Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Cleaning Up Your Campsite: How to Minimize Your Footprint and Conceal Your Location in a SHTF Situation

Episode 85: Season 3 ep.4




In today's chapter of The Walls of Freedom, Erika's family leave their campsite behind and continue north. Here to talk to us today about cleaning up your campsite: How to minimize your footprint and conceal your location in a SHTF situation is survival professional, George Hart.


Featured Quote:

"The images of all the men and women she had killed still haunted her."

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Campsite  Lessons from George

When you are selecting a campsite you want it to be at least two hundred feet from water with a slight rise. If you camp too close to a water source flooding or water tides may destroy your supplies and gear. Make sure you check for snakes, hornets and animal life in the immediate area. Mosquitoes like marshy areas, still grass and travel with the wind. They are attracted to dark colors so avoid tall grassy areas and try not to camp down wind of them. Chiggers, ticks and ants also like these types of areas. Make sure you are not pitching your tent in a clump of poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac.  Look out for tall trees that have fallen or are tipping. These trees are  called widow makers and can pose a serious threat. Keep in mind that poisonous spiders like black widows like damp dark spaces to hide. 

In canyon areas the wind will blow up the canyon in the day and down the canyon at night. Make sure you are not camped on the edge. Hollows and valleys will be the wettest, coldest and foggiest places to camp. Also keep in mind that mountain streams carry cold air with it and will make for a miserable night. Look out for now on branches or up in trees. Don't build your fire under it or set your tent up under it. Be on the look out for rocks or enclaves to build your fire by. It will reflect the heat back at you and keep you warmer during the night.

When backwoods camping or traveling in a SHTF situation you will want to minimize your footprint. If something wasn't there when you got there don't leave it there when you go. Make your site look like it was never there, check, check and recheck for anything left behind. Don't bury your trash. Animals or people can dig it up. Bury your human waste six to eight inches down and make sure it is at least two hundred feet from water, a trail, and your camp. Carry out used toilet paper and feminine products. Don't leave it in a cat hole. Wash yourself and dishes at least two hundred feet from water and your camp site. Filter out dish water and carry out the scraps with trash. That way you don't attract animals to your dirty dish water.

When you leave the camp, take only pictures with you. Don't take any souvenirs from nature. Leave it like it was so others can enjoy them. In a SFTF situation it will still look natural and untouched. Don't cut anything raw. You don't want to burn that wood anyway. Try not to alter the site in any way. For your fire pit dig six to eight inches down and line it with rocks. When you leave make sure the fire is out, disperse the rocks, and cover the pit with dirt first and then fallen debris. On long hikes you may find fire pits already established, it is okay to use them and leave them as they were. If you are in a SHTF situation your pit and traffic trails around the camp will be a dead giveaway. When you first arrive at camp you may want to clear some debris into a pile so you can spread it out over these signs when you go.

The Cinderblock Fire


George Hart

George Hart was born and raised in Houston, Texas. He started studying different aspects of survival at the age of 7. He was a boy scout as a young boy, while hiking with his father James Hart, was taught the basics of hiking, water, and shelter while in the outdoors. Over the years of him maturing and having experiences with survival, he has learned survival in a self-taught manner. George has gone autumn camping on the shores of Caddo Lake, Texas. He would go hiking as a boy scout, and has studied other aspects of survival from James’ book S.W.E.T. Survival and Wilderness Training such as, how to make a tent out of objects you would find in your wilderness surrounding.
George also has a 1-year diploma for automotive service. He also has a 2-year diploma for the Associate of Applied arts from the Art Institute of Houston for music, video, and Business.

He has been a Tattoo Artist for 22 years. He has also been a body piercer for 20 years. He started Apprenticing for tattooing during his time at the Art Institute of Houston. George has raised 2 female children since they were at the ages of 3 and 6, they are now at the ages of 14 and 17.

George is also in the process of writing a book from different aspects of survival to homesteading. He is in the process of writing a cyber-punk urban fantasy of a futuristic world with events happening so close to modern day it would scare you. He is also assisting his father James Hart in compiling educational materials from survival and medicinal training to multiple subjects interrelated to homesteading such as food preservation, animal husbandry, modern day first aid and medicinal herbs and vitamins just to name a few. He is also writing a series of cook books by compiling recipes, antidotes, and pictures to give to his children.

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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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Wild Foraging in the Sierra Nevada Mountains

Episode 84; Season 3, ep 3

Description of Today's Episode: Their captive attacker is interrogated and the family enjoys a meal of wild game and foraged greens, as The Walls of Freedom story continues. Here to discuss wild foraging in the Sierra Nevada Mountains is Abe Lloyd, author of Wild Berries of Washington & Oregon.


Featured Chapter Quote:
"It's a slow death, ma'am. Not to pretty to watch."

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Wild Foraging Lessons From Abe Lloyd

The Sierra Nevada Mountains of California contain about 1/2 of all of California's plant diversity. Foragables range from greens to fruits to nuts and roots.

There are many edible greens in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Miner's lettuce is one of those greens. It got it's name from early miners that figured out it was edible, juicy and yummy. This plant enjoys partial shade for it's broad green leaves to grow. It has a texture much like spinach. 
The smaller cousin to miner's lettuce is a plant called chickweed. It also likes to grow in partial shade. It's not quite as juicy but has a similar flavor. Both miner's lettuce and chickweed often grow in off times of the year when other edibles may be hard to find. The stems of the chickweed plant have tiny hairs and it blooms with white flowers.
Picture from the book Edible and Medicinal Plant of the West by Gregory L. Tilford


Another green that you will find is stinging nettle. You should harvest this plant with gloves and use extreme caution. It will sting you but it is not medically threatening. Once you blanch the plant the stingers are rendered ineffective. This plant is just like spinach and can be added to souffles, omelettes, etc. The stalks of the stinging nettle plant are connected under the ground with a system of rhizomes. It has inconspicuous flowers and likes to grow in partial shade. Stinging nettle slightly resembles the milkweed thistle in early growth stages but the milkweed thistle has big purple flowers and the stalks grow from a single taproot. Milkweed thistle's root is edible and natives would cook it until it turned black and then eat it. The taste is similar to that of a parsnip or carrot.
There are also a wide variety of edible berries in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Abe's favorite is the thimble berry. It looks like a raspberry but has a cane that doesn't die after two years. Also it has a singe maple shaped leaf and smaller seeds than raspberries. This plant loves full sunlight and can often be found on the sunny side of a trail or road. 
Picture from bangerlm.blogspot.com
Wild blackberries are another very common berry that you will find in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. They are similar to Himalayan blackberries. The leaves are great for tea. They are effective at toning the vascular system. The darker the leaves are the more flavor will be packed into them.
Manzanita berries are another common site in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. There are over thirty varieties of the species existing in California and all of the berries are edible but some are more flavorful than others. The berries are often sour in flavor and if you make a juice from them the flavor is similar to that of cider.
Picture from www.NatureOutside.com
If you are trying to survive in the wild nuts are going to be a significant source of your caloric intake. Luckily oak trees exist not only in the Sierra Nevada Mountains but across most of the continental United States as well. Acorns are edible and are packed with fats and calories your body is going to need. However, you must learn to leach acorns before you use them. This involves soaking the insides in water, draining the water and re-soaking them again and again for about a week before they are added to your recipe.
Pine Nuts are another important source of calories. The cones from the gray pine have nuts that are large enough to harvest and utilize. North America has about 12 species with pine nuts large enough to harvest so be sure to investigate your local region. In the Southwest you will find the Pinon Pine containing these sizeable nuts as well. Getting through the outer shell of the pine nut is not an easy task. You can wrap the nuts in a towel and hit them with a hammer to break the shells. Before you get the nuts, you have to contend with the pine cone itself. One technique for opening the cone is wrapping it in tinfoil and putting it on the fire. The heat will cause the cone to open. Any pine nuts that fall out in this opening process will be trapped in the tin foil. Opening techniques vary from species to species so be sure to do your homework on what method will work best for your type of cone. Squirrels and birds love to eat pine nuts as well. Look for bird activity by the pines to determine what pines are bearing nuts. 
Roots are another great source of calories and vitamins. Cattails grow all over the United States including the Sierra Nevada Mountains and are a calorie dense root vegetable. Also a plant called blue dicks are found all over the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This plant has a single flower atop a singular stem. At the bottom you will find a starchy potato. I do not have a picture of it in my collection and I did not want to search the name on my computer so you'll have to learn this one from an expert. Wild Yamas and wild carrots can also be found in the mountain landscape of the Sierra Nevadas.
Cattails             Yampa, Picture from www.cascadianfood.net                              Wild Carrot                
You have to be careful when you participate in wild foraging. There are many look alike plants out there that are poisonous. Scarlet Pimpernil is one of these plants. It looks similar to chickweed and it wouldn't kill you but it will make you sick. The underside of the leaves have small black spots and chickweed does not. Scarlet Pimpernil has a square stem that is hairless. Chickweed has a slightly hairy more rounded stem.
Poison Hemlock is another plant that is highly poisonous and looks like a wild carrot leaf. It grows taller than a carrot and closely resembles wild fennel as well. 
Picture from www.survivalworld.com
Here are a couple more poisonous species to be on the lookout for:
Water Hemlock                                Helabore or Corn Lilly              
Pictures from Edible and Medicinal Plants of the West by Gregory L. Tilford
Death Camas is an additional plant that is very poisonous and can be found frequently in the Sierra Nevadas. It looks like an onion but there is no onion smell. The flowers are white, there is an edible camas but it has purple flowers. When you harvest good camas make sure you follow the stem all the way down to the connecting bulb. Death camas can lie dormant in the soil for a number of years so it is essential that you pick the correct  bulb.
Pictures from Edible and Medicinal Plants of the West by Gregory L. Tilford
Before you have to rely upon the wild foragables found in nature to feed you, you better be proficient at identification of plants. Learning from books is difficult but it is possible. The easier way to learn is to join a group that goes on trips to identify plants. A less expensive way to learn is by joining a local native plant society, go out with them into the environment and ask a lot of questions. Knowledge will give you a better chance at an educated guess when you are in new environments. Once you recognize a plant that is similar to the one that you know, touch the item you want to eat to your tongue. If it is bitter spit it out. Wait a while to see if there are any adverse affects then give the item a slight chew. Wait again to see if there are any adverse affects. If you feel comfortable up to this point ingest a small amount of the plant and wait a whole day. If there have been no negative side affects you can add it to your diet. Use extreme caution!!!!!!

There are many references to help you get started exploring the wild foragables in your area. Wild foragers used to have to carry books into the woods to compare the plants but with digital technology you can now capture photos quite easily and bring them home for further study. Some good books to get you started include:
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Abe recommends the app Wild Flowers of Pacific Northwest for use on your digital device if you reside in this area.

Alternatively there are also some useful websites that will help you identify plants.
Remember you have to get out there and start identifying! Remember that neither Abe nor I am a doctor. We do not know your alergies or your medical circumstances. Make sure you always proceed with absolute caution and neither Abe or I am responsible for anything you do with this information. Use it at your own risk! But if you don't learn it, good luck if you need to bug out.
Abe Lloyd


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Abe has a passion for plants and indigenous foods that traces back deep into his childhood. His early aspirations as a botanist led him to Northland College on the south shore of Lake Superior, where he completed a Bachelor’s of Science in Natural Resource Management. Since then, research projects have taken Abe to many corners of the planet, most notably, to Nepal where he served as an ethnobotanist for the Peace Corps with Langtang National Park from 2003-2004, and then to NW Yunnan and back to Nepal, where he worked as a volunteer botanist for the Missouri Botanical Gardens monitoring vegetation changes in the alpine areas during the fall of 2009. More recently, in 2011, Abe completed a Master’s Degree in Ethnoecology at the University of Victoria under the Northwest Coast ethnobotanist, Dr. Nancy J. Turner. For his thesis research, Abe collaborated with Kwakwaka’wakw elder Kwaxsistalla (Clan Chief Adam Dick) to experimentally restore a traditional estuarine salt marsh root garden near the remote First Nation village of Kingcome Inlet on the Central Coast of British Columbia. Abe now lives in his home town of Bellingham and is an active member of the Washington Native Plant Society, the NW Mushroomers, and the Society of Ethnobiology. He is the director of Salal, the Cascadian Food Institute, an Adjunct Professor at Western Washington University, Whatcom Community College, and Royal Roads University, and actively researches, promotes, and eats the indigenous foods of this bountiful bioregion.

www.CascadianFood.net


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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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Foot Care for Long Hikes or Bugging Out

Episode 83; Season 3, ep 2

Description of Today's Episode: As The Walls of Freedom continues as Erika, Vince and their children continue their arduous voyage up the western coastline. Here to discuss foot care for long hikes or bugging out is Dr. Ryan Chamberlin, author of The Prepper Pages.

 

Featured Chapter Quote:
"No rest for the wicked."

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Foot Care Lessons From Dr. Chamberlin

Most problems that you will encounter with your feet on a long hike or in a bug out situation can be prevented with a little bit of preparation. Your boots or shoes should be well broken in before you intend on attempting this long journey on your feet. Also you should know the arch of your foot and have proper insoles in you foot wear. Finally you should include emergency medical items for foot care into your pack.

Blisters are a very common problem that occur while hiking. The biggest preventive measure you can take is making sure your footwear is broken in before you begin. Don't buy a new pair of boots and put them on for this adventure. If you do develop a blister the classic thing to do is avoiding breaking it. However, in this
circumstance you will want to pop it. Then, cover it with Xeroform or a Vaseline gauze and duct tape. Then apply Vaseline to the outside of the duct tape to provide a slick surface for you foot to slide comfortably inside your boot. Alternately if you have mole skin with you go ahead and apply that. 

Plantar Fasciitis is another common problem that folks experience from overuse of their feet. This can be caused by a low arch or a high arch. To test your arch, put your wet foot on a piece of paper and look at the mark it makes. Google "footprints" and compare yours to a normal print. If you have flat feet you will want a stiff insert with a high arch. If you have a high arch you will want to select a shoe with lots of cushioning in it to absorb the shock. You can also use athletic tape applied in a specific way to reduce the pain.

Runners Toe is another problem you may encounter. This happens when the foot is jammed into footwear that is inelastic and too small for your foot. Additionally, it sometimes occurs during forced marching, like the situation we are examining here. Blood will start to pool under the nail causing massive amounts of pain. To fix the problem heat a paper-clip with a lighter and touch it to the nail. Don't leave it on too long or the heat will disperse and cause more pain. Continue heating and applying the paper clip to the same spot in the nail until a small hole is made. Blood will exit via the hole and the patients pain will decrease dramatically.

The bottom line is you need to be ready to be on your feet if you are planning a long hike or bugging out in a SHTF situation. Make sure your boots are broken in. Have your insert chosen and in your shoe. Pack Xeroform, Vaseline gauze, athletic tape, a lighter, a paper clip and duct tape in your pack. When you take time to rest, inspect your feet, readjust your laces and have some candy.
Dr. Ryan Chamberlin

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Dr. Chamberlin was born and raised near the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State. After graduating from Washington State University he attended the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific in Pomona California, and in 1995, graduated as a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery. During his post-doctoral training he became interested in Survival Medicine and in developing a way of quickly training preppers to become self-sufficient medics. In the years since he has authored four books on DIY medicine, his first being The Prepper Pages: A Surgeon's Guide to Scavenging the Necessary Items for a Medical Kit, and Putting Them to Use While Bugging Out.Dr. Chamberlin is a Professor of Biomedicine living in Portland Oregon. He has written four guides on survival medicine, and blogs on a number of subjects including emergency preparedness, Wilderness Medicine, and First Aid kit building.

ThePrepperPages.com


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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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Tracking & Evading

Episode 82; Season 3, ep 1

Description of Today's Episode: The Walls of Freedom adventure begins as Erika, Vince and their children step out into the unknown while being tracked by a federal tracking party. Here to discuss tracking and evading is James E. Hart, author of Urban & Wilderness Survival, Emergency Preparedness.


Featured Chapter Quote:
"It was always complicated but he had been a strong mentor who had taught her how to survive and
become a better person than she had been."

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Tracking and Evading Lessons From James

When you first start learning to track humans you can practice with your family and friends. You have to get into the mind of who ever you are tracking. Try to move the way you think they would. Where do you think they would go? Most people run downhill or crosswise. Uphill is more strenuous and slow. You have to think about why they are moving they way they are and which way they will go next. If they are in an urban area would the individual feel more comfortable in a crowd or would they try to move away? Would they enter a building and try to throw you off in there?

You have to get into their mind; it's a physiological game. What kind of person is this individual youhumans can change patterns. However, change is difficult for most individuals and eventually they will want to fall back into their old patterns.
are trying to find? Would they step outside the box to try to throw you off? When tracking an animal you can be fairly certain that the animal will follow its normal patterns but

If you are in a survival situation and you are the one being tracked you need to make it as tough as possible on the trackers. Don't go to higher ground because there is usually less cover up there. Use the muck, bogs and hard terrain for them to traverse. If you can put cloth or carpet on your boots is will minimize your footprint. Also don't hurry. Move quickly but nimbly. If you run you will leave a deep print. You can sweep your tracks. It may show some trail but if done right it will cover your track. If you are in a tight forest with interlocking trees you can climb the tree and go from branch to branch for a while. This will break your track for a while and cause the tracker to have to reestablish a new one. Alternately you can jump from bolder to bolder in an appropriate geographical area. If there is a stream, follow it downstream. Set up traps and snares to hurt the trackers without killing them. They will have to slow down and be more aware of their movements. You can backtrack your steps and leave false trails. Work within the shadows and blend in.

Here is a link to a device called a "Cat Claw" by NativeByCarlton.com that you can apply to your books to leave a lighter tread. They are also useful for reducing noise of walking, getting better traction in wet areas and spreading scent when hunting. This link was provided by one of the listeners and added after airing.

Carry cayenne pepper or alternate hot spice to evade tracking dogs. Leaving this powder behind you will disrupt the animal's senses and render it useless without doing it harm.  Alternately, a tasty little poison treat will quickly end the threat. People have mixed opinions about using a stream as a deterrent for a dog. James suggests: If you come to a stream, follow it downstream. He explains that different dogs have different abilities. Some can smell your dead skin particles in the air. Others follow your sent off the ground. If you stay in the water for a long period of time you will increase the likely hood of the dog being thrown off. Disabling the animal's senses is the easiest most effective thing you can do.

You can also try to make the dog handler's job harder by leaping back and forth over a fence every 20 ft or so. The handler may have to lift the dog over the fence again and again, tiring him out. Unless the handler can let the animal loose or the dog can go through the fence without assistance. Setting traps for the handler is also an idea. The animal may set off the trap and the handler gets slowed down.

In a true SHTF situation, James suggests eliminating a tracking team by letting two of your group members drop back to handle the trackers while they are trying to follow the other larger group. If they have dogs, you will have to send extra people to dispose of the animals first. Anyone tracking you in a SHTF situation will be trying to take what you have.

This information can be extremely applicable today as well. Many hikers and campers are lost or killed just trying to enjoy the great outdoors. You can leave imprints of your shoes with your loved ones. Also provide them with hiking routes you will be taking. Once you arrive and park your car, take a picture of your car and the license plate. Take a picture of all of the group members in the gear they will be wearing while hiking. Send these pictures to your loved one for them to keep on hand. This information is absolutely priceless if there is ever a need for a tracker to find you.

James E. Hart
A veteran of 2 tours of duty in Vietnam, James began his survival training at the age of 7 when he was stranded in the Mojave Desert for 7 hours without food or water during a family move in 1954. Since then he has been through the scouting program where he attained Life scout, served as Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, Venture Advisor, and earned the Badden Powell Award. An avid outdoors man, he has winter camped in Utah and northern Quebec, Canada, snow shoed in upstate New York, Utah and Quebec, and camped in the Mojave Desert of California, the Uintah Mountains of Utah, and the Piney Woods of East Texas, among numerous other locations. James has traveled and been through 42 of the 50 states of the US. Three provinces of Canada, sailed the Pacific Ocean, and crossed the Equator and 35 countries from jungles of South America to the Himalayas of Nepal. Having earned an Associates of Photography Degree from Houston Community College, he has beautifully captured many of his travels with his camera.

Now retired from a career with the Trinity River Authority of Texas, James resides in Dallas, TX, where he lectures on Wilderness and Survival Training. He is the author of SWET Survival & Wilderness Experience Training, Urban & Wilderness Emergency Planning, 35 other booklets on wilderness training, monthly articles for Survival Life Magazine, and a column and articles for The Garland Messenger Newspaper. James also does workshops and speaking engagements.
Links:


"Urban & Wilderness Emergency Preparedness": http://preparedwithjameshart.blogspot.com/p/buy-book.html

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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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Survival Fact & Fiction February Features



Hello, wonderful Survival Fact & Fiction community! I want to encourage you to get involved! Head on over to the Facebook page and leave your opinion on one of the books or a message to one of our hard content providers. This month we have some great author features and new releases! Plus a gear provider that has some great deals on her site. As always, I encourage you to spread the word about our stellar authors and content providers! (use#SFFBC) 

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It is also my honor to announce that Sunset Survival has received media attention for their dedication to providing readiness supplies! You can hear the full story at LosAngeles.CBCLocal.com

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