Feb 10

Seven Things To Know?

While reading the Knoxville News website today, I came across the list of  seven things they think a person in Knoxville really needs to know today.  I thought that list must be of importance to the well being of the community since they chose to take up valuable media real estate.  Instead, it was a list six advertisements and one common fact of history.  Really?  Is that what they call things to know?  It was the classic bait and switch.  Well, okay, not really.  The title did lead readers to think the article was going to be about important things relating to life, or at least life in Knoxville.  I have my own list of seven things you need to know.

1.  Life is full of the unexpected.

2.  No one else will take care of your family in an emergency.

3.  Nothing is getting cheaper.

4.  Life is not getting easier.

5.  You can do this.

6.  Your family will be more secure.

7.  Today is a good day to start.



The Daily Prepper News


“7 things to know today.” Knoxville News Sentinel. 10 Feb. 2013

May 14

Dehydrated? Rehydrate With A Home Remedy

by Shall

As a prepper, I try to anticipate our every need and take the steps to prepare for each need. So, last year, while working outside daily in temperatures reaching over 90 degrees and in the blazing sun, the need to rehydrate became apparent, especially in cases when water isn’t enough.

We do not have to be an athletic individual with sweat pouring from our body to become dehydrated. We lose water daily through normal body functions such as breathing, perspiring and even through our urine and bowel movements. The foods we eat, what we drink and our environment also affect our hydration.

Symptoms of dehydration include:

A dry mouth
Excessive thirst
Dry skin
Mental confusion
Infrequent urination

While researching the percentage of water in our bodies, I ran across varying amounts, so I will go with an average of 70 to 80% water. Every system in our body depends on water. The water in our body flushes toxins from vital organs and carries nutrients to our cells. Lack of water keeps our body from carrying out normal functions. Even mild dehydration drains us of energy; making us feel tired. Everyone can suffer from dehydration, but close attention should be paid to children and Read the rest of this entry »

May 08




I would like to share with you a way to rapidly increase your food storage that is 100% free and legal.  There is no sales pitch here and I have nothing to personally gain other than helping my fellow Preppers add to their long and short term preps.  Although we don’t use this system currently because we have just purchased land and moved to another state, we’ll be starting it up again in the near future.  We have used this “system” for about two years now and it has allowed us to add massive, mind blowing amounts of food to our preps.

My wife and I started a Farmer’s Market in our community several years ago. The following “system” I have developed since then has come from our experiences there as well as my 18 years in the restaurant management business. It can easily work for you with minimal effort.  This isn’t a get rich scheme so some effort and initial “leg work” will be needed but it’s rewards are great especially if you are on a tight budget. Please stick with me because I’ll run the numbers for you off of actual prices in my area and you’ll be shocked and amazed at how much all of us are getting charged by our local supermarkets! Even if you don’t have the time or inclination to do this, read on, as there is some very valuable information that could save you big money on your preps!
If your family is like ours, you probably don’t have a lot of money left over after paying the bills. Times are tough for almost all of us. So, if you could find a way to put a little cash in your pocket, eat fresh fruits and veggies for free, and be able to can or dehydrate them for free, then wouldn’t you?

I guess this system most closely resembles a local Food Co-op…just on a smaller scale.   Basically I buy an assortment of produce (fruits and veggies mainly) by the case or bushel and sell boxes (or bags) of assorted produce for either $10 (small family) or $20 (large family) with plenty left over for our family to eat for free and we have our dehydrator going 24/7 kicking out dehydrated food free for future use. First please let me clarify a few things before I get into the “nuts and bolts” of this operation. Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 24

Making Herbal Remedies With Water

Water is one of the best ways to extract and open up the full range of vitamins and nutrients from herbs. Water-based herbal preparations are also absorbed quickly and easily into the body because the majority of our body is made up of water. Maintaining hydration is important and herbal teas and infusions can provide the supplemental nutrients our bodies need.

Fresh Chickweed Infusion

I like to use a quart canning jar with a seal and lid or an infusion teapot to make teas and infusions. Capping them tight is important because it keeps important vitamins and minerals from escaping through the steam.

Herbal Teas

Herbal teas are simple to make and a nourishing way to reap the healthy benefits from plants. Honey is a great natural sweetener for herbal teas. Lemons can also enhance the flavor of many teas.

I was never taught any definite rules for combining herbs in a tea blend. The best place to start is the intention of the tea. Are you making a tea which is calming and relaxing or a tea to aid sleep? After the type of tea is decided, then it is time to consider the properties of each herb that will be included. Another good thing to keep in mind is balance. If making a bitter tea for aiding digestion, then include a soothing herb such as marshmallow or licorice root.

To make an herbal tea, use one teaspoon of dried herb per one cup of boiling water. If using fresh herb, make it two teaspoons of the herb per cup of boiling water. Let the herb steep up to twenty minutes.

Chamomile and aromatic seeds, such as fennel, are best made into teas. If steeped longer than 15 – 20 minutes, the flavor changes drastically.


Herbal Infusions

An infusion is a strong tea. Infusions are steeped longer, making the tea a darker, thicker liquid with a much stronger taste. Making an infusion brings out the more medicinal qualities of a herb which makes the herb a more potent remedy. Infusions are the most simple and medicinally potent water-based herbal preparation we can make.

To make an infusion, place one ounce of dried herb in an infusion teapot or quart jar. Pour in enough boiling water to fill the jar; then cap tightly. Let it steep anywhere from 4 hours. to all night long. Strain the herb and drink cups of the infusion throughout the day. If there is any infusion left, it should be stored in the fridge because water-based herbal remedies can spoil fast. An infusion can be stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours.


Making Teas and Infusions with:

Seeds are dense, hard like roots, but when soaked in water, they will open easily and do not have to be infused for long. If seeds are infused for too long, they taste really bad. An exception to this rule is Rose hips, Hawthorn Berries and Elderberries which can be infused for four hours or so.

Seeds: Place one ounce of dried seeds or berries in a pint jar. Add enough boiling water to fill to the top of the jar and cap tightly. Allow the seeds or berries to infuse no longer than 30 minutes.

Flowers, along with leaves, are the most delicate part of a plant and do not have to infuse for long. Flowers can be infused sufficiently in about 2 hours. However, if infusing a blend that contains flowers, leaves and stalks, such as Yarrow, then infusing for 4 hours is fine.

To infuse flowers, add 1 ounce of flowers to a quart jar and cover with boiling water. Fill to the top and then cap tightly. Allow to infuse for a couple of hours.

*Chamomile should not be infused any longer than 30 minutes. It can become volatile.

Leaves are the other most delicate part of a plant. Leaves contain an important healing element called chlorophyll.

To infuse leaves, add 1 ounce of leaves to a quart jar and again, fill to the top and cap tightly. Leaves can be infused longer than seeds and flower tops. I infuse them anywhere from about 4 hours to overnight. I usually strain them the next morning and drink the infusion throughout the day.

The root of a plant is the most solid and it is also the most medicinally potent part of a plant. And because of the density of the root, extracting the medicinal qualities can take more time. Roots should be chopped into smaller pieces or cut into slices.

To infuse roots, add 1 ounce to a quart jar and cover with boiling water. Again, cap it tightly and allow the root to infuse for about 8 hours.

Tree barks are medicinal too. The inner bark is used; which is the layer just under the outer layer. Barks are infused the same as roots.

Apr 15

First Aid With Ginger Root

When I first began to consider which first aid herbs I would want in my camping or bug-out bag, Ginger Root came to mind. Ginger Root is a very important and versatile herb to have on hand. If supplies are cut off, Ginger Root can bring relief and aid us in many medical situations. The fresh or dried root can be used and it can be made into teabags and stored easily.

Fresh Ginger Root

I can hear you now… Tea Bags in a First Aid Kit?

Yes! I have learned that tea bags in a first aid kit have many uses. Medicinal herbal teas can bring internal relief when drank and the liquid from certain teas can be used as antiseptic wound washes. The tea bags, when filled with cooling or warming herbs can be used as compresses when placed on strains, sprains, or sore, achy muscles. Hold them in place with an ace bandage.

I like making my own tea bags using self or heat sealed tea bags because I can add the herbs I want and they come in two sizes – regular, tea bag size and a larger size for when I want to make a gallon of tea or need a larger compress. A curling rod or iron is used to seal the tea bag so they can be made in a matter of minutes. Tea bags are also small and compact making them easy to stow away.

Now, back to Ginger Root…

Ginger Root adds a lemony-pepper zip to foods and it is also a wonderful digestive aid and one of the best herbs to relieve nausea. A tasty tea after a large meal assists with indigestion, feeling too full, gas and eases stomach comfort.

It is a warming herb, rich in calcium and iron, which helps to increase circulation and is great for warming the body, especially cold hands and feet. It is a highly respected herb for joint health and is used for arthritis, osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel pain and in treatments for cold, non-lubricated joints. Drinking a warm tea can ease stiff, achy muscles and joints and a warm compress made with a strong tea brings external relief.

Ginger Root is diaphoretic and is helpful in treating colds and the flu by promoting sweating.

Ginger Root can assist diabetics by regulating their blood sugar levels and stimulating pancreas cells and by lowering lipids (cholesterol, triglycerides) in the blood.

A tea drank at the slightest start of a migraine is said to bring relief and it can also relieve spasms and menstrual cramps, and can help promote menstruation.

Apr 12

The Lowly .22

by CCCooper

In the PAW, the stories abound about the lone palladin warrior who had the finances to prep to the fullest, including a full armory of weapons with thousands upon thousands of rounds of ammunition. While entertaining and insightful, it is far from reality.

In the real world, the beginning prepper is usually just figuring out the 3 B’s and “Bullets-Guns” may not seem as high a priority to them as food/water, and medications. Nevertheless, a rifle will be purchased (Ruger 10/22 recommended) as well as ammunition. A used 10/22 can be found for $125-$150 and some very good .22s for much less. At $17.00 per 500 rounds, the lowly .22 is a very affordable item to shoot and practice with. It is easy to shoot for the large majority of men and women and it is capable of providing security (to a point) and putting food on the table. For those that are prepping on a regular basis, 500 rounds of .22LR twice a month may be very affordable. In a years’ time, 12,000 rounds can be stored with very little financial pain. A good .22 Revolver is also well within the budget of most people.

Mar 26

Prepper meetup groups in Tennessee


Map of all American Preppers Network and Partner meetup groups.

Scroll past the map for a listing.

View American Preppers Network Meetups in a larger map

Eastern Tennessee Preppers

Smoky Mountain Preppers

Mar 20

Women and Weapons

by Shall

At the beginning of this year I read a few articles stating this last Christmas shopping season saw record gun sales. My husband and I were a part of those statistics because we bought a shotgun and ammo for each other. After 20 years of asking him to purchase a weapon for home defense, he finally came through.Two years after we were married I came home to find our front door kicked in and our home a mess. It terrified me to think of someone waiting and watching in the wooded lot next to our home for me to leave that morning to take our son to daycare before returning home to enjoy my day off. The thieves even took cheap little trinkets, memories of times spent with my grandmother that would not have meant a thing to anyone but me. Our home had been breached and our privacy violated.

My parents listened as we expressed a wide range of emotions. The thoughts and emotions I was never able to gain control over were anger from fear of feeling a helpless victim and the violation of our home and personal items. The thieves took quite a few things, some replaceable and some were not, but what they took from each of us personally; the mental and emotional toll were not easily comforted.

Sometime later I ran across a very empowering statement. I don’t recall the author of the statement, but the words were powerful and true. “You are only a victim if you allow yourself to be.” And it is true. I had a choice. I knew I didn’t like feeling helpless or feeling like a victim and no one could change that but me.

I began training in various martial arts disciplines and considering weapons. Each time I went shopping around for weapons, I was always led to the pretty handguns with pearl grips. Although I am sure they would have been sufficient in most cases, I was frustrated with the stereo-typing from salesmen.

I was a woman and I wanted a weapon

I just wasn’t able to find what I had in mind. I really like the 12 gauge pump action shotguns, but the kickback was strong. I wanted a weapon which, when presented, intimidated the threat at the very sight of it; a weapon that would make them stop and think about the real consequences of their actions. I wanted a powerful weapon, like the 12 gauge, but something easier to handle.

Over the years, I kept searching and during that time I was gifted with a few nice handguns and a classic Winchester rifle, but the best gift is the one I received this past Christmas…

A Mossberg 20 gauge pump action shotgun with a pistol grip…

I tried to add the image to this post but the image was too big, so here is a link to my blog where it is posted.

I think it is a perfect weapon for women. I am a short person, standing 5’4, so the pistol grip makes the size perfect and easy to handle. The shotgun has very little kickback and now I have the powerful, intimidating pump action weapon I was searching for, thanks to a considerate and thoughtful husband.

This morning, as I was writing this article, I clicked over to Facebook and saw an article on 20 gauge shotguns written by Massad Ayoob on the Backwoods Home website. What timing!


Of course, make no mistake in thinking that having a weapon is enough. Knowing whether or not you will be able to use it when the time comes is even more important than the choice of weapon.

I have taught my sons that before they ever hold a weapon in their hands for self-defense, they need to be prepared by knowing whether or not they will be able to really use it. I also let them know that not being able to use a weapon is nothing to be ashamed of. It simply means they need to find alternatives that work for them.

SheilaDon’t raise your voice, Improve your argument
Maybe it’s not always about trying to fix something broken. Maybe it’s about starting over and creating something better.

Jan 30

Using Infusions Externally

By Shall

Using Infusions Externally

Herbal infusions can be used externally in a few ways for quick and easy skin remedies and first aid treatments. Herbal infusions are effective wound washes and can also aid sore, achy muscles.

Soaks are infusions that have been re-warmed after the plant material has been strained out. The affected part of the body can be soaked in the warm infusion. Infusions can be used for foot baths, sitz baths or even used by soaking in a bath tub, if needed.

A quart of an infusion can be used for a foot bath and 2 or more quarts can be used for a sitz bath or for soaking in the tub.

Enemas, Douches and Eye Washes
Herbal infusions can be used as enemas, douches and eye washes when carefully strained.

An effective remedy for Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) is made by making an infusion with

1 tablespoon powdered Comfrey root
1 teaspoon powdered Goldenseal
1 cup boil water

I simmered the herbs in water for about 15 minutes, and then strained carefully thru several layers of cheesecloth and a coffee filter to make sure all the particles were removed. I let it cool to room temperature and then used an eye dropper to drop a few drops in my child’s affected eye a couple of times throughout the day. There was no sign of infection by that night and no antibiotics were needed.

Strained infusions can be sued as fomentations by soaking a wash cloth in the infusion, wringing it out and applying it to the affected area. Fomentations work well on treating chest congestion, sprains and sore muscles.

I make an infusion from fresh or dried Ginger root by simmering it slowly for about 45 minutes, then soak a wash cloth in the infusion, wring it out and apply it to sore muscles. This fomentation takes away the achy soreness of stiff muscles and arthritic hands.
Wrapping an ace bandage around the cloth can help keep it in place, especially on elbows.

Poultices are made by using damp plant material directly on the body. The plant material can be warmed in water, chewed on, grated or crushed and applied directly on the affected area.

Compresses are made by macerating fresh or infused herbs in a cloth. Compresses are less messy than poultices.

Grassroots Cottage

Jan 17

Review Wuxun KG-UV3D Dual Band Handheld

By tngun

Now for those that care about these things, I have not received any compensation of any type for this review. I am reviewing this device because I think EVERY prepper should have at least one ham radio, and with the quality/price ratio this radio is worth looking into.

First strike against this radio is that is Chinese made. Some don’t care –some do, personally I’d rather buy American made, but a simple internet search will show you how hard it is to find a American made ham radio.

First positive comment is that it’s around $100 bucks. This is in a world where almost all other handhelds start at 5 times that amount. I first learned about this radio from a group of ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) volunteers in East TN. These guys all had at least one and they were of the opinion that it was good enough, and sturdy enough, and if they broke the thing it was only a $100 radio.

As I said in the video my intent was to buy one, try it out, and if mine was as functional as the ones I was shown in Athens then I would buy a couple more for the wife and for storage. My wife is now expecting, so I had to add another prepper tier to my list, so the extra radios were bumped back, but I still intend to buy a couple more once I stockpile a lot of diapers and bottles…

I am not going to get into too much detail on these radios, as a ham will just go dig up the spec sheet (http://www.tngun.com/2011/08/wouxun-programming-and-unlocking-programs/) and it may cause informational overload to a non-ham. But basically:

Dual band monitor (VHF/UHF, VHF/VHF, UHF/UHF)
You can monitor two different sets of frequencies at the same time
The radio comes in different flavors so you can almost pick which two bands you want.
Selectable high/low power settings (VHF: 5W high/1W low) (UHF: 4W high/1W low)
You can select more time or more power
13 hour battery life
Includes intelligent desktop 3-4 hour rapid charger
Loud speaker audio output (500 mW)
Bright flashlight illumination function
Meets IP55 waterproof rating
English female voice prompts enable non-sighted operation (can be turned off)
The Chinese lady scares me so I turned mine off
128 memory channels (shared)
VOX Function
Digital FM radio (76-108MHz) with automatic tuning and storing, radio frequency display, 18 FM memories in 2 banks
Wide/narrow bandwidth selection (25 or 12.5 kHz)
Power on display: show battery voltage, 6-character customizable welcome message, or display test
Windows PC programmable, free software available for download. Optional low cost cable
This is the selling point for me – I found the manual programming wasn’t as bad as some reviews claimed it to be, but I liked doing it from my computer even though
There is some bugs in the setup and you may have to try more than once to get your radio to connect to your computer

The program is limited to a “legal” frequency band and not actual – meaning I can listen to the weather radio and FRMS and GRMS frequencies (among other things) but I have to put them in manually.
Radio to radio cloning with optional cable
105 groups DCS/50 groups CTCSS
DTMF encoding (includes ABCD tones, continuous with button press duration)
CTCSS encode/Decode (no decode delay)
Stopwatch function
SOS function
Low-voltage voice prompt
Busy channel lockout
Selectable transmit over timer (from 15 to 600 seconds)
Selectable step sizes of 5, 6.25, 10, 12.5, 25, 50 or 100 kHz
Multiple scan modes including priority scan
Keypad lock (auto or manual)
Programmable by computer or keypad
High contrast white backlit keypad. All keys are backlit (except A/B & TDR)

That’s a lot of stuff, add in that you can unlock the radio to get additional channels (oce again check my free downloads section on my site)* and that it feels like a Kenwood (very sturdy feeling) transmits clearly and loudly and you can buy an adaptor to run a longer antenna makes it (IMHO) a very good buy.

*about that unlocking;

1. It’s illegal, and I am not suggesting you break the law (I mention in the video the FCC Emergency Clause, but if you PLAN on using this radio out of band in an emergency, then you are PLANNING on breaking the law, and that is not the same thing as being forced to break the law to save a life…)

2. With the advent of trunking and other digital radio advances just because you can transmit and receive on the local law enforcement channels does not mean you can communicate with them.

You can always read more at my Shepherd School Blog at http://www.tngun.com

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