1. 5 Tactical Tips To Maneuver Like An Elite Operator
Movement and biomechanics are what separate an elite operator from the rest. Aside from that, you need to put in countless hours of training and mental fortitude to be considered one. This post will help you become just that, enabling your firearms to become an extension of your body as opposed to just being another tool in your hands… Click to read more
2. 10 Top Reasons To Keep A Pocket Knife In Your EDC
There are many places where carrying a pocket knife can get you into some serious trouble. Confiscation, fines, and even jail time are all repercussions of breaking the law. Many of these laws are written in convoluted ways, keeping us confused and vulnerable. Not only do we have to worry about laws changing from state to state, but even the county that you choose to carry it may have completely different laws than the previous county that you were just in. But there are still many legit reasons to consider adding a pocket knife to your everyday carry (EDC)… Click to read more
3. EMP Effects On People | Electromagnetic Pulse
Have you ever wondered what the real effects of an EMP would be? You’re likely already familiar with its effects on electrical components (power grid failure and so on), but what effect does an it actually have on people? Click to read more
4. Benefits of Dandelions | More Reason To Love The Survival “Weed”
You’d be surprised to know the benefits of dandelions, despite them being categorized as a mere weed. Aside from their decorative purposes, they could actually be a source of sustenance. You can, for example, make tea out of dandelion leaves! Read on for surprising reasons why you should love dandelions more − and be on the lookout for them in a survival situation… Click to read more
5. Spider Bite? Here’s How to Treat It
Spider bites can be deadly and painful. It’s important to be able to recognize spider bite symptoms quickly after they appear and to prepared to treat them. Starting spider bite treatment immediatebly can make all the difference. By learning how to recognize spider bites and reading a little advice you can be way ahead in the event you get bit… Click to read more
6. 83 Uses for Paracord That Will Surprise You
There are plenty of uses for paracord–and in this post, we have listed 83 of them! If you are wondering what a paracord is for to begin with, you’re in the right place to start learning. Paracord survival bracelets are essential to every preppers’ kit, especially when there is a need to improvise gear and weapons. But of course, there are also creative uses for paracord. Check out our list and learn a ton of paracord hacks! Click to read more
7. 9 Survival Foods That Will Outlast The Apocalypse
MREs, freeze-dried, dehydrated food, and other types of survival food have a “maximum shelf life of 25 years.” However, there are a few survival foods you can pick up at the local grocery store today that won’t cost you an arm and a leg while being shelf-stable… Click to read more
8. Plastic Bottles | Uses That Can Save Your Life
Plastic bottles are some of the most versatile resources you can have in a survival scenario. I have been on dozens of survival challenges, and have yet to complete one without finding at least one plastic bottle. In this article, we will cover ways you can use these plastic bottles to survive in the wilderness… Click to read more
9. Cooking On The Move; Do You Consider Yourself A Campfire Chef?
I’m a big fan of meals prepared over an open fire. The smell of food sizzling over scorching wood is more than enough to get my mouth watering. The actual taste of the food brings a certain feeling of nostalgia that is difficult to replace. After all, the campfire was our ancestors’ first kitchen; which may have something to do with it. In addition to that nostalgia, comes a smokey taste and texture which is hard to replicate anywhere, but outdoors as a campfire chef… Click to read more
What have you done this week? Let us know in the comments below.
With a survival knife, a trusty new tool in your hand, you probably felt like you could take on the world. Until you dulled down that new pocket knife blade, that is. But you just needed good sharpening equipment and a solid sharpening technique (of the two, the technique seems harder to come by). Whether you are sharpening with rods, a whetstone, or an actual stone from the creek, these five tricks can help you turn your dull tool into a sharp blade again, at home or in the field.
Sharpen Your Pocket Knife Better With These Tricks!
1. Stabilize Your Stone
If you are using a slab-shaped whetstone, it will serve you best if it is locked down and unable to wiggle. A wobbling sharpening stone grinds metal from your knife edge in an uneven pattern. Rather than holding the stone by hand, secure it to a log or some other stationary object. Then, you can better maintain the same edge angle as you sharpen.
2. Count Your Strokes as You Sharpen
It’s very important for the number of strokes to match on each side of the edge. Over-sharpening on one side can lead to an odd edge bevel, which is not as sharp.
3. Pick the Right Angle
Select the right angle for the particular knife you would like to sharpen and stay at that angle while sharpening. It doesn’t have to be exact but it should be close. Most knives have a bevel angle of roughly 20 to 23 degrees.
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4. Sharpen Often, Before the Edge Gets Too Dull
This keeps your knife effective and can save you from a major sharpening job down the road. I learned this trick on my first blade. It was a nice little Wenger Swiss Army knife with black handle scales. And like most Swiss Army blades, it was almost impossible to create a very sharp edge on it but frequent sharpening kept it serviceable, until the fateful day when I lost my first.
5. Mark the Edge With a Black Sharpie Pen Before You Start Sharpening
With the ink in place, it’s easy to see where you’ve sharpened and where you missed a spot. This trick can be repeated during the sharpening process until your knife edge is extremely sharp.
Is this your first time to sharpen a knife? Watch this video by OUTDOORS55 for 3 more tips beginners must know:
Your knife is a useful tool which you should always take care of and sharpen to experience its best performance. It’s an essential tool you can rely on during an emergency, while camping outdoors, or when SHTF. Keep in mind that knives are useful but they are also dangerous. Make sure not to hurt yourself when sharpening your pocket knife. Maintain your focus on the task at hand — eyes, hands, and mind — to avoid accidents.
Do you have your own trick in sharpening your knife? Share it with us in the comments section below!
Up Next: 10 Top Reasons To Keep A Pocket Knife In Your EDC
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on January 7, 2016 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, drivers in the United States generate nearly 300 million old tires each year. I think you would agree that letting such a mountain of resource go to waste would be a bad thing, and since I love using “free stuff” around the retreat, I’ve been brainstorming ideas on how I can put them to use around my place. Here are a few of the ideas I’ve come up with.
Old tires work great for building cheap raised bed gardens. Aside from my posts on using old tires in the garden, Charles Sanders has an excellent post over at Backwoods Home Magazine, and here is another one by Kurt Saxon.
Old tires work great for building a bulletproof wall – all you have to do is fill each tire with earth as you stack them into a wall. This type of wall will stop anything that you’re likely to face, and it costs very little or nothing if you have a source of free tires and earth.
Start by filling the tires with dirt and compacting with a sledgehammer. This process is referred to as “pounding the tires.” A 15-inch tire will take nearly 300 lbs of earth and a lot of work and sweat to fill. The wall is built using staggered courses just like a block wall to make all hold together and not fall over without having to use mortar or reinforcing steel.
For a wealth of info about building with tires, I suggest you get a copy of Earthship Volume 1, How to Build Your Own. I would like to have my trailer surrounded by this type of wall, leaving space for the door and windows of course.
Build a “goat gym” if you keep goats and you know how funny and playful they are. Bury a large truck tire perpendicular and halfway into the dirt in your goat lot and watch them jump on, crawl through, headbutt, and rub themselves in all kinds of strange and funny ways.
Old mud tires are also great for keeping livestock feed buckets upright. I have a billy-goat that loves to push and paw his feed bucket over, dumping his feed on the ground wasting a large part of it. My solution was to use a 13-inch car tire that fits his bucket snuggly and place his bucket in the center opening of the tire. Problem solved.
You can build a great composter using old big tires. Start by using a jigsaw or sharp knife to cut out both side-walls around the tread of four to six tires that are the same size. Find a level spot, put the first tire down on the ground, and cover the bottom with 4 to 6 inches of sawdust or hay and start adding your composting material and cover with a layer of sawdust, hay, or both.
When the first tire is full, put another one on top and repeat until all the tires are full. Now let it stand for at least two months, now remove the top tire and lay it beside the stack, shovel what was in that tire off the top and into the tire that is now on the ground, add the next tire, and repeat.
After you have finished turning your compost, let it stand for one year or more before adding it to your garden.
6. Bullet Backstop
Fill the tires with dirt or sand and stack two layers thick for a great bullet backstop for a home shooting range. See number two above for more details.
Courtesy of The Survivalist Blog
Watch this video below by Grig Stamate for more resourceful ways to re-use old tires:
Between turning them into genius DIY ideas and stuffing them into our landfills as additional waste, the former is a far better option. The last reminder though, tires can excrete toxic chemical in the long run, so don’t use them for growing edible plants.
Got ideas on how to recycle tires? Share them with us in the comments section below!
Up Next: How To Turn A Broken Car Into A Survival Super Market
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on January 11, 2016 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
Dugout houses make you invisible to trouble such as wild animals, and they also naturally stabilize heat, serving as your protection. Various stories will tell us about how people survived by living in pit-houses. Even soldiers who were away on war lived in a dugout for some time. This survival shelter is flexible for any kind of situation. With the proper design and structure, it will help you survive. In order for you to create a dugout in case SHTF, we share a helpful survival life guide.
Dugout Survival Shelter | A Survival Life Guide
Scan for the Perfect Spot
You’re going to be digging a lot so make sure the soil is not very sandy because it could break apart easily. Look for a ground where the soil holds together firmly. Avoid building around bodies of water. You might accidentally create a hole allowing the water to flow in your dugout house.
Look for Materials
Aside from your survival kit, you need something strong and sharp to break the ground and a shovel — or you can make use of your hands for digging. Make sure you have a sharp material for cutting branches or scout for available ones scattered in the area. Collect leaves or debris as your roofing material.
You’re going to dig a lot so expect to get all worked up. Dig a furrow about 8 to 10 feet deep or until space is big enough for you and your company to fit in. Make sure to leave a slope or space as your entrance and exit pathway.
Add debris and leaves inside your shelter so you won’t sleep on the cold hard floor (err, dirt). Create a nest-like crib (a dugout mattress!) that suits your comfort level. This will also add up to the heat requirement your body demands.
Put in logs or branches over the furrow you made. Also, add enough leaves and debris to cover it all up. This will serve as a camouflage for your dugout shelter, keeping you safe from the elements. Your entrance and exit pathway must remain uncovered for a quick escape in times of risk or even serve as a space for your bonfire.
Watch this video by Chandan Lahiri and learn to make a sand dugout in case a sandstorm hits your location:
During a pressing situation, a dugout shelter can be your best bet for survival. This temporary housing is quite easy to build while you’re out in the wilderness. Sure, you’ll get worked up as you dig for your temporary home but a dugout shelter can be a great option to protect you from all the elements outdoors.
Have you tried building a dugout shelter before? How was your experience? Let us know in the comments section below!
Up Next: 10 Critical Points You Need To Know About Building Any Natural Shelter
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 10, 2017 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
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Today we all rely on bottled water and tap water that only a few of us know how to filter rainwater. Rainwater is an abundant source of water for any domestic and agricultural need and can be harvested easily. But filtering rainwater can be difficult and costly in modern times. Instead, find out how they filtered rainwater 100 years ago and make your own!
Filtering Rainwater Collection Using the Old Method
In this article:
Water Shortage in Summer
During our boiling, broiling, blistering summer of 2012 here in the Missouri Ozarks, water was a topic of conversation wherever we go. Creeks and ponds dried up (some never recovered) and the water table dropped, forcing a few neighbors to have their well pumps lowered or to even have deeper wells drilled.
Traditional Water Supply
Many folks shared memories of rain barrels, cisterns, hand pumps, and drawing water with a well-bucket as a child usually on grandpa and grandma’s farm. Some said they’d never want to rely again on those old-time methods of getting water. But, at least they knew how it was done.
Old Homemade Water Filtration System
A tattered, 4-inch thick, 1909 book I happily secured for $8 in a thrift store reveals, among umpteen-thousand other everyday skills, how to make homemade water filters. The instructions in “Household Discoveries and Mrs. Curtis’s Cookbook” are quite basic as everyone had a rain barrel back then and presumably knew how to clean the water. Now, 104 years later, I am thankful the authors had the foresight to preserve their knowledge for us and pointed out that rainwater collected in barrels from a roof is a necessity in some locations but also is best for laundry and “often more wholesome for drinking purposes than hard water.”
SPECIAL: The perfect water filter for home, camping or bugging in (or out.)
Rainwater Filter Instructions
Step 1: Prepare the Container
Take a new vinegar barrel or an oak tub that has never been used, either a full cask or half size. Stand it on end raised on brick or stone from the ground. Insert a faucet near the bottom. Make a tight false bottom 3 or 4 inches from the bottom of the cask. Perforate this with small gimlet holes and cover it with a piece of clean white canvas.
Step 2: Cover the False Bottom
Place on this false bottom a layer of clean pebbles 3 or 4 inches in thickness. Next, place a layer of clean washed sand and gravel and then coarsely granulated charcoal about the size of small peas. Charcoal made from hard maple is the best.
Step 3: Add the Final Layer of
After putting in a half bushel or so, pound it down firmly. Then put in more until the tub is filled within 1 foot of the top. Add a 3-inch layer of pebbles and throw over the top a piece of canvas as a strainer. This canvas strainer can be removed and washed occasionally and the cask can be dumped out, pebbles cleansed and charcoal renewed every spring and fall, or once a year may be sufficient.
Other Uses of Trickle Filters
This also makes a good cider filter for the purpose of making homemade vinegar. The cider should first be passed through cheesecloth to remove all coarser particles. You can also make a small cheap filter from a flower pot. A fine sponge may be inserted in the hole and the pot filled about as directed for the above filter. It may be placed in the top of a jar which will receive the filtered water.
My copy of the 1,000-page book is stained and worn, I assume from many years of use in the house, barn, and garden. Even though I could read the bright, white online version, I treasure my rag-tag book and am hanging onto it. I still have much to learn.
Linda Holliday lives in the Missouri Ozarks where she and her husband formed Well WaterBoy Products, a company devoted to helping people live more self-sufficiently off the grid and invented the WaterBuck Pump. A former newspaper editor and reporter, Holliday blogs for Mother Earth News, sharing her skills in modern homesteading, organic gardening, and human-powered devices.
Courtesy of OffGridQuest.
Find out what mistakes to avoid during rainwater harvesting in this short video by David The Good:
This vintage book offers a cheap and easy way to make a rainwater filter just as good as a patent filter which costs 10 times as much. This 100-year-old filter may be set in the cellar and used only for drinking water. It may also be used in time of drought for filtering stagnant water which would otherwise be unpalatable for the use of stock.
What do you think of this 100-year-old rainwater filtration technique? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Up Next: Amazing! Stay Cool With This Solar Powered Air Cooler! [DIY]
For awesome gear that can also help you in a survival situation, visit the Survival Life Store!
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Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on December 15, 2015 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
The best time of the year to cool off at the beach is now! But if you’re a homebody, you’re probably thinking of ways to keep your house cool during the summer. Turning on the air conditioning is the most convenient solution, but you won’t be too happy once you get your power bill. As the summer heat seems to lengthen and intensify each year, we preppers need to do something about it without having to resort to the expensive and artificial way of cooling our homes. Here are some tips on how to cool a room without AC while saving money in the process.
Ways To Keep Your House Cool And Save Money During The Summer
If you live in a humid area, your sweat evaporates slower. Wear loose cotton and other natural fabrics. Lowering the humidity will help you feel cooler. Of course, there are other ways to keep your house cool.
2. Reduce and reflect sunlight.
Direct sunlight coming into your home can increase the temperature. Placing blinds, curtains, or reflective window panels are some of the ways how to keep the sun out of windows. Keeping direct sunlight away from your room will reduce the warmth in the space.
3. Turn off lights when not in use.
Light bulbs produce heat, especially the incandescent ones. If you can’t replace this antiquated type of bulb, the least you can do is minimize their usage. Some homes install solar panels to help minimize the cost of electricity.
4. Be smart about your doors.
If a room is cooler than the outdoor temperature, close the door. This will retain the colder room temperature for as long as possible even in the warmest part of the day.
5. Don’t cook inside.
The kitchen can create and retain a lot of heat when you are cooking. The best compromise is to cook during the coolest time of the day. If you can opt to cook in your backyard, that’ll be a great excuse for a backyard barbecue!
6. Put smooth white fabric covers on your furniture.
White fabric covers will help retain less heat in your furniture. These covers will also reflect the light. Some would say that it absorbs less heat from sunlight. The furniture and interior of the house stay cooler in the process.
7. Open windows at both ends of the house.
By opening windows at both ends of the house, you let air move freely throughout the whole structure. This is called cross-ventilation. This process helps reduce the temperature in your home. You’ll be surprised at how much cooler it becomes!
8. Set your ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise.
Doing this will help move the warmth away from the room. In turn, you will feel cooler. I bet you didn’t think you could do that, did you? This method of reversing the rotation of the blades will push the warmth to the ceiling instead of blowing it to your direction.
9. Point box fans out the windows.
When you do this, you push the hot air out. This is one thing many homeowners do not realize. Sometimes, it’s better to use fans for exhaust rather than creating an artificial breeze.
10. Unplug appliances or electronics.
In this age of electronics, heat is a normal by-product. If you have kids or teens playing with their Xbox on large flat screen TVs all day, maybe it would be best to minimize their playtime. Pull out those plugs if you are not using a gadget. Less heat produced means a cooler interior.
11. Hack a fan instead of turning on the AC.
Did you ever think of how to cool a room with ice? It’s a classic, but it’s proven to work. Take some ice in a bowl, place in front of a fan, and you get instant AC. It may not be as cool as the real thing, but it’s still pretty darn effective! Better put those ice cubes to good use!
12. Hang wet laundry on a clothesline rather than turning on your dryer.
A dryer is no different from an oven in the summer. They are heat multipliers, so try not to use them if you don’t need dry clothes right away. Besides, line-drying will also cool the air coming into your home if the wind direction is favorable.
13. Make use of your bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans.
Apart from drawing out any excess steam, these exhaust fans also draw out the heat from other rooms nearby. There will be a noticeable difference. You can probably do this at the warmest part of the day when you’re not using your AC.
14. Do your laundry and ironing at a certain time of the day.
Just like cooking in your kitchen, you can do this on the cooler parts of the day. This way, you won’t be adding to the warmth of your home’s interior. Plus, your work will be much more comfortable − unless you have a strict schedule to keep.
15. Damp Curtain
People from the old days used this technique before the birth of air-conditioning units. This is quite similar to putting ice in front of the fan. As long as there’s a breeze, that is. You can even add fabric conditioner to add fragrance!
16. Let the night air in.
In the summertime, nights tend to be much cooler. Make the most of this by opening the windows before sleeping. Of course, security should be your primary concern prior to leaving them open as you doze off. Make the necessary preparations like installing grills or just leaving the upper windows open if you live in a two-story house.
17. Plant trees strategically.
This may be a long-term plan, but the benefits are also long-term. After a few years, you will be proud of the natural shade you’ve created. Plant them in locations where you think the sun beats down on your home the hottest, especially during summer.
Watch this video by HomeDashWizardDotCom showing us ways to keep cool and save energy this summer:
That’s about it! This list just might do you some good when it comes to getting rid of or minimizing the heat in your home. If you have barn animals, you can also find ways to keep them cool. Stay off your feet and beat the heat this summer!
Do you have anything more to add about keeping your house cool during the summer? Please share them in the comments section below!
Up Next: Build a 6-Month Food Stockpile on a Tight Budget
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The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Please read ourfull disclaimer.
Editor’s Note – This post was originally published in July 2017 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
Plastic bottles are some of the most versatile resources you can have in a survival scenario. I have been on dozens of survival challenges, and have yet to complete one without finding at least one plastic bottle. In this article, we will cover ways you can use these plastic bottles to survive in the wilderness.
Plastic Bottles | Turning Garbage Into A Survival Tool
Re-purposing Empty Plastic Bottles For Better Use
When you find yourself in a survival scenario, it may seem as if you are all alone. However, you often have more resources at hand than you realize. Other than the abundance of natural resources all around you, there is another option to consider. Where you see water meets land, you can find an abundance of plastic bottles. This may be sad for our environment, but it is a win for survival.
1. Containing/Purifying Water
One of your biggest priorities in a survival scenario is water. You can only survive three days without water, and if it is not purified you could end up with nasty waterborne illnesses. Of course, bottles help you carry and store water at your shelter. In addition, they can help you purify water. If you put water in a clear plastic bottle and set it in the sun for at least six hours, it will kill most of the harmful bacteria and parasites. You can also add sand, rocks, and charcoal to a bottle to create a filter. This will eliminate debris and draw out contaminants.
2. Start A Fire
A plastic bottle can actually be used to start a fire. Fill the bottle with water and gather some fine and dry tinder. You will need a sunny day and water that is completely clear. Use the light from the sun to position the bottle in a way that focuses light on a small point. Move that point onto your tinder, and hold it there until it starts smoking consistently. Then pick up your tinder bundle and blow gently on the ember to coax it into a flame.
Editor’s Choice: This clever tool is an invaluable, possibly life-saving utensil.
3. Make Cordage
One of the hardest materials to replicate in nature is cordage. You can find it or make it, but often it is not as strong or flexible as you need. Cut off the bottom of a bottle and start trimming a thin strip from the remaining bottle. Keep trimming this thread until the bottle is gone. This should give you several feet of cordage.
Food is a major priority in a survival scenario. Fish are a great source of calories and protein. If you cut the top off of a plastic bottle just below the taper, you can flip it over and insert it back into the base. After this, you can punch holes through both pieces and use cordage to attach them. Put some stones inside along with some bait, and then sink it to the bottom of a water source. You can make the opening larger if you are targeting larger fish. They will swim into the trap and not be able to find their way back out. A simple yet effective DIY plastic bottle fish trap!
5. Make a Lantern
Often people have a flashlight for lighting a specific spot, but they are unable to light an entire room and keep their hands free. A lantern accomplishes exactly that. Fill a plastic bottle with water and turn on your flashlight. Press the lens against the bottle, and then tape it to the side. The light should refract against the water and light the whole room.
Here is a video by Roman UrsuHack on 56 brilliant ways to reuse plastic bottles:
It’s sad that we’ve come to a point where tons and tons of destructive plastic are disposed every day. It’s alarming that large percentage of the garbage we produce consists of plastic bottles. These simple recycling methods won’t solve our greater problem on plastic management but they’re not too little to help.
Do you have other survival ideas for plastic bottles? Please let us know in the comment section below!
UP NEXT: Ultimate Survival Tips: 9 Uses for an Empty Pill Bottle
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2017 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
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Last update on 2018-06-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
1. 19 “Old World” Primitive Survival Skills You’ll WISH You Knew Before SHTF
As survivalists, most of us are constantly honing our craft and figuring out new ways to put our skills to the test. We do this to keep our minds sharp and to make sure that we have the primitive survival skills necessary to survive in whatever situation might come our way. And sometimes, we find the best survival techniques by looking back… WAY back… Click to read more
2. Beware: 17 Types of Preppers You Should Avoid
Not all preppers are created equal and it’s best to steer clear of preppers who will harm rather than help you. It is always good to know the warning signs so you can spot the preppers you should avoid from a mile away. Check out our list of the types of preppers you should avoid when SHTF… trust us, it’s for your own good… Click to read more
Compared to nature’s medicine, there are so many Anti-medicines that are man-made. For instance, Antiseptic and Anti-emetic medications could also make the list. I picked the three that I find to be crucially important to know and keep around. I personally prefer to use nature’s medicine rather than man-made medicine… Click to read more
4. 5 Unconventional Fishing Techniques
What comes to your mind when you hear the word fishing?
Probably some person sitting in a fishing boat, with fishing gear and a hook in the river or the ocean, waiting for the big catch. That’s one way to catch fish, but there are several other methods as well… Click to read more
5. How To Survive A Gun Pointed To Your Head
A gun to your head is probably one of the worst situations you can be in. You can’t simply reach for your weapon without risking immediate death. If you’re to survive this situation, you have to be smart about it. Find out how to respond to a gun held to your head and live to tell it, here! Click to read more
6. 8 Emergency Water Storage Tips For Preppers Like You
Having emergency water storage is extremely vital, especially in times of distress. One interesting fact about the human body is that it is made up of roughly 70% water. Therefore, it is essential to our physiology to have enough fluid in our body… Click to read more
7. The Ultimate Bug Out Bag List For Every Survivalist
Every survivalist needs a bug out bag list to stay prepared for any SHTF scenario. While Adam Sandler’s Jill believes “It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it”, that is not the case in a bug out bag. You only take what you absolutely need for survival. So what exactly should you include in a bag out bag list of supplies? Click to read more
8. Survival Uses For Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil is commonly used as a breath freshener. However, there are way more benefits you can get for your body. This oil contains a compound called “menthol” which acts as an antioxidant, analgesic, and can even relieve inflammation. Peppermint oil is one of the most used essential oils in the United States. Here are other benefits of peppermint oil other than freshening your breath… Click to read more
9. 8 Deadly Survival Myths To Avoid At All Costs
It only takes one false survival myth to put your life in jeopardy. When you’re out to explore the wilderness, you should rethink everything before proceeding with an action influenced by a false belief. If you’re considering living the survivalist lifestyle, you should know the truth about these myths… Click to read more
10. How To Build Your Own Underground Bunker For Survival
Have you ever thought about building your own underground bunker? Maybe you’re worried that it would cost too much, or be too hard to build. Having underground bunker plans is one of the smartest investments you can make for you and your family’s safety. With all the dangers we’re facing today, such as social and global unrest, terrorist threats, natural disasters, you can never be too complacent… Click to read more
What have you done this week? Let us know in the comments below.
I’m a big fan of meals prepared over an open fire. The smell of food sizzling over scorching wood is more than enough to get my mouth watering. The actual taste of the food brings a certain feeling of nostalgia that is difficult to replace. After all, the campfire was our ancestors’ first kitchen; which may have something to do with it. In addition to that nostalgia, comes a smokey taste and texture which is hard to replicate anywhere, but outdoors as a campfire chef.
Campfire Chef | Do You Consider Yourself One?
It’s Never the Food, It’s Always the Cook!
These scout competitions were always at base camp where they literally had access to the kitchen sink. But when we are on the move, our options for making a tasty meal greatly diminish. During an emergency scenario, we will most likely be on the move. As you are well aware of, food is imperative for our survival. Not only must it be nutritious, but it also needs to be tasty so that it can help to build and maintain morale.
I have been leading treks and camping trips for most of my life. My teachers showed me that by using a few subtle techniques and ingredients, a meal can easily go from just food to a feast! You need to keep in mind that since you will be moving out on foot, weight, spoilage, and food preparation areas are all major concerns. Over the years, I have picked up a few key points which enable me to make nutritious and great-tasting recipes while I’m on the trail.
I would like to share a few of my ideas with you in hopes that you will turn up your cooking game while you are in the field. Not only will you be eating better but your friends will be impressed with the ease and effectiveness in which you deploy your culinary skills.
Let’s Get Right Into It!
Carry a Biofuel Stove
There have been a few biofuel burning stoves introduced into the market over the last few years which I feel are quality stoves. Not only are they light and made from stainless steel, but they can basically burn anything you find on the ground as fuel. When it comes to cooking on the move, one of these little stoves is ideal for a few key reasons. Those reasons are:
A safe, self-contained open fire
Easy to light and get to cooking temperatures fast
Easier to maintain cooking temperatures
Easy to feed fuel into
Designed to have cooking pots and pans placed over them
Abide by the Leave No Trace policy
I also use my biofuel burning stove in conjunction with an open campfire pit when I have multiple NTC Members with me. I can prepare the majority of the meal in the open campfire while simultaneously using the biofuel stove for side dishes. There is no need to have your meal get cold while waiting for your other dishes to take their turn on the campfire.
Being able to have a grill with you while out on the trail will give you greater versatility in your food preparation. Even when we are on the move, we may hunker down in a location we deem safe. For those longer stays, a grill over the open campfire is a great option. You can maximize your cooking surface area with a grill as well as expose your food to the open flame. An open flame, on both meats and veggies, is what contributes to that sought-after taste. Just be sure not to burn your meals.
Stainless Steel Mess Gear
I prefer to cook outdoors using my dutch oven and other cast iron mess gear. But when I am on the move, every ounce of weight makes a difference. Obviously carrying around the extra weight in my go bag is just not an option. Luckily, there is a good amount of choices when it comes to a mess gear which is catered to backpackers. They are convenient and light which makes them attractive to those of us who enjoy spending time on the trail.
Another good reason to utilize stainless steel, as opposed to other material, is it is a healthier option than other choices such as aluminum. Stainless steel does not leave an aftertaste which also contributes to the flavor of your meal. It will be difficult to make a desirable meal, efficiently, without the proper tools.
When I first entered the boy scouts as a young child, I was given a Swiss army knife by my father. It had all sorts of gadgets including a spoon and fork. The tool addressed the need for the utensils in the field but they weren’t very practical. The spoon and fork were tiny and there wasn’t much of a lever offered by the handle.
One of the tools that are always in my backpack is a spork. It is made of titanium and full size. One end has a fork on it while the other end features a spoon. Not only does a spork make a meal more comfortable to consume but it also makes a great tool for preparing food. Having a spork on hand alleviates the need for extra cooking utensils. This addresses weight concerns as well devoting less time to clean up.
Adding various herbs and seasoning to on-the-go food is something that vastly increases the tastiness of your meal. Things such as salt, pepper, oregano, and even hot sauce can turn a bland meal into a gourmet one. The great thing about dry seasonings is that they can last indefinitely in your pack. As long as they are dry and packed well, you can always have access to these meal changing additions. The fact that these ingredients are so light makes them a no-brainer to always have in your go bag.
Lemon or Lime
Lemons or limes are not something that I store in my pack. Obviously, they will rot and rot rather quickly. However, when I head out on the trail, I usually throw a lemon or 2 on my pack. The lemon adds an unmatched taste to any meal, especially fish. If I do not use my lemon for my meal, I tend to squeeze it into my tea, during breaks, along the way.
Not only does the lemon add incredible flavor but also gives me a healthy boost of vitamin c when I need it the most. When I couple the lemon with tea, my inflammation is kept in check as I consume a tasty and nutritious drink.
Soap for Coating Mess Gear
I picked this little trick up years ago. Basically, I take a small drop of dish detergent and lightly coat the exterior of my stainless steel pots and pans. As the carbon settles on the outside of the pots, turning them black, the soap can then be scrubbed off leaving the mess gear looking brand new. This keeps your gear shiny and serviceable, but more importantly, it won’t get the contents of your backpack dirty and smelling like a month old campfire.
Knowing that you can just scrub off the excess carbon in a timely fashion helps to keep you on the move rather than wasting time with side projects. For me, this enables me to devote more of my time to the meal prep rather than clean up. The greater the time that I can devote to the meal, the more that it will be enjoyed by all involved.
Bags for Mess Gear
Along the same lines as coating your mess gear with soap, placing your cooking gear in individual bags will go a long way in keeping the contents of your pack clean. In a recreational scenario, you may not have time to properly address your cleanup needs. The darkness may have settled in before you finished cleaning. There is also weather to contend with or just another mission you need to get to in order to meet up with the rest of your group.
Being able to stuff your mess gear into bags or sacks, until you can clean everything properly, is a necessity. Keep in mind that I was referencing a recreational activity. If this were to be an actual emergency, this little tip will become much more valuable.
Onion and Garlic
Being of Portuguese descent, I tend to put onions and garlic in almost every meal. I also drink a ton of red wine but we’ll save that for a future article. 😉 Onions and garlic do not only add an abundance of taste to your meal but they also have medicinal healing properties. Carrying an onion and a few garlic cloves are not much of an issue when it comes to weight. They also store quite well for a few days, even in a musty pack.
If you want to bring your cuisine to another level, try adding some sauteed garlic and onions to your campfire meal. Worse case, if a bear were to visit your campsite, just breathe on him. I’m sure he won’t return for days. 🙂
If All Else Fails, Make Great Coffee
Ok, you can also substitute tea if coffee’s not your thing.
I say this point jokingly but there is some validity to it. There were many times in the Marines where the only meal that I truly looked forward to was my morning coffee. Lack of sleep, exhaustion beyond belief, and stress will take a toll on anyone. When you add in a few weeks of living off of the dreadful tasting MREs (meals ready to eat), you can see why I took my coffee so seriously.
Not only will coffee give you a boost when many other things won’t, but it is also a great anti-inflammatory option. If you have trouble using the latrine, a strong cup of campfire coffee usually does the trick. Coffee is easy to carry, stores very well and doesn’t require additional equipment to prepare. Sure, you can bring a percolator with you, but if weight and space is a concern, you really do not need it. Just use your pot or pan to boil water, strain the coffee into your cup with a paper filter or shemagh, and you are good to go!
Here’s some mouth-watering delight you can cook outdoors courtesy of NRApubs:
Just like any other skill set, cooking requires a bit of time and dedication to become proficient in. I am hoping that you use one or a few of my tips to make the process more fruitful. If I were to leave you with one phrase that always rings true in the field, when it comes to cooking − It Is Never The Food… And ALWAYS The Cook!
What were your best memories as a campfire chef? Share your experiences in the comments section below!
Up Next: Making Beef Jerky At Home
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on September 3, 2017 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
Fort Lauderdale Fishing with Top Shot Sportfishing Charter Boat and Capt. Zsak
Chris and Christy Done, along with their son, Kevin, and friend Katherine Humpreys, all locals, chartered the Top Shot Sportfishing charter boat team to do some deep sea charter boat sport fishing in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The family was looking for good fishing action, and that is what we set out to accomplish.
We left the marina, and once we got out past the jetties, I made a right and headed to the south of Fort Lauderdale, 1.8 miles from shore. We headed out to about four miles to the southeast of Fort Lauderdale, where there had been some decent fishing action the previous day, and started fishing. We put out our best spread of four surface lines, which included three Ballyhoos and one surface chugger bait and two deep plainer lines – one with a 3 inch blue spoon and the other with a sea witch in front of a double hooked Bonito strip.
As we started trolling the reef, we soon started getting action. The long plainer rod started pulling drag and fish was on. Kevin was our angler – he grabbed the rod and started reeling in a Kingfish. Kevin brought the Kingfish to the side of the boat Joe, our mate, wired 80 feet of leader line, while reaching over and grabbing the gaff. He gaffed the Kingfish, pulled him into the boat and into the fish box. This action was repeated over and over for the rest of the trip.
With a total of 10 Kingfish, two Bonitos and two big Blue Runners, it was now time to head back to the dock. The anglers retired into the a/c salon and enjoyed the relaxing trip back to the dock at Bahia Bar Yachting Center, 801 Seabreeze Blvd. Fort Lauderdale 33316. At the dock, Joe filet out the fish for the anglers to take home and enjoy for dinner.
For a successful and adventurous deep sea fishing charter in Fort Lauderdale FL for Sailfish, Shark, Bonito, Mackerel, Swordfish, Snapper, Wahoo, Tuna, Mahi Mahi and Grouper, contact Captain Zsak. – 954-309-7457 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.topshotfishing.com.