Monday, November 20, 2017

Prepper's Guide to Mental Health and Emotional Preparedness

(Even if you decide not to read this entire article, please check out the section “Getting Help” near the bottom of the article.)

Mental health and emotional preparedness is very important in a crisis. The abilities to not panic, to stay focused, and to think clearly in a crisis are crucial. And you don't want to have to deal with addictions and other mental health challenges (your own, or that of others) in the midst of a crisis. Don't forget that many folks today “manage” their mental health problems with medications that may quickly become unattainable in any post-collapse scenario. 
 
Most everyone in the prepper and survivalist communities acknowledge the importance of Mental health and emotional preparedness, but few talk about it in any detail. How do we prepare our mental health? Isn't good mental health something we either have or don't have? Is it something we can actually work on? How do we prep our mental health?

Prepping Your Mental Health

1) Develop a healthy spirituality, according to whatever spiritual beliefs you may have. Some suggestions: Reconnect with God. Pray. Read scripture. Go to Church or Synagogue. Seek forgiveness. Get right with God. Be thankful. My relationship with God gives me great comfort, encouragement, strength, focus, and purpose during times of stress.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." -- Philippians 4:13 NKJV
 2) Reconnect with your spouse. Or get married if you're single (like me). Next to your relationship with God, no other relationship in your life will be as important, or have more potential for greatness, Your spouse will be (or should be) your best friend and confidant, your helpmate, a shoulder to cry on, the one person who will always care about you, and the one person you can always trust. Of course, it is a two-way street - you have to be there for your spouse. So be there.

{
Honestly, this is the one area of my prepping where I have failed. I am not married and never have been. When I was in my 20s, I thought staying single was so smart. Now that I am older, I realize how stupid I was in my 20s. I could, and someday might, write a really long essay listing the many ways not being married has hindered me in my life. Folks, don't take your spouse for granted. You really are lucky to have him/her.}

3) Reconnect with family, friends, neighbors... Improve existing relationships and work on building new, positive relationships. Be a part of your community. Join a local church or synagogue. Meet your neighbors. Participate. Volunteer.

My Grandparents and their generation survived the Great Depression and WWII by doing two somewhat contradictory things - by being self-reliant and by helping each other (neighbor helping neighbor). We need solid relationships in our lives, positive relationships with our spouses and families, our friends and neighbors, and others in our communities.  Do you have solid relationships in your life? People you can count on, and who can count on you, when the chips are down?


4) Don't be afraid of "weeding out" toxic people from your life. We all have toxic people in our lives. People who seem to exist in a constant state of chaos; people who drain us of our energy (and sometimes our money); people who hurt us over and over again, and don't seem to care. Perhaps it is a relative. Or an old friend from your childhood. I'm not saying to dump people when they are going through a rough patch. But there are some folks whose "rough patch" seems to be their entire lives, and they refuse to do anything about it. Don't get sucked into their world of constant chaos, addictions, and bad decisions. Pray for them, help them if they are willing to try, then let them go.

5) Get rid of any addictions in your life - drugs, alcohol, tobacco, gambling, whatever... - before any crisis. You do not want to have to deal with an addiction during a crisis. (See the Getting Help section below).

6) Relax. Laugh. Enjoy life. Be thankful. Don’t dwell on the negatives. Be a hopeful realist. It is important to understand the problems we face. Just don’t obsess over them. Instead, start working towards solutions. Acting to make positive changes, even small ones, will increase your confidence and encourage yourself, your family and your friends.

7) Reduce stress by taking up a fun hobby or two completely unrelated to prepping and survivalism.

8) Reconnect to God's creation. Spend time in nature. Take up outdoor hobbies such as gardening, hiking, fishing, camping and bird watching. Learn the names of trees, wildflowers and “weeds” native to your area. Learn what kinds of soils are in your region. Learn where your water comes from. Visit nearby parks and wildlife refuges. Visit your local natural history museum or botanical gardens. Learn the names of the birds and butterflies common to your backyard. Participate in the National Wildlife Federation's BackyardWildlife Habitat program.

 9) Get enough sleep (for adults, that is at least 7 hours a night on a consistent basis). I know. Most people claim they can "get by" on less, but really they are fooling themselves. Lack of sleep wrecks havoc on our mental health. Sleep is also often overlooked in regards to our physical health. Being constantly sleep deprived is really bad, mentally and physically.

10) Be a life-long learner. Read. Take classes. Improve your job skills. Learn about personal finance. Study permaculture. Learn useful skills such as auto mechanics, small-engine repair, carpentry and home repair. Learn first aid and CPR. Learn to sew, and to preserve food. Learn how to save seeds. Learn how to hunt, fish and forage for wild foods. Learn the skills your grandparents had.

This will give you confidence based on real reasons (as opposed to the empty "positive self-image" pushed by the PC crowd).


A Bonus Thought:
"For as he thinks in his heart, so is he." -- Proverbs 23:7 NKJV
We are our thoughts, so be mindful what you think.  If you dwell on life's negatives, you will become a negative person. If you constantly think about all the reasons you will probably fail, you will fail. If you think yourself a confident, happy, capable person, you will become one. This isn't wishful thinking, but creating a mindset that will eventually determine your destiny. 

Where to Get Help* 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Website: www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Veteran's Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255
Website: https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/ 


Anxiety and Depression Association of America
Website: https://adaa.org/

SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline – 1-877-726-4727 
(Get general information on mental health and locate treatment services in your area. Speak to a live person, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.)

Refer to the article Finding Help: When to Get It and Where to Go on the Mental Health America website. 

Local clergy (pastors, priests, rabbis) often will be able to refer you to local programs, support groups, and counselors that can help.

Addicted to Tobacco? Quitting Smoking (on the American Cancer Society website) 

Addicted to Alcohol? Alcoholics Anonymous

Addicted to Drugs? Narcotics Anonymous 

*Getting right with God is a very important part of getting help. I encourage everyone to pray, read the Bible, and attend the church of your choice. Not sure about God? Talk to a local minister or priest. Or read The Roman Road. Or check out Peace with God. Or check out Journey to Orthodoxy.
--------
This article replaces an earlier article I published on the topic in 2014.

Review: Bud K Neck Knife

http://amzn.to/1XGUz7b
This is a review of a Bud K Neck Knife that I've owned for a few years. I mostly wear it when walking my dog along the trails in the woods beside my neighborhood, as well as when I go jogging.  But it could be used for numerous other purposes, too. In addition to the knife, the sheath has a built-in whistle, which could be very useful in certian circumstances.

This knife is surprisingly inexpensive (less than $10)  for its quality. Here are the details: total length of the tanto-style knife itself is 6.75 inches. The cutting edge is 3 inches. In its sheath, it checks in at 7.5 inches. It is designed to be quite light weight, with the knife, sheath, and cord combined weighing less than 3 ounces. The full-tang knife is a black anodized 440 stainless steel. It came out-of-the-box relatively sharp. Overall, both the knife and the sheath & whistle seem well-made.

The knife snaps in place upside-down in the ABS sheath, which hangs by a cord from your neck. You can adjust the cord so that the knife hangs at the desired level on your chest. You could also easily replace the cord with different cordage or even a ball-chain if you wished. The sheath has a built-in whistle, which is quite loud.

The snap-in system works quite well. I've had this knife for almost four years, and have never had it fall out of its sheath, even when I'm being quite active. It still seems to hold as firmly and securely as when I first got it.
http://amzn.to/1XGUz7b

This shouldn't be your primary fixed-blade knife, of course, but it works great for my purposes. Use it for when you don't won't to wear a belt knife (such as I do when walking my dog around the neighborhood, or jogging), or to have as a back-up. It is light enough to throw into a backpack, book bag, pocket book, or brief case without adding a lot of weight.  It would also fit nicely into the glove compartment or door pocket of a vehicle. For these purposes, I give this neck knife a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

It is currently available on Amazon for less than $10, which I consider a good buy for this neck knife.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Testing Prepper Gear - Two Wins and a Fail

I recently had the opportunity to field test three pieces of my prepper gear. All three pieces of gear are items I purchased and kept in my survival bag (a.k.a. bug-out bag). 

Two of the items worked very well and will remain in my survival bag. The third item proved to be a complete fail, and has been permanently removed from the bag. I also learned a couple of important lessons from this exercise. Here are the results:

Pocket Chainsaw
The Pocket Chainsaw - Worked extremely well. I was able to cut down and cut up a 9+ inch diameter cherry tree with nothing but my pocket chainsaw and my own muscle power. I did learn a few things: 1) A gas-powered chainsaw would have been much easier and faster, of course, but it and a can of gas won't fit in your bug-out  bag. This is a viable alternative. 2) You need to have a lot of strength and stamina to really use this - fitness matters. By the way, using a pocket chainsaw is a GREAT upper body workout! 3) Wear gloves (you should include a pair of work gloves in your bug-out bag anyway). 


The Laplander Folding Saw
The Laplander Folding  Saw - My folding Laplander saw was a smashing success. I used it to saw up a lot of branches between a half-inch and 3-inches thick. It cut up those branches easily. This saw is very sharp and tough!  It definitely earned a permanent spot in my survival bag.  



The Light-weight Hatchet -  Having a light-weight hatchet in your bug-out bag sounds like a good idea, but in reality it proved to be a complete fail. The sharpness of the blade wasn't really an issue - it was decently sharp. Rather, the problem was that this hatchet was simply too light-weight. Without any weight behind it, you simply cannot generate enough force to really cut anything know matter how hard you swing it.  Normal hatchets have a wedge head with the heavy hammer part of the hatchet directly behind the cutting edge, allowing the force of your swing to be multiplied by the weight of the hatchet. By taking away that heavy wedge in order to make the hatchet lighter, it destroys the effectiveness of the hatchet. A complete fail, and I have removed it from my survival bag.

This field test of my prepper gear points out why you should use all your prepper gear before the SHTF. It will both help you learn how to use your gear and help you determine what gear really works and what gear only sounds like a good idea.  So, I am adopting a new slogan - KNOW YOUR GEAR!  

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Patriots' Prayers -- Last Edition

Thank you for Praying for America! 



 
Visit the prayer Page of my website: http://www.timgamble.com/p/patriots-prayer.html

Image is of the Interior of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Prepping 101 - Stockpiling food, water, and supplies (part 1)

The first video in my Prepping 101 series:

Please subscribe to my You Tube channel = https://www.youtube.com/user/croixian2

Peggy Layton's Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook = http://amzn.to/2sKYgkC

My Review of Peggy Layton's book = http://www.timgamble.com/2014/08/book-review-emergency-food-storage-and.html

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Prepper Apologetics!

I recently completed a three-art series of videos in which I answer the three most common objections to preparedness, self-reliance, and survivalism that I hear from people. Here are the videos:

1) Is Preparedness and Self Reliance Selfish?



2) Are Preppers failing to trust God? 



3) HA! HA! It hasn't happened! 



I hope you enjoyed these videos. Please subscribe to my You Tube channel. Please remember that I am not a public speaker and am relatively new to making videos.  Consider me still learning! 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Patriots' Prayers for 4-30 / ANNOUNCEMENT

The weekly Patriots' Prayers segment is moving - sort of...  Here's what's going on: 

The audio version of Patriots' Prayers will be posted to my You Tube channel each week. It will also be embedded in the upper right column of my website. You will be able to hear the weekly Patriots' Prayers series on both You Tube and this website. Just click the video at the top of the right-hand column to hear this week's Patriots' Prayers!

The text version of many of the prayers from the Patriots' Prayers series are posted on the Pray for America page of this website. (Several are already posted on that page, and I will be adding others in the future.) Just click the Pray For America tab in my website's menu bar above. 

Thank you for Praying for America with me!  
 

Is Prepping Selfish?

Over the years I've heard a number of excuses for not prepping. One of the more common excuses is that prepping and building self-reliance are somehow selfish. I argue that not only is preparedness and self-reliance NOT selfish, being prepared and self-reliant is in fact a very generous thing to work  towards. Here's why:

 If you have ever listened to a flight attendant give emergency instructions, you may have noticed that they tell parents traveling with a child to put the oxygen mask on themselves first, before putting one on their child. The airlines don't say that because they hate children. Instead, they say that because if a parent is to help their child, they must first be able to do so. A parent unconscious from the lack of oxygen will be of absolutely no help to their child.
Likewise, we will be of little help to our family, friends and neighbors, if we are the ones in need of help ourselves. In fact, our own helplessness may make matters much worse for our family and community. Far from being selfish, building self-reliance may be one of the most generous things you can do. 


In an emergency, you can only help others if you are not part of the problem. The first act of generosity is making sure you are not helpless. No matter how much a parent loves their child, they will be unable to help their child if that parent is unconscious. That is why the smartest - and most loving - thing to do is to put an oxygen mask on yourself first, before helping your child put their oxygen mask on.
--------------------

 Here is my You Tube video on this subject: 



Yes, I now have a You Tube channel. Please subscribe! (I'm not a professional or polished public speaker, obviously, but hopefully I'll get better!)  

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Scam Alert - Beware This Phone Scam

There is a phone scam that is going around the country right now. My mother received this call earlier this week. Fortunately, she didn't fall for the scam, but it did upset her greatly. Be aware of this scam, and explain it to any older folks you know since the scammers may especially be targeting the elderly.

The call will go something like this:

phone rings

You: Hello?

Caller: May I speak to <your name>?

You: Speaking.

Caller: I am Jane Doe with your bank - the fraud and identity theft department.  There has been some suspicious activity on your account. Can you confirm that you've authorized a $1,000 transaction on your account within the last 24 hours?

You: (surprised and worried) No. Absolutely not. I haven't made any such transaction.

Caller: Don't worry. We caught this in time. I'll cancel the transaction and refund the money back into your account immediately.

You: (very relieved) Thank you!

Caller: Are you still in possession of your card? Has it been lost or stolen recently? 

You: No. I still have my card.

Caller: Good. But we have to cancel that card and issue you a new one. You should get your new card within three business days.

You (thinking what a pain it will be to be without your card for 3 days): Okay.

Caller: We just need you to confirm your mailing address, and account number of the deactivated card we are replacing. 

You: Sure. My address is ------------. But I don't want to give the card number over the phone.

Caller: Never give the number for an activated card over the phone. However, your card has now been deactivated, and cannot be used to access your account. It is safe to give us the number of a deactivated card. We need the number to make sure your new card is tied into the correct account. Otherwise, it will delay the issuing of a new card by 3 to 4 weeks.

You (Thinking what a hassle it would be to have to wait that long for a new card): Oh. Okay. The number is xxx-xxx-xxxxxxx. The expiration date is xx/xx.

Caller: Thank you. You'll have your new card within three days. Good bye.

The scammer then uses the card number you just gave them to order lots of fun and wonderful stuff over the Internet. 

Here's why this scam often works: Banks do have fraud departments that will call you to confirm certain transactions that seem suspicious. That is true. Getting a phone call from your bank about a $1,000 transaction you didn't authorize will rattle most people, who will immediately jump to "No. Absolutely not. I haven't made any such transaction," thereby missing the first clue that this particular call is a scam. 


Without looking back at what you just read, did you catch the first clue? Banks are extremely professional in their contacts with the public, and will never so casually identify themselves as being "with your bank - the fraud and identity theft department." They will give you not only their full name, but the bank's name as well.  A legitimate call would go like: "I am Jane Doe with Bank of America - the fraud and identity theft department." Or Wells Fargo. Or whatever bank they are representing.

The scammer probably doesn't know which bank you are actually with, therefore will use generic terms like "your bank" or "the bank." They add the "fraud and identity theft department" both to make themselves sound more professional and to start the process of rattling the person they are scamming. Many people will be so rattled by the thought of losing $1,000 that they will rush headlong into denying the transaction and miss that the caller didn't actually identify which bank.

The second clue was when the caller asked for the account number. Banks and other financial institutions will not ask for account numbers, card numbers, passwords, PIN numbers, security codes, or other similar information over the phone. It doesn't matter if it is a deactivated card or account. They will not ask. 

A couple of years ago, I did receive a legitimate call from the fraud department of my credit union. Someone (a waitress at my favorite Chinese restaurant, as it turned out), did steal my card number and made a bunch of purchases with it. After confirming I did not make the purchases, they did immediately cancel the card. But they never asked for any account numbers or other information. I had to go to my local branch in person and fill out paperwork. In fact, I had to sign a affidavit stating that I didn't authorize the transactions in order to get the money returned to my account (which was returned in full the next day).

These scammers may be targeting elderly people with this particular scam (and others) because elderly folks are often more trusting, easier to rattle or confuse, and are less familiar with how these things work.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

How To Be a Survival Group Leader

Are you are planning on being your survival group's leader during a disaster or a post-SHTF scenario? Are you a leader now? Leadership is about a lot more than just having a title or occupying a certain spot on an organizational chart. Being an effective leader isn't easy, and you won't transform into one overnight. Develop your leadership skills now, before the SHTF.

Entire books and doctoral thesis have been written, and university-level courses are taught, on the subject of leadership. This short set of tips is only a brief introduction to the topic:

Planning on being your group's leader? Be honest: are you a leader now? Do others think of you as a leader? 

If you are planning on being a leader, you're doing it wrong. You should be a leader now. Not just in your eyes, but also in the eyes of those you lead. If folks don't already see you as a leader, you have a lot of work to do before you actually become one.

Planning on being your group's leader? Lead by example. 

Leadership by example is really the only true leadership. The saying "Do what I say, not what I do" is pure rubbish and is meant to poke fun at those folks who seem to have that attitude.


Good leaders don't just lead, they develop others into good leaders. 

True leaders develop others into leaders. You need to be able to spot leadership potential, and to nourish it into fruition. For some, this may be difficult as they tend to see other potential leaders as competition.


Good leaders communicate very clearly. Always clearly define your expectations. 

This one is huge, in my opinion. Bad leaders often fail when it comes to clear communications. This could be due to a lack of self-confidence, poor communication skills, uncertainty over what actually needs to be done, or even an effort at CYA in case something goes wrong (if something goes wrong, they can blame others for "not understanding" their instructions).

Good leaders know how & why to delegate. It both frees up the leader's time and helps to develop others.

Poor leaders often fail to delegate correctly, and tend to micro-manage unnecessarily.

Good leaders know mistakes will happen. Never publicly criticize or shame someone for making a mistake. 

Mistakes happen. Unexpected events occur. Good leaders know this and aren't taken by surprise when it happens. Publicly humiliating the transgressor accomplishes nothing. Remember the mantra: "Praise publicly. Correct privately."

Good leaders accept responsibility for their mistakes & the mistakes of those under them. "The buck stops here."

This is often a missing part of leadership today. It seems like no one wants to accept responsibility for anything anymore. Good leaders do.

Good leaders know they must inspire trust in those they lead. 

If folks don't really trust you or your decisions, you are not going to be able to lead them effectively.  Give your group members reason to trust your character, your abilities, and your vision. You cannot demand trust. It must be earned.

A good leader knows he sets the tone for those around him. 

The leaders on sports team are great examples of this idea. Good leaders exude a aura of confidence, determination, drive, and positivity that infects their teammates.

A good leader never "shoots the messenger."

Bad news is always upsetting, but a good leader never takes it out on the one delivering the bad news. Leaders who do tend to shoot the messenger often are lacking in self-confidence, and this fault will quickly become apparent to the entire group.

A good leader adapts his leadership style to the needs of those around him.

A good leader knows he has to adapt to the needs of those he leads. This may mean that the good leader must suppress his own ego and change his approach before he can effectively lead.

A good leader maintains realistic expectations.

Expectations are a balancing act. You can be unrealistic in your expectations both by expecting too much and too little. Developing the ability to read people and accurately judge their capabilities is very important.

A good leader is always consistent and fair.

A good leader does change his mind, orders, and expectations, when it is necessary, but never at a whim, or without good reason. Inconsistency creates confusion and mistrust.

A good leader is also fair, and doesn't single out individuals for special treatment (good or bad). A good leader doesn't foster a "good ol' boys club" or engage in nepotism.

A good leader is willing to listen to honest feedback.

A good leader NEVER considers himself above criticism.

A good leader is never a bully. Bullying others into doing what you want is NOT leadership.

Have you seen the movie "Ender's Game" based on the Orson Scott Card book by the same title? In it there is a character named Bonzo who was commander of Salamander Army at the Battle School. Despite being smart and talented, Bonzo was a complete jerk who relied on fear and intimidation to rise to the rank of commander. He was NOT a leader, but rather just a bully (in reality, he would have washed out of any military or business leadership program long before becoming a commander). In the end, Bonzo got himself seriously hurt when he started a fight with another student who stood up to his bullying tactics (watch the movie, or better yet, read the book for more details).


Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card is on the U.S. Marine Corps Professional Reading List.

Good leadership is about getting people to work together effectively for a common goal. It is not about forcing others to do things your way.

A good leader makes those around him better.

Think Magic Johnson or Larry Bird. Those two NBA stars were famous not only for their great abilities, but also for making their fellow teammates better. More than just setting a good example, or a positive tone, a good leader actively seeks to make those around him better.


NOTE: For a great discussion on leadership by The Maine Prepper and The Patriot Nurse, watch their video How to Be a Leader: Fundamentals and Principles on You Tube. You will recognize many of the ideas presented here.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Small Plot Gardening Tips


Note: Tips quoted from other sources are marked with a link to the original source. Unmarked tips are from me.

The point of this article is that you can grow at least some of your own food, even if you only ave a very small yard. Even if you have no yard at all, you can grow some veggies and herbs in containers on a patio or balcony, or in windows.

1- With any type of gardening, it is important to plant crops that you and your family actually like and will eat. Planting foods that you dislike, no matter how productive, will simply be wasted space (unless you plan on selling or trading them, an unlikely goal for those with very limited space).

2- Tomatoes are probably the most productive crop you can grow. Since they are tall, however, you should take care not to plant them where they will shade the shorter plants in your garden. Tomatoes are a good choice because they are packed with useful nutrients, store well (canned, frozen, or dried) and are a basic ingredient used in many dishes.

3- Green leafy vegetables, such as loose-leaf lettuce, turnip greens, spinach, mustard and kale all make excellent choices for small plot gardening. You can grow a lot in a small space. And they are all highly nutritious.

4- "There are all sorts of herbs that can be planted in containers and moved around as you please. And a lack of space doesn’t mean that you can’t grow some fruit or berries. Try raising strawberries in a strawberry jar, plant a fig tree in a container, or grow a compact blueberry bush in place of ornamental shrubs." -- veggiegardeningtips.com

5- "Many vegetables, including peas, pole beans, cucumbers, squash, melons, and tomatoes, will naturally climb a support or can be trained to grow upwards, leaving more ground space for other crops. Support structures include cages, stakes, trellises, strings, teepees, chicken wire, or existing fences let your imagination take over!" -- Small Plot and Intensive Gardening

6- "Vegetable breeders have been emphasizing smaller plants for container and small plot gardening. Although some of the dwarf or mini plants produce smaller fruits, often a greater number of fruits are produced, yielding a good total harvest. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and peas are just a few examples from the mini ranks. Some new cultivars of vegetables such as tomatoes and cucumbers have compact, trailing growth habits ideal for growing in hanging baskets." -- Small Plot and Intensive Gardening

7- Water less often but more deeply. Frequent light watering will result in shallow root development. When needed, water only once or twice a week but thoroughly enough to soak the soil down to at least six inches. This will encourage deep root growth.

8- Most small plot and intensive gardening techniques naturally discourage weed growth, but weeds are still likely to appear in your garden. Pull weeds as soon as you notice them. Weeds are easier to pull when young and pulling them earlier will help prevent them from spreading.

9- "For minimum maintenance and weed control, apply an organic mulch around the plants after the soil has warmed. A mulch also helps retain moisture in the soil. Grass clippings (3 to 4 inches), straw (4 to 6 inches), and sawdust (1 to 2 inches) are excellent mulches." -- Small Plot Vegetable Gardening

10- "Do not sow seeds too deeply or they may not germinate. Place carrots, radishes, and lettuce no deeper than 1/4 inch. Large seeds such as peas, beans, and cucumbers can be sown 1 to1-1/2 inches deep. Vine crops can be planted six seeds in a cluster or hill and then later thinned to four plants per hill." -- Small Plot and Intensive Gardening

11- "Thin seed rows to their proper spacing after the plants are 1-2 inches tall. Thin the plants with scissors rather than pulling them so you won’t disturb the other plants. Use the thinnings for salads." -- Small Plot and Intensive Gardening

12- Grow only a few varieties. Trying to grow a little bit of everything creates more work and yields less food. Since your space if relatively limited, try growing only a few favorites, or look to grow whatever costs the most at the market in your area.

13- Most herbs do really well in small pots. The pots can be moved around to take full advantage of sunlight, and even taken indoors in the fall to extend their productivity. Some herbs to consider: parsley, chives, mints, basil, dill, oregano and thyme.

14- "To select your vegetable garden plot, consider what vegetables need to thrive. Vegetables and fruits need 6-8 hours of sunlight daily. The vegetable garden plot should be well-drained and convenient to water (vegetables require 1 inch of water weekly or 75 gallons per 100 square feet)." -- Preparing a Garden Plot (no longer available online)

15- "Soil that is loamy, well drained, and high in organic matter is ideal for your vegetable garden. Visit your local cooperative extension or health department and pick up a free soil-test kit. The ideal pH for vegetables is 6.0 to 6.5. The test tells you if your soil needs lime added (available at your local gardening center)." -- Preparing a Garden Plot (no longer available online)


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Product Review: Valley Food Storage

Valley Food Storage recently  asked if I would be willing to review some of their products. I said "send me what you want me to review, and I will give it an honest review on my website." The following is that review. Please note that Valley Food Storage did not pay me to do this review. 

Valley Food Storage (website: https://valleyfoodstorage.com) provides healthy long-term food storage (freeze-dried foods, powdered foods, and related items). By healthy, they mean:
  • No GMOs
  • No Artifical Preservatives or Chemicals
  • No Fillers
  • No Hydrogenated Oils
  • No MSG
  • Many Gluten-Free Options
  • Many Dairy-Free Options 
Overall, I was extremely impressed with the quality and taste of the products they sent me to review. I also really appreciate the emphasis they place on providing healthy options. A quick look at their website revealed that their prices seem to be among the most affordable in the industry (several other similar companies are extremely expensive by comparison). Here are the individual reviews of the five products they sent me:

Pasta Primavera - Simple to make. Just add water and heat. The pasta primavera has a good taste, and was not at all powdery (which is my experience with another company's pasta). I'm not much of  pasta person, but my mother is, so I had her try this also. She really liked it, too. 

Freeze-Dried Coconut Milk Bites - WOW!! You eat this straight out of the bag as a snack. I loved it, and will likely order some just to eat as a snack.  Tastes great. I also added  some to my coffee, which both sweetened my coffee and gave it a coconut flavor. Excellent. 

Freeze-Dried Vanilla Greek Yogurt - Tastes exactly like vanilla Greek yogurt, which it is, of course, just freeze dried. You can eat this straight out of the bag, too. It is quite sweet, so it will satisfy any sugar craving you might have.

Freeze-Dried Strawberry Slices - You can reconstitute the strawberries, or eat them straight out of the package. I tried them both ways, and they tasted like strawberries. Very good.

Pineapple Chunks - Like the strawberries, you can either eat the pineapple chunks straight out of the bag or reconstitute them with water. Either way, they taste like pineapples! 

If you are looking for long-term food storage options, check out Valley Food Storage. Their list of products is extensive, and not just food items, but also water storage & purification, and other emergency supplies. 



Saturday, March 18, 2017

Patriots' Prayers for 3-19-2017


Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
-- Isaiah 5:20

Prayer for America

Heavenly Father, we confess that, as a nation and as individuals, we have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed. We have also failed to do what Your holy law requires of us. As a nation, we have replaced the authority and perfection of Your Word with the whim of our own ever-changing opinions for our standards of right and wrong. We no longer keep Your commandments, or follow Your teachings, choosing instead to follow worldly ways.  But now, with repentance and humility, we turn again to Your love and mercy. We entreat You to forgive us, as individuals and as a nation, all our transgressions and to cleanse us from all our sins. Lord, fill our hearts with the light of Your truth. Strengthen our will by Your grace. Teach us both to desire and to do only what pleases You. In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.


Therefore, as the fire devours the stubble,
And the flame consumes the chaff,
So their root will be as rottenness,
And their blossom will ascend like dust;
Because they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts,
And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
-- Isaiah 5:24,25

Daily Bible Reading

Sunday: Exodus 6:14-27
Monday: Exodus 6:28 - 7:13
Tuesday: Exodus 7:14-25 (The First Plague)
Wednesday: Exodus 8 (Plagues Two, Three, Four)
Thursday: Exodus 9 (Plagues Five, Six, Seven)
Friday: Exodus 10 (Plagues Eight, Nine)
Saturday: Exodus 11 (Death of the Firstborn Announced)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Patriots' Prayers for 3-13-2017


A spiritual sickness infects the USA. No politician, no election, no piece of legislation, can cure spiritual sickness. We must appeal to a Higher Authority for that kind of healing. Please join with me each week, praying for America.

Prayer For America (long version)

Our Father in heaven, have mercy upon these United States of America, according to Your lovingkindness and tender mercies. Blot out our transgressions, cleanse us of our sins. We acknowledge our transgressions, our many sins against You: We have allowed our God-given liberties to be taken away by our politicians and leaders. We have allowed Your Word and commandments to be banned from our public squares. We have allowed prayer to be eliminated from our schools. We have allowed Your place in our nation’s history to be erased from our textbooks and our minds. We have allowed the epidemics of abortion, pornography, and sexual immorality to fester out of control. We have allowed perversion, decadence, and depravity of all sorts to become public and commonplace.

As a nation, we have replaced the authority and perfection of Your Word with the whim of our own opinions for our standards of right and wrong. We no longer keep Your commandments, or follow Your teachings.

We confess these and all our sins to You and ask forgiveness for ourselves and our nation. Bring us to a state of true repentance - a returning to You - as both individuals and as a nation. We confess Your lordship over every aspect of our lives and our nation. Help us to follow You once again. Restore your mercy and blessings to these United States of America, and re-establish a hedge of protection around us. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ we pray, Amen.

Supporting Verse: "If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." --2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV) 

Confession of the Lordship of Jesus Christ 

We confess the Lordship of Jesus Christ over every aspect of our lives and our nation. Help us, as individuals and as a nation, to accept and live according to Your will in all things. Amen. 

Daily Bible Reading 
(It is my hope to encourage folks to read the Bible everyday. 
To that end, I present a suggested daily reading each week.)

Sunday: Romans  15:14 - 16:27
Monday: Exodus 1 
Tuesday: Exodus 2 
Wednesday: Exodus 3 
Thursday: Exodus 4  
Friday: Exodus 5:1 - 6:1 
Saturday: Exodus 6:2 - 7:13  



Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Bitter Melon Experiment, Part One

Bitter Gourd (Japanese Variety), aka Bitter Melon
 I am trying an experiment this year in growing Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia), also know as Bitter Gourd. I'll be posting updates on this experiment throughout the year, letting my readers know the progress, for good or bad. This article (Part One) will introduce people to Bitter Melon, and why I am conducting this experiment. If successful, Bitter Melon could be an important vegetable to include in survival gardens due to its possible medical uses.

If you haven't heard of Bitter Melon, it is an Asian vegetable which looks similar to a large and very wrinkled cucumber. It is in the same botanical family as squashes and gourds. It has a somewhat bitter taste (the more ripe it is, however, the less bitter). 

Bitter Melons grow on vines that can reach 12' to 16' in length under optimal growth conditions, so it is suggested that it be grown along a fence or using trellises. Typically, Bitter Melon is gown in tropical regions of Asia and the Caribbean. It will be interesting to see if I can grow it successfully in North Carolina. 

As a vegetable, it can be eaten raw, added to salads, or cooked into  variety of dishes. It can also be juiced.

The traditional Okinawan dish goya chanpuru (photo by Nesnad)

Possible Health Benefits and Medicinal Purposes

As you may know, I am a diabetic (non-insulin dependent).  So I am always searching for possible natural and alternative treatments for diabetes. In any disaster or post-collapse situation, folks may not have ready access to insulin and other diabetic medications, and be forced to make do as best they can until access is restored. 

Bitter Melon may hold some potential as a possible emergency replacement for insulin or other diabetic medication. According to my online research, Bitter Melon contains a chemical compound (Polypeptide-p) that acts similar to insulin and appears to have a hypoglycemic effect that may reduce blood sugar levels. According to several articles I've read, this only works if the Bitter Melon is consumed raw or in juice form. According to those articles, the powdered Bitter Melon that you can buy in capsules at health food and vitamin stores is not effective in lowering blood sugar. 

In addition to  its potential benefits to diabetics, Bitter Melon also has other health benefits. It has significant amounts of Vitamin C, Folate, and Zinc, as well as smaller amounts of various other nutrients. Bitter Melon may also have certain anti-cancer benefits and may help protect against heart problems.

Please research these potential health benefits for yourself. You can check out the articles on Bitter Melon at WebMD, Wikipedia, Bonnie Plants, LiveStrong, Dr. Axe, and Dr. Andrew Weil, among others.

Last week, I received the Bitter Gourd seeds that I ordered through Amazon (for only $2.95 with free shipping!). I will be planting those seeds as soon as any chance for frost in my area has safely passed. 

NOTE: I am NOT a doctor or other medical professional. Nothing I present in this article is meant to diagnose any disease or to recommend any treatment. It is only meant as "food for thought" and a starting point for your own research and consideration. Please see your doctor for medical advise when dealing with diabetes or any other illness. 


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Patriots' Prayers for 3-4-2017


Prayer for America (short version)

God, we have sinned and deserve the just punishment for our sins as a nation who has rejected you in every possible way. And yet, Lord, I cry out for mercy for myself, my family, and this nation. In the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christi, I pray. Amen. 


Against Demonic Influence in America

Almighty God, who delivered Your people from the bondage of the adversary, and through Your Son cast down Satan like lightning, deliver these United States of America also from every influence of the unclean spirits. Command Satan and his minions to depart far from these United States by the power of Your only begotten Son. Rescue this nation and its people from demonic delusion and darkness. Fill the American people with the light of the Holy Spirit that we may be guarded against the snares of the crafty demons. Grant that angels always watch over our nation and lead us to the path of righteousness forever, to the honor of Your glorious name, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.


Additional Prayers 

Have mercy, O Lord, upon the whole clergy of Your Church in America, and grant them the courage, wisdom, and strength needed to boldly preach Your Word and do Your Will during these perilous times. 


Bless, O Lord, and have mercy on those who serve as police officers, fire fighters, paramedics, and other first responders.

Grant, O Lord, blessings and mercies to all current and former members of our armed forces. Save them, protect them, and keep them safe.


Daily Bible Reading

Sunday: Romans  8
Monday: Romans  9:1-29
Tuesday: Romans  9:30 - 10:21
Wednesday: Romans  11
Thursday: Romans  12
Friday: Romans  13
Saturday:Romans  14:1 - 15:13

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Patriots' Prayers for 2-26-2017


A Healing Prayer for America

Heavenly Father, thank you for Your enduring love. A love so great that You sent Your only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. Jesus died a violent death to pay the penalty for our sins, to free us from the powers of darkness. On the third day, He rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and sits at Your right hand.

As individuals, we are all sinners. As a people, as a nation, we also have sinned and turned away from You. As a nation, we have replaced the authority and perfection of Your Word with the whim of our own opinions for our standards of right and wrong. We no longer keep Your commandments, or follow Your teachings.

We come before You now to place all our sins upon the cross of Jesus, and ask to be washed clean by His precious blood. Forgive us, and help us to turn back to You as our Lord, our Standard, our Authority. We confess Your lordship over every aspect of our lives and our nation. Help us to turn back to You, and follow Your ways once again.

In the Name of our Savior, Jesus the Christ, we pray.  Amen.


Daily Bible Reading

Sunday: Romans 1
Monday: Romans 2
Tuesday: Romans 3
Wednesday: Romans 4
Thursday: Romans 5
Friday: Romans 6
Saturday:Romans 7

I'm Back... Just in Time for Spring Planting!

My regular readers may have noticed that I've been oddly quiet over the last month or so.  My eye condition (diabetic retinapthy) took a turn for the worse in early January. The good news is that a new round of injections and some new medication has stabilized my eyes and has even already improved my vision noticeably. I have two more sets of injections scheduled, and would appreciate any prayers for the healing of my eyes.  

Although my "screen time" has been limited, I have been quite busy the last couple of weeks getting ready for spring planting, working on building my garden beds. I've about doubled the amount of garden space from last year and am looking forward to a large and productive garden this year. I planted onions this week, and will be planting spinach, lettuce, and mixed greens (turnip and mustard) next week.

Please check back often. I have several new articles planned oover the next few weeks!

Thanks for your readership!

Tim Gamble 



Saturday, February 18, 2017

Patriots' Prayers for 2-19-2017

"Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." -- Joshua 1:9 (NKJV)

Prayer For Forgiveness and Repentance of the United States
Our Father in heaven, have mercy upon these United States of America, according to Your lovingkindness and tender mercies. Blot out our transgressions, cleanse us of our sins. We acknowledge our transgressions, our many sins against You: We have allowed our God-given liberties to be taken away by our politicians and leaders. We have allowed Your Word and commandments to be banned from our public squares. We have allowed prayer to be eliminated from our schools. We have allowed Your place in our nation’s history to be erased from our textbooks and our minds. We have allowed the epidemics of abortion, pornography, and sexual immorality to fester out of control. We have allowed perversion, decadence, and depravity of all sorts to become public and commonplace.

As a nation, we have replaced the authority and perfection of Your Word with the whim of our own opinions for our standards of right and wrong. We no longer keep Your commandments, or follow Your teachings.

We confess these and all our sins to You and ask forgiveness for ourselves and our nation. Bring us to a state of true repentance - a returning to You - as both individuals and as a nation. We confess Your lordship over every aspect of our lives and our nation. Help us to follow You once again. Restore your mercy and blessings to these United States of America, and re-establish a hedge of protection around us. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ we pray, Amen. 


Daily Bible Reading  
(Finishing the book of Genesis) 

Sunday: Genesis 44
Monday: Genesis 45
Tuesday: Genesis 46
Wednesday: Genesis 47
Thursday: Genesis 48
Friday: Genesis 49
Saturday: Genesis 50

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Patriots' Prayers for 2-12-2017

What is wrong with America goes well beyond politics and economics. It is a spiritual sickness which infects the USA. No politician, no election, no piece of legislation, will cure spiritual sickness. We must appeal to a Higher Authority for that kind of healing, which is the purpose for Patriots' Prayers. Please join me each week in praying for America.


Prayer of Repentance of the United States


Heavenly Father, we confess that, as a nation and as individuals, we have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed. We have also omitted to do what Your holy law requires of us. As a nation, we have replaced the authority and perfection of Your Word with the whim of our own ever-changing opinions for our standards of right and wrong. We no longer keep Your commandments, or follow Your teachings.  But now, with repentance and humility, we turn again to Your love and mercy. We entreat You to forgive us, as individuals and as a nation, all our transgressions and to cleanse us from all our sins. Lord, fill our hearts with the light of Your truth. Strengthen our will by Your grace. Teach us both to desire and to do only what pleases You. In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.


Daily Bible Reading  (Continuing in the book of Genesis)


Sunday: Genesis 38 (Judah and Tamar)
Monday: Genesis 39 (Joseph a Slave in Egypt) 
Tuesday: Genesis 40 (The Prisoners’ Dreams) 
Wednesday: Genesis 41:1-36 (Pharaoh’s Dreams) 
Thursday: Genesis 41:37-57 (Joseph’s Rise to Power) 
Friday: Genesis 42 (Benjamin) 
Saturday: Genesis 43 (Jacob’s Agreement with Laban)

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Patriots' Prayers for 2-5-2017


 Prayer of Personal Repentance

Heavenly Father, my good and loving Lord, I acknowledge all the sins which I have committed every day in my life, whether in thought, word, deed, or omission. I ask for forgiveness from the depths of my heart for offending You and others, and repent of my old ways. Help me by Your grace to change, to sin no more, to embrace your law, and to walk in the way of righteousness. I reject worldly standards, seeking live Your standards instead. May I praise and glorify You all the days of my life. In the Name of Jesus the Messiah I pray. Amen. 

"Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are those who keep His statutes and seek Him with all their heart — they do no wrong, but follow His ways." --Psalm 119:1-3

Prayer for America (short version)

God, we have sinned and deserve the just punishment for our sins as a nation who has rejected you in every possible way. And yet, Lord, I cry out for mercy for myself, my family, and this nation. In the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen. 


Daily Bible Reading   
(Continuing in the book of Genesis this week.)

Sunday: Genesis 31 (Jacob and Laban) 
Monday: Genesis 32 (Life of Jacob) 
Tuesday: Genesis 33 (Life of Jacob) 
Wednesday: Genesis 34 (The Dinah Incident) 
Thursday: Genesis 35 (Jacob Becomes Israel) 
Friday: Genesis 36 (The Family of Esau) 
Saturday: Genesis 37 (The Story of Joseph Begins)

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Patriots' Prayers for 1-29-2017

What is wrong with America goes well beyond politics & economics. It is a spiritual sickness which infects the USA. No politician, no election, no piece of legislation, will cure spiritual sickness. We must appeal to a Higher Authority for that kind of healing. Please join together, praying for America.


Confession of the Lordship of Jesus Christ

We confess the Lordship of Jesus Christ over every aspect of our lives and our nation. Help us, as individuals and as a nation, to accept and live according to Your will in all things. Amen. 


A Healing Prayer for America

Heavenly Father, thank you for Your enduring love. A love so great that You sent Your only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. Jesus died a violent death to pay the penalty for our sins, to free us from the powers of darkness. On the third day, He rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and sits at Your right hand.

As individuals, we are all sinners. As a people, as a nation, we also have sinned and turned away from You. As a nation, we have replaced the authority and perfection of Your Word with the whim of our own opinions for our standards of right and wrong. We no longer keep Your commandments, or follow Your teachings.

We come before You now to place all our sins upon the cross of Jesus, and ask to be washed clean by His precious blood. Forgive us, and help us to turn back to You as our Lord, our Standard, our Authority. We confess Your lordship over every aspect of our lives and our nation. Help us to turn back to You, and follow Your ways once again.

In the Name of our Savior, Jesus the Christ, we pray.  Amen.


Daily Bible Reading 
(Continuing in the book of Genesis this week.)

Sunday: Genesis 26 (Isaac and Abimelech) 
Monday: Genesis 27:1-29 (Isaac Blesses Jacob) 
Tuesday: Genesis 27:30 - 28:9 (Jacob and Esau) 
Wednesday: Genesis 28:10-22 (Jacob’s Vow at Bethel) 
Thursday: Genesis 29 (Jacob, Leah & Rachel) 
Friday: Genesis 30:1-24 (More Jacob, Leah & Rachel) 
Saturday: Genesis 30:25-43 (Jacob’s Agreement with Laban)

Friday, January 27, 2017

Cold Steel Finn Wolf

Here is my You Tube review of the Cold Steel Finn Wolf. I am very impressed with this excellent folder, which may well become my EDC folder.


On Amazon: Cold Steel Finn Wolf

Overall Length: 7.75 inches
Blade Length:  3.5 inches
Blade Thickness: 3 millimeters
Weight: 3.4  oz.
Steel Type: Japanese AUS 8A
Features: Scandi grind; Ambidextrous clip can be moved to opposite side for choice of right-hand or left-hand carry; Tri-Ad locking mechanism. 


Saturday, January 21, 2017

Patriots' Prayers (Inauguration Edition)

Scripture commands us to pray for our government officials and others in positions of authority. We should also pray that God's Will be done in all things. With the Inauguration that just occurred in the US, I think it is a perfect time for us to pray for our new government officials- that they might do God's Will in all things.
  
Prayer For Our New Government Officials

Save, O Lord, and have mercy upon all leaders, politicians, and civil authorities of these United States of America. We especially hold up to you President Donald Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence. Watch over them, keep them safe, grant them wisdom in their duties, and have them serve Your Will in all things. 

We also pray for Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, and National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Guide and direct them in their duties.

We ask, O Lord, that the Senate quickly vote on the many other appointments of President Trump, so that vacant Cabinet and other high-level positions can be filled in a timely fashion. May all Senate votes go according to Your Will. 

In Jesus' Name we pray, Amen. 

Supporting Verse: "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." - 1 Timothy 2: 1-4 (ESV)

Prayer for America (short version)

God, we have sinned and deserve the just punishment for our sins as a nation who has rejected you in every possible way. And yet, Lord, I cry out for mercy for myself, my family, and this nation. In the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.

Supporting Verse: "If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." --2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV) 


Daily Bible Reading 
(Continuing in the book of Genesis this week.)

Sunday: Genesis 21:21-34 (Covenant with Abimelech) 
Monday: Genesis 22 (Abraham’s Faith Confirmed) 
Tuesday: Genesis 23 (Sarah’s Death) 
Wednesday: Genesis 24 (Isaac Marries) 
Thursday: Genesis 25:1-11 (Abraham's Final Days) 
Friday: Genesis 25:12-28 (Families of Ishmael & Isaac) 
Saturday: Genesis 25:29-34 (Esau Sells His Birthright)
 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

YELLOW ALERT - 3 possibilities over the next two weeks



Video Summary

YELLOW ALERT (Heightened Awareness)

3 possibilities over the next two weeks 
Islamic Terrorist Attack
Assassination Attempt
Coup Attempt

Recommendations
  • Pay attention to what's going on around you
  • Pay attention to the news
  • Make Commonsense Preparations: 
             A) Keep gas tanks topped off
             B) Keep cell phones fully charged
             C) Top off food & water storage
             D) Refill prescription medications 


Please visit and subscribe to my You Tube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvYXs-yMv4ZuwJsgyPDGB1w

Sorry if I come across as "stiff" in the video . I have very little public speaking experience. Hopefully, I'll get better in future videos! 


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

2017 Edition: FREE Resources for Preppers, Survivalists & Homesteaders

Welcome to the 3rd annual edition of FREE Resources for Preppers, Survivalists & Homesteaders. The 3rd edition updates the listings for the prior two years, and adds a number of new FREE resources fpr 2017.

1) Nuclear War Survival Skills by Cresson H. Kearny - The 1987 edition of this classic nuclear survival guide is available for free download as a .pdf file or .html documents. 

2) Green-Trust FreeBook Download Page has lots of books available for free download on a variety of topics including energy-efficiency, solar & renewable energy, rainwater harvesting, and medical info. 

3) Selecting a Survival Battery of Firearms is an excellent article found on the Alpha Disaster Contingencies website. Check their website for many other articles.

4) Backwoods Home Magazine - Many  articles from back issues of this self-reliant living magazine are available online for free in their archive. 

5) Learn How to Save Seeds and Grow Food - Seed Savers Exchange has a section on their website devoted to teaching folks how to save seeds and grow food. 

6) A Plan for Food Self-Sufficiency - This article is available for free on the Mother Earth News website. You can find other free articles on self-reliance, organic gardening, renewable energy and other topics by browsing the website.

7) LDS Preparedness Manual (you'll have to give them an email address to download) - The Mormons have taught/required preparedness and self-reliance of their members for generations, and have accumulated much practical knowledge on the subject, much of which is presented here.The link is to the current edition, but if you don't want to give them your email address, you can get the  2011 edition at this link (link opens a .pdf).

 

8) The Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency (link opens a .pdf) by John Seymour. I found the link to the 1976 book edition of the book on the City Farmer News website, so check them out.
 

9) The Complete Outdoorsman's Handbook (link opens a .pdf)  A guide to outdoor living and wilderness survival by Jerome J. Knap.
 

10) Back To Eden Organic Gardening Film (link to the full documentary on You Tube): "Back to Eden Film shares the story of one man’s lifelong journey, walking with God and learning how to get back to the simple, productive organic gardening methods of sustainable provision that were given to man in the garden of Eden. The food growing system that has resulted from Paul Gautschi’s incredible experiences has garnered the interest of visitors from around the world. Never, until now, have Paul’s organic gardening methods been documented and shared like this!

11) Bee Basics: An Introduction to Our Native Bees (link opens a .pdf) - a publication of the US Forest Service. Bees are, of course, very important to the pollination process, and our gardens depend on them. Its important to understand their role, and how to protect them.

12) Plans For a Complete Beekeeping System (several downloading options available) - Again, bees are important for your garden and fruit trees. Besides, I love honey. 


13) Basic Physical Health with Limited Resources (.pdf automatically downloads) - an LDS publication. Maintaining good health before, during, and after a SHTF event is extremely important.  

14) Surviving The New World Order (several downloading options available) by B.A. Brooks. I'm typically not one to buy into grand conspiracies, but this 20-page booklet has a lot of really usefully prepper and survivalist information.

15) LDS Nutritution and Diet Manual
(link opens a .pdf) - another LDS publication dealing with health and nutrition.

16) The Alpha Strategy: The Ultimate Plan for Financial Self-Defense for the Small Investor
(link opens a .pdf) - a famous, but now out-of-print, book from 1980. The Alpha Strategy presents a plan to protect your assets from both high inflation and depression, as well as high taxation and political manipulation. 

17) Surviving The New World Order (several downloading options available) by B.A. Brooks. I'm typically not one to buy into grand conspiracies, but this 20-page booklet has a lot of really usefully prepper and survivalist information. 

18) The Xerces Society is a insect conservation group which provides a variety of fact sheets and plant lists for promoting native bee and butterfly populations, which are VITAL to gardening and agriculture.

19) Permaculture - Sustainable Farming, Ranching, Living - by Designing Ecosystems that Imitate Nature (link opens as a .pdf) is a excellent six-page introduction to the concept of permaculture.

20) Popular Mechanics has both DIY Projects and Home How To sections on their website, with lots of greats ideas, projects, and information.

21)  Countryside and Small Stock Journal has a free online library of articles (over 200) relating to gardening, homesteading, livestock, poultry, and self-reliance. The also have a series of free guides to topics including beekeeping, dairy goats, raising ducks, and so forth. To get to the free articles, click on the "Daily Stories" tab on their website's menu. To get the free guides, click on the "Free Guides'$ tab on their menu. You may have to register (for free) with them to get access to the free guides. 

22) Article Archive of The Backwoods Home Magazine -  100s of free articles on homesteading, gardening, raising food, self-reliance, and other topics of interest to preppers and survivalists.

23) Local Parks and Greenways offer lots of opportunities for free exercise, recreation, and family time. My local parks have walking/jogging trails, tennis courts, basketball courts, softball fields, and even a lake for fishing at one one of the parks. Some offer free programs on weekends or during the summer. Hiking greenways is great exercise. Bring along some nature identification guides and turn it into a learning experience.

24) The Public Library - Use your library card. Libraries are a great source of free entertainment and free information. You can check out a wide range of books on gardening, country skills, food preservation & canning, sewing, health & first aid, home improvement, auto repair, small engine repair, fishing, hunting, nature field guides, edible wild plants, wilderness survival, personal finance, and so forth. Entertainment, too, can be had for free at your local library, and not just books to read. Many libraries today have movie DVDs, music CDs, board games, puzzles, and other types of entertainment that you can check out for free, as well as story times for kids and lectures for adults.

25) Cooperative Extension Offices are an agency of the US Agriculture Department, with local offices in every county in the United States. They are a great resource of free information, and free or low-cost services. Local offices can provide garden planting times specific to your area, soil testing, canning classes, and other information and services. Visit https://extension.org/ to find your local office and contact them to learn of the specific services offered in your county. They can also help you get into touch with 4-H clubs, gardening clubs, bee keeper associations, and other related organizations in your area.

26) USGS Disease Maps tracks disease outbreaks and epidemics in the US on a county-by-county basis. 

27) ProMED-mail - the Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases - is an Internet-based reporting system dedicated to rapid global dissemination of information on outbreaks of infectious diseases and acute exposures to toxins that affect human health, including those in animals and in plants grown for food or animal feed. Electronic communications enable ProMED-mail to provide up-to-date and reliable news about threats to human, animal, and food plant health around the world, seven days a week.

28) RSOE EDIS - Emergency and Disaster Information Service - provides maps and information on man-made and natural disasters worldwide. It tracks almost everything - droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, chemical spills, biological hazards, nuclear events, and more. 

29) Exploit FREE information from the web. If you are reading this, you're on the Internet anyway. There are a lot of great websites and YouTube channels full of useful information for you to read or watch. This website is full of prepping & survival information. Other websites and You Tube channels I like include:
There are, of course, lots of other great websites and You Tube channels. The above list is just a few of my favorites.

30) The Drudge Report is a constantly updated collection of links to news stories in the mainstream and alternative news media. I include it here because an important part of self-reliance and being prepared is being aware of what is going on in the world around you.

31) The Liberty Mill is a great source of alternative news headlines aggregated from over 35 alternative news outlets. 

32) Finally, I humbly suggest this website (www.TimGamble.com) as a source of free information, ideas, and tips on self-reliance and preparedness. Please take the time to explore the variety of articles and information found here. 

32A) #HistoryHub - a part of my website, #HistoryHub has the text of over 40 primary historical documents, and over a dozen secondary sources. Whether you are a home schooler or just wanting to understand real history (not the ideological propaganda taught in schools), you should check it out. And keep checking back, because I frequently update #HistoryHub.

32B) My Foresting Gardening articles - Several years ago I wrote a series of articles on forest gardening (aka woodland gardening, food forests, or edible landscaping). I have since posted them on this website.