The many bandana uses makes it a great preparedness item, right? I keep an assortment of varying size bandanas with a variety of prints. My most common use during the summer is a forehead sweatband. Here’s a list of the many uses for a bandana. I came up with 50 potential uses. Add your own in the comments below: Bandana Uses Forehead wrap to absorb sweat. Head cover (shade from the sun). Neck scarf / gaiter. Nose & Mouth filter. Camouflage your face. Hide your identity. Handkerchief. Tie things together. Towel (all purpose rag). 1st-stage water filter to strain out sediments. Strainer (general purpose). Hold small objects (hobo bag). Marker or Flag. Splint. Weapon (fill with rocks, tie into bundle, throw, sling, or wield). Wound dressing for emergency. Kindling fire-starter material, or to make ash cloth. Grip (wrap for a more secure grip on things). Pot holder (for a hot pan handle). Dish rag. Blindfold. Handcuffs. Tourniquet (twist tight with a stick). Pressure Bandage (apply pressure – stop bleeding) Coffee filter. Bib. Pillow (fill with leaves, etc. and tie closed). Gag (to silence someone). Napkin. Eye cover (while napping). Feminine hygiene. Diaper. Hair tie up (ponytail, etc..). Shoulder pad (extra cushion under backpack straps, etc..). Emergency flag for broken-down vehicle (tie to antenna, hang out window). Place-mat. Tie-down (general purpose). Toilet ‘paper’. A sporty neck wrap for your dog… A sling for a broken/injured arm. Water-boarding. Belt (may require several bandanas!). Pocket pistol wrap (reduce ‘printing’). Emergency socks. Soak in cold water to cool down. Wrap cell phone (protect screen from scratches in a bag / pocket). Covid face diaper. Clean your glasses. Counter-pressure for headaches (tie tightly around forehead) Bikini top. > > Rothco, Large, 27” x 27”(view on amzn) > > Made in USA – Military Army Trainmen Paisley 22″ x 22″ Factoid: The popularity of the bandana and kerchief was at it highest point in the 1970s, 80s and 90s depending on one’s location. What are some of your ideas for uses of a bandana?
The following are a few tips for bug-free food storage in 5-gallon buckets. In no particular order or preference. Add your own ideas in the comments below… Diatomaceous Earth (DE) Use Food Grade diatomaceous earth (best choice on amzn) for grains, flour, legumes, rice, corn, and other dry foods stored in a 5-gallon bucket. Eggs of insects are in most all grains – it’s just the natural way it is. When they hatch out, the diatomaceous earth dries up their soft skin – eliminating them. Food-grade DE is a safe, non-toxic way to treat your grains from insect infestation. Use 1/2-cup Diatomaceous Earth for a 5-gallon bucket of grain. Rule of thumb is about 1/2 cup per 25 pounds of dry food. Or 1 teaspoon per pound. It’s not critical, so don’t be too concerned about the exact amount. Half-fill the bucket (or Mylar bag within). Sprinkle in half the DE. Then mix it around. Fill the bucket (or Mylar bag within) and add the rest of the diatomaceous earth. Mix again. Seal bag / container. Done. Gamma lids spin on/off for easy access. In my opinion, they’re worth it. [ Read: Gamma Seal Lids | Are They Worth It? ] [ Read: How to Seal a Mylar Bag in a 5-gallon Bucket ] Dry Ice I’ve not tried this before. I don’t have a local means of acquiring dry ice. However the concept is sound. Add a small piece of dry ice to the top of the food pile in a 5 gallon bucket (and/or Mylar bag within). Let the lid rest on top while the dry ice sublimates into gaseous carbon dioxide and displaces bug-breathable air. Then seal tightly. Freeze First Freeze your grains first, before sealing them into 5-gallon buckets. This will help eliminate insect problems. There are different opinions about how long to freeze the grains. However in my view, 3 days will certainly be adequate for deep freeze temperatures. 24 hours is probably enough too – but who’s in a hurry? ? Important! After freezing you do need to wait a certain time for the item to thaw or to make sure there’s no moisture from thawing before sealing. I wait several days. Your environment will affect the speed at which it dries out. The process kills the eggs that may be in the grain. You can do this for just about any dry goods including rice, flour, wheat, etc. [ Read: How to Know If Your Freezer Lost Power While You Were Away ] [ Read: Best Foods For Chest Freezer Preparedness ] Oxygen Absorbers Use oxygen absorbers! No oxygen = no living things. No oxidation of the contents or the container. It is advisable to use Mylar bags to hold your food and oxygen absorbers. Then seal the bag and store in a 5 gallon bucket. [ Read: Oxygen Absorbers for 5-gallon Food Storage ] Vacuum Seal Vacuum sealing removes the oxygen! We also do this for most foods kept in our chest freezers. Additionally we vacuum seal some dry goods such as beans. Actually we have two methods for our beans. One is bulk quantity storage – all beans of a given variety dumped into a Mylar bag set inside 5-gallon bucket(s) with O2 absorbers. The other method is vacuum sealing individual 1-pound bags of dry beans. We keep them in a plastic (tote). [ Read: Things You Can Seal With A Vacuum Sealer ] What are your ideas and experiences for bug-free food storage?
Gamma Seal Lids (UPDATED) are specially designed to fit the top of a typical 5 gallon plastic bucket. Actually they will fit most buckets between 3.5 to 7.0 gallon due to a standard diameter. Once installed, Gamma seal lids enable easy-on, easy-off because they simply screw-on and screw-off (spin). Gamma seal lids convert 5 gallon plastic buckets into airtight storage containers with easy access – of which the benefits and uses are numerous. Note: When I say “airtight”, it’s not the same as using a sealed Mylar bag with oxygen absorbers inside. However it still is quite effective. And the convenience factor is great! Most economical: > > 6 Pack White Lids(view on amzn) > > 6 Food Grade 5-gallon Buckets Are Gamma Seal Lids Worth It? Are they worth the money? Yes, I believe so… In my opinion there are uses where it’s so convenient that it is worth the money (see example list below). If you seal a bucket with the standard snap-on lid, it becomes very difficult to remove and is certainly NOT convenient for accessing its contents from time to time. Tip: For standard lids, you need a special tool (bucket lid wrench / pail opener) Winco Pail Opener How To Install Gamma Seal Lid The outer ring “snaps” to the top of the bucket with the help of a rubber mallet. First remove the inner threaded lid from the ring. Place the bucket on a solid surface and strike the ring hard enough to seat it. Work your way around the ring until it all ‘snaps’ in place. Then, simply spin on the detachable lid. Tip: Before installing the snap-on ring, be sure there’s a gasket (O-ring) seated inside. This is what provides the main bucket-to-lid air-tight seal. Also be sure there’s an O-ring around the perimeter of the spin on/off lid. This provides the air-tight seal of the removable lid. Gamma Seal Lid Features Air tight to a reasonable extent (due to the rubber gaskets)Easy and Fast to open (spin on/off)Variety of colors may assist inventory controlStack-able to an extentRe-sealed over and over againProtects contents while easy accessKeeps foods fresher longerLeak proof (two gaskets)Keeps insects and moisture outBPA free and Food Grade safe The Many Uses For A Gamma Seal Lid Dry pet food storage‘Working’ inventory storage of dry foods (rice, wheat, etc..)Emergency suppliesCamping and Fishing gearBulk Laundry Detergents (larger sizes save you money)Potting/Planting Soil MixBoating (keep towels dry, part spares, etc.)Pesticides, Chemicals100’s of other uses! This is what I use them for around here… For us personally, we have primarily been using the gamma seal lids for our bulk working inventory of wheat berries (for bread and pizza crust!), rye (mixed with wheat for bread), rice, sugar (though we don’t use that much sugar around here). Tip regarding sugar storage: Some time ago I had purchased a big bag of sugar and dumped it in a 5-gallon bucket. Eventually it turned into a brick. Maybe because I kept it on a cold concrete floor – possibly creating condensation to some extent (enough to brick the sugar). Nowadays I just buy the small bags (4 pounders?) and set them in the bucket without dumping. Set bucket on piece of wood resting on concrete floor. We used to use them for dry dog food too. Though our dog is now on “wet” canned food. A Few More Tips Tip: With Gamma Seal Lids, avoid stacking buckets too high if the contents are heavy. This puts additional stress on the threaded lids. A typical 5 gallon pail of rice or wheat weighs about 30 pounds. If you stack them more than two high I would simply place a board between each one so the weight is transferred to the bucket’s edge (no problem). Tip: To extend longevity and pliability of the rubber O-ring gaskets, DO NOT use petroleum jelly or petroleum based lubricants because this will eventually ruin (eat) the rubber. Instead use a silicone lube such as silicone plumbers grease: Silicone Grease Gamma Seal Lids are available from a number of sources, and their prices vary by quantity. What about you? Do any of you use Gamma Seal Lids? Like I said earlier, we like them for our working inventory of dry goods and others that we access from time to time. Easy in, easy spin. Continue Reading:Foods that will last ‘forever’Diatomaceous Earth For Long Term Storage Of GrainsOxygen Absorbers For 5-Gallon Bucket Food Storage
In an emergency, your pet will depend on you for their safety and well-being. So it’s crucial to prepare them like you would any two-legged family members.Surveys reveal that approximately 50 percent of people have not stocked extra emergency supplies for their pets. Start by creating a pet Ready kit that includes basic items such as food, water, medication, important documents like rabies vaccination forms, and other items. Additional things for your pet emergency kit might include any of the following ideas: Items for your Pet Emergency Kit Food (enough for the potential duration) Water (ordinary water bottles are convenient for storage) Bowls (they make convenient collapsible bowls for food and water) Collar, harness ID tag Leash Crate or pet carrier Doggy Bed Medicines if relevant Your Vet’s phone number / info. Sanitation / Litter as necessary Copy of documents (Rabies vaccination, registration, etc.) A picture of you and your pet together (helps verify ownership if lost) Familiar items (toys, bedding) ? My mini-Dachshund eats special canned food due to gastric sensitivity issues when he eats other foods. So I simply keep many cases of food for him. He gets about 2/3 can a day. So I figure I’ve got about 8 cases. That will last him more than 3 months. Hmmm… maybe I should get more ? If you have to evacuate with your pet After packing the kit, create a plan — detailing where you might be going during an emergency evacuation. Remember, if you have to evacuate, most emergency shelters cannot accept animals due to public health reasons. And many / most hotels / motels don’t accept pets. Try to locate a pet-friendly hotel chain (e.g. La Quinta, some Best Westerns) that would accept you and your pet. Figure this ahead of time for your region. Keep a list of potential locations in the pet kit with addresses and phone numbers of your way-point destinations. Also consider out of town friends or relatives who would be willing to lodge you and your pet during an emergency. Never leave your pets behind in a disaster; they can be hurt, lost or killed. Sadly, this happens! Any other ideas? What unique items should you have in your pet Ready kit?
This guest article was originally published back during 2017. But the challenge still holds true. Practice a period of “Lights Out” (grid down) to discover the holes in your preps. Guest article, by ‘NRP’… “Practice” makes you better at what you do. Enables you to learn and know “how to do it”, and what to expect while you do it. It’s common sense that practice makes perfect. Knowing what to do and what to expect when a skill-set is called upon (especially when least expected). It’s important, and probably critical for success. I have done many “Lights Out Weekends” during the past few years. Now this may sound silly to some whom might ask, “Why would you spend a few days in the back yard or in the woods when you have a very comfortable house sitting right there?” Well there’s an easy answer to that:“When is SHTF going to happen?” Maybe when you’re home? Or away at work? Or in town, Or how about when visiting Aunt Martha 40 miles away? One never knows; so is it not better to “practice” for “Lights Out?” (grid down) ———————–A great book (novel) of a lights-out experience:LIGHTS OUT by David Crawford———————– Would it be good to know if you are ready to spend a few days, OR LONGER, living out of your Get-Home-Bag (GHB) or your Bug-Out-Bag (BOB)? Or at home without the grid? We all have seen many MANY lists telling us we need “this or that” in the BOB-GHB, right? Well everyone has “lists”. I’m sure I’m on a few lists myself ? , BUT without using the skills, the “bags”, the “kits”, the “stuff”, the “practice”, how will you know how well you will fare when “something” happens? The only way is to actually spend a few days without the grid. Meaning on a Friday night, or whenever, when you drive into that nice warm garage, just grab the GHB and park yourself in the back yard. Or better yet, park the truck a few miles away and walk home, then march to the Bug-Out-Location (BOL), aka back yard and let the fun begin. I believe 90% of us will be very surprised how difficult this “practice” will be: – Build that shelter you plan on with a Tarp and some Paracord – Get that fire started (not in the propane BBQ sitting there on the porch) – Get a bucket of river water and filter it to drink – Try cooking over that fire you built, or use that little rocket stove you have. – Now the hard part. Build that nice comfortable bed from some sticks and leaves. FYI, the ground gets really REALLY hard at 2:00AM. – OK OK, you made it so far, time for some sleep, yeah right, every little noise will wake you, did you remember a sleeping bag in your BOB-GHB? – Forget about the coffee in the morning, because you need to get up, pack everything, and take a 5 mile+ hike; now do it all again, TWO more times/days. – Ohhh YEAH, got enough of that TP? – How about the second day you practice cleaning an (imaginary) deep cut or splinting up a broken arm? I bet you will find very fast how much “stuff” you have that you really DON’T need, and what you may need and don’t have. Remember how heavy all that stuff/water is when you need to walk 30 miles home. Personally I try to do a Lights Out Weekend every 5-6 weeks. Yes even in the mud and snow. I’m NO expert by any measure, but I have refined my thinking and the “bags” to reflect what it will take for me to get home or hold up somewhere for a few days-weeks. Are you up to the challenge of a “Lights Out Weekend”? ~ NRP Ken adds: I would suggest (if you’re up to it) to simply go to your circuit-breaker panel and shut off the power to your home. Then begin dealing with the consequences of life in your home without electricity. Even if just for hours, overnight, a day, two days? What are you going to do about the refrigerator and freezer(s) that are now sitting there slowly warming up? Do you have a well pump that now is not pumping water? Is it winter and your house is now getting cold? Etc… It will really open your eyes and help you figure out what you really need to do!
The following may be considered a few basic foundational categories for preparedness. The entire process of prepping and preparedness begins with basic ‘ingredients’ and ‘know-how’ in order to survive and stay alive. Originally published several years ago, it’s good to get back to basics once in awhile. Maybe helpful for newbies. And especially / primarily intended to just get the wheels turning up there in the noggin… Each of these are relatively inexpensive to purchase for storage, they store easily for long periods, and they provide a foundation for adequate calories and nutrition to sustain life. For those beginning their preparedness, FOOD is typically first.Other than water (actually #1), ‘food’ is practical to start with for general preparedness. Note: Learn what to do with the basics. Most folks don’t. For example, learn how to mill your own flour from wheat. Learn how to make a loaf of bread without a bread maker. Learn how to make foods from their basic ingredients. How to garden for food. Note: Store what you eat, and eat what you store. Integrate your storage foods into your regular diet. Learn to eat foods that are not ‘processed’. Not only is it healthier, but learning to ‘do it yourself’ will better prepare you. WATER A person can actually survive without food for weeks. Although while not eating any food you will become weaker and weaker, you would live/survive (for awhile). However without consuming any water whatsoever, a person will not survive much beyond 3 – 7 days! Apart from the air we breathe, water is the absolute basic ingredient for life. Water is fairly easy to store, so get that taken care of… Discover alternative sources of water in your area (just in case). Consider additional preps to treat and purify water for safe drinking such as boiling, filtration, or chemical treatment tablets, regular bleach, etc.. WHEAT / WHOLE GRAINS / RICE / BEANS These are considered essential items for any food storage program. Adding wheat to water provides nutrition and survivability. Grain has ~indefinite shelf life if stored properly (decades+), and a flour mill provides the ability to increase the utility of wheat (into flour). Use for cereal (cracked grain), soups, breads, or even non-yeast breads such as sourdough and tortillas. The combination of rice & beans provide high levels of protein and essential nutrition. SWEETENERS / HONEY / SUGAR / SYRUP Sugar stores indefinitely, and Natural Honey is probably the best form of sugar because it is higher in nutritional content and has healthier attributes (even medical attributes). Sweeteners are also preservative for fruits and vegetables. Sugar is high in calories (good for survival preparedness). SALT / OIL / YEAST Salt stores indefinitely. It is essential to chemical action in dough and is a preservative for meats and vegetables. Oil is essential to general cooking and baking, and is very high in calories. Yeast is essential to baking. POWDERED MILK / DAIRY PRODUCTS / EGGS Powdered milk stores well, up to 4 years (longer if professionally sealed). It provides a source of protein. It enhances the flavor of wheat and breads, and flavors well with cracked grains and whole wheat flours. Got chickens? Then you got eggs…protein. SEEDS Organic Heirloom seeds for self-sustaining food crops. You can use the seeds from this year’s crop for next year (this only works well with Heirloom seeds). Grow a garden. Start small if that’s what you need to do… There are lots and lots of additional categories but I feel that the ideas presented above are a good foundation to establish basic ingredients on which you can build. There are lots of articles on MSB to help you in many various categories. Food. Water. Shelter. Security. Skills. And much more… Just start browsing!
( resqme tool window breaker ) The ” RESQUME ” tool (window breaker) comes with a built-in seat belt cutter. It’s something to consider keeping in your vehicle (or on your keychain). I keep one in my truck in case of an emergency — to quickly shatter and break a window to escape. ( see image below where I keep it inside the vehicle ) The resqme tool has a built-in blade to cut a jammed seat-belt — in the event of becoming trapped in your vehicle. It also has a spring-loaded spike to shatter a vehicle’s window with a simple “press”. I bought one of these to keep in my truck for an emergency, just in case. Not only could this tool potentially help me escape being trapped, but it could be used to help rescue others. The resqme tool is designed to help you escape quickly from a vehicle following a car crash or if sinking in water. Here’s an article I wrote awhile back: [ Read: “How To Escape From A Sinking Car” ] The window breaker is a spring-loaded center punch with a spike that is activated when you push the head of the tool against a window. You can test it or try it out by pressing it against a piece of wood (warning: it will leave a mark!). You will notice when you press hard enough, the internal spike ‘snaps’, leaving a dent where the spike was released. The mechanism resets itself automatically so you can use it again in an emergency. It cannot accidentally ‘go off’ because it requires 12-pounds of pressure while pushing against a surface in order to ‘arm’ the spring and trigger the center punch. I am pressing the resqme and holding against the edge of a wall-corner, to show the spike The seat belt cutter portion is a razor sharp blade mounted in a groove to enable you to quickly slice through the seat-belt material. The blade is protected by a clip which snaps tightly into the tool. The clip has a hole in it which cab be used to attach to a key ring. I did not want to carry this on my keychain. So I tied a small length of paracord to hold the resqme tool to the gear shift lever. That way it will ALWAYS be accessible if I need it in the vehicle. resqme The Original Keychain Car Escape Tool, Made in USA(view on amzn)