Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Reuniting Family after a Long Term Absence

Episode 110: Season 3 ep.29

In The Walls of Freedom story, Erika and her family reunite with Vince's parents. Reuniting with family can be a tricky thing to accomplish after a long period of absence. Today, I will present common issues that individuals face from both a military deployment aspect and a hostage type situation.

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Featured Quote:


"I never thought I would see you again."

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Reunion Lessons from Sara

Reuniting with loved ones is a theme that occurs in all of my novels. When disaster strikes no one can guarantee where you will be or who you will be with. You may be minutes or miles away from your loved ones. The road home in this new landscape would be an arduous journey that would take time. During this time, you will probably have many traumatic experiences and you can guarantee that your family is probably facing many unusual stresses as well. I looked at a couple of possible scenarios to determine how people may react during separation in a SHTF situation and what problems there may be after reunion. The first  is from a military point of view. Soldiers go off on deployment, leaving family behind and when they get home there could be a whole new set of problems to face. The second is from a hostage point of view. There have been cases of people being taken hostage for many years and then reuniting with their family. What sort of problems to they have melding back into society?

I equate the reunions in my first book Day After Disaster and this current chapter of The Walls of Freedom with that of deployed soldiers returning home. Although, it is true that the Moore Family was being held captive and that could have some additional side effects, especially on the children. In both cases, traumatic experiences have changed not only the individual but the individuals they were returning home to. 

When returning home after an extended period of time the fist hug and kiss may be awkward. You haven't seen these people in a while and you may simply be out of practice. The individual returning may be tired from a long trip home. Make sure that if you make plans for the day of their arrival you communicate your plans to them. They may not want to do to much right away. However, small gestures of celebration like a sign or a favorite meal may go a long way to make the individual feel welcomed.

As time ticks on, realize that communication will be top priority. There may be feelings of resentment that either side had an easier time in the other's absence. New behaviors from both parties may surprise other family members but remember to discuss the behavior, never attack the person. Explain how the house is running now and discuss how big the individual returning home wants their roll to be initially and slowly work them back in to the daily routine. Make sure you make time to be alone with each family member so you can begin to get to know them again. It takes time to accomplish most thing that are worth anything so remember reintegration will take time too.

Children present a unique problem with reunions. They may bounce in between happiness in seeing the individual and anger that they left and missed important events. The military has a great informational pamphlet, Families with Kids, with useful information on making this easier. Here's a list of tips to make reintegration with your family easier:
  • Remember you are all adjusting
  • Tell your family how much you love them
  • Don't take things personally
  • Listen sensitively to your family members. Try to understand their concerns.
  • Don't force your children to spend time with you
  • Spend time with each child individually
  • Limit criticisms and judgements
  • Praise children verbally and physically for big and small accomplishments
  • Keep in mind children mirror parents
  • Don't change discipline your spouse used while you were away
  • Learn about what's happened while you were away and accomplishments made
  • Hand out bravery metals
  • Show an interest in everyday events of your children's lives 
A hostage situation has a different set of dynamics than a military deployment although many of the remedies are the same. In Without Land, Erika is dealing with the physiological effects of being in captivity and the trauma of being put into a metal box following her involvement in a rebellion. Her family shares in this captive state. In this chapter of The Walls of Freedom, the family tries to reintegrate with their family and society after ten years of captivity.

The pain of the experience coupled with physical harm inflicted during the time as a hostage piles trauma on top of trauma.  This can leave survivors feeling depressed and anxious. They can develop problems like PTSD (Post Traumatic Distress Syndrome) and dissociation disease. In a SHTF situation, the trauma of the experience is going to cause many of these same problems to be common place among the population at large. 

The survivors of these traumatic experiences will have to deal with learning how the world changed while they were in captivity. Children, although often better suited to deal with these types of situations, have to deal with the effect of this confinement stunting their emotional and intellectual maturity. 

Time under duress makes a big difference as well. Often times people that don't have extended time as a hostage can cope better. This ability to cope depends upon their personal experiences, training and genetics. Counseling may or may not be beneficial. They should be informed of the symptoms of chronic anxiety and seek help if needed.

The psychological effects of a long term hostage experience can be much more traumatic. PTSD is common in both military deployment situations and hostage situations.  Symptoms of PTSD include: flashing back to the original experience, avoiding triggers, negative mood changes, sleep disturbances, and these symptoms last more than a month. 

Stockholm syndrome is another side effect that can develop because of a hostage situation. The hostage fights captivity at first but after a while of physical and mental abuse, the hostage starts looking to someone to end the pain or provide companionship. Often times the only individual possible of making this happen is the captor. The victim may begin to associate positive feelings towards this person, even though they are the ones holding them prisoner. After the victim is rescued they may feel embarrassed and confused by these feelings.

You can bet that in SHTF situation there will be a lot of people with PTSD and there may not be many counselors or depression medicine available. We need to know how to help these individuals so they can function again. Here's a list of ways TheAtlantic.com suggests:
  • Time is the best healer. People are more resilient than we think and can "bounce back."
  • Focus on daily living
  • Talk and talk. Tell the story.
  • Use distractions like reading and discipline activities like running.
I found it interesting that in both cases communication was stressed above all. It is important to share your experiences with others. It benefits both you and your loved one. I have found that in life communication is always key. It is my belief that too many people walk around assuming what the other one is thinking rather than communicating and learning who they are. Communication is not always easy and must be practiced and trained like any other muscle but the rewards are usually worth every bit of stress.
Sources:

Sara F. Hathaway
Author Sara F. Hathaway is an individual with an insatiable urge for learning. She grew up in the woods of Michigan, fishing, hunting, gardening, canning, and horseback riding with her family. She loved to learn about the stories of times past from her great grandparents and grandparents. She learned about a time much different from our own when a trip to the grocery store was not all it took to make sure your family was fed. She delighted in the outdoors and learning how to survive there without the trappings of modern life.

After moving to the rural mountain landscape of California, she attended The California State University of Sacramento and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in General Business Management. She managed many businesses, all while working on the manuscript for her fictional novel, Day After Disaster. Eventually she realized that her passion for the outdoors and learning about survival techniques outweighed her passion for the business world. She took her marketing skills and applied them to launching a successful platform for her first novel, Day After Disaster and its sequel, Without Land.

Sara still lives in Northern California with her husband and two sons where she is at work on The Changing Earth Series. She delights in helping other authors find the same marketing success and enjoys her time that she gets to spend honing her survival skills while teaching these skills to her sons. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com
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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Building a Home for Long Term Survival

Episode 94: Season 3 ep 28




Looking out the window in awe, the architecture of a rebuilt United States rolls by in The Walls of Freedom story. Lisa and Dale Goodwin, hosts of The Survivalist Prepper Podcast, join us today to discuss assessing the natural disaster risks in your area and methods you can employ when building a home or designing landscape to help mitigate damage.

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Featured Quote:

"The Walls of Freedom, that's what the landowners have nicknamed them. They keep everyone inside safe."

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Building Suggestions from Dale and Lisa

The first step you need to take is a personal assessment. What threats exist in your area? Learn the history of your area and research possible disaster causers: dams, factories, fault lines, tornado alleys, etc. Before you do anything else, make sure you have the tools you will need to properly help yourself is a disaster were to occur: shovels, axes, utility shutdown tool, communication method if you are trapped, etc.

Now-a-days with all of our technological advancements, we should be living in space age homes, right? Wrong. Many Americans live in homes that were built a long time ago. Even though, some very ancient structures have lasted into modern times, most of our homes would not fall under that category. These older homes are at risk because their structure is already weakening due to time alone. Add in a natural disaster to withstand and they could be in big trouble.


If you every do get a chance to build from scratch, research your local area. Once you assess your threats, you can seriously consider your building options and materials. For example, if you are in a tornado area, you may consider building with brick or a concrete material to make a sturdier structure. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to be able to find out what the local risks are and consider those things when building.

If you are in an earthquake area, you will want to make sure that you follow proper instructions for household decorations and hot water tanks. Water tanks need to have a security strap. Anything that is large and sits against the wall, like a bookshelf, should be attached at the top of the wall to avoid it tipping over in an earthquake.

If you are in a tornado area, you may consider more stone like items for construction, as mentioned above. Alternatively you could build an underground room. At the very least you should have a safe room with no windows.

If you are in a wild fire area you need to be conscious of landscaping. Think about fire mitigation when making choices. For example if you are redoing a flowerbed consider using small stone as a cover rather than wood chips. Trim grass down and trees up at least five feet so if there is a fire it can't jump into the tree canape. Make considerations for your food supply. Would you lose it all in a fire? If so you should consider burying some of it. 

After a fire your landscape options can make a big difference as well. After a fire your property may be at risk for mudslides. Make sure to replant trees and foliage as soon as possible. They will help to mitigate flooding and mudslides.

Long term implications after a disaster can be hard to predict. This is often called the "domino effect." For example, years of drought in California have left huge swaths of dead trees throughout the forest. These trees are even more vulnerable to wild fire. You may survive the disaster but you need to be ready for the after effects as well.

If you have to bug out, you will have to be very conscious of your terrain. You can get rained out, stuck in floods, experience high heat or be attacked by wild animals.  

Building hidden food storage into your home, may not always be the best idea. If your home is destroyed, then what do you do? If security is compromised, then what? If the storage conditions weren't ideal all your food may be spoiled by the time you need it. Rodents can get into walls as well as bugs. If a family member knows about the hiding spot they may raid it for things they like, leaving you with less supplies than you thought in a SHTF situation.

Speculating on an eruption of the super volcano in Montana, we were left with few answers. The devastation would be world wide as volcanic ash shrouded the sun. Even without the weather problems, the ash itself may devastate the bread basket of the United States if the wind was blowing correctly. If you survived the ash and the immediate panic you would be left to survive in another ice age.

North Korea: The Country World War II Left Behind


Dale and Lisa Goodwin

"In early 2013 Lisa and I decided to create SurvivalistPrepper.net and become a bigger part of the preparedness community, we are not the overboard tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorists, we are just like you, everyday Americans that enjoy the freedoms that this country offers.
Lisa is more of the prepper and I am more of the survivalist or outdoor type and we write articles ranging from first aid, to food storage to primitive and wilderness skills…basically anything that involves preparedness and survival." - Dale Goodwin

















 Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com
Purchase



 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

North Korea: The Country World War II Left Behind

The news of our conflict with North Korea seems to be inescapable. Every where you go people are discussing rising tensions and asking how concerned you are about the "threat." The news media is portraying this interaction between the US and North Korea like it is a new problem that we must all be aware of but I remember my elders talking about being veterans of the Korean War. Because I listened, I knew this conflict had been going on for a long time and was not a product of Trump's bantering as the news media boasts. I was determined to get to the bottom of what has been going on between our countries. Once you know the history of a situation you can better judge what the possible outcomes may be.

When you Google "North Korean Threat," Google displays the tops stories. The articles I found were packed with negative news about what this person or that person said and do very little to explain the underlying causes and possible solutions of the North Korean conflict. Their headlines boasted things like "Tillerson dials back rhetoric after Trump's North Korean "fire and fury" th..." I was not interested in another left vs. right battle about how incompetent Trump may be or how socially inept the leftists are. I didn't want to read about Trump and Kim in a school yard poo throwing contest. I wanted to know the reasons for this tension. How did our countries end up here, and what can be done to stop the nuclear missiles and help the people of both countries live more prosperous futures?

Moving on, I Googled "The North Korean Conflict" and the results, while maybe not as spectacularly headlined were very informative. Thank goodness for whoever developed Wikipedia. I know the information you get from them should always be fact checked as well but at least they are trying to teach people and they did a very good job of describing the history of this conflict. The average American under fifty years old probably has no idea what the Korean war was even about.  The whole conflict is based on the division of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the North and the Republic of Korea in the South. Both of which claim to govern the entire country. The division has not always been that way though.

Korea was invaded by both the Chinese and the Japanese in it's history. The Korean peninsula was annexed from the Japanese empire in 1910 but the governing groups in the country failed to make one united government. On August 9th of 1945, in the closing days of WWII, The Soviets declared war on Japan and marched into Korea. The allied forces agreed to this at the Yalta Conference but the United States was concerned about Soviet control of the entire peninsula. The US ordered the Soviets to stop their invasion at the 38th parallel north. The US would occupy the south and the Soviets would occupy the north.

Originally the US and the Soviets wanted to ensure there would be one united Korea but US and Soviet tensions rose as we entered the cold war period. Both sides favored rulers that reflected their goepolitical points of view and rivals to the chosen leaders were assassinated in both countries. Even before the Korean War happened there were pro-communism uprisings of the citizens in the south that were suppressed with extreme force and left over one hundred thousand dead.

Time pressed on and in 1950 North Korea's military was clearly superior over the south. They were armed and trained by the Soviets. They had battle tested troops returning from the Chinese Civil war. They had allies in the south they hoped would rise up in favor of communism and they were hopeful that the US would not intervene in a Korean Civil war. The west did not see it as simply a civil war. They saw it as a move to advance communism and a United Nations Force led by the US intervened to defend the south. The UN Forces had overwhelmed the north but as they neared the Chinese boarder, China saw it as a threat and joined in the war, pushing the UN forces back. The conflict ended on July 27, 1953 with the signing of an armistice that restored the original boundry.

That's an important word "Armistice." An armistice is a cease fire it is not a peace treaty. Technically we are still at war with North Korea right now. Even the original armistice was a delicate thing. The leader of the South, Syngman Rhee, opposed the treaty because it left the country divided. He never did sign it but he agreed to abide by it. It established the demilitarized zone at the 38th parallel.

When the Korean War ended, South Korea signed a defense treaty with the US and North Korea signed defense treaties with China and the USSR. North Korea promoted itself as a practitioner of orthodox Communism and adapted the doctrine of Juche or self reliance with extreme military mobilization. They made an extensive network of underground fallout facilities and even Pyongyang Metro can double as a fallout shelter should an enemy decide to go nuclear.

From 1960-1987 the conflicts between the north and south continued, manifesting in military staging, raids on either country and assassination attempts on the leaders of both countries. When the cold war finally ended, North Korea lost the support of the USSR and it was plunged into a state of economic crisis. Then, the North Korean leader Kim II-sung died. Collapse of North Korea seemed imminent and reunification finally possible. So, in 1998 South Korean President Kim Dae-jung initiated the "Sunshine Policy" to form better relations with North Korea but the US was still recovering from 9/11. President Bush declared that North Korea was an "axis of evil" and the Sunshine Policy was terminated.

In my opinion, Bush was not inaccurate on his labeling of this country as an evil. Some of the greatest human rights atrocities in the world are being carried out North Korea. If you are found guilty of a crime against the government a death sentence for yourself is the easy way out. Your family would carry the real burden by being sentenced to life in a concentration camp for three generations.

North Korea, rigid in their beliefs was left alone. Their culture of self-reliance and military might caused them to think of a new plan for survival, one that included nuclear capabilities at an intercontinental level. Fearful of the potential death count, both in North Korea and in South Korea from a North Korean counter attack, the United Nations and the United States have not bombed these nuclear facilities. North Korea announced nuclear capabilities in 2006 and military interaction has mostly been sea based from 1994-2013.

North Korea has always been very militarily active so what caused the increase in tensions. Contrary to popular belief it was not Donald Trump, although his brash methodology has been put in question. North Korea is now nuclear capable and possess ICBMs (Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles) they have been actively testing and perfecting this technology. What will they do with it is the question. This dedication to developing nuclear weapons has made many countries in the rest of the world uncomfortable, especially the US, their long standing adversary. North Korea's policy of communistic self sufficiency has already crippled the country in a global economic environment and the recent sanctions employed by the UN will only make life in North Korea all that more difficult.

South Korea has had it's own problems in the past year. Their leader was removed by the court and imprisoned on collusion charges. North Korea did its best to influence the outcome of the new vote and Moon Jae-in, a liberal human rights lawyer has been elected. He is rethinking the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system and would very much like to improve relations with North Korea.

Now that we know how this conflict started and its historic influences, the next logical question is what will happen next? The United States has a few options according to TheGlobeandMail.com.  They state in their article, North Korea’s missiles: What’s happened so far, and what could happen next, that "Mr. Trump has played his hand – militarily, at least – as cautiously as his predecessors." His options appear to be limited. Economic sanctions have been in place for years and seem to have had little effect on this self reliant country. We've already been covertly operating with cyber attacks on their nuclear facilities that seem to be ineffective. Diplomatic relations between the US and the North are non-existent. Andrei Lankov, professor at Kookmin University, Seoul, and director of NK News said that, "There is a very little probability of conflict. But North Koreans are not interested in diplomacy: they want to get the ability to wipe out Chicago from the map first, and then they will be interested in diplomatic solutions. They will get such capability within a couple of years," in theguardian.com's article, North Korea v the US: how likely is war? The final option is military force. The article suggests that this could come in the form of a sea blockade, cruise missile strikes or a broader campaign to overthrow Kim.

China is trying desperately to avoid a conflict. They have called for renewed peace talks. The last ones ended in a stalemate in 2009. China has called for North Korean denuclearization. They forsee a conflict that will lead to thousands of Korean refugees seeking safety in China.

Will the sanctions and the international pressure work? As Andrei Lankov stated above, very few who study inter Korean relations believe they will. Kim Jong-un has watched other dictators like Qaddafi and Saddam Hussein be ousted and he hopes that possession of a nuclear weapon will lead to a different future for himself.

Jean Lee, Wilson Center fellow, former AP Pyongyang bureau chief, said that, "No one in the region, not even North Korea, wants another war. But Kim Jong-un is going to push it as far as he can to get what he wants: recognition from the United States that North Korea is a nuclear power, and legitimacy at home as a ruler who can defend his people against the big, bad US."

Furthering this opinion Jiyoung Song, senior lecturer in Korean studies, University of Melbourne
said, "They will exchange some harsh words for a while and until Washington talks, secretly or publicly, with Pyongyang. Kim Jong-un will keep test-firing.

"There is no military solution to the North Korean problem. North Korea wants to be recognized as a legitimate nuclear state by the US and establish diplomatic relations with the US. Constantly reminding the world and especially the US of their nuclear and missile capabilities is part of their regime survival calculations. All options are on the table for Pyongyang, and North Korea did propose peace talks with the US a number of times to end the 1953 armistice and replace it with a peace treaty.

"What North Korea is also trying to do is to break the South Korea-US alliance and undermine the new South Korean president Moon Jae-in’s initiatives for improved inter-Korean relations. He’s proposed numerous talks with North Korea and Pyongyang has deliberately ignored Seoul’s good gestures. Kim Jong-un wants to talk directly with Trump, undermining Moon, but the US is reluctant to talk with North Korea unless Kim denuclearises or at least freezes its nuclear programmes."

There is no easy answer to the North Korean situation. This deep rooted belief in communistic principles, self reliance and military might has put them in a very sticky situation. Allowing such a volatile country possession of a nuclear weapon is a risky business but possession of it may legitimize the country on a world wide level. Making matters worse the media outlets in both countries are busy demonizing the opposing leader and emphasizing the foreign threat. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Preventing & Rehabbing Joint and Muscle Injuries

Episode 108: Season 3 ep. 27

 As more of The Walls of Freedom story is revealed, we find our heroine Erika and her family headed towards Minnesota on a train. Vince has recovered from his injury with help from Master Sergeant Bennet. Here to discuss ways that we can prevent and rehab joint and muscle injuries is Skip Buck owner of Body By Buck gym, physical trainer and retired law enforcement officer. 


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Featured Quote:

"Look a robin...That means spring is almost here."

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Preventing & Rehabbing Joint and Muscle Injuries from Skip

One of Skip Buck's training distinctions is corrective exercise specialization. This focuses on viewing the body as a kinetic chain. More specifically, "kinetic,"denotes the force transference from the nervous system to the muscular and skeletal systems, as well as from joint to joint. "Chain" refers to the interconnected linkage of all joints in the body.

Simply stated, recently I had torn my hamstring and then rehabbed a torn hamstring. If you consider the kinetic chain, failure to properly rehab or total lack of rehab for that hamstring muscle, would eventually have an impact on the proximal (or nearest) joints to that injured muscle. Logically, the hip or knee joints would be compromised over time, as additional supportive muscles (quads, calves, glutes) would compensate for the lack of rehab by creating an improper balance of muscles. Roughly, the quads are the most efficient ratio of 60% - 40%. In comparison to the hamstring and glutes.

Skip gave a personal example from his past as well. Giving me a hard time for telling him he would have to call "whine, one, one," he often complains of hip pain. This is because he has had a bilateral hip resurfacing (Birmingham Hips). He also does not have an ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) in his right knee. This causes his right leg to be noticeably shorter than the left. This in-balance in turn causes a "hiked" left hip effect causing chronic left hip pain. Ego prevents him from wearing a Herman Munster Boot on his right foot, so he tolerates it but now we all know what to get him for Christmas.


Take a look at your family and friends. Are they a slave to the computer? If so you will likely notice some degree of the "Upper Crossed System." This presents as rounded shoulders and forward head posture. Your body's compensation for what you are doing is not always favorable.

About 55% of orthopedic injuries are knee injuries. Skip and I have been victims of this type of injury. the most common ligament injury, of which Skip and I have both experienced is the ACL tear. This injury is most often caused by the knee traveling beyond the position of the toes, either under excessive weight or acceleration causing a shearing force. This force results in a tear or significant strain of the ACL. Additional patella femoral syndrome knee injuries are caused by the patella (or knee-cap) repeatedly moving over the femur or tibia, the upper and lower leg bones. This rubbing causes swelling, strains or ligament tears. Consider a SHTF scenario: Excessive hiking, walking or running over uneven terrain. You will be very vulnerable to injury and you increase the risk with every imbalance you possess. This will make you more susceptible to ankle, knee and hip strains.

The second and third most common injuries are a toss up, accounting for 7-10% of additional joint or soft tissue injuries. These are the elbow joint and the shoulder. In the same SHTF scenario, consider the excessive use of the shoulder joint with the need to cut wood (by hand), haul wood, haul water, etc. The inevitable "Tennis" or "Golf" elbow ligament inflammation will almost certainly be a problem over time. Rotator cuff injuries, to the joint ligaments and muscles of the shoulder will likely add to the mix of pain, as overuse of these joints becomes a necessary norm of day to day survival.

Limited or lack of access to anti-inflammatories, pain medications and even the difficulties of producing something as common as ice should keep us all researching natural ways we can find solutions to these issues.

So what can we do to prevent these types of injuries in the first place? The first thing you should do is get in shape now. You are less likely to receive a joint or muscle injury if your muscles are strong. It is also easier to recover if your muscles are strong. The second thing you should do is know your old injuries. If you have an old injury it might not be a bad idea to brace that part of the body when you are putting it under unusual stress but do not brace it all the time.

If you do sustain an injury use the acronym RICE. Rest the part of the body. In a SHTF situation this might be easier said then done but you could perform tasks for the group that put the least amount of stress as possible on that injury. The "I" stands for ice. This might be tricky during a SHTF situation but they do make portable ice machines that may come in handy. The "C" stands for compression. Study how to wrap different parts of your body now so you will know how to do it when the time comes. The "E" stands for elevation. In your down time, you should elevate that body part above the elevation of your heart.

Skip Buck

"I was adopted at the age of 9, and raised in Southern California, in the San Gabriel Valley.  I attended Rosemead High School and was actively involved in sports, student leadership, choir and school plays. 
At the University of Redlands, I was Captain of the football team, earning all-district and all-conference honors, participated in wrestling, and was President of the Inter-Fraternity Council and a member of Chi Sigma Chi Fraternity. I graduated from the University of Redlands in 1979, with a B.A. in Physical Education.
"My college sweetheart, Kathie Morris-Buck and I were married shortly after college and will soon celebrate 36 years of marriage. We have two daughters, Morgan (33), and Heather (30).  Both are happily married and successful in their individual pursuits. 
     
"I began my career in law enforcement late in 1981, and retired in 2008. During my career, I worked custody, patrol, chief coroner’s investigator, narcotics task force, SWAT, youth and community services (DARE instructor), family abuse, homicide – felony assaults, career criminal apprehension team, child sexual assaults, vehicle crimes, and Homeland Security.  I was promoted in 2006 to Sergeant, and managed patrol teams until my retirement in 2008. 
"My lovely bride and I reside in El Dorado County, in Northern California.  We are currently owner/operators of Body by Buck, a small gym and personal training facility in Cool, California." -Skip Buck



Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com
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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Brain Tanning

Episode 107; Season 3, ep 26

Description of Today's Episode: The Walls of Freedom adventure continues as Erika hauls the bull elk back to camp with Master Sergeant Bennet. Here to discuss hide preservation using the brain tanning method is James E. Hart, author of Urban & Wilderness Survival, Emergency Preparedness.


Featured Chapter Quote:
"The people have put together the Constitutionalist Party. Voting this party into power would return rights to the states."

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Brain Tanning Lessons From James

Brain tanning is one of the easiest ways to preserve the hide (skin) of an animal. You can choose to leave the fur on or take it off, depending on the animal and the intended use of the hide.

The first step, after removing the skin from the animal, is to flesh the hide. Place the hide on a fleshing beam. The beam is basically a smooth log with the bark removed. Use a fleshing blade (or a very dull knife) in quick, strong strokes across the hide to remove any access fat, meat or left over membranes. You must flesh the skin directly after removing it from the animal. If you wait, the hide will begin to decompose. You have to be careful not to damage the hide as you flesh it. Don't use a sharp knife! You can damage the hide.

After fleshing, wash the hide with clean water and a soap made from natural substances. A lye soap is effective or a mild dish soap like Dawn or Palmolive. This will wash away impurities and debris off the hide. 
After washing the hide, bore holes into the edges and tie it to a stretching rack. The stretching rack is a square frame in which the hide can be completely suspended. It must be larger than the size of the hide. Use a natural string like hemp or cotton that does not stretch like Nylon. Use the bore holes to stretch the hide out in the stretching rack and let it dry for a few days. The more it is stretched now, the larger it will be once the tanning process is completed. If you have to hang it on a wall, make sure there is ample space between the wall and the hide to allow for proper air flow so the hide dries completely. This drying process could take up to a week, depending on the climate.

After the hide is dry, it is time to de-hair the hide if you are going to remove the hair. Removing the hair allows for better tanning solution penetration. Take the hide off the dryer and use a rounded steel blade with a handle to scrape into the epidermis of the hide and the hair will come right out. If the hair is long, cut is shorter with a pair of scissors. Always scrape against the grain of the hair and away from yourself. Be careful around the belly because that skin is much thinner.

Now it is time to take the brains out of the container you stored them in and make your tanning solution. Every animal has the right amount of brains to tan its skin. There are lots of oils in the brain that work as a softening agent on the hide. You are going to get dirty and oily. 

Cook the brain with a cup of water until the brain breaks down. Don't take it to a full boil, it will cook the brain. Bring the water near boil so the brain breaks down into a soup like substance. If you have power, put the mixture into a blender to ensure it is mixed. If you don't have power you will have to use your hands to accomplish the final mix. 

Wash the hide again to remove any debris and to ensure it is wet before the applying the tanning solution. Wring out the hide and squeeze out all the water you can. Then place the hide in between two towels and keep squeezing it. You want a damp hide not a wet one. 

Lay your damp hide out on a tarp. Grab a handful of the brain mixture and message it into every bit of the hide, front and back. Channel your inner message therapist and keep rubbing it in. When you have used up all of your tanning solution, roll up the hide and store it in a large plastic freezer bag or storage bag and put it in the refrigerator. If you don't have power, you will have to use a cold storage or utilize an area that keeps the temperature cool (below 40 degrees). Keep it in this cool area for 24 - 36 hrs

Once you take it out, it is time to begin the softening process. Put it back on the drying rack and remove any remaining brain mixture. Use a large stick or "hide break" and run it back and forth across the skin. Have your partner or friend do the same thing on the other side. Then take it off the stretcher and pull at either side with your partner or friend, continuing to pull on opposite sides all around the hide. Then repeat this process until you are so tired you can't anymore and the hide is soft. You are trying to break down the fibers in the skin so it softens. It will take a lot of work and time.

When you first try your hand at tanning it is a good idea to start with a small animal. Big hides are a huge challenge so make sure you know what you are doing before you try to tackle it.

The final step is to smoke the hide. This is an essential part of the process that must not be forgotten. The smoke helps the brain oil fully penetrate the hide and removes any access from the skin. This works as a preservation method for the hide. If you are wearing your brain tanned leathers and get them wet, you will need to re-smoke them.

Start a nice fire and let it burn down to coals. Place your smoking chips on the fire. Sew up your hide so that it is cone shaped and open on one end. Then place it over sticks so it is help open over the smoke. Smoke one side for half of an hour then turn it inside out and do the other side for a half hour. Make sure there is plenty of smoke but not a hot fire. It would be very sad to watch all your hard work burn up over the fire.

Review Time - The Walls of Freedom
Five Star - "Sarah Hathaway has me hooked! This it not the typical type of story that I normally chose, but since I have started reading these books I just can't put them down. The journey in The Walls of Freedom really makes you stop and think, appreciate the things we have that we take for granted, and begin to imagine what life would be like without all of our conveniences. Throughout this book, Sarah introduces you to some intense situations and joyful events and has the writing ability to allow the reader to feel the atmosphere and the emotions of the various characters, I get into these books and eagerly turn the pages in anticipation for what will happen next! I can't wait for the next book!"


Four Star - "I almost stopped reading after the first book...too much junk about soulmates and love you forever...sort of beating a dead horse. But I'm glad I didn't! What a great take on surviving a different sort of apocalypse. What a thrill ride. The plot is full of twists and turns that you just can't anticipate. Looking forward to the next book!"
James E. Hart
A veteran of 2 tours of duty in Vietnam, James began his survival training at the age of 7 when he was stranded in the Mojave Desert for 7 hours without food or water during a family move in 1954. Since then he has been through the scouting program where he attained Life scout, served as Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, Venture Advisor, and earned the Badden Powell Award. An avid outdoors man, he has winter camped in Utah and northern Quebec, Canada, snow shoed in upstate New York, Utah and Quebec, and camped in the Mojave Desert of California, the Uintah Mountains of Utah, and the Piney Woods of East Texas, among numerous other locations. James has traveled and been through 42 of the 50 states of the US. Three provinces of Canada, sailed the Pacific Ocean, and crossed the Equator and 35 countries from jungles of South America to the Himalayas of Nepal. Having earned an Associates of Photography Degree from Houston Community College, he has beautifully captured many of his travels with his camera.

Now retired from a career with the Trinity River Authority of Texas, James resides in Dallas, TX, where he lectures on Wilderness and Survival Training. He is the author of SWET Survival & Wilderness Experience Training, Urban & Wilderness Emergency Planning, 35 other booklets on wilderness training, monthly articles for Survival Life Magazine, and a column and articles for The Garland Messenger Newspaper. James also does workshops and speaking engagements.
Links:


"Urban & Wilderness Emergency Preparedness": http://preparedwithjameshart.blogspot.com/p/buy-book.html

Sara F. Hathaway 

Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com
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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Archery and Hunters vs. Vegans

Episode 106: Season 3 ep.25


In The Walls of Freedom adventure, Erika heads out into the woodlands with Master Sergeant Bennet. He is committed to getting her mind and spirit running again. Here to talk with us about archery basics is Blake Alma, host of the Outdoor Experience on the Hunt channel. Blake also shares his views on hunters vs. vegans.

Listen to the Audio Podcast 


Featured Quote:

"She stood solemnly over the elk saying a silent prayer in her head, thanking the animal for its life that it gave for that of her family."

Subscribe to The Changing Earth Podcast 


Archery Lessons from Blake

The bow is a simple device designed to harvest game and it is also an Olympic sport. There are three basic parts to a bow. The stick (or limbs) that bend when the draw string is pulled. The other essential part is an arrow. The arrow can have different types of tips on it. A broad head is a bladed device used for killing and a field tip is a blunter device used for practice. The main components that keeps the arrow flying on a straight path is called the fletchings. These are traditionally made of feathers but now-a-days plastic has fulfilled the role.

There are different types of bows available. A compound bow is a bow that has a series of cams or gears to make it easier to hold back the draw string for long periods of time. The long bow is a traditional bow used heavily by the British. It is the "robin hood" bow. A recurve bow is similar to the long bow except the limbs turn back on themselves at the end to provide more tension when it is pulled. A crossbow is another type of bow. I call it the "cheater" bow because it is shot basically like a rifle. It harbors a lot of draw weight and usually must be pulled with the assistance of a tool designed to pull it.

Bows have different draw weights. The draw weight is the amount of pounds of pressure required to pull the draw string of the bow back. Compound bows are very versatile and can range from 10 to 75 lbs. You need at least a forty five pound draw weight to kill a deer. Cross bows can range up to one hundred and fifty pounds of draw weight.

If you are just starting into archery, you should start with a long bow. They are relatively inexpensive and once you have skill with this type of bow upgrading to a compound will be an easy task. 

Bows take a lot of practice. They must be sighted in properly. This is called "zeroing a site." Your sites will require constant attention to make sure it remains accurate. Compound bows are like any other modern gadget and are constantly being upgraded to feature new bells and whistles. Some shooters, like Blake and myself, favor a older model over the new gadgets of modern bows. 

Jr. Long bows are great for kids. My five year old son shoots a Bear Archery Goblin. You can usually find bows like this at a really affordable price. They are light weight and very easy to draw. Adults can even use this bow and get a lot out of it but be careful because if you pull it too far you may snap the limbs. Instead of using the site try looking down the arrow to get started.

Bows are preferred over guns in a long term survival situation for a few reasons. You can reuse arrows. You can part out old arrows to make new ones. A long bow doesn't rust. A compound bow might have long term issues in a survival situation due to the cams at the ends of the limbs. They are failure spots that would be affected by dirt and wear. You can't just pick up a bow and expect to hunt and survive with it. Shooting a bow take a lot of practice to do it efficiently.

The fletchings on the arrow are another fail point but you can make new ones. Bird feathers are the preferred material if you can't harvest plastic ones off of old arrows. Take the bird feather and cut it down the middle. Then lash it to the arrow with a thin, strong twine. Thick leaves may be an alternate option but they will age quickly and then turn to powder. 

Hunting animals with a bow will be tricky in a survival situation. You probably won't have access to a modern tree blind or ground blind so you will have to utilize nature. Stationary hunting is preferred over stalking with a bow. Find a clump of vegetation you can use as a blind and hide behind that. You will probably not smell very good after weeks in the woods so go swimming, rub on a pine tree, find a way to eliminate your stink. Use "the path of least resistance," this is an area that the deer use regularly. Deer frequently have food plots or areas that grow food they want to eat. They also typically have an area they like to bed down for the night. They will travel the same trails to go back and forth from these areas daily as long as no threats present themselves along the way. In a survival situation you can bait the animal (some states it is legal to bait and others it is not, make sure you know before you do this in today's society). Alternatively to baiting, research what the deer love to eat. Deer like acorns and fruit trees and that may be a great area to lay in wait.

If you want to go buy a compound bow, most of them come in packages that contain all the bells and whistles you need to quietly and accurately hunt a deer. The arrows that your bow will require need to be the right length and weight for your bow to shoot efficiently. When you purchase broad heads you need to make sure that they are the same weight as the field tips you have been practicing with, otherwise your bow will no longer be accurate.

Blake and I digress into a myriad of other topics at this point. Tune into the podcast or the video for all the juicy details.
Subscribe to The Changing Earth Podcast 

Blake Alma

Blake Alma is an award-winning writer, TV & radio host, and published author. He is also the founder/editor at The Art of an Outdoorsman and editor-in-chief at Survivalist Daily. He hosts and produces The Outdoorsman's Art Radio Show and The Outdoor Experience on Hunt Channel. Blake loves and pursues the outdoors and its Creator with all that he has. Some of Blake's favorite outdoor activities include survival, trapping, hunting, fishing, and camping.
Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com
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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

SHTF Trapping

Episode 105: Season 3 ep 24

Tensions decrease with the arrival of Master Sergeant Bennet and the antibiotics he carries with him in The Walls of Freedom story.  The group turns their attention to securing a food supply for the winter. Here to talk to us today about trapping small game, is Ken Jensen, producer of TheCleverSurvivalist.com and host of The Prepper Podcast.



Featured Quote:
"What would I do without you?"
Trap Setting lessons from Ken
Trapping generally works better for smaller game.

You can use something as basic as a slip knot style snare to get the job done,

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Rabbit-Snare





 






a spring snare:


















or a dead fall trap:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Paiute_Deadfall.gif


http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Tie-a-Slip-Knot/

When setting your trap you need to make sure you set it up on an established trail where you know animals will be traveling. Make sure you practice finding animals trails now so you can do it later. The animal will walk down the trail and hit the tripwire or triggering mechanism causing a large item to fall on them. These traps will cause crushing injuries to the meat but when you need to eat, meat is meat. 

There are many conventional options for making traps easily but you should know the basic of designing them yourself in the wilderness, just in case you ever needed it. You could carry rat traps to catch squirrels and other small game. You can build squirrel poles to snare multiple squirrels as they scurry along the pole. 

It is not critical to eliminate all human scent in the area. If you have been in the woods for an extended period of time, your scent will be diminished anyway. It is wise to touch as little as possible and wear gloves if you have them. Don't hang out around the trap you have set up or animals won't come near it. Some scents will make animals curious so you have to experiment and find out what is effective in your area. 

When setting traps for game, make sure you mark the trees in the surrounding area so you do not trap yourself.

Check to make sure it is legal to set traps in your area or if there is a specific time when it is legal to do so. 

If you are in a SHTF situation and you find yourself in need of making it harder for someone to follow you, traps work on humans as well. It is more difficult because humans think more. Do you really know exactly what route someone will take to follow you? You can make it easier for them to track you so they will follow a specific direction but you can't make it too obvious because that can cause warning alarms to go off as well. Once out ahead for your assailant you can always double back without them knowing. A trip wire dead fall can be effective but also a 

sprung spear trap:
   
 or a bow trap:
https://cookingforsurvival--yourdownbutnotout.blogspot.com/2011/10/

Ken has made a tutorial containing 10 different snares and snare variations. He included safety items to be aware of with diagrams and picture of the snares. Check it out at the prepperpodcast.com/snares.

Extra Survival Content

The Dangers of Burning "Green" Wood

Ken Jensen

Ken Jensen is an American, Ex-Military Patriot that is knowledgeable and experienced in Electronics and Industrial Electrical design and maintenance. Ken is also an experienced Nuclear Reactor Operator and also worked on nuclear instrumentation. He grew up hunting, camping and spending time outdoors. In adulthood, Ken has spent many years learning wilderness survival and, eventually, urban survival.

Ken is the author of a book, The Honey and The Bee and is the main author and contributor to The Clever Survivalist Blog, Survival Guide and The Prepper Podcast, Survival Podcast

Links:
Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com
Purchase