Naked and Afraid

The contestants on Naked and Afraid probably wish they had taken a crash course in textiles before they shipped out. I don’t know about you, but I was raised with a little modesty, and enough smarts to avoid the casting calls for stupid reality TV shows.

But if the money was right, and I decided to display my bare buttocks to the world while attempting to survive in a harsh environment, you can bet my derriere wouldn’t be exposed for long. I’d find the best local materials to twist into string, and then weave the string into some clothing and footwear. We’ll talk about how.

First, collect some fiber. Hundreds of species of plants, vines, and trees around the globe have a fibrous inner bark. Strip off a large amount of this fiber and shred it into long strips. Grab a long strip with a small diameter and twist it until it kinks. Hold the kink, and keep twisting each bundle of fiber.

If you twisted clockwise to begin the cord, then keep twisting the fiber bundles clockwise, allowing them to encircle each other counter clockwise. It is the opposing force that make will make the line strong. Splice in new fibers to continue twisting as long a line as you need.

Once you have dozens of yards of string, you can start thinking about weaving and looms.

You might imagine knitting and crocheting to be the domain of sweet little grannies, but those skills allow you to crank out hats, socks, sweaters, and pretty much anything else you’d need from the clothing department.

However, knitting and crocheting aren’t easy skills to master. Creating a primitive loom is a lot easier for most folks to accomplish, and the squares of cloth they produce can be sewn into almost anything.

To make your loom, tie four softwood sticks together to make a square or rectangle. Use small metal nails, wooden pegs, or sharp hardwood thorns (like honey locust or hawthorn) to create pegs on opposing sides of the frame perimeter. This could also be done with stakes in the ground, or lines hanging from another line (as in net making). For the loom, wind some of your string back and forth between two opposing sets of pegs, tying off each end of the line.

Now tie off a new line to the first line, and start weaving the new line over/under—back and forth, just like you did when making that potholder for mom at summer camp. Each course should be pushed tight to the prior one.

In ancient times, the weaver would make the cloth and a second tradesman, the fuller, would tighten the cloth. But if you’re in survival mode, you’ll need to take care of it all yourself. Remove the textile from the loom, tie off any loose ends when finished, and use it as you see fit.

The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth,

Jonathan Chambers

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Make like a tree and leaf

Until his mid-twenties, my Dad slept on what’s called a Shuck Bed. This is a mattress stuffed with dried corn husks. He recalls it being a little lumpy, but functional. It hasn’t been very long since people used natural vegetation insulation for sleeping purposes.

Our last Afternoon Alert was about survival hacks you can accomplish with leaves. There are so many uses, the topic deserves another installment. The Shuck Bed is not the only thing leaves can be used for……

Have you ever thought of leaf roof shingles? Large leaves from plants like burdock and skunk cabbage can be used to shingle a lean-to in a matter of minutes. Leafy branches can be used the same way. Remember to start from the bottom and work your way up, just like you would shingle a house. This overlapping pattern prevents rain from seeping through.

With a little creativity, you can use leaves to direct and harvest water. Rain water is the easiest form of fresh drinking water in the wild if you can get enough of it. Arranging leaves to harvest rain can gather exponentially more if you do it right. Look at them as nature’s little mini-tarps.

From plates to bowls, leaves can be repurposed in all types of different functional ways. I use basswood leaves for plates and napkins all the time. They’re edible, durable and environmentally safe! 

And lettuce not forget the most obvious use for leaves; food! I can’t even list all the wild plant leaves that are edible. I’ve eaten leaves raw, baked, roasted, dried and often use them as wraps instead of tortillas.

One of my favorite wild meals is shredded bluegill mixed with yellow wood sorrel and wrapped in basswood leaves. I also love young basswood leaves, dandelion greens and wood sorrel mixed in a salad with a little olive oil and vinegar. 

Do you have any secret survival hacks using leaves?

Remember, we’re all in this together,

Derek Paulson

Saturday, June 24th, Harrison, Arkansas. Get Unconfused.

The Roper Report

There’ll be at least one rally this summer where all of the homosexuals are on one side, and all of the White Nationalists are on the other.

If you like clear lines being drawn, come join us in Harrison, Arkansas, June 24th.

You know which side you’re on. Let them know, too.

The Trad Rally, sponsored by The ShieldWall Network. June 24th, Harrison, Arkansas. Show the Antifa that they won’t shut us down.

E-mail roper_billy@yahoo.com for details.

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AntiFa in Arkansas Fragmenting and Infighting Leading Up To Harrison Showdown June 24th

The Roper Report

Several groups of Antifa in Arkansas have pledged to attend next weekend’s Gay Pride parade and Diversity Fest in Harrison, Arkansas, on June 24th. After it was made clear that many local citizens and patriots from different churches and organizations would be coming out against them, and that at least one of those groups of protesters, The ShieldWall Network, aren’t afraid of defending themselves forcefully, widening cracks are showing between the different Communist, Anarchist, and LGBTQ groups which make up Antifa in Arkansas.

AARA claims “The…faction that Roper represents is having a larger demonstration in Harrison, AR on June 24th, and the AARA calls for people to show up and help us shut it down. Other coordinating groups include Mountain Home Redneck Revolt, Anti-Tyranny Brigade, and Anon-Resistance.

Yesterday it was reported that through “United Front Arkansas”,  in statements on their facebook page, using the…

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Dark Clouds Are Gathering

Today, millions of Americans say they believe the United States is on the verge of a major economic collapse and will soon be entering another Great Depression. But only a small percentage of those same people are prepared for this to happen. 

The sad truth is most Americans would last little more than a month on what they have stored up in their homes. Most of us are so used to running out to the supermarket or to Wal-Mart for whatever we need that we never even stop to consider what would happen if suddenly we were not able to do that.

Already the U.S. economy is starting to stumble about like a drunken frat boy. All it would take for the entire U.S. to resemble New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina would be for a major war, a terror attack, a deadly pandemic or a massive natural disaster to strike at just the right time and push the teetering U.S. economy over the edge. 

Just how would you survive if you suddenly could not rely on the huge international corporate giants to feed, clothe and supply you and your family? Do you have a plan?

Unless you already live in a cave or you are a complete and total mindless follower of the establishment media, you should be able to see very clearly our society is more vulnerable now than it ever has been. 

We have a world that is full of lunatics in positions of power, and if one of them decides to set off a nuclear, chemical or biological weapon in a major city it could paralyze an entire region. War could erupt in the Middle East at literally any moment, and if it does the price of oil will double or triple (at least) and there is the possibility that much of the entire world could be drawn into the conflict. Scientists tell us that a massive high-altitude EMP (electromagnetic pulse) blast could send large portions of the United States back to the stone age in an instant. In addition, there is the constant threat that the outbreak of a major viral pandemic (such as what happened with the 1918 Spanish Flu) could kill tens of millions of people around the globe and paralyze the economies of the world.

But even without all of that, the truth is that the U.S. economy is going to collapse. So just think of what will happen if one (or more) of those things does happen on top of all the economic problems we are having.

Are you REALLY prepared?

Always Safe, Always Prepared

Frank Mitchell

How To Save A Life

Saving money can be difficult, especially in a down economy or if you have recently suffered loss of an income. When you want to save money, there are various tips and tricks available to help.

Build an emergency cash fund. Stuff happens. Your car has a mechanical breakdown and there is no other way to get to work or to town so you must have it fixed. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a cookie jar full of bills so you can pay for the repairs? In the old days, this was called a Rainy Day fund. These days, it is called an emergency fund.

Much like prepping, this is one thing you can do using baby steps. How about one meal a week of beans, rice, and a nice chunk of healthy bread (that you have made yourself). This type of meal is extremely economical and you can dole the savings into your emergency fund. You will be surprised at how quickly $5 dollars a week adds up.

Of equal importance to the modest amount you are saving, is the fact that you are building a lifetime habit – one that will serve you well for many years to come and hopefully one that you will pass on to your children.

Save for the special things in life. Lest you think I am a Grinch, life should not be a total drudge. From time to time, reward yourself for being frugal and thrifty. Indulge in an occasional treat, be it a pound of dark chocolate or a night out at the movies. For some, the special treat may be something a simple as a bouquet of flowers.

Life would be very boring if you did not reach out and do something extraordinary sometimes. Go ahead. You have earned it.

Frugal is not a dirty word. Frugal is not cheap. And frugal is not chintzy. Being frugal means you have made a lifestyle choice to spend your money on the things you need, no more, no less. With the extra, you have chosen to splurge and celebrate your thrifty and sustainable habits by doing something special and joyful.

At the end of the day, isn’t that what matters?

For the rich, the choices are easy but for those on fixed incomes, deciding whether to splurge on a treat or purchase food is almost no choice at all. Still, there are choices we all can make, no matter what.

Those choices are to make do with what we have and to live a joyful and strategic life.

Always Safe, Always Prepared

Frank Mitchell

Saving Our Butts

For most people, purchasing enough food, water and supplies to get through a major disaster can be very difficult financially. The average person doesn’t have a lot of extra cash to put toward such a big investment. If you’re like most people, paying the bills and keeping a roof over your head is hard enough as it is.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to help save a little money to put toward your prepping needs and we’ll discuss some of those things here. Every dollar you can save on household utilities, the grocery bill and so on can be put into your prepping.

Be a MacGyver and become a fix-it guru. Before sending that broken appliance to the garbage heap and replacing it with something new, try to fix it yourself. There are many web sites (www.fixya.com, http://www.instructables.com) that offer lots of how-to’s for fixing everything from your laser printer to your espresso machine. In addition, you can find service manuals for many products on line at the manufacturer’s web site.

Another thing you can do is call the manufacturer’s customer service number. Often the company will guide you through troubleshooting steps or even send you free parts. I have found that this works especially well with plumbing issues.

Move fashion to the bottom of your priorities list. Choose function over fashion. This is difficult, I know. But think about the item you intend to purchase and how it is going to be used. A fancy, Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer may look great on your counter, but if you only cook the basics and bake only simple items, a $15 hand mixer may be all that you need. This same concept applies to lots of things: clothing, TVs, jewelry, you name it. Yes, this even applies to cars.

Do it yourself. Mow your own lawn, clean your own house, give yourself a manicure, wash your own dog. Now if you truly hate to do something, don’t do it if you can afford to hire it out. Or better yet, trade a chore you detest with a chore that someone else dislikes. You both get the job done without spending a dime.

Take advantage of freebies. Use public beaches, parks and trail systems for recreational activities. Use your public library. Go online and download geographically specific recreational guides and even preparedness manuals from your state and county web sites. None of these are technically free because your taxes have paid for them, but they are free in the sense you have no additional out of pocket costs.

Speaking of libraries, have you checked yours out lately? Most libraries now have a robust collection of eBooks, audio books, audio book players, music CDs, DVDs and more. If you don’t have a library with downloadable materials, there are many that will let you purchase an annual non-resident library card. You can do a web search or start here to find a library with a large collection of downloadable materials.

Get out of debt. This is obvious. Sure, you may have a mortgage payment and possibly a car payment. But credit card debt? I hope not, but, if you are saddled with credit card debt, come up with a one or two- year plan to pay them off then toss them in a drawer, never to see daylight again unless there is a dire emergency. The old mantra “use your credit card . . .it is the same as cash” simply does not work anymore. It never did.

Always Safe, Always Prepared

Frank Mitchell

Does it pass the smell test?

There are many plants throughout the world. Tasting or swallowing even a small portion of some can cause severe discomfort, extreme internal disorders, and even death. Therefore, if you have the slightest doubt about a plant’s edibility, apply the following Universal Edibility Test before eating any portion of it.

Separate the plant into its various parts—roots, stems, leaves, buds, and flowers. Focus on only one piece of the plant at a time.

Smell it. A strong, unpleasant odor is a bad sign.

Test for contact poisoning by placing a piece of the plant on your inner elbow or wrist for a few minutes. If your skin burns, itches, feels numb, or breaks out in a rash, don’t eat the plant.

If the plant passes the skin test, prepare a small portion the way you plan to eat it (boiling is always a good bet).

Before taking a bite, touch the plant to your lips to test for burning or itching. If there’s no reaction after 15 minutes, take a small bite, chew it, and hold it in your mouth for 15 minutes. If the plant tastes very bitter or soapy, spit it out.

If there’s no reaction in your mouth, swallow the bite and wait several hours. If there’s no ill effect, you can assume this part of the plant is edible. Repeat the test for other parts of the plant; some plants have both edible and inedible parts.

The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth,

Jonathan Chambers

Save Yourself.

As much as I would like to say money doesn’t matter, it does.

The reality is most of us need money to buy food, put clothes on our backs, and pay for housing, utilities, healthcare, medicine and taxes. Even families that live 100% off grid and hunt and grow their own food rely on money for one thing or another.

In truth, the way we live our lives and the amount of money we need gets down to a matter of choices. 

Having choices when it comes to spending is something all of us can do, regardless of where we fall in the economic strata. Rich, poor, or somewhere in between, we all get out of bed in the morning and face the day with financial decisions to make.

Today we’ll discuss some money survival tips so when faced with a choice, you will be better prepared to make the right financial decision for the time, place, and circumstance.

First, if you have it, use it. Think about it. Over time you have accumulated lots of stuff. Some of it may be a bit shop worn and out of style, but the stuff is still serviceable.

If it still works, use it. Don’t give in to the bombardment of ads encouraging you to go out and purchase the latest model or the next best thing. If money is burning a hole in your pocket, use it for something you truly need and not something you just want.

This applies to prepping gear, too! Before making a purchase, scope out what you have and buy what you need before you duplicate something you already own.

When you need to buy, shop for a bargain and get it cheaper. Research all your major purchases and some of the minor ones, too. Check out online reviews and the recommendations of friends so you can be an informed consumer. The reviews on Amazon are great and far more informative than an anonymous blogger who recommends something but provides no proof they own it. 

Ask the clerks at the store when the item of interest will go on sale. Believe it or not, you will sometimes be offered a discount on the spot. This happened to my wife and I when we purchased a new freezer.

Remember used can be just as good as new. Sometimes it makes good sense to buy used. Furniture can be purchased for a song on Craigslist or at garage sales and sometimes you can get some pretty good stuff for free.

Another area where you can really save really is on clothing. Ebay is a gold mine for name brand clothing that is often new. Evening gowns, tuxedos, wedding wear and other dress-up items are especially cheap on eBay. On the other hand, be wary of used electronics since there is no substitute for hands on testing prior your purchase.

Learn to cook and bake. Restaurant meals can be a rat hole for cash. So is your local specialty coffee shop. That is not to say you should avoid eating and drinking out completely, but make those occasions a special treat rather than something you do because you are too tired or too lazy to cook.

Can’t cook? Get yourself a basic cookbook and call a friend over to help get you started. Once you start eating home cooked food, you will be hooked on how delicious those vegetables and salads taste.

Don’t overlook learning to bake your own breads and treats. Homemade baked goods are always better than store bought. Remember fresh baked chocolate chip cookies when you were a kid growing up?

Always Safe, Always Prepared

Frank Mitchell

Tracking

Tracker. The very word evokes images of buckskin-clad braves crouching over the ground, carefully studying the signs before them—a part of history. But the modern world has not put behind it the need for the earthy business of tracking. Such skills are still routinely used by the military, rescue personnel, and law enforcement, as well as by hunters and people living at subsistence level throughout the world.

The real problem with tracking is that it is very difficult to find complete tracks, and even if your enemy does not try to hide or disrupt them, it is difficult to find full footprints. This does not mean that without full footprints you cannot track your foe. You will use all kinds of indicators, called “signs.” These are the clues of your prey’s presence that can barely be seen. Finding, identifying and following signs is an art in itself, and you will need much more than this article to master it.

But to give you an outline, it is all based on visual tracking to identify the quarry’s gait and its tracks. This is the case whether your quarry is a human, a bird or four-legged prey.

In the old days, most trackers used a tracking stick, but now most top track- ers use a metal measuring tape to look for track signs and to measure the stride length. Remember that human footsteps have three phases—the contact, the mid- stance and the propulsion phase—and that each will leave unique markings. Learn to differentiate footprint styles (and each phase) so you can better identify each prey you’re tracking.

And if tracking humans, do not forget your own security as your foe may try to ambush you. Take your time and observe carefully the area in front of you with your binoculars before continuing the tracking. If you take your time, take a close look at your map and man-track correctly, you can predict what his path will be. Then find a way to cut him off, overpass him and ambush him.

Even though reading books may give you a taste of what tracking is all about, you will need a good course and must spend many hours in the field before you are able to read the signs.

The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth,

Jonathan Chambers
Patriot Vigilante