And Now For Something Completely New

It’s getting ridiculous in prepperland recently. I’ve almost completely given up on the endless garbage being spewed by prepper blogs, Youtube channels and Facebook pages. Am I just going on a rant today? It may seem like it at first, but hang in there and it just might start to make sense.

As those in the bizz endlessly attempt to outdo each other with more shocking headlines & titles, it has gotten almost impossible to glean any useful information from the product pushers they have become.

I recently unsubscribed from a relatively new YouTube channel. The beginning videos were promising. The presenter claimed to want to do something different and claimed not to be a political channel. We saw a gardening experiment fail miserably. This person clearly had zero idea how to grow food. That failed experiment took up a whole 3 videos, then the channel degraded into the usual political and conspiracy theory junk that so many others seemed to be getting success with. Disappointing? Yes, but at the same time predictable.

I also recently left a prepper related Facebook group that had almost no content other than Rambo types showing off their ever growing collection of sharp and pointy things. Reading post after post about why this knife was better than another or why one person did or did not have the “ultimate survival blade” was becoming, well boring! It was honestly an over examination of steel grades and handle materials.

Just last week I turned down an affiliate offer from a company ready to launch a supposed revolutionary indoor gardening gizmo. This new scientific breakthrough couldn’t grow enough food to feed a rabbit let alone a person or a family…and all this for only $1100 US! What a load of junk!

Am I the only one fed up with the onslaught of “prepper leaders” convincing us of the horrible state of the world? Why are Trump or Obama or Trudeau, or Ford becoming reasons to prep? Don’t even get me started on the Illuminati being oh so close to overtaking the world…they’ve been “this close” for decades now.

Honestly, we’re ready for a reset. Time to go back and start again. The term prepper may have already suffered a fatal blow. How many of us complain about the opinions of the general public about preppers being crazy? Well we are all as much to blame as the reality television show that we all love to blame. It’s our fault for supporting those Facebook groups, YouTube channels, and blogs about the water turning the frogs gay!

Has it all been a waste of time? Have we lost all hope? Maybe not. There is a new idea coming to light. A new movement that just might go down the right path.

On Thursday, I will share this new idea with you. Until then, go check out all your social media sources and sort through them. Anything that doesn’t show you how to do something or talk about realistic survival (as opposed to encouraging you to become a corpse in the wilderness) should be on a delete list. It’s time to stop encouraging those that have been giving preppers a bad name.

Source: CPN Blog

Registration Is Now Open… Home Grown Food Summit 2019

news today…!

Registration is open and FREE tickets are now available for Marjory Wildcraft’s 3rd annual Home Grown Food Summit 2019

event always delivers…

And this year will be no different!

again, Marjory has gathered 36
experts who promise to reveal their BEST secrets for growing all your
own food & medicine.

presentations on artificial intelligence … tomatoes … hydroponic
systems … slow money … herbalism … indoor growing … chickens
… and so much more…

speaker lineup for 2019 includes big names like:

Kai Fu Lee, Lehman’s, Stacey Murphy, Melissa Norris, Joel Salatin,
Patrick Jones, Woody Tasch, David Goodman, Justin Rohner, Tom
Bartels, and Wardeh Harmon …

to name a few!

this will be your first year attending the Home Grown Food Summit,
you should know:

a 100% online event, FREE for you to attend.

kicks off Monday, March 18th

will once again run
hours a day

for 7 full days with 2 encore days.

will be over 40 hours of video presentations for you to enjoy,
covering topics that include:

  • AI
    and the Future of Food

  • Get
    Cookin’! No Electricity Needed!
  • 3
    Simple Strategies to Start Growing Vegetables and Herbs Indoors 
  • Grow
    a Years Worth of Tomatoes: Tips to Increase Harvest & Combat
  • Kitchen
    Medicine: Amazing Herbal Remedies In Your Spice Drawer! 
  • Slow
    Money and Nurture Capital: A New Vision of Food, Money, and Soil
  • Sheet
    Mulching Like a Boss: The Non-Fattening Way To Make Lasagna 
  • How
    To Automate and Optimize Your Irrigation 
  • 5
    Essentials to Jumpstart your Food Garden this year
  • Home
    Grain Milling 101

that’s just the beginning!

I must warn you:

though this event takes place 100% online, so you can watch it all
from home…

it’s completely free for you to attend…

MUST register + reserve your seat here:

Register & Get Your FREE Ticket Here

only registered attendees will get the complete schedule, with
instructions for watching!

don’t wait and miss out…

your free ticket now, while it’s fresh in your mind. Mark your
calendar from March 18th to March 24th.

And I’ll see YOU on the inside!

Before you email me about this …

… Yes,
once again, Marjory is promising to make recordings of the entire
event available for purchase.

videos, MP3s, and transcripts.)

if you have schedule conflicts, and you can’t watch it during the
week of March 18th, you can grab the recordings and watch it on your
own schedule.

not obligated to make this purchase.

again, this 100% online event is FREE to attend.

not everyone has 40+ hours to watch during the week.

the recordings ensure you won’t miss it.

Again – register & get all the details here. *

Source: CPN Blog

National Flag of Canada Day

February 15 is National Flag of Canada Day. Canada’s flag is a symbol that unites all Canadians and reflects the common values we hold so dear — equality, diversity and inclusion.

Take this opportunity to honour our iconic flag. Let’s celebrate the #CanadianFlag in communities across the country!

Source: CPN Blog

Garden Planning for Beginners

I have to admit that it feels odd writing an article about gardening the day after a major snow storm that left well over a foot of snow for me to shovel, but the time is right. Spring is coming, I promise!

More preppers are looking at growing their own food, at least to some extent than ever before and for good reason. There are any number of events that can interrupt the food supply. But don’t just look at the pretty pictures in the catalogue and order seeds willy nilly. There should be some thought put into it first.

Make sure you observe the golden rule: Grow what you eat. There is absolutely no sense to growing Kale if you can’t stand eating it. Try to keep proper nutrition in mind, but always grow foods that you and your family will gladly eat. If you don’t eat it, you have wasted time and growing space.

Know what will and will not grow well in your area. Knowing your hardiness zone goes a long way. Seed suppliers will tell you what zones each of their seeds will produce well in. Click on the map below to see the full size version.

Look for heirloom varieties when choosing seeds. This ensures that you can save seeds from your crops from year to year and not rely on seed suppliers to deliver your order. Be careful though, many plants are biennial, meaning that they will only produce seeds for you in their second year of growth. Once you have some seed saving experience, you may want to try your hand at these.

Make sure you can properly store what you are growing, at least for the most part. Sure fresh greens are great, but the won’t store for any amount of time. Go ahead and grow some of these plants for seasonal eating, but don’t use up too much soil space. When the season is done, you should have gone through what you had growing. In my opinion, root cellaring and home canning remain the top storage methods for preppers. These storage options are sustainable without electricity. Home canning after SHTF requires only a good supply of inexpensive canning lids, or the reusable lids made by Tattler. Root cellaring is set up and once running, requires little to no investment other than perhaps expansion of your cellar if needed.

Consider vertically growing plants. When you are trying to grow all or most of your own food, space will be at a premium. Plants that will grow on makeshift trellis or up poles such as pole beans can allow you to grow more food in a limited amount of space.

Set aside a small area for experimentation. Remember the kale I mentioned earlier? If you’ve never tried it but like it’s nutritional value then grow a plant or two and try it before committing to a larger crop. Also, you can try other growing mediums than soil such as straw bales. Once you find new plants that you like or new growing methods that work, you can integrate these successes into your main garden and let the failures or gross tasting greens go to the compost pile.

Learn to compost. Almost anything can be composted down into black gold for gardeners. Commercial fertilisers can get you some quick results, but once those become unavailable you will be left with nutrient poor soil that couldn’t grow a dandelion. The intricacies of composting are beyond the scope of this post so do some research and give it a go. You will be glad you did.

Pay attention to the package. Seed packs will tell you how and when to plant as well as how long you will have to wait before you start seeing crops come in. Many plants can be sown at different times of the year for a double harvest, or have a very short grow period allowing for successive planting to keep harvesting all season long.

The most important thing to do is….well, to do. Growing food has a learning curve. You will need time to get a good soil going, learn about pests and remedies, and so on. Now, get out there and tear up some sod. Well, when the snow melts.

Source: CPN Blog

Amateur Radio in Canada 101

Communication in SHTF can be a great force multiplier. There are a lot of uses for ham radio in the preparedness community. From news and information about the general state of affairs to radio equipped patrols, communications can be key. Regardless of your reasons for wanting radio communications, buying a few handy talkies and packing them away in a faraday cage just doesn’t cut it. Here are some reasons why you should, and how you can get your license.

First, let’s start off by addressing a few misguided statements we’ve all heard.

An EMP will fry your radios and make them useless.  This is not necessarily the case.  Recently, there have been some tests done that show ham radios being subjected to an emp pulse.  Out of the four that were tested, only one was affected beyond needing a power cycle. If an emp is a concern, faraday bags are available to protect your equipment.

You can’t power a radio when the grid is down.   Again, this is absolutely not the case. There are a number of ways to generate power. Many hams already have alternative power sources for their gear as part of their shack. Even when power is out for extended periods, hams will be on the air!

You should be able to survive with a knife and some snare wire. Gadgets are useless.

While it is a great idea to learn how to survive on minimal gear, not every emergency situation calls for such drastic measures. An ice storm that causes a power failure for a few weeks would hardly be my cue to retreat to the wilderness with only my edc kit or bob.

Should I Get My License?

Before you go out and start buying radios, you should note that it is illegal in Canada to own an amateur radio without a license to operate it. This also means that what you buy will depend on your license level. A basic license would not allow you to own an HF radio as it does not allow for operation on the HF bands (unless you get a basic with honors, but more on licenses later).

Another big reason to get a license is that you will know what you are doing. Simply turning a radio on and talking into it will never get you anywhere, unless you are extremely lucky. Using higher powered HF radios without proper training can actually cause severe burns if you were to be touching an antenna while transmitting. Safety is a topic to itself in an amateur radio course. In addition, you will learn what bands should work well at different times.

Getting Your License

Licensing is as simple as passing a multiple choice exam. The only problem is it isn’t that simple. Make no mistake, passing an exam is not trivial. You will need to dedicate several hours to learning, studying, and taking practice exams. There are several ways to do this.

Club Courses – many amateur radio clubs offer a course. Usually, the study materials, exam, and a one year membership to the club are included and cost vary between a donation to $200. Expect to spend about 2 hours twice per week at the course location plus studying time at home. You can look for courses in your area here.

Online Course – There is a course available online here. This course is designed by and almost identical to the course I took. The cost is $100, but you will have to find an examiner to take the test. Exams are often given at hamfests, and will sometimes cost extra. For those that prefer, this course is also available in French.

Self Study – offers an inexpensive way to study for your exam. Cost is $20 – $35, depending on how long you want access to the course. I would suggest the 90 day package for $35.00. You will also need to find a way to take the exam on your own. This site also offers the Advanced course.

License Levels

There are 3 license levels for Canadian Hams.

Basic – This is the first license you must get. A pass mark of 70% will get you on the air for any frequency above 30Mhz. Esentially, you get to operate VHF and UHF, or the 2 meter, 70 centimeter, and a few other relatively newer bands. These bands are used for local communications and require line of site to be useful.

Basic with Honours – scoring a mark of 80% or better on the basic exam also allows you access to frequencies below 30 Mhz, or the HF bands, but with an output power restriction. Even with these power restrictions, a well set up station with a good antenna and good propagation conditions, worldwide communications are possible.

Advanced – Passing the Advanced exam with 70% or better gives you full access to all frequencies in the ham spectrum with the maximum power allowed by law. It also gives amateurs the ability to install repeaters, design and build their own transmitting equipment, and sponsor a club station.

Morse Code – Morse code is no longer required to get a license. Most amateurs that study this license do so to become examiners, although knowing morse code isn’t a bad idea.

The Bands And What They Do

UHF – ultra high frequency. The most popular band in UHF is the 70cm band. Used for local communications and especially helpful in high density areas such as in an urban environment. UHF is often used by law enforcement and other emergency services.

VHF – very high frequency. The most popular of all ham bands for preppers is the 2 meter band. Useful for local communications but can be problematic in high density environments. Useful for hunting groups, homestead comms and prepper groups eve in moderately forested areas.

HF – high frequency. This grouping comprises of may bands from 10 meter to 160 meter. Mostly used for regional and worldwide communications, although some local uses are possible. These bands get tricky when deciding which to use as propagation is dependant on atmospheric conditions.

License Free Options

Although there are no ham bands that allow for license free operation, there are a few options that are worth mentioning.

FRS/GMRS – family radio service / general mobile radio service. These 2 bands operate in UHF. With very low power restrictions, these radios are quite limited for range. Often used for camping or convoy comms.

CB – citizen band. Yup, they are still around. CB was popular in the 60s and 70s with truckers who wanted to talk with each other on the road. Limited power restrictions also limit CB to local comms. However, being in the HF range of frequencies, CB can often travel very long distances, especially at night, however this is more luck than science and should not be relied on.

MURS – multi use radio service. There is currently no MURS service in Canada and this seems to be the case for the foreseeable future. Using MURS in Canada can lead to interference with commercial radio services used by delivery companies, taxis, etc. DO NOT USE MURS IN CANADA UNLESS YOU EXPECT TO BE TRACKED AND FINED!

Source: CPN Blog

Time To Pick A Winner

It’s time to pick the winner for Januarys giveaway. The prize is a Wise Company 56 serving bucket supplied by Good2GoCo!

We used a random number generator to pick the winner from all entries received up to the time of the draw. As anyone can only win once, their entry will be removed from the list. Our random generator determined the winner to be…..


Congratulations! We will be contacting you soon to confirm your information and send you out the prize.

Februarys winner will be announced on March 5th, 2019.

Source: CPN Blog

CD3WD – Massive Prepper Resource

In 2003, Alex Weir started the CD3WD project. CD3WD is a massive collection of information geared towards the development of third world communities. This project drew a huge interest from the preparedness community with its archive of valuable information regarding agriculture, technology, and village support systems.

The core library ended up being a 6 DVD set that was freely distributed via internet, although hard copy DVD sets were available for a nominal charge. Since the passing of its creator in 2014, the project has all but disappeared and sources for downloading it have become almost impossible to find.

The Canadian Preppers Netowrk has found the core set and is making it available for download free of charge. You can download the entire set as 6 individual zip files, or browse each DVD for items of interest and save only what you find worth while.
To view & download this resource, visit the “CD3WD” tab on the menu.

Source: CPN Blog

Finding The Magic Number

It’s a question every prepper has asked themself. How much (insert life saving product here) do I need to store up? This blog post is inspired by a You Tube video I just watched on the subject of storing toilet paper. What I learned is that people have forgotten how to count and multiply or think for themselves. In this day and age where it seems the answer to everything is at your fingertips waiting to be discovered on some obscure website somewhere, we have forgotten how to figure things out for ourselves.

Let’s use the toilet paper question here as an example. How much toilet paper do you need to store to have a 1 month, 6 month, or 1 year supply on hand? One could, and many probably do, turn to the internet and start asking google how much bum wad does a person use in a year. The answers you find will vary greatly from one source to another and likely have more to do with how much company X wants to sell you as opposed to actual research.

In the video I watched, the presenter used Google to come up with a number of sheets used per visit to the loo, after which a complex calculation based on average visits per day, people per household, etc was used to come up with a number. Out of curiosity, I tried out this calculation to figure out how much toilet paper I would need to keep my backside clean for a year. The result was that I would be resorting to leaves and moss by the 3rd month!

As with anything else, you can easily calculate your requirements by taking a one week sample. Since today is Tuesday, let’s say you open a package of toilet paper today. In one week from now (next Tuesday) count how many rolls were used. Now simply multiply that number by the number of weeks you wish to stockpile for (4 for one month, 26 for 6 months, 52 for one year, etc). Now of course stuff happens. People get ill with gastro issues, rolls can get wet and useless, whatever. Adding a 10% margin of error will more than make up for this. Multiply your stockpile number by 1.1 and you should be good to go…pun intended.

Now, a lot has also been mentioned about rationing to make supplies last longer or to cut down on the investment needed to achieve your goals. While this may be a valid point, rationing can easily be taken too far. Personally, when SHTF hits, I suspect that I will have better things to do than to distribute everyone in my household their allotted 8.6 sheets of toilet paper each morning and acting like the outhouse police.

Alternatives to toilet paper are also widely discussed, and for those who are thinking about them right now, you’ve completely missed the point of this post. Hint: it’s not really about toilet paper! Today’s society has gotten so used to someone else figuring out answers for you that we’ve forgotten how to answer our own questions. Forget google, try asking yourself these questions. The answers may surprise both you and the search engines.

Source: CPN Blog

Friday Book Recommendation

Construction of a Simplified Wood Gas Generator:

For Fueling Internal Combustion Engines in a Petroleum Emergency

This report is one in a series of emergency technology assessments sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The purpose of this report is to develop detailed, illustrated instructions for the fabrication, installation, and operation of a biomass gasifier unit (i.e., a producer gas generator, also called a wood gas generator) that is capable of providing emergency fuel for vehicles, such as tractors and trucks, in the event that normal petroleum sources were severely disrupted for an extended period of time. These instructions have been prepared as a manual for use by any mechanic who is reasonably proficient in metal fabrication or engine repair. This report attempts to preserve the knowledge about wood gasification that was put into practical use during World War II. Detailed, step-by-step fabrication procedures are presented for a simplified version of the World War II, Embowered wood gas generator. This simple, stratified, downdraft gasifier unit can be constructed from materials that would be widely available in the United States in a prolonged petroleum crisis. For example, the body of the unit consists of a galvanized metal garbage can atop a small metal drum; common plumbing fittings throughout; and a large, stainless steel mixing bowl for the grate. The entire compact unit was mounted onto the front of a farm tractor and successfully field tested, using wood chips as the only fuel. Photographic documentation of the actual assembly of the unit as well as its operation is included. CONTENTS ABSTRACT EXECUTIVE SUMMARY S.1. PRINCIPLES OF SOLID FUEL GASIFICATION S.2. THE STRATIFIED, DOWNDRAFT GASIFIER 1. WHAT IS A WOOD GAS GENERATOR AND HOW DOES IT WORK? 1.1.INTRODUCTION 1.2.PRINCIPLES OF SOLID FUEL GASIFICATION 1.3.BACKGROUND INFORMATION 1.3.1.The World War II, Embowered Gasifier 1.3.2.The Stratified, Downdraft Gasifier 2. BUILDING YOUR OWN WOOD GAS GENERATOR 2.1. BUILDING THE GAS GENERATOR UNIT AND THE FUEL HOPPER 2.2. BUILDING THE PRIMARY FILTER UNIT. 2.3. BUILDING THE CARBURETING UNIT WITH THE AIR AND THROTTLE CONTROLS 3. OPERATING AND MAINTAINING YOUR WOOD GAS GENERATOR 3.1. USING WOOD AS A FUEL 3.2. SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS AND ENGINE MODIFICATIONS 3.3. INITIAL START-UP PROCEDURE 3.4. ROUTINE START-UP PROCEDURE 3.5. DRIVING AND NORMAL OPERATION 3.6. SHUTTING DOWN THE GASIFIER UNIT 3.7. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE 3.7.1 Daily Maintenance 3.7.2 Weekly Maintenance (or every 15 hours of operation) 3.7.3 Biweekly Maintenance (or every 30 hours of operation) 3.8. OPERATING PROBLEMS AND TROUBLE SHOOTING CONTENTS 3.9. HAZARDS ASSOCIATED WITH GASIFIER OPERATION 3.9.1. Toxic Hazards 3.9.2. Technical Aspects of Generator Gas, Poisoning 3.9.3. Fire Hazard APPENDICES APPENDIX I. CONVERSION FACTORS FOR SI UNITS APPENDIX II. LIST OF FIGURES APPENDIX III. LIST OF TABLES APPENDIX IV. BIBLIOGRAPHY There are plenty of resources for further review as well. The plans in this reference material are for shorter term use and emergency use. The material provides an excellent foundation so that one can gain an understanding of how wood gas generators operate and how to build one. This is a must read for anyone who likes to be prepared in case of emergencies and for anyone looking to increase their knowledge regarding alternative energy resources. An excellent reference resource.

Source: CPN Blog

Grid Down Heating With Wood

You’re a Canadian and you need heat! According to a statscan report, about 94% of Canadians use a heat source that relies on electricity. Given the fragility of the electrical grid, this poses a huge concern when the power company fails to deliver juice to your home. Forced air or water circulation heating systems fueled by oil, natural gas or propane still require electricity to both cause a spark to ignite the fuel and to run fans or pumps to circulate warm air or water. Of course, electric baseboard heaters are completely useless in a power failure. For short term outages, there are any number of fuel fired space heaters that can help but for long term off grid heating, the only real option is wood. Heating with wood is a great way to have a renewable source of home heating, but it’s not all romance and free BTUs.

The first thing you will need to be able to heat with wood is a stove. There may be restrictions in your town as to the efficiency of the stove you can install. Some major cities have even banned wood burning stoves and fireplaces for all but a few situations, so check with local authorities before making a purchase.

Installation of a wood stove is not trivial. There are clearances to observe and holes to cut in your walls or roof. An improperly installed wood stove is a fire hazard. Burning your house down is NOT what you want to have to deal with in a disaster situation. Have your stove professionally installed. Your insurance company may also insist on this. Do not jerry rig your stove like this:

You will also need basic tools for your wood stove. There are fireplace tool sets available at almost any home center. Usually these will include a poker, log grabber, brush and scoop. You may also want a log holder to have a small supply of firewood close at hand indoors. A pair of heavy duty gloves is also a good idea such as welding gloves or insulated work gloves.

Firewood is measured in cords. A “real” cord of firewood is 3 stacks of 16″ split wood 8′ long by 4′ high. Most firewood suppliers however will refer to a cord as only 1 of these stacks (16″ X 8′ X 4′), which old timers will refer to as a face cord or a stove cord. So how much wood will I need? That of course depends on the size of your home and the stove you have purchased. Most stoves have a rating as to how many square feet they will reliably heat. Know that number before you head out to talk to the salesperson. To get an idea for your individual needs, heat your home with only wood for one week during average winter temperatures. Multiply this volume of wood by the number of weeks you anticipate needing heat (I used 20 weeks for this calculation) and stock up on wood accordingly. Yes, there will be colder periods in the dead of winter but there will also be milder periods in fall and spring, so it will pretty much average out. Add a percentage extra just in case.

Ideally, you want seasoned hardwood for your stove. Hardwoods are basically any tree that bears leaves. There are of course better species such as ash, maple, or birch but even poplar can be burned in your stove with a decent heat output. That’s not to say that if all you can get your hands on is pine, spruce or fit that you shouldn’t use it. In fact, many lumber mills will sell off cuts of waste wood for that purpose. Using unseasoned or softwoods will simply mean that you will need to clean your chimney more often.

Keep in mind that heating with wood is not like other heating systems. Your wood stove was not designed by Ron Popeil.

Wood stoves need constant attention. A good fire may last for a few hours, but don’t leave a working stove alone for extended periods. Even though your chimney is designed to be as safe as possible, forgetting to close a draft lever can cause your fire to burn out of control and heat exhaust gases in the chimney to an excess of 2000 degrees F and risk a house fire.

Be warned that morning can be chilly. Unless you get up once or twice in the night to fill the stove, it will likely be burned down to a simmering bed of coals by morning when outdoor temperatures are lowest and heat loss from your home are highest. You will also experience hot spots and cool spots in your home. Areas nearer to the stove may have to get warmer than you would like in order to keep areas further away warm enough. Closing bedroom doors at night and curling up under blankets will help keep the rooms with your fire warmer. Try to locate your stove near the kitchen and bathroom to maximise warmth for your plumbing and avoid pipes freezing up.

Heating with wood is not all romance and rainbows. Bringing firewood into your home means you will be opening outside doors and losing heat. Let’s not forget the sawdust, chips of wood and bark all over the floor and insects that come indoors with your wood. You will be sweeping floors much more often. Believe me, you will also become an expert splinter remover.

Get used to getting burned. Anyone with any experience with wood stoves knows that burns are inevitable. The stove door may swing closed while you are reloading it, you will occasionally touch the stove when it’s hot. Minor burns like this are more of a nuisance than an emergency trip to the hospital, but they WILL happen. Keep the proper first aid supplies on hand.

If OPSEC is a big concern for you, keep in mind that chimney smoke can be smelled and seen from a long way. There is not much you can do about this.

As with anything in life there are pros and cons to heating with wood. That being said, I firmly believe that this is the only real option for an extended grid down scenario.

Source: CPN Blog