It’s been a while since I’ve had a Legacy Food Storage Kit meal and I’m beginning to get sad because I only have two left to review.
Fortunately, I think I’ve saved the best for last since this time we’re looking at the Chili Mac meal which, to be honest, is one of my favorites:
Here’s the backside:
If you can’t read it well the directions are about the same as every other meal, just boil some water, add the food, cook for a bit, let sit… enjoy.
And here’s the nutrition facts:
Fortunately, there’s not a lot of saturated fats in this meal which my gallbladder appreciates, lol.
And, finally the meal itself which made enough for three large bowls for sure, but only my eldest son and I had a bowl because the rest of my family was on some train trip across Seattle:
Anyway, the meal was seasoned well, in my opinion, and not too spicy whatsoever; I’d imagine even my wife (who detests spicy foods) would eat it. 🙂
I should point out that when I’d originally dished up my bowl I was worried that there wasn’t going to be enough noodles to make this a chili mac, but after eating it I can attest there was plenty of noodles, which I prefer.
Honestly, this is probably very similar to the chili meal but with some noodles tossed in, which is fine with me.
Mushrooms are one of the most striking and intriguing vegetation in the world – highly regarded for their nutrient composition. All mushroom varieties are characterized by beautiful forms and shapes. Though some have medicinal properties, others are poisonous and lethal.
Picking of mushrooms is steadily becoming a hobby for many people, often for food but also for recreation. We hope that this course will guide you in taking up this activity too.
Realize that many poisonous mushrooms will resemble edible mushrooms from other climatic zones of the world. Hence, it’s paramount that you are certain those you pick for food are harmless beyond any reasonable doubt. This article will focus on helping you distinguish edible mushrooms from the otherwise poisonous mushrooms.
[Editor’s note: Please consult a local knowledgeable expert and/or guidebook before attempting mushroom picking! You health and safety are nothing to be taken lightly as choosing the wrong mushroom can be potentially lethal.]
Types of Mushrooms
Mushrooms are classified into two broad categories: edible mushrooms and poisonous mushrooms.
People normally have diverse reactions to the foods they ingest – this fact holds true for mushroom consumption. What may be edible for some people may not be necessarily edible to everyone. North America is known to be home to approximately 250 mushroom species. Edible mushrooms are those that pose no health issues whatsoever when consumed.
The safest way to identify edible from poisonous mushrooms is via accurate verification of their specie by an expert collector. Though books are an acceptable alternative means towards identification of edible mushroom species, it can occasionally prove catastrophic. Empirical identification methods such as smell and taste can be extremely dangerous as some poisonous mushrooms could exhibit a pleasant smell and taste.
Poisonous mushroom species are those that cause health complications when ingested. Their mere resemblance to edible mushroom varieties has in numerous occasions confused mushroom collectors. In some cases an unwitting victim does not exhibit symptoms of poisoning immediately after consumption, but often shows up after 48 hours. Symptom severity, however, varies from case to case.
Poisonous mushrooms can lead to death within 3 to 6 days after ingestion. As such, it is very important that the victim seek medical attention immediately. Mushroom poisoning symptoms include dizziness, breathing problems, diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration. Some of the most poisonous mushroom species include the death cap mushroom, Amanita phalloides, Amanita virosa (the destroying angel), Amanita muscaria (the fly Agaric) and Cortinariusrubellus.
Identification of the different mushroom species
There exist numerous methods for the identification of mushrooms and all methods should be employed when out foraging. The criteria include:
Do the mushrooms possess distinct smell?
Do the mushrooms change their colour when bruised or cut?
What is the shape, texture, color and size of the cap?
What is the shape, texture and size of the stem? Does the mushroom have a skirt/ring and are there any visible markings on it? Is the base narrow, bulbous, sack-like or rooting?
Do the mushrooms have any pores, gills, or spikes under their cap? If gills are present, how close are they? Do they fork? Are they linked to the stem? Are they soft or pliable and brittle?
What is the flesh texture? Texture (soft, brittle covered with hairs).
At what time and season of the year is it?
Remember to always confirm with various pictures and guides as mushrooms can appear different in regard to their age, the locale they grow, as well as the type of climate they grow in.
Difference between Toadstools and Edible Mushrooms
Although some varieties of mushrooms out there are edible, others are highly poisonous and lethal; however, there exist no hard and fast rules or test through which one can safely discern the poisonous varieties other than accurate identification of the species.
Most people are familiar with the common mushroom varieties since these are the edible mushrooms that are readily available for purchase at the supermarket and grocery. You may not necessarily go out looking for mushrooms in the wild, but many people are known to identify, collect and ingest wild mushrooms. Again, only people with appropriate knowledge and training in mushroom identification should collect and consume mushrooms from the wild.
There are so many factors one need to take into consideration when trying to identify mushrooms in the wild. In this guide, we will go through mushroom identification process regarding their habitat, spores, gills and much more.
Typically, physical characteristics (such as color and shape) are the first attributes one will notice. Upon successful examination of these mushroom traits, the identification process becomes much easier and usually straightforward.
We’ve categorized the main mushroom characteristics into four broad sections: the toxins, habitat, physical characteristics, and the smell.
The main difference between the edible and toadstool mushrooms is the toxins present in the latter. These toxins are naturally produced by the fungi, and no known mechanism of toxic removal, including cooking, canning or freezing work for mushroom toxins.
Mushroom toxins are usually sub-divided into four broad categories including.
Protoplasmic toxins – poisons that destroy body cells, and eventually cause organ failure.
Neurotoxins – compounds that lead to various neurological symptoms like hallucinations, excessive sweating, coma, convulsions, a spastic colon and depression.
Gastrointestinal irritants – cause vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea.
Disulfiram-like toxins that only exhibit symptoms if and only if alcohol is consumed (within three days after consumption); the victim will usually experience a short-lived acute toxic syndrome.
Where does the mushroom grow? Is it growing on trees or grassland? What kind of tree are they growing atop or under? Are they growing in a ring or singly, tuft or troop?
Edible mushrooms typically grow in lawns or open paddocks and not under shrubs or trees like the toadstool varieties. Amanitas, for example, start appearing in fall and summer, especially on the floor of woodlands. They are quite common in most places.
The following is a detailed list of some of the common physical characteristics that distinguish edible mushrooms from poisonous ones:
Warts or scales on the cap.
These are universal veil’s remnants that encompass the mushroom while it is young. Sometimes these patches look more like rows of raised dots.
Edible mushrooms have smooth and more or less white caps with no visible or noticeable raised warts or scales. On the contrary, poisonous mushrooms, for instance, the toxic fly agaric have a different colored cap (usually red with white spots) which has conspicuous scales and raised lumps.
Most of the edible mushrooms have bun-shaped or convex caps and sometimes with a wide low-hump. Other edible mushrooms such as chanterelles have caps that are concave and wavy or even trumpet-shaped. Poisonous species, however, have convex caps while young and flattens as the mushroom matures.
The cap of many edible mushrooms stretches from the stem as it grows developing a ring of tissue around the stem also known as the annulus. Toadstools or poisonous varieties do not have this ring around the stem.
Some mushrooms have a rounded cup commonly referred to as the “volva”, which is a universal veil remnant. To observe the swollen base clearly you may have to dig up the mushroom as it’s usually under the ground.
The base of the stem of edible mushrooms is narrow or not thick like the rest of the stalk. On the other hand, many poisonous mushrooms usually have a noticeably swollen base. The Amanita muscaria, for instance, has a bulbous base.
A spore print is an important diagnostic trait for identifying mushrooms. Identifying the color of the spore print can be very helpful as it helps you distinguish the different mushroom varieties. The color of mushroom spore can range from white to black and many other shades depending on the mushroom species. Some of the common poisonous mushrooms such as Amanita have white-colored spore prints.
You can easily obtain a spore print for color-testing by removing the stem and putting the mushroom gills on a dark or white piece of paper for several hours. Once you know the color of the spore refer to a mushroom guide to know the exact species and its edibility.
Another distinctive feature is the size and color of the mushroom’s gills. You will find most of the edible mushrooms with gills attached to the cap and not to the stalk. This means that the gills will stay attached to the cap even when the stalk is removed from the mushroom’s base. The poisonous mushroom’s gills, however, are attached to the stalk and will remain there even after you’ve removed it from the base.
The gills on the cap of a young edible mushroom cap are usually pink in colour. However, the pink colour changes as the mushroom mature to brown or black. On the contrary, poisonous mushrooms have white gills that do not change colour throughout their entire lifecycle.
Another common difference between poisonous and edible mushrooms is their smell. Some mushrooms have distinct smells or a unique smell which can help you to distinguish species that are visually similar. Some of the edible mushrooms, for instance, the Chanterelles have a distinctive fruity smell like apricots. Some of the poisonous species such as Agaricus xanthodermus, commonly known as the yellow-staining mushroom are known for their almond scent.
When you are testing for odors, crush a part of the mushroom’s cap for best results. Many mushrooms lack a smell, while others have quite a distinctive odor; thus, make sure you have a local mushroom guidebook to cross-reference.
Also, you need to keep in mind that not all mushrooms with odors give a certain smell of something as most of them have vague descriptions like “farinaceous,” meaning consisting of or containing starch.
How to Avoid Poisoning
To prevent mushroom poisoning you must be knowledgeable in the various mushroom identification methods when collecting mushrooms.
Remember that there is no simple cut-and-dry method or set identifiable features to distinguish poisonous mushrooms from edible ones; thus, once you collect mushrooms, never mix the two species, and only consume the edible mushrooms that are healthy and in good condition.
Always preserve your edible mushrooms by properly refrigerating them, and discard any mushroom you are in doubt about whether it is edible or non-edible.
Although there are numerous poisonous species, knowing how to properly identify the various mushrooms species will help to keep you from getting sick and even to enjoy your new mushroom foraging hobby.
The bottom line
There are numerous mushroom species and knowing the difference between poisonous and edible mushrooms can be a daunting task. Some mushrooms are edible and delicious, while others will give you a nasty tummy upset… maybe even lead to death. Please equip yourself with the right information and always take proper precautions when you are on the lookout for edible mushrooms.
Last, never taste a mushroom to identify whether it’s poisonous or edible because some poisonous species taste good, yet they’re deadly. Instead, remember to check on the unique physical characteristics, smell, and the habitat in which the mushroom grows to establish whether it’s safe for consumption or not.
Author Bio: Hi there, I am Jason Shiflet from HuntingPleasures.com – a website help people exchange knowledge about hunting pleasures!
Remember that awesome Prepper Bundle we talked about a few months back? Well, apparently there’s been a huge request for it to come back and fortunately for you… Jennifer and Bill have heard your requests.
Now (actually since Friday) through this coming Monday (less than 3 days as of this email) the Prepper Bundle is back! And best of all it’s also back at an awesome price of about 90% off retail.
I’m not going to bother to explain it all here again (as I’ve done so in the past) but if you’re at all interested in getting in on:
27 prepper eBooks (covering living off grid, homesteading, survival tools, and so much more)
3 eCourses and videos (e.g., building a rocket mass heater, etc.)
Getting Started PDF (to help you keep track of everything in the bundle)
Exclusive emails with articles to help you get Back To Basics and special offers throughout the year.
Last week I’d heard about a story of three family members who died during Hurricane Irma because they ran a generator inside their home. Although I couldn’t find more details, I did find this article about the incident.
Sadly, such a tragedy was entirely preventable by understanding what carbon monoxide (CO) is, how it can kill you, and perhaps most importantly: what items produce CO.
Here’s some good articles about carbon monoxide and safety:
Anyway, what that tragedy really got me to thinking about was those things (or actions) you don’t actually need to have (or do) to survive in a disaster, such as with the recent hurricanes.
Now, I’m assuming that this family was running a generator to power an air conditioner because it was relatively warm weather at the time, but that’s pure speculation on my part. If they were running a generator for any other reason then it’s even worse because there are honestly very few reasons why you’d need electricity after a disaster.
Now I can hear you saying, “But, wait! I need to keep my refrigerator and freezer food from spoiling!”
No you don’t.
You SHOULD be able to do so… but you don’t HAVE to, especially if it means doing something ignorant like running a generator inside your home.
Regardless, you don’t need to have or do many things, such as:
You don’t need power to keep the lights on if you have other light sources such as candles (not my first choice) or battery-powered lanterns (a better option). Heck, you could just sit in the dark but that sucks.
You don’t need power to run a stove or oven or even a microwave if you have alternative cook sources like a BBQ grill or even makeshift stoves. (Note: BBQ grills can also produce carbon monoxide if charcoal-based and even propane grills can put off CO as well).
Heck, you don’t even NEED to heat most foods so long as it’s been precooked, such as with canned foods. That said, some foods just need to be boiled to make them edible like rice, beans, pasta etc.
You probably don’t need hot water either for any reason (except as noted in #3); this makes for cold showers and cold teas but it still works.
Like I said above, food can be allowed to go bad and so the refrigerator doesn’t need to be kept cool. That said, I understand there are some cases where you’d hate to lose many hundreds of dollars worth of food and so you should be able to keep them running but it doesn’t have to be a generator that does it (hint: your car works pretty well for this purpose) and, besides, coolers and ice work well enough for a few to several days.
You probably won’t need to do laundry in most cases since most of us have plenty of clothes in the closet which can be dusted off.
You don’t need to bathe for weeks or longer in most cases (but I’m sure it would be appreciated by most people around you, lol). Even a simple washcloth rinse off is better than nothing.
You sure don’t need WiFi or the internet or television… except then you couldn’t read this. 🙁
I’d suggest that you don’t need your cell phone but it is our primary means of communication these days and so you really should try to keep it powered… and, of course, learn to text during and after disasters since they’re FAR more likely to get through jammed cell towers.
You don’t need almost ANY beverage (such as soda or beer) besides water to survive; sorry, you’ll live without either.
You don’t need water to flush toilets or for most common household activities; keep water for the most necessary activities such as drinking, cooking, and minimal personal hygiene including brushing your teeth and the washcloth bath… and for pets too.
In many cases you don’t need to air condition your home. Granted, there are some locations and times of the year where you’ll be miserable but so long as you can stay hydrated, in the shade, with a breeze,an so on then you’ll live. Of course, there are some folks who simply cannot tolerate the heat such as the elderly and so must be planned for.
In some cases you don’t have to heat your home either. Yes, there are locations and times of the year where you’ll literally freeze to death if you don’t (and you know who you are) but most of us will survive by putting on more clothes and huddling under lots of blankets.
You won’t need to do any dishes for weeks if you bother to stockpile some disposable supplies. Even if you want to use your dishes then items like cups, for instance, could be labeled with names and reused for quite a long time. I’d assume you could get creative too with your other dishes.
I’m sure I could go on listing items and actions you could likely do without in a relatively short term survival situation, but I’m sure you get the idea.
That said, there are some items/actions that you really shouldn’t go without. For example, any life-necessary medications or other medical equipment that literally keeps you alive come to mind. As such, it behooves you to have plenty of these medications on hand as well as the ability to power medical equipment for several days or longer if the power goes out.
Similarly, it would be silly to not be able to care for your basic needs, such as being able to heat your home if you live somewhere that you could truly freeze to death (as mentioned previously) and, of course, at least some minimal amounts of food and water. I still can’t believe people run out at the last minute to grab bottled water before a hurricane… ugh.
Today I would like to talk about the most common tactical knife edge grind types that you are likely to see and encounter when buying a knife.
The knife edge grinds types depicted above are the most common on the market today and you are likely to have seen some or most of them and maybe not have know it. Regardless, I will explain each one so that you will have a good foundation of best tactical knife blade grind types when we’re done.
1. The Scandinavian Tactical Knife Grind
The Scandinavian tactical knife grind is just about the simplest knife grind there is to understand and also, in my opinion, the easiest blade type to sharpen, especially for those who do not have a lot of sharpening experience or knowledge.
In the world of knife sharpening there are lots of confusing terms like primary edge and secondary edge, or primary and secondary grinds or even the infamous back bevel and then primary edge. This terminology can get confusing for many people. Hence, the Scandinavian tactical knife grinds.
It is the simplest of knife grinds because there is no primary edge and then a secondary edge, or back bevel and primary edge as some would say. A knife produced with the Scandinavian grind only has one grind. Take a look at the image shown below:
The Scandinavian tactical blade grind is generally set at around twenty-five degrees or twelve points five degrees per side of the blade although this can vary slightly depending on the maker/producer of the Scandinavian grind type knife. Many American makers are starting to produce “Scandi” ground blades these days for ease of use and re-sharpening.
The Scandinavian ground blade is a great blade that I highly recommend for beginning and intermediate woodsmen and campers alike. One of the best features of this type of knife grind is the width of the grind itself which lends itself to being easily re-sharpened. Other types of knife grinds with a thinner profile can actually be harder to sharpen/re-sharpen in the field as it might be difficult to determine the correct angle to reshape the knife with.
Being that it is so wide of an angle you just take the Scandi-ground knife and lay it flat on the stone or sharpening medium of your choice and then take your finger and press the blade (the primary cutting edge) down against the stone which will elevate the spine of the blade and… there you have it the correct angle in which to re-sharpen a Scandinavian ground knife!
If you look at a Scandinavian ground knife you will see that it looks very much like the edge of a samurai sword or even like the grind of a Japanese sushi knife. Both the samurai sword and the sushi knife are what is known as “zero grind” knives. By this, I mean that there is no secondary bevel that has been created on the Scandi grind. So for all intents and purposes, the Scandinavian ground knife is a “zero ground” blade.
The idea of the Scandinavian knife grind, therefore, is to avoid creating a “secondary bevel” or secondary grind. The Scandinavian knife grind is an excellent grind for all kinds of chores, it stays sharp a good long time and is easy to re-sharpen.
Now, there are times where one might hear this argument about the Scandi ground knife and it goes like this: Some people may tell you that over time and over many sharpenings that the grind itself may become convex in nature. This has never happened to me and I have carried and used Martini and Isaaki Finnish Puukko knives in the field for years and have never had the problem of the blade going convex on mine.
Any “convexation” or form of “wire edge” above the main grind that would occur should and would be “lopped” off of the blade when properly resharpened. Take my word for it, the Scandinavian ground knife is a must have for any outdoorsman at any skill level.
2. The Tactical Knife Hollow Grind
The tactical hollow ground knife blade style is one that many people have seen and may not have realized that it is a hollow ground knife. It is one of the most common types of knife grinds available today. You may have seen it on a standard Buck 110 folding hunter as this knife is very popular and has been around for years and years.
The hollow grind utilizes a profile that is concave in nature for the main grind of the knife blade (see image below). In my humble life and experience with knives, most if not all hollow ground tactical knives that I have seen have a secondary bevel that leads to a primary cutting edge. This is commonly referred to as a V grind.
Now, in many eyes the hollow grind style of blade making is considered to be a “weak” knife grind because of the fact that as you follow the grind from the beginning of the following process to the cutting edge of the blade it gets thinner and thinner the closer you get to the primary cutting edge.
Well, this is a good thing in my humble opinion as this type of blade grind lends itself to excellent skinning capabilities and if sharpened correctly is just a good all around cutting edge type of grind.
Now, like I said some people might find that a hollow ground knife is weak as there is less metal toward the primary cutting edge, but that is preferable in some cases. In my opinion, the hollow grind, if done right, is excellent blade geometry for cutting chores of all types and because the blade is thinner towards the primary cutting edge, if you utilize the proper sharpening stone or other sharpening apparatus then re-sharpening should be a breeze too.
3. The Tactical Knife Full Convex Grind
The full convex knife grind is the opposite of the hollow grind tactical knife type. If you look at a knife blade that is ground in the convex style you will be hard pressed to find a level of any type of the blade. In many cases you could even say that it looks like a “zero grind” or even a fat “Scandinavian grind” but it is a convex grind. (see image below):
The convex knife grind utilizes a continuous curve that starts at the spine of the blade and goes all the way down to the primary cutting edge of this blade grind type.
If you look closely, you will find that there is no flat area or secondary grind to this blade type and that is why many people might confuse this blade grind type with a “zero” grind or even a “Scandi” grind type. I personally do not find this type of blade grind useful for most cutting chores that I might need to accomplish, as I do prefer the ease of use of a “Scandi” blade grind or even a hollow ground blade.
4. The High Flat Tactical Knife Grind
The high flat tactical knife grind style is a grind style where the primary grind of the blade is flat (see image below). This type of grind starts closer to the spine of the knife and works its way down to the primary cutting edge of the blade:
Now, there are times when things can get a bit confusing with it comes to flat ground knives. The issue of confusion is the secondary bevel of the flat ground knife. The secondary bevel can be a “V” grind or a convex grind or even some form of a compound knife grind which is merely a grind of multiple angles of a “V” grind that looks a lot like a convex grind and is a grind type that most people who carry knives on a daily basis will not use or see in most production and custom folders or tactical fixed blade knife.
There are issues with this type of blade grind as lots of folks will get confused when some guy will say that they have put a convex edge on the blade that they are using at the time. Well, this is just a matter of proper knife grind education as it is just about impossible to put a convex grind on a high flat ground tactical knife. It would take a miracle to accomplish and I have not seen miracles of this kind in thirty years of being in the cutlery business.
What many of these guys are talking about is actually putting a secondary bevel on a convex blade grind which, in my humble opinion and to be nice, is not what you are supposed to do with a convex grind. It is convex, so leave it convex.
5. The Tactical Knife Full Flat Grind
The full flat tactical knife grind is similar to a high flat knife grind type and the only difference is that the flat ground knife blade type has a grind that is ground all the way to the top of the spine of the blade (see image below). This knife grind type has no flat portion of the blade nearest to the spine. The full flat ground tactical blade type utilizes a grind that is a single linear point from the spine of the blade all the way down to the secondary bevel of the knife. This secondary beveling can be of many types, such as “V” grinds and convex or compound just as with the high flat grind:
So there you have it, folks, the basic knife grinds employed today by most production and custom knife makers alike.
There are even more types of knife grinds available out there and many of them I will not detail here as they are employed in industrial uses and some others are used in certain types of arts and crafts.
What we have covered, however, should clear up knife edges for the everyday guy or gal who carries a pocket knife or fixed blade knife, or perhaps for the average knife collector. Please feel free to leave a comment.
I am Lyle E. Holmes, knife enthusiast and geologist, co-founder of The Tactical Knives blog. Follow me here with world’s best tactical knives review, tips and tricks.
When it comes to shooting guns, more and more people are opting to spend time at a shooting range rather than going out hunting.
Little do they know that hunting not only gives you the same adrenaline rush that you would get at a gun range, but you will also get additional benefits that will enhance your entire experience.
Whether you are a new gun owner or have been visiting the range or a significant period, below are some of the reasons why you should try hunting this year.
1. Hunting is great exercise
At the range, the only exercise you get is toting your gun, as your targets are stationary. If you are looking to get fit or simply want to stay healthy, you should consider taking up hunting. The process of hunting is not merely about making a kill. You need to stalk your prey and this can take several hours.
As a result, you get to walk around in the outdoors, which exercises your body and you get some fresh air too! Moreover, if you are hunting big game like deer, you also get a cardio workout as you lug your prize back to your vehicle.
2. Hunting promotes conservation
A little known fact about hunting is that it’s actually good for the environment. What people do not realise is that taxes paid on ammunition and firearms are used to fund the preservation of the environment, which works to ensure the game animals do not go extinct.
In addition to this, hunters also have to pay licensing fees and part of this money is also funnelled into conservation efforts. Therefore, if you take up hunting as a sport rather than going to the range, you will be playing a role in conserving the environment.
3. Hunting benefits the species
A lot is talked about dwindling numbers of certain species of animals, thus many people are aware that some animals are at risk of extinction. However, the flip side of the coin is overpopulation, and not many people are mindful of the fact that this could also be a threat to animals.
If a certain species is overpopulated, chances are they will not have sufficient resources to sustain them. As a result, they begin to die off due to malnutrition, disease and starvation. With hunting, large animal population are managed to ensure that the entire colony survives.
Additionally, hunting sites are usually sectioned off, which leads to proper management of game population.
4. Hunting boosts family bonding
A great thing about hunting is that it is a sport you can enjoy with your family. Using proper safety equipment when hunting is paramount, whether you are an adult or a child. However, with the kids it is important they are always supervised during your hunting trips.
In this day and age where electronics have taken over as kids’ primary form of entertainment, engaging in hunting is a practical way of getting your children outdoors while also making time to bond with them.
Through hunting, they can learn various life skills including self-reliance, hand-eye coordination and more.
5. Hunting provides a sustainable food source
If you live in close proximity to hunting grounds, you may never have to buy meat again! Hunting game is a sustainable practice, which not only provides you with entertainment but you also get to put food on your table.
Moreover, the way you get the meat is more sustainable to the earth when compared to commercial breeding and slaughter of animals.
It may be more cumbersome to go in search or you meat when compared to simply walking into a supermarket, but this just makes it more rewarding once you see the catch of the day ready to eat!
6. Game meat is healthy
Another reason why you should consider taking up hunting rather than being confined to a shooting range is the health benefits that game meat provides you with.
Firstly, with game meat you can be assured that your food is not genetically modified. Not only has the animal grown free range all its life, it has also been feeding on organic food all its life too!
Secondly, with game meat, you do not have to worry about any antibiotics or hormonal treatment that the animal may have been exposed to, which ensures that its meat is toxin free.
Lastly, game meat tends to be much higher in protein than the meat got from commercially bred animals.
Even if you hunt with larger calibers like the .357, the meat is relatively easy to dress and store for later consumption.
Overall, eating game meat gives you the assurance that your food is much healthier than what you will but from your local supermarket.
7. Hunting is a stress reliever
In this day and age, many people are finding it harder to get some time to themselves as they are inundated with numerous responsibilities ranging from their professional life, home life and social life.
Going hunting on your own gives you the chance to leave all trappings of the modern world at home or in your car, giving you the chance to be one with nature. In addition to this, hunting can also decrease the physical manifestation of stress in your body.
For instance, walking through the woods as you search for prey helps in boosting blood circulation.
Secondly, the fresh air in the woods also works to decrease your anxiety and lower your blood pressure.
8. Hunting is family tradition
If you do not have any particular traditions that you observe with your family, you may want to take up hunting as a family activity! With hunting as a family tradition, you and your loved ones will always have something to look forward to.
You can then decide whether this would be a monthly, bi-annual or even annual activity that you are all a part of. The excitement of planning a hunting trip as well as the memories that you all make during the trip would last you and your loved ones a lifetime.
Moreover, when your children grow up, they could also pass this one to the next generation!
Big game hunting also gives you the chance to collect souvenirs and mementos from your hunting trips that can be preserved through the process of taxidermy.
A final word
Going to the shooting range may be a covenant option for many people since these places provide you with a controlled environment to hone your shooting skills.
However, the exhilaration of hunting a wild animal and making accurate shots without having any control of the wind and other external factors is much more exciting.
Sam Bocetta is a retired engineer and writer at Gun News Daily. He’s is an avid hunter with over 30 years experience.
Of course, it’s not just water that people rush out to buy at the last minute, people buy batteries, gasoline, and apparently pop tarts to name a few items that “fly” off the shelves whenever news of an impending disaster looms large. And it’s not like this is new behavior, people have done this since forever and apparently will continue to do so because we just won’t learn from the past.
Anyway, I thought to myself: why on earth are we still having runs on water prior to hurricanes or major storms? Can people NOT make even the slightest effort to prepare in advance and have at least a little bit put away for needs like this? Can people NOT see what happened to folks in Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Sandy?
I mean, how damn hard is it to keep a few cases of bottled water shoved in the back of a closet or under a bed or wherever works? Sure, the water won’t stay perfect forever in disposable plastic bottles, but it will certainly last for years and you’d surely be happy to have it when the water stops flowing or you can’t buy any at the store because they’re out.
The same can be said for other items like batteries and flashlights as both of them will stay good for many years without worry… heck, lithium batteries will last for a decade or longer with minimal loss of capacity.
Gasoline may be a slightly different story but even untreated gasoline doesn’t go bad in a week or even a month. In all honesty it will probably still be good in storage for up to a year without much concern and if you add preservatives such as PRI-G (which you should be) then the gasoline will surely be viable for at least a year or longer. How hard is it to do THAT? I can assure you it’s not very hard as I’ve done it for many years now myself.
None of these actions take but a few minutes of planning and forethought and maybe a few minutes to actually accomplish.
Regardless of how easy any of this stuff is, there’s now worry about people buying up more cases of bottled water than they actually need thereby not leaving enough water for everyone else who didn’t bother to prepare beforehand. Worse, there’s concern that these very people are either (1) going to sell this very water at an exorbitant markup or (2) hoard it. Gasp! None of this is newfound suggestion or behavior either.
I say hoard it… hoard it all if you were at least smart enough to beat everyone else to the punch, if you will. This isn’t socialist China after all… well, maybe… never mind.
Really, if you’re still living life by failing to have even the minimal of necessary supplies to keep yourself alive then shame on you. Don’t blame the folks who beat you to it. And don’t blame the government for not forcing them to do what you failed to do, though, I am a bit surprised officials haven’t at least set limits on what you can purchase.
If, however, you were smart enough to prepare ahead and, better yet, get out of harm’s way then kudos to you, count yourself as one of the 1%… the 1% smart enough to prepare before disaster strikes.
Normally, I pay very little attention to space weather because I honestly don’t feel like it’s a very likely threat but for some reason I started to pay attention yesterday and, well, I also began to read all of the crap on the internet where apparently Doomsday is coming, lol.
If you’re unaware, there is a portion of this plasma ejection that is earth-directed with an expected impact Friday morning. Apparently the folks at SpaceWeatherLive.com are hoping for something bigger because it makes for great Northern Lights or something like that… yeah, and a few preppers are probably rooting for more devastation as well.
There’s also some fairly level-headed analysis from the Net as well, such as this video that I watched earlier (you can stop at about the 2:00 mark):
Ultimately, I’m leaning towards: there won’t be much of an impact. But, just in case I’m wrong, I went to my trusty disaster apps on my phone to turn on any warnings related to space weather and I was a bit surprised that I couldn’t find anything; I guess NOAA doesn’t take CME events very seriously either. 😉
In the video above the guy referenced something called the “Disaster Prediction App” on the Google Play Store but it was $2.99 and that’s about about $2.98 more than I’ll pay for something I doubt I’ll actually need… guess I’ll have to do what more American’s do: plead ignorance and hope for the best.
[Editor’s note: I figured this was an appropriate topic to discuss riht now considering the recent disaster caused by Hurricane Harvey. Remember that no matter how strong or prepared you feel you are, anyone could find themselves or a loved one struggling with the emotional aftereffects of a trauma, particularly a disaster.]
Would I call it haunting? Yes.
For a long time the image of the gun in front of my father’s face was etched in my mind. It’s not what you expect when you open the door for a loved one.
Intruders gained access to the premises and our safety was compromised.
The time during the ordeal is blank in my mind.
Somehow the authorities were called. Somehow my father got away. A few exceptional law men caught the perpetrators and got back our car.
No one was hurt. But how do you cope after a gun was held to your head? How do you explain the feeling of seeing a loved one in mortal danger?
How do you cope with the aftermath of a traumatic experience?
What if an attack, accident or other traumatic event leaves you with too many questions? The result could prevent you from functioning normally. If this continues you may even face medical challenges. When psychological challenges start intervening with normal functioning you run the risk of developing a psychological disorder which isn’t ideal during disasters or, worse, SHTF.
But you can stop it. Here are a few tips I know can empower you.
I Haven’t Experienced Trauma – Why is This Important?
Safety tips help to keep you as safe as possible, but nothing is guaranteed. If you really want to be prepared you must consider any eventuality. This includes possible trauma after disaster.
Surviving the aftermath (and associated trauma) is as important as getting through the disaster itself so that you can return to a normal way of life again.
Accept Your Reaction as Normal
One emotion at a time is hard enough to handle for some. Now imagine experiencing many emotions all at once.
This is what happens after traumatic events. You can feel:
Rage at the perpetrators
Fear that the criminals will return
Hurt that someone took advantage of you
Embarrassment because you weren’t prepared
Grieving for lost items after a robbery or disaster
Some of these will happen in phases but they have the tendency to overlap and can overwhelm you easily.
This is normal.
When we believe we’re acting out of character we may fight these emotions, but they’re all necessary. You have to feel and work through them. Don’t deny yourself experiencing all of these emotions.
2. Talk About It
So how do you start dealing with the emotions? Talking is your best weapon.
You have to be desensitized from the experience. You can do this by talking:
Hear what happened from your own point of view
Hear what others experienced if they were involved
Hear about others’ challenges
These situations are traumatic because they (luckily) don’t happen often. When you talk about it the event becomes more general. The trauma is alleviated.
3. Know You’re Unique
Your general feelings will align with many other people’s experiences, but you’re still unique:
You may be upset about something no one else finds significant.
You may remember details no one else noticed.
You may take longer than others to work through the trauma.
If you don’t accept your unique reactions you’ll prevent a full recovery. You can’t rush through your recovery process if you need in depth help on a certain aspect. Your recovery process must be customized to help you with your unique challenges.
4. Forgive Yourself
My father felt guilty for months. He felt he put us in danger. He was even mad at our reactions. But some of our reactions were based on our concern for him.
What else were we supposed to do? We all did our best in the circumstances.
A lot of our anger is wrapped up in what we think of our own actions. If we stay mad at ourselves we won’t move past other psychological challenges.
5. Become Prepared
After the ordeal my father’s new found peace came from renewed vigilance.
Never again did he want to feel like “I should have done more.” This change in attitude led to changes in many aspects of our lives.
Part of being prepared includes:
Show you’re ready to defend yourself and your family. Criminals back off when they’re not sure of being in control.
Waste their time. Burglars don’t want to stay on the scene too long because the risk of getting caught increases.
Showcase your vigilance. If criminals expect a strong defense they will look for another target.
Be confident. I’m not saying be aggressive. This can lead to unnecessary conflict. But criminals want victims to submit. If they see they can’t manipulate someone they may leave sooner.
None of us used weapons before the break in. This all changed after our traumatic event.
Today we’re kitted out. And, yes, there are legal ways of protecting yourself.
You can easily arm yourself to help be and feel prepared:
Keep pepper spray on your key chain. Attackers may see it and will probably go elsewhere and, at the very least, you have it readily available to use.
Pepper spray in your car is great too. If you know you have something to ward off someone then you won’t feel at the mercy of an attacker.
Place necessary items all over your home or office, such as:
Pepper spray (or other self defense items)
A baseball bat
All of this communicates to intruders you’re prepared but also helps you be better prepared too.
[Editor’s note: pepper spray and other self defense options are useful to consider–I know I have them too–but they’re no substitute for firearms when it truly comes to defending your life.]
Make sure your home is as safe as possible.
Assumptions are your enemy. Criminals can pick nearly any lock and will find a way into private areas quicky. Make it difficult for them to do so with security doors and grilles as they do wonders.
Remember: If it’s going to take too long to get past a security barrier a burglar may very well move on.
[Editor’s note: surveillance is a great deterrent too… if criminals know they’re being watched and recorded they may choose to move on as well.]
Change how you act. For example, you can be more:
Conscious of your surroundings
Organized and prepared
If you’re in a rush or distracted you’ll neglect valuable safety measures, even simple ones like remembering to lock your doors each time you leave.
How did these Preparations Help us Survive After Trauma?
Part of the trauma was the feeling of being powerless. To recover we had to feel in control again. Each action helped us counter fear and uncertainty.
6. Deal With Your Dreams
Your dreams will tell you what’s bothering you:
What do you dream about?
Who are you mad at in your dreams?
Who is with you in your dreams?
Your dreams can serve as a source for answers. But bad dreams can’t keep haunting you forever. This can result in physical and psychological problems.
Learn about your concerns by writing down your dreams. You’ll identify problem areas such as:
Rage towards yourself
Rage towards others
Situations you fear
If you know what’s bothering you then you can find answers faster.
Any stress in your life can make these problems feel worse. You have to manage your life as well as the residue of the trauma.
How do you do this?
You don’t want bad dreams to plague you forever. When you’re in need of some good sleep try these tips:
Write down the main events of your day before you get into bed. If you know what causes general stress your subconscious doesn’t have to tell you about it in your sleep.
Write down main responsibilities for the next day before you sleep. Once again this reduces general stress.
[Editor’s note: I’m not quite sure how these tips directly relate to getting over trauma but there may be something to be said for using these techniques to help alleviate general stress during a disaster.]
Lie down with your eyes closed. Don’t sleep. Let your thoughts go and see what surfaces. Write down what bothers you about your day or any traumatic event. Write down what you want to do about each problem. By bringing these problems to light then your dreams become less powerful.
7. Find an Outlet
Stress and fear are closely connected with energy in your body.
Stress and fear cause adrenaline to be secreted which puts your body on alert so it can handle pressure such as to fight or run away.
After a traumatic event (such as a natural disaster) your body can be in a perpetual state of readiness. This isn’t healthy.
When your body is overwhelmed with these feelings and hormones you may feel:
Pain in your head or shoulders
Overwhelmed by small everyday tasks
Emotional for no reason
Help your body expel the energy and tension. For instance, a new hobby may be in order. You can:
Do a sport such as running or cycling
Go to the gym more
Do breathing exercises
Your instinct will be to rest as you may feel fatigued as a result of trauma. You need a balance between exercise and rest to fully recover.
8. Ask the Professionals
Will your pride keep you from recovery?
Many people see it as a sign of weakness to visit a professional for help but that’s not true at all. In fact, you can ask many types of professionals for help, including:
Yoga instructors help alleviate stress
Doctors can help diagnose and medicate stress
Psychologist and therapists help deal with trauma
Homeopaths offer natural products to help you sleep
To get past the trauma as quick as possible use the resources available to you.
[Editor’s note: There’s no shame is asking for help! That said, many of these resources may not be immediately available to you after a disaster.]
9. Look Out for Warning Signals
How stubborn are you? Will you listen to friends or family’s advice? If you know you won’t allow others to tell you what to do the responsibility lies with you. What will you do when you:
Become agitated for no reason
Have panic attacks
Black out for short periods
Have to be conscious of danger signals.
Have a plan in place. Find a doctor you know you can trust. Have the doctor’s contact details on hand at all times. You never know when you may need it.
If you prefer privacy no one has to know you asked for professional help.
[Editor’s note: Again, this is good to know and do when society is functioning normally but if/when a major disaster strikes such as Hurricane Harvey, a doctor you can trust may not be immediately available. That’s why it’s a good idea to locate and even to establish a relationship with such people before disaster strikes.]
10. Stop Generalizing
Many traumatic events involved other people:
Did they attack you physically?
Was there emotional abuse?
Did someone directly cause the trauma indirectly (such as a car accident)?
It’s easy to generalize regarding traumatic events. You may feel you never want to associate with a certain type of person again if you’ve been assaulted in order to protect yourself from future traumatic events.
How will you continue relationships with people if you judge people before you get to know them?
Your recovery’s purpose is to help you function well again. If you pull away from a certain group of society you’ll miss out on many experiences. It may even hinder normal functioning at work or in social environments.
This may be a subconscious reaction. As such, you have to:
Be aware of your actions and reactions towards people
Realize when you become prejudiced
Consciously place yourself in the company of such people
Start being desensitized to that group
Your brain remembers negative impulses better than positive ones. It will take a few positive experiences to counter the one traumatic event you went through. Don’t rob yourself of healthy interactions with people.
11. Use Organic Help
All of the tension you’re feeling as a result of a traumatic event certainly has an impact on your body. Strained bodies become sick and weak. This can be because of too little sleep and/or constant strain.
Momentary trauma and prolonged stress can decrease your body’s ability to fight against sickness. Your body will handle stress up to a point before showing the effects of it, including:
Your fight is physical as well as psychological. Help your body survive the physical impact by follow a nutritious diet and supplementing your diet with vitamins and minerals. For example, magnesium helps fight the effects of stress.
Do you need this now or are you preparing for possible future events? Ask yourself how much you want to return to normal functioning. Conscious decisions—that will result in positive change—are necessary. Don’t take a chance and simply believe you’ll recover. We often don’t realize the effect of trauma until it’s too late. You must make specific adjustments to ensure a worthwhile future.
John Stuart is a content marketer working alongside Attenborough Door, manufacture and install a wide range of automatic doors across the UK.