The Prepper Movement Isn’t New

Thanks to a few outspoken radicals, the prepper movement has been relegated to the league of irrational fanatics alongside children’s beauty pageant parents and obsessive hoarders. In reality, the majority of “doomsday preppers” are common-sense folks who take it upon themselves to protect their families from the tribulations of life. The movement isn’t a new phenomenon. Decades ago, citizens were much more self-reliant, and centuries ago, the self-sustainability of the prepper movement was simply the result of daily life. As modern Americans become more reliant on technology and less capable of completing the basic tasks required for living, it’s time for the true prepper movement to show its colors.

No fear-mongering here, just a refresher on the history and direction of the common-sense prepper movement.

Farmers: The Original Preppers

The idea of becoming self-reliant for food, shelter and healthcare might sound foreign to some, but it’s been the norm for most of human history. Consider early American farmers. These original preppers lived in remote fields and didn’t have the means to travel long distances in case of an emergency. That meant they had to maintain a sustainable lifestyle right where they were. Rather than driving to the mall, these early citizens made their own clothes. Without a grocery store in site, they relied on goats, dogs, pigs and chickens to hunt and eat. In that context, it makes sense why people would buy e-collars and train their dogs to hunt for food.

Photo of family canning their own food via Wikimedia Commons

Anyone who calls the prepper movement a new phenomenon isn’t familiar with history. The prepper movement is a return to the self-reliance that helped farmers and other citizens get through literal and figurative storms. You don’t need to shun modern culture to join the movement. All you need is the willingness to get your hands dirty and prepare for life’s common tribulations.

TV Preppers and the Lure of Fame

Much of the perception of the modern-day movement can be attributed to TV shows like Discovery’s “Doomsday Preppers,” which profiles the most extreme survivalists. Many of the shows subjects believe that the end of the world is imminent. Their rational tips and behaviors are overshadowed by ridiculous survival machines and loud-mouth hollering. These TV personalities may have a started out as rational preppers, but it’s clear that the promise of fame outweighs their desire to accurately represent the movement.

Photo by Nomadic Lass via Flickr

Fear-mongering preppers are grabbing headlines, too. Outsideonline.com profiled Scott Hunt, a prepper who is preparing for, among other things, a food shortage. “It would only take nine days of hunger for the women to begin prostituting themselves,” Hunt said. It’s the kind of outlandish claim that people remember, and when they remember it, they associate it with the prepper movement.

The Need for a Real Prepper Movement

Photo Of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, U.S. Navy Photo by Gary Nichols

The real prepper movement is far less irrational and far more practical. Millions of Americans wouldn’t know what to do in the face of a hurricane or tornado. Hurricane Katrina was a sobering example of how mother nature can ravage entire communities. Residents of New Orleans probably wish they had been more prepared to live without a grocery store for a few days. No one is blaming residents of New Orleans for their unpreparedness, but reasonable preppers hope to spread the word that a little planning can go a long way in the face of these disasters. With an accurate message, the prepper movement doesn’t seem so outlandish. As we continue to depend more on technology, the skills and principles that first-generation American farmers employed don’t have to become completely obsolete.

References:
Outsideonline
Sportdog

 

Preppers Paradigm: Re-Evaluating Your Health and Conditioning

Mexico recently surpassed the United States as the most obese nation on the planet, according to a report by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. The near 32 percent obesity rate in America means that the epidemic touches every faction of the population, including preppers. Buying firearms, canned foods, batteries, generators and even Roadpost.com satellite phones are all necessities in the minds of the diligent prepper. But few take into account the only means of conveyance they’ll have during a world changing event: their own bodies.

Whether you have to squeeze into a small space, hike several miles into the woods or run from whomever and whatever, your physical conditioning will determine your level of success. Though it certainly wouldn’t hurt, you don’t necessarily have to be an Olympic-level athlete to be ready for anything. But making subtle changes to your everyday routine should be a vital aspect of overall preparations.

Wean Off Of Medications

An astounding 70 percent of Americans are on at least one prescription drug, and nearly half take at least two, according to a report published by the Mayo Clinic. It is never a good idea to simply stop taking a medication that you’ve been on for a long time. But you can always ask your doctor about gradually lowering the dosage while trying to find natural alternatives.

For those who take daily blood pressure medication, for instance, garlic is an excellent alternative. Allicin, an ingredient found in garlic tablets and raw cloves, has been found to lower blood pressure by 10 percent in three months or less, according to a report in the U.K. Daily Mail. Cooking the garlic destroys much of the allicin, so eating it raw is the only way to reap the benefits.

The New York Times reported in August that one in 10 Americans are on some kind of antidepressant. Pharmaceutical-grade St. John’s Wort and 5-HTP are natural alternatives that can be used while weaning off your prescription.

Do A Little Exercise Daily

It should be no surprise that 8.3 percent of Americans are diabetic, due to the overall obesity rate. While insulin is used to treat most types of diabetes, the best natural remedy is exercise. A study published by the American Diabetes Association found that cardiovascular disease causes 75 percent of diabetes-related deaths in the U.S. You can improve cardiovascular health significantly with 30 minutes of vigorous exercise per day. This can include a brisk walk, a bike ride or a trip to the gym for the highly motivated prepper. Losing weight also reduced new type 2 diabetes diagnoses by nearly 16 percent over an eight year period, according to the study. Again, you don’t have to be an Olympic athlete, but doing something is better than nothing.

Change Your Diet

Physical Health infographic: physical activity, good nutrition,The saying goes, “You are what you eat.” An adequately prepared prepper cannot be made of McDonald’s, candy and cupcakes. Make subtle changes that you know are benefiting your overall health and well-being. Eat more low-fat meats like chicken breast and fish, as opposed to pork. Replace soft drinks with water, and coffee with green tea. You don’t have to do anything radical, but subtle changes will go a long way when your body needs a little something extra.

About the Author:  Joel Johnson is a military veteran with 8 years of service and spent over three years deployed to Iraq. He used the skills that he learned in the infantry to prepare for what is coming. He is a father with a love for football and his children.

http://www.roadpost.com/Iridium-Phone-Subscriptions-P705C280.aspx
http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diabetes-statistics/
http://www.mayoclinic.org/news2013-rst/7543.html

Disaster Recovery or Gifts Preppers Give; Part 1

What gifts do you want for the holidays?  More importantly, which gifts do you want to give to your family and loved ones?  What do you mean it’s not even Halloween yet?  It’s never too early to start planning the gift giving for the year.  Especially if you have a large number of people on your list.  What if you considered giving a gift just outside of normal gifting habits?  If you care enough about someone to buy a for them, shouldn’t that gift make a difference in their life?

This is the first gift item we are planning to give every person on our shopping list:

This book, Disaster Recovery, by Sean M. Scott, is an essential for making sure you have thought of everything and are prepared for any disaster.  You might think I’m exaggerating.  Not so.  Even with the experiences of being prepared for just about anything and having lived without telephone, no indoor plumbing and other “old ways”, this book still had information to offer.

It made me think of things I could do that I had not done, as well as things that inspired me to do that I otherwise would not have thought about.  For instance, the information got me to thinking about contractors that would offer services after a disaster.  Of course we already know it is important to be careful about who you hire and to check for the legitimate business licenses.

What the book inspired me to do was to put together a list of contractors who already do business in the region and their reputations.  This is important because after the disaster so many companies “spring up” to “help” those afflicted with the disaster.  Unfortunately, in a disaster zone it may be difficult to gain the information needed in a timely manner.  Having this list will help me determine who I will hire to help our family recover from the disaster.

After the list is completed, I’m considering contacting each of the contractors to meet them personally, hopefully to make an arrangement with them in advance of a disaster that puts us close to the top of the list of people the contractor will help.  This makes us think of contractors differently.  On any normal day, a contractor is someone who hopes to be chosen by you for a job.  After a disaster, that same contractor is someone you hope will choose you.

Ladies and gentlemen, that was just from a tiny portion of chapter one.  There is so much more information in each chapter there isn’t space here to tell you.  Each chapter is well written, compact, and to the point.  You won’t be able to find “unnecessary” words as with so many other books.  It has information for every member of the family.

This book changes the way you think about all things disaster related.  For the unprepared it’s a wake up call.  For the modestly prepared, it is mental check on what needs improvement.  For the full grown prepper, it is a breath of fresh air in the face of people who think “prepper” is a four letter word.  Our extra copies will be for gift giving and stowed in the vehicles and camping gear.

Note:  We posted this because we truly believe in the mission of this book.  This inexpensive award winning book can save lives, save homes, and save families hundreds of thousands of dollars after a disaster.

Guest Post: Prepare Your Home with Purposeful Fences

All fences should have a purpose.Nothing is as quintessential to an ideal American home as a knee-high white picket fence. They’re nostalgic, charming touches that can make a house feel like the American dream. Of course, fences can be a pleasant decorative touch to any home. But despite how great a fence looks, what purpose does it serve an unwanted guest is able to step above it to access a resident’s property?

It is every prepper’s goal to make their home and family safe no matter what happens, and a fence that provides actual security is always preferable to one that’s only worth appearances. And when families have to abandon their homes during emergencies, a home’s fence is practically the only meaningful barrier between your property and opportunistic looters. Here are three ideas that every prepper can benefit from the next time they’re on the market for a new home, or want to have a new fence installed on their property:

  1. Incorporate security features

A security system is only as strong as its weakest link. By integrating security features in your fence design, you can avoid helping invaders exploit your system. Foremost, a lockable gate is necessary for a fence to be effective. Keeping security cameras out of reach with your fencing can help prevent anyone obscuring or destroying them. Installing motion sensors just behind fencing can help hide them from unsuspecting invaders. This is crucial since common motion sensing technology − such as pyroelectric infrared radial sensors – are usually calibrated to not account for lower angles where pets might roam.

  1. Make it the right height

A fence of the right height is necessary in preparing your home’s defense for various reasons; the most obvious is to keep people from easily climbing and bypassing them. A fence should be six feet at a minimum if a homeowner wants a fence to be practical for this purpose. An additional way that a fence can benefit your security is by disclosing your property and certain security features. Homes which advertise their wealth with empty boxes for expensive electronics and windows with clear views to entertainment centers tend to advertise the family’s wealth. You’ll also be concealing when people come and go, and when your house is vacant – another tantalizing signal for would-be crooks.

  1. Choose the best materials

Depending on your preferences, there are a few things to consider in the fence’s construction. In terms of affordability and ease of installation, few options beat metal wire fencing. However, these aren’t the best aesthetic choice for those who aren’t willing to fully compromise function for form. They’re also highly transparent, which defeats one of the security purposes of a fence. For more traditional options, any sturdy termite-resistant wood or thick vinyl can work well. Fences can also be treated and modified to be fire resistant and flood proof, which are worthwhile additions if you live in areas prone to wildfires or floods.

What do you think matters when it comes to fencing for your property? What other features would you suggest on making your home more safe and sustainable in case of an emergency situation?

About the author:

Naomi Broderick is a full-time mother who finds time to pursue writing when she isn’t juggling the daily duties of family life. She currently writes about home protection. She is a dedicated prepper who enjoys sharing and learning with others online in order to create a household that can withstand whatever the world has to offer.

Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/almostjaded/1465022839/

Should Preppers Take Vacations?

Vacationing In New York City
Taking vacations allows you to meet people from around the world, broaden your way of thinking, and provides memories for the rest of your life to share with family and friends.

One way of thinking is that the prepared should remain close to their preps because they need to protect them, continue prepping, and of course be near their preps should some event happen.  It sounds reasonable, right?  After all, isn’t that why people prepare?  So they will have what they need when they need it?  Really?  All the time?  No summer vacation nor a trip to the city to take in a Broadway show?

Since you all know we believe in preparing you might be wondering why all the questions about going on vacations.  There’s several reasons.  Let’s talk about them in a serious manner.  They are important to you, your family, and are important to the image society has of preppers.

Everyone needs time away from the normal routine and environment.  Everyone.  Even if it’s just a few miles and a few days.  It gives us time to regenerate our mind, soul, and energy.  The longer the vacation, the more regeneration happens.  If you can take two or more weeks of vacation, do it.  When you come back you will be fresh, see things in a better light, be more productive, and feel less body stress.

It’s good for your job and your prepping activities to take time off.  The consequences of not taking time off is burn out and health issues related to stress.  When burn out happens, work is delayed or even stopped.  Not fulfilling your goals, either at work or home, may be stressful for many people.  Think of it this way, if you are burned out at work, how can you avoid thinking about work at home?  Burn out effects not only the employee but also the employee’s family.

Being irritable all the time is no way to live.  It’s no way to work or prepare either.  Irritable people are difficult to tolerate even for short periods of time.  Family members, especially children, won’t understand the outbursts and complaining.  Co-workers will avoid the irritable employee every chance they get.

Stress can be habit forming.  By that I mean the brain functions in specific ways related to how you live.  People who live with stress all the time find it more difficult to relax now and later.  Relaxing actually must be practiced to be good at it.

Taking vacations, two to three weeks are best, helps you manage stress now and in the future.  Certainly as prepared people, we expect there will be stress in the future.  We need to be able to deal with it in the most effective manner and so do those who will be living with us through that situation.

Highly stressed and burned out people present themselves differently to society than relaxed and replenished people.  In the workforce, stress and burn out is “expected” and sometimes confused with a dedicated employee.  But a prepared person with the same levels of stress and burn out are viewed differently because the unprepared don’t understand the prepared person’s behaviors.  Because of this, they call us crazy and other less kind words.  They don’t understand why we do what we do, because at times it is stress added to the already stressful life we lead.

There’s a fine line between being prepared and being afraid.  Prepared people live their lives just like everyone else, they are just ready for an event.  Afraid people are also prepared, but they don’t leave their homes or preps for more than a day or two “in case” something should happen.  Living that way is not living and contributes to increased stress levels for all members of the household.  Just take a leap of faith that the event won’t happen during the two weeks you choose to go on a trip.  Plan how you will get home if it does.  Then have fun with your family.

So, preppers, become more productive at home and work, enjoy life more, handle stress better, and present yourself in a better light to society.  The memories you create with your family and friends during vacations will go a long way towards keeping you together, happy and healthy if an event happens.  Do your duty to the prepper movement by taking regular and long vacations.  Unplug.  Disconnect.  Enjoy life outside the routine.

References:
ABC News
ABC News
The Energy Project
Success Under Stress
New York Times
Wall Street Journal

 

Vinegar Making For Prepared Families

Vinegar is not just for pickles any more.Quite often people stock up on vinegar for canning, cooking, cleaning, health benefits, and getting rid of bacteria.  Most likely they store white distilled vinegar because it is easily available and cheap.  A very long shelf life doesn’t hurt.  People who use vinegar for cooking will also stock up on apple cider vinegar and maybe balsamic vinegar for their unique flavors.

Let’s face it, making anything from scratch is not as easy as plucking it off the grocery store shelves.  Some people think products seem to be better when produced commercially and stacked on our grocery store shelves, but most things are better when made fresh at home.  Unfortunately, many people don’t know they can make their own vinegar.  Others think it’s too much work.

Not only can vinegar be made at home at no cost, but it can be higher quality and better flavored than commercially produced varieties.  Those wonderful benefits aside, homemade vinegar can be made from a variety of fruits, vegetables and grains, or even just plain sugar can be used to make vinegar.  This almost makes vinegar production a no-excuse homemade household item.

Making apple cider vinegar from the left over parts from making applesauce or apple pie works.  When making vinegar, consider the flavor you want, that you will need to take time to stir it daily and that you might want to save your empty wine bottles.   Making vinegar is one more way to use something that otherwise might go to waste.

Flavored vinegar has been all the rage in foodie circles, but for the prepper, it might be a way to keep a favorite flavor from loosing luster over time.   Herbs and spices have a fairly short shelf life, even when properly stored.  They gradually lose freshness and flavor from the day they are harvested until one day they are just a flavorless mess in a bottle.  Homemade vinegar can be used for preserving flavors of herbs and spices for a much longer period of time.

Many people decide to make vinegar, find some instructions and get right to it.  Others do quite a bit of research, read up on the subject and choose whether or not to use a starter, which ingredients to use, and determine the fermentation time by the flavor.  While both people will end up with a usable product, the person who takes the time to fully understand the vinegar making process will most likely be happier with the end result.

If you’ve made home made vinegar, post your comments about your experience and offer advice.

For a Rainy Day — Not Just for Preppers Anymore

walmart-adsIt seems everyone is jumping on the prepper wagon, even if they don’t want to admit it, they want the money generated by prepper customers.  Case in point?  Wal-Mart has a new program for stocking your pantry for a rainy day.  Isn’t that what prepping is?  Being prepared for when the harvest doesn’t come, not for when the actual rain falls.  But we all know that.

Wal-mart is offering free home delivery of case lots of canned goods and other items.  With a little comparison shopping, it might be interesting to see how their prices stack up to prices in various parts of the country, and if it is less expensive than doing the shopping for yourself.  For the urban prepper who can’t garden, it might be a good deal since cities like New York can be a nightmare to grocery shop if you have to carry things up a bunch of stairs.

I’m all for companies offering large discounts on case lots and then delivering them free of charge to my door.  They will come neatly packed in their original boxes, already labeled with all the information you need, and easy to stack.  Maybe more companies will offer those services in the future.

An alternative is home delivery from some of the local grocery stores like Safeway, Von’s, and others.  A quick internet search will provide you with a list of grocery stores that home deliver for little or not extra charge.  Here’s what I got when I did this search.

Preppers are busy people.  Why not save yourself the time and trouble of going to the store when someone is willing to do that job for you.  Free up your time to do other important activities only you can do.  Save gas money.  What is the dollar amount value of your time?  Do the math.  It might be worth a $15.00 delivery fee if it saves you $6.00 in gas and three hours of time at a meager $10.00 per hour.

 

Police Violence and Steroid Abuse

Editor’s note:  I wrote this article six weeks ago and then just let it sit.  I had to think about it and what it means.  It was necessary to be certain there was no “knee jerk” reaction.  If you don’t want to read it because it is not specifically a prepper story, simply choose something else.  However, being prepared means to prepare for all aspects of life, including dealing with society.

This is an editorial.  It is our duty to post this.  This article is not suitable for children without parent supervision.  It has nothing to do with being a prepper except that preppers could get caught in these unfortunate circumstances.  It is not a hate law enforcement post.  We need law enforcement at the local and state level to be tip top.  It is a call to action for society to demand a new protocol for how citizens may interact with police officers who are no longer acting as law enforcement officers but instead are committing felony assault.

These topics come to the surface when discussing causes and remedies for the situation:

  • What causes police officers to act so aggressively well past the need to subdue a suspect?  
  • What would happen if your local police force had members who used illegal steroids?  Would not those same officers experience ‘roid rage?  
  • With today’s technology and video recorder phones everywhere you look, it is increasingly more difficult for law enforcement officers to commit unlawful acts in public and get away with it by explaining it away.
  • How would the courts view a situation where the accused is someone who came to the defense of a police beating victim?

Consider the following:

Over the past few decades, several stories have surfaced regarding law enforcement personnel involved with anabolic steroids. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently led Operation Raw Deal, considered the largest international steroid investigation to date. The operation discovered several links to current or former law enforcement officers. This was predicted almost 20 years ago by an article in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin that stated, “Anabolic steroid abuse by police officers is a serious problem that merits greater awareness by departments across the country.”1 In addition, a story on the television program 60 Minutes in 1989 titled “Beefing up the Force” featured three police officers who admitted steroid use and claimed that their resulting aggression got them in serious trouble.

In the past year, a book titled Falling Off the Thin Blue Line was written and published by former Texas police officer David Johnson, who describes his addiction to steroids and speaks about the prevalence of steroid abuse in the law enforcement community.2 Recently, investigations into illegal steroid purchases revealed the names of several officers on pharmacy distribution lists, garnering national media attention. Unfortunately, agencies looking for methods to confront steroid abuse find few examples of effective policies and practices. This article summarizes the Phoenix, Arizona, Police Department’s experience in this area over the past several years and suggests policy and testing considerations for anabolic steroids in the law enforcement community.  ~~ Police Chief Magazine

Sure, we all understand that police officers are always on high alert and have to be hyper-vigilant when it comes to  apprehending a suspect.  But incidents of abuse must not be tolerated by anyone.  How should citizens intervene when police officers have gone wrong?  How should citizens stop an act of unnecessary violence when they see it happening?  These are questions we should be asking and demanding answers.

As it stands now, people are afraid to step into the situation for fear that police officers will arrest them, shoot them or beat them to death.  Calling more police doesn’t help.  By the time the other officers arrive, the beating or shooting has already occurred.  And that is the problem.  By the time anyone can do anything about it, someone is already beaten or dead.

Considering you don’t know which police officer might be using ‘roids, there may be nothing you can do to assure your safety if a police officer stops you for even a traffic violation.  For a ‘roid raged officer, all you would have to do is blink and its all over for you.  We should not have to be afraid of our police officers because they have illegal drug use, rage or panic issues.

The inspiration for this post came after clicking some of the links on this Facebook page about small town out of control police officers.  Be warned, what you will see is ghastly.  Think twice and preview first if your children are present.

Campfires: Cooking on an Open Fire

Round CampfireCooking on a campfire is a skill every prepper should master.  Hopefully you will never be in a situation in which you will be forced to make a fire and cook your fresh kill.  Surprisingly, many people think it’s simple.  Build a fire and start cooking, right?  Not at all.

Skills to cook on a fire are important because you many not always have the items you need to make campfire cooking easier and safer.  Big ones, small ones, burning coals, you name it.  Each fire has a different purpose and requires skills for those purposes.  Fires are not just to boil water and heat canned goods.

Can you fry fish on an open fire?  Why is that important?  Because frying over an open flame can be dangerous at best and disastrous at worst.  If the flames lick up in the pan your frying fish may just become an exploding fire bomb that can cover anyone standing near enough with flaming hot oil.  It can also start a forest or range fire.  For this reason, children should never be near the fire!

Cooking over an open fire is not as easy as it might seem.  A skilled camp cook is a must.  Fortunately, almost everyone can gain those skills.  It just takes practice.  Start in a camp ground that allows camp fires, ask if there is water at each site, and bring your garden hose.  You must ask specifically if they allow camp fires.  Starting a camp fire in a location other than in designated areas could have serious consequences.

If you already have, or know how to use, a gas grill, you are a bit ahead of the rest of the class.  But, using the gas grill for this project won’t work.  Gas grills are pretty much just cooking on a gas stove top.  As a matter of fact, that pretty much goes for charcoal grills and smokers too.  Those are all well controlled systems for cooking.  If there’s a flare-up simply take the food off the grill, turn off the gas or put a lid on the pan.  With an open flame, your only options are to put a lid on it and taking the food out of the fire.

Okay, lets begin with choosing a location.  It needs to be:

  • away from buildings and structures
  • away from trees and brush
  • not in a “red flag” region (burn ban)
  • in an appropriate fire pit (dig a hole and place the dirt pile close to the fire)

When practicing, safety requires you have a garden hose handy in case your fire climbs out of the pit.  Remember, fire can double in size very quickly.  If your fire gets out of hand, go for help immediately.  Do not stay.

How you build your fire is as important as where you build it.  That’s why they say “build” a fire.  First, dig the pit six inches or more deep and twice the diameter of the intended fire.  It should be at least 12 inches deep on windy days.  Clear the area twice the size of the pit around the pit to stop any hot embers or flames from starting a fire outside the fire pit.  For us, a three foot square fire has an additional ten feet of cleared space around the fire.  The fire area is the size of a 12 x 12 room with the fire in the center.  No children and unskilled persons allowed!!  Kindling is placed first and the fire started.  This is a good place to put the bark if you choose to strip it from the wood.

Gradually adding larger and larger pieces until the fire is the the size you need for cooking.  Logs are skillfully placed in an arrangement that allows flames to form in a controlled pattern according to the purpose of the fire.  Logs must be placed flat so they support the pan well and so that when they burn through they fall into the fire pit instead of out of the pit.  

The fire in the picture above is a typical cone shaped fire.  To cook on a campfire without a grate, you need a flat fire, square or rectangle shaped fire.

The trick is to keep the flames small and shallow while providing enough wood to keep the fire going for the amount of time you will be cooking.  Too much wood on the fire causes larger flames.  Flames should never lick up the side of the pan.  This is unsafe as well as too hot and will burn your food even if you don’t have a flare up.  If your fire does flare into the pan, put the lid on it immediately.  If you are unable to put the lid on the pan, go to a safe distance until the fire subsides.  Your dinner will be ruined, but the fire should remain within the pit and cleared area.

How to practice?  NEVER camp cook alone!  You many need help for any reason or emergency!!  Get out your well seasoned cast iron dutch oven set (with stabilizing lid lifter) and use it on the fire to prepare all manner of foods not using a fat or oil for cooking.  When you can prepare foods without burning or scorching them, you are ready to to try frying.  Practice with small amounts of food, just enough chicken to make one small layer on the bottom, and just enough oil to make a 1/4 to 1/2 inch layer on the bottom of the pan.

To begin cooking, place the clean, dry pan in the heat just until it is hot enough to “bounce” droplets of water off the dry pan.  If the water bounces, remove it from the heat and set it somewhere safe and let go of the pan.  If the pan is too hot, the oil may catch fire immediately when you put it in the pan. If this happens, put the lid on and wait until the pan cools.  Poor off the oil into a safe disposal area.  You will need to clean the pan before you can begin again.  Once the oil is in the pan, add then the chicken legs and return to the fire and turn the chicken to brown both sides.  Remove the pan it when the chicken is as done as you like.

Now that the cooking is done, you will want to clean the cooled pan.  This is the best part about cooking over a fire.  Empty to cooled oil to a safe area.  Grab some leaves and sticks to remove most of the oil and any “crumbs” in the bottom of the pan.  turn the pan upside down and place in the fire.  Allow to cook just until it stops smoking, just a few seconds or minutes.  If you leave it too long you will damage the pan.  Remove from flame and check for cleanliness.  If it needs to be cleaned again, let it cool and start the process again.

Once you are finished with the fire, douse it with water if available, then cover with the dirt from the hold you dug to ensure the fire smothers and does not escape the pit.  The pit will remain hot for a long time if it is not completely doused with water, so be careful where you walk.

Before you start practicing, read more information about the topic before you start.  Find someone who practices campfire cooking skills and ask them teach you.  If your teacher does anything that goes against the safety practices in the articles you read, do not use them as a teacher.  Only learn from the very best camp cooks.  D.P.N. assumes no responsibility for anyone who is learning this skill.  

Three Day Food Supply or Just In Time Marketing

Consider this statement:

 It’s the public’s trust that’s been broken “and since almost all food safety at retail is faith-based, the faith has been violated.” – USA Today

It’s true, isn’t it?  At least for many people.  There are many products I won’t buy in a “regular” grocery store.  Lettuce is one of them.  Actually, quite a bit of fresh produce.  Sometimes I worry about the meats, and with good reason.  Have you ever seen what passes inspection by the U.S.D.A.?  And the fact that the meat industry asked for an increase in the allowed level of nasties in the meats doesn’t help.   For those of us who live in areas where we can produce our own food, that’s what we do.

Then consider this statement about fear:

 The enemy here is fear, not the food system. In my book, anyone shouting “Run to the stores and buy as much food as you can!” deserves a special place in hell. – Toby Hemenway

Hemenway goes on to talk about how people are basically too stupid to understand the “just-in-time” method of business.  Ok, he didn’t say that.  He said:

 To accept this forecast uncritically, though, means ignoring how complex systems work. We can scare ourselves by selectively focusing on a small piece of a larger picture and behaving as if that tiny bit were the whole story. It’s a natural tendency: Any organism interested in surviving needs to focus on what’s going wrong much more than what’s going right. But in this case, believing the tale of empty shelves may distract us from more urgent problems.

Once you get through the insults of his article, you get to the history part.  He writes about famines that happened prior to 1800.  Seriously?  Doesn’t he know that droughts caused famines and that prior to the “green revolution” all people struggled to produce enough food?  While we still have droughts, we have learned many methods of farming that provide a more reliable source of food to our society and the world.  Sure, droughts can cause prices to rise, but the supply of food did not disappear in the 2012 drought.

Hemenway does recognize the human characteristic of doing what ever is required to survive and says what the prepper choir has been saying all along.

And, more urgently, during a food panic, how many pounds of grain being handed to you by the state would make you calm down? Five? Ten? That’s only a couple of day’s supply for a small family.

Most people would submit that if you have a year or two of foods stored you wouldn’t be worried about the complex system crashing for a couple of weeks or even a few months.  Unlike the those people who thumbed their noses at us and called us crazy.  Those people will be among those panicking and holding out their hands for the government family allotment of food.

In one respect he is right.  Most people might not understand how the complex system of supplies is delivered to the local grocery store.   He says if people understood this system, they would calm and trust the system to deliver food to our stores.  Then he goes on to talk about how to prepare if you still don’t trust the complex system of our food suppliers.  Hemenway wrote:

If you are worried about food shortages, get your own stash and store as much as makes you comfortable. In designing a solution to a problem, it’s critical to intervene at the proper level, and here, the household is a far more effective level than the state.

It seems he is saying not to be afraid, that we can trust the food delivery system.  But on the other hand, he says if you don’t trust it then be prepared for it.  Preparing at home is your best chance of survival if something goes wrong because the government stored goods will quickly run out.

Through out the article he discusses the problems and indeed he says they are real.  Still, in the end, he says people are wrong to worry about the day we wake up and the grocery stores are bare.  Even so, the article is worth the read because it does impart some important information.


Hemenway, the author of the article, and the book Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, surprised me with his thoughts on the food supply given the nature of the book.  The book is great!  Take a peak.

Reference:  “Fear and the Three-Day Food Supply.” Pattern Literacy by Toby Hemenway. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2013.