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The Art of Reconnaissance: How to Improve your Viewpoint

14 hours 21 min ago

 

ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, this article will cover some basic techniques for observation, as well as some information on how the eyes and mind work.  Why?  To fine tune your skills and give you an edge, as well as promote information for your further studies.  You can use this information when you are in a fixed position and watching…whether on sentry duty, or for reconnaissance.  These are not tips that are only for snipers or long-range shooters: they’re for the average guy and gal.  Let’s get started.

Gain a Better Viewpoint With These Recon Basics

Our eyes are the eyes of a predator: pointed forward, with the greatest focus in our field of vision being directly in front of us.  We see the following in order: movement, color, and the silhouette.  Movement is the greatest factor, and this is wired into our systems to detect threats against us.  Two eyes provide us with depth perception: the ability to gauge distance and determine where an object is in relation to us and to other objects.

One of the challenges for you is to develop your peripheral vision.  Take something such as a door inside of your house, and focus on it.  Maintaining the focus of your eyes on that door, allow the “softened edges,” or the unclear areas at the edges of your focus to come into view without moving your eyes.  Keeping your eyes riveted to that focal point, allow the whole eyes to see everything “on the sides of that focus,” and all of this without moving the eyes.

The “unclear area” is your periphery.  By unclear, I mean that you can see it, but the edges are not as sharp, and the detail is not as defined as the central focus.  Your practice is twofold.  First, practice trying to identify things on the sides of your focus without moving your eyes.  Next, see the limits that your eyes take in objects.  This is very important.

You can focus on a spot on the horizon, but if you keep that focus, guess what?  You will not miss an object moving into your field of vision is you train yourself well to see in the periphery.  This is because the movement will “register” in your eyes and on your brain, and then you can shift your focus onto it to see it more clearly and identify it.  Color, as mentioned above, means several things.  Color change is especially important: suddenly, a mound of snow lifts up and a bright yellow “thing” emerges…yes, a man in a ski jacket.  You will be able to detect changes in the color of the general surroundings, and with training to use the periphery of your vision can perfect it to be a valuable tool.

Silhouette is a little trickier: this involves seeing and identifying something by the outline.  Vehicles are usually easy, but personnel (especially if they’ve camouflaged themselves) are more difficult.  “Sneaky Pete’s” tend to break up their outline with foliage, artificial netting/wraps, and other niceties.  This is another reason that you want to know the distances you are observing, say, over an open area.  If you have nothing in front of you, the “speck” on the horizon…you want to know beforehand that the 1” speck is really a 6’ tall man at that distance.

Keep your eyes moving periodically, to shift your point of forward focus.  Left to right or right to left…as long as you keep it regular.  As we learned in Jumpmaster school in the service, don’t look for “deficiencies.”  Formulate images and impressions of the “normal” area you must observe.  Allow any variants (the “deficiencies,” as we had in school) to jump out at you.  If you have a perfect sight picture, you’re going to notice the Yeti emerging from the trees.  It is out of the norm.  His motion, his looks, and (yes!) his silhouette.

One of the biggest challenges you’ll face when observing is the change in light levels, especially dark to dawn, and dusk to dark.  Dawn and dusk are traditionally great times for an attack.  This is because the light is just appearing in the former, and disappearing in the latter.  The rods and cones of your eyes cannot clearly help you determine what your eyes are seeing in accordance with the light provided.  The challenge is from a lighted area into one of shadow.  Very tough to see what is going on.  Another problem is the time you spend on watch.  Everyone should have a “short shift” of about 2 to 4 hours, but realistically this never happens.

Eyestrain and fatigue turn the eyes into acorns with drooling and head-tipping sure to follow.  When watching over the snow-covered ground, be sure to wear 100% UV protectant sunglasses.  You can have long-term retinal damage when your eyes are exposed to reflected sunlight for a long period of time.  Protect your eyes, and train them to see what you are observing for.  Practice makes perfect, and in the end, you will perfect these techniques to improve your effectiveness in the areas we discussed.  Keep fighting that good fight!  JJ out!

 

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Additional Reading:

A Green Beret’s Guide to Improvised Home Defense Strategies

ManTracker: How to Be One and How to Avoid One

Improve Your Natural Night Vision

Prepper Sustainability: How to Observe and Monitor Local Game

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published December 11th, 2017

12 Tips to Pack Your Bug-Out Vehicle Like a Pro

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 05:28

ReadyNutrition Readers, this article is done on special request by one of the Readers.

Hi, really appreciate all the articles you and the others do on these websites! I’ve been searching for articles particularly on one would pack their vehicle mine being a truck in the event I had to get out. I know pallets that are shipped have a specific order on what goes on first comes off last. I have to factor in weight especially and usually pack the bed with the heaviest items over the axle or forward. I would also be interested in how you would organize backpacks as weight is also a major factor. Many Thanks.”

Well, we’re going to cover the vehicle loads in this article and follow up with one on backpacks and rucksacks in Part 2.  So, let’s jump into it!  One of the things that you must find out first regarding your particular vehicle is its load capacity.  How much weight can it hold?  How much can the axles take?  It is more than this, however: certain weight loads will shift with terrain and with the gradient driving upon.  A steep incline that tilts the bed of that pickup too far will end up turning that pickup into a dump truck.

In addition, you also need to assess what you’re transporting to minimize danger.  Ammo, flammable liquids, and so forth.  An accident with a power line can introduce electricity into the equation and create a secondary explosion that ends up being worse than the accident.  Let’s go through some basics.

  1. Strap down all your loads as best you can…and make this mandatory with anything that is liquid/fluids, such as water cans, fuel cans, etc.
  2. Make sure all your flammable liquids are in sealed and sturdy containers that do not leak and can hold up to rough handling.
  3. Pack those flammable liquids to the rear of the vehicle…the point being if they’re on fire, they’re away from the driver and passengers as far as possible. This will not stop gunfire, but that’s a different problem.
  4. Minimize those flammable liquids in the truck bed. Maybe one or two gas cans max.  If you need to haul that much, then you should have a trailer/cart of some kind.
  5. Stagger your load evenly…think of the term “Bilateral Symmetry” …that is a “mirrored” side…one water can on the left, and one water can on the right. Make the load even.
  6. Ammo in military-issue ammo cans. They’re water-tight with a rubber seal, and they can take a beating.  Pack these guys to the rear of a vehicle.  Use cargo straps to keep them from “hopping” around…tie them down as best you can, and stagger the load evenly.
  7. Whatever your maximum load capacity is, load up only to 90% of that at the most. Give yourself that “pad” either for extra items you may need to acquire, or changes in the loads if you have more than one vehicle in your entourage.
  8. All emergency gear (such as fire-starting equipment and pioneer tools – shovels, picks, a chainsaw, and rope/cables – needs to be stowed in the rear where it is accessible easily and quickly.
  9. Foodstuffs and food supplies: insulate them with pads, cardboard boxes, and Styrofoam for temperature controls, and pack them evenly toward the front.
  10. Weapons (besides the ones you’re carrying on you) should be accessible by the driver and the passenger in the cab or behind the seats.
  11. Medical supplies: in the middle of the bed, protected for temperature and packed to grab at a moment’s notice.
  12. Nest: Build a “nest” around these supplies of food and medicine with things such as blankets, sleeping bags, and rucksacks. The rucks should be packed to the rear, just forward of the ammo.

The reason ammo is packed in the rear is that if you must abandon the vehicle in a SHTF-scenario, you want to access the ammo and control the weapons (in the cab) and download these first.  They are a priority and sensitive items.

“Those who beat their rifles into plowshares will soon plow for those who do not.”

                                                      Ben Franklin

Weapons and ammo are vital to keep the other “B’s,” namely your beans and band-aids.  You can prioritize for yourself, but I mention this: if you’re just sitting around in a hide site for a week, unless you’re injured, you’ll need the food before the medical supplies.  The weapons?  If you have food and medical supplies and no means to defend them…you’re just holding onto them for someone else when it hits the fan.  Three B’s are “Bullets, Beans, and Band-Aids.”

Returning to the packing, if it is wintertime and you have water containers, make sure that you take out about ¼ out of your container to allow for expansion if the water freezes.  Don’t put in any additives such as “salt” or “alcohol,” as it will keep it from freezing but it pollutes your water supply and makes it either a “dehydrating solution” or a “diuretic.”  Both defeat the purpose.  Remember: water’s heavy, at 7.6 lbs. per gallon…you can use that figure to estimate the weight of any fuel you’re toting, as well.

Camouflage all that you have packed.  For your pickup truck (that’s what we’ve focused on here), if you stack supplies up on pallets and load the truck, ensure that everything is strapped down.  Make sure that you have a cap to smack on the back of the pickup.  If you don’t want to use it before SHTF, that’s fine.  Just make sure you can throw it on when it all collapses.  It will be worth its weight in gold to keep your supplies dry and shielded from the elements.

Get yourself a good bathroom scale and/or a hanging “hunting” scale.  Yes, you will want to inventory and weigh everything before packing.  Stick to that 80 to 90% of the load maximum, and you’ll do well.  Make a diagram for all that you’re loading up.  This will help you to place things properly and in a well-organized manner.  Cover your load and block off the inside by putting up cardboard in the windows of the cap.  Take the time to cut the window-blockers to form and duct taping them in place, so you can remove them if need be.  Don’t “spray paint” the windows, as you may need to use them in the future.

Practice placing all you will put into your vehicle in a “ready” posture…that is, in order ready to place into the vehicle.  Drilling it will make it smoother when the time comes to do it for real.  The better you are organized, the smoother a movement will go.  Finally, make sure your vehicle is in good working order with all fluids topped off and the tires in good shape.  Next part we’ll go over how to pack those rucksacks.  Stay in that good fight, and fight it smart!  JJ out!

 

Supplemental Reading:

Step-By-StepEmergencyy Planning Guide

Vehicle 72 Hour Kit Basics

15 Items That Should Be In Your Vehicle During the Winter

The Prepper Conundrum: Bugging Out

16 Things You Should Always Have In Your Car

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published December 9th, 2017

Cash After the Collapse: 6 Multi-Purpose Preps You Need in Emergency Supplies

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 05:31

Hopefully, our readers will not suffer indigestion of their holiday meals or have a damper placed upon the holiday largesse of gift-giving and happy moments.  After all, a potential nuclear war or EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack should never interfere with the memories being collected in the new pages of the scrapbook album.  Still, if you have the time to tear yourself away from the “holiday treadmill,” you may wish to consider taking some actions that may benefit you later on.

Gathering supplies is one of the hallmarks of the modern prepper and survivalist.  We are going to suggest a few that have dual roles: for barter (primary) and for use (secondary).  That being said, many of us are short on storage space and are looking to find preps that serve multiple purposes will help you make the most of the space you have. Now, there are some of you that may not agree with adding these preps, but then again, that is your choice.  They are being presented here as another option for you to pursue.  We’re going to list those reasons behind each: primary will be “barter” with an explanation, and a secondary (your personal use) will be explained.

6 Multi-Purpose Preps You Need In Your Prepper Supplies
  1. Cigarettes: About 5 to 10 cartons, staggered between your most popular types (such as Marlboro, Camel, etc. You can also purchase tobacco in bulk qualities and repackage it in Mylar bags for long-term storage. Primary: For use as barter. Especially for those who do not smoke, they can be a “gold mine” to obtain something from those who do smoke. Secondary: Tobacco has medical use as an anti-helminthic (fights worms) and also a peripheral vasoconstrictor. It can be used as a bug repellant on plants when the nicotine is extracted by soaking it in alcohol and then sprayed.
  2. Alcohol: Stagger the amounts: minimum of (5) fifths of grain alcohol, (5) of Scotch, (5) of Vodka, and (5) of Gin. Many preppers suggest finding smaller bottles (Similar to the ones used on airplanes). As well, consider adding an alcohol still to your preps to make your own. Primary: For use as barter in small increments for those who need it for a responsible reason, or as a fifth for a “big” trade…something that someone has that you really need.  Secondary: All of these spirits can be used for tincturing, and the grain alcohol especially can be used as an emergency disinfectant. All can be used as an anesthetic as a last resort (and with patients who are conscious and not compromised from a respiratory or a cardiovascular perspective. Read more about the uses of alcohol.
  3. Coffee: Big “cash crop,” and your best bet is vacuum-sealed in metal cans or in aluminized bags of about a pound to half a pound at a time. I recommend picking up about a hundred pounds of it, if possible.  Don’t “X” out good instant coffee, either, as there will be many people who don’t have the time to brew it up. Here are some pointers on how to store coffee for long-term use. Primary: As mentioned, it will be in big demand about six months down the line, and you’ll never have trouble trading it for something. Secondary: Coffee has many advantages – including naturopathic and also helps to restore mental alertness, to help in cases of prolonged nausea and diarrhea, and (as you may know) it tastes great!
  4. Sundries: This would include soaps, deodorants, toothbrushes, and personal care items, such as razor blades, dental floss, and so forth. Good sources can be found in flea markets and thrift stores…especially with sundries from hotels…. individual small bars of soap and shampoo as are found in motel rooms …these are excellent to stock up on. Primary: They will be worth their weight in gold to barter, as they are of a pretty convenient size. Secondary: For your own personal use, they won’t go unused if never traded…they are excellent sizes for your own teams/units when patrolling and out in the woods for several days, or when conducting a reconnaissance.
  5. Fire starting materials: Matches, lighters, flints, wicks for lighters, and higher-end lighters, such as Zippos that can run off white gas or gasoline. Primary: for barter, just as has been mentioned. Secondary: you’ll always have a use for them
  6. Small First-Aid Supplies: to include Band-aids, alcohol prep pads, gauze bandages, medical tape, etc. Many of these items can be purchased frugally at discount stores. Primary: can be bartered effectively in small amounts. Secondary: for personal use.

We could continue, have fifty pages, and need a tractor-trailer to haul it all, but you get the point.  There is the potential to have in your supply room such items set aside dedicated primarily to barter and then able to be used by you in some capacity if the need arises.  I give you my personal rule on ammunition: I wouldn’t barter it or sell it under any circumstance.  Your “friendly traders” will trade for ammo, and then at nightfall, they’ll return and assault your position…and give it back to you the hard way.

You’ll have to use your own judgment and discretion with these items.  Obviously, if a gang of roughnecks wants to trade for booze?  It may behoove you not to have any if you catch my meaning.  Whatever problem you may have with any item on the list, that is your decision.  This piece was meant to stimulate thought and give you a few ideas.  In the long run, your survival and your family’s will depend on how proactive you are to this end.  JJ out!

(Sign up for our FREE newsletter to get the latest prepping advice, gardening secrets, homesteading tips and more delivered straight to your inbox!) Interested in learning more about multipurpose preps? Check out some of these informative articles!

 

Six Kinds of Currency That Might Emerge after the Collapse

11 Emergency Food Items That Can Last a Lifetime

7 Kitchen Essentials That Deserve To Be On Your Preparedness Shelves

Vaseline: A Multipurpose Prep Item

39 Manly Uses for Coconut Oil in Your Bushcraft Kit

The Skinny: 6 Everyday Uses for Dry Milk

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published December 6th, 2017

These Prepper Essentials Are What You Need to Continue Training After the SHTF

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 05:49

Here’s the bottom line – never stop the training.  Even after the world comes to a screeching halt, do not stop.  That may sound inane but there are several reasons behind it and several purposes in front of it.  There needs (as in all things) some structure to provide an organizational framework, so first let us define training after the “S” hits the fan.

You’ll have more time, and you’ll have less time.  You will not be held by specific time constraints, such as the 9-5 “rat-race” from Monday to Friday; however, you will still need to budget your time.  Necessities such as food (obtaining it, growing it, storing/preserving it), water, protection from the elements (wood for heat, for example), and protection from disaster-related factors (ex: radiation from a nuclear exchange, or tektites from an asteroid/comet impact) will occupy a great deal of time.

For a step-by-step guide to planning for short and long-term emergencies, click here. You will need to train and study more than ever.
  1. First-Line Materials: These would be your books and physical archives set in paper and in notebooks.  All your printouts and information…you will be relying on these for all subjects from farming to defensive tactics. Here are some basics for creating a preparedness binder.
  2. Videos (Instructional): These DVD’s and films will be invaluable for refresher training, as well as introducing the youth to things they might have to have a “crash course” in a video to learn. The portable battery-powered DVD player is a must…ensure it works, has extra batteries and a charging system, and stick it in a Faraday cage until it is needed.
  3. SME (the Subject-Matter Expert): individuals who are experts in a field who are willing to teach the basics to students, whether adult or youth. Becoming a member of local groups in your area and even attending local classes before a SHTF event will help you find these invaluable people to learn from.
  4. Downloaded Material and a Computer in a Faraday Cage: scan everything you can possibly cover, and store the information on jump drives, external hard drives or pick up a computer with enough hard drive and wherewithal to handle it and the “strain” of periodically being used.

There are many categories to train upon, and the training isn’t ever complete: you’ll always need a refresher.  Physical training is paramount.  This includes exercise, such as weightlifting and calisthenics, as well as combat training and instruction with weapons and their employ.  Understand: when I was in the Army, we conducted PT (physical training) in the field.  You need it.

Exercise reduces the triglycerides in the bloodstream, and it also is responsible for a good portion of osteogenesis.  This last term is a formation of healthy bone tissue.  I’m not going to cover the subject entirely: the physical training stimulates the formation of new bone tissue and the “recirculation” of “recycled” material at the end of the cycle of ossification.  Exercise prevents the muscles from atrophying, and it is an excellent way to relieve stress.

Hand-in-hand is recovery, and this is a critical component of physical training that is mostly overlooked.  The importance of it cannot be understated and it must be instructed as part of a course.  After it hits, should our society (whoever has survived the initial destruction and shocks) revert and return to what made our society weak and ineffective, or should we chart a new course?

Many will take a “devil may care” attitude, and this is not what is needed to survive.  Freedom from the constraints imposed by a superficial “phony” society based on the material and superficial instead of value and substance may have been granted…but self-awareness and self-discipline must be followed at the individual and group level.  Many are the communities that emerge from a tyranny to merely replace it with another, or leave a failed society to continue it elsewhere and fail subsequently.

Training needs to incorporate history, science, and self-sustaining arts (farming, metallurgy, construction), as well as training to address the immediate and pressing issues faced by the family and/or community.  Why would anyone halt what they’ve already begun?  A training program doesn’t need (and shouldn’t!) come to a halt because the wheels of society do so.  The training serves a purpose:

Ongoing training in critical subjects sustains individuals and groups for continuity and it enables people to thrive.

That last word: thrive – is an important word, indeed.  It means more than just survival.  It means going beyond the bare needs of the physical and continuing in the quality of life…to build a future.  Many civilizations have built upon the ruins of an older society.  Look at the fall of the Roman Empire for a prime example…and the Dark Ages that ensued.  Eventually, our adaptive species began to adapt and “rewire” itself into formats that enabled progress and continuity.

Your challenge as part of a family or a group is to determine the critical areas and train in them without ceasing.  Train each available moment, taking the failures and experiences of the past to formulate something new that may work for the future.  Stay in that good fight.  How you train in peace is how you fight in war.  Do not stop the training, and keep with it fervently even after the SHTF.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published December 5th, 2017

Five Scary Signs That Your Health May Be Rapidly Declining

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 05:43

Most people try to avoid the thought of what their lives would be like if their health failed. But for those who are brave enough to have those thoughts, they probably don’t have an accurate perception of what it’s really like to be near death’s door and in need of medical attention. They’ll likely base their assumptions on what they’ve seen in movies, and dread the day they develop an inexplicable cough or debilitating nausea.

In the real wold however, the signs that indicate poor health often aren’t very obvious. Here’s what you should really look out for:

  1. If you’re beginning to lose your sense of smell, look out. Studies have shown that people who have trouble smelling or have lost that sense completely, have a drastically higher mortality rate. Their chances of dying over a 5 year period are somewhere between 2-4 times higher than people who can still smell.
  2. A loss of appetite, particularly among seniors, is a common symptom seen in people before they die of natural causes. That’s because the human metabolism begins a precipitous drop before death occurs. Mortality rates typically rise if the appetite loss continues for more than six months.
  3. One little known sign of declining health is poor grip strength. Obviously, there can be other causes. It’s safe to assume that if your grip isn’t what it used to be, you could just be getting older. It’s no secret that we all lose muscle mass as we age. But if you’ve experienced a dramatic loss of grip strength, then you have a much higher chance of dying by any cause. More importantly, people who have weak grip strength have a significantly higher chance of suffering from a stroke or a heart attack.
  4. If you’re not treating your body right by smoking, not eating healthy food or exercising regularly etc, over time your heart rate and blood pressure is going to increase. We all know that this isn’t a good sign, but most people don’t realize how significant the ramifications are. An examination of 46 studies that collectively involved over 2 million people, found that those who have a resting heart rate that exceeded 80 beats per minute had a 45% higher risk of mortality by any cause.
  5. One of the easiest ways to tell if you’re in bad health isn’t a symptom, but a test that can be administered anywhere. It’s called the SRT test, which measures your physical mobility, and has been proven to show your chance of dying from any cause over a five-year period. The goal of the test is to sit down on the floor and stand back up without using any support. If you can cross your feet, sit down and standup without any support, you get 10 points. You lose a point for each hand, arm, or knee you use to support yourself. Each point you have represents a 21% lower chance of dying over a five-year period, but if you score three or less, than your chances of dying of any cause is five times higher.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published December 4th, 2017

This Simple Shopping Trick Will Save You Loads of Money

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 05:41

Well, Guys and Gals, now that the holidays are upon us, the shopping has begun in earnest.  Whether for ourselves or others, the stores are alive with festive happy shoppers shopping away in the shops until they’re bereft of money, energy, senses, or all of the above.  One of the things I’ve noticed throughout the years is the propensity of people to buy things that others can use right then and there, in the winter-time.  But why not think outside of the box?  And if it’s not for someone else, then think for yourself in this vein.

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There are tremendous amounts of sales to be had from stuff that is not in the season, and you’ll find a lot of these things in sporting goods stores, military surplus stores, and thrift stores in general.  The prices for everything for the spring and summer are greatly reduced.  Why not buy it now, and save yourself the hassle of higher prices and scarcities later?

Consumer Reports has a great breakdown of which items are best to buy each month.

The technique: buying things you’ll use later in the times they cannot be used.

In the wintertime, you won’t find many bargains on wool socks, thermal underwear, or heavy Gore-Tex jackets.  You will in spring and in the summertime, though.  Why not buy it in the summertime and set it aside for the winter?  And now, in the wintertime…buy the stuff that will be used in five or six months.  You can talk to the managers and find good stuff, such as summer tactical vests, summer camouflage clothing and shirts, camping gear for the warm weather, and such.

Guess what?  Many of these stores (especially the thrift stores) have a large percentage of this stuff in the back…and the manager will be eager to make sales and generate profits for their district managers, VP’s, and along “up” the “food chain” of their concern.  Make a deal with these guys, to buy some nice stuff and come in on a non-peak time to buy some of it.  You can promise the manager to buy at least a hundred or two hundred bucks worth of stuff, or something along those lines.

He’ll be happy to clear out any inventory he couldn’t clean out before.  Also, remember: equipment (such as tents, cookware, etc.) is sold year-round.  You can find some good buys in all of the places just mentioned.  The “trick” is to know who you’re shopping for and what that person really likes.  A gift is a gift, and that person will feel even better knowing that you took special care to find him or her something that is unique to what their interest is in.  Use your judgement as to the condition of the gift and how it will be presented.

There are plenty of things you can find with the original tags still on them, if that is your main concern.  Do not discount the pawn shops and secondhand stores for things such as computers and software, as well as sporting goods and camping equipment.  If somebody has an interest in something that isn’t able to be done in this time of the year (such as a champion distance swimmer, for example), then find them some things they can set aside and use when they’re able to do what it is that they love to do.

I once knew a young man who lived near to me who was an outstanding athlete (football), and I found a really nice set of weights and a bench in the paper for sale…bought the whole nine yards at about 20% of what it would all cost…cleaned it all up, gave the bench a fresh coat of paint…and voila!  He and his parents were ecstatic.  That was ten years ago, and the kid is all grown up now, but he still smiles and tells me how much he uses (still!) that set of weights I bought for him.

You can do the same: find things that are unique and hard to come by.  If it won’t make a gift, then pick it up for yourself.  Remember, it is part of your preps if it’s for you, and good PR if it’s a gift for someone you know.  Having a good time should be part of the whole quest.  This is usually not the case for most, but it can be if you use this method for yourself.  Turn a shopping spree into a treasure hunt by targeting exactly what you’re going to buy.  Turn it into an occasion to hone your deal-making skills, and maybe even to barter.  Not using an “approved” Federal Reserve Note to make your purchases…wow, that’s a “fringe” thought, is it not?  Enjoy yourself and make it an adventure that can hone your skills.  Economics will always be part of survival, and everything can be a challenge that improves your skills.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published December 1st, 2017

Vitamin C: A Powerful Weapon During Cold and Flu Season

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 07:09

Following Benjamin Franklin’s saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” you can bolster your chances to avoid the headaches of cold and flu season by an intake of Vitamin C.  Every article I have written on supplements I have included the caveat of asking your friendly family physician for permission.  This is not to cover my backside (although it does help), but because there are many people who may have underlying health problems that do not permit the use of certain supplements.  If you fall into that category, then check before you indulge.

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That being said, let’s discuss Vitamin C and the benefits that can be derived from its intake.  The normal “FDA Recommended Daily Allowance” is 60 mg per person per day.  It is hard to “overdose” from Vitamin C, as it is a water-soluble vitamin.  What this means is that any excess of it not utilized by the body’s metabolism is excreted in the urine.  As a “Nice to Know factoid,” all vitamins are water-soluble except for Vitamins A, D, E, and K, the fat-soluble vitamins.  These guys are taken in and then stored in the fatty tissues of your body.  A good acronym to remember this by is the acronym “All Dogs Eat Kids,” as a mnemonic to help you recall this checklist when buying your vitamins.

The common cold occurs as exposure to the cold virus (usually of indeterminate type or origin) and then can progress to a bacterial infection when the tissues of the nose and throat are weakened and permit entry of bacteria.  Secondary infections, replete with blood and purulent discharge (pus) then follow.  Truly a miserable one-two punch but with proper planning, you can prep for this season!  Linus Pauling (a double Nobel Laureate: for Chemistry, and also the Nobel Peace Prize) recommended a daily intake of 70 to 250 mg of Vitamin C, also known as Ascorbic Acid.

This recommendation came not only as an answer to the common cold.  Pauling found in his research that Vitamin C is very important for wound healing and recovery from burns.  The pioneer in the field was Dr. Irwin Stone of Staten Island, New York, a biochemist.  His principal thesis based on studies and research conducted for more than thirty years concluded that the FDA recommendation of 60 mg was inadequate.  Dr. Stone determined the optimal amount of Vitamin C for the human body is between 3 grams and 5 grams…. translating into 3,000 mg to 5,000 mg.

Dr. Stone recommended a regimen of taking 1.5 grams (1,500 mg) of high-quality, high-level ascorbic acid in the form of a powder as a standard daily dose, taken in water or juice.  His self-tested method was to take 1,500 mg whenever the symptoms of a cold developed, and then repeating this for a total of (3) doses given with one hour in between each dose…until the symptoms abated.    In 1968, a Dr. Edme Regnier discovered that large doses of Vitamin C were effective both in preventing and treating the common cold, and his research completely corroborated the work of Dr. Stone.  His studies arrived at these results over a five-year period.

Dr. Linus Pauling (mentioned earlier) in his pioneering work also defined Orthomolecular medicine as the “preservation of good health and the treatment of disease by varying the concentrations in the human body of substances normally present in the body required for health” in 1968.  His work and research with Vitamin C is a study in holistic health that was taken very seriously by a young New Yorker who eventually earned a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from Berkeley in California.  That New Yorker, a Michael Weiner wrote several books based on Pauling’s studies and is today best known on his talk radio show as Michael Savage.

The good thing about Vitamin C is that it is a “wonder-vitamin” that is not dangerous nor invasive.  It does not come with the problems associated with other treatments of antibiotics and pharmaceutical regimens and can be readily found in vitamin form and by consuming foods rich in it such as fruits and vegetables.

One of the problems people face with nutrition in terms of vitamins and supplements is that they feel the need to have some “central authority-figure” certify their every move and consumption of them.  Although we mentioned there are some people that need to consult the doctor first, these are people with specific health concerns.  Ben Franklin also said, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”  You can use Vitamin C as a powerful aid to prevention and treatment of colds during the cold season.  It is not a “certain” cure-all, but it certainly will benefit you and is not dangerous as are many prescribed medications out there on the market.

These pioneers in medicine, such as Dr. Stone, Dr. Regnier, and Dr. Pauling all took a chance and went against the traditional medical establishment.  For every man or woman who states, “I can!” there are at least a hundred telling them that they can’t.  Advances for the entire human race are only made because a few take chances and learn from the failures and successes.  This is the spirit that will allow survivalists to survive what is coming…to rely on knowledge tested and earned by the exertions and sacrifices of others…so that we don’t have to continually reinvent the wheel.  Keep in that good fight, and fight to win.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published November 29th, 2017

Ready Nutrition Holiday 2017 Gift Guide

Sun, 11/26/2017 - 16:40

Merry Christmas, Friends! It’s time for our annual holiday gift guide. Whether you’re a prepper looking for some practical gifts for loved ones, a homesteader looking for more sustainable-oriented products or the tactician of the family – we’ve got you covered! These are some products that I personally own or have on my wishlist (Can somebody share this list with my hubby?) This is the season of joy and giving to those we love. Enjoy your holiday shopping! I hope you LOVE these amazing products as much as I do! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Tess and Ready Nutrition Staff

 

A Few of Our Favorite Things Preppers

High-Quality Sleeping Bag

Anti-Radiation Pills

Berkey Water Filter

Canteen

Zippo

Solar Charger

 

Tacticians

Gerber Mark II Tactical Knife

Monocular

Lock Picking Set

Submersible Amateur Ham Radio

Acme Crate Tactical Stocking

 

Homesteaders

The Ready Nutrition™ Brand Vegetable Garden-In-A-Can

Food Sealing Starter Kit

Sun Oven 

Mason Jar Fermenting Kit

 

Some other great gift ideas!

There are some great prepper fiction books out there as well as non-fiction. Whether your favorite prepper reads books on the economy, fiction, cookbooks, or off-grid living, there’s a book for them. Check out Amazon or Barnes and Noble for a complete list. Some of my favorite books I have on my shelf are:

 

Here are some shopping lists for Christmases past: 201320142015, 2016

 

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published November 26th, 2017

Operational Essential Task Lists for When the “S” Hits the Fan

Fri, 11/24/2017 - 05:29

ReadyNutrition Readers, this is “Part 2” of our METL series.  To refresh, METL is a military acronym that translates into “Mission Essential Task List.”  Part 1 covered a METL for training and how to prepare yourself and your family in terms of what to study and practice.  This second part gives the tasks you will all need to be proficient in when the “S” hits the fan and everything comes unglued.

Try and understand that this list can be changed and modified to fit the needs of a family and their idiosyncrasies.  Each family is different and unique in terms of physical conditioning, skill-sets, geographic location, and family demographics, there will be different challenges facing each family even in the same disaster.

These are tasks that all the family members…the ones able physically, mentally, and chronologically…should be proficient in.  Let’s do it!

  1. First Aid: Everyone in the family should learn about bandaging and splinting (termed “sticks and rags” in the Army). How to dress a wound, run a simple set of sutures, clear and maintain an airway, perform CPR, treat for heat and cold weather injuries.  About a year ago, we did a series on Field First Aid that you may wish to refer to for a refresher on these tasks.  Also: if you have any family members who have special medical needs…all the rest of your family needs to know how to take care of them…from injections to the administration of oxygen.
  2. Essential Outdoor Survival Skills: Building a Fire, Disinfecting/Treating Water, Construct a Lean-to or Erecting a Tent, Cleaning and Cooking Wild game, fowl, or fish. These are some of the tasks.  Depending on your geographic locale and the season of the year, there may be a substantial number of tasks added that require proficiency.
  3. NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical): training for each member of the family of how to properly seat and use a protective (gas) mask, how to decontaminate skin, clothing, and vehicles, how to read a dosimeter, how to construct and use a Kearney Fallout meter, how to use and read a Radiological Survey Meter (aka: Geiger Counter), how to find and take shelter from fallout, how to protect your equipment from an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse).
  4. Defensive Measures: Complete proficiency with firearms (field stripping, cleaning, zeroing, and marksmanship), how to patrol your property (we just covered that in a recent article), how to perform guard duty, radio watch, and gather local intelligence. How to work as a team with your family members in a defensive perimeter, with clearing a room or building, and how to make an orderly retreat/withdrawal while covering one another.  Emphasis needs to be placed on communications (both radio and visual, such as hand and arm signals).
  5. Map Reading and Land Navigation: Everyone who is able needs to learn to use a compass and read a map. Short and long land navigation exercises (on foot and vehicular) need to be trained.  Day and night land navigation need to be studied and practiced.  The field expedient methods of direction need to be known to all family members, such as finding north with the sun and the shadow-tip method and using the Big Dipper and Cassiopeia at night to find the North Star.  We have covered this information in previous articles at ReadyNutrition.  Everyone needs to know their pace count with and without gear.
  6. Physical Training: The family needs to be physically fit and healthy. Emphasis needs to be placed on calisthenics and/or weightlifting.  A family that is fit is a family that can fight.  Martial skills such as boxing or the oriental fighting arts need to be pursued.  Proper diet, nutrition, and study of both subjects need to be undertaken regularly.
  7. Specialty Skills: include (but aren’t limited to) how to hotwire a vehicle, how to drive a semi/motorcycle/snowmobile/pilot a boat, how to move cross-country in the snow with snowshoes/skis/sleds/toboggans, etc. The specialty skill can pertain to a peculiarity of your geographical region, or it can be a common task you all agree that it would behoove you to learn.

These are your tasks for starters.  These are tasks that everyone needs to know how to do when everything comes apart…to be able to operate as a family and as individuals working for the good of your family.  It is up to you to examine these tasks and build on them as you see fit.  Once they are identified, you can incorporate these tasks that need to be worked on into your Training METL given in the last article.  Keep fighting that good fight, and stay organized with a METL for yourself and your family!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published November 24th, 2017

Stay in Shape: How to Winterize Your Home Gym

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 05:10

We have covered a host of different articles on everything from protein intake to the use of supplements and vitamins.  One of the problems that occur with the advent of the cold weather is that John Q. Citizen slows his activities down during the winter and stays inside his home, becoming sedentary.  After the winter is thawed out, John is gone, to re-emerge from his house as the Michelin Man.

I have friends of mine that ask me all the time after the winter ends.  “JJ, I just don’t understand it…how did I get so heavy during the winter!”

It is not a mystery.

First thing you do, put down the fork.  Secondly, you have to exercise and train.  Nobody wants to in the wintertime, especially in their cold basement or if they have weights out on the back porch or in a shed.  The wintertime comes, and you have to keep up the exercise.  My gym is self-contained on the porch of my cabin.  I’ve lifted outside when it is -10 degrees F, straight up temperature.  There are a few things I do to lower the cold and its effects.  You can do these things, too, in your gym at home.

Take the bite out of cold outdoor winter workouts

If you have a basement gym or a porch gym, the first thing you do is close the gaps.  My front porch is wood, and I close up the gaps by laying down a rubberized mat…almost akin to a carpet.  It covers the floor/porch boards and prevents both moisture and cold from entering the porch.  I also have it closed off and weatherized for the winter.  I take a space heater and place it on a large piece of ceramic tile and heat it up for about 15 minutes prior to my workout.

I use weightlifting gloves, but when it goes below 32 F I need to use gloves that cover the entire hand.  I prefer mittens with leather-like palms.  Next thing, I place a blanket over the entrance to the porch and leave it just open a little on the sides to allow air to circulate.  I pre-prep all of my water bottles with warm water…and this way keep it from being bone-chillingly cold when I drink.

If you can’t pick up a rubberized carpet somewhere, you can take plastic (plastic sheeting or even plastic garbage bags opened up by slitting them at the edges), and lay it down on your surface, then cover this with a blanket.  It helps to keep you from losing heat into the floor and allows the room to be semi-insulated.  I wear full sweats and thermals during the dead of winter, a size too big to allow for a good “pump” when I’m done, and to allow me to move without tearing or shredding my clothing at the seams.

“Part of your survival will depend on your being in good physical shape.”

Remember to incorporate your winter chores into your workout!  I did several pieces on how woodcutting and snow-shoveling are more than just tasks…they are the exercise for you.  They should be factored into your routine for workouts.  The winter is not just a time to sit around and eat all of what you designate as “surplus” to be eaten instead of stored for preps.  Part of your survival will depend on your being in good physical shape.  Don’t stop training just because it is cold outside or that front porch seems so unfriendly to your routine.  Change that environment and make it work for you.  Stay in that good fight, and don’t stop the training!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published November 22nd, 2017

Blood is Not Always Thicker Than Water: Why Some Family Members Shouldn’t Be Considered for the Prepper Group

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 06:20

 

This article will be a sensitive subject and a sore spot for many readers.  This piece is designed to provide “food for thought” for a difficult question that will arise for every family during their preparations.  I state emphatically that it will arise.  So many times, in our studies and preparations we approach things from a “dry,” pragmatic approach that accounts for everything in the manner of an accountant.  We figure out the dollar amounts of our canning supplies, figure out the logistical needs for the family, etc., and come up with totals on a sheet.

One thing not accounted for and factored into these calculations is human behavior and the effects that it has on the family and the family’s resources.

I have spoken with many people over the course of my time in the Rocky Mountains.  It seems that every family has their “Cousin It,” so to speak: A label I am employing to describe an incorrigible family member who has never “come around” in all the years of his or her life.  No matter what happens, you can always depend on “It” to remain constant.  Cousin It may have stolen, abused substances, been constantly combative or argumentative with family and neighbors alike…a “wild man with his hand against everyone, and everyone’s hand against him,” so to speak.

The big problem is that most families tend to “incorporate” these incorrigible family members into their plans for preparation and survival.  They feel compelled to give it a try…never taking past behavior into account.  Another thing families do is “lie” to themselves: “Cousin It will be alright…he’ll change his ways when it hits the fan, and we’ll get everything straightened out then.”

No, he won’t be alright when it hits the fan.  Adversity doesn’t build character: it reveals it.

You are allowed to cut your losses on this one.  Look to history.  Lot’s wife wanted to persist in what she wanted and was turned into a pillar of salt.  The rest of the family moved on, without looking back.  Brining us to the way to deal with such a thing:

You do what you can until you can’t do any more…and then weigh the welfare of the group.

This is a tough subject, isn’t it?  You’ll have to search inside of yourself and what you believe in…but you’ll also have to be a realist who takes into consideration others who may not be able to make such a choice…others depending upon you to make the right move.  If “Cousin It” happens to be drunken Uncle Ed who beat his wife and children regularly over the past 20 years and still hits the bottle…do you want him in the fallout shelter with you and the rest of your family?  Or how about Cousin Tina who is addicted to Oxycodone.  Are you going to let her in?

You can try with these people up until the time that the “S” hits the fan: after that, you’ll have to cut your losses in the interest of preserving yourself and your family.

The saying that “blood is thicker than water” is true, and many times teams of more than one family will be ruined because one or more of the family members…incorrigibles, if you will…are factored into the teams when everyone knows full well they cannot be depended upon.  This is a serious issue that will take a lot of time to discuss among the family members prior to a final decision.  I strongly believe this should take place, and then there should be a discussion with “Cousin It” as a group…prior to a collapse event.  Afford the opportunity for a “turnaround,” but give it the time to observe the actual actions of that family member.

When it hits the fan, a decision will have to be made, and that decision is not something that will just affect “Cousin It.”  If things have not changed and he or she is taken in?  It may mean action in the future that can jeopardize the survival of the whole group.  Think it over carefully, and most importantly, think objectively and not just with the heart.  It may mean the difference between life and death for more than just one individual.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published November 20th, 2017

Staying Safe Online: Five Cyber Safety Tips Every Parent Should Teach Their Kids

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 05:46

Years ago, when my kids were in elementary school, I let one of them play a kid’s game on my computer. Hours later, when I got back on the computer, I had a virus. This was our first of many discussions about cyber safety.

It’s safe to say that the internet is increasingly becoming more of an unsafe place thanks to new cyber threats coming out and child predators finding more sophisticated ways of accessing our children’s accounts. While this frightens parents, it doesn’t seem to stop children from wanting to get online to play games, hang out with friends, or research. Parents must stay ever vigilant in making sure children know the threats that are out there.

As a parent, I have explained the dangers on the internet and what they need to avoid, but is this enough? We say our “Stay Safe Online and Keep Away From Perverts” lecture and send them on their merry way? There is much more that we must explain to them!

Part of having the responsibility of being on the internet is using it safely. These tips are musts for ensuring your kids are staying safe online.

  1. What you put out into the internet stays there even if you delete it. It is important to understand this and avoid making off-hand comments, bullying statements to other kids, etc. What you put on the internet now will stay on the internet. That means your future boss could read it, your children’s children could read it, so be aware of this.
  2. Check your basic security to see what is showing up on search engines. Doing a simple Google search on your name, address, etc. to see if your personal information is protected is a great start in making sure your kids are staying safe. Moreover, teach them to keep this information off the internet. That means not adding this to social media accounts. To be clear, kids and teens should not post their email address, physical home address, phone numbers or any information that compromises the safety of the family.
  3. Use the strictest privacy settings for social media accounts. With 73% of teens and 68% of young adults on social media, it’s hard to avoid. You still have a say in where they “socialize” online, so be present when they are setting up their accounts to ensure their privacy is protected. As well, instruct them not to put personal information out there. For instance, a teen posts a message on Facebook indicating the family is leaving for the weekend and the house will be vacant. If the teen has posted their address at any time on their account, then they have painted a target on themselves and exposed that family to a possible break-in. Asking a trusted friend to see what personal information they can find on your social media accounts can also give you a different perspective and see what others are seeing on your account.
  4. Change your passwords. Keep your accounts safe from hacking by regularly changing the password. And no matter what you do, don’t use “password” or “12345” as your password. Make your password unpredictable using alphanumeric phrases. Here are some tips for creating an unhackable password.
  5. Check your computer regularly and search for viruses. Part of being on the internet is ensuring the computer you are using isn’t infected with virus software.

For added safety, use these same tips for cellular phone and text message safety as well. Instruct children not to accept unknown phone numbers. Kids should only answer phone calls and text messages from their contact list.

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published November 17th, 2017

Essential Skills, Tasks, and Training for Preppers and Survivalists: Part 1

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 06:11

For this article, we’re going to go into “basic focus” mode: you start out with the basics and build upon them.  This is the type of mindset and foundation that work for everything in life (basically).  You use it as a format in everything you do, such as building a home or when you begin an exercise program.  In this vein, we’re going to create a Training METL: A Mission-Essential Task List for your Training as a basis for well-rounding yourself.  This is Part 1 of a 2-part series.

What is your focus?  What type of work do you do?  How do you allocate your time?  A short time ago, I wrote a piece on the importance of self-analysis: creating a true picture of yourself, your strengths, and areas that you need to improve in.  This holds true here, as you identify and prioritize your goals, with an overall objective in mind.  Here is an overall objective for you:

To survive and thrive as you and your family develop physically, mentally, and spiritually to well-round yourselves and prepare for any disaster that arises.

Simple enough.  The Mission-Essential Task List for Training can become a big part in actually realizing that objective and maintaining it.  This METL (called “Metal” in the Army) for your use will use broad categories to train and prepare that you can refine as your needs change and your skills improve.  Let’s start it off!

  1. Physical Training: It all starts here, with whatever you do to be able to “hang with the big dogs!”  Whether you’re a Triathlete, a weightlifter, a boxer, or a swimmer, you need to take your personal forte and tailor it to the maximum productive capacity.  Outline your training schedule, plan short and long-term goals for improvement, and take copious notes!  If you’re a swimmer, do you want to swim the English Channel?  If you’re a marathon runner, do you want to set a personal record for yourself?  Want to “up your max” on the bench press by 50 lbs.?  Part of your training is to identify your goals, and work up to them.  Tie in what you can do with the tasks you will need to accomplish as a survivor.  This also has to do with your overall body fat content (what is your goal?) and your measurements of weight, and tape.  Physical training is not an accessory: it is a priority!
  2. Martial/Fighting Arts Training: this is in the form of self-defense, such as Karate or the Martial Arts, or Boxing.  This also takes the form of skill with weapons and firearms.  We’re talking about combat with knives, with a staff, with PR-24’s or batons.  We’re mentioning rifle and pistol marksmanship and proficiency with every aspect of them…field stripping and cleaning, small repairs, maintenance, zeroing those weapons and scopes…the whole picture.  Your gym should also have a heavy bag (as mentioned in past articles).  You should have a definitive training plan with goals to meet.  An example could be to go a whole 3-round “bout” against your heavy bag, with 3-minute rounds and 30 seconds of rest in between.  An example with firearms could be to pick up any weapon…disassemble it blindfolded, identify the component parts and parts groups, reassemble it, perform functions check, and then drop the blindfold and put three rounds in the bull at 25 meters (75 feet) with iron sights at a one-inch shot group.  Sound tough?  High goals will yield high performance.  You can do it.
  3. New Skills: Work on one per 2 weeks or one per month.  Whatever you can handle.  Electricity, mechanics, home canning, medicine.  Take your pick.  Give yourself courses of instruction both on your own and with someone if possible.  You can never study enough, and as mentioned earlier, a good training calendar will really help you iron out the rough spots.
  4. Cross-Training the Family: Many people concentrate so much on individual tasks and studies that they neglect the group.  The training for a group and preparation can be just as important to you as an individual.  If you are the leader of your group and/or family, it will make your job that much easier if you know that your family members know what to do in an emergency and can help you.
  5. Book Learnin’!  Yes indeed, Study:  You need to well-round yourself and also to concentrate on the specifics of your specialties.  Know those ballistic tables for your reloading of your firearms…and know them cold.  Attention to detail.  Get the rest of the family involved.  Study to show yourself approved, a workman worthy of his craft.  Your goal is to survive.  You need to study and become a professional in all of these areas.
  6. Tying in the tasks and Practicum: Yes, outlining all of the functions of the family’s training and preparation…and then you need to come up with a realistic and safe training exercise for yourself.  Regularly.  This doesn’t necessarily mean under “ideal” or “Holly Hobby” conditions…but when it’s raining outside, and 40 degrees, and getting dark.  The more realistic you make your training, the more effective you’ll be when the time comes to do it for “real.”
  7. Meditation and Faith: whatever it is that you follow after, make it a core of your activities.  Learn to develop inner peace and strength by rooting yourself in whatever you follow after.  Be the best that you can be, and face life without fear in your heart and the courage to face it head-on.

These are general categories for you to follow: essential skills, essential tasks, and essential training.  You can refine them with time and practice.  Weigh your priorities, and honestly assess yourself and your abilities.  You will see improvement in areas only if you take action in those areas.  Part 2 will cover the actual “tasks” that you need to focus on (METL) when the “S” hits the fan.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published November 15th, 2017

When a Zippo Is Not Enough, These Fire Starting Materials Could Be a Lifesaver

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 06:09

ReadyNutrition Readers, this piece is a reiteration of fire-starting basics in terms of materials to stockpile for yourselves, for your winter-fires or for a grid-down/collapse event.  You can place these materials in your home, in your “Bug-Out” bag, your vehicle, and in your work locations.  Sometimes the Zippo lighter is not enough, and you need a little more material in order to “kick start” your fires.  Let’s cover some of them as well as simple procedures to keep them waterproof.

There are several types of stormproof and windproof matches.  The company I recommend for them are UCO windproof and waterproof matches.  You can purchase these at Cabela’s or you can visit the site at UCO gear.

These guys deliver, and they come within a case that keeps them waterproof (even though they can be submerged under water and then struck on virtually any surface).  At $5 to $7 they’re a good investment.  Strike anywhere matches can be waterproofed, however, they are hygroscopic, meaning they absorb moisture/humidity/water with time.

Along with matches, you’ll need a good lighter.  Everyone is familiar with the Zippo, that works on white gas/Coleman fuel, as well as gasoline.  They are good to have for a backup when the times are tough, and butane is in short supply.  The drawbacks lie in the fact that they leak, meaning the lighter doesn’t stay closed and loses/evaporates its fuel.  Also, you need flints and wicks with them.

For disposables, I really like the ones made by Djeep, a French firm.  They are short, rectangular, and stubby, and they both take a beating and are dependable.  It can’t hurt to pick up a few dozen of them.  The “El-Cheapo” lighters made in Vietnam are unreliable and will not work when the time comes.  If you can’t get hold of Djeeps, stick with your Bics, as there is usually better quality control over them than in the “off” brands.

As far as fire-starting materials are concerned, I have recommended in previous articles that you refrain from buying some commercial fire-starters as in Coughlans or another name-brand.  Buy a fire log in your local grocery store.  The fire logs are made of sawdust and paraffin and wrapped up after they are compressed in paper that can also be burnt.  You slice off a section of the fire log, wrap it in paper (try wax paper) and stick the “slice” in a Ziploc bag.  Voila!  You just made a piece that is larger than those paltry “sticks” they sell for $7 or more.  Remember to cap off the end of the fire log with a plastic bag and then rubber-band it secure.

There are plenty of metal matches and fire-starting strikers out on the market.  A good metal match is a plus as well, and many of these come in self-contained plastic tubules that prevent the match from getting wet.  They also usually come with a tool to help you strike off sparks.  My preference is the magnesium bar with the flint rod attached to the back of the long edge in a groove.  You shave off shavings of the magnesium bar with a knife and then strike sparks onto the shavings using the flint rod.  Waterproof these with the Ziploc bag or a small Tupperware container.

Lint from the lint-guard of your dryer can be blended with some paraffin to make the fire-starting material. Here’s an easy DIY article to make these. You can also add sawdust, or use it on its own.  Another thing: a small syringe can be a lifesaver if you don’t have any of these materials around.  You can use this syringe to take a small amount of gasoline, oil, alcohol, or other combustible material to inundate either wood shavings, leaves, or other material to make a fire.  There are plenty of small tricks that you can do.  A small 9 Volt battery (rectangular, with male and female terminals) can be placed to touch plain (“unsoaped”) steel wool to produce a flame.

Prep all these materials by making them waterproof or water-resistant whether or not they are already made as such.  The reason being is that protective casings also protect them from spills or contamination by other chemicals or situations.  Preventative measures are always much easier than trying to start at a “deficit” of needing the materials when the “suck” factor (weather, dangerous surroundings, etc.) is high.  Fight that good fight each day, and prep as if there’s no tomorrow.  There probably is, but if it arrives and everything goes down the tubes, you won’t have any more time to prepare.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published November 13th, 2017

Know Your Enemy: 9 Prepper Truths You Need for Defense Preparations

Fri, 11/10/2017 - 05:06

ReadyNutrition Readers, we just covered a segment on self-assessment and knowing yourself.  I had mentioned a paraphrase from Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” that covered that segment as well as this current article: “Know yourself and know your enemy.”  We are focusing on the latter part of that one: the enemy.  There are several subtleties attached to that short phrase.

9 Prepper Truths You Need to Prepare a Mental Foundation 1. As men are almost identical in many respects, if you know what you are, then you will know what your enemy is.

We’re going to really get into this one in a second.  Here is another subtlety:

2. By knowing your own weaknesses and shortcomings, you recognize things that can stop you in your tracks…where you become your own worst enemy!

We covered most of the thought of that in the first article.  But wait!  There’s more!

3. By knowing your weaknesses, you also understand weaknesses and shortcomings that other men are subjected to and suffer, just as you.

Oh, that’s a deep one!  The “drives” that you may have are the same weaknesses and drives that hamper other people…the ones you will have to face on the Day of Collapse.  Let’s summarize this and not “blow away” the English-speaking minds:

  1. By knowing your own qualities and capabilities, you can surmise those of others…for we are men (human beings).
  2. Recognizing your own qualities that are negative helps you to prevent them from making you your own worst enemy.
  3. Recognizing that where you are weak and fall short…others suffer from the same shortcomings.

Perhaps this sounds as if it’s a psychological treatise.  Perhaps.  Consider this: there’s a great deal that can be learned and accomplished in the application of this “pseudo-science,” as most people consider it…although many behavioral patterns and actions are spot on.  Know yourself, and know your enemy.  What are you?  What is your enemy?  Well, there was a psychologist by the name of Abraham Maslow.  He came up with a “needs pyramid” with the “hierarchy of needs” as human beings run.  Here it is:

There is a lot of truth to this.  Analyze the pyramid.  Here is the key:  You need all of these things, and so does the enemy.

4. The true challenge is to identify the enemy…when he is not you.  What will we face?  A foreign invasion?  A government that lapses into total tyranny?  A band of marauders?  Or will we simply be faced with neighbors that band together to kill us and take our supplies?

In any of those cases, all of the men and women you face have those needs outlined in that pyramid.  It is not so much an “oversimplification,” as it is examining humans from an anthropological perspective and trying to determine what drives them.

5. If you have anything you can use (foodstuffs, medicine, tools, clothing, or weapons, among other things), then you can bank on the fact that others will want it, as well.

I will give you some of my personal stances.  I don’t believe in a policy of appeasement.  What this means is (if you’ve ever watched the movie “The Postman,” for example) you can’t give an aggressor something to “buy off” his or her aggression and think you’re done there.  If anything, it will just be the beginning.  It didn’t work too well for the allies prior to WWII kicking off.  It never works.  It may buy you a little time, but the raiders will be back, to demand more and more from you, until eventually they’ll just swoop in and take it all away.

6. Appeasement is a weakness that leads to conquest, enslavement, and death.

This is why you must follow Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War!”  It gives the answer (albeit I paraphrase, and from different sections):

7. “Where strong in numbers, appear weak.  Where weak, feign strength.  All of warfare is based on deception.”

These are true.  They work if you will employ them.  Part of knowing your enemy takes another form, an aspect that is just as much a key to your victory as knowing the general makeup of man/humanity:

8. You must conduct proper reconnaissance and know your enemy specifically.

What are his numbers?  What are his strengths?  What are his limitations?  What weapons is he carrying, how mobile is he, and can he call on any allies for support?  What drives him?  Is he driven as a wandering Vandal or Visigoth, simply plundering and stealing at will, or does he have greater organizational capabilities and some kind of “vision” for himself and his marauding band?  How committed is he?  How experienced is he?  How strong is his personal leadership?  Is it augmented by cadre, by “officers” as committed to his cause and to him as he, the leader is?

Do you see how much detail there is to this?  You can’t just go through the motions: you must follow through!  I emphasize this because I know from experience.

9. I emphasize these matters because you’re my countrymen, and when the battle comes to you, your homes, and your families… I want you to win it, and live.

If you don’t have all of these bases covered, these strategies and approaches worked out before you engage, then you’ll have your “fourth point of contact” handed to you on a platter.  Trust me: I was instructed how to do all of this, and I truly learned these things by making the mistakes.

To summarize, know how we are as men/human beings.  Know the things that drive us (from positive and negative drives), and understand these inherent weaknesses and drives are common to all mankind.  When you have that base covered, conduct good intelligence…it is not found…it is made.  Make good intelligence out of recon conducted on your enemy…those that threaten your home and family.  Know everything about them, and then know when to engage and when not to.  When to hold ‘em, fold ‘em, walk away, and run…as Kenny Rogers would state it.  Fight that good fight, know your enemy, and most of all make sure you know the one who can be the greatest enemy: know yourself.  JJ out!

 

Additional Reading:

Adaptability: the Key to Ongoing Survival when the SHTF

Little Victories: Lessons in Mental Preparedness from SERE School

Hardcore Walking Dead Survival Tips for Preppers

The Warrior Mentality: Controlled and Purposed Action in a Post Collapse Combat Situation

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published November 10th, 2017

These are the Diseases that Could be Unleashed in a Bio-Weapon from North Korea

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 17:47

There have been several articles circulating over the past several weeks pertaining to the Biological Weapons capability of North Korea, as well as delivery systems for those weapons.  I’m going to provide the title and the source for one of these articles for your perusal, and then we’re going to cover the “meat and potatoes” of this article: meds needed against such attacks.

North Korea is ‘mass producing biological weapons’ and could unleash smallpox, cholera, plague, and anthrax on US troops,” by Patrick Knox of The Sun, 10/22/17 

Diseases that Could Be Used As BioWeapons

Let’s give brief overviews of the diseases, now.

  1. Smallpox: (bacterium Variola minor) A very horrible disease indeed.  The last naturally-occurring case was in 1977.  It was one of the most severe diseases to afflict mankind, and was “eradicated.”  Not in the labs, though.  Militaries all over the world (to include the U.S. and North Korea) possess it.  The disease is easy enough to reproduce, as cowpox (a similar disease occurring in cattle) can be mutated to form smallpox.  The treatment is the smallpox vaccine, which should be administered within 3 days to be able to arrest the disease and heal the patient.  The problem is the only smallpox vaccine supplies are controlled by the U.S. government…in their secret warehouses, in unknown numbers…at taxpayer expense.

2. Plague: (the bacterium Yersinia pestis) We just covered treatment medications for the bubonic plague in previous articles, as the pneumonic plague is spreading in Africa (11 nations at the time of this writing), a severe form of bubonic plague that affects the lungs.  We mentioned that Ciprofloxacin (or Cipro) is a drug with a long shelf-life that can be acquired for your pet fish from pet veterinary medication suppliers.  ‘Nuff said there.

3. Anthrax: (bacterium Bacillus anthracis) The spores of the bacteria are the method this disease is spread.  Two forms of antibiotics can be used to treat the infection…Doxycycline, and [Drum-Roll!] Ciprofloxacin, once again.

As I had mentioned in other articles, Cipro has a long shelf life, and as you see here, it can be used against both Anthrax and Plague

4. Cholera: (bacterium Vibrio cholerae) This disease attacks the digestive system and causes diarrhea and loss of electrolytes.  Vomiting and intensely-painful muscular cramps accompany it.  As vomiting and diarrhea are occurring, the body loses both acids and bases respectively, and dehydration (if left unchecked with good oral and/or IV replacement) can lead to death.  Doxycycline, once again, is effective, and guess what else?  [Drum-Roll!]  Ciprofloxacin, yet a third time!

Antibiotics Will Be a Lifesaver!

One of the reasons I’ve focused on Cipro?  Check it out yourself.  Try and get ahold of Doxycycline, and you’ll find it next to impossible.  This is because the government (that’s the U.S. government, starting under Obama) bought up most of it as it was listed as a “critical National Defense material” and stockpiled in those government warehouses, for distribution by the government…at taxpayer expense.

For the rest of us outside of the bunkers and not dining on steak and lobster at taxpayer expense, Ciprofloxacin is the way to go.

We’ve mentioned these four diseases and what is needed to treat them.  We have had great comments [Special “kudos” for Craig Escaped Detroit who gave a plethora of good info] and interaction that have been helpful to other readers and to Miss Tess and I as well.  Keep the interaction coming…it’s what gives all of us the edge.  I also encourage you to read past articles we’ve written about biological warfare that are in the archives.  We’ll do another piece to cover some more equipment and preps in the days ahead.  JJ out!

 

Additional Reading:

Biological Warfare 101: Knowledge and Preparation are your Keys to Survive

Biological Warfare 101: What Weapons and Tactics Governments Use Against You

Biological Warfare: Protecting Yourself Against Mankind’s Deadliest Weaponized Diseases

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published November 8th, 2017

Prepper Strategy: Vital Considerations When Planning a Bug-Out Location

Fri, 11/03/2017 - 05:16

ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, this piece is meant to stimulate thought and action toward having a place to retreat to if the time comes.  I know, everybody is going to defend their piece of land to the death when the SHTF.  How about when the SHTF in another matter…akin to our fellow citizens with Hurricane Harvey?  Stands to reason that the numbers of the displaced and homeless are starting to mount.  Whatever the “end event” may be, there always exists the possibility that you must flee.  Let’s explore some criteria and options.

By this time (long in the tooth/late in the game) you should have already formulated a plan…a “Plan B” if you wish for where to run.  If you have not, you need to consider these criteria.  Many of you (especially the naysayers, skeptics, and trolls) will “what if” these criteria to death.  Use the basics and apply them to the situation that arises.

  1. How far away is either national forest or woods to retreat into?
  2. Does the area you plan on fleeing to have a water supply, food (in the form of game or forage), isolated from groups of people, and out of the radius of the initial event (hurricane, nuclear attack, etc.)?
  3. Can you reach it? This takes into consideration your route planning…using the road, waterways, or possibly an air escape.  Traffic patterns, viable roads, and gridlock must be factored into your planning.
  4. Will you be alone or will other families be with you, and/or waiting for your arrival?

This last part is very important.  It is one thing to plan on going to a safer area, but it is quite another to have one prepared and waiting for you.  Now is the time to act on things.  Now is the time to formulate a good, solid plan of action and stick to it when the time arrives.  Do not suffer from the “paralysis of analysis,” because you can plan for years and then fail when the time comes to make a decision to act.

There are too many factors to be able to list in under ten pages single-spaced.  We’re trying to generate some ideas and also to stimulate thought toward a viable plan.  When the SHTF arrives?  Here’s a good rule of thumb to follow: Everybody will be “needy” and need what you have, and you will need the things that others have.

That house out in the country by the Everglades where your cousin lives?  Maybe a good time to see what you can contribute to it and what kind of alliance you can form.  You need to do your research and find out about uninhabited cabins in parks and recreational areas.  Do your research and find out about hotels or travel lodges that are beginning to shut down with the close of the summer.  As survivalists, you understand the physical needs of material support and safety for your families.  Now is the time to research a place to flee to if need be.

Here’s a “spark” for the mind: What if more than one thing happens?

Chances are one thing may spark other things, such as a nuclear war may trigger large fires of the likes of which we’re experiencing currently in the northwest.  You may have multiple problems to deal with, and if you have to abandon ship (your home) you want to have a place to go, already planned out if not stocked up and prepared.

Planning promotes a good follow-through.  Formulate that plan and inventory your equipment.  Don’t just plan on one location to flee to: you should have multiple locations.  You may flee your town to avoid a nuclear war, only to find you end up in an area where forest fires have been raging for months.  Game it out at every angle, and start gaming it now.  I can’t even tell you how many people e-mail me their desires to leave their home state.  I make a suggestion, and they say, “Well, we’ll have to wait and see.”  Then they give me their reasons.

When a disaster happens, the reasons for not preparing for it will not be good enough and do not provide for the bottom lines…what you and your family need to survive.  Having a place set up to run to is prudent, plain and simple.  Now is the time to put that backup retreat location in order, not after the SHTF.  In the end, when the music stops playing, you’ll want a chair to sit down in.  Keep fighting that good fight.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published November 3rd, 2017

If You Don’t Know the Answers to These Questions, You Need to Work on Your Prepper Mindset

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 06:09

This article’s purpose is to provide you with a framework of ideas for self-assessment.  The piece is Part I of two parts.  It is one of the U.S. Army’s Principles of Leadership to know yourself and seek self-improvement.  This is rooted in a principle that goes back to the time of the Bible, that he who knows himself and controls his passions is stronger than the conqueror of a city.  As conquerors of cities run, few were as adept as Sun Tzu, ancient Chinese warlord, and strategist.  Sun Tzu said to know yourself and to know your enemy, with emphasis on the first part.  It is this part that we concentrate our focus.

Do you know yourself?  It is a fair question.  Survivalist and prepper, yes, but do you really know yourself?  One of the problems that we face in life is that we find our identity, the “who we are” within our interests…of what we do.  If a guy works with electrical outlets and wiring buildings, then he is an electrician and calls himself as such.  Akin to the zombies in George Romero’s movie, “Night of the Living Dead,” we plod through life and live and die within our professions, perhaps changing from one profession to another, but always self-identifying with what we do: a utilitarian identity.

            But who are we?  Do we know ourselves?

Perhaps this is confusing; however, rather than leave you with the question to sort out, let’s place some feedback and framework into it.  Let’s answer a question by asking ourselves more questions.  YOU SHOULD WRITE THESE DOWN ON PAPER, to review.   Let’s do it!

  1. How do you see yourself outright, in what roles in their totality? A husband and father who is a college graduate and works as a master mechanic. That is an example of a potential “first impression” of yourself.
  2. Now…how have you challenged yourself, physically, in your life? Were you an athlete?  Are you still?  What did you accomplish with sports?  What were your awards?  What was your greatest athletic accomplishment, the one you were the proudest of…and why were you proud of it?
  3. Who are your friends? [An old saying: Show me who your friends are, and I’ll show you who you are].  Are you tightly-knit, akin to a family?  Are they “winners” in life, meaning successful at taking care of themselves and their families?  Or are they huddled around a 55-gallon drum with a fire in it, passing around the Popov?
  4. How have you challenged yourself academically and mentally? What are your greatest accomplishments from a scholastic (and perhaps competitive) perspective?  Were you a chess champion?  An “Avalon Hill” game tournament winner?  An excellent speech and debate practitioner?  Do you write?
  5. Service: How have you served something greater than yourself? The Red Cross?  Your church?  In the military, or the Peace Corps?  What were your greatest accomplishments there?  Have you ever saved someone’s life…in peacetime, or in war?  Have you ever been recognized by your peers for your accomplishments?
  6. What are your greatest strengths?
  7. What are your weaknesses, physical, mental, and emotional? Are you prone to a violent temper?  Are you docile to the point of being afraid of confrontation, either verbal or physical?
  8. What skills do you possess? List them all…yes, all of them.  What do you know how to do?  What have you done?  There is a difference between those two parts.  Knowing how to do it is being “technically proficient.”  Actually being able to get it done is being “tactically proficient.”
  9. What are your three greatest skills and strengths?
  10. What is your number one strength…the one that you could match up with anyone in the world that you know of? What is that area where you are a master technician and tactician, performing it so well that you move in the fluid manner of an artist…that when you perform what you do best, it is more akin to an art form?

These are your starting points.  A good self-assessment.  If you are honest with yourself, you will really have some great material to look back on and to use as a tool to find out your goals and how you’re going to achieve them.

Then, #11.  For number 11?  Take one person whom you trust and know will be honest with you…and have them read all of it.  Then ask for their opinion of all of it…especially asking them to be honest with their assessment of your strengths and weaknesses.

How is that for a challenge?  Not only do you have to be honest with yourself, but you should trust someone who you believe in…and face honesty from them.  In this manner, you will be able to form a truly beneficial assessment, and put together two of the component parts:

  1. Who we see ourselves as being, and
  2. Who others see us as being.

When are these determined?  We can then better answer number 3.  Do you know this one?  It returns to the first question I asked you, and the hardest thing to learn:

  1. Who we are.

What a challenge: to find out who you are…take criticism (self and others) to heart, to improve yourself.  You’ll need the courage to do it.  In the end, we can defeat many battles in the fight to prepare and survive.

But the greatest battle you’ll ever face and the toughest opponent will be yourself.  Stay in that good fight, assess yourself, know yourself, and seek self-improvement.  Part 2 we will detail how to know your enemy.  Good luck and God bless!  JJ out!

 

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published November 1st, 2017

Immediate Actions You Must to Take If You’re About to be Attacked

Mon, 10/30/2017 - 05:26

ReadyNutrition Readers, this is a straight-to-the-point segment about some actions and things to keep in mind when you’re attacked by a hoodlum or punk without a firearm.  Most of these “winners” will come at you with a knife, club, pipe, or car antenna.  Actions to be taken if someone pulls a gun on you are different and will not be covered within this article.  This information is meant especially for those without any military or martial-arts training, so Bruce Lee disciples and naysayers, let’s try and keep this concept in mind.

When you’re leaving your place of work or the Happy Family Shopping Mall, you may be taken by surprise by some fool hiding behind a bush or the corner of a dumpster.  In any event, let us cover the main point:

Situational awareness is being aware of where you are at all times, what is happening, and your avenues of escape.

That means all the time, being conscious and cognizant of your surroundings and any “stooges” who wish to throw pies at you, or worse.  By training yourself to be observant, most of the time you can head off a problem at the pass before it materializes.  Now let us take it to the next level: you can’t avoid an encounter with a punk.  Here are some steps to keep in mind:

  1. Equalize
  2. Distance
  3. Extraction/Escape

These steps will help you to reach safety.  Your ultimate objective as an untrained individual is to disengage and escape.  If you wish to continue to fight or to “get one up” on your assailants, that is on you.  Without the proper training and preparation, I advise against it.  I also state that withdrawing from a situation, not of your own choosing is the best option.  It is better to fight only when you have no other choice.  Let’s go over those steps:

  1. Equalize – this means to use whatever you have on hand to make the situation more manageable for you. An assailant comes at you with a knife, and you have an umbrella…you can use the umbrella to interdict between the knife and yourself (if it’s opened) or as a striking tool if it’s closed.  A pocketbook can be used as a “Morningstar/mace” against an attacker with a club or knife.  A jacket carried in-hand can be slung upon the attacker’s face or weapon.  Here are seven improvised objects that can be used for self-defense.  These actions take you to the next step:
  2. Distance – this means to place as much distance as possible between you and the attacker. This can also include getting into a car or vehicle and locking the door behind you.  Your objective with this step is to separate yourself from your attacker and his weapon.  “Distance is your best friend,” as they used to say in the Army.  It is your best friend.  By using that “friend,” you can progress to step number 3.
  3. Escape – Yes, get out of that uncontrolled situation. What you do afterward is your business, but the first rule is to survive and succeed.  Suppose there’s a dozen of these guys, right out of the movie “The Warriors?”  What then?  There’s no use getting into semantics.  Just GOOD (Get Out Of Dodge) while the getting is good!  Escape, call the police and deal with them if you must ON YOUR TERMS, not on theirs.

You should find yourself a veteran or a good martial arts instructor and take some classes or instruction on the finer points of these maneuvers.  We have presented several articles on field-expedient weapons from everyday/common items.  I strongly suggest that you review them.  Practice makes perfect, and there is no substitute for good training that is realistic in scope and conducted with serious intent.  You can use those steps to avoid an attacker.

As Kenny Rogers put it, know when to hold ‘em, fold ‘em, walk away, and run.  Fight that good fight, and fight it smart.  You don’t have to be the smartest guy or gal in the world: just be smarter than the goof that wants to attack you, and remember that discretion is the better part of valor.  Keep calm, stay focused, and if you must fight, then fight to win.  JJ out!

 

Recommended Reading:

Hard Core Chicks: Eight Self Defense Tactics Every Women Should Know

Fight, or Flight? Basic Self-Defense Tips

Blending In: The Secret to Keeping The Target Off Your Back

Fight Like Jason Bourne: 7 Key Points to Surviving a Serious Fight

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published October 30th, 2017

A Open Letter To The Readers of Ready Nutrition About the Prepper Community

Sat, 10/28/2017 - 01:07

 

This article dedicated to ReadyNutrition reader MilkShakeSuds

 

This is a fairly straightforward and simple piece for your benefit as a prepper and survivalist.  Many articles that are placed upon ReadyNutrition’s screen are of use for your records and to serve (at bare minimum) perhaps as an impetus for further studies on the subject.  Do not neglect the comments section!

I wish to personally thank the reader to whom this piece is dedicated, as he sent me some great information on a bicycle motor complete with links and explanation.  The reason for this article is this: you will find a lot of wealth in the comments section from many individuals with talent, skills, and wisdom that they are willing to share.

Whenever you visit a site and research a particular topic, it is easy to screen the “dead weight” and the “trolls” in the comments.  Trolls are easy to spot: they are repetitively insulting and redundant in their complaints.  They follow the same “MO,” or Modus Operandi in the way that they insult and bash others.  Don’t allow a few “bad eggs” to dissuade you from the information you may need.

No author (myself included) has the “corner” on all information pertaining to any subject.  In this vein, information shared in the comments from anyone willing to contribute to a productive discussion furthering the benefit of any and all readers are both welcome and desired.  I, too, am a reader…I read the comments and learn as much as I can from those willing to share with the blog and the rest of us.

After you weed out the negatives and non-productive comments, you will find there are many with considerable experience in the area that is the subject of the article.  Highlight them, paste them into a Word document, and print them off and save them.  You will come to see that there are many who comment frequently when it is the type of subject central to their area of expertise.

Explore the links and research the extra material they give you.  If possible, ask for an e-mail or try to engender a correspondence with them.  Chances are you can mutually support one another in your efforts to perfect your prepping and survival skills.  Ask questions.  That is what the comments section is for…to share information and to ask questions.  The blog is a medium of exchange for information, and the authors are facilitators of topics.  The heart of any blog is the Readership.  That is you, the Reader.

Many have done more than ask questions and share information.  I write to many readers here regularly, on my private e-mail.  We are a community of like-minded individuals, and this is your forum…your chance to ask questions and be heard.  Save the information you have from other sites and exchange that information here when you see a similar article or the same topic of discussion.  In the end, any community is only as good as the members of the community wish to make it.  There is something at ReadyNutrition for everyone, and there is always room for improvement…and we value your input and information.  It is always welcome and always wanted.  Stay in that good fight!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published October 28th, 2017

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