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About LivingGray

  • Rank
  • Birthday 04/10/1940


  • Biography
    Vietnam Vet (MOS 13E40). Living Gray is a philosophy as well as my hair color. After Nam, I went to Grad School - basically didn't know what else to do with my life. While in School I worked as the Graduate Assistant in the Wildernes Survival Program.
  • Location
    S.W. Michigan
  • Interests
    Prepping, Photoshop, Videos
  • Occupation
    Retired College Administrator
  1. LivingGray

    Womens Selfdefense

    One of the ideas that my wife had to learn is that she doesn't draw a gun just to scare someone. The bad guys know you won't shoot if that's all your doing - and they will probably take the gun away from you. The point is, unless the situation has deteriorated to a point where a gun is necessary, never draw a gun unless you have full intention of using it.
  2. LivingGray

    Womens Selfdefense

    We dealt with this issue several years ago. My wife is an intergal part of our Survival Team. As such, she needed to be ready to help defend if necessary. That involved some attitude adjustment on her part, but now, I know she has my back when it is necessary. A woman's forum is a good idea.
  3. LivingGray

    learn to skin game

    Good description of how the process works.
  4. LivingGray

    learn to skin game

    If you feel that in the future you may need to hunt wild game for food, you need to learn how to turn a killed critter into food now rather than waiting until it is a food emergency.
  5. LivingGray

    learn to skin game

    Mike, I'd hook up with some country folk who hunt. Ask them if you can watch when they dress out some game. Take lots of notes but don't be a pain for them. Then go out and find a place to hunt (possible a State Game area) - kill some game - then practice, practice, practice skinning it. One point - it is much easier to skin a critter immediately after the kill rather than letting it cool first. An example is a squirl (excellent flavor by the way). They are easy to skin while they are fresh but if you let them lay around on the ground until you get a few more, it becomes extremely difficult to get the skin off. A personal observation - you will have more difficulty field-dressing than skinning. There are many Survival books that cover these subjects. I'd read up before trying to observe people who hunt. They will appreciate it.
  6. LivingGray

    Cash as a Prep

    Perhaps it would be helpful to devise a scale of probabilities where we can easily plug in the relative importance of various factors. Such a scale is easy to construct (use Excel) if we start at the bottom with a 100% probability that something will occur (which means that there is a 0% probability that it will not occur) and end at the top with a 0% probability that something will occur (which conversely gives a 100% probability that it will not.) At the half way point we would have 50% probability that something will occur (which also gives a 50% probability that it will not.) Start with a vertical line. Mark the bottom 100% and the top 0%. Then at increments of 10, put marks along the line and designate them with the appropriate next Percentage. This will leave 10 lines between each percentage where we can plug in the survival-dependant issues that we need to improve. Once the scale is done then we can plug in the factors that we want to look at. This is a subjective process at best so we need to be very honest with ourselves (else we are the only ones that we will hurt.) If a factor falls into the 10% probability that it will occur, we need to rate it as such, and enter it near the top of the line - at the appropriate place on the scale. If a factor has a 90% probability that it will occur, we need to enter it near the bottom of the line – at the appropriate place on the scale. So why go to all of this trouble? An excellent example is earlier in this thread. Something that seems to be obvious at first glance may well not be after giving it some thought. Once we have our factors rated, a quick glance at the scale will tell us where to allocate our time and money resources in a more beneficial manner. We can use this site to get feedback as to the reality of our choices.
  7. LivingGray

    Cash as a Prep

    To me, this falls into the 80/20 or 90/10 category. What is the most probable situation after a major catastrophic event - a temporary shutdown of the systems (falls into the 80 or 90 percent category), or a total collapse of civilized life (falls into the 10% to 20% percent category)? In the most-probable situation, access to your money in a bank may temporarily not be possible (at least for days - maybe even weeks or even months). But, it is most likely that the banking system will again be active at some future date. In the mean time, cash could become scarce, which will increase it's value. Certainly, if there is a total collapse cash might become worthless, but is that a high probability? I'm preparing for the 80% to 90% probability and keep cash in my bug out supplies.
  8. LivingGray

    Living in the country

    Bunker Hill Security is the brand name, I bought them at Harbor Freight. As long as I keep fresh batteries in them (changed every 6 months) they do an excellent job.
  9. This a recipe for home-made bread that is easy to make when one is cooking over a campfire. Soda Bread 3 cups (12 oz) of wheat flour 1 cup (4 oz) of white flour (do not use self-rising as it already contains baking powder and salt) 14 ounces of buttermilk 1 teaspoon of salt 1 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. 2 ounces of butter. Method: Preheat the Dutch Oven while doing the following: Lightly grease and flour a bread or cake pan. In a large bowl sieve and combine all the dry ingredients. Rub in the butter until the flour is crumbly. Add the buttermilk and mix to form a sticky dough. Place on floured surface and lightly (5 to 7 times) knead (too much allows the gas to escape) Shape the bread dough into a loaf to fit the bread pan, or into a round flat shape in a round cake pan. Cut an expansion-slit in the top of the dough. Place the bread pan into the preheated Dutch Oven and cover. Bake for 45 minutes (over your campfire, in a pit oven, or with characoal below and on top of the Dutch Oven). After baking, remove bread pans from the Dutch Oven. The bottom of the bread will have a hollow sound when tapped to show it is done. Cover the bread in a towel and lightly sprinkle water on the cloth to keep the bread moist. Let cool for 15 minutes and you are ready to enjoy the aroma and flavor of buttered slice of home-made bread.
  10. LivingGray

    Living in the country

    They are a motion detector - if you stand still in front of the detector if sounds once when you move into its field of observation and once when you exit that field. If standing in the detection field and repeatedly moving your hand it keeps beeping. The mail delivery vehicle often sets it off several times before exiting our driveway.
  11. LivingGray

    Question about a Faraday Cage

    Can you attach them to a PM?
  12. LivingGray

    Stone-Pit Oven

    A stone-pit for baking is something that can be used in any emergency - or just for a fun way to cook dinner. I built my stone-pit as part of our outdoor kitchen several years ago: dug a hole in the back yard (near the fire-circle) about 24 inches in diameter and 24 to 30 inches deep. Then I lined the hole with stones (ranging from grapefruit to baseball size - don't use river rocks - they can explode from the heat). I went to a local salvage yard and bought a 30 inch square of 1/4 inch iron for an oven lid. To use the oven, I build a fire in it and keep it burning for 2 to 3 hours (until the pit is about 3/4 full of hot coals). Then shovel out half of the coals (put them on a piece of pole-barn metal). Then, I put a 14 inch Dutch Oven containing food in the pit and dump the removed coals back on top of it - put the lid on the oven - and cover it with dirt left over from digging the pit. Over the past several years, we have used the pit-oven to make many pot roast and vegetables dinners (takes around 3 hours in the oven), baked bread (one hour in the oven), made a cobbler desert (takes one hour in the oven) and many other one-pot meals. The first time I used the oven, I put an electronic meat thermometer inside the Ducth Oven - the initial temperature was just over 400 degrees and that temp slowly dropped over the cooking time. When the meal is done (need to experiment) I use a hay-hook to pull the Dutch Oven out of the ashes - it will be very hot. Cooking in the oven is a fun activity and a skill that could be useful in an extended emergency. If anyone tries it, I'm interested in how it turns out and what recipe you used.
  13. LivingGray

    Jerking and Salting meat

    Making jerky is kind of like making soup - every recipe has it's own flavor. Over the years (I'm 71 - I've been down this road for a while) I have thrown out more experiments than I have kept. With most recipies the final product is very salty - not good for Survival because it increases thirst.) You need to do a lot of experimenting to find something that you like (a big advantage to having a freezer full of Venison.) My final recipe is as follows: Cut the meat into 1/4 inch strips. For the brine mix the following: 1 Cup Morton Tender Quick cure 1 Cup Fructose Sugar (Fructose has a better flavor than Sucrose or regular sugar - I get it at a Health Food store). 1 Cup of Grade B Maple Syrup (Grade B has a much stronger flavor than the light flavor of Grade A that you buy in the store, I get it right from a Syrup maker - it's the stuff that's left in the bottom of the cooker when they are finished making syrup. 3 QTS of water Put the meat in the brine for 24 hours (keep it in the refrigerator and turn strips over every 2 to 4 hours). Then remove from brine and rinse quickly (just to remove any excess surface cure). Put meat strips in a food dehydrator until they are leathery. Put dired strips in the smoke (Shagbark Hickory bark is best for jerky) for a minimum of an hour (how long in the smoker is a matter of personal taste. I let mine smoke for 3 hours - but then, I like a strong smoke flavor.) Put dried, smoked strips in storage bags and put in the frige to cool. For long term storae I use a Food Saver Vacuum Sealer.
  14. LivingGray

    Pemmican,long term storage.

    That stuff will keep for a long time - however, you need to experiment with the spices you add. Without some spices the lard-based Pemmican has a very dominate lard taste. The peanutbutter base has a lot less cholesterol than the lard based and gives the Pemmican a different flavor. Another possible substitute is to use butter as the base ingredient. It's something that you need to experiement with and find something that you like and will eat. We have also made a Venison Patae (SP?) by cooking ground venison then grinding it 2 more times, then adding the ground meat into melted butter (not margerine) and letting it cool. The Patae makes an excellent cracker or bread spread. Smoked Dried Venison can also be ground and mixed with softened cream cheese for an excellent cracker dip. Smoked salmon makes another excellent dip when mixed with cream cheese.
  15. LivingGray

    Meat in the freezer

    If you get a deer, that is a lot of meat that has to be stored - a freezer is the answer. However, there is always the issue of freezer-burn if food is left in the freezer for an extended time (over a year). If you have ever tasted food that was freezer-burned you know that it tastes very bad. Quite by accident, I found a solution to that problem. Last summer, when cleaning out the freezer, I found a package of Venison that was put in there in 2008 (my bad). When I opened the package, the meat was dark brown (partially dehydrated) with large patches of freezer-burn. Being curious, I cut the roast in half. What I found was that the brown and freezer-burn only went in about 1/4 of an inch. Beyond that it was nice and red. So I cooked up a small piece just to test for flavor - it was as fresh as the recent additions to the freezer so had the rest of it for dinner. When we convert a deer into Venison in the freezer we we remove all bones (they take up space and are not eddible) and then wrap and freeze large whole "roasts". When we are ready to use the "roast" we cut it into the size peices that we want that day. Certainly, when storing food in a freezer it is best to use it within 6 months to a year. However, large "roast" size packages of meat that have been in the freezer too long can be salvaged. The throw-away from that "roast" was less than 1/10 the total amount of meat.