Sawyer Mini Water Filter Hacks

If you want a good quality, inexpensive backpacking water filter for about $20, it’s hard to beat the Sawyer Mini Water Filter considering all that’s included.

According to the Amazon description it:

  • Removes 99.99999% of all bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera, and E.coli; removes 99.9999% of all protozoa, such as giardia and cryptosporidium
  • Filter rated up to 100,000 gallons; includes 16-ounce reusable squeeze pouch, 7-inch drinking straw, and cleaning plunger

The following video partly shows what’s included and then discusses a few “hacks” to make it all work better…

Legacy Food Storage 72 Hour Food Kit: Enchilada Beans And Rice Review

This week we’re taking a look at another Legacy Foods 72-Hour Kit option which I introduced last week here, specifically the Enchilada Beans and Rice meal:

And the backside of the package:

I should point out that last week I said that I wasn’t sure if any of the meals in the 72-hour kit were gluten free, well, it turns out that four of them are, including this one. The Classic Chili, Cheese & Broccoli Bake, and Cheese and Broccoli Soup are as well. Here’s their gluten-free selection if that’s of interest to you (and their verification letter if you’re the paranoid type, lol).

Just like with the previous meal, you need to bring about six cups of water to a boil, add contents of the freeze-dried pouch (remembering to remove the oxygen absorber which I forgot to do) and then cook over medium heat for 12-15 minutes… and remembering to stir it on occasion which I tend to forget as well. 😉

Once finished you end up with a nice beans and rice meal:

This particular meal made at least three large bowls of food, enough for me, my wife, and both of my kids to have their fill. In fact, my kids honestly thought there would be an enchilada inside because of the title and so, when the found out there wasn’t, they added the beans and rice to a flour tortilla and topped that with cheese like so:

It seems my oldest liked it well enough to have seconds. And, overall, everyone liked the taste and seasonings and so didn’t bother to add anything to it.

Personally, I felt it was seasoned quite well and I was also pleased with the quantity. It was enough for all of us to eat and have full tummies plus it’s easy to cook and lasts a long time in storage. That works for me.

Until next week. Enjoy.

Last Day To Save Big, Prepper Bundle Sales Ends Tonight

I wanted to remind you that today is the LAST day to save on The Prepper Bundle, a collection of 30 resources, bonuses, and more!

Here’s what I originally wrote about it last week so you can see what all is included but, to refresh your memory, inside you’ll find:

  1. The Guide to Primitive Survival Traps
  2. Meal Planning for Long-Term Food Storage
  3. Build Your Own Emergency Off-Grid Power System
  4. Fifty Ways To Make Survival Tools From Trash And Household Items
  5. Canning 101: A Primer
  6. Mini Seed Saving e-Course
  7. Prepared Kids
  8. Homemade First Aid Kit
  9. The Prepper’s Guide to Disaster Water Security
  10. Prepper Supplies Checklist
  11. Building A Cob Style Rocket Mass Heater
  12. Wonder Oven Recipes
  13. 6 Steps to Your Quick Win Emergency Kit

…and those are just the ones I bothered to highlight.

There’s even several bonuses included, specifically a discount on the All American Sun Oven, access to both Pioneering Today Academy and the Trayer Wilderness Academy, and even more.

It’s really a winning combination of survival information all in one spot.

And today is the LAST day to take advantage of this special offer.

Click here to do so now.

Last Chance To Comment And Win

A few days ago I mentioned the Prepper Bundle (which is an amazing collection of survival resources for a ridiculously low price) that I’m sure many folks would love to have.

In that post I also pointed out that readers should leave a useful comment and that I would pick a winner tonight (Friday) but I’m honestly shocked at how few people choose to respond. Maybe they didn’t get that far? Who knows.

Anyway, if you’re reading this post and you have any interest in getting a free copy of The Prepper Bundle on me then you really should go leave a comment on that post… and while you’re at it discover what’s all inside.

Plus, feel free to share THAT post with your friends and family too if you like so they can get better prepared too, but there’s no requirement to do so.

Of course, you’re also welcome to just grab a copy of the Prepper Bundle for yourself too without trying to win one… that would be the wisest action to take. 🙂

Thanks and have a wonderful day!

Legacy Food Storage 72 Hour Food Kit: Pasta Primavera Review

I was recently sent this Legacy Food Storage 72 Hour Emergency Food Kit in exchange for an honest review. I figured rather than reviewing the entire bucket contents at once that I would taste test a few of the meals and share my thoughts each time… probably once a week or so.

With that in mind, let’s get a few things out of the way:

First, the food is freeze dried which means it’s both super-lightweight and able to be stored for years without worry if not subject to extreme temperatures or conditions.

Second, according to their literature their ingredients are non-GMO and even offer some gluten-free meals as well, though I don’t believe the meals that came in this kit are.

Third, the meals come in this handy bucket which can certainly be used for storing a variety of items (not food) once everything has been consumed. After remove the safety seal it’s easy to open and close again:

While I’m not sure, I assume the buckets can be stacked atop each other if you purchase more than one and because they’re roughly square these buckets will ultimately take up less space in storage than round buckets will, a nice benefit.

As you can see from the photo below, there are a good variety of meals included, such as pasta primavera, stroganoff, enchilada beans and rice, chili mac, and plenty more.

Now, this is a good time to point out that one thing I would have preferred be different was the images on the front of each pouch. As you can see each one is the same which makes it a bit difficult to show my kids exactly what each meal “looks like.” Though not a big deal it would have been nice to have the photos of each meal on the front of the package to make it obvious what you’re about to eat.

All total there are eight meals included. Since this is a 72-hour kit I would have assumed that a total of nine meals would have been provided (3 meals over 3 days) and that a few breakfast meals would have been included as well, but that’s not the case. No big deal here either as I would honestly prefer better lunches and dinners in my 72-hour meal kit.

While I can easily come up with my own breakfast meals, if you’re expecting no additional forethought you would be wrong. Maybe adding in several dry oatmeal packets into the bucket would be a great start? I’d say that’s the way to go here.

Anyway, my boys voted we try the pasta primavera first:

And here’s the backside:

I did notice a rather significant amount of fat, particularly saturated fat, which is good in a survival situation but it was a bit surprising from pasta; I’m guessing it’s the coconut oil included.

After boiling water, adding the pouch contents, and cooking for about 15 minutes it was done. Here’s the finished product:

Ultimately, this one pouch made three large bowls of pasta primavera which was plenty for me, just about right for my oldest child who eats nonstop, and a bit too much for my youngest who actually saved the last bit of his (which I ate the next day). If we had to split it with my wife too then we probably could have made it work so everybody got enough, but I’d imagine my “chow hound” teenager would still be looking for something else to eat, lol.

I should point out that they include directions for using only half of the pouch if, for instance, there’s only two of you to feed.

How did it taste?

Quite good, actually. I thought the seasoning was just about right but I did add pepper. Of course, I add pepper to pepper so that’s not saying much. My kids both wanted a bit of extra salt but they’re used to my wife’s taste buds who seems to add salt to salt. 🙂

I can say that I’ve had some experience with other freezer dried foods (specifically Thrive Life, Mountain House, and Wise Food) and I’m pleased with my first introduction to Legacy Foods. There was a good amount of food provided–enough for my entire family to have a decent meal–and it was tasty too. What else can you ask for?

The price wasn’t too bad either considering I can feed the four of us with a single pouch. Nearly every other freeze-dried pouch meal I’ve experienced wouldn’t have done that.

More to come next week.

2017 Prepper Bundle + Giveaway + Special Offer: 90% Off 30 Resources, 6 Days Only!

A while back I was asked if I would be willing to contribute to the 2017 Prepper Bundle and I said “sure, sounds like fun.” But it wasn’t until recently that I realized just how massive this prepper bundle truly is…

You see, I recently had a chance to find out just what’s included in this prepper bundle and who’s involved and I immediately realized this was going to be big!

For instance, you’ll find contributors like Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper, Todd Sepulveda of Prepper Website, Misty Marsh of Simple Family Preparedness, Lisa Bedford of The Survival Mom, Melissa Norris (of her own website), Jodi and Julie of Food Storage Made Easy, Paul Wheaton (he should need no introduction), and plenty of others besides myself.

Anyway, it’s a huge group of knowledgeable folks who contributed their expertise on quite a wide range of topics to get you better prepared. Here’s some of the resources to get you salivating a little (author’s book description follows the title with the occasional redaction to speed this up, lol):

  • The Guide to Primitive Survival Traps – A book for all outdoorsmen and survivalist who enjoy the sport of trapping and wilderness survival. With an easy, basic read and images for an easier understanding, this book provides you with instructions to making primitive survival traps.
  • Meal Planning for Long-Term Food Storage -Start building your food storage today! This kit is the easiest step to building your long-term food supply. Including 7 different recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. Recipes are basic and easily converted for food storage cooking. Each group contains a shopping list for 1 week, 1 month or 3 months to help facilitate easy gathering of a family’s food supply.
  • Build Your Own Emergency Off-Grid Power System – This book began as a project to prepare ourselves to survive without electricity for an extended period of time, maybe as long as a year. We share our research into battery-centric, electricity storage devices that most people refer to as “Solar Generators” using solar panels to collect electricity to store in batteries.
  • Fifty Ways To Make Survival Tools From Trash And Household Items – This is a collection of “how-to’s” from the writings of Ken Youngquist as he explains the uses of “trash” as they apply to emergency and survival scenarios. Who knew that duct tape can be used as a magnifier? that a plastic bottle can start a fire? That a soda can combined with a potato chip bag can pasteurize water? Learn these “how-to” techniques so that you can be better prepared for what lies ahead.
  • Canning 101: A Primer – Start building your food storage today, from scratch! Canning provides a means to build your pantry, one batch at a time…of homemade, shelf stable food for you and your family. Not only build up your stock of healthy ‘convenience foods’ for your everyday pantry needs; but build a long (or short!) term food storage. Everyone has a ‘rainy day’, eventually. Be Prepared for it! Learn to what you’ll need to start canning, where to find it and how to get started safely canning your own healthy, delicious food and meals.
  • Mini Seed Saving e-Course – Learn how to seed save your own garden seed every year from someone who has been saving the same strain of green beans in her family for over 100 years. Gain the foundational knowledge of seed saving, including cross-pollination, and never purchase seed from the store again. This course walks you through the amazing living history of heirloom seeds and how to start creating your own seed bank.
  • Prepared Kids – Our children are the next generation of adults in the world, and we get to help raise them! Whether we are their parent, grandparent, guardian, or family friend, we can raise children that are responsible and self-reliant. In this book, I share ideas that our family and others have used in raising our children that have helped foster in them an attitude of self-reliance and preparedness.
  • Homemade First Aid Kit – Have you ever wondered how to make your own homemade first aid kit using natural products? Then this is the book for you. It tells you exactly what natural items you need in your first aid kit, what to use them for plus covers miscellaneous items-like tweezers – that you might accidentally overlook when making your own first aid kit.
  • The Prepper’s Guide to Disaster Water Security – When disaster strikes your community, are you going to be one of the 1000’s waiting in a FEMA line every day for your ration of water? Or are you going to be the hero, the person who planned ahead and can take care of your family in the comfort of your home during the disaster and subsequent recovery? If you want to be the hero, you need The Prepper’s Guide To Disaster Water Security your complete guide to building a bulletproof water program.

…and those are just the ones I bothered to highlight. Of course, there’s my contribution too:

My Contribution To The Bundle…

How to Stop Burglars Dead In Their Tracks – Inside my report, “How To Stop Burglars Dead In Their Tracks” you’ll uncover who these criminals really are, how they plan heists, what factors deter them, which items they want most, 27 actions you can take right now to stop them (including easy security measures) as
well as a dozen hiding spots no criminal will suspect.

I know this doesn’t necessarily feel like it’s directly related to being prepared but you’d be dead-wrong when all your stuff gets stolen because you took your security less seriously than you should have. In my super-biased opinion it’s probably the MOST important of all the topics covered in the bundle. 😉

That bit of sarcasm aside, there’s a lot more included I haven’t even mentioned yet covering a wide range of topics, including: first aid and survival skills, general survival, shelter, food and water, managing and organizing your preps, and more… you really should check it out for yourself.

There’s Still More To The Prepper Bundle…

  • Prepper Supplies Checklist – Looking for a list of survival gear that can help you determine the right preparedness supplies for you and your family? Prepper Supplies Checklist is a workbook designed to help the user develop an emergency preparedness plan. It is presented in an easy to read format that includes stories, photos, illustrations, helpful tips, and some great survival gear ideas!
  • Building A Cob Style Rocket Mass Heater – A rocket mass heater (RMH) can heat your home with one tenth the wood of a conventional wood stove. A RMH is a DIY project that usually takes a weekend to build and about $200 in materials. This DVD will show you two rocket mass heater builds featuring the most popular style: cob.
  • Wonder Oven Recipes – For those interested in Wonder Oven style thermal cooking, this e-book is a convenient way to get all of My Food Storage Cookbook’s printable recipe cards. It begins with a 6 page explanation of Wonder Oven cooking (including best practices and tips) and is followed by 28 recipes. All in one, baby!
  • 6 Steps to Your Quick Win Emergency Kit – Once you know the peace of mind that a stocked and ready emergency kit can bring, you’ll wonder why you waited so long to finish your own! This 4-week course helps beginners put together their emergency kit. We’ll cover how to identify the likely disasters for their area, how to put together a simple kit to cover basic emergencies, and then how to put plans in place to personalize individual and family kits.

…and still plenty more not even mentioned yet.

What’s The Bundle Cost?

By now I’m sure you’re wondering how much this costs and you’ll be shocked (and pleasantly surprised) to hear it’s all ONLY $29.97 for the online, immediate access version. Better yet, you can pay a bit more and get the online version plus a USB thumb drive with the same content for $59.97! That way you can get it now and have it for ready reference should SHTF.

The Prepper Bundle Bonuses…

As if all that’s included weren’t enough there are some awesome bonuses as well, such as a very good savings on the All American Sun Oven (my personal favorite solar oven), access to the Pioneering Today Academy, the Trayer Wilderness Academy, and plenty more… but you’re going to have to see them for yourself.

After I’d went through this massive list myself I was looking for the “buy” link myself, no kidding. Turns out I get a free copy for having contributed to the bundle. With that in mind, I’m willing to go above and beyond the call of duty…

My Prepper Bundle Giveaway To You

Seeing as though I want YOU to get prepared and to utilized this information, I’m willing to buy an online only copy for one of my readers.

Just share this on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest and then add a thoughtful comment below by this coming Friday night, I’ll pick a random winner, announce it on Saturday, buy a copy, and then reach out to you via email to hand off the login details.

Again, please share this using the provided share buttons and leave an actually useful comment as to why you can make use of this bundle. (Obviously useless comments will be ignored.)

The thing is that I’m leaving on Sunday for a full week and won’t be around to check emails and whatnot… so, if I don’t hear back from you on Saturday via email you’re simply going to have to wait until I get back for your login details. And if I still don’t hear back by then I’ll move on to someone else… you snooze, you lose.

Your Special Offer On My Own Survival Course

Now, I must be feeling generous today since I’m also willing to offer everyone who’s bothered to read this far a full 25% off my own survival course, The Prepared Path, during this 6 day prepper bundle event as well.

If you’re a long time reader then you probably know about my course but, if not, you should check it out and get your discount while you can.

Be fully aware: this offer on MY course has absolutely NOTHING to do with the prepper bundle offer. They are completely separate offers.

Please DO NOT contact the prepper bundle folks about my course or me about the prepper bundle.

To be perfectly clear: if you want the prepper bundle you must buy the prepper bundle. If you want my course then you must buy my course. If you want both then you must purchase both separately. Got it? Good.

Now, stop procrastinating and go grab your own copy of the Prepper Bundle before the sale ends on June 12 and while you’re at it grab The Prepared Path too at 25% off and be so prepared you won’t know what to do with the rest of your day. 🙂

Prepper Bundle

 

WARNING: We Are Not Ready For The Next Pandemic

Image Credit

“WARNING: We Are Not Ready For The Next Pandemic,” this was the cover title on a recent Time magazine article I read while waiting at my kid’s orthodontics appointment the other day. I was intrigued. What did Time magazine know that I didn’t?

Well, a few things, in fact. For example, I did learn that “the number of new diseases per decade has increased nearly fourfold over the past 60 years, and since 1980, the number of outbreaks per year has more than tripled.” That doesn’t sound reassuring, not at all.

I also learned that there are nearly half a million viruses with the potential to spill over, that is, to spontaneously jump from animals to humans like HIV did with chimps, SARS with bats, and influenza with birds and pigs, to name a few they cite in the article. This statistic alone startled me as I had no idea there were so many potential threats looming out there!

I also found out that budgets to those departments which are at the forefront of the battle to keep us safe are being cut (or proposed to be), that there are efforts to both catalog and rapidly develop vaccines but they’re still a long ways off at best, and that there’s approximately zero incentive for drug companies to invest in anything which could help us stop the next pandemic because there’s literally no money in it… until there’s money in it due to a pandemic which is already in full-swing and killing us in droves.

What should scare you the most, however, is the fact that one of the deadliest of flu outbreaks was the Spanish flu of 1918 which infected about 500 million (about a third of the population) and killed an estimated 50-100 million people (more than WWI and WWII combined) that’s a good 10-20% who contracted the flu and died! Can you imagine one or two out of every ten people who get the flu… die? For most of us that would mean at least one family member which is just shocking to me.

Things just get worse. It should go as no surprise that there are a few more people on Earth now than there was then and in closer interaction with each other than in 1918 due to migration from rural lifestyles to cities. I believe I read elsewhere recently that more people now live in or near cities than not for the first time in human population. That’s scary in and of itself, lol.

Travel is unquestionably easier (with the ubiquitous use of planes, trains, and automobiles) and thus disease spread is easier too. This is, no doubt, how disease will spread around the world in a matter of days. Just how bad and out of hand will the next major pandemic be? I shutter to imagine.

Climate change apparently plays a part too by making it easier for disease-carrying critters and insects to travel farther than they normally would and interact with us more often which only increases the chance for disease to spill over.

Moreover, our general belief that science and medicine will “keep us safe” tends to lead to complacency by both the public and authorities. And since any effective reaction by the authorities to combat the flu with a vaccine, for example, would likely take several months at best (assuming we react to it from the very start which hasn’t been our track record) it will likely be too late for the majority of folks who come down with the next deadly bird- or swine-flu.

Click here to watch a video on a medical “crash course” for dealing with such scenarios

All isn’t without hope, however. There are some interesting efforts by scientists and various agencies to better sequence pathogens and to track their spread or potential of doing so (read the Time magazine article). One interesting application is genetic sequencing of viruses which according to the article “…can mean the difference between an outbreak that kills hundreds instead of millions. The hope is that scientists will be able to use genetic information to predict how a pathogen will behave–before a single person ever falls ill.” That’s very promising but still a long way off it seems.

The article goes on to state that: “For all the advances in finding dangerous pathogens, the simple truth is that neither the world as a whole nor the U.S. in particular is at all prepared to handle a major infectious-disease pandemic–and a significant reason for that is a failure to invest in things now that can keep us safe later.”

Ok, I’m back to being depressed.

Really, it isn’t going to be a vaccine that saves us. It’s going to be the efforts of healthcare workers on the ground, mandated quarantines (yes, I said it), and ultimately it will be up to YOU to both recognize the threat and to be prepared to outlast it.

This won’t be your average power outage, or even a deadly tornado or Hurricane Katrina… it will be on a scale like nothing we’ve experienced. This isn’t local or even nationwide… it’s global. And it isn’t a few week ordeal… it’s several months at best.

Can you outlast a several month pandemic? One where healthcare services are overwhelmed at best, non-functional at worst? One where very little goods aren’t being traded and services (like electricity and water) are being kept going because nobody wants to go to work for fear of being exposed? One where food can’t be found because everyone is hoarding it? One where desperate mobs and looters ransack nearby businesses and neighborhoods in search of anything they can get their hands on?

I sure hope so, but the honest truth is that most of us won’t be able to. Most don’t do a single thing to prepare now for the worst later. I guess that’s just human nature.

I’d like to think I’m prepared to outlast such an ordeal but maybe not. Who knows what my family and I would be subject to over several months of a pandemic. I don’t know… but I can prepare as best as I can… and you can too. Now’s the time because tomorrow may be too late.

6 Ways Famine Grips The U.S.

Source

It always amazes me how complacent the vast majority of Americans are. Most people seem to think that disaster will never strike them. That the lights will always stay on. That grocery stores will always have food.

On the one hand I can understand this sentiment because–while times are good–society runs very smoothly and we’re rarely without anything we could possible need… or want.

On the other hand, it’s this very “smooth running” of society which makes us uniquely vulnerable because the vast majority of us haven’t a clue what to do if the lights go out for longer than a few hours or if the grocery stores don’t get their next shipments of food in a day or two.

The sad thing is that it’s really not that hard to prepare yourself for at least a minor hiccup in the food supply, for instance, by stockpiling even a bit of shelf stable foods. There are a few strategies to employ, one of the best ones is to start copy canning, that is, purchasing twice the amount of any shelf stable foods you consume each time you got the grocery store (e.g., buy fours cans of green beans if you used two, six cans of corn if you used three, etc). In short order you’ll build up a small stockpile upon which to rely.

Why bother, you ask?

There are plenty of reasons. The following article discusses six, each of which are certainly possible (one or two are inevitable), and I’m sure there are plenty more if one simply bothers to think about how food becomes a precious resource here in America once again…

“1. EMP – one nuclear bomb, detonated high in the ionosphere, can ruin your whole decade. Most of the U.S. could be without power for a very long time. Computers and anything using computer components would be burned out. It’s hard to say just how extensive the damage would be. Most cars would probably be inoperable. Cell phones may or may not be burned out, but the cell towers definitely would be dead. Radio, TV, cable, internet, would all shut down for a very long time. The infrastructure that supports modern communications took many decades to build up, and it would take just as long to rebuild…”

Read the full article here

3 Weird Ways To Make A Fire

It always amazes me how ingenious some people can be… I doubt I would have ever thought of two of these ideas without having seen them first. Of course, I have seen the water bottle fire starting trick before and, honestly, I thought he was going to do something else with the light bulb but it’s always good to see it all again as a refresher…

One Year In Hell: Wartime In Bosnia

Could you imagine living through something like this? Amazingly, it was ONLY one year “in hell” during wartime in Bosnia in the early 90’s but the experience must have felt like an eternity.

If this real life account is even remotely accurate (I’ve heard similar stories, though) it must have been a horrible experience to be sure. Of course, I could only imagine what such a situation might be like here in America and while I don’t agree with everything being recommended, most of it is probably good advice to heed.

I noticed that sometimes the audio goes out randomly (including abruptly at the end) but overall the video is understandable enough. The moral: get yourself prepared now while you still can…