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      How To's

      How To Store Bacon Long Term

      How To Store Bacon Long Term-American Survivalist-Survival Gear

      I think refrigeration and sell-by dates have messed with the modern mind in terms of what can and cannot be eaten. We also have a distorted view of how food can be stored.

      Less than a few hundred years ago, ships were crossing oceans, pioneers were trekking across vast distances and people were living in homes without any refrigeration or the FDA.

      Descendants Of Refrigerator-Less People

      The lesson we need to learn is that food preservation and storage have been around for thousands of years. Electricity and fridges did not make food storage possible, only more convenient.

      The FDA would probably have a fit if they saw your great-grandmother’s kitchen and pantry. Yet, here we are, alive and kicking, descendants of refrigerator-less people.

      Shelf Stable Bacon

      Shelf-stable means foods that can be stored at room temperature for prolonged periods. Shelf-stable bacon sounds like something that most modern people would think impossible. I mean, it is well known that meat outside a fridge spoils. Right?

      Not so fast. You can cure and smoke bacon to be hung in an unrefrigerated area for a very long time. How long? Well, until it turns to dust.

      It will lose nutrition and become hard as wood, but you can still cook and eat it. And even if it tastes awful, it won’t kill you. Shelf-stable bacon can be made by dry-curing your pork belly, smoking it if you want to, and then hanging it somewhere dogs, rodents, and insects can’t get to it.

      Slabs Of Belly For Bacon

      I will rarely work with meat that I bought from a butcher, simply because it may have become contaminated. Irrespective, you will need a couple of slabs of pork belly.

      I prefer something that fits into my curing pans, which can accommodate a slab of no bigger than 12 inches by 12 inches. Work according to the size of your containers or fridge.

      Applying The Cure

      The curing ingredients are simple. Salt, brown sugar, and some spices for flavor. Salt and sugar are essential. The flavoring depends on you.

      Mix the salt and sugar in equal portions. I mix a cup of each at a time. Rub the cure onto the entire surface of the pork belly. Everywhere. Bottom, sides, top, little fold, everywhere.

      I don’t use pink salt or nitrates of any shape or form. However, don’t confuse Pink salt with Himalayan Pink Salt. You are welcome to use it if you want.

      Removing Moisture

      Then place in an airtight container and put in the fridge or the pantry. The cooler the environment the better. You can place it on an oven roasting grid so it doesn’t sit in the moisture that leeches out.

      Then, every day for about one to two weeks, you repeat the following procedure:

      • Remove from the fridge.
      • Drain out the fluids that leached into the bottom of the container.
      • Re-apply the curing mixture where you see areas where there is no curing mixture left.
      • A week should do, but you can go longer if you want. The longer you go, the more salty the pork belly will be.

      Hanging Out To Dry

      Once your pork belly has lost enough moisture and absorbed enough curing mix, it’s time to remove from the fridge and hang it out to dry. Many people say that you should rinse off all the cure from the belly and dry it with a towel before hanging. You can do that.

      I just brush off the excess cure with a stiff brush and hang it immediately. There is a place toward the back of my kitchen, well ventilated, dry, and a fly-free zone. I just hang them there.

      A friend of mine installed a UV light in his pantry to kill bacteria etc. The thing is, my grandmother didn’t have a UV light, and she was fine. It’s really up to you.

      Smoking The Bacon

      You have the option of cold smoking the pork belly at this stage. This adds flavor and deposits an extra layer of acidity onto the meat that will serve as additional protection against bacteria.

      But to be honest, by now there are almost no bacteria that will grow on the outside of the pork belly and spoil the meat.

      Modern food storage guidelines and sell-by dates have convinced us that food needs to be stored very precisely or it will become deadly, which is true, but not that hard to do.

      It’s a fact is that food stored incorrectly is dangerous, but you don’t need to be a modern food scientist with a bag of chemical tricks and a building full of freezers to achieve what your great grandmother did in her kitchen daily.

      How To Can Bone Broth At Home With 2 Years Shelf Life

      How To Can Bone Broth At Home With 2 Years Shelf Life-American Survivalist-Survival Gear
      Making and canning bone broth is a great way to become more self-sufficient. There’s a misconception out there that it’s difficult to do but that is simply not the case. This is something you can do easily in just an afternoon, allowing you to always have broth on hand for soups, stews, sauces, gravies, and more.

      Read more

      How To Make An Iodine Rich Black Walnut Tincture

      How To Make An Iodine Rich Black Walnut Tincture-American Survivalist-Survival Gear

      Black Walnut is a tree with a dubious reputation. It is notorious for killing plants that try to grow beneath it because of its high content of the chemical juglone.

      Combined with large quantities of falling nuts that quickly turn black and slimy, it’s no wonder it is often shunned.

      Despite its negative qualities, black walnut has long been valued by herbalists for the potent medicine it can provide. Those nasty fall nuts are naturally rich in iodine, which you can easily extract in a tincture. You can use this iodine tincture for many things, including preventing radiation poisoning.

      The situation in Eastern Europe is heating up, and it is important we prepare for the worst. As the threat of nuclear war increases, iodine is increasingly on our minds.

      In case of an iodine shortage, it is imperative we know the natural resources that surround us and that can aid in a time of crisis. By preparing this black walnut tincture now, you can be prepared for when SHTF.

      Black Walnut Identification

      The first thing you need to do is locate a black walnut tree.

      Native to Eastern North America, you can find Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) trees as far north as Ontario and as far south as Georgia and northern Florida. Their range reaches from the Atlantic Coast as far west as South Dakota.

      But how do you distinguish Black Walnut trees from the other five species of walnut that grow in the US?

      • Leaves

      One way to distinguish between different types of trees is to examine the leaves.

      All species of walnuts have feathery pinnate leaves. Black walnut has between 15-23 leaflets grouped together in pairs on each twig.

      What black walnut doesn’t have is the extra leaf at the tip that other varieties do. This leaf is the easiest way to distinguish it from other species.

      When the black walnut does have a terminal leaf, it is small. While very similar in other ways, English and butternut walnuts always have a large terminal leaf.

      • Trunk

      Black walnut bark is dark and deeply fissured. If you remove the bark, you can see the dark brown wood beneath it. The bark on the black walnut is darker than the bark on other walnut varieties.

      The deep ridges in the bark are the most distinctive feature of this tree in winter. You can see diamond-shaped patterns in the ridges in the bark.

      • Nuts

      The nuts’ shape varies depending on which variety of walnut you have.

      Since we are looking for Black walnuts, we want to look for round nuts rather than oval ones like the butternut variety.

      You will also find black walnuts also have the hardest shells.

      But we don’t need to worry about that now because it is the outer hull of these nuts that we use for our tincture. Later, you can decide if you want to struggle to enjoy the delicious nut inside.

      Black Walnut Tincture For Radiation

      We want to have iodine on hand in case of radiation exposure. Potassium Iodine tablets can help protect your thyroid gland from exposure to radioactive iodides.

      But right now, our ability to procure iodine may be limited. You may already be finding tablets are on backorder, and who knows when they will arrive.

      But people tell us that when other sources of iodine ran out after the Chernobyl disaster, a black walnut tincture was used. And it worked.

      While the FDA will advise us only to use approved potassium iodine tablets, there are studies out there showing the topical application of iodine is as effective as oral potassium iodine in blocking radioiodine absorption in the thyroid. If you have access to a black walnut tree, you can easily make an iodine rich tincture in your home.

      Other Uses For Black Walnut Tincture

      Even if there isn’t a nuclear attack, a black walnut tincture is useful to have in your household apothecary. It is antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and works as an antiparasitic.

      You can apply it topically to your skin to help treat wounds, skin infections, and fungal infections. Or you can take it internally to expel parasites. It also has been used traditionally for upset stomachs, heart problems, and even as a hair dye.

      How To Make A Black Walnut Tincture

      You can easily make a black walnut tincture at home as long as you have black walnuts. Ideally, you will be using the hulls from walnuts you have harvested yourself, so you know that the ingredients are of the highest quality.

      However, if you want to make this tincture and it’s not black walnut season, you can purchase dried and powdered hulls.

      When To Harvest

      Black walnuts are usually ready to harvest in September or October. You want to harvest when they are underripe rather than overripe.

      When the fruit is ready to harvest, your finger should slightly leave a dent when you press it. If it is overly soft or has many brown spots, then choose another.

      You will want to remove the green outer hull from the shell to use for your tincture. For now, you can reserve the shell with the nut.

      Later you can pit yourself against the hardest of all the walnut shells and try to release the delicious treat inside.

      What You Need

      • 10-12 Black walnut hulls or dried black walnut powder
      • Vodka (or other alcohol at least 75 proof)
      • Mason jar
      • Coffee filter
      • Funnel
      • Tinted bottles for storage

      Directions

      1. Cut the hulls and place them in the mason jar.

      2. Cover the hulls with vodka to a minimum of two fingers above the top of the hulls. Do not exceed double the height of the hulls, or your tincture will not be as strong.

      If using dry hulls, you may need to add alcohol as the hulls absorb the liquid.

      3. Seal the jar and leave it in a cool dark place for at least two weeks.

      4. When your tincture is ready, place a coffee filter inside a funnel and strain the liquid into a tinted bottle for storage.

      5. Store in a cool dark place

      For radiation protection, you can paint the tincture onto your skin rather than take it internally.

      For internal use, dissolve no more than 15 drops into a glass of water and take it three times a day. Discontinue use after 14 days.

      How To Build Your Own Endless Food Supply At Home For SHTF

      How To Build Your Own Endless Food Supply At Home For SHTF-American Survivalist-Survival Gear

      Aquaponics is a food producing system that is built on a symbiotic relationship between fish and plants.

      The plants will filter the water naturally and this will create a clean environment for the fish to grow and thrive. At the same time, the fish will produce waste that will organically fertilize the plants.

      The result of this symbiotic relationship are large, prolific plants and fish that can be harvested and eaten. Fish like tilapia, trout and catfish can all be grown in an aquaponics system.

      The carcasses of these fish can even be used in the soil based garden so that your system creates virtually zero waste. This is why the aquaponics system holds such appeal to the homesteader.

      We are going to build a DIY aquaponics system using a simple hydroponics setup as the base.

      This system will produce food outside in the sunlight or you can bring the whole system indoors, under grow lights, to produce food all year long.

      Quick Setup Aquaponics Tip

      When you are setting up your aquaponics system, the germination of seeds and the development of seedlings will have you waiting weeks to get your system up and running.

      You can bypass this long wait using a simple trick. Soil potted seedlings, like those at your local hardware or garden center, can be easily transferred from their pots to your new system.

      Materials

      • Plant Hydroponics PVC System (includes cups, water pump, seed starters)
      • Large Basin
      • Clay Pebbles
      • Seeds
      • PH Test
      • Plant Nutrient
      • Fish Food

      Assembling the PVC System

      1. Whether you decide to buy one or cut your own PVC you will need to assemble the hydroponics portion first.

      2. If you are assembling your system from scratch do not forget to drill 2” inch holes evenly spaced the length of your growing pipe. These holes will house your growing cups.

      3. Connect all of your growing pipes before adding a reducer for your pump hose. This should go on one end of the connected pipes.

      4. On the other end you should connect your outflow pipe.

      5. Your PVC frame can be built next to hold your system in place.

      6. Using your basin or a small 5 gallon bucket you can test inflow and outflow of your system.

      Starting Seeds

      1. Seed starters like rock wool or even foam are great ways to get seeds started. Start by placing a seed or two at the center of each.

      2. Place these in an area that can hold a shallow bit of water and allow the seeds to sprout.

      3. Place the sprouts outside or under a grow light.

      4. Meanwhile open your clay pebbles and soak them in a 5 gallon bucket. Shake them around a bit and then drain them. These will protect the roots of the plants in your system.

      5. Once they become seedlings they can be transferred to your system.

      6. Read the directions on your growing nutrient and make sure you have enough nutrient in your water to support the seedlings or plants that you are adding to the system.

      7. Seedlings potted in dirt can have their roots rinsed clean and transplanted into a hydroponics system. They cannot go back into the dirt after this, but they can go from dirt to water without issue.

      8. Test the PH of your water, and adjust if necessary, using a PH Test kit and then add your plants.

      Adding Fish

      1. Fill your basin with water. If it is from the hose you will have to treat it for the chlorine. This is toxic to your fish and will kill them almost instantly. Water from rain barrels is much better.

      2. Water from the hose will be cold and your fish can also die from shock if you do not allow them to acclimate to the temperature.

      3. You can sit the bag in the basin water to allow the fish to get comfortable and acclimated in the new temperature.

      4. Finally release them into the water. Some may die and that is ok.

      5. We started our system with some minnows and goldfish to keep it cheap and easy. I suggest you do the same so if you have loss, you aren’t out $100 or more for fingerling trout.

      6. Feed the fish daily and keep an eye on PH for your plants and your fish.

      This system will require you to keep and eye on it but little more than a daily check in is required and the annual cleaning out of the whole system.

      Owning an aquaponics system does require an initial investment, but it can be a very rewarding experience. There is nothing like the feeling of sitting down to a meal made completely from plants and fish grown and harvested from one’s very own aquaponics system.

      How To Get A Ham Radio License for SHTF

      How To Get A Ham Radio License for SHTF-American Survivalist-Survival Gear

      How To Get A Ham Radio License for SHTF

      If you are one of those preppers, survivalists, or "preparedness minded persons," and your SHTF plan is to get your butt into a cabin and hide out for awhile with enough supplies to last you through the apocalypse, then you need to know this: an emergency radio could be the difference between life or death.

      What is a Ham Radio?

      A Ham Radio is a portable radio that allows you to communicate with other ham radio operators around the world. It can be used for emergency communications, or just for fun. Getting a ham radio license is not as difficult as you might think, and it can be a great way to be prepared for when SHTF.

      Types of Ham Radios

      There are three main types of ham radios: base, mobile, and handheld. Base radios are the largest and most powerful and are usually stationary in one location. Mobile radios are smaller and can be mounted in a vehicle, while handheld radios are the smallest and most portable.

      Which type of ham radio is best for you depends on your needs and preferences. If you plan on using your radio mainly for emergency communications, then a handheld radio might be the best option since it can be easily carried with you wherever you go. If you want to be able to communicate with other ham radio operators while on the move, then a mobile radio would be a better choice. And if you want the most power and range for your money, then a base radio would be the way to go.

      Getting Your Amateur License

       

       

       

       

       

       

      So, you want to get your amateur radio license and be prepared for when SHTF? Here's what you need to know.

      First, what is amateur radio? Amateur radio is a wireless communications service that hobbyists use to communicate with each other using radios, computers, and other electronic devices. It's a great way to stay in touch with friends and family during an emergency, and it can also be used for entertainment and educational purposes.

      To get your amateur radio license, you'll need to pass an exam administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The exam consists of two parts: a written test and a practical test. The written test covers basic electronics and radio theory, while the practical test is designed to assess your ability to operate a radio station safely and correctly.

      You can study for the exams on your own or take a class from an accredited institution. Once you've passed the exams, you'll be issued a license that is valid for 10 years. After that, you'll need to renew your license every 10 years to keep it active.

      So there you have it! Getting your amateur radio license is a great way to be prepared for when SHTF. Good luck!

      Technical FCC Requirements

      There are three main types of FCC licenses: Technician, General, and Amateur Extra.

      •  Technician license is the entry-level license and requires passing a 35-question multiple-choice examination.
      • General license requires passing a 35-question multiple-choice examination and a 5-wpm Morse code test.
      • Amateur Extra license is the highest level of license and requires passing a 50-question multiple-choice examination.

      All three examinations cover basic regulations, station operation, and electronic principles. In addition, the General and Amateur Extra examinations include questions on operating procedures, radio wave propagation, antennas, and electrical safety.

      Ham Radio Frequencies and License Classes

       

       

       

       

       

       

      When it comes to emergency communications, ham radio is one of the best ways to stay connected. But what frequencies should you use, and what license class should you get?

      There are three main classes of ham radio licenses: Technician, General, and Extra. The Technician class is the entry-level license, and gives you access to all VHF and UHF frequencies. The General class gives you access to all amateur radio frequencies, and the Extra class gives you the ability to operate on any frequency.

      So which one should you get? If you're just getting started, the Technician class is a great place to start. But if you're serious about emergency communications, then the General or Extra class is a better choice.

      As for frequencies, there are three main bands that are used for emergency communications: 2 meter, 70 cm, and 1.25 meter. The 2 meter band is the most popular choice for emergency communications, as it has good range and is relatively easy to use. The 70 cm band is also a good choice, as it has even better range than 2 meters. And the 1.25 meter band is a good choice for close-range communications.

      The Tech Behind Ham Radios

      When it comes to communications during a disaster, ham radios are often seen as the best option. They’re reliable, they don’t require any infrastructure, and anyone can use them. But what exactly are ham radios, and how do you get a license to use one?

      Ham radios are short for “amateur radios,” and they’re just that: radios used by hobbyists and enthusiasts. But in an SHTF scenario, ham radios could be invaluable. They can be used for everything from coordination during disaster response to checking in with loved ones to simply passing the time.

      An Example Of A Long Distance Contact

      One of the great things about ham radio is that it can be used to communicate over long distances.

      On October 8, 2015, Ham Radio Operator Tonya K1QED made contact with another ham radio operator in Argentina. The contact was made using voice (SSB) on the 20-meter band. Tonya was using 100 watts of power and her antenna was a simple wire dipole.

      The contact between Tonya and the Argentinean ham radio operator was brief, but it's a good example of how ham radio can be used to communicate over long distances. With a little bit of practice, you too can make contacts with hams all over the world.

      My Experience Getting a Ham Radio License

      I decided to get my ham radio license for when SHTF after seeing how useful it can be in an emergency situation. I went through the process of taking the test and becoming licensed, and it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. Here's my experience in getting a ham radio license.

      The first thing I did was study for the test. I found a few good resources online that helped me understand the material. Once I felt confident that I knew the material, I scheduled a time to take the test.

      Taking the test was simple and straightforward. I was able to answer all of the questions correctly and pass with flying colors. After passing the test, I had to submit my application for a license to the FCC.

      The process of getting my license was quick and easy. Within a few weeks, I received my official ham radio license in the mail. Now, I am prepared for when SHTF and can use my ham radio to communicate with others in an emergency situation.

      Conclusion

      It's important to be prepared for anything, and that includes being able to communicate in a disaster. A ham radio license will allow you to do just that. Getting your license is not as difficult as you might think, and it's a great way to be prepared for anything.