Survival Skills to Teach your Kids

Have you been prepping? Do you have everything you need for your family to survive? Maybe you do, but do you have the skills necessary to make it through long enough to find the new normal? More importantly, do your kids have the skills to make it through various disaster scenarios?

Kids think differently from adults, they frequently fail to analyze a situation enough to determine how to respond to it appropriately. This is why your children need to be trained. As preppers, you will agree that you should train them, but most people are complacent or lazy. We all talk a big game, but at the end of the day, we are happy if our kids can dial 911. The problem is that emergency responders can’t always save us. Even if we are not facing the end of the world, kids can make fatal mistakes in everyday survival situations, such as home invasion, fire, spring flood, accidentally getting locked out or being bullied. This is why, when we talk about survival skills to teach our kids, we talk about a wide array of skills.


Younger Kids 

Skills to Teach Younger Children

    1. Learning personal information. Sometimes, situations arise when it is necessary for our children to relay to public service employees who they are and where they live, so it helps when they can memorize that information. Teach your child to say his or her first and last name, your name and your spouse’s name. Kids 3 years and up can be taught addresses as well. Sometimes, it is easier to teach the child to write the house number rather than to say it. They may remember the number sequence better visually. As long as they remember the street name, you should be okay. If your child cannot remember the street name, ask her to describe the outside of the house to you. Walk around the house and find landmarks that stand out: a certain type of tree, a yard decoration, the color of the door or something of that nature. It s actually a good idea to put a yard décor item in front of the house, so your child can help identify the house by saying something like, “It is a red house with a green door and an angel on the front lawn.”

 

    1. Calling for help, Your children may end up being the only means of your survival if, for some reason, you were hurt and immobile. Kids may also end up being home alone and experience a home invasion. Teach kids to get the phone, dial 911, stay calm and reiterate what’s going on to the operator. Explain that they can only dial 911 in case of extreme emergencies and give examples of events that qualify.

 

    1. Basic First Aid and CPR. It is possible to teach children as young as 5 and 6 years old CPR, and although there is no guarantee that they’ll be able to perform it under stress and unguided, it is a good way to start teaching them life-saving skills early on.

 

    1. Surviving being lost in a public place. Children are scared when they are lost. They will naturally try to walk around and find their family. Train them to stay in one place, as soon as they figure out that they are lost. Explain to them that by the time that they figure out that they are lost, you are already looking for them.
    2. Surviving a fire. Surviving a fire is about responding to the fire alarm or carbon monoxide alarm, finding the closest exit, using a rag to cover your face to breathe and dialing 911. Perform a few drills with the kids and talk to them about not trying to grab their things prior to getting out.

 

    1. Surviving a home invasion. Home invasions and burglaries are scary and incredibly dangerous. Depending on the situation, hiding or escaping may be appropriate. Hopefully, your young children are never home alone in the first place, but if they are, teach them to keep doors, windows, blinds, and curtains closed and have the phone nearby. Instruct them to call you and report suspicious activity, like someone knocking or walking around the house.

 

    1. Stranger awareness. Even though we tell our children not to talk to strangers, strangers come in different breeds. Teach your kids to be aware of what’s going on around them when they are playing outside, riding bikes or walking to a playground. Give directions explaining where they should run if someone is following them, teach them to avoid playgrounds if they see an adult there with no children and help them learn to defend their personal space.

 

    1. Using personal protection items. Even young kids can have personal protection items. One of these items s a cell phone. There is an app called “Circle of 6” that allows you to input 6 emergency numbers into a phone and at a click of a button, the phone will text and call the numbers on record. It will also allow the police to locate your child. Other personal protection items include hairspray (yes, hairspray is great to spray in strangers’ eyes), spray chemicals if you are at home (for the same reason) and other items that may deter a potentially dangerous individual.

 

    1. Surviving the wilderness. Wilderness survival is really tough. The best thing you can do for your kids is teaching them the common sense skills, like finding or building a shelter, trying to stay warm, finding safe water, being proactive in order to get rescued, etc. Of course, it doesn’t hurt if your child knows how to pitch a tent and use PET bottles to disinfect water.

 

    1. Surviving on the water. This boils down to teaching your child not to panic, to float on his back and to swim.

 

    1. SHTF skills. This is the toughest category of skills to teach kids. It is hard enough for adults to learn these skills. SHTF skills include short-term and long-term skills. Short-term skills include surviving extreme weather events, finding family members if separated during the crisis, finding food and water, target shooting (for kids over 7 years old) and going undetected during social unrest. Long-term survival skills include fire starting, shelter building, foraging and finding water.

 

How to Teach Younger Kids Survival Skills In your serious prepping mode, do not forget that your kids are kids. They like to have fun. This is why when you teach young children preparedness skills, it is imperative that you make it exciting and interactive. In other words, make it a game. For example, when you train them to find the appropriate exits out of the home, you can place stickers or some sort of tokens on windows and doors and allow them to redeem each token for a prize or a piece of candy. You can turn on the music and have them run around the house collecting tokens. You can also print off large red arrows for their first fire drill so they can follow the arrows to “make it out of the burning building.” After the game is over, sit them down and explain what you practiced. Ask questions and let the kids reiterate what they learned.

Another very important thing to remember when teaching youngsters is that they need repetition to learn and retain information. This means that you should be ready to play those games on a weekly basis to begin with and reduce to monthly and then bimonthly as they grow and master the skills. To keep them from being bored, vary the stickers and tokens based on the season, occasion or their favorite movie characters.


Teens and Tweens

Survival Skills to Teach Your Teens and Tweens

    1. First aid and CPR. Unlike younger children, older kids can learn first aid and CPR fully. You should go as far as signing them up for CPR classes and getting them certified. A set of first aid skills is among the best, most in-demand survival skis that you just can’t go wrong with.

 

    1. Advanced medical aid. If one of your kids is medically inclined, you can focus some energy on helping them acquire additional medical skills, such as trauma response and management, making stitches, stapling, figuring out which antibiotics to give to other family members and similar tasks.

 

    1. Surviving a home invasion and helping younger siblings. Older kids have a bigger role to play and certainly can take on more responsibility in the event of a home invasion. They should take care of taking smaller children to safety (generally the furthest room on the top floor of the house), barricading the door and calling 911 while you attempt to ward off (or fight off or scare off) invaders.

 

    1. Surviving a personal attack. If you have a tween or teenage daughter, you have the same concerns as every other teen girl parent. Girls get followed home, date raped, drugged and kidnapped. Some statistics suggest that one out of 3 female college students who live on campus get raped. That is an insane statistic! Teach your girls to avoid strangers and to run like the wind if somebody gets physical with them. Even more importantly, teach them to dress and act modestly and avoid putting themselves in potentially dangerous situations. Instruct them to practice situational awareness, keeping track of who is around them at all times. It may be very challenging to practice situational awareness when using public transportation in a big city, but practicing this skill regularly helps.

 

    1. Surviving a fire. Just as with home invasion, older kids should have an additional responsibility here They should focus on getting the younger kids out. If you have a fire extinguisher, they should know how to use it.

 

    1. Hunting and fishing. Teens and tweens usually enjoy outdoors and have fun learning to fish and hunt, especially in good company. The best way to teach them is to take them along with experienced hunters and fishermen in the area.

 

    1. Outdoor and SHTF survival. Unlike younger kids, your older children should be learning everything you learn about outdoor and SHTF survival, from fire starting to trapping, to building a log cabin.

 

  1. Creating tools and equipment for survival. In the event of a long-term crisis situation, we may have to invent our own tools to survive in the interim. Bows and arrows, hunting traps, solar ovens and other inventions that replace the everyday things that we are used to, may become a necessity. Give your older kids some freedom and resources to invent cool survival gadgets. It may be fun to make it a contest and see what they can come up with. Getting hands-n now and learning the ropes of basic hand tools may save their lives down the road.

How to Teach Teens and Tweens Survival Skills Teens and tweens are all about having fun, too but they are on a whole different level. Most of them will understand the seriousness of the training, but in their mind, it is still taking time away from what they may want to do more (being with friends, playing video games, watching TV, etc.) This means you have offered some benefit other than the direct benefit of being prepared. They definitely won’t go for tokens, but you can run your drills on a Saturday and do pizza and ice cream afterward (make it a family night).


While camping out and running fire drills is great, survival demands that we and our children master even more intricate skills – personal and social skills. These include communication, conflict management and resolution, de-escalation, active listening and more. These are the kinds of skills that can prevent violence by allowing your kids to appropriately address everyday situations that have a potential to become violent. Furthermore, if your children end up living in a post-apocalyptic society, they will need to display leadership skills, strategic planning skills and communication skills in their communities. People will be sharing, bartering, helping, and tolerating each other on completely different levels than we do today. They need to develop and display patience, kindness, tolerance, ingenuity and work ethic that are becoming rarer and rarer among today’s youth.

It may be a challenge to remember the steps involved in addressing various emergencies for both younger kids and teens, so a great way to have them learn, follow and review the steps is to laminate several documents detailing various processes or your family’s escape plans. For younger kids, laminate flash cards and have them do sequencing exercises to remember the order of steps in each process.

Ultimately, your children will need to know how to use their heads and common sense to make decisions. Staying calm and safe and thinking things through is probably the most practical survival skill of all.

Always watching out for you,

Sterling Mason

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What steps have you taken to become more self-sufficient?

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for ways to become self-sufficient. One of the major steps you can take is going “off the grid”.

This means that you no longer use a gas and electric company, or water and sewer company, and you no longer need to rely on their infrastructure to supply essential utility services to your homestead — a huge plus in a survival situation.

What you need to understand first is that this is a major undertaking that involves a significant investment of time and money. This is why most people who go off-grid do it one step at a time.

The main consideration for going off-grid is choosing the right location.

You want to have land that aids in energy production. You also need to acquire water and mineral rights for the piece of land that you purchase. With that said, there are 5 additional considerations for going off the grid: electricity, water, water heating, sewer, and energy back-up.

Electricity/Gas. Two primary sources of power that are not derived from fossil fuels are wind power and solar power. Installing solar panels and wind turbines are simple enough, but both options are pretty expensive if you buy pre-manufactured systems from commercial dealers. They’re still well worth it in the long run, but you can save up to 50% (or more) on the costs by building your own home energy system. Ideally, you’ll use both sources to power your home. There are many other ways to create energy for your house, such as using Propane gas or using fertilizer and waste, but solar and wind energy are free, abundant, and easy to harness once you know how.

Heating. If you live in an area that gets cold in the winter, you need a way to heat your home. While you can use electric power to heat your house, you may want to consider installing a wood burner as well.

Water. To truly live off the grid, you’ll need to have your own water. You can install a well and a pump. Whether you’re building a new, energy-efficient home or thinking about installing a well for your current home, check your area water table to see if a well makes sense. Also, most municipalities in the U.S. do not allow wells to be installed within their boundaries, so check your local zoning laws.

Heating Water. You may not have thought about the need to heat water yet. Actually, there are many options. You can install a solar water heater or a propane water heater, use solar panels or hook your water heater up to your wood burner.

Sewage. The only way to deal with sewage in a sustainable way is having a septic tank installed. The tank will process the waste and release the product into the soil. This can be costly and can be tough to implement in urban areas, but if you plan it right for your off-grid property, a septic tank will last a lifetime.

Backup plans. Having a generator and/or battery backup to meet your energy needs in the event that your primary energy sources fail is a no-brainer. Everything I teach is about being prepared for unforeseen circumstances, and if you don’t have a well-thought-out backup plan then you’re not really prepared for anything.

Always watching out for you,

Sterling Mason

PREPARING FOR A WORST CASE SCENARIO: THE 10-WEEK PLAN, PART 1

Note: This series was originally published on Defensive Training Group several years ago. This expanded, updated 2018 edition has been designed specifically for AP readers; this is the first installment of a 10-week series meant to walk you through the steps needed to prepare for what’s commonly called SHTF, or literally “sh– hitting the fan.” This could be anything from a natural disaster such as Hurricane Katrina, an economic meltdown, or any other dire situation. If you’re new to preparing, this plan will help get you where you need to be. If you’ve already been doing it, the plan will help you ensure that your plan is well-rounded and correctly set up.  

Right now, there are a bit more than 2 years remaining in the administration of a populist/nationalist president that has, so far, rhetoric aside, left things pretty much alone, in regard to ‘normal’ life.  Anything perceived as a positive measure, such as the ‘tax roll back’ should really be viewed as a temporary measure, adding a slight benefit to you on the prepping side because of the reprieve given when the Hildabeast wasn’t inaugurated.  As everyone knows or should know, it made the Transnational Globalist Marxists insane, and they’re not letting go.  Evidence of this are perceived ‘false flag’ attacks as well as calls for an outright civil war by groups such as antifa (little ‘a’ on purpose) that would necessitate the suspension of Constitutional protections from government interference (what’s left of them) in your life according to the powers that STILL BE, albeit somewhat in the shadows.  That being the case, YOU, yes, YOU, the so-called, ‘Normie’ who’s just been awakened, have until 20 January 2021 to get yourself and your family’s ducks in a row.  Follow this outline for 10 weeks if you can, and add something else in it for the rest of the time available:

Study and training. Across the board.

After completing the basic plan, which gets you at least somewhat self-sufficient, your priorities should be–in this order:

  • First Aid/Medical training.
  • Food storage.
  • Survival.
  • Tactics & weapons.

This is not contradictory; the order is deliberate.  Yes, you need to know how to effectively use a weapon, but you also need, desperately, how to tend to wounds, injuries, infections, and disease not typically seen in a ‘normal’ setting. Here’s one of many resources on the topic.

You also need to know how to purify water; how to put up food so it will last, how to effectively communicate in your neighborhood and how to listen to more distant sources of information.  AP’s own NC Scout is one of the best resources for that.  You’ll even find opportunities to attend classes that will quickly bring you up to the speed you need to be at for effectively communicating.  You’ll also need to learn about the subject of intelligence.  AP will be an excellent resource for that as well.

Bottom line:  Your entire existence from now until the point where you’re adequately prepared needs to be one of study, exercise, training, study, frugal purchasing, setting up your home or ‘hidey hole’ so your family can make it, and so on.  You can do this; it’s not that difficult.  It takes discipline and resolve.

When it comes to recriminations later, during an emergency, when something you could have done to better prepare wasn’t accomplished due to your own procrastination, remember, there’s an old saying that I live by:  “There are no victims, only volunteers….”

I first did this post about 12 years ago under my since retired ‘nom de guerre,’ and a very good friend of mine (Concerned American from Western Rifle Shooters Association, and now AP) and a couple others asked me if I’d mind updating it again for 2018.  Remember, the days we’re living in RIGHT NOW demonstrate things are spinning faster in the vortex than ever before, and this might be the your last chance to get in gear.  Feel free to add or take away from this plan as your situation and local area conditions may require.  This is by no means the best or only plan; rather, it’s one that may help someone with no knowledge or skills.  There are other good perspectives on this subject out there, and they shouldn’t be discounted.

PART II:  A SCENARIO

You may be thinking, “WORST case??  What could POSSIBLY get any worse than how things are now?? There’s nothing Ican do.  Things being the way they are, it’s basically over; all we can do is wait for the hammer to fall.”

Well, for one thing, that’s not true!  Many folks just like you don’t agree with or believe that perspective in the slightest!  There’s a lot you can do!  And, if this plan helps get you thinking of what you can do instead of what you can’t do, we all might just benefit from your action!  In fact, if enough folks begin to think about what they can do, we just might avert the “worst case,” and many more of us may live through these ‘interesting times’ that are certainly headed our way!  So, while you’re reading this, keep that thought in mind, ok?

The plan itself is divided into two parts:  The items required and the timetable to do it in.  Remember, prudent people see danger coming and prepare, while the foolish do nothing (or just sit at their keyboard and ENDLESSLY COMPLAIN about how terrible things are) and suffer for it.  To put us all on an equal footing for the case presented, let’s get ready to plan by using the following scenario as a back drop:

The time frame:  To be sure, ten weeks, especially today, when national and world tensions increasing by the hour, can seem to be a very, very long time in terms of ‘getting prepared/trained/fit/mentally ready’ to protect and defend your family, neighborhood, community and country from marauding apocalypse zombies coming from whatever direction or source you care to focus on.  For now, rather than looking at a fictional futuristic even, let’s look at what’s happened in the last 9 years incrementally.

  • Executive orders giving Interpol complete carte blanche to operate within our borders with no restrictions, oversight, accountability, even to the state department or the executive branch.  Never mind congress.
  • A[n]…..election process so corrupted and rigged to be all but worthless in regards to what you and I vote for.
  • 7 plus years of equipping, arming, violently indoctrinating…and militarizing, through federal auspices, civilian law enforcement, and non-law enforcement agencies, even non-governmental agencies.
  • Creation of a continental internal federal police state with powers that ignore every personal liberty based protection [from government overreach] in the US Constitution.
  • Numerous executive branch acts of limiting arms, their manufacture, importation and sale [to citizens], void of due process of law.  [Current implications from the Oval Office are that a series of ‘Executive Orders’ will further curtail the Second Amendment bypassing Congress as well as the Constitutional amending process.]
  • The UN International Small Arms Agreement, a foreign treaty signed by the former administration’s Secretary of State.  A treaty never having been presented to the Senate for ratification.
  • States openly calling for the confiscation of semi-automatic rifles in places like Lexington (yes, THE Lexington).
  • UN troops to be invited into the US for the purpose of assisting the US government in combating violent extremism. Extremely violent criminal gangs and religions with penchants for beheading and burning captives alive are not included in the definition of ‘extremists.’
  • Daily calls from the state co-opted ‘media’ repeating the message to unilaterally disarm the citizenry, constitutional protections be damned.

So, how do you get ready for an imminent disaster affecting the entire nation like that?  Not possible you say?  Think for a moment:  The Law of Unintended Consequences usually provides extreme results beyond those anticipated or planned in any situation it becomes involved with.  So, that being said, let’s examine this, even if only from an academic perspective.

First, consider the description above.  It’s certainly beyond possible that events in our country can become catastrophic; these things above have happened, and more are happening.  But is it nefarious in design?

Many seem to think so, but what’s relevant as you read this is what you think.  Consider current affairs in Eastern, and now, Western Europe.  Examine current affairs in our own country.  Consider the publicized plans of various agencies to quell ‘civil unrest.’  Think about the publicized military exercises that name military veterans and religious groups as ‘domestic terrorists.’   And then, before you go any further, make a determination:  Is this a bunch of paranoid “tin foil hat” crap or maybe, just maybe, is there something to this and you, gentle reader, need to do something positive to take care of your family and friends.  If you had the time (which you don’t, believe me), you could do your own investigation from objective sources, file Freedom of Information Act Requests (FOIA) and find that it is, in fact, not only plausible, but the stage is being set every day for just such an eventuality.

If you decide the facts don’t support your personal preparedness, just toss this out.  Delete.  File 13.  Trash.  Round file.  I hope you enjoy your life and are prosperous.  Read no further.

However, if you decide facts presented do support getting started preparing, you have much to think about, much to do, and much to gain in the way of putting yourself, your family and your friends in a better position of an increased chance of living through it.

Think about it.  I’ll wait.

How to Make a Vegetable Oil Lamp (with Pictures)

Long before there was kerosene (aka paraffin) lamp oil, people used vegetable oil lamps for lighting their homes.

These oil lamps are really easy to make and today a lot of people prefer them to kerosene lamps.  They are natural, don’t produce toxic byproducts, and can be used in a pinch during power outages.

If you want to make your own vegetable oil lamp, here’s how to do it!

What Vegetable Oil Can I Use for Lamps?

You can use just about any cooking oil as a fuel for a lamp. Other types of fat – such as ghee or butter – will also work.

  • Olive Oil: This is the best choice for your vegetable oil lamp. It won’t produce smoke while burning.

  • Canola or Sunflower Oil: These are cheap and will burn. However, they will produce some smoke.

  • Walnut, Almond, Sesame, Flax Oils: Nut and seed oils are great for lamps. They won’t produce smoke like canola will. However, these oils are pricey so you probably won’t want to use them for your lamp.  Cheap olive oil is a better option.

  • Ghee or Butter: Traditionally, animal fats (such as whale blubber or fish oil) were used for oil lamps, especially in cold areas where veggies weren’t available. You can actually just put a wick directly in a stick of butter and burn it.  These thick fats don’t work as well in jars though.

Used Vegetable Oil for Lamps

After frying food, save the vegetable oil in a jar.  You can use this oil for lamps.

Ideally you should filter the oil through a cloth first.  Otherwise the chunks of food residue can start to smoke and smell!

Vegetable Oil Lamp Instructions:

There are a few different ways of making a lamp with vegetable oil. 

Instead of giving you just one way, I’ll talk about the supplies so you can DIY in your own way. 🙂

Container for Holding the Oil

Almost any non-flammable container will do.

To save on oil, look for containers that are wider than they are tall.

For safety, you’ll ideally want a container which entraps the flame.

You’ll obviously want the container to be transparent though so you can actually see the flame inside.

Here are some options:

  • Glass Jars

  • Clay/Ceramic/Metal Dishes: Old Roman oil lamps were made from terracotta. They were shaped like gravy boats.

  • Kerosene Lanterns: You know those antique-style lanterns with a glass globe inside? Even though they are designed for kerosene, you can use vegetable oil in them.

orange peel lamp

Orange peel lamp

DIY oil lamp

Spoon holders work well for DIY oil lamps!

metal oil lamp

Metal oil lamp

Wick (Soaked in Salt Water)

Anything made out of cotton will work as a wick.  Ideally, the wick is made out of a braided material. Otherwise it will burn very quickly. Braided wicks also produce more light. However, in a pinch, you can use:

  • Shoe laces

  • Strips of old clothing

  • String

Tip:  For the wick to burn evenly, you should first soak it in salt water.  Then let it dry before using.

Wick Holder

Here is where you need to get creative with your vegetable oil lamp.

You need the top of the wick (the part that will burn) to sit slightly above the vegetable oil.  Otherwise, the oil will put out the flame.

If you are using a ceramic dish for your lamp, then you can just prop the wick on the edge.  This is a bit of a fire hazard though.

Option 1: Wire Coil

For glass jar lamps, you’ll want to use wire to create a stand for the wick.

  1. Wrap wire around a pencil to create a coil. The coil should be long enough so your wick will stick out of the oil.
  2. Make a much bigger loop on the end of the coil. This will be your base.
  3. Thread the wick through the coil.

Option 2: Bottle Cap and Wire

wick holder in mason jar lamp

One alternative solution is to use wire + a bottle cap to create a stand.

  1. Using a hammer and nail, poke a hole through a metal bottle cap.
  2. Twist the wire to make a holder for bottle cap.
  3. Put the wick through the hole in the bottle cap. Put the cap in place.

Option 3: Hole in a Jar Lid

jar vegetable oil lamp

If your glass jar has a lid, you can just poke a hole through the lid and thread your wick through it.

Note that you’ll have to poke air holes in the lid too.

Drape the Wick

If you use a ceramic or metal container for holding your oil, you can just drape the wick off to the side.

Of course, this means you have an open flame.  It isn’t as safe as enclosing the flame inside the container.

ceramic dish lamp

A traditional ceramic dish oil lamp

How the Vegetable Oil Lamp Works

The vegetable oil will be drawn up into the wick.

The flame ignites it, causing the oil to vaporize.  Even a small amount of oil can burn for a few hours.

Even if you are using olive oil (which is fairly expensive), it still ends up being cheaper than most candles.

Paraffin Lamp Oil vs. Vegetable Oil

Lamp oil that you buy online or from hobby stories is made from petroleum.  Sometimes it is called kerosene.  Other times it is called paraffin.

They are the same thing – just a highly-refined kerosene oil.

Paraffin lamp oil will not smoke or produce odor as some vegetable oils will.

Flash Point:

Compared to vegetable oil, paraffin lamp oil has a much lower flash point.  Flash point refers to the temperature at which it will ignite.

  • Vegetable Oil Flash Point: Around 650 F
  • Paraffin Oil Flash Point: Around 100-150 F

The lower flash point of veggie oil means it takes longer to ignite.  It will burn – but it is not exactly ideal for wicks.   As it burns, it will consume the wick quickly.

By comparison, lamp oil will burn off the wick quickly.  Very little of the wick will be consumed, meaning your wick will last a lot longer with paraffin lamp oil.

As a general rule: The thicker the oil, the faster the wick will be consumed and the more smoke will be produced.

Lamp Oil Is Still the Best Choice

In a disaster situation where you need some emergency lighting, vegetable oil is a great option for DIY oil lamps.

However, if you are making oil lamps for fun, then your best bet is to buy lamp oil.

It simply burns cleaner and won’t consume your wicks as quickly.

You can find lamp oil (called kerosene or paraffin lamp oil) online for fairly cheap. If you want to really save some money, then choose K-1 kerosene.

K-1 Kerosene Lamp Oil

You can find K-1 kerosene at some gas stations and at hardware stores.  It is very cheap to buy and has numerous uses – such as for heating or jet fuel.

K-1 kerosene will still produce some odors (it contains sulfur), but the smell is minimal.

Compared to vegetable oil, the K-1 oil will burn cleanly in lamps and won’t eat up your wicks so quickly.


Recommended Reading: How to Make DIY Emergency Candles

First Aid Kits: You ARE the First Responder (DRTV)

This week Michael talks about the necessity of medical training and emergency kits.

This is the first segment of this week’s Down Range Radio )

The full podcast (audio only) can be found here and second segment continues from timestamp 17m23s.

REFERENCE LINKS:

The Michael Bane Blog

Michael Bane on Facebook

Homeland Security/STOP THE BLEED!

How to Stop the Bleed/American College of Surgeons

Medical Training:
http://darkangelmedical.com
http://lonestarmedics.com

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Greg Ellifritz/Active Response Training
Tactical First Aid and System Collapse Medicine
http://www.activeresponsetraining.net/upcoming-classes

Choosing the Right Tourniquet
https://www.omnainc.com/blogs/news/how-to-choose-the-best-tourniquet
https://www.artofmanliness.com/2012/03/21/how-to-save-lives-like-an-army-medic-using-a-tourniquet-to-control-major-bleeding/

Adventure Medical Kits

Adventure Medical Kit TRAUMA PAK

Streamlight Head Lamps

Bravo Concealment Holsters

4 Scenarios to Get the Tactical Advantage

By CTD Blogger in How To, Safety and Training

The right of self-defense is among the most basic of human rights, and the majority of us own, and/or carry a firearm to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Depending on the state you live in, you may be able to obtain a CCW permit and take on the additional responsibility of self-defense. However, having a firearm and the law on your side does not automatically translate into good self-defense. You’ll need situational awareness, quick reactions, solid weapons handling skills, and a good outcome in the event of a violent attack. But first, you’ll need plan and train yourself to respond effectively to a threat in several common scenarios can vastly improve your chances of surviving and eliminating the threat.

Car Jacking Get-Away Tactics

Here are four scenarios that once mastered, will serve as the basics that you can modify and rely on later should you find yourself in a self-defense situation.

Scenario 1

You’re walking in a parking garage, descending a flight of steps, and an attacker confronts you.

Elements to Remember

  • Mindset: If you don’t think you can use deadly force, don’t carry a firearm. Instead, opt for a less than lethal option such as a taser, pepper spray or CQB striking device, and do not concern yourself with the remainder of this article.
  • Clothing for Concealed Carry: Wear a loose shirt or jacket that allows you to easily access your weapon. It’s best to sew in a small weight into the hem of the shirt, so when you sweep it back it will swing out of the way and not interfere with the draw. Loose change in a jacket pocket also works well.
  • Practice: Run through this scenario drawing and firing with an unloaded weapon until you can do it smoothly in 2-4 seconds. IDPA matches at a local range require you to draw from concealment and make excellent practice for real world variations of this practice.

Scenario 2

Driving in a vehicle and facing a carjacking or road rage incident.

Elements to Remember

  • Mindset: Always be aware of your surroundings when stopped at a light, parked, or driving slowly through an alley or behind stores where an attacker can surprise you. Drive through ATMs, especially at night, have you in a funnel where you can easily be trapped. Think about how an assailant might attack, and be aware of what is around or behind the you. If you cannot easily turn to see behind you, do not be afraid to use the car’s backup camera if so equipped.
  • Clothing: Don’t carry on your person where interference from a seatbelt or your elbow hitting the seat as you attempt to draw can hinder your ability to access your weapon. However, if you are carrying on your person, all hope is not lost. The Shooter’s Log recently ran a video showing, while not ideal, how to draw and engage from this situation.
  • Vehicle Attachments: Consider a gun magnet which can be easily mounted near the steering wheel for a quick grab/draw.

Scenario 3

Attacker grabbing young boy

While walking, an attacker approaches and attacks from behind.

Elements to Remember

  • In this scenario, traditional advice has been to clasp your keys like a weapon to strike an attacker, or to throw them far away from you in hopes of giving yourself time to run. This assumes the attack is a carjacking. What if it’s a violent personal assault or a kidnapping? Never carry your keys in your gun hand; always keep them in your support hand. Likewise, if you are on the phone, hold it in your support hand.
  • Instead of turning away from your car to confront the attacker, immediately turn inside and either drop or throw your keys directly at him with your support hand, while simultaneously drawing your weapon with your gun hand.
  • If you are carrying groceries, a purse, workout bag, laptop, cellphone, etc., use it as a weapon of distraction by hurling it at your attacker as hard and as quickly as possible.

Scenario 4

Entering or exiting your car when an attacker is close enough to grab you.

Elements to Remember

  • You are at your most vulnerable entering or exiting your vehicle. Stop, look around and assess the situation before getting out. When pulling into your garage, close the door before unlocking or getting out of your vehicle. Knowing your surroundings, noticing who’s around you and their body language and staying in the “condition yellow” cautionary awareness is crucial.
  • If someone approaches you under the ruse of asking for directions, spare change, etc. and manages to get hands on you, push or kick violently against the attacker to offset their balance enough that you can access your handgun and shoot from retention. This is when having the proper gear is critical. A holster that allows your gun to fall out or is too difficult for you to manipulate under pressure could prove disastrous.

The Tactical Advantage

Ultimately, carrying a concealed weapon is an enormous responsibility that requires you to understand your skill set and be prepared to use deadly force (carrying a round in the chamber). You must also have good weapons handling instruction, so you don’t become a victim of your own gun. Practice regularly at the shooting range until acquiring a sight picture, drawing and firing is committed to muscle memory. Staying in the “yellow” cautionary mindset, and rehearse every step, so if the time ever comes, you could maintain the tactical advantage that saves your life.

Take advantage of your rights.

What scenarios do practice or have committed to memory? What elements would you add to these scenarios? Share your answers in the comment section.

How To Choose A Long-Term Retreat Location

by Richard Marshall

A retreat location is something you better be thinking about, especially if you live in a heavily populated area. If a SHTF scenario does occur, you will be hit the hardest and you may not have anywhere to go if you haven’t planned a retreat location.

Now there are 2 types of retreat locations: short-term and long-term. Here we are talking about the long-term retreat location – someplace that you can either live or where you can go at the very first signs of trouble. Whether you are buying an additional property in the nearby rural area or moving across country to your perfect new homestead, you should do your research before you leap.

Generally when we talk about a retreat location, we talk about some place that is strategically positioned to keep you protected, supplied and comfortable for as long as possible. Hopefully, you can afford a piece of property like that.

First thing you need to think about when you are looking at a potential property is how your land is positioned. You don’t want to be too isolated where you and your family are completely alone. Neither do you want to be located too close to major highways, towns or obvious natural resources, where your property could be wandered into easily. Get in the mind of that desperate wanderer; get in the minds of those looters. If they are able to see your retreat property easily they are going to try to break into your property. You should not be isolated. Before you make the move, make sure you research the area and find a community of like-minded preppers. Look for properties with multiple natural “layers of defense” and strategic advantage. You want something that has varying terrain.

With that said, some states are better for retreat locations than others. Obviously, you don’t want your hideout to be in Washington, D.C. or New York or Florida. In fact, generally the further you go into White rural areas, the better.

You have to consider several factors when you think about the area.

  • First of all, what kinds of weather is the area prone to? Are natural disasters frequent there? What kinds? Consider the general weather pattern, too.
  • Secondly, look at the criminal activity. Are there many gangs in the area? Predictably, gang members will band together during a crisis, terrorizing neighbothoods.
  • Third, consider man-made hazards: proximity to nuclear reactors, toxic waste plants, chemical production plants, etc. In an extended crisis, these facilities will be in disrepair, and whatever they happen to leak or release will be floating in your air or water.
  • Next you need to consider the cost of living. How expensive would it be to live at your retreat location? Will cost more or less than where you’re currently living? Make sure before you make a move that you are not spending more. The goal is to save money and spend some of the money that you save stocking up on a few extra supplies.
  • Available natural resources. Everybody needs to eat and drink, so when you are choosing your retreat location, focus on the land that has good access to water and has the opportunity for you to produce, grow or raise your own food.
  • Simplicity of implementing your off-grid design is another key consideration. If you plan on using a windmill, choose the land carefully to get the most out of it. In other words, don’t move to Seattle with a bunch of solar panels.

These are just the basic considerations for choosing your perfect hideout. There are many other factors that can influence your decision-making, like the availability of native building material, soil type, and more…

Urban bug out bag: Checklist and Planning Guide

If a disaster strikes, a city is arguably the worst place to be. Not only do you have to worry about issues like rubble and downed power lines, but crowds of panicking people who didn’t have the foresight to stockpile basic supplies pose a huge threat.

At lot of prepper websites will tell you to move the heck out of the city.  Yes – that’s good advice, but not all of us are in a situation where we can pick up and move.

What you can do is pack an urban Bug Out Bag.

What is an Urban Bug Out Bag?

There are a lot of different definitions of Bug Out Bag.  In general though, a BOB is defined as a kit containing everything you need to survive through disaster conditions for 3 days.

So, an urban Bug Out Bag will contain everything you need to survive a disaster in a city or other urban environment.

Why You Need an Urban Bug Out Bag

You might not think you need an urban BOB.  After all, you could just go home – right?

You might even keep a Get Home Bag in your car in case a disaster strikes while you are away.

The truth is that there are many situations where you could end up stuck wandering the city through a SHTF disaster.

  • Your home becomes completely unsafe (ask the people of Syria about that one!).

  • The city is put on lockdown and you are unable to leave.

  • You have a disability or illness which makes it impossible to get out of the city.

  • There are no rural/wilderness areas around you, such as in large cities on the East Coast.

  • It will take several days of trekking through the city to reach the nearest safe, remote location.

When planning any BOB, I encourage you to think about items in categories based on what goal they achieve.

For example, to survive in any situation we need Shelter, Food, Warmth, and Medical Supplies.  You can read more about these categories in our post 3-Day Bug Out Bag Packing List.

Most Bug Out Bag lists are created with the notion that you’ll be escaping into the wilderness.  You’ll find items on these lists like a portable saw and fishing kits.

These items can be virtually useless in an urban environment!

Here, I want to go over some of the survival considerations which are unique to urban environments.

1. Shelter Considerations

The great thing about bugging out in a city is that there are plenty of pre-made shelters available.  The issue is how you are going to access them.

This is where survival gear like bolt cutters and crowbars can come in very handy.  You might also want a plastic tarp and some duct tape so you can weather-proof a damaged shelter.

I’d also recommend mapping out some locations in your city which would make a good survival shelter.

Abandoned buildings like factories might be a good choice, though plenty of other people will probably have this idea.

Dilapidated buildings might be better as fewer people will think of going there, and they are less likely to be targeted by looters.

Read more here…

Communications in a SHTF Scenario

SHTF Survivalist Radio Lists

 by Rebecca

 

From monkeys in the Amazon Rainforest, to dolphins in the Caribbean, to ants under your picnic table, all species rely on communication with each other for survival. Humans are no different – we rely on communication to both warn and inform us, especially in times of crisis.

In our modern times, the possibility of being unable to easily and quickly communicate with your loved ones or receive vital information from trusted sources is hard to imagine. But in SHTF scenarios, one of the first systems to fail is modern communications. Regardless of the emergency—hurricane, solar flare, nuclear attack, or EMP, to name a few—communications with others will become extremely difficult, if not impossible. Without telephone, text, email, internet, or television, many people will be completely shut off from the outside world at a time when the sharing and receiving of information has never been more important.

Related: How To Make A Tin Can Directional WiFi Antenna to Extend your Communication after an EMP

Just a few examples of the ways you rely on modern forms of communication in emergency situations include:

  • Receiving alerts via text of natural disasters and dangerous weather (for this particular case it is always adviced to learn the lost art of reading nature’s signs);
  • Checking your favorite news app regularly for signs of SHTF;
  • Calling your family to let them know your spouse has to be taken to the emergency room;
  • Listening to the radio for traffic updates, including road closings and delays;
  • Emailing your boss to let them know that you have a flat tire and are going to be late to work.

When our communication is cut off, three things happen immediately:

  1. We lose our ability to send information;
  2. We lose our ability to get information; and
  3. People get scared.

If you are concerned that a SHTF situation, whether natural or man-made, could cut you and your family off from vital information you need to survive, take heart – by using a simple communication device, your family can continue communication with each other and with important sources of help, such as the Red Cross or your local emergency shelter.

To prepare your family for communicating in an emergency, you have several options of communications devices. From devices that just transmit (such as shortwave radio) to devices that will allow full two-way communication with other parties (such as amateur ham radio), each type of device will allow you to stay as up-to-date as possible on emergency situations in your area thanks to special frequencies that broadcast vital information you can use to survive.

Related: How To Tell When People Are Lying to You (in a crisis)

Before we get started on the main types of frequencies used in SHTF communication, it is important to point out that in order to pick up any broadcast, you need a reliable device that you are able to keep charged. Devices with multiple charging options, such as solar-power and hand-crank, provide better insurance against a disaster preventing you from charging your device, while having multiple devices ensure that you will backups in case your main source of communication isn’t functioning.

The main types of frequencies used in SHTF communication:

  1. AM/FM (one-way radio)
  2. SW (shortwave, pre-recorded broadcasts that are listen-only)
  3. NOAA (weather broadcasts, listen-only)
  4. VHF/UHF (amateur ham radio)
  5. FRS (two-way radio, can be used by anyone)
  6. GMRS (two-way radio, requires a license)
  7. MURS (handheld radio or stationary unit)

As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages for each. For example, NOAA frequencies are your best bet for hearing notifications of a hurricane in your area; however, should you need emergency assistance because of the hurricane, you can’t use the frequency to call for help. Some devices have frequencies that are available to everyone, while others require a special license in order to broadcast. Prices of devices range widely, as does the level of expertise needed to operate each device. You can choose the device that is right for your family by considering what your communication needs are, your proficiency with each type, whether you will be able to obtain the proper license to broadcast with certain devices, and the budget you are able to spend.

Regardless of the type of device you choose, there are frequencies available for each that will help your family survive emergency situations. To find out which frequencies you should use on three of the most popular prepper communication devices, see our handy reference list below!

NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, is a government-operated radio system for sending out warnings in the event of a hurricane, solar flare, nuclear attack, and other emergencies. Broadcasts are local and repeated approximately every 5 minutes around-the-clock. You can purchase a special NOAA-enabled radio that is pre-set to the appropriate frequencies and will alert you of emergencies whenever the radio is turned on.

NOAA broadcasts can be heard on the following frequencies:

  • 162.40 MHz
  • 162.425 MHz
  • 162.45 MHz
  • 162.475 MHz
  • 162.50 MHz
  • 162.525 MHz
  • 162.55 MHz
  • 163.275 MHz

Emergency radio frequencies

  • 34.90 & 163.4875: National Guard
  • 39.46: Inter-department emergency communications by local and state police forces
  • 47.42: Red Cross
  • 121.50: International aeronautical emergency
  • 138.225: FEMA Disaster Relief Operations
  • 142
  • 154.28: Local fire departments inter-departmental communications
  • 155.160: Inter-departmental state and local communications during search and rescue
  • 155.475: Inter-departmental emergency communications for state and local police
  • 156.75: Maritime weather alerts
  • 156.80: Maritime distress, calling, and safety
  • 163.5125: National Disaster Preparedness (Armed Forces)
  • 164.50: Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • 168.55: Disaster and emergency channel for civilian agencies of the federal government
  • 243.00: Military aviation emergency
  • 311.00 & 319.40: U.S. Air Force
  • 317.70 & 317.80: U.S. Coast Guard (Aviation)
  • 340.20: U.S. Navy (Aviation)
  • 409.625: Department of State
  • 462.675: General Mobile Radio Service (emergency assistance and traveler assistance)

Amateur Radio Allocations Apr 2017

Technician Class Frequency Privileges In Ham Radio

Band Frequencies (In MHz) Modes You Can Use
80 meters 3.525 – 3.600 CW
40 meters 7.025 – 7.125 CW
15 meters 21.025 – 21.200 CW
10 meters 28.000 – 28.30028.300 – 28.500 CW, RTTY/data, 200 watts PEP maximum powerCW, phone, 200 watts PEP maximum power
Above 50 MHz All amateur privileges

CW = Morse code; PEP = peak envelope power; RTTY = radioteletype.

General Class Frequency Privileges In Ham Radio

Band Frequencies (in MHz) Mode
160, 60, 30 meters All amateur privileges
80 meters 3.525 – 3.6003.800 – 4.000 CW, RTTY, dataCW, phone, image
40 meters 7.025 – 7.1257.175 – 7.300 CW, RTTY, dataCW, phone, image
20 meters 14.025 – 14.15014.225 – 14.350 CW, RTTY, dataCW, phone, image
15 meters 21.025 – 21.20021.275 – 21.450 CW, RTTY, dataCW, phone, image
17, 12, 10 meters All amateur privileges
Above 50 MHz All amateur privileges

CW = Morse code; RTTY = radioteletype.

Common Ham Radio Q Signals

Q Signal Meaning
QRL Is the frequency busy?
The frequency is busy. Please do not interfere.
QRM Abbreviation for interference from other signals.
QRN Abbreviation for interference from natural or human-made
static.
QRO Shall I increase power?
Increase power.
QRP Shall I decrease power?
Decrease power.
QRQ Shall I send faster?
Send faster (__words per minute [wpm]).
QRS Shall I send more slowly?
Send more slowly (__wpm).
QRT Shall I stop sending or transmitting?
Stop sending or transmitting.
QRU Have you anything more for me?
I have nothing more for you.
QRV Are you ready?
I am ready.
QRX Stand by.
QRZ Who is calling me?
QSB Abbreviation for signal fading.
QSL Did you receive and understand?
Received and understood.
QSO Abbreviation for a contact.
QST General call preceding a message addressed to all
amateurs.
QSX I am listening on ___ kHz.
QSY Change to transmission on another frequency (or to ___
kHz).
QTH What is your location?
My location is ____.

 

Common Ham Radio Repeater Channel Spacings And Offsets

Band Output Frequencies of Each Group (In MHz) Offset from Output to Input Frequency
6 meters 51.62 – 51.9852.5 – 52.98

53.5 – 53.98

– 500 kHz
2 meters (a mix of 20 kHz and 15 kHz channel spacing) 145.2 – 145.5146.61 – 146.97

147.00 – 147.39

– 600 kHz– 600 kHz

+ 600 kHz

222 MHz or 1-1/4 meters 223.85 – 224.98 – 1.6 MHz
440 MHz or 70 cm (local options determine whether inputs are
above or below outputs)
442 – 445 (California repeaters start at 440 MHz)447 – 450 + 5 MHz– 5 MHz
1296 MHz or 23 cm 1282 – 12881290 – 1294 – 12 MHz

CB frequencies

Citizen’s band radio is any easy way for anyone to communicate in an emergency without a license. Standard channels range from 1 – 40, with additional channels being available with freeband operation. Some helpful frequencies to monitor include:

  • Channel 3: Prepper CB Network
  • Channel 4: The American Preppers Network
  • Channel 9: reserved specifically for emergency communications/ REACT channel
  • Channel 19: the channel most widely used by truckers across the country

Emergency communication tips

Whether you choose to monitor NOAA broadcasts or utilize CB and/or ham radio frequencies, there are a few tips that can help you communicate most effectively in an emergency:

  • Have an emergency communication plan in place
  • Don’t limit yourself to only one type of communication: having multiple devices can save your life!
  • If speaking to emergency services, speak slowly and clearly and be able to provide details of your emergency, such as the number of people needing assistance, your location, and any life-threatening injuries
  • In a bug-out situation, the noise of your device may give your location away to others: make sure you are in a safe location before tuning in!

Pioneer Foods We Will All Be Eating Again After Doomsday

by Jacob Hunter

Primal Survivor

When we talk about the pioneers, it is usually as people who sought out a better life where they could exercise their religion in freedom.  In focusing on their pursuit of freedom, we often gloss over the fact that the early pioneers were incredibly brave…

And also incredibly self-sufficient.

There were hardly any stores along the Oregon Trail (or the numerous other pioneer trails) where they could pick up provisions.  They had to know how to forage their own food and cook meals out of practically nothing.

Even once they were settled, the pioneers still had to be resilient.  A single storm could take out half a year’s worth of food supplies.  There wasn’t any refrigeration and even home canning didn’t become common until later (which, of course, you’d need access to jars to do!).

I personally find all aspects of pioneer life fascinating: how they organized labor, how they handled medicine, how they built their homes…

But how the pioneers ate is one of the most fascinating aspects of their life.  It gives you insight into how creative and hard-working they were in their endeavors to sustain their families in tough situations.

Below are some of the foods that the pioneers ate – and what we might be eating again if a disaster strikes.

Common Pioneer Foods

  • Bread: The pioneers didn’t have packages of yeast. They usually made their bread with the “salt-rising” method. The bread dough was mixed in a kettle while they were traveling.  Natural bacteria in the dough would make it rise. Then the dough was baked in the kettle over a campfire at night.  Read more about it here.
  • Cured Meat: Without refrigerators, meat was preserved either by smoke curing or salt curing. To salt cure meat, salt was rubbed into the meat.  The meat was then covered with salt for about 1 month, during which time more salt was continuously added. Bacon was a particular favorite of the pioneers. More about food preservation here.
  • Cornmeal, dried corn: The pioneers brought along dried corn and would grind it into meal to make cakes and breads.
  • Lard: Forget fancy olive oil! The pioneers used fat from animals to cook their food. It was a staple on the trail.
  • Eggs: Pioneers on the Oregon Trail did bring chickens along in crates tied to the backs of their wagons. However, it is doubtful that they laid eggs in the bumpy, stressful conditions.  Eggs were mostly used in pioneer recipes once they got settled.
  • Rabbits, squirrels and small game: These could be easily hunted along the way.
  • Squash: Squash, such as pumpkins, don’t spoil quickly and can also be found growing in the wild. The pioneers would make mashes and cakes out of them.
  • Dried fruit: To dry fruit, pioneers would lay the sliced fruit out in the sun.
  • Tubers (potatoes, turnips, etc.): These were also a pioneer favorite because they lasted a long time without spoiling. Tubers could also be foraged easily on the frontier.

Pioneer Recipes

Here’s some real pioneer recipes.  Not all of them are bad, so give ‘em a try!

Hardtack

Also called “sea biscuit,” hardtack was eaten by pioneers, sailors, and soldiers during war.  It is made of flour and water which are mixed together and baked for a long time in an oven.  During bad times, the pioneers often had nothing to eat but hardtack dipped into coffee.

Recommended Reading: How to Make Hardtack

Hoecake

Pioneers brought along dried corn because it didn’t spoil.  They could grind it into meal to make biscuits or “cakes.”  For hoecake, mix the following ingredients and fry on skillet:

  • 2 cups corn meal
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbs shortening

Pocket Yams

First make a campfire.  Once you’ve got a good amount of coals, you are ready to bake the yams (or potatoes).  Cover the yams with the coals and let them bake until steam is coming out of them – about 40 minutes.  Note that the yams shouldn’t be in the flames, just in the hot coals.

When the yams are done, DO NOT EAT THEM.

These yams are meant to go into your pocket to warm up your hands! This is just another cool way that pioneer mothers kept their families warm during the cold months.

Cooked Cabbage Salad

This recipe probably comes from German pioneers, who particularly loved cabbage dishes.  Make in a skillet:

  • 1 pint of chopped cabbage
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 1 tsp butter
  • Salt and pepper

If they had it, the pioneers might add some sugar and a ½ cup of fresh cream to the cabbage.

Mormon Gravy

Gravy was slathered on top of vegetable pies, bread, or potatoes.  It added much-needed flavor and moisture to the bland, dry food.  To make it:

  • Heat up skillet with 3-4 tbsp of meat drippings
  • Add 3 tbsp of flour; stir constantly while browning the flour
  • Remove from heat and add 2 cups of milk; stir
  • Return to heat, stir constantly until mixture is smooth and thick
  • Season with salt and pepper

Bread Pudding

The pioneers didn’t waste anything.  So, they used stale bread to make bread pudding.

  • 2 cups cubed stale bread
  • 2 cups milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp butter or lard
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt

Put bread in a baking dish. In a saucepan, mix milk, sugar, and butter together. Remove from heat and whisk in eggs. Pour mixture over the bread.  Make at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Thrift Fritters

The pioneers didn’t always know what foods they’d find.  For example, they might come back from a foraging trip with a few wild carrots, nettles, and wild onion.  These random veggies could be added to old mashed potatoes along with a beaten egg and some patties.  Form them into patties and fry in drippings to make a fritter.

Butterless, Eggless, Milkless Cake

This sounds like a recipe for a health-food cake, but it is really a pioneer classic!

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda dissolved in 2 tbsp of hot water
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder

To make, boil the first 8 ingredients (sugar through salt) together for a couple minutes.  Then add the baking soda, flour, and baking powder.  Bake in a flat pan at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Tender Meat

The pioneers brought along cattle for milk and sometimes would butcher them.  They didn’t exactly have the most tender meat!  Other game wasn’t exactly tender either.

To tenderize the meat, they used this recipe:

  • Mix together 1 cup of fine breadcrumbs with some salt, pepper, thyme, or other herbs
  • Add enough milk to make a very thick dressing
  • Spread dressing over meat.
  • Roll up the meat and tie it with twine.
  • Brown the meat in fat.
  • Add ½ pint of water. Cover and cook until the meat is tender.

Corn Soup

Dried corn was a staple of the pioneers.  They made all sorts of things out of it, including soup.

The pioneer women would add whatever they had to the soup.  For example, they might boil together the dried corn with wild greens, potatoes, parsley, peppers, beans, eggs, and rice to make a hearty soup.

Bacon and Sourdough Pancakes

This one actually sounds good, right? It wouldn’t exactly pass modern health inspections though because the sourdough starter was made by leaving flour + water out for days.  The bacteria in the air would cause it to ferment.

You can read more about how to make sourdough here.

What do you think you’ll be cooking if a disaster hits and wipes out the grid?


Resources for this article include:

http://www.backwoodshome.com/some-pioneer-recipes/
http://www.chronicleoftheoldwest.com/chuckwagon.shtml
http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-beloved-pioneer-bread-that-smells-like-feet-and-breaks-food-safety-rules
http://recuerdosdelafamiliamiles.blogspot.rs/2012/08/pioneer-recipes.html
http://www.oregonpioneers.com/FoodChoices.htm