Saturday, February 28, 2015

Day After Disaster: Discusion Topic #8


Building a fire and a shelter are among the basic necessities of survival. I have learned all kinds of ways to do both and the resources on this topic are extensive! Remember though you have to get out and try it because looking in a book or online is much different than finding the actual pieces to put the puzzle together in the wild.

Listed in my Amazon Survival Store I have some great survival manuals that I have studied extensively. I have also put together some great websites for you to go check out: listed below. You Tube is an abundant source of information on both these topics where you can watch hands on instruction.

Get crazy, get creative, go ahead and post your favorite methods below!



Shelters and Fire Resources










Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com
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Friday, February 27, 2015

Survival Foraging: Parsley, More Than Just a Garnish

Parsley (Petroselunum crispum, P. Hortense, P. Sativum)

Parsley is most identifiable as a garnish that you find on your plate but it has had a place among prized herbs for many generations. It is a herb that is essential in my herb garden and flavors most of my family's dishes.

Parsley's History

Parsley is a plant that grows in early spring and as such is used in the Jewish passover ritual of "Sedar". Long ago Greeks connected this plant with death and thought soldiers who had contact with it before battle would surely die. It was often planted on Greek graves. As time went by they used it to remember fallen heroes and it was used in crowns to adorn athletic heroes. When this change happened it quickly became recognized as a symbol of strength. The Romans are the ones who recognized it's breath freshening qualities and started the tradition of including it on a plate as a after meal breath freshener.

The Healing book of Herbs by Michael Castleman states that in America from 1850 to 1926 the US Pharmacopeia had it listed as a laxative, diuretic for kidney problems and fluid accumulation due to congestive heart failure and a quinine substitute for malaria.

 Identifying The Plant

It is important to note that this plant is not recommended for wild foraging because it closely resembles hemlock which is very poisonous. This includes water hemlock, poison parsley and fools parsley. Also these poisonous varieties can crossbreed with non-poisonous varieties making even the safer varieties dangerous.

The parsley plant itself grows to 12 feet it's first year and 3 feet its second year when it flowers. It is suggested that the leaves should be harvested in the first year due to the flowering in the second but I have found that if you keep it very trimmed you can keep it alive and productive for a number of years. The leaves are delicately cut and curled inward. They have toothed margins and are a very bright green. They are rich in Vitamin A, B, C, iron, calcium, magnesium and chlorophyll. The seeds are very tiny, brownish-gray and sickle shaped. The stems are stiff-semicircular posts that branch off at the ends into the leaf bundles. They are not as green as the leaves but have more parsley flavor. The roots are thin, yellowish-brown taproots with fine hairs and even more parsley flavor.

Growing Tip

Parsley is easy to grow. Just plant a few seeds and away you go. Keep it trim and it produces for a long time. When we used to live in Michigan my mother would keep it alive all winter by covering it with a leaf blanket to protect it from the harsh weather and snow. It used to drive my grandmother crazy how mom could keep it alive and productive through the winter.

Preserving Parsley

When I harvest my parsley I usually hang bundles of the leaves in a dark area to dry. Then I just break them into a powder over a piece of paper. Once broken apart I curl the paper into a funnel and put the dried leaves into a shaker. Preserve store bought fresh parsley in this same manner and you won't be tossing out the unused leaves. Alternately you can also just put the bundle into a small paper bag, wait for them to dry, smash it up in the bag, pick out the stems and pour your leaves from the bag into a shaker.

The leaves can also be frozen for future use. The stems can be dried and used the same way as the leaves or you can blanch them and freeze them.

Medicinally

As a breath freshener simply eat a few sprigs: leaves and stems.

Parsley essential oil* (found mostly in the seeds) contains apiol and myristicin which have a mild laxative and significant diuretic effect. Use an infusion* (up to 3 cups per day) or a tincture* (1/2 to 1 teaspoon 3 times per day) can be used as a way to control high blood pressure but you should always consult your doctor and when using this you should increase potassium amounts as diuretics rob your body of it. This dosage is also recommended for congestive heart failure but again consult your doctor before adding it to your medicinal plan.

Pregnant ladies should only have parsley as a culinary product as increased amounts can stimulate uterine activity and induce labor. Non-pregnant ladies may find it a welcome relief to that "bloated" feeling you get during PMS.

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology suggests in a publication that parsley may inhibit the secretion of histamines and reduce allergy reactions.



*Tincture - Process of steeping the dried or fresh herbs in a 25% mixture of alcohol and water. Can be stored for up to two years.
*Infusion - 2 teaspoons of dried leaves or roots or 1 teaspoon of bruised seeds to one cup of boiling water, steeped for 10 minutes. Should be made fresh for each dose.


*Essential Oil - most essential oils can be purchased at a natural food store. To make your own, put 250g of dried herbs or 750g of fresh herbs into 500ml of sunflower oil into a bowl. Place this bowl over a pot of boiling water for about three hours. Then pour into jelly bag or cheesecloth fitted to a wine press and strain mixture into a container. Pour this mixture into a clean, airtight storage bottle.

Attention Use At Your Own Risk

I am not medically trained in anyway. I am simply a student. I read and experiment with ancient herbal techniques. I am simply passing on the knowledge I have gained from studding many texts on the subject and I am in no way responsible for anything you do with this information. For a listing on the books that I have compiled knowledge from visit: http://www.authorsarafhathaway.com/#!saras-survival-stuff/c1mzf

For this article I used these resources the most:
Bremness, Lesley. The Complete Book of Herbs. New York: Viking Studio, 1988. Print.
Castleman, Michael, and Sheldon Saul. Hendler. The Healing Herbs: The Ultimate Guide to the Curative Power of Nature's Medicines. Emmaus, PA: Rodale, 1991. Print.

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Bee Pollen, The World's Only Super Food

Peppermint: Not Just a Christmas Candy 
Yarrow: A Medicinal Essential 
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Acorn Tea: Warms the Body and Soul
Sprouts
Curly Doc
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Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com
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Purchase Day After Disaster


 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Day After Disaster: Discussion Topic #7


This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I have always had a close relationship with nature. As I grew older, I found out that all the pills we take originated in some plant somewhere. So I started to research medicinal herbs. What I found out was many of the active ingredients that occur naturally in plants also come with built in buffers for your body that are left behind when scientists remove the active ingredients to make pharmaceuticals. This was very distressing to me. If those buffers make medicines safer, why not include them? Well turns out the medication would not be as potent. I think we need to find a better balance between potency and buffering so now when I am sick I look to natural remedies first. There are many instances when western medical practices are essential life savers but if you can heal naturally why not try that first?

Turns out a lot of these medicinal plants are also very nutritious. They not only heal but help prevent problems. Many plants that we think are weeds are actually edible, nutritious, power plants that we overlook. If you were forced to survive outside of western society, having a working knowledge of these plants would be absolutely essential. You should know the plants available in your area but you should also get to know plants that cover many areas because just 100 miles from where you are the plant selection could be much different.

I am also a bow hunter and a meat eater. Meat, in my opinion, is an essential protein that has grown the human brain to the size it is over the history of man. You should be familiar with edible animals. Their feeding, watering, sleeping and mating patterns could be an essential piece to the survival puzzle of the future. You should be familiar with trapping and hunting techniques that do not involve a gun. Bullets and their ingredients may be hard to come by or way to valuable to use for hunting. Start researching ways to get meat on your table without a bullet.

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Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com
Purchase Without Land
Purchase Day After Disaster


 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Survival Preps: Baby Bugg Out, Get Ready to Carry More Gear


Bugging out with a baby adds many considerations to your bug out list of supplies. Here is a short list to get you started thinking about all baby will need while you are on the road.

Carrying Baby:

If baby is small enough, consider carrying baby in a front backpack. This allows you to still carry all of your gear on your back with baby in the front. Remember though baby is going to grow and you will not be able to use this front-pack long so make sure you have a good back carrying pack ready to go as well, just in case you are bugged out for a longer period of time.

If baby is too big for the front pack I recommend a Ergobaby pack. I have used this pack for my baby extensively. It is not bulky and it is very comfortable for a long period with a heavy child. My son is now three and weighs 45lbs and I hike six miles with him on my back no problem. It is like carrying him piggy back but he doesn't have to hold on. The only problem with this pack is it does not carry much else than baby. You can hook your sleeping bag and/or bivvy sac under where the child sits to carry a little extra gear. An additional pack that you could carry on your chest would be a great addition to this setup.

Feeding Baby:

Even if you are planning to breast feed baby long term, which would be ideal in a bug-out situation, pack as much formula as humanly possible. High stress situations can cause a woman's milk supply to dry up and you don't want to be left with a hungry baby and no milk. To maximize the amount of formula you can carry take it out of the bulky packaging and vacuum seal it into smaller serving sized baggies. That way it will last longer and you don't have to worry about carrying around an open pack of powder and losing half of it along the way. Have some extra bottles with different nipples styles. Some babies prefer different types of nipples. It is best to know what your baby likes before you are dependent upon them to feed your child. You also want to have lots of extras because if you are not sanitizing the nipples properly they will get moldy and will have to be disposed of. Make sure you rinse and care for them well.

Changing Baby:

You will need a supply of cloth diapers, safety pins and soft cotton clothes for wiping baby. You may want to carry some extra bleach so you can sanitize items better. Remember you must let bleach air dry after application for it to have its full effect. An alternative method is to hang the items in the sun. The sunlight destroys bacteria and should help to keep baby from getting an infection. Make sure you have lots of diaper rash cream on hand. Baby will get much worse diaper rash wearing cloth diapers. Plus, the rash cream works well on chaffing that will happen from the extensive walking the adults are doing.

Clothing Baby:

If you are bugging in you should have a supply of shoes and clothes to meet baby's needs as they grow. They grow fast so you will need to be prepared. Don't throw out your old clothes or take them to goodwill. Store them for the future. They can be re-purposed into clothes for baby and multiple other things.

In a bug-out situation you will want to carry the next size up if your space and weight allow. It would be nice to carry all the sizes you will need but you'll already have a lot more to carry, like a baby, so scavenging is going to be key in a long term situation. Remember that baby will get cold too. Make sure you have hats, gloves, scarf, and a very warm one piece suit. You can always take clothes off but you can't make them magically appear.

Baby Medications:

If you have special medical needs try to get some extras stocked up. For a healthy baby there are still some consideration to think of here. You will be outdoors and exposed to the elements more, make sure you have lotion to put on any chapped and windblown skin. You will want to make sure you have baby Tylenol on hand to combat any fevers that might occur. You should also have a good baby thermometer to be able to check for the fever. Sometimes if you are cold it is hard to judge how hot baby actually is. You should also have some kind of Vaper Rub on hand. Baby will get snotty and snuffly and it is nice to be able to open up their airways and get them healthy faster. Another consideration is having baby Orajel on hand. Parents rely heavily upon little icey things to ease baby's teathing pain but in a bug-out situation you will not have access to ice. The Orajel can bring some much needed relief to baby and the parents' ears.

Touchy Subject:

I don't know how many of you have learned the history of the holocaust. I haven't studied it extensively but I have heard many stories of mothers who suffocated their babies in order to keep them quiet when they did not want to be found by an enemy. As a mother of two beautiful boys this concept absolutely horrifies me but I can understand the logic. Lose baby and keep yourself and the rest of the group alive or save baby and everyone gets caught and baby probably gets taken from you anyway. The answer to the problem: Learn to make chloroform and have some on hand. Consult a doctor now and learn the proper amount that you would need to use. I understand that baby is going to feel miserable after the encounter but if it is the ticket to keeping everyone, including baby, safe then I think a headache would be worth it.

Feel free to elaborate on my list and suggest anything I might have missed. Realize that both mom and dad will have to carry extra gear because baby won't be able to carry their own gear and whoever is carrying baby won't be able to carry as much of their own gear as well.

Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com
Purchase Without Land
Purchase Day After Disaster