If you've landed on this blog by mistake, please follow this link:


Please update your bookmarks and the links on your sites.

Join our forum at:

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Leftover Ham Stew Recipie

If you're like me, you're probably pretty broke from Xmas shopping.

Also, if you're like me, you probably look at those stored cans of vegetables etc. and think "I should really eat some of that to turn over the stock and keep it fresh" and then proceed to make something more convenient or tasty.

So, endeavoring to keep the can stock fresh (see previous post on organizing cans), my budget small, and practicing actually cooking with yucky canned veggies (we usually use frozen in day to day cooking) I resolved to try to make a simple ham stew that would be possible to make with just a propane burner and water (ie: camping or power outage)

I took the leftover Xmas hambone, boiled it for an hour, chopped up and threw in what would be about 2-3 portions of ham, then drained and tossed in a can of corn, a large can of potatoes, and a can of light kidney beans plus some spices and simmered for an hour.

So, for about $3-4 we stretched a couple portions of ham out to a whole big pot, probably 8 meals or so.

Hope everyone had a good holiday!

Stay Prepared!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Getting Your Finances In Order

Re-post courtesy of Matthiasj from Kentucky Preppers Network

Running a strict budget could be THE most important part of living a frugal/preparedness-minded lifestyle. The goal is to save money, prep like hell, and cut out all the waste. I follow a mainly cash only budget plan modeled after the advice Dave Ramsey gives. The idea is that you use cash all you can, which allows you to physically see your money leave. It's a lot harder to spend cash than to swipe a card.

The first step to getting your budget set up is to figure out your monthly income. No matter how large or how small your income is a budget WILL benefit you. Next you need to map out all your expenses. This includes everything from your cell phone bill, to your water bill, to grabbing a cheeseburger at McDonald's. *Warning: Once your expenses are mapped out you might be surprised to see all the waste.

After every monthly expense is mapped out they need to be categorized. There are two expense categories; committed expenses and non-committed expenses. Committed expenses are your monthly bills that you couldn't "live without." This doesn't include monthly trips to the salon or a case of beer every Saturday. Although it would include you’re electricity bill, water bill, grocery bill, and insurance. Non-committed expenses would be eating out, vehicle maintenance, purchasing clothes or other non-essential items. *I say clothes are non-essential because most of us have a closet FULL and don't need anymore.

At this point your jaw should drop when you realize all the money you waste in any given month. From eating out to "junk" purchases. Even the little things add up from a coke at work to a snack on your break. Look at all the waste and pledge to remove it. Stop eating out, stop buying more junk that you already have, and cut down on your bills. Television is a huge waste and who watches that junk? There are endless amounts of commercial free TV on the web. Keep your internet, ditch the TV.

Your committed expenses need to be broken down to a weekly or bi-weekly figure (however you get paid). So each paycheck before anything is spent or saved the money for that week's committed expenses gets taken out. Then remove your savings. The amount you save from each paycheck is up to you, but even if it is only $1 a day, GET IN THE HABIT OF SAVING. I would suggest saving most of the money outside of your committed expenses (assuming those are the bare minimum). Before starting your savings account an Emergency Fund must be established.

Your emergency fund is your "rainy day" fund. It's there when things come up unexpected. This allows you to take care of it without dipping into money for bills or savings. You would use your emergency fund if your car broke down and needed repairs, home repairs, or medical care. The amount in your emergency fund is up to you. I suggest keeping it in cash and at least $2000 especially for families. This would cover most vehicle issues and other things. Take the money you are planning to save each week and put that towards your Emergency Fund. Once it’s where you want it, then put that same amount to the savings account to build it up. *I would suggest working towards a goal of having 3 months wages in your savings account.

So the concept is simple, as soon as you get paid take out your committed expenses (bills & food) and the majority of the rest save. It's okay to have a little fun money or Over Budget money. Over Budget money is used if you want to go out and eat, buy a video game or something outside of the normal budget. Make sure the over budget money is a small amount so that you don’t overdo it. This is your main source of spending money so spend it wisely and keep it at a minimum.

The committed expenses need to be separated into the payment type. I pay most of my bills online with my card, which is fine. Only use your checking account and debit card for this purpose. Keep just enough in the account (adding from each paycheck) to pay the bills when they're due. All bills that you can't pay with a card take the cash out as soon as you’re paid.

The bills to pay with cash need to be kept in an envelope. Each envelope labeled with the type of bill. When the cash is withdrawn after payday, put it in the envelope and don't touch it. This way, if you're monthly electric bill is $100, and you get paid weekly; put $25 cash each week into the envelope and at the end of the month pay it. This doesn't affect your bank account, savings account, or over budget money. And that's the beauty of it. You don't have to worry about paying bills because the money is there.

Click here to see a sample budget chart

*This is assuming you have little to no debt. If you have any debt, you're best plan of action is to cut everywhere you can and get out of it quick. Buckle down and spend every extra penny on paying down the debt. Pay down your biggest payment first. Then use that money to pay on the next biggest payment; and so on.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

How to Make a Laser Mag-Lite

Re-post courtesy of Matthiasj from Kentucky Preppers Network

Here is a really cool video on how to make a laser flashlight. It shows you how to turn an ordinary mini Mag-Lite into a powerful laser beam. This laser is so powerful that it can light a match, pop a balloon or light a fuse. It might not be the "perfect" survival tool because it's questionable as to how long the batteries would last but for a quick fire starter this should be able to light any tinder you have. Watch the video for the parts list and instructions. If I can get a cheap DVD burner I'm going to give this a try!

**Caution: This is a very powerful laser and WILL burn your skin. Keep the laser away from your skin and any animals skin. NEVER point into ANYONE'S eyes, this will cause permanent damage.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How to Prolong the Life of your Automobile Part 1

Re-post courtesy of Matthiasj from Kentucky Preppers Network

To me prepping has become a hobby. I look at life and the world totally different since I started prepping. Prepping is a mindset or even a way of life; it's not just putting some canned goods and batteries into storage (not that doing this would be a bad thing). Taking care of your vehicle falls right into place with the prepper mindset. You must prepare for potential vehicular problems, and not only keep a good Car Emergency Kit, you must practice preventative maintenance on your vehicle to prolong the life of it.

It's important to follow your vehicle's specific maintenance schedule. The following information is generic and would apply to any vehicle. Performing your own maintenance can be rewarding and a lot cheaper than paying for it. If you do see a problem, consult with a mechanic about getting the problem fixed before it becomes a big issue. Never let something go. Always keep your vehicle in top running condition.

Here is a list of items you should check each month. Set aside a couple hours once a month to go over each item to make sure the basics are working properly.
1. Check the Engine & Ground for Fluid Leaks
2. Test Heater & Air Conditioning
3. Check Wiper Blades (Make sure the blades are in good shape, and function properly)
4. Check Headlights (High Beam & Low Beam)
5. Check Fog or Driving Lights
6. Check Turn Signals (Front & Back)
7. Check Hazard Lights (Front & Back)
8. Test Door Locks on All Doors
9. Inspect Windshield for Chips or Cracks
10. Test each Window (If Power Windows Check Each Switch)
11. Test Door Locks (If Power Locks Check Each Switch)
12. Check Radio & Make Sure Each Speaker Plays
13. Test Horn
14. Verify that you have your proper information in the glove box and the information is up to date (Proof of Insurance & Registration)

Every 3,000 miles or 90 days you want to perform these tasks:
1. Change Engine Oil & Filter
2. Check All Engine Fluids (Coolant, Power Steering Fluid, Brake Fluid, Windshield Washer Fluid, Transmission Fluid)
3. Check Tire Pressure & Tire Tread
4. Check All Belts for Cracks or Fraying
5. Check All Hoses for Leaks or Bulges
6. Lubricate Grease Fittings (Where Applicable)

Even if you have no idea about how to work on a car these tasks are simple and can be performed in your driveway. By doing this you WILL prolong the life of your vehicle and help to ensure that these problems don't pop up when you're on the road. If any one of these things that you check are not functioning properly it is time to fix it yourself, or take it to someone you trust to fix it. I will continue this series with more information about how to prolong the life of your automobile in the future.

*Disclaimer: Always consult your service manual for exact maintenance procedures. If you are uncomfortable with performing the maintenance yourself, contact a trusted mechanic to do the work.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Simple Survival Tips - Winter Hazards for Pets - Antifreeze

Re-post courtesy of Riverwalker from Stealth Survival

Antifreeze, also known as ethylene glycol, can be a potential problem for your pets in the winter. Cats and dogs are attracted to the sweet smell and taste of antifreeze. They will usually not hesitate to sample some if it is left out in a container or spilled on the garage floor, carport or driveway of your home.

Antifreeze is extremely toxic to dogs and cats. Antifreeze is rapidly absorbed into their system and it has a high mortality rate if not treated very quickly. The initial signs of antifreeze poisoning usually appear within one hour after being ingested.

There are also other sources of this deadly chemical. Heat exchange fluids (sometimes used in solar collectors for heating water), some brake and transmissions fluids and diethylene glycol which is used in color film processing are just a few.

Usually within 12 hours of ingestion, acute cases of antifreeze poisoning pets often exhibit symptoms resembling alcohol intoxication. The signs include stumbling, vomiting and depression. The kidneys are the most severely affected part of their bodies. Even if the animal seems to show signs of initial improvement after treatment, they may succumb shortly afterwards as a result of kidney failure. When the kidneys shut down, your dog or cat will be unable to produce urine.

This type of kidney failure usually happens within 12 to 24 hours after being ingested by cats and within 36 to 72 hours after being ingested by dogs. Successful treatment is entirely dependent upon a quick response by you when ingestion of antifreeze by your pet is suspected.

If you suspect that your animal has come into contact with antifreeze and may have ingested it, contact your veterinarian immediately.

A safe alternative to ethylene glycol antifreeze is available. It is called propylene glycol, and while it does cost more than “regular” antifreeze, it may be worth the extra piece of mind it will give you knowing that your pets will be safe.

Staying above the water line!


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Benefits of Buying "Junk Silver."...

Original Post found HERE.

Yes, silver. No, not junk. Junk silver is what numismatists call circulated coin with an 80% or better silver content. There are many ways to buy such coin but I will give a few pointers.

"Why silver?" you may ask. Well, for one, it is much easier to break down silver coin into cash. For example, even in a relatively minor SHTF situation, silver would be worth more than gold because it would be easy to use it to trade for needed items. The thing about any precious metal is that WHILE the S is hitting the F it would be very difficult to convince people to take it in exchange for things that they could use more than money. Some people will try to tell you otherwise--but think about it and examine history and then tell me what you think. Sure, you may get some suckers' goods in exchange for a sackful of silver coin on the first day of a major disaster, but chances are that as the days without government intervention or relief go on, you will notice that people will be more and more reluctant to take your "precious" metals. Chances are they will tell you to take your "precious" metals and do something very inappropriate with them.

This phenomenon is only heightened by the value of the coin itself. If the coin is gold, for example, it is much harder to break it down or know the value of it enough to want to trade with it. Platinum suffers from this problem even more than gold. If the coin is worth more than what people have to offer you, why wouldn't they want to trade for it? Simple: Their goods are more useful to them than your coin, during SHTF. Conversely, if the coin is worth more than what people have to offer you, why don't you want to trade it? Simple: Because if you make it through the disaster alive, you will have lost a whole bunch of tied-up assets (tied into the gold you bought before SHTF) and you will have taken a BIG financial hit.

The answer? SILVER. Specifically, silver that you can get on the cheap--often termed "junk silver" by coin collectors and mints, it is usually 80- 90% silver per coin and when you have enough of it (not hard to do) it is worth a whole lot, enough to trade with for sure, but not worth so much that it's impossible to get anybody to trade for it.

The common channels of buying "junk" silver are through both mints and auction sites such as Ebay. My favorite ways of buying both "junk" silver and "rounds" of 99.99% pure silver bullion is through Ebay. Just be sure as always you should, to check feedback ratings on the seller to avoid being scammed. It has been known to happen on auction sites. Tin, steel, or aluminum "silver" dollars are not unheard of.

Some good coins to look for:
Pre-1920 Canadian silver coins are sterling (98%) silver.
Pre-1967 Canadian silver half-dollars and quarter-dollars are all 80% silver per coin.
Pre-1964 American silver coins are 90% silver.
Chinese "Dragon" silver dollars are 90% silver at least.
English silver crowns minted before 1920 were made of sterling (92%) silver.
Mexican "8-reales" coins are generally fairly high in silver content (usually 90%).

All of these can be found online via auction sites and government mints.
There are also U.S. Barber dimes (90% silver), Mercury Dimes (90% silver) and silver quarters from the pre-1960s.

I hope you get into silver too. Remember, if you can't trade it off, it's not worth much in the end.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Home Organization

I've read that setting yourself up to "shop at home" is one of the best ways to keep your food stock fresh (ie: my bin of Y2K food was never touched)...and you tend to lose sight of cans in the back of a shelf.

It's hard to regularly eat what is, shall we say, not always the most desirable food...I know I never go, "Hey, let's eat some canned potatoes tonight! And let's wash that down with some powdered milk! YUM! One winds up eating all of the canned peaches and have a full case of beets. But it must be done sometimes, or your food will be bad when you need it the most.

I had read about vertical stacking of cans, but that required carpentry skills...not my forte :)

I did have a half sheet of 3/4" piece of plywood that fit nicely into the angles of my shelving unit (costco I think)...I could lean it back against the wall. I then took two sections of of metal bedframe and made a 'V', and used pre-existing holes in them to just screw them to the plywood. Realizing that there was some wasted space, and that I needed to store a bunch of square boxes, I took two pieces of of 1X2's and some angle brackets and made a shelf under the 'V'.

When you get new stuff, just spread it along the back, maybe pull a few cans out and 'randomize' them a bit...this picture shows just over 50 cans.

So, now the hard part will be forcing ourselves to eat whatever is the 'first' can at the bottom of the 'can dispenser' ;)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Garden 2009 - does anyone have solutions to blight problems?

I've got a few heirloom tomatoes (the cherry tom in front is huge, but yellow, it seems less able to fight off this fungus that's going around) in addition to the usual big boy and early girls (got a half dozen of each for $2 each tray b/c they had been left out and were getting beat up)...I've got a regular cucumber and a pickling cucumber (any good pickling recipes?) and oregano, basil and cilantro.

Got a bunch of peppers (chili, jalapeno, hot banana, and habanero (no blossoms yet though)...Japanese eggplant (I couldn't find regular ones that weren't like $6) they had corn available this year so we're trying that...lots of red and white beans in the last photo.

Does anyone have a solution to that white fungus that grows on the leaves of zucchini and squash? The local HD was out of the fungicide I used before because everyone has fungus problems...

Any tips appreciated for dealing with these fungus issues!


Monday, August 3, 2009

What happened to my radishes?

OK, first let me apologize for not posting anything for the last month or more. July is a very busy month for us and we were also on vacation. I hope to get back to posting at least once a week.

Here is the problem. I planted a garden which is doing fairly well. But the radishes are a complete failure. The grew tall and sturdy, but the root ( the food part) is just a long white root. Could anyone tell me what I've done wrong?

P.S. They have been in the ground since early May. And according to the package they were supposed to look like this picture.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Risk Analysis and Preparation Levels

[Edit #1 2-4-2009 - Added Level 0, Color Coding, explanatory statement]
[Edit #2 2-28-2009 - Tweaks for clarity]
[Edit #3 9-28-2009 - Added Medical Emergencies to Level 1]
[Edit #4 4-11-2011 - Added Level 5XXX, updated Disaster List]

I'd like to start off by creating a common framework for us all to have a reference point in our discussions. I plan for this to be a framework for other articles addressing preparedness for each level.

First of all, we all need to perform our own risk analysis. Everyone's situation is different, so what is important and needed will be different.

Risk analysis is taking the likelihood of bad events happening and multiplying it by how "bad" it would be to happen and adding it up. From Wikipedia: The total risk is the sum of the products of the consequences multiplied by their probabilities.

Generally, you insure against the big 'bads', and the very likely 'bads'. Your house isn't very likely to burn down, but if it does, you lose big, so you insure against it. You are somewhat likely to get into an accident, and the consequences can be expensive, so you buy collision insurance. You are very likely to get a flat tire someday, so you insure against it buy getting AAA coverage.

So, take some time to analyze your risk factors and special vulnerabilities, as well as any amplifications of the consequences (for instance, you may have plenty of batteries for a power outage, but if you have medication that needs to be refrigerated you're in trouble).

Location - what does your geographic location have? What does it lack? Are there local water supplies? Energy or food supplies? What particular vulnerabilities does your region have that you might have to leave in a hurry? Coasts get hurricanes, the West forest fires and earthquakes, the river valleys of the Midwest can flood for miles.

Personal situation - Single strong male? Lucky you, fill up a backpack and go. Family of four, or handicapped, or elderly family members? Not so easy. Need medications? Baby formula? Those are bad things to be without. Also, is your clueless brother, cousin, roommate, or neighbor going to tag along? Might want to take that into consideration.

Disaster likelihood - again, we need a common gauge for meaningful discussion - some are talking food and water for a probable big storm, others are worried that the black helicopters are coming or want to build concrete bunkers for an very unlikely nuclear war.

So I'm proposing the following "Disaster Scale" which lists the disaster, describes some of the major conditions, and provides a generic outline of ways to deal with each. I've tried to organize them in order of decreasing likelihood (ie: Level 0 is likely Level 5 is highly unlikely) so, higher levels include the preps for the lower (more likely) levels. IMO it's probably best to prepare a little for every level to cover the basics at first, then prepare in more depth as time and money allow, starting from Level 0 up through Level 5.

Disaster Scale - Levels 1 through 5X (X being Extreme or Extended)

Level 0 - Human Disaster - Civil / Social / Services breakdown, even with no observable natural disaster. Riots + looting (ie: 1990's L.A. Riots, 2008 Greece), short war, political starvation (ie: African aid hijacking) . Services are overwhelmed for a short term.

Level 0X - Extended Human disaster - Extended riots (ie: 1960's Greece), Civil War, genocide (ie: 1990's Rawanda, China's Great Leap Forward, Today's Darfur). Massive population displacement, likely away from food sources and medical care and other services.

Level 1 Natural - Fire Flood Tornado Drought Disease: Temporary (2-4 weeks) disruption of normal services and/or trade
  • Need 2-4 weeks of food (rice, beans, sugar, flour), heat source (propane camping stove + fuel), water (stored or Berkey filter), Entertainment (Cards, games, RV charger-battery-DVD/Laptop)
  • Medical - Plenty of OTC medications to relieve minor ailments (cold, stomach, etc for adults and kids) because your doctor will certainly be too busy, N98 masks to protect family members

Level 1X Persistent natural disasters 4 weeks +
  • Electricity gone, all else normal - batteries might only last a few days...need a solar charger, deep cycle battery, and an inverter. Cold climates might need a bank of batteries and a larger inverter to run an electric blanket.
  • Water gone, all else normal - can use gas or electricity to boil water, Big Berkey filter a plus
  • Natural Gas gone, all else normal - can usually use electricity for same purposes as gas.
  • Drought - water barrels
  • Medical - backup prescription medications, extensive first aid supplies such as a military field kit, antiviral masks, gloves

Level 2 Economic - Stock crash, recession
  • Save on costs, food: dehydration, canning, gardening; Energy: insulation, efficient bulbs
  • Invest in Yourself: training and schooling since jobs are scarce anyway
  • Precious metals: sometimes a good investment, sometimes not, if accumulated over time much less chance of getting burned.
Level 2X - Depression - little to no economic activity - All Black Market, energy very expensive
  • Get out of Debt because old debts are in inflated dollars, but earning power is reduced - sell everything not nailed down.
  • Save Money - as above, perhaps with Solar panels + deep cell battery and inverter to save on electric bills

Level 3 Political - constitutional crisis, election unrest
  • Home and personal defense (ie: sit in your house/business with a shotgun)
Level 3X - Police State
  • Exit areas of urban unrest - prepare to defend in rural isolation
  • Secure communications

Level 4 Currency - massive deflation, hyperinflation, debt default - limited to nation or region
  • Food stocks - prepare for 200-300% increase in food costs, prepare as level 2 above but for 1-2 years
  • Trade: Utilize gold, silver, and tangibles (food, ammo, booze). Get small amounts too (not all big gold coins, get silver dimes and quarters, perhaps links of a 24K chain to break apart)
  • Wealth - can own other currencies that have not collapsed, and precious metals or other commodities
Level 4X - Global currency or debt default
  • Wealth - no suitable alternate currencies exist, convert wealth to precious metals and tangibles/trade-ables.

Level 5 Devastation - Tornado Swarm, Volcano, Asteroid strike, Single Nuclear Exchange, Dustbowl - Some regions become temporarily and/or locally uninhabitable, others may be OK
  • Transportation - make sure it's rugged, reliable, and ensure that all of your gear will actually fit in the car with passengers
  • Only real goods matter, food fuel, water
Level 5X - Extended Devastation - either a local area for a long time or a large distance.

Level 5XXX Total Devastation - Total TEOTWAWKI - Total Nuclear War, Multiple asteroid strikes, Ice Age, Supervolcano, SuperTsunami, War of Worlds/Independence day attack of superior aliens (hey, you can't *prove* it WON'T happen),
  • Total bunker mentality - do the best you can, hunker down or run like crazy (depending on situation), prepare to kiss your a** goodbye?
  • Communication - radio - link up with others
So we have a characterization of the disaster, but that is only one half of the equation.

Let's add this together with the next proposed scale.

Social Reaction Scale - Color coded scale that reflects social reaction to the Event.

This is built upon this article found on the blog TEOTWAWKIAIFF.

This matters for preppers because, for instance, you could have a major disaster with good social support, or just a plain old riot for no other reason than a sports team won or lost, and this will affect our preparations.

White - we've cleared local space of asteroids, have full employment, health, drug, and mental treatment, don't bother locking your doors.

- Peacetime, low crime, good social services infrastructure.

- "Peacetime" - meaning covert wars spawning some terrorism, some crime, barely coping social infrastructure, mostly reasonable 911 and hospital waits.

- High crime, overwhelmed social infrastructure. Long waits for 911, hospital treatment.

- Very high crime, broken social infrastructure - 911 is a joke. Carry at all times.

- Lawlessness with rampant crime- corrupt social infrastructure, cops might help or fire warning shots at you. If someone stops or speaks to you assume a robbery or kidnap attempt (ie: Argentina, South Africa)

- shoot first ask later - the black helicopters, insane hillbillies, bloodthirsty viking invaders, virus-crazed zombies, aliens, demons, gremlins, evil animated puppets, whatever.

Disaster Scale Examples

Just some recent examples off the top of my head...I'm still working on my Disaster Historian degree so any info/input welcome.

  • 2009 KY ice storm - Level 1X - Blue - even though it sucked for the participants, order was maintained.
  • Katrina - Level 1X - Red - because it was an
    extended natural disaster, where social services and civil order broke
    down completely.
  • 2005 Tsunami - Level 5X - Yellow - Total devastation, with mild looting (possibly because most of the population was simply gone).
  • Iraq War - Level 0X - Black (from Iraqi's P.O.V.)
  • 9-11 - Level 0X - Blue - Huge local man-made disturbance, some overwhelming of local services.
  • LA riots - Level 0X - Orange - Huge local man-made disturbance, overwhelming fire services, some random violence
  • 1990's Mississippi flooding - Level 1X - Blue huge local devastation, with local help available and remote
    emergency services on the way.
  • 1990's CA wildfires/mudslides - Level 1 - Blue - huge local devastation, with local help available and remote
    emergency services on the way.
  • Mt. St. Helens -Level 5X-Blue - huge local devastation, with local help available and remote
    emergency services on the way.
  • 1970's New York financial crisis - Level 0X - Yellow - Extended man-made financial crisis led to long-term crime problem
  • East Coast Hurricanes - Level 1 Blue- Level 1X (direct hit) Green - Can be anything from inconvenient to total destruction like Hurricane Andrew.
  • Argentina 2001 Currency Default - L4X-RED - extended local currency devaluation with violence and crime and breakdown of social services - as described by the Ferfal blog.
  • Russia's 1990's Currency Devaluations - L4-YELLOW - sustained if degraded govt and social services, yellow due to some increased crime and gang kidnappings.
  • 2011 Japanese Earthquake/Tsunami/Meltdown - L5X - Blue (L5XXX for radiation evacuation zone) - Total local devastation, permanent in evacuation zone. Japanese culture luckily lends itself to teamwork - they even refuse to keep found money, having taught since school to turn found property over to the police
I hope people will help me flesh this out - input is very welcome, and that with this framework in mind, we can have more useful discussions targeting specific types of disaster preparation, and the cost/benefit ratio of each.

Since it is very likely that we will have a big weather event (look at the Kentucky ice storm - 1 million without power...how many batteries are left on the store shelves?) we should all be prepared for L1 and L1X events. Economies tend to be cyclical, so one should expect L2 events as well.

Total government, economic, or currency meltdowns are highly unlikely, but very very bad when they happen. So with limited $$$ resources one might not quit the job, sell the house and head for the hills just yet, but might make more modest preparations such as accumulating precious metals as finances allow, and keep an eye on things.

Basically, what I'm saying is buying gas masks and a bullet proof vest when you don't have enough batteries, food or blankets to last out a big storm doesn't make much sense.

I look forward to networking with all you Preppers!


Friday, June 26, 2009

Food In Plain Sight...

This kind of stuff will become increasingly important in the months and years to come.
Cache Gardening...otherwise known as "guerrilla gardening" or "crop naturalization" is an important tool in the preppers' arsenal. Be sure to seedbomb or plant seeds and crops at various points along your bugout route or near your home or bugout location. It won't give a huge return but it's not meant to. It's just a backup method for caching small amounts of fruits, veggies, grains, etc.



Semper Vigilans...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Famine Ahead

From the Survivalist Blog

Crop scientists fear the Ug99 fungus could wipe out more than 80 percent of worldwide wheat crops as it spreads from its home base in eastern Africa. It has jumped the Red Sea and traveled as far as Iran. Experts say it is poised to enter the breadbasket of northern India and Pakistan, and the wind inevitably will carry it to Russia, China and even North America — if it doesn't hitch a ride with people first. Read more here

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Weapons taken from Vets?

The following came to me as an email. I have no idea if it is true but lets get this information to vets if it is.

Monday, June 01, 2009
U.S. Military Vets being disarmed!
(TRN) -- The U.S. Veterans Administration has been instructed by the Department of Homeland Security to ask military vets 3 questions when they come in for any kind of medical check-up or problem. Answering "Yes" to any single question will result in the vet being disarmed by the government.

The following e-mail was sent to the Turner Radio Network by a Vietnam Veteran who enjoys our radio shows. His identity is being concealed to prevent reprisals.

“I had a doctors appointment at the local VA clinic yesterday and found something very interesting I would like to pass along.. While going through triage before seeing the doctor, I was asked at the end of the exam, three questions.
(1. Did I feel stressed?)
(2. Did I feel threatened?)
(3. Did I feel like doing harm to someone?)

The nurse then informed me, if I had answered yes to any of the questions, I would have lost my concealed carry permit as it would have gone into my medical records and the VA would have reported it to Homeland Security.

I am a Viet Nam vet and 13 year cc permit holder.

Looks like they are going after us vets."
Be forewarned and be aware.

The Obama administration has gone on record as considering veterans and gun owners as potential terrorists.

If you are a veteran, you've been warned.

If you know veterans, please pass this on to them.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Appellate court upholds Chicago gun ban

Here is an excellent article discussing the recent appellate court case. Pay particular attention to the last paragraph which reads,

This seems to be specious legal reasoning to me. The Constitution specifically states that any matters not covered by it were to be left to the states. That obviously does not include the Second Amendment. If the Constitution is indeed the law of the land, it would seem to me that it would supersede state and municipal laws. Based on the judge's way of thinking, Los Angeles or Detroit could legalize slavery or coin their own money without running afoul of the feds.

John Adams and the Sons of Liberty

We need to read and reread the original sources of our history. I’m reading the life of John Adams. In my opinion, he was the most profound intellectual stimulus in the American Revolution.

The following is an excerpt from the book John Adams, by Page smith, from vol.1 pages 110 and 111.

The entire quote is in red below. Please excuse any typos.

Take note of the informal creed they affirmed with their toasts, and the song they sang. Both of these cemented into their hearts and minds the need to be willing to fight for their freedoms. This all happened close to a decade before the actual war of the revolution took place. Read article here.

Eat the Weeds

A week or two ago I came across this web page called "Eat the Weeds". The author has multiple videos on Youtube showing what plants are good to eat and how to prepare them. As time allows I would like to copy and save many of these on CD (I'll never remember all this stuff).

Urban gardening

My friend Steve sent me these pics of his urban garden made using plastic 55 gallon drums.

He simply cut these food grade barrels in half, put gravel in the bottom, covered with weed barrier cloth, and then his soil.

I'm anxious to see his plants growing throughout the summer.
See more.

Started my garden last weekend

When I was a kid we had a massive garden. I used to think it was the biggest garden in the world, and I hated it. When I grew up I never got into gardening, but it was mostly at time and location thing. Now at the ripe old age of 40 I'm starting my first real garden. I still can't say that it is because I need or want another hobby, and it is definitely not because I love my veggies! However, I do love nearly everything outdoors and this is becoming enjoyable. Read article here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Map Sites...

I posted this tonight on my bushcraft/prepper's blog. Figured it'd be a good resource for those who may want to begin plotting their bugout route...


Some websites I've found over the years which have come in handy for locating topo maps...


Topoquest is a project started by a guy who knows his way around the internet and who was pisd that TopoZone was bought out by Trails.com, who removed most of the free functionality that Topozone had originally offered.

Mytopo is a site which offers laminated or waterproofed, high-quality and fullsized topo maps for very reasonable prices and quick shipping. Excellent customer service!

Semper Vigilans,


FYI - the local 9-12 group is planning a trip to the nearby LDS Food Storage Facility located here:

6900 South Point Parkway
Brecksville , OH 44141

McKay says: "This storage facility offers a variety of dehydrated food that you can yourself (think large industrial size cans with a shelf life of 30+ yrs) We'll can as a team and need to place our order (what food we want to can) by Thur. so that they have the correct food pulled from the shelves."

(RSVP deadline: June 11, 2009 7:00 PM)

Full details here (you might need to join the meetup group to see the page):


Anybody interested in going?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Swine Influenza...

Taken from my blog tonight:

It's enough to make one wonder whether it's been engineered, though germs do have a nasty habit of propagating and adapting. This is what we get for the overuse of antibiotics, both in animals and humans. If you come into contact with anyone who shortly afterward becomes deathly ill with a severe respiratory infection, call your local health agency and go to the frakkin hospital for treatment. They will test you for it and if you have it they will put you in quarantine in a plastic bubble till you either get better or die. Best thing to do is to avoid public places if there is talk of bad mojo afoot. If you keep pigs be sure that none of your neighbors' associate with your herd.

Keep up with this as this kind of thing spreads rapidly.
Possible cases have been discovered in British Columbia and there have been cases in Kalifornia and San Antonio Texas so far in addition to Mexico, where 60 persons out of 900 reported cases have died.

Some links:


RSOE Alertmail Subscription Page:

Semper Vigilans.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The coming food crisis

Someone just sent me a link to this. Interesting food for thought.
If the video doesn't play properly, click on it and view it on YouTube.

From the YouTube page you can click the "more info" button on the right and view many web pages that are the source for this video.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Local Preppers Meeting

I have a group of like-minded people who are working together locally to prep. It is mostly people from my church, but a few others are also part of it. We have met a few times and shared ideas through my blog page called Survival Together. We are beginning to get a little more organized and will be meeting again this Friday night. Below is a copy of the email I've sent to the group. It is an intro to the meeting and somewhat of an agenda for our time. Note the homework assignment at the end.

Survival Together Meeting
This Friday night. 7:00 at ____________ house.
He’ll make the coffee, we’ll bring the snacks.

Anyone may come to this meeting, but frankly I’m only inviting those of you who are taking this stuff seriously. If you want to invite others, do so, but only bring those who are serious. Please let me know if you are coming and how many you are bringing.

I feel that there is a great amount of work to be done and who knows if we have a long time or a short time to do it. We need to work together as much as possible. All of our lives are busy and hectic, so getting together isn’t easy. We need to make the best possible use of our time. I am including a homework assignment below. This is an exercise we should all be doing, and it could be very beneficial to share with each other the things we are working on. I’ve divided our prepping needs into eight categories to assist in getting a grip on what we need to do.

At Friday’s meeting I would like to start by going over this list (homework), each person sharing as much as he is willing, and then having some open discussion to expand our knowledge.

Other things I would like to discuss at this meeting are:
1) Communications, short term and long term. In a crisis phones may be out. We need to communicate in order to help one another.

2) A specific plan for working together throughout a crisis. I would like to think through the possibility of trying to assist others (people in our church and older people). And the possible necessity or several families staying together.

3) The need to be getting other people on board with prepping. It is best to work in smaller groups for a multitude of reasons, but if bad things happen we all have family, friends, neighbors, etc., who will be in great need. The moral and right thing to do is to help them as much as possible, but you can’t give them everything you have. It would be so much better if they will prepare a little themselves ahead of time.

I hope you all can make it. Don’t forget to do your homework!


What have you done so far to prepare in the following categories:



Shelter / heat




Medical needs

Other (toiletries, baby needs, kids entertainment, etc)

What do you feel you still need to do in the following areas:







Medical needs

Other (toiletries, baby needs, kids entertainment, etc)

Be prepared to discuss the following things as well:
What unique or interesting things have you come across that may be of interest to the rest of us? (feel free to bring things along for demonstration)

What resources do you have to share? (articles, web pages, places to buy things, etc.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

They're Watching

This is headlines on the Drudge Report and will probably be in the news over the next few days.

A new report is out explaining that Homeland Security will be investigating right-wing extremest groups over the next few months. Read this article and you'll see that they are watching a VERY broad spectrum of people.

Stalin used gun control before starving millions

Tracy at Alabama Preppers has this great article on British gun control.
After reading that post I was motivated to post this...

Some people are not interested in political stuff on a prepping network. I think it is important to see the necessity of prepping based on the world around us. What is that quote?... "Those who don't know history will be doomed to repeat it". (someting like that)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Water Storage Options and Hello from PA!

Hey there!
I'm PMZ from PA. I'm attending college in NY State currently but will be back in the greater Lehigh Valley area come May. I'm glad to have the opportunity to learn from you all and occasionally contribute something or other. I've not been prepping for as long as some of you, but once in a while I may chip in.

Here's a short article I wrote regarding water supplies, treatement and stockpiling.
I posted this on www.bushcraftusa.com and http://berserkersbushcraft.blogspot.com/ a while ago and thought it worthy of it's own post on here...

Hey all,
Here is some food for thought...
The human body can survive for three days without water, even less in arid or hot environments, still less when performing hard work.

One needs at least a gallon of water per person per day per household. This is drinking and cooking water. Washing water should be factored in separately.

Since I am at college I have only myself and my roommates to provide for, however I have taken the liberty to stockpile water in plastic soda bottles and milk jugs. I have only enough for a few days; after that I'd have to resort to transporting it from the creek out back of the apartments. I pre-treat my water with 1/8 teaspoon of plain bleach per gallon, or even 1/8 teaspoon/half-gallon. Keep in mind that with this method of water storage, you must dispose of the containers every six months or so (the milk jugs in particular tend to degrade quickly).

Other methods include:

  • Storage in jerry-can-type water-cans, such as were used from WWII through current conflicts. These can be found in varying condition from various sellers. The best are lined with ceramic or some such as this prevents the growth of mold, mildew and bacteria while insulating your wasser for those hot days in the field.

  • Storage in HDPE "blue cans," these are the most cost-effective method to stockpile transportable amounts of water, usually between 3 and 5 gallons.

  • Storage in Food-Grade 55 gallon drums. Food grade barrels can be found for cheap, or even free from suppliers of honey, molasses, and various other types of food industries. You will want to pressure-wash these to remove traces of whatever was in them before you picked them up. Also keep in mind that while this is a viable option, it is hard to refill them or clean them without a pressurized water source, thus, this should not be your only means of storing water. The steel 55 gallon honey drums which my uncle sells from our corncrib back home are great for use as rainbarrels, which is a very effective way to put to use whatever precipitation drains off of your roof. Even a very small roof will collect a sizeable amount of water. It is a good idea to set up a gravity-fed irrigation system for your planters or garden boxes using rainbarrels.

  • Storage in large, buriable tanks. This is a good way to stockpile water, however you will want to have not only an inlet but a way to bleed it and also a way to treat it (such as bleach or pool crystals).

There are three distinct categories of water according to my friend Eric:

1. Drinkable water on hand: This is primarily bottled water. We have roughly a dozen cases on hand at any given time. I hope to double that amount very soon. We add a few cases each time we go to Costco or Sam's.

2. Accessible water on the property: For us, this includes the water in the water heater, a well, any water remaining in the pipes of our orchard sprinkler system, and our pond. I wouldn't want to drink the water from the pond unless necessary, but we could certainly use it for flushing toilets when needed. And in a worst case scenario I have everything I need to make the pond water safe enough to drink.

3. Water in the area, within walking/carrying distance: We have several small streams/rivers within just a couple of miles of our ranch. Water is heavy and I wouldn't want to transport too much of it very far, but it's good to know where it's at.
So following this logic, there is a strong case (perhaps stronger a case than for stockpiling food) for the stockpiling of drinkable water and the upkeep of water-collection systes BEFORE SHTF.

Therefore I recommend a Five-Pronged approach to stockpiling water:

We (as Survivalists) should have:

  • 1. Ultra-portable 1-gallon or Half-gallon-sized jugs or a case of bottled spring water to grab in a "leave-now-or-forever-hold-your-peace" scenario (bugout issue),
  • 2. Vehicle-portable jerry cans or blue jugs (preferably five per BOV in addition to case of spring water),
  • 3. Rainbarrels for sustainable gardening without the benefit of an electric well-pump,
  • 4. A hand-pump for our wells. This is something I've yet to convince my Dad is the most important prep-item you can get. Problem is it's a relatively expensive procedure. However in an emergency it'd be worth its weight in gold. Just be sure to place it in a location unavailable to the general public or its liable to walk off.
  • 5. A dedicated water-tank for SHTF scenarios. Remember that if it's not properly maintained, mold or other nasties are sure to grow in it.

My pal Eric states that the human body needs 80 oz. of water per day in comfortable weather WITHOUT hard work. He says that if one is eating MREs or other emergency rations, the amount of water necessary for digestion rises dramatically, so plan for 80 oz. of water/day/person.

For two people that would be 8.75 gallons of DRINKING water per week, or 35 gallons per month. He says an average-sized dog drinks approximately 1-1.5 gallons per week. A small dog or cat would probably drink less than a half-gallon per week.

So to keep two people and several dogs hydrated for a month, one would need 65 gallons. That is ONLY DRINKING WATER and DOES NOT include water for cooking, washing dishes, clothes, flushing toilets, etc.

What does this mean? This means we should each have on hand at least 100 gallons of fresh, non-contaminated drinking water. This is just for two people and some pets! Add a gallon of drinking water per day per person per household, and you may well end up deciding that you need a 300-gallon water tank IN ADDITION to your stocks of easily-transportable drinking water.

As always, remember that without the benefit of either an artesian well or a hand pump, one is at the mercy of the droughts and at the mercy of the rescuers. Thus it is absolutely imperative that we all have a good supply of drinking water on hand AND have the means to get more from our immediate water table. Those of us who live in the cities or suburbia will have a harder time meeting these needs. In a long-term SHTF scenario, these folks will have to relocate in order to be able to draw clean drinking water from streams, springs, lakes etc.

Some useful water-prep related links:
www.hewsystem.com ---> expensive, holds less, but is much more durable and fits tubs better.
www.waterbob.com---> less expensive option, holds more but is less durable.
www.aquatabs.ca ---inexpensive way to treat small amounts of water, (bleach based).
www.berkeyfilters.com ---> expensive.
http://shop.monolithic.com/products/...ic-drip-filter ---> less expensive option, best used in addition to bleach, iodine, boiling or other methods.


Till Next Time,

If anybody has any suggestions as per other ways to store/treat/swap water and boost water collection during droughts, let me know.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Woman raped twice infront of witnesses

While at the Women of Caliber web page I noticed this blog entry. It seems that this young woman was raped over a period of ten minutes while two Mass Transit Authority workers sat watching in the security of their booths. These vermin did nothing to help. When the police arrived TEN MINUTES LATER the assailant was gone and the deed was done. It is a good thing NYC violates the second amendment so that people can be safe.

We live in such a narcissistic society full of spineless, self-absorbed, weenies that a woman can't expect two men to come to her aid over a period of ten minutes while she is being raped! Thankfully we have the police - ten minutes too late. I have no problem with police, just with the faulty concept that their job is to protect every citizen 24 x 7.

Sorry for my rant. I have daughters and these stories get to me.

Gun Confiscation after Tornado

This story was new to me. I've heard about a number of similar situations surrounding the Katrina event, but this one is a wake up call. The author at "Women of Caliber" did an outstanding job researching and reporting the illegal confiscation of guns in Greensburg, KS after the tornado in 2007. Please go read this this story. They tell it a lot better than I can summarize it here.

Pigs for survival

I hear a lot of people talk about raising chickens, ducks, rabbits, and goats which are all great animals for the small farm or back yard. Many of these animals can be raised on one acre or less; even in a suburban setting when local regulations permit it. Some communities have regulations which allow chickens, but not hoofed animals. Still, it is surprising that more people are not raising pigs.

Pigs have some tremendous benefits in survival situations. What might these benefits be? Well feeding them for one. Pigs need food to grow, but the reality is that they can eat almost anything. If enough pasture land is available, pigs can live off of the grasses. I have killed wild pigs in the woods which appeared to be making a good living on acorns and wild plants

Barring a crisis situation, pigs can be cheap to feed and they will certainly grow fatter with a little grain and day old bread from the local bakery. What else might they eat? Anything. I knew a farmer who would pick up road killed deer and feed to his pigs. They ate everything but the hide and the bones. One time he asked me to give him a hand feeding his pigs. When I arrived he had me help him move 55 gallon drums. The drums were full of cow innards from a local butcher shop. You guessed it, the pigs ate it all.

You might not want to feed your pigs cow innards and road killed dear on a regular basis, but in a crisis situation it is nice knowing you have an animal that can stay alive on almost anything.
Think about it. Any and all waste from the kitchen could go to the pigs. In addition, any left overs (innards) from other animals could go to the pigs. In addition you could find grass and plants to feed pigs all summer.

Other advantages to raising pigs include the fact that one sow will have between 6 and 14 piglets. That is more pork than you need, and it will probably be exactly what your neighbor needs and may be willing to trade something really nice to get.

If you can get your sow to birth in late winter or early spring, by late fall or perhaps Christmas you could butcher. You could butcher earlier or later if needed, but you would need to strike a balance between letting the pig grow bigger over time, and running out of feed in the winter. Winter is also a good time to butcher if you plan to cure the meat. When curing, the meat will need to sit in a salt solution for weeks and if the temperature is too high, the meat could spoil.

If you are thinking of survival food and farming, pigs are worth a serious look. They eat anything, grow fast, have lots of babies, are good for trading, and are mighty tasty.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Book: Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse

If you haven't read James Wesley Rawles book, Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the coming Collapse, let me suggest that you get two copies immediately. Read and keep one for yourself, and give the other one to a friend.

Apparently the book has been out in various editions and forms for a long time. I purchased my copy about two months ago and read the whole thing in three days. A new edition has just been released and it is cheaper than mine was.

The book is a survival manual disguised as a novel. As a writer I have to say Rawles isn't bad. The book is choppy in some places and has been criticized for having long discourses about "mundane" things like the unique function of a particular firearm. You may not appreciate all of that stuff, but it may be easier to take your medicine when you remind yourself that it is education in the form of a story.

Many will not agree with all that Rawles says or the positions he has the characters take, but I think most people will have to admit that it is a very worthwhile read.

As a God fearing Christian (and Pastor) I appreciated the clean language in the book. It was also void of any inappropriate sexual discussion. A rare and worthy plus in my book.

Is anyone following near Northeastern PA

I'm wondering what readers might be out there who are somewhere near my part of the country. Meet-ups are taking place in several states, but it is too far for me to travel. I'm not ready to plan a big event yet, but I'm wondering who might be in the eastern PA, New Jersey, or southeastern NY area. Even if we never meet in person, it would be good to know others are nearby. If you are within an hour or three please leave a comment or drop me an email at phughes07@gmail.com

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

HAM radio for survival

HAM radio is on my list of things to investigate for survival. My family is spread out over several hundred miles in different directions and contacting them in a grid-down situation will be impossible. It would be horrible not being able to contact loved ones to see how they are doing or to let them know how we are doing.

I just came across a great post at the Alabama Preppers page by Tracy. Read it here.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Curing Meat (part 2)

This is the second post about curing part of a pig which my family received as a Christmas present. In the first part I described butchering and bagging the pig. I am including a few more pictures of that process here.

Please take note of the first picture. I hope you're not too squeamish, but if you're going to be a survivalist, you'll need to do a lot more than just look at pictures of this stuff. First, do you know where the bacon is located on the half of pig laying there? I can't really describe how to get it out, you kind of need to see it done, but it is underneath the rib cage as you are looking at that picture. For reference, the left side of the picture is the hind quarter, then in the middle is the rib cage and bacon and the front(to the right) is the front shoulder.

Second, note the pig head in the background. The head has been skinned because there is a good amount of meat on it -- it's a meathead. Most of the meat there is put into sausage, but my relatives eat the tongue, and some people eat more than that. In a survival situation, you will want to save as much edible meat and fat as possible. The fat has a lot of uses.
The second picture shows some of the meat packaged for the freezer. As I stated in the first post. Freezer bags are a big time saver, and they seem to have no problem keeping the food for up to a year. The larger ones have no problem holding a medium sized chicken. A side benefit of the freezer bags, and one which I have never utilized, is that you could reuse them. We always throw away all packaging that has touched raw meat. That seems to be the normal and wise thing to do when everything is cheap and available. In a crisis situation I'd probably save mine and reuse it. Now that I think about it, this is kinda cool, I've already got a freezer full of meat packaging supplies.
On to the curing process.

I'm still learning about all this but will share what I've learned. (In other words, don't' quote me as an expert, do your own research).
There are multiple ways of curing meat. The salt cure is one that has probably been around for thousands of years. You can find many recipes on the Internet and in books.

My recipe was as follows: three gallons water, three cups of pickling salt, one cup brown sugar, and 1 oz. curing salt. This is enough for about 25 lbs. of meat.

I got my information from Sugar Mountain Farms blog. The author of that page notes that the curing salt contains 6.25% sodium nitrate which has been connected to cancer. It is a helpful preservative, but not necessary if you will be eating it relatively soon, or freezing properly.

The curing salt is cheap(.99 cents / oz.) and can be purchased here.
In order to cure an entire hind quarter I had to cut it into two pieces. Once cut, each piece easily fit into a five gallon bucket. The above recipe was enough for one bucket and each half of the hind quarter weighed between 25 and 30 lbs. I was able to cure the bacon in one of the buckets with the ham as well.

Before placing the hams into the bucket of cure it is important to inject the meat with some of the curing solution that has already been mixed up in the bucket. This is done to insure that the curing solution gets all the way in to the bone at the center.
A meat pump is used to inject the meat. (Wow! I don't own one of these, but borrowed one from my brother-in-law. I just saw the price. This one is going for nearly $50. You might find a cheaper one.)

Just suck up the juice by pulling out the plunger, insert the sharp point into the meat, and depress the plunger. I did this in at least five or six places on each cut. The idea is to be sure that the meat near the bone is fully saturated. When the solution is injected you can see the meat swell to receive the solution.
Once the meat is injected it may be placed into the buckets and the resealable lids put in place. As stated previously, I put the bacon on top of one of the hams. The bacon did not need to be injected.

Now for the waiting. Meat may be cured from 2 weeks to 6 six weeks or longer. It depends upon your purpose and in my case weather conditions. I believe the theory is that the longer it cures, the longer it will last. If your freezer is out of service, you may need to preserve meat in such a way that it will last for long periods in warm weather.

If you are just looking for good taste I can assure you that two weeks is sufficient for the hams. I had planned to cure mine for longer but the weather was getting too warm. I have a wood stove in my basement and was having a hard time keeping the meet between 32 and 45 degrees, so after two weeks I pulled it out. You'll want to get a good meat thermometer as well.

I should mention that I pulled the bacon out after only 4 days and it was fantastic.

I made my own smoker. To accomplish this I simply stacked up cement blocks five layers high and about four square. This is bigger than needed but I already had a large BBQ pit made so this was a simple modification. I then cut a piece of particle board to fit over the top. Mesh wire was attached to the particle board in order to hold the meat. The meat would hang on the underside of this board, over the smoke pit.

To create the smoke you could simply light a hardwood fire, but I chose to use charcoal. When the charcoal fire was glowing red, I spread it out, and covered it with soaking wet hickory wood chips. These were purchased at Home Depot for $5. As soon as that smoke started billowing up, I flipped the board containing the meat over the top of the smoker. I then covered and surrounded the whole thing with a tarp and let it sit for about six hours. At the end of six hours I brought it inside and it was ready to cut and package.

I borrowed a meat slicer for the bacon. The hams were cut into about 8 pieces for family size consumption and then packaged in the zip lock freezer bags. I must say, that was some of the best hickory smoked bacon I've ever had.

Blog Archive

Pennsylvania Prepper sNetwork Est. Jan 17, 2009 All contributed articles owned and protected by their respective authors and protected by their copyright. Pennsylvania Preppers Network is a trademark protected by American Preppers Network Inc. All rights reserved. No content or articles may be reproduced without explicit written permission.