Labor Day Flea Market Finds

flea market finds for prepping on a budget

Last year, I wrote a couple of posts about finding great prepping gear at flea markets. You can read those posts here and here. For years I have heard that the best flea market in the region is located in Hillsville, Virginia on Labor Day weekend.  So, a buddy and I decided to check it out on Friday. I had never seen this many people selling in a single location.  The entire town became one large flea market!Read More


Survival Dogs: The Pros and Cons of Having a Dog When SHTF

dogs in a survival situationWe have a 90-pound large, female German shepherd. We adopted her from the animal shelter when she was a pup, and she’s a part of the family in every sense of the word. She’s a watchful eye over our son and a protector of our home. I feel that, in a survival situation, she’ll be more of an asset to us than a liability, but let’s face it – dogs are a little bit of both. Here are the pros and cons of having a dog in a survival situation.Read More


Cheap Survival Whistle

 cheap survival whistleWhile I was cruising the Walmart sporting goods aisle a few weeks ago, I came across a cool little contraption that was priced so right that I had to pick one up. You’ve probably seen some Coghlans brand products in their camping section. I found a nice little 4 in 1 tool that is compact, hardly weighs anything and, most importantly, is CHEAP!  It is a survival whistle/thermometer/compass/magnifier combo. I know what you’re thinking, “You get what you pay for,” but this item was so cheap, if it turned out to be a complete piece of crap, it wouldn’t even matter.Read More


Lightening the Burden of Thru-Hikers on the Appalachian Trail

Appalachian TrailI’m going to share a story about something that happened to me earlier this week.  In my jurisdiction, flea markets are a pretty big deal on Mondays. When a holiday falls on a Monday, the crowd can be five times as large as usual. I had to work on Memorial Day, and part of the job was to stop in and patrol the grounds. On the last time through the grounds that day, I saw one of my off-duty coworkers who frequently sells at these events.  I noticed that he had approximately 100 MRE entrees that he was selling for about a dollar a piece.  I asked how many he had sold, and he told me that he hadn’t had much luck with them. I asked him to talk to me later in the week if he could cut me a deal on them if they didn’t sell.Read More


Candle Cooking Part 2

candle cookingSince I purchased the Sterno Portable Folding Stove a week or so ago, I have been wondering if I could cook a piece of meat on it indoors via candle cooking.  I know it can be done outdoors with a few pieces of kindling, coals or perhaps a charcoal briquette.  Of course, when outside, the Sterno fuel canisters could be used.

So why would someone want to cook inside on a portable folding stoveRead More


How to Use Epsom Salts When SHTF

How to Use Epsom Salts in a Survival SituationEpsom salts, a natural mineral (magnesium sulfate), has been used for years as a safe and effective means for many ailments. Epsom salts are great for external problems like sprains, aches, boils, sore feet and ingrown toenails. If you don’t have any stored, you may want to purchase a box or twenty. At 88 cents per 2 lb box at Walmart, why not? It has a shelf life of several years (as long as it doesn’t come into contact with moisture), and few things are as multipurpose as these salts are. Here are a few ways you can use them.Read More


Five Dollar Finds: Portable Folding Stove

cheap folding stove for preppingWhile killing time at Wal-mart tonight, I came across a Sterno portable folding stove.  What really piqued my curiosity about this little stove is that it was under $6 dollars.  I know, I know, that’s more than $5, but it’s close.  Recently a friend of mine purchased the Vargo Titanium Hexagon Wood Stove for a little under $50.00.  Now that is a really nice little stove but it is a little pricey.  The quality of the Vargo portable stove is second to none.  For the price, though, I think this Sterno Portable Folding Stove will work just fine for now.Read More


Firearms on Facebook: Where to Get Hard-to-Find Guns

As you know, ever since December, we have been facing a gun and ammo scare here in America.  I have seen my local shops go from having shelves full of all types of guns and tactical gear to not being able to keep much in stock because it flies off the shelves.  I was recently given the opportunity to acquire a Beretta Cx4 carbine when my agency decided to surplus all the rifles that the detective division carried in the cars.  My agency was willing to trade one of the many Cx4′s for my back up AR-15, which is basically brand new.  In the end, I let my Sgt talk  me into passing on the Cx4, keeping my AR-15, and buying a cheaper carbine.  He introduced me to the Kel Tec Sub 2000 because it will accept the Beretta 92 or M9 magazines.  This option allows me to get a carbine that will accept one of the 40 Beretta magazines that I own at an affordable price that doesn’t require me to sell or trade one of my AR-15s.  I like the idea of having a rifle that uses the same magazines that my two sidearm use.Read More


How to Find Cheap or Free Food Storage Buckets

cheap or free food storage bucketsObtaining food storage buckets was the next step in my storage project. As you guys know from my last article on Mylar bags, I am starting a small project of storing and additional 10 five gallon buckets of dried food. This is a project that I am doing with “Marine Pal”, whom I haven’t mentioned in a while. We are doing this as cheaply as possible due to the fact that we both have families, meaning there’s not a lot income to invest in projects. So, we do what we can when we can.Read More


Mylar Bags for Food Storage

Most of you probably know this information, but someone just coming across the blog may not.  Mylar bags are bags used in the long term storage of dried food.  The most common way that these bags are used is as a liner inside of food safe or food grade buckets.  After you line the bucket with the Mylar bag and add the dried food, you add the appropriate sized oxygen absorber for the size bag you are using.  Then, you seal the bag either with a Mylar bag sealer or a regular household iron.   Commonly stored items include: beans, rice, grains, corn or cornmeal, Bisquick, powdered milk and other dry goods.  Food stored in this manner can last anywhere from 10 to 25 years if done correctly. Some opt to use thicker bags (7 mil) and do not store the bags in buckets. I, personally, do not feel comfortable not having the bags in buckets, no matter how thick the bags are.Read More