If you've landed on this blog by mistake, please follow this link:


Please update your bookmarks and the links on your sites.

Join our forum at:

Monday, November 30, 2009

Food Safety - Part 2 - Shigella

Re-post Courtesy of Riverwalker's Stealth Survival

There are many different ways for food to become contaminated. Once contaminated it should be disposed of properly. Avoid food poisoning and therefore its sometimes deadly effects by knowing the proper means of handling and preparing your food. Learn to recognize the different symptoms of the various kinds of food poisoning and its effects.

Food Poisoning Type - Shigella

This bacteria is generally associated with raw sewage or contaminated water. Food poisoning of this type is caused by direct contact of food with raw sewage, contaminated water or by indirect contact with improperly cleaned cooking or eating utensils. Improper hand washing techniques can also be a cause of this type of food poisoning

Signs and Symptoms - Shigella

The most common symptoms are diarrhea, fever and nausea. These symptoms can appear whithin as short a time span of six to seven hours to as long as a week after eating contaminated food. The symptoms may last for a week or slightly longer but in most cases are rarely fatal.

Sources of Shigella Poisoning

Any type of food that requires manual preparation is a potential source of shigella.

Prevention Tips - Shigella

1.) Maintain good personal hygiene at all times.

2.) Always use proper water treatment methods to insure purity.

3.) Use proper hygiene in all food preparation and cooking areas.

A little safety goes a long way in keeping you and your family safe. In an emergency or crisis situation, the last thing you will need is a case of food poisoning added to your list of problems.

Staying above the water line!


A comment from one of our readers

A tiny bit of advice i could offer is that if anyone wanted to buy a used freezer, they should be sure it's running !!
I bought a nice-looking chest freezer from someone nearby for $75 and it fit perfectly in my unheated mud room - I knew the fellow hadn't been using it for awhile, but I didn't need it right away, didn't have an outlet in mudroom (yeah, yeah, I know), so didn't even try the thing until it got cold & I wanted to butcher. All it did was heat up the room !
Finally contacted fellow I bought from & he will give me $50 back & I will have a $25 secure chest for grains, etc.... Buyer beware !!!

R.F. in Western Mtns. of Maine

Thanks for the comment!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Simple Food Storage Items - Beverages - Part 3 - Distilled Spirits

Re-post Courtesy of Riverwalker's Stealth Survival

Shelf life is a major factor when considering long term storage of beverage items. The shelf life of most distilled liquors is almost indefinite when unopened. While some variations, such as liqueurs, have a very short shelf life. Under the proper storage conditions, distilled spirits can last a very substantial period of time once they are opened.

Distilled Spirits

Most distilled spirits do not age or mature in the bottle. This means that your 20 year old, unopened bottle of bourbon or whiskey will taste relatively the same as first day it was bottled. However, like beer certain liquors can "go bad" after a few months in an opened bottle. This may cause your liquor to loose some of its character or flavor.

Base Liquors

Brandy, gin, rum, tequila, vodka and whiskey are typically the most stable distilled spirits. These can be stored for a long time. These liquors have an indefinite shelf life and once opened may begin to lose certain flavor qualities over a period of time. Depending upon your storage methods, this can be anywhere from several months to several years.


The shelf life of liqueurs is less than the plain distilled spirits because they contain sugar, sweeteners or other ingredients that can spoil or go bad. Most opened liqueurs should last for several months or longer depending on their percentage of alcohol content and the type and amount of preservatives. Opened bottles will lose some of their characteristics due to exposure to the air. If there are any signs of sugar crystallizing on the bottom, discoloration, curdling or other similar changes you will need to discard it. Cream liqueurs that contain dairy, cream or egg products should be consumed by their expiration date. Cheaper versions of cream liqueurs will deteriorate even quicker.

Fortified Wines

Vermouths and other fortified wines have a much longer opened shelf life than regular wines. Vermouth can be stored in an open bottle for at least a few months. It will lose most of its flavor if stored too long after opening.


Follow the manufacturer’s recommended expiration date on the labels of all juices and bottled mixers. It is usually best to refrigerate mixers after opening. Club soda, ginger ale and tonic water should be consumed when opened or shortly afterwards.

Liquor Storage Tips

1.) Keep opened bottles sealed tightly. Use the original cap or a replacement cork.

2.) Never store liquor bottles with speed pourers attached unless they are in use.

3.) Avoid exposure to extreme hot or cold temperatures.

4.) Store your liquor away from exterior walls.

5.) Avoid exposing your liquor to any type of sunlight or bright lighting.

Distilled spirits offer extremely long shelf for your alcoholic beverage storage options.

Staying above the "watered-down liquor" line!


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Simple Survival Tips - Balanced Preppin'

Re-post Courtesy of Riverwalker's Stealth Survival

While it is very easy to get carried away by our emotions at time, it is important to keep a balance in your preps. There are certain things that you will always need to survive. If you fail to maintain a proper balance within these needs, you run the risk of endangering your survival.

You will need food and water. Your survival depends on it. You will also need shelter. Humans are relatively frail creatures that don't do well in harsh or extreme climates. You will also need protection. If you don't have the means to protect your food and water or your shelter, you will be endangering your survival. All of the things necessary for your survival are each a vital part of the whole package that is necessary for you and your family to survive.

Don't let yor emotions run wild. Cooler heads always prevail. Think about where you're at and where you want to be. Don't ignore one part of your preps to the detriment of the others. Leave the panic mode for the sheeple who haven't even begun to prepare. Realize that if you fail to keep a proper balance, you could suddenly find yourself in worse shape that you thought!

Staying above the water line!


Friday, November 27, 2009

Food Safety - Part 1 - Salmonella

Re-post Courtesy of Riverwalker's Stealth Survival

There are many different ways for food to become contaminated. Once contaminated it should be disposed of properly. Avoid food poisoning and therefore its sometimes deadly effects by knowing the proper means of handling and preparing your food. Learn to recognize the different symptoms of the various kinds of food posoning and its effects. Always practice food safety.

Food Poisoning Type - Salmonella

This type of bacteria causes food poisoning when eaten in a food that contains large amounts of this type of bacteria. It’s the most common cause of food poisoning in the majority of countries. The main source of salmonella food poisoning are foods that are not heated or cooked sufficiently to destroy the bacteria or become contaminated after they are cooked or heated.

Signs and Symptoms - Salmonella

The symptoms of salmonella poisoning are diarrhoea, vomiting and fever. These symptoms usuallly occur 10 to 24 hours after eating contaminated food and the effects can last for anywhere from two to four days. These symptoms can be fatal to elderly people, people who are already sick or have a compromised immune sytem, or infants and very young children. Always exercise greater care when handling or preparing food for infants or young children.

Sources of Salmonella Poisoning

1.) The main sources of salmonella poisoning are poultry, eggs, and egg products. Avoid consuming raw doughs or batters containing eggs prior to being fully cooked. Raw cookie dough may taste good but can be potentially dangerous!

2.) Certain dairy products may also pose a potential risk to your health.

Prevention Tips - Salmonella

1.) Keep raw foods separate from cooked foods at all times.

2.) Always carefully clean cooking utensils and equipment before each use.

3.) Never use the same kitchen utensils or equipment on both raw food and cooked food.

4.) People with stomach problems should not prepare or handle cooked foods prior to their consumption.

5.) Use good personal hygiene at all times. Always thoroughly wash your hands before and after handling raw food and prior to handling any cooked food.

A little safety goes a long way in keeping you and your family safe. In an emergency or crisis situation, the last thing you will need is a case of food poisoning added to your list of problems.

Staying above the water line!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Preppin' 101 - Part 6 - Educational Resources

Re-post Courtesy of Riverwalker's Stealth Survival

Being prepared also includes knowing your educational resources. Today there are a wide variety of resources available to further increase your knowledge. From your local library to the internet, the knowledge and information is out there. Invest some quality time to obtain some quality knowledge.

Charlotte M. Mason was a firm believer in the value of education and was one of the leaders in homeschooling. Her series of articles on homeschooling are now available for free download and will make a great addition to your survival library. This online version of Charlotte Mason's six-volume book series is provided for public use at no cost.

The Original Homeschooling Series by Charlotte M. Mason in HTML format is available here for free:

You can also find additional homeschooling tips here: Homeschooling Tips

Staying above the water line!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Simple Survival Tips - Avoiding Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Re-post Courtesy of Riverwalkers Stealth Survival

Carbon_monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and deadly gas. When you are exposed to carbon monoxide, it limits the blood's capacity to carry oxygen throughout your body. This will literally cause your body to die from a lack of oxygen. Carbon monoxide can form in the air through an improperly working heater or furnace, a wood-burning stove, a gas range or water heater, a home fireplace, or any one of a number of devices that burn any type of combustible fuel or oil. Carbon_monoxide_poisoning kills hundreds of people each year and sends thousands more to hospital emergency rooms. Carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms can often be confused with flu symptoms but rapidly become much more serious in nature.

Common symptoms include headache, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, irregular breathing, mental confusion, unconsciousness, and if present in sufficient quantity it can even lead to death. The best way to protect yourself and your family is through prevention and the use of a quality carbon monoxide detector. Everyone is susceptible to the effects of carbon monoxide. The majority of medical experts feel that small children, senior citizens, pregnant women and people with heart or respiratory problems are probably more susceptible to the effects of carbon monoxide.

Safety Tips for Avoiding Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

1.) Keep fresh air circulating throughout any heated areas at all times.

2.) Open a window or vent in order to eliminate any toxic fumes that may build up.

3.) Appliances should be properly vented to direct fumes outdoors and away from any living areas.

4.) Install carbon monoxide detectors with an audible warning alarm. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper installation and maintenance.

5.) Perform proper maintenance on your carbon monoxide detectors on a regularly basis.

6.) Check your furnaces, stoves, fireplaces, and water heaters prior to winter to make sure they are working properly and are properly vented.

7.) Never run the engine in your vehicle in an enclosed area. Always open the garage door before starting your vehicle. Never run a generator indoors.

8.) Never use charcoal or wood burning grills inside your home.

9.) Never operate gas-burning heaters in a closed environment without proper ventilation.

10.) Test your carbon monoxide detectors on a regular basis in order to make sure they are functioning properly. Underwriters Laboratories (UL) listed detectors that sound an audible warning are probably one of the better types to use.

Prevention and early detection are your best protection from the often deadly effects of carbon monoxide. Sometimes the biggest dangers from winter aren’t on the outside, but on the inside of your home.

Staying above the water line!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Simple Food Storage Items - Beverages - Part 2 - Beer

Re-post Courtesy of Riverwalkers Stealth Survival

Shelf life is a major factor when considering long term storage of beverage items. The shelf life of beer is usually quite short but there are alternatives that can enable you to store some beers up to a period of 5 years or more under the proper storage conditions.

There are four main things that impact a beer's shelf life. More than one process is sometimes combined to increase the shelf life. It is important to understand the different factors that affect beer’s shelf life.

1.) The first process is pasteurization. This is where beer is heated for a short time period to kill microbes in the beer. This is what usually causes the beer’s taste and quality to deteriorate over time.

2.) The second process is sterile filtration. This is where beer passes through a mechanical filtration system that removes any yeast or hops still present in the beer which could cause a continuation of the fermentation process.

3.) The third process is bottle-conditioning. This is where some yeast is left in the bottle to slow the oxidation process. This helps to maintain the beer's quality.

4.) The fourth process is the actual beer recipe. Beers with higher alcohol content or more hops in the recipe will take longer to lose their freshness than beers with lower alcohol or hops content. As a result, stouts, porters, Belgian Ales, and German Bocks have the longest shelf lives.
Proper purchasing techniques can increase the shelf life of your beer. Look for freshness dating on beer. The date may be on the bottle, case packaging, or cap. Also keep in mind that beer sitting at room temperature will start to degrade very quickly. Refrigerated storage slows the oxidation process that takes place in beer. Oxidation is what gives your beer that flat, cardboard taste after a period of time. It is also best to avoid any beer that's been sitting in direct sunlight. This spoils the hops and creates that “skunky” flavor.

To achieve your beer's maximum shelf life, give it a little respect. The more common American beers have a short shelf life of approximately six to eight weeks. This can be almost doubled with proper storage. You can increase this shelf life by storing it at a room temperature of around 60 degrees Fahrenheit, otherwise you will need to keep it refrigerated. It will also need to be stored out of any form of direct sunlight, if not refrigerated, to increase its shelf life. You can also get a longer shelf life by purchasing bottle-conditioned beers (ales, bocks, etc.). These beers contain living yeast, and when stored at moderate room temperatures and out of direct sunlight they can have a shelf life of up to five years or more.

Here is a guide for the different types of beer:

Guide to Different Types of Beer

Here is a list of bottle-conditioned beers available:

Bottle-Conditioned Beers

Around the Riverwalker farm, the shelf life of most beer is measured in minutes!

Staying above the water line!


Monday, November 23, 2009

Preparedness Tips - Re-Packaging Ground Coffee for Storage

Re-post Courtesy of Riverwalkers Stealth Survival

Here's a great tip on re-packaging your ground coffee. Ground coffee has a very short shelf life once opened. To keep that fresh ground coffee taste here's a valuable tip.

Sam said...

Coffee StorageRW, you are dead on that ground coffee is only good for about two weeks after it is opened.

Good news! I just completed a save-the-coffee experiment, and It worked! I can only drink one (large) cup of coffee a day. Yet in my preps I have a bunch of three pound cans of ground coffee. I discovered that I could only use a quarter (max) of a can before it turned sour.I got the bright idea to repack the freshly opened ground coffee into small canning jars.

Pack coffee in the jar tight (to get the air out) till it was slightly less than half an inch from the top of the jar, wipe the rim of the jar free of coffee grounds, and screw on a new lid.Then I used my Pump and Seal ($20 online) and vacuum sealed the jar. Stored these in a cool dark closet till I needed one.

I just finished the last jar (10 weeks after repackaging it). It tasted fresh to the last cup! I use that little Pump and Seal for a lot of my preps, but not ammo. It can suck the bullets right out of a cartridge.

Keep up the great work RW!

November 10, 2008 9:00 AM

You can read about or order a pump-n-seal unit here: http://www.pump-n-seal.com/

Staying above the water line!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

DIY De-humidifier for Your Gun Storage - Update

Re-post Courtesy of Riverwalkers Stealth Survival

A couple of readers have left excellent tips for a DIY de-humidifier for your gun storage.
Here are a couple of excellent tips!

R.E.A.L. said…

That's one way to do it, however I use this method.
1. Container with plastic lid or Mason jar and just the ring.
2. 1 coffee filter
3. Silica gel from hobby store

Place gel in container and cover top with coffee filter. Place ring on Mason jar or cut center out of plastic lid and put on container. The filter lets moisture in and keeps the gel from spilling out.

BTW, any hygroscopic material will work. Silica gel is effective, but I might use pickling lime in a pinch instead of chalk.

gott_cha said...

Here is another one Riverwalker.

Take 1 pair of clean gym socks, fill half way with fresh uncooked white rice.....tie off the ends,..pitch into the bottom of the gun safe/closet... Very cheap and you should already have the rice on hand.This lasts about 8 months before it needs to be dumped out and sun dried to recharge.

Thanks R.E.A.L! Thanks gott_cha!

Staying above the water line!


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Simple Survival Tips - Handling Ammunition Safely

Re-post Courtesy of Riverwalkers Stealth Survival

Many people’s homes in America contain a variety of common items that are far more dangerous than a collection of ammunition for firearms. Cans of spray paint, gasoline containers for lawn equipment, or propane tanks for Bar-b-que grills pose a much greater explosive hazard. These will all explode as easily as ammunition with far more disastrous consequences. They will also provide additional fuel to a fire. It is vital that you know how to handle and use your ammunition safely.

Rules for Safe Ammunition Use, Storage, and Transport

1.) Always use the correct ammunition for your firearm. Rotate your stock of ammunition on a regular basis.

2.) Always check with a firearms dealer or qualified gunsmith to determine the proper ammunition for your firearm if you do not know the proper type.

3.) Always check the condition of your ammunition before use in your firearm. Damaged or irregular ammunition of any type should not be used.

4.) Always keep your ammunition away from excessive heat or impact with sharp objects. Avoid excessive humidity as this can adversely affect the shelf life.

5.) Always store your ammunition in the original container, a properly labeled ammo box or a properly labeled storage area in your gun safe.

6.) Always keep different size cartridges and shells separate. This will prevent accidental loading of improper ammunition for your firearm.

7.) Always keep your ammunition in a secure location.

8.) Always discard ammunition which can not be properly identified. Missing head stamps on cartridges or unlabeled ammunition storage containers can lead to deadly consequences.

9.) Always use proper containers to carry or transport your ammunition.
Ammo bags, pouches, or cans should be a necessary part of ammo transport.

10.) Always check with a qualified gunsmith if your firearm appears to have been modified or re-chambered to insure you are using the proper caliber of ammunition.

Ammunition exposed to a fire may eventually be heated to the point that the primer or powder will ignite. This usually results in the cartridge case rupturing and forcing the primer from the pocket. The powder will burn but does not explode. The force is dispersed in all directions because the ammunition is not constrained within the barrel of a gun. Military surplus ammo cans are an excellent and safe method for the storing of your ammunition.

Staying above the water line!


Friday, November 20, 2009

Simple Food Storage Items - Beverages

Re-post Courtesy of Riverwalkers Stealth Survival

One of the most useful items you can have in your food storage program is beverages. There are also a number of instant products that have very good shelf life. If it becomes necessary to boil your water or add chemical purifiers, having beverage mixes handy will increase the flavor and taste of an otherwise bland drink. Here are some simple storage beverage items.


Ground Coffee has a shelf life of about 2 years when unopened and about 2 weeks when opened.

Instant Coffee has a shelf life of about 1 year unopened and about 2 to 3 weeks when opened.

Powdered Coffee Creamer has an approximate shelf life of 6 months.


Instant Tea has a shelf life of about 3 years.

Loose Tea has a shelf life of about 2 years.

Tea Bags have a shelf life of approximately 18 months.


Canned Milk has an approximate shelf life of 1 year.

Instant Nonfat Dry Milk has an approximate shelf life of 6 months in the pantry and up to a year in the freezer.


Diet Sodas have a shelf life of about 3 months when unopened.

Regular Sodas have a shelf life of about 6 months when unopened.


Country Time Lemonade, Crystal Light, and Kool Aid Drink Mixes, etc. have an approximate shelf life of 2 years.


Powder Baby Formula in cans is good for approximately one year after the expiration date. The reason they last longer is they are vacuum sealed in order to maintain freshness.Opened cans are good for approximately 4 weeks once opened and this time period can be extended to about 8 weeks if stored in the refrigerator.

Storing beverage items will give you additional variety in your food storage program.

Staying above the water line!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Simple Survival Gear - DIY De-humidifier for Ammo Storage

Re-post Courtesy of Riverwalkers Stealth Survival

Humidity is one of the main factors that can affect your ammo storage. While there are many good de-humidifiers for your gun safes that work quite well, financial resources may be limited. You may also lack the funds for a large gun safe and are looking for a way to protect your ammunition from humidity that is being stored in ammo cans because of their portability. Here is a simple way to make a DIY dehumidifier for your ammo storage.

The Needed Items:

1.) Plastic container with tight-fitting lid that is appropriately sized for your storage area. Use a larger one for a gun safe and a smaller size for an ammo can, etc.

2.) A hammer, rock, or boot heel to pound with.

3.) An old piece of ladies hosiery. Do not use the wife’s good ones. Ask nicely and she will give you an old pair. They usually have a bunch of old ones. Do not go out and buy new hose as this is not a “macho guy” type thing.

4.) Knife, nail, or other sharp pointy object to poke holes. Your Ka-bar will work.

4.) Sidewalk chalk (any color works fine - just don’t use pink-colored unless you are female). Do not use your children’s sidewalk chalk as this could cause your children undue stress. It’s very cheap! Go buy your own!

The How-To-Make Procedure:

1.) Pound sidewalk chalk with hammer, rock, or boot heel.

2.) Place pulverized sidewalk chalk in piece of hosiery and secure any open ends with string or twine.

3.) Take appropriate size plastic container with lid and use sharp pointy object to poke numerous small holes in the container or lid, whichever is easier.

4.) Place hosiery bag with busted chalk in plastic container and place in ammo storage unit (gun safe, ammo can, coffee can, old cardboard box, etc.).

Check your DIY De-Humidifier for Ammo Storage on a fairly frequent basis, every few weeks should be sufficient, and simply remove the bag if it gets moist or starts to clump up from humidity and place in bright sunlight for a few hours to dry out and return it to its container when the chalk has dried out. It is now ready to be re-used. Recycling can be fun and easy!

Got chalk?

Staying above the water line!
MainePreppersNetwork.com Est. Jan 17, 2009 All contributed articles owned and protected by their respective authors and protected by their copyright. Maine Preppers Network is a trademark protected by American Preppers Network Inc. All rights reserved. No content or articles may be reproduced without explicit written permission.