Off the Grid Super Stack FINAL Call

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This is the final mention about this amazing offer because your chance to grab the Off the Grid Super Stack ends at midnight (EST) on Tuesday, 9/17/19.

If you haven’t decided yet, I’d say there are two simple questions you need to answer:

Question 1: Do you have the time, energy and wisdom to figure everything out by yourself?

Question 2: Can you afford the thousands of dollars it would cost to purchase all of the books, courses and top tier resources contained in the Off the Grid Super Stack?

If the answer to both questions is ‘yes’, then go ahead and ignore this email. It’s not for you.

If the answer is ‘no’ or ‘I’m not sure’ to either of the above questions, then keep reading:

Obviously, the Off the Grid Super Stack will give you an instant head start on your preparedness, homesteading and off the grid goals.

Literally thousands of people just like you have flourished because of the guidance and expertise they’ve found in the books and courses provided in this stack…

And many of these individuals have spent THOUSANDS more than you will when you purchase the stack today.

All you have to do is take action right now to get access to the over $700 + worth of cutting edge content included in the stack.

BUT…

At midnight on Tuesday, this offer goes away.

And when it’s gone, it’s gone forever.

In one year’s time, where will you be when you decide that today is the day you commit to getting started on your preparedness goals?

Far better off than you are today, that’s for sure.

Click here to discover more about this amazing deal which ends in less than 24 hours.

Take care, Damian

P.S. Are you still on the fence? Don’t worry, the guys over at Infostack have incredible integrity and offer a 60-day refund guarantee. So, you’ll have plenty of time to go through all the info and decide later whether it’s ultimately wonderful or not (in my opinion, the deal most certainly is)…

But if you don’t grab it now, the deal is gone for good.

Click here to grab your copy of the Stack before it’s gone for good.

Discover How to Thrive Off The Grid

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You’re going to be hearing from me more than usual over the next few weeks, but I promise you’ll be glad you did because I’ve got some good things coming your way…

For starters, my next book, The Get Home Bag and Compact EDC Kit, will be released by the end of the month. Plus, I’m releasing a second edition of my 28 Powerful Home Security Solutions too, both which I”ll explain more in a future email.

Today, however, I want to share with you something that I’ve been excited about for a while, but which I haven’t been allowed to say anything about until today, and that’s the Off The Grid Super Stack.

It’s probably the BEST collection of survival advice I’ve seen bundled together in years!

In fact, the Off the Grid Super Stack is a hand-curated collection of premium ebooks, ecourses (including my 12 Pillars of Survival program), membership communities and other resources from top experts that will show you the best ways to implement permaculture, survive in the wild, live fully off the grid and safely and efficiently bug out if and when the SHTF.

Inside Off the Grid Super Stack you will discover how to:

  • Make sure you and your family are ready for any emergency or disaster;
  • Plan your escape into a new world possibilities through self-sufficient living;
  • Develop fundamental skills to survive outdoors;
  • Grow your own food, even if you have limited space and resources;
  • Learn the ins and outs of homesteading on budget;
  • Discover new skills that will help you survive any emergency or disaster, big or small;
  • Design, build & manage your own off-grid electrical system.

And that’s just scratching the surface, trust me…

Now, typically, you’d have to spend over $700 + to get your hands on everything packed into Off the Grid Super Stack…

But this week, you can get everything for an unbelievable 95% off!

Click here to learn more about this limited time deal.

Take care, Damian

P.S. If Off the Grid Super Stack sounds like something you’d like to get access to – don’t hesitate, because this deal expires at midnight eastern time on Tuesday, September 17th. After that, it’s gone for good.

P.P.S. More to come about this awesome deal over the next week, stay tuned!

8 Must-Have Clothing Items for Preppers

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The prepper lifestyle is all about being ready for any situation. It can be hard to choose a wardrobe that meets all your needs. You want to have something to wear when it’s cold, when it’s hot and when it’s raining. At the same time, you want to minimize your wardrobe as much as possible to avoid reliance on material goods.

If you’re ready to invest in your survival, consider these eight must-have clothing items below. With this attire in your arsenal, you’ll be prepared for anything that comes your way.

1. Socks

Good socks are a must for the serious survival prepper. When the body gets extremely cold, it reacts in two ways. The first is shivering. The second is the constriction of blood vessels in arms and legs, reducing blood flow to fingers and toes. Socks are a necessary line of defense against frostbite and cold temperatures.

There are tons of sock types to choose from, including:

  • No-show socks
  • Low-cut socks
  • Crew socks
  • Knee socks
  • Mid-thigh socks

Each type has different benefits. Crew socks, for example, pair perfectly with hiking boots. Not only do they prevent cuts from plants and twigs, but they also limit chafing from the shoe’s leather. No-show and low-cut socks, which hit below the ankle bone, are ideal for sneakers and loafers. These socks are often a lightweight material, meant to breathe and prevent sweating.

Invest in long options like knee and mid-thigh socks, which can protect your legs from bug bites and greenery. In colder temperatures, long socks can also fit under pant legs for an added layer of insulation.

Beyond the style of the sock, you should also consider material. Dense fabric like wool is meant to trap in heat, keeping your toes toasty on a cold winter morning. Cotton and polyester have a reputation for their breathable material, great for warm weather. You should also consider water-resistant materials like acrylic, olefin and polypropylene, ideal for a rainy day.

[Editor’s note: They actually make waterproof socks that may be of interest to you for bug out and wilderness survival.]

2. Boots

When it comes to practical survival footwear, boots are a must-have. There are a variety of gender-neutral styles to choose from.

The Chelsea boot, a classic ankle-length style, comes in several colors and materials. These boots are more relaxed than a hiking boot, better for a trip into town rather than a romp through the woods. If you do plan to spend a lot of time outdoors, hiking boots are eminently practical — they can also double as snow boots. Look for a pair that are durable, waterproof and comfortable. Avoid chunky, impractical options that will make it hard to maneuver around brush.

In areas where precipitation is likely, rain boots can be convenient. Look for ankle or knee-length shoes made from a water-resistant material, like rubber. Transparent PVC boots are highly water-resistant and ideal for adverse weather. If your shoes are not rainproof, look for water-resistant covers you can slip on top.

There are five common types of boot materials:

  • Leather
  • Rubber
  • Duralon
  • Nylon
  • Wool

If your goal is lightweight breathability, look for boots made of nylon. Rubber and leather are more durable and can provide foot support when traversing rocky terrain. Duralon, on the other hand, is PVC, meaning it is exceptionally sturdy and maintains its shape for years.

3. Shirts

You’ll want to look for shirts that offer both comfort and protection. A long-sleeved shirt is a prepper requirement, as long as it still provides a full range of motion. Sleeves protect you from the elements, including harmful UV (ultraviolet) rays. You can’t see UV rays, but they can cause damage to skin cells and play a significant role in skin cancer. Even a sunburn, which is annoying at best, is possible to avoid with the proper attire.

If the temperatures get hot, you’ll also want a short-sleeved shirt. Look for clothing made with wicking, which dries quickly and keeps moisture off the skin. Wicking will keep you cool during a long hike or jog around the neighborhood. Some cotton blends also repel insects and prevent odor buildup.

Some of the most common types of shirt fabrics include:

  • Cotton
  • Jersey
  • Linen
  • Polyester
  • Rayon

Cotton, linen and rayon are lightweight and breathable, making them cool to wear. Look for combed cotton, where clothes manufacturers use fine brushes to eliminate short strands and make a sturdier fabric. Rayon is a humanmade fabric that, while breathable, wrinkles easily. Polyester, on the other hand, maintains its shape and is resistant to shrinking and wrinkles. However, it traps heat and is not suitable for hot weather.

4. Underwear

No one wants to talk about the specifics of underwear, but it’s something we all need. There are a variety of underwear types, but not all are suitable for the survival prepper lifestyle. The goal is to find something practical and easy to clean.

Women will want to avoid lace and other itchy materials that can cause skin irritations and chafing. Simple is best, without design attachments like bows and ruffles. Some women prefer boy-short-style underwear, though others say they ride up during physical activity and can cause irritation and discomfort.

Men, on the other hand, can choose between briefs, boxers and boxer-briefs. Each style has its pros and cons. Boxers and boxer-briefs are ideal for a survivalist lifestyle because they can double as pajama shorts or a swimsuit in a pinch.

Underwear comes in a variety of fabrics, including:

  • Cotton
  • Latex
  • Nylon
  • Polyester
  • Satin

The material you choose will depend on what is most comfortable.

You should also add a pair of long underwear to your collection. This gender-neutral undergarment is like a long pair of cotton or knit pants, though it stays under your clothing. Many use the garment as an alternative to pajamas in winter, as long underwear is ideal for keeping warm in chilly temperatures.

[Editor’s note: Long underwear is a great to have for cold winter excursions. I highly recommend you have a good pair.]

5. Pants

Everybody needs a pair of pants. The fabric protects your legs from rain, snow and wind. It also helps keep you warm. Denim is a versatile fabric, and you can wear jeans for almost any occasion. Whether you’re heading to the farmers’ market to pick up fresh fruit or venturing into the woods for a walk, jeans will provide all the comfort and protection you need.

For warm weather, you’ll want to look for lightweight pants that don’t trap heat. Consider breathable fabrics like cotton and linen. For colder months, consider dense materials meant to retain body heat, like wool. Look for a comfortable pants design that’s snug around the waist without being restricting. You’ll want to be comfortable when outdoors hunting, fishing or hiking.

Whether you want to stay warm or prep a meal, you’ll be spending a lot of time making fires. It’s essential to invest in a high-quality pair of flame-resistant pants. These pants are specifically designed to protect from intermittent flames and thermal exposure. If they catch fire, they naturally extinguish themselves, reducing the risk of a burn injury.

Cargo pants are a great middle-ground solution for preppers. They consist of durable material and offer plenty of pocket space, ideal for holding a Swiss army knife, keys, a granola bar and more. Some can even zip off at the knees, offering a two-in-one shorts combo.

[Editor’s note: I don’t think could survival daily life WITHOUT cargo pants, lol.]

6. A Jacket

You should have at least one jacket in your wardrobe arsenal. If you live in a cold climate, look for a durable leather jacket lined with fleece, or other materials equipped with hypothermia protection. Choose a relaxed fit that is comfortable and not restricting. Look for a zip-up design, as opposed to button snaps, which can withstand weather like intense winds and snow.

A trenchcoat can be an excellent way to keep warm during the fall months when the wind is blowing, yet there’s no chill in the air yet. Choose a length that’s best suited for your needs, whether it’s a sleek design ideal for treks in the woods or an ankle-length style to bundle up against the wind.

In warmer weather, look for a lightweight performance jacket made with a moisture-wicking material. These jackets are typically a combination of polyester and mesh, designed to allow airflow and keep you cool. Plus, if it rains, the material dries within a couple of hours.

You can find a jacket in almost any material, though your choice will depend entirely on your needs. If you want a versatile option for a range of temperatures, leather and denim work best. If your goal is to stay warm, look for a quilted option with built-in insulation, like down or wool.

7. Gloves

Gloves come in all shapes, sizes, colors and designs. Cotton gloves are great for yard work, concrete applications, painting and more. You can protect your hands from blisters and chemicals while still allowing your skin to breathe. Some cotton gloves also implement rubber grips, giving you more traction and durability.

Leather gloves are more durable than cotton and often work in conjunction with an insulated liner. These types of gloves offer protection against cuts and punctures, great for heavy-duty tasks like yard work, landscaping, construction and woodworking. Leather-palmed gloves, on the other hand, are more flexible than traditional gloves, able to protect against abrasions without restricting movements.

Gloves are a practical way to keep your hands safe. However, you can also use them to stay warm and protect extremities from the elements. A good pair of thermal gloves, made with multiple layers of material, can keep your hands warm and dry in below-zero temperatures. Look for a pair with an outer layer of waterproof fleece, designed to wick away moisture and offer thermal retention. Other materials, like suede and leather, keep your hands warm in cold weather while providing a solid grip.

If you favor practicality over design, look for multi-use gloves with removable fingers. With this type of design, your hands can stay warm while your fingers are busy getting stuff done. Always try on a pair of gloves before you purchase them. The right size will offer just enough room without feeling tight or snug.

8. A Hat

A hat is a must to keep your head protected from the sun’s harmful rays, which can burn skin even on cloudy days. A baseball cap, an American classic, is casual and easy to wear. Look for a hat with an adjustable width so the whole family can use it. Most ball caps have a short- to medium-sized bill that is either curved or straight. When you’re outside, this bill is perfect for shielding the sun from your eyes.

A trucker cap is very similar to a baseball cap. The difference, however, is that only the front is a solid panel. The rest of the hat is a breathable mesh fabric that’s ideal for hot temperatures.

These style hats are typically snapback, meaning they come with two plastic pieces that snap together. This snap allows you to adjust the size of the cap. Others are fitted, designed to fit an exact size. If you live in a wet climate, search for a hat equipped with insect-repelling technology to prevent bug bites.

For the colder months, you may want to invest in a beanie or stocking cap-style hat. This style is close-fitting, meant to pull down over the head and fit snugly against the ears. The fabric, typically wool or cotton, can trap heat and keep your head warm. A stocking cap is similar to a beanie. The only difference is that a stocking cap has a longer crown, meant to hang off to the side.

Do you really want to live the prepper lifestyle?

If so, you need the right wardrobe. Get rid of the suit jackets, flip-flops and high heels. Instead, invest in versatile clothing that can keep you protected from nature’s harshest elements. You’ll want to add several pieces of clothing — from waterproof boots to flame-resistant pants. And don’t forget to ensure your significant other (and children) are prepared too! This will take time and some money to acquire, but the effort will be worth it when hard times come.

Note: This was a guest post.

How to Stay Safe Hiking in the Desert

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Death Valley’s Zabriskie Point, the Slickrock trails of Moab, Utah and the vast array of amazing hikes that surround the Grand Canyon are just a few examples of outstanding hikes located in the middle of the desert. If you’re not a fan of warmer climes, you might think to shy away from these iconic trails. However, with the right preparation, you can enjoy them just like you would any day hike.

As with any outdoor activity, it’s possible to conquer hiking desert trails if you spend the time to learn the tricks of the trade. Lots of experienced desert outdoorsmen and -women have come before you in this discipline. Here are some of their best teachings when it comes to hitting the trail in desert territory.

Study the Climate

Imagine how difficult it must have been to get outside before the invention of weather satellites! A well-prepared traveler can make themselves more comfortable on a hot day, but to ensure your hike is enjoyable and not miserable, it’s best to check the weather well ahead of time and plan to hike outside the hottest parts of the day. Usually, that’s mid- to late afternoon.

Are you a morning person? That’s perfect for desert hiking. Watching the sun come up from the trail is a magical experience, and you’ll be through with your walk before things get too toasty out. Night owls can make their preference work as an advantage too, although you’ll want to be careful to check whether trails remain open, understand park laws and regulations and bring plenty of lighting equipment if you’re planning to night-hike.

Even though heat is the primary antagonist when it comes to desert trekking, it’s not the only one. Flash floods and monsoons can make your sandy hike into a sloppy nightmare. Understand if your hike crosses land where flood weather can manifest, and whether it’s flood season when you hike. If you get caught in a flooding trail, move to high ground as quickly as you can and wait for help or better conditions.

Have a Trail Map

Getting lost anywhere is frightening and dangerous. In the desert, it can be deadly. Before heading out on your hike, make some time to look at a topographical map of the trail. Print or acquire a trail map beforehand, and regularly track your progress using GPS if possible.

This advice is particularly relevant for longer hikes like the Grand Canyon’s Rim-to-Rim adventure. Even if it’s reasonably straightforward to see which way the trail leads, you need to have an understanding of your progress. If you find yourself moving too slowly and don’t have the supplies or energy required to finish the hike, you should call for help.

Don’t Hike Alone, and Leave Your Itinerary With Emergency Contacts

Like most activities, hiking is better with friends. When you go out alone, your risk of getting lost with no one able to find you increases significantly. Solo hiking trails you know and can complete in a relatively short period are OK, as long as you notify someone you’re going. Unless you’re a highly skilled hiker and camper, do not attempt long distances alone. And regardless of whether you bring company, always tell at least one person outside your party where you’re going and when you expect to return.

Dress in Layers

Layers are always a smart idea for physical activity. For desert hiking, you’re looking for the ability to add some warmth if things cool off quickly, or shed layers to a breathable base if it warms up. Go for moisture-wicking technical fabrics that will dry quickly if you need to douse yourself to bring that core temp down. Want a pro tip? Moisture-wicking underwear from brands like Exoficcio and Patagonia can help make your day more comfortable when it’s warm on the trail.

A backpack is another essential part of your kit that can contribute to overheating. Technical hiking packs will often incorporate breathable fabrics, and you should only choose a pack as large as you need to accommodate the supplies you’ll bring on the trip. Also, many modern hiking packs include water bladders, which are the simplest way to bring along critical hydration during a warm-weather hike. Have some extra water with you to refill your bladder and help cool yourself down if you’re planning a longer hike more on that later.

Wear Sunscreen and a Hat

This tip probably seems obvious, but when you hike in the desert, you’re signing up for a whole lot of sun exposure. Your head, along with any other exposed skin, is likely to absorb some UV rays. So slather on some SPF a good trick is to put your first application on before you leave for the trail. Doing so will allow it time to absorb before you’re in the heat, which will help you stay comfortable.

Keep your SPF with you on the trail. Some hikers like to bring multiple types of sunblock, including zinc, aerosol-based spray and more conventional cream for re-applying to their face and body throughout the day. Don’t forget lip balm with SPF as well. And, of course, a wide-brimmed hat will go a long way to shield your head, face and neck from the sun’s rays. Even a ball cap is a great addition to your kit if you haven’t got something a little more David Attenborough.

Pack Food and Water

Dehydration can be a killer when you’re hoofing it through the desert. You can die of thirst in a matter of days, so do not leave home without plenty of water. A good rule to go by is to bring about two cups of water per hour of estimated hike time. If you’re always thirsty, bring more. If you’re planning to camp out, have a good understanding of where you can find fresh water, and bring a means of filtering it to make it safe to drink.

If you’re bringing pets along, don’t forget plenty of water for them to drink, as well as a vessel for them to drink out of. We’re not always advocates of bringing pets be sure it’s safe for your four-legged friend to come along. Overcommitting your dog to a long hike in the heat can be dangerous, because dogs can’t sweat and don’t know when to stop following their owner if they get dehydrated.

As for food, will you need snacks for a two-hour jaunt, or is this going to be a longer-distance journey? You can probably guess what kinds of snacks work well on a hot trail. The typical selection of fruits, trail mix, energy bars and dried foods comes to mind. Don’t go overboard with caffeinated gels and snacks, because they can lead to dehydration if you use too many. Always pack more snacks than you think you’ll eat. You don’t want to get caught in a pinch if there’s an emergency or you have to stay out longer than planned.

If you’re planning a longer-duration hike, you should think about meals to bring. The time-honored tradition of sandwiches can make for a fun trail lunch and should provide enough protein and carbohydrates to get you through a longer pull. You can meal-prep ahead of time or find some pre-made at a nearby market.

If you’ll be spending the night on the trail, there are many tasty options to cook up. Depending on the size of your pack, you may be able to bring a legitimate camp cooktop and grill up some meats or veggies extra points for s’mores.

Those who are more interested in saving weight should check out a camp stove such as a Jetboil or MSR. You can use these highly packable stoves to boil water, which you can then use to rehydrate freeze-dried meals. The selection of these types of meals is impressive these days, with everything from chicken casserole to beef stroganoff to mac and cheese and even stir-fried vegetables. Not willing to pay the premium for fancy backpacking food? A box of dried pasta and dehydrated vegetables cooks up in a snap, too.

Bring First-Aid Items

A basic kit with bandages, a tourniquet, cold compresses, tweezers and painkillers is probably all you need for shorter hikes. If you’re staying out longer, it’s probably smart to come prepared with additional supplies. Treatment for foot conditions like blisters can come in handy if you’re covering lots of ground, as can aloe vera gel for sunburns. Make sure you have a supply of any medicines you need to take regularly, even if you don’t plan to stay out long. In case of emergency, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Go at a Safe Pace

Even if you feel like you typically keep a fast pace, the effects of the sun and heat can slow anyone down. Moving too quickly can cause dehydration, cramping and other issues. Ultimately, your best bet to complete your hike in a reasonable amount of time and still feel good is to go at the pace your body tells you is OK. If you’re part of a group and need to move slower than your friends, say so. They should understand you don’t want to push yourself too far, and should be willing to adopt a slower pace if you need to.

Treat Wildlife With Respect

There’s a real chance you’ll see some wildlife while you’re on the trail. It might even be part of your motivation to go hiking. However, remember when you spot wildlife on the trail, you’re not looking at a domesticated animal. The best policy is always to remain at a safe distance. Don’t pursue wild animals, which could turn aggressive or could hurt themselves while trying to evade you. Many endangered species are under legal protection, and you’ll be breaking the law if you bother them but more importantly, trying to force a wild animal encounter could have negative consequences for everyone involved.

That rings true of all animals you spot on the trail, but use particular caution when you encounter larger animals and predators such as bears, mountain lions, coyotes or even larger herbivores. It is not safe to approach these animals. Remember, you’re a visitor in their habitat. Be respectful and don’t attempt to bother them. Doing so could result in a tragedy.

Have a Supply Stash in Your Vehicle

Imagine taking a wrong turn on a hike. You recognize you’ve made a mistake, but not before you’ve made your way far off the trail you had planned on taking. You’re going to have to dig into your extra supplies, which means by the time you get back to your car, you won’t have anything left, and you’ll have had to make the extra effort to get back. In this scenario, you can understand why it’s critical to keep extra supplies in your car.

Extra water, snacks and even a change of clothes are all great things to have on hand in your car for when you return from the trail. If all goes as planned, you may never use them, and that’s OK. It will give you peace of mind to know they’re at the ready in case you or a fellow hiker needs the help.

Know How to Get Help

Cell phones have made venturing outdoors much less daunting than it once was, and that’s all for the best. Before you head out, though, make sure you have mobile service while on the trail. Many remote locations still lack cell coverage, which is why it’s smart to have a radio or GPS beacon, some additional means of summoning help if you need it. If you find yourself on the trail with no means to reach anyone, go back. It’s not worth the risk.

Have Fun!

Desert hikes can expose you to vast arrays of plants and wildlife and bring you to new and fascinating places, all while you’re getting fresh air and good exercise. You’ll have the chance to spend some quality time in the great outdoors with your friends and family, in places many people never make an effort to enjoy. So get outside and have a great time just keep the tips we mentioned in mind to ensure things go smoothly and safely. Where’s your favorite desert hike? Let us know in the comments below.

How to Heat Your Tent With a Swedish Log Torch

This isn’t what I expected to see when I started watching this video. To be honest, I’d figured this guy was going to somehow bring a Swedish log INSIDE the tent (which would’ve been a bad idea) but I was pleasantly surprised to see what he chose to do and, more importantly, how well it worked out. Stick around to about the 12:00 mark where he briefly discusses a few safety concerns…

Camp Tarp Shelter Wizardry

This guy is awesome! He’s always coming up with neat outdoor survival ideas, and this one is a great one to know for camping. FYI, he also links to a series of other tarp tent videos that may be of interest to you as well. Here’s the tarp shelter wizardry one; it’s a bit hard to follow at first but if you watch it again I think you’ll get the idea…

How to Heat Your Home in an Emergency Situation

The weather may be warming up, but that doesn’t mean you can stop thinking about preparing for next winter. Whether you’re dealing with a blizzard, floor or the zombie apocalypse, you’ll need to be able to heat your home during an emergency. Here are some ways to heat your home if the world ends or the power goes out next winter.

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1. Controlling Heat Loss

Before you choose a way to heat your home, you need to make sure the building isn’t bleeding hot air. A lack of insulation, degraded weatherstripping around your doors and windows, and the windows themselves can all allow heat to radiate out of your home, making it harder to keep things warm.

Start by checking your attic for insulation. If you don’t have any insulation or it has been years since its installation, consider upgrading or replacing it. This won’t just help you keep the home warm in the winter time — it can also help you reduce cooling costs in the summer by maintaining the interior temperature.

Weatherstripping around your doors and windows also work to keep out cold air and prevent your heated air from escaping. If yours has deteriorated, it can’t do its job. You can line the edges of your windows and doors with draft stoppers, but this is only a stop-gap measure. The best thing you can do is to replace the weatherstripping entirely. This is easy, even for DIYers who aren’t terribly handy, and you can do it in an afternoon.

Ideally, you’ll want to replace your windows with double-paned options, but if that isn’t in the budget, you won’t be left out in the cold. You can insulate your windows with things you have around the house, like blankets, pillows and tinfoil. Instead of using your thin summer curtains that let in natural light, swap them out with heavy insulated ones. You’ll want to be able to let sunlight in during the day — if there is any — but you don’t want to let all your hard-earned heat escape at night when the temperature drops again.

2. Propane or Kerosene Heaters

Your first thought might be to pick up a couple of space heaters you can plug into the wall, but those won’t do you a lot of good if the power is out or the infrastructure has collapsed. You’re going to need something capable of generating heat that has its own refillable or replaceable fuel source. That’s where kerosene and propane heaters come in.

These free-standing heaters generate hundreds of thousands of BTUs of energy per gallon of fuel. Kerosene costs a little more and may be harder to find — you can find propane anywhere because so many people like to use it for their barbeque grills — but you get more bang for your buck.

Whichever fuel source you choose, you’re going to want to buy it in bulk. Sure you can buy propane cans and kerosene cans in the camping section of your local hardware or department store, but if the power is going to be out for a while, this isn’t a cost-effective way to heat your home. Instead, consider having a propane or kerosene tank installed and buying fuel by the gallon.

3. Candle Heaters

If you don’t have the means or the space to install a fuel tank in your home, you’re not without options. If you’re trying to heat a small space, all you need is a couple of bricks, a couple of terra cotta pots, a long steel bolt and some candles or Sterno cans.

Now, candles and fuel cans don’t generate a lot of heat on their own unless it’s concentrated, such as under a food dish at a buffet, but they do generate heat. The problem is that with any sort of flame or small heat source, it’s not going to radiate heat you can feel unless you’re standing directly over it. Hot air is less dense than cold air, so it will rise to the ceiling where it isn’t doing you any good.

By using a nested pair of terra cotta pots, as well as a steel bolt, you can create a sort of heat battery. The heat from the candles or fuel cans accumulates inside the pot, raising the temperature of both the steel and the terra cotta. Over time, this build up reaches critical mass and starts to radiate heat out into the surrounding area. By keeping the candles lit, you can heat a whole room with one of these simple contraptions. You probably already have most of the pieces scattered around your house.

4. Wood Stoves

You don’t have to remodel your house to use a wood stove to heat the interior. Small portable wood stoves are available. You’ll just need to place them near a window and use a pipe chimney to vent the smoke and ash outside so it doesn’t cause issues indoors.

If you’re planning on using a wood stove to heat your home, you will need to have a generous supply of wood either ready to split or already cut to use as fuel. Spend the cool fall months restocking your fuel supply so that you will have everything you need in case the power goes out. Of course, if you run out of wood, you can always pick up an ax and head out into the forest to find more fuel, so this becomes an incredibly viable option as long as you live near some trees.

5. Fuel Oil Heaters

You don’t have to rely on electricity to heat your home. In fact, more than six million homeowners use fuel oil to power their furnaces. Fuel oil furnaces have a reputation for being dirty or bad for the environment, but while that was true in the past, it isn’t anymore. Fuel oil today contains 93% less sulfur than it did in the 1980s and is between 90 and 95% cleaner than it was in the 1970s.

If you’re considering switching to heating oil as your primary home heating source, make sure you complete the conversion early and refill your tank before the temperature starts to drop. Getting someone to come out for a refill in the middle of a blizzard will be nearly impossible — and if they are willing to make the drive, it will cost you a lot more than it would have in off-peak season.

6. Fireplaces

If you have a gas or wood fireplace in your home, you’re already one step closer to heating your home in the event of a power outage or another emergency. There are a few things you should do before you light that first blaze, though, including:

  • Have the Chimney Cleaned — For a wood fireplace, a clogged chimney isn’t just a fire hazard. It could also leave you choking on smoke and carbon monoxide because these byproducts have no other way to get out of your home. Before you light a fire for the first time, call a chimney sweep and have the whole system cleaned.
  • Clean out the Firebox — If you haven’t cleaned out your fireplace since last winter, now the is perfect time to get rid of all those old ashes and get it ready for the new cold season. Make sure you keep the damper closed while you’re cleaning, though, or an errant gust of wind could send ash all over your living room.
  • Stock up on Fuel — Being ready for anything means you need to have enough fuel to see you through the entire winter if need be. If you have a wood fireplace, start chopping wood before the weather gets cold. If you have a gas fireplace, top off your tank before a blizzard comes through. Unfortunately, if you opted for an electric fireplace, you’re going to be out of luck if the power goes out.

We’ve been using fireplaces to heat our homes for as long as we’ve had homes. It can be a great tool if the power goes out, so make sure they’re ready for the cold winter months.

7. Purchase or Maintain a Generator

Losing power doesn’t just mean you won’t be able to heat your home. It also means you can’t charge your phone, turn on the lights or cook on an electric range. Having a backup generator can help you do all of these things and more.

Make sure your generator is outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. Generators run on gasoline or diesel, which means they produce carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, both of which can kill you in high concentrations. Don’t run a generator in the house, no matter how much you don’t want to go out in the cold to plug stuff in and refuel it.

[Editor’s note: Even in a partially-ventilated garage, such as with the garage door half open, toxic CO can build up which can be deadly! ONLY ever use a generator and similar outdoor gear OUTSIDE to stay safe.]

Pay close attention to the power rating of your generator as well. If you overload it, it will shut down or even fail, and you’ll be out of luck for electric heat, charging your phone or keeping your refrigerator running.

8. Choose One Room to Heat

In an emergency, you aren’t going to want to try to heat every room in your house. In the long run, it ends up being a waste of fuel. Instead of trying to heat all 2,000+ square feet, choose one room that is big enough to hold everyone in your house, and designate that as the “warm room.” Close the doors, insulate the windows, cover the vents and plan on spending most of your time in there. Keep the doors and windows closed as much as possible to keep in the warm air and conserve your fuel.

If you keep those doors closed, you can theoretically heat an entire room just with your body heat, too — but it will take a while, and you’ll be cold while you do it.

9. Layers, Layers and More Layers

The last thing you should stock up on is warm winter clothing. Even if the heater is working, keeping your thermostat set lower and layering up can help reduce your winter utility costs. If the power goes out, layering up — including hats, scarves and gloves — can keep you warm and prevent frostbite while you get your heaters set up.

Also, move your winter clothing stash to your designated warm room, so you don’t have to worry about pulling on cold pants, shirts and other items while it’s below freezing outside. After all, pretty much the only thing worse than cold underwear is a cold shower.

Don’t start by putting on your heaviest coat, though. Add multiple thin layers you can easily remove if you warm up or move into a warm area. Heavy coats aren’t always necessary as long as you have enough layers. If you get too warm or start sweating, change your bottom layers. Wet clothing draws heat away from your body and makes it harder for you to stay warm.

Stay inside as much as possible, and layer up.

Stay Warm

If the power goes out during a floor or the world ends and the entire infrastructure collapses, you’ll need to figure out how to heat your home. These ideas are all things you can prepare and have ready before the temperature starts to drop. This is one case where it’s better to have all of these things and not need them, rather than to not have them and potentially freeze to death or burn your house down trying to stay warm.

It is important to remember that many of these solutions can present or create a fire hazard if they are misused. Take the time to maintain your equipment, so you’ll always be ready once Old Man Winter shows his face. No one wants to spend all their time in one room playing board games while the power is out, but if it takes the utility companies a while to restore the system, this could keep you warm throughout even the coldest winter.

No matter what you choose to do, be ready for falling temperatures, and stay warm this winter!

Note: This was a guest post.

How To Utilize Trees For Survival: The Ultimate Guide To Surviving Off Of Trees

Image Credit: https://www.nps.gov/mora/learn/nature/trees.htm

Earth Day always gives us a little time to think about the trees. Planting a tree on Earth Day is a tradition in many places, namely because these life-giving plants help provide clean air and natural resources like wood, as well as habitat for other living creatures.

But trees aren’t just worthy of our appreciation on Earth Day. In fact, you can make use of them so many ways that you’ll be a generally better survivalist just by understanding their many applications. With the right knowledge, trees can provide food and water, shelter and even basic construction materials.

A Long History of Utility

Today, the construction industry is probably the first thing that comes to mind when we consider how important trees are. Lumber from all types of trees is harvested every day around the world to be used as building material, fuel for fires and pulp for paper products. But even before we were building things from trees, hunter/gatherer tribes were collecting nutritious tree nuts as a source of food. They later discovered the value of trees as one component of a farming system.

Prominent historical figures like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington revered these important crops and understood well the value they lent to the North American continent. Before the founding of the United States, indigenous peoples made use of tree-based products like nuts and sap for use in daily life. Nearly every part of a tree can be put to good use, and no one knew it better.

Knowledge of how to get the most from American icons like oak, maple and pine has been handed down for generations. You might be surprised how much there is to know!

Tree-Based Foods

You’ve probably consumed a great many tree-based foods in your life without ever even thinking about it. Tree nuts are the most obvious, with popular and time-honored examples including acorns, walnuts and pine nuts. Almonds, popular edible tree nuts revered for their health benefits, are actually not safe to eat raw in the wild because they contain natural toxins. Stick to the first three if you’re looking for a tree-based snack in the American wild.

In addition to tree nuts, many fruit-bearing trees form the backbone of the exceptional variety of fruits we enjoy nearly year-round in the United States. Apples, peaches and citrus fruit like oranges and tangerines all come from trees, although some are more common in the wilderness than others.

Mulberry trees, while lesser-known to those seeking fruit in the market, can offer a snack while you’re exploring open spaces. Cherry trees are both farmed and naturally occurring. The bright yellow honey locust tree and rare hackberry are native varieties that produce edible fruits and seeds and are less commonly farmed.

Not surprisingly, many types of food-producing trees have been put into large-scale farming operations in places like California, Florida and New York. If you’re a fan of fresh orange juice, you might know how sensitive these farming operations can be. To enjoy the great selection of exotic fruits available to us — a luxury almost no other country enjoys as well as the USA — we have to take care to keep our tree farms healthy and adapt to shifting weather patterns.

Some tree farming operations have even created new forms of hybrid fruit. Examples like the grapple and tangelo take characteristics of naturally occurring fruit and leverage genomics technology to offer an entirely new experience. This genetic experimentation has recently given us the SnapDragon and RubyFrost apples, products of work done at Cornell University. Trees are continuing to provide new sources of food today!

Water, Sap and Resin

In addition to delicious fruits and nuts, trees can provide life-sustaining water and other liquid products, including the popular sap, used for making syrup. In addition to sap, the thick, amber liquid you might think of as sap is in fact a different substance altogether called resin. Pine, fir and ceder trees, along with their relatives in the Pinaceae family, produce resin, which is typically thick and tar-like and makes a much better adhesive than thinner, watery sap.

To collect sap, whether it be for use in making syrup or just to have a drink of the high water-content liquid, bore a hole in the side of a tree and insert a tube for the sap to flow through. You can drink raw sap right from the tree as a source of water. To make the maple syrup or other sweet products requires processing. Called “sugaring,” the process of making syrup involves first setting a tap in place and then allowing enough liquid to pool in your bucket or other collection device so that you can boil off the extra water.

Sugaring rigs vary in their size and design, but a “stereotypical” rig consists of a wood-fired stove with a broad pot or pan at the top. Sap is poured into the pan and kept at a low boil for hours on end. Removing the right amount of water to make syrup and not hard candy takes a little finesse and a lot of practice. However, once it’s ready, maple syrup can be kept for many months as a stable food. It’s a great way to have a treat around and prepare some sugar for a survival situation. Not a bad gift come holiday time either!

Unlike maple syrup, pine tree resin won’t help your breakfast taste better. However, it does have some good-to-know survival uses. It can be collected around a damaged area of the tree, and it will harden when it’s exposed to sunlight. Native Americans have been known to use pine tree resin to close wounds — it’s a natural antiseptic because it keeps moisture from entering the wound, and it can be peeled from the skin once healing is far enough along. It’s also helpful treating rashes and can be made into a tea to treat a sore throat.

Aside from its medicinal uses, resin can be used to help with starting fires, as a sealant to waterproof clothes and shoes and even as glue when it’s combined with crumbled charcoal. To make your glue, heat resin until it’s thin and mix it with the charcoal powder in a ratio that’s two parts resin to one part ash. Use a stick to collect the dark-colored mixture as it cools. The cool glue won’t be good for bonding things, but you can reheat it to apply to a surface when needed.

Additional Medicinal Uses

Many survivalists find tree-based products to be useful for curing ailments along with their nutritional value. Similar to the pine resin tea we mentioned earlier, nature provides us with a slew of natural medicine available just by processing basic tree-derived items. Pine nettle tea, for example, is a famous cure for vitamin C deficiency that early frontiersmen relied on because of the prevalence of scurvy.

Many outdoorsmen still enjoy making pine nettle tea for its woody flavor, and while boiling for too long can remove some of the vitamin C from the brew, you can decide how strong to make it if you’re not in need of saving from scurvy.

Willow tree bark contains salicin, a naturally occurring compound that’s similar in makeup to aspirin. If you’re far from home and in need of pain relief, peel a hunk of bark from a nearby willow and chew it to unlock the tree’s natural anti-inflammatory properties. We’ve listed some additional herbal remedies derived from trees below:

  • The sap of the alder tree can be used to calm itching and wash wounds. Alder leaves and bark can be boiled to make a tea that will reduce a fever.
  • Apple trees provide a number of digestive remedies. Peeled apple tree root can be consumed to cure diarrhea, while stewed unpeeled apples can be used as a laxative. Apple cider with garlic and horseradish can be used to treat skin conditions.
  • Ash tree leaves can be made into a tea to reduce gout, jaundice and rheumatism, and the tea is also a laxative.
  • Tea made from the flowers and berries of the Hawthorne tree can have positive affects for cardiac health and lower blood pressure.
  • Linden and closely related basswood products can calm nerves and are effective remedies for headaches, spasms and pain.
  • Green walnut husks can be slit to produce a sap that’s effective for treating ringworm.
  • Witch hazel is a famous remedy for many conditions. It is anti-inflammatory, hemostatic and antiseptic.

Using Trees for Shelter

Up until now, we’ve been mainly focused on the ways you can use tree-based products by ingesting them. However, trees make an effective survival tool as a form of shelter too. Perhaps you’ve noticed the way a healthy redwood offers shade on a hot day. Maybe you’ve enjoyed climbing the trees in a nearby orchard as a child. Being large and stationary, trees can provide these basic benefits of coverage and a high vantage point, but they can also do a lot more in a survival situation.

If you’re in need of a calm place to set up camp while in the wilderness, a thicket of trees might be just the thing to provide shade and knock down wind that could otherwise interfere with your tent or other camp shelter. Don’t have a tent? Why not just use the trees themselves? Assuming the trees in your area provide suitably hard wood, you can collect large, fallen branches and arrange them in a lean-to to shield yourself and your belongings from animals and elements.

If you can find a large enough dead tree, you can even hunker down inside the hollowed-out trunk itself. Doing so sounds rather idyllic because it is. Finding just such a tree is rare, and if you do plan to use one as shelter, be sure to check its structural integrity. A dead tree with a hollow trunk may not endure a bout of strong wind, and you won’t want to be in it when the upper regions come crashing down. Maybe take a picture and move on.

Of course, wood is an excellent building material, and if time is on your side, you can use tree products to construct your own shelter. You can do so by planting and growing a protective shelter belt to keep wind and elements off your encampment or crops or by harvesting existing wood and constructing a small structure. Using basic tongue-in-groove construction, it’s possible to stand up a simple log building using a good set of trees, a sharp ax and perhaps a few other basic tools. Keep in mind that this undertaking is not a beginner-level project.

An Alaskan mill, a lumber-processing tool that can be built using a fallen log and metal brackets, is a handy way to produce real, right-sized cuts of lumber in the backcountry, but it takes a skilled saw-man to run. Still, in a situation that requires you to fabricate a sturdy wooden structure without help from the kinds of tools you’d find in a larger-scale construction setting, the Alaskan mill is the perennial go-to. If you’re going to look into using one of these, find someone who’s done it, and practice safely getting to know the ins and outs of this tool, as it can be very dangerous.

Man’s Other “Best Friend”

Your dog is probably a lot more fun than a tree, that’s not asking much. But when you consider all the wonderful things trees do for us — providing fresh air, healthy snacks and sustenance for wilderness adventures, handy sap and resin products, medicines and lodging and more — trees are absolutely amazing.

This guide gives you a good overview of the many ways you can benefit from trees in wilderness settings. Hopefully, what you’ve read here will prove useful. There’s so much you can do with the numerous tree-based products covered here and elsewhere. What plans do you have to make use of this new knowledge — are you going to begin brewing pine-nettle tea or harvesting maple sap for use in syrup? Let us know in the comments below!

Note: This was a guest post.

Seattle Snowmageddon – Why All The Panic?

Image Credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photography-of-trees-covered-with-snow-773594/

So I went to the grocery store (Central Market) yesterday around lunch time simply because I wanted to grab a few things that my wife prefers and which I could only get there locally, such as some specific toothpaste and fermented pickles.

Yeah, I know… nothing that I really needed for the “snowmageddon” coming today and this weekend, such as actual food or pop tarts, lol.

The thing is that when I tried to find a parking spot, I couldn’t. And I mean there was NOTHING anywhere nearby! I was thinking to myself, “Man, lunchtime sure is busy here.” And, so, I eventually gave up and took my kid to Dairy Queen for lunch.

It was only later that I realized the madhouse at the grocery store was because everyone was doing their last minute shopping for a snowstorm that we’re just not accustomed to having around here. And it has been the ONLY thing on everyone’s mind for days now; I’d suspect it will be THE news for the entire weekend.

The funny thing is that I think we’re only due to get around 4-6″ of snow, which would have been a nuisance where I used to live in the Midwest but nothing to freak out over. And I’d image for those who live in the northern states (e.g., Michigan and Wisconsin) that a half of a foot of snow is barely anything to mention on the nightly news.

But, my complaint is always the same when it comes to things like this: there was absolutely no reason for people to have acted any differently had they already been prepared!

Really.

It never even crossed my mind to have to go to the store because of the snowstorm. I already have everything I need, including food, water, batteries, firewood, and so on… and I didn’t need to panic shop because I failed to have these items already on hand.

Because, after all, disasters don’t always give us days warning like a looming snowstorm might. Sure, there are some items it would be beneficial to stock up on–such as prescription medications–but even then it’s possible to ensure you don’t have to run out to the store at the last moment.

And for those of you who refuse to listen and just “have to” stock up at the last moment, can you at least NOT merely buy milk and bread? And maybe include food that doesn’t need refrigerated?

It’s just a thought… do what you will with it.