Occasionally, I rant about how much I despise canning foods… it’s always been a pain, in my opinion, and quite messy. That said, I know it can be a great way to put a lot of food if you’re willing to do so, and I’m just not THAT willing, lol.
Fortunately, there are plenty of other ways to stockpile food without refrigeration or canning, and the following article discusses three of them: fermentation, dry curing (meats), and dehydrating.
Personally, I’ve gotten into fermentation in the past few years and, for the most part, it’s really easy to do. I’ve only done a bit of curing and I used to do a lot of dehydrating, though, I’ve slowed on that once I really discovered freeze-dried foods.
Regardless, they’ll all great ways to preserve many healthy foods for the long term and I would strongly encourage you to try you hand at one or more of these methods if you’ve never done so.
Here’s the first part of the article:
“Canned food is so prevalent today that it’s hard to imagine life without it. When you have extra produce that you want to preserve, most people will tell you to can it.
But, what happens when you don’t have the equipment you need for proper canning? What if you run out of flat lids and can’t go to the store for more? Or if you can’t start a fire and keep it going long enough to properly heat and process your jars?
Depending on what happens, canning extra food may not always be possible. You need some alternatives.
Canning was thought to be invented by Nicolas Appert back in 1809, when he was looking for a way to preserve food for the French military. The invention of the mason jar in 1858 helped spread canning’s popularity, as did other inventions throughout history.
But prior to these events, people preserved food without canning. They knew they had to grow or harvest enough food each growing season to last the winter. Their very survival depended on putting up food that they could safely eat months later…”
For about $10 to buy a DC cooling fan and a heat lamp bulb (along with a few scavenged items) you too can have your own DIY food dehydrator and make your own beef jerky at home! And to think I spent hundreds of dollars on an Excalibur dehydrator, lol…
I did this experiment myself years ago now and, surprisingly, it worked out rather well, even after four months of only being preserved with mineral oil.
In the video she says the coated eggs can last up to nine months, I’ve seen others say a year, and my experiment lasted 18 weeks because that’s how many eggs I had to experiment with. 🙂
Anyway, she offers some additional valuable tips that I wish I knew when I tried my own hand at this, though I do disagree a bit about not using store-bought eggs because my experiments showed there was a clear difference between the control eggs (those that were left uncoated) and those that did get coated with mineral oil after several weeks, if I remember right.
The WaterBrick is a very good way to store water for emergency preparedness, especially for those with limited storage space. And, while I don’t use them personally (I prefer to use 55-gallon drums and other transportable containers) small water storage solutions like the WaterBrick do have their place.
The only major problem is that they’re a relatively expensive solution if it’s your primary option. But, if you can afford them, they’re very durable and quite useful as you’ll see. The thing is that it never really occurred to me to use them for anything but storing water. Read on to find out how useful the WaterBrick can truly be besides for storing water:
“Never has emergency water storage been so important to me as when Hurricane Harvey left my town flooded with 8 feet of dirty river water. In the hours and days that followed, families were scrambling for drinking water of any kind. Thankfully, our home had been spared, so we spent the following days delivering cases of water to families busily mucking out their homes…”
Predators are, by their very nature, more cunning, agile and fierce than prey animals, making them more difficult to hunt. The coyote, for example, is a fast, adaptable and agile creature capable of running up to 40 miles per hour. Apart from being difficult to hunt, predators are also dangerous to hunt.
However, predator hunting can be beneficial especially for whitetail deer hunters. A study by the Pennsylvania Game Commission revealed that 84% of deer fawns are killed by predators before hitting nine weeks of age. In South Carolina studies indicate the 100 % of fawns killed by predators were killed within nine weeks of birth. All these statistics indicate that predators have a negative impact on whitetail deer populations. Predator hunting is one way to even the playing field and ensure more whitetail deer make it to adulthood.
When going predator hunting, however, there are somethings you will need such as rubber hunting boots. Below I have compiled a list of simple tactics you can use to achieve success.
Hunt in pairs
Most predators that roam our forests hunt at night. Unfortunately, our eyes do not work so well during the night. Animal eyes, on the other hand, have natural night vision meaning that we are at a natural disadvantage. Apart from having better eyesight, animals also have a stronger sense of smell. In fact, most animal’s sense of smell is thousands of times better than ours, which means that, yet again, we are at a natural disadvantage.
Fortunately, thanks to technology we have been able to make the playing field a little bit more even. For example, with e-callers you can trick animals into going where you want them. In my experience, however, I have found that it’s most beneficial to hunt in pairs.
Due to the natural disadvantage we have, it is fair to say that two pairs of eyes are better than one. When hunting with a friend you can cover a wider area. More importantly, one of you can be the caller while the other takes the shot. Using e-callers at night helps draw animals to a specific place. One hunter will be doing the calling drawing the animal to them while the other can station themselves 20 to 30 yards away. The animals will be attracted to the source of the sound and not to the shooter. Hunting in pairs makes already difficult work a lot easier.
Take advantage of elevation
When hunting predators, a long-range rifle will come in handy. Unlike prey animals, which you can shoot from close range, predators are agile and cunning. So, the best way is to scope a predator from long range. Since our eyes are not designed for long-range viewing, a rifle scope is a must. To improve your chances, it is recommended you use some kind of elevation because, from an elevated position, you are able to see further.
Also, from an elevated position, your calls go further. Camouflage is important when scoping an area from an elevated position as well. Thus, dressing in full camo is advisable. This is to ensure you blend in perfectly with your surroundings. To maximize your chances only move when it’s time to take the shot.
Call after the shot
As I have already stated most predatory animals hunt at night. Therefore, the best time to hunt is early in the morning and late in the evening when visibility is low. After taking a shot do not make the mistake of leaving your position before calling again after five or so minutes. The reason is that another animal might be in the vicinity. You might take down one predator only to walk right into the clutches of another. Calling again after a shot is a precautionary measure.
Use the right tools
The tools you use to hunt predators will determine the success of your hunt. This includes scopes, firearms and even the ammo you use. When it comes to firearms, the AR 10 and AR 15 platforms are the most popular among predator hunters. The reason being is that these two firearms allow for quick follow up shots. Needless to say, the rifle you use should be in good condition. Regular firearm maintenance is crucial to your hunting success.
Predator hunters cannot seem to agree on which cartridges to use when hunting coyotes, bears, wolves and other predators. In my opinion, it all depends on what you are shooting at. A 22-250 is enough to take down a wolf from 150 yards. The 22-250 is preferred for wolves and coyote since it does not leave large exit holes which may damage the fur. As such, this cartridge is ideal if you are hunting for fur. On the other hand, a .308 Winchester is ideal for bear hunting.
Apart from a firearm and ammo, you will also need a reliable rifle scope. Finding the best 22lr scopes for predator hunting is not always easy. Ideally, you should go for medium to long range scopes. Medium range is from 75-150 yards while the long range is from 100 yards to 500 yards. A scope with a 3x to 9x magnification is suited for medium range shooting while one with a magnification of between 4x and 12x is designed for long-range shots.
In my experience, the best 22lr scopes include the Nikon Prostaff Rimfire and Simmon 3-9X 32 mm riflescope. On the other hand, the best scope for AR 10 is one with a 3-9x magnification. Also, you can go for a scope with a 4X-12X magnification for long range shooting.
Shooting sticks will also come in handy when you want to shoot accurately. I prefer shooting sticks over bipods because they can be used on a wide variety of terrain whereas bipods are best suited for flat terrains, but not for hilly or rolling terrains. Taller tripods are useful for nighttime applications and can be shortened for daytime use. If you prefer to hunt sitting down, I recommend the Harris S25C bipod, which allows for side to side movement.
Animals need water to survive. With that in mind, waterways such as streams and rivers, attract many animals both predators and prey. Early in the morning, you are likely to find animal tracks on the banks of streams and rivers. This is when most predator animals are active and searching for prey. Since prey animals are found near waterways, predators are never far off behind. Setting up a stand near a stream or river will increase your chances of a successful hunt.
Observe wind patterns
Predators have a very good sense of smell as probably already know. And thanks to the wind predators can sniff you out from a very long way out. This means that the wind can be your worst enemy if you are not careful. It is not advisable to have the wind at your back.
According to science humans shed hundreds of thousands of skin particles per hour, these tiny pieces of skin get carried by the wind and catch the attention of animals. Avoid this by moving so that you’re downwind or, at least, to the side.
Do not be near vehicles
Often, we drive to our preferred hunting locations. Vehicles improve mobility but can hinder you from having a successful hunt. It is recommended that you move 100 yards away from your vehicle before you start hunting. Vehicles and other mechanical devices produce a scent that can easily be detected by predators.
As if that is not bad enough, predatory animals tend to shy away from vehicles. In fact, most animals will run away from anything that looks like a vehicle. Moreover, driving over dusty or gravel roads produce sounds that can be detected by animals.
Unfortunately, ditching your vehicle is not enough. The shoes you wear can also ruin your chances of success. There are many types of hunting boots out there. Rubber boots are ideal for hunting predators since they can withstand different conditions. The boots you select for your hunting needs should have an outer rubber sole to minimize noise when walking.
Pay attention to weather changes
Although the American black bear is one of the few bear species that does not hibernate during winter, they are not active during extreme weather conditions. During rainy and snowy days predators tend to be less active than on moderately temperate days. Predators also tend to be less active during extremely hot days.
It is important to take note of weather changes and how predators react to them. During winter, for instance, go hunting when the sun comes up after a snowfall. Days with moderate temperatures are also great to go out hunting. Predators are likely to go out hunting all day long after a storm as well.
Hunting predatory animals require experience. If you are not an experienced hunter, the best thing to do is use traps, scents, and calls. Strategically placed scent lures can attract a predator in no time. If you are poor at making calls you can buy pre-recorded calls. Trapping can make things a lot easier.
The problem is that not all animals can be easily caught using the same trap. Thus, you must customize your trap to fit the animal you want to hunt. With fox hunting, for example, one of the best traps to use is the #2 Montgomery Dogless Coil Spring since they lie very flat and are easy to hide.
Stealth is an art that is needed when predator hunting. Due to animals having heightened senses, it is important that you learn the art of being stealthy. The way you walk through brush can often make a world of difference. When predatory animals sense movement or human odor they can do either one of two things: run or attack. If an animal decides to do the former, then you will be in serious danger.
Walking stealthily is not enough, though, as you also must rid yourself of any scent. Buying scent blockers is one way of protecting yourself during a hunt. In addition, you should invest in camouflage. The camo you select should help conceal you and your weapons. A combination of scent blockers and camouflage can help achieve maximum stealth.
Use the right decoy
The use of decoys is prevalent among predator hunters, and for good reasons. Decoys and artificial callers increase a hunter’s chances of going home with a kill. That being said, it is important to know what kind of decoy to use. The period between late February and March is breeding season for coyotes. In most instances, you will find coyotes traveling in twos to protect denning areas from unwanted visitors. Using a coyote decoy is an effective way to lure coyotes. Due to them being territorial coyotes tend to be confrontational during the breeding season. And there is nothing more confrontational than a rival coyote.
Whitetail deer breeding season is usually from late April to May. And, as I already explained, coyotes and other predators love whitetail deer fawns. Thus, when hunting coyotes, use a fawn in distress call. Anything that sounds like an animal in distress will attract predators. As spring comes to an end and summer begins predators will most likely be found under shade and near rivers.
We’ve outlined nearly a dozen actions you can take to increase your chances of bagging yourself a predator. However, it is important to note that predator hunting is a wide topic to cover and not easy. As such, it will require a bit more practice as compared to whitetail deer or turkey hunting. Nevertheless, when you use the tactics outlined above, few predators will stand a chance.
Glen Artis is the founder of OutdoorEver. A proud hunter, writer and weapon enthusiast, He has a deep respect for the animals that roam our forests and for the environment. His passion is sharing what he knows with those who are new to hunting or those who want to know.
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.
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.
It’s been a while since we’ve done a Legacy Food Storage Kit meal, so I figured I’m due for another review. This week we’ll look at the Cheese And Broccoli Soup mix:
And the backside (the cooking directions are identical to all the others) and notice the two cups per serving and four total servings which means plenty of soup for all, in fact, I think we even had a bit leftover:
Now the nutrition label (I swear they’re trying to kill me off with all the fat content, lol):
And finally the soup:
As usual, it made a good four bowls so we all had some and I can say that, while I was looking forward to this one (our family loves broccoli cheddar soups) it needed a good amount of seasoning (especially salt) and broccoli.
While there may have been some tiny bits of broccoli in there I was expecting a bit more than what I got, so let’s just call this cheddar soup with little green pieces floating around. 🙂
Regardless, everyone else ate it without complaint. I think my wife added salt and my boys probably didn’t even notice. So, it wasn’t the best of the bunch but would make a decent lunch meal, for instance.
Note: Amy from Legacy foods (the nice lady who sent me the 72 hour kit for review) just pointed out that “…soups make a great base and a fantastic way to stretch out your other food storage. Adding only a fraction of a package would provide really nice seasoning to a pan of rice and beans for something different.”
Here’s another yummy meal from the Legacy Food Storage Kit we’ve been looking at in recent weeks, this time the Classic Chili Mix:
I’m not sure why I keep showing you the front of the packages since they’re all the same besides the name… guess I’m just being thorough.
And the backside as usual:
Again, you just boil a specific amount of water and cook for about 15 minutes. It’s really THAT easy. That’s why I just LOVE freeze dried meals!
And here’s the nutrition label:
Notice all the fiber… this meal will keep you “regular” for sure. 😉
And here’s the final product which made three full bowls plus at least one more (my wife wasn’t home to eat any):
If it looks a bit “watery” that’s because it is, in my opinion. Since I like my chili thick I think next time I would choose to use maybe a cup less than what’s recommended (this package suggests 8 cups which is about 2 cups more than the others thus far).
Regardless, I though it was seasoned fairly well, though I would have preferred it be a bit spicier as I’m trending that way as I age, it seems.
My kids seemed to eat every last spoonful so they seemed to like it as well. Overall, this was a winner.
Last night my kids and I decided to make the Stroganoff which is part of the Legacy 72 Hour Kit I started reviewing a few weeks back.
It’s non-GMO, vegetarian, and obviously low in fat. Here’s the front of the package:
And the backside:
Just like with the other meals thus far, it’s super simple to make… just boil some water and cook for about 12-15 minutes, then let stand for a few minutes. And, of course, you could choose to cook half of the package, they give directions for that too.
If interested here’s a closeup of the label:
I did notice quite a bit of sodium in this package but it didn’t taste overly salty and neither did I notice my wife needing to add salt like she normally does, so it must have been salted “well enough” lol.
Anyway, the final product yielded four bowls of Stroganoff plus a bit extra we saved for later:
Overall, I’d say it was tasty enough, though I would have preferred some meat (guess I’m used to Beef Stroganoff) but I didn’t see anybody complaining either. 🙂