Foods Carried on the Oregon Trail

Food on the Oregon TrailThe Oregon Trail was an exhausting, sometimes treacherous, 2,000-mile journey that connected the Missouri River to valleys in Oregon and locations in between. Over half a million stalwart souls were brave enough to leave the relative comfort of civilization at that time and venture off into strange and unknown lands.

We know a surprising amount of the Oregon Trail experience because so many travelers wrote journals, sent letters home, and even wrote books and newspaper articles. True Accounts of Life in a Covered Wagon and Ox-Team Days on the Oregon Trail are vivid, first-person accounts of this harrowing journey.

Most of these pioneers traveled by covered wagons, which were pulled by oxen and horses.…

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Surviving a Super-Typhoon

Surviving a Super-Typhoon

As part of my somewhat colorful past, I have the dubious distinction to have lived through at least 2 dozen typhoons. Sounds impossible, right? Well, when you spend more than a decade in the area of Micronesia, typhoons happen. A lot.

These massive storms, called hurricanes everywhere else but in the Pacific, rip through the islands, bringing devastation and, sometimes, irreversible damage. In my part of the world, they happened so frequently, we became a little too nonchalant at times.

When news of an oncoming typhoon hit the airwaves, we only had a few preps to put in place. Because of frequent power outages, as well as earthquakes, having a few shelves of canned goods wasn’t prepping.…

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Protecting Your Garden From Rodents and Other Small Animals

Protecting Your Garden From Rodents and Other Small Animals via Preparedness Advice

The other day I was talking to a friend who lives in one of the Rocky Mountain states.  It seems that they have an unusual heavy influx of voles this year. These voles have killed several of his young fruit trees by girdling them.

Now, I have talked to a surprising number of people who live in my area, who have never even heard of voles, even though they are fairly common. People are just not used to growing and having to depend on their gardens to survive. If they did, they would certainly know what animals in their area had the potential to destroy their crops.…

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9 Uses for Rancid Cooking Oil

9 Uses for Rancid Cooking OilNow, I won’t say that I am cheap, but I never like to see waste. I use everything that I can. As many of you know, the shelf life of cooking oils is not indefinite, so the other day I found some olive oil that was out of date. I got to thinking about alternate uses for rancid cooking oils. Here is the list of uses for old oil.

Lubricant and rust preventative.  It can be used for everything from squeaky hinges to oiling your tools. In a pinch, it would work to protect your firearms.

Lamp oil.  Oil lamps are a good alternate use for rancid oils.…

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OPSEC: It’s Not Just About Loose Lips

OPSEC-I’ve always been a little on the paranoid side. It started when I began working for the military back when I was almost 19. There was a lot of reconnaissance/intelligence work being done on the Naval Air Station, and I had opportunities to interact with Navy SEALS, cryptographers, intelligence specialists, naval aviators — but there was a heavy recon presence there. What they said they did and what they really did weren’t always the same.

Being in this environment for almost 6 years rubbed off on me.

Sometimes, I would get a call late at night to open up the facility where I worked.…

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Propane-Powered Generators: Are They the Best Choice?

Propane Powered Generators-Recently I was asked the following question by someone who wants to install a 5000-watt generator to run their home in case of a power failure:

What is the best choice for fuel, propane, gasoline or diesel?

This reader is leaning towards getting a propane-powered generator. The choices are confusing, and a guide like this one can help the newcomer to the world of generators make the best choice.

I have been doing some research on the subject and here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of all three fuels for generators: gasoline, diesel, and propane.

Gasoline:
  • Advantages:
    •  Easily obtained
    •  Portable in small containers
  • Disadvantages:
    • Highly flammable
    • Short shelf life of fuel (approximately 12 months)
    • Storing large quantities of fuel is hazardous
    • May not be available during power outages
Diesel:
  • Advantages:
    • Least flammable fuel source
    • Fuel easily obtained (fuel is easier to obtain during a disaster because it is a necessary fuel for the military, trucking industry, and farming operations)
    • On site fuel delivery available
    • Designed for off-road applications and can operate on dyed or farm/construction diesel fuel which is sold without the road tax and thus is considerably cheaper to purchase.
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How to Collect Pine Nuts

How to Collect Pine NutsDelicious and good for you

Here is a digger pine cone I picked up off the ground

The other day while out looking for edible plants, I came across some cones from the digger pines, also sometimes called gray pines. These cones were still intact and had not dropped their seeds, often called pine nuts.

I spent a bit of time and opened one.  The digger pines have one of the harder cones and you will need a hammer or a big rock to open them.  However, it is worth it you can get a good handful of nuts from one cone.…

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Help Protect our Constitutional Rights to Own Firearms

firearms

Today I thought I would write a guest post on a subject that I have normally avoided.  That is firearms, gun control and protecting the Second Amendment.  Now, the situation I am writing on currently applies only to California. So why do you care, if you don’t live in this left wing state run by crazies? If the left has its way, these new laws will spread to other areas.

If Hillary Clinton wins the White House, a radical left wing Supreme Court, that will impact future generations and may be irreversible, you should be concerned about what is happening in California.…

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How to Avoid Thermal Imaging Devices

Avoid Thermal Imaging Devices

A warm body can be detected by the infrared (IR) heat that it gives off with thermal imaging equipment, and provides a difficult challenge to someone or something wishing to avoid detection. You may be camouflaged in the best concealment there is, but you may be highly visible to thermal imaging from someone with a IR scope on the ground or that drone flying overhead. This goes the same for any warm or hot equipment that you might wish to conceal.

What is infrared? It is light not visible to the human eye; electromagnetic radiation with longer wavelengths than visible light, extending from the red edge of the visible spectrum.…

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6 Ways to Survive a House Fire

Survive a House FireHaving spent many years either as both a fireman and an arson investigator, I have been inside many burning buildings. Since I worked at a state level, I put on training classes for locals and had the opportunity to start fires in many building that were scheduled to be destroyed.  I have probably been involved in the burning of as many as 50 buildings in various training scenarios.

During this time, I have spent time in burning buildings both with and without breathing apparatus. What I want to write on today is how to exit a burning structure. The situation that is of most concern is waking up in the night to a fire.…

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