Learn some Basic Survival Skills and Be Prepared

Perhaps it is time to learn some basic survival skills. What with birds falling out of the sky at the beginning of 2011 and fish dying by the score not too far away from the bird deaths, one realizes that it doesn't harm to be prepared. This is Gypsy's next blog entry with a natural home remedy for colds and flu, as well as some survival skills when times are hard and you run down your emergency survival kits.

A Home Remedy for the Cold and Flu Season

a pot brewing a homemade cold and flu home remedy

What to do when you feel that cold coming on and the wind is blowing and someone has to go out in the snow and do those chores? We all normally turn to the stand by Chicken soup. I have a soup I call my "Sick Soup".

Boil 1 chicken skin on. Simmer it until the skin almost melts in the broth. Skin and de-bone the chicken and put the meat back in the pot. Break open the bones if you want. The marrow is good for you and you won't know its in there. Add parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. Use the juice of one lemon, A bit of rice adds substance.

My "sick tea" goes like this. Sing the Scarborough Fair song... Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme... Then add some Hen-of-the-woods dehydrated mushrooms that I discussed in my last blog. These wild mushrooms are wonderful on the immune system.

Simmer them as tea in a pot then strain. The liquid will stay good in the fridge for a long time with out getting cloudy. In my home, these are staple ingredients for what ales you and can be used in cooking, teas or what ever as an added immune system boost.

Basic Survival Skills - The Sky is Falling

Yes it seems like the sky is falling in some places more then others. This has lead to many people asking, "What do I do if I can't leave home, or if stores are no longer available?" Do you have the basic survival skills necessary in times of crisis?

However, although I don't think it will get that bad for a while, I do think that knowing your surroundings and what's in your own backyard is a good thing for basic survival skills. So let's walk through a few simple things that can help no matter where you live.

The first thing to remember is the human race has lived out of their own backyards for millions of years. It wasn't until about 100 years ago when we got electricity, thus the refrigerator, that things changed. Don't make things harder then they have to be.

Take a deep breath, be calm, and think. What would you do if you had no food? Panic is not the right answer. We are all very over-fed in the US, so missing one, or two meals a day is actually not so bad, it is how the body was made, and is good for you.

We are a fast and famine race, much like the dog. We can however store some key nutrients longer then others. While we need some every day, we need others less often as it stores in our fat. Being hungry doesn't mean you are going to be malnourished, it means your body is burning fat like it was made to do.

Basic Survival Skills: Sourcing Vitamin C

Let's look at some things your body needs every day, like vitamin C. Not everyone in the world lives where oranges grow. They never did. The ice age is a perfect study in this. So how did our ice age ancestors get Vitamin C? They got it from grass, berries, and the best of all sources rose hips.

The Rugosa Rose is the very best and grows in many climates today. If you have never had Rose hip jelly you are really missing something. The thought of eating grass sounds awful, but some can add flavor to cooking and lots of good nutrients to your foods.

The Prickly Pear is also a plant that will grow in very cold climates and offers a wide variety of vitamins needed daily. Making a candy out of the flower is a good way to save it through the winter months. Hard candies are a good way to save a lot of food you don't need a lot of and it's a fun way to take in those daily needs.

Basic Survival Skills - Alternative for Salt

No salt? Try burning colts foot and using the ashes. You will never want table salt again and it holds more vital nutrients than salt itself.

Basic Survival Skills - Free Seeds

If you grow herbs let them bolt, or go to seed every now and then. You can do this by letting them become dry then watering them. This forces them to seed. When they do, save those seeds.
I have had people ask about saving seeds from the store. Most of this is genetically engendered food, do you really want to save that? Also it is made to not grow well from saved seeds. If you get a good crop the first year consider yourself lucky, it won't happen again. You will soon find you have wasted your time.

Basic Survival Skills - Freeze Seeds you are Saving

Freezing seeds is much better then drying them. Drying seeds only allows them a short shelf live. Freezing means they will live longer then most of us. Studies have shown most will remain 90% or better for over 75yrs.

Basic Survival Skills - Free Food

If you have a pond or live by the water, try your cattail sprouts. If you like asparagus, you will love these and again, they have a lot more food value.

One thing most people have in their ponds or stagnant creeks is Angel Wings, also known as the Lotus flower. They are a triangle-leafed plant ( don't worry you can't mess up here) that have edible tubers. You take off your shoes and wiggle your toes in the water and the tubers will start to float to the top.

Angel Wings can be dried and turned into flour, or eaten like potatoes. They are like a water potato. You can use the starch just like a potato to set biscuits or bread as well. These plants will multiply very rapidly so leave a few for next time. Only take what you need, as you need it, and you will be well rewarded.

The Best Survival Skill to Have - A Positive Attitude

The biggest thing I have found about needing, rather then wanting to do something, anything,especially when it comes to your own survival, and basic survival skills, is don't look at it as you have to. If you get upset, you panic, thinking if you don't do it right you are all going to die, and you are upset in the process. Well, nothing ever ends well that way.

Turn your basic survival skills into something fun. Start with 2 days a week and make it a family adventure. See what you are really capable of as a team. Take this time to know, that if the sky ever does really fall, you not only can do this, you can do it with the style and grace of champions. When you can smile and laugh, that is what will bring you through.

I hope that dead birds never fall in your garden and your sky never comes down on you, however if you know your own backyard, you can watch the sky and laugh knowing you are now on the best adventure you will ever be on and it will be a great one, because you know yourself, and your own backyard.

By Gypsy, our resident homestead blogger from One Sky Ranch Gypsy's Wanderings Homestead Blog

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Edible Foraging; Lambs Quarters, Poke, Dandelions and Blackberries Not rated yet
Lambs Quarter is very tasty steamed. We have 3 acres and it is found readily here in northeast Pa. Also the shoots of Poke when picked very young are …

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