The Pharmacy Around Us – Part 2, by Jen R.

(Continued from Part 1.) BERBERINE Why you want it:  With actions similar to penicillin and amoxicillin, it is used for treating cholera, acute dysentery, diarrhea, E. coli, infected wounds, giardia, and yeast infections. While there are not as many uses for extracts from berberine plants as for juniper and Usnea, a berberine tincture is still very nice to have on hand in case of cholera or giardia.  The most common plants high in berberine content are Japanese barberry, Oregon grape, Nandina domestica, Hydrastis canadensis, and Phellodendron amurense (not to be confused with the common philodendron houseplant).  And you’ve probably got …




The Pharmacy Around Us – Part 1, by Jen R.

Editor’s Introductory Note and Proviso: This is the first installment of a three-part article series. The following is for informational purposes only and is not be taken as medical advice. Consult your local physician before taking any herb or supplements, being mindful of interactions with either prescribed drugs or any other herbs or supplements. — Most SurvivalBlog readers already know about brewing pine needles for vitamin C, crushing egg shells for calcium, using willow for aspirin, and making an elderberry tincture for influenza.  It’s important to know about these remedies and be able to use them to care for our …




The Prepper’s Smartphone, by Aden Tate

It seems as if pretty much everybody has a smartphone of some sort today. Considering such, and that a phone is something that people tend to have on their person virtually 24/7 in today’s society, it makes sense to make one’s phone as versatile of a tool as possible. If it’s going to be in your EDC to begin with, why not have it work for you as hard as it is capable of? Do cell phones die? Yes. But at least in the beginning stages of a disaster, there’s a very good chance that your phone will both have …




Prayer Before You Prepare, by C.H.

My first memory of SurvivalBlog is reading the Rawlesian precepts, almost a decade years ago. I remember quickly hurrying over to the ‘Quick Start Guide’ to find out where I should begin. It was there that I read the most important piece of advice for any prepper: “Before you begin to prepare, pray.” Unfortunately, I thought that this meant little more than a salutary ‘tipping of the hat’ toward heaven before starting out on whatever I thought was best. ‘Do your best, pray it’s blessed, and let God do the rest.’ So I asked the Lord for his blessing and …




Southern California Prepper, by M.J.

I’ve been a longtime SurvivalBlog reader. I’m glad to say that I’ve learned a lot from reading the blog. Herewith are my two cents: I’m sick of city life. I’m sick of the endless traffic jams. I’m sick of the endless laws, rules, and political correctness. Yet I’m still here; I am not ready to move at this time. The main reason is getting more job experience. I’ve only been in the IT business for about a year and there is still much for me to learn. I’d like to learn more so that I can be more employable wherever …




Elements of a Security System – Part 5, by J.M.

Observation As I mentioned earlier, direct observation of an intruder approaching is another form of detection, but I’m focusing on situations where you may not be able to have eyes everywhere 24×7. However, if an alarm does go off you’ll need some way to get ‘eyes on’ to determine what caused the alarm without unnecessarily exposing yourself to potential danger. There are a number of possible options to enhance your ability to observe a potential intruder. The simplest and most obvious option would be magnified optics, such as binoculars or a monocular, assuming you have a line-of-sight to the area …




Elements of a Security System – Part 4, by J.M.

(Continued from Part 3.) The second type of alerting – remote signal back to a centralized alarm console with a wired or wireless connection when the tripwire is tripped – can be a bit more complicated. In either case you can use something as simple as the clothespin switch to connect two wires to close the circuit, or to ‘press’ the button on a remote transmitter to trigger a relay that set off a light/buzzer. Regardless of the use of local versus remote alerting, if there are any electronics or other components that could degrade when exposed to the elements …




Elements of a Security System – Part 3, by J.M.

(Continued from Part 2.) There’s another potential option for alerting that could be categorized as ‘mobile centralized’ – it’s possible to set up a radio transmitter connected to a centralized console that would transmit a pre-recorded voice alert (e.g. ‘Alert in zone 3 North’) to a radio that you carry around with you. Some of the sensors I’ll be discussing later have this capability built-in, but you could implement a similar function using a Raspberry PI computer to monitor the sensors, connected to a RTL-SDR software-defined radio to transmit pre-recorded audio alerts. Implementing this would be moderately complicated and is …




Elements of a Security System – Part 2, by J.M.

(Continued from Part 1.) The final aspects you need to consider when planning a security system are the types of threats you need to be able to detect. If you live in a wooded area where there are a lot of experienced woodsmen and hunters, you’ll have to consider how to detect people that know how to move silently and effectively and are more likely to notice things like tripwires or trail cameras. On the other hand, if you’re in an area that may primarily experience urban sheeple migrating in search of resources after a disaster, your security situation will …




Elements of a Security System – Part 1, by J.M.

Editor’s Introductory Note: This detailed article series is by J.M., who you may remember as a SurvivalBlog Writing Contest First Prize winner in March, 2018, for his five-part article: Perspectives on Patrolling. (This is the first installment in a five-part article series.) — When you talk to people about preparing, one of the most common themes you’ll encounter is that they want to ensure the safety and security of themselves, their families and their friends in the event something disrupts the ‘rule of law’. The reality is that even with active law enforcement in normal times there are thousands of …




A Beginner’s Wood Splitting Journey – Part 2, by The Novice

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the two-part series.) The Straight Stack I initially stacked my split wood in straight, eight-foot sections about four feet high. This made each of those sections contain approximately a face cord of wood. Three face cords comprise a full cord. We typically burn six to eight full cords each winter. I put a strip of tarp on the top of each stack and weighted it down with extra pieces of wood. This kept the rain off the top of the stack while allowing the wind to blow through and the sun to dry the …




A Beginner’s Wood Splitting Journey – Part 1, by The Novice

Six years ago, my wife and I slipped the surly bonds of suburbia and sought refuge in less densely populated parts. We settled in a log home in the woods. The northern woods in winter are beautiful but cold. Keeping warm led to a discovery: propane is expensive. So in the interest of fiscal responsibility, we henceforth heated our home by the sweat of my brow. The details of felling trees, limbing, bucking logs, and hauling billets belong to a tale for another day. My story today concerns splitting wood: the experiences of a smooth-handed greenhorn reducing billets of wood …




Triggers to the Second American Revolution, by A.D.

Having been a reader of SurvivalBlog for a couple of years, I have read some fascinating articles. The body of knowledge out there is truly astounding. There have been many articles about preparing for the difficult times ahead which I found to be helpful and unsettling. Sometimes, I feel the dread of knowing a powerful storm is heading our way and there is going to be much hardship as a result. My family lives in the hurricane belt, and one of the frustrating things is knowing a storm is on the way and trying to develop an action plan when …




Gardening When It Counts – Part 2, by A.K.

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) Garlic deserves a place in a survival garden. Both for it’s culinary attributes as well as medicinal qualities, garlic is a champ. Plant the largest nicest-looking cloves you can find, as you want your crop to have good genetics. After harvest, dry the crop carefully. Store the biggest heads of garlic in a separate place to replant for the next crop. Either soft neck or hard neck garlic will work. Hard neck garlic produces green scapes which need to be cut off; these can be used in cooking. Hard neck garlic is …




Gardening When It Counts – Part 1, by A.K.

Many of us have had a garden at one time or another given the space to grow one. We’ve had good gardening years with seemingly endless buckets of tomatoes filling all of the kitchen counter- top space not to mention the dilemma of what to do with all of those zucchini! Then there’s been the years when other things took priority. Maybe we didn’t get the soil prepared in time and finally got around to planting whatever seedlings we could find at the garden center in mid-summer. Perhaps we went away on a summer vacation and returned to find the …