Category Archives: Survival Manual

A place where we don’t take for granted, what we’ve taken for granted.

Best inexpensive foods to store

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Best  inexpensive foods to store)

RainManA.  Best Foods to Stockpile for an Emergency
29 December 2013,, by Vanessa DiMaggio
Pasted from:

Natural disasters—a flood, hurricane, blizzard—often come with little or no warning. Stocking up now on the right nonperishable food items will help you weather the storm with less stress.

Fueling your body during an emergency is very different from your everyday diet. Because you’ll probably expend more energy than you normally would, you should eat high-energy, high-protein foods. And because you’ll have a limited supply, the higher-quality foods you eat—and the less of them—the better. “In a disaster or an emergency you want those calories,” says Barry Swanson, a food scientist at Washington State University. “You want some nutrients and some fiber—something to keep your diet normal.”

“In an emergency, generally you tend to think of meeting more basic needs than preferences and flavors,” says Elizabeth Andress, professor and food safety specialist at the University of Georgia. “But if you plan right, you can have a great variety of foods and nutrients.” Here, Andress and Swanson weigh in on what items you should include.

_1. What to Always Keep in Your Pantry
These items have lengthy expiration dates, so you can stash them away for long periods of time. Make a list of everything in your stockpile and check expiration dates every 6 to 12 months to keep things fresh. And don’t forget to have a can opener on hand at all times—all that food won’t be of any use if you can’t open it.

best food1•  Peanut butter:  A great source of energy, peanut butter is chock-full of healthful fats and protein. Unless the jar indicates otherwise, you don’t have to refrigerate after opening.

•  Whole-wheat crackers:  Crackers are a good replacement for bread and make a fine substitute when making sandwiches. Due to their higher fat content, whole-wheat or whole-grain crackers have a shorter shelf life than their plain counterparts (check the box for expiration dates), but the extra fiber pays off when you’re particularly hungry. Consider vacuum-packing your crackers to prolong their freshness.

•  Nuts and trail mixes:  Stock up on these high-energy foods—they’re healthful and convenient for snacking. Look for vacuum-packed containers, which prevent the nuts from oxidizing and losing their freshness.

•  Cereal:  Choose multigrain cereals that are individually packaged so they don’t become stale after opening.

•  Granola bars and power bars:  Healthy and filling, these portable snacks usually stay fresh for at least six months. Plus, they’re an excellent source of carbohydrates. “You can get more energy from carbohydrates without [eating] tons of food,” says Andress.

•  Dried fruits, such as apricots and raisins:  In the absence of fresh fruit, these healthy snacks offer potassium and dietary fiber. “Dried fruits provide you with a significant amount of nutrients and calories,” says Swanson.

•  Canned tuna, salmon, chicken, or turkey:  Generally lasting at least two years in the pantry, canned meats provide essential protein. Vacuum-packed pouches have a shorter shelf life but will last at least six months, says Diane Van, manager of the USDA meat and poultry hotline.

•  Canned vegetables, such as green beans, carrots, and peas:  When the real deal isn’t an option, canned varieties can provide you with essential nutrients.

•  Canned soups and chili:  Soups and chili can be eaten straight out of the can and provide a variety of nutrients. Look for low-sodium options.

•  Bottled water:  Try to stock at least a three-day supply–you need at least one gallon per person per day. “A normally active person should drink at least a half gallon of water each day,” says Andress. “The other half gallon is for adding to food and washing.”

•  Sports drinks, such as Gatorade or PowerAde:  The electrolytes and carbohydrates in these drinks will help you rehydrate and replenish fluid when water is scarce.

•  Powdered milk:  Almost all dairy products require refrigeration, so stock this substitute for an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D when fresh milk isn’t an option.

•  Sugar, salt, and pepper:  If you have access to a propane or charcoal stove, you may be doing some cooking. A basic supply of seasonings and sweeteners will improve the flavor of your food, both fresh and packaged.

•  Multivitamins
Supplements will help replace the nutrients you would have consumed on a normal diet.

What to Buy Right Before an Emergency
_2. Produce
If you’ve been given ample warning that a storm is coming, there’s still time to run to the market and pick up fresh produce and other items that have shorter shelf  lives. Most of these foods will last at least a week after they’ve been purchased and will give you a fresh alternative to all that packaged food. Make sure to swing by your local farmers’ market if it’s open; because the produce there is fresher than what you’ll find at your typical supermarket, you’ll add a few days to the life span of your fruits and vegetables.

•  Apples:  Apples last up to three months when stored in a cool, dry area away from more perishable fruits (like bananas), which could cause them to ripen more quickly.

•  Citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruits:  Because of their high acid content and sturdy skins, citrus fruits can last for up to two weeks without refrigeration, particularly if you buy them when they’re not fully ripe. Oranges and grapefruits contain lots of vitamin C and will keep you hydrated.

•  Avocados:  If you buy an unripe, firm avocado, it will last outside the refrigerator for at least a week.

•  Tomatoes:  If you buy them unripe, tomatoes will last several days at room temperature.

•  Potatoes, sweet potatoes, and yams:  If you have access to a working stove, these root vegetables are good keepers and make tasty side dishes. Stored in a cool, dark area, potatoes will last about a month.

•  Cucumbers and summer squash:  These vegetables will last a few days outside of refrigeration and can be eaten raw.

•  Winter squash:  While most are inedible uncooked, winter squashes, such as acorn squash, will keep for a few months. If you’ll be able to cook during the emergency, stockpile a bunch.

•  Hard, packaged sausages, such as sopressata and pepperoni:  You can’t eat canned tuna and chicken forever. Try stocking up on a few packages of dry-cured salamis like sopressata, a southern Italian specialty available at most grocery stores. Unopened, they will keep for up to six weeks in the pantry, says Van.

_3. More Food Advice for an Emergency
•  If the electricity goes out, how do you know what is and isn’t safe to eat from the refrigerator? If your food has spent more than four hours over 40º Fahrenheit, don’t eat it. As long as frozen foods have ice crystals or are cool to the touch, they’re still safe. “Once it gets to be room temperature, bacteria forms pretty quickly, and you want to be very careful about what you’re eating,” says Swanson. Keep the doors closed on your refrigerator and freezer to slow down the thawing process.

•  If you don’t have electricity, you may still be able to cook or heat your food. If you have outdoor access, a charcoal grill or propane stove is a viable option (these can’t be used indoors because of improper ventilation). If you’re stuck indoors, keep a can of Sterno handy: Essentially heat in a can, it requires no electricity and can warm up small amounts of food in cookware.

•  If your family has special needs—for example, you take medication regularly or you have a small child—remember to stock up on those essential items, too. Keep an extra stash of baby formula and jars of baby food or a backup supply of your medications.

•  If you live in an area at high risk for flooding, consider buying all your pantry items in cans, as they are less likely to be contaminated by flood waters than jars. “It’s recommended that people don’t eat home-canned foods or jarred foods that have been exposed to flood waters because those seals are not quite as intact.”

B.  $5 Preps – You CAN Afford to Prepare
18 May 2012,, contributed by Lucas from his site SurvivalCache
Pasted from:

Guest Post by Lucas: aspiring survivalist/prepper, Eagle Scout, and blogger on his site Survival Cache where he writes survival gear reviews, tips, and ideas.

“I can’t afford to” is definitely the number one excuse people use for not prepping. They believe this because they read about someone who has a $20,000 dollar gun collection and a basement filled with a 10 year supply of freeze dried food. That is just as unrealistic as saying that you want to buy your first house, so you attempt to get a multi-million dollar mansion. It’s just not going to happen.

By following the Survival Food Pyramid and spending just a few dollars a week on preps you will be surprised how quickly your stockpile will grow.
Here is an entire list of food and gear you can get for just $5:

Foodbest food 5 dollars
Five gallons of purified water
4 pounds of Sugar
5 pounds of Flour [x 2=10]
1.5 quarts of cooking oil
Two cases of bottled water [x 4=8]
4 cans of fruit [x 5=20]
5 pounds of rice
5 Pounds of Spaghetti
4 Cans of Potatoes [x 4=16]
4 Cans of Vegetables [x 4=16]
4 Cans of Beans [x 4=16]
2 bottles of garlic powder or other spices
A case of Ramen noodles
Five packages of  instant potatoes
4 Cans of Soup [x 4=16]
2- 12 ounce cans of chicken or tuna [x 8=16]
Two- 12.5 ounce cans of Salmon [x 8=16]
5 pounds of Oatmeal
5 packages of corn bread mix
3 Pounds of dry beans [x 3=9]
2 Jars Peanut Butter
2 boxes of yeast
8-10 pounds of Iodized salt
A can of coffee
10 Boxes of generic brand Mac & Cheese

Non-Food Items
A manual can opener
Two bottles of camp stove fuel [x 6=12]
100 rounds of .22LR ammo [x 10=1000]
25 rounds of 12 gauge birdshot or small game loads [x 10=250]
20 rounds of .223 or 7.62ammo [x 50=1000]
a spool of 12 lb test monofilament fishing line
2 packages of hooks and some sinkers or corks
3 Bic Lighters or two big boxes of matches
A package of tea candles
50 ft of para cord [x 2=100 ft]
A roll of duct tape
A box of nails or other fasteners
A flashlight
2 D-batteries, 4 AA or AAA batteries or 2 9v batteries
A toothbrush and tooth paste
A bag of disposable razors
8 bars of ivory soap (it floats)
A box or tampons or bag of pads for the ladies
2 gallons of bleach
Needles and thread

OTC Medications
2 bottles 1000 count 500 mg generic Tylenol (acetometaphin)
2 bottles 500 count 200 mg generic advil (ibuprofen)
2 boxes 24 cound 25 mg generic Benadryl (diphenhydramine HCI)–also available at walgreens under “sleep aids.”
4 bottles 500 count Tylenol
2 boxes of generic sudafed
4 bottles of alcohol
a box of bandages (4×4)
[ ‘fish’ antibiotics]
[mosquito repellant]
[topical antibiotic]

What Else?
If you get just one of these things each time you go to the grocery you will be well on your way to preparedness. What other $5 Dollar Preps can you think of?

Leave a comment

Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

How to keep warm at home

(Survival Manual/Prepper articles/ How to keep warm at home)

A.  Ice Storm Survival Preparedness
Posted on 14 December 2012,, Submitted by: Ken Jorgustin (MSB)
Pasted from:

warmathome ice storm
An Ice Storm is a unique weather phenomenon that immediately paralyzes a region, much more so than a major snow storm. An ice storm is so debilitating that you risk your survival and life simply by walking out your front door.

Just prior to nearly any forecast of a major storm, people rush out to the grocery stores, which quickly run out of lots of food and supplies. How does this happen? Its pretty simple really… just think about your own habit of going to the grocery store… you probably go on the same day of the week, right? Let’s say you normally go Friday, someone else goes Saturday, yet another always goes on Tuesday, etc. When a storm is forecast, people disregard their normal schedule and many of them run out to the store during the same day just before the storm. Bingo… the store shelves go empty. The lesson is to NOT have to run out – keep enough at home to begin with. Not only that, but an ice storm will completely prohibit you from running that errand as soon as the fist liquid begins to freeze into ice.

EXPECT more dumb decisions. As it is, a certain percentage of people make dumb decisions, but for some reason just prior and during a storm, there are more of them making poor choices. There will be more accidents (automobile and otherwise). People rushing around, nearly panicked. Out for themselves. It’s really quite amazing to witness. So the best advice is to stay out of their way, and better yet, stay at home!

If you are stuck at home for days with the rest of your family, it will become increasingly likely that you will all get bored or stressed out. Think ahead of time for things to do. Have books to read. Games to play. Projects to accomplish. Be extra nice so as to reduce the possible stress around everyone.

Ice will quickly bring traffic to a crawl or complete halt. Cars may become abandoned and roads completely impassible. Even though you may have a 4×4, keep TIRE CHAINS in your vehicle. A 4-wheel drive will do no good on ice, just like a 2-wheel drive vehicle. Chains however will add biting grip to your tires (even 2-wheel drive vehicles) and may be the difference to get you home. They are easy to get… just ‘size’ them according to the tire model/size that you have. Oh, and once you get them, be sure and familiarize yourself with putting them on one time in your driveway, when the weather is nice, so you know how to do it!

One major danger and risk is that the power often goes out during an ice storm. The weight of the build-up of ice on the power lines and tree branches is enormous (more than you may think). Once a critical point is reached, these lines and limbs will start crashing down. Even worse is that it will be nearly impossible for repair crews to do their job until AFTER an ice storm. This means that you may be without power for a LONG TIME.

During the winter, being without power is an entirely different deal than a summertime power outage. Even a relatively short term power outage in the winter can be deadly. Your home will likely lose its ability to heat. Pipes may freeze. You may freeze. It is crucial to consider an alternative method for keeping warm. Safe portable indoor heaters are available. Of course a wood stove is a no-brainer.

Remember this, whereas during a power outage resulting from a snow storm may allow you to drive to another location which has heat or power, during an ice storm you will NOT be able to safely travel. This makes it all the more important to have a means of keeping warm in your home during a power outage.

Plus, there are all of the other aspects that go with getting along without power…

For your vehicle, keep tire chains, tow strap, salt/sand, shovel, ice scraper, snow brush, a safe gas can, extra gloves, extra hat, blanket, 72-hour kit with food (or at least some power bars, etc.), road flares, LED flashlight, car charger for cell phone, and whatever else you think may be good to have just in case…

A few additional preparedness items for home include LED flashlights, extra batteries, solar battery charger, portable battery powered AM/FM Shortwave radio, a weather radio, a safe indoor cooking stove, enough food, some stored water in case municipal tap water pumps go dead, generator, extra fuel in safe gas cans, car charger for your cell phone, and most important of all… enough hot chocolate!

If you have large trees or limbs over or near your home or roof, be very aware of this. A falling tree can easily slice into a house and kill you. Consider trimming large limbs that may be a risk. At the very least, I would not sleep or spend much time in a room underneath such a danger zone.

Conserve the power on your cell phone. Shut it off except for when you are going to use it. Cell towers are often repaired well before the power comes back on, so bear that in mind.

If you are ‘out’ and you hear a forecast of icing, do your best to get where you are going to go, BEFORE the event. Your ears should perk up when you hear the word, ICE.
Be prepared.


B. How to Winterize Your Home
15 Dec 2012, The Ready Store,
Pasted from:

Previously, we talked about what you could do to prepare for a power outage during the winter. But how can do you winterize your home to be ready for the snow and cold weather?

Here are a few points to consider as the winter weather descends upon us. Check out these points and then add your insights below. Your tips could save people money and time as they prepare.

Reverse the fan
One thing that most people don’t think about is reversing the ceiling fan. Hot air rises and you’ll want to make sure that the warm air that is collecting around your ceiling is being pushed back down into the room to heat everyone.

Clean the gutters
The last thing you’ll want to do in the middle of the winter is climb up on your frozen roof on a cold ladder and take out soggy and frozen leaves from your gutters. Cleaning your gutters allows cold water to quickly get off your roof and not collect.

Besides making sure that your house is well insulated, make sure that there aren’t any large cracks or leaks in your home. Those cracks can let hot air out and drain your heating bill.

You’ll also want to make sure that the seal around your windows and doors is tight. Many people even consider putting bubble wrap or other clear plastics around their window during the winter to allow light to come in and cold air out. You can even sew your own door draft stopper.

Planting a windbreakers
This probably isn’t something that you can do quickly or easily but you should consider planting evergreen trees close to your home. This keeps a buffer of tree between your house and the cold wind outside. The evergreen trees will also force cold winds up and around your house.

Programmable gadgets
One new trend is consumers who are installing timers on their heating systems or water heaters in order to only run during certain times of the day. This allows you to only heat when you need it – saving you money!

Shut the door
Many times it’s just more efficient not to heat a room. If there is a storage room that you aren’t using – just close the vent and the door. That allows you to focus your heating on the rooms that you use on a regular basis. You’ll have to make sure that without the vents open the room doesn’t get too cold that you have a busted pipe.

Use your large appliances
When it gets cold outside, clean the house. The heat that the washer, dryer, dishwasher, oven and other appliances put off will heat your home when it’s cold. That means you’ll want to make sure that your appliances are in working order.

Make sure you have an auto emergency kit
While you’re out and about during the winter time, make sure that you have the proper equipment in your car. That means having jumper cables, food, water and other items that will be necessary if your car breaks down in a winter storm.


C.  How to Stay Warm with Less Heat
4 Dec 2012,, by Daisy Luther
Posted from:

warmathome cold day

I live in an older house.  It’s not too fancy, but it features things like wood heat, an independent water supply and a million dollar view with a frugal price tag.   In the Northern winter, however, I notice exactly how drafty and chilly our little house is!  The breeze off the lake also increases the nip in the air.  With an older wood stove as our only source of heat, the rooms more distant from the stove move from chilly to downright COLD.

From a prepping point of view, using less heat allows you to extend your fuel supply. If you are totally without heat, greater measures would need to be taken than the ones listed here.  For some SHTF heating ideas, this article has some fantastic and inexpensive tips.

I rent so it isn’t feasible to insulate or replace the windows and wood stove with more efficient models. So, in the interest of non-tech solutions, here are a few ways that we keep warmer without plugging in the electric space heaters.

warmathome dress warm Keep your wrists and ankles covered.  Wear shirts with sleeves long enough to keep your wrists covered and long socks that keep your ankles covered.  You lose a great deal of heat from those two areas.

Get some long-johns.  Wearing long underwear beneath your jeans or PJ’s will work like insulation to keep your body heat in.  I like the silky kind sold by discount stores like Wal-mart for indoor use, rather than the sturdier outdoor type sold by ski shops.

Wear slippers.  You want to select house shoes with a solid bottom rather than the slipper sock type.  This forms a barrier between your feet and the cold floor.  We keep a basket of inexpensive slippers in varying sizes by the door for visitors because it makes such a big difference.  Going around in your stocking feet on a cold floor is a certain way to be chilled right through.

Get up and get moving.  It goes without saying that physical activity will increase your body temperature.  If you’re cold, get up and clean something, dance with your kids, play tug-of-war with the dog, or do a chore.  I often bring in a few loads of wood to get my blood flowing and get warmed up.

Pile on the blankets. If you’re going to be sitting down, have some layered blankets available.  Our reading area has polar fleece blankets which we top with fluffy comforters for a cozy place to relax.

warmathome sleep warm

Use a hot water bottle.  If you’re just sitting around try placing a hot water bottle (carefully wrapped to avoid burns) under the blankets with you.

Use rice bags.  If you don’t have the readymade ones, you can simply place dry rice in a clean sock.  Heat this in the microwave, if you use one, for about a minute, or place in a 100 degree oven, watching carefully, for about 10 minutes.  I keep some rice bags in a large ceramic crock beside the wood stove so they are constantly warm.  You can put your feet on them or tuck them under the blankets on your lap.

warmathome warm room

Insulate using items you have.  A friend recommended lining the interior walls with bookcases or hanging decorative quilts and blankets on the walls to add an extra layer of insulation. It definitely makes a difference because it keeps heat in and cold air out. If you look at pictures of old castles you will see lovely tapestry wall-hangings – this was to help insulate the stone walls, which absorbed the cold and released it into the space.

Layer your windows.  Our house has large lovely picture windows for enjoying the view.  However, they’re single pane and it’s hard to enjoy the view if your teeth are chattering.  We took the rather drastic step of basically closing off all the windows but one in each room for the winter.  We insulated by placing draft blockers at the bottom in the window sill (I just used rolled up polar fleece – I’m not much of a sew-er.)  This was topped by a heavy blanket, taking care to overlap the wall and window edges with it.  Over that, we hung thermal curtains that remain closed.

 Get a rug.  If you have hardwood, tile or laminate flooring, an area rug is a must.  Like the blankets on the walls, this is another layer of insulation between you and the great outdoors.  We have no basement so our floor is very chilly.  A rug in the living room protects our feet from the chill.

Wear a scarf.  No, not like a big heavy wool scarf that you’d wear outdoors – just a small, lightweight one that won’t get in your way and annoy you.  This serves two purposes.  First, it covers a bit more exposed skin. Secondly, it keeps body heat from escaping out the neck of your shirt.

Burn candles.  Especially in a smaller space, a burning candle can raise the temperature a couple of degrees.

Cuddle.  Share your body heat under the blankets when you’re watching movies or reading a book.

Leave a comment

Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

A few other storage items to consider

(Survival Manual/Prepper articles/A few other  storage items to consider)

RainManA.  16 SHTF Barter Items to Stockpile
12 March 2012, DebtReconing, by Tyler
Pasted from:

Every good survivalist has a stockpile of things he or she recognizes their family may need to survive a natural or man-made disaster. However, many people forget the value of maintaining a barter store as well.

If things hit the fan, particularly in an economic collapse where the dollar is nearly worthless, a number of non-monetary goods will be more valuable than a fistful of dollar bills.

It’s also important to recognize that we can’t possibly store enough of every item to account for every scenario for an indefinite period of time. However, what we can do is have some items on hand to barter with neighbors to plug gaps in our preparations.

Imagine a neighbor with a large garden and some chickens trading a half dozen eggs and some squash for a box of ammo, or a small bottle of Vodka.

Consider stocking up on the following items, even if you have no plans to use them yourself, for their potential barter value.
storage items 1.
16 Things to Stockpile with High Barter Value:
Cigarettes. I hate smoking, and can’t stand being around anyone that smokes. Having said that, I recognize that in a SHTF situation many others will be cut off from their access to cigarettes, so there is plenty of barter potential.

Soap. Bars of soap, and even those little cleaning napkins/wipes that you get at the BBQ restaurants could be very valuable in a SHTF scenario. Ever see “The Book of Eli?”

Bullets. Obviously, it’s a good idea to have a decent store of ammo representing all calibers of the weapons you own. However, it is also a good idea to store extra ammo in common calibers (9mm, .22, .38, 12-guage shells, etc.) as a potential barter. After all, a gun without ammo is just an inaccurate throwing object.

Alcohol. Alcohol could serve a variety of purposes in a SHTF situation. It is valuable as a potential bartering commodity, and it also has medicinal uses. Did you know Vodka is a great home remedy to counteract the reaction to poison ivy?

MREs. More portable and easier to barter than larger 5-gallon buckets, or even #10 cans of dried foods, MREs are great to have on hand for bartering. Keep a variety of flavors and different kinds of foods because you could be holding something that could complete a meal for a hungry person.

Silver Coins. Keep in mind this doesn’t necessarily mean only silver dollars with a full ounce of silver, but even older, less expensive coins with a high silver component (the 1964 Kennedy half-dollar, for example).

Detergent. Don’t think people are interested in bartering detergent? Check out the story about the recent rash of detergent thefts across the country. Apparently, Tide detergent on the black market is now referred to as “liquid gold.” Interesting.

Water bottles. To someone in bad need of water, a water bottle could be worth its weight in gold. Remember the rule of threes: you can live three minutes without air, three days without water, and three weeks without food. Store accordingly.

Matches and lighters. A box of matches is relatively inexpensive, but for someone needing to build a fire a pack of matches or a lighter could be very valuable. Be sure these are stored safely, and if they are not waterproof make them so by storing in a watertight container.

Sugar. My grandfather used to tell stories of things that were in limited supply in the Great Depression. Sugar was something he often mentioned. Imagine how easily you could win over a sweet-tooth with the promise of a bag of sugar in exchange for something you are short on.

Toilet paper. This one is rather self-explanatory, isn’t it? Sure, there are substitutes for Charmin, but who wants to keep using leaves when paper feels so much better.

Water Filters/Purifiers. Water purification drops and filters could mean the difference in offering family members treated water or potentially harmful, bacteria-infested water. Who’d be willing to trade for that?

Bleach. May be used to disinfect water, or keep living quarters and soiled clothing sanitized.

Batteries. Can be used to power up flashlights, radios, and other electronic devices.

Candles. Emergency candles would be a great barter item for those in need of providing some light to their living quarters without electricity.

storage items 2 .

B.  50 Survival Items You Forgot To Buy
14 January 2013,, by Matthew
Pasted from:

If you’re reading this, you probably already know the basics: water purification, food storage, first aid, lighters, flashlights, etc. But even hardcore survivalists can overlook things. In this post I want to mention 50 survival items you might have forgotten to buy.

I already mentioned several of these in the post, Unusual Survival Gear, but this is a much longer list. It’s not comprehensive, but hopefully it’ll remind you of a few things you still need to get. For everything on this list that you already have, give yourself a pat on the back.

1. Acoustic Instruments – For entertainment and morale.
2. Aluminum Foil– Great for all sorts of things like cooking food, boiling water, enhancing antennas, keeping sunlight out, etc.
3. Axes– How else will you chop firewood?
4. Baby Wipes– Really easy way to keep clean.
5. Baseballs, basketballs, footballs, etc. – Playing ball is a great way to stave off boredom and keep morale up during hard times.
6. Bicycle Gear – If gasoline is in short supply, you might need your bike to get around. That means you’ll need a bike pump, extra tubes, etc.
7. Book lights– It’s difficult to read by candlelight and you don’t want to waste your flashlight’s batteries. Book lights are cheap and last a long time.
8. Books – You might be surprised how much free time you have after the SHTF, especially when you’re on guard while others sleep. Now’s your chance to read those books you always meant to read (like Atlas Shrugged).
9. Bug Spray– There is usually a major lack of proper sanitation after a disaster, especially if there isn’t running water. That means there will be more roaches and other critters. There might also be a lot more mosquitoes.
10. Bouillon Cubes– These make boring meals much more delicious.
11. Calendars– You’ll need a way to track the day and date if the power is out for a long time.
12. Candy – Huge morale booster during difficult times. Just don’t overdo it.
13. Cast Iron Cookware– If you’re cooking over a fire, your regular pots and skillets won’t cut it.
14. Cloth Diapers – Other than the obvious usage, these are also great for cleanups because they’re so absorbent.
15. Clothes Lines and Pins – Because your dryer will be a waste of space.
16. Condiments – Imagine eating a typical meal without mustard, ketchup, soy sauce, hot sauce, etc. You’ll get bored fast.
17. Condoms – TEOTWAWKI is not a great time to get pregnant, but people still have needs. Use protection.
18. Cotton Balls – Great for first aid, cleaning, kindling, and many other things.
19. Duct Tape – A must have for any prepper.
20. Ear Plugs – It’s important to use these when hunting with firearms, but they’ll also help you sleep at night. Why? Because after the SHTF every little bump will wake you up. Just make sure someone is standing guard while you sleep.
21. Floss – It’s even more important than your tooth brush. If you’re not flossing now, get started. (See “Get Your Teeth Fixed“)
22. Games – Board games, cards, crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, and any other type of game that doesn’t require power. This is especially important if you have children.
23. Glasses and Repair Kits – If you wear glasses, make sure you have a backup pair and a way to fix them.
24. Glow Sticks – A great way to find your way around in a dark house.
25. Goggles – This includes safety goggles and swim goggles. You never know.
26. Hand Sanitizer – As I mentioned above, there might be a lack of proper sanitation after a major disaster. Stay germ-free.
27. Instant Coffee – If you’re hooked on coffee (like I am), then you’re liable to go crazy when your coffee pot won’t turn on.
28. Map of Your Town – Most of us have gotten used to relying on Google Maps and GPS, but those could become things of the past. Paper maps never stop working.
29. Paper Plates – So you won’t have to waste water cleaning dishes.
30. Pencil and Paper – These are historic times so keep a journal. Also important for games and making lists.
31. Pet Supplies. Don’t forget about your pets! There’s a detailed list of pet supplies in this post.
32. Plant Pots – Plants often easier to grow in pots than in the ground.
33. Plastic Sheeting – For repairing leaks, collecting water, keeping out contaminants, and much more.
34. Powdered Butter and Eggs – It’s amazing how many recipes require butter and/or eggs. These are hard to store long-term, so try some of the powdered variety.
35. Powdered Juice Mix – Because you’re going to get sick of drinking room-temperature water.
36. Saw – Axes are good for chopping firewood, but you’ll need a saw for everything else.
37. Sewing Kit – If your clothes tear, you might not be able to afford or even get access to new ones. Learn how to sew.
38. Shoe Laces – Again, you might not be able to get new ones. Plus, shoe laces have several uses.
39. Shut-off Wrench – Very important if you have gas power. A broken gas line is extremely dangerous.
40. Slingshots – Another way to kill small animals for food.
41. Snow Shoes – You’ll be trapped in a snowstorm without them.
42. Song Books – As with acoustic instruments (mentioned above), these are good for entertainment and morale boosting.
43. Survival Books – You’ll need this as a reference. Check out my post, The 10 Best Books On Survival.
44. Tampons – You really don’t want to be without these. Ask your wife what type she prefers and order them in bulk.
45. Tarps – Use them to keep stuff dry, provide shade, carry things, and so forth.
46. Umbrellas – Do you have one? If so, does it work well? And do you have extras for your family members?
47. Whistles – These can be a lifesaver if someone is under attack or lost.
48. Wind-up Clocks – So you don’t have to waste batteries.
49. Yard Bags – Heavy duty bags will be useful for all the trash and debris that accumulates.
50. Ziploc Bags – Great for keeping things dry and organized.
C.  5 Food Storage Items That Will Last Longer Than Any Apocalypse
30 Oct 2013,, guest post by: Lee Flynn
Pasted from:

One of the biggest concerns people have with food storage is shelf life. After all, nobody wants to dip into their emergency food supply during a real honest-to-goodness disaster and find that all of their “imperishable” goods have decomposed into brown sludge. It’s true, many foods such as canned goods and frozen meals don’t last as long as you might expect. But what can you do? Well, for starters, you can do some in-depth research into what you decide to store (which is probably why you’re here in the first place). For another thing, you can stock up on foods that really will last forever. Here are five of the longest lasting emergency food storage items available.

1. Salt- Although, depending on who you talk to, salt may not technically be a “food,”  this mineral has been used in conjunction with food for the better part of, well, forever. Evidence of salt extraction operations dates back about 9,000 years. To give you some scope, the wheel wasn’t invented until about 3,000 years later. Being a mineral instead of any sort of organic material, salt is completely immune to microbial attack. That means that it won’t spoil, and it helps prevent spoilage in other foods. It also enhances taste, so if you do catch yourself in a situation where you have to live off of bland emergency food, you’ll be happy if you’ve got some salt nearby. As for its shelf life, well, it’s a rock; it will last forever, or until you eat it.

2. Honey- Honey is a wonderful substance. Unlike salt, it is 100% organic. It’s also 100% healthy for you to eat. Raw honey has natural antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-fungal properties, it boosts the human immune system, and can even be used to soothe symptoms associated with the common cold. It’s high in calories, so in a low-food situation it will give you much needed energy on an otherwise empty stomach. You can also spread it on burns for temporary relief, making honey a useful first aid supply too. Perhaps most amazing is that honey doesn’t seem to ever go bad. For example, 3,000 year old honey unearthed from an Egyptian tomb was still edible. It may change its consistency and crystallize/harden, but when heated it will simply return to its original state. Be warned, however, honey can be dangerous for children under 1 year of age, so keep it away from them.

storage items 33. Dried white rice- If properly stored, white rice can last upwards of 30 years in storage. I know that doesn’t sound too impressive compare to the forever shelf lives of salt and honey, but come on, 30 years is a really long time. If you were to start your food storage on the day you were born, and live to be 90 years old, you’d only have to replace this stuff maybe three times. White rice also has a variety of uses. It’s filling, contains calories, protein, and certain vitamins and nutrients, and is easy to prepare. Brown rice has more nutrients than white, but it doesn’t store quite as well.

4. Freeze dried foods- Freeze dried foods are made by rapidly freezing meals, and then leaching the water from them leaving only a frozen, dry substance that can be easily packaged and stored. Adding a little boiling water will reconstitute the food into something not only edible, but downright palatable and healthy. See, the freeze drying process is able retain the taste and nutrients of the original meal. Different freeze dried foods can be safely stored for varying lengths of time, but regardless of what you use, their shelf lives usually end up being about 20–30 years. Compare that to most canned goods, which only last for 3–5 years.

5. Dehydrated foods- Although not quite as long-lasting as freeze dried meals, dehydrated foods still have long shelf lives. This is because they follow the same basic process: moisture is removed and then the item is packaged. The difference is that with conventional dehydration techniques, only about 90% of the moisture is removed (as opposed to freeze drying, which removes approximately 98% of the moisture). Thus, dehydrated foods only last about 15–20 years before needing to be replaced. Still, that’s really not bad, when you think about it.


D.  Great tasting “Survival soup”
[Prepackage the ingredients and vacuum seal for nutritious meals. Mr Larry]
Excerpt pasted from:

survival soup How to make your soup:
8 oz  of rice
2 oz of red kidney beans
2 oz  of pearl barley
2 oz of lintels
1 oz  of split green peas
1 oz of chick peas/garbanzo’s
Bouillon to taste

Take the 16 oz dry mixture and add 6-7 quarts of water with a spoon of butter or olive oil (optional) to prevent the water from boiling over.  Add 3 tablespoons bouillon or to taste.  Then add any other meats, vegetables, potatoes or seasonings you’d like to.  I personally love to add garlic and Lima beans.  DO NOT add onions.  They will spoil the mixture. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for two hours.  You should have enough to feed 4 people for two days if rationed correctly.

Note: Onions ferment too quickly and will cut the time you are able to store the already cooked soup mixture. There is always the option of dried onions and you can add it to smaller batches you know will be eaten on the first day.

On the second day you will need to add more water and a tablespoon of bouillon because it will thicken in the refrigerator overnight. Boil for a min of ten minutes to kill off any potential bacteria, especially if you’re not able to store it in the refrigerator because you’re without electricity.

You will be full off of ONE large bowl of this delicious soup.  The kids usually eat about a half a bowl with bread.  That’s what makes it so great.  If able to, bake some bread or corn bread to go with it.

If there is any mixture left on the third day, then just add it to the new mixture you make.  (If making a new mixture on the third day) As time goes by you will learn to tell how much of each ingredient you need to fit your family’s needs.

With the exception of dairy and Vitamin B 12, this should take care of your nutritional needs.  Maybe not all of your wants, but once you get this out of the way, you can concentrate on adding the stuff you want to your food storage knowing you have enough for a year already if you half to use it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

Senior citizen survival techniques

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Senior citizen survival techniques)

A.  Survival of the Elderly and Disabled
19 Dec 2013,, by James C. Jones, EMT/CHCM
Pasted from:

seniors in the day

The challenges of surviving a sustained catastrophic event for the elderly and the disabled are almost totally ignored by the “prepper” community.  Survival recommendations and training are almost always directed at healthy, younger people who are at their maximum strength and health.  Most preppers have or will have elderly parents or relations that may suffer from arthritis, heat disuse, COPD, and dementia at some point. My wife and I both lived in the inner city with disabled parents for decades.  For us, evacuation was just out of the question.  We were not going to abandon our responsibilities regardless of risk.  A few years ago I participated in a FEMA sponsored workshop on community preparedness.  We knew that there are people who need oxygen, chemotherapy, medications, dialysis and other treatments to survive more than a week or two.  Even more are aged or crippled with MS and other diseases that prohibit them from accessing food and critical needs without aid.  What we learned at that event was that there was little the emergency services could do for these folks under major disaster situations.  It is estimated that the majority of those over 70 years of age and those who are functionally disabled or medically dependent will die within the first thirty-days of a full –scale national disaster. [This should be a fair warning and wake up call for us seniors…take steps to beat those odds and to help prepare your junior family members for what might come as a surprise event for them. Mr. Larry]

If you are among the elderly or disabled or anyone important to you is, you need to adjust your plans accordingly.  If you have disabled parents, your whole survival plans are going to be limited and modified.  Evacuation may be impossible.  Rescue and defense may be the only option.  Disabilities (yours or other) and handicaps will reduce your chances, but it does not mean that you are doomed.  Realistic preparedness can provide a real chance for your survival regardless of conditions.

As we grow older (we all will) our capacity to carry loads for long distances is going to diminish.  In addition to muscle loss we are more prone to illness and sensitive to temperature extremes.  Heat diseases, COPD and arthritis may make any kind of “hiking” out of the question.  If you are living alone or with an aged partner you have two options:

1)  If you can move to a safer location away from the city and high populations do so.
2)  have a plan to drive or be driven to a safer area well before situations get critical.

If these are not an option or unlikely, plan to shelter in place as best you can. That means having water, food, warmth, medications and self-protection that works for you in your conditions.
Fire is your biggest threat to in place survival. Can you use a fire extinguisher?  You must have ways to escape a fire that works for you.
In the gravest extreme you still need to have some kind of evacuation pack.  Even if you can only carry or drag 5 to 10 pounds it’s far better than nothing.  A quart of water, medications, snacks, a flashlight a Space Blanket and a weapon will give you a big advantage.
If you can get a few hundred yards to some other shelter you have a chance.   Some perfectly healthy people will die from unpreparedness and giving up.  Some prepared and determined disabled folks will get through with a little luck and determination.

There are two classes of disability related to emergency situations.  We have the cooperative, but disabled who will aid in their own care to whatever extent they can and the uncooperative who may have dementia, or are just in violent denial.

This last category is very difficult to help. They may fight your efforts and even sabotage your plans and equipment.  Getting them to a care facility in advance is your best option, but keep in mind that many of these facilities were abandoned during hurricane Katrina and would be again.  They have good plans for limited time and area disasters, but not for massive collapse events.
Otherwise, you are going to have to care for them as best you can while dealing with survival and defense priorities.  The cooperative disabled may be able to aide significantly in their own preparations and survival actions depending on the extent of their problems.  You must discuss these issues with them now.
Build up supplies of everything they need (as above) at their location and show them what to do.  Give special attention to oxygen and critical medications they need. Have a plan to take them to safety or to your safe location ahead of an event.  If possible make arrangements with neighbors for their care until you can get to them.

seniors collage



B.  Prepping For Seniors, by Retired Rev.
Pasted from:

I became aware of the need for prepping too late to have the advantages associated with youth.  Seniors are already dealing with issues of declining physical prowess, declining health and a growing sense of mortality.  To add prepping to the list of concerns seemed more than a bit overwhelming, but given the realities of our day, prepping slowly became an unavoidable necessity as I began to understand that the economic path on which our nation is traveling is clearly becoming unsustainable and is getting worse, not better.

There was also the additional concern – shared by preppers of any age – of convincing my dear wife that my fears were well-founded and that prepping was seriously necessary if we were to have a chance to survive TEOTWAWKI.  So the first challenge to overcome when contemplating prepping as a senior is the same challenge as for younger preppers:  Becoming convinced that there is serious trouble ahead that will likely destroy the support systems on which we have all become far too dependent.

For me, that reality began to come home to me as I watched the unfolding of the current administration’s agenda to abandon private enterprise as an economic model and move toward a more socialistic, European model.  It still puzzles me that we can easily observe the disintegration of the economic well-being of European nations on our evening news broadcasts, and then decide to emulate them ourselves.  Human nature is a strange thing!  Regardless of the reasons, it became clear to me that there is no will to rectify the situation in Washington and that we are rushing pell-mell toward some sort of inevitable financial Armageddon.  Therefore, the only reasonable path for me was to begin prepping in earnest despite my age of 66 years.

At first my wife was not open to the idea of prepping at all.  Women don’t like their “nesting” instincts messed with and to assert that all that we have come to depend on (Social Security, pensions, health care systems, investments, and the like), might well come to an end in the reasonably near future, was and is very difficult for her to deal with.  It was understandable.  So, my initial efforts at raising her awareness consisted of providing a running commentary on the evening news.  As things in Europe began to deteriorate into economic chaos, I would just point out that if we think that we are immune to such things here, we’d better think again!  Then, when President Obama was re-elected for his second term, I turned to my wife and said, “Honey, I’m sorry if this makes you uncomfortable, but now we really do need to get serious about our prepping.”  The economic mess that has been created was not going to be addressed by the Obama administration.

Reading was essential to my preparation for prepping.  The first book that influenced me was 77 Days in September , by Ray Gorham.  This was a tale of a man on a business trip to Houston whose plane crashed on take off due to an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack on the United States.  It chronicled his trip walking home to northwest Montana, and was a primer to cultural breakdown.  Additionally, I read James Wesley Rawles, Patriots, which served as a wealth of resources for prepping and was a whopping good story.  I couldn’t get my wife to read either one because they were both just too scary, but they helped me get prepping into focus for my family and I.

Another influence in raising my awareness was information from a friend of mine who subscribes to Richard Maybury’s Early Warning Report (  Mr. Maybury is a combination historian and economist whose writings are both eloquent and pointed respecting how history intersects with economics and whose writings were often the stuff of Ron Paul campaign speeches on the topics.  The subscription to Maybury’s publication is a bit pricey, but worth the investment.

My wife was still not really on board (the contemplation of economic chaos was just too unpleasant to deal with for her), so I determined that I would begin prepping on my own simply because it is my responsibility to provide for my wife, (our daughter is grown and gone), whether or not she approved of my efforts and would willingly suffer whatever consequences may come from that.

As retired senior citizens, there are things to be considered in prepping that younger people don’t need to consider to the same degree.  Living in the wilderness at a remote retreat simply isn’t as realistic an option for seniors no matter how tempting that choice may be.  Health care needs especially come into play and the effort it takes for relocation to such locales is almost beyond our emotional and physical abilities.  This was particularly complicated for us because after 40 years of married life, we had finally retired and moved to our retirement home in northern Colorado, near Fort Collins.  We had often joked that the next box out of our house had better have one of us in it!  So for us (and I believe for most senior citizens), prepping is a “bug in” proposition.

We have some things going for us in our location.  We live in a small town of about 3,000 people.  It is mostly a bedroom community for Fort Collins, Loveland, and Greeley, Colorado.  Additionally, we are not next to I-25 but about several miles east of that major thoroughfare.  We are about an hour north of Denver which is a cause for some concern, but are hopeful that most desperate refugees would turn west from I-25 toward Fort Collins rather than east toward the open prairies.  Our community is likely small enough to get organized, but I don’t see that happening until the proverbial stuff hits the fan and they are forced to do so.

The problem with a bedroom community is that it doesn’t really see itself as a community to any great degree so it will be necessary to try to identify some like-minded folks prior to the collapse to form a cadre of leadership with which to offer our community some guidance whenever things “go south”.  It will be a difficult place to defend as we sit out on the prairie with the usual mile section grids that come with that.  Additionally, while some natural water sources are present, most are connected to irrigation canals, reservoirs, and the like, while the municipal water supply is connected to a water tower which requires electricity to pump water into it.  Water is always a big issue when you live in the rain shadow of the Rockies.  Therefore, I have begun to store water in larger quantities in house and garage.

With respect to food preparation, I have convinced my wife that having a year’s supply of food is just a practical thing to do if there is any chance that things could get rough – the Social Security and pension checks could stop coming, and the panic following an economic collapse might quickly empty the grocery store shelves.  So I opted for a two-pronged approach.

1) First, there was the purchase of some long-term foods that stored essentially longer than I am likely to stay alive.  Here I examined the “Mormon Four”:  wheat, honey/sugar, dry milk, and salt.  These were basic staples that may not be all that tasty, would keep us alive and I wouldn’t need to worry about expiration dates except for the dry milk.  There are some local grain elevators near us who sell wheat in bulk, but the grain has not been thoroughly cleaned and my wife wasn’t very excited about that.  So the best source I could find for nice, clean wheat for the price was at  I am not a Mormon, but I do recognize that these folks likely know more about food storage than just about anyone out there.  So 600 lbs. of wheat was ordered (hard red, and hard white) and stored away for safekeeping.  Likewise, a hand grain mill was ordered.  It will give you a workout, but it nicely converts wheat to useable flour.  I purchased a Wonder Mill Jr., grain mill from, and it works just fine.  Additionally, quantities of salt, sugar/honey, and dry milk were purchased and stored in the usual white buckets, but since my wife can’t open the usual plastic lids on the buckets, I opted for splurging on some gamma lids that seal nicely, but unscrew for easy access.  Arthritis takes it’s toll!

2) The second prong of my food preps involved the purchasing of food items from Sam’s Club, and the local grocery stores with emphasis being given to acquiring a year’s supply of such goods and using them on a first purchased, first eaten rotational basis.  We built some storage closets in our basement, installed shelving, and stocked them full of goods paying attention, whenever possible, to finding items with extended expiration dates.

We have also planted three raised gardens in our back yard to produce as much produce on our own as we can and have purchased long-term, heritage seeds to keep for the future.

The next real life senior concern to be addressed was prescription drugs.  Both my wife and I are on cholesterol statin drugs, and blood pressure medication as are nearly every elderly couple I know.  What to do about that?  Here I want to carefully evaluate how seriously we need these medications and seek to acquire a surplus of them.  If possible I hope to convince my doctor to prescribe a year’s supply of these medications.  If he refuses, then it is my plan to see how much of the medications I can take and still not see a significant jump in either my cholesterol “score” or my blood pressure.  Perhaps I can take the meds every other day or every third day instead of daily and save the rest.  Failing to succeed in those efforts means that when things get serious and no further prescriptions can be obtained, then I will take whatever prescription medications I have and cut them in half.  Then I will take half of those cut in half, and cut them in half again.  The object is to wean myself off of them gradually rather than take them as prescribed and then stop cold turkey.  Blood pressure medications and cholesterol drugs are preventative meds, thus, it simply may become necessary to let things play out as they will if they become unavailable.

In addition to medications, the elderly need to consider establishing a circle of friends and/or family who live in close proximity.  Eventually, us old folks get so old that we just can’t get things done on our own.  I’ve walked through these things with my own parents so I know what I am speaking about first hand.  Aging is simply one of the most challenging aspects of life and there is no such thing as the “Golden Years”.  Death does not scare me nor does it frighten my wife.  We are Christian people (I am a retired Lutheran pastor), and we know exactly where we are headed when we die and frankly can’t wait to make the trip!  What doesn’t excite us is the process of dying.  If we end up in a situation in which the usual artificial supports (medications, hospitals, doctors, and such) are not available, we know that we will die sooner rather than later.  If that is the case, then so be it!  The cadre of family and/or friends nearby is simply what people have always done in the past to care for those who can’t care for themselves until they go home to be with the Lord.

Older people are not just a drag on others, however.  We have an array of skills, knowledge, and understanding of an age when electronics didn’t even exist, when we burned our own trash in the back yard, and by and large took care of ourselves and others without the government having much to say about it.  Those are precisely the skills that communities that are cooperating in surviving need to know.  Additionally, there is a difference between being older and being decrepit.  I am old, not decrepit.  I can work a full day, shoot straight, and think clearly.  Until the day comes when such things are no longer possible for me, then I can be a productive member of any survival community.

With preppers of every age, however, I hope and pray daily that all of this preparation isn’t needed.  However, I will continue to be ready just in case it is.


Leave a comment

Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

Trash and Human Waste disposal

(Survival manual/4. Shelter issues/Trash and human waste disposal)

Unsanitation is coming and it may be closer than you think.
If you don’t properly dispose of your trash, within a couple weeks after SHTF, what you see here will be what you, your neighborhood and city will be faced with.
(Picture at left: A beautiful spring day in May 2008, Naples, Italy, one spot in one neighborhood, after 5 months without city garbage pick up – the city landfill was filled to capacity and closed.)

A.  City drowning in rubbish: 10,000 TONS of waste pile up on streets of Marseilles in chilling echo of British ‘winter of discontent’
26th October 2010, By Peter Allen.
Pasted from:
“Nearly 10,000 tons of rubbish has piled up in the streets of Marseilles as French strikes and blockades continued. All of the country’s 12 oil refineries remained closed today after nearly two weeks of industrial action which is costing the country up to £350 million a day.
During the disruption French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s opinion poll ratings have collapsed and he is now the least popular leader in the history of the Fifth Republic.
Demonstrators restored their blockade at France’s biggest refinery of Fos-sur-Mer, Marseilles, following last week’s clearing of their demonstration by CRS riot police.  ‘The refinery is back in our hands – the police are standing off,’ said a local trade union spokesman.
Around 70 ships including oil tankers are currently waiting at anchor off the coast of Marseille because militants will not let them dock and unload.
Up to a quarter of 12,500 fuel stations have run dry, with rationing introduced in area which are particularly popular with visitors from the UK, including Brittany and Normandy.
A Transport ministry spokeswoman said: ‘In the west of the country and in Paris more than a third of filling stations have been shut down – the situation is extremely serious.’
Nicolas Sarkozy scored a victory on Friday by getting his bill to make people work two more years for their pensions through the Senate, but striking refinery workers are putting a strain on businesses and daily life and show no sign of backing down…

Photographs above: Left: Marseille, France has been crippled by strikers. A fleet of huge ships  cruises offshore, unable to dock, their lights reflecting against the still  waters of the port at night. From the air it looks like a giant game of  Battleships.
Right: In the city centre, streets are still piled high with rubbish after the  refuse collectors joined dock workers, train drivers, students and airport staff who have brought the city almost to a standstill.

Photographs above: Scenes of New York City trash build up during and following an early  January 2011 winter storm. Sanitation becomes a problem immediately following even  a common, brief weather shut down. Imagine a situation that closed down  garbage and waste  removal for weeks – or months.

Meanwhile a resident in Philadelphia writes:
“You’ll be thrilled to know that I made it into work in less than 50 minutes this morning, and I didn’t need to drive ‘the 30 Blocks of Squalor’. But, I still needed to maneuver through West Philly
around the Zoo. I’m not quite sure but I believe Monday is trash day in West Philly based on the size of the garbage bags piled high in front of the ‘tenements’ and hovels. I was just happy there was no snow on the streets from the snowstorm one week ago. It seems that the new Phila snow removal program is
working wonders. Wait until the temperature goes up to 50 and the snow melts.
What struck me was how much trash and garbage was generated in such tiny row homes by people with a median household incomes of $21,000. The median value of houses in this war zone is $30,000. I’m mentally picturing the inside of these houses.
The question I have is what did these people use to purchase enough crap to generate this amount of garbage? These are the poorest of the poor in our nation and they are generating twice as much garbage as my family. In a three block stretch, there were more newer model $30,000 cars than there are in my entire upper middle class neighborhood. My driveway has an 11-year-old minivan and a 9-year-old CRV in it. What gives? They are not buying shit with wages, because 50% of the people in this neighborhood don’t work. The only thing I can think is a combination of government handouts, illegal activities, and credit cards…”

  BTrash disposal in an emergency situation
For urban dwellers: If everything is seriously messed up after the SHTF and major state functions fail like water, garbage, power, etc, then you may  need to take cover when going about business outdoors. Night disposal runs are best in two man teams. Foot travel to alternate trash dumping locations a few blocks away in the moonlight will be safer than day traffic. Avoid driving, save your fuel for more important events.
Compost all organic material, recycle all plastic, glass, metal, and wood to the best of your ability. The remaining refuse should be discarded as soon as you can to prevent disease / illness, also reduces odors.

 Incinerate the burnable rubbish, along with the plastics.
Organics get composted.  Burnables, we burn.  That probably sounds like heresy if you live in a city, and I confess I had to get used to it myself.  Hadn’t seen a burning barrel in years.  But yeah, burn’em.  Glass jars get re-used; they’re valuable.
That leaves tin cans, beer bottles and non-flammable  construction or demolition trash.  Haven’t found a self-sufficient answer for that one, so I haul it to the landfill.  If ever the day came when that was no longer practical, and I was generating that much trash, I’d contract with a neighbor who has a backhoe and make my own landfill.  I’d really hate to do that, though.
[Steel drums last about a year each, depending on how wet they become inside from rain and snow. Set the drum on a couple of concrete blocks to get it off the ground which will make the can last longer. In order to get the best combustion and the least amount of residual ash, make several dime size ventilation holes around the can’s lower periphery and up the sides. Use a steel chisel, drill or a few bullets more powerful than 22LR. Put a steel lid  on the can between burnings, to keep rain  or snow out of the ash. Wet ash accelerates rusting on the inside of the can. When the can is about 1-2 to 2/3 full it’s time to empty. If your moving the contents to another spot (and hopefully you are), have a wheel barrow handy to tote the can and contents. Dump the can upside down and bang the bottom to dislodge compacted materials then return the can to its ‘home’.

Compost to get rid of your bio-degradable materials 
Select an area for your compost pile or bin. Look for a spot that gets a lot of sunlight and has nearby access to water. Make sure the location is close to the house for convenience, but not so close that decaying organics can be smelled inside. [I had one 100 feet away for 30 years and never
smelled it, even while standing outdoors beside the house.-Mr. Larry]
Efficient decomposition requires nitrogen (kitchen scraps), carbon (yard waste), oxygen (air), and water. Collect kitchen and household scraps for the compost pile. Useful items include:
•  Fruit and vegetable scraps
•  Coffee grounds and tea leaves
•  Eggshells (rinsed of whites and yolks)
•  Shredded newspaper (not magazines)
•  Fireplace ashes
•  Sawdust

Do not compost meat, bones, fat, grease, dairy products, or pet waste. [I composted all the preceding except pet waste . The compost pile and garden loved me for it, but the larger bones don’t break down]
TIP: For more efficient composting, cut large scraps into smaller pieces.
TIP: Use a carbon-charcoal filter container to collect household scraps. The filter eliminates odors
[For many years, we used a 4-5 quart, covered, plastic ice cream pail to store our miscellaneous daily
household scraps and dumped the pail when it was full.-Mr. Larry].

  1. When the collection container is nearly full, empty the scraps to the compost bin or pile.
  2. Add a layer of leaves, grass clippings, and/or weeds from your yard. If not available, add straw.
  3. Moisten and mix the compost pile every few weeks. Water the pile, then use a pitchfork or shovel to turn the compost so that oxygen reaches all ingredients to encourage decomposition.

TIP: To make sure there is sufficient moisture, examine a clump of the material.  It should be damp, but not soggy and drippy.

  1. Adjust the proportion of compost ingredients by odor. The compost should have a good earthy smell. If the compost has an ammonia odor, add more carbon materials such as leaves and
    newspaper. If the compost smells foul, it is probably too wet and needs more dry materials such as leaves or straw.
  2. Allow the compost materials to decompose before use. It should feel crumbly, look dark, and smell earthy.
    The process typically takes a few months, depending on ingredients. Do not use compost before it’s ready—the decomposing ingredients can attract pests.
  3. In a SHTF scenario: Never put any trash near your house to avoid letting people know you
    have food. All trash which can be burned will be for fuel. Cans which cannot be reused will be crushed and buried away from the house. If water was not an issue, would wash them out to use for other purposes. If water was short they get thrown out to avoid attracting pests and guests.

This pair of compost bins were  made from 8 pallets, one pallet down the middle, and stripped boards off the 8th pallet to hold it all together. Throw kitchen scraps, some grass clippings, manure, little screened loam, leaves and other misc. “brown” material like small  twigs, rotting wood, etc. Then I leave it. Turn the compost probably 3 times next year, once in the spring, mid-summer and again next fall. Then use it in  Garden the following year. Pallets are awesome. They’re free and can be used
for all sorts of things.
[I used pressure treated rough sawn 1” x 8” pressure treated planks, they definitely looked nicer, but n a pinch the pallets would work.- Mr. Larry]

Build or purchase compost bins. A small fenced area with no bottom allows worms, soil bacteria, beetles and other beneficial organisms to work and aerate the compost. L>R: Steel post & chicken wire; circular, made with common wire fence; divided square bins made from wood slats and chicken wire.
[My bins looked similar to the wooden slat bin at right, except it was about 3 times larger and made from rough sawn pressure treated planks.


B.   Human waste disposal
Sanitation is a dirty subject that no one really wants to talk about.  But it is an often overlooked aspect of emergency preparedness.  When a disaster creates a situation where the water sources are compromised, the lack of sanitation in the given disaster area will be a disaster in itself.  A 50 mile radius of individuals could be affected by illness and disease.  Prepare appropriately for this aspect of disasters in order to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.

 Add a Sanitation Kit to Disaster Supplies
Photo at right: A confined, rolling method of moving several dozen, sealed plastic trash  bags containing human waste to a remote site –  away from your shelter.

Having a sanitation kit that is ‘ready for use’ in times of disaster is essential to keeping your family and neighbors healthy.  These kits can fit comfortably into a bucket, are affordable, and will not take up much space.  Additionally, being educated on how to properly dispose of waste is a key factor in keeping everyone healthy during a disaster.

Some suggested sanitation supplies to add to any short or long-term emergency kits are:
•  Port-a-pottie, disposable 5-6 gallon paint bucket with lid, ‘luggable loo’ with seat
•  Toilet paper
•  Rubber gloves
•  Garbage bags with twist ties ( for liners of toilets or luggable loo)
•  Bathroom cleaner, Clorox, small bowl with water-disinfectant for washing hands where there
is no running water.
•  Cat Litter or absorbent material such as saw dust or dirt
•  Baby wipes, sanitary hand towels.
•  Baking soda can be used to help eliminate odors, lime
•  Vinegar
•  Shovel

Image at right is a Short term Family Toilet Sanitation Kit, containing: 1) Double Doodie toilet waste bags (or a medium-sized plastic bucket, 5-6 gallon, lined with a heavy-duty garbage bags); 2) toilet paper (for a family you’ll definitely want more than 4 rolls for anything longer than a few days business); 3) Basics Antibacterial bath wipes (or Handi-wipes, Wet Ones, etc); 4) small bottle Aqua Chem, port-a-pottie deodorant, or RV toilet deodorant; 5) toothbrush with paste. Determine quantities from your disaster preparedness scenario.

Additional ideas:
Have several buckets with lids to store stuff up while I wait to dump them. The lids are to help control smell. Human waste will be buried away from the house.
Keep a 80 lb bag of common industrial grade powdered lime on hand.

•  We evolved to live in small bands, and move on to a new location every week or so. The further you get from that lifestyle, you’re going to need fancier and fancier engineering. A trench latrine works for campers. Leave the TP roll on the shovel handle, and throw some dirt in the trench to cover your deposit, thanks.
•  Sharing a toilet seat means you get as sick as the sickest person that uses the same throne. It’s literally like dropping ‘trou’ and bumping butts with everyone else in your group, several times a day. Lysol is a must.
•  If you are in a suburb or city, first use the toilets you already have. You can take the lid off the water
closet and add more by hand. Use any water, like after a rain, or dishwater, whatever. Toilets don’t need electricity to flush, just water in the tank. Your public sewer lines might work for a week or two before they stop up. Use the time well!
•  After that, or where you don’t have the spare water, line a bucket with a heavy trash bag, and take the seat off of a toilet, and use that. Throw the full bag in a city trash can or dumpster. It will help with the smell, and if authority comes to clean up, that is where they will empty first. You can burn the dumpster or can if you get desperate.
•  If you compost with animal or human excrement, watch out for hookworm and ringworm, which can migrate and infect plants like tomato and corn via compost. This is also especially true of dysentery, the leading cause of death in Latin America. In Africa, blood flukes are a major health hazard from this, and from people working in irrigation ditches that are waste deep, then flowing onto fields.

Photos above: Left: Drain water from you home toilet and line bowl with plastic trash bags,  remove as
necessary. Center: 5-6 gallon portable toilet, used with trash bag liners. Right: Port-a-potti style toilet with minimal flush capability, deodorant in tank, empty every day or two.

Emergency Sanitation

The images above are common, modern camp gear – toilet/shower privacy enclosures. In a really bad situation, few things will provide your accustomed comfort as the personal privacy of an emergency bathroom’.

C.  Emergency Sanitation
27 July 2009,, by Kellene Bishop
 Sanitation is one of the ten critical components of emergency preparedness. It is usually one of the top two that are most overlooked. A lot of us take emergency sanitation for granted until our toilet breaks down or the sewer backs up. Keep in mind, if there is a quarantine, who’s going to maintain the proper working order of the sewage services? If there’s a financial collapse, how will we even have the wherewithal to send our waste somewhere else? If you don’t take emergency sanitation seriously, then the consequences can be extremely dire—even up to a 50 mile radius. Preventing waste from
contaminating the soil is just as important as preventing the spread of any other disease, as it contaminates crops, water, and air. Additionally, as water will be scarce in a time of emergency, ensuring that it does not get contaminated from improper sanitation habits is critical.

High amounts of hydrogen sulfide results from human waste. It not only smells horrible, but can also be very dangerous if a great deal of build-up occurs locally. Flies, rodents, and other unwelcome “guests” are attracted to the smell of fecal matter. Flies actually consume it.
Unfortunately, this also means that human waste is speedily spread to humans via flies and rodents to multiple locations and can subsequently effect an entire community with a sanitation disaster within 48 hours. Thus ensuring that your toilets are covered and you have the ability to break down the waste is critical in order to ensure the best health in a stressful circumstance.

Your first line of defense for emergency sanitation will still be the toilet in your own home—for a little while at least. You may only have enough time to build an alternative source, but you should at least have some time to implement these initial strategies. So long as you have water supply, flush conservatively.
When you aren’t able to flush any longer, plan on pouring water down the toilet to get rid of the waste. (Think how fast you’ll be using that water folks. Now do you start to see why I say a gallon per person, per day is the minimum amount you want to store? Although, keep in mind, you can use dish water, laundry water, or leftover cooking water for this purpose.) After you no longer have this option, plan on using the toilet as more of a “bucket.” Turn off all of the water to the toilet, and then plug it up with a tennis ball to ensure that no sewage comes through. Then line your toilet with a bio-degradable, compostable bag.
When you’ve exhausted the use of that bag, seal it, and then bury it so it will decompose properly.

In the eventual likelihood that you will have to move your “outhouse” outdoors, there are several additional considerations for emergency sanitation. Obviously, you want to keep it away from any food or water supply.
But you will want to be sure that you have chlorinated lime or bleach on hand to chemically and safely break down the waste matter. (Note: Powdered, chlorinated lime is available at building supply stores and it can be used dry. Be sure to get chlorinated lime and not quick lime, which is highly alkaline and corrosive.)

Every single time a person uses the toilet, some type of disinfectant should be sprinkled on top. It can be chlorinated lime, bleach, or even some other household disinfectants such as Pinesol, Lysol Cleaner, Arm & Hammer cleaners, plain baking soda, laundry detergent, etc.


D.  What To Do When the Sanitation Hits The Fan
22 December 2010,, by Tess Pennington
Excerpts pasted from:

Cathole considerations:
When choosing a site to bury waste:
•  Select a cathole site far from water sources, 200 feet (approximately 70 adult paces) is the recommended range.
•  Select an inconspicuous site untraveled by people.  Examples of cathole sites include thick undergrowth, near downed timber, or on gentle hillsides.
•  If camping with a group or if camping in the same place for more than one night, disperse the catholes over a wide area; don’t go to the same place twice.
•  Try to find a site with deep organic soil.  This organic material contains organisms which will help decompose the feces. (organic soil is usually dark and rich in color.)  Refer to the jars used to demonstrate decomposition.  The desert does not have as much organic soil as a forested area.
•  If possible, locate our cat hole where it will receive maximum sunlight.  The heat from
the sun will aid the decomposition.
•  Choose an elevated site where water would not normally runoff during rain storms.  The idea here is to keep the feces out of water. Overtime, the decomposing feces will percolate into the soil before
reaching water sources.

Disposal of Feminine Napkins
It is important to properly dispose of sanitary napkins, as they contain bodily fluid that could pose a health hazard to others. Methods of disposal may differ according to where you are and what you have available.  However, tampons and feminine napkins do not decompose quickly.  Therefore, the best way to dispose of used feminine napkins tampons is to burn them. The fire must be very hot in order to thoroughly destroy the used items.

Sanitation will require the same type of  supplies for a short-term as a long-term disaster, however, a more permanent structure needs to be in place for long-term use.

Leave a comment

Filed under Survival Manual, __4. Shelter Issues

Washing laundry (during an emergency)

(Survival manual/4. Shelter issues/Washing laundry)

Water and Wastewater quality
The effectiveness of your City’s Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants may be undermined during a high mortality pandemic or other local/regional disaster.
Current plans for antiviral and antibiotic use during a severe influenza pandemic could reduce wastewater treatment effectiveness prior to discharge into receiving rivers, resulting in deteriorating quality at drinking water abstraction points.
The research team concluded that, consistent with expectations, a mild pandemic (as in 2009) was projected to exhibit a negligible ecotoxicologic hazard. However in a moderate and severe pandemic nearly all Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants (80-100%) were projected to exceed the threshold for microbial growth inhibition, potentially reducing the capacity of the plant to treat water. In addition, a proportion (5-40%) of the River Thames was similarly projected to exceed key thresholds for environmental toxicity, resulting in potential contamination and eutrophication at drinking water abstraction points.


A.  How to do laundry by  hand, country-style,  #1
WordPress, Published May 5, 2009
“You can get a big tub and do your laundry by hand!” the Thai owners of my building announced happily when I asked them if there were any washing machines I could use, or some kind of laundry service.
Me: “Um….ok….um…how would I do that, exactly?”
I’ve washed one or two things out by hand in the sink, but any kind of large-scale laundry-washing endeavor has involved, WASHING MACHINES. But washing machines are actually rare here, especially the real, modern kind so hand-washing everything is pretty common.
Of course, any place poor enough for laundry machines to be a novelty probably has lots of people I could pay to do my laundry. However, I like doing chores myself. Also, while it’s easy to pay people to do stuff for you in Thailand, it can be quite hard to get things done the way you want — so in most cases it’s a lot simpler to do it yourself.

 Here’s how you wash laundry by hand:
1.  You need a big laundry tub, about 3 feet wide a laundry brush, and of course detergent. If you’re a princess like me, you need rubber gloves too. The giant tub is important, it really doesn’t work well to do a lot of laundry in your sink.
2.  Put water and detergent in the tub, then the laundry. Make sure everything is wet, then let it soak for 1/2 hour.
3.  Using the laundry brush, take each item of clothing and inspect it for stains, and give it a good scrub with the brush.
4.  Drain the water, and put in new, clean water.
5. Let stuff soak a little bit more.
6. Drain water, and twist out the water from each item. Once you have to twist out a towel or jeans, you will have a newfound appreciation for centrifugal force!
7. Hang each item on a hanger and put it out in the sun. In Thailand, where temperatures reach 104ºF, no one except hotels own dryers: it takes about an hour for clothes to dry in the afternoon sun.

B. Another way to wash by hand
1.  Heat the water in one of the tubs over a hot fire.
2.  Set the other two tubs up on blocks or a tree stump side by side
10-15 feet away from the fire.
3.  Make certain all tubs are secure.
4.  Fill one tub with boiling water, adding enough cold water to make it tolerable for your hands.
5.  Add a few white clothes to the wash water.
6.  Put the washboard in the tub and rub the surface with a bar of soap.
7.  Take a piece of laundry out of the water, lay it the length of and on top of the wash board. Rub soap on material.
8.  With the edge of the material held in your hand between thumb and fingers, begin to rub up and down the board with the heel of your hand, gathering and pulling the material toward you.
9.  Push the material down in the water and start from the beginning.
10.  Scrub each garment vigorously four to eight times.
11.  Dip into water, rinse, wring out water and put in next tub filled with warm rinse water.
12.  Rinse in second water, wring dry, and hang on clothesline.

C.  How to wash laundry by hand #3
If you are like me, you are always searching for ways to help the environment, get back to basics, and do things by hand. Well, washing your laundry by hand is a great way to start. This article can help you learn all of the different method you can use to wash your clothes by hand, and places to find the equipment you will need to get started.

Decide on how you are going to wash your clothes. Here are some of the way available.
You can use a simple basin and washboard. This method is cheap and effective. You simply apply the lye soap to the wet laundry, and scrub with a laundry brush against the washboard. You will probably need another basin with clean water to rinse your laundry.
Another option is to use a Rapid Washer. This is shaped like a plunger and used in about the same way. It really kicks out the dirt and grime.
If you really want to make a commitment to washing your clothes and laundry by hand, I would invest in a Lehman’s Hand Washer. It has a pivoting arm that really get the clothes clean, in only about 7 minutes per load! It is a more expensive option, but well worth it.
You will want to wring out your laundry before hanging it up to dry. This is a wringer, which can attach to your hand washer or to your basin. Simply wring the items of laundry through the wringer and it is ready to hang.
After your clothes are wrung out and ready to hang, you will want to put them up on a clothesline. You will also want to buy a lot of clothespins. String your line up between two trees, between your fence and your house, or on a free-standing unit.
Congratulations! You can now wash your clothes and laundry by hand!

D.  Laundry When the Wash Machine’s Out
This article will explain a couple of ways to do laundry when there is no wash machine handy. Why would we want to know this? There are several times in a survivalist’s life when he may find himself without a wash machine. The most common one would be while camping. We will look at this first.
I cannot claim to have discovered this technique, but I can tell you from experience that it works. I found it in one of “Ranger Rick” Tscherne’s Ranger Digests. For as long as I can remember, I’ve never packed more than one spare change of clothing in any backpack I’ve ever put up; whether it be for going to the field or as a BOB.  This is because I’ve always included two things that more than make up for the weight: a G.I. waterproof bag and a Ziploc full of laundry detergent. The waterproof bag has about two-dozen uses in the field, but in our case, we’re going to turn it into a hand-powered wash machine with agitating action.

1. Put one set of clothes-one shirt, one pair of trousers, a t-shirt, pair of socks and drawers-in the bag. To prolong the life of the bag, turn the pants inside out-if they’re BDUs, the metal take-up tabs on the sides will scratch the bag, and the buttons on blue jeans will do the same
2. Pour a quart (one canteen’s worth) of cold water into the bag, along with a mess-kit spoon’s worth of laundry soap. You can throw in a couple of SMOOTH river rocks if you have them, but this is not critical.
3. Close the bag up partway and squeeze most of the air out.
4. Finish closing the bag in the form of a “gooseneck” (instructions are printed on the side of the bag).
5. Squeeze, roll, mangle and toss the bag around for about five minutes. Really work the thing. You’ll hear it squish and squash. This is just what you want to happen.
6. Open the bag, wring out the clothes, pour in another quart of water, and repeat steps 1 through 5 until laundry is clean (may take two or three rinses).
7. Line-dry as you would normally. To get it to dry faster and avoid wrinkles, make sure your laundry is spread out as smoothly on the line as you can. I thread the line through the sleeves of BDU jackets and t-shirts; this seems to help.

Now suppose we’re at home, and there’s no power. Or, as was my case, suppose you find yourself “in between jobs” for a spell and really don’t want to waste money running the wash machine or going to the Laundromat? You still need clean clothes, as much from the standpoint of good morale as for hygiene’s sake (who wants to put on skuzzy old clothes after washing up?).

Anything you can throw in the wash machine can be hand washed. One of the best money-saving investments you can make is to go and buy an old-fashioned washboard and a drying rack. Washboards cost maybe $15.00 or so, last time I checked, and I bought a folding wood drying rack for about $5.00 at Wal-Mart. If you have a small, non-chain hardware store in your community, it’s a safe bet they’ll sell washboards. The Dollar Store may as well-you just might get lucky. Mine have paid for themselves many times over. If you have a large mop bucket, use it. Mop buckets use less water, and the washboard sits in there better than if you only use the bathtub.

Hand washing has one other advantage; namely, you can get really hard-to-clean clothes cleaner washing them by hand than any machine will do.
Start by “pre-treating” any really heavily soiled clothes. I work outdoors, and my blue jeans get filthy. No wash machine ever made has got the knees or the seam near the hems completely clean. Instead, I take a bristle brush and some cheap shampoo, dribble the latter on the problem area, and scrub the daylights out of it with the brush. They’ll fade more than in a washer, but that’s bound to happen anyway.
You can use the cheap shampoo trick right now, while you’re still using a wash machine. Just pre-treat stains and soils with some shampoo instead of the more expensive stuff, which is really only shampoo without the fragrance. It works wonders on grease and oils.

1.  To use a washboard, sit it in the bucket with about a gallon of water. Have a clean place to put clothes that have been washed-I use the bathtub. You can either use normal laundry soap or, if you really want to save money, use a bar of yellow Fels-Naptha brand soap. It’s a cake of soap that’s harder and slightly larger than normal bath soap bars. It costs around $2.00 or so and lasts for about seven or eight small loads of laundry.
2.  Take one piece of laundry, dunk it in the water, and lay it against the washboard. You don’t have to lay all of it against the washboard, just one part at a time. Rub the bar of soap against the clothing-it’ll be hard and will crumble a bit when it’s new or dry, but will be easier to work with after a while. Then just pretend you’re cleaning the washboard with the clothing. It’s a thing more easily done than described, but cleaning clothes like this is pretty intuitive, and you’ll get the hang of just how to do it in no time.
3.  You’ll also find that, after a while, the water gets pretty soapy, and that you may not need to rub the soap on the clothing at all. For clothes that aren’t soiled so much as “funky,” you may only need to squish them around in your hands for a while.
4.  After all your clothes have been washed, it’s time to rinse. This calls for a LOT of water, but the water doesn’t have to be drinkable, only clean. I’ve found that it usually takes two good rinsings to get the dirt and soap out. Wringing as much as possible out beforehand will save water.
Fill the bathtub with half of the water you intend to use (anywhere from three to six gallons is about right, depending on the size of the load). Swish and swirl the clothing around with your hands. You must make sure to get the soap out of the places you scrubbed it in, and this may take some elbow-grease. By the way, if you haven’t noticed, this is an awesome workout for the muscles of the hands, wrists and forearms!
5.  After you’re done rinsing, wring the clothes out and either line-dry them or hang them on a drying rack indoors. If you have a heat source, put the rack near it. An open window with a breeze wafting through will also help to dry things quicker. Remember again to lay things as flat as possible, or you’ll get wrinkles. Now it’s just a matter of time.

White bed linens, drawers and so forth should be bleached. What’s more, these articles can stand boiling water. Unless you have a huge cauldron on a wood-fire outside, you’ll just have to use the hottest water you can get. Linens and clothing used in caring for the sick should certainly be bleached and boiled if possible, but in any case bleached. Use household rubber gloves if you don’t want your hands looking and feeling like a concrete worker’s. If not directly soiled, whites can be swirled around in bleachy/soapy water in the tub with a wooden stick.

I’ve read one suggestion that has some merit to it, although I admit I’ve never tried it. A lady whom I hold in rather high regard made a sort of washer out of a 5-gallon bucket with lid, a plumber’s plunger and a ring washer similar to that used for protecting the wiring that goes through the firewall of a car. She bored a hole in the lid, fitted the washer through, and put the plunger inside. It looks like a butter churn would if they were made of plastic. As I said, I haven’t tried this, but there seems no reason why it shouldn’t work.

Woolens don’t necessarily need to be dry cleaned. Sweaters, blankets and such can be washed with Woolite, according to the instructions on the bottle. They should not be wrung or twisted, but rather laid flat and dried. It’ll take a good long while, but that’s what you pay to get wool’s other benefits.
One final tip. If you use Fels-Naptha soap, make sure to put it in a soap dish or something that’ll let it dry out. If you let it stay soggy, it’ll turn to mush and you’ll end up wasting most of it.
Washing things by hand is pretty simple, and it’s also really inexpensive. It also gets clothes cleaner than they would if you’d washed them in a machine. Trouble is, it’s awfully hard work. You can now see why people had so few clothes in the past.

eAudrey’s Luxuriant Soap and Crafts

 1.  Rendering Tallow
•   3-5 lbs. suet or other meat fat
•   water
•   2-4 Tbls. salt
•   sharp knife
•    large pot
•   long handled wooden spoon
•   safety goggles
•   rubber gloves
•   wood or stainless ladle
•   colander
•   primary mold

__1)  Cut or grind the suet into the smallest pieces possible. This will make it melt more easily.
__2)  Place ground suet into a pot. Make sure there is room for expansion as it heats.
__3)  Add 3 inches of water to pot. At this point, add the salt.
__4)  Set mixture over medium high heat and put on safety gear.
__5)  Stir mixture as it heats. Melt the suet into as much liquid as possible.
__6)  Allow a slow boil only. Mash the small pieces with the spoon. This could take up to two hours, depending on how much fat and how small the pieces.
__7)  Once the suet is liquefied, remove from heat. Pour or ladle it into a sieve or colander to remove any meat, sinew, or gristle. Mix the strained solids with peanut butter and put out for the birds.
__8)  Fill your primary mold with the strained mixture and refrigerate overnight.
__9)  Remove mold from fridge and turn upside down in the sink. Allow any extra water to drain away.
__10)  You now have a block of tallow. Refrigerate or freeze until you are ready to make a batch of basic soap.

2.  Basic Soap Instructions
__1)   Read directions for recipe to make sure you have the required ingredients and gear.
__2)  Use safety gloves and goggles or eyeglasses.
 __3)  Weigh the required amount of water (distilled is best) into one of the pitchers. To do this place an empty pitcher on the scale and set to zero. Now measure the amount of water.
__4)  Using the same method as above weigh the lye needed in the second pitcher.
__5)  Carefully pour the lye into the pitcher containing the water. You must avoid splashing-this is the most dangerous step! Never add the water to the lye.
__6)  Stir solution gently with a wooden spoon until dissolved. Make sure you have sufficient ventilation. Resist the temptation to lean over the pitcher to get a good look. You do not want to breathe anywhere near this container.
__7)  While the lye is cooling, melt the fats. The temperature of both must eventually be brought to 100 degrees simultaneously. If the lye solution cools too much, put the pitcher in a pan or bowl of hot water.
__8)  Double-check the temperatures of the lye and fat solutions to be sure they are 100-110 degrees (equal temperature is desired).
__9)  While stirring the fats, pour the lye solution into the melted fat/oil in a thin stream. Stir continuously to ensure the lye mixes into the fat.
__10)  Continue stirring in a carefully manner to avoid splashing. The mixture should start thickening. You will eventually see “trailings” or lines on the surface. This could take 20 minutes to an hour, usually closer to one hour. Be careful using hand mixers as they can speed things up too much.
 __11)  Pour this liquid soap into your large plastic container mold. Put the lid on and wrap with the towel.
__12)  Put the wrapped mold in a warm place and allow to set for 48 hours.
__13)  After 48 hours, unwrap the mold. The soap should still be warm. If the surface is still very soft leave lid off for a day. If soap looks abnormal refer to Troubleshooting or keyboard shortcut Alt-t. When it is as firm it is ready to be removed from the mold.
__14)  Remove soap from mold. To do this, first pull the plastic mold away from the soap on all sides. Then, turn the mold over onto the needle point screen or plastic. If it doesn’t fall out of the mold, push down on the upside down mold and it should pop out. You should have a nice clean block of soap ready to be cut into bars.
__15)  First, score the surface where the cuts will be made. Then, warm the knife to be used in water. Dry the knife and cut the block into bars of soap.
__16)  The hand cut bars still need to cure. They will become lighter in weight and slightly smaller. Place them on the plastic needlepoint screen for about three weeks.
Check your local hardware store – Depending on the regulations where you live, some hardware stores may sell 100% sodium hydroxide as a drain cleaner, or ‘Red Devil’ Lye drain cleaner.
Discontinued mfg., 1 lb, ~$11.00 inc S&H., 1 lb, $10.09 inc S&H., 2 lbs, $19.95 inc S&H.

Leave a comment

Filed under Survival Manual, __4. Shelter Issues

Washing dishes (during an emergency)

(Survival Manual/4. Shelter issues/Washing dishes)

A.  How to Wash Dishes in Cold Water
eHow, by Patricia Loofbourrow
We’re used to hot water, dishwashers and other modern conveniences. But what about when the power goes out? In many area of the Midwest, ice storms cause power outages, sometimes for weeks. Hurricanes in the south or earthquakes in the west can lead to power outages as well.
For those who live in all-electric homes, losing power for more than a few days leaves you with a stack of dirty, greasy dishes to deal with, and unless you’re ready to spend all day heating water, you’ll soon be asking “How do I wash dishes in cold water?”
Here’s how.
An additional benefit to using this method is that it uses minimal water, so if your water supply is low (for example, whatever the disaster is has disrupted water supplies as well) you won’t waste a lot of water on washing dishes.
Be prepared!

Instructions: things you’ll need:
__•  water
__•  dish soap or bar soap
__•  sponge or dishrag
__•  a dish pan
__•  dish drainer (you can also use the rack on your dishwasher for a drainer if need be)

1.  Place dishes in the empty dish pan.
2.  Stacking the dishes neatly in the dish pan will help you get as many in as you can. Keep sharp items (like sharp knives) out of the dishpan; place these on the counter and wash them separately.
3.  Place a small amount of dish soap on the sponge or dishrag (between a dime and a nickel sized spot). If using bar soap, rub the damp bar with the sponge or dishrag a couple of times.
4.  Pick out silverware and scrub them with the sponge or dishrag one at a time until they are clean (no grease or stuck-on food), laying them on the counter with soap still on them. When you have a good handful of silverware (or you have cleaned all of them), pick up the entire bunch and rinse them under a slow stream of water over the dish pan so the soapy water falls into the dish pan.
5.  When you have rinsed all the soap off the silverware, turn the water off and place the silverware into your dish drainer.
6.  Take the bottom plate from the stack of plates in the dish pan and soap it until it is clean.
7.  Turn on a slow stream of water and rinse the plate, then turn off the water and put the plate in the dish drainer. Repeat step 7 for each plate in the dish pan until either all the plates are clean or the dish pan is full of water.
8.  You may notice that the dishes are easier to clean as you go along, because the soapy water soaks off any stuck-on food as the plates sit in it.
9.   This is called greywater, and is still useful if you need it.
10.  When the dish pan is full of water, take out any remaining plates and put them to the side. Dump the dish pan water into your garden, use to flush your toilet, pour it onto your compost bin, or pour down the sink if there is nowhere you need the water.
Note: Use the next method if hot to b oiling water is available.


B.  Washing Dishes in a Camp/Emergency situation. Hot water available.
Most campers are environmentally conscious and prefer to stick with reusable rather than disposable kitchen items but give in to the throwaways because washing dishes while camping seems like such a daunting or impossible task.
So here is the easy step-by-step camping dishwashing process that we faithfully use to wash dishes when we are camping. We use this method on both our family camping trips as well as our scouting trips where everyone brings a mess kit and there are no throwaway plates, cups, or utensils used.

What Equipment Do You Need?
When setting up our camping dishwashing station, first we start with the equipment list. We keep all of things packed in our kitchen box…except for the water, the dirty dishes, and the human of course!
__•  Paper Towels
__•  Your Favorite Dish soap
__•  A Dishcloth/Sponge & Scrubby
__•  Tongs
__•  Three Dish pans
__•  Hot Water
__•  Cool Water
__•  A splash of bleach or sanitizing tablets (optional)
__•  Dirty Dishes

Step 1:  Heat The Water
Immediately after dinner is ready, we put two or three pots of water to boil on the stove while we are eating. Actually, we put two…and then do the third one afterwards because that is what works for us with the equipment we have. One pot will be in the largest cooking pot we have, for the other we use our coffeepot.

Step 2: Wipe The Plates
After dinner…and this is the only place we use disposable paper good item…everyone takes a paper towel and wipes their plate and silverware clean of any food particles. This can be done with one paper towel and it is an important step to help to keep the food particles out of the washtub. We put the paper towels in the fire ring to be burned later during our campfire.

Step 3: Set Up The Wash Tubs
Now it is time to get the three tubs out. You can work from left to right, or right to left, whichever works best for you.
I will call them A, B, and C to make it easy to follow along with the directions. I usually fill the tubs only halfway or a little more…not to the top.
These are just cheap ordinary rectangular dish tubs you can get at Wal-Mart. They easily nest inside each other and you can put a bunch of your kitchen stuff inside the top one for storage.

Step 4: Prepare the tubs
•  Tub A is for washing. We put a few squirts of dish soap in here, then fill the tub halfway with regular water. You should be using an environmentally safe, biodegradable soap such as Campsuds or one of the Dr. Bronner’s natural soaps. When the hot water is ready, we add some to warm this tub up. This is a personal preference. I like the water to be warm when I am washing the dishes while my husband likes cool water (which feels yucky to me!).
•  Tub B is the rinsing tub and gets just plain water in it. We fill the tub 1/3 of the way with cool water, and the rest (about 2/3) with hot water.
•  Tub C is for sterilization. This is a very important part of your camping dishwashing station…don’t skip it!!! Some people like to use sterilization tablets, some put a few drops of bleach in the tub (health safety standards recommend 1 teaspoon of bleach for every 2 gallons of water)…but we use only pure boiling hot water. This is extremely hot and you will need tongs to pull the dishes out of this tub.

Step 5: The Washing Process
•  Using a paper towel, thoroughly wipe any food residue off of the plates. You want as little food as possible to be in the tub when washing. One paper towel is good for wiping several plates.
•  Start with the cleanest dishes first, leaving the dirtiest dishes, usually the pots and pans and mixing bowls, for last.
•  The first dishes to be washed will be placed in Tub A with the soapy water and dishcloth or sponge, just like you do in a sink.
•  After washing, the dishes come out of Tub A and into Tub B where you agitate a little to rinse off the soap.
•  Now the dishes get moved from Tub B, the rinsing tub, to Tub C, sterilization. Be careful when you put the dishes in so you don’t splash the hot water on yourself!
•  Let the dishes sit a few minutes in the boiling water (Tub C) while you go back to Tub A and wash some more dirty dishes….put these washed dishes in Tub B to rinse, and while they are in there, with the tongs take the clean, sterilized dishes out of Tub C.
•  Spread some paper towels, or use a portable dish drainer if you like, and let them drip dry upside down (we do spread out paper towels for this which we reuse all weekend)

And that is it! Now in writing this, it sounds like a complicated procedure, partly because I really broke down the steps into baby steps to make sure I was explaining it well. But really, camping dishwashing is very simple and easy to do. Your dishes are done in no time at all…and with a lot less water than you use at home!

6.  Dumping The Water
Now it is time to clean up the camping dishwashing area! The method that we use to dispose of the dishwater also sounds a little complicated….but it is not at all…and it is done this way to wash out and clean up your dish tubs without using any more water than you already used for the dishes!
•  First dump out the water in Tub A. This was the washing water with the soap…and will be the dirtiest of the three tubs (See the ‘minimal impact’ method of dumping your water, discussed in the next section.)
•  Now…dump the rinse water from Tub B into the empty Tub A (this gives Tub A a rinse with cleaner water that you already have).
•  Now…dump the boiling water (it won’t be boiling hot anymore) from Tub C into Tub B. So now Tub C is empty and clean and you are done with it. Turn it upside down with your other clean dishes to dry.
•  So now you have water in only Tub A and Tub B. Go ahead and dump the water from Tub A again.
•  Now pour the hot water from Tub B into Tub A so Tub B is clean and empty, and Tub A is getting its final rinse with the batch of hot rinse water. Put Tub B upside down with the clean dishes to dry.
•  Finally, dispose of the water in Tub A and turn it over to dry…and you are done! And your dishes are done too!

This is the method I learned 12 years ago when I was a Cub Scout mom and leader….and we have used it on every family campout and Boy Scout training and troop campout I have been on. We always set up a three-tub camping dishwashing station…and the dishes come out clean and, most importantly, sanitary.


C.  Some Rules For Your Camp/Emergency Dishwashing Station
As campers we love nature and its beauty and try to do the best we can to promote Leave No Trace camping, or camping that does as little damage as possible to the environment.
There are many debates as to whether soapy camping dishwashing, is more harmful to the environment than using paper and plastic disposables.
All of the research I have done points to camping dishwashing with reusable plates, pots, silverware, and cups, as being the preferred method…but here are some important steps you should take when washing your dishes at your campsite to make sure you protect the area so many can enjoy it in the future as well.
__•  If possible, use small quantities of biodegradable soap.
__•  Make sure you wash and dispose of the waste water at least 100 feet from any water source. Never pour it into a river or lake, or any water source as this will contaminate the water!
__•  If possible, dig a small hole to pour the water into, to allow the ground to filter the water and return it back to the water source in its own natural way. If you can’t dig a hole, spread it over the ground to encourage natural filtration.

During campouts, I have seen people washing their dishes/pots/pans under a running spigot on their site. This is not an acceptable practice of camping dishwashing for several reasons. First, the running water is a huge waste of excess water! Second, the water is not being dispersed of properly to encourage natural filtration.
Using the ‘three-pan method’ for camping dishwashing takes a few extra steps than using a running spigot, but it is proper camping technique, sanitary for the environment…and for you, your family, and our dishes!

D.  How to Use Clorox Bleach in Water Treatments
November 19, 2010,, by Cricket Webber
In an emergency, purified water is essential.
The most thorough way to purify water is to boil it, but in an emergency this is not always possible. If you have no way to boil contaminated water, you can use Clorox bleach instead. Bleach is an inexpensive and highly effective disinfectant. You can use bleach to clean all sorts of surfaces, and it is used to keep laundry disinfected and clean. Common household bleach breaks down to salt and water after it has performed its disinfecting task. Never drink undiluted bleach, but you can use it to safely purify water in an emergency situation. The purified water can be used for drinking, cooking or washing dishes.
1.  Pour the water you want to purify into a clean container. If the water has a cloudy appearance, filter it before adding it to the clean container. Use a coffee filter or a paper towel to filter particles out of the water.
2.  Add Clorox bleach to the water with an eyedropper. To purify 1 qt. of water, add 3 drops of bleach. For 1/2 gallon of water, add 5 drops of bleach, and for 1 gallon of water, add 1/8 tsp. of bleach. If the water is cloudy or cold, increase the amount of bleach to 5 drops for 1 qt., 10 drops for 1/2 gallon, and 1/4 tsp. for 1 gallon.
3.  Dish rinsing:  a) If using hot water to rinse to disinfect dishes and utensils, add 1/8 tsp bleach per gallon water. b) If using a cold water rinse, add  ¼ tsp bleach per gallon water.
Mix the bleach thoroughly into the water.
4.  Let the bleach and water sit for at least 30 minutes before you use it. If the water is cold or cloudy, allow the water to sit for at least 60 minutes. The purified water should smell faintly of bleach when the reaction is complete.

E.  How to Prevent Food Borne Illness by Cleaning Your Kitchen, by Amanda C. Strosahl<>
[I have adapted this article to the emergency kitchen-Mr Larry]

More than 200 known diseases are transmitted through food. In the United States alone, an estimated 6 million to 81 million illnesses and up 9,000 deaths are caused by food borne diseases each year.
Keeping your emergency kitchen clean is a simple, yet effective way, of preventing food borne illness. Here are some easy steps you can take to make your kitchen a safe area.
1. It is easier to clean an emergency kitchen or camp table work  surface when you do not have to fight your way through it. Store pots/pans and dining accessories in cupboards, cabinets or boxes.  Keeping the extra surfaces to a minimum will provide less breeding ground for bacteria.
2. Clean out your refrigerator-ice chest on a regular basis. Discard any food that shows signs of spoilage. Wipe down the shelves and door using warm, soapy water or cleaning spray. It is safe to use dish detergent in your water when cleaning your refrigerator, but avoid using a variety that has a strong fragrance.
3. Clean up any spills on your stove top each time you cook. Use warm, soapy water or a kitchen cleaner. If you have used a camp oven, wipe the surfaces and racks after the interior has cooled. It is easier to remove drips and grease from the oven as they happen.
4. The work surfaces are the most dangerous areas in the emergency kitchen. Food, utensils and hands come directly in contact with these surfaces several times per day. Wipe down the work areas of your countertops or work top table before and after using them. Use hot, soapy water or a kitchen cleaning spray. Remove everything from the work surfaces and wash the entire surface once per week. An effective sanitizing solution for thoroughly cleaning the kitchen counters is to mix one capful of bleach into a quart of warm water. Allow the counters to air dry.
5. Wash dishes as soon as you can after using them. Do not let dirty dishes sit out on the counter. Bacteria and mold grows quickly on dirty dishes, especially in warm temperatures. Dirty dishes attract flies and other insects, as well as rodents. Wash dishes by hand using the procedures discussed above each time you prepare a meal.
6. Change your dish towel and dish washcloth daily. Bacteria can survive for weeks in a wet dishcloth or sponge. It is important to change your dishcloth, dishtowels and sponges on a daily basis. Use one dishcloth or sponge for cleaning the counters and another for washing the dishes. Use disposable paper towels when cleaning up spilled fluids from raw meat. If you plan to use a single dishcloth throughout the day, let it soak in a little water that has had a couple drops of bleach added to it between uses.

Leave a comment

Filed under Survival Manual, __4. Shelter Issues