SURVIVAL QUESTION: I read somewhere that salt poured on the ground will keep the little suckers from clawling In the sack with you. SAy If your Sleeping In the open and pour a salt line around your bag, they won't cross the salt. What do ya think ?

FROM:   11thCav

SURVIVAL QUESTION:  Caves rated on a scale between 1-10 and 1 being no shelter at all, where would you rate a cave for shelter, factering In all aspects and consiquences using the cave of your choice, the problem I have with caves is It concentrates foot traffic and assuming the cave has only one entrance any exit plans would be null and void and the cave would become your coffin. One small explosive would ruin your day. Just a thought I personally would only stay a couple of days In one or as a layover while moving between AO's. Just a thought.

FROM:   11thCav

SURVIVAL QUESTION : Advice on the best way to make pemmican. I live in the desert southwest. What ingredients are needed, processes used. My husband and I are hunters and I would like a long lasting foodsource to carry without fear of spoilage.

FROM:  Armrock63

Pemmican has been a method of providing a traveling and survival food for centuries. Each region of the world has their own personal recipes. Pemmican is a mixture of dry meat and fat pounded together and formed into bars or cakes. The fats provide nutrition and energy in a form that is readily used by the body. The addition of dried fruits, seeds, herbs or flower petals are personal and or regional/ethnic additions and are not necessary when making pemmican. The addition of dry fruits, seeds, herbs and spices will improve the taste but doesn't add much additional food value.
A meatless version of pemmican can be made however it doesn't store very long but will provide travel rations in a pinch.

Pemmican Recipe using meat

One pound of very very dry meat or store bought Jerky ( ) this process works well for poultry, fish, ground pork-sausage, beef, venison, rabbit, etc. greasier meat such as catfish, bear and pork will require lots of rinsing to make them usable for pemmican. Choose lean cuts of meats if you are going to dry the meat at home, if you choose ground meat instead of thick cuts of meat use only lean hamburger, sausage or ground turkey or chicken.)
Pound into small pieces or grind in food grinder (it is important that the meat is in very small pieces)
Add to the pound of pulverized dried meat:
2 Tablespoons of Sugar, (white, brown or molasses sugar, crystallized honey can also be used instead of dry sugar use only 1 tbs. if using crystallized honey and never allow children under two to eat pemmican made with honey of any kind)
Suet or rendered tallow, (deer fat) that has been strained to ensure that any particles have been removed aka skin, hair etc,) 1/2 cup or 5 ounces per pound of meat
Mix ingredients well
Up to 1/4 cup of dried fruits, seeds or culinary herbs can be added prior to mixing
(these additions are not needed for making pemmican and are added for personal taste preferences)
Form into bars, cakes or blocks and store in glass jars or other rodent proof containers (individual servings can be placed in ziplocs prior to storage)

Using a cake of pemmican, with some additional spices, wild greens and or berries added to a cup of boiling water will make a tasty soup. If wild edibles are added the value of the nutrition of pemmican will be increased.

Non-meat Pemmican
One small jar (18 ounces) nut butter (peanut, walnut etc)
one to two cups of instant oats (not add water but quick cook type oats, long cook oats can be used but are dry and additional water should be available for drinking) the mixture should be able to be shaped into balls without sticking to hands, adding additional oats may be necessary
a cup of dried fruits, nuts or seeds that have been finely chopped
1-2 TBS cinnamon or other spice like nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice etc.
Heating the nut butter in a pan of hot water (or microwave) allows it to mix better with the other ingredients.
Combine all ingredients mixing thoroughly, once mixed make small balls of the mixture about the size of a golf ball, in a cookie sheet place additional oats and spice that have been mixed well
(2 cups of oats would need about 1 tbs of spice)
Flatten the ball of nut pemmican and flip coating both sides with the oats and spice dry mix
Place pemmican cake in Ziploc, (using wax paper more than one cake per baggie can be stored) remove as much air as possible and store in refrigerator or freezer. This type of pemmican will last for about a week without refrigeration. Unlike meat pemmican nut butter based pemmican can be mixed up quickly and will provide protein, carbohydrates, sugars and fiber. It is also an alternative for those who have diets that restrict meat proteins.
This recipe has been used to teach Native American history to many students. It is a child friendly recipe provided there are no nut allergies in the classroom. This recipe will allow children and teens to assist during an emergency to prepare nutritious foods without the help of an adult or the use of fire, sharp tools etc.

Short video on making pemmican

background history and information on making pemmican

Additional recipes for making pemmican


SURVIVAL QUESTION: I live in the city, not much money to spare, and have no LTC. How can I be better prepared for a "collapse of society" without breaking the bank?

FROM:   fauxanarchist71

People who live in a city might face challenges that people who live in a more rural setting may not have. Regardless of where a person lives a bug out bag, (AKA: Survival Kit, Emergency Kit etc.) needs to be prepared before something happens. In a larger more developed area fire is something that could be a serious problem. Should the power go out fire hydrants will not have sufficient pressure to pump well. One small fire could easily spread. Having an emergency bag to grab and go will provide some security for you and your family. Each person needs a bug out bag of their own. Even babies and toddlers need their own bag even if a parent or older sibling has to carry it.
Babies and Toddlers: Since neither can carry a bag (or carry one a heavy bag) their bags should be small and contain at least one change of clothes, (2 for infants) age appropriated over the counter medications and multi-vitamin (if the baby or toddler is taking prescription medication, a 2 weeks supply of any prescription medications with a copy of the original doctors prescription, 30 days is better but that may be difficult without the support of the physician) bottle or sippy cup, infant formula or dried milk, age appropriate foods (snacks for a child of that age, baby food, instant oatmeal, instant cream of wheat, instant soups etc.) At least one liter of bottled water. If the toddler is capable of carrying their own bag an adult or older sibling can carry the water allowing the child to carry their own. Be sure to include a few toys, crayons or colored pencils something to color on, and if the child has a security blanket or toy it must be included. Keeping a couple extra space blankets and a minimum of 30ft of lightweight string is important for all bug out bags. With these tools makeshift suntarps, raintarps and sleeping areas can be rigged up in minutes. Keeping a small bag of hard candy or lollipops will go a long way to soothing a small child in an emergency. School age children and teenagers should be taught basic first aid and be able to manage their own first aid kits. It is important to keep all medications, over the counter or prescription, out of first aid kits for children under the age of 14. For minor scrapes and scratches children can and should be encouraged to be able to clean and cover these types of minor injuries. Practice first aid with children and teens, as learning to take care of themselves is a great boost to their self esteem. Diapers will have to be included. Storing disposable diapers in ziploc type baggies will prevent them from moisture and water. Consider keeping a few cloth diapers, wool nappies or rubber pants in a baby's bag. Unlike disposable cloth diapers can be rinsed out and re-used.
Documentation: Everyone should keep copies of their vital documents, stored in ziploc type bags in their bug out bags. Copies of their drivers licenses, social security cards, car and home insurance statements, bank account information, credit card information, birth certificates, marriage-divorce and custody paperwork, deeds, titles to vehicles, emergency contact information including physical address, land telephone line, name relationship to the family and email address.
Adult Bug out Bags: In addition to the above mentioned items long term storable foods that are ready to eat should be included. Personal hygiene items including soap, toothbrush and paste, washcloth and towel are the minimum. Plastic tarps and or space blankets, 30 feet of strong thin string, (dental floss is an option since it has many uses, is lightweight and inexpensive,) a small backpacker type can opener, water purification tablets (or a system to purify water) at least one change of clothing, a blanket or lightweight sleeping bag. (Remember Katrina) A small metal cup, plate and silverware. A multi-purpose tool, a small knife, a couple of feet of 1/8 inch wire or a coat hanger that has been cut into two pieces (without the curved top) a couple of rolled and rubber-banded garbage bags, half a dozen plastic grocery bags also rolled and rubber-banded (these become waste containers in the event that sewer systems fail) toilet paper (remove the inside cardboard, flatten and place inside a ziploc type bag) disposable lighter, (matches, fire-starter etc) a small pot (an alternative to packing a small pot is to pack a can of ready to eat food that is fat and short that can be re-used as a small pot for boiling water or making food,such as a stew can) duct tape minimum of 10 feet rolled around a section of plastic from a pop bottle or plastic milk jug, a few nails, a permanent magic marker, a note pad, pencils, (pencils can be sharpened, ink pens that fail can not be re-used) cash in small denominations, large amounts of cash could cause problems but having no cash could also cause problems. Small flashlights (with extra batteries) are a must have item for every bug out bag. Headlamps are amazingly efficient and allow you to use your hands while in the dark. Child sized headlamps are available and most use lightweight AAA batteries. Shake and crank flashlights are easy lightweight alternatives to battery operated ones. Check the life of the crank item before you need it. Some are better than others. Shake lights are good for children and toddlers as there are no batteries to remove and shaking their light will not be a problem and may provide a distraction for them during an emergency.
First Aid Kits: All bug out bags should have a small first aid type kit in them even babies and toddlers as they require special over the counter medications. A basic first aid kit should contain: band-aids, (properly cut a band-aid can be turned into butterfly sutures) splinter removing tweezers, small pair of sharp scissors, roll of gauze, gauze pads, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, anti-diarrhea medication, anti-vomiting medications, cough drops, chest salve, anti-bacterial cream, anti-itch cream, sunscreen, insect repellent, chap stick, thermometer, q-tips, cotton balls, shoe strings, triangular bandage and ace type wraps (co-flex works as well) Anyone taking prescription medications daily needs to have a minimum of 2 weeks supply in their bug out bag along with a copy of the prescribing physicians original prescription. If a situation lasts longer than a couple of weeks having a copy of the original prescription could allow you to have it refilled without obtaining physician approval this is especially true for heart medications, asthma, allergies, high blood pressure medications and insulin. Multi-vitamins are a must have as these can supplement a poor diet and keep the body healthy. Dry electrolyte replacement is another must have. Electrolyte powders are available in single use packages in the infant/baby aisle of most grocery and drug stores. Most first aid kits come in hard plastic containers but the supplies can be swapped over to a less rigid container. Soft sided make-up or cosmetic bags make great soft first aid kits. Soft containers pack better and use less space and are less heavy.
Food: Light weight and ready to eat foods are available at any grocery. These include pouched meats including tuna, chicken, beef etc. ready to eat rice, pasta and other foods high in carbohydrates are also available. Compared to the price of MRE's (meals ready to eat) purchasing ready to eat foods in non-metallic containers at a grocery or other retail store will cost about half. Instant soups, instant breakfast cereals and beverages are good to pack but these will require water. Even cold water will work in a pinch. Power bars, protein bars and high energy foods like nuts, crackers and dried fruits will provide calories, vitamins and energy. Milk powder, dry pudding (shake and eat type,) instant pudding (stir and eat) and dry jello are also good to pack. Dry jello can provide flavoring for water, as well as an energy boost when eaten dry. Lifeboat rations and survival tablets are helpful but are more expensive to purchase. A minimum of 2 to 3 days food per person is advisable. Keep all food in ziploc bags the bags can be re-used and will keep the food from water damage.
Water: Water may be another problem area for city dwellers. If the power goes out so does available water. Plan to carry a least one gallon per adult or the items needed to purify water with. All bug out bags should contain a least one liter of drinkable water as well as the supplies to make more water safe to drink. Keeping a collapsible water bag, or collapsible bucket with the bug out bags will allow you to have more water available after the initial emergency has passed. There are many choices when it comes to purification tablets, purification systems choose one that works best for you.
Bedding: Every bug out bag should contain at least one emergency space blanket, a plastic tarp (painters tarps work well) one blanket or lightweight sleeping bag (Northerners will want a heavier bag just in case) including a pillow case will allow you to use extra clothing as a pillow.
Clothing and Shoes: Walking for miles is hard, walking for miles in the wrong type of shoes is worse. Each bug out bag needs to have at least one pair of sturdy walking shoes, boots or tennis shoes. (you may want to include one pair of lightweight foot ware aka slippers, flip flops, moccasins etc. to change into during breaks or at night) extra socks (minimum of 3 pairs) one change of clothing, rain poncho (the disposable ones work but a decent raincoat works better raincoats can be draped over bug out bags for easier carrying) or a few extra garbage bags (these can be used as rain gear, water storage, waterproof storage of bug out bags etc)
Bug out bags can be regular backpacks, small wheeled luggage works well for seniors and handicapped persons or military style packs work.
Once your bug out bags are prepared you should keep them within easy access. Keeping them near the exit door is a good way to grab and go.
Storing food and emergency preparations is like having an insurance policy. One hopes one will never need it but if it is needed it is ready. Spending a few dollars a week will allow anyone to store the necessary items for an emergency easily. The following lists can be used as guidelines for emergency preparations.
It is important to purchase and store items that you personally will eat. Spending money on long term foods that you or your family will not eat is pointless.
$5.00 Preparations
Purchasing emergency supplies can be done by spending only $5 each week.
Different supplies are purchased each week. Within a month you will have purchased an additional month of supplies. (NOTE: These prices are based on shopping at a dollar type store or from the $1.00 aisle available in most retail all in one type stores)
Week One: Ramin or other quick cook noodles or pasta $1.00; 2 cans of meat or fish (sardines, fish steaks tuna canned chicken, pork or beef) $2.00; dried fruit and nut trail mix $1.00; Beverage powder, tea or instant coffee $1.00
Week Two: Over the counter medications: acetaminophen $1.00; ibuprofen $1.00; multi-vitamin $1.00; anti-itch cream $1.00; anti-histamine (aka generic benyadryll) $1.00 (alter these each month to include first aid supplies, oral care products like temporary filling wax, etc)
Week Three: Bag of Sugar $3.00; Box of quick cook rice (long cook if you have a good supply of water) $2.00
Week Four: Toilet Paper $1.00;  dry pudding mix $1.00; Dry milk or no refrigeration required milk carton $1.00; power bar or protein bar (highest calorie available most are around 300 per bar) $1.00; cheese or peanut butter crackers $1.00
Each week different foods and items are purchased so that a variety is available.
Increasing the weekly amount spent can in a few weeks add up quickly.
$20.00 per week
Week One: dry goods: sugar $3.00; instant mashed potatoes $2.00; pouched meats $5.00; dried fruit $3.00; Beverage powders $2.00; Instant coffee or tea $2.00; crackers with cheese or peanut butter $2.00; bag of hard candy $1.00
Week Two: Canned vegetables focusing on green and orange $5.00; Canned Fruit (Use the liquid from canned fruit to make instant breakfast cereals with more nutrition less water requirements) $5.00; Toilet paper $1.00; Canned meats $5.00; Peanut Butter $2.00; plain crackers $2.00; snack cakes $1.00
Week Three;
Long cook dry goods; Pasta $3.00; dried beans $2.00; rice $2.00; flour $2.00; baking soda $2.00 (medicinal and cleaning use) vinegar $3.00; cooking oil $3.00; spices and salt $3.00
Week Four;
Multi-vitamins $2.00; Over the counter medications $3.00; gallon of chlorine bleach (disinfectant, cleaning aid, laundry aid, can be used to purify water more for personal hygiene but also effective for making potable water) $2.00; baby wipe or cleansing wipes (during any emergency personal hygiene is important to help prevent disease and to provide a sense of comfort baby and cleansing wipes allow you to clean up without using valuable water) $3.00; ready to eat foods such as stew, ravioli or other canned ready to eat pasta $5.00; add water pancake mix and syrup $3.00; First Aid supplies (band-aids, gauze etc.) $2.00
During the next month alter the items purchased to add necessary items such as first aid supplies, canned meats-vegetables-fruits-canned juices, personal hygiene items like toothpaste, mouthwash, bar soap and shampoo. In three months an additional three months of food and personal care products will be available.
By mixing up items and staying within your allotted budget the amount of preparations will add up quickly without affecting your regular budget. Think about how much you could buy to store with the money you use to buy one meal at a fast food restaurant or a few bottles of pop.
Storage in small apartments can be tricky. Adding shelves to closets will provide some storage. Placing canned goods under the bed is an option. Foods like pasta and instant cereals may require a Tupperware type container to prevent insects and rodents from getting into them.
Ziploc's are wonderful items. You can put a meal in one making your own MRE. A beverage packet, a package of instant cereal, breakfast bar and a few pieces of hard candy is a quick and easy breakfast (plus a treat.) Instant soup, cheese crackers, a snack cake, beverage powder and a small bag of peanuts provides almost 500 calories in a small Ziploc. Pouched tuna, ready to eat rice, dried baby vegetables, crackers, snack cake and beverage powder is a good supper especially if you find yourself in cramped quarters.
Any stored preparations are better than none. If purchased slowly so that the budget is not hit hard, it will be easy to store the items that will go a long way towards surviving an emergency situation.


SURVIVAL QUESTION:   May I please have the link/info for the Cherokee language lessons you mentioned?


The place to learn, each link provides lessons to learn the language and how to structure sentences, use of verbs, nouns, past, present and future tense of nouns, pronouns etc. (each link will put you in a different area) as always starting at the beginning is the easiest

Old stories, fables and other legends

Good site for translation off singular words, does not provide mechanical word use, sentence structure etc.

Downloadable children's songs easy way to learn a new language ABCsong Itsy Bitsy Spider, etc.

syllabary that prints well large enough  to read and use

SURVIVAL QUESTION:   Is there a resource for learning to use the milk thistle to make cheese?


This explains the process of making cheese, list of plants that will replace animal rennet

lists additional plants for rennet enzymes includes recipes

downloadable pamphlet on making cheese

additional information on vegetable rennet

Step by step process for making feta cheese
Stinging Nettle       Urtica dioica
Sorrel       Rumex acetosa
Lady's Bedstraw    Galium verum
Wood Sorrel    Oxalis acetosella
Butterwort    Pinguicula vulgaris
Musk Thistle    Carduus nutans
Creeping Thistle    Cirsium arvense
Common Thistle    Cirsium vulgare
Milk Thistle    Silybum marianum
Blessed Thistle    Cnicus benedictus
Cardoon    Cynara cardunculus
Globe Artichoke    Cynara scolymus
Sundew    Drosera rotundifolia
Fig    Ficus carica

Soft cheese, especially when made from goat milk, is open for many flavoring herbs to be added. Parsley, garlic, onion, rosemary, thyme, tarragon, basil, oregano, marjoram, edible dried flower petals from day lily's, roses, redbud (in season,) marigolds, yarrow, additional additives include fruits including fresh and dried, berries, citrus, apple, peach, pear, etc.
Goat milk is the easiest to use when learning to make cheese, cows are high maintenance both in labor and feed however cow milk produces better hard cheeses in less time, making hard cheese is a long and time consuming process, but if you can acquire the skills it is well worth the effort. Hard cheeses have to age so having storage location is important.

SURVIVAL QUESTION:   When we were young, much younger, we used to chew a plant we called 'rabbit tobaccie'(cuz wer southern).
                                    Have you ever heard of this plant? As I remember we used to get a little buzz when we chewed the leaves. It
                                    tasted pretty bad too.

Without a picture or a detailed scientific description it is virtually impossible to positively identify any plant or tree. These links provide pictures and the history of the uses for Rabbit Tobacco. It is a southern geographically located plant thriving south of Tennessee and west into the desert areas.


SURVIVAL QUESTION:   I was hoping to get links for dehydrating/drying.
                                   Also any links you might know of for basic herbal medicines using basic plants.
                                   Thank you so much.

Drying Food using a solar dehydrator, the old fashioned way using the sun only, modified outdoor drying trays for use during the winter near/above a wood burning stove or a modern electric dehydrator is a fast and easy way to save for future use almost any food including fruits, vegetables, herbs, flower petals, meats and some dairy products like finely shredded hard cheeses and eggs. Butter does not dehydrate but it can be canned without purchasing a water bath canner at home in a few hours. You have to use Real Butter, not margarine or imitation butter spread.
Vegetables that contain butter can not be dried however many leftover vegetables and fruits can be dried, adding to your stored food and preventing waste. Pasta does not dry after it has been cooked however pasta stored in ziploc type baggies and placed in glass jars with tight fitting lids kept in a dry cool place will store for a very long time. Plastic containers may be used instead of glass jars but those are subject to rodent damage (chewed open and the dry pasta will absorb moisture making them unusable.) Cracked chipped or unusable canning jars make great dry food containers. Using pre-used lids and keeping a ring on the jar allows dried foods to be stored this way for years and they are rodent proof. If you live in a high humidity area or where it is damp you can wrap a piece of duct tape around the lid/ring. You can do the same with plastic containers and recycled glass jars with lids that you have purchased some other food in. Pickle jars are great as they tend to have large openings and tight fitting lids even after they have been opened.

Mixed foods dry well. Consider that soups and stews contain mixed vegetables. Left over corn on the cob (without butter or margerine) can be removed from the cob and placed in the dehydrator, beans, peas, boiled potatoes (mashed potatoes can be dried but they must not contain any additional grease, butter or margarine or milk) many people throw out or feed to animals the 1/4 cup of this or that vegetable using a dehydrator those foods can be placed in a bag together for use in making soups or stews at some point in the future. Watermelon, cantaloupe and musk melons can be dried, seeds must be removed and these fruits need to be sliced very thin. Old bananas that are too soft to eat alone can be sliced thin laid on a drying rack (screen) sprinkled with brown sugar cinnamon and dried. They can also be dried without the sugar/spice mix. Older bananas are sticky the sugar spice mix helps to keep them from sticking together once dried. Wrinkled vegetables like carrots, green and hot peppers, dead ripe tomatoes, fruit that is developing brown spots such as pears and apples, apples and grapes with wrinkles, lemons, limes and oranges that are getting soft or the rinds begin to discolor can all be dried for later use. Citrus fruits usually require a drying time, separation from the rinds and then returned to the dehydrator for a second drying. Rinds may require a third depending on the type of fruit. Grapefruits have thick skins and if the rinds are left intact (still attached to the dried pulp) they can allow the dried pulp to develop mold. Mushrooms, Snow Cap purchased in stores, portabella and shitake dry very well, slice thinly and dry. Eggplant, squash, almost any food can be dried. Turkey, chicken and lean pork cooked sliced rinsed with boiling water and dehydrated allow for quick meals using limited water. Dehydrated meats are also great to add to trail mix or travel rations. Jerky requires a marinade time and that is the difference between dehydrated meats and jerky. Any meat that is capable of being dried can be made into jerky. I tend to dry my foods without any additional spices or sugars. That allows me to have more meal planning flexibility.

Fruit roll ups aka fruit leathers are easy to make using dehydrators. Any fruit including store bought applesauce (A great base for any fruit leather) can be used to make fruit leather. Bananas are another great base fruit and a way to use soft squishy bananas. If you have a few pieces of fruit left over from a store bought can of fruit you can rinse the fruit, place in a pan with other dead ripe or wrinkled foods, (its best to remove the peels if you do not plan to use a food mill to grind the cooked fruit into mush) bring to a boil with a very small amount of water, the less water added the quicker the dehydration time. Once cooled mash with a mashed potato tool, put through a food mill or in a blender. Pour onto tray, dry. Once dry cut into thin pieces and store. I have found loose rolls to be best but you can also place a thin piece of saran wrap or wax paper between rectangular sections to keep them from sticking together.

Herbs, flower petals and vegetables like the hearts of celery dry well and retain their color.
Food that are low in acid like potatoes, sweet potatoes, apples, peaches, pears etc. should be allowed to sit in a 50% lemon juice solution.This prevents them from discoloration. Discolored dehydrated foods are edible they just don't look pretty. Allow the foods to drain in a colander before laying them on the dehydration tray.

Vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers can all be dried together. Place the thicker foods above the faster drying foods like herbs and flowers. Meats should not be dried with other foods as occasionally seepage occurs during the drying process and can contaminate other foods.
Prepared foods such as cole slaw mix can be dried. Rinse with water allow to drain and dehydrate.
Making soup mixes is easy using a dehydrator. Potatoes, carrots, onions, bell peppers etc can be dried together allowing for a quick and easy meal.

Allow dehydrated foods to soak in water for a short time before cooking unless the foods are used in soups or stews. Quick and easy meals using dehydrated foods is a snap. Keep an eye on them while cooking as they do absorb a lot of fluids. Using only dried foods I can make an eggplant Parmesan with portabella mushrooms in about 20 minutes.

Websites that have good sound dehydration information

Building your own food dehydrator

Links on how to dry any ground meat without a dehydrator and how to home can butter without using a canner only requires jars-lids-rings

Groups on canning, dehydrating and storing food

Blog that I write for weekly one article per week on one plant



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