All posts by Tom

Survival Sunday – 5/17/2015

Survival Sunday

I would like to start this week off by highlighting a great cause that fellow blogger Tammy Trayer and her family are supporting, CampPatriot.org. Tammy along with her husband and son will be doing a 5K Ruck March with 100lb packs on July 4th in an effort to try and raise $25,000 to support wounded and disabled veterans. You can read about the Trayer’s challenge here. You can also contribute to their efforts on their gofundme page.

If you find yourself in need of some super affordable prepping supplies, Black River Outpost is having their Sunshine Sale for the month of May. Some of the great items that are marked down include: packs, storage food, paracord, tools, and even more paracord! Don’t miss out.

My week has not been overly exciting. I am just trying to stay on pace with life and if you haven’t noticed, the area that has suffered the most is this site. To be completely honest, I would rather have my site stats, etc. here on the blog suffer than to negatively impact my family or the ability to provide for them.

Survival

After being on hiatus for the last few weeks, here is what I found around the net this week:

The Video Carjackers Don’t Want You To See – An interesting collection of some of the indicators that carjackers look for when selecting a victim and what you can do to make sure that you portray  the look that will keep you from joining the pool of victims.

The Dos And Don’ts Of Preparing With Children – This is pretty self explanatory but the content is great. Prepping with children can be a challenge and Dale outlines some great tips on how to take this challenge head on.

The next three articles are from retired U.S. Army Green Beret, Jeremiah Johnson and cover even more ground than J.J. has covered in his previous installments on SHTFplan.com:

A Green Beret’s Guide To Basics and Priorities: Rucksacks, Vehicles and Specialty Gear

A Green Beret’s Guide to EMP: Practical Steps to Prepare for a “Lights Out” Scenario (Part 1)

Special Request Article: A Green Beret’s Guide To Relocation and Sustainability: “It Will Take Some Serious Planning”

That’s it for me this week. I hope that you all have had a great week and keep getting ready for tough times. If you found something that you would like to share with the group or have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at tom@thepreparedninja.com.

Come back next week for another edition of Survival Sunday.

If you appreciate the content here on The Prepared Ninja, I would love it if you left a comment or shared a post with your friends or loved ones! We are all in this together after all, right? With that being said, it does cost me money every month to keep The Prepared Ninja up and running. If the site does help you and you would like to help support it, you can provide monetary support to help keep things going via PayPal here. Thank you!

Valley Food Storage Review

Valley Food Storage Review

I am honestly not even sure how many food storage companies are selling long term food storage products right now. It seems like there is another company that pops up every month. They always claim to have the best tasting, longest lasting survival food on the market. Because of the fact that there are so many food storage brands on the market, I was somewhat hesitant when I was contacted by Valley Food Storage to see about sending me a sample of their product.

Valley Food Storage

A few days after I agreed to try the product, I received a package in the mail that contained a single packet of Valley Food Storage’s Pasta Primavera entree. I can’t say for sure that I know what makes something primavera or not, but I know that I was optimistic. First of all…primavera sounds fancy and most of all, before I agreed to have a sample sent to my house, I did a little snooping around at some of my fellow blogger’s websites that had reviewed Valley Food Storage products to read their thoughts and there was overwhelming feedback that Valley Food Storage was the real deal.

I decided that the best way to give it a try was to make the pasta dish for dinner one night. My wife didn’t mind because she didn’t have to cook. The preparation was very simple and the instructions are so easy that my 9 year old son helped me make it without issue. I added the butter that was suggested by Valley Food Storage in the directions but I don’t think that it really made too much of a difference. As it cooked, I also discovered that I needed to cook the pasta for about ten minutes longer on my stove to get the dish to the consistency that I wanted it to be. This is not uncommon on our stove though. For some reason, things seem to take a little longer to cook on our stove. The extra cooking time didn’t make the noodles mushy or anything so we came out just fine in the end.

Valley Food Storage

(A funny note about the pictures above...my boys kept giving me a hard time for taking pictures of our food. They told me that if I wanted to tell people what I thought that I should just tell them and not worry about taking pictures.)

Once the pasta was to the consistency that I wanted, I served it up. Surprisingly, the final number of servings matched up accurately to the number listed on the package. This is how things should be but I often see food packaging that says that it contains “X” number of servings and what actually ends up happening is that the realistic number of servings is less. I chose to finish mine off with a little parmesan cheese but I am not sure that really changed the flavor much. If anything, it probably changed the texture a little.

So…when we dug in, the findings were positive. The flavor was good. Actually, the flavor was surprisingly good. I was not alone in my opinion either. All three of my boys had great things to say about the pasta but what really sealed the deal was the fact that my wife not only tried it, she ate all of hers. For anyone who knows my wife, you know that food storage types of food are not something that she would ordinarily even smell, let alone taste. This really let me know that the Valley Food Storage entrees were a truly great option and would be something that I could stock in my preps.

Another great thing about Valley Food Storage is the fact that they have so many options when it comes to their food choices. Valley Food Storage’s inventory includes eight breakfast options, seventeen lunch and dinner choices, and three different sides (including brownies!). Purchase options include the choice of purchasing items by the pouch, by the case, in a grab and go bucket, or in monthly increments.  On top of everything else, there are dairy free and gluten free options available, everything is made in the United States, and the food can be stored for up to 25 years!

The only thing that I can say that is even remotely negative is the fact that I thought the pasta primavera was a little on the salty side. Even so, all five of us completely finished off our portion. I don’t hesitate (even a little bit) to recommend Valley Food Storage products to you. I don’t think that you will be disappointed at all. My future plans definitely include ordering some of the other entrees to give a try. I personally have my eye on the pasta alfredo, mac and cheese, Irish pub cheddar potato soup, chili mac, and the baked potato soup. Valley Food Storage is also graciously willing to send you a free sample, all you have to do is pay the shipping.

If you choose to try Valley Food Storage foods, let me know what your thoughts are.

Survival Sunday – 4/26/2015

Survival Sunday

It is hard for me to believe that it is the last Sunday of April already! The year really is flying by. This week was pretty busy for me (as it always seems to be). We had some VIP’s visit at work and that always requires extra straightening and cleaning on top of the need to talk about all the great things we are doing. After all, no one wants to talk about what we are not doing well.

Yesterday I had a big health scare. I started to not feel real great so I sat down; but then I felt like I was going to pass out. I had sweat pouring out from every square inch of skin I have and that was followed by losing the ability to move my arms or legs. I honestly thought I was having a seizure because of the way that my hands and feet were curling up. I happen to know that was not likely though because typical seizure activity happens in a way that the person experiencing it does not know what is happening.

As all of this was happening, I was trying to tell my wife what was going on but she said I was slurring my speech really bad. She told me later that she thought I was having a stroke. This was scary for both of us. After a couple of minutes of not being able to move (including my wife forcibly trying to straighten my limbs), she called an ambulance. I did not know what else to do. As it turns out, by the time the ambulance got there I was able to move a little bit and with the help of my wife I was now laying on the bed. They checked me out and said that I could either go by ambulance or car to the hospital. I opted to have my wife drive me. The doctor told me that it was presyncopal syndrome that led to hyperventilation which caused such an extreme reaction in my body that I could not move.

Needless to say, this was a huge scare for my whole family. I have never been in a situation like that and have never had to have anyone call an ambulance for me. Hopefully it doesn’t happen again. With all that being said, value what you have and make the best of your time…we never know when our number might come up.

Here are my official findings for this week:

A Green Beret’s Guide To Planning Your Personal Posture: “First Things First: Always Be Armed” – Another installment in the “Green Beret” series that has been running over on SHTFplan.com. This installment is about the items that you carry with you every day and important considerations when putting this kit together.

A Green Beret’s Guide To Action Bags: “Your Go-To-Kit When You Have To Pop Smoke & Depart In a Rapid Manner” – Continuing from the last installment, this article covers your EDC bag in an effort to be prepared for the day-to-day stuff that life may throw at you.

Another American Water Emergency: Utah Municipal Water Supply Tainted by Chemical Spill – Just one more real event that has happened that provides legitimate reason to have your basic preparations in place and a few tips about making sure you have the water you need to survive.

8 Steps To Surviving A Job Loss – Personal disasters, like a job loss, are some of the most common disasters that you may encounter in your life. Here are 8 practical, and implementable, steps that can be taken to overcome a job loss.

Create A Secure Hiding Place For Electronic Documents – This is an awesome step-by-step guide on how to securely store documents and files on a USB flash drive, a great way to keep important documents on you and without taking up any space at all.

24 Lost Survival Tips From 100 Years Ago (With Illustrations) – Some of these survival hacks are great to have in your back pocket just in case the need arises. It might even be worth adding a couple of them to your survival binder in hard copy.

6 Cheap DIY Greenhouse Designs Inspired By Traditional Shelters – This is a great resource for those of you who may want a greenhouse but do not want to spend hundreds of dollars to get a cheaply made greenhouse kit that really is not all that sturdy.

Hydration For The Apocalypse: How To Store Water For Long-Term Emergencies – Water is vital for survival and it is certainly easier to store it now, than look for it later. This article from The Art of Manliness covers some great strategies for keeping water on hand for an emergency. If nothing else, check out the WaterBOB.

Resource Of The Week: Free Digital Editions Of GUNS Magazine, American Handgunner, Shooting Industry, And American COP

Check out the FREE searchable, downloadable, and printable topographic maps that are available from AnyplaceAmerica.com

That’s it for me this week. I hope that you all have had a great week and keep getting ready for tough times. If you found something that you would like to share with the group or have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at tom@thepreparedninja.com.

Come back next week for another edition of Survival Sunday.

If you appreciate the content here on The Prepared Ninja, I would love it if you left a comment or shared a post with your friends or loved ones! We are all in this together after all, right? With that being said, it does cost me money every month to keep The Prepared Ninja up and running. If the site does help you and you would like to help support it, you can provide monetary support to help keep things going via PayPal here. Thank you!

Survival Sunday – 4/19/2015

Survival Sunday

Well, hopefully everyone got their taxes filed. Uncle Sam wants you to be punctual so that he can get your money from you. If you are lucky, the government will actually return some of the money you lent them (without any interest of course). We have to keep the welfare machine going though, and that requires taxes.

In case you are looking for even more reason to be prepared for the unknown, it seems as though the Obama administration is willing to forget everything that has ever happened in the world and accommodate the radical Islamist regime in Iran. Here is a country that already viewed Obama’s presidency as so weak that they ramped up their nuclear program and Obama wants to make a deal with them that will result in significant economic benefit to Iran, seemingly without any consequence.

As I stumbled around the net this week, here is what I found:

University Detains Veteran Who Stopped Flag Desecration – We have gone too far in this country to protect those who are unwilling to even understand how they got the rights they did. All I have to say is send those protestors to Iraq or Afghanistan for a week so that they can watch their friends die at the hands of radicals and see what they think. I especially like how they tried to play the race card.

Dear Farmers: U.S. is Now Importing Organic Corn to Satisfy Consumer Demand – It wasn’t bad enough that we only grow corn for fuel and animal feed, now we have to import even more corn. What if we just grew our own food and could actually support ourselves? It’s just one more reason to grow your own food at home.

A Green Beret’s Guide To Developing Local Intelligence Networks: “Allies and Assets” – This is an interesting piece about developing intelligence networks, something that could be extremely valuable following a collapse or in the event there is one of those wars within the homeland that is rumored to be planned between the DHS and anyone who doesn’t like them.

12 Survival Lessons from Ukraine: “Nothing Provides as Much Valuable Information as Real World Situations” – Here are 12 lessons that can be taken away from the recent conflict in the Ukraine as written by Fernando “FERFAL” Aguirre. It is great information for those who include (or would like to) being prepared for armed conflict in their survival plans.

How To Prep BIG In A Small Space – Not everyone lives in a huge space so it is valuable to have a plan on how to prep, even if you live small. These are actionable tips to help you get prepared no matter where you live.

Mr. Mason’s Safe House or the Modern Underground Railroad! – Mr. Mason discusses the possibility of a modern underground railroad system as a way to connect safe houses together if the need arose to covertly move through an area. It is an intriguing idea.

How To Salt Cure Ham Old-Fashioned Preserving – I don’t have a homestead, but this may be beneficial information to have on hand in the event that a need comes along to be able preserve your own meat.

Unraveling the Mystery: Making Cheese – Here is another one to add to the archives. It could also be a fun family project!

DISASTER! The first 9 things to do when SHTF – A set-by-step process that would be a great primer for establishing an SOP for a family, group, or team.

That’s brings the conclusion of this week for me. If you found something that you would like to share with the group or have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at tom@thepreparedninja.com.

Come back next week for another edition of Survival Sunday.

If you appreciate the content here on The Prepared Ninja, I would love it if you left a comment or shared a post with your friends or loved ones! We are all in this together after all, right? With that being said, it does cost me money every month to keep The Prepared Ninja up and running. If the site does help you and you would like to help support it, you can provide monetary support to help keep things going via PayPal here. Thank you!

7 Killer Bartering Strategies

7 Killer Bartering Strategies

Bartering. It’s a survival skill that you absolutely must master post-SHTF, there’s no doubt about it. There’s only one problem, though: for most of us, it’s trivial to practice. If learning to shoot an arrow or making fire is something you just go out into the woods to try out, unless you’re working at the flea market, it’s very hard to practice negotiation.

Bartering

The bad news is, I can’t help you with that. You either find someone to practice with or get a job in sales. The good news is that I can give you a few killer strategies that will surely make you feel like one of the most advanced negotiators in your neighborhood. Just try them on your friends the next time you sell one of them your iPhone. Here they are…

Always Ask for More Than It’s Worth…

…and always expect the other guy to do the same. Don’t go the “oh, I want to be fair” route. When the world as we know it ends, your life and the life of your family could depend on you getting a good deal.

The “price” most decent people ask is way below what the others are willing to pay anyway… so be a little greedy and you’ll go back home with more than you hoped for. If it’s the other guy who’s asking, always assume he’s “overcharging” and start off with a really low counteroffer.

Bluff

When you assert things that you don’t know they are true, you make your opponent fee self-conscious for even thinking about him like this. And, for all you know, this might be the truth! …particularly when you’re dealing with a wise guy who thinks bartering with you is like taking candy from a baby.

Take Your Time

This works well when your partner is irresolute to your offer. The fact that you show no rush to make the exchange makes him more comfortable with you and leads him to believe you are trustworthy and not trying to screw him up.

The more you talk about the deal instead of saying “Let’s do this”, the more tension he will feel. At some point he will be the one wanting to go for it.

Ways to delay things include:

  • pausing a lot when you speak and before you answer
  • analyzing the object thoroughly, even if you’ve done it already
  • going to the bathroom, ordering another drink
  • calling someone to consult with
  • excusing yourself from the table to call someone for whatever reason (no need to tell him that)
  • asking lots of questions about the product

Be Pessimistic

This one is tougher to do but works like a charm. Say things like:

I can’t afford it…

I’m not sure it will work for me…

I don’t think I’ll be able to handle it…

I’m probably going to screw it up…

…these all ways of sharing doubts without saying you want a discount or a little bonus should the deal go through. It’s a less intrusive way of getting the other guy to say:

Ok, you can have these chickens as a bonus. Let’s just do this, all right?

Make Promises

If the other guy really wants what you promised him and you really intend to keep it, then why not? It’s a great way to get something cheaper. Just remember: a good, solid reputation is hard to acquire and easily destroyed. Since you’re looking for long-term bartering partners, the last thing you want is for one of them to be or even feel cheated. Always make sure they’re ok with the deal, no matter what you promised.

Make the Deal on Your Terms

You may not be able to control what or how much he’ll give you in exchange for your goods and services but you can always decide the little things, such as the meeting place, the date, time, even the kind of beer you’ll be serving (if that’s the case). This will show them who will be dominating the bartering process.

Use the “Take it or leave it” Technique

This may sound extreme but it all depends on how good a negotiator you are. Practice in front of the mirror if you have to. You’ll be surprised to see people agree to your terms simply because you told them this is a one-time offer and that they must take it or leave it.

Good luck!

This was a guest post from Dan “Survival” Sullivan who can be found at survivalsullivan.com where you can learn about everything survival; from urban survival skills to how to catch fish and everything in between. Don’t miss out on Dan’s free report, “Gun Factor” that is a great resource for anyone interested in firearms for survival and self defense.

photo credit: contemplation via photopin (license)