Friday, August 18, 2017

Stuck in the Woods: How to Truly Prep Your Homestead for a Natural Disaster

A natural disaster happens in any corner of the world with some or little warning. These situations are frightening, especially when you live in a rural region. When it comes to your homestead, you need to be prepared for almost any situation. Consider these top tips that truly prep your home in the event of a disaster.

Stock up on Supplies

Canned food, water and batteries should be prioritized as your homestead stock. Disasters often cut off food and water supplies almost immediately. Be sure to have enough water for both drinking, cooking and cleaning. Nearby municipal supplies might be out of commission for several days, depending on the disaster's extent. Always rotate your canned-food stock too. You don't want to experience a disaster, and the food has expired several years ago.

Inspect the Building Envelope

Before a disaster occurs, make it a habit to inspect your home. Look at the roof, walls, and foundation. Collectively, these components are referred to as the building envelope. Deal with any minor issues that you observe, such as cracks or broken materials. If these items are ignored, a disaster can quickly worsen them. In fact, it's possible for the homestead to have severe problems as the disaster weakens any cracks or compromised areas.

Invest in a Generator

Don't rely on nearby electricity because it can go out for days or weeks at a time during a disaster. Ideally, purchase a portable power generator. Some companies, such as Renogy, know that these kinds of devices uses oil, gas, or a battery to generate electricity. You'll have limited power with the generator, but it's enough to keep you going through a disaster. Without power, boiling water and heating your house can be nearly impossible.

Prune Away Hazards

When your homestead is in the wilderness, you're surrounded by nature's beauty. Be aware of the hazards that are all around you, however. Dangling tree branches and brush on the ground can quickly become hazards. Branches might fall on the home, or the brush goes up in flames. Prune away these items so that they're a safe distance from the home. You can still have nature to enjoy, but just at a distance where the home is safe from immediate harm.

Practice disaster scenarios with your loved ones. Create drills that everyone participates in so that you're ready for almost any disaster. Although it's impossible to be completely ready for the unexpected, these drills will simplify your response as you keep everyone safe from harm.

About the Author: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball. Twitter: @LizzieWeakley Facebook:

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Gone Fishin: How to Deck Out Your Boat for a Successful Fishing Trip

There are lots of ways to have an enjoyable fishing experience. Sitting by the side of the lake with your basic rod and reel and some worms can make for a great day. However, there's really nothing quite like the feel of being out on the water for an afternoon of smooth sailing on your pontoon boat. You can relax with friends or family, get some sun, have a picnic lunch and, of course, do some angling. Having the latest and greatest boating accessories and equipment can make things even better. Read the tips below to learn how to deck out your boat for a successful fishing trip.

Choose Your Vessel

First and foremost, you and your companions need a quality boat to carry you along the lake. You may already have a pontoon boat you're proud of and happy with. Even so, dedicated fishing aficionados tend to upgrade their vessel every six years or so. If you're in the market for a new boat, be sure to research your options for getting the best deal on a quality boat. Investing some extra time now will ensure the best experience on the water later.

Equip Yourselves

Next, you and your fishing comrades will need to have the best rod and reel to suit your needs. In this case, "the best" doesn't always mean the most expensive. Consider the type of fish you're angling for, the age of each angler, your overall budget and the reviews of other consumers. This is an area in which satisfaction depends upon personal preference, but you can at get a general idea of what brands and types of equipment are well-loved on the market these days.

Ensure Safety

Safety is essential to having a wonderful fishing trip. This encompasses many aspects. Read up on the latest boating regulations in your area. Make sure to have the proper life vests and other safety equipment aboard your boat so you're prepared in case of accident or malfunction. Also, don't forget the safety of your actual boat. Deck equipment like ladders, navigation lights and corner caps ensure measures are taken to prevent accidents before they can occur. When buying boating accessories, always choose reputable companies like Pontoon Stuff for your purchases. Don't risk receiving inferior products when it comes to safety measures.

There are so many other ways you can enhance your fishing trip. Adding fun tech gadgets like fish finders and the like is fun, but decking out your boat with the essentials in fishing equipment, safety measures and a good quality boat itself will have you on your way to a successful day on the lake.

About the Author: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball. Twitter: @LizzieWeakley Facebook:

Monday, August 14, 2017

Call Of The Wild: 4 Strategies To Prep For The Best Hunting Season

When the hunting season’s either coming or underway, it pays to be prepared before striking out. How you decide to embark depends on how, where, and what you’re hunting, but good precautions and planning can make a good trip great. Hunting is no mere walk in the park, so consider the four hunting tips below to get a head start. Once everything’s in order, take to the woods!

Prep Weapons

Having your weapon in working condition will be key to a good start, so fine tune your rifle or bow before the season starts. It’s also a smart idea to practice beforehand, whether it’s out in the field or in a self-made shooting “range.” Try different angles and different distances if you’re feeling rusty. If you need to replace whatever weapon you use, professionals at outlets like Kidron Sports Center will help you find the right one.

Research the Area

You can end up more successful with a little added effort to understand the land on which you’re hunting. Talk to people familiar with it, like farmers and landowners, for inside tips and recommendations, as well as to form friendly relationships. Also get to setting up trail cameras and markers to know how your game is moving and behaving. You’ll be well-versed in how to proceed by the time the season begins.

Prepare the Land

When you have adequate permission, you can get your hunting grounds in shape to lure the best marks. Establish food plots, or make certain the landowners have done so before the season starts. Start clearing paths to your chosen perching and shooting spots. Keep an eye on any trails your game might leave and use it to establish hunting plans.

Be Healthy

It goes without saying that you’re at risk if you go in sick or otherwise indisposed. Be sure you’re fit enough and follow proper safety procedures. Account for where you’re hunting, including the terrain and any dangerous wildlife that could interfere with your hunt. If you know someone willing, bring a hunting partner along.

A watchful eye is important to successful hunts, but so are steps taken with care. Preparing yourself and your equipment could be the difference between a catch and nothing, so take heed this hunting season. Your game won’t wait, so take the right approach to get them before they escape. These four tips should have you on your way to big catches ahead of time.

About the Author: Emma is a freelance writer living in Boston. When she manages to tear herself away from the computer, she enjoys baking, rock climbing, and film noir.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Into the Wild: 4 Useful Skills You Should Have for Camping Trips

Globalization has created a new breed of eclectic traveler. The Popular website Airbnb reports that trips to Havana Cuba have increased by 940% since 2016. A recent article on the Fox News Travel site shows that the number of Americans who go camping is also on an uptick. Those with experience trekking through national parks and forests of the great U.S. wilderness, know the art of pitching tents and boating wild rivers without skipping a beat. Those interested in joining in on what appears to be a rising national trend, however, should probably first get the hang of the following skills.


A camp side dinner’s the perfect way to culminate a day of touring the great outdoors with your entourage of fellow adventurers. While there’s all kinds of high-tech cooking equipment you can consider using, nothing beats pan searing fresh trout in a cast iron skillet over a bonfire of dazzling flames. Pick a clearing where there aren’t dangling branches or surrounding brush that’s combustible. Gather stones and arrange them in a u-shaped pattern with a large rock at the center. Try to replicate a hearth. Pile it with layers of kindling on which you’ll cook. There’s an art to it that's less about obsessing over the latest electric induction stove, and more about living off the fat of the land.


Of course, you’ll have energy bars and bags of granola. You won’t forget to bring cans of your favorite beer, but camping’s not camping without going fishing. How lucky you get will have to do with where you cast your hook as much as your technique. There’s a way to finesse and direct a rod once you put bait on it. Reeling your catch out of the water calls for the right timing. You’ll also need to bone up on the best bait to bring. It won’t hurt to arrive with trustworthy fishing equipment and gear such as portable refrigeration to store your catch in.

Handling a Firearm

Bears populate the forests of Alaska, Montana, Ohio, and Wyoming. They’re in Upper Michigan and the woods of New York. Recent statistics have shown that their populations are surging due to wildlife laws that protect them, which is a good thing. Many believe it’s also good to carry a loaded firearm in bear country, however. While most avoid people, some can be aggressive and threatening. Knowing how to accurately load and aim a firearm with a MadKC bolt head will give you the confidence that you’re ready for the worst. Mastering trigger squeeze and aim doesn’t come easy, but there’s nowhere better to hone these skills than out in the outdoors.

Purifying Water

The assumption is that you’ll bring everything you need and won’t run out of basic staples. Still, surprises abound out in nature. Humans can live without eating for a number of days. Having water on hand is always essential. Boil snow or stream water to sterilize it. Add iodine or chlorine in measured amounts. Lakes and ponds are known to contain lots of bacteria. Learn how to select the safest water sources.

Spending recreational time in the great outdoors has been a part of American culture since the 1800’s. It wouldn’t be such an historically popular family pastime if fatal animal attacks or other catastrophes were a regular occurrence. Planning for the unexpected before you begin your trip into the wilderness doesn’t mean you’re embarking on something risky. Your time spent outdoors is more likely to be a rare chance for you and your loved ones to marvel at beautiful sunsets, rare bird calls and go skinny dipping.

About the Author: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball. Twitter: @LizzieWeakley Facebook:

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

4 Ways to Keep Your Home and Property Safe and Secure

Home security is a huge topic in the media today and even among friends and neighbors. Burglaries and vandalism are real threats, and nobody wants to own the house on the block that is targeted. In fact, four burglaries are committed every minute in the United States. Thankfully, homeowners can beef up their security without spending wads of money and even without hiring professional services.

Sturdy Windows and Doors

Choose solid core wooden doors for outer doors, or pick steel or fiberglass options, which are difficult to break. Windows should have secure locks, and individuals living in crime-prone neighborhoods may want to invest in break-proof glass. Casement windows are often seen as the most secure options. Be sure to protect valuables inside from peering eyes by installing window blinds or shades, particularly on lower level and basement windows.

Smart Shrubs

While shrubs should not grow so tall around doors and windows that they help burglars hide, they can actually protect homes when trimmed to the correct height. Shrubs near doors and windows should grow no higher than three feet tall. A smart choice is a thorny bush beside a door or window, which will reward any unwelcome visitor with pain.

Security Cameras

Security cameras can easily be placed at key points around the property by oneself. The best places to install them would be by doors leading outside, including patio doors, as well as by the garage door and the sidewalk or driveway entrance to the street. Some companies, like Infrared Cameras Inc., know that these are the most strategic places to place cameras. Homeowners should invest in infrared cameras, which provide excellent night vision, as well as in a large hard drive to store hundreds of hours of footage.

Plenty of Lights

Well-lit pathways, porches and driveways deter burglars and vandals from staying on the property. Motion sensors can turn on lights when tripped and can help guests see their way to the doors. Even solar lights along pathways and around landscaping by the home can deter anyone from lurking on the property. While professional security services can be useful in some instances, most homeowners will benefit significantly from do-it-yourself tips and tricks that can be set up in a few hours or less. Many of these security devices can be seen from the outside of the house and may deter burglars or vandals from coming close to the doors or windows. Plus, they can add exponentially to the feeling of calm and security that families have as they relax behind their locked doors and windows.

About the Author: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn't on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber

Monday, August 07, 2017

The Best Air Rifles and Pellet Guns For Survival

Air rifles and pellet guns are becoming increasingly popular among preppers and survivalists, and with good reason. Whilst in the past some people have been a bit skeptical about the usefulness of these weapons in a survival situation, there are many reasons why a good air rifle or two should be in your bug-out kit. Today, I’ll explain why you should have an air rifle for survival situations, take a look at the different types available, and then give you our recommendations of the best air rifles and pellet guns to choose.

Why An Air Rifle?

A lot of people point out that an air rifle can never have the power of a full-sized rifle. This is certainly true, but in reality you are not going to need an AR-15 all the time. A reasonably powerful air rifle will be able to take down most types of small game – think rabbits and small birds – with no problem at all. In a survival situation, being able to collect game like this will make all the difference. In addition, air rifle ammunition is cheap, easy to carry and store, and much, much lighter than traditional rifle rounds. A coffee tin full of pellets is going to cost you less than $50, and will last for years with conservative shooting.

Types Of Air Rifle

There are several types of air rifle available, and not all of them are good for survival situations. First, stick with larger caliber air rifles: whilst it’s certainly possible to hunt with a .177, a .22 is much more effective.

Second, stay away from CO2-powered rifles. While these rifles generate a huge amount of power, the canisters that they require to function are going to get pretty hard to find in a survival situation. In addition, these canisters are pretty bulky, and essentially eliminate one of the air rifle’s biggest advantages, its lightweight, compact design.

To my mind, the only serious contenders for a survival situation are spring and pneumatic air rifles. Both of these types of air rifle make use of a simple design that is reliable, but also generate a good amount of power. In addition, a good pneumatic (i.e. ‘pump-action’) air rifle gives you the ability to vary the power generated by the rifle, so your pellets don’t over-penetrate small game.

Our Choices

There are a huge number of high quality air rifles available, but to our mind the most important features in an air rifle for survival is reliability. What you’re looking for is a rifle that has built up a great reputation in the field.

For that reason, one of our favorites is the Diana RWS 34. This is a relatively inexpensive air rifle that has a great reputation for both accuracy and reliability. If you’ve got a bit more to spend, it might be worth considering a ‘gas-ram’ rifle, which generates even more power than the traditional spring mechanism. Our choice here would be the Gamo Whisper Silent Cat, which offers huge power in a compact design.

Written by Sam Bocetta

Friday, August 04, 2017

Successful Self-Sufficiency: 4 Tips for Growing Your Own Food

You can start living a more self-sufficient lifestyle by having your own supply of home-grown food. Growing your own food can be done easily even if you don’t have any previous experience cultivating crops. Here are four great tips for growing your own food.

Know the Right Growing Seasons

Different crops grow better during certain time of the year, so it’s important that you know the right growing seasons in your particular area. In general, spring is the best time of year for growing asparagus, pea greens and sweet onions. Cranberries, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower often do best in the fall. Crops that you can grow throughout the entire year include carrots, collard greens and mushrooms.

Have a Reliable Irrigation System

It’s important that you always have a working irrigation system that works efficiently enough to keep all your produce watered. The best irrigation systems come with multiple sprinkler heads that disperse plenty of water and are easy to program. Some systems can even be programmed to automatically turn on and shut off at specific times so that you won’t have to remember to manually perform these functions yourself. Work with a professional like Hydrotech Irrigation Co or someone similar to get something set up that will work for you in the long term.

It’s also a very good idea to have a back-up source of water on your property, such as a well, in case you ever experience issues with the water supplied by the city.

Use Growing Containers

Not all fruits and vegetables need to be grown in the ground, and you can use containers to grow food in many areas around your property. These containers are particularly handy if you don’t have your own field or large yard and would like to grow much of your food indoors. Herbs, peppers and blueberries are just some of the foods that you can grow in these containers. Just be sure that your containers are placed in areas where there is adequate sunlight or artificial light.

Beware of Pests

Whether you choose to grow most of your food indoors or outside, you’ll want to find ways to protect your crops from pests. You can spray commercial pesticides to kill off many of the bugs that may try to invade your fruits and vegetables. If you don’t want to use pesticides that might contain harmful chemicals, you can try one of several natural remedies. Some of these natural concoctions use items like garlic, red pepper and baby shampoo. Typically if you want to protect your whole property you would

Growing your own food can unlock the door to a freer, more self-sufficient life. By learning the proper growing methods and taking the right precautions to ensure healthy crop growth, you can start cultivating your own food in no time.

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Sting Salves: 5 Ways to Treat Different Types of Bug Bites

Some bug bites are a mere irritation, while others can be painful or even dangerous. Fortunately, first aid strategies can help mitigate the issues associated with common types of bug bites. Here's what you need to know.

Mosquito Bites

Perhaps the most common type of bite to be afflicted with, mosquito bites are characterized by a red, itchy bump. This occurs when the insect inserts a proboscis into your skin to feed on blood; in response, the body releases a histamine response that causes the itchy inflammation. For that reason, an over-the-counter antihistamine cream provides the fastest relief. You can also try soaking a green tea bag and placing it over the affected area, or taking an oatmeal bath.

Bee and Wasp Stings

If you've been stung by a bee or wasp, the first step is to look for the stinger. This can be easily removed by scraping the skin with a credit card in the affected area. Then, treat symptoms like inflammation and burning by first cleaning the skin with mild soap and water, then taking an NSAID like Advil. Seek immediate medical attention for signs of an allergic reaction, such as trouble breathing or swelling of the throat or tongue. Before summer rolls around, consider consulting a company like Allstate Pest Control to check your property for bee or wasp nests.

Fire Ant Bites

As its name suggests, this insect's bites cause painful burning, followed by itching and blistering. Calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream can usually soothe these symptoms. Be aware of signs of infection, such as a fever or increased pain in the area of the bites.

Spider Bite

Depending on the type of spider, symptoms can vary from small, pimple-like bumps to chest pain, nausea, and vomiting, according to Real Simple. When you have a spider bite, apply ice every 20 minutes for 72 hours to slow the spread of venom throughout the body. Over-the-counter pain medications can help with discomfort. Seek medical attention if you have severe pain, nausea, or any other unusual symptoms.

Tick Bite

If you've been bitten by a tick, you may notice redness, itching, or burning as well as the tick still present on your skin. In some cases, the insect can be as small as 1 millimeter. Remove the tick with tweezers as carefully as possible to avoid crushing the insect, which can make illness more likely to spread. A bulls-eye shaped rash or flu-like symptoms can be a sign of a serious disease, such as Lyme or Rocky Mountain spotted fever, so seek immediate medical attention.

When spending time in a wooded area this summer, protect yourself from bug bites by using a repellent spray and avoiding scented lotions and skin products.

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

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