Friday, December 22, 2017

Some End Of Year Thoughts

By Forest Puha

It’s been a long, eventful, tragic, harrowing, and beautiful year for many people across the world. Natural and man-made disasters have touched every country; whether environmental, financial, military or any other way, the chaos is real. The climate is changing, the days are warmer and the weather is crazier than we’re used to. People are losing their homes and living on the streets or as nomads in record rates. Animals of all kinds are becoming endangered and extinct. Prices keep going up. Outside relief is unlikely to happen quick enough or largely enough for people to feel calm again.

My family and I celebrate the vaguely Christian version of Christmas every year. If you haven’t heard the story behind the holiday then here’s a very abbreviated, non-religious summary:

A long time ago, a man and a very pregnant woman were traveling from town to town, and nobody had any spare room for them to sleep in. They were dirt poor and desperate, and the owner of a local inn grudgingly told them to sleep out in the barn because it was free. She gave birth in the barn to a son. The son would grow up to be an influential man, and so the holiday is nominally named for him.

In part because the son grew up in such horrible conditions, the son would later preach and practice tolerance and giving help to poor people, however you could, wherever you were. The son would tell you that they were not the enemy, they were not the boogieman, but they were your friends and neighbors, your brothers and sisters. To help them, honestly, is to help yourself. It makes you feel better, it makes you holy.

This year has been a long one for many people. The stress builds up until people can’t handle it anymore and they freak out. I’ve found that the best way to fight that, to remove the stress and clear your mind and get a handle on everything, is to help others. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture or an expensive one if you can’t afford it. Simply offering a kind word to strangers on the internet, or knowing your friends’ troubles and helping them with a couple of them, or buy them an extra thing they can’t afford, or just hug them. If your friends and family and loved ones don’t have any place to stay, offer them your living room couch or floor. Forget the ego, your ego telling you that what you have to give isn’t very much at all and looks pitiful and isn’t worthy. Yes, it is. An influential man was born in the hay and the dirt of a barn in the backyard of an inn, and it was more than good enough for him. It made him into a better person.

Even when it’s not Christmas, say in January or March or July, give comfort and aid and solace. Inner calm is something that when provided for other people, ends up paying off dividends to you. We all need this example more than ever to face the future together.

Hau'oli Lanui, aloha kakou.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Winter Survival Foraging

Foraging for food to survive on in the winter is certainly possible, and we are going to look at a few of the foods you can forage for in just a moment. However, it is a little tougher to forage in the winter than it is in the warmer months.

To start with, the colder temperatures can cause more problems. It has an effect on what you are trying to gather and it also has an effect on you. Additionally, if the ground freezes, it can be harder to forage for tubers and roots. Snow cover can make it hard to find exactly what you are looking for, so you will have to know which clues to look for.

Make sure you dress very warmly, of course, when you go out to forage. Make sure to take into consideration how much physical energy you will be exerting. If sweating is likely to happen, make sure you wear clothes that will wick away that perspiration and wear layers.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the foods you can forage for in the winter.

If you are not completely certain about the identification of the wild edibles you are foraging, DO NOT EAT THEM. You can easily pick up a field guide for identification purposes, or take the time to learn from someone who already knows what to look for. Do not take chances, as some wild plants are extremely poisonous.

Wild Fruit

Fruits such as crab apples and plums can be seen hanging right from their trees. You can turn these into jelly or juice or simply boil and eat them.


In creeks and springs, watercress will be easily found as a large green bloom. They are easy enough to harvest in large quantities and can be eaten raw as part of a salad.

Wild Greens

Many greens will be easy to find such as chickweed, wild garlic and onions, and dandelion crowns and roots. These can be used in salads raw or steams or fried with a little oil. The garlic and onion can be used to season many dishes as well.

Mushrooms often appear after a bit of a thaw and you can find them on deadfalls that have begun to rot. Take extreme caution in eating wild-found mushrooms, as even in the winter, some are very toxic.

Mussels (Fresh Water)

You can find mussels growing in beds in fresh water, so if you find one, there will definitely be more. You can gather them by scraping them out of the mud with a hand rake or other similar tool. Scrub them carefully and then boil them until their shells open up. Once they do, continue boiling for a bit more. If you think the water you found them in might be contaminated, do not eat them.

Rose Hips

Containing more vitamin C than just about anything you can find in the wild, rose hips are bright red and are usually about ¼ to ½ inch in diameter. These can easily be made into jelly or used to make a nice tea.

Various Tree Nuts

Winter is a great time to find nuts such as horse chestnuts, black walnuts and acorns. They can be found beneath their trees on the ground. Once found, they should be soaked for three days or more, with no less than three changes of water. This takes away tannins. After this, you can roast, boil or dry them or even grind them up for flour to make breads.


The roots of the cattail are an excellent source of starch. Wash and peel them and they can be cooked or prepared in much the same way as potatoes. They even taste like potatoes. You can also dry them and turn them into flour.

Pine Trees
Pine needles are not only chock full of vitamin C and A, but they have medicinal properties as well, such as curing a headache. Make sure, however, that you are not harvesting needles from evergreen trees, as they are poisonous. Pine needles come in clumps of three to five needles and can be up to 1 ½ feet long. They can be used to make tea, which is the way they are normally used. The inside bark can also be used, as can pine tree roots. Before you eat them, peel them. These can be steeped or boiled as well, and contain a lot of sugar.

These are incredibly rich in iron and protein and grow under the snow in the latter part of January. You will want to wear gloves when you harvest them and then cook them and you’ll find out just how wonderful this weed really is.

Frozen Cranberries

These are a wonderful addition to other foods while being just as enjoyable when eaten fresh. They can be found above ice and are easy to harvest. Once harvested, you can make pies, jams, jellies or juice in addition to eating them as a healthy treat. Not only do they have high vitamin content, they are also used medicinally.


Also known as wild rhubarb, it tastes like a mixture of parsnips and carrots. The roots become hard in the wintertime, so you will want to boil them so they will be tender and edible.

In Conclusion
You will be able to forage different food items depending on where you live. If you live near the ocean, a great many creatures can be found while the tide is out. You can also hunt and trap many different wild animals as well as fish from ponds, lakes and streams.

Some of the items we mentioned are good for making tea. While this doesn’t give you a lot of extra calories, it does help to keep you warm inside. This can help, as it will keep you from burning extra calories as your body tries to stay warm in the colder temperatures.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Important Winter Survival Tips

We would all like to hope that an emergency or survival situation would only hit us when the weather is tolerable. In fact, when planning our bug out bags and gear, we aren’t usually thinking about harsh winter weather. The fact is, however, that an emergency can happen at any time and it is always best to be prepared for anything.

Winter Emergencies

A storm can knock our power out at any time, during any season. It most often happens in the spring, when windstorms are often the case. However, winter storms can do the same thing. The problems are intensified however, as there are more problems.

With any power outage, we have to be careful about food we have in freezers and having a method to cook without electricity. In the winter months, however, we have all that plus the problem of staying warm. Additionally, spring storms usually only leave us without power for a matter of hours. In the winter, snow and ice can leave us without power for days or weeks, making the situation even more dire.

Some Important Winter Emergency Tips

Here are some tips that we hope will help you, should you find yourself in an emergency situation during harsh winter temperatures. While we cannot list all the things that could possibly happen, we hope this list is at least a good start for you.

To start with, make sure you wear warm clothes. While this might sound like a no-brainer, it can often be so simple that it is often left off until it’s too late. Wearing the right clothes is even more important if you will have to be doing any traveling or work outside in the cold weather.

If you have to venture out, make sure your attire is thick and windproof, above all else. Packing extra if you have very far to go is another good idea, as you never know when or if you might become stuck or stranded. While the body is capable of withstanding some extreme circumstances, you certainly don’t want to underestimate winter’s harsh reality.

Next, you will want to make sure to wear the right kind of boots. Tennis shoes or other types of footwear might work for a short time, but if you have to be outside for such things as clearing away snow from doors and windows or splitting and carrying firewood, you will be miserable much quicker with the wrong shoes. Boots should be insulated well and rated for cold weather.

Staying dry is one of the most important things to remember if you have to be out in the weather. You can become damp or even wet if you have to do any strenuous activity that makes you sweat, or if you have to deal with melting snow and ice. In either situation, this dampness can quickly lead to hypothermia, which is a deadly situation in which to find yourself. If you find that you have become sweaty or wet, make sure to change your clothes as soon as possible. Otherwise, wrap yourself in a blanket and stay out of the direct wind as much as you can.

When Your Body Uses More Energy

In order to deal with the stress of colder temperatures, your body will use a lot more energy in order to produce heat from the inside out. Because of this, you will need to make sure that you have plenty of food to keep yourself nourished, as well as ample amounts of good, clean drinking water for proper hydration. Eating can also hasten the warming process as your body goes about the business of digestion.

In situations where you run out of water, never eat ice or unmelted snow. Doing so will only cause your internal body temperature to fall that much quicker. If you must resort to eating snow or ice, make sure to heat it, preferably to boiling to make sure it’s safe, before ingesting it.

Be Aware of Your Heart Rate

When you get cold, you may want to just sit down and stay as still as possible, but that is one of the worst things you could do. As your body temperature drops, your heart rate does as well. This is dangerous because the slower the blood flows through your veins, the slower heat is passed through the body.

A good way to deal with this situation is to do take part in some simple exercises that will get your heart pumping faster. For instance, jogging in place, swinging your arms or doing jumping jacks should get your heart pumping again. Just make sure not to exercise so hard that you start sweating because remember – you want to stay dry.

Do not Panic!

Above all, do not waste the time and energy in a state of panic. During all emergencies, a level head is one of the most precious possessions to have, and never more so than when the weather is treacherously cold. Instead of stressing, adapt to your environment. As a prepper, you should at least be somewhat aware of the precautions needed in a cold weather situation.

If you have not yet thought to learn about cold weather emergencies or survival skills, it’s never too late to start learning! Read books, blogs, guides or anything else you can get your hands on to learn as many tactics as possible to deal with an emergency in harsh winters.

You might want to learn different ways to start a fire, and different techniques on which fires work best for particular situations. An example would be, knowing the difference between starting a fire for the most heat as quickly as possible and starting a fire that will burn longer at a steady cooking temperature.

It is also a good idea to familiarize yourself with first aid techniques that are needed for weather related illnesses such as frostbite or hypothermia. Not knowing how to treat these very common problems can be disastrous when they are really needed!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Commercial Travel Survival Tips

By: Sebastian Berry

I just came back from a trip from Utah to Las Vegas. Because I like to have my articles be relevant and timely, I like to use recent experiences to fuel my material.

My brother and I have been planning a man trip for a couple of months now. My brother and I both grew up watching boxing and Mike Tyson was the baddest man on the planet at the time. Well, Iron Mike is currently having another run with a Vegas show where he talks about his life and boxing. He's actually a very funny man and the show was really good. I digress.

I could see him sweat on stage

I am not a stranger to commercial, especially airline, travel. Most of my musings to follow will apply to air travel but can be applied to any travel scenario.

  • Hunt for bargains
With the internet today, finding a bargain on travel can be as easy as just Googling it. Really. Google Flights can find flights, track prices, and notify you of changes. I was able to purchase my round trip flight from SLC to LAS for $68.
    • Use your loyalty programs
As a subsection for bargain hunting. Always remember there is a loyalty program for everything. Hotels, Flights, Cars, Groceries, Ground Transport, Players Cards. Use as many as you can to get your best deal while traveling.
  • Packing 
Please don't try to take everything with you. Especially with how many airlines charge for luggage. If you can get by with a small carry on-DO IT! You can always do laundry at your destination if you need to. I can pack 3-4 days worth of clothing in line with the weather at my destination, keeping in mind that I need something to wear that is appropriate for the weather from my departure city and return.

If you have daily meds, they need to stay with you. Do not pack these in a carry on that will leave your side, like a carry-on that goes in the overhead storage bin on a plane. Meds need to be on your person or in a backpack or purse that will remain with you at all times. The last thing people with maintenance/survival meds need is to not have their meds exactly when they need them. It is also not unheard of that your luggage in the overhead bin gets robbed in flight or taken during deplaning.

If you are one of many travelers that absolutely needs to check a bag or multiple bags to survive, bless your heart (read in the most southern of twangs). Mix what you pack in your luggage. Do not pack all clothing in one and all your tchotchkes in another. In the event a piece of luggage does get lost you still have something to wear. Make use of your small carry-on and keep a change of clothes with you (and your meds).
  • At the airport
I found a nice corner with an outlet at SLC
We've heard it all before, but really, don't be a jerk to security. It's not the time to make jokes about bombs or anthrax or leaving your bag unattended. You will get hemmed up and it will not be pleasant.

Pro-tip: from the time you check in until you actually pass through security (assuming you do it all in one motion) just keep your ID and other travel documents in your hand. Don't be that person that has to fish around in their bag or wallet right as you get to the TSA checkpoint.

Amazingly enough, different airports have different requirements about taking off shoes and coats. When leaving SLC it was shoes and coats off and on the belt for inspection. When leaving LAS I could keep both on unless TSA specifically indicated to me that it might set off the metal detector. TSA has a travel checklist here that you can review. Specific airports have their own websites that you can find for answers as well.
  • At your destination

Enjoy yourself and have fun but be diligent. In the blink of an eye your situation can change. Think of the music festival attendees in Las Vegas not so long ago. I wrote an article mentioning that specific instance here

Situational awareness and survival go hand in hand. Know the place where you are staying-entries and exits available, emergency numbers, assistance locations, consulate or embassy location are just a few things to keep in mind.

Do your best not to stand out. Be the gray man (this would be a good article some other time). Do everything you can to present yourself as a hard target. As is the case in Las Vegas, recreational marijuana is legal. Limit your consumption of drugs and alcohol-have a good time, just in moderation.

Trust your gut! If something doesn't feel right don't ignore that feeling, especially while traveling. The adage of "See something, Say something" comes to mind. This tends to be much easier while traveling with a group but don't hesitate to get other people involved if you are traveling solo. Ask for help.

What other travel survival tips might you add? Let us know in the comments.

As a personal aside: I am thankful to have an outlet to impart my knowledge to others and that there are people that are willing to use that knowledge to make their lives better. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Vehicle Tips For Winter Survival Situation

During the winter, there are a lot more opportunities for things to go wrong in a survival situation. In fact, being stranded in certain geographical areas could cause great health problems and even death. That’s why it is so important that you be prepared with a proper vehicle survival kit.

The kit should be kept in your car throughout the winter, especially if you often travel in sparsely populated areas. It could potentially become a life saving kit, for you as well as your passengers.

General Vehicle Survival Tips
When it comes to survival, we cannot stress “preparation” enough! This is definitely the case when it comes to your vehicle. Prep it and make sure it stays prepped at all times. For instance, make sure your gas tank has an ample supply of gas, given the terrain you will be traveling. Also, we sure to check your antifreeze before each trip.

It’s a lot easier for someone to come to your aid if you’re easy to find. Tell a trusted friend or family member where you’re headed, what route you plan to take and make sure you contact them once you arrive at your destination. Let them know that if they don’t hear from you, that they should first contact the area to which you are going. If you did not reach your destination, they will know which way to go and greatly increase your chances of survival.

If your vehicle becomes stuck, make sure to leave a flag tied to an antenna and keep those dome lights turned on. Rescue personnel can see the smallest glow in the distance, especially at night and in the snow. If you’re worried about draining your battery, keep an ear out for approaching emergency vehicles and only use your emergency flashers at that time.

If Forced To Stay In Your Vehicle
If you do become stuck, it’s always questionable as to whether you should get out and go for help or just stay in the car. We suggest the latter in most cases. Walking in a winter storm can be incredibly dangerous and it’s easy for exhaustion to set it in cold weather. Your vehicle makes a good shelter, and you won’t suddenly find yourself lost.

However, if you have been in your car for a longer period of time, there are other things to keep in mind. For instance, if the snow is falling hard and fast, your exhaust can become blocked or plugged. Continuing to run the vehicle in this situation will cause carbon monoxide to build up inside the car, which can be deadly in a very short period of time.

If this is the case, only run the car for ten minutes on every hour. Make sure that the exhaust is free of snow, if possible and keep your windows cracked while the engine is running, just in case. It’s better to be cold than to risk the outcome of staying warm.

Avoid Overexertion
If you become trapped in a snow storm, it’s very tempting to try to free yourself, in any way that you can. However, pushing the vehicle or attempting to shovel snow to free the vehicle takes a lot more effort in extreme weather conditions than it normally would.

Don’t attempt this, as you could sustain an injurty that would make things worse, or you might possibly have a heart attack. Additionally, you will become hot and sweaty. While warming up always sounds like a good idea in the extreme cold, the aftermath could cause frostbite or death. Wet garments that have become sweat-soaked will quickly lose their insulative properties and can cause hypothermia.

Put Together A Survival Kit For Your Vehicle
We mentioned a survival kit earlier, and now we’re going to tell you a few items you should make sure to include. While you may not use every single one of them, it’s always better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it!

Here’s what you have in a kit in your vehicle during the winter:

  • A shovel, for keeping the exhaust free of snow buildup or to move a light amount of snow from around your tires.
  • A scraper for your windshield, or a small hand broom. It’s important that rescuers and emergency personnel be able to see inside the vehicle.
  • A flashlight with an extra supply of batteries. In the event that your car battery dies, a flashlight can be used to alert rescuers to your location.
  • A battery powered emergency radio. Not only will it give you something to listen to in order to pass the time, it can keep you up to date on any special weather conditions and whether they will let up or worsen.
  • An ample supply of water. Always keep at least enough for 24 hours, but if you have room, keep more.
  • Snack foods. Make sure you have snacks that provide ample energy and are of the utmost nutritional value. In any emergency situation, nutrition is important, but even more so during cold weather.
  • Matches, candles or other small items such as this. This will make sure you don’t use up all the battery power of the car’s battery or your flashlight batteries.
  • Extra pairs of socks, mittens and hats. Remember that in cold weather, dressing in layers is always the best route. It’s one of the main cold-weather survival skills taught in the military.
  • First aid kit.
  • Any medications that you simply cannot do without. This would include medications for blood pressure, diabetes and breathing disorders such as asthma, which can be made worse by cold weather.
  • Blankets or a sleeping bag. This adds another layer of insulation for protection against the elements and can sometimes be used by more than one person. Two people inside one sleeping bag, especially children, can create more heat than just one alone.
  • Tow chain or a rope that is big enough to tow  a vehicle. If you happen to be found by someone other than emergency workers who are well equipped, having this one item could potentially be a life saver.
  • Sand, cat litter or road salt.
  • Booster cables.
  • Emergency flares. These can be used to alert someone to your location who may not be very close to you.

If possible, store the kit inside the vehicle instead of the trunk. In extremely low temperatures, the trunk lid can become jammed or even freeze shut. A kit you can’t get to is like having no kit at all, so think ahead.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

33 Recommended Books For the Prepper and Survivalist

By Karen Roguski

Being a prepper, farmer, or survivalist can be difficult for those that are not ready and prepared. It takes knowledge of just about every detail that one might have or didn’t realize that they will need.

To help one be as knowledgeable as possible we have gathered together our recommended 33 books. These reading materials are to help ensure accurate and hopefully complete knowledge for the all - the beginner to the proficient.

  • Prepper Handbook: Road Map to Advanced Disaster Preparedness by JR Ray
  • Living Well on Practically Nothing by Edward H. Romney
  • The Encyclopedia of Country Living – by Carla Emery
  • Country Living by Carla Emery
  • The Urban Homestead by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen
  • Just in Case by Kathy Harrison
  • Real World Survival by Richard Lowe Jr
  • Live Off The Land In The City And Country by Ragnar Benson
  • SHTF Prepping: The Proven Insider Secrets For Survival, Doomsday and Disaster Preparedness by Gavin Williams
  • Off The Grid Living by Oliver Stokes
  • The Self-Sufficiency Handbook by Alan Bridgewater
  • Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills by Abigail R. Gehring
  • Crisis Preparedness Handbook by Jack A. Spigarelli
  • Countdown to Preparedness by Jim Cobb
  • SAS Survival Guide: How to Survive in the Wild, on Land or Sea by John 'Lofty' Wiseman
  • Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why by Laurence Gonzales
  • Prepper's Homesteading by Nathan Chester
  • Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook by Peggy Layton
  • Prepping Made Easy by Terry Garreth
  • Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival by Dave Canterbury
  • Little House on the suburbs by Deanna Caswell, Daisy Siskins and Jacqueline Musser
  • Prepper: Complete Prepper’s Survival Guide And Self Sufficient Living by Greg Adams
  • The Home Survivalist's Handbook by Christopher "BigBear" Eastin  and  Ryan Acker
  • Prepping: How To Survive Off The Grid by Martin Luxtonberg
  • The Prepper's Workbook Scott B. Williams and Scott Finazz
  • Survival Hacks: Over 200 Ways to Use Everyday Items for Wilderness Survival by Creek Stewart
  • Survival Theory: A Preparedness Guide by Jonathan Hollerman
  • The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way by Joseph Alton and‎ Amy Alton
  • Practical Prepping (No Apocalypse Required) by Randall S Powers and Steven Konkoly
  • How To Survive The End Of The World by James Wesley Rawles
  • Doomsday Prepping Crash Course Book by Patty Hahne
  • Barnyard in your Backyard by Gail Damerow
  • PREPAREDNESS NOW! by Aton Edwards

One will find hundreds of additional topics, handbooks, tips and tricks books and PDF’s. Keep in mind that with new books coming out on a daily basis one's library will never be totally complete. With this in mind, we at Family Survival Farm hope that you will list any additional recommendations below.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Survival and Disaster Preparedness at Home...

DISCLAIMER: Instructions and information provided here is not a substitute for professional medical care and treatment. If you are having an emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number for assistance.

I do not claim credit to any images used unless specifically indicated. 

By: Sebastian Berry

After a hiatus to get some personal things in order I have returned to continue to provide knowledge in insight into Family Survival. As the title indicates, this installment of wisdom is about planning for disaster and having the supplies you need with you at home. Many that are familiar with survival or "prepping" (I personally dislike that term, but I digress) call this "bugging in" I won't get into the finer details of bugging out versus bugging in--other than survival families should have plans for both.

I am a nurse by trade. One of the places I work for is beginning to include disaster planning not only for our facilities but for our employees, families, and patients. When disaster strikes, in any of its forms, it can put an immediate strain on the local health system.

The aim in providing disaster preparedness training in our communities can be construed as a little selfish. If we can help you be independent during times of disaster you're less likely to come and just hang out. Please don't be mistaken though, if you need a safe place to be at during a disaster, the hospital is one of the better places to find refuge. You will not be turned away.

One of the cruxes of disaster preparedness and survival at home is all of the stuff. It can seem overwhelming having to collect and assemble all of the supplies. The old saying goes, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time." The Intermountain Center for Disaster Preparedness has a calendar that outlines things to get over a 24-week timeframe. The math is pretty simple here--24 weeks divided by 4 weeks in a month equals 6 months. It is achievable that in 6 months time you can have a fully functional disaster kit in your home.

Below is the calendar that your and your loved ones can use to help become better prepared. Also this is the link for the .pdf of this same calendar for download.

Courtesy of: Intermountain Center for Disaster Preparedness

It is my opinion that in times of disaster, there is no place like home. Your home can provide you the best chances for survival by providing shelter, utilities, and your survival supplies. If you have to get out or evacuate, then by all means you should leave your home--with your bug out bags.

Is there anything that you would add to this list? Let us know in the comments. Also, remember to enter this months giveaway contest.

Emergency Lighting Sources

How Will You Light Your Space If The Power Goes Out?

When most people think about a way to light their homes in the case of a power outage, flashlights and candles are usually the first things that come to mind. Some people use generators, when possible as well. 

In reality, those aren't bad choices. You should always keep a supply of candles and at least one good flashlight ready and available for emergencies. Don't forget the batteries for that flashlight either, or you might wind up in trouble for sure!

However, there are a lot more options for lighting than just candles and flashlights. Some of those options might work better for you than others will, and that's why we're going to take a look at some of the best options here today.

So read on to see a few of the many different kinds of emergency lighting available to you in times of emergency. It's worth it to have at least one of these on hand as well, for minor incidents where the power goes out during a storm or other small situation.

Oil and Kerosene Lamps

These lamps are fairly easy to get your hands on. I have recently purchased two at our local Wal-Mart, which we used during a camping trip, and it worked wonderfully. Of course, with any lamp you have to make sure you have a supply of fuel on hand, which can make these less than perfect.

In an oil lamp, I've heard that you can use cooking oil in a dire emergency, and it will work for light. I have not tested this myself, but if you have and can comment on the effectiveness, please feel free to comment and let us know.

If you'll be on the move, and have little room to carry both a lamp and the fuel supply it needs, you might want to pass this one over. However, if you're going to be in one place with no plans to leave, it might work well for you.

Solar Lanters

Solar lanterns will cost a little more to start with, but you have to factor in the fact that you will not need an ongoing supply of fuel. If you're on the move, or might not have the opportunity to purchase more fuel, this is a great option. And as long as you have the ability to set it out to recharge, you'll never have to worry about having light.

Another solar option that is often not thought of is the solar garden stake. Most people use these to line garden paths or sidewalks but you can also use them for emergency lighting as well. Simply set them out during the day to charge and then place them throughout the house in vases for lighting at night. Really, any type of solar powered light will work in an emergency situation, so check out all the available options.

Hand Crank Lanterns and Lights

While I don't exactly encourage choosing this option, it is certainly better than nothing is you find yourself without light. There are some that are better than others, and you can read reviews on websites such as Amazon to find out what people think. It can take awhile to crank them up to full power, so be ready to use some elbow grease.

You may have heard these lights touted as working as long as you crank them. However, they do have a battery inside and after a few years of use, it will need to be replaced, no matter how much you crank the handle. 

Emergency Shortening Lantern

If you happen to have something you can use for a wick, such as actual wick material, heavy string or even shoestrings, in some cases, you can place it in a can of shortening for a makeshift lantern. Burning times will vary, based on the composition of the shortening and the wick material, but it definitely works.

You can also use cans of tuna (the kind packed in oil) along with a wick material, in much the same way.

Variety Is The Spice of Life

We've all heard the old saying, don't put all your eggs in one basket. Well, we can use the same idea when it comes to emergency lighting. If possible, be ready to use a variety of different lighting sources, just in case one doesn't work out. 

It is entirely possible that, even with the best planning, you might yourself without batteries, without kerosene or other fuel for your lanterns or an array of other situations. The best bet is to have a series of different lighting sources available at all time, just in case.

Also, the lighting sources mentioned above are only a few of the many options available. If you're looking for something to add to your list of supplies, make sure you do your research. And feel free to comment and let us know what we've missed!

Squeezing A Dollar From A Penny Trapping

By Michael Wells

           When trapping this year take time and think about how much money is thrown away every year. A lot of trappers will sell the pelts of their catch but forget that there is other money to be made. If a person takes the time and puts in a little bit more effort, they will find that there is extra money sitting there waiting for them. Let’s be honest the fur market is down and not a lot money is being made off fur alone right now. Hopefully with this quick article I can show how you can earn extra coin per catch by thinking outside the box.

Let’s start off looking at what a novice trapper might catch and earn from selling pelts. Then we will us the same catch and look for the extra money there. I will use the average going price for the pelts and other items when we get there. Also, all animals will be the same size and fur quality in this scenario to make math easier. 

Novice Trapper Catch
10 Beaver (All weight 40lbs) Pelt Price $8.19
30 Raccoons                           Pelt Price $4.35
10 Opossums                          Pelt Price $3.56
5 Skunks                                 Pelt Price $3.96
3 Coyotes                                Pelt Price $29.70
Total $356.90

This season catch will more than likely have the trapper close to being in the hole on money spent compared to earned. Once you factor in gas, bait, lure, license, miscellaneous gear, fur auction prices and time. Yes, time is worth money even if it’s a hobby. So, how does one stretch such a meager catch, so they are not in the hole? I’ll break each animal down and explain where there is profit to be made and we will relook at the same catch after.   

Ok, beaver pelts on average can go for $8.19 per. Keeping this in mind there is money still to be made with what’s left. First, we will look at the castor sacks on the beaver. This is an easy one that most people already know about. The castor can be removed and dried out and sold for $40.00 per pound average. I understand that the price can be higher, but we will call it $40.00 just for this article. Also, we will say that the novice trapper has one pound of castor after drying. The skulls on the animal can be sold to the taxidermy market for around $3.00 per. This is as easy as removing the head after skinning and freezing it. The taxidermist will usually take care of the flesh themselves.

Now let’s say that 5 of the beavers are male.  The baculum of the male beaver will sell for $0.25 per. Baculum is the penile bone on some male animals and is usually sold to taxidermist and craft makers. The tail of the beaver can be skinned and sold for about a $3.00 a piece to craft makers once tanned. But, we are looking for the most money. So, we will take the tails and turn it into beaver tail oil. This easy to make by cutting up the tails and letting them sit in a jar. As the tail decomposes the oil will rise to the top of the jar. This can be removed and placed in a jar and sell for around $20.00 per 16oz to bait and lure makers. Ten beavers should make around 16oz of beaver tail oil so we will add that to the overall total.

The next thing that can be sold on the beaver is the meat. This is usually sold to hound hunters or lure and bait makers. Most will be interested if the price is around $0.25 per pound. With ten beavers at 40 pounds apiece will say around 240 pounds of meat can harvested off the animals. Keep in mind that you will need to check you state laws and make sure that this is legal in your state first. Behind the castors in the beaver are the oil sacks.  The oil from the sacks sell for around $1.50 per ounce to most bait and lure makers. The Oil sacks once empty also sell for $0.18 an ounce from bait and lure makers.

Raccoons are one of the most trapped animals in America and the fur industry is flooded with them every year. To make any real money off this animal will require a little patient. The skulls on this animal can be sold to the taxidermy market for an average of $2.00 per skull. Just like the beaver the baculum can be sold for $0.25 per to taxidermist and craft makers.  The anal glands can be removed from the coons and sell for around $0.62 an ounce. Thirty coon can average around 4oz of anal glands. When preparing the glands make sure you have talked to the bait and lure maker and ask how he would like them cut first.

The gall bladder of the coon may also be sold to bait and lure makers at average price of $0.46 an ounce. The novice trapper should have around 8oz of gall bladders to be sold. Now, it comes down to the meat market. This can be a little tricky and taboo to some. There are people that eat coon in every state except maybe Hawaii. The first thing you should do is check and see if its legal in you state first. The second thing would to be just putting it out there that you have coons for sale. When preparing the raccoon gut the animal, skin it and leave the head on and at least one back foot. As strange as that sounds when people do show up to buy they want to make sure it’s a raccoon and not something else. Once a person buys a coon you’ll be surprised how fast the word spreads and others will show up. The average price for a coon carcass is around $5.00 per.

Opossums are a hard sell regardless how you fix them. Nothing is better than a well-placed coyote trap to find in the morning a grinner staring back at you. A large quality opossum skinned out for taxidermy can receive around $10.00 per. With that in mind we will say that the novice trapper caught two that meet the standards. The claws on the opossum can be sold to taxidermist for $0.10 per. The canine teeth on the opossum will sell for $0.20 per to taxidermist. You also might be able to get $1.00 per skull from taxidermist. As far as a meat market it would be similar set up as for coon. Except I would lower the price to around $3.00 per I wouldn’t imagine to many selling.

Skunk are always an interesting sell but it’s very profitable if done right.  The claws on the skunk can average around $0.10 per from a taxidermist. Where the real money is in the skunk essence. Everybody knows how powerful this stuff is. Its removed with a syringe and placed into a glass bottle with a metal lid. One ounce of skunk essence will sell for average price of $20.00 an ounce from most bait and lure makers. A lot of people talk about doing it but very few really do. Because of the demand and such few people trapping for essence there is a lot of money to be made there. The skulls of the animal can also be sold for around $2.00 per to a taxidermist. The essence sacks in the skunk once drained of essence also can be sold for around $0.19 an ounce.  The fat from the skunk can be rendered down over heat and poured off into a jar. This can sell for $25.00 a pint to bait and lure makers. Skunks are very fatty animals and good money can be made from this.

Coyotes lower jaw can be sold for $2.00 to a taxidermist and the upper canine sell for $0.50 each. The skulls will pull an average of $3.00 per. The glands sell for an average of $0.98 an ounce. Now when it comes to coyote glands there are a lot of different areas that can be removed for this. Make sure you talk to the buyer on what glands he or she wants from the animal. The gall bladder on the coyote sells for $60.00 a gallon. Most bait and lure makers will not buy them unless you have at least a gallon of it. 

Now that we have broken down all the animals let’s see what kind of difference it has made on the novice trappers money.

Novice Trapper
Beaver pelts 10 at $8.19 = $81.90
Castor 1LBS at $40.00 = $40.00
Skulls 10 at $3.00 = $30.00
Baculum 5 at $0.25 = $1.25
Beaver Tail Oil 1 pint at $20.00 = $20.00
Beaver Meat 240LBS at $0.25 per LBS = $60.00
Beaver Oil 4oz at $1.25 an oz. = $5.00
Beaver Oil Sacks Empty 4oz at $0.18 per oz = $0.72
Raccoon Pelts 30 at $4.35 = $130.50
Skulls 30 at $2.00 = $60.00
Baculum 15 at $0.25 = $3.75
Glands 4oz at $0.62 an oz. = $2.48
Gall Bladders 8oz at $0.46 an oz. = $3.68
Meat 30 at $5.00 = $150.00
Opossum Pelts 8 at $3.56 = $28.48
Opossum taxidermist 2 at $10.00 = $20.00
Claws 160 at $0.10 = $16.00
Skulls 5 at $1.00 = $5.00
Canine Teeth 6 at $0.20 = $1.20
Meat 1 at $3.00 = $3.00
Skunk pelts 5 at $3.96 = $19.80
Claws 100 at $0.10 = $10.00
Skulls 5 at $2.00 = $10.00
Essence 1oz at $20.00 = $20.00
Fat ½ pint at $25.00 pint = $12.50
Coyote pelts 3 at $29.70 = $89.10
Skulls 3 at $3.00 = $9.00
Glands 2oz at $0.98 = $1.96

Total: $835.32

                Once all the animals have been broken down there is an increase of $478.42. That’s double what the novice trapper would have earned otherwise. As the trapper becomes better at his trade he will see more money to be made as his catch ratio goes up.

                The best way to go about all of this would be to contact different taxidermist, fur byers, arts and crafts makers and bait and lure makers and see what they want. I would recommend doing this before season and have a list of several different ones you have talked to. This way if you have twenty coyote skulls and the taxidermist you talked only needs five you can send the others to another person on your list. The big thing is not to be shy and call around and talk to people, if you look you’ll see where all the money is.

                I hope this quick article gives you some ideas and new outlook on where to find money in trapping. There are several other ways for money to be made when trapping that could put this catch above $1,200.00. Make sure to think outside the box and ask older more experienced trappers how they squeeze a dollar out of a penny. Most of them will be happy to share the knowledge they have learned over the years..

Good Trappin’

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Ten Plants People Should Not Grow Or Plant

By Karen Roguski

Many varieties of plants can be a huge nuisance to yards, gardens, homesteads, and even forests. This is because they are known as space invaders; unlike the classic video game, these stemmy products are often very hard to kill. Protect the survival of your land by avoiding the following examples of space invaders.

Vicia Hirsuta also known as Tiny Vetch

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia

Verbesina Encelioides also known as Golden Crownbeard

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Stachys Floridana also known as Florida Betony

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia

Hedera Helix also known as English Ivy

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Barbadensis Mill also known as Aloe Vera

Photo courtesy of Ebay

Amorpha Fruticosa also known as Indigobush

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Elaeagnus Angustifolia also known as Russian Olive

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Arceuthobium Cyanocarpa also known as Limber Pine Dwarf Mistletoe

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Acacia spp. P. Mill also known as Acacia

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Achillea Millefolium L. also known as Common Yarrow

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Here one can find a more complete listing of those stemmy pests that dominate in the United States. We here at Family Survival Farm hopes that knowing in advance the ill effects found with the above plants can assist your land area in a positive manner to help one thrive.