Monthly Archives: August 2012

First Aid Supplies

First aid supplies are essential to any prepper’s stocks. The majority of preppers I know have lots of guns, ammo, food and water but barely any medical supplies. It is essential that you know the basics of first aid so you can take care of yourself and your family should something happen. During an emergency, hospitals are generally flooded with patients in varying degrees of illness and injury. It could take hours before you see a doctor and in the case of a pandemic scenario, one of the most likely places to pick up the disease is, of course, the place where all the sick people are hanging out (but if you truly need medical attention, do not hesitate to get it!)

First, I always recommend that everyone take a first aid and CPR course. These courses are generally offered by the Red Cross and other various organizations for very little money and sometimes free. They usually last a day or two and are worth every penny.

Store bought first aid kits are a great start but I like to customize mine with products I’m familiar with using, as well as rounding out some things I find missing. What you put in your kit of course depends on your medical knowledge.

Next, every household should have a bare minimum first aid kit including the following:


alcohol swabs


band aids


non-latex gloves



safety pins

thermal blanket (for treating shock)

triangle bandage (or large scrap of fabric)

hand sanitizer

maxi pads (can be used as a bandage)

needles and thread (fishing line or dental floss can be used in a pinch for stitches but please make sure your supplies are sterile)

basic medications (including ibuprofen, acetaminophen, anti-diarrheal, anti-nauseant, anti-emetic, etc)

This is just a basic idea of some of the things you should have around the house. Obviously, there is a lot more you can (and probably should) have but having the training to use these things can be a lot more important than the actual supplies. If you know how to treat the injuries, you can improvise the supplies.

I highly recommend having a First Aid manual on hand (paper copy), here’s an example of one I have at home:


Using the Tomato Harvest: Salsa!

Every year, I make my own salsa and can it. Every year I make more than the previous year and I still haven’t managed to be able to make it last over the winter. My vegetables this year in the garden did terribly, so when I saw that the grocery store had 50 lbs of tomatoes on for $10, I jumped all over that chance.

Here’s my favorite salsa recipe. I got it originally from my friend Judy (may she rest in peace) and altered it because she doesn’t add nearly enough heat for my family.


8 cups of Roma tomatoes (peeled and chopped)

4 cups onions, chopped

4 cups sweet peppers, chopped

1/4 cup vinegar

5 cloves garlic (or to taste)

Jalepeno pepper or to taste (I usually add a lot of jalepenos and Thai chilies but we like it really spicy)

1/4 to 1/2 tsp oregano (to taste)

1/2 tsp coriander

2-3 tbsp salt

Cook until veggies are done then add a small can of tomato paste. Cook for another
5-10 minutes then put into sterilized jars. Place your filled jars in a water bath canner and process for 20 minutes.

Home canned foods can last a long time but are usually best if consumed within a year to 18 months of canning.

Sick Boxes

Its coming up to back to school time and you know what that means. People are going to be sharing their coughs, colds and flus. Even if you don’t have kids, chances are one of your friends does, or the person behind you in line at the grocery store. The coming of fall just brings out all the fun illnesses that we get to deal with every year.

In our house, we like to be prepared for that sort of thing so we have what we call “sick boxes”. A sick box is just a kit of the typical things that you need while you are sick, all in one place, ready for the next time someone is sick without having to run to the drug store while feeling (and looking) miserable.

A typical sick box might include:

chicken soup


cough candies

cough syrup



soda crackers

ginger ale



acetaminophen or ibuprofen

vitamin c/Echinacea or other herbal supplements


And whatever else helps you feel better without having to go get it.

A great advantage to doing up a couple sick boxes is that you can get all the supplies while they are on sale or with coupons and don’t have to pay full price or run out at 3 am when your kids are suddenly sick.


Preserving Corn (While We Can Afford To)

Thanks to the weather conditions all over North America, crops are failing at alarming rates, especially corn. The price of corn has sky rocketed and I can only assume will continue to do so. Corn is of course animal feed but it is also a major ingredient in just about everything we buy today. I went to the farmers market and was asked to buy corn for $5 a dozen (this of course is locally grown but not organic). Later that same week, corn was on sale at the grocery store for $2 for 10 cobs. I grabbed as much of the $2 corn as I could (it also happened to be local).

You can freeze a cob of corn as is. No prep. Don’t shuck it or cook it, just throw it in the freezer (although I usually look for bugs and give it a rinse first). To cook your frozen cobs of corn, you can cook them with the husks on (takes a bit longer) or you can husk them while frozen and just throw the frozen corn in the boiling water just like you would if it was raw. The corn is best if used before 8-12 months in the freezer.

Corn can be canned using a pressure canner. Because it is a low acid food, you cannot properly can corn in a water bath canner. Make sure you use an USDA approved corn canning recipe.

The easiest and most space effective way for me to preserve corn is of course my ever faithful dehydrator (which you can purchase here). To do this, you can cook your corn as if you were going to eat it. Once it is cool to the touch, slice the corn off the cob. Break up the little pieces of corn and spread it out on your dehydrator trays. It takes around 6 hours (or more depending on the humidity in your area) for the corn to dry. I find frozen bagged niblets of corn dehydrate a lot faster (and sometimes nicer) than your own cobs. Once it is dehydrated, you can enjoy it as is for a snack. It is sweet and crunchy (make sure you drink lots of water). You can also grind it into corn meal or corn flour. You can add it, as is, to soup or stews.

I’m personally going to do as much as I can. There has been rumor of the cost of corn going up to $9 a bushel in some areas.

Make sure to store your dehydrated corn in a cool, dry area in a airtight container.

10 cobs of corn fit into one standard sandwich bag when dehydrated

Dehydrating Citrus – and Why It’s Important

Vitamin C is a very important nutrient that seems to be lacking in a lot of survival foods. Getting enough vitamin C is vital in an emergency situation. It is necessary for collagen synthesis (collagen is what heals your wounds, and knits the skin back together), without it your new wounds may not heal properly and older cuts may start to fall apart.

Enough vitamin C can cut back on how often you get colds and flus and cut back on how much they affect you. It can also delay the onset of certain neurological disorders such as Alzheimers. It is essential for drug metabolism, helping medications to reach their full potential in your system.

Sources of vitamin C include: broccoli, sweet bell peppers, sprouts, kale, spinach, tomatoes, strawberries and of course citrus fruits. Citrus can be found easily and cheaply by almost everyone and it is so simple to dehydrate.

Pick nice, firm just ripened fruits. Cut into thin wheels (1/4″) and lay on your dehydrator trays. Using a temperature controlled dehydrator, set it to 125 F. It takes about 6-8 hours depending on the humidity in your area, it could also take more. (Here’s my dehydrator: )

To use your citrus, you can place it in glasses of water or juice to add flavor or you can powder the inner parts to make juice mix. Make sure to store your fruit in airtight containers in a cool dry environment.

dehydrated oranges