Tinctures, Syrups, and Bone broth

I’ve been on a tincture kick lately. Part of prepping to me is maintaining ones strength and health.

A tincture is an herb where it’s medicinal properties have been extracted by alcohol. There are also tinctures that can be made with glycerin, apple cider vinegar, or honey.
For alcohol tincture it’s best to use a clear alcohol like Everclear, Vodka, or Gin that is at LEAST 80proof.

Mixed race woman holding bottle of essential oil : Stock Photo

In the farmers almanac and among many folk-medicine circles they say the best time to put your tincture together is during a New Moon. In 4-6wks your tincture will be ready. I  make my tinctures on a new moon and then go by the 2nd full moon I see to know when the extraction is complete.

Image result for moon phase pictures

Here I put together what I call my “Dragon Vitality Tincture,” It has ginsengschizandra, and astragalus .  All three of these herbs work synergistically together as adaptogens to help combat stress, decrease inflammation, increase sex drive, and increase focus.

The other one I made is with Ashwaganda. I’ve been taking Ashwaganda tinctures for several months and decided it would be much cheaper to just make my own!  I put these together on the New Moon back in February.  The next Full Moon this March I will strain the herbs and bottle them.


To fight Cold and Flu season I made an Elderberry Echinacea syrup with local raw honey.  So far this whole season I’ve not caught the Flu or a cold—and I work in the human services sector where I’m around people that tend to pass the virus around. Knock on wood thus far.

Another thing I’ve been really into lately is bone broth. There’s nothing quite like sipping a mug of hot savory broth on a cold winters evening.  You can pick up soup bones at your local butcher shop where it is much cheaper, or if you make a roast chicken/turkey be sure to save the bones!  You can make several batches of broth with a set of bones–you can use them until they disintegrate.  I love to roast my bones with onion, carrot, and garlic with salt and pepper first then I let it simmer in my crockpot for 24hours.  Sometimes I’ll throw in some raw ginger. You can season it however you want. Make your broth your own! There are also plenty of recipes and recipe books out there too. I saw this book and thought it was pretty funny….however, damn, those recipes look delicious.

I’ll follow up sometime about how my tinctures turn out.  I hope this inspires you to give it a try yourself. It can feel very empowering to take matters into your own hands and defend yourself against cold/flu/stress.

Until next time,

Ravn Thor
The Transgender Prepper

“To keep the body in good health is a duty…otherwise we will not be able to keep our minds strong and clear.” – Buddha



Starting Over, What’s Ravn up to?

Greetings from my hideaway.

I am such an asshole. My sincerest apologies for dropping off the face of the earth once again.  I keep getting ‘likes’ on this page and I notice that there is traffic here.  I miss blogging so much, and I didn’t realize that my little prepper blog got so much attention. I suppose there are not many prepper blogs that come from a transgender perspective.

I had a realization today that for me I’m not prepping for when SHTF, because shit has hit the fan for me in the present. I need to get my ass in gear now.

A few updates on what has been going on in my life without getting into too much detail:

  • June, moved back to my college town, worked full time at a homeless shelter
  • July, went through a painful break-up (relationship of 6yrs)
  • Fall, started EMDR for my complex PTSD–it’s going well, healing and growth however is painful.
  • Fall, issues at work, interpersonal issues with coworkers,
  • Winter, quit full time job due to too much passive aggression among co-workers
  • January, I turned the big 30!

  • January, got hired on the spot at the same Foundation I worked at in the town before at the branch here.
  • February, working only part-time, hours are not being met, learning frugality.

I reached some fitness goals too. I can dead-lift 225lbs, and I weigh only 132lbs. I reached my cut goals and my lifting goals.

I’m lifting heavier than I ever thought possible. I go to the gym 5-7 days a week. I’m now working more on endurance and flexibility—what good is strength if you can’t have agility, dexterity, and stamina?  My goal for this year is to be able to touch my toes. (Damn short hammies!)

I lost my health insurance when I quit my full-time position, but I did qualify for MNcare insurance.  However, I was in an insurance purgatory for a bit where I needed to pay for my scripts out of pocket. My health insurance starts next month and I will get reimbursed from the pharmacy.  I am hopeful that within the year I will get bumped up to a full-time position and have more hourly stability on the job. Meanwhile, my finances took a huge dive. It made me really learn how to manage my money and where it goes.  It’s these sorts of things that people don’t seem to understand that prepping is all about—-preparedness for anything–that includes job loss, illness, job change, etc.  I had plenty of food stored away this month and managed to only spend about $70 for food (You can do so much with potatoes).

In 4 months my lease is up and I well be venturing forth into finding a place of my own—no roommates. I need my own place.

I’ve been doing a lot when it comes to taking care of myself.  I feel like a loner most of the time now, but it’s given me time for deep introspection and reflection.  Along with counseling, I’m putting the pieces together of my fragmented sense of self. When it comes to prepping, I want to take a holistic approach and have all bases covered. It’s not just about stock-piling a bunch of stuff and doing bug-out drills. To me, Prepping is becoming self-reliant and learning to truly depend on yourself when you can’t depend on anybody else.

It’s so hard to trust anyone in this world, but I can trust myself to get my needs met and survive.  I do long for community someday. But right now, I need to get my shit together.

Thanks for reading,

Ravn Thor

The Transgender Prepper


Ravn lives!


It appeared as though I had fallen off the grid (I wish!) but I can assure you I’m still here surviving in this bizarro world.

The past 6-7 months or so have been very tumultuous in my life. I suppose you could say I took cover in my bunker and went underground for awhile.

For now I am just going to touch base and inform you fellow preppers/readers that I’ll be back in action in the coming days with more regular posting.  This week, stay tuned for a post updating what I’ve been up to, my prepping plans, and future plans.

I want to thank those that have reached out and touched base with me.  Sometimes we all need a little motivation. I had no idea how many folx were reading my posts and were hungry for more. It feels good to be told that my writing has been helpful and to let other queer and trans brothers and sisters know they are not alone.

If you have any questions and want to send me a message about any suggestions for future posts and topics you’d like to hear my perspective on, by all means, get in touch!

Back from the bunker

Hard Tack to Pack a Punch in the Apocalypse

Sea Biscuits, Sheet Iron, Molar Breakers, or just Tack; Hard Tack goes by many different names and has quite the history.  Used as sustenance by sailors at sea and food rations for soldiers in the revolutionary and civil wars, it is a versatile food with a long shelf life making it ideal for prepping and survival.

The basic recipe is as follows:

3 cups of white flour
1 cup of water
2 teaspoons of salt

And that’s it!  Mix it up into a dough, roll it out, cut into squares or circles. Poke some holes. Preheat the oven at 375 degees, bake each side for 30 minutes. And boom! there you have it.

However, this recipe isn’t the most nutrient dense. I decided to tweak it a bit to make a hard tack that packs a punch.

Ravn’s Hard Tack for the End of Days

(Or for camping…)

2 Cups whole wheat flour
1 cup of ground quinoa flour (Quinoa is full of protein, and has a complete amino acid profile, making it a complete protein)
1 cup of rolled oats (Also full of protein and other essential nutrients)
1/2 cup chia
1/2 cup flax
(Flax and chia both are full of protein, omega 3s, and other vitamins and minerals)
2 teaspoons of salt
1 and 1/2 cups of water


Before baking

When they come out they definitely live up to their name of being hard.  If you’re not careful you will chip a tooth.  Breaking off a piece and holding it in your mouth for a minute or two allows the enzymes in your saliva break it down to make it chew-able.  It’s also pretty good soaked in soup for a few minutes.  You can dunk it in coffee or just hot water.  It tastes kind of like Wheaties.  It’s very flexible in that it can be eaten with a hearty flavor (like with a bone broth) or something sweet (drizzle on some honey or jam).


While Hard Tack is known for it’s long term shelf life, I wanted to ensure it lasts for years.  I ordered some Mylar bags to store them in. I will also be using these bags to store more food in the future.


If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, one way to go about it is by submerging it in water until all the air is out.  Then use an iron (I used a flat iron) to seal it up.


And there you have it!
Until Next Time,
Ravn Thor

First Aid/CPR Certified


After completing the online portion I went to the in-person class to complete my First Aid/CPR certification.

Meet “Joe”

I feel pretty good about completing one of the goals on my list of skills to learn.


My goji berry plant is really thriving!


My herbs are really sprouting now. In the next week or so I will transplant them to some pots.

I’d like to start some tomatoes and other plants inside, however, since I’m moving this could get complicated. We will see.

Besides medicinal and culinary herbs I plan to plant some staples that I can preserve through canning, dehydrating, drying, or freezing.  Ideally, I’d love to be able to grow enough food to last me a majority of the winter:

Ravn’s Garden Plan

  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Wheat
  • Squash
  • Beans
  • Corn
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Salad Greens
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Peppers
  • Berries
  • Cucumbers
  • Pumpkins

This is all I have as an update for now but I will update this blog again in a day or so.

Take care,


Keeping the Mind Sharp

Good evening,

Last week I stumbled upon a really fascinating podcast and blog.

You Are Not So Smart

The central theme of You Are Not So Smart is that you are unaware of how unaware you are. There is an old-and-still-growing body of research across several disciplines with findings that suggest you have little idea why you act or think the way you do. Despite this, you continue to create narratives to explain your own feelings, thoughts, and behaviors, and these narratives – no matter how inaccurate – become the story of your life.

You Are Not So Smart is a fun exploration of the ways you and everyone else tends to develop an undeserved confidence in human perception, motivation, and behavior. I hope by reading it and listening to the podcast you’ll rediscover a humility and reconnect with the stumbling, fumbling community of man trying to make sense of things the best we can.

On my 12+ hour total road trip last weekend I listened to quite a few of these casts and found them to be invaluable. When I get paid next month I intend on ordering the books too.

Critical thinking skills are among the many skills one needs in order to survive and thrive in this world. This podcast is definitely a sharpening stone.

Until next time,
Ravn Thor



Checking in, herbs, potions, surplus, and more


I’ve had a busy couple of weeks. I just returned from the Twin Cities a couple days ago.  Here’s a little update of what I’ve been up to:

Herbs are sprouting!

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Things are starting to really spring up and my goji berry plant has rooted and is standing tall and strong. I’m really relieved that it worked out. For the first couple days the poor plant had transplant trauma and was very wilty.  I gave it a few drinks of sugar water and it perked right up. Now it’s almost as tall as the bamboo stick!

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I stopped at a Herb shop and picked up a few ounces of adaptogen herbs for focus, energy, and virility.  Really decent prices. I spent under 10bucks.  Buying loose-leaf herbs is so cheap.
Ravn’s Virility Tonic
2 tsp Schizandra berry
2 tsp Horny Goat Weed
2 tsp Ginseng
Ravn’s Focus Potion
2 tsp Ginko
2 tsp Ginseng
2 tsp Schizandra berry
(For more of a focus kick use some green tea also)

Add more of each for a stronger potion. Pour the herbs into boiling water and turn off the heat. Let set for 5-10 minutes.

Or you can make this into a decoction. Put herbs into a boiling pot, turn heat down to a simmer, and let simmer for 30-45minutes.

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I made a stop in Fargo at Mills Fleet Farm because they have a really huge selection of military surplus gear.  Military Surplus is a great resource for prepper gear because it’s high quality and affordable.  I have been wanting a good durable bug-out bag that I can double use for camping and backpacking.  I got an “Italian San Marco Backpack” for around 20$.  I plan on saving up for an A.L.I.C.E Pack Frame to use as well.

Fitness Update

So a month or so ago I weighed in at 129lbs. Yesterday I weighed myself and landed at 141lbs! I am 3lbs away from my bulking goal.  Once I reach that goal I start on cutting.

I’m looking forward to spring rolling around so I can put myself to the test on a long hike.

In the next couple months I will be moving back to my college town.  When I move I will start planning my garden.

That’s all for now,