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!
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
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 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:
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).
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.
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.