Transitional Food Preps: Staying Fed Between Storage and Cultivation

You’ve spent the last few years stacking emergency transitional food in the pantry, in the closet of the guest bedroom, and in the garage. You bought a grain mill and have stuffed pound after pound of rice, beans, pasta, and wheat berries into mylar. You’ve couponed until you’re blue in the face, joined a wholesale club, taken advantage of every sale on oatmeal and canned tuna. Even with all you’ve managed to put away, you realize in the back of your mind that, for the long-term, it will become necessary to shift from food storage to food production, so you’ve planted fruit trees in your landscape beds and stashed an impressive mix of vegetable seeds in the freezer.

But what if the transition isn’t as cut and dry? Environmental conditions, social unrest, illness within your family, or a steeper-than-anticipated learning curve could delay the ability to move into full-scale agricultural production. All of a sudden, then, your one-year food supply will have to stretch to 14 months or longer. Perhaps you discover too late that your stockpiled provisions, while loading you up with the necessary calories, lack one easy-to-overlook micronutrient.

Studio photo of a a pile of unlabeled soup cans, an option for transitional food, stacked on a wooden floor.

Above: Food storage will get you through the initial stages of an emergency, but in the long run, it is not enough.

Food security during a major event should not only focus on stored food and Little House on the Prairie-esque self-sufficiency, but also on “transitional food production” — systems that can generate some nutrition even during a bugout or shelter-in-place scenario. Wise preppers should consider how they can implement smaller-scale food production that will help stretch their flour and freeze-dried meals, while giving them a wide range of nutrients. In the event of a delayed growing season, a crop failure, or a need to lay low a little longer, mushrooms, eggs, and sprouts are examples of sustainable foods that can help fill the gaps between what’s in the cupboards and what will eventually spring up in the garden. Furthermore, many families are accustomed to a good bit of variety in their diets, and these items can make the 99th serving of rice and beans a little more tolerable.

Transitional Food Systems Should Meet Three Criteria

1) They should be portable enough to be transported to a bugout location and back or moved into a sheltered space with relative ease.

2) They should provide significant nutrition for their bulk and weight.

3) The knowledge, skills, and equipment required to produce these foods should be easily attainable for the majority of folks.

Mushrooms To-Go

Mushrooms are the only non-animal food source of Vitamin D. They have more protein than most vegetables, they provide significant levels of riboflavin and niacin, and they’re relatively easy to grow — or at least some species are. While growing morels isn’t impossible, it’s not as reliable an undertaking as producing shiitakes or oysters.

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Know Kidding: How to Care for a Rejected Baby Goat

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In my local area, I have noted the number of people who have started gardens (one family even ripped out their entire front lawn) or have small, medium, or even large livestock.  While I do not know if they are doing it as a means to stretch their budget or as a concern of food security, they are making an investment.

I myself have invested in small, medium, and large livestock.  In the winter, I have to take them water and hay.  In the summer, just water.  For the most part, they take care of themselves. 

However, when it comes to breeding for the next generation, sometimes there is more action required.  I have had goats now for about ten years.  For the most part, the does (female goats) do their part, and I just stand out of the way.  But a few does have rejected their kids (baby goats).  It happens. 

While yes, they are little creatures I have a responsibility to care for, they are also investments, and I have a few lessons learned I wish to share with you to ensure your success if you so choose to invest in goats as I have. 

How to warm up a rejected baby goat

When the doe gives birth, she will lick it clean, then stand and allow the kid to take its first feeding from the doe.  

However, if the doe rejects the kid, she will just ignore it.  I have had, on two occasions, gone into the barn for morning feedings to find a cold and wet kid, and the mother more interested in breakfast than her kid.

The first thing is to get the kid into the house, cleaned off, and warm.  Kids cannot maintain their own body heat for the first 24 to 48 hours.  

A quick and easy way to check the temperature is to stick your finger or thumb into their mouth.

  • Warm = good.
  • Cool = bad.
  • Cold = really, really, bad!

The best method I have found for warming them up is to use hot water bottles to keep the kid warm.  Once, in a pinch (we could not find the water bottles), we used two 1.5L wine bottles.  Since then, I keep two water bottles handy as a “just in case.” 

Place the hot water bottles in the bottom of a large enough container like a large laundry basket, a large storage bin, or even a cardboard box.  Then put a thin blanket over the bottles to prevent the kid from burning himself.  I bring the…

So, Are Black and Yellow Snakes Poisonous?

If you are afraid of snakes, I have bad news for you. There is no shortage of snake species on every, single continent on Earth except Antarctica.

yellow rat snake

The good news is that most snakes are completely harmless to people. The bad news is that some are downright deadly.

There is no immediately telling characteristic that will inform you whether or not a snake is poisonous, but often times in nature we see bright, vivid colors associated with dangerous animals.

How about black and yellow snakes? Are they poisonous?

It depends. Some black and yellow snakes like the yellow rat snake are completely harmless. Others, like the yellow-bellied sea snake, are deadly.

Unfortunately, there is no easy mnemonic or other trick that will always help you positively identify a black and yellow snake as harmless or dangerous.

Unless you are quite skilled and experienced with identifying snakes, you should make it a point to never approach any wild snake, and especially a black and yellow one.

We’ll talk more about black and yellow snakes and the possible threat they represent in the rest of this article.

What Do Black and Yellow Snakes Look Like?

Black and yellow snakes actually have quite a bit of variation depending on the species and the subspecies.

Some might be a glossy, smooth black color with tight, thin and evenly spaced yellow bands along the length of their body. Others might be a dusky charcoal black with a single yellow collar around their neck.

Still others might be a model or varying shades of black with a lemon or banana yellow belly.

Even in this seemingly simple color scheme there is a shocking amount of variation to be found on Earth.

Some may be very small, others might be impressively, frighteningly large. It all just depends.

Are Black and Yellow Snakes Venomous?

They might be, or they might not be. It depends upon the species. Some black and yellow snakes like the common king snake are entirely harmless to people.

Others, like the aforementioned yellow-bellied sea snake are extremely venomous.

In the case of this latter snake, it injects a potent cocktail of multiple neurotoxins and isotoxins that will rapidly incapacitate prey at sea or on land.

Conversely, if the common kingsnake were to bite you, assuming you could get this relatively docile snake to bite, you might have small lacerations or scratches from its tiny teeth.

Where are Black and Yellow Snakes Found?

Black and yellow snakes are found all around the world in many regions, both on land and at sea.

How Likely are These Snakes to Bite?

Once again, there is no easy answer when it comes to the bite tendencies of these snakes based on color alone. There are simply too many snakes that are black and yellow to easily categorize.

However, most snakes are quite content to be left well alone by people, and as a rule they will try to escape, avoid…

Pets and Survival – Survivopedia

Pets are an important part of many people’s lives. We all have a natural affinity for animals, especially in our childhood years. Raising a puppy or kitten is an important part of growing up; learning responsibility and how to care for someone besides ourselves. Those pets become as much a part of the family as any of our siblings; and we’re often much closer to them, regardless of whether we’re talking about a hamster, a dog or a pony.

But what do we do about those pets when it comes to survival? Some make cruel jokes about how the family dog is just one more part of their “emergency rations, just in case;” but could you imagine the upheaval it would cause in your family if you were to kill the family pet and prepare it for dinner? I wouldn’t want to try that. I’d rather give that pet to someone else to eat than try and serve it to my family.

We really have two basic options for our pets, when it comes to a time of survival, as killing and eating them really doesn’t work. The first of these options is to sacrifice to keep our animals alive and the second is to make those animals part of our survival plan. While I’m sure there are a lot of people who will sacrifice for their pets, I’m also sure that it makes much more sense to have animals which can help our families out, when it comes to survival.

Farm Animals

It should be noted that pets and farm animals aren’t the same thing, although it is possible to get just as close to our farm animals, effectively making them pets, as it is to get close to animals which are normally considered to be pets. But the main difference between the two is that farm animals are raised with the understanding that we are raising them for food, while dogs and cats aren’t.

It’s important to make this distinction with your kids, as most kids love animals and will adopt a baby goat or a rabbit, just as quickly as they will a puppy or kitten. Killing a goat or chicken that a child falls in love with can be just as hard on them, as killing their pet dog. But if you raise them with the understanding that those animals are being raised for food, at least it won’t come as a surprise to them. Regular reminders that the farm animals are there to feed your family will help seat that idea in their heads, waiting for the time when they need to realize just what that means.

When it comes time to start slaughtering those animals, be sure to start out with the ones which your children aren’t so attached to. That will give them more of a chance to get used to the idea that those animals are there for food, not pets.

One thing that helps with keeping this distinction is that the…

The Government Desperately Wants to Ban 3D Printed Guns

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by Aden Tate
Author of The Faithful Prepper and Zombie Choices

Nobody loves controlling others more than the government, so it’s no surprise that they’re desperate to ban 3-d printed guns. Right now, the US legislature has introduced two separate yet identical bills that would outright ban the creation of 3D-printed guns or the dissemination of the code for doing so. 

HR 4225 was introduced to the House Committee on the Judiciary on June 29 of this year by Representative Ted Deutsch (D-FL). A few short days later, an identical bill, S.2319, was introduced by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) in the Senate. [Source]

Officially, S.2319 is referred to as the 3-D Printed Gun Safety Act of 2021.

They’re ready to take gun control to a whole new level with this.

But you may know it as its mainstream media coined term: The Ghost Gun Ban

According to the US government, the stated intention of S.2319 is “to amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to prohibit the distribution of 3D printer plans for the printing of firearms, and for other purposes.” After the bill was introduced, 27 Senators throughout the US – all Democrat (with the exception of stated Independent, Bernie Sanders) – jumped on board to sign it. They are:


All these folks can’t wait to ban 3-d printed guns.

What does this mean for aficionados if they ban 3-D printed guns ?

Should this bill be passed to ban 3-D printed guns, it likely means that tens of thousands (if not…

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Processing Chickens on Our Homestead, by Ozark Redneck

Growing up, we had chickens and I dreaded butcher day. Momma would get a fire going and put a huge pot of water on for scalding the chickens to remove the feathers. Dad had two cord loops one for their feet, which I held and one for the neck, which he held while he used a hatchet & a chopping block to dispatch the bird. If you have butchered chickens this way you know where the saying “she is running ‘round like a chicken with it’s head cut off” comes from. That scene and the smell of scalding chickens in hot water is enough to turn the stomach of any 9-year-old.

Fortunately, there is a better way. Somebody invented a chicken killing cone, that I have used for many years.
This device inverts the chicken. Be sure to get their feet out of the cone at the top, I have had a few chickens actually push themselves out of the cone. I grab the beak/head, stretch the neck and quickly cut the head off with a sharp knife. One could use pliers to hold the beak/head if needed. After the blood drains move the bird to your butcher table. I use a folding white one from Sam’s Club.

I have used these fish cleaning stations, basically a folding white plastic table with a sink and faucet, so your garden hose just hooks up to the sink, makes everything handy and easier, especially if you are dealing with a large volume of animals to butcher.

I set up a large 39-gallon trash can with liner under the lip of the table, and as I work I put the waste into the trash can. I use a large stainless-steel bowl and stainless steel deep serving trays to put the clean birds into.
I use poultry shears like these Fiskars. They make good products.

Here is another brand of poultry shears I have used, Gerior Poultry Shears out of Sheridan, Wyoming.

I like to use a boning knife, like this one from Chicago Cutlery.

I never used to wear gloves, but in a past butchering session I cut my palm on a bone that I had cut with the shears. Now I wear a ‘no-cut’ glove like these.

So, to recap what tools I set up for a butcher session:

  • White plastic table
  • Water source, garden hose or fish cleaning station with hose attached.
  • Killing cone (I hang mine on an Oak tree near the butcher station.
  • Large trash can with liner
  • Stainless steel bowls or deep pans
  • Poultry shears
  • Boning knife
  • Gloves (either nitrile or ‘no-cut’)

Once I have all my tools and set-up is ready, I start the process.

Dispatch the bird in the killing cone. Toss the head in the trash can and move the bird to the table, after the blood has drained from the bird. Use the poultry shears to remove the…

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How to Create a Prepper Hideout

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by Jeff Thompson

It’s strange to even think of writing a piece about creating prepper hideouts in “The Land of the Free.” Sadly, that freedom has long ago died a bloody death. I think we’re getting much closer to an America akin to the late 1930s Germany. Other countries throughout the world (Australia comes to mind) are already there.

For those who are thinking a “we need to hide our Jewish neighbors” type scenario could quickly unfold again, I’d like to take a moment to give some of my thoughts on how to create a prepper hideout. We need only look at the venom and animosity that is being directed at the unvaccinated to see that this might actually become a necessity in our lifetime.

A hideout is different than a bug-out location, a survival cache, or a safe room. It’s meant to house a person or group of people secretly in the event they are targeted for some reason. Where you will locate this space will vary based on your home, your geography, and other factors.

Let’s talk about what a prepper hideout requires, and what we can glean from history.

The first things a prepper hideout requires are food and water

Without a doubt, this needs to be your #1 priority. Read through any of the diaries of those trapped in Nazi-occupied territory throughout World War II. You’ll see just how large of a presence hunger played in their daily lives. You have to have ample food stores for these environments. Without food, you cannot stay in a hideout for long.

Water is even more critical. Although a person can technically survive three days without water, your motor skills and mental capacity will diminish on the first day. Here’s an article on calculating how much water to store

In addition to food, you need to consider a way to open cans and a hidden means of cooking food. Can-openers easily solve the first problem. A plug-in stovetop is liable to be the best means of providing the second. Another option is storing food that doesn’t have to be cooked at all.

Plug-in stove units aren’t going to have the massive energy draw of a real stove. If an energy allotment is in place and people are punished for breaking electricity rationing rules, you may want to consider one of these. Plug-in stoves genuinely don’t take up much space and can quickly heat a pot full of chili. I usually use mine to…

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LAPD Is Forcing EVERYONE to Reveal Social Media User Names

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by Aden Tate

The notion of government workers monitoring your social media is probably not news to you. I believe Edward Snowden blew the lid off of this can of worms years ago. However, have you considered that those very same people may now force your social media usernames out of you should they stop you on the street?

Probably not, right?

Yet that’s precisely what’s happening in Los Angeles right now. Apparently, it has been happening for years.

How was this discovery made?

Within New York University is a non-profit organization known as the Brennan Center for Justice. Early last year (2020) the NPO law/public policy institute submitted a request for information on how LAPD used social media to monitor people and groups. [source]

The Brennan Center for Justice formally filed the request under the California Public Records Act, yet the request was never fulfilled. The Brennan Center took the matter to a superior court. The court granted the request for information, and the 6,000-page report was finally released this past Wednesday, September 8, 2021.[source]

According to the Brennan Center, the information they were given revealed that LAPD offered little guidance and minimal oversight over officers’ surveillance on social media platforms. The center went on to state: 

Few limitations offset this broad authority: officers need not document the searches they conduct, their purpose, or the justification. They are not required to seek supervisory approval, and the guide offers no standards for the types of cases that warrant social media surveillance. While officers are instructed not to conduct social media surveillance for personal, illicit, or illegal purposes, they seem otherwise to have complete discretion over whom to surveil, how broadly to track their online activity, and how long to monitor them.

Despite endowing its officers with broad authority to surveil social media, the LAPD has done little to ensure these powers aren’t abused.

How did the LAPD collect this information?

LAPD Interview Card

LAPD has been carrying “field interview cards.” LAPD officers can stop anyone, whether they are arresting them or not, and ask them to fill these cards out. [source] It’s up to the officer’s discretion whether the field interview card is filled out or not. Interestingly, information the card collects includes social media handles, usernames, email addresses, and profile page URLs. [source] 

Let’s say you have an Instagram account where you follow Iraqveteran8888, Demolition Ranch, Lucky Gunner, or other firearms-related…

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Pay-by-Palm: Just an Innocent Technology to Make Life Easier?

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by Aden Tate

Looks like the folks at Amazon have taken up palm reading with the recent rollout of Amazon One, a pay-by-palm technology. 

Don’t like the idea of having to touch “dirty” cash or handing your credit card to a cashier who has handled thousands of other credit cards that day? Maybe you don’t like having to carry around a wallet or a purse. Well, then perhaps Amazon One is the solution for you. 

Unveiled back in 2020 in its Seattle hometown, Amazon’s palm scanning payment method is gradually gaining steam as the concept takes root on American soil.

How does pay-by-palm scanning work?

Nobody else on earth has the same palm print as you do. Not only are the ridges and wrinkles of your palms individually tailored to you, but so are the veins in your hands and fingers. Amazon’s new pay-by-palm technology detects your skin topography and is also able to detect the vein patterns of your hands. [source]

Amazon customers can then upload their palmprints to Amazon’s servers to link their palmprints to their Amazon account, and by extension, their bank accounts. Now, instead of having to take the time to count out your cash and receive change when you head to the register – instead of using a credit card to pay – all you have to do at select locations is scan your palm at the appropriate station. Forget a mere cashless society. You won’t even need a card in Amazon’s new world.

Amazon believes people will be excited about this particular feature. In 2020, when Amazon first unveiled the technology, Amazon said the contactless nature of the payment was something they thought “customers will really appreciate, especially in current times.” [source] 

Currently, six Amazon stores in New York City and 47 other stores throughout the US utilize pay-by-palm scans as an alternative form of payment. [source] Whole Foods is also a new testing ground for the feature. [source] 

What about the privacy issue?

Amazon is offering a sign up incentive of a $10 in-store credit voucher to those who opt to scan their palms into the system. [source] But, do you really want to give up your privacy for a $10 credit and a bit of convenience? Using biometrics to pay for purchases reveals far more than one may realize. An article on The Conversation points out the psychology behind reward incentives. The author states many people claim to care about their privacy yet all it takes is the promise…

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Real Life Survival Story: Baofeng, the Little Ham Radio That Could –

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by Aden Tate

It was a beautiful summer day in Vermont, and Alden Summer Jones was making his way down the Long Trail – America’s oldest hiking trail. It’s a 273-mile trek across the highest mountains in Vermont – across the entire length of Vermont as well – and all without making contact with any cities or towns (though it does cross a few roads).  

After a length of hiking through the trail, Alden’s blood sugar dropped too low. He passed out and began to suffer a seizure. Thankfully, a fellow hiker was nearby who just happened to be an EMT. The EMT rushed to Alden to deliver aid. After Alden regained consciousness, the EMT decided that further aid was going to be needed. They needed a rescue.

Unfortunately, one of the chief qualities that adds to the appeal of the Long Trail – *its remoteness – also meant having zero cell reception throughout many parts of it. That’s precisely what Alden and the EMT realized as they tried to call for help.

*Long Trail is one of the most remote hiking experiences in America.

But Alden had an ace up his sleeve: he was a ham radio operator.

And it just so happened that Alden had brought along his HT (handy-talky) radio with him. Alden’s radio was a Baofeng – easily the most hated radio brand amongst serious ham radio aficionados out there. In a disaster situation, though, Alden proved that even something as scorned as a Baofeng could save lives. Alden tuned in to a local repeater on Mt. Greylock, where he put out a call for a rescue. Two men, Ron Wonderlick and Matthew Sacco, were sitting at home listening to the radio traffic on the local repeater that day and heard Alden’s call for help.

After a brief discussion between Matthew and Ron, Matthew decided to go mobile. He grabbed his radio gear, jumped in his vehicle, and drove off to the parking lot of the Long Trail (after contacting emergency services). Matthew met the Incident Command Leader for the SAR operation at the parking lot, offering his services as a radio operator to help. The rescue operation agreed. Matthew first attempted to contact the Mt. Greylock repeater that Alden had used initially to make his call for help.

Time to get creative. 

Getting a hold of the repeater was tricky, and Matthew knew if he couldn’t reach it, the rescue operation would only have a much more difficult time. He initially tried his HT unit.

It didn’t work. 


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