Thoughts on preparing for tomorrow in the Garden State...

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Proper Documentation for your Bug-out

I have to admit I had not thought about documentation until I listened to one of the Kentucky Prepper Podcasts. Sure I had my drivers license and NJ State Firearms ID card secured and ready for transport, but I never thought about Home or vehicle ownership proof. Of course once you start thinking about that then a flood of other information comes to mind. How about a household inventory in the case of a major casatrophe?

Being a prepper means more than surviving an SHTF scenario, it means being ready for all kinds of personal tragedy and events.

A couple years ago my brother in law lost his house to a fire. The resulting arguments with the insurance company lasted years. His advice to me was to capture the entire house on video and lock it away somewhere. So that is waht I will do. A simple afternoon of wandering through the house taping the walls and belongings then storing that tape along with the mortgage documents, deed and property survey ina fireproof, weather proof, and tamper proof safe off site should do the trick.

Next step will be to make sure I have notarized copies of all birth certificates, loan papers, and other proof of ownership in my bug-out bag. I can't believe I had not covered this in the past.

Thank You matthiasj

Monday, September 14, 2009

Personal Survival Kit

Ever go out in the woods alone? Do you have a Bug Out Bag? What would happen if you were away when SHTF? Well here's an idea I picked up on while trying to make sure that all of my camping and hiking gear was good to go for the coming season. A small easy to carry personal survival kit.

I started to talk with others about what should be in such a kit and of course the usual suspects showed up, a knife, a flashlight, a mirror, first aid of some sort and well, you know lots of stuff that made the kit to big. So what to do? Hit the internet of course and what I found was a small kit that will fit into a U.S. Army Ammo Pouch and contains all the materials you will need for a personal emergency, be it lost in the woods, stuck in your car, or trying to trek home after the SHTF and the country has gone in a hand basket.

I can't take credit for inventing this kit, it's just that it impresses me so much I wanted to share it with everyone. The creator of the kit, and the author of it's website bring up a great point when it comes to building your own kit, and that is that it makes you think about each piece and why it's there. This leads to awareness and instead of getting in trouble and saying, "lets see what's in the survival kit that I can use" you say "Hey, I have just the thing to use in my survival kit". The kits contains 29 items and all fits into a tough as nails US Mil spec magazine pouch that can be had on ebay or at surplus stores for 8-14 bucks.

The Contents:
ITEM 1 - Contents, Survival Tips & Guidelines (Printed on Waterproof Paper).
ITEM 2 - Pencil & 3 Blank Sheets Waterproof Paper (notes for self & others).
ITEM 3 - Small Swiss Army Knife.
ITEM 4 - 550 lb.test Para Cord (20 ft.)
ITEM 5 - LOUD whistle!
ITEM 6 - Small Lighter
ITEM 7 - Magnesium / Flintbar Firestarter
ITEM 8 - Mini LED Flashlight
ITEMS 9 and 10 - 30ft Fishing Line and 6 Fish Hooks (15 lb test line)
ITEM 11 - 50ft Fishing Line (Hvy 80 lb test) (snares, shelter making, etc)
ITEM 12 - Mirror (Signaling, grooming)
ITEM 13 - Compass
ITEM 14 - Needles(3) and Heavy Upholstry Thread (10 ft)
ITEM 15 - Safety Pins (3)
ITEM 16 - Survival Blanket
ITEM 17 - Painter's Tarp 9'x7'
ITEM 18 - Water purifying straw
ITEM 19 - Water Purification Tablets (20)
ITEM 20 - 5 feet of duct tape, wrapped around ball point pen
ITEM 21 - Surgical Suture, Sterile
ITEM 22 - anti-diarrhea pills (4), Motrin (6) in a watertight capsule
ITEM 23 - Ziploc Freezer Bags (2)
ITEM 24 - Slingshot kit
ITEM 25 - Small Rectangular Cooking Tin
ITEM 26 - Fresnel Lens
ITEM 27 - Scalpel Blades
ITEM 28 - Fifty Dollar Bill
ITEM 29 - MilSpec Snare Wire (10 ft)

It would be wrong of me to detail the whole kit here since it's not my Idea so please head over to M40's web site and review the contents and the extrordinary details that the author has compiled to help you understand the value of making this kit.


All Text, Graphics, Animations, Video, and Commentary on the M40 website was created by, and is the intellectual property of

As for purchasing a lot of the content for that Kit, I went to County Comm to get most of it, then Ebay for the Ammo Pouch. I also looked around for other things and have listed the locations below. Have fun and enjoy building your own kit !

Duct Tape
Water Purification Straw
Water Purification Tablets

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fall/Winter Garden Preparation

The end of August brings your garden efforts to your table. By now your garden has finished, or is at it's end of producing fresh vegetables for your table. So now what do you do? The answer can be one of two things, or a combination of both. A fall planting of vegetables and the clean up of the garden and planting of the winter cover crop. A fall planting takes planning and there may be some time left here in NJ to get some things in the ground, but you will have to start them by seed as most garden centers around me at least, will not have vegetables started for a fall planting.
The Tennessee Preppers Network has a fantastic post regarding fall planting if your up to the task, so go ahead over and read up to get some ideas and specific types of veggies to grow. Keep in mind the first frost date of your area, below are average dates for NJ Cities:
City Spring Fall
Atlantic City 5/15 9/28
Hammonton 4/25 10/3
Jersey City 4/18 10/19
Millville 4/29 10/10
Newark 4/15 10/26
Newton 5/24 9/19
Shiloh 4/29 10/12
Trenton 4/15 10/23
Source: "Climatography of the U.S. No. 20, Supplement No. 1", 1988, National Climatic Data Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, and

As for this post, I'll limit myself to Winter Cover Crops because that is what I will be starting on this weekend. First some definitions.

Winter Cover Crop

A winter cover crop is planted in late summer or fall to provide soil cover during the winter. Often a legume is chosen for the added benefit of nitrogen fixation. In northern states, the plant selected needs to possess enough cold tolerance to survive hard winters. Hairy vetch and rye are among the few selections that meet this need.

Summer Green Manure Crop

A summer green manure occupies the land for a portion of the summer growing season. These warm-season cover crops can be used to fill a niche in crop rotations, to improve the conditions of poor soils, or to prepare land for a perennial crop. Legumes such as cowpeas, soybeans, annual sweetclover, sesbania, guar, crotalaria, or velvet beans may be grown as summer green manure crops to add nitrogen along with organic matter. Non-legumes such as sorghum-sudangrass, millet, forage sorghum, or buckwheat are grown to provide biomass, smother weeds, and improve soil tilth.

Catch Crop

A catch crop is a cover crop established after harvesting the main crop and is used primarily to reduce nutrient leaching from the soil profile. For example, planting cereal rye following corn harvest helps to scavenge residual nitrogen, thus reducing the possibility of groundwater contamination. In this instance, the rye catch crop also functions as a winter cover crop. Short-term cover crops that fill a niche within a crop rotation are also commonly known as catch crops.

For my use this winter I will be planting first the new crop of Garlic, that will go in the ground mid-September. I have the peas in the ground already as I actually remembered to purchase extra seeds this past spring. But the rest of the garden will get tilled, limed and split between clover and Buckwheat. I alternate which end gets planted with which just to keep in line with rotations.

A cover crop can be seeded as soon as the vegetable crop has reached maturity and has been harvested. In fact, cover crops should be sown while the weather is still warm enough for the seeds to germinate. After that time the seed is apt to just sit dormant and not germinate until the next spring, at a time when you really don't want these cover crops growing in your garden.

There's no special soil preparation for seeding a cover crop. Simply, spade or till the soil after harvest, and sow the cover crop seed. If you have late crops in a part of the garden, then simply sow the cover crop in the space between the rows.

Source: 'Ed Hume, Ed Hume Seeds, Inc. -

So this weekend, I will be planting clover in one half of the garden and buckwheat in the other as well as adding some green compost to the soil. Pay attention to the crops you till in this year since the Tomato blight and other fungus or pest issues that may have arisien over the summer can stay dormant in your soil and show up again next year. Better to just pull the old stuff out and burn it than to have a continuous problem. If you have farm animals, or the stuff they leave behind, winter is a great time to get that mixed in as well. My grandfather was always good about spreading Manure in the fall and I'd swear his garden never had any problem producing more food than the family needed.
New Jersey Preppers Network Est. Jan 17, 2009 All contributed articles owned and protected by their respective authors and protected by their copyright. New Jersey Preppers Network is a trademark protected by American Preppers Network Inc. All rights reserved. No content or articles may be reproduced without explicit written permission.