Today we went up to Prather to learn something at the Preparedness Seminar that Jim put on. The size of the crowd varied throughout the day but ranged from 10-30 people all day long. We didn't quite get there at the very beginning of the day. We did make it for the tail-end of the first talk. It was an interesting talk about different herbs. We got to taste some of the fresh herbs. We were also able to sample some tea sweetened with Stevia leaf. My favorite was the chocolate mint, which is a mint plant with small leaves that had a chocolate minty flavor.
Several times I was asked if I had learned anything. I am happy to say that I did pick up a few tips along the way.
I liked the first tip. I'm not sure it would really save lots of space or weight but it's a great idea anyway. The presenter took out a large tube of toothpaste. This takes up lots of space and weight. True but we use the large tubes in the trailer, bugout place, and at home. The bags all have the small tubes that the dentist gives away, or you can buy them for a dollar. Sure they are a lot more expensive than the bigger tubes in cost per ounce but if you are looking for some toothpaste in a small space and weight, that's what we do. OK, back to the tip. Remember the candy that was on wax paper? Rows and rows of little sugar dots. The tip with toothpaste was to take a piece of wax paper and make little dots with the toothpaste. Then sprinkle each dot with some baking soda. Let it sit out to dry. When dry you can cut the way paper into strips and roll up your strip. Put it into a baggie and you have little toothpaste drops. They will rehydrate with water.
Jim is selling 55 gallon metal barrels with lids for $30! I brought the Prius so no barrels for me. I'll have to come back sometime in the near future with the truck.
One speaker gave a demonstration about using the seal-a-meal to seal bags and also canning jars. She gave one answer to one question and I was able to provide a response about how I do things. I think it was helpful to know that there's more than one way to do a lot of this stuff. After all, it's not just about storing things up. You need knowledge and skills - not just stuff.
Pacific Grain and Food in Fresno sells just about everything in bulk. They've been in business since 1982. How could I have never heard of them? I'm going to check them out and see how their prices are.
AMP-3 (www.amp-3.net) came in from Portland. Beth was a good speaker and spoke about not only medical supplies (her husband is a doctor) but also just some practical safety ideas. Do you have a pair of shoes, boots, or slippers (hard bottomed) right next to your bed? If you live in an earthquake prone area your #1 issue may be broken glass on the floor. So you make it through the earthquake just fine and then cut yourself all up trying to get out of your house? Just a reminder!
One of the products I bought from AMP-3 was a product called Splinter Out. It's like a small needle only it has beveled sides rather than round. It's easier to get out the splinter. I don't remember how many were in the pack, maybe eight or ten. Each one was individually wrapped to keep it sterile. It's better than a needle and not too expensive.
AMP-3 had specific activity medical kits. For example, the kit for carrying on your bike included items for cleaning up "road rash" if you take a spill. Brilliant!
Jim's son offered to bring people out on a camping survival training weekend if he can get enough people interested. He promised it wouldn't be too remote or uncomfortable, and would be a great learning experience. I don't know what the price would be but for anyone who thinks they may have to spend some time in the woods or wilderness, I'm sure it would be worth the price. For his high school senior project he spent three days in the woods with nothing but what he carried in his pockets. He built a shelter, procured his food, and made it back in one piece. He reminded us that when you are trying to figure out what you can and can't eat, if you know what a bear will eat then you can eat the same thing. If a bear is getting into certain plants (because you see it in their droppings on the trail) then find those same plants for yourself!
There was a ham radio discussion. Not lots of detail but something worth checking out in the future.
One speaker taught us how to make colloidal silver, and what it was good for. He also reminded us that Chia seeds are a great source of food. They aren't just for spreading on your Chia-pet. The Native Americans ate them. Once you know what the plant looks like it's easy to learn where you can gather. Or, just buy them from the store. Cayenne pepper will stop bleeding. Pine needle tea is a good source of vitamin C. (I'm kind of spoiled having citrus trees in the yard, but citrus doesn't grow as easily at the bug-out place.) This speaker also emptied some of his pockets and sacks. He had several knives, flashlights, a fire starter, and other interesting things in his everyday carry. Of course, his everyday carry included wearing this gear all over his body. There wasn't any hiding the fact that he is prepared for whatever may come his way.
There was a demonstration with a Sun Oven. Several pieces of meat, each about 2x6 inches and 1 1 /2 inches thick, were cooked for a few hours. The meat tasted great. There was also Thrive dehydrated and freeze dried foods. There were samples of chili, corn soup, and something else. I tried the soup and it was really good.
There was one father and son there making paracord bracelets. We didn't buy one but he still showed me how to make them. I've always made mine just braiding or what I call "quick release" chain. Now I know how to make the ones that are advertised all over the place. He said they take about 15 minutes to make and people were picking their colors of paracord and in no time at all he'd make one. I don't have his contact information or prices but if anyone is interested I can get the information for you. He had pink, purple, and all those girly colors that Girl liked. Boy like the the red, white, and blue paracord. I'd never seen that one before. I'll have to have Jim order it for me.
It was a great learning experience for the kids. I think their favorite was watching the video on using the steri-strips and also taking out slivers. Oh, I bribed them too. Be good the entire time and I'll give you each $15 to spend at the end of the day. The very end, so there's plenty of time for each of you to mess up and save me lots of money. Neither messed up. Girl bought a flashlight and also a military survival book. She had a dollar left and wanted to buy some junk food but couldn't figure out what she wanted. I told her no because her two items may have only cost $14 but with tax she went over by 50 cents. She's done buying. Boy bought a knife. This one had a secret compartment in the handle to hold matches and fishing gear. It had a little stone to sharpen the knife. It cost him (me) $12. I gave the person a $20 and she gave me $8 back. Boy then spent $2 on a fund raiser candy bar. Then I had a wonderful senior moment! Boy said he still had $6 left (after all, she had given me $8 back!) so he went to the dollar store a couple shops away from GI Jim's and bought more junk food. He walked out with a dollar and I let him keep it! What was I thinking???