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      How To Waterproof Your Ammo

      How To Waterproof Your Ammo

      Years ago I read Stephen King’s epic Dark Tower series. Right at the start of the second book the antihero, Roland the gunslinger, is sleeping on a beach when a rogue wave hits him, splashing his ammunition belts.

      For the rest of the novel, a major plot element is how few rounds he has left that didn’t get splashed, and the unreliability of the ones that did. Of course, if you’re familiar with Stephen King’s work you’ll have realized that he doesn’t actually know very much about guns.

      Giving ammunition a quick dip, even in seawater, won’t do it any harm as long as it doesn’t stay wet for a long time. I’ve used ammo that had spent three or four days in a rain-soaked pouch; it still worked fine.

      When it comes to long-term storage of ammunition, though, moisture does become a problem. Over time, dampness can make its way into the primer pocket and through the neck of the case.

      Once it’s in there it will degrade the propellant and possibly the primer. Meanwhile, if there’s water inside the case when the round fires, that will evaporate and affect the chamber pressure.

      Ammo that’s been stored for a long time in damp conditions might not fire. And if it does it will be inconsistent and inaccurate.

      You also need to look out for corrosion on cases. While it’s unlikely cases will corrode badly enough to affect their strength, you could get more stoppages – especially with a semiautomatic weapon.

      When you’re relying on a stockpile of ammunition to keep you alive in a crisis, you need to make sure it’s protected from moisture in storage.

      Location Matters

      The first step in protecting ammunition from dampness is to store it somewhere that isn’t damp. That sounds like a problem for many preppers; a lot of us store our supplies in basements, sheds or bunkers.

      Basements have the extra disadvantage that if the rain gets too heavy or a local river floods, water can quickly find its way in.

      Get around that by installing some shelves or racks, and storing your ammunition well off the floor. That way, if the basement does flood your ammo should be spared a ducking.

      Avoid storing ammo where it’s in contact with basement walls, because these can often be damp.

      Free-standing racks that don’t touch the walls are the best solution, but if you need to keep ammo on wall-mounted shelves be careful not to push it right to the back. Leave some space behind it for air to circulate.

      Protecting your supplies from water or damp walls is only half the battle, though. There’s almost always some moisture in the air itself, too, and given time that can attack your ammunition.

      That’s especially true somewhere the air isn’t circulating much, like your basement. To keep it safe from airborne moisture we need to look at packaging and sealing.

      Sealing Your Ammunition

      When ammunition comes out of the factory it’s generally not fully sealed. The primer and bullet fit into the case tightly enough that water can’t get in if the round gets briefly wet. But over time capillary action will draw moisture through the primer pocket and neck.

      Most military ammunition, and some commercial types, have a ring of waterproof lacquer round the primer to fully seal it; steel cases, which are vulnerable to rusting, usually have some kind of protective coating on the steel. However, if you want truly waterproof ammunition you’ll have to proof it yourself.

      Many gun shops sell products like X Sealant. Apply a little of this round the primer and neck, then cure it under a UV lamp, and it forms a completely waterproof seal.

      As far as I can tell these products do a great job of keeping moisture out of the case, but they won’t protect the case itself from corrosion. And, if you have a large stockpile of ammunition, it would take you a very long time to seal it.

      If you keep some ready-use ammo in a gun bag or tactical vest, sealant could be a good solution. For your main stockpile it isn’t a realistic option.

      A better option is to pack your boxed ammunition into heat-sealed bags. An ordinary vacuum sealer is a great tool for this, but don’t use the vacuum function. Instead, just squeeze surplus air out of the bags before you seal them.

      If you vacuum-seal them there will be air left inside each round. Over time this will slowly escape, equalizing the pressure in the cases and the bag.

      Then, when you unseal the bag, the pressure inside the cartridges will be lower than the atmosphere and outside air will slowly be sucked in. This is bad news, because it’s going to bring moisture with it.

      Not vacuum-sealing the bags means there will be a small amount of moisture trapped inside, but a silica gel sachet will take care of that. Heat sealing ensures no more will get in. If you don’t have a heat sealer use Ziploc bags and, again, add a silica gel sachet.

      Protective Packaging

      Heat-sealed bags will do a great job at keeping water out, but they’re relatively fragile. Give your ammunition some extra protection by picking up used military ammo cans.

      These are made of tough steel, have convenient carrying handles on top, and their lids close tightly and have a rubber weather seal. In fact the military ammunition that comes in them is packed in plain, non-waterproof cardboard boxes. The Army trusts the can itself to keep moisture out even after years in storage.

      Between sealing the boxes in plastic, then storing the bags in ammo cans, your supply should be completely safe from dampness.

      The cans are also easy to grab off the shelf and throw into a vehicle if you need to bug out in a hurry, and you can take out as much ammunition as you need then reseal the can.

      Modern ammunition is pretty robust stuff, but it can deteriorate if you don’t store it properly. The most important thing is to keep moisture away from it. And storing it inside an ammo can in a heat-sealed bag will do exactly that. Protect your ammo stockpile this way and you’ll be able to rely on it when it really counts.

      23 Overlooked Survival Foods You Need To Add To Your Pantry

      23 Overlooked Survival Foods You Need To Add To Your Pantry

      You might already have a good start on your survival pantry or stockpile. But you might also be overlooking some very easy items that would make great additions.

      Sure, canned goods, dried beans, and water are a given. But that is where the list ends for some people.

      If that describes you, then you are missing an opportunity to have a bigger variety of items and nutrition on hand for when you need it.

      I have compiled a list of items often overlooked when creating an emergency pantry. These items all have the ability to add nutrition, calories, and variety to your survival. And, they have a long shelf life.

      Rolled Oats

      Oats are a wonderful source of fiber, protein, vitamin B6, and multiple minerals and antioxidants. In addition, oats are also easy to make and store.

      If stored in an air-tight container, in a cool and dry location, rolled oats have a shelf life of about 30 years. With its nutrients, ease in cooking, and long shelf life, this makes a perfect item to have in abundance for your pantry.

      Yeast

      It’s great to have yeast in your pantry in order to make a variety of breads. If it’s stored in air-tight packages, it should last at least a couple years at room temperature.

      It’s best to store the yeast in individual packets, so unused portions will remain air-tight and sealed.

      You can either buy individual packets, or break a larger one down and vacuum seal the smaller portions individually.

      Nutritionally, yeast is impressive. It contains protein, fiber, vitamin B’s, zinc, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and other minerals.

      Dried Veggies

      Canned fruit and veggies are OK to have on hand, sure. But, dehydrated veggies, just like fruits, have a great shelf life.

      For example, dehydrated corn is good for 10 years, and carrots last up to 20 years. And, they tend to be more flavorful.

      Lentils

      Whole dried lentils have a shelf life of up to 5 years if stored in an air-tight container. So, that makes it a great choice to have in your pantry. But, they also are high in protein, an even better reason to consider them.

      Jerky

      When people think of jerky, it’s often beef or venison that comes to mind. But, many other proteins can be made into jerky, such as turkey, salmon, alligator, and even chicken. And, jerky is a quick source of protein on any given day.

      You can buy it, or make your own. If you have a dehydrator, simply follow the directions to dehydrate your choice of protein.

      Or, you can use the oven by slicing the protein, marinade it for up to 24 hours, dry the protein on a paper towel, and then hang the protein strips on the wire rack in the oven before the oven is preheated.

      Make sure to have a drip pan below to catch anything that drips.

      Preheat the oven anywhere from 170 to 200 degrees. Check the meat in 3 hours, but it could take up to 8 hours.

      Quinoa

      Quinoa has been found in many pantries since the ancient Incas. This grain alternative is full of nutrition containing 8 grams of protein and 8 essential amino acids in just 1 cup.

      Make sure to store the (uncooked) quinoa in an air-tight container, and it will last at least 6 months.

      Dried Fruit

      Dates and raisins are just 2 examples of dried fruit to have on hand. They are easy to find and relatively inexpensive. But, you can turn many other fruits into dried fruit for the pantry. Fruits such as figs, cranberries, bananas, cherries, mango, plums, blueberries, apricots, and more can be easily dried in a dehydrator or oven.

      Make sure to store these dried fruits in an air-tight container. If stored properly, they can survive on the shelf for up to 5 years.

      Coconut Oil

      Coconut oil is great to have on hand because of its high tolerance for heat while cooking, unlike butter and some other oils.

      When not heated, it remains in a solid form and has a shelf life of at least 2 years if stored properly, in a dry and cool area.

      Chickpeas

      Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are a protein-rich food item that will add texture, flavor, and nutrients to a meal. And, if stored properly in an air-tight container, the shelf life is an impressive 30 years or more.

      Honey

      I’m not going to lie, this one surprised me. I don’t know how many jars of honey I have thrown out over the years, thinking it had gone bad because it was crystalized.

      However, I now know that we shouldn’t throw out a perfectly good jar of honey, even if it’s crystalized. All you need to do is slightly warm it and stir and it will go back to its natural state.

      Honey is a great addition to your pantry, not just because it tastes good and can be used to sweeten food and beverages.

      It also has a lot of healthy attributes to it as well.

      It can boost your energy, or soothe a sore throat and calm a cough.

      Honey can also be used to help with wounds due to its natural antifungal and antibacterial properties, and will boost oxygen for healing wounds.

      Look for 100% pure honey, and store it in an air-tight container. It will probably be used up long before it goes bad.

      Nut Butters

      You might have already considered peanut butter because it’s a common staple in most pantries. But, there are other nut butters you may want to consider.

      Almond butter and sunflower seed butter are easy, quick, and healthy sources of nutrition and energy. You can find them in stores or make your own.

      Properly closed jars of nut butters can last in the pantry for years.

      Kamut

      Kamut is a grain that is often overlooked. But since it’s easy to digest, and offers at least 40% more protein than wheat, it’s a great option.

      It has the reputation of being a “high energy grain”, with its high level of lipid. The shelf life is consistent with other grains.

      Pasta

      Pasta is a good source of carbohydrates, which is necessary for a balanced diet. It’s lightweight for storage and can have good flavor with various seasonings.

      Unopened dried pasta can last on the shelf for 2 years, while opened can still last a year. In addition, it’s an easy addition to soups and stews to make it more filling.

      Nuts

      I often turn to nuts when I’m in a short and temporary survival mode, such as being at an all-day event with little convenience for eating a meal.

      And, I carry little bags of nuts in the car, in case of emergencies. So, this might not be an overlooked item for some, it might be for others who don’t love them as I do.

      They have a lot of protein, are easy to store, and are easy to eat. Peanuts are relatively inexpensive when it comes to nuts.

      But for a variety, other nuts to have on hand include pistachio, walnut, pine nut, corn nuts, cashew, macadamia, almonds, and hazelnut.

      These all are good sources of protein, fiber, and necessary fat. Along with being a good source of protein, they are also rich in zinc, fluoride, selenium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants.

      If they are stored properly, in air-tight containers, they have a shelf life of 12 months.

      Sugar & Salt

      Sugar and salt don’t offer much in the nutritional area. Some would argue they do the opposite.

      However, a little bit will go a long way in adding flavor to a meal, and that is also important because a lot of survival foods tend to be on the bland side without it.

      Salt can also help preserve other foods, such as meats if you rub salt over it. When stored properly, sugar can last up to 2 years, and salt 5 years.

      Maple Syrup

      Maple syrup can add a lot of flavor to foods, and replace sugar as a sweetener. And, it has more calcium than milk, as well as zinc, potassium, and iron.

      The perk of maple syrup is that you can forage it from a maple tree yourself if you have them in your area.

      An unopened bottle of store-bought maple syrup will last about a year. An opened bottle should be kept in a refrigerator if possible.

      Alcohol

      Alcohol is often overlooked as a survival item. But it has far more perks to it other than just having a drink. It can be used as fuel when using a compact alcohol stove. It also works as a disinfectant for wounds or tools.

      To improve the shelf life of fruit, soak it in alcohol, such as vodka, rum, or whiskey. An unopened bottle will last forever. Once it’s opened, it still has up to 2 years on the shelf without going bad. And even then, when it comes to alcohol “bad” typically means losing some color and flavor.

      Potato Flakes

      Instant potatoes are a great addition to your survival pantry. They are very easy to make, and the flavor can be altered for variety.

      Eat them as intended, change them into a soup, or use them as a thickener for other dishes. You can also turn the flakes into flour for making bread.

      Unopened packages of instant potatoes will last on the shelf for up to 15 years when stored properly in air-tight containers. Once opened, the shelf life is between 6 months to a year.

      Nonfat Dry Milk & Powdered Milk

      Nonfat dry milk has a very long shelf life of 20 years. Unfortunately, it doesn’t taste all that great. But, the nutritional value makes up for the lack of flavor. It has a nice balance of fiber, carbohydrates, sodium, and potassium.

      On the other hand, powdered milk has a much better taste, and is also nutritious. It is rich in vitamin C & A, iron, zinc, and calcium. The downside to powdered milk though is the shelf life is much shorter at 2 years for an unopened package.

      Apple Cider Vinegar

      In addition to having a very long shelf life, apple cider vinegar has many health benefits as well.

      Its antioxidants can help with fending off viruses, improve gut health, soothe an irritating cough, and rumor has it that it might aid in lowering cholesterol.

      Cornmeal

      Cornmeal can be used in place of flour. But, you can also use it to make corn tortillas, without needing yeast. Some people also use it to thicken soups and dishes and add a corn flavor.

      Cornstarch

      I’m adding cornstarch to the list because it will last forever, and can be more than just a thickener. It can also be used to clean, deodorize, repel insects, and soothe an irritating rash.

      Powdered Drink Mixes 

      Powdered lemonade and other powdered fruit drink mix not only can sit on a shelf for years, but they also can add a variety when it comes to keeping yourself hydrated. And, many of them have vitamin C added.

      The above list consists of items that are common in most kitchen pantries. But, you might not have considered their value when thinking of your survival pantry. Hopefully, this will help you in adding variety, nutrition, and longevity to your stockpile!

      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.