Friday, August 21, 2009

New Companion Blog

Hello Everyone,

We've started another blog that ties in slightly to this one but it focuses mainly on disaster preparation and prevention. We certainly hope that it will be very useful for you and your family.

You can check the new blog out at: http://bugoutprep.blogspot.com. We look forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Inexpensive and Ingenious Solar Cooker!

I don't think a solar cooker can get any more ingenious then this contraption that I have found for you today. It is very impressive. I have spent much time lining cardboard boxes with tin foil, and researching the best use for mirrors, when all along I had this great little contraption in my presence!

You know that reflective sun blocker, also known as a window shade, that you unfold on a hot day and place in your car's windshield? This contraption uses that device to make it into a solar cooker! It is amazing what people can come up with just by simply tweaking something that is already laying around.

http://solarcooking.wikia.com/wiki/Windshield_shade_solar_funnel_cooker

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Droughts Hitting California & Texas Hard!

There are severe droughts threatening to ruin farming in both California and Texas! The map below indicates the severity and how widespread:



You can keep updated at this drought monitoring website which is a fantastic resource! I highly urge my readers and their families to consider stockpiling some emergency food and brushing up on basic food preservation skills. Even if this blows over, it will not hurt to be prepared. I will include some links to great resources on stockpiling of food and basic food preservation skills. Droughts are not taken as seriously as they should be as it has been a long time since America has experienced a famine. Please prepare yourself and your family.

Resources:
Why Stockpile Food?
How To Can Food
How To Dehydrate Food

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Solar Food Dehydrator

Lately I've been reading a lot about various solar food dehydrators and I have been trying to find a design that might be fairly easy to build. I like the idea of being able to dehydrate my own foods. There are many options available as far as materials are concerned. You can build them out of plywood, sheet metal, and cardboard boxes. My first one will most likely be made out of cardboard boxes for simplicity sake, but if it works well enough I may venture into a plywood one.

There are a few factors that will vary the efficiency of the solar dehydrator that I will make, those are: insulation, air tightness, and the size of the collector. If I can ensure that the box and collector are well insulated, this will lower my heat loss throughout the whole dehydrator. By making the collector, and the drying box air tight, this will help to ensure a good vacuum that will maximize the air movement. The size of the collector will obviously determine how hot the drying box will be able to get but I need to strike a balance so I am dehydrating and not cooking the food.

This project will most likely be occurring over a long period of time as I'm very busy, but I'll do my best to keep you updated with the progress.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Rule of Threes

Today I learned a lesson, well, I didn't so much learn a lesson as I did have one reaffirmed. Many indian tribes for hundreds of years have practiced a rule called "the rule of threes". This rule has existed for a very long time, most likely under different names, but in any event it is useful. The rule of threes states that you should have three sources for everything. You should have three sources of food, three sources of water, and so on. It's a very intelligent rule to follow.

How did this rule get reaffirmed in my mind today? On my way to work I realized that I had less than an eighth tank of gas. I stopped at the local gas station and went in to prepay. I don't use cash anymore as I prefer the safety (irony to follow) of a debit card. I've stopped carrying credit cards on me as I do not want to live outside of my means. When I swiped my card and entered my pin, it declined. This is strange as I frequently verify that I have adequate funds. I swiped the card again and tried to run it as credit, again, it declined.

I called my Credit Union to find out what was going on. I verified I had funds, then the representative on the phone informed me that my card had been locked, ironically enough, because of suspected fraud (of all things!). The good news is that I did not lose any money, but the bad news is that I had to have my poor wife drop everything she was doing to bring up our credit card. After the fiasco was over I was able to get on my merry way to work.

I have always preached to people about having an emergency $20.00 in their cars and to have an emergency credit card. I disadvantaged myself by only providing one possible source of cash. Had I followed the rule of threes and had some cash, and my credit card, this all could have been avoided. Lesson learned: follow the rule of threes.

Unprepared People

Today I saw a person sitting in the passenger side seat of an SUV. There was nothing strange about this man in particular. He looked normal, and acted normally, except that in his lap sat an adult woman that was roughly his age. Obviously this woman had on no seat belt, and everyone in the car was laughing and chatting away. Undoubtedly everything was just fine and they were all having a wonderful afternoon.

This made me think about another site I had seen about a week or two back. I was waiting in a turning lane on a very hot afternoon waiting for a streetlight to change. While waiting, a motorcycle drove on by with a man and a woman riding, and the woman had her arms wrapped around him tight. The woman was only wearing a bikini top, shorts, and sandals. Once again, I'm sure both people were having a great time and I'm sure they are both fine right now as I type this.

What do the people in the SUV and the people riding on the motorcycle have in common? They are not prepared for a potentially bad event. If the SUV got into a crash, the woman would be ejected without question. In the very best situation she might only sustain life threatening injuries. The same is true for the girl on the motorcycle. These individuals were not prepared for a bad situation. In fact, I will go as far as to say that they most likely couldn't have disadvantaged themselves worse if they had tried.

Now, I am no "doom and gloomer." I am a very happy and positive person, but this doesn't mean that I am careless. In case you have not noticed, this is far more encompassing then just people's general safety. People are ill-equipped in nearly every facet of life. Few people really know how to properly preserve food anymore, beyond the freezer and possibly a vacuum sealer, and few people even have a stockpile of nutritious food that would get their whole family past a month of two. In fact, it is often discouraged, or thought of as being ridiculous.

I even had to write an article arguing the different statements I have heard against stockpiling food (you can read it here)! We are so used to having the everyday conveniences of life, like 24 hour grocery shopping, that we've allowed it to make us reckless. We do not think we will get in a crash, so let's not bother with even the most basic of safety precautions. That is insanity to me! If having extra food stored in case of emergency is crazy, then count me in. I refuse to be one of the people in a grocery store physically fighting for the last gallon of clean, potable water.

These situations may not rise everyday, or even consistently, but I will prepare so that when they do arise, my family and I are ready. I suggest that you do the same.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Survival Deals I've Found:

Food:



Gear


There are lots of other places offering promotions but these are the best prices I've found so far.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Some Updates!

Hey Everyone!

I've been very busy lately so I apologize for the lack of updates. It's been raining a ton here as of lately and I've seen some mushrooms begin to pop up. I'm going to try and get a good picture of them on here and identify it for you. No, I have not seen any Sea Snails lately, surprisingly! I've written a couple of new articles that relate to this blog so I will be posting those for you to check out. Unfortunately I have not been able to get out and do much exploring because of a combination of things (school, work, moving, life, etc.) but I'll do my best to get out there and get you some very nice pictures!

New Articles:

Monday, June 15, 2009

Beach Day!

Yesterday my wife and I enjoyed a nice day at the beach. It was absolutely beautiful. The white sands, the blue/green water and the nice blue sky! There were some clouds for a second, but the beauty of Florida is that the storms go as fast as the arrive! We swam for a while but spent most of our time on a blanket under our beach umbrella. It was very nice. While in the water I did try to find some sea life, but I was unable to locate anything. I also left the camera at home so I don't have any beautiful pictures to show, but I'll remember next time. Beyond that, the weekend was busy, but I had a lot of fun at the beach!

-Debris

Monday, June 8, 2009

I Can't Catch Crab, But I Can Catch Sun

Hello! If you've been following along, I have not been successful in catching any crab lately (I blame the waters and not my skill). In fact, if you review some of my previous posts, I'm quite good at catching Lightning Whelks (Sea Snails)! Well, my wife and I learned that I'm also quite talented at catching the sun's rays!

We took out puppy to the beach and frollicked in the water. Long story short, I got slightly sub burnt along with my wife. I broke one of my cardinal rules: Wear sunscreen when in the sun! It is not the worst sun burn I have had, but any sunburn is bad! Anyways, that was my weekend.

-Debris

Below are some photos that I promised:



Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Very Sad Story!

Well, it's not terribly sad but today I was crabbing and when I attempted to retrieve my ring net, the line on the ring net broke and I lost the whole rig. My wife was on the pier with me and when I pulled up the nylon rope with nothing but a hook at the end a silence came over that small little pier. I complained a lot. It's not that the rig was expensive, because it wasn't, but the frustration of losing it and the rest of my crabbing day. At least the ring net was made of cotton string so it will rot into nothing, unfortunately the metal rings will be down there for some time. I hope they won't do any damage to the habitat. Anyways, that's what is happening in Debris Central.

In case you've been following along, the crabbing hasn't been going well for me, but that is because of my awful location. I promise though, one of these days I will pull up some crab and get great pictures for you all!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Great, Salty Mollusks! A Sea Snail! Again!

This morning I decided to head out to a fishing pier near me and get some time in before I headed off to work. I decided to set out a crab net and fish while waiting. Needless to say, nothing was biting and nothing was finding my crab net either. When I decided to call it in I packed everything up and pulled out the crab net. I did catch something, but unfortunately it wasn't a crab. I had actually caught two sea snails, and they were big! I didn't eat them of course, I tossed them back. I just can't seem to escape from sea snails though! See my below post if you're wondering what I'm talking about. I'm posting a video I took with my cell phone. Just wanted to let you guys know what's happening at Debris Central.

video

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Great, Salty Mollusks! A Sea Snail!

Today my wife and I went to a park/beach, which is one of the nicer things about living in Florida. And today we happened upon some Sea Snails. Being a guy, and an outdoorsman, it was my natural reaction to become completely overjoyed and to hoist the little guy out of the water for a photo shoot. So here are my pictures below, I'm also including some that are just of the beach we were at as well. Have a great day!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Florida Stone Crabbing

Related Articles:
Florida Stone Crabbing Laws
How To Crab Fish With A Ring Net

Florida Stone Crab

Both survival and backpacking require knowledge of the world around us and the animals that inhabit it. I'm always learning about new plants and animals and it's truly amazing to see how much is really all around us. The newest creature I've become fascinated with is the Florida Stone Crab. Here is a video of it in its habitat:








The Florida Stone Crab is neat because of how it's used. People like to harvest the claws, and that sounds like an awful waste doesn't it? Well the neat thing about them is that people can harvest the claws, then toss the crab back into the water where it can re-grow its claws! That's right, the Stone Crab's meat can be harvested without killing the animal. I just think that is cool. I know the season is over but I can still watch the videos. I figured I'd share some with you:





Survive! By Les Stroud



I've had the fortunate opportunity to read Les Stroud's survival book titled "Survive!" And I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. Les covers a lot of important aspects to survival such as the mental challenges that you'll face. He continues throughout the entire book to remind you that it doesn't matter how skilled and strong you are, if you're defeated mentally, you will not survive. He goes over many important skills such as:

  • Shelter Building
  • Water Procurement
  • Food Hunting and Gathering
  • Fire Building
  • Navigation
  • Signaling for help

And many other skills that are necessary. Most importantly he provides the information based on your location, because skills in the tropics may not necessarily work in the arctic. The book is very well laid out and I think a must for any survivalist library. Les also preaches one of the most important messages in survival, a message that people like Bear Grylls leaves out in his show because his show is meant for entertainment. Don't do things that you don't have to do. Don't run if you can walk, don't walk if you can stand, don't stand if you can sit, and don't sit if you can lay down. Les reminds you of how grave an injury can be in a survival situation, and to not do running leaps across gorges, like you might see other television survivalists do (ahem).

This is a very well put together book and I'm happy to have read it. Yes, the book covers many things you've seen or heard before, but that's because those are tried and true tactics. This book is fantastic and I highly suggest it!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Who reads my articles?

Mostly survivalists! But I'm broadening my writing to other topics such as marriage because I learn new things everyday and I may get into some economics or government topics as I'm an avid reader and often study those topics as well. I've found some neat websites that I'd like to share with those the read my articles. If you love survival topics and haven't yet found the ever famous http://survivalblog.com/ then allow me to be the first to tell you about this little treasure. It's full of some of the most ingenious and downright intelligent survival information. The Blog also includes many great letters from readers like myself and others. I don't own that blog and I'm in no way affiliated with it, I just like to give everyone great information!

Another good blog, and this is one that I've just started, is for husbands and men that just want to be better husbands, boyfriends, or just plain gentleman. The blog is not meant for me to stand on a soapbox and tell you what to do, but rather to have all of us exchange ideas. You can find that blog at http://specialher.blogspot.com/. I look forward to seeing you there!