"Woodcraft, bush craft, camp craft… whatever term you prefer, is all about building skills of self-reliance. You may keep a titanium spork or cheap plastic spoon in your camp kit, but nothing compares to eating a bowl of squirrel soup from a wooden utensil you carved from a hunk of tree! Over the holidays, I discovered that Dirt Road Girl and my mama are very fond of a particular wooden cooking utensil. It is more of a spatula than a spoon and their favorite for stirring chili and soups. You’ve got a favorite cooking spoon, right? Well, this design can’t be found in stores any longer. They’ve looked! Tag. I’m it. I told them I’d carve one. It’s pretty simple. You remove the wood that is not a spoon and… bam! … you’re slurping soup by the campfire."
"When the stock market starts to behave like a roller coaster, that is a sign that a major move to the downside is right around the corner. As I have stated repeatedly, when the market is very calm it tends to go up. But when the waters start getting really choppy, that is a clear indication that stocks are about to plummet. In early 2015, volatility has returned to Wall Street in a big way. At one point on Tuesday, the Dow was up more than 300 points. But then the bottom dropped out. From the peak on Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) plunged nearly 700 points in less than 30 hours before recovering more than 100 points at the end of the day. The Dow has now experienced the longest losing streak that we have seen in 3 months, but that is not that big of a deal. Of much greater concern is the huge price swings that we have been seeing. Remember, the three largest single day stock market increases in history were right in the middle of the financial crisis of 2008. So if stocks go up 400 points tomorrow that is NOT a good sign. What we really need is a string of days when stocks move less than 100 points in either direction. If stocks keep making dramatic moves up and dramatic moves down, history tells us that it is only a matter of time before they collapse. Any student of stock market history knows that what we are witnessing right now is exactly how markets behave right before they crash."
"UK oil giant BP faces a maximum $13.7 billion in penalties from the Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010, which many claim to be the worst environmental disaster in US history. The fine is much less than the $18 billion feared. The US District Judge Carl Barbier ruled Thursday that the company spilled 3.19 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, less than previously claimed by the US government. The court, which earlier ruled the company acted negligently in the lead up to the spill has not determined a final penalty."
"Yesterday, the IRS announced the International Data Exchange Service. If you’ve not heard of it, it’s is an outgrowth of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which requires every single bank in the world to get in bed with IRS to share information about customers. We’ve said this over and over, FATCA is probably the dumbest law in the history of the United States. And I don’t say that lightly, because there’s definitely stiff competition. Like any other bankrupt government, the US government has taken to intimidating its own citizens and the entire world in an attempt to make ends meet. Their hope was that the minority of people committing tax evasion would come clean and that it would result in some huge boost in tax revenue. But the fact is that tax revenues actually haven’t improved at all. Looking at tax revenue as a percentage of GDP, the numbers haven’t budged at all from their long-term average. Not a single bit. So in actuality, FATCA has done nothing positive for America."
"The Environmental Protection Agency is set to finalize a set of regulations in February that critics say will effectively ban production of 80 percent of the wood- and pellet-burning stoves in America. The EPA had published a set of proposed regulations more than a year ago, and since then had accepted public comments. But the regulations already are having an impact. An advertisement for the Central Boiler Company says that company’s classic outdoor wood furnaces will be outlawed by the new regulations and will not be available later this spring."
"Let’s look at getting an emergency medical technician – basic (EMT-B) certification as the basis for growing your wilderness and grid-down medicine skills. An EMT-B is capable of providing basic life support in the forms of CPR, first aid, and trauma care. In addition, you learn how to do basic patient assessments as well as the protocols for participating in a mass casualty incident and doing triage. You’ll also learn the FEMA Incident Command System that is the basis for any multi-agency response to anything, from a house fire to the Yellowstone Caldera erupting and eating one third of the country."
"Here’s a video that gives a pretty good example of a comprehensive medical kit designed for a group. It comes from Analytical Survival on YouTube, which is a channel chock full of smart things to do in a grid-down world. We highly recommend spending some time there to broaden your knowledge on a wide range of skills."
"Blueberries have been championed for their high antioxidant potential and anti-inflammatory properties. They are recognized as a good source of flavonoids, especially anthocyanins, which have strong antioxidative activity, some of which have antioxidant activity shown in laboratory studies. New research shows they can reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure and potentially better than pharmaceuticals. The blood pressure relief comes from pterostilbene, a compound found in both grapes and blueberries. This antioxidant is chemically related to reservatrol, another heart-healthy compound that is found in the skin of grapes. Various studies have shown pterostilbene to have possible anti-cancer and anti-diabetes properties. A growing body of research is also establishing blueberries as a potential ally to protect against diseases such heart disease and Alzheimer's -- so it's no surprise that more and more people are picking blueberries than ever before!"
"Sweet potato is known to be a good source of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and certain B vitamins that are considered essential to human health. Besides the commonly consumed root of the plant, certain tissues in sweet potato are also edible and high in nutritional value. Although studies have confirmed that water-soluble vitamins exist in sweet potato roots and leaves, there has been limited information about how these vitamins are actually distributed in the plants. Wilmer Barrera and David Picha from Louisiana State University Agricultural Center published a research study in HortScience that shows that mature and young leaves of sweet potato can provide significant amounts of vitamin B6 and other essential vitamins.” The objective of the study was to determine the ascorbic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, and vitamin B6 and other essential vitamins."
"Despite a decline in the overall Consumer Price Index (CPI) in December, the food index increased and the price index for meats, poultry, fish and eggs hit a record high, according to data released today from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). According to the BLS, “The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) declined 0.4 percent in December on a seasonally adjusted basis. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 0.8 percent before seasonal adjustment.”
"Despite laws that prohibit them, new technology and other protections, consumers still complain on a daily basis about robocalls and the inability to halt them. And it just might get worse. Some businesses want to aim for your cellphones. Consumers have long had the support of government to try to control these calls, chiefly through the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which actually allows consumers to file lawsuits and collect penalties from companies that pepper them with robocalls or text messages they didn’t agree to receive. But now the Federal Communications Commission is considering relaxing a key rule and allowing businesses to call or text your cellphones without authorization if they say they called a wrong number. The banking industry and collections industry are pushing for the change."
"As I pointed-out here on Backwoods Survival Blog recently, the current flu season going on right now is the most severe we have seen in a while, and it just keeps blazing on and on and on. Thus far, it doesn't seem to be slowing down whatsoever, so – in addition to making sure all of your pandemic emergency preparedness is where it should be – there's also a lot of value in having something on hand to help heal you and your family if one of you should become ill. The thing is, if you're anything like me at all, you have serious reservations both about giving your money to Big Pharma as well as about taking any of their concoctions into your body (or, at least, limiting the kinds of drugs you take to minimize your exposure). The answer to those concerns can sometimes be found by looking back into yesteryear at how people dealt with such problems back then."
"It may not be sexy, but it is necessary to know how to put on and take off your medical personal protective equipment. If you find yourself having to use personal protective equipment or bio hazard suit in the event of some sort of outbreak, it could be your best defense in keeping yourself free of dangerous contaminants. It may seem like it’s no big deal, and easy to put on and take off, but there is a wrong way, and a right way to do it. In the video below Dale and I show you exactly how it’s done."
"The United States is extremely inefficient when it comes to energy consumption. Our dependence upon this finite resource could very well be our Achilles’ heel. What will happen when these fuel sources are depleted? Or, if we were in the middle of an emergency and ran out of our fuel source? I have often emphasized how important it is to have fuel stored for emergencies. That said, not enough emphasis has been placed on renewable energy streams."
"I’m not sure what it’s going to be like by you this weekend but here, on Long Island, it’s the middle of winter. We’re expecting a cold, raw weekend with some snow possibly coming our way. It’s not really going to be outdoors weather, although learning how to survive in this kind of weather wouldn’t be a bad idea. But, with this kind of weekend in mind, I got to thinking about how I could improve as a prepper. I came up with this list of prepper skills that you (and I) could explore and improve over a weekend. Make me one promise – don’t just read, do!"
"Previously, we’ve discussed how to protect yourself from the might of a bear or the power of a pack of feral dogs. But, deadly as these fierce predators are, the bite of a far smaller foe can actually cause a great deal more damage. Although North America has only a few venomous species, they are quite widespread in their respective territories and have potent bites that can kill or cripple a man in an instant. Fortunately, snakes do not actively hunt people due to our size, and so bite prevention is as simple as knowing how to avoid the venomous varieties."
"Boston Bombings, Aurora Colorado Shooting, Ferguson – All these events unleashed a full frontal view of exactly how militarized our local police departments have become. While armored personnel carriers, molle tactical vests, and heavy weaponry carried by today’s police forces is not “newsworthy” anymore, what environments they start to deploy the gear most definitely IS. In this video, I’ll show you how the police state was rolled out during an Ohio State University Football celebration, and why this matters so much given the United State’s history in 1970 during the Kent State National Guard Shootings. I will also give you some background about social, psychological, and federal design components of the police state and how this will wash up on the doorsteps of many American’s in the present and near future."
"Over the last two months, on two separate occasions, I had the opportunity to test my 72-hour kit. Yes, these tests were intentional… Testing a 72 Hour Kit…Why? My background is one of preparedness. In the military, we made casualty response plans, then tested those plans. We called them “drills.” Now, in my post-military life, I’m CERT-trained, and FEMA IS-22 certified – both deal extensively with emergency response and preparation. I’ve noticed many web sites that promote preparedness do not discuss testing preparedness plans. What if you create a wonderful evacuation plan, but forget some critical component, like toilet paper? Or you include something, but not enough? Testing your kits and noting what you missed will help you make a better kit. The output from this evaluation process are your lessons learned. It is impossible to conduct a test and have no lessons learned – at the minimum you will learn that you are well-prepared. The lessons presented below come directly from these two exercises. Some may be obvious, some may not."