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Monday, March 31, 2014

The Importance of Ear Plugs

Original Article

by Guest Author

It’s no secret that continued exposure to gunfire noises isn’t great for your hearing; yet studies still show that only half of shooters wear ear protection all the time during practises.
The level of noise deemed safe by sound experts is exponentially reduced over the time exposed to it. Starting at 85dB – the threshold for safe and dangerous noise –  the maximum time limit of exposure should be no more than 25 and a half hours; this is contrasted to less than a minute of exposure for up to and beyond 140dB.
The variety of guns available means that there is no single level of protection needed from the noise created by gunfire. The size of the gun is a major factor as to how loud a gun is and ear protection should be based on this. The majority of smaller firearms, like a small .22-caliber rifle, can have a sound rating of around 140dB. Meanwhile larger rifles and pistols produce sounds of up to 175dB.
Over hat ear muffs, whilst widely used and effective, can pose a risk of connecting with the rifle or shotgun stock when firing. This can be avoided by using high quality ear plugs that don’t require a combination of plugs and ear muffs, such as custom-fitted models.
There are a range of custom-fitted Silicon earplugs available that offer a high-value, expert solution. These fit snugly in the ear canal, providing sophisticated sound reduction features. Shooting-specific earplugs are rated on their efficiency like generic earplugs, however, being designed with muting gunfire in mind, they have a higher Noise Reduction Rating (NRR).
Ideally, sound exposure needs to be reduced to somewhere between 85dB-120dB, depending on the length of exposure time. Custom-fitted Silicon options that can provide this protection include ProGuard Custom Shooter and Marksmans Earplugs. As well as sufficient protection, these models offer an expertly moulded fit to your ears by an audiologist. Subsequently, the fear of missing ambient external noises simply won’t be a factor in your shoot.
Non-custom fitted Silicon options are also good alternatives to custom fit products, and models such as ProGuard Noizezz Universal Earplugs offer an NNR of 33 dB. In cases where louder or larger guns are being used, it is necessary with these kinds of Noise Reduction Rating (NNR) to accompany earplugs with ear muffs.
If you’re not looking for something quite so advanced, then foam earplugs could be better suited for you. These can prove to be more economical and are effective in blocking high-level impulse noise as they can have high NRRs of around 32-34dB. They also come in higher quantity packs which make them ideal for sharing out on a shoot.
Mack’s Hi-Viz Shooters Foam Ear Plugs are a good example of foam earplugs that will give you enough protection against gunfire, providing they are accompanied by earmuffs.
Rob Doole is managing director at, check out his latest updates on google here.
The post The Importance of Ear Plugs appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Pearled Barley Pancakes

Original Article

by Mike Yukon

Another breakfast food using your long term stored Pearled Barley Grain.

Ingredients: Yields 3, 5 inch diameter ½ inch thick pancakes
1 cup pearled barley flour milled from pearled barley grain
6 oz water
2 tbs sugar
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
shortening for frying pan

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
Heat a skillet to medium-high heat.
Add the water to the dry ingredients and blend to make a batter.
Into the hot skillet add about a teaspoon of shortening, melt it, then immediately add a scoop of the batter and smooth it out.
Cook each side until it browns.

Serve with honey drizzled on top and they are simply outstanding!

What makes these so interesting is the use of shortening to cook/fry them in, gives them a crispy crust like a properly made waffle.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Cut Your Own Meat and Save Money!

Original Article

by Crystal

Have you ever noticed that stew & stir fry meat almost seems magical…where does the stuff come from? I’m pretty sure they want you to believe that it doesn’t come anywhere except for them and they’d like you to spend the $4-5 a pound for it. Even if you look at those handy charts in your Betty Crocker or Better Home and Garden cookbook they never say where stew, fajita, and stir fry meat come from. It’s clever, actually-what they really do. They get large cuts of meat and then further subdivide the meat into roasts, steaks, etc. In that process they get scraps…which they cube, slice, or ground (like in hamburger)….and sell to you as “stew meat” and other types of already cut meat at a VERY HIGH price. Nice, right? Or, I had a butcher admit to me that he actually cuts the cheap tough meat and sells it as stir fry meat for $3-4 dollars MORE a pound…another good reason to KNOW your meat. So the best thing to do is to know the best cuts of meat for cutting your own stew meat cubes, fajita slices, and so on. That way, when the price is right you can stock up and save a bundle!
Stew Meat
(Some people think it’s better to use a higher quality of meat to make a stew better but that is actually incorrect. The name of the game for stew meat is TOUGH meat. Tough because it is going to be slow cooked AND it actually has a stronger flavor which is perfect for mingling with all of the other vegetable flavors.)
  • Chuck
  • Round
  • Bottom Sirloin
  • London Broil
  • Brisket
Kabob & Stir Fry Meat
(Because this is cooked fast over high heat, tough meat isn’t the best option even though it may be cubed like stew meat. You want good grilling meat)
  • Top Sirloin (THE BEST)
  • Cross Rib
  • London Broil (sometimes)

(Click HERE for more info on the FoodSaver I use)

Tip #21 : Buy larger pieces of meat and cut them up

So this is pretty similar to the tip above, but it’s more broad. Think of it-you could get chicken breasts for under 69 cents a pound. You can buy larger cuts of beef and get steaks, stew meat, etc. It can be kind of advanced so for a great book with pictures and good explanation you can check out this book. Cutting Up in the Kitchen: The Butcher’s Guide to Saving Money on Meat & Poultry Really, the easiest way to start this idea is with whole leg quarters and separating them into thighs and drumsticks. Most basic cookbooks have lots of pictures of how to do this. I actually just did this a few months ago and got a SCREAMING deal on chicken and paid 69 cents a pound for it all!

Or…Become friends with your butcher

I actually only buy meat from grocery stores with butchers.  The meat is fresher (since they are cutting it there), you can ask them questions, and get them to do you favors!  You should know that butchers can grind, slice, chop, etc. your meat if you ask. (CAUTION: Some will charge you so make sure you ask first, most will do it for free.)  Also, if you’re friendly they will help you more with insider info on sales and better cuts of meat.
You can do things like
  1. buy pork loin on sale and then have them slice it into pork loin pork chops (usually, very expensive)
  2. buy roasts on sale and ask them to grind it for you (making your own hamburger!).  Hamburger is generally mystery meat and high in fat.  If you do this, you can get hamburger cheaper than what they are selling the regular for and it’s a better quality meat and lower in fat!  (In fact, Del, (my pie crust friend) does this when sirloin is on sale and then she has ground sirloin for cheap!
  3. some butchers will also cube your meat if you ask, although, I like my cubes smaller than they generally cut them.
  4. you can ask them to pick out a good looking piece of meat (a.k.a well marbled, tender part of the muscle, etc.)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

10 Things You Need for a Weather Emergency

Original Article

English: Outdoor backpack Deutsch: Outdoor-Ruc...



by Code Name Insight
It's been a pretty wild winter what with massive snow storms and now heavy rains and flooding (example here).  What is consistent among all of these weather emergencies is the necessity to be prepared in advance of such occurrences.  Here's what you need:

  1. A bug out bag.  You never know when the sheriff will show up on your doorstep and inform you that everyone needs to evacuate ASAP due to flooding, a wild fire, avalanche hazard, etc.
  2. A bug out plan.  Should you need to leave in a hurry due to the aforementioned weather emergencies, what is your plan?  Where will you go?  How will you get there?  Do you have the cash to sustain you while you are gone?  Can you work remotely?
  3. Forewarning.  Generally you will want to keep an ear on your local news, receive updates from NOAA on your phone, have a weather radio, etc. so you will know ahead of time if a tornado or hurricane is headed your way.  This will give you enough notice so that you can take precautions/evacuate ahead of any disaster.
  4. Foreknowledge.  No matter where you are--whether you are at home or on vacation--you need to study up ahead of time and be knowledgeable about the sort of weather-related disasters that are common to your area.  You need to know what to expect and how to prepare and how to, pardon the pun, weather the storm.
  5. Mitigation efforts.  Now that you know what to expect, say, when a tornado is heading your way, you should also be ready to mitigate the impact of any sort of weather emergency.  For tornadoes and hurricanes you may want to keep plywood and screws on hand so you can board up windows if necessary, for areas prone to flooding you may want to have sandbags on hand, etc.
  6. Back-ups.  No matter the emergency you want to have alternative sources of food, water, and shelter available in the event that your utilities are taken out by the storm.
  7. Clothing.  You also want to dress appropriately for the weather.  Sometimes the difference between being uncomfortable and having a severe case of frostbite if you are stuck out in the snow is a hat and gloves.  Be sure you have appropriate clothing for any weather eventuality.  Also have appropriate shoes (this could mean heavy winter boots or water shoes depending on your circumstances).
  8. A disaster plan.  An overall disaster plan encompasses many things that may be useful during a weather emergency such as a communications plan so worried relatives will be able to find out what happened to you, knowledge of your kid's school's disaster plan so you can incorporate this into your own planning, the ability for the family to lock down the house in minutes or escape from the house in the same amount of time, etc.
  9. The ability to help others.  Many disasters--including the planning, response, and recovery thereof--may require more than just you.  Working with your immediately family is the first step in working with others to survive a weather emergency, checking on elderly or infirm neighbors before, during, and after the emergency is a nice thing to do, and being able to work with your neighbors--whether making sandbags or boarding up windows--is another ability to have.
  10. Recovery.  After the weather emergency has passed, you will then be in recovery mode.  This encompasses everything from the ability to clean up after the fact (this could be a small or overwhelming job depending on if a bit of water got into the basement or the roof of your house collapsed under the snow) to the information necessary to file insurance claims or seek community or federal resources to fix up whatever was destroyed during the weather disaster.
The most common emergency you will face on a regular basis is a weather emergency.  Prepare ahead of time!
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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Active Shooter…Run! Survival Tips for a Demented Killer

Original Article

by Travis

For decades we have been taught to do one thing if we were ever found ourselves in the same building as an active shooting…duck and cover! Yes, this is likely a product of the 50’s when we were told to “duck and cover” in case of a nuclear war. It was an ineffective strategy then and it’s likely an ineffective strategy during an active shooter incident. “Hitting the deck” so to speak makes you a sitting duck and does nothing to mitigate your situation. In fact, curling up into the fetal position gives your mind the impression that you are now a helpless victim and takes away most of your natural fight or flight instincts that are very important in an active shooter scenario. I and other experts recommend the following as an alternate course of action:
  • First…Run! – It seems almost comical to have to say, but if at all possible just leave during an active shooter incident. Often in these types of stressful situations our minds go into overload and we take actions that aren’t logical. That is why it’s important to state the obvious…just leave! When running from an active shooter, run in a slightly zig-zag motion and take cover as necessary to re-assess the situation and then run again until you reach safety. Try to run towards alternate exits if you know the building well, because the shooter will likely use the main entrance. When considering your flee from the building, don’t just consider hallways and stairwells. Breaking a window and exiting that way is sometimes a good option, especially on the first floor. However, falls from the second and even third floor of a building are very survivable if you fall correctly. Falling correctly involves jumping out of a window feet first and attempting to land on the balls of your feet with your knees slightly bent and your arms covering your head.
  • Second…Lock Down! – If you cannot run or your instant judgment of the situation tells you it’s too risky to do so, grab a few people and lock yourselves into a room and barricade the door. Do not sit on the opposite side of the room as the door itself, rather to the left and right of the door. If possible, grab a few blunt or heavy objects that you could use as blunt force weapons assuming you don’t have a gun and stand in a readies position with all eyes on the door waiting to attack the shooter if he enters. Again, don’t curl up and accept your fate…rather, make strong eye contact to those with you and whisper determined, forceful messages to those with you, like “we can do this…if he comes in here we are going to mess him up!”
  • Third…Fight! – This is a last resort option, but sometimes it’s the only option. Whether the killer makes his way into your locked down area or there is just no-where to run or hide, sometimes we must simply fight someone with a gun. The first and most important tip to fighting is DO NOT HESITATE. Actions leading up to disarming or disabling a killer must be very fast and must not give the attacker ANY time to react. Second, any attack strategy must avoid making sounds and movements that the attacker could potentially see or hear. A killers shooting generally is guided towards sounds and movements, so move as quietly as possible and out of his field of vision. Finally, focus your fight on disarming an attacker…either by neutralizing the weapon or neutralizing the attacker’s body and the best method combines them both. Overwhelming brute force is often the best way to achieve this.
These tips should in no way be considered a replacement for professional training, but it is my hope that they will start you thinking towards a plan for yourself if you ever find yourself in this horrible situation. Sign up for a class and follow some great videos online, such as those from Close Quarters Combat on YouTube.
The information, concepts, or opinions from are intended for informational purposes only and must be evaluated by the reader, in consultation with a professional, to ensure viability for their individual situation.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Free Seed Catalogs

Original Article

Lobelia Seeds

by SciFi Chick
I love it when my seed catalogs start coming in!   Many of them have some wonderful tips and information that's new to me. I think I could spend hours reading them.  Well I realized a few weeks ago that with moving out to the Hillside Homestead I wasn't going to get any catalogs if I didn't order them.  So while I was poking around the net I compiled a list of Free Seed Catalogs from companies that carry heirloom and open pollinated seeds.  I thought I would share some of the ones I found and some that have been favorites of mine for a long time. Oh and did I mention they are Free?  I just love that word!

 Free Catalog List  ( heirloom/open-pollinated seeds)

Abundant Life 
Baker Creek
Bountiful Gardens
Heirloom Acres Seeds
Johnny's Selected Seeds
Potato Garden
 R.H. Shumway's
Sandhill Preservation Center 
Seeds of Change
Seed Savers Exchange

This is in no way a complete list. It's just a start.   If you have some that are your favorites, please share them with us!!  I just love reading them.  There is something I find wonderful about being able to hold them and flip the pages... I can make notes and use a highlighter too when I come across something "cool".  ( Don't tell anyone but I even "ohhh and ahhh" over some of the things I want to try)
I've also found an excellent source of seed catalogs by the state from Mother Earth News. 
                             ~~~~~~  Hey... I'm Just Sayin' ...  ~~~~~~
Copyright 2013 BaconAndEggs/SciFiChick All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be reposted, printed, copied, dispersed etc. without first receiving written permission by the Author.
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Monday, March 24, 2014

Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus

An iteroparous organism is one that can underg...

Original Article

by Mike Yukon


If you haven't read Granny Miller's blog article about this virus it's worth a quick read.

Since JUST last May 5,000,000 pigs have died from it and there's no cure. I think it goes to show how fragile our entire food production of supply and demand really is. 
One small hick-up and we are all short some food.
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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Oatmeal from Rolled Oats

Original Article

by Mike Yukon

Oatmeal is a very versatile and simple food. Great for; breakfast and ingredient for cookies, meatloaf, burgers and vegetarian dishes to name just a few. An ideal food for back-packers, canoeists, campers of course it's an important long term stored food.

Oats go through a process where they are cleaned, toasted and hulled before they are suitable for eating. After this, they are called Oat Groats which oatmeal, rolled-oats, are processed from.

Oats have a variety of healthful attributes, including unique antioxidants that are thought to help reduce cardiovascular disease, they are also a whole grain that offers a good source of fiber. One serving of oatmeal (1/2 cup dry 1 cup cooked) has about 4 grams of dietary fiber and 2 grams of soluble fiber. According to the Mayo Clinic, 10 grams or more of soluble fiber per day helps decrease your total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Since almost all forms of oats contain the bran, endosperm, and germ, they are equally nutritious.

How to Cook Oatmeal using Old-Fashion Rolled Oats
makes 2 cups cooked

Ingredients:1 cup rolled oats old-fashion type not instant
2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs brown sugar

·         bring the water to a boil
·         add all the ingredients
·         reduce to a simmer
·         simmer for 4-5 minutes or until cooked
·         enjoy

Optionally you can add some canned meats, fish, veggies, butter powder, cheese powder to make it into a more filling and complete meal.

1 cup of old-fashioned Rolled Oats (Oatmeal) when cooked equals 2 cups ready to eat.