Category Archives: Emergency Preps

Anything that can be thought of as preparedness or preparedness related.

Homemade Applesauce

by Woodsbum

I searched for quite a while before I found a good applesauce recipe. Most call for all sorts of weird things. I really like this recipe because it is simple, basic and tastes great.

Here are the ingredients per my batch. Some math may be required:

  • 18 lbs of apples
  • 3 cups of water or apple juice/cider
  • Juice of 3 lemons (approx 1/2 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed of course)
  • 5 teaspoons of Cinnamon

First thing you will need is your apples. I used half Gala and half Granny Smith. They are much better if you use them before they get too soft.

Make sure you pick up one of these:

Apple slicer

Apple slicer

These slicer things make short work of peeling, slicing, and coring an apple. When you pull the apple meat off the device, just cut the whole apple coil in half, then throw it into the pot with the ingredients. There is no need to play games with adding things one at a time. Just toss it all in and put it on low heat to start cooking down.

Cut and ready for cooking

Cut and ready for cooking

Once it is all cooked down and the apples are soft, you need to pull the apple out and blend them. I use a Ninja like this one:



The hot applesauce will be a bit running, but it will be perfect to just jar up and can. I left about 1/2 inch of headspace on my jars and then water bath canned them. The 18 lbs made a little over 6 quarts of applesauce.

Ready for canning

Ready for canning

The whole process took about an hour and half from start to finish. The best part is how great the applesauce turned out. I don’t think that I have ever had any store bought or homemade applesauce that tasted better.

As a side note, I do things a bit different with my cinnamon. I purchase the sticks in bulk and then grind it myself as I need it. This gives a stronger taste without the bite that you get with the preground stuff in the stores. Even the smell is better.

Have some fun and good luck. I am getting ready to can some peaches that we picked up in Wenatchee sometime this week.

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Plum Preserves

by Woodsbum

Due to travel, it has been a been over a week since my last post. I tell you, life is really crazy.

When I got home I found that the French improved plum tree in my backyard was ready for harvest. We grabbed several bags, one of which was pitted and put into my dehydrator. The other one was pitted and put into a pot for preserves/jam. The recipe we use is a 2 ingredient variety that just takes longer to complete than one that calls for pectin.

The recipe is as follows:

  • Use about a 20 small plum/prune to 4.5 cups of sugar ratio. 12 fruit to 4.5 cups of sugar for the bigger plums.
  • Stir the fruit and sugar up, then leave it to sit for about 2 hours.
Coated and slowly heating plums

Coated and slowly heating plums

  • Heat the mixture up slowly until all the sugar is melted. This should be done on 3/10 or 4/10 on your heat setting. Once the sugar becomes mostly liquid and not all grainy, bring your heat up to 6/10 and get it steadily bubbling.
  • Once your mixture is completely bubbling, turn your heat up to the lower portion of your high setting, 8/10, for about 10 minutes. Stir the mixture constantly.
  • Turn the heat down to about 3/10 and stir it until the bubbling subsides dramatically. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Take the mixture off the heat and let it sit until it is cool enough to comfortably sit on the skin without burning.
After first heating

After first heating

  • Repeat the heating process another 4 times to complete a full 5 heating cycles.

Once the final heat is done, take the mixture off the stove and fill your sterilized jars. Just follow current canning standards.

The more times that you heat the mixture, the thicker the preserves/jam will be. If you happen to add too much sugar, you can always just use it as syrup or a sauce. The nice thing about making jellies and jams is that there is no such thing as a bad batch. You just improvise the label and use it a bit differently.

We were finishing our 3rd heating cycle last night so I don’t have any pictures of the finished jam yet. The whole process can take 2-3 days due to the heating and cooling cycles. Because of all the sugar you don’t have to worry about bacteria growing. It is fairly well preserved once the first heat cycle is completed, but the follow up cycles set your consistency and thickness.

Happy jamming!

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Dehydrating Vegetables

by Woodsbum

The time has come again where I bust out my dehydrator. This week I found a great deal on frozen peas, carrots, and green beans. Somehow I wandered into an almost 40% off deal on store brand bags, so I picked up something like 20 bags of my “soup 3” as I call them. I also ran into a deal on carne asada so I grabbed a package to test it out. In a few weeks our plums should be ready to pick, dehydrate and store.

The reason that I like frozen vegetables for dehydrating is that they are already blanched. It completely skips a tedious step in the process of food preparation. Before you dehydrate fresh vegetables, they need to be blanched first. This involves dipping them in boiling water and then putting them in ice water. Some people say that this is unnecessary, but I have found that they rehydrate better when blanched without turning into veggie flour.

When I dehydrate vegetables, I use my Excalibur unit on 125 degrees for about 12-14 hours. For some reason it seems to take longer to get food dehydrated or jerked here due to humidity. My jerky for example takes about 18-22 hours with all 5 trays full. The carne asada that I use for soups is kind of greasy, but doesn’t have to be cut or prepared before turning into jerky. You can just put it on the trays right after marinating for 24 hours. No cutting, no carving, no fuss involved in the process.

Once I get done dehydrating, I use my Foodsaver vacuum sealer for long term storage. The fruits seem to last a couple years if I completely dehydrate them and seal them in this manner. I end up using my vegetables and jerky before the year is out so I don’t have a good handle on how long they will keep. My sealed packages are kept in a food safe bucket and lid. You can also put them in Mylar bags to keep them longer, but the buckets seem to work well.

I also keep barley and bouillon on hand to make my soups. I start by boiling up some water and then add barley, bouillon, and jerky. After cooking about 30 minutes, I add my vegetables and finish cooking. It should take another 30-45 minutes to finish cooking, depending on altitude.

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Ringing or Girdling a Tree

by Woodsbum

Ringing a tree is a great way to kill a tree that can be used later on as firewood. It will dry and cure in a standing position rather than getting all wet from sitting on the ground. Some species of tree will also drain a huge amount of pitch into its stump/root system so you will have a supply of fatwood as well.

Here is a video where a guy goes through the whole process.

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Google Recording and Tracking

by Woodsbum

I found a post on SHTF School today about Google history and tracking. References to this are all over the Internet, but I had yet to actually find the settings until today. Once I pulled up my history page I was almost sick to my stomach. Every voice search I had performed for the last couple years was there. I could literally click  the audio file and hear my voice. The scarier one is the location search. There was several years of data stored up to include my trips back East for business and my daughter’s graduation. The even scarier thing is that it actually shows the exact route I took through the Everglades, all around the Carolinas, trips locally, and even the layovers on the flights I have taken.

Here is the link to see what Big Brother is tracking, that they let you know about.

After some searching around, I figured out how to delete my history and all the audio recordings. I have yet to figure out how to delete my location history. This really scares me because I don’t trust anything. It would be real easy to look at my location history and see that I like gun stores, being outside, and where I go. Since I am so paranoid, although I would never do anything that would jeopardize my gun rights, hunting rights or freedom, I would hate to somehow get profiled by Big Brother just because I want to be left the hell alone. Getting lumped into some “bad guy” group just for doing LEGAL activities that some libtard back East doesn’t like does scare me a lot.

Deleting the other stuff was pretty easy. The options are at the top of the page and you just choose “Settings” to get to the delete option. Maps and location are a bit trickier. Here are the instructions from Google:


View or delete your Google Maps history

Your Maps history shows you places that you:

  • Reviewed
  • Saved
  • Shared
  • Were asked to review
  • Answered a question about
  • Searched for recently

Your Maps history will only be saved if you’ve turned on Web & App Activity.

View your Maps history

To see your Maps history, follow the steps below.

  1. Sign in and open Google Maps.
  2. Click the Menu > History.

Delete Maps history

You can delete places from your Maps history one at a time. To delete all of your Maps history, you’ll have to use your computer.

To delete a place from your Maps history, follow the steps below.

  1. Sign in and open Google Maps.
  2. Click the Menu  > History.
  3. Check the box next to the item you want to delete.
  4. Click Delete.
  5. Optional: To delete a day, check the box next to the day > Delete.
  6. Optional: To delete all of your history, go to the top and click More three vertical dots > Delete options > AdvancedAll time > Delete.

Note: Deleting all of your search history from Maps doesn’t include places you’ve saved, shared, or were asked to review.


Whether you are as paranoid as I am or just want to keep nosey people out of your business, this is a good thing for you to look at. I noticed that places that I had never actually gone into showed up as “locations” that I had been on the map. For instance: I don’t go to Burger King, but there sure were a lot of them listed on my map. It makes me wonder if just driving by something will get it to trigger and save the location. You could get yourself into trouble in a place where there are more strip clubs than churches just by driving on the wrong road.

Good luck with this everyone!

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