11 Types of Moss That Will Grow on Trees

There are countless varieties of moss in the world, with well over 10,000 at this point that have been classified.

And while moss is commonly associated with trees, you might be surprised to learn that not all types of moss grow on trees at all. And in fact, some types of plant and fungi life only look like moss but are completely distinct biologically.

Knowing what kinds of actual mosses grow on trees in your area can give you an advantage in a survival situation…

Moss can be used as a component in crafting, as a fire starter and some species are even edible. Keep reading and I’ll tell you about 11 types of moss that grow on trees.

Tree Moss (Order Bryales)

Of course, tree moss grows on trees! But tree moss is something of a misnomer for our list here, because it actually consists of an order that contains many different distinct species.

Nonetheless, all of these species have broad similarities: young tree moss is a pale, lime green color and turns into a rich pine- or emerald green when it’s fully grown, with each stem measuring anywhere from 2 to 4 inches in length.

Found all across the North American continent and most of Europe, it likewise grows on a huge variety of trees. Aside from the coloration, look for a plush, wooly texture, and brick-red stems to help you identify it.

Fire Moss (Ceratodon purpureus)

Fire moss is one of the most interesting and spectacularly colored examples on our list: not only does it have a bright red stalk which can give it a fiery color from the right angle, but it is usually found growing most readily in the aftermath of wildfires.

This moss seems to seek out burnt wood in order to grow!

Wherever it does take root, it grows quite low, rarely exceeding half an inch, but it grows with remarkable density, forming a springy mat on the surface.

Knight’s Plume Moss (Ptilium crista-castrensis)

Reaching up to a majestic (for moss) five inches tall, Knight’s Plume moss is named because it resembles the decorative plume atop a medieval knight’s helmet. For this reason, it is also sometimes referred to as feather moss thanks to its delicate, frond-like appearance.

Although it’s typically a creeping ground covering loss, it will sometimes grow a little bit up the trunks of trees in favorable conditions.

Notably, this moss is more resistant to sunlight than most on our lists, and can commonly be found growing where the canopy is thin or at the edge of woods.

Sheet Moss (Hypnum curvifolium)

Sheet moss, like so many others on our list, can be found almost anywhere there is shade and moisture. It is highly variable in length; some stay quite close to the ground while others can grow several inches long.

Another primary characteristic is that it grows in a uniformly thick, continuous sheet, hence the name. It is easily recognized by its overall appearance, usually described as carpet-like.

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A Prepper’s Gift-Giving Guide – Survivopedia

There are a lot of different ideas out there about how to celebrate Christmas. Every culture has its own traditions and each family seems to have them as well. Part of that is usually giving gifts to one another, whether they be large or small, store bought or homemade; even whether they are personal or just something that someone grabbed in the checkout line.

I’ve never been the type to just buy any old gift, especially those pre-packaged “generic” gifts that you find stacked up in all the department stores. I’ve received plenty of those through the years, but I’ve never seen anyone who was thrilled to get such a gift. Something so generic just can’t be all that personal.

Then again, “personal” for preppers might seem a bit strange to others, especially to those who are not preppers. They probably have little idea of the things that would seem exciting to us, and may very well be unexcited by the things that we find exciting. Nevertheless, there are many things that we can take from our lives as preppers, which would make very thoughtful gifts to those around us, showing our love for those we care about.

I’m sure that others are creating and posting lists of Christmas gift ideas for things to ask or hint for as gifts we would like to receive as preppers. So, I’m not going to go there. Rather, I’m going to give you some ideas of prepper-oriented gifts which you can give to others.

Pocket Knife

Everyone needs a pocket knife, whether they’re a prepper or not. Yet few people today carry one. They just weren’t raised with that habit and never formed it. You can change that for your friends and family, by giving them a pocket knife. But, don’t just give them a knife, explain to them how useful a knife can be and what they can do with their knife to help them through the day.

While this obviously won’t make them preppers, it will take them one step closer to it, helping to prepare them for the day-to-day, if not for disasters.

Good Fire Starter

Everyone needs the ability to start a fire, whether it is in the fireplace, in their barbecue grille or when they’re trying to enjoy a picnic. Yet, like the pocket knife, there are few who are actually prepared to start a fire when they need one. Giving someone on your gift list the ability to start a fire quickly and easily can help them enjoy life better, bringing fire into many different activities.

Now, let me say that this is not the time to give someone a Ferro Rod. Those can be challenging to use, even for those who use them regularly. You want something that will be quick and easy to use, every time they try. I’m thinking on the level of a compact blowtorch here, or at least a storm-proof…

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15 Foods to STOCKPILE that NEVER Expire


The year is 2050. America’s once bustling cities are eerily quiet. Supermarkets have been deserted for years. But in your pantry are the foods to stockpile filled decades ago.

pantry of foods to stockpilepantry of foods to stockpileYour pantry could be stocked with foods that have virtually no shelf life.

What’s up, my preppers? Early in my prepping days I made some mistakes, particularly when it came to food storage. I purchased extra food that I put on a shelf for SHTF, thinking it was a wise move. But a few years later, I found myself discarding most of it. A hard lesson on the importance of strategic planning. Wasted time. Wasted money.

There are two pillars in my food storage strategy now:

  1. the everyday foods we love and consume regularly, rotating stock to ensure nothing goes to waste, and
  2. the timeless foods that, once stored, can outlast any crisis.

I will go through some of the critical foods in that latter category, foods that I think YOU should stockpile—today—for a long-term collapse—tomorrow. I call these “set it and forget it” foods because you buy them once, set them on a shelf, and forget it. They’re good for decades. You don’t have to think about it again. This strategy will save you time, money, and give you peace of mind.

Here is my video describing the same content in this article.

I appreciate history, and I rely on it to both provide context for prepping, but also to see what people did in the past, because the biggest threats that we’ll face in a collapse in modern civilization is the collapse of our modern civilization. By that I mean life today is very, very different from life a century or more ago. We rely on technology, just-in-time delivery, and many other fragile, modern systems. When these systems collapse, we’ll be thrown back in time. In order to survive that abrupt adjustment, we must know what people did years ago.

Foods to Stockpile That Do Not Expire

1 – White Rice

Rice has been a staple in many cultures for thousands of years. Ancient civilizations recognized its long-term storage potential. For instance, during the excavation of ancient Korean tombs dating back to the Baekje Period (18 B.C. to A.D. 660), archaeologists discovered rice stored in bronze bowls that was estimated to be around 1,400 years old. Although not fit for consumption after such a lengthy period,…

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Blue Barrel Uses You Never Thought Of

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Plastic blue barrels are popular with preppers and survivalists for one very big reason: they are one of the most effective means for storing water and other liquids. They are a common sight on off-grid homestead properties for that reason.

But almost all preppers and homesteaders use blue barrels for their intended purpose of water storage.

That’s totally fine, but as we’ll soon see, these same blue barrels can also serve a number of other important uses as well that go beyond water storage.

Here are blue barrel uses you may have never thought of:

Rainwater Harvesting

Blue Barrel Uses You Never Thought OfThis is arguably the most obvious use for blue barrels that go beyond simply storing water in them.

You can create a rainwater harvesting system by attaching pipes between your gutters on your roof and your rainwater barrels.

This way, the water that is gathered by your rainwater catchment system will then travel down into the barrels.

Just make sure the gutters stay clean so the collected water will be clean too.

You can also learn here how to create an ingenious rainwater harvesting and purification system. This system is designed to store an impressive 165 gallons of water that might otherwise be lost, offering a valuable resource for obtaining clean drinking water in times of crisis.

Water Trough For Animals

Cut a barrel in two right down the middle from one end to the other. Then turn the two now cut-in-half barrel so that the open side is facing up, and fill it up with water.

This will serve as as a water trough for your livestock, such as chickens, rabbits, goats, or pigs.

Hay Feeder

As an alternative to water from the above example, you can fill up a blue barrel with hay (or other kind of feed) as well.

All you’ll need is one barrel, and you can use one half for water and the other for hay.

Planter or Raised Garden Bed

Blue Barrel Uses You Never Thought OfAfter cutting the barrel in half, you can alternatively fill it up with soil. Plant vegetable seeds or medicinal herb seeds, and you’ll have a garden going.

You can also use the half of the barrel as part of a raised garden bed by attaching it to wooden poles or legs in order to create a table-like structure.

Tree Swing

Cut a large enough hole into the blue barrel to turn it into a seat, and then add padding around the sharp or rough edges for comfort.

Then you can drill holes into the ends of the barrel and attach hooks into those holes, you can attach paracord or rope to the hooks.

Then attach the hooks to the strong enough branches of a tree, and you have a makeshift tree swing! This may not be a serious survival use, but it will…

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12 Uncommon Prepper Supplies You Need


There are many of prepper supplies that you know you need and that you probably already have. But there are some important items that you are probably missing. It took me a long time in my years of prepping to realize their value and I see new – and even experienced – preppers not considering these supplies.

Rather watch than read? Here’s my video.

In today’s video we are going beyond beans, bullets, and bandages to explore some of the more… under-appreciated – overlooked – uncommon supplies that every prepper should have stocked.

Important to note, these are items for a LONG-TERM collapse. I’m not going to cover anything that you need for a short-term power outage or natural disaster type of situation. I’m talking about items to stock for an extended crisis. An apocalypse. Doomsday.

NYC apocalypse sceneNYC apocalypse sceneLife after SHTF will be difficult, but it will be even more difficult without the right prepper supplies.

5 Common Uncommons

Now I want to touch on what I’m NOT going to list as the most overlooked prepper supplies. I call these Common Uncommons. By that I mean, they’re items beyond beans, bullets, and bandages, but they’ve been covered enough times by others who say “don’t forget about this” that they’re now “common” uncommon items… if that makes sense.

There are what I consider to be 5 common uncommons.

1 – Sanitary Napkins

The first is sanitary napkins, or menstrual pads. This has been discussed to death. Many men say to stock them because you can also use them for stopping bleeding from gunshot wounds and the like – something that has been widely debunked in the medical community I might add.

As for women, they already know they need to stock pads. In fact, there have even been books published on this topic. See Period Prepper if you want to learn more.

2 – Entertainment

The second is board games or other means of entertainment. This has been discussed at length. But if you don’t have any form of entertainment that doesn’t include a game controller or handheld electronic device, get some now, get a deck of cards at a minimum.

playing a video game in the wastelandplaying a video game in the wastelandPlaying video games in the wasteland won’t be…

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How to Keep Your Food Storage Safe and Maintained

Food storage, although a smart and cost-effective solution at times, can also bring along with it health hazards. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that every year around 48 million people get sick due to foodborne illnesses. This is why it is vital to ensure that your food supply practices are safe and prevent any contamination and spoilage.

In this article, we will explore the best ways to preserve your edibles, maintain health standards, and include ways to organize your storage for maximum efficiency.

Why Proper Food Storage Matters

There are many reasons why storing food properly is crucial for families and individuals. Whether it is a desire to be prepared for emergencies, saving money through bulk shopping, or prepping for a natural disaster, it is necessary to make sure your products stay safe to consume. Additionally, storing them can help you reduce waste and save money.

Selecting the Right Foods for Long-Term Storage

Choosing the correct items for emergency stockpiles is the first step to prolonged storage. To make your selection as informative as possible, consider the following:

Nutritional Balance

Opt for a variety of edibles to keep a balanced diet. Your stash could include grains, legumes, canned fruits and vegetables, and high-protein options like canned meats and fish. They must be nutrient-dense to provide the necessary vitamins and minerals for daily consumption.

Shelf-Stable Choices

Try to find items labeled with extended expiration dates since these will stay safe to eat longer. Products such as dried beans, rice, pasta, and canned goods have lasting shelf lives.

Be Aware of Dietary Restrictions

Take into account any dietary restrictions or allergies within your household to ensure your food stock meets everyone’s needs. If someone has a gluten intolerance, be sure you have gluten-free options. Taking this necessary step can also prevent any allergic reactions and unnecessary health complications.

Being mindful of these points will showcase your unique skills and reassure your loved ones that you seek their best interests.

Proper Storage Techniques

Once you have selected the right foods, it is important to store them properly to ensure they stay safe and preserve their quality. Here are a few tips to follow:

Regulate the Temperature

The ideal dry storage temperature for most edibles is between 50 to 70°F. So, use a thermometer to check the temperature of the space consistently. Also, avoid areas in your home that experience extreme temperatures, since it can compromise the shelf-life of your goods.

Freeze-Dry and Dehydrate Foods

Freeze-dried and dehydrated foods are excellent choices for prolonged storage. They retain most of their nutritional value and are lightweight, making them ideal for emergencies. They are typically easy to prepare and rehydrate.

Having a mix of these options will help create a well-rounded and reliable emergency supply. Additionally, you must rotate through your food stock regularly so items with shorter shelf lives stay…

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Homesteading – A Cautionary Tale

(Continued from Part 2. This concludes the article.)

Why I will continue to homestead

It’s really fun to watch videos of the perfect “permaculture” setup.  It’s quite another to implement it.  Sitting down and thinking it all through is a great idea, even drawing up plans – which will require you to know the lay of your land, the slopes, the direction the wind comes from, where the morning sun comes up, what shadows are thrown during the day, the climate and growing zone, etc.  But, what if you have no idea what you’re doing?

When I started out, I only wanted chickens.  Then I decided that goats were the way to go to keep the land cleared.  Then I tried meat rabbits.  Well, the goats were given away sooner rather than later because they don’t graze the land, they browse the bushes and trees.  Sheep are much better grazers, but I wasn’t ready for sheep and I knew nothing about them.  I got some breeding rabbits for all the right reasons – low cost, small footprint, easy reproduction, great source of protein on a small scale…  Absolutely beautiful rabbits, but it’s way too hot and humid where I live for the rabbits to be happy.  I had no way to keep them cool so  I gave them away.  Then I got a bee in my bonnet for a milk cow, then that morphed into 3, and there were calves involved.  Of all the animals, I love the cows the most.  Then I decided I could get a couple of feeder pigs, then purchased a breeding group.  Lord have mercy!  I do like the pigs, but I’ve learned that I need a lot more electric fencing than I have.

Of all the animals I’ve “tried out”, I can say, hands down, the milk cow is my favorite.  I have trained two “first time fresheners”, meaning a heifer who calves for the first time, to milk.  No small thing to help the cow understand that her milk is not just for her calf, but for me.  And I had no idea what I was doing at first.  I read some books and talked to a lot of people more experienced than myself, and I learned just by doing it.  Cows have magnificent body language that will tell you exactly how they feel, if you pay attention.  And they will learn to trust you if you treat them well, and give them a reason to.  My dairy girls line up at the gate, right on time, every morning, and wait for me to let them in, one by one, to be milked.  I rarely have to call them in.  I always thank them for their milk.  Oh, occasionally there will be a little kick, but most likely if one of them is displeased they will swat me right across the face with their tail.  They have really good aim with their tails too.  I am thankful when the tail does not have…

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Homesteading – A Cautionary Tale

Living The Dream

First off, why do I homestead?  My passion is to provide a safe haven for my large family away from the world’s chaos.  A place where food can be grown, the air is clean and fresh, no noise or people pollution, no homeless encampments, and precious little crime.  A safe, productive, hideaway.  Realizing that nowhere is completely safe, we know that some places are better than others.  Just look around.  If you live in the country, you might have a million-dollar view from the porch of a humble home.  I do.  I can scarcely take it in.  It’s restful to the eyes and soul.  I take no credit whatsoever for this place.  I stumbled upon it for a variety of reasons and feel that it was a gift from the Lord.  After possibly decades of reading Survivalblog, I had a mental checklist for a retreat property and this one fit the bill.  I had no intentions of “homesteading” other than a deep desire to become as “self-sufficient” as possible.  I didn’t even know what I was going to do with this property other than raise some chickens.  That’s how it started.

A lot of people are trying to “homestead” now, and for various admirable reasons.  Some are looking to get out of the rat race and live a simpler life.  Some see that bad things are happening and feel a need to grow their own food and be self-sufficient.  Others started out with chickens on a small plot, and as is said, “Chickens are the gateway drug to homesteading.”  They end up getting more animals – some have tried goats, turkeys, quail, cows, pigs, rabbits, sheep, etc.  In many cases, they think they can quit their job, grow their own food, and have little if any expenses.  I’m here to tell you that unless you have a good source of income, it’s not possible.  Sorry to mess with your Cheerios this morning, but homesteading costs money.  I’ve spent more money “homesteading” than I ever spent as a professional working woman living in the suburbs.  I’m here to share my experiences, be they good or bad.

Buying raw land and putting a camper on it while you learn to grow your own food is nothing more than a fantasy.  Oh, I know of people who are trying to do just that.  The other day, as I drove 45 minutes through the meandering hills to get to a Feed Store that has the best prices, I saw some raw land with a big camper on it, some kid toys, a couple of camp chairs, and a fire pit.  I noticed that the land was in process of being cleared.  I groaned just looking at it in passing.  No electricity, no septic, no water…. And it’s November!  They would have to tow that huge trailer out to dump their tanks, fill up with water, pick up propane, and I have no idea if there was solar on top of the…

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Best Practices When Installing Tree Trunk Guards For Winter

Installing trunk guards is an important pre-winter step to protect young trees from hungry critters like voles and rabbits. Whether you’re using cloth wraps or sturdier guards made from plastic or metal mesh, wrapping a protective layer around delicate young tree trunks will help ensure your trees don’t get girdled during winter.

If you have only one or two young trees that need protecting, installing trunk guards won’t take long. But if you’ve planted an orchard with a dozen or two young fruit trees, it’s a job that requires planning and a meaningful time commitment. (And if you have four dozen young fruit trees, like I do, you had better commit a couple of long afternoons to the job.)

After six years of installing trunk guards around my trees, I’ve learned a thing or three about pitfalls to avoid. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when installing trunk guards ahead of winter.

Don’t Wrap Your Trees Too Early

You might be tempted to get a head start on winter and install trunk guards in late summer or early fall. This can be a fine approach with some types of trunk guards (if they leave room for the trunk to grow). But if you’re wrapping anything tightly around trunks, resist the temptation to start early.

You want to wrap the trees when they’re dormant. If the tree is still growing and the trunk tries to expand while wrapped in cloth, you’ll damage the bark.

For the same reason, you’ll want to remove any tight guards in late winter or early spring, before the trees wake up.

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Wrap Before It’s Unpleasantly Cold

The above advice notwithstanding, for your own comfort you’ll want to start getting your trees protected before warm weather has completely deserted your region. I remember a year when I waited too long to tackle the project and wound up installing tree trunk guards on a dreary winter day when the high temperature was in the low 30s.  I was struggling to use waterproof electrical tape while wearing bulky winter gloves … definitely not so easy.

Wait until the trees are heading into dormancy, but pick a day that’s warm enough so you can work without bulky gloves and enjoy the process.

Make Sure You Have Enough Supplies

This is an important step, because you don’t want to start installing trunk guards on the perfect day and realize too late that you’re short of supplies. One year, I ran out of my preferred electrical tape and had to switch and use regular packaging tape instead. It turned out to be insufficiently waterproof, and by the time spring rolled around my trees were shedding their trunk guards.

Consider also that your trees will grow each year. So even if you had a sufficient quantity of suitably-sized guards/wraps last year, that might not be the case this year. I use corrugated plastic guards that measure 2 feet tall…

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The 11 Most Essential Survival Tools (And Why You Need Them)

Survival situations can be complex, but your toolkit doesn’t have to be. While there are hundreds of different survival tools, most are not essential. You only need a handful of tools to meet your core survival needs. 

Here, we will go over what these essential survival tools are and why you need them.

Difference between Survival Tools and Survival Gear

The terms tool and gear are often used interchangeably. However, they are not the same. A tool is a device that helps do manual work. Gear is the equipment used to do a particular activity.  

All tools can be considered gear, but not all gear is a tool. A bow and arrow is considered gear for hunting or self-defense but not a tool. By contrast, a shovel is a tool that helps with digging and is also considered essential gear for activities like camping and gardening.  

*Also, don’t confuse tools or gear with supplies. Supplies are consumable items like food, medicine, and water purification tablets. You will eventually use up supplies, whereas tools and gear are reusable.

Tools Can Be Used to Make Survival Gear

Many tools can be used to make gear. For example, you can use a knife to carve tent stakes, cut plants to make rope, or make a fearsome DIY weapon.  

With some know-how, one tool can replace a lot of gear.

This is important because it means you can reduce the weight of your survival kit. Or, if any gear from your survival kit goes missing or breaks, you’ll have a way to make more. You can even use tools to make other tools – such as using your knife to carve a shovel.

Essential Survival Tools List

1. Knife

Knife Carry PositionKnife Carry Position

A knife is considered the ultimate survival tool because of its versatility. This one survival tool can cover cutting, dressing game, batoning wood, carving, shaving, and self-defense (to name just a few).

There are many types of knives, and some are better suited for certain survival situations than others. 

For more info, read:

2. Axe or Hatchet

Estwing Sportsman hatchetEstwing Sportsman hatchet

For heavy-duty chopping tasks, you’ll want to use an axe or a hatchet instead of a knife. Not only does it save your knife from overuse, it also makes the job a lot easier. You’ll be grateful to have one in situations like removing downed trees from roads, chopping firewood, or cutting trees for a shelter.

As with knives, there are many types of axes, and you’ll want to choose the right one for survival. 

Also Read:

3. Saw

Opinel Folding SawOpinel Folding Saw

Saws are a lot safer to use than axes and tend to be lighter weight. They also have more survival uses. Not only…

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