Okuma Solterra SLR-15CS Lever Drag w/Magnetic Cast Control!
I recently was able to procure this 2014 Okuma lever drag conventional reel. Original intent was for trolling & bottom jigging, but the magnetic cast control gives the angler added distance when shore casting. I was able to spool 250yd of 65lb braid as backing to a top shot of 60yd of 40lb monofilament line. I just opened it to grease & lube the internals so will use this for shore casting.
Some anglers like myself prefer star drags for shore casting. But to cast lever drags you must first know how. So i’ll demonstrate how to work the settings for casting. I’ll also explain how the magnetic cast control system works & how to set that properly as well.
This reel is hard to procure. Not many mentions on social fishing groups or on YouTube. Hopefully this’ll help the beginners on understanding how to cast a lever drag reel & how magnetic cast control systems work.
1. The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Poisonous plants are everywhere. They’re in the woods, the forests, and the mountains. In fact, some of them may even be in your garden. This makes bugging out look like a dangerous proposition when the SHTF. These plants would not cause harm if you did not eat or touch them. As you read our guide, you will realize that it is actually simple and easy to avoid these poisonous plants. Just stick to your regular food and avoid the bitter stuff. Check out the guide to help identify dangerous flora and avoid getting sick in the wilderness… Click to read more
2. 10 Coolest Paracord Survival Bracelets
Preppers may not be known for their fashion sense, but bracelets can mean the difference between life and death–paracord survival bracelets, that is! Each bracelet is made with between eight and twenty feet of woven paracord, which can be taken apart and used in various survival situations. Did we mention you can store essential survival gear in these bracelets? Here are 10 of the coolest paracord survival bracelets for your emergency preparedness… Click to read more
3. How Heavy Is Your Go-Bag? Applying Ultralight Backpacking To Survival Preparation
Ounces equal pounds, pounds equal pain. This is a principle taught to Marines in basic training as they get ready for their first hikes. Once they get past mandatory gear lists in the training environment, Marines quickly learn the ultralight backpacking essentials. This is how service members can carry everything they may need for 8 to 15 months in an austere environment. Sticking to that minimalism mindset allows for quicker pack up and set up time while lessening the load on the body… Click to read more
4. Important Self Sufficiency Skills To Learn
Self-sufficiency is a must if you’re planning on homesteading. Becoming a full-fledged homesteader is a learning process. You must learn new skills and hone those you already have. Just like other major life decisions, the commitment to homestead might be a shock to new preppers in the beginning. But using the wisdom and knowledge of others who have done it before can help immensely… Click to read more
5. Novice Prepper: Essentials You Need for Disaster Prep
We’ve got you covered with this list of essentials that’ll help even a novice prepper get ready for a disaster. All preppers have to start somewhere! To get things going with this lifestyle, there are some things you’re definitely going to need… Click to read more
6. How Bolt Cutters Can Help You For Your Emergency
Bolt cutters can be one of the handiest tools for emergency situations. Find out how to utilize this device in saving lives and slicing through tough metal casings… Click to read more
7. High-Rise Survival: Building Evacuation Kit
Most buildings have an emergency exit plan and building evacuation procedures that leads people to safer areas. There are management posts with floor indications that guide residents to the exits. However, if this initial plan fails, people need an emergency kit to get them through the situation. A kit with emergency items can make a big difference in surviving out of a high-rise building. On that note, here are the things you need for your building evacuation kit… Click to read more
8. How To Make Civil War Fire Cakes | Survival Food Tutorial
Fire cakes are a simple, reliable survival food. In an SHTF situation, you have to make the best with what you’ve got. Today I’ll take you back to the olden days and show you one of the Civil War recipes which require only a couple of ingredients and limited resources. I have to warn you, this isn’t a gourmet 5-star meal, but in a crisis, when food is scarce and you need to stretch your supplies to their limits. Anyone can make fire cakes because it only takes a few steps! Click to read more
9. 3 Stealthy Concealed Carry Tricks
How important is a concealed carry? What I’m about to tell you could literally make the difference between life and death. It could be a crisis for you and possibly your family. There has to be some reason you found this post right now at probably the right time. No matter how much you want to believe you can never become a victim. The truth is that life is unpredictable and danger can strike at any given moment. The ability to protect yourself from a would-be attacker could be something that you lack… Click to read more
10. Egg Carton Seedlings
Interested in gardening with egg cartons? It’s that time of year again! Winter will be over before you know it and Spring is just around the corner. In this article, I’m going to show you how to use eggshells and cheap egg cartons to start your seed planting… Click to read more
What have you done this week? Let us know in the comments below.
Fort Lauderdale Fishing with Top Shot Sportfishing Charter Boat and Capt. Zsak
We had a group of guys on a bachelor party from Charlotte, North Carolina that chartered the Top Shot Sportfishing charter boat team to do some deep sea charter boat sport fishing in Fort Lauderdale, FL. We had hot summertime weather in the high 80’s today, with calm seas and a light easterly wind. As the guys boarded the boat, they told us that they wanted to see action and catch some fish to put on the grill
Fifteen to twenty minutes after leaving the dock, lines were in 120 ft. of water at the sea buoy in Fort Lauderdale, 1.8 miles from shore. We started the morning charter trolling the reef in 120 ft. of water using a trolling spoon on one deep planner line and a sea witch on the second deep line. I worked the area from 100 ft. of water out to 200 ft. of water searching for the school of fish. We started getting action early on in the trip with the first bite on the sea witch. The first catch was a 30 lb. Wahoo – line screaming and pulling drag – Matt was the angler, and he did a good job bringing the fish to the side of the boat. The mate reached down, gagged the fish and put the Wahoo on ice. We continued trolling the reef catching Bonitos. They were weighing about 8 to 9 pounds each and getting bites on the spoon and surface rigger lines.
Next, we started catching Kingfish on the sea witch, and they were weighing about 10 pounds each. They were biting in shallower water along with the Bonitos. We continued catching Kingfish, Bonitos and four Barracudas for the better part of the morning. All of the Barracudas were released.
We decided to try deeper waters around a wreck, so we trolled the area and got a nice fish on, rigger line came down and line screaming off the reel. The fish started jumping and, low and behold, we had a Sailfish on. Scott got the reel and started fighting the Sailfish. We got some nice jumps out of the Sailfish, and after a good battle, Scott got the Sailfish to the side of the boat. Pictures were taken, the hook was removed and the Sailfish was released. Lines back in the water, and we went even deeper. I found a nice weed line, and caught a few more Barracudas.
It was now time to head back to the dock in Fort Lauderdale. 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.
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 email@example.com Website: www.topshotfishing.com.
If you’re considering going off-grid with solar and a battery bank, you’re probably wading through a jungle of questions and research. To decide if off-grid solar survival is right for you, let’s set the ultra-technical aspects aside (mostly) for a moment, and work through the top 5 questions to ask yourself before diving in, getting off-grid, and soaking up the rays!
Off-Grid Solar Survival: Important Things to Keep In Mind
This post was originally by DIY Projects and shared with permission
1. What is Your “Payback Period”?
“Payback period” is a phrase that’s thrown around a lot in regard to solar. So first, we need to break that down. Solar materials and labor cost (X) and your current electric bill cost you (Y) each month/year. What we want to know is: How soon will the solar system start saving me money? To determine how long that will take we just divide (X) by (Y).
For example, let’s say solar costs $1,000 (X), and your current monthly electric bill is $100 (Y). Because you paid $1,000 up front and you don’t have an electric bill anymore, after your 10th month you’ll be saving $100 per month. So in this example, your payback period is 10 months. (Hint: Solar prices have dropped dramatically in the past 10 years, but your payback period almost definitely going to be quite a bit longer than 10 months)
2. Am I in a Location That’s Viable for Solar?
Location, location, location. The more hours of sunlight that your solar panels can receive, the better. A big mistake that’s made all too often with solar is failing to consider an object like a tree, or chimney, or nearby pole that will cast a shadow on your solar array at some point during the day. Even though that shadow might only be covering a tiny portion of the one panel it can drastically reduce the performance of the whole array.
As the sun tracks from east to west throughout the day, and throughout the seasons, you want to make sure your array is in a location where it can receive maximum sunlight. A quick google search for “distribution of solar radiation in _______ (your country)” should show you what you’re looking for and you can narrow in from there.
3. Are You Self-Installing or Hiring an Installer?
Depending on your local laws, having a certified installer may be the only legal option. This comes with huge benefits of having someone to contact in the event of a malfunction, having an expert help determine your needs, and it will certainly decrease the time you have to wait before going off-grid. Even at the prices solar is now available for, this is not an investment you want to have to make twice if you make a mistake.
If you are free to do what you please on your land, you could save a significant amount of money by self-installing. Remember, that the self-installing route will involve a lot of research, and it can be extremely dangerous to work with electricity, but it can absolutely be done. It’s probably from growing up with an ultra safety conscious father, but I feel compelled to reiterate that working with electricity can be deadly and it is critical to inform yourself on how to safely work with it before attempting a project like a solar install.
4. Is the Amount of Electricity you use is Compatible With the Amount of Solar System you can Afford?
Stick with me on this one; there’s an armful of important things to consider, but it’s worth in the end. A good way to determine this is to take a close look at your current electric bill. It should show you how many kW (which stands for kilowatt, or 1,000 watts) you use each month. The key here is balancing energy efficiency with convenience and comfort.
Heating and cooling will likely make up the majority of your electricity use. That includes your air conditioning, your heating, your washer and dryer, your fridge, your cooking etc. Generally, unless you’re planning a truly monstrous system, your air conditioning and home heating won’t be able to be on electricity from your solar system. You can do workarounds by having non-electric forms of air conditioning and heating to solve this issue. Having energy efficient appliances, reducing overall use, and insulating extremely well will all be important steps on your path to energy independence.
Next, let’s get familiar with how much electricity each appliance uses. Each appliance will have the W (watts) and the V (volts) as well as some other information listed on the appliance itself or on a tag on the cord. Once you get down to the nitty-gritty details of knowing not only how much energy you use per day, but roughly how much each electrical appliance uses, then you can really narrow in on how big your battery bank will need to be.
There are a variety of battery chemistries at varying prices (deep-cycle lead acid (non-sealed), sealed AGM, Lithium etc.). In most instances, the most affordable and available option will be a deep-cycle lead-acid battery. Keep in mind that, for most battery chemistries you will not want to discharge your battery more than 50% at any time. For example, if you have 600 Amp Hours total of battery capacity, you should only ever use 300 Amp Hours. This helps keep your batteries healthy and performing for you day after day.
As a brief technical note, you’ll often hear people talking about watts, kilowatts, volts, amps, and amp hours. The basics of what you really need to know here are a kilowatt is one thousand watts, volts X amps = watts, and while all are important to understanding, when you get right down to it Amp Hours are the most logical way to think about electricity you have on hand. For a more in-depth explanation on why, check out this article: Volts, Amps and Watts Oh My! Explaining The Basics Of Electricity.
Lastly, you’ll want to do some rough figuring on how many hours of sunlight your location receives per day. Then, use that to determine how many panels you’ll need in your array to be able to put the energy you use throughout the day back into your batteries through your solar panels.
Check out my solution to off the grid power for your batteries. Get this solar powered battery charger.
I get 4 hours of peak sunlight per day, I can put 50 amps into my batteries per hour peak production. So I can usually count on 200 amp hours being available to recharge my batteries each day.
It may be slightly more because there will be an hour or two before and after “peak hours” that give me a little electricity, but it may also be slightly less if it is raining or cloudy. So, if you need more power per day, you’ll need to add more panels, or perhaps increase your battery bank size, and likely increase your controller size (your controller is the brains of the operation that essentially makes the “varied” power coming from the panels play nice with the batteries). I recommend doing a “back-of-the-envelope” calculation before going too far in-depth. This way you get an idea of how much your electrical use will cost you in terms of your solar system.
5. Do you Have Space for All This Stuff!?
The solar panels will need quite a bit of real estate if you are trying to get off-grid completely. Consider whether you’ll have space for this on your roof. Also, consider whether your roof is facing the right direction for maximum sunlight. Alternatively, you could mount the panels in your yard. You could even put them on something like a large cart you could roll to the best sunlight location in your yard throughout the different seasons.
Keep in mind also that the batteries are quite heavy. You don’t want them in an area that can accumulate fumes from off-gassing (not an issue with sealed batteries). You do want your batteries to be in a location that is decently temperature controlled. This is important because they will lose capacity when they are cold and should never be allowed to freeze.
You’ll want your batteries to be as close as possible to your controller and inverter, as well as the solar panels themselves. The cables you will use to connect these various components will most likely be made of copper. They will also be thick so that they can move a large current safely without overheating. That all adds up to increased cost for every foot further away that your batteries are from the rest of the system. In short, keep your cables as short as possible.
Watch this awesome video by TinHatRanch for an ultimate guide to DIY off-grid solar power:
There is no doubt more questions to be asking yourself before you roll up your sleeves on an off-grid solar build, but these five are a solid start to get the ball rolling. Take your time to think through each piece carefully and it will pay off nicely down the road. And remember, others before you have taken this leap! Do your research, reach out to people with experience, be patient, and you can do this!
Do you have any experience in building an off-grid solar power system? Let us know in the comments section below!
Up Next: 8 Ways To Generate Electricity At Home
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on February 4, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
A DIY paracord hammock chair makes a great project for preppers. You can set up this DIY paracord chair just about anywhere in the woods as long as there are two trees close together. With paracord as the material, you can be sure that it will hold.
Paracord is one of the greatest tools a prepper can have at their disposal. It’s strong, durable, and versatile, making it ideal for a variety of tasks in the outdoors. This simple paracord hammock is a great project for anyone interested in learning how to do more with paracord ,or just anyone who frequently enjoys the outdoors. All you need is a paracord and two trees to tie your paracord hammock chair. Check out the video tutorial below.
DIY Paracord Hammock Chair
Step 1. Look for Two Trees to Tie Your Line
Look for a couple of trees that stand 5 to 6 feet apart. Tie two paracords from one tree to the other with one at the top and the other at the bottom. Make sure the paracords are 4 feet apart and tied nice and secure.
Step 2. Cut 9 Lengths of Cordage
Cut nine lengths of 8-foot cordage ready to tie the first knot onto the top string. Fold the cordage over in equal lengths, making a little loop at the top.
Step 3. Make a Prusik Knot
Wrap the loop up behind the line, bring the two tag ends, and cinch it down. It’s going to be sort of a simplified prusik knot, which allows you to adjust it when needed.
Step 4. Space the Lines Evenly
Attach the eight remaining lines one at a time using the same exact method. Make sure to space the lines approximately six inches from each other. That’s about a length of 48 inches end to end and where the actual making of the net starts.
Step 5. Tie the Lines Together
Take the inside line of the first two dropper lines and the closest end from the second line, then make an overhand knot. Do the same thing with the succeeding lines by doing an overhand knot at approximately the same height.
Step 6. Tie the Second Row
Proceed to tie the second row by using the outside strand. Do the same thing you did on the first row by utilizing the first outside string. Tie the lines together by running them both through with an overhand knot. Repeat the same process just like with the first line.
Step 7. Work the Bottom Line
After the net is tied down all the way to the last row, attach it to the bottom line. The bottom line should be at least an inch below the last knot. Take your tag ends and run it in front of the line and run them back around each other on either side by doing a square knot.
Step 8. Align the Bottom and Top Lines
Slide the end lines where they’re approximately the same as the top line ,so everything’s nice and squared up. Do the same with the rest of the lines.
Step 9. Trim the Excess Paracord
Now that the line is attached to the bottom string, trim off any excess paracord. Use a lighter to melt the ends to make sure the tied ends don’t unravel.
Step 10. Cut the Corners
Cut a rope on each corner and secure it to the hammock so it doesn’t slip back off. Tie it to the bottom line with an overhand knot.
Step 11. Clip the Ends Together
Use a carabiner to clip the ends together by running it through each loop on the bottom. Flip it around and do the same thing on the other end.
Step 12. Time to Suspend the Paracord Hammock
You now have your makeshift hammock, ready to suspend. Wrap your paracord suspension around the tree then pull the other end. Attach the carabiner to the appropriate knob then hook the other end up.
Check out the full video and start making your DIY paracord hammock chair:
There goes your DIY hammock chair finished product. It’s a great skill to learn for all outdoor folks out there. Well, you probably have a nice hammock already, but this will help just in case you forgot to put it in your backpack. Enjoy watching the video while learning something new today!
Do you have another way of making a DIY paracord hammock chair? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Up Next: How To Build An Overnight Bushcraft Camp
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2016 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
How I’m Going To Prepare My Fishing Rigs For Day & Night!
Okuma has been upping their technology & innovations for years without that price spike often associated with other big name brand companies. I’m now only going to use rods & reels manufactured by Okuma.
I’m preparing the heavy duty Hawaiian Custom Ulua “GT” Rods that were shown at the 2018 ICAST show. I’m matching these rods with Tesoro Star Drag conventional reels. These powerful jiggers can also cast from shore. They’re known to pull up Bluefin Tunas off San Diego’s jigging charters to Yellowfin Tunas off Florida. Pretty powerful compact Star Drag powerhouses! I’m getting a XXH for sliding & another larger conventional to add to these.
I’m trying to redo my system. So far got new line for the Tesoros. I also replaced most of my regular equipment & decided to get new accessories. My new steel & aluminum spikes are thicker & longer then my shorter originals. I’m using coated Japan circle hooks to quality barrel swivels. Replaced my older baits with fresh salted frozen shrimp to crab & squid. Going to change a lot of what i normally do to up my game.
So i’m going to show how i made modifications to my equipment so i can use these rigs day & night on different coastal areas ranging from sand flats to boulders. Just purchased another conventional reel today to add to my line-up. I changed my shorter sand spikes to longer thicker pieces with light reflective tape on the dual bands, same 1in wide light reflective tape used on my rods. I’m spooling line with different configurations to match-up to different bottom topographies. On one i have all 80lb braid while the others are braid backing to monofilament top shots.
Today downgraded Tropical Storm Olivia is passing by. The rainfall will create shoreline brown water problems. Perfect time to finish taping my rods & spikes. Also servicing my reals & pre-making leaders. Like most anglers I try to be prepared when going fishing with new set-ups.
What i’ll be sharing most experienced anglers know. This will help the beginners. To prepare gear & food for the day only to arrive at your location to discover that you’re lacking equipment to properly toss a line is frustrating, been there done that. Not fun.
You’re enjoying a relaxing evening watching television when suddenly all the lights go out. The TV shuts off and the room goes quiet. The sound of silence is foreboding. You just lost all electrical power and you immediately get uneasy. You look outside the window. The whole neighborhood is dark. There are no traffic sounds, no noise, no street lights–all is still and silent. You begin to see flashlights and candles flickering in the windows of nearby houses.
And then it sinks in. You won’t have lights, heat, air conditioning, TV, or anything electrical until the utility company can restore power. Your furnace and air conditioner won’t work. Your refrigerator and freezer stopped functioning. You pick up your cell phone and discover that cell phone service is no longer available. What is happening?
There may have been indicators that a power outage was coming. Excessive demand on the power grid may have prompted the utility company to intentionally (or unintentionally) reduce voltage on the grid causing a brownout. It can last for minutes or hours. It is imposed to reduce electrical load on the grid and prevent a total loss of power. It’s typically caused by electrical demand so strong there isn’t enough energy for all the users trying to draw power from the electrical grid. As a result, the 115-120 volts typically available could be as low as 105 volts. This causes motors and appliances to struggle to operate properly. They run at reduced speed and may even run backwards. A motor that was running when the brownout occurred can heat up. Excessive heat causes wear on components and can damage the circuitry in appliances causing early failures. If it gets too hot, the insulation around wires could melt.
If you still use incandescent lights, they may dim. And the images on older CRT displays or televisions with picture tubes can shrink and become fuzzy. Power supplies in electronic devices could malfunction causing digital data loss.
Sometimes there simply isn’t enough power available so utility companies will declare a “stage 3” power alert and institute a short term temporary shutdown called a rolling blackout to conserve power while minimizing the effect on everyone connected to the grid. This loss of power is rotated among users for typically an hour at a time. The effect is a reduction in the overall load on the electrical grid. Utility companies call this “rotational load shedding” or “feeder rotation.” It’s used as a last resort to avoid a total loss of power because demand has exceeded the supply of electricity. Not all users are affected. Emergency and law enforcement buildings are not subject to the rolling blackout. We need them powered up for public safety.
Finally there is the sudden shutdown of all electrical power–the blackout. It can affect a building, a block of homes, part of the city, the whole city, county, state, or the entire national power grid. A blackout can last minutes, hours, days, or even weeks. I found cases of power being out for as long as two months. Extended power outages are very difficult for societies and economies to manage.
When the power grid shuts down, all electric motors immediately stop operating. Stoves, ovens, refrigerators, and freezers won’t work. Food remains cold or cool, but will soon begin warming. And you can’t use your electric range or microwave.
The furnace doesn’t blow warm air. The air conditioner can’t cool the house. Even cooling fans no longer operate and stop spinning. If it’s cold outside, water in your plumbing pipes may begin to freeze. And those large uncovered windows will soon allow the inside to become chilly.
Pumps and motors that keep life normal suddenly don’t work. The pump to bring water up from the well no longer works. The pressure in city water lines may decrease such that only a slow drip comes out of the faucet. And that sump pump keeping water from seeping into your basement or under your house no longer does its job.
Medical life-support devices that operate on electricity won’t work. The air purifier is off. Medications that you keep refrigerated begin to warm threatening their effectiveness. Even the four and seven watt night lights are all dark.
Anything you put off or forgot to do will become an issue when you are without power. Your cell phone battery can cause your phone to shut down until the battery is re-charged. And it may not work anyway. The cell phone towers may also be shut down–or taken over by emergency incident first responders. You may find communication by cell phone slow and disruptive. You may not be able to text family and friends. If emergency power to radio and TV stations fails, you may not be able to hear or see and thus monitor the outage.
Electronic devices and appliances without battery backup will not energize. Any computer data you were working with may be lost or corrupted by the sudden power outage. When power goes out some electronics will shift to battery backup and flash a “power out” warning light.
Besides lights not working in your home, your telephone may be disabled preventing communication by phone. Digital phone service provided by your cable operator may not work. And even though the network hubs for the Internet usually have backup generators, keeping them supplied with fuel may be a challenge. If these generators stop, the servers will fail and communication by Internet will cease until power is restored. All over your area, life without electricity is quickly transformed and the effect spreads rapidly. Life begins to move at a slower pace.
Your animals will look about trying to understand why it’s so quiet and dark. They’ll look to you for guidance and reassurance. You family will also look to you for answers.
If you decide to take your vehicle out of the garage to drive to a location with electricity, you may discover your automatic garage door opener won’t lift the door so you can drive out. Did you learn how to over-ride the door’s opening mechanism?
Outside, all the stop lights are out. While most drivers will be considerate and treat all intersections with darkened traffic lights as four-way stops, some people will ignore rules of etiquette and drive right through. These unsafe and unwise actions can increase the number of accidents.
Some people will be caught on the top floors of high-rise buildings. Some will be stuck in elevators that no longer work. And others will be marooned far from home in places that are also without electricity. Airports will begin operating on emergency power restricting air traffic, and commuter trains and buses may no longer operate.
Store cash registers won’t work and many clerks simply won’t have the skills to manually calculate a purchase. If these people don’t have a battery-operated electronic cash register or calculator, they’re lost. This reality is a sad commentary from the days when clerks wrote each price down on a paper bag, calculated the full purchase price on the bag, and then used the bag to not only hold the items the shopper bought but also to provide the buyer a receipt for their purchase.
Yes, life without power can be frightening. But it needn’t be if you prepare and learn how to survive a power outage.
Check out these related articles?
What Causes A Power Outage?
DIY Solar Powered Air Cooler
Best Long Term Food Storage Tips
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Fishing has been awesome this past week in Pensacola!! We finally had great weather and the fishing was just the same. Offshore we found some quality scamp grouper and vermillion snappers! Most of these fish are being caught on live bait on Carolina rigs. I can honestly say I’ve never seen the size and quantity of the vermillion snappers like we have this year. Inshore we are seeing redfish of every size! We lucked up and found a nice school of bulls going down the beach today! It was awesome time seeing my clients catch some of the biggest fish of their life! We are also seeing keeper redfish as we were last week using live shrimp and live pilchards. While fishing for the redfish we have also caught some nice mangrove snapper and an occasional flounder. After tropical storm Gordon the fishing has only got better. The amount of rainfall we had has pushed the fish out of the upper bays and moved them to the Pensacola pass area and in great numbers! If you have been wanting to go fishing now is the time!!!
Tight lines and Blue Skies, Captain Zack Strickland Strickly Fishing Charters http://stricklyfishingcharters.com/
For most of us living in a city, daily survival is something we take for granted. An urban EDC kit isn’t at the forefront of our thoughts. Just because you live in an urban environment doesn’t mean you should be any less prepared than if you live in the country. When SHTF you don’t get a warning, you might be away from your home and gear, and your survival could depend on the items you carry with you every day. So do you know exactly the essential EDC items you need in an urban environment?
How to Pack Your Urban EDC Kit the Right Way
Things to Consider
Packing your EDC to prepare for survival situations isn’t easy. To get you started, here’s a list of important categories to consider when packing:
Make sure to fill each of these categories when prepping your urban EDC bag. Keep reading to find out why these categories matter and what the best EDC survival items are.
1. Self Defense
Unlike being isolated in the wilderness, your primary threat in the city is other people. That’s why you should never leave the house without some sort of protection in case you are attacked and forced to defend yourself. The market is saturated with legal and illegal self-defense weapons. I like to play it safe since you never know when you might be searched by law enforcement. For this reason, I prefer a good box cutter.
Box cutters are legal as long as you’re not waving them around, and they’re perfect for keeping attackers at bay should the situation arise. They also make great utility knives. Being able to replace the blade means it’s always razor sharp, and you don’t need to worry about using it on dirty jobs. I love box cutters and carry one everywhere I go in my urban EDC. I even carry extra blades in my pack in case I need them. Box cutters also make great bottle openers.
Not everyone is comfortable carrying a knife, however, and in that case, I recommend a good tactical pen. I always carry a pen and notebook, so why not carry a pen that smashes a car window in an emergency or strikes an attacker in the temple and incapacitates them?
The Hoffman Richter Stinger Tactical Pen is the perfect blend of defense and utility. It’s heavy enough to take down an attacker but small enough that you won’t mind carrying this baby everywhere you go. Both stylish and discreet, no one will even suspect you’re carrying a deadly weapon. It also makes a great writing tool and has replaceable cartridges for when it runs dry.
If you travel after dark or use underground transportation, it’s in your best interest to always carry a flashlight. You never know when you might find yourself in the dark and need to see where you’re going. If you are attacked, chances are it’s going to be at night when you are the most vulnerable. You should carry a flashlight in your urban EDC that’s small enough to conceal easily but bright enough to illuminate your surroundings.
The tactical flashlight from Hybeam is a compact and a heavy duty survival item. It has a high beam setting to quickly identify your surroundings or to blind someone running up on you in the dark. It’s waterproof and great for carrying in a back pocket or a purse. If you’re looking for something bigger which can also double as a weapon, I highly recommend a Maglite.
There’s a reason that cops use these flashlights. Not only do they completely illuminate your surroundings, they make an exceptional blunt weapon should you need it. Their large size makes them hard to conceal outside of backpacks or large purses. I keep mine under the front seat of my car in case I need it.
Even in a city, the best thing you can do is stay hydrated. Having access to clean water is the most important part of survival. Sure, you can buy bottled water at gas stations everywhere. But you’re just throwing money away and filling the ocean with plastic. Everywhere you go you should have clean water, so why not do it right.
Water bottle from Klean Kanteen is made of double layers of stainless steel that insulates it. This means it keeps water cold for 24+ hours, even in the summer heat. It also comes with a loop cap, making it easy to clip onto your backpack. I recommend getting the 32 oz. size for your urban EDC. Not only will it keep you hydrated all day, it also makes a great weapon. When filled up, it doubles as a stainless steel club that can easily bash in an attacker’s skull.
You can’t always carry enough clean water and when you run out, it’s important to get more. The Aquastiq portable water filter lets you drink water on job sites you normally wouldn’t trust. They also make a water bottle that fits the straw, perfect for traveling in nature or a modern city.
The following items don’t just do one thing, they do it all. They are also small enough that you will hardly notice they’re in your urban EDC until you need them.
The M48 Kommando rescue tool comes with the standard array of wrenches, wire cutters, bottle opener, can opener, screwdriver, and knife blade. It also comes with emergency paracord and Morse code for help and SOS.
Here is another tool that does it all and is small enough to fit on your keychain. It has a small and medium flat driver, a Phillips head driver, wire stripper, pry bar and a bottle opener. It’s so small you can even carry it on airplanes.
You don’t get more utility than a multitool. This 13-in-1 tool from Hoffman Richter comes with needle nose pliers, wire cutters, two different knives, a saw, a file, large, medium and small slotted screwdrivers, a Phillips screwdriver and a bottle opener. This baby does it all. My favorite part is the pliers, which come in handy in so many different situations.
Watch this video by SensiblePrepper for more ideas about what to put in your EDC bag:
Just because you live in a modern city, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared for the worst. Once you get in the habit of carrying survival items in an urban EDC, you stop having to worry about them. When SHTF, the items you are carrying may be the only things keeping you alive, so make sure you’re carrying the best.
What do you carry every day? Leave a comment and let us know your personal favorite EDC gear and how it has kept you alive.
Up Next: Survival Life’s Comprehensive Checklist For A 72 Hour Survival Kit
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on September 9, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
Ever wondered how to raise quail? Take the next step in your homegrown protein-raising and adopt some quail. This unassuming bird happens to be one of the best options around for fresh eggs and meat. Here’s what quail can do for you.
More and more people across the United States are raising their own food. From cattle and goats to pigs, rabbits, and chickens, people are able to put fresh meat on the table all on their own. In this day and age, raising and growing your own food is becoming more of a necessity. When SHTF it’s comforting to know that you can provide for your family.
Raising quail is becoming more and more popular. Homesteaders and farmers (rural and urban) across the nation are having great success in raising this pint-sized fowl. They are smaller than your average chicken, which means they take up less room, and they are super easy to care for.
The Homesteader’s Guide to Raising Quail
The Benefits of Quail
Let’s talk about the benefits of raising quail in more detail. Why have they become so popular?
Quail Lay Eggs Every Day, Just Like Chickens
If you decide to raise quail for your farm, you’ll look forward to their eggs, which can be used in recipes and eaten just like chicken eggs. Coturnix quail lay daily just like chickens, and their eggs are spotted and speckled. In many parts of the world, quail eggs are considered a delicacy. Their eggs are smaller, so you will have to use more of them, about 3-4 quail eggs per one chicken egg. But their quality is comparable to chicken eggs.
Quail are Perfect for the Urban Farmer Who Cannot Raise Chickens
If you live in an urban area, one of the main advantages to raising quail for their eggs is that cities and towns that do not permit chickens might have exceptions for quail, or might leave them out of legislation altogether. Another great plus is that quail do not crow; instead, their calls are quiet chirps and coos that give little indication of their presence, and they’re much less likely to annoy your neighbors than a 4:30 a.m. rooster wake-up call. It is important to note that you cannot let Coturnix quail free range (like chickens), as they fly very well.
Quail Take Up Less Room
As a general rule, quail need one square foot of space per bird. Raising quail this way means they’ll be less prone to behavioral issues and lead happier lives. A hutch that is 2′ x 8′, is perfect for 12 quail.
Unlike chickens, quail do not perch; instead, they lay on the ground. They do not nest like chickens either and lay their eggs wherever it suits them. When raising quail in your home, keep this in mind as you build or purchase a hutch for them. You don’t want them living in or laying their eggs in their own manure.
Quail Mature Quickly
Unlike chickens, Coturnix quail mature and start laying eggs in just 6 to 8 weeks (after their birth) — a blink of an eye compared to the 7-month wait period for chickens.
Quail are Hardy Creatures
Although they’re not invincible, quail are hardy birds that do not get sick frequently. As long as their environment is kept clean from manure and they are not crowded into a hutch that is too small, quail have few health issues. Clean their feeders and water containers weekly. Scrub any manure out of their hutch to avoid issues such as coccidiosis and quail disease, which are transported by manure. Ensure they are kept out of the elements so they neither get too hot nor too cold. Successfully raising quail is easy, and I think you’ll find them as rewarding as keeping chickens! Let’s go over the following steps on how you can successfully raise quail:
How to prepare an area to raise quail
Buying quail: The type of quail that is the most recommended and where to purchase quail
Raising quail – Tips on daily care
** Note: Since buying mature (adult) quail is ideal for beginners, the following information is for adult quail care ONLY.
How to Prepare an Area to Raise Quail
Find a space in your yard or on your balcony where you can hang a quail hutch or cage. Clear the space underneath in which to place straw. This will help you to collect and remove waste. You can also decide whether to house your quail in a different sort of housing, like a rabbit hutch or something similar. However, the cage above is set up in a way to prevent diseases since quail waste is high in ammonia.
Purchase a long, narrow cage and hang it from an overhang on your house, garage, or balcony. Choose somewhere that has access to light, but is blocked by strong winds. Most quail cages are built of open mesh wire since the birds need shelter, but plenty of air. They should be housed away from predators, including pets.
Hang some lights around the cage. This will allow you to increase egg production in the fall and winter months. The birds need 15 hours of light per day to produce eggs, but any more and they will become stressed from lack of sleep.
Decide how many birds you need based on your egg consumption. Figure out your weekly chicken egg consumption. It takes 3-4 quail eggs to equal one chicken egg and your mature females should lay one egg every day. Plan to get one female bird for each chicken egg you eat. Note: Quail eggs can be consumed like chicken eggs; however, it requires more birds to produce the same amount.
The Guide to Buying Quail
Coturnix quail are highly recommended birds to keep. They aren’t just good egg producers but they can also be kept as meat and are really easy to look after. Note: If you’re looking for quail that lay bigger eggs you should go for the jumbo Coturnix.
Coturnix quail usually start laying at 6-8 weeks when they mature. From then on they will lay one egg every day.
Other popular breeds to consider are the Scaled Quail, Gambel’s Quail, or the Bobwhite Quail. However, Coturnix quail is the most recommended starter breed.
Where To Purchase Quail
There are options on where you can purchase quail. Go to Craigslist or look in your local paper first. The best idea is to use contacts in the local livestock or urban farming community to get birds that are acclimated to your area. Also, try local ranch or farm supply and feed stores. If they don’t get quail each spring with their chickens and guinea fowl, they may be able to order them especially for you.
An important tip when buying quail: Buy at least two females for every male, but keep males separated. A preponderance of females will ensure plenty of egg production in your flock. At the same time, you’ll probably only be able to house one male in each cage; if two or more males are kept in a single cage, the dominant male may attempt to kill all other males to ensure that only he will be able to mate with the female quails.
Raising Quail: Tips for Daily Care
Provide quail with clean drinking water. Clean and refill their water containers daily.
Change the straw beneath the cages daily. You can add some of it to your compost. Quail waste is high in ammonia, so it must be changed frequently.
Clean the cage out if any waste starts to build up. Wash it once a week to avoid disease and illness.
The food should be a ‘laying fowl’ mix starting at five to six weeks of age. Special laying food is available in most feed stores. Ask if it is good for laying birds before you buy it. If you are raising quail for meat, change their food to a ‘finisher diet’ instead of a laying fowl mix.
Keep the animals undisturbed after six weeks of age. The females will start to lay and they will have poor egg production levels if they are exposed to other animals, noise, or other disturbances.
Consider adding fresh greens, seeds, and small insects to your quail feed.
Portions of the above article have been courtesy of wikihow.com and countrysidenetwork.com
Watch this video from NOOB Homesteader on raising quail for meat with organic feed and mealworms:
Growing and raising your own food is one of the essential survival skills you need to know. Raising quail for meat and eggs will give you an endless supply of valuable protein you won’t need to go through hell and high water for to catch in case SHTF. Raising quail for profit isn’t a bad idea either for your financial survival. Learn how to raise quail with these tips and enjoy the amazing benefits which come along with it!
If you raise quail and have any tips you would like to share, we would love to hear from you! Tell us in the comment section below!
Up Next: Advantages of Going into Chicken Farming
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on September 7, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
Last update on 2018-09-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API