

I’m as disappointed as Rosie O’Donnell in a room full of men – if you remember last week I mentioned that I had ordered a Marlin Papoose from my local sporting goods store, well they told me yesterday that they could not find anyone with the rifle in stock.:cry:

They gave my money back, of course, but I was really looking forward to owning one of these rifles… I’ll keep looking.

Let’s see what did I do to prep this week?

Let us know what you did to prep this week in the comments below…

What Did You Do To Prep This Week

I awoke at 3:16 this morning with nearly unbearable pain in my right shoulder and chest, it’s eased off this morning but It’s still there but now more of a dull aching pain followed by sharp stabbing pains in the right side of my chest when I breathe¬†deeply.

I’m going to go get it checked out at the emergency room – I think it’s chest wall pain and inflammation both of which I’ve been diagnosed with in the past. An EKG found nothing wrong with my heart. I’ll let you know, later today…

In the meantime please let us know what you did to prep this week in the comments below…

Update: According to the Doctors it is Costochondritis¬†(chest wall pain) and inflammation in the shoulder joint – thank you all for your great comments and concern for my well-being, you’re great and I appreciate it very much.:-)

I’m going to relax and try to get some sleep. Goodnight everyone.

Would Your Children Survive On Their Own?

pic of childWe’ve all read about the street children in Argentina after the economic collapse there, who wander the streets begging, stealing and scrounging through trash to survive.¬†

Many were forced into child labour and prostitution.  Some by their own parents that could not support them or worse exploiting them for their own gain. In many ways children  suffer most after a disaster.

In the aftermath of the 7.0 Earthquake  that shook Haiti on Tuesday, 12 January 2010 many children become parent-less. We seen the same thing happen to children in Sri Lanka after the tsunami on Sunday, December 26, 2004.

Many more examples of orphaned children after disaster could be presented here, but let’s get to the point.

There is a distinct possibility that something could happen to you during or after a disaster leaving your children or grandchildren on their own. Could they survive. Have you done anything to increase their chances? 

Could your children survive on their own after a major disaster or teotwawki event? What would they do if you were no longer there to care for and protect them? Could they make it on their own – would they know what to do?

This is one¬†of those things¬†parents don’t want to think about, but not thinking about it won’t lessen the possibility.

Most kids today have few survival skills or an interest in such things, most kids are more interested in playing video games or when the latest teen celebrity is getting released from rehab.

If you can get them interested and motivated you have already won over half the battle.

How you do this will depend on the child,¬†but most will respond best if you make it a game, in other words do your best to make it fun. Don’t go screaming at them that the world is going to end, or¬†that you could die¬†leaving them¬†orphaned and¬†on their¬†own. This is especially true when dealing with younger children.

Make it fun and use it as an opportunity¬†to spend time together. Teach, them to fish, hunt, trap, shoot, use tools, build a fire, grind grain, garden, cook etc. The important thing is to make it fun and don’t stress them out by being pushy or militaristic when teaching.

Books and videos can help your children learn some needed skill, and give you an idea of what to teach them and how to go about doing it. I suggest, “Willy Whitefeather’s Outdoor Survival Handbook for Kids” and¬†“The American Boy’s Handy Book“, and don’t forget to teach other skills such as gardening,¬†hunting and staying safe.

A few months ago, I wrote this post “How Cross-Dressing Makes You a Better Survivalist” where I stressed the need to cross gender lines when learning survival skills. The same thing applies when teaching your children. Don’t just teach boys the “guy stuff” or the girls ¬†“girlie stuff” both should have a well-rounded and complementary skill set.

Even disciplined and well-trained children would be at great risk of being harmed or exploited without the guidance and protection of a loving adult. Having an arrangement with a relative or friend to take care of your children, if something were to happen to you is important,  but not always possible.

Many will decline, not wanting the responsibility or make a promise to do so that they never intend to keep.

If you are lucky enough to find someone ready to take on the responsibility of caring for your children in case of such an unfortunate event, the next thing you have to consider is their capabilities.

Let’s face it, many people aren’t ready or capable of taking care of themselves or their own children after a disaster. How can they be expected to take care of yours. Can they do it? If not it’s best to keep looking until you find someone who can.

Whoever you choose be sure your children get to know and trust them. Spend time with them, hang out, go camping or whatever both families enjoy doing, this will give them time to get to know each other. The last thing you want is a frightened child shooting the stranger who is coming to help them.

Depending on the circumstances, it is probably best if your children stay put or move to a close and predetermined location and wait for the adult to come to them, instead of going out on their own. This should be understood in advance. Be sure your children know what to do ahead of time.

This is one of the most difficult¬†survival situations to contend with and unfortunately, there are no easy answers. I wish I could give you a guaranteed¬†way of keeping your children safe after such an unfortunate event, but I can’t. There are to many variables, ¬†most of which¬†we have no control over.

All you can do is teach them the best you can, make arrangements for their care and pray that God will protect them.

What have you done to prepare your children if you are no longer able to care for and protect them?

IMAGE BY: Oakley Originals

A Story About A Prepper…

I want to tell you a quick story about a prepper.

Like a lot of preppers, this¬†prepper wanted to¬†prepare for disaster¬†and learn needed survival skills. So, he did what any¬†prepper at that time would do ‚Äď read books, magazines and newsletters¬†related¬†to¬†survival.

He soon amassed a huge library of survival books written by guys like Kurt Saxon, Ragnar Benson, Mel Tappan and a few others. He got a lot of ideas. He also subscribed to several survival related newsletters and magazines such as Live Free, The Survivor and Fur-Fish-Game.

He even read survival fiction such as Lucifer’s Hammer and Atlas Shrugged to stay motivated and find ideas he had not thought of.

Reading those books, newsletters and magazines… this prepper had things to dream about. He saw the authors survival preps and lives as success stories. They were where he wanted to be…. living a self-sufficient lifestyle and prepared to meet and survive any disaster. They were his heroes. He wanted to follow in their footsteps. 

This prepper thought, ‚ÄúSomeday‚Ķ.‚ÄĚ. Someday,¬†he would¬†be able to afford a survival retreat equal to that¬†detailed by¬†Mel Tappan himself.

The thing is that this¬†prepper wasn‚Äôt doing badly. He would stockpile extra cans of canned or dry goods from the supermarket every few weeks. He¬†bought several guns and¬†stockpiled ammunition for each.¬†But still he felt like he wasn’t doing enough¬†to meet his goal of being self-sufficient and considered giving up several times.

What’s the use, I’ll never get a years worth of survival food put away or learn all the skills put forth by those guys in the books and magazines. This stuff costs money and takes time and¬†working twelve hours a day for minimum wage (then set at $3.25 per hour) didn’t help. :-/

He had little money to stock up and those 12 hour work days and a need for sleep he had little time to learn needed survival skills, but he did the best he could with what he had.

What am I doing he thought. “Here I am spending¬†what little time and money I do¬†have planning for something that may never happen.¬†I could be watching football, drinking beer and living it up. But instead¬†here I¬†am reading about stockpiling food, tanning hides, making homebrew and surviving TEOTWAWKI.”

But he kept going because he knew disasters happen¬†all the time¬†and will happen again. He knew it was only a matter of time before he would need this stuff and his friends who were living it up would be hurting. Maybe he could help them he thought…

Eventually, he landed a job making ten times what he had at his old job Рhe kicked his preps into overdrive. He bought the best and most modern weapons along with several thousand rounds of ammo. He bought a room full of survival foods. He even stockpiled several hundred gallons of Diesel fuel and kerosene and expensive diesel generator.

He moved from the house he was renting in town to a small farm where he could raise a garden and some livestock. The payment was only $500 per month he could afford that, with his new job, this would not be a problem, he thought.

He lived there for over a year before it happened. The company he worked for moved overseas and finding another job in the area paying anywhere near what he was earning before was impossible. He ended up having to live from his preps while trying to find another job and using the money from his unemployment check to keep the bill collectors at bay.

Unfortunately, he ended up having to sell most of his gun collection, ammunition and gear to pay the bills for a few more months. He felt like his world had fallen apart and in a sense it had.

But the worse was yet to come. :pain:

Even though, he managed to find another job (that paid a lot less) and managed to keep the house for another year, he still eventually lost it and most of what he had. And to make matters worse the stress of dealing with constant financial turmoil had destroyed his marriage. Divorce followed.

A Leap of Faith

That’s when he decided to move¬†into his travel trailer and living there full-time. Sometimes things do work out for the best no matter how bad it may seem at the time.¬† Having to start over¬†forced him to reevaluate his survival plans and life. He came to the conclusion¬†that survival was more akin¬†to possum living¬†and attitude than stuff.¬†

As you might have guessed  by now РThat prepper was me.