Pine– Burns quickly and will make a good fire lay in damp conditions due to it’s resinous wood. The sap/resin is usually found seeping out of the outer bark where an injury has occurred. Pine resin can be used as an artificial skin for shallow cuts and has antiseptic properties. The sap itself is flammable so caution should be observed, however this makes an excellent fire extender. Pine pitch is an adhesive that can be made by slowly heating and adding equal parts binder, i.e. charcoal or cattail fluff. Needles of eastern pine trees have more vitamin C per weight than a freshly squeezed orange. A nutritious tea can be made from the needles as they are also high in vitamin A. A collection of dead needles make a good addition to a fire lay as they are highly resinous.
Willow– Since this tree requires a wet area to grow well, this is an excellent water indicator. Leaves and inner bark contain salicin, which is a chemical compound found in aspirin, a decoction makes a decent headache remedy and chewing leaves should help a toothache. The branches are long and new growth is fairly straight, which could make arrow shafts.
Poplar– A tulip poplar is what Daniel Boone’s canoe was carved from. Although technically a magnolia, the tulip poplar is easy to carve so making a spoon or spatula is possible. Leaves and bark are very astringent so it will draw infection out and drive toxins away. Used as a fomentation it will relieve poison ivy, drawing the oils away from the skin. The inner bark provides bird nesting material as well as tinder bundles.
Oak– Very hard and a good choice to manufacture tools such as an ax handle. Oak is long burning and makes a good coal bed for cooking. Remember, fire is for heat and coals are for cooking.
Red Oak– Great for building as it handles stress very well.
White Oak– This is much more medicinal in use. The inner bark can help relieve sinus congestion and headache. Antiseptic in nature makes a good mouthwash as a decoction. High in tannin, the bark and leaves are astringent.
Birch– Bark contains oil that is so flammable is will likely burn even when wet. The bark produces thick black smoke that will drive insects away in the summer. When using open flame birch requires little to no processing to create a quick warm fire. When found in colder climates and in high altitudes, birch is plagued by a parasitic fungus called chaga. When sliced thin, chaga makes a great tinder and when made into tea it has medicinal properties. Birch is also an excellent wood to carve.
If you are facing an attempted abduction the best time to act is immediately. Do not wait for a later time to try to hatch an escape. There are three important reason for this.
1. The assailant(s) will be at their least prepared at the very beginning of the abduction. Every successful piece of their plan will reinforce their confidence and give them more control over the situation.
2. The more time that passes, the less value you have to your abductor. As time goes by they will realize that their initial demands will not be met and they will have to settle for less, which directly translates to your worth being lower. At this time of abduction the attacker will be more concerned with abducting you and less willing to harm you because this is when your worth is highest.
3. The reason you are being moved is because the current location is less than ideal for the abductor. This makes it the most advantageous to escape.
Poultice– Gathering plant leaves and flowers raw and then macerating them.
Macerate– Soften by soaking in liquid and/or chewing.
Infusion– Steep for 10-15 minutes and consume after straining.
Decoction– Like an infusion but requires the material to be boiled instead of steeped. Bark and other roots work best for this. Consume after boiling half the liquid away and strain.
Wash– This is a type of infusion used to clean instead of consume.
It is a good idea to pick a few plants that are readily available in the area rather than trying to memorize all types of plants. This will aid in collection and identification.
Cattail– Nature’s supermarket and pharmacy. Young shoots are edible raw or boiled, root stock tuber can also be eaten. Pollen from seed heads can be used as a flour and young seed heads can be eaten like corn on the cob.
Field Parsnip– Root can be baked like a potato and is a great starch. Use caution, dermatitis can occur from contact with this plant.
Dandelion– Makes a great salad or you can munch on the go. Rich in Vitamin A and flowers can be eaten as well. Roots make a coffee substitute when dried and ground.
Hickory Nuts– Nut meat is a good protein.
Black Walnuts– Another good source for protein, green leaves can be used as a wash for skin drying conditions like poison ivy.
Raspberries– common fruit in summer, good source of vitamins, eat raw or make infusion tea or accent another dish.
Common Elderberry– Very common from summer to fall. Eat raw or boil for a tasty drink.
Cattail-There is a gel in the base of the sheath when the shoot is removed that is anesthetic and antiseptic, think of it as aloe. Young shoots make a decent toothbrush.
Charcoal– Not a plant but is useful against plant or food poisoning. Grind and mix with water to induce vomiting. Also helps to absorb toxins left in the stomach.
Mullein– Has been used for centuries as a decongestant. Great for cough and cold remedies, use green leaves for wound dressing.
Jewel weed– Chemicals in the juices help to soothe contact dermatitis from poison ivy and other other plants. Use as soon as possible after contact.
Plantain– Helps to draw out foreign objects from wounds like thorns and splinters as well as poison from bites and stings. Use as a poultice by chewing and placing on wound.
Mint– Helps to soothe a headache when rubbed on the temples. Dried mint and dandelion infusion are useful against upset stomach and will help relieve diarrhea. Made into a decoction and gargled mint will help against a sore throat.
Yarrow– Used for centuries to help blood clot in deep wounds. Also has anti-inflammatory properties. Helps to break fevers by inducing a sweat when consumed as a tea. Insect repellent.
Boneset– An infusion will help break fevers. A poultice of green leaves will help deep bruises and even bone repair.
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
As a concealed carry permit holder trained in handgun combat, I’ve learned more than a few things about surviving an encounter with armed shooters. In this two-part audio series, I share valuable, practical advice on how you can survive active shooting scenarios, with or without your own firearm.
These two special reports, linked below, cover concepts like:
• Fleeing the scene
• Fighting back with firearms
• Fighting back without firearms
• Closing with attackers to neutralize rifles: grappling range
• Unarmed attack methods: eye gouges, biting, spitting, hair pulling, groin shots, using expedient weapons like forks and chairs
• The concepts of “cover” vs. “concealment”
• The physics of gunfire… don’t believe the Hollywood myths
• Why vehicles do not provide cover from gunfire
• Playing dead and using other bodies as concealment and cover
• The importance of being armed (where legal to do so)
• Why gunmen never expect people to fight back
• Why waiting for the police to arrive and save you is a horrible mistake
So it’ the end of the world and people are going crazy, what would the average person look like? What would they be wearing? Would they be loaded down with incredible amounts of military style gear? I would bet that most people would be panicking and look frantic. The idea is to not stand out, right? You don’t want people thinking you have stuff they want. I do not suggest running around pulling your hair out and tearing your clothes, I think it would be a bad idea donning your external plate carrier, gun belt, BDUs and a slinged AR15. There has to be an in between.
I think having the right gear and tools is essential but personally I wouldn’t want to be surrounded by 1,000 panicked people looking like I have everything they all want. The less people know, the better off you will be. There is enough to be said about OPSEC(operational security) to make an entire other post, so I’ll save that for a later date. A military style BOB serves a good purpose and would likely prove functional, but it also screams “I knew this was coming, I have stuff!”Looking panicked is a bad idea, because anyone paying attention would see you as a target, so you want to look serious and dangerous. You want to look like a difficult target, while not looking like you have things other people want. You will want people to leave you alone. You should look confident but not standoffish, and definitely don’t look scared.
If you have ever experienced a life or death situation you know that your body acts strangely. When I was doing security one night a fight broke out between 7 men. As I rushed to break up the situation, my heart started pounding and my adrenaline was elevated. I successfully separated the two groups involved but that’s when things really got out of hand. Only a couple punches were actually thrown, and I think what happened next was a result of built up aggression that had not been vented. One guy attempted to rush past me with a baseball bat to get to the other group, so I produced my baton and told him to back up or I would hurt him. To my surprise he actually listened. I thought the situation had ended. Nope. One of that guy’s buddies said “we got a strap(gun) right here!!” and began to open the trunk of his car. Automatically, I drew my weapon and had his torso in my sights. I started yelling at him not to open the trunk. I head heard of tunnel vision, but this was my first experience with it. The only thing I could see was that guy and his hands trying to put the key in the trunk. Once he looked back and realized that his next actions would determine if he would die in a gas station parking lot, he quickly raised his hands and his friends got in the car. He ran to the driver’s seat and sped off.
While I am pretty level headed in stressful situations, I was blown away by how almost surreal it was to have someone’s torso in my sights. I had never before that, or have I since pointed a gun at someone. Even though I suffered the effects of a huge adrenaline dump, I did not panic and as a result no one got hurt. There were several times I was physically threatened, but I was always able to keep my cool and avoid the violent confrontation. As any self defense expert will tell you, the best way to deal with a violent attack is to try to avoid the confrontation. When people panic, people get hurt. I had a drunk guy tell me he was going to “knock you the f*ck out!”. I stayed calm, kept my distance, but made sure he knew that a physical altercation was not in his best interest. He ended up calming down and finally listening to me when I told him he can either leave or go to jail.
Depending on the situation, it is best to take a second and gather your thoughts. Now, if someone is shooting at you, you need to move, and now. People who don’t move die. Try not to panic, though it will be difficult. Stay in control and move intelligently. Don’t run into things and avoid running in a straight line if you can. The more random your movements are, the more likely you are to not get shot. If at all possible, attack the gunman and do not stop until he is incapacitated. If you cannot attack, run until you think you are safe and then run even more.
If SHTF panic will be a fatal mistake. Do not grab your BOB and just bolt. There will be people who are calm and if you appear panicked, you will appear to be an easy target. Move with a purpose and stick to a well thought out plan. A good plan and regularly rehearsing that plan will help you to stay calm. Know what you need to do and do it. If you have your full 72 hour bag but you don’t have a plan or a place to go you will be kicking yourself for poor planning.
Stay calm, move with purpose, keep your eyes open and make it to wherever you need to be.
I cannot stress how important it is to be well rounded in mindset and skills during a SHTF event. During a collapse of society you will have to be your own butcher, cook, police, paramedic doctor and gardener. While having a group to assign skills to is important and convenient, everyone in that group should strive for at least a basic understanding of each subject. If you are an excellent marksman and can take out a deer, what good is that if you don’t know how to dress it or cook it? What if you are on a security detail and suffer an injury? You can’t go to the hospital. What if the person who was in charge of all medical treatments becomes incapacitated? Now you are stuck with no one to help with illness and injury. These are the basics I believe you should know.
Security: I worked as an armed security officer so I have this one down. I say I have it down, but truthfully the only thing you can bet on is nothing will ever be the same from person to person. Every day was different and provided unique challenges that the previous day did not.
Butchering: I recently picked up a book on the basics of butchering and cooking livestock and wild game. I will probably read it a few times and then keep it for reference as I currently know next to nothing about this subject.
First Aid and Trauma: This is critical for everyone in your group to know the basics of. You should be able to identify common symptoms for common ailments at the very least. The ability to treat a wound should be ascertained as well.
Gardening: You will need to grow your own food to supplement any meat you can provide. If are familiar with rabbit starvation or protein poisoning you know why. Basically, this occurs when you only eat meat. You need vegetables, fruit, grain, etc for their essential nutrients. There was a group of rabbit trappers who ate only rabbit meat and died, hence rabbit starvation.
Cook: Knowing how to cook food is not only essential for survival, but will also give a huge boost to morale. A tasty meal will offer a profound effect on how you feel. If you have to choke down eat meal because it is terrible you will survive but hate life.
Personally I buy informational books constantly. There is no limit to what you can learn and you should never stop. I don’t even read fiction anymore because I feel that if I am reading, I better be learning as well. After all knowledge trumps kit.
One problem with most people is when something bad happens, they expect someone else to do something. There was a story at a local Jack In The Box where one man was beaten by four assailants until he suffered a severe brain injury. While this assault was taking place the employees watched but did nothing. A lawsuit was filed by the man who was in a coma for over a year following the attack. The man won $20.5 million as the court held that the employees did nothing to prevent the attack and did nothing once the attack started.
While an active shooter scenario is different, I believe we have an obligation to step up. That whole “don’t be a hero” business is bologna in my opinion. If you have the ability, you should do something. After all by the time the police get there, you could be dead. Don’t wait for help, help yourself.
Even if you are unarmed, there are plenty of instances where an unarmed person bested an armed assailant, especially if there are a lot of you. There is a difference between someone who wants something from you and someone who wants to kill you. If a bad guy demands your wallet or purse, give it to them. If a bad guy is walking around shooting people, kill him. Active shooter’s often carry a back up weapon, so disarming him will not be enough, you must stop them.
In a recent interview a policeman was asked about active shooters and he said “We have learned that we can’t wait it out, we have to get in there and get him.” The faster the bad guy is stopped, the more people will live. Period.
In Garland, TX in May of 2015 a security officer was able to kill two mean who were both wearing body armor and carrying assault rifles. He was a traffic cop by day but was working secondary as a security officer at the time of the incident. The two men were there to kill as many people as possible at a Mohammad caricature exhibit. Apparently if you draw Mohammad, you deserve to die. Anyway, this security officer acted quickly and saved countless lives, while sustaining the only casualty which was a gunshot wound to the thigh. Don’t wait for help, help yourself.