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Contest Food Storage & Cooking Intelwars Traditional Skills/Fieldcraft

The Science: Reusing Canning Jar Lids – Part 2, by St. Funogas

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) #4. “Tempered less than Mason jars.” Nearly every book, website, and blog discussing this subject insists that Mason jars are tempered. They’re definitely, absolutely, NOT tempered. Glass has three basic hardening options: tempering, heat strengthening, and annealing. All commercial and home-canning jars are annealed, not tempered. Annealing is a process where jars are cooled down very slowly after production to make them more consistent and to minimize stresses. Whenever glass breaks into the sharp jagged pieces seen when we break a jar or window it’s merely annealed, not tempered or heat strengthened. …

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Contest Food Storage & Cooking Intelwars Traditional Skills/Fieldcraft

The Science: Reusing Canning Jar Lids – Part 1, by St. Funogas

I’ve been on an incredible journey since submitting my last article Reusing Canning Jar Lids to SurvivalBlog. That article was based on my personal experience reusing 1,000+ canning jar lids. Many other home canners bear similar testimony about successfully reusing lids. My article specifically mentioned ignoring all the blogs, the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning, and even my own experience mentioned in the article. Since the best teacher is personal experience, I then challenged the reader to do a simple test themselves by canning some water with used canning jar lids. In this follow-up article, I have researched and …

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Christianity Food Storage & Cooking Intelwars Retreat Logistics

Starve-The-Beast Recommendations, by Bear

Here are some recommendations sent to us by SurvivalBlog reader “Bear” on some smaller businesses to patronize, to help Starve The Amazon Beast.  They include: The Darn Tough brand socks are great. Pricey but made in the USA by a family-owned company and come with a literal lifetime guarantee. I have a scientist relative who purchased a couple of pairs a decade-plus ago for field work, and only recently has she had to return them for an exchange. I live in mine (these and my Carhartts), and I recently purchased another 30 pair for my children to wear now and to …

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Contest Food Storage & Cooking Freeze Dryer Intelwars

To Freeze-Dry or Not Freeze-Dry, by J.A.

Our family began our self-sufficiency journey approximately 15 to 20 years ago at an LDS Home Storage Center location and we did not have a focused plan (Yes JW,R I should have thoroughly reviewed the list of lists, my bad!). In hindsight, we would not have gone as heavy as we did in wheat berries, beans and rice. However, that is water under the bridge at this point as we slowly work our way through the original purchases (wheat berry meatloaf anyone?). Since that time, our food storage has greatly diversified and if you have priced out certain freeze-dried items …

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Contest Food Storage & Cooking Intelwars

Small Batch Meat Canning Tips, by Tractorguy

Introductory Proviso: This article assumes that the user is already familiar with safe practices to pressure-can meat. This article is NOT a comprehensive discussion of all the caveats and procedures necessary for safe canning. It is ONLY supplementary information for specific items and situations listed below. The correct procedures (times and pressures) for safely pressure-canning low-pH items like meats are available from the manufacturer of your pressure canner or from the USDA. My wife and I enjoy pressure canning, and believe it to be the best procedure for storing small quantities of meat and other perishables for easy transportation and …

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Contest Food Storage & Cooking Intelwars Retreat Architecture

Constructing My Culvert Cooker – Part 2, by J.P.

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) Start Cooking! Stage III. Build the deck (Two Days) Since adding a deck to your outdoor kitchen is optional I offer no plan or directives for you to follow. Again there are expert builders – even average builders – who are capable of producing a fine deck for these purposes. Likewise big box stores and most book dealers are a source of good plans for your deck. Here a few things for you to consider: * Craigslist and other on-line postings are likely to turn up trex and other similar used materials …

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Contest Food Storage & Cooking Intelwars

Constructing My Culvert Cooker – Part 1, by J.P.

Introductory Note: Since posting the article on Wood Fired Coffee Roasting (Dec 8-9) a number of you have asked for some directives on building the counter height cooker. Because I love using my cooker, and I can’t think of a more practical piece of outdoor equipment, here goes with my best attempt to guide you through the construction process. I highly recommend putting together the entire outdoor kitchen, but if you are interested in just the culvert cooker then you’ll find that below – Stage II, Culvert Cooker. First, read through the entire article. — If Wikipedia knew about the …

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Contest Food Storage & Cooking Intelwars

Wood-Fired Coffee Roasting – Part 2, by J.P.

Preparation for Roasting Besides gathering all your equipment together, two skills need to be developed: 1.) Maintaining just the right amount of fire and 2.) “Nurturing” the beans with masterful strokes of the paddles. First, the fire. If you are blessed to be a master of the wood fire then this part will come easy. Most effective wood cooking fires are long on a good bed of coals and short on actual flame. Flame delivers short-lived heat and then it dies. You don’t want to be rebuilding your fire in the middle of a roast. Now let’s talk about what …

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Contest Food Storage & Cooking Intelwars

The Art of Meal Stretching – Part 2, by Nurse Michele

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) I learned a long time ago that when the budget was particularly tight around our house if I stressed over it, I would see that stress reflected in my children. I tried, of course, to take the opportunity to display faith and trust in the Lord. There were times, I confess, that I stood firmer on my faith than at others. I remember one night in particular our car had broken down. There, in the freezing cold, on the side of a major highway in New Jersey, my kids and I stood …

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Contest Food Storage & Cooking Health and Fitness Intelwars Retreat Logistics

The Art of Meal Stretching – Part 1, by Nurse Michele

Meal stretching is the learned art of taking simple, low-cost ingredients and turning them into not just one appealing meal for your family, but with some careful planning and a few adjustments, several meals to meet your family’s needs. This is a subject I expect that most of us, at least SurvivalBlog readers, have already acquired a fair bit of knowledge. Sometimes it’s easy to assume then, that the ability to make one meal become three is all but ubiquitous. But recently something happened, making me re-think my assumption that folks at large are familiar with ways to help keep …

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Contest Food Storage & Cooking Intelwars Self-Employment & Home-Based Businesses Traditional Skills/Fieldcraft

How to Make Wooden Mason Jar Crates – Part 2, by St. Funogas

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) Second Jig – Drill-Press Jig  If you have a pneumatic stapler, which greatly speeds up many nailing tasks, you can skip this section. Once you have the first slats cut, you’ll need to drill guide holes for the 4d nails using a 3/16” drill bit. If you try to nail without a pilot hole, not only will many of the slats split, but it’ll slow down your nailing time considerably. This is where jig number two comes in. As seen in Photos 10A  and 10B (inset), this jig positions stacks of five …

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Contest Food Storage & Cooking Intelwars Self-Employment & Home-Based Businesses Traditional Skills/Fieldcraft

How to Make Wooden Mason Jar Crates – Part 1, by St. Funogas

If you’re an average prepper, you no doubt have enough mason jars to sink a small yacht if they were all filled with pickles and tomato sauce and snuck aboard. And if you’ve done a lot of canning, you’ve probably thought there has to be a better way to manage all the jars than those cardboard boxes they come in. I’ve found that homemade wooden crates work great for me and may work for you as well. What I really like about these crates is that you can store empties in them as well as full jars, then stack the …

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Contest Food Storage & Cooking Fuel Storage & Distilling Home Power Intelwars Lighting Retreat Logistics Water Storage & Filters

Low-Tech Off-Grid Living, by Ani

I’m writing this article early in the morning during a power failure. I’ve only lived in this house for six months but this is not the first power failure I’ve experienced here. Previously I house-sat in this town and experienced a long duration power failure complete with four days or so of no cell service either. I got on my phone and looked up the outage map and realized that my town and a couple of adjacent towns have a significant outage, definitely due to the high winds of last night. The electric utility will begin mobilizing the line crews …

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Food Storage & Cooking Intelwars Retreat Logistics

Testing 20-Year-Old Mountain House Lasagna, by S.H. in Texas

This article describes my experience with some Mountain House brand freeze-dried lasagna that I taste-tested 13 years beyond it’s “Best By” date. Since I have become a bit of a “prepper”, I have noticed that the years seem to fly by much faster than before! Perhaps it’s just the usual momentum of age, but it seems every time I check on something from my “deep storage”, I find that it has been at least 10 years since it was purchased! Very disturbing. So…the question that plagues us is this: “would this be better-‘n-nothing when the SHTF, or should I just …

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Contest Food Storage & Cooking Intelwars

Living to 100: The Blue Zone Diet for Survival, by M.E.

“Living well is the best revenge.” – George Herbert. When I was in high school in the late 1960s, we were pretty sure someone was going to drop a bomb on us. We had graduated from duck and cover to emergency preparedness, bomb shelters and all. One day in the auditorium we watched some training on first aid and handling trauma. The films were pretty vivid and some kids left in a hurry to throw up. One thing from this that has stuck with me is: if you are sick or injured, you can’t help anyone else. Anyone who has …

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Food Storage & Cooking Intelwars recommendations

JWR’s Recommendations of the Week:

Here are JWR’s Recommendations of the Week for various media and tools of interest to SurvivalBlog readers. The focus is usually on emergency communications gear, bug out bag gear, books, and movies–often with a tie-in to disaster preparedness, and links to “how-to” self-sufficiency videos. There are also links to sources for both storage food and storage containers. You will also note an emphasis on history books and historical movies. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This week the focus is on some unusual MRE components and MRE replacements. (See the Gear & Grub section.) Books: Edible Wild …

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Food Storage & Cooking Intelwars recommendations

JWR’s Recommendations of the Week:

Here are JWR’s Recommendations of the Week for various media and tools of interest to SurvivalBlog readers. The focus is usually on emergency communications gear, bug out bag gear, books, and movies–often with a tie-in to disaster preparedness, and links to “how-to” self-sufficiency videos. There are also links to sources for both storage food and storage containers. You will also note an emphasis on history books and historical movies. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This week the focus is on some unusual MRE components and MRE replacements. (See the Gear & Grub section.) Books: Edible Wild …

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Contest Food Storage & Cooking Gardening Intelwars

Maximizing the Homestead Apple Orchard, by Eric K.

“Surely the apple is the noblest of fruits” – Henry David Thoreau American homesteaders and gardeners have a high degree of familiarity with eating and growing apples.  Who hasn’t enjoyed biting into a fresh, crunchy apple on a cool fall morning?  Most homesteaders plant an apple tree or two early on in the process of establishing their property.  This makes sense – the apple is deeply connected to American pioneering history and culture.  Johnny Appleseed traveled the Ohio River Valley and parts of Appalachia planting apple seeds.  Oregon Trail settlers carried seeds and seedlings with them when they came west …

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Contest Food Storage & Cooking Intelwars

Lessons Learned From a Decade of Food Storage, by Sandi

The pandemic lockdown of 2020 has led to a re-evaluation of my family’s food storage. This is  a food storage that began more than ten years ago. We began actively storing food in large quantities in 2009 and have continued intermittently since then. Where we have failed, however, is in not eating what we stored and not rotating our stock. Our experience with what lasted and what did not may be of some benefit to others as they consider what and how much of certain foods they should store. Overall, I have been pleasantly surprised at how long our food …

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Contest Food Storage & Cooking Gardening Intelwars Traditional Skills/Fieldcraft

The $100 Homestead Grain Winnower – Part 1, by PapaP

One of the pillars of homestead food production is growing small grains such as wheat, barley, oats, etc. The classic text for homestead grain production is Small-Scale Grain Raising, by Gene Logsdon (1977). His focus is on using small-scale or appropriate technology, usually human powered. For example, harvesting small grains would entail the use of a scythe for cutting the grain, a flail for threshing the grain followed by tossing the grain into the air to winnow or separate the grain from the chaff. I was raised on a traditional farm in the 1960s and 1970s where we used farm-scale …

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Communications & Receivers Contest Food Storage & Cooking Intelwars recommendations Retreat Security

The Semi-Prepper – Part 2, by Francis

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) In addition I stress myself at the range by exercising when I get there (running, pushups, jumping jacks.)  The idea is to degrade my performance by tiring and winding myself, which will show me how I will shoot under stress. Since I’m now in my 70’s, I feel the best home defense weapon is a rifle. Semiautomatic pistols are great but a rifle with its’ longer sight radius leads me to be more accurate. Also as I get older I am concerned about the complexity of the “manual of arms” for the …

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Contest Food Storage & Cooking Hunting and Trapping Intelwars Traditional Skills/Fieldcraft

The Protein All Around Us, by Oregon Bill

It was the fifth raccoon that I had permanently discouraged from killing our chickens. “If we ever had to eat these in an emergency, our family would put on weight” I said to my wife. I was joking of course. She surprised me with her reply: “Well, why don’t we give them a try so we know if it would ever be worth it?” She had grown up eating wild meat, and our family commonly ate what we raised or hunted, so it sounded kind of like a new adventure. Here is some of what we learned that might be …

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Contest Food Storage & Cooking Home Power Intelwars

Propane and Compressor Refrigerators, by Tunnel Rabbit

This is a brief analysis of propane and compressor refrigerators in long term grid-down appplications. In Northwest Montana life has not changed radically during the Coronavirus lockdown, and there are plenty of used freezers, and fridges available on Craigslist.  However, demand for propane refrigerators is on the increase as there is marked rise in interest in self-reliance.  If nothing can be found in your area, then be willing to travel to buy a used propane refrigerators before they are gone.  These are expensive and hard to find. At the least, these can preserve meat while you jar it up, and …

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Contest First Aid/Medical Food Storage & Cooking Intelwars Plagues and Pandemics Retreat Logistics

100 Days of Final Preparations – Part 1, by Elli O.

I’m writing this as a stand-alone article. However, if you would like to read more about our journey through the world of preparedness and our homestead, please see my previous article in the SurvivalBlog archives for November 26-27, 2019. As a follow-up I am writing this to explain what we have done just in the past 100 days and how the global pandemic and possible near-future economical collapse has impacted us and our preparations. 100 DAYS OF FINAL PREPARATIONS For as long as I can remember, I have always had a mindset of preparedness, partly because of my background as …

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