Fall Wood Stove Prepping

The signs are all around us.  The air is cooler, the leaves are falling, and the farmers markets are bursting with fresh local prrocuce!  That’s right, it’s Fall which means Winter is right around the corner.  As a matter of fact, many of us have probably already burned a fire or two in the wood stove on a particularly cool night.

Since we are so close to ussing ouur wood stovves on a more regular basis, let’s take a look at some important items on the to do list.

  1. Clean Chimney – either DIY or call a professional, but DO NOT omit this step.  Even burning only dry hardwood in your stove can deposit dangerous amounts of creosote in your chimney which can ignite if left unchecked.  Despite the claims of numerous products on the market, there is no substitution for a thorough chimney sweeping.  Sweep the chimney in the fall before heavy use, and a second cleaning on a warmer winter day can’t hurt either.
  2. Check and replace Door gaskets.  Loose or overly compacted door gaskets can cause too much air flow to enter the stove causing excessily hot fires and essentially disabling dampers.  Replacement gaskets are inexpensive and come in a kit with heat resistant glue for a simple DIY job.  Many stove owners replace gaskets every fall as a preventative measure.  If your stove has a window in the door, check and replace that gasket too.
  3. Check and replace fire bricks.  Look for cracked or broken fire bricks and replace as needed.  If a broken brick falls out of place, it can cause a hot spot on the stove and increase the fire risk in your home.
  4. Physically clean and inspect your stove.  Dust settles on stoves and needs to be removed.  Clean every inch of your stove front to back, top to bottom removing any dust or dirt and looking for cracks or open seals on the stove especially around the seams.  Try putting a light source in your stove and checking for light escaping on the outside.
  5. Clear the area around your stove of clutter.  Ensure that all flamable materials are a safe distance away. 
  6. Ensure that a fire extinguisher is close by and has been inspected.  Call your local fire department for information on what size to have and where to get them inspected.
  7. Use creosote preventing products.  As mentioned in item 1, these are NOT an alternative to proper sweepings, but can help lessen the amount of creosote that deposits on the chimney walls.

Have a happy and safe winter.
Source: CPN Blog

Four Ways to Prepare Financially for a Natural Disaster – Guest Post by H. Davis

Whether it’s an earthquake, flash flood, hurricane, snowstorm, twister or wildfire, the majority of us are at risk of being caught off guard by a natural disaster.
In recent months, we’ve seen wildfires in places like Idaho, and there have also been a number of hurricanes in the Caribbean’s, Florida, and Texas within the past couple years. As a result, thousands of residents have lost their homes, and are unsure if they will ever be able to get back on their feet again.
In addition to the loss of life and emotional trauma, natural disasters can cause financial loss as well. Consider the cost of an emergency evacuation, for example, or the cost of repairing a home after a flash flood or fire. To make matters worse, if your home is built on a weak foundation, you could lose your entire residence within hours.

So, if you haven’t taken the time to design an emergency plan, now is your chance to do so before it’s too late. If you aren’t sure where to start, then here are four things you can do to ensure you and your family are protected in the event of a natural disaster:
Make Sure You’re Covered:Whether you’re buying or renting a home or apartment, you should always make sure that you’re covered in the long run. Although you can legally own a home without having homeowners’ insurance, if you live in an area prone to fires, floods, and other disasters, you may be required to purchase insurance, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For residents living in a rental property, you may want to consider getting renters insurance –– if you haven’t already. This, however, still doesn’t guarantee everything will go according to plan.
The truth is, it can be easy for tenants and residents to assume that their valuables are safe and out of harm’s way when it comes to Mother Nature. But if you don’t read the fine print on your insurance policy, your insurance could be useless. That said, very few homeowners can actually recall what their policy covers, which can make for a nasty surprise when you’re in a situation that requires you to file a claim. Disability insurance is also something to look into before a disaster hits your community. According to the Council of Disability Awareness, more than a quarter of today’s 20-year-olds will have some sort of disability before they retire. While that statistic is shocking, it also means that every resident will likely benefit from disability insurance later on down the road.
Keep Cash on Hand: Generally speaking, natural disasters have the ability to knock out power in entire communities. This means that if you don’t have access to your online banking information, you can be in a tough situation if you’re forced to pay for things using cash. It’s

Source: CPN Blog

Rainwear

It seems logical that in a rainstorm, if you cover yourself in any material that’s 100% waterproof, you’ll stay dry. Unfortunately however, this isn’t the case for long.

Similar to the previous discussion on sleeping bags, the body has a requirement to give off moisture. Exertion on the part of the wearer compounds this problem. Any fabric that will keep water out, will keep moisture in.

When it comes to waterproofness, the key lies in the ability to release moisture. In a personal rain protection system, most tend to be ‘closed,’ with limited breathability.

In 1969, Bob Gore discovered a versatile new polymer that had spaces small enough to stop water in liquid form. but large enough to allow water vapor to be released through the fabric. This allowed rainwear to be waterproof and at the same time breathable.

Since this time, many similar products have been introduced to compete with Gore=tex. Although this has aided people greatly, it hasn’t fully addressed the problem.

Although it’s in many ways a miracle fabric (that has been integrated into all types of clothing and into shoes), the fabric is only breathable enough to exhaust approximately one-third of the moisture produced. This is however a big step toward people remaining dry.

If you decide to purchase a piece of Gore-Tex (or similar) clothing, many manufacturer will also include breathing pockets. These appear to be like regular pockets, but they simply open the fabric to the inside of the material. This provides for further breathability.

Like we discussed with sleeping bags, many types of insulation material will lose loft when they start to absorb moisture. This results in heat loss. This is especially critical in cold conditions. Every effort should be made to remain dry.

Remember not to exert yourself too much and remove layers as required. Staying warm and dry is key to long-term survival.

Sleeping Bag Materials: Synthetic vs. Down

A sleeping bag is designed to catch air between it’s fibers. In-turn, this air is warmed by your body and you stay warm. The area of fluffiness is called the loft of the bag. The greater the loft, the warmer the bag.

Down

Different materials capture air better than others. Down (the small feathers found closest to the skin of a duck or goose) is ideal for this purpose as it possesses many small fibres. Down is graded by number; the 800 and 900 series Down being the best/warmest.

Down is often mixed with feathers (non-down) and used as an insulator for less expensive ‘Down Sleeping Bags’. So if you purchase one, be sure to note what you are buying. Not all down bags are created equally.

Down does require to be shaken to increase it’s loft after it is crammed into a stuff sack. Some users fail to fluff-up there bag before use and wonder why they were cold…

Down is lighter than Synthetic fibres and as such, is sought after by hikers and climbers. Lightweight and pound for pound the warmest material you can buy.

Synthetic

Synthetic fibres are man made. Although they can be very good (almost as warm as down) they are plastic based. As I’ve already discussed, they weigh more, so it seems that in comparison, there’s not much of a contest. Well that conclusion isn’t entirely correct…

Moisture: Down’s Downfall

If a Down Bag gets wet, all of its lofting properties are removed. The bag will not keep you warm.

This is not limited to the bag falling into water or getting rained on. Your body continually exhales moisture. Once inside the bag, the moisture will be absorbed by the bag. If the bag isn’t dried (air out) every morning, it will continue to absorb moisture the following night (and so on). The bags insulation qualities will continue to decrease until it doesn’t provide the adequate insulation required and you get cold.

As synthetic bags use plastic fibres, they don’t mat together in the same way as down. The bag will absorb some water, but 100% of its loft is maintained. The bag is warm even soaking wet.

My Choice

Unless I was expecting extremely cold dry conditions (with ample time to air out the bag), was pressed to be extremely weight conscious and the trip was short, I wouldn’t use down.

I too use to be a diehard down user and still have several 800 and 900 series down vests and jackets/pants that I use. But I always select a synthetic bag.

Amazing Amazon Deal

Cyalume Snaplight Industrial Grade Light Sticks, Green, 6-Inch – Pack of 10

  • SnapLight industrial grade green light stick for providing illumination for up to 12 hours
  • Measures 6″ long and provides 360 degrees of illumination
  • Hook and gate top for hanging or attaching the light
  • Chemiluminescent substance is non-toxic and plastic body is phthalate free for safety
  • Five-year shelf life from date of manufacture for a maintenance-free alternative to other lighting
  • SnapLight industrial grade green light stick for providing illumination for up to 12 hours
  • Measures 6-Inch long and provides 360 degrees of illumination

  • Hook and gate top for hanging or attaching the light
  • Chemiluminescent substance is non-toxic and plastic body is phthalate free for safety

      ____________________________________________


    Movie Monday

    Disasters : 

    Warning: Mega Earthquake in Cascadia






    The 1700 Cascadia earthquake occurred along the Cascadia subduction zone on January 26 with an estimated moment magnitude of 8.7–9.2. The megathrust earthquake involved the Juan de Fuca Plate that underlies the Pacific Ocean, from mid-Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, south along the Pacific Northwest coast as far as northern California. The length of the fault rupture was about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) with an average slip of 20 meters (66 ft). The earthquake caused a tsunami that struck the coast of Japan, and may also be linked to the Bonneville Slide and the Tseax Cone eruption in British Columbia.














     These films are presented as an exception to the copyright act as fair dealing for the purpose of research, private study, education, parody or satire. See bill c-42 article 29.

    Friday Book Recomendation

    Antigenic Shift: Book 1 of The Pandemic Series



    Scientists have been warning us that the overuse of antibiotics by the factory farming sector, combined with the over-prescribing by doctors was leading to new antibiotic-resistant superbugs. Many others have warned that mankind is long overdue for a global pandemic. Despite these warnings, mankind has greedily carried on. We, humans, have been running roughshod over this planet for far too long, Mother Nature is angry and is about to chasten mankind with a correction. 
    When migrating birds return from their summer breeding grounds in the autumn of 2020, they bring with them a pathogen that has been safely locked in the Arctic permafrost for millennia. When this new pathogen mixes with the current H5N1 virus circulating in the global bird population; an antigenic shift occurs, and the virus mutates into the deadliest virus ever to afflict mankind. 
    Within weeks 50% of the human population is wiped out, hospitals are overwhelmed, and the dead are piling up in the streets. With the rule of law dissolving store shelves are quickly stripped bare and food deliveries slow to a snail’s pace. As electricity generation begins to shut down and municipal water supplies fail, desperate people, criminals, gangs and those bent on doing evil begin to take their toll on the weak and innocent.
    Several small groups of people are drawn together by fate as they struggle to survive when society collapses around them. John MacIntyre a 65-year-old retired military veteran, leads his family and an ever-growing group of survivors as they struggle to return order from the chaos. Johns group continually find themselves drawn into danger as they come to the aid of others and battle those bent on doing evil.
    I invite you to follow John MacIntyre and his group in this exciting three-part series.
    _____________________________________________________________________________

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    • NEVER ROLL YOUR SLEEPING BAG AGAIN: TETON Sports provides a durable compression sack for stuffing your sleeping bag into; Start at the bottom and stuff the bag in; Tighten the heavy-duty straps for ultimate compressibility; See our instructional videos
    • SLEEP WARM: Survival rated sleeping bag; Comfort rated 20-30 degrees higher; As you know you will sleep warmer if you use a camp pad, wear a hat, stay hydrated, wear socks, and fluff your sleeping bag before you go to bed to restore its loft
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    Air Mattress vs Sleeping Bag – What's Better for Preppers? – Guest Post by Will Holloway

    Sleep is important for our day-to-day lives, but it becomes crucial in an emergency! If you don’t get enough shut-eye in an SHTF scenario, you won’t be able to maintain your health and/or protect your family as you planned. So, it would be a huge mistake to ignore the tools you need for a comfortable slumber while prepping for a disaster.
    It is scientifically proven that our brain needs this time out to re-arrange the neurons, clear out toxins, work on muscle regeneration, and tidy things up for when we wake up. But, to get at least a few hours of quality sleep when your life is in danger or you’re running away from a natural disaster can be rather tricky.
    I found it helps to have the right gear to make slumber a little more comfortable, which is why you should have anything you can carry. For instance, both the air mattress and the sleeping bag are useful, but, if you were to choose in between them, which one would you take?

    The Necessity

    When you have to run in the middle of the night, it’s crucial that you only pack items that are absolutely necessary for survival. This includes food, water, sanitary equipment, medications, and sleeping bags. Sadly, air beds are not a necessity under these conditions and you should leave them behind.
    The only reason for this is the difference is size and weight. Sleeping bags are lightweight and can be easily compressed into a small package that you hang on your backpack. An air bed, on the other hand, is bulky and heavy.
    Furthermore, a sleeping bag can keep you warm without an air bed, but an air mattress won’t do the same.

    Shape & Structure

    Besides the fact that these two elements are very different in shape, they also differ in structure. But let’s discuss shape first.
    If you’ve ever been camping, chances are you know what a sleeping bag is. It’s a light material, with insulation inside, that wraps around the body, keeping you safe from the cold and humidity. The air mattress has the shape of a regular mattress (in different thicknesses and designs) and needs to be blown up with air using a pump or your lungs.
    With a sleeping bag, the inner structure is usually a series of lining materials designed to keep the heat around your body and humidity outside. On the other hand, the sleeping mattress has several chambers inside the fill up with air.

    Role

    When you prepare for an emergency, you have to pack for the part (so to speak). This means that, if you expect cold weather, you should add thicker layers and insulators to your BOB, but if the weather will be hot or rainy, you need to change your perspective.
    Now, the role of a sleeping bag is to be the layer in between your body and the elements. This item has to keep you warm and dry, but it doesn’t have too much insulation power. Meaning you’ll have to create a type of barrier in between your body and the ground if you don’t want to freeze during the night.
    The air mattress can be the ideal barrier that protects you from the heat-sucking powers of the ground and humidity. You’ll basically sleep on a chamber of air, a few inches from the ground. So, if you combine the two, you’ll get the most comfortable outdoor sleep as possible.

    In Conclusion

    The answer to the question is: it depends. If you have space and the possibility to take both items, then your life in an emergency will be a bit better. But if you have to choose, the sleeping bag always goes first!

    Source: CPN Blog

    Air Mattress vs Sleeping Bag – What’s Better for Preppers? – Guest Post by Will Holloway

    Sleep is important for our day-to-day lives, but it becomes crucial in an emergency! If you don’t get enough shut-eye in an SHTF scenario, you won’t be able to maintain your health and/or protect your family as you planned. So, it would be a huge mistake to ignore the tools you need for a comfortable slumber while prepping for a disaster.
    It is scientifically proven that our brain needs this time out to re-arrange the neurons, clear out toxins, work on muscle regeneration, and tidy things up for when we wake up. But, to get at least a few hours of quality sleep when your life is in danger or you’re running away from a natural disaster can be rather tricky.
    I found it helps to have the right gear to make slumber a little more comfortable, which is why you should have anything you can carry. For instance, both the air mattress and the sleeping bag are useful, but, if you were to choose in between them, which one would you take?

    The Necessity

    When you have to run in the middle of the night, it’s crucial that you only pack items that are absolutely necessary for survival. This includes food, water, sanitary equipment, medications, and sleeping bags. Sadly, air beds are not a necessity under these conditions and you should leave them behind.
    The only reason for this is the difference is size and weight. Sleeping bags are lightweight and can be easily compressed into a small package that you hang on your backpack. An air bed, on the other hand, is bulky and heavy.
    Furthermore, a sleeping bag can keep you warm without an air bed, but an air mattress won’t do the same.

    Shape & Structure

    Besides the fact that these two elements are very different in shape, they also differ in structure. But let’s discuss shape first.
    If you’ve ever been camping, chances are you know what a sleeping bag is. It’s a light material, with insulation inside, that wraps around the body, keeping you safe from the cold and humidity. The air mattress has the shape of a regular mattress (in different thicknesses and designs) and needs to be blown up with air using a pump or your lungs.
    With a sleeping bag, the inner structure is usually a series of lining materials designed to keep the heat around your body and humidity outside. On the other hand, the sleeping mattress has several chambers inside the fill up with air.

    Role

    When you prepare for an emergency, you have to pack for the part (so to speak). This means that, if you expect cold weather, you should add thicker layers and insulators to your BOB, but if the weather will be hot or rainy, you need to change your perspective.
    Now, the role of a sleeping bag is to be the layer in between your body and the elements. This item has to keep you warm and dry, but it doesn’t have too much insulation power. Meaning you’ll have to create a type of barrier in between your body and the ground if you don’t want to freeze during the night.
    The air mattress can be the ideal barrier that protects you from the heat-sucking powers of the ground and humidity. You’ll basically sleep on a chamber of air, a few inches from the ground. So, if you combine the two, you’ll get the most comfortable outdoor sleep as possible.

    In Conclusion

    The answer to the question is: it depends. If you have space and the possibility to take both items, then your life in an emergency will be a bit better. But if you have to choose, the sleeping bag always goes first!