Snowpocalypse 2019

Hey there,
Ravn here,
making a transmission from the bunker. I’ve gotten some emails and noticed that my little blog is still getting some hits throughout the week. I decided to send more transmissions considering the times we are living in now. I do enjoy the emails, so please send me a line!

A big chunk of the U.S(and Canada) is in the midst of the Snowpocalypse.  This year has been especially brutal with the below zero temperatures and deadly windchills. This post will be about how to survive during this frozen hellscape.

Last week in Minnesota it was in the -20s (not including wind) and finally this week we are up above zero.  We’ve been getting piled on with back to back blizzards.

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This is my view from inside
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This is what my patio looks like from outside (mine is the one with the ribbons). It’s a drift that’s well over 5ft.

Looks like I’ll have to tunnel my way out of ARTIC-traz…….okay, okay I’ll stave the puns.

Some days the weather had been so bad that there was no travel advisory for 3 days. That’s 3 days of hunkering down and not leaving your bunker or abode. Last week I had to dip into my emergency rations because payday hadn’t occurred before the storm hit. I wasn’t able to stock up on some supplies beforehand.

Preparing for the Storm

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It’s always a good idea to check the weather often. If there’s a storm a-brewin’ it’s a good time to head to the store a couple days before and stock up on some essentials. You may be hanging out at your pad for awhile. This will all of course vary depending upon where you live—if you live in the city, an apartment, house, or out in the country. There will be different needs for those places. I will just be writing from the perspective of someone who lives in an apartment in a smaller town.

A rough list of some essentials:

  • Toilet Paper
  • Non perishable Food
  • Bottled Water
  • Pet food(if you have pets)
  • Hygiene products
  • Medications
  • Batteries
  • Flashlight
  • Storm radio
  • Snow Shovels
  • Sand or ice melt
  • Carbon Monoxide detector
  • Hand warmers

If you have a vehicle DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO GET YOUR WINTER MAINTENANCE DONE. Get your oil changes, fuel system cleaned, air up those tires, and so on and so forth. Do not let your fuel go below half a tank if you’re in severe cold weather.

Speaking of vehicles….

Travelling

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The landscape outside looks like Hoth, hence the Empire Strikes Back memes

I highly advise against traveling in shit weather. This is not to assume you are a shitty driver, but all I’m saying is that there are a fuck-ton of shitty drivers out there that all come out of the wood work once winter hits. If you MUST travel, be sure to tell someone before you leave—that way if something happens, people will have a general idea of where you are.

Here in MN and NoDak the plows even shut down at one point because it was just that dangerous.

The dangers to watch out for are black ice and white-out conditions just to name a couple. Also snow drifts like this:

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This is an actual photo of an overpass in West Fargo, ND.
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This is a hardcore plow that was on I-94 a few days ago because of how huge the storm was

Even when there isn’t a winter storm going on it’s very important to have your winter survival kit in your car. These are items that will aid you if you are ever stranded.

Here’s a rough list:

  • NonPerishable foodstuffs (chocolate, dried fruit, easy open canned goods)
  • Multitool(like a Leatherman)
  • Jumper Cables
  • portable battery (for jumpstarting)
  • Yellow Heet
  • First aid kit
  • road flares
  • Matches, lighter
  • Campstove
  • Small metal pot (to cook or melt snow in)
  • bottled water
  • Water purification tabs (in case you need to melt snow)
  • Hand/body warmers
  • Blankets, sleeping bag
  • Snow boots
  • Gloves or mittens
  • winter hat
  • Ski goggles/sunglasses
  • Nonclump cat litter, sand
  • fold-able shovel
  • windshield fluid
  • icescaper
  • Cellphone charger with car adapter
  • Books, paper maps
  • Tea/instant coffee
  • Emergency Radio
  • Coffee can (to use as a toilet)

If you are stranded out on the road, stay put and let help find you. If you have phone reception definitely call for help, but make sure you conserve your battery and your car’s fuel.


And there you have it!  I hope this gives you a general idea of how to prepare and survive this intense winter season!

End Transmission

Ravn Thor

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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.

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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.

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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!
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  • 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!

Greetings,

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!

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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…)

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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