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38,922 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm gonna turn this into my collection thread of stuff, so check back every so often.

Another Find ... Hope you like it :mrgreen:
The First Book ROCKS and is a GREAT starting point on your quest to obtain Old Knowledge! Well Worth The Large Down Load Size...

Henley's twentieth century formulas, recipes and processes, containing ten thousand selected household and workshop formulas, recipes, processes and moneymaking methods for the practical use of manufacturers, mechanics, housekeepers and home workers (1914)

Heating / Refrigeration Ventilation

Farming (General)

Farm Implements, Tools, Fencing etc.

Poultry, Fowl, Birds





Irrigation, Sewage, Plumbing and water



38,922 Posts
Discussion Starter #2

Health / Medical

Fishing, Fish, Tackle, fly fishing, Angling

Firearms / Hunting

Trapping, Snares, Furs, Hides etc.

Shelter, Housing, Architectural



Milling, Metallurgy, Forging, Gearing, Machines


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Gen Manufacturing, Craft, etc.

Materials, Properties, Strengths

Masonry, Concrete, Brickwork, Terra-cotta, Etc

Roads, Pavements etc.

Bookbinding / Printing

Old Tech.

Old Transportation


38,922 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Almost to the end ;)
Cooking & Recipes

Food Preservation




New Bread Making section

Sweet Tooth

Beverages & Brewing


Woolens, Fabric, Knitting, Needlework, Spinning etc.

Garden, Agro, Threshing, Orchards

Grasses & Forage Plants


38,922 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Getting closer...............
Wild Plants


Navigation and Maps




Leather, Leatherwork Tans, Hides

Shoe Making, Cobblers & Cordwainers


Workshop Receipts

Archaic Doomers
Deadly adulteration and slow poisoning unmasked; or, Disease and death in the pot and the bottle; in which the blood-empoisoning and life-destroying adulterations of wines, spirits, beer, bread, flour, tea, sugar, spices, cheese-mongery, pastry, confectionary medicines, &c. &c. &c. are laid open to the public, with tests or methods for the ascertaining and detecting the fraudulent and deleterious adulterations and the good and bad qualities of those articles: with an exposé of medical empiricism and imposture, quacks and quackery, regular and irregular, legitimate and illegitimate: and the frauds and mal-practices of the pawn-brokers and madhouse keepers (1839)

706 Posts
What a tremendous resource to have in one place. Thanks for posting!

38,922 Posts
Discussion Starter #6

Potato Growing Guide

Potatoes are a fantastic, nutritious and simple vegetable to grow successfully and provide vitamins C, B3 (Niacin) as well as copper and phosphorus. The potato has been grown in South America for about 7000 years and was introduced to Europe in the 16th century by the returning Spanish explorers, although it wasn’t until the 18th century that Europeans accepted the potato as a staple food.

There are about 400 varieties of potatoes available to the gardener, so care is needed in choosing the right variety for your eating preferences, as some are better than others for roasting, mashing or boiling. See the section below on choosing the right potato for you, to assist in this choice.
Potatoes can also be stored from the harvest right through to the point at which next season’s crop arrives, and summer as well as winter varieties can be grown – making the potato a great year-round crop (if you have the space). I hope the first in the vegetable-growing guides will help you achieve some great harvests.

Choices of potatoes to grow:
Although there are about 400 choices of potato to grow – I’ll just concentrate on a few popular varieties. It’s first important to know that varieties are split into early, second early and maincrop potatoes. These names essentially indicate when they crop, but also give an idea of space requirements, along with how closely and when they can be planted.


  • Take about 10-14 weeks to crop
  • Good for summer new potatoes
  • Less prone to pest attacks
  • Great if you’ve not got much space to grow within
Second Early:

  • Take about 14-18 weeks to crop
  • Produce summer potatoes (Mainly in July)
  • More prone to pest attacks than Early varieties
  • Less productive with less space

  • Take about 18-20 weeks to crop
  • Produce potatoes suitable to store over the winter months (can be lifted from July until October)
  • Require more space than the other varieties
  • As they spend more time in the ground, they are more prone to pest attacks (especially Potato Blight, which has a main “season” starting in last summer)
Some potatoes flourish in certain soils and conditions and as such, it’s a good idea to ask other growers in your area what varieties do well for them and then buy small packs of 10 seed potatoes so you can try different types and find what you like.

As each potato variety has a different internal structure, different water content and other qualities, certain varieties are better than others for particular styles of cooking. You can find some suggestions below to guide you in the best potato varieties to suit your needs:

Earlies: All earlies boil well
Second Earlies: Anya, Cosmos, Edzell Blue, Marfona, Maris Peer, Nadine, Saxon, Wilja
Maincrops: Ambo, Arran Victory, Cara, Celine, Maris Piper, Maxine, Sarpo Mira, Pink Fir Apple, Romano, King Edward

Earlies: Arran Pilot, Duke of York, Epicure, Pentland Javelin, Rocket, Swift, Vanessa, Winston
Second Earlies: Cosmos, Estima, Kestral, Marfona, Maris Peer, Nadine, Saxon, Wilja
Maincrop: Arran Victory, Cara, Celine, King Edward, Maris Piper, Pentland Squire, Picasso, Pink Fir Apple, Romano, Stemster

Earlies: Accent, Ulster Chieftain, Swift
Second Earlies: Catriona, Cosmos, Edzell Blue, Kestral, Mona Lisa, Wilja
Maincrop: Arran Victory, Cara, Desiree, Dunbar Standard, Maxine, Picasso, Romano, Valor

Earlies: Accent, Epicure, Winston
Second Earlies: Cosmos, Kestral, Merlin, Nadine, Osprey, Wilja
Maincrop: Arran Victory, Desiree, Harmony, King Edward, Kerrs Pink, Maris Piper, Pentland Crown, Remarka, Sarpo Mira, Stemster

Chitting is the process of encouraging seed potatoes to sprout before planting them - vital for early varieties, but not so for maincrops. Chit from late January to February (in a cool but frost-free place); and about 6 weeks before you want to plant the potatoes. Every seed potato has a more rounded end on which most of the ‘eyes’ are situated. Stand the potatoes in containers (egg boxes are perfect) so the rounded end is at the top - making sure there’s plenty of natural light, but no direct sunlight. When the shoots are about 2.5cm long, they are ready to be planted.

You should plant your chitted potatoes once the soil has started to warm up, (early varieties in late-March, maincrop varieties mid to late April). The following process should guide you through what to do:

  • Dig a trench about 11cm deep in a sunny position - may need to be deeper for some varieties (check seed packs first). You can just make a few holes this deep if space is at a premium.
  • Add a small layer of compost to the bottom of the trench.
  • Set your “chitted” potatoes into the trench (burying the bottom half in the bottom of the trench) with the shoots pointing up.
  • Earlies: set 30cm apart and 45cm between rows.
  • 2nd Earlies and Maincrop: set 40cm apart & 75cm between rows.
  • Cover the potatoes gently with soil - so they have a covering of fine soil about 8cm over them.
  • TIP: If shoots begin to sprout during late frosts, draw some soil up over them; this will protect against frost damage.
  • When the plant stems are about 25cm high, remove any weeds from between the plants; then drag the surrounding soil from the sides towards the top of the plant, until the mound is about 15cm high – leaving about 10cm of greenery protruding from the top. This is called “earthing up” and is necessary as potatoes grow near the surface, but go green in sunlight – earthing up limits the chances of the potatoes coming into contact with sunlight. Another way to do this is by adding soil to the top of the plants little by little as they grow –it makes little difference to the produce which way you “earth up”.
  • Make sure the potatoes are well watered throughout their growing life.
Growing again? You shouldn’t plant potatoes in the same ground year after year. Try to leave 2-3 seasons before planting potatoes in the same plot - this should stop pests and diseases building up.

Short of Space? Grow potatoes in a well-drained container (at least 30cm wide and deep). Fill half the container with compost or good quality soil and set two seed potatoes into the top of the compost. Then top up with more compost or soil to within 2.5cm (1”) of the rim of the container.

Your potatoes should be ready to harvest from June (earlies) until September (maincrops) or about 8-12 weeks from planting - depending on the growing conditions.

Earlies can be harvested as soon as they are ready (for summer new potatoes); so harvest them when leaves and stems (or Haulm) are still green. Another good rule of thumb for new potatoes is to harvest them as soon as the flowers open. To harvest, use a fork to lift the potatoes from the side. You will probably spear some, but can reduce this chance by using a special potato fork.

Second and maincrop varieties can remain in the ground until September, even though above-ground growth may well be looking past its best. Being in the ground for longer does increase the risk of blight and other diseases however. Two weeks before you lift the crop, cut the growth off at ground level. This should give the skins of the potatoes sufficient time to toughen up, making them far less prone to damage from lifting and easier to store. To harvest, use a fork to lift them from the ground. If possible, harvest on a dry sunny day and leave the potatoes on the surface for a couple of hours to harden (this will improve storage).

TIP: It’s best to remove all potatoes as if left, they’ll grow and attract pests and diseases into the area.

Problems and solutions:
Frost: can ruin a potato crop, so keep an eye on the weather. Earlies are generally planted mid-March with maincrops planted a few weeks later. If frost threatens after the leaves have broken through the surface you need to protect the plants; do this either by pulling earth over the leaves from the side or covering with fleece.

Potato Blight: Potato blight is one of the worst diseases for the potato grower, caused by a fungus Phytophthora infestans. Blight can wipe plants out literally overnight and can infect the potato tubers causing them to rot in storage - it can also travel from potato to potato, so can ruin an entire harvest (it was responsible for the Irish Potato famine). It also effects other members of the potato family, including tomatoes and develops when the weather is warm and humid. The “Smith Period” is a 48 hour period when the minimum temperature is 10°C or above and the relative humidity is more than 80% for the majority of this period. These periods are when blight is most likely to strike.

Symptoms of Potato Blight:

  • brown freckles on the leaves or sections of leaves with brown patches and a yellowish border.
  • the potato tuber will have dark patches on the skin, with brownish rot spreading into the flesh from the skin.
Prevention of Potato Blight:

  • Bordeaux mixture is a traditional fungicide but does contain copper and might not be great for your diet (although it is organically approved).
  • Inorganic Dithane 945 is good as long as it is applied before blight has taken hold.
  • The best protection is to grow a resistant variety of potato that’s less affected by blight - “Sarpo” varieties of potato are extremely blight resistant.
  • Always use certified virus free seed potatoes bought from reputable suppliers.
  • Try to get all the potatoes out from the ground when you harvest, so you won’t leave a reservoir on your plot.
  • Don’t grow potatoes in the same ground two years running.
  • Water from the base rather than spraying potatoes.
Treatment of Potato Blight:

  • If there are only a small number of affected leaves (with patches) you can try removing and disposing of them - burn them if possible to ensure the blight is killed off.
  • Spray with Bordeaux mixture or Dithane 945 - this may prevent spread of the blight if applied early enough.
  • For more serious infections, cut off all the haulm (foliage) down to about 5cm and destroy it. This prevents the disease getting into the tubers, and if they are covered with earth they will continue to grow for at least two weeks.
  • After harvest, check regularly for signs of blight and remove any suspect tubers at once from your store.
Common Scab: Only a skin deep disease and doesn’t affect eating quality. There is no treatment but you can help prevent it by growing a resistant variety such as Wilja.

Potato Cyst Eelworm: The problems are caused by the grubs of the Cyst Eelworms, which burrow into the roots and form small cysts, containing hundreds of eggs. Plants will become stunted, the lower leaves wither and higher leaves wilt during daylight, what’s worse is that only small tubers will be produced - about 1cm in diameter. The eggs can remain in the soil for up to 10 years so if the ground is heavily infested, you may have to stop growing potatoes for several years.

There is no chemical treatment, so just destroy infected plants and tubers. Crop rotation can help prevent the infection, as will growing a resistant variety.

Potatoes are a very productive crop and thus need large amounts of nutrients. Requirements will depend on the variety grown and on the amount of nutrients already in the ground for them. A good idea is to add about 15kg of manure per metre the autumn before sowing - this should ensure a good amount of Nitrogen for the foliage. For Earlies, if you have manured, there is not much need for further fertilisation - if you have not manured however, then adding 150-200g/M2 of Growmore or fish, blood and bone will provide enough to get a decent crop. Second early and maincrop varieties will benefit from additional fertilisation - specifically Nitrogen throughout the growing cycle, as Nitrogen is the nutrient that is easiest lost from the soil. Potash is also required, and is a welcome addition at any point (a good source is wood ash).

Potatoes are best stored in a bag that can allow some breathing and moisture to escape, but will exclude light - hessian sacks are ideal, but paper sacks or even pillow cases also do the job - plastic bags however will not allow adequate, so don‘t use them. Before storage, remove any damaged potatoes and use these first. If Potato blight has struck remove and destroy any infected tubers, and check through them all carefully, otherwise the blight could spread in storage. Ideally, store the potatoes in a cool (about 5°C), dark room but do not let them freeze. If any of the potatoes have turned green, putting them in a dark room can sometimes reverse this.

38,922 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Canning cheese and butter

I received an email ad today from one of my regulars about buying up the last stock available on their website of canned meats, cheese and butter, once it’s gone, it’s gone. That prompted a flurry of searching for the best prices on these items. In the process I ran across an article about canning your own cheese. I already knew about canning butter, but didn’t think about canning cheese too.

DISCLAIMER: The methods discussed in this article for canning cheese and butter are not approved or recommended by the powers that be (FDA), neither I or anyone associated with this website are responsible for anything that may happen as a result of using anything discussed here. You are responsible for your own actions and consequences of trying anything I write about here.

Amazon.com Widgets Now, back to our regularly scheduled article. There is nothing new about canning, you can find commercially canned butter and cheese. But if you are willing to put in a bit of time and effort, you can easily can your own cheese and butter. Just think, you find a great deal on cheese and butter, you pick up a large quantity of each, you go home and get out your canning supplies and get to work. In a few hours you will have your own supply of cheese and butter that doesn’t have to be refrigerated and should last quite a long time.

First we can discuss canning butter, it’s the easiest of the two to make, it doesn’t even require a water bath! Be sure to use a good quality, full fat butter, salted is better, it lasts longer. Do not try this with margarine or spreads, it will not work.

Canned Butter
1. Use any butter that is on sale. Lesser quality butter requires more shaking (see #5 below), but the results are the same as with the expensive brands.

2. Heat pint jars in a 250 degree oven for 20 minutes, without rings or seals. One pound of butter slightly more than fills one pint jar, so if you melt 11 pounds of butter, heat 12 pint jars. A roasting pan works well for holding the pint jars while in the oven.

3. While the jars are heating, melt butter slowly until it comes to a slow boil. Using a large spatula, stir the bottom of the pot often to keep the butter from scorching. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes at least: a good simmer time will lessen the amount of shaking required (see #5 below). Place the lids in a small pot and bring to a boil, leaving the lids in simmering water until needed.

4. Stirring the melted butter from the bottom to the top with a soup ladle or small pot with a handle, pour the melted butter carefully into heated jars through a canning jar funnel. Leave 3/4″ of head space in the jar, which allows room for the shaking process.

5. Carefully wipe off the top of the jars, then get a hot lid from the simmering water, add the lid and ring and tighten securely. Lids will seal as they cool. Once a few lids “ping,” shake while the jars are still warm, but cool enough to handle easily, because the butter will separate and become foamy on top and white on the bottom. In a few minutes, shake again, and repeat until the butter retains the same consistency throughout the jar.

6. At this point, while still slightly warm, put the jars into a refrigerator. While cooling and hardening, shake again, and the melted butter will then look like butter and become firm. This final shaking is very important! Check every 5 minutes and give the jars a little shake until they are hardened in the jar! Leave in the refrigerator for an hour.

7. Canned butter should store for 3 years or longer on a cool, dark shelf. (It does last a long time. We have just used up the last of the butter we canned in 1999, and it was fine after 5 years.) Canned butter does not “melt” again when opened, so it does not need to be refrigerated upon opening, provided it is used within a reasonable length of time.

This recipe came from
there are many other great ideas on this site, including “hamburger rocks”, that’s canned hamburger pieces.
Here is a recipe for canned cheese.

Home canned “soft cheese” has better cooking properties than store bought bottled cheese meant for snack food. It contains no preservatives and is more economical than commercial products for cooking purposes.

These instructions yield a product that is similar to “Cheese Whiz”, yet better tasting for a recipe of macaroni and cheese. This simple to do recipe for home canned cheese will keep for 2 years plus.

* 1 (5 oz.) can evaporated milk
* 1 T. vinegar

* ½ tsp. salt
* 1 lb. Velveeta cheese or any processed cheese
* ½ tsp. dry mustard

Melt milk and cheese in double boiler. Add rest of ingredients and mix well. Fill pint jars about 3/4 full and seal. Place in Boiling Water bath for 10 minutes.
This recipe came from

Here is another recipe for canned cheese.

When I heard about canning butter, I was also told that you can do cheese the same way. Here’s what I do. I’ve only canned cheddar cheese, but I suppose it would work for any hard cheese. As with the canning butter recipe, I could not find any “approved” method in any of my books, and when I called the extension service, I was told that canning cheese like this was not an approved method by the FDA. Sooooooo, use at your own risk. This is just for information and to let you know what I do.

Remember, this is not an FDA approved method.

Since the original writing of this post I have used this with Cheddar Cheeses, Swiss Cheese, Mozzarella, Monterrey Jack, Colby Jack, and even Cream Cheese (regular, not the soft kind in the tubs). All have worked beautifully, even the Cream Cheese. I have used them as long as 5 years after canning and have not become sick from any of them, even when eating the cheese right out of the jar. But, again, the FDA says that this is not an approved way to preserve cheese, so . . . use at your own risk. I have found that the flavor of all the canned cheese intensifies a bit over time, but it is not at all unpleasant. We prefer it. The Mozzarella Cheese darkened a bit, but it did not seem to affect the flavor, except that like the others, it was more flavorful.

There are really 2 ways. I used to melt the cheese in a double boiler, then spoon it into the sterilized jars. Sometimes the cheese sticks to the bottom of the pan, and the whole thing is a big, gloppy mess.

Here’s better way that’s cleaner, faster and easier.

1. I sterilize wide mouth pint jars (wide mouth half-pint jars may be used) in a 250 degree oven for at least 20 minutes. Since it’s harder to regulate a woodburning cookstove oven to that low a temperature, mine is usually hotter. Since you’ll process the cheese in a boiling water bath for awhile, this probably isn’t necessary, but I think it’s safer, so it’s what I do.

2. Sterilize new canning lids according to package instructions. I let them simmer in water about 5 minutes, then keep them in hot water until I need them.

3. Now I either cut up the cheese, or if it’s frozen I crumble it and pack it into clean, dry pint jars. Then I place the jars (without lids) on a rack in my boiling water bath canner, to which I have already added some water. Do not put the lid on the canner while the cheese is melting. You want the water to come about halfway up the jars. Any higher and it bubbles into the jars if it gets to boiling. Then, as the cheese melts, I add more cheese until the cheese fills the jars to within about ½ inch of the top.

4. When all melted, I remove the jars from the canner, wipe the rims, and seal the jars. Then I proceed with the boiling water bath for 40 minutes. (I use the Extension Service method of doing a boiling water bath.) When ready, remove jars from water with a jar lifter. Leave undisturbed until completely cooled. Check to make sure all the lids have sealed before labeling and storing.

As with butter, 11 pounds will fill about 12 1/2 pint jars — or just over 3/4 pound per pint jar. We keep ours in the cache year round. We’ve eaten cheese that I canned like this several years earlier and it was delicious. It tends to get a little sharper, which I like. It doesn’t melt as good as fresh cheese, but when you’re in the bush and don’t have fresh cheese, it’s more than acceptable any way you’d use fresh cheese! During the winter, we usually keep cheese stored in buckets outside so it stays frozen. But, like meat, come springtime with the warmer temperatures, I start canning.

To remove the cheese from the jar, there are basically two ways. You could place the jar in a pan of water (loosen the lid a bit first), and then place that pan in another pan of boiling (or hot) water. This melts the outside of the cheese and will help it slip out of the jar. But, it also heats the cheese, which may or may not be desirable. I usually just run a knife between the cheese and the jar. Sometimes the cheese will slide right out, but usually I have to sort of cut and pull it out in chunks.

I usually can butter in regular mouth jars because I don’t try to take it out of the jar all in one piece. That would be hard with cheese.

This recipe came from
:: View topic - Canning Cheese
:: View topic - Canning Cheese
Canning Cheese

NOTE: I've made a few changes here for clarification or for additional information, which I have noted in RED.

When I heard about canning butter, I was also told that you can do cheese the same way. Here's what I do. I've only canned cheddar cheese, but I suppose it would work for any hard cheese. As with the canning butter recipe, I could not find any "approved" method in any of my books, and when I called the extension service, I was told that canning cheese like this was not an approved method by the FDA. Sooooooo, use at your own risk. This is just for information and to let you know what I do.

Remember, this is not an FDA approved method.

Since the original writing of this post I have used this with Cheddar Cheeses, Swiss Cheese, Mozzarella, Monterrey Jack, Colby Jack, and even Cream Cheese (regular, not the soft kind in the tubs). All have worked beautifully, even the Cream Cheese. I have used them as long as 5 years after canning and have not become sick from any of them, even when eating the cheese right out of the jar. But, again, the FDA says that this is not an approved way to preserve cheese, so . . . use at your own risk. I have found that the flavor of all the canned cheese intensifies a bit over time, but it is not at all unpleasant. We prefer it. The Mozzarella Cheese darkened a bit, but it did not seem to affect the flavor, except that like the others, it was more flavorful.

There are really 2 ways. I used to melt the cheese in a double boiler, then spoon it into the sterilized jars. Sometimes the cheese sticks to the bottom of the pan, and the whole thing is a big, gloppy mess.

Here’s better way that’s cleaner, faster and easier.

1. I sterilize wide mouth pint jars (wide mouth half-pint jars may be used) in a 250 degree oven for at least 20 minutes. Since it's harder to regulate a woodburning cookstove oven to that low a temperature, mine is usually hotter. Since you'll process the cheese in a boiling water bath for awhile, this probably isn't necessary, but I think it's safer, so it's what I do.

2. Sterilize new canning lids according to package instructions. I let them simmer in water about 5 minutes, then keep them in hot water until I need them.

3. Now I either cut up the cheese, or if it’s frozen I crumble it and pack it into clean, dry pint jars. Then I place the jars (without lids) on a rack in my boiling water bath canner, to which I have already added some water. Do not put the lid on the canner while the cheese is melting. You want the water to come about halfway up the jars. Any higher and it bubbles into the jars if it gets to boiling. Then, as the cheese melts, I add more cheese until the cheese fills the jars to within about ½ inch of the top.

4. When all melted, I remove the jars from the canner, wipe the rims, and seal the jars. Then I proceed with the boiling water bath for 40 minutes. (I use the Extension Service method of doing a boiling water bath.) When ready, remove jars from water with a jar lifter. Leave undisturbed until completely cooled. Check to make sure all the lids have sealed before labeling and storing.

As with butter, 11 pounds will fill about 12 1/2 pint jars -- or just over 3/4 pound per pint jar. We keep ours in the cache year round. We’ve eaten cheese that I canned like this several years earlier and it was delicious. It tends to get a little sharper, which I like. It doesn’t melt as good as fresh cheese, but when you’re in the bush and don’t have fresh cheese, it’s more than acceptable any way you’d use fresh cheese! During the winter, we usually keep cheese stored in buckets outside so it stays frozen. But, like meat, come springtime with the warmer temperatures, I start canning.

To remove the cheese from the jar, there are basically two ways. You could place the jar in a pan of water (loosen the lid a bit first), and then place that pan in another pan of boiling (or hot) water. This melts the outside of the cheese and will help it slip out of the jar. But, it also heats the cheese, which may or may not be desirable. I usually just run a knife between the cheese and the jar. Sometimes the cheese will slide right out, but usually I have to sort of cut and pull it out in chunks.

I usually can butter in regular mouth jars because I don't try to take it out of the jar all in one piece. That would be hard with cheese.

38,922 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Because someone asked about this in another thread as a potential way to make money, or have something to trade ... FWIW, my uncle grew some tobacco (years ago), and all I remember was it seemed very strong.

In the process of becoming more and more independent, we grow much of our own foods. But there is still one thing that is still expensive and is becoming more expensive to purchase. Tobacco. The government is taxing tobacco to death (no pun intended). With the high cost of buying cigarettes, it has occurred to me that we can be growing our own tobacco. I have decided that now is the time to give it a try. I took the plunge and ordered a set of 4 different types of tobacco seeds from eBay. If smoking or the use of tobacco offends you in any way, then you probably should not read this.

I have been researching this heavily, I have found lots of sources for the seeds on line, it’s legal to grow and consume your own tobacco, at least it is in the US, I believe it is in the UK as well, if you aren’t sure, you should check with your local authorities before trying to grow your own tobacco.

It would seem that tobacco plants can grow under most conditions, as long as you have sunshine and a bit of room. The plants themselves can grow from 3 feet to over 7 feet tall, the leaves are large and have a tropical look to them. Some people even grow tobacco plants for purely ascetic purposes. You can also use the tobacco for insecticidal purposes too, just be careful not to apply it to any of the nightshade plants (tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes…), it may infect them with a virus that is particular to nightshades. I live in a high desert/mountain zone, I believe that I should be able to grow the plants with no problems. I have been told that I should start them inside first, then transplant them, I am going to try planting a few directly (direct sow) and see what happens.

I understand that there are a few steps you need to take before you can smoke your tobacco leaves. First you grow the plants, that part is fairly easy. You harvest the leaves and dry them. The leaves go from green to yellow in this step. Next you need to cure them, allow all of the moisture to evaporate from the leaves. Next you need to ferment the leaves, this is the most complicated step, I have read about lots of ways to do it, I have even read that it is not completely necessary to do, but if you want your tobacco to taste more like commercial cigs, then you will need to ferment them, this is when the leaves go from yellow to brown. At this point, it’s best to let your tobacco age, the longer it ages, the better the flavor.

Your tobacco will be 100% additive free and IMHO much safer than what you get from the store. You can buy additives/flavorings to spray on your tobacco, this is strictly optional, but many people like the results and flavor, this is up to you. You can use rolling paper to roll your own cigarettes
, you can even get machines that roll your cigarettes complete with a filter for a more commercial style cigarette. You can make your own cigars, or smoke with a pipe. You can chew the tobacco leaves as well.

Growing your own tobacco will ensure that you have a pure product, no fillers and no chemical additives. Learn more about growing, harvesting, curing and rolling your own cigarettes here.

Here are a few videos that might give you inspiration and ideas about growing your own tobacco.




I do not condone smoking or using any tobacco product, if you do not smoke or use tobacco, DO NOT START! I do not smoke but my hubby does, I would prefer that he not smoke, but as long as he does, I want it to be as safe (read-no additives) as possible, and I would love to be able to spend less on it and know I will always have a way to get it, so growing my own takes care of everything.

38,922 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
A blast from the past, that some of you might have missed.
Something I haven't tried, but thought worthy of placing in this section.
Method 1
Due to my own dwindling primer supply I read up on reloading primers with match heads, various primer chemical compounds, and caught ammosmith's video. Along the way I found a post on using kids ring caps (for cap guns) in large pistol primers. I recently tested some home reloaded small pistol primers using paper roll caps and thought I would share the results. The paper roll caps I used were from Wal Mart, they say Imperial Toy Co. made in Germany on the back and "less than .042 grains of powder".

Pieces parts:
bunch o spent small pistol primers (silver, look like CCI)
old CCI primer tray
precision screwdriver
1/8" lyman steel punch
1 1/2" steel washer (lying around for securing things to the loading bench)
Lee hand primer
X-Acto knife with curved blade
paper roll caps

Used a precision screwdriver to pop anvils out of primer cups (store in used primer tray).
Scrape out inside of primer cups with precision screwdriver.
Place cups on steel washer (or other flat metal surface) and use punch and hammer to flatten out divot (store in primer tray).
Use X-acto knife to cut centers out of the paper roll caps, I did not peel any paper off.
Place primer cup on washer or other flat metal surface.
Press cut caps into primer cups with steel punch (bang side down).
Use butt end of steel punch to press anvil back into primer cup (don't tap it in or it will go bang).
Load brass as usual with Lee hand prime, (takes less pressure than new primers).

I first tested empty brass with 1, 2, and 3 paper cap centers in the primers. All went bang and shot some sparks from the barrel (Colt officers model match .38 special
). The single cap primers seemed a bit weak, the 2 cap appeared good and the 3 cap were pretty hot. The 3 cap primers were very tight and sometimes the anvil would not seat back into the primer cup enough to stick making priming the brass a pain.

I loaded 6 light .38's (~3.3 gr Bullseye, 158 gr lead swc) with 1 and 2 cap primers (3 of each) and went to the range. The 2 cap cartridges shot well, chrony showing 760 fps 10 feet out. The 1 cap primers sucked, 1 shot fine, the second didn't feel quite right with maybe a split second hesitation after the initial bang, and the third misfired.

So in all 2 paper roll cap centers per small pistol primer appears to work fine. My guess is they are corrosive so clean well after using. I'm thinking of devising a metal tube to cut the cap centers out with, making the cutting and loading procedure a bit faster. Some type of press to flatten the primer divot would be cool too, rather than banging with a hammer.
THR - View Single Post - homemade primers
Method 2

Making matchhead powder

38,922 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
One more blast.

Total Resistance: Swiss Army Guide to Guerrilla Warfare and Underground Operations
By Major H. Von Dach Bern
The Swiss long planned to be overrun in the next major European conflict. This was the manual they came up with, a guide for citizens to continue the fight against a totalitarian occupying force. It has a lot of stuff you will have a hard time finding elsewhere. Including a lot of stuff on tactics and logistics specific to resistance movements, supplies and setting up a secure resistance organization. 25 MB expands to 100 MB

The Ranger Handbook
2006 Edition
Free Download ! 7MB

I bought the following and can recommend it as a solid reference and thought builder toward future real World scenario's and the occasional zombie attack.

38,922 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I can think of no better reason to keep a good supply of flour (or grain, if you have a mill) than stuff like this.
The egg is the only tricky part, but I guess powdered egg would work, if you don't have a fresh egg, or three;)
Homemade Pasta – Yes You Can!

Homemade pasta, it’s easy, it’s cheap, it’s tasty, did I mention it’s cheap? I had found several recipes on line for homemade egg noodles, I had a pasta roller that I had purchased many years ago, I had the ingredients I needed, so why not give it a try?

The process is pretty simple, take flour, eggs, salt and water, mix them up to make a stiff dough, cut it into manageable pieces, run it through the pasta roller until it is smooth and thin, then run it through the cutter in the size you want. If you want to see a more detail, click on the image, it will open in a new window.

Well, it’s doesn’t work the way you see on TV, one of the things that most recipes and cookbooks don’t tell you is when you first start rolling the dough in the pasta roller, it will look like you made the biggest mistake and you’ll think you should throw away that dough and start over. The dough will break, crack and generally look wrong, well it’s suppose to look like that, what you have to do it fold the dough back on itself and keep running it though the roller (on the widest setting) over and over again. Yes, it is messy, get over it and have fun! :)

Re-rolling the dough conditions it, kneads and smooths it. Eventually it will start looking right, it will smooth out and look like a proper dough. Once you can run it through the roller on the widest setting 6-10 times, and it looks smooth, then you start changing the setting on the rollers, you tighten rollers, one step at a time, then you run the dough though the rollers, but now you don’t fold the dough, you just keep running it through, changing the roller setting one step tighter on each roll.

The dough will get longer and longer, if it get’s too long to handle, then just cut the dough into a more manageable length. Keep running it through the roller until you finally get it on the thinnest setting. Keep the dough strip flat as possible, try not to let it bunch up beneath the pasta roller, it may stick together, if it does, don’t worry, just squish the dough together and start over. You can lightly dust the dough strip with flour if it is sticking to your hands or the table.

Once you get the dough strip to the thickness (or thinness) you want, then run the dough strip through the cutter, I have been using the thicker strips, there is another cutter that would make spaghetti noodles. As you cut the noodles, you need to make sure you dust the noodles with flour, not too much, you use your fingers to "fluff" the pasta up to cover the noodles equally with a light dusting of flour. This will keep the noodles from sticking together.

At this point, you have 3 choices, you can use it fresh, my personal favorite. You can dry the pasta for later use. Or you can freeze the noodles. If you cook it fresh, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles, stirring as you go to prevent sticking, bring it back to a boil (it shouldn’t take too long), cook it for 3 minutes and no more. If you cook it after it’s dry or frozen, then you will need to add more time, I’d say 7-10 minutes, check it after 7 minutes, do not over cook it, it will become mush.

The noodles you make yourself will have a superior flavor to anything you can buy in the store. It doesn’t take that much time to do either. You can use these noodles in any recipe where you would use store bought pasta.

Bob likes it just plain with a bit of butter and salt. Whether you eat it plain or add a savory sauce, once you try homemade pasta, you will not go back to store bought pasta!

Recipe, you can easily double or triple this recipe
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 Tablespoons water
Mix everything together, it’s easiest if you have a food processor or a bread machine, let them do the mixing for you, otherwise, mix everything in a bowl, it will be a stiff dough. The flour will take up different amounts of liquid depending on the humidity, the eggs will be slightly different sizes, so this isn’t an exact recipe, you may need to adjust the recipe, but it’s pretty simple. If the dough is too soft, add more flour, if it is too stiff, add more water, go easy on anything you add, add in small increments, mix again and see how it looks. The dough should not be sticky.

Cut the dough into manageable pieces, one recipe I would cut into 2 pieces, double recipe I would cut into 3 pieces. Set the other pieces in a bowl with a towel over it to keep it from drying out.

Work the dough in the pasta roller on the widest setting, fold the dough over and run back through the pasta roller, do this as many times as it takes for the dough to look smooth and not crack or break.

Now tighten the roller one step, put the dough through the roller, this time do not fold the dough, tighten the roller one more step, put the dough through the roller, do this until you reach the tightest setting. If the dough gets too long, just cut it in to more manageable pieces. LIGHTLY dust the dough with flour if the dough becomes sticky.

Once you reach the desired thickness, run the dough through the cutter to make the type of pasta you want. Be sure to dust the pasta with flour and fluff the pasta with your fingers to distribute the flour, now either cook it fresh (3-4 minutes in salted boiling water), freeze or dry.

You can also do other things with your dough, you can make ravioli, spaghetti, lasagna, most any pasta shape you can do with your homemade pasta.

38,922 Posts
Discussion Starter #12

38,922 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
From The Foxfire Book, Volume 5 - © 1979 The Foxfire Fund; Published by Doubleday Books
"Black powder is and isn't hard to make depending on which end you look at it from. It is a long and tiresome task if you make more than ten pounds at a time.

"Out on the West Coast, as in some southern states, the trend by the government is to prevent its sale with mountains of red tape. Making your own black powder, however, is not unlawful as yet, as far as I know."

"By weight measure, black powder is made of seventy-five parts saltpeter finely ground, fifteen parts charcoal, and ten parts sulfur. All ingredients must be fine ground separately. This can be accomplished with either a mortar and pestle, or with a hand-cranked flour mill. Never mix all three ingredients before grinding unless you want to turn your mill into a deadly grenade, or your mortar into a cannon that can blow off your fingers or even your hand."

"Then the ingredients can be mixed with a small amount of water so the mixture comes out with biscuit-dough consistency. Usually when I mix the ingredients, I add just enough stale urine to make the batch bunch about like biscuit dough. The urine, substituted for water, gives the powder more oxygen and higher performance."

"Flowers of sulfur is ideal for gun powder, and it can be bought in most drug stores in four-ounce bottles or pound cans."

"It can also be found in pure deposits around volcanoes, and in early times, because it was found where molten lava issued from the earth, the sulfur condensed around the rims of the volcanoes was called brimstone."

"Today, in certain places around the world, sulfur is recovered from un- derground deposits by pumping live steam underground through pipes. The sulfur melts and, being lighter than water, is easily pumped out at another point close by. Then it is pumped into big ships that haul it to industries all over the world. That's why you can buy a hundred-pound sack for about three dollars in most places.

"Saltpeter, the chemical that produces the oxygen for the other ingredients when lit off, can he made by putting urine and manure of any kind in a big cement tank mixed with water until you have about three hundred gallons mixed up. Then you put on a tight lid and let it sit for about ten months. You have to have a drain pipe and valve at the bottom, and a stainless steel filter screen installed beforehand or you'll have one big mess on your hands. At the end of that time, you run the liquid that drains off through ashes into shallow wooden trays lined with plastic sheeting and let them stand for evaporation in the sun. When the water evaporates, potassium nitrate crystals (saltpeter) will form in the bottom of the trays."

"In the old days in cities, most outhouses were fitted with trays or drawers under the seats that could be pulled out from behind the building. They had night-soil collectors who were paid so much every month by the outhouse owners to keep those drawers emptied, and they'd come around with a special wagon into which they dumped the contents. When the wagon was full, it was hauled out to where another fellow bought the contents and dumped it into concrete tanks where the bacteria works it just like yeast works wine or bread dough. Then the liquid was run through ashes into shallow tiled or plain concrete evaporating trays or basins to recover the saltpeter."

"Today, saltpeter can also he bought in most drug stores in bottles or cans."

"Charcoal provides the carbon needed when the powder is lit off. When burning, the carbon assists in making potassium carbonates and carbon sulfates during the one one hundredth of a second that it is burning. Most of this is released at the muzzle of a smoke pole in the form of powder smoke. Some remains in the barrel in the form of fouling and should be swabbed out about every third shot if the shooter wants the round ball to continue to shoot true."

"The charcoal should never be made from hardwood as hardwood has too much ash. Such woods as chinaberry, willow, cottonwood, soft pine with no knots, or redwood and Western cedar make the best grade charcoal. A fifty-five-gallon drum with a snap-on lid and a match-stem-sized hole in the lid set over a fire Pit is a good charcoal maker. Take the wood and chip it or cut it into inch chunks and put a bucketful in the drum. Then build a hardwood fire under the drum and when smoke begins to spurt from the vent, light the wood with a match. When the flame goes out, your charcoal is made. Rake the fire out from under the drum, plug the vent with a bit of asbestos fiber or a nail that fits in tight, and let the drum sit overnight to cook. You can then crush and powder the charcoal with a mortar and pestle, or run it through a hand-cranked grain grinder to a flourlike fineness. "

"By the way, Just yesterday I took time out and made batch of powder, and this time, when I mixed the ingredients, I added homemade alder charcoal instead of redwood and improved the powder's performance 100 per cent. I recently bought a tight little sheet-metal heater stove for camp cooking and by accident discovered that getting a load of alder going good and then closing it UP tight and dampering it until it went out and turned cold converted the alder into nice pure charcoal. "

"When making black powder, never add any other ingredients or explosive powders unless you wish to turn your muzzle loader into a grenade that can kill you or cripple you for life. Keep your black powder stored in steel, airtight cans in a cool, dry place, and out of the reach of children. My parents failed to do that, and I've carried powder marks on my face for the last thirty years. A ten-year-old may think he knows what he's doing, but ten years don't give him enough prudence to think many things out ahead of time before he lights that match."

"The nice thing about shooting black powder is that commercial black costs about two cents a round, and homemade about a half-cent a round. "

As the demand for powder grew in the Southern Appalachians, fairly large operations came into being for its manufacture. As Jim Moran told us, "Powder was made in this area. The big powder mill that was around here is gone now--the place burned up and all. But it was on Boozy Creek, and it was operated back in the early 1800s and possibly before by the Hughes family. They were also gunsmiths. They were somehow connected with the blockhouse which was on the Wilderness Road. That was where Boone wintered after his son was bushwhacked on the Wilderness Road. Now that was quite a settlement around there. One winter I went up on Timbertree Branch near the blockhouse site and there were about ten or fifteen cabins around there made out of poplar logs. They were only about twelve feet square--didn't have any windows or anything in them. I think they were the residue of that holdup of immigration when those people got that far and they were afraid to go on. I went back over there about five years ago, but there's none of that left there now."

"But these Hughes, they ground that powder on millstones. I found that out. I know one man who found the old order book for the powder mill. He had it photostated. That mill blew up twice. One time they found shoe tacks in the charcoal. The story was that it was sabotaged. One time it blew a fellow's hand off."

"Willow charcoal is what they used for the powder. And then saltpeter- you know you hear about saltpeter caves. Over around Saltville they've found a lot of the vats and stuff where they leached that out from bat guano. That was done during the Civil War. In fact, they've uncovered one of those caves in the last ten years or so and found the vats still intact in the cave. That's Saltville, which is about thirty-five or forty miles north of here. And the same thing in Big Stone Gap. Powder for the Battle of King's Mountain was made on Powder Branch near Erwin, Tennessee."

Another of these operations was located in Mammoth Cave. Recently, in a remarkable experiment there, potassium nitrate crystals from saltpeter were produced again in the traditional method. Carol A. Hill, one of the coordinators for the Saltpeter Research Group, describes the procedure that was used that day:

"Before the 187Os, caves were the primary source of nitrate used in the manufacture of gunpowder. Saltpeter mining was one of the first major industries of the new frontier, and one of the principle objectives of exploring new territory was to find saltpeter caves. Caves were mined by individuals and also commercially for national defense purposes during the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War. Many homesteaders in the Virginias, Kentucky, and Tennessee had their own individual saltpeter caves and from them would make their own gunpowder in home-constructed V-vats or 'hoppers.'

"Making a V-vat entailed using a peg-and-hole construction. The holes were made with a hand auger; the pegs by whittling down the end of a log with a hatchet and then by trimming with a knife . The frame was then pounded together with a wooden mallet . A froe was used to make the side boards. Bolts of wood that were straight-grained and well seasoned were the best for this purpose. The glut was used as a wedge to split the log base of the collecting trough. The trough was then hewn out with a foot adze and hatchet. After the hopper was constructed, twigs were laid in the bottom of the vat, and then wheat straw was laid on top of the twigs and along the side boards to help keep the vat from leaking.

"Cave dirt was tested for its nitrate potential by the following procedure: A footprint or mark was made in the dirt and left for twenty-four hours. If the print was scarcely visible by the next day, then the dirt was deemed high in niter.
A mattock was used to break up the cave dirt, and a wooden saltpeter paddle was used for digging and scraping The dirt was removed from the cave in gunny sacks and poured on top of the twig and straw in the V-vat. Buckets of water were then poured over the saltpeter dirt to leach it of its nitrate or 'Mother liquor'. The mother liquor (also sometimes called 'beer' would run down the sides of the V-vat and into the split-log base and out into the collecting trough. A dipper gourd was often used to transfer the mother liquor into a container. This same liquor was poured again and again over the saltpeter dirt because releaching caused more nitrates to be dissolved. According to the old reports, releaching went on until the solution was of sufficient density to float an egg.

"The next step was to combine the mother liquor rich in calcium nitrate with wood ashes that contain high amounts of potassium hydroxide. The best woodashes for this purpose were made by burning hardwoods such as oak and hickory. The mother liquor was either poured directly over the woodashes or the woodashes were leached in barrels and the leachate directly combined with the mother liquor. Upon combination, a white haze could be seen , and this white precipitate (calcium hydroxide or 'curds' as it was called) would slowly sink to the bottom of the barrel. If the solution contained an excess of calcium nitrate, the product was termed 'in the grease.' An excess of woodashes produced a condition called 'in the ley.'

The wood ash leachate was poured into the mother liquor until the white curds could no longer be seen precipitating out of solution. The remaining solution thus contained the still soluble potassium nitrate. This solution was dipped out into an apple-butter kettle (or"evaporator'), and a fire started under the kettle. Turnip halves were then thrown into the boiling solution to help keep it from foaming and to take up the dirty brown color. Oxblood (or alum) was also added to the boiling liquid and caused the organic matter to rise to the top of the liquid and form a scum which, with continued boiling, was constantly ladled off. After a few hours of boiling, the hot liquor was poured through cheesecloth in order to filter out the remaining scum and organic material. Upon cooling, fine, bitter, needle-shaped crystals of niter (potassium nitrate) formed in the liquor. These crystals were then collected and dried. Potassium nitrate crystals were far superior to calcium or sodium-nitrate crystals because they are non-deliquescent (do not take up moisture from the air) and, hence, would not make the gunpowder wet and unusable. The nitrate crystals thus obtained had to be further refined and purified. This purification procedure was done either by the individual and homemade into gunpowder, or it was done after the saltpeter crystals were sent to a refinery where the final gunpowder was made."
Anther source - PDF - http://www.freepyroinfo.com/Pyrotechnic/Black_Powder/How_to_Make_Black_Powder.pdf

38,922 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Worth printing/memorizing/modifying to your own needs, IMO.
Disaster Preparation

1. Identify/prioritize likely threats or disasters.
2. ID resources (internal and external)
3. Develop Courses of Action using a decision making process
4. Initiate disaster preparation; acquire skills, materials, etc.
5. Establish responsibilities, conduct rehearsals, conduct internal and external quality assurance checks, document, revise and repeat.

How you prepare for disasters will depend on the threats you face and the remaining social structure you anticipate during and after a catastrophe. A disaster can be natural, or manmade. It could be pandemic, a hurricane, a wildfire, an earthquake, a flood, or a war. It is likely that sometime in your life, no matter where you live, you will be without normal amenities for an extended period of days, weeks, or even more. A facility based analysis of disaster threats would look as follows.

Disaster Analysis

Frequency of Occurrence:

• Highly likely (Near 100% probability in the next year)
• Likely (Between 10% and 100% probability in the next year, or at least one chance in the next 10 years)
• Possible (Between 1% and 10% probability in the next year, or at least one chance in the next 100 years)
• Unlikely (Less than 1% probability in the next 100 years)

Seasonal pattern?

• No
• Yes. Specify season(s) when hazard occurs:

Potential Impact:

• Catastrophic (Multiple deaths; shutdown of critical facilities for 1 month or more; more than 50% of property severely damaged)
• Critical (Injuries or illness resulting in permanent disability; shutdown of critical facilities for at least 2 weeks; 25% to 50% of property severely damaged)
• Limited (Temporary injuries; shutdown of critical facilities for 1-2 weeks; 10% to 25% of property severely damaged)
• Negligible (Injuries treatable with first aid; shutdown of critical facilities for 24 hours or less; less than 10% of property severely damaged)

Are any areas or facilities more likely to be affected (e.g., air, water, or land; infrastructure)? If so, which?

Speed of Onset:

• Minimal or no warning
• 6 to 12 hours warning
• 12 to 24 hours warning
• More than 24 hours warning

Potential for Cascading Effects?

• No
• Yes. Specify effects:

The survival saw goes that you can survive six minutes without air, six days without water, and six weeks without food. While that is generally true, in each of those cases, you will not be doing much effectively after the first third of the respective period expires. It is up to you to see that you and any dependents have their needs (not necessarily wants) taken care of. It is not the government’s responsibility to take care of you, regardless of what our entitlement society's members believe. Those who expect the government to take care of them, review the Katrina tapes. Do you want to be airlifted off your roof to move to the Super Dome? Even well-meaning citizens will scramble and loot when they think they are going to run out of food and water and they see others getting away with it. You saw the looting of stores. If you are going to be the only one on the block with lights on and a generator humming away, once the stores are empty, guess where they are headed?

Thanks to modern transportation and economic efficiencies, your local box store or grocery has no attached warehouse. Everything they have is on the shelf, and to save money and space, it is normally only a few days of merchandise. If you live in an area that occasionally gets snow or hurricanes, you know what happens to the perishables and common necessities like bread, milk, eggs, batteries, bottled water, etc. There will not be more stuff appearing on the shelf until the trucks (and drivers) can get from the warehouse to the stores, and the stores have enough workers to open for business. There will be no more coming to the warehouse till the trucks (and drivers) get it from the distributors and wholesalers. Due to “Just in Time” manufacturing, there will be no more for them until the manufacturers (or growers, in the case of food) get their workers back on the jobs and their parts and components from the sub contractors, or increasingly today, the ports where they are brought in.

The component makers will need labor and raw materials. You can see where this is headed. In the US, we live about 48 hours from a disaster. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, you saw what is likely to happen in the event of a localized catastrophe, with the rest of the country outside of the few affected states available to respond. Society imploded. Imagine what it would be like if the region, the country, the continent, or the world, are all experiencing their own disasters and are not available to help.

The mobs looting and roaming the streets looking for food, booze, drugs, guns, or victims could be your neighbors. You need to decide now if you are going to be a sheep, a wolf, or a sheepdog, and prepare accordingly.

Next, you need to analyze your most likely courses of action. Will you stay where you are or move elsewhere to unite with others or to get away from them? This is an important consideration. If you live in NYC, any disaster of more than a few days is going to be difficult to survive and will require a lot of planning and preparation. If you saw New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, you might want to reconsider planning to remain in an urban area during a catastrophe of any duration. There will be little food and clean water, and the wolves will be taking what they need from the sheep. If you are going to relocate, you need to prepare in case you are stuck where you are, and for your destination as well. This means that you will need to ensure that you have the ability to relocate, to include reliable transportation, adequate fuel, a plan to pack what you need to take and secure your home in a certain amount of time, a route (and timeline) that will not leave you stuck on the highway when disaster occurs, and that your destination will be ready when you arrive. If you saw the highways outside of New Orleans and Houston just prior to their anticipated disasters last year, you can see the fallacy of waiting too late to initiate your plan or of not having reliable transportation. This decision can have a number of branches and sequels, depending on the nature of the disaster, prep/warning time, etc. The time to work all of that out is now. If you live in East Nowhere, Oklahoma, you will also need to prepare, but you may not need to travel. Now is the time to sit down and war game what could happen, starting with the most likely/most dangerous contingencies. If you live in the Rockies, a hurricane may be unlikely and relatively less important to you than someone in Florida, who will not be very concerned with an avalanche or blizzard. Work your way down to the lesser events. Plan your fight, then fight your plan, but remain flexible. You always want to have a contingency plan or two. That hurricane may zig, rather than zag. The epidemic may start next month, rather than next year. You may be hundreds of miles from home when the disaster strikes and you may be in a completely different situation at that location, better or worse.

Categorizing Supplies
Base your plan on what services you consider vital, how long it will be before help, rescue, or normal conditions return, and how many people you will be providing for. Consider if you have additional people depending on you, whether they are family members, or you are the sort who wants to share with the entire neighborhood. As we have seen in the Pandemic Flu thread, if it mutates to a HTH strain, there are expected to be several waves of 4-6 weeks each, over a period of 18 months. There will be widespread absenteeism from work and school. When the truck driver who delivers the gas or groceries is sick (or his wife or kids), the tank or shelves are going to stay empty. The mortality rate is expected to be anywhere from .5% to 50%. Even if the lesser mortality rates occur, some of these people will be in critical positions in the manufacturing and distribution system, and consequences will follow. If the higher rate applies, there are going to be serious long-term implications. This will affect your ability to do everything from having electric power, to clean water, to gasoline, to fire and police protection, to food, to medical care.

The experts are saying to have a plan for up to 90 days of essentials on hand. Full restoration of normalcy and amenities as we know them could take significantly longer. Take a clue from the Boy Scouts and be prepared.

You do not need to order a year’s supply of freeze-dried food for your family and stock up on a dozen cases of 5.56 ammo today. That is not planning, that is just stockpiling. First, as noted, you need to develop an appropriate, workable plan. Then, you need to prioritize your needs and develop a plan to acquire them in accordance with a realistic time line. You don’t have to get everything at once, but some will be high priorities and are more important to sustaining life than others. There are a number of needs and they need to be dealt with in a logical manner. As noted above, some will be a priority. You could start by taking a look at your plan and adding 10% or so to your weekly grocery buy of non-perishables. If you live in Death Valley and have your water trucked in weekly, you will have a different set of priorities than someone who lives on Lake Michigan. Figure it out and plan accordingly. The following is a sort of laundry list of requirements in a semi-prioritized fashion. We can cover each of them in more detail later.

1--Necessities: Breathable Air(N95 Mask), Food/cooking (Portable Grill), Water (Canteen and sterilizer)
2--Health: First Aid/Medicine/Sanitation (Trades in health care will become a valuable asset)
3--Defense: Firearm (Three main types for different situations ( Concealed, Close Quarters, and Ranged)) ***Factor Ammunition Availability and Price*** , Knife, Baton (Extended range with minimal risk) ect…
4--Shelter: Tent, Sleeping Bag, Foul Weather Gear (Clothes, Shoes, Poncho)
5--Communication: Amateur Radio, AM&FM Radio, Television (Cell phone service could be temporarily out of service)
6--Power/Fuel: Solar & Gas Generator, Land Line (Hidden Energy Source)
7--Tools: Household Tools, Automotive Tools, Outdoor Tools
8--Transportation/Mobility: Bicycle, Automobile, Navigation (Most reliable are Maps and a Watch (A analog watch can also serve as a compass)
9--Entertainment (Optional)
^^^General Outline, mold and shape list to your dependencies.

After you have determined the necessities to support your courses of action, you need to develop the supporting plan to acquire them.

The plan has to take into consideration the type of disaster, relative importance of the items, available budget for acquisition, and last but not least, available storage space. Get the most important items first, but not necessarily to the exclusion of other items. That year’s supply of 5 gallon buckets of hard red wheat may be a comfort to have stacked in your garage, but without a grain mill, the other ingredients, and a means to bake bread, they are not really much good except as barter to someone else who has those items. The ammo is useless without the weapon, and vice versa. Make sure that you consider those related needs before initiating your plan.

If you need skills or training, get it now. You need to know that you can bake bread before the shelves go empty. If you do not know how to do CPR, there is no time like the present. In many places, classes are free. Make sure that you know how to operate and maintain that shiny new generator before the lights go out. How long before it needs maintenance? Do you know how to do it, have the tools and supplies? If you are not sure which way the pointy things go in your new pistol, get some training. Can you really use that water purification device and provide enough potable water for the people you are trying to care for? Are you going to do it all by yourself? What if you are the first victim or are away from home when the disaster occurs? Does everyone know where the supplies are and how to use them? Get the skills, inventory, assign responsibilities, rehearse, make notes of deficiencies (human or material), correct them, make changes as needed to the plans, develop additional contingencies as required, and reevaluate periodically to ensure that you are ready. Only then will you really be prepared for a disaster. And fortune truly favors the prepared.

Special Thanks to Professional Soldiers

Disaster Preparedness – Principles of Self-Sufficiency

By Don McAlvany

1. Change the way you look at everything. Rethink your entire lifestyle.
2. Develop discernment about people.
3. When you invest, invest first in the right people.
4. Honesty, look at yourself, your strengths and your weaknesses.
5. Seek the counsel of others you trust.
6. Find like-minded people who can be part of a mutual support group and who you can cooperate with.
7. Find alternate methods for doing everything.
8. Develop an instinct for what doesn't feel right. No matter how good something looks or sounds on the surface, go with your gut feeling, with your instinct, with your intuition.
9. Eliminate non-essentials from your life. Eliminate all time wasters and money wasters, and things you don't need - i.e. clothes, furniture, junk, etc. Eliminate television from your life.
10. Simplify your lifestyle - learn to say 'no' to things or activities which do not make you self-sufficient. Learn to place
God and yourself, and not other people.
11. Develop physical, mental and spiritual disciplines.
12. Learn to treat everything as if it were irreplaceable.
13. Buy things that will last, even if they cost more.
14. Acquire tools that do not depend upon electric power.
15. Learn to spend time alone with yourself in total silence - think, reflect, reminisce, and plan [or strategize] in silence.
16. Learn to spend time alone with yourself and your family, apart from superficial entertainment and distractions.
17. Learn something from every situation you are in everything you hear, see, touch, or feel has a lesson in it. Learn a principle from every mistake you make, from everyday life situations.
18. Make sure your trust is in the Lord and not your own preparedness. Pattern your preparedness according to the guidance of the Lord. Listen to what the Lord puts in your heart - don't use only your
reasoning power.
19. Learn to enjoy simple pleasures from the smallest things - have measure of joy and happiness that doesn't come from creature comforts or entertainment.
20. Store up memories for times of isolation or separation from your loved ones.
21. Establish priorities for all of life [i.e. relationship, needs, present needs, future needs.] Set goals for areas you'll be proficient or self-sufficient in. Set a schedule or time line based on money and time you can invest in self-sufficiency.
22. Examine the concept of civil disobedience [from the Bible and history.] At what point should the people of Egypt have said 'no' to killing the male babies in Moses' day? At what point should the
people of colonial America have said 'no' to King George? At what point should the people of Germany have said 'no' to Hitler? At what point do we say 'no' to despots in our day - when they take
over money, our property, our guns, our children, our freedom? Decide what is your choke point - when do you move to civil disobedience? [For many throughout history - it was when evil
leaders handed down edicts that were directly contrary o God's Word or commands.] Don't set your choke point too early or too quickly, nor too late, nor never. Think through or calculate a
strategy - then never look back.
23. Learn to ask the right questions in every situation. [In 'Operation Waco,' nobody asked the right questions.]
24. Bring orderliness into your life. If you live in disorder it will pull you down, it will break your focus. Think focus versus distraction. Eliminate the distractions from your life.
25. Self-sufficiency [or survival] principles are learned on a day-to-day basis and must be practical.
26. Always have more than one way to escape, more than one way to do something. Have a plan B and a plan C.
27. Everyday life [and especially crisis] requires 'up-front systems' and 'back-up systems' if the first line of defense or 'up-front systems fails.
28. Real education [or learning] only takes place when change occurs in our attitudes, actions, and way of life.
29. Wisdom is making practical applications of what you know. It is not enough to know everything you need to know. It will only serve you and others if practical application is made of that knowledge.
30. Fix in your own mind the truth about your capabilities. In a crisis situation this principle will keep you from cockiness [or overconfidence] and will provide you with confidence.
31. Decide ahead of time before a crisis arrives, how you will react in a given situation so that you are not swayed by the circumstances, the situation, or your emotions.
32. Beware of being spread too thin in your life. Decide on the few things in life that you must do and do them well. Think focus versus distraction. Make sure that unimportant, non-essential distractions don't keep you from achieving your important objectives.
33. Learn to quit wasting things. Be a good steward of all that God provides.
34. Buy an extra one of everything you use regularly and set the extra one aside for the time when such items may be difficult or impossible to obtain.
35. In every situation, train yourself to look for what doesn't fit, for what's out of place, for what doesn't look right.
36. Teach your children [and yourself] that they are not obligated to give information to a stranger. You don't have to answer questions [not even to a government official] that are none of their business.
37. Sell or give away things you do not use or need. Consider giving away or selling 50% of your 'stuff,' [i.e. the non-essentials.] Simplify and streamline your life, lifestyle and possessions.
38. Find someone who lived through the Great Depression and learn from them how they were self-sufficient, how they made do with little, and how they found joy and contentment in the midst of hard times. An excellent book on this subject is We Had Everything But Money: Priceless Memories of the Great Depression.

- Don McAlvany, Editor, The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor


Modern Survival Philosophy

I thought is was a good idea to add a page on the site about the core philosophy I have about being survival minded and modern survivalism. My hope is that individuals from those areas will enjoy this site but that the “average Joe” and the “average Jane” will also get a great deal from my site and podcast as well.
The core of my philosophy about being prepared, life style planning, self sufficiency and energy independence can be summed up with in the following 10 core values…
1. Everything you do to “prepare” for emergencies, disasters or economic turmoil should be blended into your life in a way that improves your life even if nothing disastrous ever occurs.
2. Debt is financial cancer! Minimize it, pay it off early and stay away from credit cards.
3. Growing your own food is for everyone not just people that want “organic” fruit and vegetables. To produce your own food, even as little as 10% of what you use reduces your dependence on “the system”. If nothing else gardening is good for your emotional and physical health and increases the value of any property.
4. Tax is theft, the best way to combat it is to understand every legal deduction you can take or create. In general I think “the system” is bad but when it comes to taxation either learn the system or hire a damn good accountant to work it for you. Every dollar you keep can be used to improve your self sufficiency, every dollar taken from you can be used to make your dependence on the government stronger.
5. Food stored is an exceptional investment. Food is increasing in cost faster than just about any investment right now and certainly faster than the rate of inflation. You simply can’t lose by storing additional food that you use on a regular basis.
6. Plan for disaster in the following order of priority – Personal-Localized-Regional-State-National-Global. Despite the real possibility of a true economic melt down or catastrophic terrorist attack or some other major global disaster the most probable “disaster” for any individual is personal. Loss of a job, loss of a family member, a fire or localized weather event are the most probable threats to impact any individual. So plan and prepare for those first, then continue to build going forward.
7. Renewable energy is great if you do it in a way that saves you money (short or long term) but your solar panels are not going to save the planet. Man made global warming is a scam designed to force the U.S. into a global taxation system. If you want to promote solar, wind, hydro, etc. the best way is to develop it in a more cost effective manner. Fuel efficient vehicles are also great. I personally drive a 2006 Jetta TDI diesel that puts many hybrids to shame at 44 MPG! That’s doing 80MPH on average by the way. I bought it because it was affordable, well built and incredibly engineered and cost me a lot less to run even with diesel being a lot more expensive than gas. The lesson is that the best way to promote “green energy” is via economics.
8. Owning land is true wealth. I advise people to strive to own land in the country where taxes are low and restrictions are limited. Even if you live in the city finding, buying and improving land within 3-5 hours of your primary residence makes a lot of sense. If you can use it to get out of the city at some point so much the better.
9. In addition to food, water and other common survival stores use common sense methods of hedging against “disaster”. Pragmatic things like, cash emergency funds, good insurance and secondary income streams are not just for people in “the system”. These types of protection can make you life a lot less miserable when something goes wrong. Make them part of your planning.
10. Your personal philosophy is more important for you than mine! You are the master of your own life and if you don’t agree with my views, great, define, understand and implement your own. The biggest thing you can do is understand that you are in control of your life and that what you do matters. Those two factors have the greatest impact on individual survival across every demographic you can imagine.

38,922 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Re-found a website ... Enjoy, and download/print the PDF ... It might not be available, forever.

Make your own Fuel


And realize that with small modifications, mentioned at the website listed, you can turn this process into something drinkable ... But I'll not be responsible if you go blind.

Or .... http://www.homedistiller.org/ if you really want a beverage for TEOTWAWKI trading :wink:
Look for the download link.

38,922 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Mostly, I'm just digging through a folder on my hard-drive, and attempting to locating the source, so credit can be given to the originator.

Eventually I'll get around to sharing my thought, opinions, and designs.

Gear Up -- Appropriate and Redundant Technologies for Prepared Families

I frequently stress the importance of well-balanced preparedness in my writings. All too often, I've seen people that go to extremes, to the point that these extremes actually detract from the ability to survive a disaster situation. These range from the "all the gear that I'll need to survive is in my backpack" mentality to the "a truckload of this or that" fixation. But genuine preparedness lies in comprehensive planning, strict budgeting, and moderation. Blowing your entire preparedness budget on just one category of gear is detrimental to your overall preparedness.
Another common mistake that I see among my consulting clients is an over-emphasis on either very old technologies or on the "latest and greatest" technologies. In the real world, preparedness necessitates having a bit of both. At the Rawles Ranch we have both 19th century technology (like hand-powered tools) and a few of the latest technologies like passive IR intrusion detection (Dakota Alerts), photovoltaics, and electronic night vision. My approach is to pick and choose the most appropriate technologies that I can maintain by myself, but to always have backups in the form of less exotic or earlier, albeit less-efficient technologies. For example, my main shortwave receiver is a Sony ICF-SW7600GR. But in the event of EMP, I also a have a pair of very inexpensive Kaito shortwaves
and a trusty old Zenith Trans-Oceanic radio that uses vacuum tubes. Like my other spare electronics, these are all stored in a grounded galvanized steel can when not in use.
Here is my approach to preparedness gear, in a nutshell

  • Redundancy, squared. I jokingly call my basement Jim's Amazing Secret Bunker of Redundant Redundancy (JASBORR)
  • Buy durable gear. Think of it as investing for your children and grandchildren. And keep in mind that there'll be no more "quick trips to the hardware store" after TSHTF.
  • Vigilantly watch Craigslist, Freecycle, classified ads, and eBay for gear at bargain prices.
  • Strive for balanced preparedness that "covers all bases"--all scenarios.
  • Flexibility and Adaptability (Examples: shop to match a 12 VDC standard for most small electronics, truly multi-purpose equipment, multi-ball hitches, NATO slave cable connectors for 24 VDC vehicles, Anderson Power Pole connectors for small electronics--again, 12 VDC)
  • Retain the ability to revert to older, more labor-intensive technology.
  • Fuel flexibility (For example: Flex fuel vehicles (FFVs), Tri-fuel generators
    , and biodiesel compatible vehicles)
  • Purchase high-quality used (but not abused) gear, preferably when bargains can be found
  • If in doubt, then buy mil-spec.
  • If in doubt, then buy the larger size and the heavier thickness.
  • If in doubt, then buy two. (Our motto: "Two is one and one is none.")
  • Buy systematically, and only as your budget allows. (Avoid debt!)
  • Invest your sweat equity. Not only will you save money, but you also will learn more valuable skills.
  • Train with what you have, and learn from the experts. Tools without training are almost useless.
  • Learn to maintain and repair your gear. (Always buy spare parts and full service manuals!)
  • Buy guns in common calibers
  • Buy with long service life in mind (such as low self-discharge NiMH rechargeable batteries.)
  • Store extra for charity and barter
  • Grow your own and buy the tooling to make your own--don't just store things.
  • Rust is the enemy, and lubrication
    and spot painting
    are your allies.
  • Avoid being an "early adopter" of new technology--or you'll pay more and get lower reliability.
  • Select all of your gear with your local climate conditions in mind.
  • Recognize that there are no "style" points in survival. Don't worry about appearances--concentrate on practicality and durability.
  • As my old friend "Doug Carlton" is fond of saying: "Just cut to size, file to fit,, and paint to match."
  • Don't skimp on tools. Buy quality tools (such as Snap-on and Craftsman brands), but buy them used, to save money.
  • Skills beat gadgets and practicality beats style.
  • Use group standardization for weapons and electronics. Strive for commonality of magazines, accessories and spare parts
  • Gear up to raise livestock. It is an investment that breeds.
  • Build your fences bull strong and sheep tight.
  • Tools without the appropriate safety gear (like safety goggles, helmets, and chainsaw chaps
    ) are just accidents waiting for a place to happen.
  • Whenever you have the option, buy things in flat, earth tone colors
  • Plan ahead for things breaking or wearing out.
  • Always have a Plan B and a Plan C
If you are serious about preparedness, then I recommend that you take a similar approach.



38,922 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
TC 31-29/A Special Forces Caching Techniques





Caching is the process of hiding equipment or materials in a secure storage place with the view to future recovery for operational use. The ultimate success of caching may well depend upon attention to detail, that is, professional competence that may seem of minor importance to the untrained eye. Security factors, such as cover for the caching party, sterility of the items cached, and removal of even the slightest trace of the caching operations are vital. Highly important, too, are the technical factors that govern the preservation of the items in usable condition and the recording of data essential for recovery. Successful caching entails careful adherence to the basic principles of clandestine operations, as well as familiarity with the technicalities of caching.

Section 1
Caching Considerations
Caching considerations that are vital to the success of the caching operation may be done in a variety of operational situations. For example, cached supplies can meet the emergency needs of personnel who may be barred from their normal supply sources by sudden developments or who may need travel documents and extra funds for quick escape. Caching can help solve the supply problems of long-term operations conducted far from a secure base.

Caching also can provide for anticipated needs of wartime operations in areas likely to be overrun by the enemy.

Caching involves selecting items to be cached, procuring those items, and selecting a cache site. Selection of the items to be cached requires a close estimate of what will be needed by particular units for particular operations. Procurement of the items usually presents no special problems.

In fact, the relative ease of procurement before an emergency arises is one of the prime considerations in favour of caching. When selecting a cache site, planners should always ensure that the site is accessible not only for emplacement, but also for recovery. When planning a caching operation, the planner must consider seven basic factors.

Continued - http://teotwawki.ws/Media/pdf/TC 31-29A Special Forces Caching Techniques.pdf

5,861 Posts
Thanks for these posts. There is so much info here that maybe it should be made in to a sticky for ease of finding it and giving everybody some time to read through it.
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