This blog is to help you in preparing for an emergency. It also contains other information that you might find spiritually up-lifting. This is not an official website of "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints". This site is maintained by Barry McCann (barry@mail.com)

Friday, December 19, 2014

$4.20 Per Pound: Price of Ground Beef Climbs to Another Record

(CNSNews.com) – The average price of a pound of ground beef climbed to another record high -- $4.201 per pound -- in the United States in November, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

In August 2014, the average price for a pound of all types of ground beef topped $4 for the first time, hitting $4.013, according to the BLS.  In September, the average price jumped to $4.096 per pound, and in October, the average price climbed to $4.154 per pound. In November, the average price hit the highest price ever recorded -- $4.201 per pound.

A year ago, in November 2013, the average price for a pound of ground beef was $3.477 per pound. Since then, the average price has increased 20.8 percent in one year.

Five years ago, in November 2009, the average price of a pound of ground beef was $2.062, according to the BLS. The price has since climbed by $2.139 per pound, or 103.7 percent.

The overall Consumer Price Index measures the relative change in the prices of a basket of goods and services relative to a basis of 100.  Subordinate indexes measure the relative change in price for individual goods or services or categories of goods and services.

The price index for seasonally adjusted, uncooked ground beef hit an all-time high of 296.616 in November, up 1.4 percent from October when it was 292.588. In 1947, the earliest year in this index, it was 26.5.

“The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) declined 0.3 percent in November on a seasonally adjusted basis,” states BLS. “Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.3 percent before seasonal adjustment.”

“The food index rose 0.2 percent in November after increasing 0.1 percent in October,” states BLS. “The index for meats, poultry, fish and eggs increased 0.6 percent in November after declining in October. The index for beef and veal rose 0.8 percent, its tenth consecutive increase.”

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

25 Winter Bug Out Essentials | Survival Tips

To bug out or not becomes a critical decision when we are faced with an emergency, disaster or when SHTF. Winter is a season that involves a lot of preparations for everyone. But for preppers, winter preparations don’t just mean planning your winter wardrobe and arranging Christmas decorations. It should also involve carefully organizing a winter bug out kit just in case the unexpected occurs.

25 Winter Bug Out Essentials

Preparing for a winter bug out is a necessary thing to do since we do not really know what can happen during this cold and gloomy season. It is best if we are totally prepared. The bug out items consist of all the necessities one would need in order to survive a disaster for at least 72 hours.
Putting together a winter bug out kit can be a little tricky. That’s because most of the time, it includes specialized gear. You might get puzzled or confused as to what things should be included in this special and essential survival list. We have some suggestions to help you organize your own winter bug out kit.
It may be a long list and you might think you won’t be able to fit all of these items in your bug out bag. We recently wrote a post on that very topic. The fact is that winter weather is unforgiving, not to mention deadly at its worst. We preppers must be ready and have plenty of supplies.
The following is the list of items that are most important to be included in your kit if there is a need to bug out during winter.

1. Winter Bug Out Essential: Hand Axe

A good hatchet with a steel handle that is melded perfectly into the blade is a timesaver, and a life saver. Hand saws and wire saws are mostly a waste of energy. Click here for the full post.
Here is a video on choosing a hand ax for winter bug out survival:
Follow this link to watch the video on YouTube.

2. Winter Bug Out Essentials: The Bivy Sack

winter bug out, bug out gear, camping in the snow, cold weather survival
With a bivy sack you can keep the cold out and survive a winter bug out. Via Survival Gear Guru
A Bivvy Sack (or Bivouac Sack, Bivy Sack, or Bivi) is usually a slip on cover for your sleeping bag to make it warmer or waterproof. An emergency bivvy sack is made so that it can be used by itself. Usually out of synthetic materials that are designed to reflect and hold body heat. Read more

3. Winter Bug Out Boots

snow boots, winter footwear for preppers, winter bug out boots, snow insulation for feet, survival winter shoes
These boots are made for surviving the cold winter. Courtesy: Fourwheeler.com
But not just any pair of boots. You need a durable pair of boots that will hold up exceptionally well in the fall and winter. One option is snow boots, but since those only work during the winter, perhaps a better option would be a good pair of mud boots. Mud boots are high (some can even reach your knees), they hold up well both in winter and in muddy terrain, are lightweight, and also easy to slip on and off. Granted, you might not be able to fit a pair of boots in your survival/but-out bag, but at least you can in your car. Click hereto read the whole article.

4. Bug Out but Stay Connected: Communication Devices

winter bug out communication, bug out phone, emergency communication, walkie talkie for survival
Connect to the world and survive even when you have bugged out. Via Forbes
You’ll most likely have no cell phone coverage in the backcountry. Two-way radios allow you to stay connected to members in your group who travel at different speeds. They are, however, limited to line-of-sight coverage. Satellite messengers and phones offer an option to communicate with folks at home. See more

5. Winter Bug Out Essentials: First Aid Kit

winter bug out survival, medical emergency, life saving supplies, prepping for winter bug out
Do not bug out in winter without a first aid kit. Courtesy of myfamilysurvivalplan.com
First Aid Kits are one of those preparedness items that people often neglect. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to get the same attention that things like survival knives, guns and bugout bags get. But when you think about it, a first aid kit is something that’s probably going to get more use than any other item in your survival stash. To read the article click here.

6. Stay Warm on your Bug Out: Fleece Liner

winter bug out essential, keeping warm out in the snow, survival insulation, winter insulation, sleeping bag insulation
A fleece liner is a great addition to your survival sleeping bag. Courtesy of Dad vs Wild
The idea behind these liners is that you use them inside your existing bag to add around 10 degrees to your bag’s temperature rating. I think it’s a brilliant idea for those that already have a reasonable bag and just need a couple extra degrees to feel comfortable during cold weather. If anyone has some first hand experience using this sort of thing please chime in on the comments with how it worked! Read more.

7. Winter Bug Out Essentials: Food

winter bug out food, food for survival, bug out food, food for winter survival
You simply cannot survive in the cold without food. Via campingroadtrip.com
Three days’ supply of food minimum, (I carry more) to be determined by size and age of family and personal needs.
Suggested items
• MRE’s (meals ready to eat) or LRPs (long range patrol rations)
• Canned food – meats, tuna, sardine, fruits, vegetables chili etc, (I avoid these as to heavy) .
• Hard candy dried fruit, etc.
• Granola Bars or Power Bars
• Fruit bar or fruit rolls
• Mountain House or similar freeze dried of dehydrated foods
• Jerky or pemmican
• Home dried fruits
• Beans or pasta
Click here for more.

8. Bug Out but Stay Warm: Gloves

winter bug out gloves, bug out gear, winter survival gear, snow survival gloves
Winter outdoor gloves help you survive the cold by protecting your hands and fingers. Courtesy of Preppercentral 
Keep your hands warm (and useful)
As far as gloves go, we like the Glacier Gloves for their sheer cold and moisture-repelling power, and the Dots Gloves for their ability to operate your cellphone’s touchscreen while your fingers stay encased in comfort. If you’re not looking to fork over $50 or $30 when you’ve got perfectly functional gloves, though, you can throw together some rice-powered, microwave-able mitten warmers. Or, if you’re feeling evil-scientist-y, you can make any pair of gloves work with touchscreens with just a bit of conductive thread. Read more.

 9. Bug Out Visibility: Snow Goggles/glasses

winter bug out goggles, bug out goggles, snow goggles for survival, winter eye protection
Snow goggles ensure your survival in winter by keeping the cold from burning your eyes. Via Discovery.com
Goggles and glasses: Always protect your eyes from sun and wind. There are different lens tints for various weather conditions. Click here to see more.

10. Keep the Cold Out on your Bug Out: Head gear

winter bug out hat, snow hat, ushanka, survival headgear, cold weather insulation
Winter survival hats shield your head from the freezing cold. Courtesy of beargryllstore.com
For those of you who may not be as familiar with winter survival, you may not realize that a very large percentage of your body heat escapes through your head. Something as simple as having a warm hat will also help to keep your core body temperature up. Many people might make the mistake of thinking that they can get by with something as simple as a stocking hat or beanie. This would be fine if you were sure that it wouldn’t snow but you can never be sure of that.
What we prefer is a specially designed waterproof hat that has a brim to keep the snow off our faces and necks. The hats that we purchased also have fleece ear coverings and a drawstring to keep the fleece ear warmers tight against our ears and prevent the hats from blowing off in the wind. Read the whole story here.

11. Stay Hydrated on your Bug Out: Insulated Water Bottles

To watch on YouTube click here.
Tip: You may not feel thirsty in cold weather, but staying hydrated is just as important in winter as it is in summer. Drink water (warm or cold), hot tea, or hot chocolate—the latter also provides high-calorie fuel for your outdoor adventure. See more

12. Winter Bug Out Essential: Jacket

winter bug out jacket, winter survival jacket, bug out jacket, snow jacket
Keep the heat in your core with an arctic jacket. Courtesy of outsideonline
Arc’teryx stuffed its expedition-grade Ceres with lofty 850-fill down and cleverly substituted synthetic insulation in key moisture-prone areas like the cuffs and collar and around the zippers. It’s a puffy that’s ready for the elements and still holds its loft even after hundreds of days cramming it into a pack. Add to that water-resistant Windstopper fabric to ward off slop and this is the coat you want for crawling into a snow cave or belaying at the bottom of an icy canyon. Click here to learn more.

13. See in the Dark: Bug Out Lighting and Batteries

winter bug out lighting, bug out flashlight, bug out batteries, emergency lighting, survival flashlight
Lighting instruments and energy sources help you survive in the dark. Via Amazon
Winter nights are long, so make sure your headlamp and flashlight batteries are new or fully charged before an excursion and always take extras. Lithium batteries perform well in cold weather, but they can overpower some devices like headlamps. Check your product’s manual for compatibility. Alkaline batteries are inexpensive and should work in any device, but they drain at a faster rate.
Tip: Cold temperatures decrease battery life. Store your batteries and battery-operated devices inside your sleeping bag to keep them warm. Click here for the full article.

 14. Retain Body Heat as you Bug Out: Mylar Blankets

winter bug out blanket, bug out insulation, survival blanket, bug out blanket, warmth in snow
Survive extreme cold by adding a mylar blanket to your kit. Courtesy: Opsdeck.com
These hi-tech lightweight blankets can be a life saver. They help your body retain its heat. They take up very little space and though they are really hard to refold, they are inexpensive enough to have a few on hand. These would help in the car situation as well. I actually carry a few of these, tucked in my spare, because I don’t want to get caught in the cold without them. Even if it’s just a case of running out of gas or car troubles in winter. Learn more…

 15. Bug Out but Know Where You Are: Navigation/Maps

winter bug out maps, bug out navigation, survival through navigation, winter survival kit
Find your way through the snow and survive with navigation/maps. Via Dan’s Depot
Everyone says you have to have maps of your area in your gear. That’s true, but how much time did you spend deciding exactly what kind of maps to take. If you just stuck a state road map in your Bug Out Bag, then you should reconsider and take the 3 types of maps that should be in your survival gear. Click here to see more.
Here is a tutorial on maps and compasses.

16. Polyethylene Foam lets you Bug Out in Comfort

winter bug out foam, survival snow pads, cold weather protection, winter insulation
Survive in the ice and snow by using polyethylene foam as padding. Courtesy of Foam by Mail
This is something that’s used to pack things and comes in large rolls. Lightweight, it’s a great insulation to use under your bivvy sack or when sitting down in the cold. I’ve folded 6’ long pieces for each adult family member and a 5’ long pieces for each of the children in half and then rolled them tightly, securing them with 2 rubber bands. I have them wedged under the top flap of the bug out bags. The full story.

17. Winter Bug Out Essential Tool: Shovel

winter bug out shovel, bug out shovel, survival shovel, prepper gear, snow survival kit
Dig yourself out of the snow to survival with a shovel. Via cheaperthandirt.com
Finally, always include a small shovel in your bag. If you prefer a larger one, just keep it in the trunk of your car. Having a small shovel means you’ll be able to shovel through snow, but even if you aren’t caught in a storm, it will help with setting up a shelter. To read the full post, click here.

18. Fight the Cold when you Bug Out: Ski Mask

winter bug out insulation, winter bug out ski mask, winter survival ski mask, weather protection, ski mask for preppers
Ski masks ensure your survival by shielding your face from the cold. Courtesy: Survivalkit.com
I chose this mask because you can wear it three ways: cover the neck, cover the face or cover your whole head. It’s high quality and comfortable so it’s the mask I recommend to my friends. Read more.

19. Winter Bug Out Sled

winter bug out sled, survival sled, snow sled for preppers
Survive a winter bug out with a little help from a sled. Via Krabach
The last item on our list might leave some a little baffled, but the truth is it comes in incredibly handy for hauling large amounts of gear, firewood or whatever else you pick up along the way. Now by sled Winter Sled I’m not talking about the giant wooden thing children use at Christmas time. Click here to read the whole article.

20. Cold Weather Sleeping Bag: Because You Need Rest When You Bug Out

winter bug out sleeping bag, survival sleeping bag, bug out sleeping bag, winter thermal insulation
Seal the warmth and survive the cold winter with a sleeping bag. Courtesy of Modern Survival Blog
In order to get the painful part over first let’s talk about your sleep system. This is probably more essential than any other piece of kit in your bag. Now I’m no expert on sleeping bags but I do know the biggest difference in price between most bags is weight.You’ll probably be able to find a bag rated to below freezing for around $100.
What you’ll have a hard time finding is one that weighs below 5lbs.
When it comes to sleeping bags down filling is king as it provides great warmth while also being incredibly light. Other types of synthetic bags (the kinds for around $100) can match the warmth but don’t hold a candle to weight. In fact most down bags rated for freezing or below weigh on or under 2lbs. The issue however is that many of these bags go for $300 or more. To read the full story, click here.

21. Winter Bug Out Essentials: Snow Gaiters

winter bug out snow gaiters, survival gaiters, bug out gaiters, snow gaiters
Survive the cold winter by keeping the ice and snow from your feet and legs with gaiters. Via sectionhikers.com
Dating back to at least the 18th century, gaiters provide a bridge of protection between the wearer’s shoe and their leg. They are an often overlooked piece of outdoor clothing, but benefit the wearer in a number of ways. Read more

22. Winter Bug Out Socks

winter bug out socks, survival socks, bug out socks, winter socks
Socks play a critical role in helping you survive a winter bug out. Via Offgridsurvival
During the winter, socks are an even more important part of your bag. You can use them on your feet, of course, but they can double as gloves or towels in a pinch. Keep at least a couple of warm pairs in your bag. Click here to read the full post.

23. Winter Bug Out Essentials: Tent

winter bug out tent, winter survival tent, survival shelter, tent for winter bug out
To survive a winter bug out, you will need a tent for shelter. Courtesy of Confessions of a Prepper
A true winter shelter should have: wider-diameter poles for stability in wind and snow; lots of vents to limit condensation; and numerous loops on the rainfly for anchoring guylines in storms. Also consider that external pole clips make for faster setup in harsh weather than sleeves or internal poles. Size Two travelers need at least 30 square feet of interior space to fit bulky winter gear, plus vestibules big enough for two packs. Pile into a new tent with all of your gear to make sure it fits. Claustrophobic? If living space matters more than low weight, a three-person tent provides ample room for two plus winter gear.
See more at: http://www.backpacker.com/gear/backpacks/winter-camping-gear-clothing/5/#sthash.iaTW51m7.dpuf

24. Winter Bug Out Essentials: Tinder

winter bug out tinder, fire for cooking in the snow, survival cooking, food preparations, survival food
Fire is essential for surviving a winter bug out. Via Preppers Network
Searching tree wells for dead wood and tinder is all fine and good, but even then, much of what you collect will have soaked up at least some condensation. You need to pack tinder that burns extra hot, or extra long, to compensate for this. The most effective tinder we used included cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly, small firestarter bricks (pieces can be shaved off as needed), strike-a-fire tinder (tinder sticks that light like matches), and magnesium shavings (collect shavings into rolling paper and add a chunk of firestarter). Water proof matches and flint are a must, obviously. To see more, click here.

25. Winter Bug Out Essentials: Wool Pants

winter bug out pants, survival wool pants, bug out gear, survival pants, winter pants
Protect your legs from the winter cold with winter survival wool pants. Courtesy of American Preppers Network
There is no better option for pants then wool in both a fall and winter environment. Wool is warm, durable, lasts a long time, and is resistant to flame (so you can be close to the campfire). The only downside to wool is that it is very easy to get dirty, but that’s a small sacrifice to make for pants that will keep you both dry and warm. Read more…

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Brilliant floating greenhouse sustains itself with sun & harvested rainwater (Video)

© Studiomobile
In a time when traditional agriculture is giving way to hybridized methods of productionurban rooftop farms and other forms of unconventional cultivation, many are looking for ways to maximize production that is not land-based.
Aiming to create a low-cost alternative using recycled materials, Italian designers Antonio Girardi and Cristiana Favretto of Studiomobile created this floating modular greenhouse that sits upon 96 repurposed plastic drums. Dubbed "Jellyfish Barge," the idea behind this curious octagonal structure is to empower families and communities that live in coastal areas or near a body of water to grow their own food, without the need for land.
© Studiomobile
Crops are grown hydroponically in this 750-square-foot space, and are nourished with rainwater that is harvested through seven solar stills in a self-sustaining, solar-powered system. The fans and pumps that are necessary to the functioning of the solar stills are powered by the sun, enabling the system to collect, process and circulate up to 150 litres (39.6 gallons) of clean, purified water daily, be it sea water or rainwater, suitable for cultivating crops. Best of all, the whole system can be controlled remotely, streamlining the food-growing process into a simpler and more productive activity.
© Studiomobile
© Studiomobile
© Studiomobile
The barge's modular design means that it can be scaled up or down, or customized to fit various applications like floating farm-to-table restaurants, floating farmer's markets, or floating community gardens that may travel between pick-up points.
© Studiomobile
© Studiomobile
© Studiomobile
In a future where perhaps a good portion of our food may not be grown in soil, this crop-growing barge is an engaging design that combines the best new-fangled approaches of food production, creating a possible solution that is powered by renewable energy, addresses the increasing scarcity of arable land, and can drift to wherever it needs to be. More over at Studiomobile.