Preparing a Wild Turkey

Intro: Cleaning Your Wild Turkey

You have finally achieved a successful turkey hunt and the most difficult part is over. But, there is still a lot of work to do cleaning the bird to get it ready to be put in the freezer. One of the most common questions and concerns of new turkey hunters is how to clean a turkey after they have shot it. This article will hopefully answer most of the questions about cleaning a turkey with some of the techniques I and many other hunters utilize.

Step 1: Make a Decision


The cleaning or field dressing process begins right after you shoot your bird. The first thing you need to decide after the pictures are taken is what you are going to do with your turkey.

Make a decision immediately about whether you will have the turkey mounted. This will determine how you will proceed with the cleaning process and how much care you should take transporting your turkey. If you are planning on having the bird mounted, do not field dress the bird.

You might also consider how you plan on cooking the turkey. Roasting, smoking or whole deep frying are cooking processes that work best with the skin still on the turkey, although there are techniques for a skinless turkey as well. Frying or grilling pieces of turkey will work well with a bird that has been skinned.

At this point , you have basically three options for continuing cleaning your wild turkey.

  1. Prepare bird for the taxidermist.
  2. Field dress the bird if it’s hot or you’re a long way from home.
  3. Wait until you get home before proceeding with cleaning the bird. If it’s cool enough and you have a relatively short trip home, you can wait before taking on the task of cleaning the turkey.

Preparing Your Wild Turkey for the Taxidermist

If you are thinking about having a turkey mounted by a taxidermist, by all means, shop around by visiting professional taxidermists in your area before you go hunting and get a feeling for the quality of their work and the prices they will charge. If you don’t have a good taxidermist in your area do not get discouraged. There are many excellent taxidermists all across the country and by asking friends and fellow hunters or doing your own research, you can find a quality taxidermist. Spending a little extra money to ship your bird is well worth it to get an excellent reminder of your trophy hunt. Mounting a wild turkey is not easy and if you let an amateur mount if for you, don’t expect excellent results.

The secret to getting good taxidermy mounts of any animal is 1) Keeping the animal in as good as condition as possible before it reaches the taxidermist, and 2) Choosing a qualified taxidermist.

Before the Hunt

Finding a good taxidermist is up to you but there are some tips that will help you get your bird to the taxidermist in as good of condition as possible. These are some general ideas and your taxidermist may have specific instructions on the way he likes to receive birds.

First, make sure and take on your hunt a large plastic bag and a cooler large enough to lay the bird in without scrunching up the tail feathers. Take with you some paper towels, cotton balls, and either a large plastic bag, a section of used panty hose, or both. Many taxidermists recommend using a section of used panty hose cut from the thigh area as a covering for the bird to keep the feathers in place. Cut out a section of the hose from the thigh area and tie up one end. Then after you shoot a bird, carefully slip the bird into the bag head first, pulling the stocking over its entire body. This will help keep all of the feathers in place. You can also just use a large plastic bag and slip the bird inside it and carefully carry it out of the woods.

Shooting the Bird

When you harvest a bird, always try for a clean head and neck shot. If you want the tail feathers to look good, do not shoot the bird head-on while it is strutting. The shotgun pattern will shred through the tail feathers and that will not look good at all. In fact, it’s best not to shoot a strutting bird period. Tthe best shot to take is a side shot with the bird’s neck stretched up. This should keep all of the shotgun pellets well away from the tail and wing feathers. It is much easier for a taxidermist to replace or repair a shot-up head than to try and repair or replace tail and wing feathers.The distance should be around 25 to 30 yards which is a good distance to aim for any time you are hunting turkeys. This yardage allows for a clean kill without too dense of a shot pattern which may cause extreme damage to the head and neck. If for some reason you do need a second shot to kill the bird, try and take it at the head only and from a sufficient distance to limit more damage to the bird.

After any turkey is shot, they often thrash around on the ground before dying. There really is not a lot you can do about this since picking up a thrashing turkey is not very smart. Your best hope is that he will drop dead and lay stone still after the shot which does occasionally happen. If he does flop around, pick up all of the loose feathers you can find and send them along with the bird to your taxidermist.

After the Shot


After the bird is dead, there are three keys to getting your bird to the taxidermist in prime condition.

  1. Keep the plumage dry and clean. Stuff paper towels or cotton balls into the bird’s mouth and anus to keep any blood or body fluids from soiling the feathers. Also, if there are any large or bloody wounds, stuff them also to keep as much blood off of the feathers as possible. It may be necessary to wrap the head in paper towels if it is really bloody.
  2. Limit feather loss and damage by slipping the bird into either the pantyhose section or a large plastic bag or both. Be very conscious of the tail feathers and do not scrunch or bend them. If the bird flopped around a lot, be sure and pick up any of the loose feathers.
  3. Keep the bird cool – As soon as possible, start cooling the bird by placing it in a large cooler. If you have to wait more than several hours to get it to a taxidermist, you will probably need to freeze the bird.

Also, do not field dress the bird. Most taxidermists would much rather field dress and skin the bird themselves.

Storing and Shipping

If you do not have a taxidermist picked out or you have to store the bird for a long period of time you will have to freeze the bird. Just make sure the bird has plenty of room and do not pile other items onto the bird. If you need to ship the bird to a taxidermist, contact them and ask about the best way to do this. They will be up to date on any airline regulations and can give you the best methods for safely shipping your bird.

In conclusion, try and choose a bird in great condition to be mounted and find a good, quality taxidermist. It’s worth paying a little more up front to have a long-lasting, beautiful memory of a trophy hunt.

Field Dressing Your Wild Turkey

Field dressing is essentially gutting the bird in the field while leaving the feathers on. Removing the guts or entrails is important to help allow the bird to cool faster and to keep the “juices” inside the bird from spoiling any meat. If it is a cool day and you aren’t far from home, you can skip the field dressing step and wait until you are home before cleaning the bird.

Here are the steps for gutting or field dressing a wild turkey:

  1. Lay the turkey on its back.
  2. Follow the breast down to the rear of the bird until it narrows to a point between the legs.
  3. Pull up on the tip and cut the bird open by making a shallow horizontal incision (through the skin only) between the tip of the breast and the vent (anus). It helps to pull out a few of the feathers in this spot so you can cut more easily.
  4. Make the incision large enough to insert your hand and pull out the entrails, making sure to pull out the heart and lungs.
  5. Cut around the vent (anus) by carefully following the intestine back and then cutting around its exterior. This is where you need to be careful since you don’t want any of the intestine’s contents getting on the turkey.
  6. Remove the crop (sac-like thing filled with what the turkey’s been eating) by making a cut on the neck of the turkey and reaching down and removing the crop located at the top of the breast.
  7. Rinse out with water and wipe with paper towels if you have these available.

Plucking Your Wild Turkey

The traditional way to clean a wild turkey is to pluck the feathers off and then gut the bird. This will keep the skin on the turkey which will give it more moisture and flavor after you cook it. You can also save the “giblets” (heart, liver, gizzard) from the bird and make a traditional turkey gravy later when you cook it.

It is preferable to pluck the turkey before removing the entrails. This keeps feathers from getting inside the bird cavity and in general keeps things cleaner. If you’ve already field-dressed the bird, don’t worry about it but be sure and rinse out the cavity good to remove any feathers when you are done plucking.

Turkeys have over 5,000 feathers on them and it is easier to remove them if the bird is dipped in hot water. Some people use boiling water but many people swear that water at 140 degrees is the optimal temperature for plucking a bird. Once a bird has been dipped in hot water, the feathers will come off much easier and they also are easier to handle since they are damp and they won’t fly around the room. A large washtub is best for dipping the bird but you may have to improvise if one’s not available. The large primary wing feathers can also be a problem and it’s easier to just remove the wing at the first joint past the shoulder so those very large primary feathers don’t have to be pulled out.

If you have left the legs on to help you dip the bird, you now need to cut them off. Then it is time to go ahead and remove the entrails by gutting the bird. This process is basically the same as Field Dressing with the exception of needing to remove the head with a large knife, cleaver or hatchet. Some people also like to use the neck to toss in the stock pot. That is your choice. You can also save the turkey giblets (heart, liver, gizzard) and use them to make a traditional turkey gravy. The gizzard is what allows the bird to grind up its food. Be sure and cut the gizzard open and to thoroughly clean it.

You should now have a cleaned bird that is ready to be cooked or frozen.

Skinning and Fileting Your Wild Turkey

Another option to the plucking and gutting method is to skin and then filet the bird’s breast meat off and remove the legs and thighs. This method is quick and easy and allows you to remove the meat from the bird without even opening up the body cavity. If you plan on roasting, smoking or whole deep frying your turkey, you might stick with plucking and gutting the bird since this method does not save the skin. I generally cook my turkey by frying or grilling pieces of turkey; using methods that make up for not having the skin on.

Generally, the areas I hunt are only about a half hour or less from my home so I never worry about field dressing the turkey. I just take it home and clean it immediately. I also hunt in Kansas and the weather is typically very cool during most of the spring and fall turkey seasons. On one hunt during the spring, the weather changed from sunny, to rain. to hail, to sleet and finally snow. If it is warm where you are hunting and it takes you awhile to get to a place to finish dressing the turkey, by all means field dress it first.

  1. If you are saving the tail fan or cape from the turkey, remove them first. I also always remove the beard before starting to clean the bird. If you are not saving the bird’s cape or tail you can leave them on and start by laying the turkey on it’s back.
  2. To begin removing the breast filets, pluck some feathers from the middle of the breast and make a small cut through the skin. Then work your fingers underneath the skin and pull the skin back from the breast down to the sides of the turkey.
  3. Find the breast bone and start by cutting down one side of the breast bone to loosen the breast filet from the bone. This cut will run from the lower tip of the breast all of the way along the breast bone and eventually up along the wishbone and to the shoulder / wing joint..
  4. Start at the bottom tip of the breast and work your way from the rear of the breast forward, fileting off the breast by pulling the filet and using the knife to help separate the breast where needed. Be careful of the crop when you get to the top of the breast. (The crop is the balloon-like sac up between the two halves of the breast by the neck). It is full of some nasty stuff and you don’t want to puncture it.
  5. Repeat this for the other side of the breast.
  6. Remove the thigh/leg by flipping the turkey over on it’s breastbone and skinning the thigh and leg.
  7. After they are skinned, cut through the thigh muscle where it attaches to the back. To help this process, grab the leg/thigh and bend them up towards the backbone until the joint pops loose. Keep working and cutting through the thigh until you can free the thigh/leg from the turkey’s body. Repeat for the other side. I usually then cut through the leg joint and separate the drumstick from the thigh. Wild turkey drumsticks are notoriously tough when you cook them. They also have tons of tiny, tough, bone-like tendons running through them. The only way I’ve found to make them edible is to cook them for a long time in a crockpot and sometimes on an old gobbler this doesn’t even work.

I hope these methods will help you enjoy your turkey.

For further details on butchering and preparing poultry I highly recommend this book:
Basic Butchering of Livestock and Game

SOURCE

Additional Resources:

Top 100 Items to Disappear in a National Emergency

9 Unique Alternative Housing Ideas

Top 10 Survival Movies

120 Useful Books for Your Survival Library

Cody Lundin Interview – When All Hell Breaks Loose

11 Survival TV Shows Worth Watching

Collapse Documentary (2010)

10 Bad A** Sniper Rifles

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3 Practical Wilderness Survival Tips That Could Actually Save Your Life

I find that many of my fellow Preppers seem to be avid outdoors folk.. must be par for the course since most who practice the art of the self-sufficient lifestyle to want to know our surroundings and understand what it means to live off the land.  Some are very skilled hikers or hunting enthusiasts, some just like to explore but hopefully all should understand the dangers you may encounter out in the vast wilderness.

We hear stories about it in the news every day; the boy scout who wandered too far from his group and became lost in the mountains for three days in freezing temperatures.  The hiker who slipped and fell in a crevice and was stranded there for days as her loyal pup went to summon for help.  Or the most recent story about the parents who abandoned their 11 year old son in the forest as a punishment for throwing rocks in the water.

While each of these stories contains a noteworthy element of shock or surprise whether due to an unforeseeable accident or just to the sheer stupidity of some people the fact remains the same – being lost in the woods is scary as hell!

If you should find yourself lost in the wilderness there are many different variables you need to consider before determining the best course of action.  Here are three practical wilderness survival tips that could actually save your life should you ever find yourself in this unfortunate situation.

1. Always Be Prepared


If you take a trip into the wilderness the best thing you can do is be prepared before you leave so that you can avoid getting lost in the first place.   If you’re going backpacking alone you will want to make sure to let someone know where you are going, when you’re leaving and when they should expect you to return.  That way if you do not return when expected there will be someone who knows where to find you.

If you are a beginner or unfamiliar with the landscape it is not recommended to go into the wilderness alone.  You should always have a friend with you who can have your back should something bad happen.  Even a slip and fall could turn into a fatal situation if there is no one there to go for help and you have no way of contacting emergency services.

Try to stay on the trail so that you can easily find your way back.  If you choose to deviate from the beaten path, you should mark your way by leaving stones, sticks, etc. to track your way.  You can also make note of landmarks that are easily recognizable to help you find your way back.

You should also make sure to take a pack with several emergency essentials; first aid kit, knife, rope,  water purification, food, lighter, compass, whistle, bandana, inflatable solar lantern, phone or gps, etc. By taking these precautions before you leave, you reduce the likelihood of becoming lost in the woods.  Even if you do get lost, the survival items you carry with you can keep you alive until you are rescued.

See:

The Art of the Bug Out Bag

What to Eat in the Wilderness

2. Assess the situation

First you need assess the situation that you find yourself in.  Did you get separated from a group or were you traveling alone?  The next steps that you take will depend largely on the answer to this question.  If you got separated from a group chances are that they are currently trying to locate you.  If they can’t locate you on their own there is a likely possibility they will be contacting authorities and search and rescue will be looking for you as well.  If that is the case it makes sense to stay put where you are so that you can be located quickly.


If you’re out hiking alone and you get lost, that is a different story altogether.  If you are in a high traffic location it still might be your best bet to wait until someone comes along who can help you get back on the right path.  If you’re in a very remote area then chances of stumbling upon another hiker are slim to none.  In that case you will want make a plan to find your way back to safety.  Either way, the course you take will depend further on what time of the day it is and what the weather is like.  Even if you’re all alone and don’t expect anyone to come looking for you, it is probably best to stay put and hunker down if you’re approaching nightfall or weather conditions are poor.  Trying to find your way to safety in the dark of night or in the middle of a snow or rain storm will only make your situation worse.  If that’s the case make a temporary shelter and hunker down for the night, then start again at first light.

No matter what – don’t panic!  Don’t start running as fast as you can or screaming out for someone to hear you.  That will only use up your stored energy and leave you feeling stressed out and exhausted.  Keep calm, take a step back and assess the situation before you make any moves.  When you’re calm and collected you can make wise decisions about which action to take next.  By keeping your cool, you can logically plan your escape strategy without getting further lost or missing a rescue opportunity.

See:

Best Camping, Hiking and Wilderness Survival Books

3. Find your way to safety

Once you have assessed the situation you should be able to plan your best method for survival. At this point you can determine whether you want to shelter in place and wait for rescue or try to find your way back to safety.  Should you decide to shelter in place be prepared to provide the basic necessities to keep yourself alive through the night by using your survival knowledge to build a makeshift shelter.

Always bring a compass and familiarize yourself with basic navigation techniques so that you can find your way out.  If you do not have a phone or GPS system with you, there are some basic navigation techniques that you can use to find your way back to safety.  Following a river downstream is usually a foolproof way to find your way back to civilization.

See:

Celestial Navigation Techniques

Special Forces Navigation Training

Todd Tucker SurvivalistThis article was contributed by Todd Tucker, Survival Spot Blog Editor and contributing author. Todd has over 20 years of experience practicing and perfecting wilderness survival techniques. He is a highly skilled rough terrain hiker, climber, fisherman, large game hunter and survival gear expert.

 

 

 

 

Additional Resources:

Top 100 Items to Disappear in a National Emergency

9 Unique Alternative Housing Ideas

Top 10 Survival Movies

120 Useful Books for Your Survival Library

11 Survival TV Shows Worth Watching

10 Bad A** Sniper Rifles

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Surviving a Venomous Snake Bite – What You Need to Know

The majority of snakes you come across in North America aren’t venomous, however there are a reported 7000-8000 bites coming from venomous snakes each year. Fortunately, very few of these bites actually result in death and this is for a variety of reasons, including awareness and antivenin treatments. Furthermore, snakes often deliver a ‘dry bite’ on humans so that they aren’t wasting their venom which is required to kill prey for food.

In North America, there are four types of venomous snakes: coral snake, rattlesnake, cottonmouth and copperhead. Each snake has their own distinctive markings which you can learn to recognise and this will become extremely useful for when you’re out and about. It’s important to learn the markings of these snakes as other non-venomous snakes have adapted to look like them, as a way to serve a warning to predators.

How to Identify a Venomous Snake?

Here’s an infographic, produced by the guys at Sniff Outdoors, which goes over each snake’s distinctive markings and some key features. This will also cover, briefly, what to do if you encounter one, which we’ll talk about in a bit more in-depth in the body of this article.

deadlysnakeguide


How to Prevent a Snake Bite?

If you’re out for a hike or going camping with your friends, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and have a knowledge of which snake is likely to live in that habitat. With this knowledge, you will be far more conscious of where you tread or place your hands. A large majority of snake bites actually come from human error i.e. walking too close to where a snake is lying or turning over a log to find a snake was underneath.

 

Gaining an understanding of the habitats of each snake and being aware of some key behaviours will go a long way to help to prevent a snake bite from actually occurring. For example, does the coral snake prefer to hide under rocks and leaves? Do cottonmouth snakes only live by the water or do they bask on rocks too?

1012px-Coral_009

The Coral Snake

This snake and its subspecies tend to live in forested areas, spending most of its time underground or hiding in leaves. As well as enjoying staying in jungle areas, they are also found in the sand hills of Southeast United States.

 

It can be hard to tell the difference between the coral snake’s head and tail which it uses to its advantaged when it feels threatened. It will coil its head into its body and raise its tail, which many people confuse with the head.

 

Keep in mind the rhyme ‘Red and yellow, kill a fellow. Red and black, friend of Jack’ if ever you come across one. On the venomous coral snake, the red and yellow bands are always touching. Some non-venomous snakes have similar colorings, however not in the same order.

rattlesnake (1)

The Rattlesnake

The large majority of rattlesnakes are found in South-western United States. The most obvious feature of the rattlesnake is the tail, which acts as a warning signal to threats. As well as their rattle at the end of the tail, rattlesnakes also produce a hissing noise, in a similar manner to a cat hissing when threatened.

 

Rattlesnakes live in a variety of areas, including grasslands, swamps, bush and rocky areas. In warmer temperatures, they like so soak up the sun on rocks or open areas. However, they also spend a lot of time in rocky dens and some will hibernate in winter conditions.

 

Similar to coral snakes, when threatened, rattlesnakes coil their body, however instead of raising their tails, they will raise their head, which gives them a greater ability to strike if needed.

Florida_Water_Moccasin_056

The Cottonmouth

Also know as the Water Moccasin, this snake is semi-aquatic and prefers to live in and around water, such as swamp or marsh areas. When not in water, due to the fact they are cold blooded, they will spend time raising their body temperatures by basking on rocks.

 

The cottonmouth has a thick body with a blocky head and dark brown cross bands. Sometimes in older snakes, the skin coloring is so dark that it appears to have no visible markings, which can make it trickier to identify.

 

Living in Southeastern US, the cottonmouth can be found most places where water is involved, like ponds, rivers, swamps and lakes. Unlike most other snakes, the cottonmouth tends not to retreat in face of threat, which gives it a reputation for being aggressive. Similar to the rattlesnake, though, it will coil its body and raise its head to be ready to strike.

Copperhead05website

The Copperhead

Its name is given by the light brown/read appearance and copper colored head. The outline of their cross bands tend to be darker, with the inside coloring being a lighter shade of brown. They’re at their widest at the top of their back and narrower down their side, which is the opposite of the cottonmouth’s cross bands.

 

The copperhead has a large range, across northern and southern US, with their largest range being from Alabama to Massachusetts and Illinois. Similar to rattlesnakes, they have a variety of habitats however primarily they like to stay in forested or rocky areas such as mountains, next to streams or canyons. It’s not uncommon to see them in suburban areas hiding under rocks or in old, abandoned buildings.

 

Although copperheads usually hunt alone, they can be found on rocks with other snakes and are seen as a sort of ‘social snake’. It can be hard to spot this snake, which means humans can easily make a mistake by treading too closely.

Precautions to Avoid a Bite

You should now have a fairly good understanding of venomous snake behaviour and their likely habitats. There are also some things you should and shouldn’t do, which will set you in good stead for preventing a bite from occurring. Prevention is much better than having to deal with a bite.

 

  • DON’T turn over logs or place your hands on rocks without checking first – these are perfect places for snakes to hide.
  • Watch your step – be careful if you’re walking in long grass or somewhere you can’t see where you’re placing your feet.
  • Always zip up your tent and keep your boots inside it – snakes love to slither into dark places.
  • DON’T fend off a snake with a stick – if you’re close enough to do that, you’re probably close enough to be bitten!

 

What Should You do if You’re Bitten?

If you do land yourself in the unfortunate position of becoming victim of a venomous bite, make sure to follow the next few steps. It could be the difference between a minor inconvenience to a bigger problem.

 

  • Seek medical assistance straight away and try to describe key features of the snake in as much detail as possible, including what kind of habitat it is in.
  • Lower the wound below your heart – this will stop the poison from spreading as quickly.
  • Minimise the risk of a second bite – often snakes give a dry bite at first and a venomous bite if they need to fend you off again so there’s no point in making the situation worse.
  • Keep your heart rate down and minimise movement – again, this is in an attempt to stop the poison from spreading quickly around your body.
  • If you’re not going to get help for a while, wash the wound with fresh water to prevent infection.

***Please note there has been some controversy as to whether or not you should apply pressure or use a tourniquet for a snake bite.  Please see the following resources and make an informed decision when deciding the best method to treat a snake bite.

“Applying [PBI] with a pressure between 40 and 70 mm Hg in the upper extremity and between 55 and 70 mm Hg in the lower extremity around the entire length of the bitten extremity is an effective and safe way to slow the dissemination of venom by slowing lymph flow (Class IIa, LOE C). For practical purposes pressure is sufficient if the bandage is comfortably tight and snug but allows a finger to be slipped under it. Initially it was theorized that slowing lymphatic flow by external pressure would only benefit victims bitten by snakes producing neurotoxic venom, but the effectiveness of pressure immobilization has also been demonstrated for bites by non-neurotoxic American snakes….”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/04/AR2006100401529.html

http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/snake-bite2.htm

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3550186/

http://www.firstaidanywhere.com/snake-bite-first-aid.html

 

 

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When is it safe to start your garden?

Container Garden

This great tool allows you to check the freeze threat in your area by simply entering your zip code.

It’s especially helpful for those in live in colder climates where it’s harder to tell when winter is actually over and it’s safe to transplant your seedlings outdoors. Upon entering your zip code the site returns a detailed report that provides the first and last freeze days in your specific city, county and region among other useful statistics.

Lookup your first and last freeze/frost dates by zip code

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The Ultimate Sprouting Guide

Sprouting

Download as a pdf

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Why Sprout

What to Sprout

Sprouters

How To Sprout

Resources

Why Sprouts?

Sprouts are one of the most incredibly nutritious, affordable and easy to grow foods we have available. They are one of very few edible plants that can be grown with limited exposure to the sun, which is why sprouting should be an important part your survival strategy.

Sprouts are a living food.

Plant based foods in their original and uncooked form are what we call a “living” or “raw” food. Once any food has been cooked or heated, it loses essential vitamins and nutrients and becomes a dead food. Living foods still contain all the life giving nutrients (enzymes, oxygen, vitamins, nutrients and chlorella) that are absolutely vital to the proper maintenance of the human body.

Sprouting at home can help improve your health and provide fresh food during emergencies. In this booklet we will teach you everything you need to know about preparing, purchasing, growing and harvesting a year round organic sprout garden right in your own kitchen.

Nutritious

Ounce for ounce sprouts are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. According to Sproutpeople.com and Wikipedia sprouts contain:

  • Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K,
  • Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Zinc, Chlorophyll, Phosphorus, Niacin, Magnesium, Pantothenic Acid
  • Trace Elements
  • All amino acids
  • Protein: up to 35%”

Sprouts are alkalizing to the body
Most modern diets are incredibly acidic, which leads to weak bone, fatigue, weight gain and an out of balance digestive system. Eating alkalizing foods like sprouts help to balance the diet and lead to better overall health.

Sprouting helps your digestive system
Sprouts help to neutralize something called phytic acid, an acid in your body that binds with minerals like calcium, iron, copper, zinc and magnesium. When phytic acid is bonded to those nutrients your body is unable to absorb them. Sprouts will allow you to absorb these nutrients better, which help nutrient absorption from any food that you eat.

Sprouts also help to neutralize enzyme inhibitors, allowing healthy enzymes to operate. Adding them to your regular diet can also help with the breakdown of complex carbohydrates and sugars and turn them into glucose molecules making them easier for your body to digest. It has been suggested that sprouts even deactivate a carcinogen found in grains call “aflotoxins”.

*Under certain conditions food borne illnesses can occur during the sprouting process. Although this is somewhat rare (like with raw milk) since sprouts are grown in moist, warm conditions bacterial growth can occur. However most sprouting seeds are tested for bacteria and as long you use uncontaminated seeds and use clean equipment and water and refrigerate your sprouts the risk of bacteria is almost 0.

More on Sprouting Nutrition
http://www.living-foods.com/articles/sprouts.html

Nutritious

Sprouting kits and seeds are very affordable, particularly if you obtain seed from a farm store and buy in bulk. Some stores have 20 lbs of seeds for about 20 dollars; remember that a few tablespoons can fill up an entire jar with sprouts. A small package of live sprouts can cost 5 dollars or more at the grocery store.

Simple
Growing your own sprouts requires very minimal effort to get started. It’s easy, quick and fun. Get the kids involved and make it part of your routine. With a few minutes a day for 3-5 days you have a week or more worth of sprouts. See easy how growing your own sprouts can be.

Eco Friendly
When you sprout, or grow anything yourself, you are helping the environment by reducing the amount of energy and thereby reducing the amount of carbon emissions that are needed to bring food to your table.

Survival

Sprouts are a great survival food. Most stored foods loose nutrients over time; additionally cooked foods lose a great deal of the initial nutritional value. Sprouts are a quick and cheap food that can supplement the rest of your food storage.

Convinced yet? Now let’s explore what we can sprout and how to sprout it.

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Stock Market Crash 2016: This Is The Worst Start To A Year For Stocks Ever

Stock Market Collapse 2016We have never had a year start the way that 2016 has started.  In the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 have both posted their worst four-day starts to a year ever.  Canadian stocks are now down 21 percent since September, and it has been an absolute bloodbath in Europe over the past four days.  Of course the primary catalyst for all of this is what has been going on in China.  There has been an emergency suspension of trading in China two times within the past four days, and nobody is quite certain what is going to happen next.  Eventually this wave of panic selling will settle down, but that won’t mean that this crisis will be over.  In fact, what is coming is going to be much worse than what we have already seen.

On Thursday I was doing a show with some friends, and we were amazed that stocks just seemed to keep falling and falling and falling.  The Dow closed down 392 points, and the NASDAQ got absolutely slammed.  At this point, the Dow and the NASDAQ are both officially in “correction territory”, and some of the talking heads on television are warning that this could be the beginning of a “bear market”.  But of course some of the other “experts” are insisting that this is just a temporary bump in the road.

But what everyone can agree on is that we have never seen a start to a year like this one.  The following comes from CNN

The global market freakout of 2016 just got worse.

The latest scare came on Thursday as China’s stock market crashed 7% overnight and crude oil plummeted to the lowest level in more than 12 years.

The Dow dropped 392 points on Thursday. The S&P 500 fell 2.4%, while the Nasdaq tumbled 3%.

The wave of selling has knocked the Dow down 911 points, or more than 5% so far this year. That’s the worst four-day percentage loss to start a year on record, according to FactSet stats that go back to 1897.

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Unique Survival Gear You May Not Have Heard Of

When it comes to survival gear, there is a lot out there to choose from. Here you’ll find some of the most interesting and unique survival gear we have come across over the last 7 years of prepping for the EOTW.

Adventure Medical Kits SOL Origin Survival Tool

AMK SOL Origin Survival Tool


Zippo Outdoor Line Emergency Fire Starter

Zippo Emergency Fire Starter Kit
Fire Starter Instructions

Don’t forget the
Zippo Tinder Sticks For Emergency Fire Starter
and the Zippo Outdoor Line Handwarmer (Silver, 4 x 2.5 x 0.5)

SteriPEN Handheld Water Purifier

SteriPen

Mountainsmith Dog Pack

mountainsmith dog pack

Kelty TC 3.0 Transit Child Carrier

 

kelty TC 3.0 transit child carrier


 

McNett Tenacious Tape

Tenacious tape

 

Lifesaver Water Bottle

Etón Raptor Solar Survival Tool

Eton Raptor Solar Survival Tool

Campa USA’s All Terrain ATT Unit

CampaUSA.com

Fenix HP20 Flashlight

Fenix HP20 FlashlightFenix flashlight modes

FenixLight.com

Soto Pocket Torch

Goal 0 Sherpa 50 Adventure Kit

Sherpa Adventure Kit

* Store 50 watts of power with the Sherpa 50
* Charge the Sherpa 50 with the Nomad 13.5 solar panel in about 6-10 sun hours
* Sherpa 50 Power Pack is equivalent to 30,000 AA batteries
* Nomad 13.5 is made from powerful monocrystalline solar cells

 

Like this list? Be sure to check out the latest survival gear ratings and reviews from fellow Preppers on our home page at http://www.survival-spot.com.

***This article was contributed by Chrystle Poss a.k.a. “Survival Girl”, Owner of this Survival Blog and devoted Prepper. She has been writing articles on survival and emergency preparedness since 2006. You can find her work on various websites and publications.***

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Christmas Gift Idea – ToolLogic Credit Card Companion


tool logic

Price: $13 – $15

The SOG Specialty Knives & Tools CC1SB Credit Card Companion is a credit card-sized multitool, complete with (9) essential tools that all fit conveniently into the compact case that can easily be taken on the go. Made of black ABS plastic, the holder sports a serrated 5Cr steel blade with satin finish, a combination can and bottle opener, awl, 8x power lens, compass, tweezers, toothpick and ruler. The blade, tweezers, toothpick and combination opener can all be removed completely from the holder for easy use. Razor sharp serrated edges on the 2-inch stainless steel blade allow it to cut through even the toughest materials with ease. The CC1SB has an overall length of 3.375-inches, overall width of 2.125-inches and a weight of 1.4-ounces. The SOG Specialty Knives & Tools CC1SB Credit Card Companion comes with a limited lifetime warranty. Each SOG product is created with the help of company founder and chief engineer, Spencer Frazer. Known for their uncompromising style and performance, these knives and tools showcase innovation, dependability and a unique, futuristic style that has garnered awards and recognition worldwide. SOG products have also won favor among law enforcement, military and industrial customers that rely on their tools to perform flawlessly in the toughest, most adverse conditions.

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Survivalism Goes Mainstream

survivalism

The day starts just like any other.  You wake up, get dressed and make your way into work, fighting the stress of the morning commute just like everyone else trapped in their cars on the gridlocked highway.  You finally arrive at work and settle in to start your day.  All of a sudden you hear a loud rumbling sound. At first you think it might just be a large truck driving by or something else shaking the ground.  But then the sound gets louder and the rumbling becomes more violent.  The lights go out, the shaking continues for a minute and then everything goes silent.  The next thing you know people are running outside in a panic, the shaking has started again but this time it’s a lot worse and you can’t keep your footing.  Books start flying off the shelves in your office as you try to make your way for the door.  “Could it be an earthquake?” you think to yourself.

Photo Courtesy: National Geographic

This is the scenario that has happened in numerous towns across America and people are starting to wake up to the possibility that it actually might just happen to them.  The trend towards emergency preparedness or “survivalism” has really started to take hold in recent years due to a number of natural disasters, mass shootings and other public safety threats that have come to the forefront.  This idea has been perpetuated by television shows such as AMC’s Walking Dead and TLC’s Doomsday Bunkers.  While some think that people with the preparedness or “Prepper” mentality are just paranoid tin-hat wearing fools, others have really latched on to the idea and started to incorporate emergency preparedness tactics into their everyday lives.  Is the recent infatuation with survivalism and emergency preparedness a valid, relevant movement that deserves a further look?  Or does it simply promote a fear mentality for people in an already insecure world.  Is there a need to prepare for the unexpected in today’s world or is the whole idea being oversold?  If history repeats itself as they say it always does, then we can look at examples of disasters throughout recent years to determine if preparing is a wise and necessary venture.  Otherwise this trend would be nothing less than a marketing tactic to push products that will likely never be needed.

What is “Survivalism”?

Wikipedia defines emergency preparedness or “survivalism” as “a movement of individuals or groups (called survivalists or preppers) who are actively preparing for emergencies, including possible disruptions in social or political order, on scales from local to international.  Survivalists often acquire emergency medical and self-defense training, stockpile food and water, prepare to become self-sufficient, and build structures (e.g., a survival retreat or an underground shelter) that may help them survive a catastrophe.”

The possibilities for calamity are seemingly endless in today’s world.  From nuclear threats to economic disaster, it seems as though there is always something to be worried about.  In such an uncertain environment, it would seem to be a wise choice to insure the safety of your family by stocking up on a few extra items that could possibly save your life one day.  We purchase health insurance to protect against a major injury and life insurance to protect our families in the event of an unexpected death so why not buy insurance to protect against the effects of a major disaster?  This move towards individual responsibility for your own well being is long overdue and will likely continue to expand over the next several years.

How Real is the Threat?

During Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, many families were left stranded without adequate food or water supplies.  Some were lucky enough to evacuate to higher ground before the flooding hit but others weren’t so lucky.  Circumstances in the local emergency shelters were less than adequate and sometimes even dangerous.  Only those who had taken responsibility for their own personal safety were able to weather the storm unscathed.  Just a few simple preparations such as extra food, clean water and medical supplies made all the difference when it came down to a real emergency.

Several studies have been conducted by Citizen Corps regarding emergency preparedness trends among governments, businesses and households in America. These surveys found that individuals and households are aware of the seriousness of a natural disaster, and say that they are willing to prepare for one, but relatively few households have acted to mitigate losses and reduce injury. With so much evidence pointing out the importance in being prepared in today’s society, it’s hard to understand why anyone would choose not act to protect themselves and their families in the event of a disaster.

Many people argue against preparedness citing paranoia and unrealistic expectations. This is especially true when you talk about preparing for societal collapse or doomsday. But preparedness extends far beyond zombies and bunkers. Preparedness could be as simple as knowing how to fix your car or having adequate food and lighting for your family if the power went out for days or weeks.

 

It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark

 

People may be able to argue about the various reasons to prepare, however one thing is clear; preparedness is smart, practical and useful. After all “It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark” as Howard Ruff would say. Whether you are preparing for something as extreme as the apocalypse or something as simple as a power outage, being prepared mitigates trouble, saves money and could mean the difference between life and death in an emergency situation.

Someone once asked the founder of the Boy Scouts,  Robert Baden-Powell about the motto of the scouts “Be prepared”.  “Be prepared for what?” they asked. Baden-Powell responded “Why, for any old thing”. Being prepared for life and the chaotic challenges it throws at you and allows you to life happy, stress free and without regret.  If buying a few extra supplies means a happy, stress free life you can count me in!

 

Sources:

http://www.census.gov/newsroom/emergencies/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivalism

 

Recommended Articles:

11 Survival TV Shows Worth Watching

Dancing at Armageddon:  Survivalism and Chaos in Modern Times

The Founding Fathers of Survivalism

 

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How to Make Bread the Easy Way

Check out this great video to learn how to make bread the easy way – by hand! No electricity needed…

How to Make Bread

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