Do You Like Free Survival Kindle Books? Then I Have a Proposition for You…

Image Credit

Yeah, I know it’s Halloween and this isn’t a trick, but it sure is a treat for a select few of you…

You see, I’ve decided to start writing Kindle books. In fact, I’ve got several of them nearly finished, but since I’ve never done this before I’m looking to get more “eyeballs” on my books before I put them out there for the world to read.

As such, I’m looking to create a book review team. That is, folks (like you) who would be willing to get a free advanced PDF copy of my books in exchange for some honest feedback.

Specifically, I’d appreciate you looking for:

  • anything that doesn’t make sense or isn’t explained properly,
  • maybe something that I failed to include which I should have,
  • links that don’t work.

…that sort of stuff.

If that’s agreeable to you then fill out the signup form below and, as I have new books ready to review, you’ll get an advanced copy.

With that in mind, I have a few stipulations:

  1. If you’re merely looking for free books and have no interest in giving me feedback then please don’t bother to sign up. That’s just rude. Ultimately, if I notice I never hear from you then I’ll just remove you anyway.
  2. You must have an actual interest in Kindle books. Though you’d be receiving PDF copies, I’d prefer to hear from folks who actually use Kindle to read books.
  3. Feedback should be timely so that I can incorporate your suggestions. Fortunately, my books aren’t Stephen King novels and should be read in an hour or so which means your feedback shouldn’t take weeks… by then it will probably be too late because I’ve moved on.

Besides the above, it would be nice if you’re also willing to leave a review of the book on Amazon once it’s finally published or, alternatively, provide me with a testimonial about the book from time to time. And, yes, you can actually leave a review without having purchased the book via Kindle.

Since I have so many books to publish I expect to release a new book roughly every two weeks or so, but who knows how it will work out, lol.

To give you an idea of what’s to come, here’s what I’m working on:

bug out bag book pet safety action plan book home security solutions book
survival foods to stockpile book identity theft game plan book smartphone apps for survival book
diy survival projects book secret hiding places book survival uses for common items book

In fact, once you sign up you’ll receive “The Complete Pet Safety Action Plan” book to get started on. Hopefully you have a dog or cat to make use of the information… or perhaps you know somebody who does.

Finally, I don’t anticipate keeping this group open to the public for very long. As such, if you’re truly interested in helping out then sign up now so you make the list…

 

Going Off Grid This Winter? Don’t Miss These 8 Pro Tips How To Survive Your First Cold Weather Camping Trip

Winter Camping Tips, Image Credit

Are you planning a trip into the tundra this winter? Do you love the allure cold-weather camping — a crackling fire, snuggling in a sleeping bag, roasting marshmallows? Do you worry about weather you’ll be equipped well for surviving a winter camping trip?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you certainly are not alone. Tens of thousands of people camp during the winter season every year — and not only do they have a great time, but they’re able to stay warm and comfy. You can follow in their footsteps by packing the right materials and items to get you through the trip with efficiency and safety.

Read on to learn our eight pro tips for surviving a cold-weather camping trip. Whether it’s your first trip or your twentieth, there’s something for you to learn in this guide.

Let’s get started…

Tip #1: Thinking About Fire Won’t Help You

Let’s get things straight from the start. When you are out in the cold freezing your…toes…off, just thinking about fire isn’t going to help you. You actually need a source of heat that is legitimate, safe and dependable. To that end, make sure you have a primary heat source and a backup.

An example of this would be to purchase a butane lighter that is pressurized as your main heating source. You can immediately spark a fire without a lot of effort. Your secondary source could be to go old school and pack dryer lint in plastic baggies along with matches in another one so that you have a source of fire and a way to keep it going.

Make sure you pack enough of your fire-starter kit for the duration of your time at the campsite — so five matches and one baggie of dryer lint a day should do.

Another option if you have room is to pack a small battery-operated cooker so that you can warm up fish, beans and other food that you have caught or packed for the trip.

Tip #2: Plan Your Actual Campsite

In the winter especially, it’s important to pick your campsite carefully. That’s because if the sun isn’t shining your way, you’re more likely to be colder — or to have to overcompensate with a roaring fire.

One each thing you can do is to note where you see the sun first when you wake up at sunrise. From there, re position your tent so that the sun is shining directly on your tent. Also, pay attention to how the wind is blowing. You want to angle your tent so that the door is not in the direct path of the wind. Overall, these two simple adjustments will help you stay warmer at your campsite by taking advantage of the sun’s natural state.

Tip #3: Don’t Hibernate in Your Sleeping Bag

What you say? But yes, it’s true. Some of the most experienced winter campers don’t bury their heads in their sleeping bags at night. Instead, they wear three wool hats and wrap their neck with a warm gator. When you cover your head in your sleeping bag, you will inevitably breathe into the sleeping bag and make it wet. This then makes you cold and clammy.

Instead, get into your sleeping bag, zip it up, cover your head and neck with sleep-safe, warm gear and keep your mouth exposed. You’ll stay warm and dry throughout the night.

Tip #4: Don’t Go to Sleep with the Sun

It’s a novice camper’s mistake to try to go to bed as soon as the sun goes to sleep. But what you’ll find when this happens is that you wake up at 3 a.m. and you’re ready to eat or go to the bathroom! You don’t want to have to do this because winter camping means it’s cold!

Instead, try to extend the amount of time you stay awake at the campsite by playing a game with fellow campers around the fire, telling ghost stories, roasting marshmallows and even reading with a headlamp in your tent. Turn in about 9 or 10 p.m., and you’ll be golden — ready to rise with the sun on a winter’s morning.

Tip #5: Leave Your PJs at Home

When camping during the winter, there’s absolutely no reason to strip down from your day clothes and get into pajamas. Instead, just wear your clothes to bed. You’ll stay warmer — and you always can get showered and freshened up in the morning if you need to at the campsite.

Another great way to add warmth to your sleeping experience: Fill a heatproof hot-water bag with water heated on the campfire and put it in the bottom of your sleeping bag. You’ll be warm for several hours with this economical and easy trick.

When you get up in the morning, just remember to hang up all of your clothing and your sleeping bag to dry. It’s likely that condensation and sweat will have made these items moist and you cannot go back to bed with them wet if you want to stay warm.

Tip #6: Stay Warm and Cozy By Packing the Right Clothing

There is nothing worse than getting wet and cold on your camping trip and not having enough to change into to stay warm. To this end, make sure you are packing many layers that can be added and stripped away based upon the weather.

In addition, don’t forget about the material that your clothing is made of — as this can greatly enhance your camping experience. For example, wool socks are excellent for cold nights and hiking throughout the day. You’ll want long underwear to wear beneath your clothing most days. In addition, any clothing item made of moisture-wicking material will help keep you dry. What happens when your clothes get wet because of sweat is that you actually get cold. So avoid that with a moisture-wicking pair of underwear or shirt.

Tip #7: Add Warm Accessories

Your clothes will keep you warm, but did you know you could still be cold? You lose most of the heat from your body, for example, when you head isn’t properly covered. To help lessen the chances that you’ll still feel a chill, make sure you add warm accessories to your packing list.

For example, you’ll want a soft wool hat for your head. Purchase polyester liners for your gloves. Buy packets of toe warmers to throw into your boots, and finally, wrap your ears with a pair of warm shooter’s earmuffs that will not only shield your ears from the cold wind but will cut down on the amount of noise you hear as you are hiking and hunting. With the right accessories, you’ll be toasty and comfortable no matter where you find yourself camping during the winter.

Tip #8: Gulp Your Water

There are few things you actually can survive without in the wild. You can go without food for a good amount of time — but you cannot live without water. Without water, your body will get dehydrated and you will become weak. You’ll need to make sure you have more than enough water around you at all times.

If you think you may be going into an area without a freshwater source, then go ahead and invest in a water bottle or bag that can purify any stream of water. You’ll simply need to have a good sun source so that the sun rays can reach the water directly and start the purification process. Another option is to start a fire and boil all of the water at your campsite to make sure it is free of impurities. It’s always better to be safe than to get sick from drinking contaminated water.

Don’t Leave Home Without These Items

If you’ve forgotten a cold-weather item on your camping trip once, you’ll probably never do it again! That’s because when it is cold in the wild — it means pain is certainly coming for your body. So make sure you are prepared by keeping this guide of eight pro tips with you as you pack. Then, check it twice before you head out on your trip.

Many of these items are lightweight, so you won’t be adding a ton of weight to your pack simply by throwing in that extra pair of polyester liners for your gloves or that extra pair of pure-wool socks. Do yourself a favor and stay warm and safe on your next winter camping trip!

4 Reasons Why Biometric Gun Safes Are a Smart Choice

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

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

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

What Is Biometric Technology?

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

Biometric Scanners, Image Credit

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

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

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

1. Unauthorized People Can’t Get In

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

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

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

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

2. You Can Add Other Users

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

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

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

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

3. They Are Easy to Open in an Emergency

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

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

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

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

4. They Aren’t Particularly Expensive

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

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

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

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

Are There Any Drawbacks?

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

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

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

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

Summary

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

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

Author Bio

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

The Best Self-Defense Ammo For Pistols in 2017 (and Beyond)

Best Pistol Ammo, Image Credit

We spend a lot of time talking about the best pistol to use for self-defense, but a lot less thinking about what ammunition to use in it. This is a shame, because ultimately it is your ammunition that generates the power you need to stop attackers, and that is going to potentially save your life in a dangerous situation.

While the most important consideration in choosing a self-defense round is the caliber, there are many other factors to consider, and an undue emphasis on getting the largest caliber available can actually be detrimental to your shooting performance. Powerful rounds like the .40, or .45 generate a lot of recoil, and unless you have a significant amount of experience in firing these rounds, and practice constantly, they can be very inaccurate in a dangerous situation. Even simple 22-LR ammo can have a kick for smaller shooters, such as kids and some women.

For this reason, it is critical that whatever pistol you are carrying for self-defense, you learn how to use it properly. Accuracy is more based on your technique than your gun, and learning how to draw your pistol quickly and effectively is much more effective than getting a fancy gun.

What is Stopping Power?

“Stopping power”, in reality, has a lot more to do with how a bullet is constructed. Lead bullets, in particular, tend to expand very rapidly on collision with a target. This means that a lot of energy is transferred, but also that these bullets have very poor penetration performance. At the other end of the scale, full metal jacket bullets (FMJ) have a lead core that is fully surrounded by a harder material, most commonly copper. Because copper is harder, it does not deform as much, and as a result gives higher penetration at the cost of less energy transfer.

Both types of ammunition have their uses, but for self-defense purposes what you need is a combination of the two – both energy transfer and penetration. Today, is is possible to get bullets that combine the penetrative power of jacketed bullets with the energy transfer of a lead round.

This is most commonly achieved by using a jacketed hollow point, or JHP, bullet. These rounds have a partial copper jacket around a lead core. On impact, the hollow point of the bullet begins to expand, but the copper jacket controls this expansion to improve penetration.

This works fine, as long as the copper and lead portions of the bullet stay together at the critical moment. Cheap ammunition tends to separate on impact, significantly reducing the power of your round.

Today, I’ll take you through some of my favorite rounds for self-defense purposes. Most of this ammunition is available on online ammo shops, and can be ordered in a variety of calibers to suit your gun.

Speer Gold Dot Personal Protection

Speer were one the first manufacturers to produce bonded core ammunition, and their patented Uni-Cor process effectively eliminates the possibility of jacket / core separation.

The hollow point design used in this round makes use of two stages. The first controls how much the bullet expands on contact with a target, and the second controls the rate of this expansion. This design works very well, and offers a good balance between energy transfer and penetration.

In addition, the nickel-plated cases mean that these bullets are really reliable, and the quality primers used in them ensure you get basically zero misfires.

Federal Premium Personal Defense HST

HST bullets are pretty new to the civilian market, though they’ve been available to professional users for quite some time. This design has a lead core surrounded by a copper jacket, and gives a good balance of stopping power and penetration.

These bullets are mechanically bonded together. The thickness of the copper jacket is matched to the caliber of the bullet, which means that the way in which the hollow point of the round expands is precisely controlled in every caliber.

In addition, one of the best things about these rounds are that the point is specifically designed to penetrate through various types of barriers, including heavy clothing. This makes the round reliable in self-defense situations.

American Eagle Jacketed Soft Point

These are great rounds that also represent amazing value. They are significantly cheaper than most soft lead or FMJ rounds, and offer better performance in self-defense situations. If your budget for ammunition is limited, these rounds are a good choice.

The design used here is essentially the same as the two rounds above – a lead core is encased in a copper jacket, which controls expansion. Though these rounds are not as technically advanced as more expensive ammunition, in most situations they will deliver a good mix of power and penetration.

So that’s it. Three brands of ammunition, all of which are great for self-defense. If you can, give each one a try and see what works best for you. For more tips check out recommendations for our top everyday carry kit.

BrickSeek.com – Save Big Money On Preps? (video)

I’m just passing this tip along as I’ve never heard of BrickSeek.com until this video, but it appears that you can use this site to search for great deals on all sorts of items at places like Walmart, Target, Office Depot and Lowes, though, this tip relates purely to Walmart.

I did as the video suggested and searched for only Walmart, changed “Browse by Category” to “Sporting Goods” and finally changed “Sort by” to “Newest” and the results came up with all sorts of items, some interesting, others not so much… as well as plenty of items that don’t appear to belong in the Sporting Goods section.

Anyway, I’m going to keep an eye on this as I’ve noticed a few interesting possibilities, such as a good flashlight for cheap, pocket knives, a range finder, and more. Honestly, the best plan would probably be to search BrickSeek.com on my phone while I’m at Walmart the next time and see how accurate it is…

Legacy Food Storage 72 Hour Kit: Chili Mac Review

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.

Ultimately, another winner in my book.

Edible vs Poisonous Mushrooms – What Is The Difference?

Overview

Mushrooms are one of the most striking and intriguing vegetation in the world – highly regarded for their nutrient composition. All mushroom varieties are characterized by beautiful forms and shapes. Though some have medicinal properties, others are poisonous and lethal.

Picking of mushrooms is steadily becoming a hobby for many people, often for food but also for recreation. We hope that this course will guide you in taking up this activity too.

Realize that many poisonous mushrooms will resemble edible mushrooms from other climatic zones of the world. Hence, it’s paramount that you are certain those you pick for food are harmless beyond any reasonable doubt. This article will focus on helping you distinguish edible mushrooms from the otherwise poisonous mushrooms.

[Editor’s note: Please consult a local knowledgeable expert and/or guidebook before attempting mushroom picking! You health and safety are nothing to be taken lightly as choosing the wrong mushroom can be potentially lethal.]

Types of Mushrooms

Mushrooms are classified into two broad categories: edible mushrooms and poisonous mushrooms.

  1. Edible Species

People normally have diverse reactions to the foods they ingest – this fact holds true for mushroom consumption. What may be edible for some people may not be necessarily edible to everyone. North America is known to be home to approximately 250 mushroom species. Edible mushrooms are those that pose no health issues whatsoever when consumed.

The safest way to identify edible from poisonous mushrooms is via accurate verification of their specie by an expert collector. Though books are an acceptable alternative means towards identification of edible mushroom species, it can occasionally prove catastrophic. Empirical identification methods such as smell and taste can be extremely dangerous as some poisonous mushrooms could exhibit a pleasant smell and taste.

  1. Poisonous Species

Poisonous mushroom species are those that cause health complications when ingested. Their mere resemblance to edible mushroom varieties has in numerous occasions confused mushroom collectors. In some cases an unwitting victim does not exhibit symptoms of poisoning immediately after consumption, but often shows up after 48 hours. Symptom severity, however, varies from case to case.

Poisonous mushrooms can lead to death within 3 to 6 days after ingestion. As such, it is very important that the victim seek medical attention immediately. Mushroom poisoning symptoms include dizziness, breathing problems, diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration. Some of the most poisonous mushroom species include the death cap mushroom, Amanita phalloides, Amanita virosa (the destroying angel), Amanita muscaria (the fly Agaric) and Cortinariusrubellus.

Identification of the different mushroom species

There exist numerous methods for the identification of mushrooms and all methods should be employed when out foraging. The criteria include:

  • Do the mushrooms possess distinct smell?
  • Do the mushrooms change their colour when bruised or cut?
  • What is the shape, texture, color and size of the cap?
  • What is the shape, texture and size of the stem? Does the mushroom have a skirt/ring and are there any visible markings on it? Is the base narrow, bulbous, sack-like or rooting?
  • Do the mushrooms have any pores, gills, or spikes under their cap? If gills are present, how close are they? Do they fork? Are they linked to the stem? Are they soft or pliable and brittle?
  • What is the flesh texture? Texture (soft, brittle covered with hairs).
  • At what time and season of the year is it?

Remember to always confirm with various pictures and guides as mushrooms can appear different in regard to their age, the locale they grow, as well as the type of climate they grow in.

Difference between Toadstools and Edible Mushrooms

Although some varieties of mushrooms out there are edible, others are highly poisonous and lethal; however, there exist no hard and fast rules or test through which one can safely discern the poisonous varieties other than accurate identification of the species.

Most people are familiar with the common mushroom varieties since these are the edible mushrooms that are readily available for purchase at the supermarket and grocery. You may not necessarily go out looking for mushrooms in the wild, but many people are known to identify, collect and ingest wild mushrooms. Again, only people with appropriate knowledge and training in mushroom identification should collect and consume mushrooms from the wild.

There are so many factors one need to take into consideration when trying to identify mushrooms in the wild. In this guide, we will go through mushroom identification process regarding their habitat, spores, gills and much more.

Typically, physical characteristics (such as color and shape) are the first attributes one will notice. Upon successful examination of these mushroom traits, the identification process becomes much easier and usually straightforward.

We’ve categorized the main mushroom characteristics into four broad sections: the toxins, habitat, physical characteristics, and the smell.

Toxins

The main difference between the edible and toadstool mushrooms is the toxins present in the latter. These toxins are naturally produced by the fungi, and no known mechanism of toxic removal, including cooking, canning or freezing work for mushroom toxins.

Mushroom toxins are usually sub-divided into four broad categories including.

  1. Protoplasmic toxins – poisons that destroy body cells, and eventually cause organ failure.
  2. Neurotoxins – compounds that lead to various neurological symptoms like hallucinations, excessive sweating, coma, convulsions, a spastic colon and depression.
  3. Gastrointestinal irritants – cause vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea.
  4. Disulfiram-like toxins that only exhibit symptoms if and only if alcohol is consumed (within three days after consumption); the victim will usually experience a short-lived acute toxic syndrome.

Habitat

Where does the mushroom grow? Is it growing on trees or grassland? What kind of tree are they growing atop or under? Are they growing in a ring or singly, tuft or troop?

Edible mushrooms typically grow in lawns or open paddocks and not under shrubs or trees like the toadstool varieties. Amanitas, for example, start appearing in fall and summer, especially on the floor of woodlands. They are quite common in most places.

Physical Characteristics

The following is a detailed list of some of the common physical characteristics that distinguish edible mushrooms from poisonous ones:

  1. Warts or scales on the cap.

These are universal veil’s remnants that encompass the mushroom while it is young. Sometimes these patches look more like rows of raised dots.

Edible mushrooms have smooth and more or less white caps with no visible or noticeable raised warts or scales. On the contrary, poisonous mushrooms, for instance, the toxic fly agaric have a different colored cap (usually red with white spots) which has conspicuous scales and raised lumps.

  1. Cap shape.

Most of the edible mushrooms have bun-shaped or convex caps and sometimes with a wide low-hump. Other edible mushrooms such as chanterelles have caps that are concave and wavy or even trumpet-shaped. Poisonous species, however, have convex caps while young and flattens as the mushroom matures.

The cap of many edible mushrooms stretches from the stem as it grows developing a ring of tissue around the stem also known as the annulus. Toadstools or poisonous varieties do not have this ring around the stem.

  1. Base Stem.

Some mushrooms have a rounded cup commonly referred to as the “volva”, which is a universal veil remnant. To observe the swollen base clearly you may have to dig up the mushroom as it’s usually under the ground.

The base of the stem of edible mushrooms is narrow or not thick like the rest of the stalk. On the other hand, many poisonous mushrooms usually have a noticeably swollen base. The Amanita muscaria, for instance, has a bulbous base.

  1. Spore print

A spore print is an important diagnostic trait for identifying mushrooms. Identifying the color of the spore print can be very helpful as it helps you distinguish the different mushroom varieties. The color of mushroom spore can range from white to black and many other shades depending on the mushroom species. Some of the common poisonous mushrooms such as Amanita have white-colored spore prints.

You can easily obtain a spore print for color-testing by removing the stem and putting the mushroom gills on a dark or white piece of paper for several hours. Once you know the color of the spore refer to a mushroom guide to know the exact species and its edibility.

  1. Gills

Another distinctive feature is the size and color of the mushroom’s gills. You will find most of the edible mushrooms with gills attached to the cap and not to the stalk. This means that the gills will stay attached to the cap even when the stalk is removed from the mushroom’s base. The poisonous mushroom’s gills, however, are attached to the stalk and will remain there even after you’ve removed it from the base.

The gills on the cap of a young edible mushroom cap are usually pink in colour. However, the pink colour changes as the mushroom mature to brown or black. On the contrary, poisonous mushrooms have white gills that do not change colour throughout their entire lifecycle.

Smell

Another common difference between poisonous and edible mushrooms is their smell. Some mushrooms have distinct smells or a unique smell which can help you to distinguish species that are visually similar. Some of the edible mushrooms, for instance, the Chanterelles have a distinctive fruity smell like apricots. Some of the poisonous species such as Agaricus xanthodermus, commonly known as the yellow-staining mushroom are known for their almond scent.

When you are testing for odors, crush a part of the mushroom’s cap for best results. Many mushrooms lack a smell, while others have quite a distinctive odor; thus, make sure you have a local mushroom guidebook to cross-reference.

Also, you need to keep in mind that not all mushrooms with odors give a certain smell of something as most of them have vague descriptions like “farinaceous,” meaning consisting of or containing starch.

How to Avoid Poisoning

To prevent mushroom poisoning you must be knowledgeable in the various mushroom identification methods when collecting mushrooms.

Remember that there is no simple cut-and-dry method or set identifiable features to distinguish poisonous mushrooms from edible ones; thus, once you collect mushrooms, never mix the two species, and only consume the edible mushrooms that are healthy and in good condition.

Always preserve your edible mushrooms by properly refrigerating them, and discard any mushroom you are in doubt about whether it is edible or non-edible.

Although there are numerous poisonous species, knowing how to properly identify the various mushrooms species will help to keep you from getting sick and even to enjoy your new mushroom foraging hobby.

The bottom line

There are numerous mushroom species and knowing the difference between poisonous and edible mushrooms can be a daunting task. Some mushrooms are edible and delicious, while others will give you a nasty tummy upset… maybe even lead to death. Please equip yourself with the right information and always take proper precautions when you are on the lookout for edible mushrooms.

Last, never taste a mushroom to identify whether it’s poisonous or edible because some poisonous species taste good, yet they’re deadly. Instead, remember to check on the unique physical characteristics, smell, and the habitat in which the mushroom grows to establish whether it’s safe for consumption or not.

Author Bio: Hi there, I am Jason Shiflet from HuntingPleasures.com – a website help people exchange knowledge about hunting pleasures!

Prepper Bundle Flash Sale 90% Off, Less Than 3 Days Now

Prepper Bundle Flash Sale

Remember that awesome Prepper Bundle we talked about a few months back? Well, apparently there’s been a huge request for it to come back and fortunately for you… Jennifer and Bill have heard your requests.

Now (actually since Friday) through this coming Monday (less than 3 days as of this email) the Prepper Bundle is back! And best of all it’s also back at an awesome price of about 90% off retail.

I’m not going to bother to explain it all here again (as I’ve done so in the past) but if you’re at all interested in getting in on:

  • 27 prepper eBooks (covering living off grid, homesteading, survival tools, and so much more)
  • 3 eCourses and videos (e.g., building a rocket mass heater, etc.)
  • Getting Started PDF (to help you keep track of everything in the bundle)
  • Exclusive emails with articles to help you get Back To Basics and special offers throughout the year.

…then you really should go check it out while you still can.

FYI, while all of the above is included in the 90% off download you can also get it all on an USB flash drive for safekeeping, if you prefer.

They’ve got you covered but you really do need to go grab your copy of the Prepper Bundle if you failed to do so last time.

 

15 Things You Don’t Actually Need To Survive Disasters

Last week I’d heard about a story of three family members who died during Hurricane Irma because they ran a generator inside their home. Although I couldn’t find more details, I did find this article about the incident.

Sadly, such a tragedy was entirely preventable by understanding what carbon monoxide (CO) is, how it can kill you, and perhaps most importantly: what items produce CO.

Here’s some good articles about carbon monoxide and safety:

And here’s a good article about running generators safely: How To Safely Operate A Backup Generator.

Anyway, what that tragedy really got me to thinking about was those things (or actions) you don’t actually need to have (or do) to survive in a disaster, such as with the recent hurricanes.

Now, I’m assuming that this family was running a generator to power an air conditioner because it was relatively warm weather at the time, but that’s pure speculation on my part. If they were running a generator for any other reason then it’s even worse because there are honestly very few reasons why you’d need electricity after a disaster.

Now I can hear you saying, “But, wait! I need to keep my refrigerator and freezer food from spoiling!”

No you don’t.

You SHOULD be able to do so… but you don’t HAVE to, especially if it means doing something ignorant like running a generator inside your home.

Regardless, you don’t need to have or do many things, such as:

  1. You don’t need power to keep the lights on if you have other light sources such as candles (not my first choice) or battery-powered lanterns (a better option). Heck, you could just sit in the dark but that sucks.
  2. You don’t need power to run a stove or oven or even a microwave if you have alternative cook sources like a BBQ grill or even makeshift stoves. (Note: BBQ grills can also produce carbon monoxide if charcoal-based and even propane grills can put off CO as well).
  3. Heck, you don’t even NEED to heat most foods so long as it’s been precooked, such as with canned foods. That said, some foods just need to be boiled to make them edible like rice, beans, pasta etc.
  4. You probably don’t need hot water either for any reason (except as noted in #3); this makes for cold showers and cold teas but it still works.
  5. Like I said above, food can be allowed to go bad and so the refrigerator doesn’t need to be kept cool. That said, I understand there are some cases where you’d hate to lose many hundreds of dollars worth of food and so you should be able to keep them running but it doesn’t have to be a generator that does it (hint: your car works pretty well for this purpose) and, besides, coolers and ice work well enough for a few to several days.
  6. You probably won’t need to do laundry in most cases since most of us have plenty of clothes in the closet which can be dusted off.
  7. You don’t need to bathe for weeks or longer in most cases (but I’m sure it would be appreciated by most people around you, lol). Even a simple washcloth rinse off is better than nothing.
  8. You sure don’t need WiFi or the internet or television… except then you couldn’t read this. 🙁
  9. I’d suggest that you don’t need your cell phone but it is our primary means of communication these days and so you really should try to keep it powered… and, of course, learn to text during and after disasters since they’re FAR more likely to get through jammed cell towers.
  10. You probably don’t need to go anywhere in your car if you’re hunkering down but I sure would prefer you had the option and so storing some extra gasoline with fuel stabilizer is a good idea.
  11. You don’t need almost ANY beverage (such as soda or beer) besides water to survive; sorry, you’ll live without either.
  12. You don’t need water to flush toilets or for most common household activities; keep water for the most necessary activities such as drinking, cooking, and minimal personal hygiene including brushing your teeth and the washcloth bath… and for pets too.
  13. In many cases you don’t need to air condition your home. Granted, there are some locations and times of the year where you’ll be miserable but so long as you can stay hydrated, in the shade, with a breeze,an so on then you’ll live. Of course, there are some folks who simply cannot tolerate the heat such as the elderly and so must be planned for.
  14. In some cases you don’t have to heat your home either. Yes, there are locations and times of the year where you’ll literally freeze to death if you don’t (and you know who you are) but most of us will survive by putting on more clothes and huddling under lots of blankets.
  15. You won’t need to do any dishes for weeks if you bother to stockpile some disposable supplies. Even if you want to use your dishes then items like cups, for instance, could be labeled with names and reused for quite a long time. I’d assume you could get creative too with your other dishes.

I’m sure I could go on listing items and actions you could likely do without in a relatively short term survival situation, but I’m sure you get the idea.

That said, there are some items/actions that you really shouldn’t go without. For example, any life-necessary medications or other medical equipment that literally keeps you alive come to mind. As such, it behooves you to have plenty of these medications on hand as well as the ability to power medical equipment for several days or longer if the power goes out.

Similarly, it would be silly to not be able to care for your basic needs, such as being able to heat your home if you live somewhere that you could truly freeze to death (as mentioned previously) and, of course, at least some minimal amounts of food and water. I still can’t believe people run out at the last minute to grab bottled water before a hurricane… ugh.

I’d encourage you to prepare yourself properly so that you don’t HAVE to go without… it’s not hard to do and I can show you how to get it done in only 5 minutes a day but you have to take action to make it happen.