Rechargeable Batteries Dirty Little Secret

Skip to about the 3:10 mark to get to the heart of the video about rechargeable batteries. In the video he talks about simplifying the devices he has in order to get rid of odd batteries sizes (always a good idea), why you should have Eneloop battery adapters (which are great to have), battery storage ideas, why the Amazon Basics AA Rechargeble Batteries are even better than Eneloops (my longtime favorites), chargers, and more. It’s a good video to watch if you’re wanting to get your batteries in order and save money doing so…

How to Make a Faraday Cage in 4 Easy Steps

Image Credit

“If you’ve been in the prepper world for long, you’ve probably read some horrifying books about what can happen after a disaster called an EMP. And if you’ve done that, you know you need to protect vulnerable electronics. Today, we’ll talk about how to make a Faraday cage to do just that. Don’t worry – you won’t need a degree in physics to do this successfully.

First, let’s start off with a few important things to know.

What is an EMP?

EMP is short for electromagnetic pulse. It is a short burst of electromagnetic radiation that could come if a nuclear detonation occurred at very high altitude above us.

When a nuclear explosion occurs in space above a target, three types of electromagnetic pulses follow: E1, E2, and E3. An E1 pulse involves high-energy gamma rays colliding with air molecules nearly 20 miles above, then raining down electrons that get pulled in by Earth’s natural magnetic field. An E2 pulse comes from high-energy neutrons that get fired in every direction, and an E3 pulse occurs due to the size of the nuclear fireball itself affecting the Earth’s magnetic field. As nuclear physicist Dr. Yousaf Butt explains, these pulses affect everything in line of sight of the nuclear blast. For example, a blast at 60 miles up can affect a 700-mile radius on Earth…”

Read the full article here

3000 Watt Parabolic Mirror Solar Array

I’m not quite sure how the video creator came up with this being “3000 watts,” but if you watch the later half of the video you’ll see some of it in action.

Of course, as with any large DIY solar mirror project, it can be dangerous to use! Please be cautious if you intend on making one yourself.

Here’s the video (and watch the second one below on how to make one)…

If you want to see another video I found on how these could be made, watch this one…

DIY Chimney Sweep – Gardus Sooteater Rotary Chimney Cleaning System Review

Recently, I’ve been wanting to clean my own fireplace flue rather than having to pay somebody to do it. And, yes, I know there’s something to be said for having a qualified chimney sweep inspect it once a year, which I still plan to do, but for peace of mind until then I figured it couldn’t hurt to do it myself. As such, I started looking for DIY chimney sweeps.

The only problem, however, is that I REALLY don’t like climbing on my roof, especially since it has a rather steep pitch, but mostly because I’ve inherited my dad’s general fear of heights… you should see me trying to climb on my rooftop, it takes me at least ten minutes to do as I slowly shimmy my way way up there, lol. And getting down is even worse!

Anyway, rather than getting a traditional chimney sweep with a metal brush, the kind where I’d have to be on top of my roof, I found this Gardus Sooteater Rotary Chimney Cleaning System which allows me to keep my feet safely on the ground and to clean my flue from the bottom up:

The contents include the following (as shown in the photo below):

  1. Chimney sweep head
  2. 6 three-foot flexible rods
  3. Plastic sheet (to cover the fireplace opening)
  4. Manual
  5. Drill bit adapter and wrench

I should note that I was a little concerned about the “flexible” rods because they didn’t seem that flexible to me at first glance, but I was wrong… they’re fairly flexible and I had no trouble with them. Time to get to work.

Now, here’s what the inside of the flue looked like before attempting my chimney sweep (after about a cord of wood). Clearly, there is some buildup, but it doesn’t look horrible compared to some photos I found online. Truth be told, I don’t really know what “normal” is so my opinion here doesn’t count for much:

The first thing I had to do was to trim the rotary head to be slightly larger than my flue diameter. I measured my flue diameter to be 5.5″ and, so, I trimmed the head to be about 6″ in diameter according to the directions:

I was a bit concerned about trimming the head to be THAT short because I felt like it may not clean the flue well enough if, for example, the head slid along one side of the flue pipe as I worked up the flue. I read online, however, that as it speeds up the head will tend to center itself and properly clean all of the flue. In addition, if I’d chosen to NOT trim the head to fit as directed that it may not clean well enough because it wouldn’t properly scrape the flue wall. Ultimately, I took the internet’s word for it and trimmed the head as directed.

Next, I cut out some of the plastic sheeting to fit my fireplace and taped it in place with some duct tape, though I left the bottom open so I could fit the chimney sweep inside, like so:

The directions, however, stated I should have poked a hole in the center of the plastic and taped the entire sheet in place; by now I figured I knew more than the manufacturer and, so, I ignored that recommendation… hopefully that wouldn’t come back to haunt me.

I quickly started to work my way up the flue and it was surprisingly easy to do. Here’s what it looked like after I’d added a few extensions:

I was done in only a few minutes, but I did slow down as I got near the top because I was worried about knocking off or otherwise ruining my chimney cap. Here’s what I got out of the flue pipe:

It was a good several scoops of what I’m assuming is first stage creosote because it was black, light, and fluffy. And, just out of curiosity, I wondered what my chimney flue looked like when I was done:

As you might be able to tell, half of the flue looked like it was cleaned well. The other half (where the red arrow points) didn’t look very cleaned, which is something I’d worried about when I cut the head strings so short. From what I could tell, however, it did seem to clean all of the flue pipe further up, at least, from what I could see. It was really just the bottom few feet where it didn’t clean because the head never centered itself. Oh, well, I think that next time I’ll try to replace the head strings and cut them a bit longer or really focus on the bottom section.

Ultimately, I’d say my DIY chimney sweep  was a success. I was able to use my old 14.4 volt cordless drill (even though I was worried about not having enough torque) and I didn’t make a mess either by not fully sealing the door opening with plastic and tape… which also means I get to stay married for a little while longer. 🙂

One thing I do like about this system is that apparently I can replace the head strings on my own with weed-eater string (it just needs to be the right diameter) which means I can do this on my own again in the future, and very inexpensively.

I also think that next time I might try to work my way from the top down (but still keep my feet on the ground) as I saw this guy do here:

Overall, I’m fairly pleased with the Gardus Sooteater Rotary Chimney Cleaning System. It allowed me to clean out my chimney flue without having to climb on my rooftop (which I would have dreaded), was easy to do, can be reused, and didn’t cost much.

That said, I’m still probably going to have a qualified chimney sweep come out before next season starts and check it out just to be sure.

10 Best Rifles for Elk Hunting in 2017

Any serious gun fanatic might tell you that all rifles are awesome, but not all rifles are awesome for every type of shooting and hunting.

When it comes to elk hunting, you want a rifle that is durable but light enough to carry up the mountain with ease. But you also want it to be able to hold large caliber rounds with minimal recoil and handle well when firing off-hand shots in the event of a surprise game sighting.

To put it another way, you want a versatile weapon that packs a punch and can offer long range accuracy without being a burden.

Most of us want an affordable rifle that is damn near indestructible and can fell an eight-hundred pound beast at four-hundred yards or more. We also want an attractive firearm that looks as good as it shoots. Choosing the right rifle for the job is one of the joys of hunting.

If you think this sounds like a dream gun that can’t possibly exist, you’d be pretty wrong. The rifles on this list come fairly close to meeting all of the aforementioned requirements.

  • Browning A-Bolt Composite Stalker
  • Browning BLR Lightweight ’81
  • Kimber Model 84M Classic
  • Marlin Model 338 MXLR
  • Marlin Model 1895G Guide Gun
  • Remington Model 673 Guide Rifle
  • Ruger No. 1S Medium Sporter
  • Weatherby Mark V Deluxe
  • Weatherby Vanguard Deluxe
  • Winchester M70 Super Grade

Browning A-Bolt Composite Stalker

This bolt-action model comes in a number of long and short action calibers, but when it comes to elk hunting you can’t go wrong with the .338 Winchester mag. It’s a great option for hunters who are on the move and performs like a boss at 100 yards, making it a monster for bagging does.

The most economical of Browning models, the Stalker retails for $820, but you can usually find a lightly used one on sale for around $700.

With black synthetic straight stock, a fiberglass graphite composite grip and black rubber butt pad, the Stalker is a real beaut. Personally, I like to load it with Black Hills Gold hunting ammo when I take mine out for a bit of proper stalking.

Browning BLR Lightweight ’81

No list would be complete without at least two Browning models. They’re a leader in the field and their rifles are always a lot of fun for a reasonable price. The BLR ’81 is a compact and user-friendly rack-and-pinion lever-action rifle that is carbine-length and cranks out quite the shot.

They can chamber a range of hard-hitting ammo from the 270 WSM to the 358 Win. It features an aluminum alloy stock, a detachable four-round box magazine with a fast release and a rotary bolt locking system.

It’s ideal for mountaineers and woodsman by virtue of the fact that it’s a mere 7 ¾ lbs and 40” long with mount and scope. The fast-loading mag makes for quick follow-up shots. At a retail price of $900, it’s slightly more expensive than the Stalker, but it’s every bit as exceptional. Well worth the price for the durability and versatility it provides.

Kimber Model 84M Classic

Another bolt-action hunting rifle, the 84M weigh just 5.5 lbs and sport handsome steel or stainless steel barrels. Kimber’s 22” barrel makes them unique among most Model 84Ms.

They commonly feature trigger crowns, match grade barrels and a bolt with a Mauser claw extractor. The adjustable trigger and Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad are just two of the things that makes it an unbeatable option when it comes to elk hunting rifles.

The average retail price is around $1,225 which places it firmly within the mid-range of affordable hunting rifles.

Marlin Model 338 MXLR

Ideal for timber and brush alike, this lever-action rifle offers a flat trajectory and pinpoint accuracy. With a 24” stainless steel barrel, Ballard rifling, hammer block safety and a fluted bolt, the MXLR is a top of the line machine that holds a 5-round magazine that makes it a viable choice when it comes to game hunting.

It’s got semi-buckhorn iron sights, a trigger guard plate and a laminated hardwood stock with deluxe recoil pad. I’ve tested this one out myself and have found it to be a boss when it comes to long-range precision.

The $930 retail price places it securely in mid-range and is available for layaway gun financing.

Marlin Model 1895G Guide Gun

This big bore lever-action rifle is considered my many to be the strongest lever-action in history. It can be stored virtually anywhere thanks to its compact design.

The Ballard-style rifling carves six deep and wide grooves that aid in improving accuracy. The stubby 18 ½” barrel makes it one of the shortest and lightest hunting rifles on the market.

Paired with Garrett Cartridges’ fire-breathing custom loads, the 1895G is a veritable force to be reckoned with. And while it works rather well with iron sights, the level of accuracy it provides is perfectly suited to a low-powered scope.

Cabela’s currently has offers on this model starting at $629.99.

Remington Model 673 Guide Rifle

The 673 is yet another bolt-action hunting rifle that packs a wallop. My personal favorite is the one that’s chambered for the .350 Remington mag because it offers superior shootability to others.

With a Leopold quick release base and rings, and a 22” barrel, it’s a lot of gun compared to most of the rifles on my list. In fact, it kicks pretty hard compared to the others which may be off-putting to some. But it’s definitely a well-made firearm with a rather unconventional look.

At 7 ¾ lbs, it’s not the lightest hunting rifle around, but it’s not overly heavy or cumbersome in any way either. All in all, it’s a worthy option, especially since Remington stopped making them in 2004 so there are plenty of gun owners selling their used Model 673s online.

Ruger No. 1S Medium Sporter

A single-shot model, Ruger’s No. 1S Medium Sporter is not the right gun for continuous shooting, but it’s tailored to the disciplined, methodical hunter who’s a skilled Marksman.

The front sling swivel is sited forward on the barrel, causing the rifle to ride low on your shoulder. But the receiver is so short that it’s almost identical to the Marlin, making it a compact and easily transportable in a rifle bag.

For the more frugal gun owner, this might not be the best choice on my list as it retails for around $1,199.99 and doesn’t exactly hold up to other rifles in that price bracket, but it remains a worthy option if you have money to burn and you want a solid single-shot rifle with dead-on accuracy. Keep an eye out for deals in any major online gun store and you could find great seasonal discounts.

Weatherby Mark V Deluxe

With a .300 Weatherby mag and a beautiful claro walnut design, the Mark V Deluxe is something to behold. Not only is it a top of the line weapon, but it’s the perfect display piece for proud collectors with a bit more bank than others.

At $1,399.99, it’s a luxury rifle but one that won’t let you down when you’re out in the thick of it. Simply a choice rifle all around.

Weatherby Vanguard Deluxe

Like the Mark V Deluxe, this Weatherby rifle is unmatched for the sheer beauty of its wood design. It’s got a classy black finish and exceptional bolt action, chambering .270 Win rounds and offering no less than three safety positions.

Like Remington’s Model 673, it’s a bit heavier than some of the others on the list, but it’s still a fairly lightweight and compact rifle for hunting, and it’s got an adjustable trigger which is attractive to most game hunters.

Cabela’s has Weatherby VGDs with modular chassis for $1,199.99.

Winchester M70 Super Grade

This finely checkered, deeply-blued steel rifle has a maple finish that makes it another worthy display piece. In terms of hunting, it lives up to its name by offering above-grade accuracy.

Chambered with .308 Win rounds, it’s another stylish and superb choice for those looking to bag some deer or ward off a grizzly.

Conclusion

There you have it, my full list of the five best hunting rifles for hunting elk. Good luck making your selection. I know you’ll be in good hands with any one of them. Happy hunting.

 

Roadside Emergency Kit Review by Survival Hax

I was recently sent this Roadside Emergency Kit by Survival Hax for review. It’s all nicely contained within this handy bag:

Most items are further protected inside plastic bags which is nice and all items are easily returned to the bag after removal.

Now, the first thing I went looking for, believe it or not, was an owner’s manual (yes, I’m getting old enough to WANT one even though I don’t need it, lol) but couldn’t find anything. Oh well, no big deal.

Here’s a photo of the kit contents:

And, the contents of the first aid kit bag:

They say it’s a 96-piece roadside kit which I’ll assume is correct, but a bit misleading simply because a majority of the kit contents are small items like bandages, zip ties, and safety pins.

That said, here’s my take on what’s included, starting from the top left and working more or less down and to the right:

  • Triangle signal – Although I didn’t put it together, the item above the zip ties folds together to make a reflective triangle which can then be placed on the ground behind your car. While I would have preferred flares of some sort, this signal seems relatively sturdy and would, at least, get a passing driver’s attention when lights hit it.
  • Jumper cables – These are about as basic as you can get since they’re not heavy-duty cables. Expect charging to take longer than it should but they will eventually get the job done, I’d assume so, anyway.
  • First aid kit – You can see for yourself what’s included, but it’s mostly small bandages, gauze, cleaning pads and so on. There’s also a small mylar blanket included and few other small items which may come in handy, such as tweezers and scissors.
  • Gloves – These won’t keep your hands dry for long but they will, at the very least, keep them from getting dirty and maybe provide a bit of warmth… plus they have a gripping side which is nice.
  • Assorted smaller items – You’ll also find a variety of smaller items, such as zip ties, a candle, slip wrench, small whistle, and electrical tape. I’m not sure how useful any of this would truly be. The whistle is a good addition but not very loud, in my opinion. The candle, on the other hand, is just a fire hazard.
  • Glow sticks and flashlight – Two small glow sticks are included (I didn’t try them) as well as one of those rechargeable hand-squeezed flashlights. They’re not great for long-term use but good enough for this purpose.
  • Small utility knife – Includes various knives (which could use a sharpening to be sure), saw blades, corkscrew, etc. None of it is anything to get excited about and I honestly would have preferred a better quality single-blade knife.
  • Safety escape hammer / seat belt cutter – This tool might actually be of use but won’t do you much good unless you move it to near the driver’s seat. I would have liked to see it have a strap of some sort so that it could be attached to your seat belt to keep it from flying about the car… guess you’ll have to hope that it stays wherever you stick it.
  • Firestarter – At first glace this looks decent, though, I haven’t tried it. Honestly, I would have preferred matches or a lighter to start a fire.
  • Tow straps – I have no idea what they’re rated. Regardless, I sure wouldn’t bet my life on them and I’m not sure I would bet my car on them either. Of course, I could be wrong.
  • Emergency poncho, safety vest – The poncho is rather thin material but it should keep the rain off. The safety vest is a good addition.
  • Bungee cords – A few lightweight bungee cords are included which could prove useful somehow, I know I keep bungee cords in my cars.

Ultimately, I wouldn’t pretend to suggest that this emergency roadside kit is the best that you can get. Most of the items included are basic / starter equipment. With that in mind, if you have nothing in your vehicle for a roadside kit then this one could work as a starter kit.

With that in mind, and while you’re welcome to purchase it from SurvivalHax.com, they’re offering readers a full $25 off their purchase from Amazon with the code “OFROAD50”. Enter that where it says “enter a discount or promo code” during checkout.

Prepping Your Wardrobe for Survival

Let’s play a game! When I say “prepping,” what is the first thing that comes to your mind? What about “survival?”

My guess is that most of you immediately thought of food, water, or other survival gear. And those are great answers.  We can’t live long without food and water. But if you had an abundant storehouse of those supplies yet didn’t have other important items, your life could still be uncomfortable or, worse… in jeopardy.

There are lots of important considerations that need serious attention, but in this article, we’ll be focusing on just one: CLOTHING.

During normal, peaceful times, we use clothing primarily as a covering, a social cue, and a statement. During times of emergency when new clothing isn’t readily available, it’s often a lifesaver.

We can die much faster from exposure to the elements than we can die of starvation or even dehydration. Exposure in certain environments can certainly accelerate dehydration, but because there are threats that come from exposure during different seasons, it’s critically important that we have adequate clothing.

Where Do Clothes Come From?

When young children are asked where eggs or milk come from, they often respond, “The store.” That response would be funny if it weren’t so sad. They aren’t kidding; we’re disconnected from the source of our food. It’s just far more convenient and productive to buy our food than it is to grow it, so people move into the cities and buy what they need.

Similarly, if you asked kids — or even adults! — where clothes come from, we’re likely to respond, “The store.” That’s true for us today, but it wasn’t as true for our grandparents, great grandparents, and earlier generations. They would often buy fabric and then sew clothing as needs arose. In that era, learning to sew was a right of passage. That skill has largely been lost to recent generations.

So what would we do if clothing wasn’t available to buy for a while? Would you panic as your children’s clothes wore out and started to hang like rags from their bodies? Imagine your anxiety as snow sets in to see that your child had outgrown his shoes. What would you do if you couldn’t purchase a larger pair?

It’s hard to imagine not being able to purchase clothing off the rack since it’s so easy to do today. There are stores within minutes of most of our homes that stock all sorts of sizes, colors, and styles. Today’s ease of access to ready-made clothing could quickly change for a number of reasons, including:

  1. A pandemic could force people to stay home from work and avoid public places.
  2. Hyperinflation could also impact availability. As the value of currency plummets, people race to spend their money on necessities and tangible goods before the value of their money falls further. All sorts of goods become hard to find.
  3. An EMP could stop normal methods of production and distribution.
  4. Job loss or other financial strain could make buying clothing for your family difficult for a time.

If you have a supply of clothing on hand for future needs, however, it will ease the worry of clothing, which could really help. These scenarios don’t seem real or possible to many because we’ve had it so good for so long. The fact that most people haven’t seen times where clothing isn’t readily available doesn’t mean that it can’t happen!

Prior to the Great Depression things seemed pretty good. Prior to the hyperinflation of the Weimar Republic things were probably going fine. History repeats itself, and those who stick their fingers in their ears, pretending that it can’t happen here, will be least prepared when it someday does.

Shopping in Advance of the Need

Buy and store extra clothing. Try to select quality clothing that will be as durable and functional as possible. The good news is that you can save considerable money when you buy clothing in advance of your need.

Think about it, if you wear through a pair of shoes you’ll need to go get a new pair right now, because you don’t want to go to work tomorrow with your foot hanging out the side of your shoe. 😉

Because you need the shoes now, you head to the mall, visit one or two stores, and purchase the best available combination of product and price. Right now might not be the best time to purchase a pair of shoes at a really good price. The same shoes might cost half as much in a month or two when that store has a big clearance sale. When you buy in advance of your need, you can search out and find quality products at rock-bottom prices, then buy them to set aside UNTIL you need them.

It’s a known fact that you WILL need to buy shoes again at some point, as well as pants, and shirts, and socks, etc. These things wear out over time, so buying them in advance is extremely practical. Buying clothing this way for adults is fairly easy. They typically won’t be growing taller. Hopefully, they won’t be growing much in the other direction either! Kids are a little trickier. Their growth can be pretty explosive at times. When you’re buying season-specific clothing, you have to make an educated guess on the size they’ll need when that season rolls around.

Where to Find Quality Clothing at the Best Prices

You can certainly go to the retail store of your choice and buy several sizes ahead, but a better choice may be to find more highly discounted options. Because you’re buying in ADVANCE of your need, you can take your time, finding high quality items that have minimal cost. We like to frequent yard sales, thrift shops, craigslist (or similar sites), and the really good sales at factory outlet stores. We also buy ahead for the next year when seasonal clothes go on clearance at department stores.

Black Friday is coming up. It’s THE day where Americans often go wild, buying loads of plastic things and shiny objects to give as Christmas gifts. Sometimes people buy things simply because they’re on sale. Rather than limiting your Black Friday shopping to toys and gadgets, look for really attractive clothing offerings that have a special markdown that weekend. You may find deals a specific stores, or you may have your best luck online with sites like fatwallet.com or slickdeals.net. We’ve purchased some items off eBay and Amazon too.

Stop by your local Goodwill or other thrift stores in your community to get familiar with their offerings and pricing. You could also try some of the consignment stores in your area like Plato’s Closet, Kid-to-Kid, or Once Upon a Child for lightly used name-brand clothing at deeply discounted pricing.

Yard sales have been a really great source during the summer months when they are abundant. You can frequent the neighborhoods that tend to have really nice stuff. Oftentimes, they just want to clear their extra stuff out, so you can get items at $1 or less for each piece. That’s not always the case, and there are instances where you’d be thrilled to pay more for certain items, but savings can be significant. When you show up toward the end of a yard sale, the savings get even better. People may say that you can fill a bag for $5, for example, or they may beg you to just take whatever you want (free), so they don’t have to haul it back inside.

Even if the clothing is free, you’ll want to select quality pieces that will serve you well and you’ll actually want to wear. We don’t want to cross a line into senseless hoarding, of course. Buy heavy coats, sweaters, warm socks, and boots during the hot months of the year when they aren’t needed. Many department stores will sell their seasonal inventory at up to 75% off normal prices as seasons change.

If you’re buying in advance, you can find brand-name clothes that you’re excited to wear for FAR less than you would normally spend if you were shopping in-season as needs arise. Organize and set aside items that need to be grown into or that need to wait for another season. Occasionally you may guess wrong about sizing or some other detail and won’t be able to use the clothes, but when you find a great deal, you can afford a few mistakes!

It’s also a good idea to hang onto clothing that is still in good shape and can be passed down to your younger children. To make finding the clothes easier when they are needed in the future, group the clothing by size and season if possible. If you can find really good clothing at great prices, then it shouldn’t take long to accumulate clothing several sizes ahead. This isn’t JUST emergency clothing, it’s clothing that will be worn when it fits and as it’s needed. Because you accumulate when you find the right item at the right price, you will rarely find yourself having to pay retail prices for clothing. You’ll end up saving significant money on clothing your family.

It’s Not Just About Ready-Made Clothing

In addition to storing clothes, you can also store buttons, zippers, snaps, bolts of fabric, and thread. The fabric can be used for anything you don’t have on hand that you later find you need. Denim is extremely durable, so it would be a fantastic fabric to keep on hand. Polar fleece is warm, comfortable, and dries quickly. There are many other fabrics used for different purposes. The more simple and plain the pattern, the easier it will be to use the fabric for a wide variety of purposes.

What if you can’t sew? Should you still store fabric? Yes! First of all, the fabric is an insurance policy of sorts. Hopefully your accumulation of pre-made clothing that we just discussed will get you through a crisis just fine until clothing becomes more available. If not, bolts of fabric provide some flexibility. You can certainly take lessons and practice to acquire sewing skill. It’s a valuable thing to know. You could probably learn a great deal, at least as a starting point, on YouTube. Learning to patch and repair shoes and clothing is another useful skill to pick up. If you know a few skills and have the equipment available, you can patch holes, modify hems, and address other needs to prolong the life of your shoes and clothes.

Here are a few extra items that you may want to have on hand for repairs:

  • Shoe Goo or Freesole (strong adhesives specifically used for shoe repair)
  • Replacement shoe laces
  • Leather conditioner
  • Patch fabric (which could be taken from the good parts of worn out clothing)
  • Zippers
  • Buttons
  • Velcro

Even if you don’t WANT to learn how to sew, other people DO have that talent and could sew clothes for you in exchange for some fabric, food, or other need. If nothing else, the fabric could be an excellent barter item if ready-made clothing is too expensive or unavailable for a time.

Learning to knit or crochet is another useful still to pick up. Again, you’re likely to be able to learn those stills, at least at a basic level, through YouTube. If you have yarn on hand and know how to use it, you could make a beanie, a sweater, socks, or a blanket, for example.

Getting Started

This is a big project and these are important prepping supplies, but don’t get overwhelmed. It’s an elephant that you’ll just need to eat a bite at a time, so to speak. To get started, follow these steps:

  1. Take inventory of what your family members already have and what they currently need in terms of shoes, winter boots, clothing, coats, gloves, etc.
  2. Make a list of the sizes that everyone is your home is currently wearing.
  3. Determine the amount of money you can afford to set aside for clothing accumulation each month.
  4. Decide on a strategy for accumulation. Are you going to hit yard sales or a second hand shop, for example?
  5. Keep track of the clothing you acquire. Keeping a master list on paper or digitally will help you to know where you stand at any given moment. It will help you avoid situations where you have 24 shirts but no pants for a particular child.
  6. If you have rewards credit cards with stores like Kohls or Cabelas, consider using accumulated points to purchase quality snow boots or other clothing items with.
  7. Organize and store your collection in a place and grouping that makes them easy to access as needed.

Prepping isn’t easy, but you’re going to feel great after collecting the clothing that your family needs, knowing that you have a clothing buffer. You’ll be fine, even if ready-made clothing is hard to come by for a year or two. In the meantime, you’ll be saving a sizable sum and still wearing really high-quality, name-brand clothing, if so desired. Once you catch the spirit, it’s actually fun and your whole family can get involved in the process of watching for good deals!

Author Bio

Dave Greene is the father of six children, and a long-time Prepper. The desire to protect and provide for his kids provides him with major fuel for this passion. He founded Tools of Survival in 2012, to help families become better prepared. In the years since, Dave has taught classes on survival equipment, mindset, and techniques in a variety of venues.

PSA: Massive Kidde Fire Extinguisher Recall

I just heard about this recall on the radio this morning and looked it up here.

It seems that Kidde is recalling quite few of their plastic-handle model fire extinguishers (134 models, in fact) manufactured roughly between 1973 and 2015 because it can become clogged and not discharge. Yeah, that’s not good!

FYI, if you still have a fire extinguisher from 1973… replace it, lol.

Here’s a diagram to help you figure it out but, really, you should go here to get the model numbers affected:

Image Credit

You can contact Kidde for instructions on getting a free replacement. Here’s their contact information:

Call Kidde toll-free at 855-271-0773 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday

Or do so online at www.kidde.com and click on “Product Safety Recall” if you prefer.

4 Reasons Why Biometric Gun Safes Are a Smart Choice

Choosing the right gun safe is a crucial move for anyone who keeps firearms at home. This type of storage will give you a high level of security while keeping your guns safe and allowing you easy access to them.

Many people make the mistake of only looking at the size and the strength of the safe, though. While these issues are hugely important parts of your overall decision, there is also the matter of how you are going to access your firearms to take into account.

Safes that are opened with the turn of a key or by pressing a keypad remain popular but there is also a more modern option that gives you a greater level of control and security. With a biometric gun safe you will have a terrific place to keep your firearms safe and far from harm.

What Is Biometric Technology?

The most important point with this type of technology is that it uses your unique physical features to allow you to open the safe. You have probably seen how this works on some futuristic movies, which typically show the likes of eye retina scans and facial recognition technology being used.

Biometric Scanners, Image Credit

In the case of current gun safes, it is fingerprint scanning that is normally used to let the owner get to their guns anytime they want them. Since we each have completely unique fingerprints we can use them to clearly identify that we are who we say we are.

The good news is that you don’t need to be an expert in modern technology to do this. You only need to slide your finger over the scanner to let it know who you are, before doing the same every time that you want to open the door.

This makes biometric technology a fool-proof and trustworthy way of keeping objects secure. You might also decide to keep valuable, important documents in here too, as it is such a secure method of keeping things locked away.

1. Unauthorized People Can’t Get In

Naturally, the biggest benefit with a biometric safe is that no-one else can get into it if they aren’t authorized. There is no key for them to find and use or access code that they could guess or find out.

This means that any intruders who get into your home simply can’t open the door of the safe no matter how hard they try. If the walls are sturdy and it is bolted down to the floor then it is going to be a massive job for anyone to get hold of your guns.

Just as importantly, if there are children in the house then there is no way of them getting a firearm in their hands without you knowing. One of the dangers with keys and keypads is that kids can kind a key or discover a code that is written down and use it without anyone seeing them do so.

Don’t leave this to chance by having keys or access codes lying around the house. With biometric access you can make sure that anyone who isn’t authorized to open the safe simply can’t do so.

2. You Can Add Other Users

As we have seen, it is impossible for someone who isn’t authorized to open the door using their fingerprints. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t allow other people to use this safe if they need access.

In fact, the ease with which other users can be added is one of the big advantages of biometric technology. If a large number of people need to use the guns inside it then there is no need to worry about the hassle involved with giving people keys or codes.

All you need to do is get each person who is going to use the safe to scan their fingerprints in order to register them as users. After this, they can use it in exactly the same way that you do, by scanning their prints every time.

Users can be added and removed very quickly as needed. This means that is a sensible option for a company or some other group that has frequent changes to its users.

3. They Are Easy to Open in an Emergency

With luck, you might never have to open your gun safe in an emergency but what if you do? When you hear the sound of intruders breaking it then it is sure to be a heart-stopping moment.

In this sort of situation it can be a time-consuming hassle to open a gun safe if you need to fiddle with a key or a code. This is especially true if you get disturbed in the middle of the night and need to open the safe in darkness while bleary-eyed.

With a biometric safe you can very easily open the door at any time in an instant. This means that using it as a bedside gun safe is a smart move that can greatly improve your security as well as your peace of mind.

You should also find that this kind of entry mechanism makes it easier for you to get hold of your guns in a hurry at any time. Even if it isn’t an emergency you can still open your gun safe quickly and without any fuss.

4. They Aren’t Particularly Expensive

Since this is a modern, cutting edge option it is easy to think that a biometric gun safe is an expensive option. Yet, the truth is that it isn’t as expensive as you might believe.

In general terms, these safes often cost a little more than traditional safes that are key operated. However, given the extra security that they offer it is a fairly modest extra cost that many people consider to be worth paying.

Of course, it is always worth taking into account the value of the firearms that are being stored in the safe. If you have particularly expensive guns in there then you will most likely be happy to pay a bit more for a top quality safe to keep them in.

It is also clear that you may feel that your situation merits paying more money for something that provides more security. For example, if you have inquisitive children in the house then paying for the best possible safe makes a lot of sense

Are There Any Drawbacks?

Clearly, any type of safe has its own advantages and disadvantages. In the case of biometric technology there are far more good points then bad points.

However, when we look at the drawbacks we can see that there are some factors to take into account. Thankfully, most of them can be dealt with if you plan ahead.

For instance, one issue that some people find is that it is difficult for the scanner to recognize their prints. The solution that many owners find is to make a number of scans of their different fingers, so that the safe’s database has a big range of different prints that it can match them with.

You may also be worried about what would happen if there is a power shortage or if you can’t get into the safe for some reason, such as your prints not being recognized. This isn’t as big a problem as it might first appear, as these safes comes with a back-up key that you can use to open it open and re-set the database if necessary.

Summary

The benefits of biometric gun safes mean that it is the best type of technology on the market right now for responsible owners of firearms.

People who should be particularly interested in this technology include those who have children at home, those who have guns for home security reasons, and those who need to give easy access to a lot of others.

Author Bio

Tom Ginevra is the chief over at Gun Safe Guru, the ultimate resource on gun safes. He’s an avid firearm safety expert, part-time gun enthusiast and amateur blogger. You can find Tom at his blog