Thursday, September 11, 2014

Preparing for winter in 2014

The word is, that this years winter in the United states is going to be brutal compared to what we have been getting the last several years. It is suppose to hit us a lot earlier as well. My sources say the end of September or early October.
According to the newest edition of North America’s oldest continuously published periodical, a decline in solar activity combined with ocean-atmosphere patterns in the Pacific and Atlantic will result in below-normal temperatures and above-normal snowfall during most of the winter across much of the United States.

“This winter is shaping up to be a rough one,” says Janice Stillman, editor of The Old Farmer’s Almanac. “Sweaters and snow shovels should be unpacked early and kept close by throughout the season. The good news is that the extra precipitation—which will fall as rain or snow depending where you are—will help with any drought issues left over from the summer.”
Where I currently live we tend to lose power during every storm and with no fireplace or wood burning stove, an alternate heat and cooking source is a must for our survival. This article will touch base on some basic things you will need to consider storing so you and your family will make it through the winter comfortably.

Milk, Eggs and Bread Oh My!

We have all seen how crazy people get at the idea that the store might run out of bread, milk and eggs during natural disasters or a threat of severe weather. This winter is no exception. The cost on these items will sky rocket the closer we get to it. People will begin to panic and possibly start raiding stores in some areas.  My suggestion would be to start purchasing powdered milk and eggs now so you will have plenty later and won’t have to fight a mob. (Wonderful information on powdered milk can be found here.) Also, store up on shelf stable foods such as soups, beans or anything that might help keep you warm that can be cooked using an alternative heat source. ie….grill, camp stove, campfire etc.

Milk- Below are several links to powdered milk that has been researched and has good reviews in regards to taste. I would also recommend purchasing some chocolate powder to make chocolate milk for the little ones or yourself if you want a change. Comfort foods and drinks can play an important role in an uncomfortable, unfamiliar situation.
Eggs are one of those things a lot of people do not keep tabs on when it comes to how many eggs their family uses per month. For this reason alone we keep powdered eggs in our pantry and our food storage. They come in great when baking and for breakfast when I am out or when the electric goes out. There is no refrigeration involved what so ever so it’s one less thing to worry about in a winter storm. Toss in some real bacon crumble (salad topper) with the eggs and grab that box of hash brown mix off the shelf and voila, you have a hot breakfast with or without electric.

Ova Easy Eggs- In my opinion is one of the best out there when it comes to crystallized eggs. By far the healthiest when it comes to nutritional value. (Review and Facts) OvaEasy Eggs are made with technology that keeps the egg’s nutrition and flavor intact.  They gently evaporate the egg in a low temperature procedure which causes the water to evaporate leaving the whole egg crystals, hence the name, Egg Crystals.  To reconstitute these Egg Crystals, just add water! They really do taste just like fresh scrambled eggs!

Bread-  How ever much you think will last your family for at least a week then buy some and store it in the freezer or be prepared to bake some.

Water Is a Must Store Item……not an option.
There are several ways of storing water quickly that you can choose from. The most common is to buy gallon jugs, bottles of water, or wash and refill juice or soda bottles. I have also seen some really neat stack able water containers. (I have not personally used them so if you have please comment below and let us know if they are worth it.)
Listed below are a few other great examples.

61blEE49LzL._SL1500_The Water Reservoir holds up to a 100 Gallons of water cleanly in your bath tub and comes with a siphon hose.

711Rfl33tSL._SL1500_Another popular way to store large amounts of water is with a 55 gallon water barrel. They often come with a complete Kit so you are able to extract the clean water from the barrel.

Alternate Heat/Cooking Sources are Important
Especially if you live in areas that are extremely cold. Some of the more obvious things you probably already have are extra blankets, sleeping bags, warm shoes batteries/flashlights etc… A few things you may not of thought of might be….

sheep_wool_productsWool Socks, wool cap/beanie, and/or gloves: Wool will help trap the heat in where it escapes the most. Your head, hands and feet so that your body stays warm.

big-buddyMr. Heater: If you have a fireplace,wood stove or generator then you are good to go my friend, but if not then you should consider at least one or two alternate sources of heat for your family. Based off of friends advice and much research we purchased a Mr. Heater as our alternate source for now. It can be run off two small portable camping propane tanks. (Like the ones used on a Coleman camp cook stove.) Or a bigger Grill style tank. (make sure to purchase the longer hose and adapter for the bigger tanks.) The Big Buddy 18,000 BTU/HR capacity can heat up to 400 sq ft. The Big Buddy combines radiant heat with convection heat air flow for maximum heating efficiency. Multi-position heat settings control comfort level. Built-in low oxygen sensor and tip over switch ensure safe, reliable confident operation. It has an easy-carry handle with built-in blower fan to circulate heated air for higher heating efficiency. Blower fan operates on 4D-cell batteries or with optional 6-volt A/C adapter. As with grilling it is very important to make sure all of the propane is out of the hose once you turn it off.

(Updated Note: I received some excellent advice on my Facebook page to help improve owning these heaters. He recommended to also invest in deep cycle batteries, a small power inverter and small solar panel. With those we should be good to go for heat. Thanks for the advice my fellow prepper!)
71bmSDIoeHL._SL1500_Heat Inserts/ Body Warmer: These are great because they can be tucked in almost anywhere at any time for warm up hands, feet, toes, or pockets.

gas-electric-burners-200x-NO-150x150Alternative Cooking Sources are very important as well so that you are able to cook what ever is in the fridge once the power is out. Stock up on some charcoal and propane for those grills!! For some wonderful ideas on alternate cooking sources please click here.

Rock Salt to melt ice on the stairs and other important areas out side of your home is a very important thing to consider adding to your garage. Rock salt is very cheap and well worth it compared to the cost of a broken bone, physical therapy or a trip to the emergency room. We also keep a small container of this in the back of our vehicle during winter in case we ever need to get out of a bad situation. For a detailed list of some items you might want to add to your EDC Car Kit, click here.)

51CTFOC6J+LCommunication is important. Always keep your phones, tablets and lap tops charged with an extra battery back up. A solar charger is a wonderful addition to your preps in case you lose power for more than a day or two. If your able to drive out of your area then you can always take advantage of outlets restaurants provide to customers. It is always wise to have an emergency weather radio for updates on the conditions in your area. The one we have chosen to use is the Ambient Weather WR112 Emergency Solar Hand Crank Weather Radio, flash light, smart phone charger, with weather alert siren.

Medications: Have a supply of ever family members medications in one spot along with a print out of each persons medical history and their doctors information. This is very important in case you get trapped inside for several weeks or have to evacuate your home. The last thing you want to do is search for your medicines and hope you got everything if you have 20 minutes to get out of dodge.

Depending on where you live, this is a *very basic* list of things you should consider having around before winter strikes this year. Every person will have different needs, but if you cover Water, Food, Heat, Communication and a way to cook then you should be able to make it just fine until power comes back on. Have an evacuation plan ready to go and practiced with your family just in case you need to leave your home for a short time. Remember, being prepared is what saves your life….not the government.

Keepin It Spicy,
Jalapeño Gal, aka Cari Schofield
Please Visit/Join My Site at Jalapeño Gals Way of Living

Sunday, September 7, 2014

To My Friends & Loyal Readers

This is just a note to update you all. The last year of my life has been somewhat hectic so I have not been able to post on here as much as I would like. I have been working on a new website that is designed more for cooking, canning, dehydrating AND my survival articles and information. No worries, my passion is still to share my information on survival with you all.While doing this I am also currently moving my information from this blog to the new one, Jalapeño Gals Way of Cooking & Living. I really hope you will all join me there as well. The site will have a little bit of everything survival related so please be patient and any advice or suggestions are welcome on the new page. :)

Of course this blog will still be left up but my more current and recent post will be posted on the new site. So please, come have a look and join me over there.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Amazing Gifts For Any Prepper For Any Holiday!!

Christmas-giftsIt is that time of year again and the holidays are creeping in on us quickly so I am back at finding some really good gifts for any prepper that we love.  This years article is going to be full of great products at the cheapest price I am able to find. Some of these things made last years list as well so I am re-adding the top sellers to this list. :) Please feel free to email me with anything you would like added to this list that you would like others to know about. (
(Note: I went for the less obvious choices verses things a lot of preppers, campers, hikers etc already have. Such as fire starters, compass etc..)


oil-lamp-lid2-150x150Mason Jar Oil Lamp Burners:  Convert your Mason Jars into conventional oil lamps!  These come in a pack of four and are lids that fit on mason jars to turn them into oil lamps for when the electricity is out and you need to see.  For any canner these are a perfect gift because they always have jars.  If the person you wish to give these to is or isn’t a prepper you can add  some jars and a jug of lamp oil and your good to go for light when the power fails.  Another idea:  Last year I bought a case of 12 mason jars ($16.00), 12 of the Mason Jar Oil Lamp Lids ($60.00), and 12 Jugs of lamp oil ($96.00) and made 12 gift bags for 12 people and all for about $170.00 in supplies.  You can’t beat that if you have multiple people to buy gifts for.  You can of course omit the oil and your cost drops to $76.00 for 12 gifts for 12 people. (Note: These are not a good idea for those living in earth quake zones.)

This Rayovac Head Lamp gets very good reviews and is affordable.  Every man needs to be able to use both hands when camping, hiking, or just fixing things around the house that are in dark corners. 

Grizzly two-person sleeping bag: This bag is Amazing! I like them for several reasons. The obvious first is to cuddle with my husband when we camp. I have also had reviews that this bag is good for a larger person as well. People often buy a sleeping bags and think they are covered. Unless you sleep in it though you do not know if you will fit in it or are comfortable in it.  The downside to a two person sleeping bag is only one person carries it. (That could be a plus for us ladies though right? )

Casio PRG27-Casio PR270-1: This incredible watch is perfect for the man or woman who wants a tough water resistance, solar power, low temperature resistant (-10c/14f), digital compass with bearing memory altimeter, barometer, thermometer; sunrise & sunset data.

Straight Razor: I am going to list two razors here and you can see the price difference yourself. After checking with several men I know who use the COl. Conk they say it is worth it to buy the more expensive one because that razor can last a life time and save you a lot of money yearly in replaceable blades from the store. We all know how expensive that can be.  The first one I am listing is the entire shaving kit set and the more expensive of the two. It is a Col. Conk DOVO 506B.

The second blade, is a Parker SR1 Stainless Steel straight razor that uses replaceable blades. It has good reviews and is considerable cheaper than the razor listed above.  However, both would be a great addition to a BOB or camping/hunting gear.

Leather Man 830040 New Wave Multi-tool With Sheath: This tool has so many specs I can’t name them here, but you can read them all when you click the link.  I do not know a man who does not love and respect Leather man tools.

Custom Leather Craft Multi-purpose tool holder:  If your man carries a Multi-purpose tool, a cell phone, and small flash light, keys and even more, then this next find will be perfect to put his Every Day Carry items in.
Bad Lands Pack: I will always include a bag of some sort on any holiday list. There for a while I had the attitude of, ” Who doesn’t own a BOB already?” Fact is, many people don’t, so it will always be here.

granite-ware215qtwaterbathcannerkitWater Bath Canners are a great present for those who love to can fruits, jellies or jams so if your lady has shown an interest in this, it is the perfect time to get her one of these at an affordable price!!

81bRdI3qURL._SL1500_Heirloom Seeds:  For the gardener people out there, here is an heirloom, non GMO, high-protein seed pack set for $25.00.  Any welcome addition to a preppers collection!  This set features 10 varieties of seeds that are selected to generate high amounts of protein in a short growing season.  You can harvest more seeds year after year to add to your storage collection and store them in he 8×8 Mylar zip seal bag that is included.  Another option is this #10 can of 20 variety types of Non Hybrid, heirloom seeds to add to your storage pantry.  This can offers a variety of fruits and vegetables.

41IUno-JtTL._SY300_Revive Series Solar Charger:  This is one of my personal favorites.   For an unbelievable price of $28.00 this little baby will recharge your e-book readers, Mp3 players,smart phones and other USB powered devices.  A must have for any BOB or for use while camping or hiking if your addicted to your electronics.  Another option for those who have a little more money to spend and prefer the solar panel chargers, here is an affordable Goal Zero Nomad product.

51+eDTDHrfL._SX300_159 Piece First Responder First Aid Kit:  I know, I know, we like to build our own first aid kit.  However, I have to give this one its prop’s and if you scroll way down to the bottom on the product page, you will see why.  The items in this bag (And might I add, an AWESOME bag) are not your typical store-bought first aid items.  Here is one woman’s review:  “I did some research on first aid kits to find one for my car.  I originally thought I would have to build a kit on my own because I couldn’t find one that had everything you would need for a real emergency–until I found this. This kit has stuff for small injuries and for large emergencies.  My husband is a certified EMT and uses this kit when he is off work.  I bought it thinking it would be a great thing to have for my accident-prone children, but my husband soon took it because he liked it so much.  We have used it for small “boo-boo’s” and for when my husband splashed gas into his eyes ~don’t ask.  Thankfully, we haven’t used it for a big emergency, but it gives great comfort knowing that we are prepared if anything should happen.”

4 Gallon Water Counter top Filtration System:  This system will filter 1000 gallons of water into premium alkaline mineral drinking water.  The micro-ceramic filter contains millions of tiny pores that measure 0.2-0.5 micron in size, which removes up to 99% bacteria, trap harmful contaminates, parasites, and effectively reduces man-made chemicals, pesticides, herbicides and toxins.  At $80.00 this system will pay for itself in 2 months.  The ceramic filter life is 1,000 gallons or 1 year, 5-stage Filter is 500 gallons or 6 months.

51NNIIrKIML._SY450_Excalibur 2500 Food Dehydrator:  This dehydrator is awesome!  It has a built-in thermometer and fan along with a 5 year warranty.  This one does run on the power grid, and is a little pricier at $170.00, but is the perfect gift for the loved one who loves to preserve food for food storage.  If you’re looking for something a little more traditional that doesn’t use electricity, the Food Pantry Hanging Dehydrator made by Food Pantry is an alternative.

hiker_pr01-150x150Katadyn Micro Pro Micro Water Filter:  This filter is one of the bestselling micro filters on the market.  It is perfect for camping and hiking.  It is lightweight and small and you can filter water directly from a stream or river.  This product will filter 200 gallons of water at an affordable cost.

strainer1-150x150Victorio VKP250 Food Strainer:  I personally CAN many different types of berry jelly and jams and I HATE the seeds.  Food Strainers work by quickly separating fruit from skin, seeds and stems.  This is an awesome time saver for anyone who loves to CAN their own foods or preserve foods.  It also makes great sauces, juices, purees, and jams without the painful peeling and coring that would normally take hours depending on what you’re canning.
There is also an awesome accessory kit to go with it if  you so choose to give your loved one more products to work with.

Victorio VKP250 Food Strainer 4 Piece Accessory Kit:  A great addition to the food strainer listed under number 9.  This kit includes a berry screen, a pumpkin screen, a salsa screen, and a grape spiral.

61MbcUbKQCL._SL1000_Bella Rocket Blender- This nifty little gadget is great for those who dehydrate things like hot sauce or tomatoes. It turns your foods to powder in seconds so you can add them to your food storage.

Seychelle 28oz Flip Top Advanced Water Filtration Bottle with Spare Filter Hydration is always a big #1 for preppers, hikers and campers. Here is a reasonable affordable filtration bottle and extra filter to add to the bug out packs or camping gear.

For MORE Great gifts, check out this page here. It is a collection of things I have put together that people (including my family) have said are great products for being prepared.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

How To Survive An Unexpected Rip Tide In Myrtle Beach

Guest Post Submitted By Joe Chance

As difficult as it is to survive a rip tide in Myrtle Beach or anywhere else it is difficult sharing this story. There is a valuable point to you the reader. To you the parent of a 12 year old son, and a 12 year old daughter; that find yourself in this most frightening and terrifying ordeal. 

Summer 2009 the family blissfully basking on the beach. Finally away from society and alone we can wash away our stresses and just be ourselves. You know what it’s like to get away. The ocean... Myrtle Beach... or Puerto Del Secreto, Mexico.  Any place you can go and stay in a rented house that has a pool overlooking a beach.  A place that promises you total enjoyment, recreation and the hope that your children will grow closer and find something special to remember with affection for years to come.

As a former Marine and a police officer with 10 years on the job there is no place safer, nor more enjoyable than being all alone with your wife and children on the beach. Seriously, the kids are great swimmers and there isn’t a person within a mile to the East or the West. It’s a situation where you and your wife might even be able to slip over a dune for a little frisky play. So why not totally relax.
But as often happens at the beaches of the world you notice the wind picked up. The kids went in the water because the waves are a little more pronounced. The only two other people to be seen are two young surfers… obviously regulars out beyond the kids on their boards.  The kids are playing with each other vigorously splashing around. It’s such a satisfying picture as you cuddle up with your wife.

Sure you’re getting the idea right. You see I’m painting a nice picture. You have probably even experienced this scene over and over.  But now I must proclaim that my skin is tensing as I write this story because I feel this day and often find myself lost in thought because of it. The Rip Tide at Myrtle Beach ~ at any beach is an evil creature that skulks in the dark water beyond your children’s playful splashing. How do you survive a rip tide at Myrtle Beach or any beach is the question that my children must answer. This story doesn’t get any warmer so if you’re feeling prickly and nervous as I am while I write it you may just want to move on. 

While embraced in a kiss with my wife I felt so at peace our feet in the warm sand. The wind cooling us as it was hot and our skin burned from the sun. Mothers have powerful radars when it comes to children misbehaving and for children in danger. When my wife broke our embrace I was certain I would be scolding the kids for throwing sand or some other childish prank. But there it was the question – the eyes of my wife like a blackboard with neon chalk “how to survive rip tide at Myrtle Beach” etched on my soul…. 

There were no words just that silent instruction that only a mother, a wife, a parent transmits to the other that it is time to act. As my gaze turned 180 degrees the entire world stood still and in a millisecond I processed more information than I had consumed in a year. My children were in that ocean. Those little waves that were only a few feet high moments ago were somehow turned into towering sheets of angry sea. My children were not shouting as playful memories being registered on their brains. They were terrified panicking screams for “Dad” “DAAAAAAAAAD” and it hit struck me like a current in a high voltage line. Rip Tide, undertow, dark water, the infinite sea had my children. I was 50 feet away. 40 feet away.. 30 feet away.. what happened to those surfers with their wet suits and boards? 25 feet away.. my mind replayed that five minutes earlier I saw those surfers getting the hell out of that water and leaving the beach. Why didn’t it sink in? Why didn’t I allow common sense to acknowledge that even the local surfers left this ocean in a hurry?

Oh how content we are when we feel oblivious and lost in our relaxing precious moments. All along the kids were not playing they were shouting for our help those moments because they’re bodies were being cast around without their control. They appeared to be jumping up and down but that was nothing more than the demonic pulsing of the rip tide of Myrtle Beach. They were learning how to survive the rip tide of Myrtle Beach while we so foolishly, selfishly, tuned them out! 

10 feet my son closest to me is crying and somehow holding his own. My wife inches behind me moving faster than a squirrel dodging a car. My eyes take it in the danger is beyond my control and beyond my abilities. As a police officer this would be the time that I would fight people back not to go in, not to add more lives to the obvious swirling and churning that would surely swallow anyone that would meet the challenge. Words.. shouting.. beyond my memory… I’m in!

Like a football player tacking a quarterback I watch a wave hit my boy and my girl…. my precious and angelic little girl went from just 20 feet away.. 10 feet from my boy… to being ripped and stolen from my eyesight. I fought in that water and I can’t describe it all. But my son was strong and with a tug as I got to him with my wife not holding herself back in the water just enough to not go under. My son was able to bounce out and grab his terrified mother’s hand. 

I see her.. I see my daughter she’s crying and shouting… flailing and giving up… “Dad.. dad. .. I can’t breathe..”  I sense how deep the water is and how far we have gone.  I know that it is too far. I know that it is too late. I know that we are in deep. I know that we ARE ALONE… Just me and my daughter in this sea. 

I have a random thought about my glasses and can’t believe they remained on my face. I fought and pushed through the oceans like a fireman in flames. Not able to breathe or see.  Not able to use any sense of logic. This is my little girl and that is my wife watching us drown… and that is my son… screaming… screaming… “Mom… I don’t want them to die”… lying in the sand fighting the sand and the tears and the god awful helplessness. My mind goes blank as I realize that I’m done!
How to survive the rip tide of Myrtle Beach… is not a question; it is a reality. I couldn’t see my daughter and she was an arm’s length from me moments before. For whatever reason she was the one that was furthest from the beach and the ocean had her. I could only think how week I was at that moment. I am Former Marine, a strong swimmer, a man who ran marathons, survived a year in Afghanistan, a man who fought in a world championship martial arts competition  was clearly capable of surviving where others will not. But how did my daughter make it this long. It is easily ten minutes into this fight. I was numb by the fear of her not making it. But something very odd and much unexpected happened inside of me. Something this is not in my nature and something I have never done before. I QUIT!

I was so overwhelmed by the ocean and my helplessness that I literally froze in time and had a moment with myself. I literally told myself that “this is it” and I’m at peace as I can’t fight this anymore. There was no religious burst, no logical reserves to carry me. I didn’t try to breathe or focus I just relaxed. This moment felt very much as if it were a month in time. I could not see my wife and son on the beach anymore but I sensed them. And I sensed my DAUGHTER.. And I woke the fuck up.. And I found her. I told her to “keep fighting and stop talking or you’re going to drown.”  I leverage myself on the tail of a wave and got body to body with my daughter and I used one arm and shoved her on the next wave. She zipped forward and I followed. Then again.. And I shouted to swim and she swam; and again and again.. And now I could see my wife and I could see my son… and my exhausted daughter right next to me. We were fighting this fucker together and we weren't going down. I was crying as we got closer because I knew we were going to make it.. I wasn't going to be that dad that let his kids drown in that fucking ocean.

The rip tide at Myrtle Beach didn't let up. Even when I could get my feet down and was able to wrap my arm around my daughter that evil demon grabbed at my feet. I felt the skin cutting on whatever it was on the ocean floor. But now I home free and my Wife and Son were crying and there to pull us to safety. Oh how precious those children are. Oh how unbelievably close to losing them we were!
It’s been a few years and I still tear up remembering that day. I just can’t believe we survived that ordeal. I am so very proud of my Wife for having the sense to know our children were in danger. I’m so very proud of my children for not quitting and dealing with their panic and their terror and being able to survive.  For me the question of How to Survive the Rip Tide of Myrtle Beach will be sorted out with a therapist in a year or two. I was shaken that day more so than any day that I have survived gun play. 

So, for you my dear friends I have a few short tips on how to survive a rip tide at Myrtle Beach. First, be more attentive to the people you are with. Second ALWAYS have some sort of flotation device with you at the beach. Even a cooler would have been helpful. When I got out there my ability to survive would have increased if I simply had something to hold on to for my daughter. Always test the water yourself before you let your children go in it. Finally, if you see that you are alone and that people are leaving the water –ask yourself the question “why.”

Don’t become that family that loses a loved one while on vacation! I can tell you first hand that the ocean is a mysterious and living creature that has many demons. Thankfully I am the only one in my family that has any emotional baggage from that event.  Writing this and knowing that this emotional lesson may be touching enough that people will read it and may be able to allow their instincts to avoid this danger in the future.

About the author:
Joe Chance is a leader in the work from home industry after calling it quits in the corporate and traditional broken model. Joe believes in contingency planning, prepping for whatever could happen and collaborating. Joe has a Pepper’s List for “How To Make Money Online” and teaches others in the industry.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

For 10 Weeks Only!!

For the next 10 weeks ONLY, Jalapeño Gal will bring you some of her special, mouthwatering recipes to prepare for your family. They will be a huge hit in your home so get ready!! Along with these recipes, you will also get a link to some delicious, dehydrated/Freeze dried “Meal’s in jars” and Old Fashioned Canning Recipes. Please Sign up for this at the link below and don't forget to share!!!

Why I Choose a Raw Diet Over Commercial Dog Food. Please read until the end.

Why I choose a raw diet over commercial dog food. Please read until the end.

Let's start with what usually appears as the protein source and the primary ingredient in pet food: Meat byproducts or meat meal. Both are euphemisms for the parts of animals that wouldn't be considered meat by any smart consumer. The well-known phrase "meat byproducts" is a misnomer since these byproducts contain little, if any, meat. These are the parts of the animal left over after the meat has been stripped away from the bone. "Chicken by-products include head, feet, entrails, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, liver, stomach, bones, blood, intestines, and any other part of the carcass not fit for human consumption," writes Henry Pasternak in Healing Animals with Nature's Cures.