Monday, September 30, 2013

Very nice gem found: "Wartime Farm"

Recently, I came across a book called "Wartime Farm" and its based on a BBC TV series of same name where 3 people reenact what life in a WWII British farm would have been like. I like it because it has my favorite kind of information, real-world lessons of actual historic events. 
It is interesting becuase it does end up explaining a lot of how people both in the country and in the city got by during war time with rationing, constant bombing threat and how they learned to get by in general with very little.
There's plenty of nice tips and ideas to pick both in the book and TV series.
This is the video review that I did of the book:
The book is available on Amazon: Wartime Farm

This is the first full Episode of Wartime Farm on youtube.
MUCH better than watching the usual reality TV junk. I've watched several episodes of Wartime Farm, they are well made, fun and full of good info.


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Smith & Wesson M&P SHIELD Safety Alert

I know this is a popular model and a lot of people are fond of them.
If you have a S&W Shield please watch this video to make sure your gun does not have this problem.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Thunderbird: The Zippo that never Dries Out

I’m sure this happens to other people as well.
As times goes by and my taste in gear keeps changing or maybe evolving I’m sometimes caught between what is practical and what I simply enjoy carrying.
The Zippo would be a good example of such a thing. While not the most dependable fire starter, there is a romantic or maybe a certain nostalgic air about it. Many post-apocalyptic movies show Zippos doing their thing, from the brain damage inducing “The Postman” to “Wall-e”,  it seems that the last man on Earth (or the last robot)  will tote around a Zippo… a Zippo that for some mysterious reason still has fuel in it after decades have passed…
And here is where practical clashes with romantic: The thing just wont work after a couple weeks. The lighter fluid simply dries out and you’re left with is a pretty small flint striker.
That’s where the Thunderbird insert comes in. 
Butane Lighter Insert for Flip-top Lighters
I knew about the Thunderbird for some time but never actually tried one.  I liked the idea of using my Zippos, but I was a bit worried about the actual insert’s quality. Turns out the Thunderbird is pretty well made and comes with a two year no proof warranty. While the gas container is small, it can be regulated to a low flame that should last a few months if used with discretion. A smoker may find himself refilling it too often, maybe even more than the original insert if he smokes a lot!
But for the rest of us this is just great. The Thunderbird insert allows us to carry our Zippos and forget about refilling it, and still have a flame when needed.
The Thunderbird is also esthetically appealing. It looks very much like a normal Zippo and people wont be able to tell the difference unless they check the lighter closely and find just a little hole where the wick is supposed to be.

One of the nicest things about the Thunderbird insert is that it uses the original flint and wheel spark mechanism. This means that it can still be used to start fires even if we run out of gas as long as we can get hold of some dry tinder.
It will be a few more months of use and carrying around before I get a better idea of how durable the insert is but I like what I see so far and the reviews are very good.
If you want to bring back for retirement an old Zippo of yours, give the Thunderbird insert a try.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Tuna and Mercury Concerns?


Canned tuna has always been one of my favorite survival foods: It tastes good, stores for ages and you can eat it straight out of the can without cooking. It packs a lot of protein and calories when in sunflower oil, and it goes along nicely with staples such as rice and pasta.

When times were hard back in Argentina and we really couldn’t afford all that much, some rice along with a bit of vegetables and tuna made for a nice meal.
It was only later on that I learned about how fish can accumulate mercury and that it can be bad for you when ate in excess. We never ate that much because it was always mixed with something else, but especially for pregnant women and children, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the amount of tuna intake. In general it is not recommended to eat more than a can (about 130gr) per week.

What about other fish food and seafood? In general, the longer the animal lives, and the higher it is on the food chain, the more mercury it has accumulated.
This website will give you a good idea of how much seafood is a safe amount:

Tuna has high levels of mercury compared to cod and salmon for example, so it’s a good idea to go for those when possible. Every now and then canned salmon can be found. When you come across a good deal for it, consider stocking up.
Taking care not to eat too much of it and being informed about which fish have more mercury will allow us to keep a safe, balanced diet.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Stocking up Dog Food for SHTF

Dry dog food stores well and there's no reason not to buy in bulk when on sale. About a year worth of shelf life is pretty reasonable with most kibble. With good packaging you don’t need any special way of storing it, just keeping it in a cool dry place away from bugs and check the integrity of the bag every once in a while. Better yet, put the bag in a metal or plastic container. If rats and other pests don’t get to it, the food should easily last 12 months.

About dog food. Not all dog food is alike. Cheap kibble like Pedigree will keep your dog alive but its not nearly as good as some other choices. The key (and expensive) ingredient in dog food is meat. Chicken, turkey, lamb, any animal will do but the meat protein content is the most important ingredient. Read the label and make sure your dog food has at least 20% of meat in it.  Especially during the first tow years of life when the dog is growing, make sure you feed it quality food if you can afford it. If it ever comes down to rationing your dog food you could mix quality dog food with rice half and half. It wouldn’t be as good but you can stretch good kibble a bit like that if needed.
You can feed your dog the same food you store but it makes more sense to just stock up on kibble when on sale. Besides, during a real emergency it wouldn’t make sense to spend precious food on the dog. A few extra bags avoids that kind of hard decision. At least for a few months!