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Monday, March 30, 2009

Alternate Light Sources & Safety With Them

This post is courtesy of Chris W over at the 1acreohiohomestead!

I'm sure we all have some kind of light source handy for emercencies, no matter how simple or inespensive. I dont think I have to tell everyone what to have as you all have your own personal choices. For the purposes of this post, I'll just cover what WE have on hand, and why.

Oil lamps- I love oil lamps. I like the soft glow, I like the scent, and I like the ease of use. Right now we have about 8 of the large regular hurricane lamps, 4 medium sized ones, 2 small ones, plus 3 large, 4 medium, and 3 small railroad style lanterns. Only one of these was paid at full retail; the rest came from yard sales, flea markets, and thrift stores. I have just over a dozen large spare chimneys for each, and about 3 of each for the rest. Each size & style takes its own type of wick, and I have several packages of each. I even have a few broken lamps on hand for parts, and will sometime get spare "guts" from the local Ace hardware or Lehmans to have handy too. As far as lamp oil, right now we have 24 of the 32 oz bottles, and 5 or 6 gallon jugs. Last year I got lucky with a "wanted" ad on cragslist and got 4 cases of the 32 oz bottles for $1 a bottle. Some of it is clear, some colored, and some even scented. I didnt really care about any of that, but for a buck a bottle, I couldnt say no.

Coleman lanterns- I have several of these. 3 propane models and 3 white fuel. When it comes to bright light, you just can't beat these things. I have 6 gallons of white fuel and 20 bottles of propane at the moment. I pick up a 2-pack of propane usually once a month or so, and a gallon of fuel usually every-other. I make sure to keep plenty of mantles on hand, as well as strikers and pumps for the gas ones. I only have ONE spare globe, but I plan to get more. I have both flat bases and hanging hooks for them too. A few cheap hangers came via shepards hooks (for hanging plants) via a yard sale. (keep in mind storing extra fuel for these above and beyond what you may store for campstoves, you dont want to run out using one or the other) Since writing this initial article a week ago, my neighbor has given me 2 more lanterns that he couldnt fix.....the propane one just needed a mantle (single style), and the white fuel one needed mantles and a striker.

Candles-The good old standby. We have them all over the house, and a big box of them down here in the emergency room. Lisa makes most of our candles, so we're always dragging home half-burnt ones that people give us. We have somewhere areound 50 lbs of candlewax in a box, and plenty of wick. Lisa uses the molds at times, but prefers hand dipping. I see a lot of candles dirt-cheap at Goodwill all the time, and usually get them when I can. Not long ago I picked up 10 packages of the small "emergency candles" for 2 bucks. Gotta love Goodwill........

Flashlights- OK this is where I get really bad. I'm a flashlight junkie. I dont know what it is about a good flashlight, but I cant get enough of em. I've got several big maglites, (6, 4 and 2 Dcell), 5 AA minimags, 2 AAA minimags, 3 or 4 big lantern battery models, 2 LED lights, about 8 of the cheapo eveready throw aways, and even one monster Dacor diving light. EVERY ONE has several spare bulbs on the shelf, and spare lenses for the ones I can get them for. I make sure that I have at least 6 sets of batteries for each one at all times, and I dont store any of them I dont use regularly with batteries in them. I've considered rechargables, but in a long term scenerio with no electricity, they're pretty useless after they're dead. I have the police-style beltloops for the bigger ones (uncle mikes nylon) and small belt pouches for the mini's. I even have a mini with me at all times on a belt pouch that also holds my multi-plier.

Light sticks-I keep a few of these around, but not many. I've never really had much use for them other than a few times fishing, but I'm sure some may disagree with my choice on them.

Matches-matches, matches, and more matches. I get a box every time I go to the grocery store. Just the regular old "kitchen matches". I get the waterproof ones when I visit the local wallyworld , and grab all the little freebie matchbooks I can get my hands on. We use a lot of matches here already, so I buy even more than most would. Not long ago, I found the little waterproof match boxes on clearance for 79 cents and bought 10 of them, and they're sitting on the shelf full. I do have a couple dozen disposable lighters as well, but I just prefer matches.

Now onto other things to have handy.......All of the things listed are flammable, so I make sure there are fire extinguishers all over the house. Oil lamps can fall and break, bottles can spill, candles can fall over, camp stoves can catch fire...all not something we want to NOT be ready for. Now dont look at those piddly little kitchen models, but good large ones made for putting out such things as mentioned. Sure, they aren't pretty decorations that will match you decor, but when it comes to LIFE SAFETY, who cares??????

Extingushers are sold by Class, each having its own properties for certain fires:A is your normal combustables-wood, paper, trash,and plastics, etcB is flammable liquids and gasses-gasoline,paint, petrolium products, propane, butane, etcC is for electrical-motors, appliances, etc.Now there is only one kind made that will work on ALL 3 types, and its a cartridge operated dry-chemical. These babies are expensive, but worth having. You could invest in a couple BC models , which are usually CO2, and just a water or water and foam for A rated fires. Read the labels, determine their usage, and store them somewhere HANDY in area's that you may use what they are intended to work on....not in a closet! You may want to consider small ones to have in a bob or just in your camping gear, and one in your car/truck is always a good choice. If you want more protection, call me and I'll install a fire sprinkler system in your home, LOL. I AM layed off and have the time!! (there are household systems out there though!)

CO2 and Smoke Decectors- This one is a gimme. Plain and simple, both save lives. Check the batteries regularly, and test them regularly. Keep a spare or 2 of each on hand, ESPECIALLY if you use lamps or lanterns for a long period of time. I even go so far as to have a battery operated CO2 detector in my tent bag. Call me paranoid, but I like the idea of waking up breathing in the tent with a heater going, lol.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Are we Alone?

Thank you to Chris W from 1acreohiohomestead blog! This was originally posted on his blog over there, go check it out!

Sometimes you feel alone in your prepping. Sure, you have your internet buddies, and maybe a friend or 2 that agree with what you are doing, but you never feel quite like anyone around you feels the same way. It's always "thouse guys" and never anyone "around here". You get strange looks when you approach the register with 30 cans of this, 10 jars of peanut butter, 12 boxes of that, and 2 cases of TP. Itmakes you really wonder sometimes-am I really the only one doing this?? Well, this Monday I got a dose of reality, and found out that I'm not alone. In fact, far from it.

As many of you may know from my regular blog, I'm pretty tight with my 73 year old uncle. I went to visit him on Monday, to hook up his answering machine that I gave him for Christmas 2 years ago. (believe it or not, he still used a wall mounted rotary box-style phone-ya know the type with the bell shaped earpiece and one you talked into?) Anyway, neighter of us really felt like doing much that day, so we decided to go to the gun shop since he wanted to get some more 30 carbine rounds and a box of 25 auto's. Here we are, on a Monday at 1:00 in the afternoon, and the place was PACKED. We looked through the used racks while counter space opened up, and the selection was pretty light, mostly turkey guns and percussion rifles.

We finally got a hole to get to the counter, and started looking back at the ammo selection. OK, I knew that things were selling more than normal, but I didn't expect THIS. 25 auto's, not a single box. 380's, nope, same thing. The ususal cheap or surplus .223 or 7.62x39 was non-existant. We did spot ONE brand of 30 carbine ammo, only 4 boxes, so Butch bought 2 of them. I remember not long ago when that USA brand 30 carbine ammo was 9.99, well not anymore. Try $24.99! He got the 2 boxes, a new .25 caliber cleaning brush, a fresh bottle of bore cleaner, and we left. Both os us were shaking our heads on the way out, finally realizing how bad things are getting.......

On the drive back, he started talking about wanting to find some good used BDU's. I just got off the freeway exit and went the opposite way from his place to this surplus store I knew. Why not?, it's only 10 minutes away. I walked in the door and about fell over, honestly. The usual racks and racks of BDU's and othe clothing were down to one 6 foot rack. What was there was really tattered and torn, and mostly mismatched US pattern or Swiss. There were 2 pairs of boots on the wall where there were normally 30+. All of the rifle cases & drag bags were gone, all the camo netting gone, all of the camo hats, facepaint, headnets, socks, belts, etc....gone! I have never seen such bare shelves in one of these places in my life. The owners wife was there, and told us that they have sold more in the past 6 months than they did in the previous 2 years! She pointed out that they just got a case of water pruification tablets in last week, and that there were only 3 left. They want to get more bdu's in, but are having a hard time finding an assortment of sizes.

I spotted a few things I want to get when I have the money, including a medium alice pack and a magnesium firestarter. Butch ordered a patch and pin for the 6th armored, where he was in '59 and '60 in Korea. The owners wife talked a lot, and invited him to their Saturday morning veterans meetings there at the shop. I think he'll actually go! As I said in the beginning of this post, I've often wondered how many people are actually prepping around here. Well....those 2 small trips really opened my eyes a LOT on things. I'm far from alone in what I am doing, as is anyone reading this now. It makes me happy to know there are more out there, but at the same time, it worries me that so many see something coming. There are a lot of speculations out there, and I wish I could choose just one to completely believe. But rather than choose one, I'm just sticking to my plan and list of "possibles". We're continuing the food storage as best we can with me being layed off. I'm working on ammo as well, hoping to do more trading. Today I'm working on a car bag to put in the Pontiac, and making another batch of TP tube & drier lint firestarters. I want to get that alice pack, and make up a bigger b.o.b. for here, and sometime a smaller one for my wife. I refuse to stop doing all this, and more everyday I find more reasons to continue.

Monday was just one of those days when I got that big realty shock and a giant push to move forward. Hopefully, everyone out there is doing the same. I wanted to share my experience this week as just an example of how things are going around HERE. How are things in your areas

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Gift From Russia

*photo borrowed from FreeRepublic.com

Did you know that Russia gave to America a monument commemorating the tragedy that occured on September 11, 2001? I had not heard of this prior to this morning on my drive into the office, so of course I had to go look it up! I checked TruthOrFiction and Snopes, and sure enough, they both agree that this is absolutely true!
Go checkout FreeRepublic.com and the 911monument.com sites to see all of the photos and to read specifics, but here is some information about this.

*The base is surrounded by a wall with the name of every person lost in these attacks.
*The walk is made of stones engraved with messages.
*This is a gift from the people of Russia and President Vladimir Putin.
*This was dedicated on September 11, 2006.
*This is located in Bayonne, New Jersey.

Here we are 2 1/2 years after the completion and dedication of this monument and I have never heard a single story about this. Why not? What is going on with the media that a foreign nation gives us a gift to help us remember the pain of attacks on our soil and they don't even tell the American people about this??!?!!?

Go check out the other pictures on the sites above.

Never Forget.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


“Remember to watch the weather as I make no statements about if we will have another cold snap.”

Farmer Geek-- you crack me up!

Farmer Geek’s last post spoke to the fact that it is time to start planting some veggies in your garden. But there was a caveat, as quoted above: cold snap.

For gardeners, the world is divided into zones, all based more or less on two critical dates: last and first frost dates. Cincinnati is in the southern region of zone 6. Last frost = May 15; First frost = October 15. Thus, most “summer” crops should be planted after May 15.

Since Cincinnati is ‘southern’ zone 6, and my little packet of bean seeds tells me to plant “after all danger of frost,” I am comfortable planting beans on May 1. (Comfortable, but I still wait until May 20.)

I really am a biostatictican. I read the same stuff you do, and I see that “last frost” is defined as the “average day” that the last frost will occur. And when I read that, I know that whoever wrote it was stupid.

There is no such thing as the “average day.” If you have three kids, what is their average birthday? ((March 12 + October 3 + April 7) / 3)) What does that mean? There *is* such a thing as a median. First and last frost dates are medians.

To calculate a medium, plot the date from lowest to highest. Cut the plot in half. The medium is the point where 1/2 the points fall over there, and the other 1/2 fall over... there. Over 50 years, last frost date is the date where 50% of the dates are over there (earlier), and 50% are over there.

Take your chances.
Marica Bernstein

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring Time and Gardening...

Spring time is coming to the state of Ohio. It may seem slow in coming, but with some 50-60 degree days coming our way, we really have to make sure that we are on the ball in Prepping for summer.

Have you thought about putting in a garden this year? If not a garden, how about a couple plants for some fresh fruit/veggies in your house? Do you already have fruit trees in your yard, and if you do, do you need to do any pruning?

I have started some of my seeds for the year already. I prefer to start my own seeds, but you can always buy started plants from a nursery, a grocery store, or even a big box store. But with the weather warming up, now is the time to think about it if you want to start your own plants from seeds. It takes a little more effort, but to me, it is worth it. Remember to watch the weather as I make no statements about if we will have another cold snap or anything like that, but if you start your seeds indoors, you can harden them off and always bring them back inside if we are called for frost.

Think about it, what a great feeling to grow your own food and know that you can do it....

Just In Case.

Monday, March 9, 2009

What the Heck does "Smooth and Elastic" mean?

Today's post comes to us from Marica over at NorthsideGuerillaFarmer.synthasite.com:

In my first post here post I presented a silly scenario in which a well-intentioned prepper had stocked up on flour and yeast and such so that she’d be able to bake homemade bread, just in case. Of course, when just in case happened, she was left scratching her head wondering what “smooth and elastic” had to do with bread. I suggested that now might be a good time to learn.

Learning how to do something new is learning the something new, but that can’t be accomplished until we learn the vocabulary and ways of speaking or writing of the something new, e.g., “smooth and elastic.” Katn, writing on How to Read a Recipe over at “Flourish in the Kitchen and Thrive in the World,” puts it this way:

“Recipes seem self-explanatory. A list of ingredients to be used is followed by a set of instructions meant to guide the reader through the preparation of a dish. On the surface, it seems all you need to know in order to read a recipe is how to read. But as is often the case, the surface is not where true meaning lies. We have been warned not to judge books by their covers; we too should not read recipes by their surfaces... . On closer inspection of your recipe, you may be surprised to find all manner of codes and abbreviations -subtleties of language- that hold deep meanings only for the society of cooks that know how to decipher them... ” (http://flourish.ology.com/2009/01/30/how-to-read-a-recipe/).

Katn then goes on to decipher many of these codes. She tells us, for example, that the ingredients list “will use order of words to describe some operations. One cup of peanuts chopped is not the same thing as one cup of chopped peanuts.” She notes, “some recipes will tell you when to start preheating, and some will assume you have already done it” Beware! “Don’t find yourself spending twenty idle and hungry minutes waiting for a cold oven to heat up, or ten minutes watching batter drip off of food while the oil gets hot enough to fry it.”

Speaking directly to our well-intentioned prepper, Katn concludes with a warning. A recipe “will NOT replace your roll in the kitchen or give you skills you do not possess.” But with Katn’s help reading a recipe (which includes excellent resources)-- and some practice!-- you can learn those skills. A good read (although I must admit I am biased, I’ve know Katherine all her life).

P.S. Thinking that I *should* tell you what “smooth and elastic” means, I just skimmed through every old cook book we own, and even some newer ones, and in none do I find a scientifically satisfying definition of “smooth and elastic.” In fact, I went backwards: most of the older ones said, “satiny, smooth, and elastic.” Moral of the story? Baking bread isn’t science. It's a skill, and you have to practice your skill. Katn stumbled on “breadbasketcase” and sent me the llink: http://breadbasketcase.blogspot.com/. If you are really serious about baking bread, take a look. This woman is amazing!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

U.N. infringing on U.S.?

The United States of America is a sovereign nation with all the rights and responsibilities pertaining to that title. The term Sovereign means the final and supreme lawmaking authority. Are we all on the same page with this? Good. Now, that being said... The United Nations has been, and still is, trying to pass treaties and bans that will infringe upon the sovereignty of our great nation.

The United Nation. An organization that has no legal standing within our nation, or really, in the world. An organization that has its own agenda, of which much is anti-American, because that is the bent of so many of the members within this group. An organization that gets it's headquarters and land RENT-FREE from our country each and every year.

They are already interfering with the private use land rights within our countries boundaries because of agreements made by our government. Read about how the U.N.'s World Heritage Sites are affecting America HERE. It's a shame that we have to learn about this from the Canada Free Press!!!!!

The U.N. is attempting to push through a ban that will ban any and all anti-Islamic speech throughout the world. Sure, they couch it in terms of "protecting" religions across the globe, but the only group specifically mentioned is Islam. No one ever said that you have the right to not be offended, especially if what is said is true.

How does this affect us? Well, it clearly violates the First Amendment of our Bill of Rights. This truly is an abomination across the world and is often used to punish members of other religions and groups. Imagine if they started griping at America to follow it? Do we have strong enough political leaders to withstand the push that the "global community" can put forth? Let us hope so. Let us pray that our government will withstand the push by outsiders to make us conform to some sort of global standard of speech. I am worried about it, but it is something that I will be watching and praying about.

World News Daily
AOL News

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Heeere fishy fishy fishy...

I was thinking about something while I ate my lunch today. I had a tin of Kippered Herring with my lunch, and I was thinking about how great these little buggers really are. Sardines, anchovies, herring, etc. These things are just danged awesome, and quite often overlooked!

These little tins of seafood are packed with so many things that make them great for you (and they are quite tasty if you ask me!). These fish are high in protein, high in omega-3 oils, low in carbs... man, sounds like an atkins dieters or bodybuilders miracle food!

These tins are quite small and they stack really well. So that would make them great little savers to fit in the back of the pantry or cold cellar while preparing for what may come. Based on the website for one of the largest canneries, Brunswick canneries (www.brunswick.ca), these tins of fish are good for just about ever. They do say that after two years the taste begins to fade, but really, don't we all rotate our stores enough that nothing will last two years? And if we don't eat it in two years, are we ever going to eat it? ((Remember, we only want to prep and save the things we will eat.))

I know a lot of people look at these little fishies as disgusting. Heck, I used to when my grandfather would eat them with some mustard. But then I tried them one day and gee, wouldn't you know? I kinda liked them. There are so many ways to eat them that you never know what you might like. Or eat them straight out of the tin! Either way... for a food as good, good for you, and good to pack away for a rainy day... wouldn't a couple bucks to try it and see be worth it?

Give it a try... you just may like it!
Ohio Preppers Network Est. Jan 17, 2009 All contributed articles owned and protected by their respective authors and protected by their copyright. Ohio Preppers Network is a trademark protected by American Preppers Network Inc. All rights reserved. No content or articles may be reproduced without explicit written permission.