Friday, December 7, 2012

How to Avoid Panic Attacks

Now that we are in December 2012, there is a lot of attention being given to the end of the Mayan calendar, 12/21/2012.  No one even knows if it's really the end, a new beginning, or "the end of the world as we know it" which just signifies a huge change from what it used to be.  Regardless of what it truly means, there are many shows currently running on television speculating about various disasters.  If you give in to all this wild speculation, you could whip yourself into a frenzy and get a panic attack.

I recommend reading Survival Doctor's latest article,

8 Natural Anxiety Relievers: Which Ones Really Work; Which One Can Be Deadly

If you suffer from panic attacks or anxiety, he has a great list of natural remedies and he includes possible risks as well.

Do yourself a favor and take deep breath, and a giant step away from your worries.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A New E-book for Preppers Who Are Watching Their Pennies


If you are a beginning prepper who is worried about how to come up with money to spend, this book is for you.

Bernie Carr, writer of Apartment Prepper, announced the release of her new e-book, “How to Prepare for Most Emergencies on a $50 a Month Budget.”  It is available now on Amazon.

According to the article, it is for Beginning Preppers who are interested in getting started, but don't have a huge budget to buy gear and supplies.

You do not need to own a Kindle to be able to read the book.  If you download the free Kindle app, you can read it on your computer.  The e-book is $2.99 on Amazon. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

EcoZoom Versa Stove

 EcoZoom Zoom Versa

One of the issues about backup stoves including barbecue grills is fuel.  In an extended emergency, you can potentially run out of fuel such as charcoal briquets, propane or gas.  The Zoom Versa Stove is a nicely built stove that can use twigs, branches, pinecones, acorns, all very easy to find.

I enjoyed this field test of the EcoZoom Versa Stove by the Prepping Guys

The stove worked very efficiently.  It's not a portable stove, and would be ideal for a shelter in place type situation.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Good Addition to Food Storage

Food storage must include some fats and oils as they are essential to health.  You need fats and oils for making breads and other baked goods, to deep fry or stir fry foods.  Oil can even be used as a lighting source.  See this lamp made from vegetable oil

One issue with fats and oils is their short shelf life.  Oil can last about a year in storage.  After a while, oil becomes rancid and is no longer safe to consume.  I have olive and canola oils but I rotate them after a year.   Now I have learned extra virgin coconut oil has a two year shelf life.  That is even better.

Coconut oil also has a lot of health benefits: 
  • anti-inflammatory
  • anti-fungal
  • anti-bacterial
  • reduces fever
It can even aid weight loss.  See
Coconut Oil: A Nutrient Powerhouse and Metabolism Booster  an article from Natural Health Sherpa.

Part of being prepared is staying healthy, and coconut oil can help.  I am going to add coconut oil to my food storage.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Don't be Afraid to Try Powdered Milk

One of the items I had never tried before storing food is powdered milk.  I just was not sure how it was going to turn out.  I bought the smallest one I could find to first try it out.

I was running out of regular milk anyway, so I thought I'd give it a try.  The instructions say you need to first add warm water to the container, then add the milk.  You should not add milk to the water because it will clump up.  You definitely don't want clumps of powder in your milk.

How to mix powdered milk:

1.  Heat up two cups of water in the microwave for a minute.

2.  Add the warm water to 1 1/2 cups of room temperature water.

3.  Add 13 tablespoons of powdered milk.

4.  Shake up the container to mix well.  Make sure no dry powder is left.

I tasted the milk expecting it to taste bad.  I was surprised!  I actually tastes pretty good.  Chill it in the fridge and it tastes even better.  I also tried it with coffee and hot coco and you cannot tell the difference.  DH and the kids could not taste the difference either. 

I am going to keep using the powdered milk.  Try it out, you may be surprised too.  Powdered milk is good to have as part of your storage food pantry.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Inexpensive Ways to Start Prepping

In the aftermath of monster storm Sandy, many people are taking a fresh look at preparing for emergencies.  But it is not always easy to get started, especially if money is tight.  You can get started with a very limited budget.  The important thing is to just get started.

Here are some good articles to get you thinking:

18 Low Cost Ways to Start Prepping

Prepping Supplies for 99 Cents

Budget Prepping for a Buck

$5 a Week Shopping Challenge

These articles provide great ideas to get prepping supplies inexpensively.  And with all the uncertainties facing us today, we'd better get our emergency supplies in order.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

New Book Out - Beyond Collapse

I heard about a new book about preparation and survival and it is available as a free download or paperback.  The author is kind enough to provide the free download here:

(Please note, the free version is not for commercial distribution but for personal use and can be distributed to friends and family.  I recommend you print it out for future use.)

You can find the paperback here:

This promises to be a good book to have.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Review of the Free Food Storage Analyzer from Emergency Essentials

I tried out the Emergency Essentials free Food Storage Analyzer.  They invite you to try it out and they give you a free $10 Emergency Essentials gift card for your effort.  It's a good offer -  I get to evaluate my own food storage, and I get a reward for doing so.  What a deal!

When you first get in, you are asked to provide the number of people, male or female and age of the persons you are calculating for.

It will tell you the number of calories you need in your food storage per day.

You then proceed to the analyzer.  In the analyzer you fill in the foods that you already have.  It will not allow you to fill in pantry foods unless you log in.  However, once you have finished entering the various categories - cereals, meats, fruits, vegetables etc, it will tell you how much you have on hand and what you will need.

Overall the Food Storage Analyzer was easy to use.  The instructions were thorough and walk you step by step throughout the process.  I learned a lot about my own food storage plan and "holes" in my plan.  I had to look through what I had to fill it out properly.  Including all the listing and finding what I have in the pantry, it took me about 20 minutes or so but it is worth your time.

I have a little ways to go in my food storage but I have at least a month's worth. I am glad I tried out the Emergency Essentials free Food Storage Analyzer.

Gift Card Giveaway

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Survival Tips from a Doctor

Many times you wonder about health issues but can't get to a doctor right away.  This site answers a lot of common questions that have come up especially in families with kids:

- Does green mucus mean you have an infection?

- What is the best way to clear out ear wax?

- How to deal with a child's rash

- Is it safe to irrigate your nasal passages?

Go to The Survival Doctor to find these answers and more.

The site is full of information and is written for readers with a non medical background.   He's got a couple of e-books out that are worth the price. 
The Survival Doctor's Guide to Wounds: What to Do When There Is No Doctor (The Survival Doctor's Guides)The Survival Doctor's Guide to Burns: What to Do When There Is No Doctor
Good information!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Extreme Cheapskate Tactics May Actually Work

Interesting article over at reThinkSurvival:

Extreme Cheapskates: That Could Be You!

I've caught one episode of Extreme Cheapskates and was appalled at some of the actions of the featured cheapskates such as scrounging other people's leavings in restaurants, dumpster diving for flowers to give the wife on a big anniversary..  Got turn off the show and never caught it again.  Well it sounds like some of the tactics described in this article may actually work for preparedness purposes.  Some of them don't sound bad at all, especially if water and other necessities get scarce.  I may give the show another chance!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Take Precautions when Storing your Supplies

I saw this article over at Whatifitstoday:

Be Careful. Your preps can kill someone

A lot of people do store miscellaneous items in sheds and garages, not realizing danger could be lurking with all the combinations of chemicals, gases and flammable materials.  This article made me think about being careful where to store stuff. 


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Carjacking is Becoming more Common

We've been hearing about carjackings going on throughout the city.  Even though crime is said to be down statistically, these seemingly random occurrences still happen.  For the victim, it really doesn't matter what the statistics say.

So I thought I'd share this article as it has some great tips on avoiding being carjacked.

See How to Avoid Being Car Jacked at

I am generally cautious but I picked up a few ideas I hadn't thought about. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

TravelJohn - for When You Really Need to Go

Here is a product that can be used for emergencies when there is no toilet.  It is for liquid waste only, but can be a lifesaver even on long car rides when kids really need to go " #1"  I ordered it from Amazon where TravelJohn has following product description:

Product Features

  • Convenient, unisex, sanitary personal urinals containing patented Liqsorb material
  • Ideal for motion sickness, potty training, car travel, outdoor activities, and bathroom emergencies of all types
  • Biodegradable pouch filled with unique polymer substance which absorbs liquid waste and turns it into odorless, spill-proof gel
  • Nontoxic and waste disposal safe; unisex adapter and spill guard make it easy for anyone to use
  • Each bag measures two by two by 2.5 inches (W x H x D) folded, and five by 11 inches (W x H) unfolded, and weighs 1.5 ounces before use

Does it work?

We took this camping last summer for those dark nights when you really don't want to set foot outside the tent at 2 am.  You just take out of the packaging, unravel i and go.  You will need to position it so it is right underneath.  The gel quickly absorbs all the liquid so there is no threat of spilling (unless you completely missed it- with this you have to be careful)  They work very well.

It would be a good idea to have these in case of short term emergencies and there is no water to flush the toilet.  Of course you would also need heavy garbage bags or they will pile up.  They are great for camping and for long car rides when there is no place to stop.  I am going to resupply and get some more TravelJohns.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Walking Dead is Awesome!

We watched the much anticipated premier of the The Walking Dead last Sunday.  We had some family over and we watched it together with lots of snacks and commentary.

I don't want to ruin it for those of you who haven't watched it yet, but there is a shocker near the end of the show so watch closely.  I cannot wait to see the next one.

It is off to a great start!

While we're on the subject of zombies, check out this article

The Comprehensive Plan For Surviving The Zombie Apocalypse From Your Pole Barn

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Stove that Cooks and Charges Small Electronics

I ran across the BioLite Stove website and found it interesting.  It's a portable stove that is unique in that it can also charge small electronics like cell phones at the same time.  That is cool technology!  I was wondering if there were any reviews out there and found this one at Apartment Prepper:

BioLite CampStove Review

The review indicates the stove worked well when tested.

It does say you have to charge it off a wall plug before you use it.  You would need to make sure you charge it and try it out well before an actual power outage.  But that is part of any preparedness plant- testing your gear.

I think I will save up and get one of these.  

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Win a Free Copy of Brushfire Plague!


Apartment Prepper is hosting a giveaway of the new book, Brushfire Plague.  It sounds like a really good book and it's easy to join.

Go to

Win a Free Copy of Brushfire Plague!

 Good luck!


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Motorola MH230TPR Giant Rechargeable Two Way Radio 3 Pack, FRS/GMRS

We needed some radios to communicate with each other while backpacking.  Being deep in the mountains, our cell phones would not work as there was no network available.  We ordered the Motorola MH230TPR Two Way Radios from Amazon.  This was the box it came in:

And here are the contents:

The instructions were not overly complicated and were easy to follow.  We used the radios while in the car in case one group got separated by a few blocks and they worked just fine.  There were channels that picked up other conversations, but if you choose the correct channel specified in the manual then you avoid the static and interference.

In addition to backpacking/camping purposes, we plan to have this in our emergency kit.  Communication can be crucial in an emergency.  If cell phone service were to be interrupted, it's good to have backup radios for your group.

All in all Motorola MH230TPR Two Way Radios set is a good product.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

KA-BAR 5704 ZK (Zombie Killer) Chop Stick Machete

I will need a machete for the emergency kit/camping equipment soon and found this review over at Willow Haven Outdoor:

Product Review: KA-BAR 5704 ZK (Zombie Killer) Chop Stick Machete

It's higher priced than I can afford and it sounds like there may be more choices out there.  Will need to keep looking!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Off-Grid Clothes Washing

I am pretty reliant on the washing machine and dryer right now.  If there were no electricity I would not have a problem hanging a clothesline.  I would use some paracord and just string it across two solid objects. 

Washing by hand would be a lot harder.  You'd need a bucket, detergent and water.  But your hands sure will get tired and pruney.

I ran across this post about the Hillbilly Washing Machine and I thought it was neat.  I already have a bucket but I'd have to get a new plunger from Walmart.

If you have a secure lid for the bucket another thing you can do is just soak the dirty clothes in the bucket (like colors only), then snap on the lid.  First check if it leaks.  If the lid is snug, roll the bucket around and most of the clothes should come out clean after a few minutes - low tech agitating action!   Wring all the water out and hang to dry. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Bar-ricade Home Defense Door Security Bar Contest at

Door security is so important as you never know if someone may try to kick down your door.

I've installed chain door locks but they still look flimsy to me.  I just came across the Bar-ricade Home Defense Door Security Bar and it looks pretty sturdy.  And you might just have a chance to win. is holding a contest this final week of National Preparedness Month.

Contest ends this Friday, 9/28/2012 so don't wait to enter.  You might just get lucky!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Still Looking at Emergency Lighting

Last post, I checked out a flashlight review.  This time, I am looking at a head lamp.  They look a little odd, but they are convenient, as your hands remain free to do chores in the dark.  I saw this review over at Modern Survival Online:

Equipment Review: Zebralight H502 AA Flood Headlamp

It's $69 at Amazon.  It's lightweight and convenient, both good qualities for lighting.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Looking for a Good Flashlight

I discovered one of our Eveready flashlights was ruined when the batteries leaked.   When I opened it to change the batteries, I discovered the chamber was covered with battery acid so I promptly tossed everything in a plastic bag and into the trash.  I thought I'd start looking for a replacement and found this article in SHTF Blog:

Coast HP 14 LED High Performance Flashlight Review – Suh-weet!

I hadn't heard about this company before but their products sound well made$52 for a flashlight may sound expensive, but if it has high quality and will last long then it might be worth it.  I will keep looking at a few more before I decide but this one is in the running.  I found it on Amazon.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

I Started Carrying Pepper Spray

I hear so many stories in the news about unsuspecting shoppers being stalked and followed home by criminals.  They get accosted as soon as they get out of their car in their own driveway, or in their garage.   Some even have had kids in the car.

I always look around before I even click open the garage door.   I keep an eye out and get out of the car quickly.

Now I have taken one more step.  I am ordering pepper spray online just to have with me in my purse, the car and some next to the front door.  You just never know if someone is out to victimize you.  Not having a permit to carry a concealed handgun, I still want to have some kind of protection.

Here is a good article from the Active Response Training website about choosing pepper spray.  I has everything you need to know:

Pepper Spray- How to Choose it and How to Use it

Each state may have different restrictions regarding pepper spray.  Check the laws in your state before purchasing one for yourself.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Smith’s Diamond Precision Knife Sharpening Kit

I once cut right threw my thumb while slicing some watermelon.  I ended up getting 6 stitches at the emergency room.  It is said that dull knives are more dangerous than sharp ones, because they are more likely to slip.  In a disaster, you will want sharp knives to be able to do tasks properly.

I need to add a knife sharpener to my emergency tool chest, and maybe even the bug out bag.  Suburban Survival Blog tested Smith's Diamond Precision Knife Sharpening Kit and posted it here:

Review of Smith’s Diamond Precision Knife Sharpening Kit

It's a well-written and positive review.  I am adding it to my Amazon wish list

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

If You are Thinking about Getting a Generator

I've been wondering whether we should get a generator in case we have another power outage.  But we've been concerned about what else is entailed when getting one, plus safety issues.  Found this article over at Prepper Ideas:

It has everything you need to know about generators.  Read it before you get one.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Not a Bad Pair of Hiking Shoes for the Price

We originally purchased the Hi Tec Bandera Men's Waterproof Mid Hiking boots for one of our kids.  We did not want to spend a bundle because kids tend to outgrow their shoes very quickly.  Sure enough, he did. 

I tried it and it fit me so I kept it for myself.  I have been taking hikes with them and they are very comfortable.  They are waterproof saw walking through puddles has not been a problem at all.  The shoes are lightweight enough that I don't feel I am being dragged down by shoes.  I have not had a blister yet, after walking with them for several months.

At $44.99, there are many more shoes available with lots of features.  We bought it at that price a year ago, but it looks like the price has gone up to $49.99.  They have lasted well and have a good construction.  I don't know if they will last several years or not, but I have already gotten at least a year's worth of comfortable wear.  All in all, the Hi Tec Bandera Men's Waterproof Mid Hiking boots is a good buy.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Lightbulb that Doubles as a Flashlight

Photo of ASCELLA Emergency Light Bulb from Suburban Survival Blog

I like items that can be used for multiple purposes, especially for prepping.  If you are short on space, you will want to have dual or multipurpose items.

Here's a lightbulb that turns into a flashlight or vice versa.

Check out:

The ASCELLA Emergency Light Bulb / Flashlight

over at Suburban Survival Blog 

It's priced at $39.99 at

You can use it as a lightbulb for a handy, easy to reach lamp.  In case of a power outage you can unscrew it and use as a flashlight.  Neat!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Bet You Hadn't Thought of This: Education After the Collapse

Most preppers concentrate on the basics:  water, food, First Aid, lighting, shelter, safety:  aka beans, bullets and band-aids.  Todd, who runs Prepper Website, wisely thought of one aspect many of us have not considered:  Education after the Collapse.

He wrote an e-book that has made available at his other website, Ed that Matters.

I was full of curiosity as I downloaded the e-book.  We have a couple of school aged kids, and certainly would want them to continue to learn even after a long term disaster.   The book starts out with a fictitious scenario of an ever escalating downward spiral that establishes the setting.  He then discusses kids' differing learning styles and maturity rates before proceeding to the basics:  reading, math, science. 

You can read this very quickly but it certainly gives you a lot to think about.  Education after the Collapse actually gives practical, teachable ideas that you would want to remember.  I am glad I found this e-book.  Part of having a preparedness mindset is being aware of various risk and needs.  Education should be given high priority as the book clearly illustrates.

Education after the Collapse is available free of charge.  It is a worthwhile addition to your preparedness library.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Berkey vs Propur


There are so many choices in water filter systems it is hard to make a choice.  If you are still shopping around, take your time.  There are a lot of features to decide on:  size, cost, type of filter, flow rates, contaminants filtered and many more.  It gets even more confusing when products try to compete with the top sellers. 

Propur has positioned itself as an alternative to the Berkey.  Is it comparable?  Check out this post from Apartment Prepper:

Just Go with the Flow

Modern Survival Blog also has a posting about choosing water filters:

Which Water Filter to Buy

Choose wisely!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Paracord Belts - for Everyday and Emergency Use

Paracord is a very strong nylon material that can be used whenever you need rope.  It has so many uses:  shoelaces, fishing line, securing a shelter, tying items to your roof rack, and much more.  Paracord can even be used to repair things around the house.  See Paracord to the Rescue

You can keep paracord handy for emergencies by wearing it as a bracelet or belt.  Check out this review of Ridgerunner Belts by the Prepping Guys.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Make your Own Solar Generator - Cheap!

Not really a gear review today, but I thought I'd share this interesting post.  There have been some huge power outages lately (India was a big one) and a lot of folks are wondering about backup power.  For anyone wanting to have their own power generator, but balks at the cost, check out this article over at Ghost Prepper:

DIY - A Cheap Solar Generator

The materials look very affordable and the instructions are fairly simple.  You will need a few tools though, so read the directions carefully and find out if you have all the tools before proceeding.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What If You had to Go to a Shelter?

As news about Isaac approaching the Gulf Coast fills our new reports, we are reminded that hurricane season is in full swing.  Many residents in New Orleans have already evacuated into shelters for safety, while some are choosing to stay home.

What if you did have to go to a shelter?  I would have no idea what to expect, never having experienced anything like it.  Being in close quarters with many others could breed infections.

This article from The Survival Doctor has some great suggestions on what to take with you to help you avoid catching something:

Small Items Could Prevent Major Misery in Emergency Shelters

Even if you never have to go to a shelter, these are good items to include in your bug out bag.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Great Tips on Finding the Right Tent

Shelter is one of our basic needs and is an important part of a well rounded preparedness plan.  A tent is one option for shelter, but choosing a good tent can be difficult.  Why not take some advice from someone who knows:  Check out this SurvivalCommonSense article:

Gear review: How to choose a four-season backpacking tent for winter camping

Even if you are not planning a camping trip right now, the article gives some great pointers on finding the right tent. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Gerber 31-000751 Bear Grylls Survival Series Ultimate Knife

Everyone should own a good knife but choosing one can be tricky.

I originally was not going to look at this knife.  I was skeptical about it, especially since it had a celebrity endorsement by Bear Grylls. 

But after reading a lot of forums and reviews, I changed my mind and decided to try it.

I was not disappointed.  It is very light weight and fits perfectly in my palm.  I also like the hand grip, as it is molded and non-slip.  It also comes with a nylon sheath, sharpener, as well as a firestarter, so you get extra value for your money.

If you are interested, here are some more specs:
  • 10 inches in length from end to tip
  • Blade Length is 4.75 inches
  • Weighs 11.2 ounces alone, 14.72 ounces with sheath
As far as field testing it, we took it camping and I used it to cut twigs and whittle wood and it performed well.  The easy non-slip grip made it easy to use.
I have bought other knives before, that didn't work out so I gave them to other family members who needed a knife. Gerber 31-000751 Bear Grylls Survival Series Ultimate Knife is a keeper.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Make Fresh Coffee when the Power is Out: Magellan 9-Cup Percolator

I wanted to find out a way to make coffee when electricity is out and the coffee maker won't turn on.  Remembering how my Mom used to make coffee when I was a kid, I picked up the Magellan 9 cup percolator from the camping section of Academy.

Percolators were the popular way to make coffee up until the 1970s when automatic drip coffee makers came out.  I had never used a percolator before but it's actually pretty simple.  You measure ground coffee into the brewing chamber.  Fill the pot with the desired amount of water.  In this case, it says nine cups, but with our large coffee mugs we have at home, it makes about five-six servings.  As the the water boils, the hot water works its way up the tube until it reaches the coffee grounds.   The coffee drips back down, as the rest of the plain water goes up the tube until the entire pot is now coffee.

I had read that if you leave it percolating too long, the coffee will taste burnt, so I made sure I took it off the heat after about 10 minutes of brewing.

The coffee was pretty flavorful and strong, just the way I like it.  It won't replace my drip coffee maker, but I like knowing I can brew coffee during a power outage.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Survivorman Returns

I just found out my favorite outdoorsman, Les Stroud, Survivorman is back on Discovery.  The new show is called Survivorman Ten Days.  He will spend ten days instead of seven surviving out in the wild all by himself, with no camera crew.  

I've watched the original Survivorman for years; this show got me interested in learning survival skills.  It's a great show to watch with the family. 

I am setting my DVR to catch all the episodes!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Purify Muddy Water in a Pouch: HydroPack

This looks really interesting:  Purifying dirty water and drinking it from a pouch, like a Capri Sun.

Check out this Daily Prep Episode, Turn Muddy Water into a Sports Drink

They are not cheap, but they are small and portable.  They can be purchased by the bucket.  The Amazon product description shows:
  •   Forward osmosis filter requires no pumping, works in any virtually and water, even muddy water. Produces a sports drink for improved hydration.
It's worth a look!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Magellan Outdoor Flask

This summer we took a few camping trips and were able to test out a lot of gear.  I was happy with most of the items we got, but as we've all found out, some items just don't work out at all.

 This item is one of them:

This flask leaked all over the place.  The contents were of a syrupy consistency and it leaked just enough so that the items around it were all sticky.  I was not a happy camper (pun intended)! 

When we returned I searched around and luckily, I still had the receipt.  The folks at Academy were good about giving me my money back.  Granted, it was only $4.99, but still, when you take something all the way to the mountains with you, you expect it to work.   For next trip, I'll go for the pricier flask.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Gear for the Space Challenged

If you live in an apartment, you are usually short on space.  You need to be selective on what types of gear to choose.  Here is an article about essential gear to have that don't take up a lot of space:

10 "Must Have" Emergency Gear for Apartment Preppers

It's not all inclusive, it would be impossible to list everything, but a good place to start!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Blue Hill UL Stove

I am looking for an emergency stove that can be used with different types of fuels.  I found this review over at

Gear review: Blue Hill UL stove

The stove can be used with a Sterno can or other similar canned fuel but it can also be used with alcohol, solid fuel tabs or placed over a fire.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Backpacker's Pantry Cheesecake

A lot of people wonder if the freeze dried desserts are any good.  I know, because other shoppers have come up to me at the sporting goods store, asking if I've tried them.

I can't vouch for all of them, but I can say the Backpacker's Pantry Cheesecake is very good.

It is easy to prepare:  just mix contents with hot water and wait a few minutes.

I know it says "Cheesecake" but don't expect a New York style cheesecake from a five star restaurant.  It is more like the no-bake "cheese pie"type dessert, or like a pudding.  Once you accept that, you will find it's pretty tasty.

It it sweet and nicely flavored, with a creamy consistency.  The kids liked it and asked for seconds.
And that is a good recommendation right there.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter Review

 Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter

There are so many portable water filters available, the choices can be confusing.  I have been interested in the Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter but have not given it a try.

Here is a review: 
Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter Review  from Off-Grid Survival

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Grain Mill Review

Most beginning preppers are concerned about storing food for a week to a month, but as you get more familiar with food storage you eventually get to storing grains.  Then you will need a grain mill to process your stored grain.

If you are in the market for a grain mill here is a good review of one:

Equipment Review: WonderMill Junior Deluxe Grain/Flour Mill  

from ModernSurvivalOnline

Under the Bed Harvest Food Rotation System

I tried the Shelf Reliance Under the Bed Food Rotation System, hoping to add more storage space.

Here are the parts that came with it:

I laid it all out, got a few tools and set out to assemble it.

Two hours later I was still assembling.

The parts do not fit well together, and just when you think they will stay up, the whole thing falls apart.   I don't think I am totally clueless about building things-assembling bookshelves, cribs, futons etc.  The issue was the holes do no line up properly with the other parts.

When I finally got the shelf assembled, I found out it does not fit well under our bed.  Once assembled, it is 14 inches high.  The shelf is way too tall and I would have to elevate the bed several more inches.  In all fairness the height is specified in the Shelf Reliance website; my fault for not pre-measuring my under the bed space. 

Lesson learned:  Always measure your space before acquiring any new items.  As far as recommending this product, I give it a 2.5 out of 5 stars, due to the difficulty of assembly.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Is the E-Foods Sample Worth the $9.95 Shipping Cost?

E-foods is offering a free sample of entrees, but with a $9.95 shipping cost.  If you are still trying to decide, check out this review:

Product Review: E-Foods Creamy Potato Soup
It's over at Apartment Prepper

Pathfinder 32 oz Bottle and Cup Set with Water Bottle Bag

If you've seen the show Dual Survival, you'll be familiar with Dave Canterbury.  He runs the Pathfinder website and Jarhead Survivor over at SHTF Blog bought the 32 oz Bottle and Cup Set with Water Bottle Bag.  See
Gear Review: Pathfinder 32 oz Bottle and Cup Set with Water Bottle Bag 
for an indepth review.

He also reviewed the Stove Top and Pot Stand

Looks like some good gear.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Good Review of the Kifaru Bug-Out Bag

It takes a lot of research to find the right bug out bag.  See a possible one:  Kifaru Longhunter.

See Initial Review:  Kifaru Longhunter  over at TEOTWAWKI Blog.

Mountain House Noodles with Chicken

At our last camping trip we took Mountain House Noodles with Chicken for one of the dinners.


After removing the oxygen absorber, just add a couple of cups of boiling water, seal and wait about 10 minutes.

We left it alone a couple more minutes to make sure the water was absorbed.

You can eat it right out of the packet or serve in a bowl.


This stuff is good!  The noodles came out soft but not overly mushy.  You can really taste the chicken pieces and the sauce was very flavorful.

This may be one of the best freeze dried foods I've ever had!  Highly recommended!

The family liked this one so much we plan to buy a few more for home use.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Welcome to Prepping Gear Review!

Hello world!

I started preparing for emergencies and found there are a lot of unfamiliar gear, food and products out in the market.  You can't always be sure what you are buying until you actually try it.  Some have worked out just fine, but some, not that well.

I thought I'd start a blog to document what I've tried out, and see what else is out there.

Together we can make the most of our hard earned money, and get the items that we really need!

Thanks for visiting.