Monday, February 21, 2011

New Page! (Suggested YouTube Channels)
     I am not much of a fan of TV these days, especially with the increasing amount of shows going towards reality.  I will keep you from a long rant on how Hollywood is breeding a generation of kids that believe what they see on "reality TV" shows is in fact "real life", and how the disconnection is growing at an alarming rate.  One thing I will say though I find it ironic that the major cause of disconnection from our humanity is named "reality TV", as that misnomer couldn't be further from the truth.  I may be a bit fuzzy on "the truth", but I'm sure as hell sure that what goes on in Hollywood is not it.

     Now that I have breathed (and ranted a little bit), I would like to share with you one way I turn mainstream media into a tool for learning.  YouTube may have started as a bunch of videos of people falling and farting, but has since grown into a shining example of how humans can use, the immensely important internet, to share our collective knowledge.  If you have not been on YouTube in a while, or have not really ever searched through its massive collection of videos, do yourself a favor and check out some of the channels I suggest above.  They touch upon a few different topics, all survival/self-reliance related.  I personally enjoy outdoor survival, and love to practice it myself, so there's a few extra channels related to that.  

Happy watching!!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Survival Skills: Homemade Toothpaste

    This may seem a bit off topic, but I assure you it's not as learning certain skills allow you and your family to be just a bit more self-reliant.  Learning how to create your own soap, candles, and toothpaste amongst other things, can save you money in the long-term and help you to refine a very useful skill.  Not to mention that learning how to make your own supplies, and having a stock pile of the ingredients to make them, give you something to barter or an item to sell if a disaster lasted more then a few weeks.

     One of the simplest, and cost effective skills to learn is how to make homemade toothpaste.  The initial cost of making toothpaste can be a tad expensive at first as you should buy bulk.  But it can easily save your family hundreds of dollars a year as the original supplies can last a long time, much longer then a tube of store bought toothpaste.  The savings can then be applied to back-up your supplies for long-term use or to use, once again, as barter if necessary.

      The best thing, in my opinion, of making your own stuff is the fact that you can control what goes into these products.  Since I am not a fan of anything containing fluoride, and try to limit my families intake of it, I can choose to make a toothpaste completely fluoride free.  I can also choose different natural oils to enhance the taste, and get the added benefits from them.  Things like peppermint oil, or parsley neutralize bad breath.  Chamomile reduces swelling if your gum's are sensitive.  The possible combination's can be truly endless if you further your knowledge of natural herbs and oils.

     Since I am into simple solutions and have been blessed with strong healthy teeth, I choose to use a basic tooth cleaning system.  It consists of a wet toothbrush, baking soda, and grapefruit seed extract.  I keep a covered jar of baking soda and a bottle of grapefruit seed extract near my covered toothbrush on my bathroom sink.  To use these items, you simply wet the toothbrush head, stick it in the baking soda, put a drop of grapefruit seed extract on top of it all, and brush.  Simple as that.  The taste is not ideal, but it has never really been an issue.  You need to make sure to use a little amount of the grapefruit seed extract, as too much can burn your gum's.  If you have sensitive gum's you might need a different solution.  Below is a video from YouTube showing you the proper way of using this method, and I have linked baking soda, and grapefruit seed extract from Amazon below.  The big bottle of grapefruit seed extract linked below is a bit expensive, but from my research a very good deal in the 32 oz. bottle, especially because of the free shipping Amazon offers.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Weekend Watching

     If, like me, you are not very interested in watching an overblown football game, and seeing what witty ways our advertising community can make us buy more useless stuff, I offer you a worth while alternative on this Super Bowl Sunday.  Being very interested in outdoor survival and practicing bushcraft skills since I was a boy, one of my guilty pleasures is searching for new, and useful outdoor survival related videos on YouTube.  Since the internet is full of bushcraft information, it really does not take long to find good lessons from many of the more famous bushcraft survival instructors if you know where, and who, to look for.  Even though we live in an urban environment and have taken the word "convenience" to a whole new level, bushcraft survival can be extremely important to anyone, and everyone on this planet.  In fact, many of my concepts for urban survival are adapted from outdoor survival, as the rules don't change.

     One of the people I have recently became an admirer of is Ray Mears.  I have heard his name thrown around a few times by other survival teachers, but had not known much about him.  Finding a playlist featuring him on a channel I often visit on YouTube; Prepare2Survive I became instantly impressed with his skills and knowledge on bushcraft survival.  He has traveled the world many times over, and has a bunch of BBC programs, and specials concentrated on finding quickly vanishing bushcraft skills and techniques of the remaining indigenous people of the world.  Watching him, you realize his influence over other bushcraft survival teachers such as Bear Grylls, and Dual Survivals Dave Canterbury

     So do yourself a favor and watch his playlist when you have some time.  It is a worth while watch.  If you enjoy his methods, you can visit his website here, which has useful info on what gear he uses and suggests.  You can also look for his DVD series, and books on Amazon.

     I will be doing a few posts when we get closer to the spring on camping, and backpacking trips that you can go on to practice your bushcraft skills.  These trips are relatively close to NYC, and can be traveled by car or mass transit.  *Here is that post.*