Wouldn’t it be great if you could actually save some money/get paid to buy all your survival and prepper gear? One way I have learned is to buy through Ebates. Every time you buy something through Ebates you earn a percentage back of what you spend. For example, if you buy through Amazon.com you earn up to 3% cash back, or better still if you use MyFoodStorage.com to buy your food preps you will get 8% cash back! Seriously, it’s like getting an easy 8-10% off of every order. It’s not like you might get it off, or you have to order certain things. You’re guaranteed to get it off of every single order.
How It Works
Here’s how it works…. after you sign up to be a member of Ebates (which by the way is totally FREE) all you do is pick your favorite store through the Ebates website and start shopping. When you pick the store it automatically generates a ticket number and adds it to your order so you get your credit. They add your savings in your Ebates account within 2-3 days and every 3 months they will send you out a check or either deposit your money into Paypal if you prefer.
The minimum payout is only $5.01 and of course if you haven’t saved that much (why the heck not?!) it will be carried over to the next payout date. You can VERY easily save that much with just one or two orders.That’s one, maybe two orders from your favorite stores over a three month timespan. I think we all do that.
Ebates has great customer service too. I have dealt with them personally and have never had any trouble getting my issues resolved.
Waste Not, Want Not
Once again, Ebates is great if you do pretty much any online shopping, and who doesn’t these days. It’ll save you money on things you are going to buy anyways so why not get on the Ebates money train and start saving a wad of cash?
So it’s time. You’re convinced. You know you need to prep…but where do you start? Beginning prepping is like a train. It’s har to get started but once it’s rolling it’s hard to quit! Everyone succesful at prepping has started from somewhere, and that somewhere is usually a bug out bag or maybe a victory garden. For most taking care of your basics is the best place to start, but before you can understand what bacis you will need you should consider the following.
How Long And What For
How long you prep for obviously affects what you stock, and how much of it you stock. So does your reason for prepping. Those getting ready for a economical collapse would have little use for a Faraday Cage, for example. Nor would prepping for a long term senerio with only a weeks worth of water do you much good.
All the things you could possibly prep for is so varied that it’s impossible to cover them all in this article. If you have a particular scenario in mind I recommend you read more about what others are doing to prepare for it and add the extra things you may need to a basic starter plan.
Thankfully determining how long you sould prepare is much easier (sorta). There are a lot of guidelines and well laid out plans for each timeframe. Here are the most popular ones.
72 hours – This is the start for most. Your best bet for any 72 hour event is a Bug Out Bag. Most start here and expand as needed.
2 weeks – At this point you basically want to make sure you have enough water and food to last over and above the contents of your BOB. Most natural disasters fall into this catagory.
1 month – Again, this is mostly more water and food over and above a BOB, but you should also include a way to Cook Your Food and Heat Your Home without power. Get foods that can be easily prepared with very little clean up.
6 months – Now you are into long-term preps. You will want to Build A Stockpile of food as well as Have Enough Water on hand for everyone. Also consider Becoming More Self-Sufficient in case whatever event you are planning for last longer than expected.
1+ years – This is when your best bet is to become self-sufficient and start a homestead. You can stock up on a year’s supply of food, and if you can’t buy any land or live you in a city then this is still your best bet…although I highly recommend you get out of any populated area quickly and Get To Your Bug-Out Location.
If you think you may go a 6 months or more in any sort of SHTF scenario you should sit down and consider all that is required to live a daily life, and the amazing amount of stuff you would need. It would be almost impossible for a single person to do it all. Consider talking to your friends about it and see if you can build a comunity of preppers who can rely on each other in dire times.
This is Part 1 of a Multi-Part Article. Stay Tuned for Part 2. I will link it here when it’s complete.
In part 2 we’ll cover one of the best places to start prepping – Food.
So you’ve had to abandon your home or BOL (or was not at it when the fan blades turned brown) and now you’re on the last day of your bug out bag, what now? The first thing you should do is STOP and take a minute to reflect. Check through your bag and see what’s still usefula nd what’s low or gone. For the most part everything inside your bag will last for weeks or even months if it has to. Your firestarter should still be in good shape, your emergency blankets are ok, you still have a tent….but what about your food and water? AAH yes! These are the real dangers. You still have heat, shelter, and light but without food and water, espeically water, you will die all warm and toasty.
Without food you’ll begin to feel hungry and run down in a day or two but you’re still ok for about another three weeks. Assuming you have a destination you’re trying to reach where you can resupply you won’t starve if you make it there in time.
Without water however you’re in much worse shape. You have 2-3 days before your body shuts down and you eventually die on about the 4th day. I have heard stores of people living 5 days, and even 7 without water but the average and the rule of thumb is 3 days.
What To Do
Examine your suroundings and weight your options. If your goal is to get where ever you’re going and you know for sure that you can reach it in 1-2 days, then start marching. Don’t stop except to rest at night. Try to conserve all the water you can by not sweating.
If you don’t have a place to go or you’re more than 2-3 days out for a BOL, then you need to start looking for water. If you’re in the wilderness look and listen for signs of water and head in that direction. Signs can be green spots of vegitation in the distance (you may have to do for it), naturally occuring valleys between hills, or something as obvious as a creek bed.
If your survival senario puts you in an arid enviroment such as a desert you should start planning now for your water, not after the shtf. Have a plan and a place to go and carry enough water to get you there otherwise you will surely die. If possible drive the area now while you can think and plan things out. It may be possible to cache some extra supplies in a hidden spot along your path, but you have to do this beforehand.
If you’re in an urban enviroment (which most will be) remember that there is probably water all around you, although it may not be drinkable. It would be hard to imagine a house without at least one can of pop or a bottle of water somewhere inside. Hopefully you will find someone who can spare a bit.
Spigots on houses (beware the owners), ditches, man made lakes, and swimming pools are all great sources. If all hell has truely broke loose then take refuge inside of an abandoned house and look for water in water heaters, the BACK of toilets (not the bowl), and sink traps. They will all hold some water. Just remember that this water will more than likely be contaminated so filter and boil it first.
Once your water is restocked either hunker down and build a temp base camp until you can locate food, or keep moving to your BOL. If you’re in luck your senario may be over by then and you can begin going back to a normal life. If not I hope you are learning self sufficient skills now as well as basic long term survival.
Going into the winderness with a big sharp knife, firestarting tools, a gun, and pleny of ammo so you can play with sharp sticks, fire, and other neato things without the skills to use them is almost asking for an accident. Make sure you a first aid kit with you and the skills to use it. When journeying into the wilderness it’s important to carry a first aid kit along with the knowledge to use it. It’s always a wise investment to take a first aid course, and you can even find free course in your community.
Here’s a few tips for a wilderness first aid emergency…..
First, check if the casualty is in any danger, or will put you into a dangerous position by helping them. Avoid moving a casualty with unknown injuries, unless there is a greater danger in leaving the casualty where he or she is. If necessary, make the area safe, but put your own safety first. Do not move anyone with a suspected neck or spinal injury, unless difficulties in breathing make this necessary.
1. Check breathing
Check that the airway is open and the casualty is breathing. A person who is unconscious has no control over their muscles, therefore, their tongue is the single most common cause of an airway obstruction. The airway can be cleared by simply using the head-tilt/chin-lift technique, see the figure. This action pulls the tongue away from the air passage in the throat.
The Recovery position
Place an unconscious but breathing person in the recovery position- Place the casualty on his or her side, with their uppermost leg at a right angle to the body. Once again, do not move anyone with a suspected neck or spinal injury. Support the head by the hand of the uppermost arm. Tilt the head back to ensure that the airway is clear.
Stop any bleeding. All types of external bleeding, such as open wounds, are treated in the same way- Squeeze together the sides of the wound. Apply direct pressure to the wound with your fingers, or preferably a sterile dressing. In an emergency, an article of clean clothing will do. Lie the casualty down and lift the wounded part above the level of the heart. This slows the bleeding. Bandage the wound firmly but take care not to cut off the circulation to the area. If you suspect that an injury may have caused internal bleeding, the most important thing you can do is to prevent shock from occurring. Urgent medical attention is necessary.
Shock is a condition of general body weakness, and is present in all cases of accidents, to a varying degree. The shocked casualty may feel weak, faint, giddy, anxious or restless. Keep the casualty warm and quiet and give all the reassurance you can.
Wilderness first aid kit
Do not forget to bring your own Wilderness First Aid Kit. Make sure you know what your kit contains and how to use the materials for effective first aid. A good idea is to add an easy-to-read basic first aid instruction book.
Please keep in mind that the information presented here are only general guidelines. There’s no way I could ever possibly cover everything in this article. My intention here is to get your mind thinking and headed in the right direction.
For real medical training TAKE A WILDERNESS FIRST RESPONDER COURSE!!!! Also, please consult a physician, or take a first aid class at a minimum before attempting any of this.
Many outdoor enthusiasts are familiar with primitive fire starting techniques such as the bow drill, hand spindle, fire saw, flint and steel and burning lens. However most are completly unaware of the Fire Piston. A single push of the piston with the hand is all that is required to instantaneous ignite tinder, making all the popular primitive fire starting techniques look…well, primitive. Plus, everyone who sees the fire piston in action is completely amazed and your bushcraft credibility shoots through the roof.
The Fire Piston represents a remarkable combination of primitive yet sophisticated technology. Similar to the modern diesel engine, its operating principle is compression. When molecules of air are forcefully compressed, they become hot. As the shaft of the fire piston is thrust into the cylinder, the air inside is compressed and raised to a temperature in excess of 800 degrees Farenheit (800F!) in a brief burst of energy.
The palm-sized device, constructed of metal or wood, is capable of instantly creating a burning ember with a single push of the piston. Because it creates ignition by compression, the fire piston is unaffected by water and will light dry tinder even after total submersion. A glowing ember is more lasting than an isolated flame, like the ones created from fire steel or magnesium, and unlike a flame it is made stronger by moving air. Open flames can easily be achieved with a fire piston in just a few second and with little more effort than lighting a match. Unlike other primitive methods, the fire piston can be used one-handed, requires minimal physical effort and it performs reliably even when soaking wet.
Modern survivalists often carry fire steel or magnesium in their kits as a means for making fire. These tools have become very popular as they are light-weight and effective in creating instant flame with certain tinders in perfect conditions. These modern methods have become so common that for many people they are the only methods known. However, an isolated flame can be a fragile thing and one adversely affected by the natural elements, as anyone who has attempted to light a campfire on a wet and windy day knows. Using a Fire Piston eliminates many of these problems.
As an outdoor tool, the Fire Piston is one of the best fire making tools out there. With a little practice its even possible to ignite a fire piston with one hand and its ability to perform under less than ideal circumstances makes it a strong consideration for inclusion in any modern survival kit.
How To Use A Fire Piston
As the global economy continues to tumble, many people across this great country are just now seeing the light and beginning to prepare. For many of these newcomers the question of where to begin is ever present, as well as how to afford all these new expenses. The very reason most newcomers want to prepare (economical troubles) make it difficult to buy the equipment necessary to be prepared, a catch 22. The solution is to start small, as small as $2.75 a day.
$2.75 can’t do much…in fact it’s hard to even buy a cup of coffee for $2.75 now! So how can you buy expensive gear and equipment for so little? Save it! You would be suprised how fast it adds up, and before you know it you can have a nice wad of cash to spend on your preps…with only $2.75 a day.
Let’s assume you save just $2.75 a day, or less than $20 a week. In a year you will have over $1,000 to put into your preps! $1,003.75 to be exact. So what can you do with your newly saved $1,000?
Here are my recommendations
Water ($50)– Minimum 1 gallon per-day
- Store it in bulk – gallons of spring/drinking water are easy to buy, but at $1.00 per gallon they can be expensive.
- Buy several 55 gallon plastic drums off craigslist (about $15 each) and fill them up. Don’t forget a hand pump too ($10)!
- Save soft drink containers, rinse them out and fill with tap water (less than $.05 a gallon), add 3-4 drops of unscented bleach and mark them with the date.
Food ($350)– 1,500 calories per day
- Purchase in quantity what you normally eat. A good idea would be to sit down with a notepad and pen and meal plan for two weeks.
- Remember that there may be no electricity so all food items in the meal plan have to come from the pantry, don’t forget a manual can opener too.
- Next – take that 2 week meal plan and make a list of all items and use that as your shopping list. If you are able to buy 2 of everything listed – that would be a one month supply.
- Do not forget cooking oil (essential fats) that you may need to complete your meal. Don’t forget about spices and other condiments.
- Ramen soup, rice, lintils, and beans are cheap and easy bulk foods.
- Powered milk, honey, and salt should also be on the list.
- Wheat is great, but is harder to find and requires a mill.
- Consider shelf life (aim for at least 1 year out).
- Buy store brands and buy on sale to maximize your available funds.
Light ($30) – Your light in shining darkness
- Pick up a few quality hand crank LED flashlights. [LED will give you long bulb life & super long batttery life]
- Buy a bunch of candles at the dollar store or local discount store, as well as some matches and lighters
- Pick up a hand crank LED lantern, oil lamp, or propane lantern. Your choice. Make sure your propane lantern can be supported without a 1lb bottle (you will be using an adapter hose instead). A simple metal hook, special stand or propane “tree” works well.
- Get extra alkaline batteries for your old flashlights if needed.
Medical/First Aid ($20)– Don’t forget the band-aids
- Make sure you are up to date on all prescriptions.
- Get a decent first aid kit – usually around $5.00 to $10.00 .
- Pick up extra supplies like band-aids, burn ointment, diarrhea medicine, pain killers, triple antibiotic, cold medicine, etc.
Household Supplies ($60)- For cleaning and sanitation
- Basic’s here. Dish soap, toilet paper, a few basic cleaning supplies, bleach.
- Get toiltries such as deodorant, shampoo, soap, hand sanitizer, shaving creme, and razors.
Self-Defense ($250)– Just as important as your supplies
- Think self defence and hunting when it comes to guns. 12 gauge shotgun and a .22 rifle.
- Check out the used gun selection at your local pawn and gun shops. Gun shows are a great place to shop too.
- You should be able to pick up used 12 gauged shotgun as well as some shells for around $150.
- Try to find a decent rimfire like the Ruger 10/22 along with a brick of ammunition for the other $100.
- Alternativly you can also spend your extra $100 on 12 gauge ammo and accessories.
Fuel ($90)– Extra gas & propane
- 10 gallons of gas + sta-bil treatment is running around $35.00 at the moment.
- Getting a 20-lb propane tank filled costs around $15.00.
- Buy an extra 20lb propane tank if you can.
- Buy a 20lb to 1lb adapter hose. They can be had for $15.
Heating & Cooking ($150) - Indoor & outdoor flame
- Buy an indoor-safe propane heater for warmth.
- Get a propane stove burner for cooking.
- Buy a camp grill if you have access to small twigs and leaves to help save your precious fuel.
- Blankets, blankets…….and more blankets. Emergency space blankets too!
- Stock up on gloves and thermal underwear.
- Already have a propane heater? Get more fuel.
Well – that’s our $1,000.00 dollars. Start saving your $2.75 a day and soon you’ll have your very own stockpile to fall back on during tough times.
Remember you can adjust this list to fit your situation. If you already has a gun, then spend that money somewhere else. If you live in the desert, buy more water and less heaters. You get the picture, the same goes for every other category.
So how would YOU spend $1000 in preps? Any thoughts? Comment below and help others.
Feeding chickens solely on pasture can be tricky, but isn’t impossible. Chickens can find their own feed, but each chicken needs a considerable amount of room. Chickens can’t eat what isn’t there, and the more chickens you have the less food there is for each chicken. You have to match the number chickens to your pasture size or they will die from poor health and starvation.
How It Was Done In The Old Days
In the old days people didn’t feed their hens at all. Much of the hen’s diet was provided by poor sanitation. People would throw their garbage out on the streets or around the outside of the house. The cows would spill grain. Manure was all over the place and was full of free lunch - maggots. Even with all this extra food the number of hens that could be kept healthy without supplemental feeding of grains was limited.
A farmer of the 1800′s might have kept a dozen hens and a rooster through the winter. The following spring the hens would hatch a brood of chicks, giving the farmer about 72 chicks plus the original hens and rooster made for 85 birds total. After the chicks had hatched the old rooster would be sold or eaten. Most of the young chickens and their mothers would be harvested in the fall. One new rooster and twelve young hens would be kept through the following winter, completing the cycle. By having 85 chickens during the summer and only 13 during the lean months of winter, the amount of grain needed for the chickens would be minimal.
This Always Meant Manlnutrition
A flock of 13 chickens could survive the winter on a small handful of grain, usually spilled by the farmer when feeding the cows. Add to that a bit of hay and whatever else they could find and they could get by. They would not be healthy, but they would live to see another summer. This winter diet would be nutritionally poor in vitamins and proteins. Because of this lean diet the hens would lay no eggs during the winter, but they would recover once spring started and the grass turned green again, and the cycle could repeat.
The More Chickens, The More Malnutrition
I’ve heard people say that you can only support 1-2 free range hens per acre, and others say they keep a dozen in a 10×10 coop. I think it depends on how much time you are willing to put into your chickens. If you’re willing to move them daily in a chicken tractor and buy (or grow) them a supplimental feed, then there’s no reason you can’t have a decent size flock.
Chickens are picky eaters as well. As your chickens begin to overpopulate your farm they first eat up the supply of high-calorie feeds such as seeds, then they move on to the supply of high-protein feeds such as bugs and clover. Finally, they exaust all the high-vitamin feeds such as green grass. It’s nearly impossible to tell what stage your forage is in, except for the last stages, when all the green plants disappear.
It Always Pays Off To Provide a Supplemental Diet
The increased production of eggs and larger hens always pays for the increased feed. The feed diet should be adjusted to reflect what the chickens can find as they forage. You can usually leave out vitamins (if they have greens) and proteins (if they have plenty of bugs or clover). In general, for the sustainable homesteader, grain may be all they need supplemented for the summer.
But enough dry summer days in a row browns the grass and makes it useless to the chickens, so this method has its risks. Also in the winter there will be no greens and very little bugs for them so they will need more suplemental grain. A store bought grain really works best here, but during a SHTF situation you may not have that luxery, so do what you can get to get them more grain. This is not ideal, and you may have to harvest a few cickens to make it work, but the bottom line is the flock will make it to the next spring.
If we can’t see what our chickens are eating it’s hard to determin what nutrients they are getting. Many of the things hens eat are so tiny that we can’t see them – tiny seeds, bugs, and worms. Fortunately for the homesteader, hens prefer fresh, natural feeds to processed chicken feed. They will eat their fill on natural foods before going to the store-bought feed whenever they have the chance. This makes it pretty easy to feed your chickens correctly, just follow the golden rule….
Offer your chickens as much chicken feed or homegrown grain as they want, and then let them eat however much pasture they want.
This will help to maximize production and save as much grain for the cows as possible. During hard times you can still get some eggs out of your flock without hurting your hens but you won’t get very many. Don’t plan your meals around fat chickens, plan them for the lean days and be happy with the excess during the summer.
Today a friend asked me, ”How long should I boil my water?”. He’s a prepper and a smart guy, but it’s no suprise to me that he’s confused on such a seemingly simple topic. I frequently come upon bad advice on blogs, books and forums about boiling water for purification. It’s something we all need to learn too. Unless you have a treelimb stuck through your leg or a bear staring you down, having enough safe drinking water should be your number one concern.
Unless Your Water Is Toxic, Boiling Water is the Best Method
Boiling kills bacteria, viruses, protozoan’s, and parasites. It does NOT remove chemicals and toxins from the water. Suprisingly not many survivalists cover this side of the conversation. If you’re getting your water out of a perfect mountian stream, then boiling it is probably all you need to do. But if your water source is a large public or private lake or river that collects runoff from cities, then you need a chemical water filter. You’ve got to take the chemicals out of your water before you boil or you will just concentrate them.
Even rain harvested from roofs or plastic lined depressions in the ground may contain some nasty chemicals. Rain can contain a multitude of dangerous chemicals, espeically if you live in or near (read 50+miles) an urban enviroment.
Assuming your water is chemical free, modern filtering devices and the chemical treatment of water are only substitutes for boiling water. The best part is, unlike most survival tecniques, we all know how to boil water and it requires no special tools. This means that boiling water is sustainable, unlike filters and chemical treatment. As long as you have a source of heat and a fireproof vessle of some sort you can boil water.
The Case For A Lid
Whatever pot you use to boil your water in, make sure it has a lid. Boiling water without a lid is a huge waste of resources. Not only is your water evaporating right before your eyes but you are wasting heat as well. Doing something as simple as placing a good fitting lid on your pot can cut the time it takes for your water to boil significantly. Pasteurizing water also works much better with a lid as it traps the heat inside the container for a much longer time.
Commonly Stated Water Boiling Times
I’ve heard so many different amounts of boiling times that it makes my head spin. It sees like most people spout facts based on personal choice with no scientific proof to back it up. Even different government and health organizations cannot agree on a correct time (what a suprise).
The most common stated water boiling times:
- “Boil water for 10 minutes” is what your mama probably told you
- “5-minutes of boiling” is also frequently thrown around
- “Boil the water for 20 minutes”. You gotta be kidding me?
- “A rolling boil for 1 minute”. Getting closer….
- “When at high altitudes you need to boil water for twice as long”. 40 mins?
So which of the above statements are actually true? None!
That’s right. Follow any of the above times and you will waste two of your biggest resources. Water and fuel. Wasting water to evaporation when you’re short on water to begin with is foolish. Whole forests have been cut down for firewood in order to boil drinking water. Weekend hikers and tough mountian men alike have used up the last of their precious fuel to boil water for crazy amounts of time. In a survival situation you cannot afford to waste valuable resources and energy like this
The Correct Water Boiling Time
The correct amount of time to boil water is a whopping 0 minutes. Thats right, zero minutes. None. Nada. Zip. Zero. Read below…
According to the Wilderness Medical Society, water temperatures above 160° F (70° C) kill all pathogens within 30 minutes and above 185° F (85° C) within a few minutes. So in the time it takes for the water to reach the boiling point (212° F or 100° C) from 160° F (70° C), all pathogens will be killed, even at high altitude.
What is not well known is that contaminated water can be pasteurized at temperatures well below boiling, just like milk, which is commonly pasteurized at 160°F (71°C)….
The truth is, with a water temperature of 160 to 165 degrees F (74 C) it takes just half an hour to pasteurize. At 185 degrees this is cut to just a few minutes and by the time water begins to boil at 212 F (100 C) the water is completly safe. I still like to let my water sit in the pot for a minute and cool a bit. This extra time gives the water a little bit longer to pasteurize.
So what about high altitudes? At high altitudes the time it takes for the water to reach a rolling boil and then cool means you can safely drink it. If you live above 2,000- 3,000 ft altitude make sure you let your water sit in the pot (with a lid on it) until it cools before drinking. If you’re making a tea or coffee make sure you let it sit and then reheat it to the desired temperature.
You don’t need a thermometer to measure water temperature either, just take your water to a full boil and then immediatly take it off the heat. Leave the lid on (you do have a lid don’t you?!) By the time it comes to a rolling boil you’ve wasted time, fuel, and water.
When I was a kid I was always in the woods, I practically grew up in them. I was homeschooled and still remember getting up at 5am every morning so I could finish all my work and be in the woods by noon. I admit when my Pa first told me people could eat acorns, I went right out and cracked open one and poped it in my mouth. YUCK! Talk about bitter! I figured only squirrels could eat something that awful. My Pa assured me that acorns are indeed edible, but they need a bit of work before they are ready for the dinner table.
Eating acorns is nothing new. The Indians here in North America ate them, in fact, they still eat them. They ate them whole, turned them into flour, and even made bread out of them. They’re nutritious and plentiful and if you’re afraid of gathering wild edibles for fear of grabbing the wrong plant, I’m sure you won’t have any problem recognizing acorns. All types of acorns throughout the country are edible.
Over the course of history it has been estimated that many more millions of tons of acorns have been consumed by humans than wheat, rice, and other grains. Preparing and eating them is easier than you might think too. You can make alot of different foods with the simple acorn. Believe it or not, there are recipes for acorn cheesecake and acorn enchiladas.
If you’re looking for acorn recipes then check out Suellen Ocean book Acorns and Eat ‘em. It’s 50 pages of great information. It includes a field guide to oaks, along with modern instructions on how to prepare and cook your acorns and various recipes. The California Oak Foundation is hosting a FREE PDF version of her book. Download it, print it, study it. The knowledge inside may save your life one day.
Preparing The Nuts
There are as many ways to prepare acorns as there are nuts on the ground. No matter how you go about it, the goal is to remove the tannic acid that makes acorns bitter. Some people like to remove the shells, some don’t. Some like to boil them, some like to soak them in running water. I shell and boil mine. A fist sized rock works great as a nutcracker, so does a hammer. It can be a bit of work, but there is a great device by Davebuilt Co that will crack and seperate your acorns with the turn of a handle. You can also put them in a burlap sack, pillow case, or even a ziplock bag and gently hit them with a hammer. After I shell them I like to grind the acorns into smaller pieces before boiling. This allows the tannic acid to be leached out more quickly.
Take the ground acorns and put them into a pot of already boiling water. As the acorns boil the water will become discolored. When the water is dark brown (every ten minutes or so), strain out the acorn meats and switch them to another pot of already boiling water. When switching the acorns from one pot of water to another, make sure the water is boiling before adding the acorns. Switching the acorns from boiling water to cold water can lock in the bitterness.
Continue this process until the acorn paste no longer tastes bitter. Generally speaking it usually takes 3 or 4 water changes. The amount of boiling you do will vary depending on your acorns and your patience. When most of the bitterness is gone lay out the acorn paste and allow it to dry.
Another way to leach out tannins from acorns is to put them in a mesh or burlap sack and leave them in a running stream for a week or so. The length of time and results will vary depending on the acorns, the water temperature and flow rate, and other factors.
Cooking And Storage
The wet meal can be used right away in a bread recipe, or dried and stored as flour is. It will keep as long as flour does if kept dry. You can store it in sealed mylar bags placed inside 5-gallon buckets. Don’t forget the oxygen absorbers. Here’s a great guide I wrote on Long Term Food Storage in case you’re curious.
Acorn is a heavy flour and your bread may fall apart if you don’t add a mixture of flours. You may want to mix a lighter flour such as wheat flour with the acorn meal. White flour, corn flour, cattail flour, and soy flour all will do.
One should prepare in leisure for what we may one day have to do in haste. Don’t wait till it’s too late to learn these skills. The acorns are coming off soon, if you have an oak tree in your yard grab a 5 gallon bucket and collect the fallen ones once they have turned brown. Better yet put a tarp or sheet under the tree and the acorns will nearly harvest themselves. It doesn’t get much easier than that!
Creating a small first aid kit is simple and easy. Every home, kit, and vehicle should have it’s own basic first aid kit. You can make one yourself by using simple items that you can find at nearly any store. Using a quart or gallon size zipping storage bag. Label your bag. You can even add a piece of the reflective tape to make it easier to find if you drop it or are looking for it in a dark pack. Include the following items:
- Adhesive bandages: A few of each size will do. Pack mostly the 1″ since they work well for blisters. Bandages that are foam instead of fabric offer more protection for blisters and can still be used for other first aid.
- Antibiotic first aid ointment.
- Benadryl or other antihistamine: Emergencies are not a good time to have an allergic reaction.
- Epi-pen if you have been given one by your doctor for severe allergies. They’re usually willing to write prescriptions for several so you can keep several available.
- Prescription medication to last a day or two in a well-labeled container. If your medication changes, you need to update your kit. Be very specific when labeling describe the pill (or whatever), the dose, and what it treats. Don’t forget an asthma inhaler if you are an asthmatic. You may be walking and air quality could be questionable.
- Pain killers, such as aspirin. Look in the travel/trial size section of stores for small bottles.
- Ace bandage: is great for rolled ankles or can be used to immobilize a limb.
- Latex or vinyl gloves (if you are allergic to latex) are a must. You could be around injured people or need to treat someone with your first aid kit.
- Anti-bacterial hand gel for cleaning up.
- Wash cloth or hand towel: can be used for clean up, wiping a sweaty brow or signaling.
- Find a travel/trial size of saline solution (or contact lens rewetting solution) and include it in your kit. Flushing eyes may be necessary for contact lens wearers or for anyone in dusty or polluted air. It can also be used to irrigate a wound.
- Assorted gauze or other first aid items. You can use additional quart or gallon size plastic storage bags to keep items dry and organized.