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…)

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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

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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).

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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.

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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.

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

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

Hello,

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.
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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,

Ravn

 

 

Herb Planting!

Good evening,

I decided to start my herb garden indoors.  There was a sale at a home improvement store and so I figured I’d take advantage.  I planted some culinary herbs as well as medicinal.  I hope to plant more in the future.

I planted what I like to call  Scarborough herbs:

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme 

and the rest:

Basil, Oregeno, Chives

Cayenne, Chamomile, Lavender, and Lemon balm

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I was really surpised and happy to find a goji berry plant! I’ve always wanted one to nurture indoors.

I even got a grow lamp so it can receive more rays when the sun isn’t shining through the window at certain parts of the day.

Here is my complete set up thus far:

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It’s pretty modest but it’s a start.  I hope what I have sown will reap successfully.

The links throughout this post are to various covers of Scarborough Fair. It’s one of my favorite songs. It’s so timeless.  I used to play Irish Tin whistle(and mandolin) and this was one of my favorite songs to play (besides Greensleeves).

Until next time,

Ravn Thor

“Are you going to Scarborough Fair:
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.
Remember me to one who lives there.
She once was a true love of mine.”

 

SHTF Fitness Tuesday 2/21/2017

So it’s been 2 weeks since I started working out at the Gym and increasing my caloric intake to 3200 calories a day.  I’ve been going 5 days a week and doing 30min of HIIT cardio twice a week.

Increasing my calories has been really difficult because when I’m under stress or dealing with any sort of depression my appetite really lacks.  Thankfully, I started meal prepping so that I always have a nutritious meal on hand.

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This week I prepped  salmon, sweet potatoes, and a lemon, parsley, garbonzo bean salad. Week before that I prepped chicken breasts, broccoli, and rice.

Drinking my calories has also helped immensely.

Tonight I made a banana orange smoothie with almond milk, oats, whey, maca powder, spinach, and parsley.  I made a full blender of it and so I drank three pints.

I’m happy to say that I have gained 2 pounds per week and intend on keeping that up until I reach my 15lb bulking goal.  At the rate I’m going it should take close to two months.

Perhaps in the future I will share some progress photos.

Anyway, that’s how my training is going so far!

Take care,

Ravn Thor

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Switching up the gears

Greetings and salutations,

I’ve been busy doing a bit of tinkering.  I want to make this blog more structured and interesting. It will help me keep on track too.

Sundays will be Ravn’s Weekly Round-Up

This will be a weekly report of current events (similar to my Reflection posts) as it pertains to me personally and also nationally/globally.

Tuesdays will be SHTF Fitness

This will be an update posts on my journey for top physical condition and also anything regarding fitness/nutrition and its relevance to prepping.

Thursdays will be Practical Skills Cultivation

A post about various survival and practical skills being utilized. Working with your hands, foraging, starting a fire, building, gardening, sustainability,  etc.

Fridays will be Folk Remedy Friday

This will be about growing herbs, making my own medicines, experiments, etc.

Saturdays will be Stockpiling Saturdays

A post about my progress in stocking up on food, water, and other miscellaneous supplies.


That is my rough draft and brain storm as of right now.  If anyone has any suggestions about what you’d like The Transgender Prepper to write about feel free to comment below.

Take care,

 

Ravn Thor

 

Climate change, why is this even a debate?

When it comes to discussing climate change, too many people in positions of power will start off by saying, “Now I’m not a scientist but…”

Donald Trump believes that “nobody really knows” if climate change is real or not.

The fact is that 97% of climate scientists, along with the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and more than 30 professional scientific research societies, agree that climate change is happening because of human actions and that we are in serious trouble if we don’t do something about it.

97% of climate scientists that have dedicated years of study and expertise in this field are not ‘nobody’.

There’s a certain ideology that is present within many climate change deniers. Anti-Intellectualism :

Anti-intellectualism is an attitude that minimizes the value of intelligence, knowledge, and curiosity. Anti-intellectuals believe that science, expertise and “book knowledge” are less valuable than “street smarts” and “common sense.” They also believe that they don’t have to read anything about a field of knowledge before dismissing it with their own “theories”.

What is anti-intellectualism

  • Believing that academics or experts (even in their fields of expertise) aren’t worth listening to because they lack “common sense” or are “out of touch.”
  • Believing academics are “others” and have little concern for the common people. (One must wonder why they are in academia, then.)
  • Pushing conspiracy theories around places of higher education.
  • Believing academics are “elitists.”
  • Believing academics promote “sinfulness” or moral degeneracy.
  • Going with your gut over the advice or studies performed by various experts, because you see it as superior.
  • Not understanding or checking the arguments of experts before dismissing them.

They try to come off as skeptics but in reality they are just denialists. Pseudoscience and antiscience pose as if they are legitimate or hold equal footing.

In a previous post I discussed the topic of the media.  In a lot of ways I find media responsible for legitimizing the spread of pseudoscience and antiscience under the guise of “balance.”  However, this quest for ‘balance’ actually only create false balances.

How is it that 97% of scientists agree that global warming is real compared to 3% of scientists (who, by the way, are employed by the oil industry or through the “think tanks” those industries fund), hold any sort of balance to each other? When the media gives equal airtime to them it makes it appear as though they do.  This is dangerous because it creates bias.

Journalistic Balance as Global Warming Bias

Creating controversy where science finds consensus

One study analyzed coverage of climate change in four influential American newspapers (New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times and Wall Street Journal) over a 14-year period. It found that more than half of the articles discussing climate change gave equal weight to the scientifically discredited views of the deniers.

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There is a difference between Climate and Weather.

The difference between weather and climate is a measure of time. Weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere “behaves” over relatively long periods of time.

So just because it was -25 degrees and snowed 2 feet in your neck of the woods doesn’t invalidate the fact that climate is changing and getting warmer.  Warmth increases water vapor into the atmosphere which therefore spells a recipe for unpredictable and violent weather patterns such as an increase in snow fall, stronger hurricanes, and so on.

How Climate Science Became Politicized

“It’s the trend that I find in some ways the most disturbing, because in the end, the climate system doesn’t care whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican,” Leiserowitz told LiveScience. “It’s not like the floods are only going to hit Democrats and not Republicans or that the droughts are going to impact liberal farmers and not conservative ones. In the end, we all will suffer together and in the end, we’ll all have to solve this together.”

What are some things we can do?

On a macro level, weaning off of fossil fuels is in our best interest. It would grant us energy independence, protect the environment, supply an infinite amount of energy, and investing in greener fields such as solar and wind  would create more jobs.  There needs to be a tax on carbon emissions:

from an economists’ viewpoint, is that fossil fuels impose costs on society — “externalities” — that users do not share. These include the increased health care costs that result from fossil fuel pollution, or the infrastructure costs that are likely to result from rising sea levels.

“Taxes on externalities are not inconsistent with the free-market system,” Knittel says. “In fact, they’re required to make the free-market system achieve the efficient outcome. This idea that a pure free-market economy never has taxes is wrong.”

Some things we can do on a micro level would be to make a few changes in our lifestyles.

  • become informed, educate yourself
  • Be mindful of water waste, collect rainwater, etc
  • grow a garden
  • walk more, carpool, public transit
  • when you leave a room turn off the lights, turn off the furnace when going out, etc
  • eat less red meat, support farmer’s markets, eat local produce when you can
  • Vote for policies that ensure the protection of the environment
  • Waste less, recycle more

Preppers do quite a bit in becoming self-sufficient and sustainable. Having self-sufficiency, sustainability, and self-reliance is very empowering.  I have dreams of living off-grid and fully self-sufficient.  Little by little I hope to make that happen.

The climate impacts the whole world and is already starting to show it’s effects.  Climate change is not a question of faith, because whether you believe in it or not it’s still true.

Until next time,

Ravn Thor

“We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”

-Aldo Leopold