Archive for Live Free USA News – Page 2


Thoughts from Alaska

I finally got around to seeing Alaska. Simply put: you should not leave this life without seeing this beautiful l and unique place. My limited time and budget allowed me to visit only a few locations, but I would like to share my observations with you. My visit was in late July and covered the south coastal area near Anchorage, the Denali National Park and the interior around Fairbanks. I experienced the cold in the glacial fiords, and the rather mild temperatures of the interior. I was fortunate to talk to members of indigenous tribes, long-time residents and transient residents as well. Anchorage is a pretty typical small city with a skyline and plenty of urban refinements. Fairbanks is a rougher sort of modern frontier town. Remember that they are over 300-miles apart with no other populated areas or road networks for a thousand miles. This is a unique environment! I will not dwell on the glaciers, mountains, boat trips and rail road’s trains. Instead, I will focus on the items that may be of interest to all of you self-reliance and survival types out there.
Less heat means less atmospheric energy and this results in less wind. Thunderstorms, tornadoes and high winds are far less frequent in a perpetually cool environment so wind power is not effective. Solar panels are common. Because of the low angle of the sun, they are set almost vertically. The extra-long summer days provide direct solar energy throughout at least 6-months. Propane seems to be the preferred fuel source in winter, supplemented with wood.
The Japanese current in the ocean modifies the climate in the Anchorage area so that it’s rather chilly in summer (like Seattle) but milder than the interior in winter. In fact, it’s only about 10 degrees colder than Chicago (on average) with fewer days of snow. However, in the fiords of Prince William Sound they are cold all the time and get 70-feet (yes feet) of snow. Everyone in Whittier lives in one building and the kids use a tunnel to get to school.
While the summer is short, the long days accelerate growing so that huge vegetables and grain crops provide most of Alaska’s needs in a few months. Most families get about 80% of their protean from fishing and hunting. Virtually everyone fishes and hunts. Refrigeration is no problem with a six month winter and permafrost just a few feet below. While down in the lower 48-states we recommend that people stock up to be isolated for 4-6 months this is normal procedure for many Alaskans
Out in the suburbs and rural areas water supplies are an issue. If you have a stream it freezes in winter and you need to use an axe and stove to get water. Wells and piped water are going to freeze. If you have a dry cabin (with no stream) you go into town with a tank in the back of your pickup truck and buy water for home use. I observed many trucks with 200 gallon tote-tanks on the roads.
The Athabaskan Indians are the largest tribe in the interior. They retain many of their traditions, but have adopted plenty of modern conveniences as well. Spread out over millions of square miles of tundra and wilderness it is challenging for them to get an education. The children come to the towns in summer and homeschool in winter. I found them to be intelligent and friendly people. As I suspected (and teach) these folks survive the extreme cold by eating calories and staying insulated, not by building big fires. Clothing and food are their primary survival methods, with fire as a temporary and auxiliary method. There is plenty of fur available to the natives, but otter fur is the most effective. There is more fur on one-inch of otter pelt than on an entire German Sheppard. Mink was generally used only for cabin insulation until they found that they could sell it
Alaska is true wilderness. At the end of the one lane gravel road into Denali National Park you can walk on for over 400-miles without encountering a single sign of human existence. A bear (we saw lots of them) can be born and live out its entire life without ever encountering a human being. There are still folks who live in cabins with no trail or roads for access. They get supplies by bush-pilot plans or whistle stop trains.
I was surprised to note that the mix of “normal” cars and 4-whell drive vehicles was about the same as in Indiana. Some people have a summer car and a winter truck. While there were plenty of hanging baskets of flowers, there was not much attention to lawns or fancy flower beds. Not many BBQ grills or patios either. Summer is just too short for such things. They do embrace the winter with all kinds of games and festivals. Since many areas are only accessible by aircraft landing on ice, water or tundra strips. The older more durable airframes are in great demand. In addition to the ubiquitous DC 3s , Pipers and Cessnas’ I observed some 1940s and 50s vintage Lockheed and Boing prop planes.
People who live in Alaska, love Alaska. They are freer and more self-reliant by choice and necessity. While the lower 48 needs Alaska for it gold (still lots up there), oil and salmon, Alaska is pretty much self-sufficient. I felt rather at home there.

Enhanced Optics for Survival

Two Binoculars and a Monoculare

Two Binoculars and a Monoculare

Multiplying Your Survival Choices with Binoculars in Your Pack

One item that is often left out of the survival pack is optical enhancement (binoculars or monocular). Fortunately, today there is a full range of reasonably priced, durable and functional optics. Many years ago the only good binoculars were large, bulks and delicate. On my very limited budget, I had a cheap pair of toy binoculars in my pack. Sure they were junk, but still much better than my one-power eyeballs. I am not an expert on binoculars, but unless you have unlimited fund, buying a pair of Zeiss Terra EDs at $500.00 seems excessive when you can get the same level of magnification and field for less than $100.00 and use the other $400.00 for other survival needs.
I do have a large pair of binoculars at home that I bought in the 1960s. These 20x50 optics are good for home situations (not to mention astronomy), but too bulky for the pack. In compliance with my own “not what you have, but what you have with you” rule I have a small pair of 10x25 binoculars that I carry in my truck (along with my Emergency Response Guidebook) for road situations. I carry a slightly larger pair of 16x32 Bushnell’s that I keep with my pack in their belt pouch. When traveling light I have a small 8x21 monocular. This cheap, lightweight monocular actually is faster to use and spot with than the larger binoculars. I took the Bushnell’s on a recent trip to Alaska. It’s a good idea to see a grizzly bear 16-times sooner than he sees you!
My point is that enhanced optics provides you with an advantage that fully justifies the allocation of funds, weight and space. Knowing what’s around you at a distance gives you choices that you may not have when you get closer. “I didn’t see that coming” can be your last words! For example:

• On the road you can see roadblocks, violence, hazardous materials, washouts and other hazards well before you encounter them. You can chose how to avoid or deal with these issues

• In camp or at home you can identify friend or foe, approaching looters, etc. before you are seen. Then you can prepare to defended or retreat as necessary.

• You can spot safe routs, safe camp sites, useful supplies, game, water sources and other needs many times further out than with the unaided eye.
These are significant advantages! Unless you like to miss opportunities and you like surprises, you need to include enhanced optics as part of your survival equipment.

Binoculars were a must have in Alaska

Binoculars were a must have in Alaska


Survival Shovels

Very small folding shovel for survival packs.

Very small folding shovel for survival packs.



A shovel is one of the items that is often left out of the bug-out-bag, but should be included if at all possible.

When I was a kid just after World War Two every kid in the neighborhood had an “Army Shovel”.  These were childproof and child sized digging tools.  The result was that every vacant lot was a warren of trenches and underground tunnels. Unfortunately a few kids did get killed in cave-ins.

The shovel of the static trench warfare of World War One was the M-1910.  This was just a small “T” handled spade.   World War Two was a more mobile operation requiring the soldier to dig quickly in any kind of soil and then move and dig again.  The M1943 folding shovel was strong enough to dig in frozen and rocky soil and included a pick to chop and pry. It was a bit heavy, but troops were generally trucked for long distances. This was the shovel that somehow came home after the war and fell into the hands of the baby-boomer children.  The very similar M-1951 served through the Korean War and Vietnam.  There were and still are a wide variety of commercially made imitations of this well designed tool.  The tri-folding shovel with its triangular grip handle came into use late in the Vietnam conflict.  It is a much more compact and lightweight tool than the M-1951, but a bit less capable.

Shovels have somewhat limited use in urban areas where an axe or pry bar may be of more help, but they are a must once the brick and concrete are left behind.  Uses include: digging shelters, digging fire pits, burying waste, drainage trenching, building defensive positions, and making animal traps. There may be the need to clear ground and shovel snow for cold weather camps as well.

There are a variety of small “camp shovels” on the market.  Your choice depends on how much weight you can add to your survival pack.  The two main designs are miniaturized version of the old M-1951 and the current tri-fold designs.  If you are really pressed for space and weight, a good quality garden trowel gives you at least some digging capacity.  Of course you may want a bigger shovel in your vehicle or survival cache.


Home Freez-Drying Machine

In Home Freeze Dryer

    At a recent preparedness expo I observed a demonstration of an “in home” freeze drying machine.  Up until now, freeze-drying was been the one food preservation option not available to most preppers.  We can dehydrated, smoke, pickle, cure and can, but we have to pay a high price for freeze-dried foods.  Freeze-dried survival foods are by fare the lightest weight and longest lasting of all survival food supplies, but are also the costliest.  A dollar’s worth of beef stew can cost from $6.00 to $8.00 in a freeze-dried package.   Purchasing a six-month or one-year food stock of freeze-dried is a considerable investment.

The Harvestright ™ freeze-drying machine is about the size of a vey large microwave.  The machine freezes the foods down to around 40 below zero and then vacuums away all of the moisture content.  Finally the food is vacuum-sealed  in oxygen and moisture proof packages.  The manufacturer claims that 97% of the nutritional value of the food is preserved with a shelf life of over 25-years. 

At this point the machine sells for a hefty $4,000.00.  You would save about $5.00 to $6.00 per freeze-dried meal so you would need to do about 600 to 800 meals to pay off the machine.  This may not be cost effective for a person or family, but could be a good business investment or cooperative purchase for a survival/preparedness group.  Cost may come down some, but the need for the refrigeration, dehydration and vacuum systems will probably sustain prices well above $1,000.00 for years to come.

   For more information go to: or call 1-800-923=4673.


Home Freez-Dry machine demo.

Home Freez-Dry machine demo.


At this point we have done a total of seven radio programs for the Preparedness Radio Network at  Of these two have been edited and are available to listen to.  Once we get all of the links we will post themm to a special page, but for now. Here are the links for the ones we have.


First Interview:

Second Interview:


Live Fee USA continues to grow with new "boots on the ground" working chapters in more states.  These are great gruops that serve their members needs for security, preparedness and self-reliance while bringing survival information and education to their communities.

The two newest chapters are:

The Middle Tennessee Live Fee Chapter near Nashville IN. Contact:

The Northern California Live Free Chapter.  Contact:

I have post below a listing of all current Live Free chapters.  This also includes some information on how to start a chapter or affiliate an existing group as a chapter.  Together we can do more and be more secure.




Personally, I would have liked to have just added the link to this article, as it is fairly lengthy. It is, however, very important for each person to read. We never know when this information can or will be pertinent.

I personally encountered a woman in a Diabetic crisis in a gas station last year. Knowing what to do, prevented her from going into s severe reaction and needing an ambulance. Sadly, everyone else just stood around. I was thankful I recognized the signs and was able to help her immediately. My Mother-In-Law is and Best Friend, are both Diabetic, so this information becomes especially important within our family. When this situation occurs, we have minutes to respond, not hours. It must be attended to immediately.

Posted by Prepper Ideas | Posted on 03-31-2014



Modern media have made our world seem small. News about events around the world reaches us in minutes. We learn of hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, industrial accidents and terrorist attacks immediately. TV teaches us
that any disaster brings chaos to people and their environments.

As a person with diabetes, your daily routine involves schedules and planning. An emergency can seriously affect your health. It may be difficult to cope with a disaster when it occurs. You and your family should plan and prepare beforehand even if the event is loss of electricity for a few hours. The first 72 hours following a disaster are the most critical for families. This is the time when you are most likely to be alone. For this reason, it is essential for you and your family to have a disaster plan and kit which should provide for all your family’s basic needs during these first hours.



You should safely store the following medical supplies or have them readily available:

0 Copy of your emergency information and medical list

0 Extra copies of prescriptions

0 Insulin or pills (include all medications that you take daily including over the counter medications)

0 Syringes

0 Alcohol swabs

0 Cotton balls & tissues

0 A meter to measure blood sugar

0 Blood sugar diary

0 Insulin pump supplies (if on insulin pump)

0 Strips for your meter

0 Urine ketone testing strips

0 Lancing device and lancets

0 Quick acting carbohydrate (for example, glucose tablets, orange juice, etc.)

0 Longer lasting carbohydrate sources (for example, cheese and crackers)

0 Glucagon Emergency Kit (if on insulin)

0 Empty hard plastic detergent bottle with cap to dispose used lancets and syringes

Other supplies:

Flashlight with extra batteries Pad/pencil Whistle/noisemaker Matches / candles Extra pair of glasses First-aid kit
Female sanitary supplies Copy of health insurance cards Heavy work gloves Important family documents Tools Water
Food Clothing and bedding

Radio with extra batteries Cell phone

Make sure you have enough supplies for 2 weeks.

These supplies should be checked at least every 2 – 3 months.

Watch for expiration dates.


o Insulin may be stored at room temperature (59° – 86°F) for 28 days.

o Insulin pens in use can be stored at room temperature according to manufacturer’s directions.

o Insulin should not be exposed to excessive light, heat or cold.

o Regular and Lantus insulins should be clear.

o NPH, Lente, Ultralente, 75/25, 50/50, and 70/30 insulins should be uniformly cloudy before rotating.

o Insulin that clumps or sticks to the sides of the bottle should not be used.

o Although reuse of your insulin syringes is not generally recommended, in life and death situations, you have to alter this policy. Do not share your insulin syringes with other people.


  • Stress can cause a rise in your blood sugar.
  • Erratic mealtimes can cause changes in your blood sugar.
  • Excessive work to repair damage caused by the disaster (without stopping for snacks) can lower your blood sugar.
  • Excessive exercise when your blood sugar is over 250mg can cause your blood sugar to go higher.
  • Wear protective clothing and sturdy shoes.
  • Check your feet daily for an irritation, infection, open sores or blisters. Disaster debris can increase your risk for injury. Heat, cold, excessive dampness and inability to change footwear can lead to infection, especially if your blood sugar is high. Never go without shoes.



• Stay indoors in air-conditioned or fan cooled comfort.

• Avoid exercising outside.

• Wear light colored cotton clothing.

• Remain well hydrated (water, diet drinks).

• Avoid salt tablets unless prescribed by your physician.

• Seek emergency treatment if you feel: Fatigue, weakness, abdominal cramps Decreased urination, fever, confusion.

You should wear diabetes identification



1 large box unopened crackers (saltines)

1 jar peanut butter

1 small box powdered milk (use within 6 months)

1 gallon or more of water per day per person for at least one week

2 6-pack packages cheese and crackers or 1 jar soft cheese

1 pkg. dry, unsweetened cereal

6 cans regular soda

6 cans diet soda

6-pack canned orange or apple juice

6 pack parmalat milk

6 cans “lite” or water packed fruit

1 spoon, fork and knife per person

Disposable cups

4 packages of glucose tablets or small hard candies for low blood sugar

1 can tuna, salmon, chicken, nuts per person

These supplies should be checked and replaced yearly.


1. Food and water supply may be limited and/or contaminated. Do not eat food you think may be contaminated. It may be necessary to boil water for 10 minutes before use.
2. Drink plenty of water.
3. Maintain your meal plan to the best of your ability. Your plan should include a variety of meat/meat substitutes (i.e., peanut butter, dried beans, eggs), milk/milk products, fruits, vegetables, cereal, grains.
4. Limit sugar/sugar-containing foods. These foods include:

• Jellies, jams, molasses

• Honey

• Syrups (fruits canned in sugar syrup, pancake syrup)

• Tonic (dietetic tonics with less than one calorie per ounce are allowed)

• Frosted cake

• Presweetened or sugar-coated cereals

• Pie, pastry, Danish pastry, doughnuts

• Chocolate

• Custards, pudding, sherbet, ice cream

• Gelatin

• Soda

• Cookies, brownies

5. Monitor your blood sugars frequently and record in diary.



6. When reading labels, limit products with these sugar-containing ingredients:

• Sugar

• Corn syrup

• Dextrose

• Sucrose

• Corn sweeteners

• Honey

• Molasses

• Brown sugar

• Fruit syrup

7. Avoid greasy, fried foods.
8. Try to eat meals and snacks at the same time every day. Avoid periods of hunger and overindulgence. The quantity and frequency of your food intake should remain similar day-to-day depending upon your activity level.
9. Increase food and water intake during periods of increased exertion or physical activity by either eating between-meal snacks before activity or by eating additional food with meals.
10. Carry a fast source of sugar with you at all times:

• 3 glucose tablets

• 1 small box of raisins

• 6-7 small hard sugar candies


1. Always take your insulin or pills on time or close to it. Never omit your insulin unless your doctor has told you otherwise. Insulin is still good if there is no refrigeration. A used or unused bottle of insulin may be kept at room temperature (59° - 86°F) for 28 days. Discard unrefrigerated insulin after 28 days.
2. Keep an extra bottle of each type of insulin you use on hand at all times.
3. Eat within 15 min. or no later than ½ hour after taking your insulin
(depending on insulin type) or diabetes medicine. Try to eat on time.
4. Never skip a meal. If you cannot eat solid food because of nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea, sip regular coke, eat hard candies, fruit or regular soft drinks instead of following your usual meal plan.

5. Most Important:

• Do not let yourself get dehydrated.

• Drink plenty of liquids.

• In between meal times, sip diet soda.

(This will not replace food, but can help you be hydrated.)

6. Rest.

7. Check your blood sugar. Notify your doctor if your blood sugar average is over 240mg or if you are ill for 2 days.

8. Test your urine for ketones when:

• Your blood sugar average is over 240mg.

• You are vomiting

• You have symptoms of high blood sugar (increased thirst or hunger than usual, quick weight loss, increased urination, very tired, stomach pain, breathing fast or fruity breath smell).


9. Call your doctor if your ketone test is moderate or high and/or if you have symptoms of high blood sugar (as listed in number 8). You may need more than your usual amount of insulin on a sick day. Your doctor can guide you in this. If you need medical assistance / or are out of all medications, food, and cannot reach your doctor, immediately:

• Go to the nearest hospital; or

• Contact the police; or

• Contact the American Red Cross; or

• Go to an Emergency Medical Center

30 Uses For Wood Ashes


(Ashes from hard wood trees works best, and don't use ashes from treated wood)

  1. Make lye water out of ash. You can boil 2-3 spoons of ash (clean white/grey fluffy ash) with water and then filter it with a coffee filter. Lye water is a great cleaning agent and sanitizer for clothes, floors, windows, silverware, plates, and even rust in marble.You can also make lye by adding the fluffy white ash in a cheesecloth.  In a bucket with holes on its base, you add the cheesecloth and ash, and hang it somewhere high. Add the water. Underneath, place another clean bucket to collect the lye. The lye has a brownish color, so you remove the bucket when clean water starts to sip through. Test the lye by adding a fresh egg in the liquid. If the egg floats, the lye is good to go, if not, repeat the process.-For use in soap making.

    2. A paste made out of ash and water, can remove stains from furniture.

    3. If we want to remove a stain from clothes the moment they happen, we add a bit of ash and after about five minutes, we rub it with the crumb of a bread (not the crust, the soft white bit).

    4. Ash is a great odor repellent, just add a bit over the area that smells. eg, kitty litter.

    5. You can remove odors from a fridge, by adding a plate of charcoal ash inside. Change the charcoal over, until the smell is gone.

    6. You can use it to brush your teeth. (recipe here)

    7. You can wash your hair with lye soap  and rinse with vinegar. This is especially good for oily hair.

    8. Lye is used in many foods and sweets. Like grape must pudding (moustalevria),  honey cookies (melomakarona), and in bread. It makes bread fluffy and prevents it from crumbling. Lye is also good for the cleansing of the intestines.

    9. Ash was used for many years in farming. It recycles the natural nutrients back into the earth. It can be used as compost but does not include Nitrogen. It aids in the increase of the earths PH level which in return, aids in the growth of the plants. (But because of the ongoing increase of the PH level, not all veg and fruit thrive from it. eg potatoes).

    10. It strengthens plants that love calcium, such as tomatoes, vineyards, beans, spinach, peas, avocados, garlic etc. Even rose bushes. You can add 1/4 cup ash before planting.

    11. One spoon ash per 1000L of water, strengthens underwater plants.

    12.It prevents plants from frost in winter, if you add a layer of ash over them.

    13. Animals hate ash. You can rid your garden of insects and various parasites, such as slugs and snails.

    14. You can rid yourself of ants. If you throw some ash in their colony, they will be forced to relocate, as they can’t move the ash.

    15. Spread some ash in the corners of the house, or dark spots of your cellar etc. For as long as there is ash, no mice/rats, cockroaches or insects approach.

    16. It repels lice, ticks and fleas off animals. You make a thick paste of ash and vinegar and spread over the fur. It’s messy, but it works.

    17.  It repels clothes moths. You can add some ash on your stored clothes, and simply shake it off when you need to use them. You can leave them for years this way, and nothing will happen to them.

    18.  Lye is used to make soap (potassium hydroxide). It’s a bit of a lengthy process, but its worth it.

    19. Ash is used for “immortal eggs”. In a recipe used in the Middle East, they preserve eggs in a mix of clay, ash, salt, lime and rice rind for many months.

    20. Sodium Carbonate, can be made out of ash. It is known to be an excellent product, used as household cleaner. Boil water and ash, until it evaporates. The remaining substance is your Sodium Carbonate (Soda).

    21. Ash contains salt, and can therefore melt ice.

    22. The charcoal collected within the ash, can be used as a filter.

    23. You can use charcoal to filter blurry wine.

    24. You can use charcoal to filter water before drinking.

    25. Charcoal in metal containers can be used to remove humidity in cellars, cupboards and under sinks.

    26. You can put a fire out quickly by throwing ash over it.

    27. In the older days, they used to preserve seeds in large clay containers, by adding a thick layer of ash over them. This prevented insects from destroying their produce.

    28. It can be used in wounds, to kill bacteria and aid in faster healing. Melting hand made soap in lye water and rinsing a wound with it without rinsing over it with clean water.

    29. No fridge? No worries! You can preserve your fruits and vegetables for many days, even years, by digging a hole in the ground and filling it with ash. Add your veg and fruit, ensuring enough space between them, so that they do not touch each other, or the muddy ground. Seal the hole with a piece of wood, and you let it be.

    30. In the olden days, to preserve the fresh rennet, they added it in a bone animal horn, filled it with ash, sealed it with mud and hanged it from a tree. This ensured the rennet lasted for many many years.


Thanks go to Hank (From APN) who is the Author of this article.


Preparing and Sharing: Developing a Bartering Surplus

I think as Americans, we are blessed in being able to afford to buy items in bulk. But, at the same time I think we should learn about budgeting what we consume, along with some alternatives.

Are you willing or prepared to develop a ‘bartering surplus’ within the use of your everyday shopping habits?

I recently read an article on APN News about Sari-Sari stores. It occurred to me that we have the ability to develop similar ‘markets’ through our own everyday purchases. Sari-Sari’s are small community convenience stores (in a word) often found in the villages throughout the Philippines.

Preppers here in the U.S. often talk about purchasing food and supplies in bulk from warehouse stores like Costco, Sam’s Club, etc..  That's actually not a bad idea, but ONLY if you are disciplined enough to plan your meals and usage of your supplies, and not consuming any more than you actually need.

This stresses the importance of establishing thoughtful, regular food planning and meal preparations based on what we are accustomed to eating or would normally consume. Thus, allowing us that extra supply for emergency storage.

Well, what if we set aside a portion of what we purchase, and package it into smaller individual sizes? This could afford us the opportunity to maintain our own personal emergency storage, and begin to build a bartering system.

For example, a 25lb bag of rice is easy to come by today. But, in the future, who knows? Keeping 5lb for our regular use seems adequate. Most people don’t eat rice at every day, and since its volume doubles when cooked we really don’t tend to need very much dried rice for a single meal. By storing 10# for our coffer, we still have 10# left available to seal/store/package, into much smaller units. A 1/2 lb package (One Cup), doubles when cooked, into 2 Cups. Each of those smaller units now becomes a valuable bartering tool. We now have 20 smaller units available to work with.

Think beyond food items, as well. There are many, many items we use daily that can be separated and stored individually.

  • Laundry detergent (Tide has individual 1”x1” packets, in sets of 3 for about $1, or so)
  • Lighters
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Bouillon cubes
  • Diapers
  • Toilet paper
  • Flour
  • Bars of soap
  • First aid items, many come in individual use packs (peroxide, alcohol, Neosporin etc.),
  • Spices (salt and pepper packages, like from fast food places)
  • I have seen on, multitudes of food items available in restaurant packaging intended for individual use (also good for less waste, when opened). Many are very inexpensive and worth the thought when considering reducing the load of our Go Bags.
  • Cigarettes, split up the pack and seal them.
  • (Some say small bottles of alcohol… Sprits – I don’t care for this idea but, to each, his own).

This list can go on-and-on. I believe this mode of thinking may take us one step beyond where we currently are. There may be something that someone needs, and vice-verse.

I personally draw the line at Ammo… You are not getting, what you can use against me!!

During the recent Tornadoes that effected the Coal City region, this is exactly what we did. In providing smaller package items for the families that needed supplies, they were not burdened with how to store them (for example 25# of rice).

Would I recommend “Hanging A Shingle”, NO! However, there are families of preppers developing that will be relying on one another for their survival. This can become a life saving or longevity tool for all of us, within the prepping communities.

This also leads into groups collectively making purchases at Bulk stores and splitting purchases amongst one another, both, the items and their costs. This would be another good way to develop our emergency supplies.

I hope this gives rise to a newer way of thinking for some, as, we do not know what the future holds for us. Each person’s idea of  SHTF means something different, and perhaps this will give rise to ‘thinking outside the box”.

-Lisa Pappas  -  April 2, 2014

7 Plants That Repel Insects


7 Plants That Repel Insects

 Springtime is just around the corner and many of us are beginning to put our garden/yard plans together.

A friend shared an article with me that I just had to pass on. I personally don’t like using chemical repellants in/on/or near the food I plan to eat. So why not use beneficial plants to do some of the hard work for us?

 The warmer months are on their way, and what does that mean? Bugs! If you are not into using chemicals to repel bugs, read on for some great plants that are natural insect repellents!

Think about it: repelling insects naturally, and sprucing up your space with beautiful plants- what could be better?

 You will find MANY more beneficial articles, such as this at the following website. Original article published from this website, with minor additions and corrections by myself. You will find the useful link at the bottom of this article


Not only is it fragrant and beautiful, but mint has an added benefit: ants and mice absolutely hate it! Plant a few sprigs of mint around your house, near your entryways, to keep those pests out of the way. Added bonus: you will have fresh, home grown mint to  add to those summer recipes and drinks! ( )


Basil is fragrant and is used in many different recipes, but also for medicinal purposes as well! Place some potted basil plants in areas where flies are common to help deter them. Basil is great to place near your outdoor grill or picnic tables, where flies like to gather. Don’t forget that basil needs to be watered at the roots and not the leaves.

bay-leafBay Leaves

The bitter plant is often used for its fragrance in cooking, but, bugs hate the scent. You can use bay leaves to repel flies, moths, mice, earwigs and roaches. It doesn’t even matter if you don’t have fresh bay leaf plants, you can use dried bay leaves to get the same results!  (Also very handy when used completely dried for your long-term storage grains and flours!)


Yes, that catnip, the same greenery that makes your kitten go crazy, can repel bugs as well! Talk about a multi-tasker! Some studies even show that catnip might be more effective at repelling insects than DEET (the powerful ingredient commonly found in insect repellents). You can take a few leaves of catnip, roll them around and press them onto the skin, and viola! Bugs won’t want to be anywhere near!


One of the “oldest tricks in the book” when it comes to insect repelling plants, citronella is famous for making bugs hate it! Citronella is used in all sort of candles, torches, and insect repellents, but using the “real deal” a/k/a the live plant is much more effective. Citronella is a large clumping grass that looks great in flower beds and patio planters. Try to place your citronella plants near places where people gather for the best effect.

Lemon BalmLemon Balm

Lemon balm is a plant that is in the mint family, and produces a strong lemony odor that many pests hate. You can use lemon balm for a plethora of medical reasons, from cold sores to digestive issues. Plant lemon balm near your entrance ways or patios, and you can also crush it up and rub it onto your skin for an immediate effect. (I personally recommend keeping this in a container. It is very prolific and it will not take much time to take over any ground space it is given!)


Everyone loves lavender for its beautiful purple flowers and calm, relaxing scent. However, bugs don’t like it so much! Keep lavender growing in your patio planters or garden to keep the bugs away. You can also hang dried lavender in your closet, and you will never have to worry about moths eating your clothes!

As you can see, there are many different plants that repel insects. Whether you are looking to repel insects in your garden, on your patio, or even inside your home, there are plenty of choices out there. It is easy to repel pests naturally without using any chemicals! I have found that many of these plants are quite useful in flower boxes and are being used this year around my home entry!