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Monday, November 30, 2009

Simple Survival Tips – Alternate Uses for Coffee Filters

Re-post Courtesy of Riverwalker's Stealth Survival

Coffee filters can be used for much more than just filtering coffee. Coffee filters have numerous alternate uses. This will save you money and make everyday tasks a lot easier. Consider the following alternate ways to use coffee filters. Use your leftover coffee filters from an old coffeemaker or simply buy a few to help make things a little easier. Coffee filters can be very useful in a number of different ways and are a great storage item with multiple uses.

Filter Used Cooking Oil

Don't waste cooking oil in your fryer just because it contains a few crumbs. Use a coffee filter to filter the particles out. This will allow you to re-use the cooking oil. You may need to stir it occasionally to move aside any particles that may be blocking the filtration process.

Make Herb and Spice Bundles

Fresh herbs and spices are often used to season or to add flavor to soups or stews. Many times these need to be removed after the flavor has been released or when you are finished cooking. Simply wrap the herbs or spices in a coffee filter and tie up with a piece of twine. Place it in the food being prepared and it can be easily removed later. This is a good way to cook the flavor out of bay leaves, cloves, peppercorn, and many other herbs or spices that aren't normally eaten.

You can also use coffee filters to make tea bags using loose tea.

Use as a Water Filter

Coffee filters can also make great “expedient” type water filters, especially if you have no other means to filter your water. They are also lightweight and can be used as a substitute for paper towels.

Use as a Dusk Mask

If you don’t have a dust or particle mask handy, you could also use a coffee filter as an “expedient” dust mask in an emergency. They can even be moistened to help filter out particles better. Note: Coffee filters are not an acceptable substitute for regular dust and particles masks.

There are numerous uses for coffee filters. The only limits on their use is your imagination.

Staying above the water line!

Riverwalker

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Shotgun Ammunition - General Types

Re-post Courtesy of Riverwalker's Stealth Survival

The shotgun is the deadliest and most formidable firearm ever created for short range personal defense. No other firearm will devastate, disable, or discourage an aggressor as reliably as a shotgun and no other type of firearm is as likely to hit an intruder than a shotgun loaded with buckshot.

Three General Types of Shotgun Ammunition

Buckshot Loads

This is a shotgun shell loaded with large diameter lead balls. It is used for large game hunting and for self defense. For a standard 2-3/4-inch shell in 12 gauge, the number of balls or pellets ranges from eight .36-inch balls in "000 buck" to 27 .24-inch balls in "# 4 buck". Please note that "000 buck" is pronounced "triple ought buck" and "00 buck" is pronounced "double ought buck". These are the traditional terms for these types of shotshells. Avoid being perceived as a novice or “newbie” by using the correct terminology.

Birdshot Loads

This is a shotgun shell loaded with small diameter pellets used for hunting game birds and waterfowl. Stopping power is poor unless it is used at very close range, probably no more than 15 to 20 feet. This type is only recommended for personal defense in the home if there are adjacent properties that might be affected by the use of buckshot loads.

Rifled Slug Load

This is a shotgun shell loaded with a solid lead bullet. Slugs are huge hunks of soft lead, grooved on the sides to promote rotation and stability in flight. They have enormous stopping capability. Because slug loads must be carefully aimed like a rifle or handgun, their use eliminates the shotgun's main advantage of the probability of a sure hit in the majority of cases.

In spite of the tendency for pellets or balls in a fired shotgun shell to expand rapidly with distance traveled, producing what is known as a "pattern”. The benefit of the shotgun is its ability to produce multiple hits on any attacker and an incomparable ability to stop an aggressor in his tracks. It is important to remember that the shotgun must still be skillfully aimed and fired. Aiming is just not quite as precise as that required for a handgun or rifle. The massive firepower of the shotgun will most likely produce a favorable outcome in any self defense encounter.

This is a general overview of the different types of shotgun ammunition. If using a shotgun is new to you, it is highly recommended that you spend a little time learning the proper operation of your shotgun and how to safely use it.

Staying above the water line!

Riverwalker

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Eating - A Necessary Adventure

Re-post Courtesy of Riverwalker's Stealth Survival

Take yourself on an adventure that will help you get to know yourself, your family, your friends, and the place where you live. Studying the past will help us in the future. Right this minute, people all over the world are eating, or shopping for food or preparing food to be eaten. It is a necessary way of life. Everyone must eat to survive.

What types of food are people eating? Many times that depends on where they live. It usually depends on which plants and animals live in the area and what methods of transportation are available. Some plants grow well in certain areas and not at all in others. There are fewer animals in the wild than in days gone by.

Today airplanes, cargo ships, and trucks can deliver food that was grown in another part of the world to anywhere. In times past, people could eat only what they grew or what they could catch. They couldn't just go to the grocery store and buy whatever was on the shelf! People are now able to taste different foods. These foods had flavors, shapes, and textures they had never experienced before.

What happens if these sources of food disappear due to a shortage of fuel, war, extreme weather conditions or a major disaster? Do you know how to grow your own vegetables? Do you know how to raise chickens, goats or rabbits? How are your hunting skills?

There are numerous things that you can do to learn the methods of self sufficiency. It just takes a little effort on your part. Learn how to grow a garden. Learn about hunting and how to process your food. Make it an adventure and teach your children as well. Help them to learn about the nature of our food supply and where it really comes from!

Staying above the water line!

Riverwalker

Friday, November 27, 2009

Shotgun Ammo - Choices for Home Defense

Re-post Courtesy of Riverwalker's Stealth Survival

Many people hear about using 00 and 000 buckshot for home defense purposes. Inside the home 00 and 000 buckshot has a bit more ability to penetrate walls than you may realize and much than you should be comfortable with if you have neighbors that live close or other persons in your household, such as children. Likewise, if you are not careful and use shot that is too small it may be too light to penetrate deep enough to stop an attacker. Understanding the proper ammo to use in your shotgun will help you avoid unnecessary problems.

My preference in shotgun ammo for home defense is #4 Buckshot. Here are some comparisons to help you make your own decision about which ammo you should use.

Comparison of Shotgun Ammo

000 Buckshot is .36" in diameter and weighs about 71 grains per pellet. In a 3" shell you have 9 to 10 pellets and in a 2 3/4" shell you usually have 8 pellets. Velocity is around 1325 fps (feet per second) for the 2 3/4" shells and a bit slower for the 3" shells.

00 Buckshot is .33" in diameter and weighs about 60.5 grains each. 3" shells hold approximately 15 pellets and 2 3/4" shells hold around 12 pellets. Velocity is approximately 1250 fps.

#1 Buckshot is .30" in diameter and weighs 40.5 grains each. There are approximately 24 pellets in the 3" shells, and the pellet count varies from 16 to 20 in the 2 3/4" shells. Velocity also varies from 1075 fps for the 3" shells to 1250 fps for the 2 3/4" shells.

#4 Buckshot is .24" in diameter and weighs just a little over 20 grains each. There are approximately 40 pellets in 3" shells and the pellet count varies from 27-34 in 2 3/4" shells. This depends on whether or not the shot is buffered. Velocity speed varies anywhere from 1250 fps to 1325 fps.

#4 Birdshot is .13" in diameter and weighs a mere 3.2 grains each. In a 2 3/4" shell with a 1 5/8 ounce shot charge, there are 221 pellets with a velocity of 1250 fps.

Reference: http://www.wilsonprecision.com/shotinfo.html

The velocity is not the most important variable in most cases. Pellet weight and pellet count are actually more important considerations. At 3.2 grains, the #4 birdshot does not weigh as much as a simple playing card. Even at 1250 fps, it lacks the mass necessary to stop an intruder. The sole advantage is in the pellet count. That many pellets will make a large, shallow, nasty wound but the intruder is still liable to survive.

In considering the other loads, you have only 8 or 10 of the 000 Buckshot pellets, but they weigh 71 grains each, that is the same weight as a .32 ACP's FMJ bullet, and it is moving faster than a .32 ACP throws its single bullet. With the combination of weight and velocity, 000 Buckshot will penetrate any drywall and any non-masonry exterior wall with relative ease, and thereby possibly endangering your neighbors. Being only 10 grains lighter, 00 buckshot shares many of the same drawbacks as 000 Buck (low pellet count and high penetration).

With the #1 and #4 Buckshot loads, we cover the range of .22 rimfire bullet weights. The #1 is the same weight as many .22 WMR bullets, and the #4 is just a little lighter than the lightest .22 LR bullets. Both of these buckshot loads are zipping along at speeds near .22 WMR velocities, but with a much bigger payload. That weight and velocity gives you enough penetration to stop intruders and minimizes the effects of wall penetration.

There is also the difference in recoil and your ability to control your shotgun. This can also be of importance to those persons of smaller stature who may be able to handle the recoil more efficiently and with fewer problems. Being able to maintain greater control of your shotgun due to less recoil may allow you to get off a second shot if you somehow miss with the first. Which is a distinct and real possibility in the middle of the night and you are still half asleep. The ability to perhaps get off a second shot can sometimes make a significant difference in the outcome between you and an intruder.

And don’t let anyone tell you that you don't have to aim a shotgun. At distances inside your home, you will probably have less than 30 feet as a maximum range. The shot spread will usually be less than 10" even with an open bore. It is quite easy to miss a man-sized target at that range when you only have 10 to 15 pellets in your pattern. Then you will still have to worry about who or what is on the other side of the wall that your pellets strike, such as children who may be sleeping in another room.

With the lighter weight and higher pellet count of the #1 and #4 Buckshot, you have a lot more pellets in that 10" pattern and more chances to strike a crippling if not fatal blow to an intruder while not having to worry as much about the after effects of over penetration.

Ultimately you will need to make your own choice and decide for yourself which load you prefer to use for home defense. Your skill and abilities with your shotgun, the number of persons in your household, and the proximity of neighbors should all be important factors in making a decision.

Staying above the water line!

Riverwalker

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Springers - Update and Safety Tip

Re-post Courtesy of Riverwalker's Stealth Survival

A reader has left an excellent comment on my post about Springers. Here is that update and a great safety tip as well!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Springers": Sorry for the long response time RW.

Yes, range is a factor as well. Springers do have more velocity (meaning flatter trajectory as well), but as with any firearm, putting that bullet / pellet exactly where you want it makes up for the power. The springers have a pretty substantial 'shock' - its like holding a piece of wood that gets a light exterior impact.

The PCP and pneumatics don't have that characteristic - it does require some practice to get used to.Owning the hardware does not make anyone an instant expert or authority, but I've owned a few pneumatics (Benjamins in both .177 and .22. my favorites) as well as a few springers (RWS 350 in .22, Webley Tomahawk in .177 as well as a few others) and can safely state the springers do take some more time to get used to, and fire accurately. But the payoff IS substantial - you get a powerful pellet rifle that given care, will last you a very long time. Spare parts - a replacement mainspring and maybe a few screws - that’s about it.

One very important note - NEVER pull the trigger or let the barrel go on a partially cocked springer - the rifle will snap shut and very likely damage the gun, possibly even cracking the stock.

I would suggest anyone interested in learning about air guns take a look at the Pyramyd Air website - there is an airgun blog there by Tom Gaylord which is very interesting.

You can read Tom Gaylord’s blog here: http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/

Thanks Anonymous for the update and great safety tip!

Staying above the water line!

Riverwalker

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rince an Bhata Uisce Bheatha - The Bata

Re-post Courtesy of Riverwalker's Stealth Survival

Rince an Bhata Uisce Bheatha (pronounced rinkan watta ishka vaaha) is Gaelic for Dance of the Whiskey Stick. However, Rince an Bhata Uisce Bheatha isn't an Irish dance, it's a Doyle Clan style of Irish stick fighting. This is a form of martial art most Irishmen used to settle their disputes in the 18th and 19th centuries. The first thing in learning Rince an Bhata Uisce Bheatha is how to make a bata. A bata is an Irish fighting stick and because this style of stick fighting uses both hands you will need to insure that it will be the proper size for you.

The Proper Size for Your Bata

The bata that is used in the Rince an Bhata Uisce Bheatha style is usually about three feet long. Its size is mainly dependent upon the size of the individual for whom it is being made. In order to determine the proper length, stretch your arms out from your body at shoulder level and make a fist in each hand. Then bring your fists together in a position next to each other and against the middle of your chest. Do this while keeping your elbows pointed outwards and away from your body. The next step is to measure the distance between your two elbows. The final step in determining the proper size you will need is to add six inches to the measurement obtained from elbow to elbow. This will give you the proper length of bata for you to obtain the maximum effectiveness in this style of stick fighting.

The Proper Wood for Your Bata

The bata is usually made from a tree branch or from the main portion or "trunk" of a small tree and generally includes a root knob. Most batas in Ireland were made from blackthorn bushes because they are very common in Ireland. Batas can also be made from other woods such as oak or ash. Generally most any available hardwood of good quality should be sufficient.

The Proper Finish for Your Bata

Most batas are finished in a dark stain. It is entirely up to you as to what type of stain and sealer you use to preserve your bata. Some batas also have metal ferrules or tips on the knob and on the end of the bata.

The proper length is extremely important for this particular style because stick punches are launched using both hands. If your stick is too long, it will be difficult to execute proper stick punches.

You can read my previous post on Irish stick fighting here:

Rince Bhata Uisce Bheatha

Staying above the water line!

Riverwalker

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Simple Survival Tips - Alternate Food Storage Methods

Re-post Courtesy of Riverwalker's Stealth Survival

Many people use glass canning jars for their food storage items. Some keep rice and other dry grain products in them, as well as items that they have preserved or canned. If you don't have a room or area that can be dedicated to the purpose of food storage, the jars of food can be kept in the cardboard box they came in.

1.) This will protect them from the light.

2.) Help to cushion them and prevent accidental breakage of the jars.

3.) Help to prevent the jars from losing their seal and maintain their freshness.

4.) Allow easier storage in different areas due to the “stackability” of boxes.

When storing food items in this manner, be sure to properly label all the individual jars and the carton they are stored in with the proper dates and contents.

Staying above the water line!

Riverwalker

Monday, November 23, 2009

Proper Food Storage Conditions - Moisture and Humidity

Re-post Courtesy of Riverwalker's Stealth Survival

The major reason for a long term food storage program is that it will be available for you and your family in a disaster or a time of crisis. It is of the utmost importance that you have an understanding of the conditions that can affect the food items in your long term food storage program.

The ideal storage location and conditions for your long term food items should have a humidity level of 15 % or less, a temperature of 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and be totally safe and protected from insects, rodents, and other pests. Unfortunately, ideal conditions are seldom practical and are almost impossible to achieve. There are however certain things you can do to improve the shelf life of storage food items while protecting them from the effects of moisture and humidity.

Food Storage Tips to Avoid Moisture and Humidity

1.) Keep your food items stored under climate controlled conditions (air conditioning, refrigeration, etc.). This is especially important during periods of unusually high humidity or temperature levels.

2.) Reduce the possibility of moisture condensation. Keep storage containers out of direct contact with floors and exterior walls.

3.) Store your food items in containers that are resistant to the effects of moisture or humidity.

4.) Use food safe desiccants to control the moisture content inside your food storage containers.

Always remember, that no matter how effectively you protect your storage food items from the effects of temperature, humidity, light and pests, you will need to have a good rotation plan for your food storage.

Rotate. Rotate. Rotate.

Staying above the water line!

Riverwalker

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Simple Survival Tips - Left-Over Turkey Recipe

Re-post Courtesy of Riverwalker's Stealth Survival

Be prepared this Thanksgiving. Here’s a recipe to help you spice up that leftover turkey. It’s simple and easy to prepare and only takes a few minutes. Wipe out that left-over turkey before it wipes you out. Being prepared will help you survive left-over turkey.


Turkey Tacos

Ingredients for Turkey Tacos

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1 onion (chopped)

1 or 2 chopped jalapenos (optional)

1 pound cooked turkey (shredded)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 large fresh tomato (chopped)

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro (chopped)

Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation Instructions

1.) Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, and cook the onion and jalapeno until tender.

2.) Mix in the shredded turkey and season with garlic powder.

3.) Stir in the chopped tomato.

4.) Add water, sprinkle with cilantro, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

5.) Cover skillet, and simmer 5 minutes, or until mixture is heated throughout.


Use this mixture as a filling for tacos, burritos or tostadas, etc.

Staying above the water line!

Riverwalker

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Springers

Re-post Courtesy of Riverwalker's Stealth Survival

With higher gun prices, a cheaper alternative for many people may be the spring powered air rifle. This type of air rifle uses a spring to compress air in a chamber. They offer power, accuracy and ease of use. They are also less expensive in most cases than regular rimfire or centerfire rifles. These types of air powered rifles are commonly referred to as “springers”.

There are several different spring powered air rifle designs that include break barrel, under lever, and side lever. With a break barrel design the actual barrel is hinged and you pull the barrel down which cocks the spring. Then you put a pellet directly into the barrel, swing the barrel back into place and you are ready to fire. This is probably the most common type of spring powered air rifle.

Advantages

This is the type of air rifle with the best power. Any magnum powered air rifle uses a spring as its main power source. The two biggest advantages for buying a spring powered rifle are power and ease of use. With a spring powered air rifle you only have to cock the gun once to achieve maximum power. Most are rated at 1000 FPS and can be used for small game hunting, target shooting, and varmint control. Higher velocity also means greater accuracy over longer distances. They usually come in .22 cal and .177 cal.

Disadvantages

Some spring powered air rifles can be tough to cock for younger persons or females due to the upper body strength required to cock the air rifle. Make sure you know the cocking pressure before you buy one if it is going to be for a younger person or a female. Most spring powered air rifles require anywhere from 25 to 30 lbs. of pressure to cock. Some spring powered air rifles are specifically designed for easier cocking such as the Benjamin Legacy and Tech Force 97 air rifles. These two models are easier to cock and they still provide anywhere from 900 to 1000 FPS velocities. The only other drawback is that most spring powered air rifles are single shot which means you will have to load a pellet after each shot. There are a few exceptions though. Gamo makes a rifle called the Shadowmatic. It uses a loading tube that holds 9 pellets. Each time you cock the gun a new pellet is loaded into the chamber.


Examples of Air Rifles Available

Spring powered air rifles are the best selling type of air rifle. There are quite a few different models that will fit most budgets. If you want to spend under $150 go with the Crosman Quest 1000x, Winchester 1000SB or Winchester 1000XS. All of these models come with a scope included so they are perfect for pest control or small game hunting.

If you need a mid-range rifle go for the Tech Force 99 in a .22 or .177 cal. Gamo is another fairly good brand. They have some really cool models such as the new Viper Express Shotgun that doubles as a .22 cal and the new Varmint Hunter that comes with a scope, laser and torch light.

If a premium air rifle is what you need, then go with RWS or Beeman. Both of these brands offer a lifetime warranty. Specific models are the RWS 34 in either a .22 cal or .177 cal or a RWS 350 mag combo. These rifles offer good accuracy and power. They also have a good warranty.

Spring powered air rifles can be a good choice for hunting small game and pest control. They have the necessary power, accuracy and ease of use that will fit the needs of most individuals. They can make a good alternative to higher priced conventional rifles for persons on a budget. They should also be considered as an alternative for your wife or girlfriend whom you may not have convinced to use a more powerful conventional rifle.

Staying above the water line!

Riverwalker

Friday, November 20, 2009

Food Safety - Part 3 - Rice Contamination - Bacillus cereus

Re-post Courtesy of Riverwalker's Stealth Survival

There are many different ways for food to become contaminated. Once contaminated it should be disposed of properly. Avoid food poisoning and therefore its sometimes deadly effects by knowing the proper means of handling and preparing your food. Learn to recognize the different symptoms of the various kinds of food poisoning and its effects.


Bacillus cereus produces two types of food poisoning. The first one is a relatively mild form of food poisoning that causes diarrhea and stomach pains. The symptoms usually occur 8 to 12 hours after eating contaminated food. The symptoms generally last for about 12 hours. The second type of food poisoning is more serious and causes intense vomiting and diarrhea. The symptons generally occur 1to 5 hours after eating food that is contaminated. Both types of food poisoning are caused by a toxin produced by the bacteria and are normally not fatal. The first type may occur in a wide variety of foods including rehydrated dried vegetables, soya bean sprouts and potato products. The second type is mostly associated with cooked rice that has been left exposed to room temperature for an extended period of time.

These types of food poisoning can be prevented by using proper hygiene, by not leaving cooked foods for long periods at room temperature and insuring that all foods are cooked to a proper temperature that is high enough to destroy any bacteria. Once heated or properly cooked foods, such as rice, are cooled, they should be immediately refrigerated to prevent contamination.


Staying above the water line!

Riverwalker

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Natural Disasters - Part Three - Tornadoes

Re-post Courtesy of Riverwalker's Stealth Survival

Tornadoes are one of nature’s more violent storms. Tornadoes should always be taken very seriously. Tornadoes are very dangerous and are sometimes very deadly. They come from powerful thunderstorms and appear most often as rotating, funnel-shaped clouds. Tornado winds can reach speeds of up to 300 miles per hour and cause a great deal of damage when they touch down on the ground. They can cause damage to areas as large as a mile wide and up to 50 miles long. Every state is at some risk, but states in “Tornado Alley” have the highest risk.

Tornadoes can form any time of the year, but the regular tornado season generally runs from March to August of each year. Tornadoes also appear during hurricane season as well. The ability to predict tornadoes is very limited and usually there will only be a few minutes warning. The most important thing to do is TAKE SHELTER immediately when a tornado is nearby or present in your area.

Tornado Tips:

1.) Keep informed of severe weather updates. You may only have minutes to seek shelter.

2.) When a tornado is in your area you need to immediately seek some form of shelter.

3.) If you find yourself outside and no shelter is available, lie down in a ditch or culvert.

4.) Take shelter in any buildings that may be nearby if you are in your vehicle.

5.) Be careful and watch out for broken glass or downed power lines after a tornado.

An underground shelter is your best form of protection. If you don’t have a basement or a storm shelter, find an inside room or closet away from any windows.

On September 20, 1967 I personally survived the devastating effects of a killer tornado. Tornadoes were extremely numerous with Hurricane Beulah. I was unfortunate enough to be living in Palacios, Texas at the time and lost four friends and had 6 other friends who were seriously injured due to a killer tornado. They lived next door and across the road from my home. We went to high school together and our lives were changed as a result. It is an experience that will never be forgotten.

Here is an excerpt of the story:

“An amazing 115 tornadoes were spawned by the system, the most ever known to be generated by a tropical storm (5 times the previous record set by Isbell in 1964). Most of the tornadoes were confined to the entire coast of Texas and were rather weak. One killer tornado touched down in Palacios on the morning of the 20th, killing 4 people and injuring 6 more. A tornado near Louise in Wharton County caused one death. Fifteen people died in Texas during Beulah; 5 by tornado, 10 by flood. One hundred ten boats also fell victim to the storm. Damages were estimated conservatively at $100 million.”
Source: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/lch/research/txlate20hur.php

Staying above the water line!

Riverwalker

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